Gee defines a Primary Discourse as one that we acquire “through our primary socialization early in life in the home and peer group” (Gee 7). A Secondary Discourse, on the other hand, is something that we acquire through “interacts with various non-home based social institutions- institutions in the public sphere, beyond the family and immediate kin and peer group” (Gee 8). Building houses can either be a primary or secondary discourse, depending on the individual. For me it is my primary discourse because my dad has been a builder since before I was born and growing up, I was always around him, at the job sites, and exposed to the house building discourse. Gee says that Primary Discourses are acquired “not by overt instruction, but by being a member of a primary socializing group (family, clan, peer group)” (Gee 8). I came into the discourse from my dad (family). To someone else, the construction discourse would be secondary. With a Secondary Discourse “we are given access to these institutions [local stores and churches, schools, community groups, state and national businesses, agencies and organizations, and so forth] and are allowed apprenticeship with in them” (Gee 8). Building houses is a job that most people start sometime after school, so they are given access to the institution, and they have an apprenticeship under a master of house building, where they learn and will acquire their secondary discourse.

Gee defines Discourses as “saying (writing)-doing-being-valuing-believing combinations” (6). In the building task worksheets I analyzed artifacts and found the saying (writing)-doing-being-valuing-believing aspects of the discourse. The “saying(writing)” aspect is most important in order to join, and eventually master this discourse. In the article “A Step-by-Step Guide to the Home Building Process” by Susan Bady, there are many unique pieces of language, that without knowledge of the discourse, you wouldn’t understand. One example is “cure”. Most people when then hear this think of someone being sick and needing a remedy to cure them, or make them feel better. In construction, cure means the time needed for the concrete foundation to harden before being ready to be built on.

Time on task: 1 hours