Engaging with Latin@ "Eth(n)ical Issues" in Middle School Spanish: Using Translanguaging and Comprehensible Input Approaches to Advance Spanish Proficiency and Social Justice Goals

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Education, Culture, and Society
Author Delavan, Michael Garrett
Title Engaging with Latin@ "Eth(n)ical Issues" in Middle School Spanish: Using Translanguaging and Comprehensible Input Approaches to Advance Spanish Proficiency and Social Justice Goals
Date 2017
Description This dissertation reports on practitioner inquiry into a year-long curriculum in middle school Spanish II built around Latina/o cultural topics with social justice implications. A comprehensible input approach supported both the development of a core vocabulary in Spanish and discussion of these issues. Translanguaging-accessing linguistic resources across supposedly separate languages-allowed teacher and students to heighten complexity and comprehensibility. The study used a critical sociocultural theory lens and mixed methods to perform case studies of two classes with a focus on three students of varying positionalities. I asked (1) how the two classes interpreted and applied the central social justice concept used in the course (bilocal culture-crossing, BCC ), (2) how much their Spanish improved, (3) how motivating and satisfying they found the experience, and (4) how case study students' positionalities shaped their experiences of the curriculum. The first and last research questions yielded six findings: First, students joined me in translanguaging in order to make themselves understood around the complexity of power relations. Second, students actively used discourses of taking others' perspectives. Third, students increasingly recognized and spoke back to issues of unfairness. Fourth, students also began to use the term BCC as a way to discipline and admonish others. Fifth, student resistance centered on the term I had coined and, in one class more than the other, on perceived one-sidedness in some of the videos we discussed. Sixth, students participated in our BCC discourse community through processes of self-recognition work. For case study students this meant using their positionalities as lenses with which to understand BCC. The one case study student of color appropriated BCC in a way that constituted Walter Mignolo's concept of border thinking. In response to the other research questions, students' Spanish proficiency grew sufficiently to meet these state and district objectives, with Fourth Period showing more growth and Sixth Period attaining higher proficiency; and Fourth Period was less satisfied by the experience, citing issues with relevance, comprehensibility, and clarity of language goals. Implications for theory, practice and future research are discussed, including the significance of the study for Latinas/os in world language classrooms.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Foreign language education; Social studies education; Latin language; Questions; Sociocultural theory; Case studies; Videotape recordings; Intelligibility; Spanish; Language teaching methods; Student teacher relationship; Topic and comment; Middle school education
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Michael Garrett Delavan
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s69w4wb1
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2019-04-26
Date Modified 2020-03-31
ID 1423215
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s69w4wb1
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