Using young adult fiction to interrogate raciolinguistic ideologies in schools

Ian Cushing, Anthony Carter

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Abstract

This article reports on an UKLA funded study which is working with young readers to explore the use of fictional texts to interrogate raciolinguistic ideologies in schools. We draw on data generated from workshops where young students read and responded to Front Desk, a 2018 novel by the Chinese writer Kelly Yang, Which centres around a young immigrant girl who is the target of systemic language discrimination. We describe how literary texts might serve as an entry point
into examining the pervasive, intersectional, institutional and systemic nature of language discrimination,
focusing on how schools can be hostile spaces for speakers deemed to not conform with ‘standard’ language practices amidst raciolinguistic ideologies which construct racialised speakers as inferior, deficient and unwelcome. We show how students used Front Desk and the workshops as a space for (a) describing the surveillance, stigmatisation and erasure
of their own language practices through tracing raciolinguistic contours between fictional and real worlds; (b) interrogating the raciolinguistic ideologies and punitive listening practices of white authoritative
subjects; and (c) conceptualising language discrimination as intersectional and institutional.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalLiteracy
Early online date25 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Language
  • ideologies
  • Language Discrimination
  • Raciolinguistics
  • Young Adult fiction
  • Standard English

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