Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The literacy experiences of Arab American youths are often overlooked in the US, and this paper examines the reading responses of one Arab 5 th grader as he struggles for agency in a classroom of majority culture fellow students. This study follows the book talk of a class dealing with a text about immigration. Though he often struggles to contribute his perspective, as an actual immigrant himself, he is sometimes ignored and frustrated. This paper looks at this issue through Fairclough (2001) and van Dijk’s (1985, 2001) critical discourse lens, examining the intersectionality of racial, gender, and power issues in the microcosm of the literature study group. His cultural identity, perhaps a hybrid between the dominant US culture and his heritage Egyptian home culture, may manifest in such interactions. In a book discussion of Jane Kurtz’ Faraway Home, perhaps themes of the text mirror the student’s own struggles for belonging and search for identity in US society.


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CLELE Journal



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