English Learners' Participation in Mathematical Discussion: Shifting Positionings and Dynamic Identities

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Erin Turner University of Arizona

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Higinio Dominguez Michigan State University

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Luz Maldonado University of Texas at Austin

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Susan Empson University of Texas at Austin

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This study investigated discursive positioning moves that facilitated Latino/a English learners' (ELs) opportunities to take on agentive problem-solving roles in group mathematical discussion. A focus on mechanisms that support students' agentive participation is consistent with our view that recurrent experiences participating and being positioned in particular ways contribute to identity development. Findings suggest several ways that discursive positioning facilitated ELs' agentive participation, including via: (a) explicit statements that validated ELs' reasoning, (b) invitations to share, justify, or clarify thinking that positioned ELs as competent problem solvers, and (c) inviting peers to respond to an EL's idea in ways that positioned the idea as important and/or mathematically justified.

Contributor Notes

Erin Turner, Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies, University of Arizona, 1430 E. Second Street, Tucson, AZ 85721; eturner@email.arizona.edu

Higinio Dominguez, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University, 116K Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824; higinio@msu.edu

Luz Maldonado, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, Austin, TX 78712-0379; luz.angelica@utexas.edu

Susan Empson, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, Austin, TX 78712-0379; empson@mail.utexas.edu

(Corresponding author is Turner eturner@email.arizona.edu)
(Corresponding author is Dominguez higinio@msu.edu)
(Corresponding author is Maldonado luz.angelica@utexas.edu)
(Corresponding author is Empson empson@mail.utexas.edu)
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