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A linguistic ethnography of an adult vocational class: constructing identities and mediating educational discourses

Normand, Miranda Jane (2014)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The aim of the study was to investigate linguistic interaction in a vocational classroom based in a Further Education college in the UK. The course was designed for adults wishing to become qualified primary teaching assistants.

The study was ethnographically grounded and, in keeping with a Linguistic Ethnography approach, it also incorporated close linguistic and narrative-in-interaction analysis. This enabled me to show how educational discourses shape local interactions and how, in particular types of classroom interaction, participants appropriate wider discourses creatively for their own goals.

Through detailed analysis of whole class discursive interactions, I show how the tutor appropriated and mediated the curriculum content and discourses for and with her class. She did this by constantly shifting identities and relationships along clines of power, social solidarity and social distance, by drawing on funds of knowledge from her own lived experience and those of her class, and by creating spaces to talk about the different domains of social life: further education, primary school and local life worlds. In their turn, the learners drew on their previous experiences of education, their work experience and their own local life worlds, to make sense of the content with the tutor and their classmates.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Martin-Jones, Marilyn and Bathmaker, Ann-Marie and Sauntson, Helen
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Subjects:LB2300 Higher Education
P Philology. Linguistics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5196
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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