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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11191

Title: Making Visible the Invisible: Dual Language Teaching Practices in Monolingual Instructional Settings
Authors: Cohen, Sarah
Advisor: Cummins, James
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Second language education
Literacy and bilingualism
Linguistic diversity
Heritage languages in the curriculum
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2008
Abstract: This dissertation documents the work of two teacher collaborators who brought a focus on linguistic and cultural diversity into their literacy teaching even while teaching in English medium schools. The research was carried out during eighteen months utilizing collaborative case study methodology in conjunction with two teachers in highly multilingual and multicultural public elementary schools in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This study explores the pedagogical possibilities that are made available by teaching for transfer and highlights the resource that students’ linguistic diversity can be even when the instructional setting is monolingual. The dual language literacy pedagogies of the two teachers provide the basis for an analysis of the paths for knowledge construction and identity development that were made available for students through this work. I examine the role that teacher identity and societal influences play in enabling or constraining a redefinition of literacy for the increasingly globalized context of schools. The image of the child, of literacy and of bilingualism projected by the work of the two participating teachers shape the analysis of their identity and role definition as educators. By examining teaching practices that integrate students’ linguistic and cultural identities into the fabric of the literacy curriculum several themes are considered: (a) the role of teacher identity and choice in creating learning contexts that draw on students’ interests and prior knowledge, (b) the link between student engagement and a classroom ecology that values students’ identities and, (c) the different types of knowledge that are generated in the process of participating in the dual language literacy work. Results suggest that students were able to utilize their first language skills in the service of learning English. They also experienced a renewed motivation to extend their first language skills into the sphere of literacy as a result of its affirmation within the classroom. In the case of both first and second language development, students’ ability to engage cognitively and affectively in their literacy work was heightened by virtue of the integration of their language and culture into the curriculum.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11191
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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