Beyond The Ordinary: Designing a Mobile-assisted Funds-of-Knowledge-Featured Instructional Framework for English Learners

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Yan Chen


The design and implementation of hybrid, technology-enhanced learning environments is a sophisticated process, especially when incorporating relevant sociocultural factors to support culturally and linguistically diverse students’ learning. In this paper, I review and provide a description of an iterative design process for a mobile-assisted funds-of knowledge (FoK)-featured instructional framework that aims to facilitate middle-school-aged Latinx English Learners’ (ELs) literacy development in writing. The sociocultural lens of FoK considers ELs’ ordinary experiences as assets in creating inclusivity and engaging flow in learning, which are further enhanced by affordances of mobile-based writing applications. More specifically, this design process was achieved through fieldwork situated in a Latinx community and school district in a rural town in the Midwestern United States. The design process was contextualized into four stages: the precedent stage focusing on the formation of the design idea, the framing stage focusing on the preliminary design outline, the co-evolution stage focusing on the development of the designed product, and the prototype stage focusing on experimenting with the designed product through the ELs’ classroom writing practice. This instructional framework emphasizes the transformation of diverse ELs’ ordinary experiences by guiding them through five sequential learning steps: discovering, connecting, writing, sharing, and preserving culture. Formative and summative evaluation techniques were embedded through different research phases, such as a preliminary instrumental case study, an ethnographic case study, and the ELs’ classroom writing practice. This design case provides an example of socioculturally contextualizing the application of emerging technology to mediate learning for diverse student populations.


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How to Cite
Chen, Y. (2021). Beyond The Ordinary: Designing a Mobile-assisted Funds-of-Knowledge-Featured Instructional Framework for English Learners. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 12(2), 49–58.
Author Biography

Yan Chen, University of New Mexico

Yan Chen is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests focus on computer-supported collaborative learning, instructional design, and multicultural/multiethnic education.