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ERIC Number: ED551610
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 242
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-0094-7
Language and Social Identity Construction: A Study of a Russian Heritage Language Orthodox Christian School
Moore, Ekaterina Leonidovna
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Grounded in discourse analytic and language socialization paradigms, this dissertation examines issues of language and social identity construction in children attending a Russian Heritage Language Orthodox Christian Saturday School in California. By conducting micro-analysis of naturally-occurring talk-in-interaction combined with longitudinal ethnographic observations and interviews the study examines how young heritage language learners are positioned as Russian Orthodox Christian children in relation to others: their teachers, peers and parents. The study also explores how the children's affiliation with Orthodox Christian values and practices is socialized in their daily classroom interactions. The dissertation concentrates on discourse analysis of specific language practices: directives in attempts to correct transgressions, accounts given in attempts to correct transgressions, hypothetical direct reported speech modeling ways of talking to parents, stories where children are presented as knowledgeable about Orthodox Christian values and practices, and assessments of church-related practices. Through the use of language and other semiotic resources children are positioned (and position themselves) as knowledgeable about and emotionally connected to Orthodoxy, respectful and obedient toward, but sometimes more knowledgeable than the parents, part of a collective of peers, where an individual's behavior affects the group, and as pupils who need to learn not only the Russian language, but also concepts of morality from their teachers. Such positioning of children takes place not only through the use of lexical items (what is said to and around them), but also through the structure of the linguistic practices employed. The analysis shows that these structures take into consideration the multi-party arrangement of a classroom and other individuals who may be present or absent during the interactions. Hypothetical scenarios where a child is presented as a moral character are often used in the HL classroom setting. In these scenarios contrast is often employed to demonstrate to children complex moral concepts in concrete ways. Students learn "normative" ways of being Russian Orthodox Christian children who relate to others around them in ways that are acceptable for the Russian HL school setting and who understand and affiliate with Russian Orthodox Christian values and practices. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California