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Review of Inequalities in Two-Way Immersion Programs

AERA Presentation by Cervantes-Soon, Dorner, Palmer, Heiman

Lisa M. Dorner

on 13 June 2017

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Transcript of Review of Inequalities in Two-Way Immersion Programs

...white bilingualism is interpreted as an achievement to be acknowledged, and Latino bilingualism one to be anticipated" (Muro, 2016).
Research Questions and Methods
Inequities in TWI's Sociopolitical Context
Inequities Related to Teachers
Interest Convergence (Bell, 1980) and Symbolic Integration

- Valdés (1997) "cautionary note"

TWI programs proliferated due to demand from . . .
Public debates dominated by . . .
Promotional materials more easily accessed by . . .
Framed as "beneficial for future job opportunities" especially for . . .

. . . white, middle-class families

Teachers linguistic backgrounds, ideologies, and orientations influence TWI classroom dynamics, and can lead to exacerbation of inequities.

English is the only non-negotiable language, as sometimes "specials" and extra-curriculars are led by English monolinguals.
Recruiting bilingual teachers is a challenge -- only 25 states and DC have bilingual education certificates -- and who is considered bilingual?
Employing teachers from other countries has been a challenges, as they may be underprepared, uneducated in the racial/social context of U.S. contexts.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Presentation at Cambio de Colores
Two-Way Immersion Programs Grow as Bilingual Education Declines
Spanish Immersion Elementary School
Inequities in the Classroom
Encounters between students from minoritized and dominant groups (mediated by classroom activities and larger ideologies) frame students' sense of self and agency.

Even though there is a goal of 50% instruction in the school language, many schools struggle to meet this, especially in the upper grades.
Transnational students themselves privilege English in their interactions.
An emphasis on English in the classroom gives English speakers an "academic edge," development of confidence.
Strict language separation can stigmatize "nonstandard" language practices, where English-speaking children imitate teachers in correcting transnational youths' language use.
Emerging bilinguals are asked to be "language brokers" and can become overburdened.
The Need for Critical Pedagogy in Dual Language Education to Dismantle Inequities
Rationale for TWI
to compete for jobs
to be "globally competitive students in the 20th century"
TWI-Related Discourses Across the Disciplines
Teachers emphasize "prestigious" or standardized versions of transnational youth's home languages.

Students and teachers from marginalized groups often viewed as "insufficiently" bilingual.

A New Pillar for TWI: Critical Consciousness -
a generative opportunity
"Astounding" Results Found for Students!
TWI Students as Outcomes
comparison of groups, denoting "L1/L2," language minority versus majority
better to think of students as "users" of language rather than "problems"
What inequities have been documented in TWI research?
What are the prevalent discourses in the study & promotion of TWI?
Neoliberal Logic, Accountability, and Commodification

- Imperative to prioritize economic markets/exchanges and choice in interactions (Cervantes-Soon, 2014)

TWI programs end up privileging monolingual, English development by...
abandoning language development to prepare for standardized testing
discourses of opportunities for jobs overshadowing equity frameworks
English-speaking parents perceiving Spanish speakers as "useful tools"
Languages in TWI

(monolingualism, standardization)

"Despite current conceptions of plurilingualism that reframe humanity's linguistic experiences as dynamic, situated, and ever changing (García & Sylvan, 2011; May, 2013), our institutions and policies are still shaped in mostly White, monolingual, standardized terms (Kibler, Valdés, & Walqui, 2014)."
Spaces for
critical pedagogy
are critical to expand the original 3 pillars of TWI.
can work with
to develop deeper understanding of diverging identities, positionalities, and lived realities that meet up in TWI
cannot be decontextualized from the current neoliberal assault and aggression aimed at transnational bilinguals;
demand language is viewed as empowering tool to dialogue across social class, race, and culture (Freire, 2007).
Collaborative explorations
humanizing studies
between family members, policymakers, teachers, and students can . . . recognize curricula as political terrain . . . map local to global experiences . . . center knowledges and realities of the oppressed . . . vouch for hope . . . provide opportunities for praxis in the defense of human rights.
by Claudia Cervantes-Soon, Lisa Dorner, Deborah Palmer, Dan Heiman, et. al.
Bilingual Education Act (1968):
first federal law for transnational youth who spoke languages other than English (also called "LEP," "EL," ELL," "ESL," "emerging bilinguals.")

Since 1968
: dismantling of bilingual ed, while growing TWI programs, which have three core goals:
High academic achievement
Intercultural competence
Two literature searches:
80 papers on "TWI," not limited by date range
141 papers (2005-2016) from related disciplines (anthropology, bilingual ed, foreign/world language, immersion ed, multilingual ed, TESOL)
Cervantes-Soon, C., Dorner, L., Palmer, D., Heiman, D.*, Schwerdtfeger, R.*, & Choi, J.* (2017). Combating inequalities in two-way language immersion programs: Toward critical consciousness in bilingual education spaces.
Review of Research in Education,

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