Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the sociocultural resources of Mexican -origin youth: A study of English language learners in a 7th grade language arts classroom
by Lopez, Tracy J., Ph.D., The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2008, 340; 3337283
Abstract (Summary)

This 17-week qualitative research study examined the sociocultural resources that Mexican-origin English language learners utilized during language arts instruction in a seventh-grade language arts classroom in South Texas. Sociocultural resources were defined as the community cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005, 2006) and cultural models (Cole, 1996; Holland & Quinn, 1987; Shore, 1996) that framed students’ discursive and written responses to literature. Qualitative research methods included 57 hours of participant observation in one teacher’s English language arts classroom, four focus group interviews and one individual interview with seven focal students, interviews with the classroom teacher, and collection of student-produced literacy artifacts.

Discourse analysis, domain analysis, and taxonomic analysis revealed that while students used a range of resources in their oral and written responses to literature, familial capital and a cultural model of familia (family) were the most prevalent. Analysis also revealed that the classroom teacher played a significant role in eliciting students’ sociocultural resources by asking particular types of comprehension questions during teacher-led literature discussions. Event map analysis further revealed that classroom interactions structured primarily in whole-class format limited some students’ opportunities to produce language and to draw fully and completely upon their full repertoire of resources. Recommendations for structuring classroom interactions to more effectively elicit all students’ resources, such as peer-to-peer discussions, literature circles, reading workshop, and writing workshop, along with recommendations for selecting and discussing literature with students, are provided.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Franquiz, Maria E.
Commitee: Harmon, Janis, Smith, Howard, Trujillo, Armando
School: The University of Texas at San Antonio
Department: Bicultural-Bilingual Studies
School Location: United States -- Texas
Source: DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Bilingual education, Secondary education, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: English as a second language, Language arts, Mexican-origin, Sociocultural resources
Publication Number: 3337283
ISBN: 978-0-549-92017-5
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