Research is also beginning to show how bad some native speakers are at using English for international communication. It may be that elements of an [English as a lingua franca] syllabus could usefully be taught within a mother tongue curriculum. (Graddol, 2006 p. 87)
multilingual communities have known [this] all along: language learning and language use succeed through performance strategies, situational resources, and social negotiations in fluid communicative contexts. Proficiency is therefore practice-based, adaptive and emergent…. The speakers are able to monitor each other’s language proficiency to determine mutually the appropriate grammar, lexical range and pragmatic conventions that would ensure intelligibility. (Canagarajah, 2007 pp. 923 - 925)
O: What- what parts of ummm like your lessons (.) have you enjoyed (.) doing (.) with Rachel.
S: (2.0) Hmm?
O: What parts of your ermmm ((LS)) (1.0) foundation programme have you enjoyed doing with Rachel.
S: (.) We- I don’t have Rachel.
O: Oh you do: n’t? oh right. So what- (1.0) what lessons d- what lessons are you doin’?
Contents page – the 5-stage activity
Background to ELF and our approach to the analysis of classroom talk
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Brutt-Griffler, J. (2002). World English: A study of its development . Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Canagarajah, S. (2007). Lingua franca English, multilingual communities, and language acquisition. Modern Language Journal , 91, 923-939.
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We’re all applied linguists now… Mediating literacy educators’ deficit perspectives on bilingual students
Applied linguistics as a tool for problem solving
El Paso and the U.S.-Mexico border as context for literacy teacher education
Mediating deficit perspectives through applied linguistics
Teachers’ voices of change
Literacy education in Texas, for students and teachers, has promoted dead ends about language and literacy:
The monolingual myth
Reading and writing as decoding and encoding sound (ignoring literacy as making meaning with texts)
Defining literacy narrowly: the written forms found in school
Underperformance of Mexican American and Mexican immigrant youth (Rong & Preissle, 2009; Valenzuela, 2004)
Drop-out rates near 50% for border school districts
Texas ranks 37 th of 50 U.S. states in education spending per child; 1 st in number of children without health insurance (Deviney, 2011)
Largest border “metroplex” in the world (Anderson & Gerber, 2008)
Poorer, more bilingual, fewer years of formal education completed than Texas and US averages
Drug violence pushing thousands of Juárez families into El Paso schools (Martínez, Alvarado, & Chávez, 2011)
80% of students are Mexican origin
50% are English language learners
Teachers and students share similar linguistic and ethnic background (Spanish/English bilinguals, Mexican origin)
Students are Mexican American and Mexican
born, women, mothers, working teachers
Most raised in bilingual homes but educated only in English
“ Language Study for Literacy Educators” first and only course in applied linguistics
Data from 3 semesters; 70 graduate students
What is language?
What is literacy?
What is (applied) linguistics?
“ Any form of communication” including (“animal language”, “body language” and gestures
Excludes written language and signed languages
Taught and learned through imitation and explicit instruction
The goal of language development is “academic language”
The reading and writing that are done at school: “the ability to read and write at the appropriate grade level.”
State of Texas definitions: “read with fluency, rate, and clarity, with comprehension.”
Glottographic: “our spoken language, in written form”
Alphabetic: “…understanding words and letters….”
Studying or knowing multiple languages
Related to reading education:
“ the study of breaking down words into sounds”
how to learn a language
“ I’ve heard of linguists, but I’m not sure what they do.”
“ I learned to speak Spanish first and I went to school in Mexico. When I was about to start 8 th grade my parents brought me to the U.S. I started to learn English then, very slowly. I speak, read, and write Spanish and English. However, Spanish continues to be my dominant language. I feel ashamed that after living for so many years in the U.S. I still don’t speak like native speakers [of English].”
“ Growing up in a family whose first language is Spanish was a challenge, especially at school. Not only was language a problem but also literacy. I really did not enjoy reading and writing because of my lack of knowledge. I avoided reading and writing as much as possible.”
“ Reading can be a difficult component of literacy due to many obstacles you can face such as a person’s background. Writing is another component that is difficult when dealing with the English language.”
“ Nowadays, particularly in the United States, there is a lot of diversity and with that comes difficulties learning the English language.”
If language and literacy on the border are proxies for race and ethnicity (Salomone, 2010) that serve as means of institutionalizing curriculum that segregates and marginalizes (Gutiérrez, Arshad & Henríquez, 2009),
Language authority/ insecurity
Language and literacy as simultaneously cognitive and sociocultural
Changing definitions of literacy
Writing systems and scripts
Differences in how literacy is used and treated in schools, homes, and other settings
Learning to read is more than sound; it’s also about using experience to make sense of text
“ Children’s experience, life, and upbringing help develop reading and writing proficiency. I learned that all kids come to school with a wealth of reading experiences.”
“ Children develop oral and written language before they enter the school system…. They have their own experiences that they use to make sense of what they read.”
“ Writing my family literacy event made me realize that literacy surrounds us. At a workshop we were asked who had read a book in the last month. Many did not raise their hands…they felt ashamed because they were not being literate. But many said that they read blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc. I was able to tell them that they are reading. Almost everything one does requires some form of literacy.”
“ More aware of how much we use oral and written language together in our everyday lives.”
“ My understanding is broader; language and literacy are more complex than what I believed.”
Applied linguistics courses to the core of literacy teacher education?
Follow students into their classrooms to observe how instructional practices do or don’t change as a result of exposure to applied linguistics knowledge
Create alternative learning opportunities for putting literacy educators in touch with other applied linguists. Unofficial, unregulated spaces where literacy education students & practitioners interact with others working on similar problems.
Anderson, J.B., & Gerber, J. (2008). Fifty years of change on the U.S.-Mexico border: Growth, development, and quality of life. Austin: The University of Texas Press.
Ball, A.F. (2000). Teachers’ developing philosophies on literacy and their use in urban schools: A Vygotskian perspective on internal activity and teacher change. In C.D. Lee & P. Smagorinsky (eds). Vygotskian perspectives on literacy research: Constructing meaning through collaborative inquiry . (pp. 226-255). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Denham, K., & Lobeck, A, (eds.) (2010) Linguistics at school: Language awareness in primary and secondary education . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Deviney, K. (2011). Texas child population: More kids, more diversity, more responsibility . Austin, TX: Center for Public Policy Priorities. Retrieved August 10, 2011 from http://www.cppp.org/files/10/TexasChildPopulation_paper.pdf
Gomez, M.L. (1993). Prospective teachers’ perspectives on teaching diverse children: A review with implications for teacher education and practice. Journal of Negro Education, 62 , 459-474.
Gutiérrez, K.D., Arshad, A., & Henríquez, C. (2009). Syncretism and hybridity: Schooling, language, and race and students from non-dominant communities. In M.W. Apple, S.J. Ball, & L.A. Gandin. (eds). (2009). The Routledge international handbook of the sociology of education . Oxford: Routledge.
Hall, C.J., Smith, P.H., & Wicaksono, R. (2011). Mapping applied linguistics: A guide for students and practitioners . Routledge.
Lee, C. D. (2007). Culture, literacy, and learnng: Taking bloom in the midst of the whirlwind . New York: Teachers College Press.
Luke, A., Green & Kelly (2010). What counts as evidence and equity? Review of Research in Education, 34 (1), vii-xvi.
Martínez, G. (2006). Del dicho al hecho: Mexican Americans and language. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.
Martinez, J.C., Alvarado, R., & Chavez, N. (2011, August 8). Flight from Mexico: Experts vary on migration's impact on border, El Paso. El Paso Times. Retrieved August 10, 2011 from http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_18633014?source=pkg
Pratt, M.L. (2002). Building a new public idea about language . ADFL Summer Seminar West, California State University, Long Beach, 20–22 June 2002 . Retrieved June 15, 2011 from http://silverdialogues.fas.nyu.edu/docs/CP/306/pratt.pdf
Rippbeger, S.J., & Staudt, K.A. (2003). Pledging allegiance: Learning nationalism at the El Paso-Juárez border . New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
Rong, X.L., & Preissle, J. (2009). Educating immigrant students in the 20 th Century: What educators need to know . Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Salomone, R.C. (2010). True American: Language, identity, and the education of immigrant children . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Staudt, K.A., Fuentes, C.M.,& Monárrez, J.E. (eds). (2010). Cities and citizenship at the U.S.-Mexico border: The Paso del Norte metropolitan region . New York: Palgrave.
Smith, P.H., & Murillo, L.A. (2011). Repositioning biliteracy as capital for learning: Lessons from teacher preparation at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Unpublished manuscript. University of Texas at El Paso.
Valenzuela, A. (2004). Leaving children behind: How “Texas-style” accountability fails Latino youth . New York: State University of New York Press