Language socialization research examines how situated discursive practices mediate socialization activities, and how members from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds participate in socialization activities to develop disciplinary expertise and membership. Bringing together Bakhtin’s (1981) dialogism of ‘chronotope’ and ‘heteroglossia’ and a multimodal conversation analysis method, the present dissertation study builds on and extends this research by examining how bilingual international graduate assistants in science fields engage their undergraduate students to construct discipline-specific meanings through the chronotopic (re)contextualization of their prior physics reasoning and future applications in present discussions about physics events. This study also explores how competing interactions between undergraduate physics students in international graduate assistant-led learning contexts create spaces for peer language socialization. In addition, this study uncovers the tensions experienced by international graduate assistants concerning the institutionalized ideological forms of knowledge construction within a physics community. This dissertation study is drawn from a larger, multi-site ethnographic language socialization project. Data examined for the study included 98 hours of video-recordings of classroom socialization activities between international graduate assistants and their U.S. undergraduate students in three undergraduate-level physics classes. Findings illustrate the simultaneous chronotopes of physics discursive practices engaged student participation and maintained the sequential chronotope in international graduate assistant-led socialization activities, demonstrating a joint attention between instructors and students as co-contributors to meaning making. The chronotopic link creates a dialogic space in which multidiscursive practices of knowledge construction were achieved through the integration of disciplinary spatial repertoires and mathematical symbolism and images. Findings also highlight the heteroglossic nature of physics discourse practices and demonstrate how tension in competing notions of how to construct disciplinary expertise were resolved through ‘carnival play’ (Bakhtin, 1981) which mitigated student mathematics anxiety. The competing discourses of expertise between undergraduates created spaces for peer language socialization which might momentarily decenter the international graduate assistants’ position as physics instructors but opened the floor to a number of legitimate ways of constructing expertise in a physics community. The present dissertation study suggests a spatial repertoire-informed chronotopic turn in analyzing the dynamic multiplicity of physics discourse practices and socialization activities in academic contexts (Lai, 2020).
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2020. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Kendall King. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 173 pages.
Traveling through spatial repertoires and mathematics: Dialogic nature of physics discourse practices and socialization activities.
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