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From Wiki to Wow! Student Voice and Agency in an American Literature Class


  • Sarah Tumblin Mantegna


In this article the author tells the story of her experiences with a high school U.S. literature class composed of English language learners (ELLs). The students were from a variety of nations and cultures, spoke several different languages, and had a wide range of English proficiency levels. During their time together, the author and students went beyond the mandated literature curriculum in several ways. They expanded their interaction beyond the classroom through the use of technology in the form of a wiki, or collaborative website, and digital video. They developed close and lasting friendships that offered support and encouragement. Further, they co-constructed a classroom environment that allowed them to explore and expand individual identities and to speak out on behalf of ELLs. The students' own words are included to help tell the collective story and give the reader a better sense of the class's achievements.