Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2021 Momoka Keicho. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Linguistics Department

First Advisor

Rikker Dockum

Second Advisor

Elaine Allard


By interviewing current Swarthmore students on their linguistic experiences at Swarthmore College, I investigated how students with diverse linguistic practices interact with the raciolinguistic ideology of academic language at a predominantly white institution. Ultimately, I argue that Swarthmore’s linguistic climate perpetuates the academic language raciolinguistic ideology by equating academic language with academic performance. In response to this linguistic climate, students whose linguistic diversity is not appreciated by the institution either conform to or subvert the expectations for academic language in the classroom in order to survive and succeed. Students expressed four main approaches to responding to the linguistic climate: 1) conforming by performing sociolinguistic labor (Holliday and Squires, 2020), 2) finding and creating participation spaces outside of the main classroom discourse, 3) identifying safe participation spaces created by figures of authority, and 4) subverting the academic language ideology in the main classroom, despite the institution’s linguistic expectations.