“You need some laugh bones!”: Leveraging AAL in a high school English classroom

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Vetter, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine how a White teacher (Gina) responded to African American Language (AAL) in ways that situated students as valuable members of a high school English classroom. This 5-month qualitative study in a 10th grade classroom drew from positioning theory and discourse analysis to make sense of classroom interactions with AAL. Findings show that although Gina was not fluent in AAL, she leveraged it in ways that positioned students as members of the literacy community by doing the following: (a) opening opportunities for students to use AAL in ways that contributed to the community, (b) not dismissing or ridiculing the use of AAL, and (c) maintaining a classroom of respect when AAL was used in ways that disrespected that community. Implications from the study suggest that teaching high school English is not only about knowledge of content or best practices but also about leveraging multiple languages in ways that position students as participants of a literacy community.

Additional Information

Journal of Literacy Research. 45(2), 173-206. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086296X12474653
Language: English
Date: 2013
case studies, classroom culture, discourse analysis (oral or written), diversity, literacy and equity

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