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Title:English Language Learners and Social Capital: Discourses of a Rural School District
Author(s):Montavon, Mary Veronica
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Robert T. Jimenez
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Abstract:The enrollment of English language learners in once homogeneous rural school districts in the United States is rapidly increasing. Schools play a key role in providing these students with an eased transition to the new culture or in leaving them and their families feeling excluded and unwanted. This qualitative study uses a social capital framework to examine the discourses and practices of a rural school district faced with increased numbers of English language learners. Interviews with students, teachers, administrators, other staff members, and parents from both the bilingual and monolingual communities, as well as observations and document review contrast the strength of the familial bonds and connection with neighbors to the exclusive treatment received in the school. This juxtaposition is explored through the differing approaches to social capital elaborated by Coleman and Bourdieu. The social capital of the families is important to students' attitudes towards school and persistence in school. Schools that fail to realize that not all students arrive equally privileged are reticent to adapt new structures, policies and pedagogics that promote academic success for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Examination of the community's socioeconomic and sociocultural history provides an explanation of the community's resistance to change practices and attitudes. Expectations of change requires in depth understanding of individual and program agency and its role in reproducing or restructuring the social process.
Issue Date:2003
Description:186 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3086143
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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