“There’s always room to learn”: Understanding adolescents’ identities and literacies in English language arts and social media
Beach, Crystal Lynn
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This qualitative research study took a grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2014) to examine adolescents’ multimodal literate identities through social media, and teachers’ perceptions of students’ social media use, to better understand how literacy and identity may intersect (or not) within the English language arts (ELA) classroom. There were 22 students who participated in one survey and three focus group interviews (with seven to eight students per group); five ELA teachers were individually interviewed. Key findings from this study suggest that social media use creates opportunities for high school students to form their own digital, multimodal literate identities, such as through social media; however, students do not perceive the ELA classroom and curricula as a context responsive to these uses and identities. The discussion addresses implications for both teachers and researchers as they navigate the intersections between adolescents’ multimodal literate identities through social media and the ELA classroom.