Subversive Survival Through Critical Creativity in Community-Based Adult Second Language Contexts
AuthorShufflebarger, Amanda Marie
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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, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 01/03/2022
AbstractCommunity-based second language classes for adults with immigrant/refugee backgrounds often draw upon “survival English” frameworks; these approaches aim to equip language learners with the basic language they need to accomplish instrumental goals but do not align with current research in second language pedagogy (Auerbach, 1985). This dissertation draws upon theories of meaning-making (Kress & Selander, 2012; New London Group, 1996) and strengths-based paradigms (e.g. Gorski, 2016) to explore how adult second language learners and teachers can revise “survival” ideologies to make space for critically reflective, creative, and humanizing language encounters in community-based adult second language classes. The dissertation proposes critical creativity, which combines tenets of critical pedagogy with approaches to teaching that prioritize learner agency and creativity, as a framework which makes space for these goals. Through ethnographic approaches as well as artifact analysis, interviews, and surveys, the dissertation begins by characterizing community-based adult ESL classes and learning materials in the United States, examining how “survival” has become the default organizational thread of these contexts. It explores how learners, teachers, stances, and classroom activities facilitate meaning-making opportunities. Finally, drawing closely on work with students and teachers, the dissertation explores how teachers and students subvert “survival” as the ideological crux of their language teaching/learning activities through critical creative approaches. The dissertation ends with a multi-modal set of voices offered by students from community-based adult second language classrooms at all levels. Together, the chapters characterize a pedagogical context that is prolific yet underrepresented in second language acquisition and applied linguistics research—community-based adult second-language courses—and illuminate the work of learners and teachers in this context through a lens of resilience, creativity, and agentive meaning-making.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching