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Learning Discourse

Learning Biographies, Embedded Speech and Discourse Identity in Students’ Talk


Rob Evans

This book looks at students at a German university talking about their education and learning experiences. The discourses of learning and identity in the talk, collected in in-depth ethnographic interviews to form a digital language corpus, are investigated with a combination of conversation, discourse, and qualitative data analysis. The study demonstrates the significance of narratives in the construction of students’ coherent learning biographies. It shows too how the interactive work of «doing being a student» uses language – including the «embedded speech» of others – organized as recognizable learning discourses, and illustrates the practical value of language corpora for educational biography research and for understanding current Higher Education learning processes.
Contents: Intro-Focus-Rationale – Reviewing the field: concepts and contexts – Doing the research – An individual case study: Marie – Constructing learning biographies – Competing discourses, interdiscursivity, prosody – Discourses of knowledge and learning – Learning and identity as category-bound activities – Conclusions.