Access to Education, Literacies, and Power

  • “Educational Access and Exclusion: An Indian Story”

    Usree Bhattacharya, Department of English

    In the opening statement of its report on “The Teaching of English” (2006), the Government of India’s National Council on Educational Research and Training (NCERT) contended, “English is in India today a symbol of people’s aspirations for quality in education and a fuller participation in national and international life.”  The policies of the NCERT and the RTE work together to promote participation through both access to schooling and English-medium instruction. This presentation, however, challenges this model of participation through an ethnographic exploration of the English literacy experiences of students in an Indian village school.

    “Latino Student Experience at a Predominately White University”

    Jonathon Montgomery, Department of English 

    The purpose of this presentation is to explore the ways in which a particular group of Latino college students construct their linguistic, academic, and personal identities at a predominately white university (PWU) in western Pennsylvania. From these student’s experiences a multitude of factors which shape their various identities will be shared. Studies such as this not only provide a voice to a group which is often marginalized, but also help to encourage universities which serve these students to assume a larger role in creating programs, resources, and support systems which foster academic success and persistence among underrepresented student populations.

    “Nomadic literacies of international multilingual student writers’ in a freshman multilingual writing class” 

    Maria Prikhodko, Department of English

    This presentation reports some preliminary results of a qualitative case study that explores how international multilingual student writers negotiate their multilingual literacy histories with emerging US literacy requirements as part of first-year multilingual composition classroom.

    Framed by New Literacy Studies, my discussion illuminates how, by employing semi-structured interviews, observations, and artifact analysis, their meaning-making processes become shaped by new educational settings, and how these students negotiate those with their language and literacy backgrounds.