Chapter 7. Co-construction of identity in the Spanish heritage language classroom

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This study examined classroom discourse in two Spanish language courses for Spanish-English bilingual students in Texas in order to investigate how students and instructors co-constructed students’ linguistic and cultural identities within different social practices in the classroom. Taking a view of identity as the outcome of cultural semiotics (Bucholtz & Hall 2004), and drawing from Bakhtin’s (1981) understanding of the multivocality of texts, the analysis focuses on the ways that students construct their identities as bilinguals in relation to socially constructed discourses on the value of different language varieties and socially constructed categories of different kinds of people. Results suggest that students construct these identities differently within different classroom practices, drawing from other dialogues in diverse ways within each practice.


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