Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Caroline Vickers


This thesis investigates the intertextuality of language policy, K-12 TESL pedagogies, and EL identity construction in the perpetuation of unjust TESL practices in these contexts. By examining the power structures of English language ideology through critical discourse analysis of recent California language policy, this thesis demonstrates English language teaching’s intrinsically political nature in K-12 education through negotiations and exchanges of power. Currently, sociolinguistic approaches to TESL and second language acquisition acknowledge the value of language socialization teaching methods. This requires the acceptance of cognition, not as an individual pursuit of knowledge containment and memorization, but cognition as a collaborative and sociohistorically situated practice. Thus, this project also examines the power structures in place that negotiate and enforce these ideologies and how these practices influence pedagogy and EL identity construction.

Many English users are second language (L2) users of English yet authorities of English use tend to consist of homogenous, monolingual English users, or English-sacred communities, not L2 users of English. Often, this instigates native speaker (NS) vs. non-native speaker (NNS) dichotomies such as correct vs. in-correct use, and us vs. them dichotomies. These are the same ideologies that permeate the discourse of California’s Proposition 227 and some pedagogies discussed in the data of this research perpetuating culture wars between monolingual and multilingual advocates and users.