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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)
“ 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),
“ 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.”
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.
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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
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