Reconceptualizing online discussion forums as a fabricated focus group: illuminating educators’ language ideologies through asynchronous discussion posts

Joshua Cruz, Kate T. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We propose a novel method for repurposing online course discussion posts to explore educators’ language ideologies. Drawing on asynchronous discussion posts from a subset of 30 educators enrolled in an online, masters-level, sociolinguistics-for-educators course at a US Southwest university, we “smooth” posts into a dialogue resembling a focus group discussion, a method we are terming a fabricated focus group (FFG). The topic of the discussion forum was defining “Standardized English” (SE), allowing us to observe nuances of participants’ ideological stances, positioned and juxtaposed to one another within a constructed dialogue. Online discussion forums offer a unique tool for researchers/educators to generate a context for student stance taking and reflexivity, which can raise educator’s critical consciousness. FFGs can help us to represent educators’ varying ideological positions and provide direction as instructors of such courses attempt to foster more tolerant, democratic, and empowering attitudes toward cultural and linguistic diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • discourse
  • discussion posts
  • focus groups
  • Language ideologies
  • subjectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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