Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Teaching and Teacher Education 55 (2016): 122–132. doi 10.1016/j.tate.2016.01.003


Copyright © 2016, Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


This study investigated three urban middle-school teachers’ practices with respect to motivating and engaging emergent bilinguals in reading-intervention classrooms by exploring the teachers’ identity positioning. The three teachers’ sociocultural and sociopolitical positioning of their students (e.g. students as individuals, as monolithic learners, or as problems) was found to be related to their practices for motivating and engaging the students (e.g. hybrid, calibrated, or imposed practices). The teachers’ historical and current resources partially shaped how they positioned their students. The findings support that teachers should not only learn motivational practices but also reflect critically on positioning processes in the classroom.