Rehearsals and roles: Youth participation frameworks in one youth organization

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This paper explores rehearsals as a central learning structure of an urban youth organization. Drawing on research in participation, expertise, activity, multiliteracies, and situated cognition, it seeks to understand the extent to which the infrequently studied activity of rehearsal provides a space for cognitive growth. Using thematic coding and discourse analysis I examine transcripts of both brief informal rehearsals and more formal examples to determine what kinds of interactions are most prevalent. In these examples, amount of speech by the youth was not always a good indicator of role development; instead, the assessments youth made or ratified played a much more important part in role development. The rehearsals go well beyond the putative purpose of memorizing lines, instead becoming opportunities for the youth to analyze both their own role development and the audiences to whom they will present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-349
Number of pages22
JournalLinguistics and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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