Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:English proficiency, placement, policies, problems, and possibilities at the UIUC: Experiences of Puerto Rican graduate students from the island
Author(s):Ortiz, Lisa
Language Policies
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explore the ways in which English Placement policies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign differ among domestic students, hence questioning the ways in which diversity plays out for self-identified Puerto Ricans from the island who are admitted to graduate programs. In an effort to understand how language requirements are enacted, and what this represents for students, this paper sought to (1) analyze institutional documentation pertaining to English proficiency and placement, (2) document narratives of how English language policies, policy makers, and policy followers influence students’ academic and personal encounters on campus, and (3) propose reconsiderations regarding policies that affect graduate admission for Puerto Ricans from the U.S. Territory. By employing a qualitative approach that followed Kezar's (2011) three-pronged, post-structural analysis of revelation, desconstruction, and reconstruction, I found nuances in policies and differences language requirements for participants at the UIUC. In essence, this paper is a contribution to embrace linguistic diversity, to assure that English language policies for Puerto Ricans are fair and one that hopes to contribute not only to the idea of an Inclusive Illinois, but to transform that idea into action.
Issue Date:2013-06
Course / Semester:EOL 574, Lorenzo Baber, Instructor, Spring 2013
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-06-25

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