Date of Award

5-4-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Hocks

Second Advisor

Dr. Ashley Holmes

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Lopez

Abstract

Over the years, language has been a major issue in teaching composition courses, specifically when discussing African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Standard English (SE). Concepts such as Students Right to their Own Language (SRTOL), culturally relevant pedagogy, and code-switching have been introduced as ways to be more receptive to home language in the classroom. However, many students still lack feeling confidence to expressing themselves in their natural voices. I conducted this study to examine and tests how well AAVE, SE, code-meshing, and multimodality work together to help students better understand linguistic and rhetorical principles. This study found that teacher efficacy works to teach students how to comfortably and confidently navigate different communication spaces and help them to retain their home identities. My study bridges the gap in research by connecting home language studies, rhetoric and composition, and multimodal assignments in the composition classroom.

Using teacher research in my Composition II classroom at CAU, a Historically Black College and University in Atlanta , I conducted a mixed methods case study using code-meshing, sonic rhetoric, remix theory, and multimodal assignments in the classroom.

The study answered the following questions: 1) can multimodal assignments be used to teach students to think more about how they use Standard Written English (SWE)? 2) Does code-meshing assist students with using SWE more in assignments or in other contexts? and 3) can auditory rhetoric and techno-inclusionism impact how students approach composition? My study’s purpose was to see how students’ comfort, confidence, and concepts of race, language, identity, and fluency were impacted by the methods used. This dissertation explores the surveys and assignments used to collect data and the results that culminated from it.

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