On The Playground: Discourse, Gender and Ideology in English Learner Peer Cultures
AuthorCarmichael, Catherine M.
AdvisorMoll, Luis C.
Committee ChairMoll, Luis C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this qualitative, ethnographic case study was to learn the nature of the discursive practices of English learners in playground peer cultures. Additionally, it sought to understand the relationship between these practices and ideology, gender, and school performance. Three questions guided this study: (1) what is the nature of the actual discursive practices of English learners in peer culture, playground interactions? (2) how do gender and ideology play a role in children's games? and (3) what is the relationship between these discursive practices and school performance?This inquiry was conducted over ten months at a school in Northern California where four English learner second graders were observed playing each day during their lunchtime recess. Data sources included audio and video taped observations and field notes, audio taped interviews, and artifact collection. Data analysis was ongoing, characterized by member-checking, peer review, and multiple codings.The findings of this study reflected the dynamic, sophisticated nature of discursive practices which were co-constructed in peer culture settings. These practices included the exploration and explanation of new games, uses of imitative and counter-imitative behaviors, performed rule talk, integrated displays of gesture, pitch and silences, and code-switching strategies. Students employed these for a variety of purposes, including the facilitation of alignment within groups, the manipulation of social organization, the orchestration of inclusion or exclusion, and the creation of positions of power.This research also proposed a working model within which the playground became a site for the interpretive reproduction of ideologies. Students at Westside demonstrated that they had appropriated adult ideologies in creative ways. They negotiated these in their peer cultures, and preserved and transformed adult culture.Finally, this study revealed that, based on the discursive practices observed on the playground, proficiency levels and instructional goals, as determined by the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) and the state English Language Development (ELD) standards were inaccurate and underestimated student ability. Policy reform reflecting greater awareness, both of the social nature of discourse, as well as the power of peer cultures, was recommended.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture