Engaging ELLs’ Positionality Through Critical Geography and History in the Social Studies Classroom

  • J. Spencer ClarkEmail author
  • G. Sue Kasun
  • F. Fallon Farokhi
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 17)


Our approach engages ELL students’ positionality through a carefully sequenced critical geography activity. ELL students’ awareness of their positionality is vital because their knowledge is based on a worldview that crosses borders and is situated in structures of power. We ask students to create a map of their daily life, list significant places and spaces, and identify their relationships to these places and spaces. Then, students develop a narrative related to their map and use both as primary sources to compare, contrast, and/or corroborate with their classmates. We then discuss the role of positionality in interpreting historical and current circumstances.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Spencer Clark
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Sue Kasun
    • 2
  • F. Fallon Farokhi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Middle and Secondary Education, Center for Transnational and Multilingual EducationGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Sunset Hill ElementaryLawrenceUSA

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