WP183 Silenced partners: The role of bilingual peers in secondary school contexts

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Although research often acknowledges the importance of engaging students? home language and culture to bridge to academic literacies in English, few have explicitly examined bilingual peers as a resource for language learning. This study explores how adolescent immigrant students engaged multiple linguistic codes for language and content learning in urban US high schools.? Discourse analysis of peer interactions describes the linguistic resources available to Spanish-speaking adolescent immigrant students through their peers, and shows that emergent bilingual youth used academic language in both Spanish and English most frequently ? and in more elaborated interactions ? while off-task or in less supervised spaces. Classroom discourse structures often limited student participation, particularly when students utilized non-standard linguistic codes. This study addresses the widespread lack of understanding of supportive peer language use among linguistic minority students and has strong implications for school policy and practice of the additive teaching of academic language.