Adolescent’s Insights on the Academic Literacy Practices in High School: A Case Study with a School Gang

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The lack of interest in reading among Spanish teenagers has recently become a strong topic of concern in education and society. This presentation will focus on the description of adolescent’s point of view on the academic literacy practices related to the language and literature subjects in compulsory and high school Catalan education. I will report on an ethnographic case-study involving in-depth interviews with a urban school-gang constituted by 4 boys (16 to 18 year-old). Except one of them who is seen in the group as “the best student of the class”, the others are labelled by school and recognized themselves as ‘struggling learners’ and ‘struggling readers’. Following the theoretical framework of the New Literacy’s Studies (Ivanic 1997; Barton 1998) I will peer into its mindsets and appraisals on academic reading culture in order to explain how resistance to academic text is culturally and biographically constructed along schooling. Analysis will pay attention particularly to the vernacular reading practices they have developed for replacing the dominant ones at school, as elaborating cribs, looking up for information in Google, and picking up information about the exam’s questions among classmates and teachers.


Keywords: Academic Literacy Practices, Adolescent's Insights, New Literacy Studies,
Stream: Literacy, Language, Multiliteracies; Languages Education and Second Language Learning
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English/Spanish
Paper: , , Adolescent’s Insights on the Academic Reading Practices in High School, Adolescent’s Insights on the Academic Reading Practices in High School, Keywords in the Integration of the Humanities and the Social Sciences,


Dr Cristina Aliagas Marin

PhD. Candidate Granted by FPU/MEC (AP2005-1342), Dept. de Traducció i Ciències del Llenguatge
Grup de recerca sobre Literacitat Crítica i GR@El, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Cristina Aliagas graduated in Humanities from the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain) in 2005. Now she is a PhD candidate in Multilingual Communication Doctorate at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Department of Translation and Cognitive Sciences). She was granted a 4-year fellowship by the Spanish Ministry (FPU/MEC: AP-2005-1342) for developing her research thesis’ project, under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Cassany and Dr. Josep M. Castellà. She is also member of the Literacitat Crítica research group, directed by Professor Daniel Cassany. Her research interests lie in the construction of literacy identities in adolescence, the ethnography of reading as methodology and the New Literacy Studies theoretical approach to literacy research and practice.

Ref: L09P1544