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Abstract

We explored 19 Latinx children’s literacies in Spanish and translanguaging by asking, “What are Latinx children’s experiences and beliefs regarding Spanish and translanguaging reading and writing? How do tutorial staff and teacher candidates (TCs) help the youth to resist hegemonic and bracketing practices of English-only?” This study took place in a South Texas tutorial agency, where children voluntarily attended for after-school homework help. Data sources consisted of questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, hobby essays, and newsletter articles. Most children reported negative school-related language experiences and expressed dislike and unease regarding Spanish and translanguaging reading and writing, although they lived less than 10 miles from the Mexico border. However, two tutorial staff and 15 TCs provided counter narratives and modeled that Spanish and translanguaged (hybrid) reading and writing are neither wrong nor difficult. Schools’ accountability pressures and the U.S. socio-political milieu move language to the center (centripetal forces), while forces that resist normalization are centrifugal. Implications relate to how neighborhood educational centers, TCs, and classroom teachers can help subaltern youth to resist centripetal language forces.

Keywords

Latino/Latinx, Translanguaging, Spanish Literacy, Writing, Bakhtin, Heteroglossia

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Kathy M. Bussert-Webb is Professor and Endowed Chair in the Bilingual and Literacy Studies Department at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kathy.bussertwebb@utrgv.edu.

Hannah M. Masso, B.S. (Psychology, University of Texas Austin), M.S. (Clinical Psychology, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), was a Graduate Research Assistant of Drs. Bussert-Webb and Karin Lewis at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: hmasso7@gmail.com.

Dr. Karin A. Lewis is Assistant Professor in the Teaching and Learning Department at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: karin.lewis@utrgv.edu.

Publication Date

11-4-2018

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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