Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 1996 Issue »

    Multiple Discourses, Multiple Identities

    Investment and Agency in Second-Language Learning among Chinese Adolescent Immigrant Students

    By Sandra Lee McKay and Sau-Ling Cynthia Wong
    In this article, Sandra McKay and Sau-Ling Wong argue for a revision of code-based and individual learner-based views of second-language learning. Their position is based on a two-year qualitative study of adolescent Chinese-immigrant students conducted in California in the early 1990s, in which the authors and their research associates followed four Mandarin-speaking students through seventh and eighth grades, periodically interviewing them and assessing their English-language development. In discussing their findings, McKay and Wong establish a contextualist perspective that foregrounds interrelations of discourse and power in the learner's social environment. The authors identify mutually interacting multiple discourses to which the students were subjected, but of which they were also subjects, and trace the students' negotiations of dynamic, sometimes contradictory, multiple identities. Adopting B.N. Peirce's concept of investment, McKay and Wong relate these discourses and identities to the students' exercise of agency in terms of their positioning in relations of power in both the school and U.S. society.

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    Fall 1996 Issue

    Abstracts

    (Li)Ability Grouping
    The New Susceptibility of School Tracking Systems to Legal Challenges
    By Kevin G. Welner and Jeannie Oakes
    Cultural Constellations and Childhood Identities
    On Greek Gods, Cartoon Heroes, and the Social Lives of Schoolchildren
    By Anne Haas Dyson
    Teacher-Researcher Collaboration from Two Perspectives
    By Polly Ulichny and Wendy Schoener
    Troubling Clarity: The Politics of Accessible Language
    By Patti Lather
    "How Come There Are No Brothers on That List?"
    Hearing the Hard Questions All Children Ask
    Kathe Jervis
    Multiple Discourses, Multiple Identities
    Investment and Agency in Second-Language Learning among Chinese Adolescent Immigrant Students
    By Sandra Lee McKay and Sau-Ling Cynthia Wong
    Dominance Concealed through Diversity
    Implications of Inadequate Perspectives on Cultural Pluralism
    By Dwight Boyd

    Book Notes

    An Independent Scholar in Twentieth Century America
    By Vaughn Davis Bornet

    The Deluxe Transitive Vampire
    By Karen Elizabeth Gordon

    Inside the Writing Portfolio
    By Carol Brennan Jenkins

    Fieldwork
    Edited by Emily Cousins and Melissa Rodgers

    The Chicano/Hispanic Image in American Film
    by Frank Javier Garcia Berumen

    Contending with Modernity
    By Philip Gleason

    Computer Programs for Qualitative Data Analysis
    By Eben A. Weitzman and Matthew B. Miles

    The Male Survivor
    By Matthew Parynik Mendel

    In Over Our Heads
    By Robert Kegan

    Technology Education in the Classroom
    By Senta A. Raizen, Peter Sellwood, Ronald D. Todd, and Margaret Vickers

    Spelling
    By Louisa Cook Moats

    A Sense of Self
    By Susannah Sheffer

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