Voicing Ourselves: Whose Words We Use when We Talk about Books

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Using Bakhtinian theory, this study reveals how and why readers routinely refer to the words and ideas of others to interpret the meanings and implications of the books they read.
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Editorial Reviews

Reveals lessons learned from a year of public high school seniors' discussions of authors including Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Woolf, in an advanced placement class of students with diverse academic and ethnic backgrounds. Shows the success of students encouraged to engage one another directly in talk about books, with many transcripts of student discussions, and situates Mikhail Bakhtin's theories alongside notions of voice put forth by composition theorists writing about voice for the past several decades. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents


Sarah Warshauer Freedman


1. Why Voice Matters When Talking About Books

Voice in Writing

Bakhtin's Theories of Voicing

Responding to Literature

Relationships Between Oral and Written Language

2. How This Study Was Conducted

Setting and Participants

Data Collection Procedures

Classroom Discourse Data Analysis

3. The Place of Voicing During Student-led Discussions

Varieties of Voicing: Whose Words Are Represented?

The Frequency of Voicing

Whose Words Are Voiced: The Influence of Texts and Teachers

Why Patterns of Voicing Differ Across Discussions

Student Voices: Negotiating Interpretations

4. The Art of Retelling: Voicing Authors

The Textual Category

An Overview of Textual Voicing Across Works

Voicing Authors

Student Voices: Negotiating Interpretations

5. The World of the Work: Voicing Characters and Groups

Voicing Characters

Voicing Societal Groups

Student Voices: Negotiating Interpretations

6. Dialectic and Dialogue: Voicing Self and Other

The Interactional Category

An Overview of Interactional Voicing Across Works

Voicing Other Students

Voicing Self


Student Voices: Negotiating Interpretations

7. The Work in the World: Contextual Voicing

The Contextual Category

The Range of Contextual Voices

Contextual Voicing in Context

Student Voices: Negotiating Interpretations

8. What Voicing Reveals About Teaching

Orchestrating Student-led Discussions

Implications of this Study

How Voicing Shapes Classroom Talk and Learning

Appendix A. Transcription Conventions

Appendix B. Focal Student Selection

Appendix C. The Great Divide Revisited: A Postscript for Linguists

Works Cited

Author Index

Subject Index

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