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Elusive Legibility: Language Ideologies, Affect and Policy in Education
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This thesis, based on ethnographic research conducted at a high school in Northern Nevada, investigates the language ideologies, policies, and practices shaping education for students designated as English Language Learners (ELLs). By examining both textual and verbal language of students and teachers and the disjunctures between ideology and practice, the thesis provides a critical look at how bilingual students often face the devaluation of their multilingualism in favor of hegemonic monolingualism (often under the guise of “empowerment”). I show the ways that language policies are instrumentalized to cultivate certain affects among students labeled as ELL, as well as the ways that students resist those affective technologies; finally, I explore potential interventions for teaching that present more equitable and liberatory options for multilingualism in the classroom.