Pensamiento Educativo. Revista de Investigación Educacional Latinoamericana

2022, 59(2), 1-18

Finding a Way Around the Photocopies: Textual Trajectories in an Adult Secondary School From a Perspective of Sociolinguistics of Writing

Buscarle la vuelta a la fotocopia: un estudio de trayectorias textuales en una escuela secundaria de adultos desde la sociolingüística de la escritura

Laura Eisner
Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina


This paper reconstructs the textual trajectories of study materials in an adult secondary school in Bariloche (Argentina). It studies the effects of the recontextualization of genres from different (academic or professional) social spaces in an adult education classroom, focusing on linguistic/semiotic resources and patterns of organization of discourse that index legitimized social voices and discourses of authority. Two instances of (re)entextualization are analyzed: a) the transformation (adaptation) of the original material by the teachers, and b) the resemiotisation of the written material into an oral text as part of a collective reading event, involving hybridization between different genres, sociolinguistic resources, and discursive practices. The findings show a descending textual trajectory from the perspective of sociolinguistic prestige considering the repertoires of resources deployed, which simultaneously enables greater sociocultural appropriation by the students. In addition, the teachers’ decisions regarding recontextualization and (re)entextualization strategies can be considered acts of agency and indicate a critical stance towards the hegemonic literacy regime in adult education. Through a sociolinguistic and ethnographic approach to writing practices in adult education, this paper aims to contribute to the situated design of mediation strategies in sociolinguistically diverse classrooms.

Key words: textual trajectories, sociolinguistics of writing, adult education, literacy practices


Este trabajo reconstruye las trayectorias textuales de los materiales de estudio en una escuela secundaria de adultos en Bariloche (Argentina). Se estudian los efectos de la recontextualización de géneros procedentes de otros espacios sociales (académicos o profesionales) en las aulas de educación de adultos, atendiendo a los recursos lingüísticos/semióticos y discursivos que indexan voces sociales legitimadas y discursos de autoridad. Se analizan dos instancias de (re)entextualización: a) la adaptación de los materiales originales por parte de las docentes y b) la resemiotización del escrito en texto oral en el marco de un evento de lectura colectiva en clase, mediante la hibridación de diferentes géneros, recursos sociolingüísticos y prácticas discursivas. Los resultados evidencian una trayectoria textual descendente desde el punto de vista del prestigio sociolingüístico de los recursos desplegados en cada instancia, que a la vez habilita una mayor apropiación por parte de los estudiantes. Por su parte, las decisiones de las docentes sobre las estrategias de recontextualización y reentextualización dan cuenta de un despliegue de agencia y un posicionamiento crítico frente al régimen de literacidad hegemónico en la educación de adultos. En suma, el trabajo busca mostrar los aportes de un abordaje sociolingüístico y etnográfico de las prácticas en torno a lo escrito en la educación de adultos, que aporte al diseño situado de estrategias pedagógicas de mediación en contextos de diversidad sociocultural.

Palabras-clave: trayectorias textuales, sociolingüística de la escritura, educación de adultos, prácticas de literacidad

Laura Eisner

Mitre 630 – Bariloche – Argentina (R8400AHL)

ORCID: 0000-0002-8876-8545


In recent decades, interest has grown in the field of research on writing to denaturalize the object of study, in order to stop conceiving it as a static, homogeneous, and transparent phenomenon, and to approach it considering its sociolinguistic dimensions (Lillis & McKinney, 2013). Many of these studies have focused on the regulation of writing in educational and academic contexts, while others have analyzed the diversity of subjects’ responses to these regimes of literacy (Blommaert, 2005). This has made it possible to understand the dynamics of sociocultural reproduction (Flores & Rosa, 2020), as well as the tensions, resistances, and margins of agency of subjects considering their institutional conditions (Sito, 2018; Zavala, 2020).

This approach, which is located at the intersection of various traditions (the New Literacy Studies, ethnographic sociolinguistics, and discourse studies), shifts the text from the center of the scenario and instead addresses the practices that develop around writing. Different methods of data production have been created for this purpose: observation and thick description of literacy events in educational contexts (Dyson, 2013; Prinsloo & Krause, 2019), self-reports by participants (Norton, 2000; Birgin, 2020), cyclical interviews around texts (Ivanic, 1998; Lillis, 2008; Calle-Arango et al., 2021), and literacy stories (Avila Reyes, 2021; Roozen & Erickson, 2017). All of them take into account the participants’ perspective (emic categories) in interaction with analytical categories created by the researchers.

In the same vein, the reconstruction of textual trajectories also contributes to the ethnographic analysis of writing, as it allows us to conduct a situated study of the paths that texts follow, from the conditions of their production to their (successive) instances of reception, and the new elaborations to which they give rise. The notion of textual trajectory therefore “capture[s] the changes, movements and directionalities of spoken, written and multimodal texts — and relationships between these — across social space and time” (Maybin, 2017, p. 416).

From this theoretical-methodological perspective, in this paper I present the results obtained in the framework of a study in an adult secondary school (Eisner, 2018), a field that has rarely been studied from the perspective of literacy. The aim of the paper is to reconstruct the textual trajectory of a set of printed materials from the academic-professional field as they are introduced into the classroom throughout a learning unit, in order to reveal the tensions and negotiations that take place when these texts are moved to the context of adult education.

I start with the assumption that, by virtue of linguistic ideologies (Irvine & Gal, 2000) that link certain linguistic and discursive forms with identity characteristics, for the students of this institution (who do not have frequent contact with scientific and academic discourses in their everyday lives), the texts from these fields are associated with legitimized social identities, but are distant at the same time. Upon being introduced to the adult school, these texts are therefore classed as discourses of authority (Bajtin, 1989) and this has an influence on students’ attitudes towards them and their willingness (or reticence) to deal with them.

In turn, the teachers make pedagogical decisions to manage the textual trajectories of these materials in the everyday activities of the classroom using various strategies of mediation (Kalman, 2018) and intervention in the texts, which can occur outside the classroom (in the adaptations of the texts) or inside it (in reading events and classroom interactions). These decisions involve stances upon discourses of authority, which can range from the reproduction of school literacy ideologies to the generation of (subtle) margins of agency to subvert those ideologies. Within that framework, this study reconstructs these trajectories to investigate which mediation strategies are deployed by teachers and how they affect the appropriation of reading practices of academic-professional texts among their students.

Through this case analysis, the paper proposes a model for an ethnographic approach to writing in educational contexts that considers the textual features of the written materials circulating in the classroom, but analyzes these features in terms of the social identities that are indexed in the spaces studied. Attention to the meanings assigned to the texts (and the participants’ actions regarding them) allows the design of socially situated pedagogical strategies that favor processes of appropriation.

The analysis of textual trajectories in contemporary studies of writing

While the relationships between discourses have been a long-standing interest in writing studies (based on the categories of intertextuality or polyphony), starting with the theoretical developments of anthropological linguistics (Bauman & Briggs, 1990; Silverstein & Urban, 1996), sociocultural studies have paid increasing attention to the practices that take place regarding texts in order to shift them from one context to another through different social spaces, communicative situations, and even different semiotic modes.

Two key concepts become important in these initial approaches: the first is entextualization, that is, the practice of delimiting a circulating discourse (either in several fragments or as a whole) in order to restore it as part of a new discourse. The process of entextualization necessarily involves a certain reflexivity on the part of the person performing it, since it implies taking distance, observing the source text and selecting its parts, reinserting it in connection with other parts, and even translating it into another language or other semiotic modes (what Iedema [2003] calls resemiotization). Entextualization also entails a second process, recontextualization, as the text is disconnected from its original context of production and relocated in another social space. This necessarily involves changes in the effects of meaning of the text when it is received (read, heard, or seen) in its new environment, even if there have been no modifications to its formulation.

Using these two central notions, authors such as Blommaert (2005) propose to reconstruct the trajectories that texts undergo in the successive instances of recontextualization and readjustment (which Blommeaert covers in the concept of re-entextualization to highlight its recursive nature). These practices produce new semiotic artifacts, through operations such as cutting, reformulating, linking the original text with other texts, or registering it referentially in its new context.

This approach enables new possibilities for empirical research through the ethnographic study of the trajectories, comparing (using the tools of the language sciences) the different semiotic artifacts that are produced as an effect of re-entextualization and simultaneously situating them in the literacy events (Heath, 1982; Barton & Hamilton, 1998) in which these texts are produced or received1. This allows us to account for not only the changes in the semiotic, rhetorical, and discursive resources that the text undergoes when it is re-entextualized, but also the meanings that the participants assign to it in each of these instances and how they position themselves in relation to it.

The research on textual trajectories has generally focused on understanding the process of entextualization of oral discourses into generic institutional formats in the legal or public administration areas, such as testimonies, applications, or demographic records (Blommaert, 2009; Kell, 2015; Rock, 2017). Numerous studies have been carried out in relation to other social domains in recent times, including the influential study by Lillis and Curry (2010) on textual histories of academic articles by non-English-speaking authors, the one by Lillis (2017) covering textual trajectories in professional and workplace practice, the article by Méndez-Arreola and Kalman (2020) on trajectories of scientific knowledge among publications with different degrees of specialization, and that by Atorresi and Otero (2021) on processes of recontextualization of theatrical text in non-formal educational spaces.

In this paper, I analyze the practices of recontextualization and re-entextualization of a text from the scientific-professional field in the social space of adult education. In order to do this, the questions I seek to answer are: What does the recontextualized text bring with it from its previous context/s—that is to say, what is its indexical load (Blommaert, 2016)—and what form, function, and emergent meaning is it given it when it is relocated to its new context? Based on this, what re-entextualization practices do teachers carry out to facilitate the approach to the text in the classroom (including transformations in the genres, semiotic mode, and sociolinguistic register)? And lastly, what possibilities of appropriation are enabled for students based on the reading practices that are actualized in these events?


Study site and description of the population

This paper is part of an ethnographic study carried out at the Centro Educativo de Nivel Medio para Trabajadores (CENMT) in a working-class neighborhood of the city of Bariloche (Argentina). The institution was formed in 1987 as the result of a pilot educational experience linked to union training, and currently, in spite of having been incorporated into the institutional structure of public schools, it is still inscribed in the tradition of Latin American working-class education. The curriculum has a three-year design, with an initial common level and two final levels in the last year, oriented towards work experience: Community Health and Administration. The classes are organized in interdisciplinary modules taught by two teachers in a pedagogical pair, with spaces for exchange between the teachers in a weekly educators’ workshop (Spessot et al., 2009).

The two teachers in charge of the learning unit analyzed in this paper were 2, that is, they did not have institutional teacher training (one of them was a psychologist and the other a speech therapist) and had been working at the institution for more than 20 years in the Health Sciences module. In the interviews, both of them explicitly included themselves in a framework of working-class education and in the pedagogical strategies of non-formal education, stating that they had joined the school because of their profile in accordance with the foundational guidelines of the educational center.

I entered the site in 2012, accompanying a group of students as a researcher for three years, from their admission to their graduation from the institution. The group was composed of adults between 21 and 60 years of age, most of whom were women. The majority of them were in paid employment, either in the private sector (as cleaners, caregivers for the elderly), or in the public sector (as laborers, administrative employees, school janitors, or traffic officers).

During the fieldwork, I applied various data collection techniques: participant observation of classes and other institutional spaces; in-depth, semi-structured interviews with students, teachers, administrators, and graduates; collection of different semiotic artifacts (pedagogical materials, student notebooks, instructions, and assessment responses); and collection of demographic data and institutional documentation. I obtained a total of 340 hours of observation records, 20 interviews, and 224 pages of written materials. The materials were systematized and classified using the Transana qualitative research database. The audio recordings of classes and interviews were transcribed following conventions adapted from Tusón Valls (1997) (see Appendix). The information about the participants was anonymized using pseudonyms to safeguard their privacy.

For this article, I selected some of these data to reconstruct the textual trajectory of the printed materials throughout a learning unit of the Health Sciences module, which took place over a period of eight weeks. In order to clarify the analyzed sequence, I divided it into different stages, shown in Figure 1, in which I identified the literacy events that took place (differentiating the spaces, participants, and semiotic artifacts involved), as well as the literacy practices that these events actualized.

For reasons of space, I limit the analysis to the first two stages of the trajectory3: a first moment, before the class, in which the teachers adapt one of the written materials to use in the school, and a second moment, in which the adapted material is reworked in a collective reading event in class.

For the analysis, I combined the thick description of literacy events with tools of discourse analysis and interactional analysis, paying particular attention to the identification of native categories that would allow me to understand the perspectives of the participants on their own practices. In order to validate the interpretations ethnographically, I triangulated different types of data using the following procedure: 1) I identified the sequence of semiotic artifacts around the analyzed unit; 2) I conducted a comparative analysis of semiotic and discursive resources to identify changes between the source-text (book) and target-text (note); 3) I combined this analysis based on etic categories with the emic perspectives developed by the teachers in the interviews; 4) I ethnographically analyzed the observed literacy events through thick description and interactional analysis, identifying the processes of re-entextualization of the written material and the frameworks of participation in the class; and 5) I located indexes of teachers’ and students’ linguistic ideologies about printed materials in the classroom, in the interviews and interaction records, which I related to the textual trajectory analyzed.

I present the results of the analysis below, identifying the two moments of the trajectory (before the class and during the class) in order to provide greater clarity.


Before the class: adaptation of the materials

In my observations at the school, I noted that the fragmentary use of different sources was a common practice, since the materials circulated almost exclusively in the form of photocopies. In contrast to the first two years of the course (in which most of the work was done with school textbooks), in the Orientation subjects, the materials came from other social spaces: higher education, professional practice, or science publications. In these cases, the displacement of the texts implied a greater sociocultural distance and this meant that a series of interventions was necessary to adapt the material.

In the case that I cover here, the textual trajectory began with the selection of an analytical and propositional document for the Human Needs unit that was prepared by CEPAUR (a non-governmental international organization dedicated to human development) and published in the journal Development Dialogue (Max-Neef et al., 1986). Mariana, one of the teachers in charge of the unit, had read the text because it was used on a university course for a degree in Nursing, in which she also taught.

Based on this document, the teachers had carried out a process of re-textualization, intended to adapt the material:

A: I put together | a whole two-page summary | {(AC) (P) by different authors | that was comprehensible} […]

L: you rewrote it | or selected parts /

M: both \

A: both |

L: so a work of=

M: =because the note that she made | and two photocopies of other authors | of books

(Interview with Mariana and Alicia, third-year teachers).

In this excerpt we can recognize the categorization of the teachers themselves, who compared the new semiotic artifact, “the note”, with the photocopied books, written by the “authors”.

The contrastive analysis of the source-text and the notes that the teachers finally handed out to the students shows changes in various components of the textual organization: first, excerpts of the original were cut to reduce the length and it was also subdivided into shorter notes that were distributed class by class (in this case, three notes of between one and four pages were prepared). Furthermore, the sections were reordered, unifying excerpts of text from different chapters into a single shorter section; footnotes and appendixes were incorporated as part of the text and typographic highlighting elements were added (bold and underlining).

Original text

Adapted text

Thus, the analysis of the changes made by the teachers allowed me to infer (taking into account the purpose of the adaptation) what kind of literacy resources they categorized as difficult or complex for the students. Indeed, putting the original document into text requires a reader who is familiar with hegemonic literacy practices, since he/she must go through the text in a non-linear manner (connecting statements distributed between the main text, the footnotes, and the tables located at a distance from the text) and understand the hierarchization of information solely from the linguistic resources of focalization. On this basis, the adaptive interventions were intended to simplify the literacy procedures involved in the reception of the text, in order to enable linear reading and the rapid identification of key concepts from the graphic paratext.

That said, in addition to its length and organization on the page, the original text also contains numerous lexico-grammatical elements that have been defined as characteristic of the academic-scientific register:

However, unlike other adaptations, in the notes there are very few reformulations of lexical or grammatical resources: despite recognizing the difficulty that students had to decode these resources, the teachers did not resort to the strategy of replacing them. This was an explicit decision, as they stated in one of our conversations during the fieldwork:

A: what we do | each of us with their style but I think both of us do it | that they should lose their fear of words || those words- most of those words mean things that we know | and if we don’t know, we can find out


M: and I tell you | we never take out those words

(Interview with Mariana and Alicia).

This demonstrates a strong sociolinguistic awareness on the part of the teachers: in their statement “lose their fear of words”, they recognize that the problems in the reception of these texts are not due to linguistic reasons, but indexical ones, that is to say, to the type of discourse of authority to which they refer, which is both prestigious and intimidating (as I stated previously). Consequently, the teachers choose to enable students to come into contact with this register, instead of simplifying the texts to make them more comprehensible.

L: and what are the things there- where do you make changes | and adaptations? | the words | the concepts?


A: I tell you with the words | and with the technical language | in reality they remain || what we do is that work after: collective reading we call it @

L: of course

A: that’s where we look for the change and this appears from what we change to the cri:ollo4 | or that which is so difficult it means that | for that and for that

The adaptation strategies in the notes therefore prefigure the subsequent instance in the textual trajectory, that is, the resemiotization practices to be carried out in class: by not modifying the linguistic and discursive resources, they create the opportunity for a joint activity of interpretation regarding a (socio)linguistically challenging text. In this way, the teachers adopt the role of literacy brokers (Lillis & Curry, 2010), facilitating (and at the same time regulating) access to prestigious literacy resources according to their assumptions about the students’ possibilities, needs, and limitations, and, at the same time, placed under strain due to the school literacy regime (Blommaert, 2005).

During the class: collective reading as an instance of resemiotization

In the literacy events developed around the notes in the classroom, the teachers carry out (as I will show throughout this section) a comprehensive process of mediation, through the instantiation of a literacy practice they call “collective reading”: reading the text aloud, paragraph by paragraph, often by one of the students, followed by an explanation of the content of each paragraph by the teacher. Although this is a very traditional practice in educational institutions (Rockwell, 2013), a situated analysis allows us to reveal the particular meanings it acquires in the adult classroom (becoming specifically collective) and the different modes of appropriation of this practice by the participants.

During the event analyzed, the teachers present various reformulation procedures that are focused on the “difficult” sections of the text. One of them is the construction of equivalences between technical terms and more everyday terms (e.g.: “axiological means that they are theories of value, different values”). Another is morphological decomposition and semantic analysis of prefixes to infer the meaning of new words:

Excerpt 1

M: {the author} makes a third category || and calls it DIS SATISFIERS | pay attention to this word: ((writes on the board)) | he invents a category | using the CEPAUR satisfiers | this man \ DIS | is a prefix that means something that doesn’t work | well \ 

In fact, disassembling nominalizations or rephrasing unfamiliar terms allows the students to become familiar with this type of lexico-grammatical patterns and lose their fear of them. Both Mariana and Alicia were able to carry out these literacy procedures because, as health professionals, they were readers who were familiar with this sociolinguistic register. By performing this activity explicitly during the class, together with the students, they deployed their reasoning to model these reading strategies as a form of mediation.

Collective reading also implied a broader process of transformation, such as the shift from a specialized genre to an everyday one:

Excerpt 2

M. designated a student to read the note aloud, while everyone followed on their photocopies. When the student finishes reading a paragraph, M. stops her and begins her turn to speak.

1.M: °okay now we’re going to translate all this° \ it says in first place | this matrix

2.can serve >it says< as self-diagnosis of our group || that’s why we said

3.recently- we can say- take any old neighborhood X | and say okay here this

4.necessity | you suppose >I don’t know how this is put here< the need for subsistence


5.and here it says that it can also be done as prospective studies| prospective

6.what does that mean? in the future | So I can say: as I identify that I don’t have that

7.need covered| I can project| and I can say that to obtain that satisfier which

8.would be the water service I’m going to | create meetings with the neighborhood | I’m going to prepare a

9.petition | I’m going to go to the Municipality | and >I don’t know I’m saying anything<

10.go to the provincial water company- aguas rionegrinas | for example \ so in the future I’m going evaluate whether <what I put here in this box> was fulfilled or not and how\

In the example, we can identify a set of lexico-grammatical and discursive resources that are characteristic of colloquial discourse:

Similarly, references to local issues and entities (“lack of water / provincial water”) situate and contextualize the general statements of the written text. This set of features contrasts with the academic-professional register that characterizes the original CEPAUR document and is maintained (as we saw in the previous section) in the note.

In these segments, Mariana frames the segments of the note that she entextualizes through the reported discourse (“it says that” / “it is put here” / “I can say that”), and thus performs a hybrid discursive practice, intermingling technical terms with everyday terms and enunciative configurations that are typical of specialized genres with others that are used in everyday life.

At the same time, other, more horizontal frameworks of participation (Goffman, 1974) are enabled in these sections of the interaction, in which students intervene spontaneously:

Excerpt 3:

In another moment during the class, work is being done on the need for participation and the satisfiers that can solve it.

  1. M: I don’t know if any of you >in the- in your neighborhood< | the Municipality took |
  2. or at least you heard| about the participat:ory budget?
  3. Students: yes!


  1. A: that is participatory | as you as a citizen of the neighborhood in which you are right?
  3. S2:    =to do what=
  4. M and A   =to do what 
  5. A: that is done in assemblies
  6. M: = because sometimes as well=
  7. S3: =OF COURSE | what happens is that here for example | the participatory budget
  8. that the municipality grants | was given to the- to the neighborhood councils | so
  9. the neighborhood councils:held assembl:ies | and they decide there\ >if the people were going to participate |
  10. if not no< | because for example there in the third {neighborhood San Francisco 3rd} the
  11. people don’t- they not very participatory […] and: well \ but it was quite a lot of money >I recall<

Based on an interactional analysis, numerous elements can be identified in this excerpt that indicate symmetry in the distribution of the participants’ roles:

These patterns are not found in segments of the class focused on the text, which are characterized by a predominance of turn-taking by the teacher or an initiation-response-evaluation (IRE) interactional pattern that is typical of school settings.

In turn, as is mentioned above, the oral interaction regarding the note was linked to the production of different semiotic registers: on the one hand, the students frequently interceded in the photocopies based on what they had worked on in class.

On the other hand, the oral and collective text was then transferred to writing on blackboards and in notebooks.

In reading the notes of this student, it is possible to recognize the resources deployed in the class interaction (the morphological decomposition and the development of the practical example) in a fragmentary way. Here, the text is resemiotized once again by using isolated words that are articulated through arrows and with strategic use of the layout of the page.

This node of the trajectory is recognized by the students as a fundamental instance of mediation in order to be able to approach the materials once again later on their own:

And: I think it has a lot of validity ehh: what you have in the notebook| because you| you can read the photocopy sometime| that maybe the teacher tried to do their best >or that is to- to say okay I’m going to do it the best way so that they understand<| but often no- you don’t understand them

L: in the photocopy or in the class?

And: in the photocopy you don’t understand it| because I know that they try you see?| to put in all the effort| but they sometimes| have certain terms they use >that afterwards they explain it all to you< | it’s not a criticism| and afterwards what they do| they do it for you on the blackboard |and that’s really good because- they expand everything\ everything that’s in the photocopy| afterwards they write it for you on the board

L: of course

And: everyone works| and they explain every one of- of those items to you| right?

(Interview with Andrés, 3rd year student).

In his description, Andrés clearly reconstructs the textual trajectory that starts from the printed text, goes through the interaction in class, and ends in the value and the notebook (as one and the same instance). With regard to the transformations between the note (which the student calls “the photocopy” due to its materiality) and its oral re-entextualization, a reference can be identified not only to the lexical-grammatical resources (“the terms”), but also—in light of the observations—to the hybridization of genres and discursive practices that allow access to what is condensed in the text (“they expand everything”). The notebook (written record of the spoken text built collectively) becomes a new link in the generic chain that will be an input, finally, for the production of the evaluative works, individually and in an open-book manner, as a conclusion of the life cycle of this curricular unit.

Discussion and Conclusions

As I have attempted to show throughout this article, when tracing the trajectories of recontextualization of texts from prestigious social spaces (academic or professional) within adult schooling, it becomes evident that these semiotic artifacts not only use different linguistic and literacy resources (based on a technical conceptualization of the register), but also, and crucially, they bear the marks of the environments in which they were originally embedded. These texts make sense in these environments, and are discursively shaped by them.. When they are moved to the school space, those features—which allow the original document to adequately fit into its context—index something different: otherness, hierarchical difference, authority. Paying attention to these ideological and identity dimensions at the moment of receiving the texts in the classroom therefore allows us to understand the students’ attitudes towards these materials, going beyond explanations that interpret them merely in terms of difficulty.

By analyzing the trajectories in the everyday dynamics of the classroom, processes of transformation that have rarely been analyzed in the field of study become visible: from the written text, stabilized and regulated by a regime of academic/professional literacy, to a recontextualization that involves adaptation (abbreviating and simplifying) and resemiotization in oral interaction, with fragmentary notations on blackboards and in notebooks. In this case, the mobility of the text does not tend toward increased standardization, but rather processes of generic hybridization occur and the authorship of the discourse (categorized as “collective”) is expanded. This trajectory—which we could call descending, from a perspective of sociolinguistic prestige—enables students to achieve greater sociocultural appropriation (Kalman, 2003).

Finally, the analysis allowed the identification of small margins of agency for the participants within the school literacy regime in everyday practice. In the case of the teachers of the course studied, this can be identified in their work to choose materials from other social spaces, in the decisions of which aspects of the texts to adapt (and which not), and, above all, in their mediation strategies, focused on revealing the process of re-entextualization during the literacy events in the classroom and generating new frameworks of participation for the production of meaning with regard to the text.

As Blommaert (2005) argues, the possibility of re-entextualization depends on access to semiotic and literacy resources that are not distributed equally in society. However, by carrying out the practice of collective reading, the teachers model possible strategies for reception of discourses of authority (what can we/are we allowed to do with respect to these texts?). By bringing the experience of re-entextualization into the classroom rather than performing it in the behind-the-scenes planning, in Rock’s (2017) terms, they contribute to “redistribute the privilege of entextualization” (p. 452).

In summary, the analysis of the textual trajectories, situated within the broader framework of writing practices, can contribute to a critical pedagogical position, moving past naively simplistic teaching models in order to design teaching strategies that openly address the sociolinguistic tensions present in school classrooms.

Acknowledgements: Our thanks to the students and teachers of the Centro Educativo de Nivel Medio de Trabajadores for their collaboration in the development of this research.

Financing. This research was financed with funds from PI UNRN 40-B-800, Prácticas, trayectorias y sentidos de la escritura en jóvenes y adultos: perspectivas socioculturales y discursivas and PICT 2016-1774, Alfabetizaciones multimodales y repertorios sociolingüísticos: un abordaje etnográfico de las nuevas prácticas de lectura, escritura y oralidad en las aulas de educación secundaria.

The original paper was received on January 14, 2022
The reviewed paper was received on May 12, 2022
The paper was accepted on June 26, 2022


Atorresi, A., y Otero, G. (2021). Recontextualizaciones en el convivio preescénico: una modalidad de enseñanza de la noción de conflicto a actores con padecimientos de salud mental. Calle 14: Revista de investigación en el campo del arte, 16(29), 78-93.

Ávila Reyes, N. (2021). Literacy histories and talk around texts: Emphasising the emic to explore students’ perspectives on academic writing. In I. Guillén-Galve, & A. Bocanegra-Valle (Eds.), Ethnographies of Academic Writing Research (pp. 126-143). John Benjamins.

Bajtin, M. (1989). Teoría y estética de la novela. Taurus.

Barton, D., & Hamilton, M. (1998). Local Literacies. Reading and Wrting in One community. Routledge.

Bauman, R., & Briggs, Ch. (1990) Poetics and performance as critical perspectives on language and social life. Annual Review of Anthropology, 19, 59–88.

Birgin, J. (2020). Pensar-se como lectores y escritores en la universidad: un estudio de diarios de ingresantes a carreras de Letras. Revista Chilena de Pedagogía, 1(2), 79-106.

Blommaert, J. (2005). Discourse: A critical introduction. Cambridge University Press.

Blommaert, J. (2009). Language, Asylum, and the National Order. Current Anthropology, 50(4), 415–425.

Blommaert, J. (2016). From mobility to complexity in sociolinguistics. In N. Coupland (Ed.), Sociolinguistics. Theoretical debates (pp. 242-259). Cambridge University Press.

Calle-Arango, L., Ávila Reyes, N., & Meneses, A. (2021). “Es un poco cobarde mi tipo de escritura”: formas de citación y negociaciones identitarias de doctorantes en Educación. D.E.L.T.A., 37(3), 1-32.

Dyson, A. H. (2013). The Case of the Missing Childhoods: Methodological Notes for Composing Children in Writing Studies. Written Communication, 30(4), 399-427.

Eisner, L. (2018). El aula como zona de contacto: repertorios sociolingüísticos y prácticas en torno a lo escrito en una escuela media de adultos trabajadores (tesis doctoral, Universidad de Buenos Aires, inédita).

Eisner, L. (2022). La metáfora gramatical ideacional como marcador de registro sociolingüístico en prácticas de lectura y escritura escolares. A. Atorresi, & F. Wiefling (Eds.), Aplicaciones de la lingüística sistémica funcional en contextos educativos y de divulgación. Homenaje a Ann Borsinger (en prensa). UNRN Editora.

Flores, N., & Rosa, J. (2020). Deshaciendo la noción de adecuación: ideologías lingüístico-raciales y diversidad lingüística en educación. In M. Niño-Murcia, V. Zavala, & S. de los Heros (Eds.), Hacia una sociolingüística crítica: desarrollos y debates (pp. 149-183). Instituto de Estudios Peruanos.

Goffman, E. (1974). Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Harvard University Press.

Halliday Michael, A. K. (2004). The Language of Science. The collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday (Vol. 5). Continuum.

Heath, S. B. (1982). What no bedtime story means: Narrative skills at home and school. Language in Society, 11(1), 49-76.

Iedema, R. (2003). Multimodality, resemiotization: extending the analysis of discourse as multi-semiotic practice. Visual Communication, 2(1), 29–57.

Ivanic, R. (1998). Writing and Identity. John Benjamins.

Irvine, J., & Gal., S. (2000). Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In P. Kroskrity (Ed.), Regimes of language: Ideologies, policies and identities (35-84). School of American Research Press.

Kalman, J. (2003). El acceso a la cultura escrita: la participación social y la apropiación de conocimientos en eventos cotidianos de lectura y escritura. Revista Mexicana de Investigación Educativa, 8(17), 37-66.

Kalman, J. (2018). Leer y escribir en el mundo social. Obras escogidas de Judith Kalman. CREFAL.

Kell, C. (2015). Ariadne’s Thread: Literacy, Scale and Meaning-Making Across Time and Space. In C. Stroud, & M. Prinsloo (Eds.), Language, Literacy and Diversity: Moving Words (pp. 72–91). Routledge.

Lillis, T. (2008). Ethnography as Method, Methodology, and “Deep Theorizing”. Closing the Gap Between Text and Context in Academic Writing Research. Written Communication, 25(3), 353-388.

Lillis, T. (2017). Imagined, prescribed and actual text trajectories: the “problem” with case notes in contemporary social work. Text & Talk, 37(4), 485-508.

Lillis, T., & Curry, M. (2010). Academic Writing in a Global Context. Routledge.

Lillis, T., & McKinney, C. (2013) The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context: Objects, lenses, consequences. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 17(4), 415-439.

Lillis, T., & Maybin, J. (2017). Introduction: the dynamics of textual trajectories in professional and workplace practice. Text & Talk, 37(4), 409–414.

Maybin, J. (2017). Textual trajectories: Theoretical roots and institutional consequences. Text and Talk, 37(4), 415–435.

Max-Neef, M., Elizalde, A., & Hopenhayn, M. (1986). Desarrollo a Escala Humana. Una opción para el futuro. Development Dialogue (num. esp.). CEPAUR.

Méndez-Arreola, R., & Kalman, J. (2020). Textos que vuelan: producción y trayectorias de reportes escritos sobre la migración de la mariposa monarca. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada, 59(1), 296-329.

Norton, B. (2000). Identity and Language Learning: Gender, Etnicity and Educational Change. Longman Pearson.

Rock, F. (2017). Recruiting Frontstage Entextualization: drafting, artifactuality and written-ness as resources in police-witness interviews. Text & Talk, 37(4), 437-460.

Rockwell, E. (2013). Preambles, questions and commentaries: teaching genres and the oral mediation of literacy. In J. Kalman, & B. Street (Eds.), Literacy and numeracy in Latin America (pp. 184-199). Routledge.

Prinsloo, M., & Krause, L-S. (2019). Translanguaging, place and complexity, Language and Education, 33(2), 1-16.

Roozen, K., & Erickson, J. (2017). Expanding Literate Landscapes: Persons, Practices, and Sociohistoric Perspectives of Disciplinary Development. Utah State University Press.

Silverstein, M., & Urban, G. (1996). Natural Histories of Discourse. University of Chicago Press

Sito, L. (2018). Ensaiando estratégias das artes letradas nas zonas de contato: trajetórias de letramento acadêmico, ações afirmativas e políticas de conhecimento. Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada, 18(4), 821-852.

Spessot, A., Rinaldi, M. R., Crespo, A., & Escalante, M. (2009). El Centro Educativo de Nivel Medio para Trabajadores Bariloche. Una experiencia sostenida de trabajo docente colectivo. In H. González (Ed.), Reconociendo nuestro trabajo docente. Un diálogo necesario entre teorías y prácticas. Ediciones CTERA.

Tusón Valls, A. (1997). Análisis de la conversación. Ariel.

Zavala, V. (2020). Por una apuesta etnográfica para la glotopolítica. Caracol, (20), 203-231.


Transcription codes

? Interrogative intonation

¡! Exclamative intonation

Ascending tone

Descending tone

a: a:: Lengthening of a sound

> < Accelerated pace

< > Slow pace

- Sudden cut-off, interruption

word Accentuated words or syllables (emphasis)

°word° Pronounced in a low voice

@ Laugh

| Brief pause

|| Medium pause

[ ] Overlap

= At the beginning of a turn, indicates that there was no pause after the turn.

(( )) Non-verbal activity

{ } Transcriber’s comment

[…] Transcription excerpt deleted

1. Following Dyson (2013), we understand literacy events as the enactment of different literacy practices (defined as social models of reading and writing, that is, ways of acting and positioning oneself in relation to the text) in specific situations that the ethnographer can recognize from prolonged participation at the same research site. That is why, throughout this paper, I refer to literacy practices that are actualized or evoked in the observed literacy events.

2. Note of the editor: the expression “profesional idóneo” is used in Argentine for skilled professionals who do not necessarily have the official qualifications, but do have sufficient practical or clinic experience in a field.

3. Certain aspects of the third stage (the production of new texts by students in evaluative contexts) were examined in Eisner (2022).

4. Translator’s note: An Argentine term for native.