Using a qualitative bricolage approach (Kincheloe, 2008, 2010), this study explores the school life of immigrant students enrolled in an advanced English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom in a high school. The overarching objective of this study is to examine how these students—five from Mexico, three from Honduras, and one from China—experience and use the school space. Figured worlds (Holland et al., 1998) and positioning theory (Davies, 2000; Harré & van Langenhove, 1999) provide analytical frameworks to present how the students rely on their positions as English language learners in an ESL program, on the ESL faculty, and on one another to co-construct a variety of practices that create opportunities for agency and success in the school space. The manuscript describes how students co-construct a world in and through which they (1) navigate the institution, (2) meet academic needs, and (3) establish networks of care. The study also includes the dissonant threads—elements of data that resist perfect codification—to deepen analysis and to portray a complex portrait of ESL II (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997).


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pp. 262-282
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