Writing & Pedagogy, Vol 11, No 3 (2019)

Writing and identity: Promoting critical discourse amidst double consciousness

Stephanie Gollobin
Issued Date: 17 Apr 2020


Using a multidisciplinary approach to social justice teaching, this article explores the often invisible impact of double consciousness on adult English language learners in the United States and provides examples of classroom practice that invite students to reflect on its effects. The experience of double consciousness is examined as it relates to English language learner identities. A Critical Language Awareness (CLA) framework and identity-conscious teaching practices are explored to encourage student participation and reflection. This approach, demonstrated through examples used in writing classes, encourages the exploration of identity in the face of oppression by interrogating social constructions and fiction and nonfiction stories containing connected themes. Three classroom lessons and consequent writing are analyzed with a critical discourse lens to examine student responses and reflections on language and identity. Student writing demonstrates that encouraging English language classes to interrogate the language of institutionalized inequity and identity formation can illuminate potential influences of double consciousness, which can empower students to think critically about their identities and choose whether to take steps to mediate the ways in which they could be affected by double consciousness.

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DOI: 10.1558/wap.35316


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