SCET Journal 2020/2021

South Carolina English Teacher South Carolina Council of Teachers of English | 2020/2021 Language and Race Matters

South Carolina English Teacher


Journal of South Carolina Council of Teachers of English

An affiliate of National Council of Teachers of English


Mary E. Styslinger University of South Carolina

Matthew C. Nelson Francis Marion University

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

South Carolina Council of Teachers of English

Table of


Letter from the Editors . ........................................................................................................ 4 Language Matters In their Words: Listening to the Voices of Bilingual Women in the English Classroom by Kristie C. Camp....................................................................................................................... 5 “For Fun” or “For Study:” A Case Study of a Bilingual Speaker’s Reading Process by Shuang Du and Yang Wang.................................................................................................. 13 Effective Strategies for Language Learning and Engagement by Emma L. Peden..................................................................................................................... 19 Debunking the Deficit Reading Model with a Bilingual Student Through RMA: A Case Study of a Latinx Bilingual and Biliterate Fifth-Grade Student by Katherine Eliana Agudelo-Roberson..................................................................................... 23 Race Matters Literacy and Justice for All: Disrupting Silence Around Race and Racism to Foster Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in the English/Language Arts Classroom by Erica Leach. .......................................................................................................................... 28 Closing the Achievement Gap: Honoring the Culture of Our African American Students by Salondra Griggs.................................................................................................................... 35 My Hero Never Showed Up by Shavoyae Brown................................................................................................................... 40

Call for Manuscripts ............................................................................................................. 41

Letter from the Editors In a time when nothing about our lives can be considered “normal,” teacher researchers in South Carolina have continued to do the important work of pursuing pedagogical practices that will help shape the future for all our students. On behalf of the South Carolina Council of Teachers of English, we are pleased to invite you to explore their work in this issue entitled, Language and Race Matters. The important work presented here invites us all to think about the ways we engage with students and use our classrooms to promote social justice and to value the experiences of all the students with whom we work. We hope the work of our colleagues around the state will encourage you to think more deeply about your practice and will start conversations that are needed now more than ever.

Language Matters »

In Their Words: Listening to the Voices of Bilingual Women in the English Classroom Kristie C. Camp

Review of Literature Despite growing diversity in the United States, many multilingual students still attend school in a predominantly White setting. Martin-Beltran (2014) notes that increasing language diversity in American classrooms presents a new kind of learning opportu- nity for all students but also notes that lack of under- standing of that potential means it is often not realized (p. 208). Academic progress, especially in literacy, has often been measured from a deficit view for multilin- gual learners. Kibler (2010) says this deficit view can especially be seen in writing instruction, which she says is measured “by what they do not know” (p. 122) or by “their distance from native speaker norms” (p. 121). Souto-Manning (2016) asserts that the language teachers use to describe multilingual learners as well as the way they approach teaching multilingual learners can further marginalize students and diminish their overall linguistic skills (p. 263). Cummins (2010) describes a relationship between a student’s pride in their heritage language abilities and whether a teacher describes those abilities in deficit terms. In reality, an achievement gap does appear when multilingual learners’ literacy abilities are measured from a deficit viewpoint. Enright (2011) suggests that the way schools categorize students contributes to this deficit view and highlights the perceived achieve- ment gap which “persists in spite of a broad base of research that focuses on this problem,” adding that “some interventions that promise to raise all stu- dents’ achievement do so in a way that exacerbates the achievement gap...” (p. 80). Another significant consideration for teachers of multilingual learners is the connection between culture and identity, which offers teachers an opportunity to celebrate a student’s unique identity or to marginalize the student. Stu- dents’ heritage language is essentially tied to their cul- tural identity, and by embracing or rejecting students’ heritage languages, a teacher embraces or rejects the students themselves (Martinez, 2017; Metz, 2018; Seltzer, 2019; Souto-Manning, 2016). Because of the tendency to measure the literacy of multilingual learners from a deficit view, research

Words. They are the tools English Language Arts (ELA) teachers use to build readers, writers, thinkers, and speakers. ELA teachers embrace the power of words; we understand how words create images, which shape our feelings and beliefs. To illustrate this concept, consider these phrases that describe two students I taught: young women of color who are non-native English speakers, one who is a refugee, and the other, a first-generation immigrant child . Now, consider these phrases to describe two of my students: scholarship-receiving young women who are multilingual AP students . Do the different de- scriptions change our perceptions of the students described? What about when we consider that both sets of phrases describe the exact same two stu- dents? When we think about the current debates sur- rounding the topic of teaching multilingual learners, we often think about opinions presented by teach- ers, administrators, and government officials, who each present an adult’s view of the situation, and who each advocate for what they perceive as the best route for educating young people, but often without an authentic understanding of what being a multilingual learner is like. What happens, though, when we listen to the students themselves, when we hear the voices of students who successfully navigate speaking multiple languages and who have adapted well to new cultures? This article aims to do just that: to listen to the voices of two students who speak multiple languages and who do not identify as members of the dominant culture, but who also have achieved academic and social success in a rural South Carolina school district. What elements of their ELA instruction did they find most helpful? What qualities of their ELA teachers did they most appreciate? Hearing about experienc- es from two successful young women may help us to maximize our instructional time for the good of our students. The purpose of this study is to center the voices of two young women who can give us first-hand advice on how to create a more inclusive environment for all.




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also tends to focus on how to eliminate either the apparent achievement gap for the learners or to reform the way teachers view skills among their mul- tilingual learners. Citing experiences as expressed by the affected multilingual learners themselves is valued among teachers and researchers (Han- sen-Thomas, et al, 2020; Martinez, 2018; Korne, 2020; Souto-Manning, 2016), but the focus has been primarily on classroom strategies for teachers to reduce the achievement gap. Less has been shared, however, from the voices of multilingual learners who are highly successful academically, those who are sometimes seen as an exception since they cannot be defined by the seemingly ubiquitous achievement gap. The participants in this study present a some- what unique opportunity to investigate the dynamics of multilingual learning from a perspective that does not originate from a deficit view but does center on how the students view themselves and their high school experiences. Engaging in a reflective journey of the participants’ literacy instruction experiences could provide insight into experiences that were especially helpful in building their academic success as well as their abilities to navigate a predominantly White school population. Why Narrative Voice? Narrative inquiry seeks to center the voices of the people experiencing the phenomenon in question. Advocates of narrative inquiry emphasize its ability to explain events or movements within a culture through the voices and the stories of those affected by that culture. Listening to the voices of those impacted by policies builds empathy and can set a path toward positive social change, if those in power consider the voices of those who are traditionally marginalized. This possibility for positive social change fuels the narrative researcher’s desire to amplify the voices of those often disregarded in educational research (Chase, 2005; Clandinin, Pushor, Orr, 2007; Connor, 2006; Milner, 2007). Listening to the voices of students can help school policymakers attend to the needs of the population they serve. When those voices come from students typically labeled from deficit viewpoints, as demon- strated by the language choices in the opening example, the research becomes especially mean- ingful in that it can foreground the words, feelings,

and perspectives of those who are routinely labeled as students in precarious academic situations. In my attempt to be as true to my participants’ voices as possible, I include as many direct quotations from my participants as I can, foregrounding their words, so that their stories are centered and amplified. Why these Students? Just a few days in class with Andi, Roxanne, and Emily taught me that they were intelligent young wom- en, keen observers, who noticed details and made insightful comments beyond what was typical for 17-year-olds. Long before I knew about their families or their test scores, these young women presented powerful and intellectual voices in my AP English Language class, and I knew that I needed to listen to those voices and learn. My Positionality I taught the three participants in three different courses: AP English Language and Composition during their junior year, and English 101/102 in their senior year (a dual enrollment course). As a 25-year veteran teacher at the school they attended, I am an insider of the institution, which allowed me to see the participants’ friendship develop and granted me academic information about these students. I have a friendly relationship with the participants, who reg- ularly stopped by my room to chat if they weren’t in class that semester. As a White heterosexual female, I am a member of the dominant culture and an outsid- er when it comes to negotiating different languages and cultures. I do not know what they experience as young women of color, and Andi and Roxanne have the additional challenge of practicing a religion differ- ent from the dominant culture, which itself constitutes hegemonic status in the community. Andi wears a hijab, so her religious difference from the majority is visibly on display. I share a similar history in that I was a first-generation college student, as they are, but also, as their former teacher, I used to exert a signif- icant amount of power over them, and while I am no longer their teacher, they will likely still perceive me as someone with power. Methodology Data for this article comes from a semi-structured interview with two participants a few days before their

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graduation. I spoke to the participants early in the process, and three students agreed to participate, but Emily was sick the week of the interview and was not able to attend. I told them my focus for the interview would be to discuss their experiences as highly suc- cessful young women who also are English Language learners, immigrants, and best friends. They consent- ed and said they were eager to tell their stories and indicated that no one had asked them about how they navigated language differences before, but they wanted to be interviewed together. After obtaining written consent, we sat together for about 90 minutes in my classroom where I recorded the interview using videoconferencing software, and I wrote field notes as we talked. I had prepared 10 questions about their families, their experiences in school, and their expe- riences as an English Language Learners, and I sent them the questions about a week before the interview so they could think about their responses and sto- ries they could share with me. After the interview, I also sent the participants a follow-up email in which I asked them if there was anything they wanted to add to our conversation. I transcribed the interview from the recording, and I coded the transcript through an open-coding process, looking for repeated comments regarding language barriers they may have faced in school, ways they navigated cultural differences at school, and techniques teachers used that they found especially helpful. Using grounded theory (Maxwell, 2013) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2014), I arrived at the findings explained here by grouping responses in the following categories: comments about their parents; comments about teachers and instruction; comments about friends and social experiences. I then labeled these groupings by a single statement that summarizes the common elements of the themes, attempting to phrase from their perspectives, but using their words as evidence to illustrate the state- ment’s veracity. Both participants contributed member checks by reading the first and subsequent drafts for verification of their perspectives. Conceptual Framing I am intrigued by these language concepts: translanguaging as a literacy technique or strategy; neurological processes of multi-language Learners; and the effects of endorsing an imaginary standard version of English in high school ELA classrooms. I

have developed my understanding of these concepts through research from Baker-Bell (2020), Canagara- jah (2013 and 2016), Johnson, et al (2020), Martinez (2017), and Metz (2018). Their research has taught me about encouraging students to incorporate their home language into their academic writing as well as providing students with open-communication op- portunities where they can explore developing their own voice that embraces their linguistic and cultural backgrounds. I have also shifted my practice so that I highlight more diverse voices in the texts we read, crafting lessons that invite students from the dominant culture – southern, White, evangelical, working-class – to consider the perspectives of those seemingly unlike them, to bridge those perceived differences, and to create a more equitable school and community. Seltzer (2019) has taught me to refrain from creating a dichotomy as suggested by the terms “home lan- guage” and “academic language,” and Milner (2017) has helped me to interrogate how our language is in- fused with our beliefs and how students benefit when lessons center aspects of their identities. Meet the Students The two students whose voices drive this study are now first-year college students, and I have given them the names Andi and Roxanne for this paper. The two young women consider themselves close friends and credit their high school’s AVID program with fostering their friendship. Their sophomore English class hap- pened to be an all-girls class with only AVID students, and Andi explains that their friendship was cemented in that class “especially,” and she said, “I feel like it made us become friends, all of us in that class, to be honest,” but specifically Andi, Roxanne, and Emily, who was not present for the interview. “Yeah, it’s not like AVID forced us to be friends,” explained Roxanne, “but we had almost every class together, so it kind of pushed us together, to be closer and form a relationship, but even outside of AVID, um, I wanted to be her friend.” Andi says Roxanne and Emily “were different from everyone in AVID,” and she says she feels like Rox- anne “understood before she even asked me, she knew what, what the hijab [is] called,” and Emily was “really curious” and asked questions, which is “what drew me closer to her and Roxanne.” When I asked Andi what identity markers she




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wanted me to include, at first she replied, “This is a hard question. I don’t think I even know the answer to that, to be honest.” Then, she said, “I guess you can include my religion and ethnicity,” which she described as “first generation Muslim Arab.” Andi emigrated when she was 12 from a country embroiled in violence; her father first obtained a job in the United States and then orchestrated the move for the rest of the family, which includes three sons and three more daughters. She attributes her drive to succeed academically partly to her heritage; about her home country, she says, “I feel like girls are more driven to be academically successful ‘cause they have more pressure” because “it’s just the culture. Uh, I feel like it was, it was just made, it was just for men, to be hon- est, like everything there, there’s not a lot of opportu- nities” for girls “so you have to work harder to reach your goals.” Roxanne is a first-generation Mexican immigrant child whose parents both emigrated to the United States before she was born. She is their first child, and she has a younger brother and a younger sister, who, Roxanne says, feels even more pressure to suc- ceed academically because of all the success Rox- anne has had. “I told my parents to just, like, be a little more calm with her because they say that the reason they weren’t as super strict with me was because I didn’t have any help from my parents ‘cause they didn’t, they didn’t really go to school. They only went to elementary school, and that was it,” explains Rox- anne. She continues, “I had to research on my own; I had to reach out for help on my own, like with my teachers after school, and they wanted to be a little bit more easy on me because of that.” Both participants speak their first language at home with their parents, and both translate and/or speak for their parents at times. Both said that their fathers speak English more often than their mothers, but Rox- anne explained that her father reads and writes much better in Spanish than English: “I am a translator for them, even though my dad, he can speak English, he prefers when I translate everything for him.” Andi said her father has learned to read and write in English as a local business owner, which required him to communi- cate in English. Their desire to make their parents proud is strong, and they both feel pressure to succeed academically and in their careers. Roxanne tells stories of her par-

ents leaving Mexico and coming to the United States to escape poverty and to provide an opportunity of education for their children, even though adjusting to life in the United States has been more of a chal- lenge for her mom. She says her mom “doesn’t feel at home really because it, she was kind of, kind of, like confused about whether she wanted to come or not because it was her home, but she was thinking about, like, in the future, she wants to have kids, and she doesn’t want them to be in Mexico under still being in poverty. They were still poor at the time, so they came over here.” She later explains, “She came over here for us, and both my parents, like, they thought about me before I was even born.” Findings My interview with Andi and Roxanne revealed a few salient findings, which I have grouped into four cate- gories: their feelings about representation in school; their feelings about how others relate to them; their feelings about how others view them; and their feel- ings about learning English. I have listed them here by creating a statement that summarizes their feelings on these topics, but I have illustrated the statements with explanations from the participants in their own words as much as possible. Andi says she would like to see teachers “be more inclusive and like, in school, and represent, like, your students. I don’t, I’m the only one in the yearbook. I don’t think I have felt represented much.” Roxanne concurs and says that Andi is the first “hijabi girl” that she has met, and “me and Andi are sometimes the only people of color in our class, and this, like, I’m not surrounded by people of, like, my race anymore, and I haven’t been for a long time, so just having that diversity, well inclusiveness, even if there’s not diversity in the classroom, just inclusive- ness with the teachers, it’s, um, means a lot.” I asked them both to explain what they meant by teachers being inclusive. Andi began to explain how teachers recruit for advanced classes: “Some of the teachers, when they are like, when they are recruiting, they are like, ‘this class is really hard.’” She continued, and explained her response, “I went to that teacher, and I was going to take her [honors class]. She was I need to see myself and hear myself in what I read and learn in school

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basically motivating me to not take that class, but I took it.” Roxanne agreed, “Yeah, people like painted AP En- glish and AP History as really hard mostly because of the word ‘AP.’ They are hard, but it’s possible. It’s not impossible to do.” Without any prompting, they discussed a particular text they described as diverse. Roxanne started with: “That book Their Eyes Were Watching God . That was very inclusive.” Andi picked up from there: “And the dialect, yes, it was new. It was new to me. I mean, I heard, like, I hear people talk like that, in like videos, but not actually, like there’s actually a book like that. I didn’t know that.” Roxanne continued, “I, I grew up in, like, um, kinda in a diverse, um, environment, and I did understand most of the book because, um, I picked up some of the dialect, like from my own friends, so that book, that was kind of like, ‘oh, that exists in a book, too.’” Andi and Roxanne both told stories of acquaintanc- es in school who became their close friends because of their honest curiosity about their languages and cultures. Andi says that when she met Emily that Emily “understood before she even asked me. She knew what the hijab [was] called, you were, before I even told her, and Emily is, she’s really curious, and she asks a lot of questions, and I feel like that’s what drew me closer to her and Roxanne.” Roxanne continued the story: “I tried to like re- search a bit more about the hijab ‘cause I know that’s a big part of Andi’s identity, so I wanted to do a little more research so I can be, so I, I don’t come across as just, just uneducated, so I wanted to be respectful.” Andi and Roxanne said they welcomed Emily’s questions, who would ask about her friends’ culture, religion, and language, “but she did it, like, from a good place,” Roxanne explained. They learned how to recognize intentions through tone of voice and expres- sions, and they enjoyed sharing their stories with those who “just wanna learn,” as Andi described it, who also explained that “it’s the way people ask; some of them, they ask to, like, make fun or make offensive state- ments and some people, they just, they honestly want to learn.” “From their tone of voice,” added Roxanne, “and I like it when people are honestly curious about me and my heritage

how they approach it.” She added that as she became more familiar with Emily, she learned she could trust Emily’s questions: “and like, she’s my friend, so I know she wouldn’t try to be insensitive on purpose.” What about a teacher asking about their cultures, religion, or language? “I am completely ok with that, to be honest, ‘cause as a teacher, you want, you want to learn, or you know about your students, especially the ones who come from different backgrounds than the like, the majority of the students, so I am completely ok with it,” said Andi. “I’m ok with it, too,” said Roxanne, “because that makes me feel like they are interested in me, they’re interested in learning more about, like, my background, um, being respectful, and because I know I’m not go- ing to be the only person with a different background they come across, so they can apply what they learn from me to others.” Look me in the eye, and don’t make assumptions about me Roxanne explained that just because her mother doesn’t speak much English doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be included in a conversation, especially with Roxanne’s teachers. She says of her mom: “Even if she doesn’t speak the language, she likes for teachers to talk to her, like, look at her while I’m talking, too.” Instead of just holding a conversation with Roxanne, teachers should talk to her mom face-to-face because “she likes to be involved in the conversation; even though she can’t understand, she wants to feel like the teacher is also talking to her, too.” Andi has noticed how some of her classmates have developed a negative and incomplete understanding of Muslims, which she blames on mass media, and she says, “I just want people to not be afraid to experience other cultures, to travel to see it themselves, not they just watch a movie or something, ‘cause yeah, movies have a lot of biased views, so it’s not as accurate, so you have to go and see yourself. Don’t be afraid to experience new cultures and indulge in them, just like experience them yourself.” I appreciate it when teachers compassionately help me learn English Andi’s records with the school’s Multilanguage Learn- ers program indicate that when she arrived in the United States and enrolled in middle school here, she was clas-




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sified as a non-English reader, writer, and speaker, but exited the program as an 11th grader. She says holding conversations was a valuable language-learning pro- cess for her, “a lot more valuable than to sit in class and learn English.” She said, “Oh, I love when they [teach- ers] use Google translate sometimes, so they would put like some sentences and it would translate for me, and there was like specific people they would, like, set to help me throughout, like Jane [another friend] and other people, and that was really helpful.” She says learning to read English was especially dif- ficult, however, and she “did not like it ‘cause I did not understand most of the words, especially like the big words that most people don’t know, and sometimes I would read it and get the overall idea from like the small words and sometimes I can’t get the details be- cause of the words.” She says she appreciated when teachers read texts aloud because “the voice is more clear, and the words, you can hear the words, uhh, like loudly and clearly versus when the teachers make us read it ourselves or make other students read it.” Roxanne, who grew up speaking both English and Spanish, agrees. She says, “I like when teachers read aloud ‘cause I don’t know how to pronounce some words.” Both participants said their mothers knew very little English, but their fathers spoke a bit more because of their work experiences, and that is how Roxanne was first introduced to English words. “I grew up in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood so that was just Spanish,” Rox- anne explains, “but I only learned English from my dad, so what I knew, so what he taught me was, like, what I spoke, and at that time, he didn’t speak it as well, but he tried to teach me what he knew.” Roxanne was selected for her district’s 4K program to facilitate her English language learning, but in 5K, she tested as a fluent English speaker, an early reader and beginning writer of English. She tested out of the Multilanguage Learners program in 7th grade, scoring the highest score available in listening skills, along with top scores in reading and speaking. As an ac- complished student in English, she says, “I find myself like tongue twisted sometimes, and I stutter because I don’t know how it works, but in my brain, sometimes it will switch between languages, and I have to think about what I say.” She says this means sometimes, as she listens to someone speaking, “I have to think about what I’m going to say” because she talks to friends at school in both English and Spanish. Her ad-

vice to teachers: understand that her language is her culture. She told a story of one language teacher who “just straight up taught the material” but contrasted that teacher with one who would “play games with us,” and “that was good, like being involved and involving holidays, too.” She added, “Yeah, and I like it when they ask you questions from the students that are eth- nic to that language.” Discussion My two years with Andi and Roxanne taught me much about teaching multilingual learners, but when I sat down and talked to them about their learning ex- periences as a whole, they invited me into their worlds in a way classroom instruction had not. As a veteran teacher, I am aware of how multilingual learners are discussed in a school setting, and that is almost always from a deficit view, one that emphasizes test scores and school report cards, which means the discussion generally excludes highly successful multilingual learn- ers such as Andi and Roxanne. They have succeed- ed, passed the tests required to move out of the MLL program, and are now viewed as traditional learners. Except that taking such a numbers-based, deficit view marginalizes these students in a different way (Kibler, 2010; Martinez, 2018; Souto-Manning, 2016); it ignores their cultural identities and the immense literacy skills that come with being bilingual (Martin-Beltran, 2014; Martinez, 2017; Seltzer, 2019; Zapata & Laman, 2016). From this narrative look at Roxanne and Andi’s expe- riences, we can draw some conclusions about the roles that secondary ELA classes can play in the lives of high- ly successful multilingual students, as well as identify areas for future inquiry. We need to listen more closely to the stories and experiences of our multilingual learn- ers when making curriculum and policy decisions; those who have excelled academically, like Andi and Roxanne, can provide first-hand evidence about classroom expe- riences that have and have not been helpful for them in multiple arenas—language development, testing, class- room climate, text selection, and more. When standards and testing demand rigid expository writing, we must find ways to increase opportunities for students to write and speak about themselves in non-threatening ways so teachers can hear the voices and insights of their diverse student populations. Teachers can also ask for feedback on instruction and texts in addition to assess- ing what students learn from a lesson.

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Further study on developing strategies for teachers to get to know their students amid a frenetic, fast-paced setting of semester classes would help teachers learn from their students; I simply had more opportunity to learn from Andi and Roxanne because I taught them for two years, a rare circumstance in many secondary settings. Related studies would include investigating ways to develop teacher curiosity in non-offensive ways—ways we can ask our students what they prefer and how they perceive the texts we read in class. Finally. studies are needed on the social impact of AVID programs and their potential to foster positive social connections among high school students. Conclusion As a veteran ELA teacher, I sometimes think I have experienced just about all that school can offer, but then students like Andi, Roxanne, and Emily

enter my classroom, and I soon find out that I need new words to express the new lessons I am learning when new students enter my class. That is how I felt as I grew to know Andi, Roxanne, and Emily, and that is why listening to my students holds so much value. Privileging their voices and their experiences teaches me how to serve my students in a more eq- uitable and honorable way. From this interview and from my experiences listening to them in class, I am better equipped to find meaningful texts for whole- class instruction, more knowledgeable about how to honor my students’ cultures and heritages, and encouraged to continue asking my students about their experiences. I am not sure that my lexicon has precise words to convey all that I have learned by listening to their stories, so maybe my job is just to keep listening, even more closely, so I can pick up the lingo.


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j Kristie Camp is a National Board Certified Instructor who has taught English Language Arts at Gaffney High School for 25 years. She is in the process of earning her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests center on teen literacy with an emphasis on outdoor education, as she explores how time in nature affects literacy learning from an academic and affective perspective.

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“For Fun” or “For Study”: A Case Study of a Bilingual Speaker’s Reading Process

Shuang Du and Yang Wang

Qiao is a fourth-grade child at a bilingual im- mersion school in a Southeastern city in the United States. She has had 50% of her instruction in English and 50% in Chinese Mandarin. Qiao and the other bilingual children at her school are expected to read proficiently in both English and Chinese based on the curriculum requirements. However, Qiao’s teacher shared that many of her students struggled with reading Chinese text and often relied on Chinese pin- yin – the phonetic system – to read the texts. There- fore, the first author of this article worked with Qiao and helped her explore her bilingual reading process. The purpose of this case study (Stake, 1994) was to analyze the bilingual reader’s English and Chi- nese readings and to better understand the bilingual reader’s reading processes. The research questions were: What is Qiao’s reading view? And how does she respond to reading in English and Chinese? Following an explanation of our research process, we provide implications for teachers who work with bilingual speakers. Goodman (1967) argued that reading is a process that involves both thoughts and language. This so- cio-psycholinguistic model clarifies that reading is a process bound by specific contexts (Gopal & Singh, 2020). Reading is a transaction between the reader, text, and context, and readers make connections when reading, creating their own meanings (Rosen- blatt, 1993). Goodman developed miscue analysis to provide insights for educators and teachers about a read- er’s reading process. The term “miscue” describes responses in the reading process that do not match an expected response (Goodman et al., 2005). All readers made miscues when they read, regardless of proficiency, and “miscues” are not equal to “errors” (Goodman & Marek, 1996). Goodman et al. (2005) stated that reading miscue analysis is a scientific realism, and researchers and educators can learn from these reading miscues. Reading miscue analy- Theoretical Framework and Literature Review

sis is a crucial tool for readers and educators (Moore & Giles, 2005). Lack of familiarity with the content, different perspectives, and other factors can make readers miscue when they read, but miscues are windows, showing how readers understand texts and why they understand texts in that way (Goodman et al., 2005). Cognitive strategies and linguistics under- standing are used to analyze the reading miscues as readers use the graphophonic system, the syntactic system, and the semantic system to construct and support their reading (Goodman et al., 2005). Also, in-depth explorations of a transactional, socio-psy- cholinguistics theory support the observations and analysis (Goodman et al., 2005). This particular study focused on an English/Chi- nese speaker. Different from English, the Chinese language is logographic, and Chinese text is often printed with characters. The phonetic system of pinyin plays an essential role for emergent readers to read in Chinese. However, the phonological aware- ness skills do not always contribute to reading devel- opment in Chinese (Wei et al., 2014). Proficient Chi- nese readers often read texts printed without pinyin. Chinese readers need to rely on lexical knowledge to parse characters into words (Gu & Li, 2015). Reading in L2 is also a process of meaning con- struction, readers’ life experiences, and many other factors that may affect how they understand and read texts (Goodman et al., 2005). The L1, readers’ backgrounds, and many other factors all influence the reading process in L2. A growing number of studies (Wang, 2020; Wang & Arslan-Ari, 2021; Wang & Gilles, 2017) used miscue analysis to learn more about the reading processes of English/ Chinese bilingual readers. The researchers analyzed the mis- cues and retellings of the bilingual readers’ reading in both languages. These studies found that bilingual readers read more effectively, and they control and balance the cueing systems when they read in L1; however, they tended to rely more on the sound and graphic similarities and rely less on the semantic and syntactic systems when they read in L2. Even though miscue analysis has been developed for many years,




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teachers and researchers still need to explore more in this area, especially for the miscue analysis of bilingual readers. For bilingual readers who are de- veloping their biliteracies, it is essential for teachers to revalue their reading processes and explore more about how to support bilingual readers’ reading and meaning constructing processes. Methodology The southern city where this study was conduct- ed has a population of 129,482, and 8.18% of the population are bilingual speakers (World Population Review, 2021). The population of Chinese language learners is growing. There are three Chinese Mandarin /English immersion programs in town. Qiao’s school has approximately 730 students. 41% of the students are Caucasian, 38% are African American, and 6% are Asian American. Most children come from mono- lingual families. When this study took place, Qiao

vides for the study of each reading miscue in relation to other miscues within the sentence and within the entire text, evaluating how the text and the reader’s prior knowledge influence the reading” (Goodman et al., 2005, p. 131). Then the first author selected a few high-quality miscues that did not change the meaning of the texts and a few low-quality miscues that changed the meaning of the texts to confer with the reader in three respective Retrospective Miscue Analysis (Goodman & Marek, 1996; Moore & Gilles, 2005) discussion sessions about the bilingual reading process. A constant comparative approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was used to compare the reader’s miscues in English and Chinese, and major themes emerged from the data. Findings Qiao’s Reading Views Qiao reported in the interview that reading in En-

was a nine-year-old Chinese American girl, and her home language was mainly Chi- nese Mandarin. The first author met with Qiao via an online platform every other week in fall 2021. Each meeting was around one hour. Qiao was inter- viewed about her reading in two languages, borrowing questions from the Burke Reading Interview (Good- man et al., 2005). Then, Qiao read and retold three fictional texts including: 1) English text (624 words), 2) Chinese text with Pinyin (261 words, Figure 1), and 3) Chinese text without Pinyin (322 words, Figure 2). The Chinese texts are selected from the second grade Chinese Language Arts textbook used in mainland China. After each reading session, the first author marked and ana- lyzed the miscues following the in-depth procedure “which pro-

glish was “for fun” and it was fascinat- ing most of the time. She liked reading comic books and often made connec- tions to the books she read. Also, she enjoyed drawing a lot and shared that she and her friends were trying to write their own comic books. In contrast, Qiao believed that reading in Chinese was “for study” even though her home language was Chinese. She reported that Chinese reading was more difficult because sometimes she could not understand the text very well even though she could recognize most words. She thought reading in Chinese was a learning process compared to read- ing in English. She did not share any books she found interesting to read in Chinese. She mentioned that she always relied on Chinese pinyin, the phonetic system, to read aloud the texts. The pinyin letters were similar to English letters. Use of Language Cueing Systems Table 1 shows the results from the in-depth procedure of the three read- ing sessions.

Figure 1 Chinese Text with Pinyin

Figure 2 Chinese Text without Pinyin

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Qiao understood the English text. Her graphic simi- larity and sound similarity were both high in Table 1. She used words that sound or look like the unknown words to make substitutions. For example: seems …Above Momma, he sees two very large lights . She read “he seems” instead of he sees . These two words looked and sounded similar. But it was not a meaningful substitution because of the meaning change. Another example is: $passdrive …He happily leaps into the passageway, loses his balance, and slides across the deck on his belly. *note: the $ sign indicates a nonword. Qiao read “$passdrive” instead of passageway . From her linguistic repertoire, this self-created word could make sense for her.

While reading in Chinese with pinyin, her sound similarity was very high, which indicates that Qiao re- lied on the phonic system when she read with pinyin. For example, she read the pinyin “lěng” instead of lèng with the intonation shift from the third tone to the fourth tone (there are four different tones in pinyin): lěng lèng 老虎一愣 [the tiger was shocked] *note: the brackets indicate English translation However, when she read the Chinese text without pinyin, her substitutions did not look or sound like the texts (see Table 1). She struggled to use all the cueing systems when reading without pinyin. However, she predicted some substitutions that did not change the meaning. For example, 去最后,大象还是把他的耳朵放了下来。 [Finally, the elephant put his ears down]. Qiao read “ 去 ” instead of 来 . These two characters did not look or sound alike. When they were in the words “ 下去 ” and 下来 , both mean “down.” She was using the context clue rather than graphophonic information. Qiao repeated herself frequently when she read in both languages and made attempts to correct her miscues when she read in English. However, her attempts to correct were mostly unsuccessful correc- tions. Sometimes she changed her correct expected responses to miscues. These indicate that she was not monitoring her reading and perhaps was unable to pre- dict from what she read.

English Text

Chinese Text with Pinyin

Chinese Text without Pinyin


Meaning Construction No Loss

48% 8% 41% 0% 11% 92% 48% 8% 10% 92% 7% 0% 35% 0% 73% 92% 18% 4% 9% 4% 64% 92% 18% 4% 18% 4% 35% 20% 40% 10% 75% 30%


Partial Loss




Grammatical Relations Strength

15% 62%

Partial Strength Overcorrections




Word Substitution in Context Graphic Similarity High


Some None

59% 35%

Meaning Construction When Qiao read in English, she made meaningful substitutions which means she was trying to construct meaning while she was reading. For example: never Momma wishes she had not started this conversation.

Sound Similarity High

12% 76% 12% 20% 10% 30%

Some None





Miscue Per Hundred Words


24 38 Table 1 In-depth Procedure Data

She used “never” to substitute not . It was a high-quality miscue because the




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meaning has not changed. Uncovering this high-quali- ty miscue in the retrospective conversation helped her gain confidence in reading. When Qiao read in Chinese without pinyin, she strug- gled with it. However, she still tried to construct mean- ing using the clues that she searched. For example: 鼻子 [nose] 大象有一 对 大耳朵 [The elephant has a pair of large ears] She read “ 鼻子 ” instead of 耳朵 [ear] . Those two words did not share graphic or sound similarities. Qiao explained that she did not know 耳朵 . However, she predicted from the picture and read “ 鼻子 .” She did not stick with the sound and graphic similarities. However, her substitution changed the meaning. Even though there were other

everywhere.” The sentence she used for the retelling was the same as the author wrote, and she remem- bered it after she read the story a couple of weeks later. This suggests that she was paying attention to the way the writer told the story and learning from it. She was interested in the content of the English text and made personal connections with the text. However, when she read in Chinese, she focused on the surface level and tried hard to pronounce every word well. Her emotions did not change a lot while she was reading in Chinese. Qiao reported that it was hard to retell the Chinese texts. Her retelling score is 30 for reading with and without pinyin. When the first author asked how she felt about reading texts, she tended to talk more about the language of the texts, like how hard it is to read and how difficult

the words are, instead of talking about the content of the reading. Qiao was asked to draw her reading responses since she was interested in drawing. Figure 1 shows that she connected her personal life with the text, writing “I love this book because I love kittens.” In Figure 2, Qiao com- ments “because it’s not that hard and not to (too) easy.” She did not make any personal connec- tions with the Chinese text. Qiao is developing her bilitera- cy skills in both languages; how- ever, her biliteracy development is not balanced. Goodman (1967) argued that reading is a process that involves thoughts and lan- guage and meaning construction is not only based on the surface. Even though Qiao made miscues and spent time processing in- formation in both languages, her English reading was more profi- cient than her Chinese reading. She used all of her linguistic and pragmatic systems more effec- tively and efficiently in English. Discussion and Conclusion

clues in the text, Qiao failed to monitor the meaning or correct this miscue. Noticing this, the first author helped Qiao understand the importance of mean- ingful substitutions. It is essential for readers, especially emergent bi- lingual readers like Qiao, to learn about the impor- tance of meaning and avoid focusing too much on the surface level.

Figure 3 Response to the English text

Comprehension in Two Languages Qiao focused more on the con- tent of the English text and relied on decoding the Chinese text. When Qiao read in English, she read more emotionally, and she got excited when she was reading. Her retelling score is 75. She could remember the exciting details well, even one month later. In addition, she borrowed the text author’s sentence structure. For example, she retold the most exciting part as, “The mom cleaned the spot the Kitty missed, which is almost

Figure 4 Response to the Chinese text with pinyin

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