Language and Social Processes SIG 58
Language and Social Processes SIG 58


To explore directions in and issues of language and discourse practices literacy, learning processes, and social contexts through studies grounded in sociocultural, constructivist and constructionist perspectives.

Message from SIG Chair

As in-coming chair of LSP, I am proud of the work we have accomplished over the last year. We had another successful mentoring session and two webinars organized by our outgoing graduate student representatives, Jamaal Muwwakkil and Carrie Anne Thomas. Many more works published by our community of scholars are included below. I’m honored to get to take up this role and am grateful to Diana, Kate, and Sarah who mentored me over the last 6 years.

I believe that it is in and through language that we make our social worlds and that as scholars in and of education we trade in language. That is, we construct research findings into language that conveys to others how those findings are implicated in the processes that create and recreate our everyday social worlds. This is often work that is focused on what is rather than what could be. I am inspired by the speculative work of black Science Fiction authors like Octavia Butler, and given our field and our social, cultural, and political context it invites some reflection: how might we language healing and abundance?

Beyond the jargon-filled language we write for others in our fields, I believe we have a responsibility to speak to larger audiences, because strong narratives can (and do) circulate that are false and purposefully do harm to others and our voices are often absent. And as the OpEd Project reminds us, “whoever tells the story writes the history” ( When we do research, our participants trust us with their stories and part of being answerable to them is to use what we learn from them to defend and expand the rights of others. In other words, we are “are bound in a covenant of reciprocity, a pact of mutual responsibility to sustain those who sustain us” (Kimmerer, 2013, p. 382).

Currently, many young people and educators are under attack. there’s a narrative in the popular media regarding my field, elementary literacy. It states that teacher educators, like myself, know how best to teach children how to read but that we are withholding that information from preservice teachers purposefully. This narrative is nonsense and powerful. Some of our colleagues are writing to those larger audiences and appealing to journalistic editors to better take up the ethical guidelines of their profession by rigorously fact-checking before they publish. And our LSP program chair Laura Taylor recently wrote an OpEd for a local paper to argue against punishing children for not passing the third-grade reading test in her state. ( /opinion-summer-school-isnt-the-way-to-improve-3rd-gradeliteracy/70302665007/

So, as we prepare our proposals for AERA’s annual conference and throughout our daily work, I call on each of us to consider how we might better share the expertise we’ve gained over many years of study with wider audiences in ways that promote healing. 


Michiko Hikida 
LSP SIG Chair 

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2023 Awardees

John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime scholarship

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, UCLA


Early Career Award

Idalia Nuñez, University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign