The Classroom Power Dynamics And Communication

2254 WordsMay 7, 201610 Pages
Classroom Power Dynamics and Communication Introduction English Language Development classes have been used to help immigrant students integrate themselves into American society. In the United States, English is the language spoken by those in power. By learning this important skill to communicate, immigrant students gain the ability to obtain access to resources, such as: higher education, knowledge, and social status. In the classroom, there is a constant power struggle between student freedom and teacher control that is characterized by dynamic interactions held through the student- teacher relationship. On the student’s behalf, this is exhibited by way of negotiation and challenge indicative of their subordinate social status. On the other hand, teachers use their own discourse strategies to maintaining legitimate control over the classroom and pursue their pedagogic goals. Setting and Methodology My interests in immigrant children and education led me to an English Language Development(ELD) class at Coast View High School. During my senior year of high school I was a teacher’s aide for an ELD class. That experience helped me develop an empathy for students who face the adversity of assimilating to a different country and how they, as students, interact with those around them. Therefore, the interests and connections that I had to this school allowed it to be the optimal setting for my research. Coast View is situated in the, predominantly white (75%), city of
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