Investigating Educational Policy Through Ethnography

ISBN: 978-0-76231-018-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-210-8

ISSN: 1529-210X

Publication date: 22 April 2003


In the field of second language acquisition, much attention has been paid to which variables (such as age, race, social class, ethnicity or gender) have influence on language learning, or to how such variables may affect language acquisition. The intent of this study was to examine gender at an intersection with ethnicity by exploring it within an ESL experience. Ethnography as method helped such an exploration. The past twenty-five years or so have presented educators with a wealth of research on what happens to girls in schools, though female ESL students may not be benefiting from this same research (Cochran, 1996; Sunderland, 1994, 1995, 1998; Vandrick, 1999a, b; Willett, 1996; Yepez, 1994). As a result, there is a compelling need to bring feminist pedagogical research to ESL research. In this ethnography the amount of talk in an ESL classroom was measured and discussed, settling largely on a lack of linguistic space of girls in this language learning context. The concept of ‘linguistic space’ was first used by Mahony (1985) when referring to conversational participation in a British classroom. This study borrows her use of the term as a way to explore the language production in a Canadian ESL classroom.


Julé, A. (2003), "LINGUISTIC SPACE: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF GENDER IN A CANADIAN ESL CLASSROOM", walford, G. (Ed.) Investigating Educational Policy Through Ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 193-213.

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