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Graduation Term


Document Type

Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Committee Chair

Lisya Seloni


This dissertation responds to recent calls for teacher education in a first-year writing context. Studies addressing the intersections between composition and applied linguistics have emphasized the dynamic and situated nature of writing and language practices (Pennycook, 2010; Canagarajah, 2013a, 2013b; Horner, Lu, Royster, Trimbur, 2011; Lorimer-Leonard, 2013; Seloni, 2014); however, it is urgent to investigate how linguistically diverse writing instructors negotiate their teaching strategies across settings to implement pedagogies that accurately reflect writers’ practices in and outside academic contexts and across Englishes. While scholars have proposed terms such as “dialogical pedagogies” (Canagarajah, 2013a) or teaching English as “translingual activism” (Pennycook, 2008), situated teaching practices that encourage the utilization and exploration of linguistically diverse and transnational literacies are yet to be explored. A methodology consisting of constructivist grounded theory and ethnographically-oriented case studies was employed in this study to report findings on the following research questions: 1) How do linguistically diverse writing instructors understand linguistic diversity in relation to writing instruction? Which of their diverse linguistic resources, if any, do they integrate in their own teaching? 2) How do linguistically diverse writing teachers transform their understanding of linguistic diversity into writing pedagogies? 3) What are the institutional, curricular and contextual forces that allow them to or prevent them from enacting transnational writing as well as linguistic diversity? The findings from this study illustrate that instructors understand linguistic diversity in multiple and divergent ways based on their lived experiences across language systems and borders and intersectional identities; thus, the classroom becomes a contested space where language is continuously redefined and constructed. Through various means and by utilizing different language constructs, instructors challenge the myths of linguistic homogeneity (Matsuda, 2006) and homogeneity (Horner, Lu, Royster, &Trimbur, 2011) in the composition classroom; however, as they labor to reconstruct language, other issues arise like dealing with the native/non-native binary, the tokenization of linguistically diverse writers, and the deficit mindset in regards to linguistic diversity. The findings described in this dissertation have implications for teacher education, writing program administration and pedagogies for first-year composition and multilingual writing.


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