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Nashville, TN, United States
My name is McLean Smith and I am an observer of life. I like to create music, capture experiences, and refine expression through my observations. To me, music is a feeling. It is something that captivates one in the moment and releases reactions unknown. It is something I wish to create for the rest of my life. It is something I hope to share with the world.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Topical Service Learning Reflection #3

My experiences at the Cohn Adult Learning Center have demonstrated that discourses are apprenticeships that produce meta-knowledge for one's primary discourse.

In the "Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction and What is Literacy?", Gee asserts that discourses are the enculturation into social practices via apprenticeships with members of dominant groups. My sessions at the learning center support this notion because my interactions with my students would symbolize a type of literacy training. I, a member of the American dominant group, taught my students how to interact with American culture. Similarly, my students, members of foreign dominant groups, tutored me in their respective cultures. As such, the learning center incorporates social practices into its literacy development program to actively immerse its students into American society. This immersion ameliorates the students' lives because said students learn to function as natives.

Additionally, Gee proposes that learning another discourse produces insights into one's primary discourse. He states that this meta-knowledge clarifies one's previously acquired knowledge. My experiences at the training session for the Cohn center affirm Gee's idea. While tutoring at the Cohn center, I learned multiple techniques that taught me meta-knowledge about the English language. Accordingly, I gained insights into my primary discourse because I acquired knowledge about my primary discourse's fundamental aspects, syllabification and pronunciation. As a result, I discovered the importance of the human tongue in linguistics and developed a rudimentary method for elocution. My meta-knowledge enabled me to instruct my students appropriately and elucidate American discourse during our sessions.

From my experiences at the Cohn center, I have witnessed that discourses are apprenticeships that produce meta-knowledge for one's primary discourse.

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