Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stories told in school: Conceptions of identity among adolescent esl students and their teachers at an international school in Thailand
by Wangsatorntanakhun, JoAnne, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2014, 330; 3613570
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative research study is to explore the conceptions of identities adolescent ESL students and their teachers told in their stories about teaching and learning English at Gateway International School in Thailand. This study utilized narrative inquiry methods that also drew upon Bakhtin's concept of dialogism. Bakhtin's ideas illuminated the narratives, showing that identities and positioning were socially, historically, and culturally situated; that the participants often wove their storied lives in and out of various positions. Data were collected through three semi-structured interviews and one unstructured interview. There was a document review of journals and photographs. There were two native English speaking teachers and two ESL students from the school in this study. That individuals at the school could lead complex lives contrasted with the teaching of English as a culturally neutral set of four language skills. Among the students, there was a sense that English was remote, an academic subject that could be postponed for future use. For the teachers, tensions in curriculum and teaching centered on expectations resulting from assigned identities of both teacher and student. As a consequence, the teachers' Western knowledge and ways of knowing are valorized at the expense of other kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing. Findings suggest Gateway should include curricular re-visioning that is driven by a language policy and supported by professional development. Gateway should adopt a curriculum of marginality as a way of attending to the people and ideas that are often overlooked because they were not Western in origin. The reorientation of curriculum would necessarily question the subject position of both teacher and student. Such a curriculum would also include the first languages of the students in order to promote multilingualism. Learners would then be re-conceptualized as emergent multilinguals, a term that avoids the deficits and negative labeling associated with the term English language learner .

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goodwin, Anne L.
Commitee: Lesko, Nancy, Oyler, Celia, Wing Sue, Derald
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
Department: Curriculum and Teaching
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, English as a Second Language, Educational leadership, Secondary education
Keywords: Adolescent esl students, Asian, Culture, Esl, Identity, Race, White american
Publication Number: 3613570
ISBN: 978-1-303-76531-5
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