Bella Here and There: Forming and Re-Forming Identities Across School Contexts

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3 Scopus citations


The study described here is a case analysis of an emergent bilingual and her English literacy development. Mobilizing identity theory, the study explores ways in which the young girl’s language and literacy identities played out across the large group, small group, and tutorial settings for instruction. The study took place over one school year. Analysis of observation and interview data produced two key findings. First, Bella’s identities, and the extent to which she focused on her expressed goal of becoming a better reader, differed across the school contexts of which she was a member. Second, Bella’s affective response to all three environments ranged from calm certainty to anxious uncertainty, although the ways these responses played out differed from context to context. I argue here that, if educators are to meet the needs of all readers, it is necessary to conduct detailed analyses of the contexts they populate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages16
JournalReading and Writing Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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