Renata Love Jones

Boston College

Renata Love Jones is a Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum and Instruction. Renata primarily explores bi/multilingualism, (critical) content-area literacies, metalinguistic development, dialogic approaches, and culturally sustaining pedagogies. She is especially interested in pedagogies and curricula that affirm, sustain, expand, and enhance the literacies— existing and future—of culturally and linguistically diverse youth within classroom spaces.Renata earned a Master of Arts in Teaching TESOL (Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages) from Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Berea College, and is an alumna of The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) at Philips Academy Andover.

Dissertation Title: You’re Already Moving to that Morphology”: Exploring Metalinguistic Engagement within a Language-Based Reading Curriculum for Emergent Bilingual Students

Dissertation Abstract: Metalinguistic awareness is defined as the ability to consciously reflect on language and its components. It has been shown to predict emergent bilingual (EB) students’ literacy across reading comprehension, speaking and writing, and successful engagement across social and linguistic styles, codes, and ‘big D’ Discourses. Even so, research on metalinguistic awareness is primarily investigated through diagnostic assessments rather than during teaching and learning activities that facilitate development of metalinguistic knowledge and skills. As such, Renata’s dissertation examines metalinguistic engagement—those teaching and learning episodes in which students are engaged in metalinguistic instruction, talk, and/or activities that entail reflection on linguistic knowledge, analysis, (de)construction, and manipulation as well as strategies and skills development. Drawn from CLAVES, a larger project tasked with developing and implementing a language-based literacy curriculum, the study applies cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) and classroom discourse analysis to build a comparative case study within and across three fourth grade teachers and their small groups of EB students as they engage in language-based activity. Further informed with a dialogic-third space pedagogy (D-TSP) conceptual framework, the study investigates: (1) occurrence and nature of metalinguistic engagement within literacy instruction; (2) the relationship between the curricular lessons and activities, teachers’ facilitation moves, students’ interactions, and the presence of metalinguistic engagement; (3) cultural-historical ideologies about language and literacy reflected through particular metalinguistic engagement episodes. The findings have implications for dialogic approaches, teacher professional learning, curriculum design, and educational language policies that honor the polylingual repertoires of EB children in classroom spaces.