Second Language Writing and Bidialectalism: A Case for African American Student Writers

  •  Jason DePolo    


There has been much research conducted on second language writing. In addition, there exists a significant amount of studies conducted with African American student writers. However, the fields of Second Language Writing and Composition Studies rarely if ever dovetail in the research literature. The purpose of this article is to argue how English language learners and bidialectal (English as a second dialect) learners share similar learning experiences and how sociocultural theories of English language pedagogy can inform composition theory, specifically as it relates to African American student writers. The study of writer identity provides insights into both bilingual and bidialectal learners’ authorial identity constructions and their experiences in English language learning contexts. Based on these similarities, I argue the need for composition theory to integrate sociocultural theories of second language learning and identity to better address the needs of bidialectal learners.

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