Doing-English-Lessons in the Reproduction or Transformation of Social Worlds?



    Assistant Professor
    1. City University of Hong Kong
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    • Angel M. Y. Lin is an assistant professor in the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests are in classroom discourse analysis, bilingual education, and sociocultural studies of language learning.


This article tells a story of four classrooms situated in different socioeconomic backgrounds. Drawing on the theoretical notions of cultural capital, habitus, symbolic violence, and creative, discursive agency as analytic tools, the story focuses on the classroom dilemmas in which students and teachers found themselves as well as the creative, discursive strategies they used to cope with these dilemmas. The implications of their strategies are discussed with reference to whether the students and teachers were doing-English-lessons in the reproduction or in the transformation of the students' social worlds.