Monthly Archives: August 2012

picking up where I left off

Lemme finish with question number five…

What I mean by it’s never been done before is that it’s never been done in Texarkana before. There are many facets of the bi-state city that influence identity construction of our students. So maybe this research isn’t important for the whole world or country or state or even our town, but it is important for educators to understand the cultural coding that students perform in there daily linguistic experiences.

Question Number Six: What assumptions about academic scholarship shape your work?

Well, I think I may have answered this in the last question. But to add to this (which you know I can do because I always have something else to say) I would posit that there is a great need for research in our town regarding the formation and participation of people in various communities of practice and how some of those CoPs can be marginalized because of the dialectal issues of the larger linguistic landscape. Note: I just read this sentence to Melissa, and we realized two things: one, no one (except our directors) will ever really know our diss topics as well as we know each others. And, two, if would have read this sentence at the beginning of last summer I wouldn’t have know what the hell it meant!! Wow…learning–it’s way cool. And, that folks is why I’m here…just for me to know that my mind is capable of learning something I didn’t know last year!!!

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Questions

Question Number One: What are your motivations or purposes for researching? What is it you want to know?

Earlier I established my positionality as a social constructivist. With that in mind, I think part of why I want to study this is because I want to help members of the teaching community of practice at my university and local k-12 schools to help their students become aware of the influences that the linguistic landscape has on our students. Another thing I would like to accomplish in this research is a greater acceptance of the varieties of English, specifically the southern dialect. 

Question Two: What do you already believe about the research problem?

I already believe that the lack of awareness is effecting the way many instructors view the literacy backgrounds and local literacy practices that our students  come to college with. I think my status as an outsider-insider-outsider will allow my to identify the richness of the Texarkana linguistic landscape (TxkLL) to forward the idea that the global south is a viable part of the academic community.

Question Three: What epistemological and cultural beliefs do you have related to the research problem?

As I mention in a previous post my epistemology is like a crystal, it’s multifaceted, and I think knowledge is garnered in social settings. I also think knowledge is gained through awareness. But, unfortunately, awareness is a difficult thing to measure. So, I think my research will be shaped by many factors, such as race, gender, level of education, career, economic, religion, and rural communities of practice. However, those are the same factors that create the richness of the TxkLL and these are the ideas that I think need to critical inquiry into the connections with the academia.

Question Four: What is your ideological commitment to the subject?

For some reason Vygotsky comes to mind when I consider this question. The idea that language is a social act is an idea that I would like to study through the eyes of my students. I know that is, again, a difficult thing to measure, which is why I think looking at the LL, even from a historical sense, is a way to connect the social aspect with literacy. 

Question Five: What professional or intellectual need does this research fill?

Takayoshi puts this another way, too: “Does this work need to be done?” I like this question better because right now I’m only thinking about finding topics for papers and my dissertation. But, if you were to ask me the second question, I would have to say because it’s never been done before.

Taking a break more in a min…

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