Issues in Applied Linguistics
The Participation Framework as a Mediating Tool in Kindergarten Journal Writing Activity
- Author(s): Larson, Joanne
- et al.
Drawing on data collected in an ethnographic study of kindergarten journal writing activity, this article demonstrates how students who are not directly participating in instruction are nevertheless key contributors to the social construction of literacy knowledge. More specifically, this study examines how the participation framework of writing activity constitutes and is constituted by the context for learning to write. Five interconnected roles in the participation framework are identified in the data and presented as a shared indexical context within which children's texts are interactionally negotiated. The author argues for a reconceptualization of classroom language and literacy practices from current dyadicbased participation frameworks to more expanded multi-party participation frameworks that allow for flexible access to the social construction of literacy knowledge. By changing the ways in which students participate in school-based literacy practices, students will be socialized to more democratic access to participation in classrooms and in the larger society. This reconceptualization of classroom language and literacy practices attempts to disrupt monolithic definitions of literacy as a reified set of "neutral" skills by challenging the sanctity of dyadic interaction in literacy activity.