Toward a translingual composition: ancient rhetorics and language difference

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brian Ray (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy Myers

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to outline a pedagogy that promotes language difference in college composition classrooms. Scholarship on language difference has strived for decades to transform teaching practices in mainstream, developmental, and second-language writing instruction. Despite compelling arguments in support of linguistic diversity, a majority of secondary and postsecondary writing teachers in the U.S. still privilege Standard English. However, non-native speakers of English now outnumber native speakers worldwide, a fact which promises to redefine what "standard" means from a translingual perspective. It is becoming clearer that multilingual writers, versed in flexible hermeneutic strategies and able to draw on a variety of Englishes and languages to make meaning, have significant advantages over monolingual students. My dissertation anticipates the pedagogical and programmatic changes necessitated by this global language shift. To this end, I join a number of scholars in arguing for a revival of classical style and the progymnasmata, albeit with the unique agenda of strengthening pedagogies of language difference. Although adapting classical rhetorics to promote translingual practices such as code-meshing at first seems to contradict the spirit of language difference given the dominant perception of Greco-Roman culture as imperialistic and intolerant of diversity, I reread neglected rhetoricians such as Quintilian in order to recover their latent multilingual potential.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Bakhtin, Code-meshing, Multilingualism, Progymnasmata, Quintilian, Translingualism
English language $x Rhetoric $x Study and teaching (Higher) $z United States
English language $x Study and teaching (Higher) $x Foreign Speakers
Language and education $z United States

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