Matching Items (4)

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Preschool Children’s Identity Construction and Understandings About Language

Description

Children’s language proficiency, teacher’s language ideologies, and language practices such as code-switching have been previously investigated, but almost no research has explored young children’s understandings about language(s) nor their impact

Children’s language proficiency, teacher’s language ideologies, and language practices such as code-switching have been previously investigated, but almost no research has explored young children’s understandings about language(s) nor their impact on social relationships. Researchers have not investigated children’s reflection of their own language use and identity. I conducted an ethnography regarding language practices, knowledge, and identity construction, supplemented by semi-structured interviews with students and teachers in a Montessori preschool classroom. I decided to focus upon a few specific students in the class because of their varying linguistic backgrounds. Linguistic identity formation occurs mainly through self-assessment and language practices and processes (such as authentication vs. denaturalization, adequation vs. distinction, and authorization vs. illegitimation) (Bucholtz & Hall, 2005). Understanding and knowledge about language(s) displayed by students allowed for nuanced identity construction through conversation with teachers and peers. The language ideologies and practices by teachers in this classroom contrast that of the broader social and cultural systems in place, and also support children’s language knowledge and social development.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Language and literacy practices of Kurdish children across their home and school spaces in Turkey: an ethnography of language policy

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ABSTRACT

This study examines the language and literacy experiences of Kurdish minority children during their first year of mainstream schooling in a southeastern village in Turkey. I employed ethnographic research

ABSTRACT

This study examines the language and literacy experiences of Kurdish minority children during their first year of mainstream schooling in a southeastern village in Turkey. I employed ethnographic research methods (participant observation, multi-modal data collection, interviewing, and focus groups) to investigate the language practices of the children in relation to language ideologies circulating in the wider context. I focused on the perspectives and practices of one 1st grade classroom (14 students) but also talked with seven parents, three teachers, and two administrators.

A careful analysis of the data collected shows that there is a hierarchy among languages used in the community—Turkish, English, and Kurdish. The children, their parents, and their teachers all valued Turkish and English more than Kurdish. While explaining some of their reasons for this view, they discussed the status and functions of each language in society with an emphasis on their functions. My analysis also shows that, although participants devalue the Kurdish language, they still value Kurdish as a tie to their ethnic roots. Another key finding of this study is that policies that appear in teachers’ practices and the school environment seemed to be robust mediators of the language beliefs and practices of the Kurds who participated in my study. School is believed to provide opportunities for learning languages in ways that facilitate greater participation in society and increased access to prestigious jobs for Kurdish children who do not want to live in the village long-term. Related to that, one finding demonstrates that current circumstances make language choice like a life choice for Kurdish children. While Kurds who choose Turkish are often successful in school (and therefore have access to better jobs), the ones who maintain their Kurdish usually have only animal breeding or farming as employment options. I also found that although the Kurdish children that I observed subscribed to ideologies that valued Turkish and English over their native language, they did not entirely abandon their Kurdish language. Instead, they were involved in Turkish- Kurdish bilingual practices such as language broking, language sharing, and language crossing.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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On words from days of yore: attitudes towards English word usage in American English speakers of different varieties

Description

The English language is taught all over the world and changes immensely from place to place. As such, both L1 and L2 English Language Users all utilize English as a

The English language is taught all over the world and changes immensely from place to place. As such, both L1 and L2 English Language Users all utilize English as a tool for creating meaning in their existence and to also form perspectives on how the language ought to be. What is interesting about this is that the language being used to do that is one birthed from a culture that many English speakers across the globe are separated from; that is, Anglo-Saxon culture. Since learning and using language is also learning and participating in culture the question is, then how separated are American English speakers from that of the culture that created the language they speak? Does Anglo-Saxon culture impact how worldviews are formed in contemporary English speakers? I propose that the first step to finding some answers is by investigating the language ideologies that American English speakers have through the inquiry of meanings that they prescribe to English words that derive from Old English and subsequently have Germanic origins. The following work details a study examining the language attitudes of American English speakers in hopes of shedding new light on these questions.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Exploring language ideologies in action: An analysis of Spanish Heritage Language oral corrective feedback in the mixed classroom setting

Description

This qualitative study follows an instructor and four Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) learners in an elementary-level, mixed Spanish course at a community college over the course of 11 class visits.

This qualitative study follows an instructor and four Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) learners in an elementary-level, mixed Spanish course at a community college over the course of 11 class visits. In studying how language ideologies shape oral corrective feedback (oral CF) practices, data were collected through ethnographic observations (field notes, researcher memos), classroom audio recordings, and semi-structured interviews (student, teacher). Specifically, this study analyzes (1) language ideologies prevalent in the classroom context in relation to the conceptualization of errors, (2) the instructor’s goals for oral CF, (3) how the instructor provides oral CF and in what contexts, and (4) how the mixed class environment relates to oral CF.

To do so, the data were analyzed via a bifocal approach in coding interview and classroom discourse (Razfar, 2003) and engaging in Critical Discourse Analysis (van Dijk, 2016) informed by frameworks in Linguistic Anthropology (Irvine, 1989; Kroskrity, 2004, 2010; Leeman, 2012) and Second Language Acquisition (Ellis, 2009; Li, 2017; Lyster & Ranta, 1997). The findings demonstrate how oral CF becomes ideologically charged in a classroom context primarily designed to impart foreign language instruction. Under the guise that SHL learners’ varieties represent negative characteristics (e.g., low socioeconomic strata, Mexicaness, immigration), oral CF is used to eradicate their Spanish varieties. Findings also illustrate the (in)congruency of the instructor and learners’ perceptions of oral CF and what takes place in the classroom. In some cases, SHL learners demonstrated language pride and resisted the imposition of a foreign variety but reported hegemonic beliefs about their own varieties.

Exemplifying how the instructor and SHL learners contribute to the complex dynamics of ideologization of oral CF, this study advocates for the adoption of Critical Language Awareness frameworks (Martínez, 2003; Leeman, 2005) in mixed language classrooms that encompasses this practice (e.g., focus-on-form instruction). Additionally, in acknowledging that teachers and educational institutions play a key role in the (re)production of dominant language norms, this study calls for the creation of instructional guidelines for oral CF as a pedagogical practice. Such guidelines must include critical discussions with students about the relationship between “correct,” “correcting,” and “being corrected” and asymmetrical power relationships.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019