The development of positive literate identities among emerging bilingual and monolingual first graders

Lindsey Moses, Laura Beth Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this study, the researchers examined how first-grade students initially positioned as struggling readers took up literacy practices to reposition themselves as capable competent readers and part of a literate community of practice over an academic year. Using positive discourse analysis and case study methodology, the researchers documented and analyzed the identity work of two students, an English monolingual and a Spanish-English emerging bilingual, who worked to reposition themselves in their classroom community. The participants were part of a diverse, urban, first-grade dialogic inquiry-based classroom in the Southwest. The yearlong study documented students taking up inclusive literacy practices, practices that invited the participation of all students regardless of literacy level or language background, to negotiate positive identities in the literate community. The in-depth qualitative analysis utilized both positive and critical discourse analysis lenses to provide research that not only deconstructs power but also identifies positive ways in which students make room for themselves within academic settings. The use of both lenses led to findings on identity negotiations that provide insight into possibilities for power to be redistributed in positive ways for young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-423
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • Case studies
  • Communities of practice
  • Comprehension
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Discourse/discourse analysis
  • Emergent literacy
  • Identity
  • Microethnography
  • Sociocultural aspects of reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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