Prompt: In paragraph 13, Gee argues that members of the dominant Discourse apply “constant ‘tests'” to people whose primary Discourse is not the dominant one. Later, he explains that members of the dominant Discourses often pay close attention to how mechanically “correct” others’ language is because these features are the “best test as to whether one was apprenticed in the ‘right’ place, at the ‘right’ time, with the ‘right’ people.”
1. Consider a Discourse to which you do not belong but want to belong–a group in which you are or would like to be what Gee calls an apprentice. What is hardest about learning to belong to that Discourse? In other words, what gates do you have to make your way through: Who or what act as gatekeepers? Who or what aids you the most in getting through those gates?
2. Why do you think dominant Discourse “tests” happen? What is the benefit to the members of the dominant Discourse? What are the limitations? (Hint: you may want to re-read and contemplate the Oscar Wilde quote Gee ends his article within paragraph 47.)