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The case description provides a comprehensive picture of the complex social and linguistic factors that shape the social identity of an English language learner with the additional challenge of language impairment (LI). These issues were explored over 6 months with Fernando, an 8-year-old, Spanish-speaking male with LI in grade 3. A pragmatic, or practical, approach to problem solving was developed for two purposes: first, to obtain a multifaceted understanding of Fernando’s world at school, and second, to arrive at possible educational/clinical solutions that met a standard of cultural appropriateness and practicality. The patterns found that, contrary to teacher interpretations of Fernando as inattentive, he employed both perseverance and saving face strategies, which appeared to function as practices for preserving his self-esteem in different situations. These patterns led to specific recommendations for collaborative instruction and intervention that would better integrate and support Fernando’s social and bilingual learning needs while also meeting standards of cultural appropriateness and practicality.


Published: Danzak, Robin and Elaine Silliman. "Does My Identity Speak English? A Pragmatic Approach to the Social World of an English Language Learner with Language Impairment." Seminars in Speech and Language 26.3(2005): 189-200.

At the time of publication Robin Danzak was affiliated with the University of South Florida.




Seminars in Speech and Language





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