New PDF release: Approaches to Gender and Spoken Classroom Discourse

By Helen Sauntson

Gender is a hotly debated subject within the box of schooling. The function that language performs in academic contexts specifically within the lecture room has lengthy been said. Innovatively combining techniques within the research of lecture room discourse this book offers wealthy empirical findings in addition to being theoretically fascinating and worthwhile.

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Some methods of discourse analysis, for example, require the structured analysis of language using pre-coded categories which emphasise the analysts’ interpretations and understandings, rather than those of the participants. However, such frameworks are necessary to identify patterns of language use which may not be identified by the participants themselves, and those linguistic patterns may be very significant to the context in question (see, for example, Eckert, 2000). Linguistic ethnography often starts from a neutral or apolitical position, unlike approaches such as critical discourse analysis (CDA).

Tusting and Maybin (2007: 578) define linguistic ethnography as: . . a cluster of research which studies relationships between the micro-level of language practices and the broader context and social order, drawing on linguistics, social theory, and an ethnographic methodology which places the researcher at the heart of the research. , 2004: 2) and cannot be 22 Data and Methods 23 separated in the process of conducting and producing research. The main purpose of any ethnographic research is to seek to understand the meanings produced in any particular cultural settings.

As gender issues are high on the agenda in the school, the staff were keen for my research to be carried out in the school on the premise that, when completed, it could be put to some practical use within the school. Gender differences in attainment nationally are particularly marked within the subjects of English and Design and Technology, with girls consistently outperforming boys in these subjects. 1 It is for these reasons that I was encouraged by the senior staff in the school to focus my investigation in these particular subject areas.

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