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Reading as Gender Inquiry in English Language Learning

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Using Bourdieu’s forms of symbolic capital as the analytical framework, this article reports how a Taiwanese female university student, Huei, played out her linguistic, social and cultural capital in reading and responding to female-centred texts in a course entitled ‘Gender and Reading’. Journal entries were used as key sources for data analysis, while oral interviews and classroom observations were applied to verify the data analysis and interpretations. The results indicate that Huei exercised different forms of symbolic capital to revalue herself, leading her to changed perspectives and new understandings about her implicit beliefs as an English learner, as well as a female reader. Some pedagogical implications for classroom practices are also addressed.
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Keywords: EFL; cultural capital; gender inquiry; social capital; symbolic capital

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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