Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Carolyn Hunt


In this dissertation, the researcher employed critical sociocultural and positioning theories to examine how classroom teachers, ESL teachers, and family members discursively positioned emergent bilinguals in the general education, ESL, home, and community settings, as well as investigated the influence of positioning on the emergent bilinguals’ linguistic identity. This study also explored the various ideologies that students, teachers, and parents articulated and embodied while negotiating issues of identity, power, agency, and the social construct of smartness within the figured world of school, in addition to the home and community environments. Data were generated during a six-month qualitative study of emergent bilinguals interacting within a mid-size, suburban district in the U.S. Midwest. The researcher used a microethnographic approach to discourse analysis to examine video-recorded interactions between the emergent bilingual participants and their classroom and ESL teachers, peers, as well as family members. Other data sources included semi-structured interviews, field observations, and artifact collection. Findings demonstrate that the hegemonic language ideologies of language subordination and English as a superior language were present; however, the counter-hegemonic ideology of language maintenance was also observed. These ideologies, identified through participants’ discursive acts, all led to the co-construction of the focal participants’ linguistic identity. Findings also supported the presence of an ideology of smartness that limited participant agency and advocacy; however, through a discourse of assertiveness, participants were able to refute unwanted positioning and enact their own construct of smartness. These findings suggest a need for reconfiguring the figured world of school to include emergent bilinguals’ funds of knowledge and culturally relevant teaching practices in addition to increased teacher/researcher reflexivity.


Imported from ProQuest Urbanc_ilstu_0092E_11520.pdf


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