Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Fostering identity negotiation in sixth-grade ELLS: Examining an instructional unit on identity in English Language Arts

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This study provides an in depth look at how middle school English language learners (ELLs) negotiate their identity as readers and writers as they engage in an identity-oriented unit of instruction. Drawing on theories of identity, identity negotiation, and transformative pedagogy, this study contributes to the field by exploring how a teacher can configure her or his classroom as a space in which ELLs’ identities are continuously and dynamically negotiated. This qualitative action research study sought to answer the following research question: How do instructional activities in an English language arts’ unit on identity foster identity negotiation in different types of ELLs? Two findings emerged from the data analysis of student work and interviews: (a) ELLs’ perceptions as readers and writers are defined by their experiences in reading and writing instruction; (b) A unit of instruction can be a catalyst for ELLs to negotiate their identity and to reclaim their self as effective readers and writers.


© 2019 NABE

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NABE Journal of Research and Practice