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Performativity in the Bilingual Classroom: The Plight of English Learners in the Current Reform Context



This article analyzes illustrative classroom events documented during an ethnographic study of bilingual classrooms in a “high-achieving” school. Through a performativity lens that emphasizes the discursive constitution of subjectivities, I demonstrate how discourses around achievement and success in the current reform context exacerbated one bilingual teacher's deficit-oriented ideologies about English learners and their families. This analysis has implications for practitioners and researchers interested in effectively supporting our most vulnerable student populations, and their teachers, in public schools. [English learners, accountability, literacy, performativity, bilingual education]