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Document Page: Building Multiliterate and Multilingual Writing Practices and Identities

BuildingMultiliterateandMultilingualWritingPracticesandIdentities
Skerrett,AllisonEnglishEducation
07012013
Thisarticledescribesanadolescent'sdevelopmentofmultiliterateandmultilingualwritingpracticesandidentities.Itfurtherexploreshowaliteracyteacherenacteda
writingpedagogyofmultiliteraciesthatassistedtheyouthinbuildingwritingpracticesandidentities.Dataincludeinterviewsoftheyoungwomanandherteacher,
classroomobservations,andliteracyartifactsproducedandusedbytheadolescent.Thesedataareanalyzedusingtheoriesofidentity,positioning,communitiesof
practice,andmultiliteracies.Findingsincludethattheyouthdevelopedherwritingpracticesandidentitiesovertimeandacrossmultiplecontextsofmultiliterateand
multilingualpractices.Withinandacrossthesecommunities,thedimensionsofapprenticeship,positioning,andrecruitmentofmultiliterateandmultilingualrepertoires
wereessentialtotheyouth'sdevelopmentofwritingpracticesandidentities.Thesedimensionswerealsocentraltotheliteracyteacher'senactmentofawriting
pedagogyofmultiliteracies.Thearticleassertsthatattendingtotheprocessesthroughwhichyoungpeopledeveloptheirmultiliterateandmultilingualrepertoires
andidentitiescanassisteducatorsincreatingsupportiveliteracyenvironmentsforyouth.Itoffersrecommendationsforliteracyscholarsandeducatorsinthisregard.
Socioculturaltheoriesofliteracyhaveexpandedviewsofadolescents'literatelivesthatspansocialcontextsandactivitiesbeyondschool(Barton,Hamilton,&Ivanic,
2000NewLondonGroup,1996).Acknowledgingtheseimportantadvancesinknowledge,scholarsnonethelessassertthatinadequateattentionhasbeenpaidtothe
literatelivesofculturallyandlinguisticallydiverseyouth(Fisher,2003,2005Hull&Schultz,2001MartnezRoldn&Frnquiz,2009Skerrett,2012aSkerrett&
Bomer,2011).Studiesfollowingthemultiliteraciestraditionhavepointedtothelanguageandliteracyrepertoiresthatmultilingualandmulticulturalyouthdevelopin
outofschoolspaces(Black,2005,2009Lam,2004,2006Lam&RosariodRamos,2009Yi,2008).Yetlittleknowledgeexistsabouttheprocessesthroughwhich
youthdevelopthesepracticesandidentitiesacrosssocialworldsspanningschoolandoutsideschool.Furthermore,scholarsinthemultiliteraciestraditioninvite
considerationsofhowyouths'outsideschoolmultiplelanguageandliteracypracticesmayproductivelyinformliteracyworkinschool(Black,2005,2009Yi,2008).Yet
fewdescriptionsexist(see,forexample,Fisher,2005)oftheteachingandlearningprocessesinvolvedinpursuingthiscomplexandlargelyunchartedpathwayof
connectingyouths'multiplelanguagesandliteraciestoacademicliteraciesandidentities.Understandingsabouthowyouthdeveloptheirmultiliterateandmultilingual
practicesandidentitiescaninformtheoryandpracticeabouthowschoolliteracyenvironmentscanserveasasupportivespaceforsuchprojects.
Towardsuchacontribution,Iexaminethreeresearchquestionsinthisarticle:Howdidanadolescent,whoIcallNina(apseudonym),describeherwritingpractices
andidentities?Howdidaliteracyteacher'swritingpedagogysupporttheyouthinbuildingherwritingpracticesandidentities?Howdothosedescriptionsinform
theoreticalunderstandingsabouttheprocessesinvolvedinbuildingwritingpracticesandidentities?
TheoreticalFrameworkandRelatedLiterature
Idrawontheoriesandrelatedresearchonliteracyassocialpractice(Bartonetal.,2000NewLondonGroup,1996)tolookexpansivelyathowayoungwoman
engagedarangeofmultiliteratepracticesacrossmultiplelifeworldstodevelopwritingpracticesandidentities.DrawingontheNewLondonGroup'stheoryofa
pedagogyofmultiliteracies,positioningtheory(Davies&Harr,1990Harr&vanLagenhove,1999),andWenger's(1998)workoncommunitiesofpractice,I
theorizeherliteracyteacher'sinstructionasawritingpedagogyofmultiliteraciesthatinvolvedpositioningtheadolescentasalegitimatememberoftheclassroom
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literacycommunity.Ifurthertheorizehowtheteacher'smultiliteraciespedagogypositionedtheyoungwoman'smultiliteraterepertoiresasboundaryobjectsfor
buildingacademicwritingpracticesandidentity.Althoughmultipleliteraciesarenotoftenjointlyconsideredwithbilingualormultilingualstudents'linguisticrepertoires,
languageandliteracyscholarsareincreasinglymakingtheseconnections(Canagarajah,2006,2009Fisher,2005NewLondonGroup,1996Skerrett,2012a).
Accordingly,IconsiderNina'slinguisticrepertoiresandmultiliteraciespracticesastoolsthatwerejointlydevelopedanddeployedinbuildingwritingidentityand
practices.
MultiliterateRepertoiresandMultiliteraciesPedagogy
Asocioculturalapproachtoliteracyviewsliteracyasaconstellationofmultimodalpracticessituatedwithinmultiplesocialcontextsandactivities(Bartonetal.,2000
NewLondonGroup,1996).Fromthisperspective,whatitmeanstobeliteratedependsonthecontexts,purposes,tools,andskillsetsavailableformakingmeaning.
Literateactivityoccursinpersonal,civic,social,andculturallifeworlds(NewLondonGroup,1996)withindividualspursuingrelatedgoalsinthesecontexts.Astrong
bodyofscholarshiphasfollowedthistheoreticallineage,sheddinglightonthemultipleliteraciesthatyoungpeopleengageinoutofschoolworldstoachieveself
selectedsignificantgoals(Alvermann&Hinchman,2011Christenbury,Bomer,&Smagorinsky,2009Fisher,2003,2005Kinloch,2009Morrell,2002Vadeboncoeur
&Stevens,2005).Fisher(2003)describedhowindividualsinAfricanDiasporaParticipatoryLiteracyCommunities(ADPLCs)combinedmultipleliteraciesoral,aural,
andwrittenpoetryandprose,accompaniedbytheplayingofinstrumentsanddancetoproducecomplextexts.Shearguedthatreadingandwritingpoetryare
intertwinedprocessesandthatforpeopleofAfricandescent,literacyisinclusive.Kinloch(2009)portrayedtwoAfricanAmericanyoungmenengagingmultiliteracies
practicessuchasphotographyandwritingtoresearchintoandinterrogategentrificationoftheirHarlemcommunities.
TheNewLondonGroup(1996)theorizedapedagogyofmultiliteraciesthatcouldenableeachlearnertoproductivelyaccesstheirandothers'diversitytocontribute
to,andbenefitfrom,theirlocalandglobalcommunities.Therearefourcomponentstomultiliteraciespedagogy:SituatedPractice,OvertInstruction,Critical
Framing,andTransformedPractice.Situatedpracticedrawsonstudents'meaningmakingexperiencesacrossmultiplelifeworlds.Withsituatedpractice,theclassroom
becomesacollaborativelearningcommunityinwhichstudentsengageinauthenticliteracypracticesthatarecenteredonspecificdomainsofhistoricaland
socioculturallysituatedknowledge.Overtinstructionentailsfacilitatingstudents'developmentofametalanguageofdesignthatallowsthemtoidentifyandanalyzethe
toolsandprocessestheyareusingtodesignmeaningandthecontextsforwhichtheseareeffective.Thegoalofovertinstructionisthatstudentsdevelopconscious
awarenessandcontroloverwhattheyarelearning.Criticalframingintroducesthesocial,cultural,political,historical,andideologicaldimensionsofdesign.Students
shouldnotonlybeabletoaccessthevarietyofavailabledesignsformeaning.Theyshouldbeabletoengagecriticallywiththeirforms,functions,andinterrelations
anddiscernhowtheseinfluencetheirredesignsofmeaning.Finally,transformedpracticeallowsstudentstoimbuetheirredesignedmeaningswiththeirowngoalsand
valuesandtransfertheirliteracylearningacrosslifeworlds.
Scholarsencourageteacherstotakeamultiliteraciesorientationtoliteracylearning(e.g.,Black,2005,2009).Yetdescriptionsofhowteachersimplementthese
pedagogiesaresorelylacking.Giventhefindingsofherearlierwork(Fisher,2003),Fisherlaterexaminedhowusingspokenwordpoetryintwolanguagearts
classroomsexpandedthewritingpracticesofteachersandstudentsbeyondwritingintospeakingandperforming(Fisher,2005).Fisherandothers(Kinloch,2009
Morrell,2002)maintainthatsuchmultimodallearningopportunitiesareakeycomponentoftheliteracycurriculum.AfewstudiesportrayEnglishteachersconnectinga
particularoutsideschoolliteracypracticetoaspecificacademicliteracy(Finders,2001HongXu,2008Weinstein,2007West,2008).Althoughinanalternative
schoolcontext,Weinsteinstoppedfightingherstudents'writingandperformanceofraplyricsinherEnglishclassroomandturneditintoofficialcurriculumstudy.She
foundthatwriting,performing,andcritiquingraplyricsmirrorsmuchofthetraditionalpoetryworkdoneinschool.Finders,alsoinanalternativemiddleschoolfor
youthinthejuvenilecourtsystem,studiedhowpopularculturetextscanengageacriticalliteracythathelpsyouthunderstandhowtheyuse,andareaffectedbytheir
readingsof,thesetexts.HongXustudiedateacherwhocreatedahybridspacethatdrewoninandoutofschoolliteracies(mainlypopularculturetextswithaheavy
emphasisontelevisionshows)inherEnglishclassroom.AndWestusedblogswithherstudentsandfoundtheirengagement,comprehension,andresponsesto
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literatureenhancedinthisdigitalwritingmode.
Mostofthesestudiesinvolvedcurriculumunitsofshortdurationfocusedonaspecifictypeofliteracypractice.Andalthoughmentionismadeofhowstudents'
multiliterateidentitiesandpracticesfoundtheirwayintoschoolthroughthesecurricularinnovations,thestudiesdidnotinquireintohowtheseyouthbuilttheir
multiliterateidentitiesandpracticesacrossschoolandoutsideschoolcontexts.Myanalysishelpsfillthisgapbydescribinghowayouth,overtimeandacrosscontexts,
developedhermultiliteraterepertoiresandidentities.Furthermore,Idescribehowateacher,overthecourseofaschoolyear,drewuponthewholerangeofher
students'multiliteraterepertoiresfordevelopingwritingidentitiesandpracticesinschool.
MultilingualRepertoires
Multilingualismisintheoreticalsynergywithmultipleliteracies(Canagarajah,2006,2009NewLondonGroup,1996Skerrett,2012a).TheNewLondonGroup(1996)
placedmultipleliteraciesinrelationwithmultilingualismwiththeirchallengetotheconceptof"mereliteracy"(p.64).Mereliteracy,theycritiqued,wascenteredonly
onlanguage,andoftenastableformofonelanguage.Inplaceofmereliteracy,theyproposed"multiliteracies"(p.64)thatacknowledgedothermodesof
representationthatwerecultureandcontextspecificandbroaderthanlanguagealone.Indeed,theirimperativeforreplacingmereliteracywithmultiliteracies
arose,inpart,frommountingculturalandlinguisticdiversityincontemporarysocietiesandanincreasinglyglobalizedworld.Canagarajah(2006,2009)describedthe
multilingualrepertoiresoftransnationalyouththatincludeoneormoreofficiallanguagesregional,cultural,ordigitallymediatedvarietiesofofficiallanguagescode
switching,inwhichspeakersshiftlanguagesorregisterswithinspeechactsandcodemeshinginwhichspeakersstrategicallyinsertwordsfromanotherlanguage,un
translated,intotheirwritingorspeechinanotherlanguage.Therichnessofsuchlinguisticrepertoiresmeansthatstudentswhoareofficiallyconsideredbilingual
becausetheyspeaktwoofficiallanguagesmaybemoreexpansivelyviewedasmultilingualwhenconsideringtheirlinguisticknowledgeandskillsthatincludefarmore
thanjusttwoofficiallanguages.Inkeepingwiththisdefinition,Nina,thefocusofthisanalysis,canbeunderstoodasamultilingual,andnotmerelyanofficially
bilingual,youth.
Scholarswhoinquiredintothemultiliteratepracticesofmultilingualimmigrantandtransnationalstudentsreportedthattheyouthemployeddigitalliteraciestolearn
English,thusimprovingtheiracademicandsocialidentities(Black,2005,2009Black&Steinekuhler,2009Lam,2004Lam&RosarioRamos,2009Yi,2008).Black
andYi,whoseparticipantswereculledfrompubliconlinesites,foundthatthedigitalmediumoffanfictionwritingscaffoldedEnglishLanguageLearners'acquisitionof
Englishandwasintegraltotheirmeaningmakingprocesses.Theseyouthcomposedandinteractedinmultiplegenresandsocialregisters,theyofferedsophisticated
reviewsandmetaanalysesoffictions,theyfoundopportunitiesforrhetoricallyconductingthemselvesassuccessfulauthors,andtheyenjoyedhighlevelsof
interactionswiththeironlinecommunity.
Youths'writtendigitalcommunicationsthroughcellphonesandinstantmessagingprovideadditionalexamplesofhowdigitalliteraciesareincreasinglyimplicatedin
youngpeople'slinguisticrepertoires.Althoughthelanguageyouthcreatefortextmessagingandinstantmessagingisdisparagedforlackingcoherenceand
contributingtopoorwritingskills,researchshowsotherwise(Baron&Ling,2011Lewis&Fabos,2005Varnhagenetal.,2010).Youngpeoplestrategicallyvarytheir
spelling,wordchoice,andsentencelengthtosuitdifferentaudiencesandpurposes.Theygeneratecoherentstrategiesforpunctuationandtheydevelop,andlearnto
value,creativeusesoflanguage(Baron&Ling,2011Lewis&Fabos,2005).Theinteractivityofwrittencommunicationinthesedigitalvenues,theabilityto
continuouslydesignandreviseoneselfandone'sthoughtsthroughoutacommunicationperiod,andthespaceforinventionandcreativitywithlanguageprovidea
learningplatformforyouth.Digitalcommunicationsprovidevenuesforyouthtoengagethoughtfullyandcreativelywithwrittenlanguageskillsthatcanbebeneficialto
writinginschool(Cobb,Heaney,Corcoran,&HendersonBegg,2010Lewis&Fabos,2005).Hence,theoryandresearchsuggesttheneedtostudyjointlyhow
multiliterateandmultilingualyouthdeveloptheirrepertoiresandidentities.Itakeonsuchanexaminationinrelationtothewritingpracticesandidentitiesofa
multiliterateandmultilingualyouth.
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BuildingIdentitythroughPositioninginCommunitiesofLanguageandLiteracyPractice
Differentformsofparticipationandinteractionswithlanguageandliteracyacrosslifeworldscontributetostudents'developmentofmultipleidentities(Hall,2009
McCarthey,2001Skerrett,2012bSkerrett&Bomer,2011Triplett,2007).Inhisdiscussionofliteracyandidentity,Gee(1990,1994)positedthatidentityisco
constructedandsociallysituated.HearguedforacomplexviewofidentityinhisdiscussionofDiscourses,withacapitalD.Discoursesarewaysofthinking,speaking,
feeling,valuing,andinteractingthatallowonetotakeonparticularrecognizableidentities.AllindividualsbelongtomultipleDiscoursecommunitiesandpeoplehave
theabilitytotransfer,combine,andreshapeDiscoursesovertime.Identityisneitherstaticnorsingular.Eachindividualpossessesanumberofroleidentitiesor
positionalidentitiespositionssheunderstandsherselftooccupyinandacrosssocialworlds.Inpositioningtheory(Davies&Harr,1990Harr&vanLagenhove,
1999),subjectpositionsarealwaystakenupinsocialgroupingsofatleastdyads.Ifonepersonispositionedinaparticularwaythenothersarepositioned
complementarily.Thus,positionalidentitiesarenotonlyselfascribedbutassignedtoindividualsbycoparticipantsinsocialpracticeswithinsocialworlds.Andsubject
positionsarepronetochangefrommomentaryinteractiontointeraction,acrosscontexts,andovertime(Harr&vanLagenhove,1999).
Forexample,therelationshipsamongteachersandstudentsinfluencethepositionalidentitiesthatstudentsareassignedortakeupinliteracyclassrooms(Hall,2009
McCarthey,2001Skerrett,2012bSkerrett&Bomer,2011Triplett,2007).Hallstudiedhowateacherlabeledastudentasastrugglingreaderwhenthestudentdid
notparticipateininstructionalactivitiesinwaystheteachervalued.Thispositioningledtheteachertowithholdpersonalizedassistancefromthestudent,further
limitingthestudent'sopportunitiesforliteracydevelopment.Institutionsassocializingagentsarealsoactiveintheprocessofindividuals'identityconstruction(Apple,
1980Young,1971).Schoolcurriculaandstructuresthatdismissstudents'homelanguagesasatoolforliteracylearninglikewiserestrictstudents'languageand
literacydevelopment(Martnez,2010Valenzuela,1999).Incontrast,someeducatorshavepositionedyouthtoclaimstrongliterateidentitiesinschool.Onewayin
whichtheyhavedonesoisbyconnectingtheacademiccurriculumtostudents'culturalbackgroundsandtheinterestsandconcernsoftheirhomesandcommunities
(Fisher,2005Gutirrez,2008Lee,2007).Yetmuchremainstobeunderstoodabouthowliteracyteacherscanpositionstudentstocallupontheirmultilingualaswell
asmultiliteratepracticesandidentitiesforliteracyworkinschool.Myanalysiswilldemonstratehowoneteacherenactedsuchapedagogy.
Infurtheralignmentwithpositioningtheory,someoftheverystudentswhoareascribedacademicidentitiesofstrugglingliteracylearnersmayseethemselves,andbe
positionedbyothers,ashighlyliterateinoutsideschoolactivities(Bartonetal.,2000Bomer,2011Gee,2006,2007Gustavson,2007).Shapeshiftingportfolio
people,asGee(2006)calledthem,arecapableofusingthetoolsofDiscourse(language,values,socialinteractions,etc.)toenactdifferentsocialrolesoridentitiesto
meetchangingneedsorcircumstances.Gee(2007)documentedhowvideogamingcommunitiesfosteredpleasurableandhighqualityliteracylearningthroughshared
enterprise,manyfluidformsofparticipation,distributedknowledge,andflexibleroles,includingleadership.Hereferredtothesecommunitiesasaffinitygroupsin
whichmembersareaffiliatedbycommoninterests,goals,andpracticesthatcutacrossidentitymarkerssuchasrace,language,gender,andculture.
ThelifeworldofaffinitygroupsthatGee(2007)describesremindsofWenger's(1998)communitiesofpractice.InWenger'stheorizationofcommunitiesofpracticerest
someideasofhowidentitiesmaydevelopthroughsharedliteracypractices.Communitiesofpracticearegroupsofpeoplethataremutuallyengagedinajoint
enterpriseandwhoshareacommonrepertoiresetsofroutines,tools,symbols,stories,andotherresourcesforengagingintheirwork.Jointlyengagedintheir
practice,membersdevelop,negotiate,andsharemeaningcreateandmergeidentitiesand,dependingontheformsofparticipationthat,fornewcomersmovesfrom
peripheraltolegitimateparticipationexperiencedeeplearninginandabouttheirpractice.Thereismutuallyrecognizedparticipationamongallmembersofa
communityofpracticeeventhoughmembersmaynotbe"equal"orgarneridenticallevelsofrespectinthecommunity(duetotheirroles,lengthofmembership,and
otherfactors).Allmembersmustneverthelessinteractwitheachothertomakesenseof,andproceedwith,theworktheydo.Itisthroughthisprocessofactive,
ongoingparticipationthatmembersdevelopidentitiesinrelationtoeachother.

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Therelationshipsandpracticeswithincommunitiesofpracticearefurtherinfluencedbymembers'interactionswithlargerpolitical,historical,andsocialcontexts.
Wenger's(1998)mentionofinterconnectedcontextsisimportant.Italignswithnotionsofhowidentitiesandlanguageandliteracypracticesformwithinandacross
contextsandhowidentitiescanshiftshape(Gee,2006)dependingontheconditions,tools,andgoalsofliteracypracticeinagivensocialspace.Wenger'sexplanation
ofboundaryobjectsastoolsthathelpmembersofrelatedcommunitiesconnecttheirpracticescanfurtherbesensiblyattachedtotheorizationsofhowyouths'
multiliteraciesandmultilingualpracticesoutsideschoolmayfacilitatetheirliteracylearninginschool.Inthisarticle,Iestablishsomeoftheseconnections.Insum,
theoriesofliteracyassocialpracticeandmultiliteraciespedagogy,identityandpositioning,andcommunitiesofpracticefacilitatemydescriptionofhowNinabuilt
literatepracticesandidentitiesandhowaliteracyclassroomservedasonesiteforsuchwork.
Methods
Thearticledrawsfromalargerstudythatexploredtheliteratelivesofadiversegroupofadolescentsinschoolandoutofschoolcontextsandhowknowledgeabout
thoselivesmightinformtheteachingandlearningofliteracy.
Setting
Thestudytookplaceinoneninthgradereadingclassroominadiverseurbanhighschool,"SouthwestHighSchool,"andinthesurroundingcommunityina
southwesternU.S.state.Thecommunitywasculturally,linguistically,andsocioeconomicallydiverseandlocatedabout12milesfromoneofthestate'smajor
metropolises.Studentswhowereplacedinthisreadingclasswereidentifiedasreadingbelowtheirgradelevelandhadfailed,orwerethoughttobeinjeopardyof
failing(forexample,iftheywereEnglishLanguageLearners),thestate'sstandardizedtestinreading.Thisclasswasofferedasanopportunitytoimprovestudents'
readingskillscompletingtheclasswasrequired,butitdidnotcounttowardstudents'highschoolgraduationcredits.Becauseofhowtheclasswaspositionedwithin
theofficialcurriculum,therewasnoprescribedcurriculumfortheteachertofollow.Thiscurricularfreedomenabledtheteachertodesignandimplementareadingand
writingcurriculumthatconnectedtoherstudents'outofschoollifeworldsandlanguageandliteracypractices.Thesitewasthusappropriateforconductingthe
researchbecauseitallowedinquiryintohowthebroadrangeofdiverseyouths'languageandliteracypracticesmightproductivelyinformliteracyeducation.
Participants
Inthelargerstudy,theparticipantsincludedthereadingteacher,"Molly,"13ofthe16studentsinoneofherclasseswhoconsentedtoparticipateinthestudy,and,
withintheconsentingstudentgroup,sevenfocalstudentswhoagreedtoundertakeadeeperexplorationoftheirliteracypractices.Moststudentslivedinthe
surroundingcommunitycomprisedofworkingandmiddleclassfamilies.ThestudentsselfidentifiedasLatina/o(MexicanorMexicanAmericanandoneboyfrom
Colombia)withasmallernumberofAfricanAmericanstudents(onegirlandtwoboys).Studentswerebetween14and17yearsofage.TheLatina/ostudentsvariedin
theiraffiliationsorproficiencieswithSpanishhowmuchtheycouldunderstand,speak,read,orwriteinthelanguage,andtheextenttowhichtheyconsidereditpartof
theiridentities.ThreestudentsreportedSpanishastheirnativelanguageandtwoofthese(includingNina)werefluentinEnglish.TheLatina/ostudentsalsopracticed
codeswitchingandcodemeshingandintegratedaspectsofAfricanAmericanEnglish(AAE)intotheirspeechandwritingaswell.Inkeepingwiththeoryandresearch
describedabove(e.g.,Canagarajah,2006,2009),thesestudentscanbeconsideredasnotjustofficiallybilingualbut,moreexpansively,asmultilingualspeakersof
officiallanguagesandtheirvarieties.TheAfricanAmericanstudentsspokeandwroteinAfricanAmericanEnglish(AAE)aswellasStandardAmericanEnglish(SE).
MollywasanEnglishspeaking,whiteteacherwithsomeproficiencyinSpanish.Shehadbeenareadingteacherfor17years,threeofthoseatSouthwestHigh.
Mollyhadrecentlycompletedhermaster'sdegreeand,forherthesis,hadconductedanextensiveliteraturereviewofadolescentliteracypractices.Consequently,she
wasunusuallyinformedaboutmultiliteraciespracticesandunderstoodtheirvalueintheresearchcommunity,thoughshehadnotpreviouslyattemptedtobuild
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officialcurriculumuponthem.Additionally,Mollywasexperiencedandknowledgeableintheteachingofwriting.SheparticipatedactivelyinthelocalNationalWriting
Projectsitethatwasdirectedbymycolleague.Mollyservedasaninstructorinthesummerinstituteforareateachersandsowasawellknownandrespected
practitionerinthelocalschoolanduniversityteachereducationcommunity.
Researchers
Twouniversityfaculty(RandyBomerandI)ledthestudyandgraduatestudentsassistedwithdatacollectionandanalysis.RandyhadtaughtMollyingraduateschool
andservedasthedirectorofhermaster'sthesis.Asnotedabove,healsodirectedtheNationalWritingProjectsiteinwhichMollyparticipated.IcametoknowMolly
whenIservedasthereaderforherthesis.IwasinterestedinMolly'sthesisandlaterinconductingthisstudybecauseofmyownprofessionalandpersonalidentities
andbiographies.IamawomanofAfroCaribbeandescentandimmigratedtotheUnitedStatesasateenager.EnglishismyfirstlanguageandtheonlyoneinwhichI
amfluent.However,uponimmigratingtotheUnitedStates,Isettledintoandattendedhighschoolinaculturallyandlinguisticallydiverseurbancommunityandso
interactedwithpeoplefromdifferentculturalandlanguagebackgrounds.Asoneexampleofhowtheseexperiencesshapedmylanguagepractices,Iappropriated
AfricanAmericanEnglishintomylinguisticrepertoire.IlaterbecameanEnglishteacherinahighschoolinthecommunityinwhichIlived.Nowauniversitybased
teachereducatorandresearcher,myteachingandresearchfocusonhowthelanguageartscurriculumcanhonorandbuildupthecultures,languages,andliterate
practicesoflinguisticallyandculturallydiverseyouth.
FocalparticipantNina
A15yearoldadolescentwhoselfidentifiedasMexicanAmerican,NinawasborninaU.S.bordertowntoaMexicanAmericanfatherandHonduranmother.Withher
parentsnowdivorced,NinalivedwithhermotherandyoungerbrotherinthecommunitysurroundingSouthwestHigh.Ninaalsohadanoldersisterwhohadrecently
movedoutofthehome.ThissisterhadayoungsonandNinaexplained,"ItakecareofhimalotandIdon'tmindcuzmysisterworksalot."Familywasvery
importanttoNinaandtheserelationshipsfueledthewritingshedidinandoutsideschool.NinaclaimedSpanishasherfirstlanguagebutbyherninthgradeyear
lamentedhow"I'mlosingmySpanish....EveryonceinawhileItellmymom,'Mom,howdoyousaythis?'Ihateit!"
Ninawaspassionateaboutanumberofmultiliterateactivitiesincludingwritingspiritualprayer,worship,andreadingandinterpretingtheBiblehiphopmusicand
danceandwatchingmoviesandtelevision.Shewasalsogreatlyinterestedindigitalphotography.Sheenjoyedtakingpictureswithhermom'sdigitalcameraandwas
aperfectionistaboutthis,describingthispredilectioninthehomevisitasbeing"funnywithpictures."Ninawas,infact,reluctanttousethedisposablecamerawe
providedtotakepicturesofherliteratelife,saying,inthathomevisit,shewouldprefertousethedigitalcamerabecauseshe"wantsthemtobeallperfect."Perfection
necessitatedthedigitalaffordanceof"alwayslookingatthescreen."Herotherdigitalliteracypracticesincludedsocialnetworkingonline,instantmessaging,andtext
messagingandsheintermingledSpanish,English,Spanglish,andAAEinthesedigitalwritingpractices.Shepreferredtocommunicatewiththeresearchteamthrough
textmessagesratherthanphonecalls,askingoneoftheteamwhethershehadunlimitedtextingonherphoneas,ifshedid,thetwoofthemcouldcommunicatethat
way.Ninatextedthroughouteveryinterviewandarrivedtooneinterview,phoneinhand,dejectedandconfusedbecauseshehadjusthadanargumentwithagood
friendviatextmessages.Shecommentedshedidn'tunderstandhowtheyhadgonefromgettingalongjustfinetohavingafight.Asamultiliterateandmultilingual
studentexperiencingMolly'swritingpedagogyofmultiliteracies,Ninaseemedapromisingparticipanttohelpmeunderstandhowmultiliterateandmultilingual
writingpracticesandidentitiesareformedincontextsinandoutsideschool.
DataCollection
Casestudymethods(Dyson&Genishi,2007)wereusedforthisproject.DatacollectionoccurredfrommidSeptember2009tomidAugust2010throughqualitative
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methodsofobservations,semistructuredinterviews,andcollectionofdocumentsandartifacts(Miles&Huberman,1994).
ClassroomObservations
IobservedthereadingclassinwhichMollytaughtNinaonceortwiceweeklyandthesevisitswereaudiotapedandaccompaniedbydetailedobservationalnotes.Class
periodsrangedfrom7590minutesdependingontheschool'scalendar(arotatingschedulewithclassestypicallybeginningat9a.m.excepton"latestart"days).The
classthatwasstudiedtypicallymetduringthefirstorsecondperiodoftheday.Takingintoaccountmyownworkscheduleattheuniversity,Iselectedobservation
daysinconsultationwiththeteacherbasedonwhatteachingandlearningactivitiesshehadplanned.Weselecteddayswefeltmightbemostusefulinhelpingme
understandhowshewasdrawingonstudents'outofschoolliteratelivesinteachingthemacademicliteracies.Iconductedatotalof26classroomobservations
betweenmidSeptember2009andmidMay2010.
ThesedatashedlightonhowMollyenactedhercurriculumandinstructionalplansandhowtheywereengagedwithbystudents.Classroomobservationsrevealedhow
Ninaengagedintheliteracyworkoftheclass,towhatextentandinwhatwayssheincorporatedheroutofschoollifeworldsandlanguageandliteracypracticesinto
school,andthenatureofherinteractionswithherteacherandpeers.Forthefirstmonthofobservations,Ihandwrotenotesinanotebook,focusingonmygeneral
impressionsoftheclassroomthephysicalenvironment,participantsandtheirinteractions,andinstructionalactivitiesandsummarizedkeyclassroomconversations
andevents.InDysonandGenishi's(2007)words,I"situated[myself]ontheedgeoflocalaction...slowlybutdeliberatelyamass[ing]informationaboutthe
configurationoftimeandspace,ofpeople,andofactivityintheirphysicalsites"(p.19).Forthatfirstmonth,Ipurposefullyusedjustanotebook,ratherthanalaptop
andaudiorecorder,togivestudentstimetogetusedtomypresenceandto"attune[myself]totherhythmsofdailyactivity"(p.29)ofthatspace.
Thereafter,Iswitchedtotakingnotesonalaptopandusinganaudiorecorderinanattempttocaptureasmuchofclassroomconversationaswellasdescribeevents
morefully.Itypicallyspentaboutonehourofeachclassobservingandtakingnotes.Fortheremaining15to30minutes,IinteractedwithNinaandotherstudents,
talkingwiththemaboutthereadingorwritingtheyweredoing.Intheseinstances,Itookmydigitalrecorderwithmetostudents'desks,andwhenIreturnedtomine,
Itypedinnotessummarizingourinteractions.ItwascommonduringinstructionalconversationsforMollytoaskmetosharewithstudentswhetherandhowIthought
someoutsideschoolliteracypracticewasconnectedtothereadingandwritingtheyweredoinginschool.IalsoparticipatedinclassifstudentsorMollyaskedmea
questionorsolicitedmyopiniononsometopicbeingdiscussed.BecauseIarrivedintheclassroomafewminutesbeforeeachclassbegan,andremainedforanywhere
from5minutesto45minutesafterclasstalkingwithMolly,Iregularlyenjoyedinformalsocialinteractionswithstudentsorobservedtheminteractinginformallywith
peersandMolly.Iincorporatedsummariesoftheseinformalrelationsoutsideclasstimeintomyclassroomobservationfieldnotesforthatday.Myfieldnoteswere
typicallyexpandedwithintwohoursofleavingtheclassroom.
InterviewsofMolly
MollytookprimaryresponsibilityforplanningthecurriculumandeachweekshewouldsharehercurriculumplanswithRandyandme.However,throughregular
debriefingsafterclassroomobservations,andemailcorrespondencethroughouttheweek,weengagedwithMollyinthinkingaboutcurriculumandinstruction.She
woulddescribetous,eitherverballyorinwriting,hercurriculumgoalsforagivenweekandherinstructionalplans.Shewouldexplainhowsheintendedtodrawon
students'outsideschoolliteracypracticesinachievinghercurriculumgoalsandinviteourfeedbackoradditionalideas,especiallywhenshecoulddiscernnoclearor
substantivelinkbetweensomeinstructionalobjectiveandstudents'literacypractices.AftermostclassesIobserved,MollyandIwouldassessthesuccessesand
challengesofthelessonandtalkaboutideasforthelessonstocome.Hence,RandyandIservedprimarilyasaresourceforMollyandherstudentsinmaking
connectionsbetweentheofficialcurriculumandstudents'outofschoolliteratelives.Mollydeterminedthecurriculumandinstructionalgoalsofherclassand,drawing
onherownpedagogicalexpertise,knowledgeofadolescentliteracy,andcollegialconversationswithus,decidedontheextenttowhich,andwaysinwhich,students'
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outsideschoolliteracieswouldinformtheseobjectives.
InterviewsofNina
InterviewswereimportantforelicitingfromNinahowsheusedlanguageandliteracyacrossdifferentcontextsofherlifeandtheconnectionssheperceivedamongher
languageandliteracypracticesinandoutsideofschool.BeyondregularconversationswithNinaduringclassroomobservations,Ninaengagedinthreesemistructured
interviews,averaging50minutes,whichwereaudiorecordedandtranscribed.Intheseinterviews,sheprovidedbiographicalinformationandtalkedaboutherusesof
languageinvarioussocialspaces,readingandwritinglife,andoutsideschoolactivities(seeAppendixesA,B,andC).ThefirstinterviewoccurredinmidDecember,the
secondinmidMarch,andthethirdinmidMay.Withinterviewsspacedseveralmonthsapart,thehopewasthattherewouldbetimeforNinatoacquirenew
experienceswithlanguage,reading,writing,andotherliteracypractices,bothinMolly'sclassandinoutofschoolspaces,andtodeepenherperspectivesonheruses
oflanguagesandliteraciesacrossherlifeworlds.
HomeVisit
IalsopaidahomevisittolearnmoreaboutNinaandherfamily'susesoflanguage,reading,writing,andotherliteracypracticesathome.IvisitedNinaduringa
summermorninginAugust,avisitthatlastedtwohours.Hermother,whomIhadpreviouslyspokenwithonthephonebuthadnotmetinperson,washome,and
Ninaformallyintroducedus.Nina'snephewandlittlebrotherwerealsohome.TheyawokeshortlyafterIarrivedandpromptlybeganrunningaround,periodically
bringingouttoystoshowme.Inthatvisit,Ninadescribedhowreading,writing,andotherliteracypracticeswereenactedinherhome.Forexample,sheexplainedshe
didallofherhomeworkonthecouch,ratherthaninherbedroom,whereshehadadesktopcomputer.Shesaidshehadnobooksathometoshowmebecauseshedid
notreadathomeandspentmostofhertimeathersister'sorcousins'homes.Shedisplayed,instead,alargelibraryofDVDsanddescribedwatchingmovieswithher
youngerbrotherandnephew,playingvideogameswiththem,andcaringforthem.Shedescribedhownotewritingand,later,textmessagingenabledherfamilyto
communicatewitheachother.Inthatvisit,NinaandherfamilyinteractedinSpanishwhenspeakingwitheachotherandaddressedmeinEnglish.Fieldnotesofthis
homevisitwerehandwritteninanotebookwhileatNina'shomeandthentypedupwithintwohoursofleavingthefamily.
LiteracyArtifacts
Throughouttheacademicyear,Mollyprovidedartifactsrelatedtohercurriculumandinstructionsuchascopiesofinstructionalhandoutsshecreated,andshorttexts,
suchaspoems,shehadselectedforwholeclassinstruction.ArtifactsrelatedtoNina'scaseincludedhercompositionnotebookforMolly'sclass,herclassfolderthat
containedavarietyofwrittenresponsestotextsshereadinthisclass,andtwostoriesshecomposedfortheclassmagazine,oneineachsemester.Theseartifacts
helpedmetounderstandhowMollyenactedawritingpedagogyofmultiliteraciesandhowstudentslikeNinarespondedintermsoftheirwrittenwork.
IalsoexaminedotherliteracyartifactsofNina'sthatremainedinherpossession.IwasparticularlyinterestedinexaminingartifactsthatportrayedtherangeofNina's
languageandliteracypractices.Forexample,duringthehomevisit,Ninashowedmethedesktopcomputerinherbedroomanddescribedherlimiteduseofit.She
alsoshowedmehermother'slaptop,whichshepreferredtouseforitsportability.Indeed,thescreensaveronthelaptopwasacollageofNina'sfriendsinherninth
gradeyear.Asnotedabove,NinaalsoshowedoffanimpressivelibraryofDVDsofmoviesfromdifferentgenreschildren'sfilms,horrorandactionmovies,drama,
comedies,andromance.Sheclaimedsheownedmorethan100movies.Aswell,duringinterviews,insomeclasses,andduringthehomevisit,sheshowedmehercell
phoneandexamplesoftextmessagesonit,aswellasheriPod,andshedescribedhowhercousindownloadedmusicofherchoiceontothedevice.AlthoughIcould
notpracticallykeepthesepossessionsofNinaforanalysispurposes,Iwrotenotesdocumentinghowshedescribedherusesof,andattachmentsto,thesevaried
literacyartifactsandmultiliteraciespractices.
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DataAnalysis
AnalysisinvolvediterativereadingofdatarelatedtoNina'scase.Ireadeachpieceofdata(forinstance,aninterviewtranscript)straightthroughthreetimes.Through
aprocessofprogressivefocusing(Glaser&Strauss,2006)IreducedthedatatoportionsrelatedtoNina'swritingpractices,theviewsthatsheandothersheldabout
herasawriter,andsignificanteventsortextsfromNina'swritinglife.Ihighlightedtheserelevantdata,takingextensivenotesinthemarginsoftext.Ithenusedopen
coding(Dyson&Genishi,2007)toidentifyimportantideasthatranacrossthedifferentdatasources.Thisfirstroundofcodinghelpedmeestablishemergingthemes
relatedto,forexample,Nina'swritingpractices,languagesforwriting,andearlywritingidentity.Thesebroadthemesservedascategoriesforclustersofrelatedcodes.
Focusedcoding(Dyson&Genishi,2007)facilitatedcollapsingcodeswithinandacrosscategories.Forexample,withinthecategorywritingpractices,initialcodes
includedMySpace,texting,notewriting,andkeepingadiary.Icollapsedsuchcodesintomultiliteracieswritingpracticestoaccountforbothdigitalandofflinewriting
practices.Writinganalyticmemosassistedinthisprocess.Forexample,Iconsideredthatintheextantliteraturethespotlightturnedontoyouths'digitalwriting
practicesstoleattentionawayfromthefullrangeofyouths'writingpractices.Ifollowedmytheoreticalhunchthatitmightbeimportanttolookbroadlyacrossthese
writingpracticestonoticerecurringdimensionsoftheidentitybuildingprocess.Ifurtherthoughtthroughtheideathatmultiliteraciestheorywasintendedto
encompassallliteraciesandlanguages.Accordingly,Ifurthercombinedcodesrelatedtolanguagesforwritingintocodesinitiallywrittenformultiliteracieswriting
practices.TheworkofcreatingthisexpansivecategoryledmetothefindingthatNina,andlikelyotheryouthlikeher,mutuallydevelopedanddeployed
multiliteraciesandmultiplelanguagesintheirwritingpracticesandthatthismultiliterate,multilingualcomposingsupporteddevelopmentofwritingidentity.The
findingsdiscussedbelowreflectthis,andother,outcomesofmyanalysis.
Findings
Myresearchquestionswere:HowdidNinadescribeherwritingpracticesandidentities?HowdidMolly'swritingpedagogysupportNinainbuildingherwriting
practicesandidentities?And,howdothosedescriptionsinformtheoreticalunderstandingsabouttheprocessesinvolvedinbuildingwritingpracticesandidentities?I
foundthreedimensionsinvolvedinNina'sdevelopmentofwritingpracticesandidentities.Thefirstwasapprenticeship.Ninadevelopedherwritingpracticesand
identitythroughaprocessofapprenticeshipintoconstellationsofwritingcommunitiesofpracticethatmayalsobedescribedaslifeworldsoraffinitygroups.These
includedherpersonallifeworld,family,virtualsocialworlds,andschool.Theseconddimensionwaspositioning.Ninaalsodevelopedwritingpracticesandidentity
throughpeoplepositioningher,andherownselfpositioning,asawriter.Thispositioningoccurredinternally,indyads,andingroupsovertimeandwithinandacross
writingcommunities.Thethirddimensioninvolvedrecruiting,ordrawingupon,multiliteracieswritingpracticesandmultilingualrepertoires.Ninadevelopedwriting
practicesandidentitythroughjointlyrecruitinganddeployinghermultiliterateandmultilingualcapacitiesacrosslifeworlds.
InansweringthequestionofhowMolly'swritingpedagogyofmultiliteraciessupportedNina'sbuildingofwritingpracticesandidentity,IfoundthatMolly's
pedagogyinvolvedasustainedapproachofcriticalframing,situatedpractice,andovertinstruction(NewLondonGroup,1996).Thispedagogyfacilitatedstudents'
transformationoftheirmultiplelanguageandliteracypracticesastoolsforbuildingwritingpracticesandidentitiesinschool.Morespecifically,theseelementsof
multiliteraciespedagogywereenactedthroughMollyapprenticingstudentsintotheclassroom'sliteracycommunitybypositioningthemaslegitimatemembersof
interconnectedliteracycommunitiesofpracticethatincludedschool.Mollyfurtherpositionedstudents'multiplelanguagesandliteraciesasusefultoolsfordeveloping
academicwritingidentitiesandpractices.Throughsustainedovertinstruction,Mollyillustratedforstudentshowtheirunderstandingsof,andpracticeswith,multiple
languagesandliteraciescouldfacilitatetheirlearningofacademicliteracies.Inthesectionsbelow,IdiscussthethreedimensionsinvolvedinNina'sdevelopmentof
writingpracticesandidentities:apprenticeship,positioning,andrecruitmentofmultiliteracieswritingpracticesandmultilingualrepertoires.Ineachofthese
sections,IdescribeaspectsofMolly'swritingpedagogyofmultiliteraciesthatenhancedthatdimensionofNina'sidentitybuildingliteracywork.
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Apprenticeship
Inhersecondinterview,whichfocusedonherwritinghistoryandcurrentcompositionpractices,Ninatalkedaboutherearlymemoriesofwriting.Sheinitiallyasserted
shehadnoearlyorcurrentmodelsofwritersathome:"noonewrites."Yetwhenaskedabouthowherfamilycommunicatedwitheachother,Ninadescribedher
apprenticeshipintonotewritingpracticesinherfamily.Shereturnedtothissubjectaswesatinherlivingroomduringthehomevisit,explainingwithwordsand
gestureshow"She[mom]usedtoleavemenotes.Likeourdoor...isrighthereandyouwouldwalk[in]andthere'sacouchrightthere.She'llleaveitrightthereso
Ijustseeitrightthere."Intheseinteractions,Ninawasapprenticedintothefamily'swritingpracticesandgivenalegitimatemembershiprole.Thesenotesserved
importantfunctionalpurposesforthefamily.Nina'srolewastoreadandrespondappropriatelytotheinformationcontainedinthesenotes.AsIwilllatershowinthe
sectiononmultiliterateandmultilingualwritingpractices,Ninahadgrowntotakeamorecentralroleinfamilywritingpractices,communicativepracticesthathad
evolvedintothedigitalrealm.
AdditionaldatadrawnfromthesecondinterviewgeneratedfurtherinsightsabouttheimportanceofapprenticeshipinbuildingNina'swritingpracticesandidentity.In
thatinterview,Ninarecountedthatwhileshewasinthethirdgradeherunclewasincarceratedatafacilityinherhometownandhermotherandshewrotelettersto
him."Wewouldalwayswriteletterstomyuncle.Likewewerejustsoclosetohim."Fromthesewritingactivities,Ninamayhavelearnedaboutthepurposeofwriting
tocrossbordersandclosedistance.Ninatookonwritingtotransportherselfacrossbordersthatseparatedlifeworlds.Forexample,Ninaoftenwroteabouther
relationshipwithherdad.Asearlyaselementaryschool,"IwroteaboutmydadalotsinceIdon'tlivewithhimandIdon'tseehimortalkwithhim."Oneofher
teachersalsosupportedthepracticeofwritingtocrossboundaries.Inthirdgrade,herteacherconnectedtheirclasswithchildreninothercountriesaspenpals.Inthat
secondinterview,shefurtherrecollectedhow"Ihadapenpalinthirdgradeandtheywereinfifthgrade...theywerelikefromanothercountry....Andwewould
writetoeachotherandwewouldsendpicturestoo.Ithoughtitwasprettycool."
Nina'sandhermother'swritingtoheruncle,andNina'sownwritingaboutherfather,mayhavealsoapprenticedherintoaviewofwritingtoprocessemotion.During
fifthgrade,Ninahadkeptadiaryalthoughsheonlyusedittodocumentdailyevents.Inherwritinginterviewshefurthershared,"Iusedtohaveadiary.AndIwould
alwayswriteaboutjusthowmydaywentandthat'sbasicallyit."Now15yearsold,Ninastillusedpenandpapertofocusonherinternallifeworld.Shewroteto
processemotion,explaininghow"IfI'mdownIwouldwritesomuch....ButifI'minagoodmoodIwouldn'twrite."Insteadofadiary,Ninanowwroteonsheetsof
paperatanypointshefeltanemotionalneed.Sheusedtokeepthesepapersthatcontainedherprivatethoughtsonherdeskorelsewhereinherbedroom.Butshe
hadstoppeddoingsoas"onetimeIkeptitinmydesk[and]thenextthingIknowIleftitthereandmymomreadit."Consequently,toensureherprivacy,shewould
now"writeitanywhere[butthen]getridofit."
Molly'sWritingPedagogyasApprenticeship
NinaenteredMolly'sclassroomat15yearsofage.Molly'spedagogicgoalsforthefirstsemesterweretofacilitatestudents'recognitionoftheirexistingpracticesand
identitiesaswritersasawaytoeasetheirentryintoacademicwritingpracticesandidentities.AsMollytoldme,forthefirstclassmagazineshe"haskidswritingin
thereinallsortsofways....[I]t'sjustcelebrate,celebrate,celebrate,lookatyourstory,lookhowgoodyourstoryis"(FieldNotes,12/01/2009).Thesegoalscanbe
viewedasameansofapprenticingstudentsintomembershipinaliteracyclassroombystressingtheinterconnectednessofdifferentworldsofliteracypracticetowhich
theybelonged.OneexampledemonstrateshowMollyenactedthispedagogyofapprenticeship.
Justassheusedwritingoutsideschoolasatoolforexploringheremotionalstates,NinausedwritinginMolly'sclassroomforthiskindofreflection.Asshecommented
inhersecondinterview,"MissMollyalwaystellsmewhenyou'redownitreallyhelpstowrite."Accordingly,oneday,Ninahadhadanargumentwithherboyfriend,and
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shewroteinherclassjournaltoprocessheremotionsaroundthisincident.AlthoughMollyreadstudents'journalsaspartofherassessmentsystem,studentsknew
theycouldindicatewhichjournalentriestheydidnotwanthertoreadandshehonoredtheirrequests.Inthiscase,however,Ninawrotethisentryduringaclass
periodwhentheacademictaskwasforstudentstocontinuedevelopingtheirstoriesforthefirstsemesterclassmagazine.Ninahadnotyetbegunthisworkthatshe
understoodtobeanacademictask,"anessay"for"aprojectgrade."Incirculatingtheroomtocheckonstudents'progress,MollyarrivedatNina'sdesk,assumedthis
pieceofwritingwasNina's"story,"andreadit.Ninaexplained:
Thatwasn'tevensupposedtobemyprojectbutIdothatalot.IwritewhenI'msadandIexpresshowIfeelandlikeit'sjustsocrazy.Igetintoitlikereallydeeplike
that.Andonetimewehadtodolikeanessay.Itwasaprojectgradeandshethoughtthatwasmyproject,howIfelt.AndIwaslike,"Oh,myGod,youweren't
supposedtoreadthat!"(Interview2)
SeeingthatNinaalreadyhadwrittenapoignantandlengthyjournalentry,Mollyencouragedhertoworkwiththistextashercontributiontotheclassmagazine.Nina
reportedhowMollyrespondedtowhatshehadwrittenwithenthusiasmandencouragement."[MissMolly's]like,'Thisisperfect!Youcouldusethis'"(Interview2).
NinainitiallyexpressedsurpriseandhesitationatMolly'sassurancethatthistextwassuitableforundertakingwhattoherwasanacademictask."Iwaslike,'Oh
really?'She'slike,'Yeah.'AndthenIwas...'Okay,I'lldoit'"(Interview2).Ninahighlightedthehybridpersonalacademicnatureofthisprocessandresultanttext.
We[had]towriteourownstoriesandmeandmyboyfriend...webrokeup....AndIwasreallysad[and]wehadtowriteaboutsomething.Imeananythingwe
wantbutyetithastohaveaspecificthinginthere.AndIdidn'tevenfeellikewriting.Ievenwroteonthepaper,"Ican'tevenwriterightnowbecauseI'msohurt.
LikeitsucksthatIhavetowritebutokay,I'mdoingitformyproject."AndIwrotehowIfelt...likethere'sthisonepartwhereIsaid,"Ifeelforhim,it'sjustmore
thanjustfeelings.It'slike...waytoomuch."IreallylikewritingwhenI'mlike,amsad.Icanwritealot.IcanwritelikeafivepagethingifIwant.(Interview2)
Reflectingthesituatedpracticeofmultiliteraciespedagogy(NewLondonGroup,1996),MollylegitimizedNina'sromanticlifeworldasanappropriatetoolwithwhich
towriteandenteranacademicliteracycommunity.PortrayingthetransformedpracticetheNewLondonGrouparguedwastheoutcomeofthispedagogy,Nina
transferredherromanticlifeworldintotheclassroomandinfusedherownwritingidentityandpracticesintotheacademiccontext.
Positioning
Ninahadtakenonthepracticesandidentityofawriterthroughherownactionsandselfpositioningaswellasthepositioningofothers.Ninarecalledhow,asearlyas
thefourthgrade,shedevelopedconfidenceshewasawriterfromherliteracyteacherpositioningherinthisway.
InfourthgradeIwaslikethetoponeoutofeveryoneinmywritingbecausewewouldhavetowritelittleessays...andIremembertheteacherwouldsaylike,"Oh,
Nina,she'sthetopone.She'sthebestatthis."Andsheevenputitupandeverything.ItmademefeellikeI'mawriter.ItmademefeelthatIcanreallywritethen.I
rememberIwasjustsogoodatit.Iwassoproud!Likeitwasn'tevenfunny.Iwaslike,"Man,Iwanttobewritingnow!"(Interview2)
Illustratingherowncontinuedselfpositioningasawriter,Ninahadcontinuedwritinginheroutsideschoollifebeyondfourthgradeandshepointedtothisasevidence
ofherdeepaffinityforwriting."IreallydolikewritingbecauseIusedtojustwrite.AfterfourthgradeIusedtojustwritefortheheckofit."
Nina'swritingpracticesandidentityhadfurtherbeenshapedbyhowhernativelanguagehadbeenpositionedintheworldofschool,andhowshehadbeenpositioned
inschool,inrelationtoSpanish.ForthisMexicanAmericanyouth,whomadeintentionaleffortstoholdontoherhomelanguage,schoolinghad,inherexperience,
oftenbeenlinguisticallysubtractive(Valenzuela,1999).Ninareported:
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IusedtobeinnativeSpanishclass.Youknownativeislikethehighest.YouhavetowriteSpanish.YouhavetoreadSpanish....AndIcouldn'tdoit....Anditwas
sohardforme.IwentbacktoeasySpanish.AndIwaslike,"thissucks!Thatclassistooeasyformeandthenative,it'stoohardforme."(Interview1)
Likewise,NinawasplacedinanESLEnglishclass."It'sEnglish...forimmigrants....Idon'tevenknowwhyI'minthatclassbecauseIknowperfectEnglishasyou
cantell"(Interview1).Asidentityformingorpositioningagents(Apple,1980Davies&Harr,1990)schoolswerecomplicitinstrippingNinaofavaluablelinguistic
resourceforliteracylearning.Animportanttenetofcriticalracetheoryisthevalueofthestoriesindividualstelloftheirexperienceswithracismanddiscrimination.
Thesenarrativesbecomecounterstoriestograndnarrativesofprogressthatobscureongoingoppressionpeopleofcolorexperience(Delgado&Stefancic,2001Tate,
1997).AsIwilllatershow,NinausedwritinginMolly'sclassroomtotellacounterstoryaboutthesignificantroleofSpanishinherwritingpracticesacrosslifeworlds.
Molly'sWritingPedagogyasPositioning
Nina'snarrativeofhowshehadbeenpositionedasawriterbyherselfandbyotherslulledafterfourthgradebutregainedmomentumatthepointsheenteredMolly's
class."AndthenIgettoMissMolly'sclassandI'mlike,'Wow!Iactuallylikewriting.'IreallystartednoticingthatIlikewritingthisyearinMissMolly'sclass."Assuch,
shemorefirmlypositionedherselfasawriterfromtransactingwithMolly'swritingpedagogyofmultiliteracies.Ninaprofessed,"Iloveit.IfeellikeIlovewriting
whenI'minherclass.Whenit'sinanotherclass,itjustdoesn'tfeellikeI'minMissMolly's"(Interview2).
Molly'swritingpedagogyinvolvedpositioningstudentsaswritersandpositioningtheirmultiplelanguageandliteracypracticesasessentialtoolsforaccessing
academicliteraciesandidentities.Onesubstantialwritingeventwastheclassmagazine.Towardthemiddleofeachsemester,theclassembarkedonthiscollaborative
writingproject.Studentsreturnedtoearlierwritingaspossiblesourcesofinspirationforalongerpiecetheywouldcontribute.Thiswasanintensiveprocessentailing
weeksofinstruction,writing,andrevision.Oneday,Mollygaveaminilessonontheliteraryeffectof"zoomingin."Afterthisminilesson,studentsweretocontinue
revisingtheirstoriesfortheclassmagazine,payingspecialattentionto"zoomingin"onapoignantmomentintheirnarratives.
[Molly]saystotheclass,Iwantyoutozoominonamomentinyourstory.Someofyouhavecamerasonyourphone.Youcanzoomin...raindropsonthepetals..
.writersdothat.Sheputsupastoryofastudentinanotherclassontheoverhead.Shesays,"ThisisYaris'[story]...seeifyoucanfindthemomentinherstory,
"Thedaymygrandpadied."...Kandace:"Miss,shewriteslikeshe'stexting."MollyreadsfromYaris'story.ThereisalineaboutblueveinsinYaris'Grandpa'shands.
Kandace:"Icanpicturethat,hishands."NinarubsherfingerstogetherandlooksovertoLydia.Lydiasays,"Icansmellthecigarettes."SheandNinalaugh.(Field
Notes,11/20/09)
Above,inalignmentwithsituatedpractice(NewLondonGroup,1996),Mollyconnectedthewriterlyskillof"zoomingin"tostudents'knowledgeandusesoftheircell
phones,atoolwithwhichtheypracticemanyformsofliteracy.Mollyfurtherpositionedstudentsaswriters,"youcanzoomin...writersdothat."Sheusedan
exampleofstudentworktoimpressuponNinaandherpeersthattheyarecapableofmasteringthisacademicskill.Themodelofstudentworksheselectedcontained
theunofficiallanguagestudentsusedfortexting,andthissanctioningoftheirunofficialsociallanguagewasnoticedbyKandace.Thisinstructionalmomentalso
containedtheelementofovertinstruction(NewLondonGroup,1996).Mollyhereattendedtofacilitatingstudents'developmentofametalanguageofdesign,allowing
themtoidentifyandanalyzetheliterarytoolofzoominginasameansofenhancingthemeaningsintheirtexts.Kandace,Lydia,andNina,fromtheirresponses,
seemedtogetastrongsenseofwhatitmeansto"zoomin."
RecruitingMultiliteraciesWritingPractices

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ThedigitalliteraciesMollyinvitedintotheclassroomflourishedinNina'soutsideschoolmultiliteraciespractices.Asshegrewolder,inadditiontojournalinginadiary
andonsheetsofpaper,Ninaappropriatednewtechnologiesforwriting.Inhersecondinterview,Ninadescribedhowherwritingpracticeshadexpandedtoinclude
digitalliteracies.NinafrequentedMySpace"everyotherdayforaboutanhour"andsaideveryonewastellinghersheshouldgetonFacebook.Aprolificuserof
MySpace,Ninacounted500friendsonthisnetwork,andsoshemaintainedanactivewritinglifetomanagesuchanexpansiveassociation.Illustratinghowdigital
literacieshadinfluencedherfamily'swritingpractices,NinaandhermotherhadbegunusinginstantmessagingtocommunicatewithfamilyinMexicoandHonduras,
findingitmoreconvenientandeconomicalthanusingthetelephoneorwritingletters.
Ninafurtherreportedhowtextmessaginghadreplacedherfamily'spreviouscommunicationsthroughhandwrittennotes.Bythetimeshehadtakenonaroleofa
seasonedmemberinthiswritingcommunityofpractice(Wenger,1998),herfamilyhadmoveditscommunicationpracticesintothedigitalrealm,usingtext
messaging,particularlytokeepinformedofeachother'swhereabouts.Textmessagingwasusedinjudiciousandthoughtfulways,however.Nina'sfamilyphonedeach
otherwhenmoreextensiveconversationwasneeded.Forinstance,duringthehomevisit,Ninashowedmeshorttextmessagesonherphonefromhersister,directing
herto"feedMijo,"hernephewandanotherthatread"whenucomin."Sheclarifiedthatwhenshehadtoadministermedicinetohernepheworgenerallydo"stuffto
takecareofhim"shecalledhermotherforadvice.Shealsocalledhermotherforadvicewhenhernephewandlittlebrotherwere"bugging"heraboutplayingtheWii
becauseshewasconcernedtheywereprobablyoverindulginginthevideogame.
Inthehomevisitconversation,Ninaclaimedtohavehad"likesixphoneswhenIwasin6th,7thgrade."Aprolificwriteroftextmessages,Ninawaswithouthercell
phoneonlyontheoccasionswhenhermotherhadconfiscateditbecauseshehadengagedinwhathermotherconsideredegregiousbehavior.Thecauseforanother
extendedseparationofafewweekswaswhenshelostherphoneduringavisittoMexico.Apartfromthoseperiods,eachtimeIobservedNina'sreadingclass,I
noticedshekepthercellphoneonherdesk,concealedbyabookorbackpack,orinplainviewwhenherteacherallowed,andsentandreceivedtextmessages.
RecruitingMultilingualRepertoires
TracesofthesociallanguageNinaandherpeerscreatedfortextingthatboreAAEnuances("whenucomin")andhernativelanguageofSpanish("feedMijo")made
naturalappearancesinNina'smultiliteracieswritingpractices.Pervasivetextingandonlinesocialnetworkingpracticesamongtheseyouthhadgeneratedanewsocial
language(Bartonetal.,2000)thatcombinedphoneticallyspelledEnglishandSpanishwords,StandardEnglishandSpanishspellings,AAEandSpanglish,emoticons,
andaliberalandunconventionaluseofpunctuationandcapitalizationforaddingemphasistotheirwords.Forexample,Ninaofteninsertedextralettersintowords
suchas"friendd,""theree,""birthdayy,""forgott,""yesss,""umm,"and"okkkk,"inadditiontousingmoreconventionaltextmessagingabbreviationslike"cuz"and
"lol"andsignssuchas(:.Shehadcreatedasignatureforsigninghertextmessagesthatwasacombinationoflettersofherandherboyfriend'snameandamonth
anddate.TheselinguisticmoveswereevidenceofNina'sandherpeers'manipulationofavailablelinguisticdesignsthattheyredesignedtosignaltheirownidentities
andused,inkeepingwithtransformedpractice,fortheirownpurposesinschoolandoutofschoolcontexts(NewLondonGroup,1996).
Molly'sWritingPedagogyasRecruitmentofMultiliteraciesWritingPractices
Mollyinitiatedinstructionalconversationsabouthowstudents'multiliteracieswritingpracticesrelatedtowritinginschool.Theseconversationslegitimizedoutof
schoolliteracypracticesasofficialcurriculum.Students'multiliteraciesservedasboundaryobjects(Bowker&Star,1999Wenger,1998),locatedatthebordersof
divergentactivitysystemsandsociopoliticalvaluingsystems,brokeringthepracticesanddiscoursesofeverydaylifeintoschoolsettings.Thesediscussionscanalsobe
viewedastheelementsofsituatedpracticeandcriticalframing(NewLondonGroup,1996)thatencouragedstudentstothinkaboutthesocioculturally,historically,and
politicallysituatedmeaningsinherentintheideologicaldivisionserectedbetweenschoolandoutsideschoolliteracypractices.Furthermore,inkeepingwithovert
instruction(NewLondonGroup,1996),Mollydrewonstudents'socialwritingpracticeswhenteachingacademicwritingconventions.Whenteachingpunctuationwithin
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thecontextofrevisingtheirstoriesfortheclassmagazine,Mollysaidtostudents,"Someofyouguys,Ithinkwhenyou'retyping,youforgettotypeinperiods.Maybe
it'swhenyoutext.Doyouusepunctuationwhenyoutext?"Kandacereplied,"no,"Ninaanswered,"Ido,"andLydiasaid,"Idotoo."Ninaelaborated,"Ionlyuse
apostropheandexclamation.IjustuseacommawheneverIwant"(FieldNotes,12/01/09).
Here,Mollysoughttolearnfromstudentswhetherthedimensionsofaparticularoutofschoolliteracypracticeperhapsaffectedtheirunderstandingsandusesof
certainacademicconventions.Thispedagogicalmove,asdescribedinthesectionabove,alsopositionedstudents,inkeepingwithresearch,asthoughtfuland
deliberatewritersoftextmessageswhohadprocessesandstrategiesforpunctuationandothermechanicsinthisgenre(Baron&Ling,2011).Inkeepingwithovert
instruction,wherestudentsidentifythetoolsandprocessesavailablefordesignandthecontextsforwhichdifferenttoolsareeffective,Mollysuggestedthatlikewise,
therewereacademicconventionsandstrategiesthatshouldberecognizedwhenpunctuatingformalwritinginschool.Afterestablishingthisconnection,Mollywenton
toteachstandardpunctuationconventions.
Inanotherinstructionalevent,whenMollytaughtstudentsaboutparagraphing,shealsodirectedthemtothinkabouttheirdigitalcomposing.Duringtheperiodwhen
studentsweretypinguptheirhandwrittenversionsoftheirstoriesforthefirstclassmagazine,MollyvisitedNinaathercomputertotalkaboutparagraphing.Nina's
"story,"asdescribedearlier,wasajournalentryprocessingheremotionsaroundanargumentshehadwithherboyfriend.IdocumentedNina'sandMolly'sinteractions
inmyfieldnotes.
Mollyhasherworkonbreakingthetextintoparagraphs.SheasksNinawouldallofthis[paragraph]fitona[phone]screen.Ninasaysnobutifshehadtobreakitup
thatwaytherewouldonlybeacoupleoflinesforeachparagraph.Theytalkaboutbreakingthetextatplaceswhereshe'schangingthesubject.Shestartsdoingthat.
(FieldNotes,12/01/09)
Above,MollysituatedNina'sjournalentrywithintheoriginallifeworldforwhichitwasintended.ShedidsobyaskingifNinaweretosendthisnarrativeasatext
messagetoherboyfriend,howwouldshebreakitupsincetheentiremessagewouldnotfitontoacellphonescreen.However,theliteracypracticeoftextmessaging
didnotmapeasilyontotheschoolformsofparagraphingthatMollywasteaching.Ninaremarkedthescreenwouldnotholdenoughtexttomakeit"count"asa
paragraphinaschoolsense.Acknowledgingtheuntenableconnection,Mollyreturnedtoherearlierinstructionalsuggestionthatanewparagraphbeginseverytimea
newsubjectisintroduced.AsFigure1shows,Ninaconsentedandseparatedhertextintochunksthatareclosertothelengthandtopicalarrangementofparagraphsin
aschoolessay.
Molly'sWritingPedagogyasRecruitmentofMultilingualRepertoires
ThetypedjournalentryinFigure1alsoshowsthatNinausedtheinventedlanguagefortextingastheprimarylanguageofthistext.Movingfromthepaper
compositionpagetothecomputerscreen,Ninasubstitutedtheinformalsociallanguagewithwhichstudentstextedontheircellphonescreensforthemoreformal
Englishthatsheusedinwritingthisjournalonnotebookpaper.MollyacceptedthistextinglanguagebuturgedNinatoaddafewlinesinSE"forthatsortofeffect."I
interpretedMolly'sintentionasanefforttoaddressreaderswhomightquestionwhysheacceptedastudentwritinginthisunofficiallanguageforanacademicwriting
task:astoryforaclassmagazine.Theclassmagazinecanbeconceptualizedasaboundaryobject(Bowker&Star,1999Wenger,1998)thatwouldinteractwiththe
largerliteracycontextoftheirschoolanditsattendantideologiesandpracticesofacademicliteracythustheneedforthattexttobeabletospeakacrossconstellations
ofliteracycommunitiesofpractice.
MyfinalexampledemonstratesevenmorepowerfullyhowMolly'swritingpedagogysupportedstudents,inevermoreproductiveways,inrecruitingtheirlinguistic
repertoiresforbuildingwritingpracticesandidentitiesinschool.Forthesecondclassmagazine,Ninaproducedatext(seeFigure2)thatreclaimedasignificantrolefor
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hernativeSpanishintheworldofschoolthathadhistoricallysubtractedfromherlinguisticresources(Valenzuela,1999).Acompositionthatunderwentthreeweeksof
writingandrevision,Nina'stextwasaconvincingdisplayofhow,underthetutelageofherteacher'swritingpedagogy,shesuccessfullydrewuponherlinguistic
repertoire,andtheidentitiesboundupwithinit,toproduceacademicwork.
Astools,Nina'slinguisticrepertoiresfromacrosslifeworldsservedadualpurposetosignalherlinguistic,cultural,andsocialidentitiesandamoreacademicpurposeof
composingaliterarywork.ThetopicofthetextmadeevidentthecentralityoffamilyinNina'slife,thenandnowthenarrativewasaboutthelifeanddeathofthe
bedrockofherfamily,hergreatgrandmother,whomNinainterchangeablycalledGrandma.Furthermore,thestorytookplaceinthebordertowninwhichNinawas
born.Groundedinherbordercrossingexperiences,thecharactersinNina'sstorycrossedspatial,ideological,andmetaphysicalboundariesoverthemanyyearsher
storyspans.Furtherdrawinginheridentity,theimportanceofherrelationshipwithGodwasalsoakeyfeatureofthistext.Ninaemployedlinguistictoolstoprivilege
thisrelationship:herpurposefulcapitalizationof"GOD"emphasizedtheimportanceofhergreatgrandmother's,andsubsequentlyherown,relationshipwithGod.The
referencestomusicanddancinginchurchalsosuggestedanearlyaffinityformultiliteratepracticessuchasdance.Finally,andofgreatimportance,Nina,whose
schoolingexperienceshaddeniedheropportunitiestobuilduponherhomelanguage,reclaimedasignificantroleforSpanishinthistext.TheLatina/ocharactersinher
storyspeakconfidentlyandinterchangeablyinSpanishandEnglish,andNinafullycontrolledthelanguageofthefirstpersonnarratorherselfandthecharactersshe
created.Thehybridityofidentities,literacies,andlanguagesinNina'stextreflectedMolly'swritingpedagogyofmultiliteraciesthatencouragedstudentstorecruit
multipleliteracies,languages,andidentitiesforwritinginschool.
Discussion
Threeresearchquestionsguidedmyinquiry:Howdidanadolescentdescribeherwritingpracticesandidentities?Howdidaliteracyteacher'swritingpedagogy
supporttheyouthinbuildingherwritingpracticesandidentities?And,howdothosedescriptionsinformtheoreticalunderstandingsabouttheprocessesinvolvedin
buildingwritingpracticesandidentities?Iposedthesequestionsbecauseinexaminingthemultiliteraciesinformedliteratureonyouths'writingpractices(e.g.,Black,
2005,2009Lam&RosarioRamos,2009Yi,2008)Ifoundlittledescriptionofthedimensionsinvolvedinyouths'developmentofwritingpracticesandidentities.Such
knowledgeiscriticalbecauseitcanenableyouthandthosewhoworkwiththemtomorestrategicallybuildtheirliteratestrengths.
Myanalysisdiscoveredthat,forNina,theprocessofbuildingwritingpracticesandidentityinvolvedconcurrentapprenticeshipsintoconstellationsofwriting
communitiesofpractice(Wenger,1998)oraffinitygroups(Gee,2007)whereshegrewinherunderstandingsabout,dispositionstoward,andpracticesofwriting.
Thesecommunitiesincludedhome,school,andvirtualsocialworlds.Multiliteraciesinformedstudieshaveshowntheimportanceofoneoranotheraffinitygroupto
youthwriters.Buildinguponthiswork,Ihavebothdemonstratedandtheorizedthesignificanceofyoungpeople'sapprenticeshipintomultipleandinterconnected
writingcommunitiesofpracticethatvaluedifferenttools,purposes,processes,andoutcomesindevelopingwritingidentitiesandpractices.
Myanalysisidentifiedpositioning(Davies&Harr,1990Harr&vanLagenhove,1999)asanotherdimensionoftheprocessthroughwhichyouthbuildwritingidentity.
Overtimeandacrosscontexts,Ninawaspositionedasalegitimatememberofawritingcommunityinherfamilybyoldermemberssuchashermother,andinschool
byherteachers.Inschool,itwasespeciallyclearhowNinarespondedtoherearlyliteracyteacher'spositioningofherasawriter.Suchpositioningbyherteacher
assistedNinainclaiminganidentityofwriter.YetNinaalsomaintainedthisselfpositioningbycontinuingtowriteonherownoutsideschoolandaffirmingtoherself
thatshewasawriter.Herwritingpracticeslegitimatedaswellasstrengthenedthisselfpositioningasawriter.Multiliteraciesinformedscholarshiphasportrayedhow
youngpeopleaffirmeachother'swritingidentitiesandabilitiesindigitalandotheroutsideschoolspaces(e.g.,Yi,2008).Myanalysishasbothillustratedandtheorized
theimportanceofhistoricalandcontemporarypositioning,withinandacrossvariedwritingcontexts,andofhistoricalandcontemporarypositioning,notjustbypeers,
butbyselfandsignificantadults,inyouths'buildingofwritingidentitiesandpractices.

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Scholarsfollowingthemultiliteraciestraditionoftenfocusonthewritingyouthdoindigitalvenues(Black,2005,2009Yi,2008).Amultiliteracieslens,however,is
intendedtocapturethefullrangeoftools,spaces,purposes,processes,andoutcomesofliteracypractice(NewLondonGroup,1996).Ninausedavarietyofwriting
technologiespenandpaperaswellasdigitaltoolsacrossdifferentwritingcommunitiesofpracticeoraffinitygroupshome,school,anddigitalworldstobuildher
writingidentityandpractices.Shealsowrotefornumerouspurposes.Sheusedwritingtoovercomebordersandsustainrelationships(Ninaandhermotherwritingto
herincarcerateduncle,Ninawritingaboutherfather),enableselfreflection(writingwhensheisdown),andfacilitatefunctionalcommunicationamongherfamily.The
multiliteracieslensappliedinthisanalysishasexpansivelyportrayedthemultiliteratewritinglifeofayoungwoman,showcasingitmorefullyratherthanzoomingin
onjustonetoolorcontextofwritingpractice.
Thelinguisticrepertoiresyouthdrawuponinwritinghavebeenthesubjectofthis,andother,studiesinformedbymultiliteraciesthinking.WithEnglishlanguage
learners,researchershavemostlyinquiredintohowtheyusedigitalliteraciestolearnEnglish(e.g.,Yi,2008).Myanalysishasexpandedmultiliterateyouths'linguistic
repertoirestoincludemorethanjustofficiallanguages.Nina'slinguisticrepertoiresincludedofficiallanguages,hybridformsofdifferentlanguages,andinventedyouth
languages.Furthermore,IdemonstratedhowNina'smultilingualpracticeswerejointlydevelopedanddeployedwithhermultiliteraciespractices.Hence,myanalysis
hasshowntheinterconnectionsamongmultilingualandmultiliteraciespracticesbyillustratinghowamultilingualandmultiliterateyouthcombinedherbroad
repertoireoflanguagesandothersemioticsystemsinbuildingherwritingcapacitiesandidentities.
Multiliteraciesscholarshaveforwardedsomeconvincingsuggestionsofhowyoungpeople'smultiliteratepracticesmaybeproductivelyharnessedtotheliteracywork
ofschool(e.g.,Black&Steinekuhler,2009).Andteacherresearchershaveofferedsomeimportantexamplesofhowtheydrewononeoranotheroftheirstudents'
outsideschoolmultiliteraciespracticesinteachingaparticularsetofacademicskills(e.g.,Weinstein,2007West,2008).Multiliteraciespedagogy,however,
requiresasustainedapproachasstudentsandtheirteacherscontinuouslycyclethroughtheelementsofsituatedpractice,overtinstruction,andcriticalframingthat
invitetransformedpractice.Asustainedmultiliteraciespedagogicalapproachdemandstheorizing,design,application,andcontinuousrevisionofcurriculumand
instruction.Itrequireslongitudinalinquirybystudents,teacherresearchers,andeducationalresearchers(Kalantzis,Cope,&LearningbyDesignProjectGroup,2005
Skerrett&Bomer,2011).Onlysocanteachersandstudentsfullyapprenticethemselvesintothissystemofliteracylearning.Fullapprenticeshipequipsmembersto
learndeeplyinandfromtheirpractice,theorizeandmodifytheirtoolsofpractice,andcontributetoallparticipants'growthinrelatedconstellationsofpractice
(Wenger,1998).
Movingbeyondboundedcurricularunitsofbriefduration,IhavedrawnfromMolly'spedagogyofmultiliteraciesacrossanentireschoolyeartoportrayhowsheand
herstudentsbecameincreasinglysophisticatedmembersofaliteracycommunitythatadheredtomultiliteraciesthinking.Beyondconsideringhowteachersmay
enactapedagogyofmultiliteracies,Ihaveshownsuchapedagogyinaction.Molly'spedagogicalinnovationsinconnectingstudents'usesoftheircellphones'
camerastotheliterarycraftofzoomingin,andherinterrelatingsplicingoftextacrossdigitalandpapercompositionsurfaces,portrayoneteacher'seffortstotheorize
andapplymultiliteraciespedagogy.Aswell,students'transactionswithlanguageandothersemioticsastheirtextsmovedacrossdifferentcomposingsurfacesand
wereredesignedfordifferentpurposesandaudiencessuggesttheircapabilitiesofparticipatinginsuchtheoreticalandpracticalinquiries.Mollyandherstudentswere
developingandtestinghypothesesrelatedtotentativeconnectionsamonginandoutofschoolliteracies.Theyadvancedandretreatedintheirmovesoftryingtomap
schoolliteraciesontooutsideschoolpractices.Studentsportrayedauthenticengagementwithinstructionalconversationsthathighlightedtheiroutsideschoollanguage
andliteracypracticesaslearningtoolsforschool.Theyofferedconfidentinsightsabouttheformsandpurposesoftheiroutofschoollanguageandliteracypractices
andtheextenttowhichtheymirroredordivergedfromacademicliteracywork.
Implications
Understandingthedimensionsoftheprocessesinvolvedinbuildingliterateidentityandpracticescanassistteachersincreatingschoolliteracyenvironmentsthat
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supportyouthintheseendeavors.Inaclassroomofbilingualormultilingualandmultiliteratestudents,suchapedagogywouldinvolvestudentsconductinginquiry
intotheirhistoricalandongoingtransactionswithlanguagesandliteraciesacrossthecontextsoftheirlives.Somewaysinwhichstudentscanstudytheirinterrelated
andconstantlyevolvingmultilingualandmultiliterateidentitiesandpracticesincludewritingmemoirsinterviewingfamily,communitymembers,andpeersabout
languageandliteracypracticeskeepinglogsoflanguageandliteracyactivityacrosssettingsandcollectingandanalyzinghistoricalandcontemporarylanguageand
literacyartifacts.Suchinquirycouldrunparalleltotheofficialcurriculumacrossaschoolyear,allowingteachersandstudentstodocumentandreflectonhowtheyare
growingasusersofmultiplelanguagesandliteraciesacrossthecontextsoftheirlives.
Anotherimplicationofthisanalysisisthat,inkeepingwithtransformedpractice,literacyteachersmustattendtoenrichingtheoutsideschoolliteratepracticesand
identitiesofyouth.Thiswouldentailhelpingyouthidentifyandbuildothermeaningfulcontexts,practices,andrelationshipsintowhichtheycanextendtheirlanguage
andliteracypractices.Encouragingyoungpeople'sparticipationinmultipleinterconnectedcommunitiesofsubstantiveliteracylearninghome,church,community
programs,friendshipnetworks,privatelivesprovidesnumerousopportunitiestofosterliterateidentities.Suchreciprocitysendsaclearsignaltoyouththattheir
teachersvaluethewholelandscapeoftheirliteratelives.Sowingintoyouths'outsideschoollanguageandliteracypracticesalsoenablesliteracyclassroomsto
continuouslyharvestfreshquestionsabout,andinsightsinto,expandingmultilingualandmultiliteratepractices.
Forliteracyscholarsworkingwithintheoriesofliteracyassocialpractice,myanalysissuggeststheneedtoeducateandworkalongsideliteracyteachersandtheir
studentsastheycyclethroughtheorizing,designing,implementing,critiquing,andrevisingtheirpedagogiesofmultiliteracies.Thisapproachavoidsthecooptation
ofyouths'languageandliteracypracticesforschoolpurposes(Gustavson,2007)asstudentsandteachersarecurriculumleadersinmultiliteraciespedagogy.Inan
erainwhichteachersareunderincreasingsurveillanceforadherencetotightlycontrolledofficialcurriculum,suchaproposalmayappearriskyornave.Idisagree.My
workwithsecondaryEnglishpreserviceteachers(Skerrett,2011)andwithinserviceteachers(Skerrett&Bomer,2011)andthatofotherteachereducatorsand
researchers(e.g.,Bomer2011)demonstratestheveryrealpossibilitiesfordoingthiswork.Oneassertionacrossthesestudiesisthatresearchersandteachersseeking
toembarkonsuchworkmustdothesocial,political,andintellectualworkofteacherleadershipininfluencingthethinkingandpracticesoftheircolleaguesand
administratorsinthecommunitiesofliteracypracticeorbitingtheirclassroomdoors.
Furthermore,thisresearchagendamustbecarriedoutsideclassroomsandschooldoors.Knowledgeabouthowyouthcometodeveloptheirexpansiverepertoiresof
languageandliteracypracticesandattendantidentitiesisbestattainedbytakingthelongandunchartablejourneywiththeyoungpeoplewhoinformus.Onlythencan
weapproachseeingandknowingthemmorefully,thusenablingustoconsideralongwiththemandtheirteachershowschoolliteracyenvironmentsmaybetter
supporttheirliteracydevelopment.
SIDEBAR
Digitalcommunicationsprovidevenuesforyouthtoengagethoughtfullyandcreativelywithwrittenlanguageskillsthatcanbebeneficialtowritinginschool.
Throughsustainedovertinstruction,Mollyillustratedforstudentshowtheirunderstandingsof,andpracticeswith,multiplelanguagesandliteraciescouldfacilitatetheir
learningofacademicliteracies.
Ninawaspositionedasalegitimatememberofawritingcommunityinherfamilybyoldermemberssuchashermother,andinschoolbyherteachers.
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Lee,C.(2007).Culture,literacy,andlearning:Takingbloominthemidstofthewhirlwind.NewYork:TeachersCollegePress.
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AUTHOR_AFFILIATION
AllisonSkerrettisanassociateprofessorintheDepartmentofCurriculumandInstructionatTheUniversityofTexasatAustin.Herteachingandresearchinterests
includesecondaryEnglishcurriculum,adolescentliteracy,andsocioculturalinfluencesonteachingandlearning.
APPENDIX
AppendixA
InterviewProtocol:GeneralIntroduction
1.Ithoughtwewouldstartbyaskingyoutotellmealittleaboutyourselfandyourbackground,justlikewhateveryouwouldliketoshareyourage,howmany
brothersandsistersyouhave,howlongyou'velivedin[thiscity].
2.Howlonghaveyoubeenat[thishighschool]?Isthisthefirsthighschoolyou'veattended?Howis[thishighschool]similartoordifferentfromotherhighschoolsor
middleschoolsyou'veattended?
3.Whicharetheclassesorsubjectsyouenjoymost?Why?
4.Whichclassesorsubjectsdoyouliketheleast?Whatdoyoudislikeaboutthem?
5.Whatwouldyousayyou'rereallygoodatinschool?Inyourschoolwork?
6.Whatpartsofschoolorschoolworkishardforyou?
7.Whatkindsofactivitiesdoyoutakepartinoutsideofschool?
8.Howoften?When?Withwhom?Wheredoyoudothesethings?
9.Whatareyoufavoriteactivities?Whataboutthemissoenjoyable?

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10.Whichactivitiesareyoureallygoodat?
11.Whatdoesittaketobereallygoodatthoseactivities?Whatdoyoudotokeepgettingbetter?
12.Isreadingandwritingpartofthoseactivitiesthatyouenjoydoing?Whatkindsofreadingandwritingareinvolvedinthoseactivities?
13.Whatothertimesdoyoudoreadingandwritingoutsideofschool?(Promptabouthomeworkwiththisquestion.)
14.Doyougettotalkaboutorlearnmoreaboutyourfavoriteactivitiesinyourclassesatschool?
15.Whenyouaredoingyourschoolwork,arethereevertimeswhenitmakesyouthinkaboutotherkindsofactivitiesthatyoutakepartin?
16.Dothethingsyoulearninschoolhelpyougetbetterattheactivitiesyouenjoydoingoutsideofschool?Ifyes,how?
AppendixB
InterviewProtocol:Reading
1.IwanttounderstandeverythingIcanaboutyouasareader,soifyouweregoingtoletsomeoneknowaboutyourselfasareader,whatwouldyouwanttotell
them?
2.Whatlanguagesdoyouspeakorunderstand?Whospeakswhatlanguagetowhominyourhome?Doyouhaveaccesstobooks,newspapersinSpanish,ordoyou
readanySpanishwebsites?
3.Whendoyourememberfirstnoticingreading?Whatdoyourememberaboutyourearliestexperiencesofreading?
4.Didsomeonereadtoyou?Whatwasthatlike?
5.Didyouhavebooks?
6.Whathavebeenyourexperiencesofreadinginschool?
7.Whatareyourmemoriesofreadingoutsideschoolatdifferenttimesinyourlife?
8.Whatdoyourememberaboutyourelders'reading?
9.Whereinyourhousedoyouread?Whereinschoolorotherbuildings?
10.Howdoyoucarryaroundsomethingyou'rereading?
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11.Wherearethebooksinyourhouse?
12.Ifyouweregoingtosetyourselfupfortheverybestsessionofreadingyoucouldpossiblyhave,whatwouldthatbelike?(Prompts:light,sound,bodyposition
food/drinkneedtowiggleproximitytootherpeopledurationofreadingsession.)
13.Whatwouldyourverybestexperienceofreadinginsideschoolbelike?
14.Whenyouarereading,whatkindsofthingsdoyoulike?Whatgivesyoupleasureinatext?
15.Isthereacertainkindofrelationshipyoupreferbetweenthetextandyourlifeandthepeopleyouknow?Doyoupreferifthebookremindsyouofpeopleyou
knowandthingsyouknowaboutordoyoulikeitbetterifabookisaboutsituationsandkindsofpeoplethatyouhaven'texperiencedinreallife?
16.Istherelanguagethatpleasesyou?(Followupifneededwith:Tellmeaboutabookyoureadthatyoureallyenjoyedtheauthor'swritingstylehischoiceofwords,
thewayheusedlanguage.)
17.Whatkindsofgenresdoyoulikereadingbest(suggestdifferentgenresifnecessary)?
18.Aretheretimeswhenyouhavetheimpulsetotrywritinginasimilarwayassomethingyou'veread?(e.g.,poetryorashortstory)
19.Sostayingwiththatsameideaofpleasure,thethingsyoulike,whatgivesyoupleasureinthingslikeTV,movies,videogames,orsongs?(Possiblyinclude
listeningtostorieshereifthey'vehadexperienceofthatinschool.)
20.Whoknowswhatyouarereadingnow?Whorecommendsreadingmaterialtoyou?Towhomdoyourecommendthings?
21.Arethereparticularfriendsthatyoureadwithortalkaboutbookswith?
22.Aretherecertainthingsyourfamilydoestogetherwithdifferentkindsoftexts?(Followupwithreadingordiscussingbooks,magazines,orthenewspapertogether,
readingforinformationontheInternet.)
23.Inwhatothersocialsituationsdoyoureadwithotherpeople?(Followupwithreadinginclubsandchurch/templegroups.)
24.Whatareyoureadingrightnow?(Orifaparticularbookcameupinpreviousquestion,refertothatforthefollowing...)
25.Whatisreadinglikeinsideyourmind?(Followupwith:Doyouseethetext?Doyouhearit?Whatdoesitlooklikeinyourmind?Whatdoesitsoundlike?)
26.Tellmeaboutoneofthecharactersinabookyou'rereadingrightnow.Whatkindofpicturedidyoucreateinyourmindforthischaracter?Whatkindsofthingsdo
youthinkaboutthischaracterorothercharactersthatyouarereadingabout?

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27.Whatdoyounoticeaboutthewritingstyleofthebook?
28.Howdoyourespondtoconfusionordifficultywhenyouarereading?
29.Whatkindsoffeelingscomeupwhenyouread?
30.Doothertextscometomindwhenyouarereading(forinstance,withthebookyou'rereadingrightnow)?
AppendixC
InterviewProtocol:Writing
1.Whatisthefirstschoolgradeinwhichyourememberwriting?Whatwasitlike?
2.Whatothermemoriesdoyouhaveofwritinginelementaryschool?
3.Whatwaswritinglikeinmiddleschool?
4.Whathaswritingbeenlikesofarinhighschool(includingoutside[Molly's]class)?
5.Ifnotansweredintheabove,ifyouthinkaboutthewritingyoudoinMs.[Molly's]class,howisitthesameordifferentfromthewritinginotherschoolexperiences?
6.Wehavebeentalkingalotaboutwritinginschool.Whatkindsofmemoriescometomindofwritingoutsideschool,asyouweregrowingup?
7.Whatkindsofwritingweredoneinyourfamily,orinyourhome?
8.Doyouhaveanymemoriesofletterwriting?
9.Keepingajournal?
10.Email?Texting?OnMySpaceorFacebook?
11.Makingwebsites?Makingvideos?
12.Writingplays,shows,orsongs?
13.Drawing,painting,makingthings?
14.Building,constructing,evenjustpretending?
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15.Othertypesofwriting?
16.Withthatrangeofthingsinmind,whatkindsofcomposinghaveyoudonelately,inyourlifeoutsideofschool?
17.Ifyousetyourselfupforthebestexperienceyoucanhavewithcomposing,inallthatrangeofways,whataretheverybestconditionsforyourconcentratedwork
orplaywiththatcomposing?
18.Whoelsehasbeeninvolvedin[thatcomposing]?What'sthenetworkthatsurroundsit?Whodoyoushareyourwritingwith?
19.Whenyouthinkaboutthingsthathaveinfluencedyourcomposing,whatdoyouthinkhasbeenthestrongestinfluence?Somepeoplemightsayateacher,
particularauthorsorartists,orschoolexperiences,oractivitieslikevideogames,oronlinerelationships,orabsentfriends.Whatwouldyousayhasbeenyour
strongestinfluence?
20.Ifyouweregoingto[dothatkindofcomposing]rightnow,howwoulditgo?Talkmethroughwhatyou'ddofirst,andhowyouwouldgetyourmindready.How
wouldyoustart?
21.Ifyouendedupcreatingsomethingyouwerereallyproudof,wherewouldyoulikeitdisplayed?
22.Whathappenswhenthingsaren'tgoingrightwhenyou'recomposing?
23.Iftheabovehavebeenaboutnonprint,howisthatsimilarordifferenttohowwritinggoesforyou?
Byline:Skerrett,Allison
Volume:45
Number:4
ISSN:00078204
PublicationDate:07012013
Page:322
Type:Periodical
Language:English

CopyrightNationalCouncilofTeachersofEnglishConferenceonCollegeCompositionandCommunicationJul2013

Citationforyourreference:

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Skerrett,Allison."BuildingMultiliterateandMultilingualWritingPracticesandIdentities."EnglishEducation4(2013):322.eLibrary.Web.28Dec.2016.

Allison,S.(2013,July01).BuildingMultiliterateandMultilingualWritingPracticesandIdentities.EnglishEducation,(4),322,Retrievedfrom
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