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Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 47, No. 2, November 2012

Cover Art for Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 47, No. 2, November 2012

Table of Contents

  • Editors’ Introduction: Continuity and Innovation in Literacy Research [FREE ACCESS]

    Mark Dressman, Sarah McCarthey, and Paul Prior

  • Examining Instructional Practices, Intellectual Challenge, and Supports for African American Student Writers

    Chandra L. Alston

    Abstract: The debate surrounding how best to support African American student writers continues today as the gap between achievement scores persists. This qualitative analysis documents the classroom structures and instructional practices of two English Language Arts teachers working in a predominately African American public middle school, whose students demonstrated growth on the state’s standardized assessment of English Language Arts. Teachers were chosen based on value-added measures of student achievement using test score gain and observational data of their writing instruction. Both teachers explicitly and repeatedly targeted writing skills and strategies during instruction and offered aligned instructional supports. Tasks assigned were intellectually challenging and aligned with the targeted skills and strategies. The data suggest ways to balance both skill and strategy instruction and a process approach to writing instruction, which many argue is supportive of African American students’ writing development.

  • The Multimodalities of Globalization: Teaching a YouTube Video in an EAP Classroom

    Christian W. Chun

    Abstract: This article examines the ways in which a multimodal text—a YouTube video on globalization and business—was mediated in two English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classrooms, and how these mediations shaped the instructor’s and her students’ meaning-making in specific ways. I first explore the complex multimodal discourses involved with this particular video and present my own reading of it. In addressing the instructor’s and students’ engagements with this video, I adopt a mediated discourse analysis approach to examine their classroom discourses that interact with the social circulation of a globalization discourse featured in this multimodal text. A conversation with the participating instructor, who articulates several issues including concerns about the possible politicization of her classroom if certain approaches to texts are used, is also presented and used to examine her subsequent approach with her students in the second class. I discuss the ways in which social actors take up discourses differently, and conclude by exploring the possible classroom practices that can address an increasingly multimodal curriculum.

  • Toward Explaining the Transformative Power of Talk about, around, and for Writing [FREE ACCESS]

    Beth Godbee

    Abstract: This article provides an initial approach for capturing moments of talk about, around, and for writing to explain why writing groups and writing conferences are so often considered “transformative” for the people involved. After describing the widespread and yet disparate transformations so often attributed to collaborative writing talk, I introduce applied conversation analysis (CA) as a method for getting at what is often difficult to identify, document, and explain: the intricacies of moments that underlie, if not directly account for, transformations. At the core of this article,I present a case study of a writer, Susan, and tutor, Kim, and analyze their talk and embodied interactions around writing. In particular, two sequences of their talk—the first an example of “troubles telling,” or attending to a reported trouble (Jefferson, 1981, 1984, 1988) and the second an enactment of humor that names asymmetrical power relations (Holmes, 2000)—illustrate the ways in which building affiliative relationships might allow for naming and poking fun at,if not restructuring, power relations. Further, self-reports from interview data indicate how the occasions of talk between Susan and Kim mark shifts in thinking about themselves, their writing,and their commitments—shifts that can be attributed to their relational, affiliative interactions and that provide supporting evidence for the transformative power of collaborative writing talk.

  • Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English [FREE ACCESS]

    Abstract: This November issue of RTE once again contains the Annual Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English, available only here, on the NCTE website.

  • Announcements

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts