Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Mallette, Marla


This study reports data from a three-month discourse analysis of a fifth-grade teacher`s language used to negotiate meaning of text with linguistically and culturally diverse students. Specifically, I use Gee`s (2005) discourse analysis methodology to examine the teacher`s language-in-use for seven building tasks of language--significance, activities, identities, relationships, politics (the distribution of social goods), connections, and sign systems and knowledge--in a micro level analysis for eight teaching episodes covering reading and/or social studies instruction. In doing so, I conceptualize categories and subcategories of language use for each of the language building tasks. I find that the teacher used instructional language overwhelmingly to build significance (almost two-thirds of the coded data) and that in building significance the teacher used reproduction of meaning (including repetition, paraphrase, and citation), prosodic devices, questions, overt attention, life connection, and adjective labeling. In a macro level of analysis, I examine the content of the meanings the teacher negotiated, and find that situated meanings in her discourse often allude to issues of power that implicate a discourse model of a critical outlook on social studies and social issues that appear in social studies, reading and other texts. I end with a discussion of how these findings might be of practical use for educators and suggestions for future research.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.