Flippin' scripts : language ideologies and language practices in a dual immersion bilingual program
- This mixed-methods study investigates the ideologies, attitudes, and understandings of language, bilingualism, and second language acquisition among students, teachers, and parents in a Bay Area dual immersion (DI) program. The work shows that despite rhetoric and awareness of language variation, students' and teachers' approaches to language learning and instruction adhere to problematic views of language as static and adherent to standardized forms. Such understandings of language and bilingualism limit students' abilities by restricting their use of their full linguistic repertoires and devaluing valid language varieties that emerge from growing up in bilingual communities. Instead, such views force them towards unrealistic paradigms of simultaneous native-like proficiency in two separate codes and vague constructions of "academic language." Ultimately, the study sheds light on new pathways for teacher training and curriculum structure in bilingual classrooms that harness students' linguistic skills and encourage social-oriented approaches to language teaching and learning. Data for the study was collected through qualitative and quantitative means. Ethnographic observation of eight focal students and two teachers in the two DI fifth grade classrooms at the school offered understanding of language use patterns and approaches to language teaching. Meanwhile, semi-structured interviews were also carried out with the same students and teachers, as well as with the students' classmates and parents and other staff at the school to gain greater insight into understandings about language and language learning, as well as some perspective on attitudes towards different varieties and language practices. Finally, the quantitative element of the study deployed a verbal guise test administered to the whole grade level cohort to probe for underlying attitudes among students towards speakers of non-standard varieties of English and Spanish. The triangulation of these data sheds light onto shortcomings in antiquated understandings about language purity and language learning that impede students' communicative efforts, as well as tremendous promise in the classroom and recreational spaces when language use is less regimented and students use translanguaging practices -- the simultaneous use of multiple codes and modalities in gathering, processing, and communicating information (García, 2009) - for academic purposes and in social relations. The study finds that while overt discourses throughout the school praise bilingualism and recognize language variation, messages privileging standardized varieties and monolingual norms are repeatedly conveyed in teaching practices, curriculum structures, and interactions. Nevertheless, the study highlights students' and teachers' linguistic flexibility and the value of their translanguaging abilities for academic and social purposes. In learning contexts, students deploy their hybrid language practices (Gutiérrez, Bacquedano-López, and Tejeda, 1999): (a) to ask questions and solicit clarification, (b) share their knowledge with peers and provide explanations, and (c) to jointly construct new knowledge or reach deeper understanding with peers. Similarly, students' translanguaging allows them to perform a number of complex tasks in social spaces as well, navigating relationships across lines of class, ethnicity, and academic achievement, while highlighting different identity components for themselves. Building on these findings, I argue that the efficacy of students' linguistic flexibility demands a critical perspective that views language as dynamic repertoires situated in practice (Creese and Blackledge, 2010; Makoni and Pennycook, 2006) such that DI classrooms acknowledge and discourage the monolingual ideologies currently entrenched. By recognizing the social components of language and language learning, teachers and curriculum can be better positioned to build upon students' existing languaging capabilities while critically introducing standardized forms to their repertoires through authentic, communication-based experiences.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, Graduate School of Education.
|Alim, H. Samy
|Ramirez, Francisco O
|Alim, H. Samy
|Ramirez, Francisco O
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Graduate School of Education.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2014.
- © 2014 by Luis Ernesto Poza
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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