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Repositioning bilinguals

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Title:
Repositioning bilinguals BFLA Spanish-English children in predominately English setting
Added title page title:
BFLA Spanish-English children in predominately English setting
Creator:
Nalls, Irdawati Bay ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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Language:
English
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1 electronic file (210 pages) : ;

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Education and human development

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bilingualism ( lcsh )
Identity (Psychology) ( lcsh )
Bilingualism in children ( lcsh )
Bilingualism ( fast )
Bilingualism in children ( fast )
Identity (Psychology) ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Review:
This study looks at the profile of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilingual children across an elementary school in DPS, CO. Based on classroom observations, and small group and one-on-one interviews with student participants, their teachers, and immediate family members, these bilinguals reveal how their identity is compromised as they survive in predominantly monolingual English-speaking American settings. Their struggles, as they acculturate in America through their attempt to blend heritage and societal languages, and cultural practices, are revealed in the intimate sharing of counter-narratives. Their suppressed voices bring forth a story about identity and the need to reposition the marginalized by giving recognition to abilities. Identity goes beyond skin color and accent.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
Irdawati Bay Nalls.

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University of Colorado Denver Collections
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
985107988 ( OCLC )
ocn985107988
Classification:
LD1193.E35 2016d N35 ( lcc )

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Full Text
REPOSITIONING BILINGUALS: BFLA SPANISH-ENGLISH CHILDREN IN
PREDOMINANTLY ENGLISH SETTING
by
IRDAWATI BAY NALLS
B.A. with Merit, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2006 M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 2010
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Education and Human Development Program
2016


2016
IRDAWATI BAY NALLS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Irdawati Bay Nalls has been approved for the Education and Human Development Program by
Sheila Shannon, Advisor Nancy Commins, Chair Alan Davis Cheryl Matias
June 30th, 2016


Nalls, Irdawati (Ph.D., Education and Human Development)
Repositioning Bilinguals: BFLA Spanish-English Children in predominantly English setting Thesis directed by Associate Professor Sheila Shannon.
ABSTRACT
This study looks at the profile of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilingual children across an elementary school in DPS, CO. Based on classroom observations, and small group and one-on-one interviews with student participants, their teachers, and immediate family members, these bilinguals reveal how their identity is compromised as they survive in predominantly monolingual English-speaking American settings. Their struggles, as they acculturate in America through their attempt to blend heritage and societal languages, and cultural practices, are revealed in the intimate sharing of counter-narratives. Their suppressed voices bring forth a story about identity and the need to reposition the marginalized by giving recognition to abilities. Identity goes beyond skin color and accent.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Sheila Shannon
IV


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This thesis may have been penned by me, but it is the culmination of contributions from an entire community. Without the moral, intellectual, and emotional support extended by my mentor, Dr. Shannon, I would have been unable to inhabit the privileged doctoral spaces that few immigrants can access. Continual encouragement from my family members and circle of friends gave me the courage to put one foot in front of the other until I reached the finish line. Most importantly, the hope, trust, and respect that I received from the student participants and their teachers and families ensure that I will continue this work, which will someday foster more equity and support for bilingual minority students in our public schools
v


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION 1
II. LITERATURE REVIEW 30
III. METHODOLOGY AND THEORECTICAL FRAMEWORKS 65
IV. RESULTS FROM RESEARCH QUESTION 1 103
V. RESULTS FROM RESEARCH QUESTION 2 136
VI. IMPLICATION 153
REFERENCES


LIST OF TABLES
TABLE
1. Summary of Data Collection Procedures 90
2. Summary of Data Analysis Procedures 193
3. Kindergarteners aged 5-6 years old 104
4. Yasmines Home Language Interactions 106
5. Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Kindergarteners) 109
6. Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure (Kindergarteners) 109
7. Summary of Kindergarten Student-Participants Bilingual Abilities as 110
Defined by their Teachers
8. Third-Graders aged 9-10 years old 116
9. Anns Home Language Interactions 118
10. Georges Home Language Interactions 118
11. Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Third-Graders) 118
12. Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure (Third-Graders) 119
13. Summary of Third-Grade Student-Participants Bilingual Abilities as 119
Defined by their Teachers
14. Fifth-Graders aged 10-11 years old 124
15. Angels Home Language Interactions 125
16. Camilas Home Language Interactions 128
17. Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Fifth-Graders) 129
18. Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure (Fifth-Graders) 130
19. Summary of Fifth-Grade Student-Participants Bilingual Abilities as 139
Defined by their Teachers
20. Summary of Student-Participants 134
VII


Summary of Language Instructions Summary of Practices to Maintain Bilingualism Summary of Families Roles to Maintain Bilingualism Summary of Educators Roles to Maintain Bilingualism


LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE
1. Map of Globeville 8
2. Globeville, the Industrial Community 9
3. Residents Travel Time to Work 14
4. Schools in Globeville 15
5. Races in Globeville 16
6. Household Income in Globeville 19
7. Mexican American Bilingual Identities I 36
8. Mexican American Bilingual Identities II 42
9. Re-Cap Mexican American Bilingual Identities 53
10. Summary of Bilingual Identities in America 74
IX


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Positionality
You cant eat that cause it contains cuttlefish! I exclaimed to my partner in Mandarin on one of our trips to Tokyo. My ability to speak, read, and write in Japanese literally saved my partners life. I was able to read the food label written in Japanese and warned her in her preferred language of communication, Mandarin, in time. She is allergic to seafood. Just a small amount is toxic to her body and will result in rashes and swelling.
I am a Queer, multi-racial, multi-cultural, multilingual, Singaporean woman who grew up with three first languages, two of which are heritage languages which also carry the cultural practices of my ancestors with each of the languages, and the third is a societal language which is the language spoken by the majority in my country and carries economic benefits when used in communication. My heritage languages are Mandarin and Malay, and my societal language is Singaporean English. At 17,1 picked up an additional language, Japanese. I wanted to learn Japanese because I wanted to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a volunteer to counsel victims of the aftermath of nuclear bombing. Now, at 34,1 live a bicultural life- one in Colorado, United States, where I am a doctoral student and another in Singapore, where I teach Communicative Business English to adult learners. As if knowing four languages wasnt enough, I am trying to learn still another language, Spanish. I was drawn to the Spanish language when I began working with Mexican American bilinguals in Colorado back in 2009.1 felt that the only way I could better understand them was to learn at least some basic Spanish. My knowledge of multiple languages translates into a cacophony of complex identities. As a Mandarin speaker, I am able to communicate with the cashiers at
1


the supermarket. Using Mandarin breaks down language boundaries between us, making them friendly and helpful every time I need assistance with certain products. As a Malay speaker, I am able to access and better understand policies in Singapore because Malay is the national language here. As a Japanese speaker, I am able to find my way around Japan easily. Japan is a monolingual country, and without Japanese, a tourist can feel helpless. I frequent Japan often because Narita Airport in Tokyo is where I transit when I travel from Singapore to Colorado and vice versa. I also visit family and friends, and sometimes shop in Japan. Knowing Japanese is thus an asset.
I have learned to effectively leverage my linguistic skills to survive and thrive in societies where English is the predominant language. Even though English is one of my first languages, the fact that English is not my only first language means that to many people I will never be considered a native speaker of English (Braine, 2010) because I speak with an accent. Being a minority multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multilingual, I live within a hegemonic society dictated by rules created by those in power. Singapore and Colorado are places tainted by colonization, places where English has become the de facto language of POWER. I, like many minority multilinguals who speak with our unique and non- standard accent, am powerless in these societies, where standard English is The de facto language, as we continue to live in the shadows of the hegemony of English (Gramsci, 1971; Shannon, 1995).
I have been subjected to linguistic marginalization in a variety of spaces. As a young professional working for a British educational institute based in Singapore, here all of my colleagues are White and from the U.K, the U.S., or Australia, countries where English is the de facto official language. As the only teacher of color, I have been questioned about my
2


spoken English for being not native-like enough. I vividly recall a racial micro-aggression (DeAngelis, 2009) to which I was recently subjected to when my line manager asked me to lie about my nationality. I was asked to introduce myself as American in my Speaking and Pronunciation Level 2 course. He claimed my Asian identity might give students an opportunity to question my abilities. While I was hurt and offended, I summoned the courage and dignity to turn down the request. I am proud of my Asian roots which have resulted in my multilingualism under no circumstances would I deny who I am. Besides, my students will be able to see that I am Asian from my physical appearance. While most of my work colleagues praise me for my ability to speak English fluently, some have also attempted to correct my accent. Sadly, I had similar experiences in my doctoral program in Colorado. Some of my classmates and professors assumed that English is not my first language and would praise me for my ability to speak and write well. I do not see these praises as compliments because English is my first language; therefore, it should not be a surprise to anyone that I speak and write English.
Such micro aggressions and marginalization reinforced my knowledge regarding the marginalization of bilingual people in the United States. Eriksen (1992) pointed out that multilingualism has always been viewed with suspicion in the United States. How can the deficit notion of marginalized bilingual people in the United States be positioned to help monolinguals understand that bilinguals can be native speakers of English too? In order to reverse deficit notions of marginalized bilinguals, they need to be repositioned as having assets, strengths, and possibilities. There are many profiles of bilingual learners among them students whose initial acquisition of languages is through two languages- Bilingual First Language Acquisition (BFLA) children. However, there is a lack of research regarding the
3


profiles of these students. It must also be noted that with globalization, the English language that used to belong exclusively to the White colonizers is now a language commonly spoken by children of immigrants and the colonized. Therefore, it is becoming a common occurrence to see a non-White person owning English and speaking it as a native tongue.
Problem Statement
Global white supremacy (Allen & Howard, 2012) underlays much of humanitys past and present struggles during colonization by Europeans, and the struggle for equality is still evident today through the ideology of racism. People of minority race have been a target of linguistic abuses since the time of colonization. This is evident through the various deliberate policies that have been implemented through education and immigration laws.
For example, in Singapore, the policies surrounding current bilingual education are coded to prioritize certain official languages over others (Lee, 2010). These coded references coincidently allow the language of power to coincide with the majority language and in Singapore, these languages are the heritage language, Mandarin, and the societal language, Singaporean English. Singapore is comprised of approximately 79% Chinese (Mandarin speaking) with the remaining 21% Malay speaking (also the national language) and Tamil as heritage languages (Lee, 2010). Similarly, in the United States, the language of the majority, English, gains inevitable power. Bourdieu (2003) describes this as societies using language as symbolic power. Bourdieu argues that language(s) should not be viewed only as a means of communication, but also as a medium of power through which individuals pursue their own interests and display their practical competencies. When language is viewed from this Bourdieudian perspective, it must be critically examined not only as a tool of speaking and writing, but as a potential mechanism to oppress others.
4


In societies where English is the official language either by law or by coercion, it is the minority multilingual speakers (whose heritage language isnt English) who face discrimination because of linguistic hegemony (Shannon, 1995). In this study, I focus on the case of Bilingual First Language Acquisition (BFLA) Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. Coincidently, these bilingual speakers are also immigrant minorities in Colorado, United States, whose population constitutes the majority of the minority non-White American population (U.S. Census, 2010). I choose to work with BFLA Spanish-English Mexican Americans bilinguals because like me, they are bilinguals with more than one first language. Their first languages, Spanish and English, not only make them bilinguals, they are also bi-cultural. This is partly because of the constant exposure to the societal language, American English, and the heritage language, Spanish, prior to school, and their unique lived experiences of growing up with two cultures, the societal culture, American, and the heritage culture, Mexican.
Significance of Study
Bilingualism, a global phenomenon, is an area of research that has been receiving much attention (De Houwer, 2009; Callahan & Gandara, 2014; Kayi-Aydar, 2015; Silva-Corvalan, 2015); yet, the field has not been fully exhausted (De Houwer, 2009). Bilingualism is a sub-field of linguistics, and is an important component in educational research. However, there are researchers in the field who have failed to fully consider the social impact of language use within society (De Houwer, 2009). This stance is made in consideration of the political influences played out in the power struggles within race and class in the economically driven, multilingual society that we live in.
5


Although research studies on bilingualism and multilingualism have been receiving much attention, studies that investigate BFLA Spanish-English bilinguals in the United States are limited. This research study will look specifically at how BFLA Spanish-English children who are Mexican Americans, navigate predominantly English-only environments. This study will also look at the school practices that are put in place to achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development (De Houwer, 2009) among these BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children. Through this study, I hope to address two research questions:
1. What are the profiles of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children the across elementary school years?
2. What structures are in place that either support or hinder BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children to maintain harmonious bilingual development?
In doing so, I hope to contribute to the asset-based repositioning of bilinguals within the U.S. context.
In the US, Mexican American bilinguals heritage language, Spanish, has been referred to as ethnic language, minority language, ancestral language, third language, non-official language, community language, and mother tongue (Cummins & Danesi, 1990, p.8). These coded references have one similarity, Spanish is not viewed in the US as an official language. Ruiz (1984) proposes three basic orientations in language planning in the United States. These categories are language-as-a-right, language-as-a-resource, and language-as-a-problem. The third category, language-as-a-problem, used Spanish as a reference, (Cummins and Danesi, 1990) where the main goal of the language planning is the identification and determination of the language problems of linguistic minority students (Ruiz, 1984).
Mexican American bilinguals in the United States comprise the largest linguistic minority
6


among students (U.S. Census, 2010). For this reason, it is necessary to consider their linguistic needs when planning educational policies pertaining to language. However, the field of bilingualism in the United States has already been saturated with studies on Mexican American bilinguals and language policies (Cummins & Danesi, 1990; Ruiz, 1984). Therefore, my research study will look specifically into BFLA Spanish-English children, taking a special interest in Mexican American bilinguals, who are bilinguals with two first languages, but often misunderstood as under-achievers, second language learners of English (ESL), or English language learners (ELL). BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals struggle to survive in a monolithic society that normalizes the hegemony of English (Gramsci, 1971). Shannons (1995) work that discusses hegemony describes the status of English in the United States, highlighting how English as a hegemonic language continues to marginalize Spanish, especially for Mexican Americans, in the United States.
In the next section, I highlight the historiography of Globeville, the neighborhood from which the twelve student-participants, who are BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilingual, live and go to school.
Historiography of Globeville
Bronfenbrenner (1979) defines the central process in the ecology of human development as the progressive, mutual accommodation between an active, growing human being and the changing properties of the immediate setting(s) in which the developing person lives (p. 133). With this understanding, from a developmental perspective, the critical aspects of human development are both physical and social. These two aspects enable and encourage a child to participate in a variety of activities both jointly with an adult or with
7


their peers, or even spontaneously by himself or herself (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Following Bronfenbrenner, Globeville becomes a central setting in this study.
In the review of literature (found in the next chapter), I will make connections to how bilingualism has been discussed in the context of the United States with regards to Mexican American immigrants. In this section, I will briefly highlight how bilingualism is practiced among the Mexican Americans living in Globeville, Colorado, the site of the current study. Education will not be the main focus of this section as it is an aspect of the research that is explored in the rest of the chapters. Instead, this section will provide a description of Globeville, its location and how it is marginalized in terms of access to resources such as fresh foods and a proper public library. It will look at the residents of Globeville, past and present, and the reasons that brought them to live in Globeville. With a focus on the current population, Mexican Americans, it will highlight some of the challenges that these residents face, living in Globeville. Mexican American bilinguals are a marginalized group for two main reasons: 1) they are perceived as immigrants even when they are born in the US, and 2) they are bilinguals who are English Language Learners (ELLs) even when they could have spoken English since birth. As highlighted in the later section, a large number of Mexican Americans reside in Globeville, making the area a good general representation of the Mexican American community and their living conditions.
Globeville
Globeville is a mixed residential-industrial neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. It is situated in north Denver, along the Platte River. It is bisected in two directions by major highways, 1-25 and 1-70, cutting the neighborhood into four parts. Currently, the residential community is surrounded by numerous industries. These industries include asphalt
8


manufacturers, a wood treatment facility, a pet-food manufacturer, a stock complex, animal rendering facilities, a plant, two smelters, and waste water treatment facilities. The presence of the various industrial facilities in Globeville is not a surprise given its geographical history.
Below are two images. The first is a simplified map of Globeville which shows its location in Denver. The second is an image that shows Globeville as an industrial community in downtown Denver.
Figure 1.1: Map of Globeville taken from Denver Public Library
9


Figure 1.2: Globeville, the industrial community taken from Denver Real Estate Watch
Globeville was originally occupied by homesteaders and farmers. The area was well known for the smelters that were built before the turn of the century and for the Eastern European immigrants who worked in the area. These settlers came to Globeville seeking religious freedom and economic opportunities. Globeville became their choice for resettlement because it offered jobs in the smelters, railroads, meat packing plants, foundries, and brickyards. While the homesteaders believed in a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, the smelters craved a lucrative career that utilized simple metallurgy to extract base metals from their ores. Globeville was a place of great opportunities once upon a time; however, over the years, the demographic of Globeville has changed. Some of the pertinent changes that
10


Globeville has undergone, and how these changes have impacted the demographic of the area are discussed in later sections of this chapter.
In 1903, the Omaha and Grant Smelter closed and was gradually dismantled.
February 26, 1950 was the day for the demolition of the Grant Smelter smokestack. The demolition was symbolic of the end of the mining and smelting era, especially for Globeville. For the residents of Globeville, it marked the end of job opportunities, one of the main reasons that had brought the immigrants to move to Globeville in the first place.
During the Depression period, the stock market crashed. The effect of the crash was felt greatly by the residents of Globeville by the 1930s. This is because the railways cut the road work from six days to two days, taking away the livelihood of the residents. The meatpacking plants also laid off workers which continued to take away jobs from the residents of Globeville. As a result, the churches also experienced a drop in their membership. Federal programs helped to provide some jobs with flood control, rat control, and of installation of the sanitary sewers.
From 1903 through 1930, progress and assimilation were put in place in America.
Just as Globeville was annexed into the city of Denver, the residents who were initially immigrants into the United States were being offered citizenship. Some of the assimilation initiatives resulted in the children of immigrants with newly acquired citizenship in America learning English in schools. Job opportunities were created in Globeville, and these jobs helped families buy homes and re-settle once again. Small businesses and churches started to prosper.
After the World War II, along with the rest of America, the residents of Globeville were once again seeking new jobs. With the shortage of housing, second generation
11


descendants were seeking new loan opportunities for building houses in the suburbs of Denver. In addition, the Valley Highway (1-25) and the construction of 1-70 split Globeville in half and thus removed a large number of the original houses from the Globeville area.
The Residents: Past, Present, Future.
Similar to the storylines of other immigrant communities such as the Polonia Triangle in Chicago and the North End in Boston, the storyline of Globeville does not differ much. Like all immigrant stories, the story of Globeville starts with immigrants escaping their old countries to pursue the American dream, with the promise of job opportunities, and platforms to speak their mind, speaking on religion among other matters. Denver holds about one-fourth of the states ethnic population, with 25, 000 immigrants (Abbott, Leonard & Noel, 2013), and Globeville holds about a fifth of that immigrant population. In Globeville, part of Denver, established in 1889, the Eastern Europeans fled forced army conscription and poverty. These immigrants worked hard, 12-hour days to scrape together $2 daily wages (Doeppers, 1967). This first community of immigrants into Globeville bonded together to form fraternal lodges.
The large majority of the original residents of Globeville were European immigrants. This section highlights the four distinct groups of immigrants. The immigrants, belonging to distinct groups made up the past and some into the present, and perhaps even the future residents of Globeville. This section will continue to highlight the two main factors, work opportunities and religious freedom, which have brought residents to Globeville.
The Orthodox Slavs made up of Carpatho-Russians came to Globeville because of religious freedom and job opportunities. Their religion that used the language of the people instead of Latin at Mass supported a married clergy. They came in the 1880s working in
12


smelters. Work was laborious at the smelters, and the men were often sick from exhaustion. Help for the men and their family members came from the ethnic fraternal lodges. In Globeville, the oldest of these lodges was the Russian Orthodox Catholic Mutual Aid Society founded in 1895. In addition to providing insurance and moral support, the goals of these organizations included the spread and preservation of the Orthodox Faith in America. Members of these lodges also founded the Holy Transfiguration of Christ Cathedral in 1898. As one can see, one of the strongest factors that brought this community together was their religious belief. Through their faith, they also received comfort when work got too difficult.
The Polish immigrants began arriving in Globeville in the 1880s, around the same time that the Carpatho-Russians came to Globeville. In the beginning, only a small Polish community developed in the 4500-4800 blocks of Washington, Pearl, Pennsylvania, Logan, and Grant Streets, and on Emerson Street near the Platte River. The Polish in Globeville formed organizations that would provide financial help in the events of injury, sickness, and even death. They formed the St. Josephs Polish Catholic Church in 1902. They also offered the comforts of old country customs as the immigrants assimilated into the American way of life. The Polish soon moved up the economic ladder as they assimilated and moved out of Globeville into better neighborhoods.
The Southern Slavs that included the Slovenians, Croatians, Macedonians, and Serbs settled in the southern part of Globeville. Distinguished from the Orthodox Slavs by their religion, Roman Catholic, and their usage of the Roman letters, they differentiated themselves well as religion is a strong factor driving both groups of immigrants. However, like the Orthodox Slavs, they also worked at the smelters and work was hard and dangerous with men risking disability or even death from the extreme heat, toxic fumes, and dust from
13


the heavy metals. To provide financial security for themselves, the Southern Slavs formed independent, fraternal societies that offered sick and death benefits for their members. Together with the Russians, they built the Russo-Serbian Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration in 1898. In addition, the societies offered a connection to the language, culture, and heritage practices of their hometowns. Places like the American Fraternal Union, the American Slovenian Catholic Union KSKJ, the local Croatian lodge St. Jacobs, and the Western Slavonic Association are among the few clubhouses where the Southern Slavs can feel at home. Slovenians and the Croatians in Globeville also built the Holy Rosary Church at 4664 Pearl Street, which opened on July 4th, 1920. The church became a place where the Southern Slavs could attend Mass.
According to Doeppers (1967), although these immigrants viewed themselves as Globeville residents, they still preferred to congregate in smaller neighborhoods with others who shared their cultural heritage and common language.
The fourth and last group of immigrants that settled in Globeville that I will highlight is the Spanish-speaking people. The Spanish-speaking people who moved to Globeville were not new to Colorado or the United States. Like the rest of the distinct groups of people, they moved to Globeville for similar reasons. Today, they form about 82% of the current population of Globeville, forming one of the largest group in that area (taken from The Globeville History).
Spanish-English Speaking Residents of Globeville: Present and Future
As highlighted, the demographic of Globeville has evolved over the years. In the 1950s, there were only twelve Mexican American households. By 1965, there were 123 Mexican American households. They were soon replacing Polish as the largest community in
14


Globeville (Doeppers, 1967). Currently, the entire neighborhood has become a blend of working and middle-class with a high proportion of Mexican Americans, and recent immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America (Hunt, 1999). Despite the drastic change in the demographic, from having Orthodox Slavs, Polish, Southern Slavs, and Spanish-speaking people to having mostly Spanish-speaking people, one constant remains. Globeville is a neighborhood of immigrants and children of immigrants, and remains a blue collar, working class area where residents are there to find job opportunities and to live near their work place.
The graph below shows the time taken for the residents of Globeville to travel to work. As seen, most of the residents live near their work place, which is within the community, making work opportunities one of the main reasons why people move to
Globeville.
15


Based on the graph above, most of the residents in Globeville live and work within the Globeville area. Travel time to work for the residents in Globeville ranges from ten to twenty-five minutes. A similar pattern is observed among the school-going children who also attend schools situated within the Globeville areas. The map below shows the schools found in the Globeville areas.
Globeville
G L O BEVILLE & E L Y R 1 A S W a n s

rX .P ]
Stapleton Ret Center / f
A II '7 Elyria Swansea
Libraries Vulnerable definition: 2005-2009
Recreation Centers births to teen mothers or to mothers over 19 with less than a
DPS and APS Schools high school education; and 2009-2010 Denver and Aurora Public Schools students participating in the
Parks and Open Space
Free and Reduced Lunch Program.
Density of Vulnerable Kids

(0 Low UJ par M). ni| H%h (4.2S9 4,7900 par tq. mi.)
Figure 1.4 Schools in Globeville taken from Floodlight Project
This section looks at the Spanish-English speaking residents in Globeville, mainly Mexican American bilinguals. Mexican Americans may be a minority in the United State, but in Globeville, they are the majority, forming 82% of the current population (taken from The Globeville History). Although Globeville is home to a variety of Spanish-speaking residents, this chapter focuses on the Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals in the
16


area. Due to the great increase in the number and distribution of Mexican American families in the area, the enlargement of the Globeville area becomes necessary.
The pie chart below shows the demographic of Globeville by race.
Races in Globeville in Denver, CO
Black alone
Figure 1.5: Races in Globeville taken from citi-data (January 2016)
Globeville is home to several groups of immigrants and the association to immigrants in the United States is that they often have low socio-economic status (SES), are not proficient in English, and need help assimilating into the United States. Immigrants are mainly blue collar, working class individuals. However, being immigrants, one challenge remains for them, the fear of losing their heritage cultures as they leave their homeland seeking better opportunities. For the residents of Globeville, whose numbers make up fewer
17


than 4,000 residents (taken from Globeville neighborhood in Denver, CO), the need to assimilate as Americans is real.
ApartmentGuide's Comparison of Household Income
Neighborhood Avg. Household Income
$150,000
$120,000
$90,000
$60,000
$30,000
$0
Figure 1.6: Household Income in Globeville take from citi-data (January 2016)
The figure above reflects the Apartment Guide comparison of household income. It demonstrates how the Globeville neighborhood average income compares with other neighborhoods. Globeville has the lowest average household income in the neighborhood. In addition to their low SES, the residents of Globeville have to combat industrial pollution. Pollution
The neighborhood, Globeville, is a mixed residential-industrial area. While the industrial facilities create job opportunities for the residential community in Globeville, the same opportunity creates a very unsettling environment for the residents of Globeville.
18


Since the 1980s, the residents of Globeville have been reporting strong industrial odors in the neighborhood that have impacted their lifestyles. The asphalt odor for one is strong enough to cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. Because of the strong odor, residents are forced to shut their doors and windows, and keep off their yards and patios to avoid discomfort (Morgan, Hansgen, Hawthorne, & Miller, 2015). Despite the desperate cries for help to improve the environmental conditions in Globeville, no violation has been recorded. This could be because the pleas come from immigrants of the United States, a group of residents that may not be worthy of great investment. However, the residents of Globeville have taken matters into their own hands to resolve the health issues and so, they made the decision to move away from the area (Morgan, Hansgen, Hawthorne, & Miller, 2015). This may explain why the demographic has changed over time. However, the constant remains, occupants of Globeville are still immigrants to the United States.
The figure below reflects the concentration of pollutants, in parts per billion present in the atmosphere in Globeville. Even though the level of pollutants is high and the odor is strong, not much has been done to improve the situation in Globeville. The residents of Globeville continue to suffer from the constant air pollution in the atmosphere.
19


Prevalent Compounds in Odor Samples
24.0
20.0
a. 16.0
Q.
c
o
2 12.0 +* c Q) u
3 8.0
4.0
0.0
-
Odor (9/11/2012) Odor (11/13/2012) Odor (11/19/2012) Odor (11/28/2012) Odor (12/30/2012) Odor (3/3/2013) Background (7/13/2012) Background (11/20/2012) Koppers (8/21/2012) Owens Asphalt/Cobitco (8/21/2012)


L n
n-TE rT _ L 9 a Irkr-T*.
Llq.
Hexane
Heptane
Benzene Toluene m,p-Xylene Naphthalene
Figure 1.7: Evidence of air pollutant in Globeville (Morgan, Hansgen, Hawthorne, & Miller, 2015).
The quality of life in Globeville is far from the American dream for which these immigrants had left their home countries. Part of the reason is that these residents are not even able to enjoy their own front porches and backyards. Unfortunately, it seems that these events are not within the control of the residents of Globeville.
About two decade ago, in 1994, the cleanup workers came to help the residents of Globeville improve on the pollution situation. Armed with shovels and Bobcats, they ripped away sod, flower beds, vegetable gardens, and even sacrificed some of the heirloom roses throughout north Denver in Globeville. They managed to remove twelve to eighteen inches of dirt and soil contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and lead from the nearby Asarco plant, which had processed heavy metals for nearly a century. Despite the residents worries and pleas, not much had been done. When the residents continued to complain about the
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unbearable pollution, they were informed by the authorities that the soil in Globeville had passed the required quality tests and are safe; therefore, the residents have to just live with the situation (taken from 5280.com).
Many of these homes in Globeville have low fences enclosing their front porches. In the better-kept part of the Globeville area, one may notice neat lawns with flower gardens. This reflects the immaculate care that the residents in Globeville take to upkeep their neighborhood, and their homes. The area that may demonstrate a decline in the up-keeping of their lawns are principally on the fringe, and these areas correlate with the new Mexican American households. However, one should not judge too quickly as many of these residents are known to be responsible tenants who care for their homes and neighborhood (Doeppers, 2015). There is not much that they could do due to the current state of pollution from the factories ending up right in their own backyards.
Besides not having access to clean air in the Globeville neighborhood, the residents also do not have access to fresh food produce. This will be discussed in the next section.
Food Deserts
A food desert is defined as an urban area with a population that does not have access to healthy, fresh foods, and sadly, food deserts in Denver only occur in areas where the populations are low income and are minorities (Stilley, 2012). Food deserts can also refer to an area where low-income minority residents do not have access to healthy and affordable foods, and where fast foods restaurants dominate the landscape (Gordon et al., 2011). The first use of the term, food deserts, in North America referred to rural areas of Missisippi without supermarket access (Rose et al., 2009). Since then, research on food deserts has been
21


a hot topic in the United States. In this study, Globeville is the focus area for the discussion on food desert.
Food deserts create numerous problems for the local population. Even though food deserts only refers to inaccessibility to fresh foods, the absence or lack of fresh foods have negative implications. Food deserts are correlated with negative health outcomes (Raja, Ma, & Yadav, 2008). Without access to fresh foods on a regular basis, a person can suffer from diabetes or other related health problems (Meade, 2008). Food deserts also cause an environmental justice problem. Here, an environmental justice problem is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010).
A study conducted by Stilley (2012) who looked at 9 focus neighborhoods in Denver County revealed that two of the areas, Elyria Swansea and Globeville, are food desert areas. The study also revealed that these areas have a high proportion of children with a very high percentage of new birth rates. Therefore, these areas actually need access to fresh, healthy foods because childrens development is a growing concern in the United States. As highlighted, Globeville holds a high percentage of Hispanic population. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (2010) highlighted that the two races, Blacks and Hispanics, are more likely to develop diabetes. This is especially true among Colorado adults between 45-64 years old. Therefore, Globeville and its neighbor, Elyria Swansea, are areas that actually need to have access to fresh, healthy foods to help the residents combat diabetes and other health related issues.
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Globeville and Elyria Swansea have very limited access to grocery stores that are within walking and bus transportation distance. Due to the prevalent air and soil pollution conditions in these areas, growing fresh crops in the backyards is not an option for the residents in these areas. Therefore, while the residents are suffering from air pollution which has also affected the soil in their backyard, they also have to combat food deserts which will lead to more health issues in the future. Besides these issues, the residents also have to battle noise pollution with the building of the highways that continue to marginalize the residents. Building of the Highways
Besides air pollution, soil pollution and the looming health issues due to food desert conditions, noise pollution is another challenge that the residents of Globeville have to contend with. As it is, the noise from traffic racing by on 1-25 and 1-70 rumbles through the neighborhood. The reconstruction of Highway 1-70, will not only add to the existing air pollution but will also contribute to the existing noise pollution affecting the residents of Globeville.
At 50 years old, the viaduct is deteriorating. Therefore, there is a need for growth and redevelopment for the area bounded on the east and south by the South Platte River, Inca Street to the west, and the city limits to the north, around 53rd Avenue. According to Mayor Michael Hancock, the development is much needed to reconnect Globeville and Elyria-Swansea to a better future, a future with a coordinated push on six key projects. His promise is that the reconstruction will help improve the health of the South Platte River, turn Brighton Boulevard into an inviting gateway to downtown, reconstruct 1-70 so that the neighborhoods and businesses will be reconnected, provide more accessibility to commuters with light rail stations, and implement neighborhood revitalization programs.
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Local historian, Mary Lou Egan explained that the residents at Globeville doubt the rationales behind the promised projects. This doubt arises from years of exploitation due to generations of poor urban planning and hostile treatment dished out at the residents of Globeville, past and present. The residents of Globeville do not want to be viewed as living on a piece of land that is undeveloped. They are proud of their neighborhood which has been home to generations of families, homes, places of worship, and has had a rich history. Egan added that Globeville has a personality.
In the past, the construction of 1-25 which started in 1948 forced peoples homes to be relocated or destroyed. Soon after, the construction of 1-70 followed suit. The route for 1-70 marched past Pomponios Restaurant, a shopping center, and a Buddys Truck Stop. It literally meant that the spot where the two highways would meet stood at the heart of Globeville, uprooting and displeasing its residents. Those in the construction path had to evacuate. Buildings were split in half when owners refused to move. However, they were still expected to pay property taxes on the whole lot and not the half that they got to reside in. St. Joseph Polish Church and its school barely survived. In 1984, a semi carrying Navy torpedoes tipped over on one of the intersections curves. Since then, over twenty projects have taken place, closing exits, rebuilding ramps, adding bridges, and further cutting off access routes in and out of Globeville for its residents.
Over the years, the residents of Globeville had to deal with the noise, pollution, and isolation. Slowly, the residents moved and the demographic changed.
Public Library?
Besides having to battle with physical challenges such as pollutions (air, soil, and noise) and enduring inaccessibility to fresh and healthy food produce, the residents of
24


Globeville also have to overcome a mental challenge. For years now, the residents of Globeville have not been given access to a proper public library.
The Globeville area which includes Eyria and Swansea, have not had a branch library since the 1950s (Sarling & Tassel, 1999). The bookmobile visits to the local elementary schools in those areas, Swansea Elementary being one of the selected schools, are the only library service to the community. During one of the days that I was at Swansea Elementary School, I was fortunate to have observed the bookmobile visit where the students were given a book each to take home to read. The students were excited about the books that they selected as they showed me their books and the kindergarteners sat me down to read for them. From my observations, it was apparent that the children enjoy reading if they were given access to books; however, such privilege is not afforded to them.
Inaccessibility to a public library has affected the residents in Globeville. In 1990, the U.S. Census Data reported that North Central Denver has the highest percentage of teenage dropouts at 29.93% compared to Denver County at 16.17% and Colorado at 9.77%. The census also reported that unemployment was twice in the North Central Denver areas. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the absence of a public library has affected the educational experience of the residents which then leads to the questions of unemployment and income.
For years now, the residents of Globeville and its immediate neighboring areas, Swansea and Elyria have been cut off from the rest of Denver. They have not been given adequate access to some of the most basic needs such as a free and public education, a public library, and fresh and healthy foods. Instead, they have been given an oversupply to pollutants via air, soil, and noise. The current residents who are mostly Hispanics have come
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together to voice their thoughts. In the next section, I will highlight some of the ways that the residents have chosen to fight back to defend what is left of their homes.
Voices of the Residents
With all that had happened to Globeville, the residents decided to fight back. They thought that they had won the battle in 1972 when the citys Study for the Community Renewal Program concluded, Globeville should remain residential in the areas that are at present residential. Unfortunately, that was a lie. The idea of turning Globeville into an industrial park came up again in 1975. It took the residents another two years of negotiations to stop the city from re-zoning Globeville as an industrial park. However, in 2006, the city council revamped its original zoning code, and Globeville slowly slipped into neglect. The residents were refused home improvement loans (taken from 5280.com).
Today, through social media platforms, the residents of Globeville are finally given a voice. Facebook, a popular social media platform is one way through which the residents of Globeville voice their views. On this page, one not only observes the goings-on in the neighborhood, but is also drawn to the activities and celebrations in the neighborhood. The residents also use schools as another platform to inform others to come forth and make a stand. Flyers are placed at schools to act as a medium of communication among the residents of Globeville.
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1-70 East Project Office
Located at
3501 East 46th Avenue
(inside the Denver Rescue Mission)
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Spanish interpreters and project staff will be available during office hours to answer questions on the project, help residents stu< the Supplemental Draft EIS, get their questions answered and collect to al comments.
Office hours are:
10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday tf 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Friday
www.i-70east 303-313-24.
The I- 70 East Pfoject Office is not accessible under the America Fof disability assistance. please call 303-313-2420 In ordei fn COOT to ar Dial 711 to use Relay Colorado (TTY),
0?$0
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
I-70 EAST
In a neighborhood that began by distrusting the government, the residents need time to recover. The mayors 2015 project has included $47 million for projects in the area. However, much of that will go towards the Brighton Boulevard project. Perhaps, Globeville might enjoy part of that budget. For now, the residents have a voice to try and fight back. Another means by which the residents can fight back is through education.
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Summary
This section looked at the historiography of Globeville, the neighborhood in which the twelve student-participants grew up. It looked at the origins of Globeville, highlighting some of the pertinent events that have impacted Globeville over the years. It also traced the original residents and how the demographic has evolved over the years. However, one constant remained. Globeville belongs to immigrants who are there to seek the American dream of better job opportunities, religious freedom, and a voice to speak their mind.
Some of the challenges that the residents of Globeville face are current and on-going. However, unlike decades ago, the residents have the opportunity to at least speak their mind. Perhap, the current residents, Mexican Americans, will have the opportunity to defend Globeville for generations to come while making it a less polluted and more residential, less industrial neighborhood.
Conclusion
In this introductory chapter, I introduced my positionality, a Queer, multi-racial, multi-cultural, multilingual Singaporean woman who has been marginalized on more levels than most White monolingual Americans. Because of my unique positionality, I am drawn to Mexican American bilinguals, especially BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children. Our similar lived experiences with regards to our positionality and identities push me to want to work with them in this study. As I continue my dissertation, I will write a review of literature highlighting gaps in similar studies on Mexican Americans and bilingualism and biliteracies in the United States. I will also provide a descriptive chapter of the methodologies and theoretical frameworks that guided my dissertation. This will be
28


followed by two result chapters, addressing each of the research questions. This dissertation will be concluded in the final chapter as I discuss my findings and analysis.
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CHAPTER II
REPOSITIONING BILINGUALS: LITERATURE REVIEW
The education of Mexican American bilinguals in the United States has been constantly debated since the implementation of the Bilingual Education Act in 1968 (Krashen, 1999; San Miguel, 2004). The debate for English-only instruction versus bilingual education instruction has caused a stir in the shaping of educational programs for Mexican American bilinguals in K-12 schools (Krashen, 1999; San Miguel, 2004). Part of the reason for the debate is attributed to the increasing number of Mexican American bilinguals in K-12 classrooms (San Miguel, 2004). According to the 2010 Census, Mexican American bilinguals, who are a subset of the Mexican American populations in the United States, are the largest of the minority groups in the United States, and this number is rising (Orfield & Lee, 2005). It is also estimated that in 2040, (monolingual) White Americans will make up less than 50% of the American population (Census, 2010). Based on the existing population demographics, and the predicted future demographics in the United States, it is crucial to consider the linguistic needs of not only White Americans, but that of Mexican American bilinguals in planning educational programs in the United States.
According to Gandara and Hopkins (2010), many second and third generation Mexican American bilinguals born in the United States are exposed to Spanish and English since birth. This group of Mexican American bilinguals is identified as bilingual first language acquisition (BFLA) Spanish-English children (De Houwer, 2009). American researchers such as Bialystock (2001, 2006) refer to them as simultaneous bilinguals. Although both groups of bilinguals present similar linguistic abilities-they may have two home languages- the term BFLA Spanish-English (De Houwer, 2009) children gives
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recognition to the specific linguistic abilities and identities of Mexican American children while the term simultaneous bilinguals as given by Bialystok (2001) fails to be specific in the recognition of language abilities as well as the reference to dual identities and cultural practices. For the purpose of this review, Mexican American bilinguals will be the general term used to refer to bilinguals who come from Mexico and immigrated to the United States. This term also includes first, second, and third generation Mexican American bilinguals who have one or more Mexican immigrant parents. The term BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals will refer to a specific sub-group of Mexican Americans who Gandara and Hopkins (2010) label as the second and third generations. This is because they are the group of bilinguals who have been exposed to Spanish and English since birth, even though they may be English or Spanish dominant, and their cultural identities include being Mexican and American at the same time. In other words, they are also acculturated children of immigrants who have successfully blended heritage and societal languages and cultures. The children involved in my study are identified as BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. They are the new, emerging group of bilinguals in the United States whose parents may have come from Mexico. Despite having parents from Mexico, the majority of these children are born in the United States; thus, they have dual identity- Mexican Americans. Their linguistic identities are a huge part of their lives, acquiring and maintaining the societal language, English, and the heritage language, Spanish. Due to their unique bi-linguistic identities, they have been impacted in more ways than one.
I examined studies that focused on two major themes surrounding the educational experiences of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children. The first theme is their identity as Mexican American bilinguals in elementary schools, looking at their experiences
31


with language use, language loss, and language preference being placed in certain programs at school. The second theme is to observe how Mexican American bilinguals maintain their bilingualism focusing on their bilingual maintenance on a personal level, as being a part of a bilingual family, school and community, and society. Prior to the review of the literature on the mentioned themes, I also looked at the settings at which these children receive their education. A historiography of the targeted populations neighborhood was highlighted in the previous chapter.
There has been research that focuses on the hegemony of English (Shannon, 1995), Mexican American bilinguals as language brokers for their families at parent-teacher conferences (Orella, Domer, & Pulido, 2003; Baker 2006; Domer, Orellana, & Jimenez, 2008; De Jong 2011), and the maintenance of English and Spanish at schools (Gutierrez, 2008). There has also been research that looks at the types of bilingual programs offered to Mexican American bilinguals in K-l-2 (Barnett et al, 2007). However, studies that focus on the repositioning of Mexican American bilinguals, in terms of identifying their linguistic abilities and dual identities as BFLA Mexican American children in classrooms is lacking. Therefore, one of the aims of this literature review is to discuss the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals by identifying their linguistic abilities as BFLA children in classrooms. It looked at programs offered to Mexican American bilinguals from 1994 to present. In addition, it looked at the social aspects for helping Mexican American bilinguals achieve harmonious bilingual development through successful communicative practices at homes and at school.
The search engine I adopted looked at peer reviewed articles published from 1968 to present. 1968 to 2002 was a crucial period as the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) (1968) was
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in place. The types of educational programs that were put in place during those years have impacted Mexican American bilinguals. Then in 2002, the BEA was terminated by the new education federal policy, with the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (2002). With NCLB, came new education reforms that have impacted Mexican American bilinguals. This review investigated studies on the educational programs that have impacted Mexican American bilinguals during those years to the present date.
In searching for relevant peer-reviewed literature from this time period, the initial key term used was BFLA Spanish-English children in the United States. However, the term BFLA has not been consistently used by bilingual researchers in the United States. For instance, Bialystock (2001, 2006), Gandara and Hopkins (2010), Garcia (2009), Petitto and Holowka (2002), all use different terms to describe this bi-linguistic phenomenon of Mexican American children. Terms such as simultaneous bilinguals were used instead. Mexican American bilinguals was the key term used to guide the search. Other terms came up in the discussion of Mexican American bilinguals. These included Hispanics, language minorities, English Language Learners (ELLs), Spanish-English bilinguals, and immigrant students. Therefore, all these terms will be considered in the discussion of repositioning Mexican American bilinguals because they represent a sub-grouping of Mexican American bilinguals.
I also examined studies on how English becomes the de facto language through educational programs that discussed language arts and other core content subjects such as math and science. Research examining elective subjects such as music and physical education was not included. While studies that looked at teachers training are important, studies of this nature were excluded as it is beyond the scope of the review. However, studies that looked at factors contributing to harmonious bilingual development and language maintenance of the heritage
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and societal languages of Mexican American bilinguals are significant in addressing the second research question; therefore, studies that looked at how parents played key roles in deciding the types of educational programs that they wanted for their Mexican American bilingual children were included. Parents decision impacted the educational experiences of Mexican American bilinguals. This review also incorporated studies that looked at the motivational factors alongside effective programs that helped Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic success and maintain bilingualism in schools and at homes.
The Focus participants: Mexican American Bilinguals in the United States
Before the discussion of the reviewed literature begins, it is important to have a clearer understanding of the focus participants, BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. Therefore, this section will attempt to offer a brief background on Mexican American bilinguals in the United States, focusing on BFLA Spanish-English children.
According to the Student Population Census done in 2004, Spanish speakers in the United States are most often of Mexican descent or origin. These Spanish speakers make up part of the Mexican American bilinguals in the United States. Latinos, who are Spanish speakers, are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, making up 14.5% of the population (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Mexican American bilinguals make up the largest subgroup of Latinos, at 9.3% of the total population and 64.0% of the Latino population (United States Census Bureau, 2005). The Mexican American population is substantially younger, on average, than the general United States population; therefore, this growth has been even more striking among the youth population (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Being the largest youth population in the United States, 24.4% who are reported as of Hispanics descent, (United Census Bureau, 2014), the educational needs of
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Mexican Americans are crucial to be considered in planning educational programs in the United States.
According to Gandara and Hopkins (2010), most research tends to examine first, second, and third generation Mexican American immigrant children. This assertion is supported by Eilers, Pearson, and Cobo-Lewis (2006). They conducted a three-year ethnographic study, working with 24 families in Miami. They looked at the types of bilingual development and language alternatives for immigrants, focusing on the generations of immigrants living in the United States. Generally, the study followed the three-generation rule. This implies that adults typically remain monolingual in their heritage languages, but their children become fluent bilinguals and their grandchildren largely monolingual English speakers. Results revealed that out of the 24 families observed, only one family succeeded in providing their children, aged between 3 to 36 months, equal exposure to English and Spanish. In the other 23 families, the children were more proficient in English than in Spanish. The authors conclude with highlighting the importance of implementing bilingual programs for Mexican American bilinguals to ensure Spanish language maintenance alongside English language acquisition at schools. Their study also revealed that first, second, and third generation Mexican American immigrant children are linguistically different from one another. While the first generation tends to be bilingually stronger in Spanish, the second generation tends to be more balanced in English and Spanish, and the third generation tends to be bilingual but are English dominant. This is observed in the three-generation rule that the study adopted. Mexican American children in the second and third generation are what De Houwer (2009) would label as BFLA Spanish-English children because of their exposure to societal and heritage languages prior to school.
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BFLA, a term first introduced by Swain (1976) in a brief summary of her dissertation work, is the development of language in young children who are exposed to two spoken languages from birth (De Houwer, 2009). Linguists such as Bialystock (2001, 2006) have referred to this occurrence as simultaneous bilingualism. BFLA is an important field of research in todays global era. Inter-marriages are becoming common due to globalization (De Houwer, 2009). Children produced from such marriages grow up hearing two different languages spoken on a daily basis. Even monolingual societies like the United States are experiencing more BFLA children in the classrooms (De Houwer, 2009). This is largely due to an increase in the number of first, second, and third generation American immigrants1.
BFLA is a concept in the field of linguistic study started by Ronjat in 1913 (De Houwer, 2009) who observed the language development of his own son, Louis. Louis was exposed to German and French since birth. Ronjat did not refer to this linguistic phenomenon as BFLA, but reference to Ronjats study had been made by present researchers of BLFA phenomenon. In 1966, Macnamara discussed how bilingual education puts children at risk for academic failure or language impediment in the Irish context. Two years later, in 1968, Diebold claimed that bilingual children became socio-cultural misfits as they identified with neither language group as natives. In the 1980s, studies on bilingualism began to generate more interest among linguists and educators. Researchers became interested in looking at the relationship between bilingualism and language impediments. However, there is a gap in research that looks at how bilingualism can positively impact biliteracy through carefully planned bilingual education programs.
1 According to United States Census Bureau, there are more than one in five people in the United States who are first second, and third generation American citizens.
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Specifically, according to the definition of BFLA given by De Houwer (2009), and an equivalent linguistic phenomenon described by Bialystock (2001, 2006), BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals are proficient in both spoken English and Spanish.
This is because they would have been exposed to both languages from birth due to their surrounding environment, which includes family, community, and society, even though they may not possess the academic discourse of either or both languages. Their linguistic capabilities thus differentiate them from other Mexican American bilinguals who may have only acquired oral proficiency in English from school. Consideration of their social and cultural environments is pivotal to understanding their linguistic needs in school.
Mexican American bilinguals
BFLA Spanish-English
(acquired English and Spanish before school)
ELA/ELL
(- acquired Spanish at home) (- learned English at school)
(may not possess the academic discourse in either languages)
Figure 2.1: Summary of Mexican American bilingual identities in America (1)
Therefore, the literature that I am reviewing will look at the past ten years, from 2004 through today. The goal is to address ideas of evolution of language use among Mexican American bilinguals which leads to their repositioning in the education system in the United States. Three sub-subjects that the two factors, setting (Globeville) and focused population (BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals), will consider include: (1)
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linguistic identities of Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States, (2) English-only schooling environments and its impact on Mexican American bilinguals, and (3) bilingual education policies from social, cultural, and political perspectives.
Educational programs that are offered to Mexican American bilinguals in the United
States
Now that I have briefly explored the Mexican American bilingual population, I will examine studies related to educational programming offered for these students in the United States. There are two types of linguistic educational experiences that Mexican American bilinguals are offered in public schools that the studies in this review examined. One is to receive instruction in English only and the other is to receive instruction in two languages, Spanish and English in a wide variety of program configurations. This section will review studies on the effectiveness of each type of program, English-only instruction and bilingual instruction, as well as tutoring programs, after-school programs, and summer programs that are conducted either in English only or in dual languages, to help Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic proficiency in schools.
English-only
This section looked at research studies on three English-only programs. One of the studies is a comparative study of an English-only program to a supplemental Spanish language program that was offered in an English-only preschool, to Mexican American bilinguals in public schools (Restrepo et al, 2010). Although there have not been many programs that specifically address the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals, there are programs that looked into the educational needs of Hispanics, language minorities, English Language Learners (ELLs), Spanish-English bilinguals, and immigrant students.
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These programs have directly impacted Mexican American bilinguals because as highlighted earlier, they are also recognized as Hispanics, language minorities, ELLs, Spanish-English bilinguals and immigrant students. In all three studies, the linguistic needs of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals were not discussed, and this is a gap that this review will address.
Restrepo et al. (2010) conducted an empirical study that examined the effects of a supplemental Spanish language instruction program for students who spoke Spanish as their home language and attended English only preschools. They looked at the effects of the program, focusing on sentence length in words, subordination index, and grammaticality of sentences in both languages. The study involved 45 students, 30 of whom received English-only instruction while the remaining 15 received 30 minutes of Spanish instruction alongside English instruction, for a period of 16 weeks. Pre- and post-tests were conducted to determine results of English language acquisition. Their study showed that the 15 students who received bilingual instruction made significant improvement when compared to the 30 students in English-only instruction, in all areas except grammaticality of sentences. This study showed the significant improvements that bilingual instruction can make to help Spanish-English bilinguals achieve academic proficiency, even when it occurred for a small amount of time. This study also showed that English-only instruction can be effective, but bilingual instruction is more effective in helping Spanish-English bilingual acquire academic language skills.
Through another empirical study, Denton, Anthony, Parker, and Hasbrouck (2004) looked at the effects of two English-only tutoring programs on English reading development of Spanish-English bilingual students in five schools across Texas. The students, from
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Grades 2 through 5, were grouped into two groups. 51 students were tutored and the other 42 students were not tutored. Each tutoring session lasted for 40 minutes and took place three times a week for ten weeks. Pre- and post-tests were conducted using Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests and results showed that students who received tutoring made significant progress in word identification, but not in reading comprehension in English. The results from this study implied that English-only instruction was effective in helping Spanish-English bilinguals read words, but not necessarily in helping them improve their comprehension skills in English reading development.
Freeman (2012) conducted an empirical study that looked at the impact of a digital math intervention program in ELLs mathematical abilities and perceptions of their future possibilities. The program was conducted in English only. The study looked at 50 Hispanic students in a Colorado high school, 36 of these students were from Mexico. The program HELP Math was used. It was an on-line program that embeds sheltered instruction and research-based strategies directly into the math curriculum. Students test scores were used to monitor performance. Results showed that students performed better in math standardized tests with the program.
Results from the three empirical studies that looked at programs using English-only instruction were inconclusive to claim that English-only instruction was more effective than bilingual instruction. Students showed improvements in their learning in all three studies; however, in Restrepo et al. (2010) and Denton, Anthony, Parker, and Hasbrouck (2004), results also implied that Spanish-English bilinguals could perform better with bilingual support.
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Bilingual Instruction
Before I begin reviewing studies that look at bilingual instruction, I will first look at the definition of bilingual instruction. According to Christine and Genesee (2001), bilingual education is education involving two languages as the medium of instruction (p.l). This definition also means that one of the two languages involved is always the majority or societal language while the second language of instruction is the minority or childs home language, which is the case with Mexican Americans. There has been no consensus on what the nature of bilingual education is, and bilingual education is implemented in a myriad of ways, most of which conform to the dominant paradigm that the goal is to learn English rather than to develop bilingualism.
Christine and Genesee (2001) provided two basic goals of bilingual education programs. These goals include transitioning students from a language they know to the societal language. For Mexican American bilinguals, this transition is from Spanish to English. Bilingual education could also refer to the adding of a language or languages so that students can become bilingual or multilingual, according to Christine and Genesee. The emphasis is placed on oral acquisition of both languages (English and Spanish for Mexican American bilinguals) and literacy acquisition in English. According to Garcia (2009) however, their linguistic proficiencies in either language may not be the academic discourse. Despite this, their linguistic backgrounds already differ from ESL2 and EFL3 students who are exposed to English only in schools.
In 2001, Bialystock raised a question: How might bilingualism result in impaired cognitive, as well as linguistic development? In a different study, Bialystok herself addressed
2 ESL refers to a group of bilinguals who are learning or have acquired English as a second language.
3 EFL refers to a group of bilinguals who are learning or have acquired English as a foreign language.
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this question as she studied childhood bilingualism in school in 2006. Bialystok did a comparative study on biliteracy and its effects on bilingual students. Her study was not conclusive as the results were inconsistent. Bialystoks study showed that while bilingualism has a positive impact on biliteracy for some bilingual children, it also reflected a negative impact for other bilingual children. Therefore, based on her results, it is fair to conclude that bilingualism will impact biliteracy in one way or another. Researchers on bilingualism need to find a more conclusive relationship between bilingual children and biliteracy acquisition. Dopke (2000) talked about atypical structures observed in speech communication produced by Mexican American bilinguals. In her study, differences observed between monolingual and bilingual children were significantly small, with bilingual children being less proficient than monolingual children. In the same study, she also discussed inter-language ambiguity, which talked about spontaneous utterances with evidence for cross-language influences. However, her study failed to consider the impact of bilingualism on bilitearcy acquisition. Therefore, results from her study were inconclusive to state that bilingual instruction is not helpful for Mexican American bilinguals. There are currently three different schools of thought on the kind of bilingual education programs offered in schools in the United States. They are the transitional program, structured immersion program (August, Calderon, Carlo & Eakin, 2006), and two-way immersion program (Calderon & Slavin, 2001).
Now that I have briefly explored bilingualism and biliteracy, this section will look at bilingual programs that are offered to Mexican American bilinguals from preschool through K-12. Although there have not been many programs that specifically address the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals, there are programs that support the educational needs of Hispanics, language minorities, English Language Learners (ELLs), Spanish-English
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bilinguals, and immigrant students. These programs have directly impacted Mexican American bilinguals because they are often recognized as Hispanics, language minorities, ELLs, Spanish-English bilinguals and immigrant students. There are three areas to bilingual programs that this section will highlight. They are vocabulary development, biliteracy development, and testing.
Mexican American bilinguals
BFLA Spanish-English
(acquired English and Spanish before school)
ELA/ELL
(- acquired Spanish at home) (- learned English at school) (may not possess the academic discourse in either languages)
1) Hispanics
Are they all the same?
2) Language minorities
3) ELLs
4) Spanish-English bilinguals
5) Immigrant students Figure 2.2: Summary of Mexican American bilingual identities in America Vocabulary
There are three empirical studies that looked at the vocabulary development of Spanish-English speakers in bilingual programs. Uchikoshi (2006) examined the growth rates in vocabulary over an academic year for 150 Latino ELLs enrolled in a bilingual Spanish-English kindergarten. Umbel and Oiler (2001) examined the receptive vocabulary knowledge of mid-socioeconomic-status Spanish-English students in a dual-immersion program, which
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involved 102 participants from first, third, and sixth grades. Lugo-Neris, Jackson, and Goldstein (2010) examined vocabulary instruction using English only, enhanced with Spanish as the bridging language to produce greater word learning among young bilingual children, during a storybook reading intervention program. Their study involved 22 Spanish-English bilinguals aged 4 to 6 years old. In all three empirical studies highlighted above that looked at vocabulary growth, results were conclusive that Spanish-English bilinguals showed significant improvements in growth trajectories when there is bilingual support. Uchikoshi (2006) used video viewings to provide English language exposure to Spanish-English bilinguals while Lugo-Neris, Jackson, and Goldstein (2010) used storybook reading as a strategy to expose students to English. In both studies, Spanish was used as language support to help students with vocabulary learning and comprehension. In all three studies, assessments were used to measure students growth trajectories, and results showed that students acquire vocabulary skills with bilingual support in classrooms.
Biliteracy development. There are six empirical studies that looked at biliteracy development of Spanish-English speakers in bilingual programs. Three of the studies focused on preschoolers and the other three looked at first graders in elementary school.
Preschoolers. Mehta, Branum-Martin, Fletcher, Carlson, Ortiz, Carlo, and Francis (2006) looked at the bilingual phonological awareness of 812 preschoolers in a transitional bilingual program. Hammer, Lawrence, and Miccio (2007) investigated the relationship between 88 Spanish-English bilinguals receptive language development and their kindergarten reading outcomes at Head Start. A year later, they reported on a study that looked at the effect of summer vacation on 83 bilingual preschoolers language development at Head Start (Hammer, Lawrence, & Miccio, 2008). Results from all three studies revealed
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that childrens English and Spanish language abilities increased as they go through a bilingual program. The study from Mehta et al. (2006) showed that there was a relationship between Spanish and English language awareness, and this knowledge is significant to help educators plan bilingual programs to help Spanish-English students acquire English while maintaining Spanish. Both studies by Hammer, Lawrence, and Miccio (2007, 2008) focused on Head Start programs. Their study in 2008 also showed that students receptive language abilities decreased with a lengthy summer vacation. In both their studies, results showed that bilingual instruction benefitted Spanish-English preschoolers; however, besides bilingual instruction, summer vacation did have a negative impact on receptive language abilities. All three empirical studies that focused on Spanish-English preschoolers in bilingual programs revealed that students showed an improvement in biliteracy acquisition with bilingual support in preschool.
First Graders. Calhoon, Otaiba, Cihak, King, and Avalon (2007) examined the effects of a supplemental Peer-Mediated Reading Program with 76 students. Arce (2000) conducted a study that drew a portrait of an actual classroom striving to initiate a transformative educational experience in an urban elementary school involving 26 students. Branum-Martin, Foorman, Francis, and Mehta (2010) examined the contextual effects of bilingual programs on reading and language instruction, involving 1, 338 Spanish-dominant students. All three empirical studies looked at first graders in bilingual programs. The studies by Calhoon, Otaiba, Cihak, King, and Avalon (2007), and Arce (2000) looked at reading intervention programs. Both studies concluded that Spanish-English first graders showed improvement in biliteracy development. Branum-Martin, Foorman, Francis, and Mehtas (2010) study compared students English and Spanish literacy abilities. Results showed that maintenance
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programs outperformed immersion program as students from English immersion and Spanish maintenance bilingual programs were measured. However, in all three studies, first grade students showed improvement in biliteracy abilities when put into a bilingual program at first grade.
In the six studies that looked at the biliteracy development of Spanish-English bilinguals, the researchers failed to consider the initial bi-linguistic abilities of the preschoolers and first graders involved. Students biliteracy developments were only measured at the end of the programs, and all students showed biliteracy improvements with bilingual support in schools. However, the pertinent question, looking at how much biliteracy improvement the students made is not addressed. The amount of improvement made is a better measurement of the effectiveness of biliteracy development. The studies also failed to establish the social and cultural backgrounds of the students because the bi-linguistic abilities of the students were not specified, i.e. whether they are BFLA Spanish-English students, or English- or Spanish- dominant students. The identity of Spanish-English bilinguals is an important consideration when measuring their biliteracy development; yet, this was not addressed in any of the studies.
Testing
Baker, Park, and Baker (2011) looked the developmental patterns in pseudo word reading and oral reading fluency in a Paired-Bilingual Reading Program, involving the 214 Spanish-speaking ELLs in first grade, 156 in second grade, and 142 in third grade. Their study, like those of Montrul and Potowski (2007) and Reese, Gallimore, and Guthrie (2010), focused on standardized testing. However, these testing results were not accurate measurements of biliteracy development because the emphasis is placed on English language
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learning even though students went through a bilingual program. In all three studies,
Mexican American bilinguals were the main participants. These elementary school students were measured based on their reading test scores. Students were given bilingual instruction in reading, but they were measured for English language acquisition through standardized testing, ignoring their Spanish language ability. This form of measurement is not accurate to depict students biliteracy development. However, in all three studies, students showed biliteracy growth in English and Spanish language development as they had undergone bilingual instruction in the classroom. Another gap that was not addressed in the three studies that was discussed was that none of the studies considered the social and cultural backgrounds of the participants. This is reflected when the students were referred as either Spanish-English students or Spanish-speaking ELLs. Since the studies looked at bilingual programs, recognizing the bi-lingusitic abilities of the students is important; therefore, knowing if the students were BLFA Spanish-English bilinguals, Spanish- or English-dominant bilinguals would provide a more accurate representation of students bi-linguistic abilities. Although students in all three studies showed an improvement in biliteracy acquisition with bilingual support, information on students initial bi-linguistic abilities was never discussed.
The next section discusses bilingual programs that have contributed to helping Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic success in school.
Programs
This section will look at four areas of bilingual programs. Two empirical studies will look at the roles of educators in ensuring a successful bilingual program. Seven empirical studies looked at what successful bilingual programs may look like. Of these seven studies,
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four focused on preschool programs and the remaining three looked at elementary programs. Two studies looked at competing language ideologies that students face in bilingual programs. There are five studies that looked at comparative programs such as transitional bilingual versus dual immersion programs.
Roles of educators in bilingual program
Combs, Evans, Fletcher, Parra, and Jimenez (2005) conducted an empirical study that examined the effect of a dual-language program on teachers, administrations, and students in an English only state. The study that was conducted at Nopal Elementary School involved 36 interviews with school staff, and 27 parents and Mexican American bilingual students who were learning English. Results from their study showed that educators were unfamiliar with the model for teaching the program which resulted in students underperforming in both Spanish and English at school. Both studies by Mehta et al. (2006), discussed earlier, and Combs, Evans, Fletcher, Parra, and Jimenez (2005) are significant in highlighting the importance for educators to understand the model for bilingual programs in order to efficiently help Mexican American bilinguals cope with acquiring English while maintaining Spanish in school.
Successful programs
This section looks at programs at two levels of schooling. The first will look at studies of bilingual programs at preschool and the next will look at programs from elementary school.
Preschool. Gromley (2008), Reyes and Azuara (2008), Rodriguez, Diaz, Duran, and Espinoza (1995), and Nakamoto, Lindsey, and Manis (2011) looked at successful programs in preschool. In Gromley (2008), results showed that Mexican American bilinguals
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experienced substantial improvements in pre-reading, pre-writing, and pre-math skills in both English and Spanish. Mexican American bilinguals whose parents spoke Spanish at home or whose parents were bom in Mexico benefited the most in the bilingual preschool program. Reyes and Azuara (2008) conducted a study that explored the relationship between emergent biliteracy and growing up in a biliterate environment on 12 Mexican American bilinguals aged 4 and 5 years old that revealed that these bilinguals developed meta-linguistic awareness about print in both languages from a young age. Their study supported Gromleys (2008) findings that Mexican American bilinguals who received biliteracy input from home benefit the most through bilingual instruction. Diaz, Duran, and Espinoza (1995) looked at pre- and post-test results to measure bilingual and biliteracy development and their study also showed that Mexican American bilinguals gained English proficiency while maintaining Spanish when placed in bilingual preschool. However, the findings from these three studies were contradicted by Nakamoto, Lindsey, and Manis (2011). Findings from Nakamoto, Lindsey, and Manis (2011) revealed that although students in bilingual programs had significantly higher scores in Spanish reading than those in English-immersion, their English reading scores were significantly lower. The findings from their study implied that even though Mexican American bilinguals could gain proficiency in English while maintaining Spanish when placed in bilingual programs, the biliteracy growth differs for each language. Results from their study are biased because it is not a fair assessment to measure students linguistic growth when they received different levels of language instructions. While the English-immersion program placed emphasis on English language learning, the bilingual program placed emphasis on equal language learning; therefore, results from pre- and post-
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test will correlate with the amount of exposure bilingual students have to each language in school.
Elementary. Calderon and Slavin (2001), August, Calderon, Carlo, and Eakin (2006), and Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2001) looked at successful programs at elementary school. Calderon and Slavin (2001) looked at a Two-way Immersion program for Spanish-English students at Hueco Elementary School outside El Paso, Texas. The program was considered successful because students showed positive progression in biliteracy skills, and these measurements were based on analyses of English reading test scores and classroom observations. August, Calderon, Carlo, and Eakins (2006) study compared a two-way immersion program to a transitional program. Results based on test scores revealed that the 113 students acquired English better in a two-way immersion than a transitional program. Both studies looked at bilingual programs, but measurements of biliteracy skills were based solely on English test scores. Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2001), whose study focused on how a bilingual teacher applied different research-based strategies in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classrooms showed that these Mexican American immigrant students excelled academically. All three studies that looked at successful bilingual programs showed that Spanish-English bilinguals achieve success in school when placed in a bilingual program that focused on dual language learning; however, testing in these studies should measure biliteracy and not just English literacy.
Competing language ideologies
Hasson (2010) and Pastor (2008) conducted empirical studies that looked at Spanish-English students and their struggle with competing language ideologies. Hassons (2010) study looked at 202 undergraduates who were enrolled in either a bilingual or ESOL program
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and compared them to those who were enrolled in English immersion programs in elementary school. Results from his study revealed that there was a definite shift towards the English language among all participants. Students were losing Spanish as they acquired English. Pastors (2008) study that focused on an after school intervention program also showed that the 16 Spanish-English bilinguals of Mexican descent showed a preference for English when interacting with adults and peers as they were carrying out computer activities and tareas (homework) during the intervention program. Both studies implied that Spanish-English bilinguals face competing language ideologies when undergoing bilingual programs in school as they struggle to acquire English while maintaining Spanish.
Comparative programs
Barnett, Yarosz, Thomas, Jung, and Blanco (2007) compared the effects of a dual language program with an English immersion program in a preschool. Their study looked at childrens learning. 79 children were in the dual language program and 52 were in the English immersion program. All participants were Spanish-English bilinguals. For the 79 children were in the dual language program, they were rotated between two classes, English and Spanish, weekly. The two programs were compared based on childrens language growth in literacy and math. There was no difference on the English language measure. However, among the native Spanish-speakers in the dual language program, there was a significant gain in Spanish vocabulary compared to those in the English Immersion Program. Both programs however succeeded in helping children develop learning skills.
Clark, Touchman, Martinez, Garza, Ramirez-Marin, and Drew (2012) looked at middle schoolers. Their study also compared English-only instruction versus bilingual instruction. Results showed that bilingual students performed better in science when science
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was taught in bilingual classrooms than in English-only instruction. Both studies showed that students achieved biliteracy proficiency in content subjects with bilingual instruction.
Tong, Lara-Alecio, Irby, Mathes, and Kwok (2008) also compared two programs, transitional bilingual and structured English immersion. In their study, they looked at 534 Hispanics who were ELLs, Mexican American bilinguals included, over a period of two years as they go through either the transitional bilingual program or the structured English immersion program. The focus of their study was to compare the growth rate in academic English oracy. They grouped the students into four groups. There were two treatment groups, one in the transitional bilingual program and the other in the structured English immersion program. The other two groups were the control group for each of the programs. All students showed significant improvement. Therefore, it is conclusive to state that first language acquisition, Spanish, does not impede second language acquisition, English, among Spanish-English speaking students, Mexican American bilinguals included. The results conclude that bilingual instruction is effective in helping students achieve proficiency in English oracy.
Another study by Slavin, Madden, Calderon, Camberlain, and Hennessy (2011) supports this conclusion. Their study that looked at English reading measures showed that there was no significant difference between transitional bilingual English reading measures when compared to results of reading measures after English-only instruction. This study affirms that bilingual instruction is effective in helping Mexican American bilinguals acquire English while maintaining Spanish. Block (2011) also conducted an empirical study that compared the dual-immersion program with the English-only program. Forty English-dominant Latino students in four 90:10 Spanish dual-immersion programs and 62 of their peers in English-only programs were observed. The study looked at students attitudes
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towards bilingualism and biliteracies. Observations showed that students from the dualimmersion program enjoyed bilingualism and biliteracies more than their peers from the English-only program.
Summary
In conclusion, the findings from this section that looked at the four areas of bilingual programs, the roles of educators, successful programs at two grade levels, the competing ideologies, and comparative programs, identify one key gap. 14 of the 16 studies in this section failed to consider the bi-linguistic abilities of the Spanish-English students involved in the studies. Block (2011) specified that the Spanish-English bilinguals were English-dominant Latino students while Gromley (2008) highlighted the home language of the students. The remaining 14 studies referred to the participants as Spanish-English bilinguals without consideration of their language dominance. It is crucial to take a socio-cultural approach when looking at bilingual programs for Mexican American bilinguals. It is an assumption that most of these students would be Spanish-English bilinguals; however, some of these students could be English or Spanish dominant, and some could be monolingual English- or Spanish-students. Besides overlooking the identification of bi-linguistic abilities of these students, the studies also tend to focus on English literacy testing rather than on biliteracy testing. This is not a fair measurement of students bi-linguistic abilities, especially when the studies look at bilingual programs that helped students succeed in schools. Even though all studies reported that Spanish-English students showed improvement in schools, the emphasis is placed on English literacy testing, making the term bilingual program a misleading term. This is because if students were to undergo a bilingual program, the measurement of the academic proficiencies should be in dual languages to avoid a situation
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described by Hasson (2010) and Pastor (2008), where students faced competing language ideologies in maintaining English and Spanish.
Mexican American bilinguals
BFLA Spanish-English ELA/ELL
(acquired English and Spanish before school) (- acquired Spanish at home)
(- learned English at school)
(may not possess the academic discourse in either languages)
1) Hispanics
2) Language minorities
3) ELLs
4) Spanish-English bilinguals
5) Immigrant students
Figure 2.3: Summary of Mexican American bilingual identities in America (Re-cap)
Other Types of Programs
This section will look at other types of programs that are offered to Mexican American bilinguals in public school. There are four empirical studies that will be looked at, all of which focused on how the programs considered the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals.
Are they the same?
No, they are not; yet, they are categorized under the same labels without regards and considerations for their bi-linguistic abilities or cultural heritage.
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Callahan, Wilkinson, and Muller (2008) highlighted the importance of immigrant adolescents academic achievement being the future of economic stability of the United States. Based on their observation, Mexican-origin linguistic minority youth in United States schools generally demonstrated lower levels of achievement. English as a Second Language (ESL) programs provide an institutional response to these students needs, the effect of which may vary by the proportion of immigrant students in the school. In their study, they used propensity score matching, and data from the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement Study (AHAA) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).
They estimated the effect of ESL placement on Mexican-origin student achievement for first-, second-, and third-generation adolescents separately in schools with many and few immigrant students. The results revealed that the estimated effect of ESL placement varied by both immigrant concentration in the school and by students generational status. They concluded that ESL enrollment may be protective for second-generation Mexican-origin adolescents in high immigrant concentration schools, and may prove detrimental for first-generation adolescents in contexts with few other immigrant students. Their study highlighted the importance of considering the educational needs of Mexican American students as they represent the future of economic stability in the United States.
Gonzalez, Goetz, Hall, Payne, Taylor, Kim, and McCormick (2011) did a quasi-experimental study that evaluates the effectiveness of Early Reading First (ERF) program for preschoolers. The study looked at preschoolers from two multi-ethnic schools, mostly low-income Hispanics. Gray (2007) conducted a similar study on ERF, involving Hispanic bilinguals. Both studies reflected that ERF program is effective in enriching language and literacy skills among preschoolers. Then, Sturtevant and Kim (2009) conducted an empirical
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study that examined the literacy motivation among middle-school students in an ESOL program using 20 survey questions and semi-structured interviews. 27 boys and 23 girls in three ESOL classes participated. Of these, 84% were Spanish-English bilinguals. 16 of the students were in a beginning ESOL program, 18 were in an intermediate ESOL program, and 16 were in an advanced ESOL program. The results from the survey identified similarities among students of different genders, but differences between those in the beginning and those in the advanced ESOL program. Those in the beginning program were more motivated.
Based on the four studies that this section looked at, it is conclusive to argue that the early educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals are important to be considered, and early literacy programs are effective in motivating students in schools. A gap that these studies overlooked was the failure to make a distinction to the levels of bi-literacy that these students were at in regards to their language and literacy skills. Even though the studies looked at ESL and ESOL programs, only English literacy was given importance while Spanish was downplayed in the discussion. Therefore, the discussion on motivation of students may not be an accurate representation of students in regards to the types of literacy programs.
Other Factors
This section will look at four factors that contribute to the academic success in school for Mexican American bilinguals. Schools collaboration with parents, the understanding of cultural differences between Mexican American bilinguals and other students, motivation from adults, and the formation of identity (community and self) are important factors that contribute to the academic success of Mexican American bilinguals in school. This section will be looking at 13 empirical studies that discuss these factors and how they work hand in
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hand with effective bilingual programs to help Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic success in schools while acquiring English and maintaining Spanish.
Parents
Mc-Cabe, Goehring, Yeh, and Lau (2008) did an empirical study that compared parental locus of control (PLOC4) among parents of clinic-referred Mexican American preschoolers to parents of non-referred Mexican American preschoolers. Results demonstrated that referred Mexican American parents exhibited a more external PLOC than non-referred Mexican American parents across a number of domains. It was highlighted how preschoolers behavioral problems were associated with an external PLOC among Mexican Americans. Implications for the design of culturally sensitive interventions for Mexican American preschoolers with behavior problems were highlighted. This study is significant for educators and policy makers to be aware of the types of preschool programs needed to decrease behavioral programs among Mexican American preschoolers with the consideration of parents.
Dorner (2011) did a three-year ethnographic study with six families, all of whom were Mexican immigrants with children who identified as Mexican American bilinguals. The study looked at how and with whom immigrant parents discussed educational choices when enrolling their children into a two-way immersion program. Results from the study showed that it was important for parents to discuss these options with the school to make sense of the two-way immersion program for their children. Parents played key roles in ensuring the academic success for Mexican American bilinguals. Collaboration between parents and school was necessary in ensuring that these students achieved success. Another study that
4 This refers to the degree of control a parent feels that he or she has over his or her child's behavior (Campis, Lyman, and Prentice-Dunn, 1986).
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also supports this conclusion, parents playing key roles in ensuring academic success for their children, is an empirical study conducted by Bollin (2003).
Bollin (2003) explored the development and changes in the Mexican system of education and educational aspirations of Mexican parents for their children. Observation revealed that most Mexican parents considered it advantageous that their children had the opportunity to attend school through high school in the United States. At the same time, they considered it equally important for their children to make some financial contribution to the family while going to school. The author suggests that this understanding of cultural difference between Mexican and American parents can help United States schools formulate programs and make curricular decisions that could reduce the high dropout rate among Mexican American students in middle school. Both studies by Domer (2011) and Bollin (2003) emphasized the importance of collaboration between school and parents to ensure success in school for Mexican American bilinguals. At the same time, Boilins (2003) study also made an implication to the concept of being a Mexican American bilingual as an identity, and the awareness of this identity is important for school. Another study that also looked at identity and how identity correlated with confidence and academic success in school is discussed by Cavazos-Rehg and Delucia-Waack (2009).
Identity
Two studies have explicitly considered the relationship of the identity of bilingual students in relationship to the instructional approach. The first, by Cavazos-Rehg and Delucia-Waack (2009), examined the self-esteem, acculturation, and ethnic identity of 150 Latino students enrolled in either a bilingual or a traditional Spanish program. 99 students were in the bilingual program and the rest were in a traditional program. Results from their
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study revealed that the 51 students in the traditional program had a higher level of acculturation in areas of language use, electronic, printed media, and social relationship than those in the bilingual program. The second was by Huang (1995), who conducted a similar study looking at the relationship between proficiency in bilingual reading and writing and self-esteem. His study involved 1034 eighth grade, Mexican American students who are bilinguals and English-dominant. Results from Huangs (1995) study supported results from the study conducted by Cavazos-Rehg and Delucia-Waack (2009). Both studies revealed that bilinguals had higher self-confidence than those who were English-dominant; and the more contact students have with the heritage language at school, the better they performed.
Another study that also supports this conclusion is a study by Dorner, Orellana, and Li-Grining (2007).
Dorner, Orellana, and Li-Grining (2007) did an empirical study involving 87 Mexican American bilinguals in Chicago. Their study looked at how Mexican American bilinguals identity as language brokers for their family correlate with their math achievement scores in school. The participants were grouped into three groups, Active Language Brokers, Partial Language Brokers, and non-Language Brokers. The deciding factors on who are active, partial, and non-language brokers were dependent on interview questions such as who translated at home, for whom, and the frequency of translation. Results from the study conclude that Mexican American bilinguals who are active language brokers for their family performed better on math achievement tests compared to the other two groups. This finding reminds us that the cognitive benefits of being bilingual accrue with the regular use of the two languages (Bialystok et al, 2009, p.89) and that translating involves the linguistic processing in the bilinguals individual two languages.
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Motivation
Thirteen studies looked at factors that contributed to academic success for Mexican American bilinguals. The first, by Weiss and Dempsey (2008), compared the performance of Mexican American bilinguals who claimed to be more proficient in English than Spanish. However, based on the results of the study, this group of bilinguals performed better in Spanish than English academically. The significance of this study is to help educators be aware that although Mexican American students in their classrooms are exposed to more English than Spanish, these students are more confident with Spanish. However, the study also revealed that Mexican American students could perform well in English Standardized Testing if the testing were conducted in a non-stressful and quiet environment. Mexican American bilinguals have other needs to help them achieve success in school, and these needs go beyond just an effective curriculum. Pacheco (2010) conducted an empirical study that discussed this importance.
Pacheco (2010) analyzes illustrative classroom events documented during an ethnographic study of three bilingual third grade classrooms in a high-achieving school in California. Through a performativity lens around dictionary work and homework that emphasizes the discursive constitution of subjectivities, she demonstrates how discourses around achievement and success in the current reform context exacerbated one bilingual teachers deficit-oriented ideologies about English learners (Mexican American students) and their families. Her analysis has implications for practitioners and researchers interested in effectively supporting the most vulnerable student populations, and their teachers, in public schools. Results from her observation reveal that in order to enhance the academic potential of Mexican American students English Language abilities, teachers need an expanded
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repertoire of assistance strategies that reflect sound, even empowering, approaches that reject deficit based perspectives and instead build their languages, cultures, group histories, and intellectual capabilities (Tejeda et al. 2002). Moreover, teachers must begin to acknowledge parents and community members expertise and seek to learn from and about English Language Learners to organize transformative approaches to the literacy curriculum (Luke & Carrington 2002).
Rumberger and Larson (1998) documented the differences in educational achievement among poor, first and second generation Mexican American bilinguals in an urban middle school in LA. Their study looked at the socioeconomic and socio-cultural aspects of students. The schools population was 83% Latino, of which 94% were of Mexican descent and 73% of them were Spanish-English bilinguals. Their study focused on the students entering the school at seventh grade and exiting at ninth grade. The three groups of students that the study compared were those who were in the English-only program, bilinguals who were proficient in English and bilinguals who had limited English proficiency. Results from their study revealed that while achieving proficiency in English is important, it is not sufficient to succeed in American schools. Their study also showed that bilinguals in the bilingual programs performed better than those in the English-only program. These results were consistent with similar studies conducted by Buriel (1994) and Stanton-Salazar and Dornbusch (1995). All these studies concluded that among Spanish-English bilinguals which included Mexican American bilinguals, third generation Mexican American bilinguals reflected a higher drop-out rate than first and second generations. According to Gandara (2010), third generations are mostly English proficient. Based on these studies, it is conclusive to state that Mexican American bilinguals need bilingual instruction to perform in
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school, but they can do better when the school also provides other kinds of support. Cabolla (1997) conducted an empirical study that looked at the other kinds of support to help Mexican American bilinguals succeed in schools.
Chabolla (1997) looks at the strategic interventions that are adopted at UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz to help Mexican American students in their outreach programs. It concluded that factors such as counselling process, courses offered, the monitoring of students, and having motivating principals are important influences in ensuring their success. All these preparations should begin in middle school. Besides preparation in middle school, enrichment programs could also help Mexican American bilinguals do better. Through an empirical study, Mellom and Matthew (2012) investigated the impact of students beliefs on school and academic achievement, actual course choice, and graduation rate. Two programs, science and English were used to determine results. The study involved 85 ELLs from an ethnically diverse, high poverty school in Georgia. Results from the study revealed that involvement in enrichment programs in science and English can positively influence students attitude, aspirations, and behavior towards school.
The 13 studies reviewed looked at factors that contributed to academic success for Mexican American bilinguals. Most of the studies identified parents (Dorner, 2011; Bollin, 2003; Me Cabe, Goehring, Yeh, & Lau, 2008) and identity (Cavazos-Rehg & Delucia-Waack, 2009; Dorner, Orellana, & Li-Grining, 2007) to be the main factors that helped Mexican American bilinguals achieve success in school. While an effective bilingual program is necessary, so are these other factors. Mexican American bilinguals are a minority community in the United States, but they are the largest of the minority group (Orfield & Lee, 2005). Ensuring their success in school is an economic investment to the country.
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Conclusion
This literature review looked at empirical studies from 1994 to present. The review focused on studies that looked at factors that contributed to success in schools for Mexican American bilinguals. Taking a socio-cultural perspective through a critical lens, this review considered studies of programs and other factors that contributed to the success of programs to help Mexican American bilinguals succeed. This review also considered the connection between the social and cultural environments of Mexican American bilinguals through a critical lens. This is done by identifying who they are in the United States, and giving recognition to their bi-linguistic abilities. Recognizing their bi-linguistic abilities implied that their varied linguistic abilities as bilinguals in the classrooms are considered when looking at the two types of linguistic experiences that Mexican American bilinguals go through in schools. Results from the synthesized studies were conclusive to argue that all programs were effective in helping Mexican American bilinguals succeed in schools, but bilingual instruction is most effective in helping Mexican American bilinguals maintain some degree of Spanish while acquiring English. However, the growth of students learning varied from program to program. Besides the studies on programs, other factors also contributed to the success of Mexican American bilinguals in school. These factors included parents (Domer, 2011; Bollin, 2003; McCabe, Goehring, Yeh, & Lau, 2008) and identity (Cavazos-Rehg & Delucia-Waack, 2009; Domer, Orellana, & Li-Grining 2007).
A major gap that was not addressed in the studies synthesized was the researchers failure to identify Spanish-English bilinguals in terms of their bi-linguistic abilities. Most of the studies referred to their participants as Spanish-English bilinguals, with no consideration to whether these bilinguals were BFLA Spanish-English, or English- or Spanish-dominant
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students. The studies looked at bilingual instruction in classrooms and attempted to measure students academic proficiency with no regard to their bi-linguistic abilities and/or identities. How can the measurements of students abilities be accurately reflected and discussed when the students level of bi-linguistic proficiencies were not discussed in detail? As mentioned in the earlier section, identity is correlated to academic success for Mexican American bilinguals; yet, in studies that measured proficiency, only English language acquisition is given importance while downplaying Spanish language acquisition. Being bilinguals is part of the identity for Mexican American bilinguals; yet not enough discussion has been covered in this aspect of their school success.
In conclusion, two major gaps were noted as this review of literature was synthesized. The failure to identify Mexican American bilinguals in terms of their bi-linguistic abilities when looking at bilingual programs in school will not help educators plan effective classroom instruction that would help these students succeed. An inaccurate reflection of their linguistic abilities through testing that placed an emphasis on English acquisition is not an accurate measurement of their academic success. Educational policymakers need to address these gaps in order to better understand the linguistic challenges that Mexican American bilinguals face in schools. Better educational policies that consider a socio-cultural perspective through a critical lens need to be adopted to plan effective programs in school for Mexican American bilinguals who are often referred as Spanish-English bilinguals with no regards to their bi-linguistic proficiencies.
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CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY AND THEORECTIAL FRAMEWORKS
This research study aimed to reposition BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States. It asked the broad question How can the deficit notion of marginalized bilingual/multilingual people in the United States be repositioned to help monolinguals understand that bilinguals can be native speakers of English too? It also asked two key questions relating to the repositioning of marginalized BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. The first question, What are the profiles of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children across the elementary school years?, looked at the profiles of marginalized BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals, focusing on their self and perceived identities. The second question, What structures are in place that either support or hinder BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children to maintain harmonious bilingual development? looked at harmonious bilingual development, which refers to the current practices that individuals, family, and community have put in place, while considering school and state policies, to nurture bilinguals so that they can grow up as balanced bilinguals, bilinguals who speak and write in Spanish and English proficiently. It also considers the structures that hinder harmonious bilingual development for BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals.
Adopting a critical lens in addressing the research questions, I utilized the following conceptual frameworks in my research study: 1) Gramscis (1971) framework of hegemony which is later developed by Shannon (1995) to discuss Mexican American bilinguals and their linguistic struggles in the United States, 2) Bourdieus (2003) application of political, cultural, and social factors to language status within society, and 3) Freires (1970) work
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from his Pedagogy of the Oppressed to understand instructional practices in American classrooms. These frameworks will form the basis of my research methodology and analysis. Additionally, I will apply Bronfenbrenners (1979) concept of the observation of childrens behaviors in a natural setting. I will inter-lace his sociocultural concepts within the critical frameworks that I am adopting.
View of Political, Cultural, and Social Factors to Language Status within Society
Bourdieu (2003) is a sociologist whose work looks at the relations among language, power, and politics. He argues that language is more than just a means of communication. Language is also a medium of power through which individuals may pursue their own agenda. In the United States, the English language is used to pursue the English-only agenda in public schools as other minority languages such as Spanish are downplayed. Applying Bourdieus (2003) work, I will describe the struggles of minority multilinguals in the United States.
BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals possess two first languages, Spanish and English, and their identities as Mexican Americans put them in the minority multilingual community in the United States. While there is a lack of definitive statistics it has been speculated that there are more children growing up bilingual than monolingual (Tucker, 1998). However, it must also be noted that there are many types of bilingual children. While some are sequential bilinguals, meaning that they grew up learning one language followed by another (Bialystok, 2001, 2006), BFLA children grew up with two first languages from birth (De Houwer, 1995). BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children grew up with a heritage language, Spanish, and the societal language, English. By denying the teaching of heritage language in schools and emphasizing English-only programs
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through the transitional bilingual program which aims to move students from bilingual instruction classrooms to English-only classrooms (Christine & Genesee, 2001; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Abedi, 2010), the United States has unofficially made English her official language, marginalizing Mexican Americans and other bilingual students of color. As Bourdieu (2003) argues, education is the invisible hand that controls the linguistic capital in a region or country when he states that with, .. the construction, legitimation and imposition of an official language, the education system plays a decisive role..(p. 48). In the context of the United States, this is manifested when bilingual students of color are continually pressured to abandon their heritage languages to truly master English in school through the implementation of transitional bilingual program (Christine & Genesee, 2001). The practice is demonstrated through standardized tests that are promoting English only policies (Abedi, 2010).
Bourdieu (2003) argues that linguistic utterances can be understood as the product of the relation between the linguistic market and linguistic habitus. This implies that when an individual uses language(s) in a certain manner, within a particular setting, that individual may implicitly and sometimes even explicitly adapt their words to fit the specific situation. Since language is a form of identity (Gopinathan, Pakir, Ho, & Saravanan, 2003), the decision to use specific language in a specific situation influences an individuals perceived identity. The choice of vocabulary in any given communication is imbued with various semantics that often result in different pragmatics expected of the audience being addressed. For example, code-switching is not perceived as desirable among bilingual immigrants and might produce a reaction where these speakers are perceived negatively by other monolingual English speakers when code-switching is used in communication. Even the
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accent adopted by the speaker carries forth different messages in different contexts.
However, the ability to code-switch between languages and accents is not made available to all speakers.
Shannon and Escamilla (1999) showed through critical incidents how coded language is used to enact symbolic violence upon Mexican American immigrants in our classrooms. For example, Mexican American immigrants experience symbolic violence through such coded language. Policies have been worded in certain ways to make documentation around bilingual education sound politically correct. The goal of bilingual education in the United States is not to teach in two languages, as one would be made to believe. The ultimate goal of bilingual education has been to transition students into an English only environment so that they can become more mainstream and standard in their speech (Christine & Genesee, 2001).
As a researcher whose interest lies in Mexican American bilinguals, I understand that one reason that all immigrants, Mexican American bilinguals included, should be learning English, is to gain access to resources in the United States. English is the language of survival for success and is one of the key ingredients for educational success. However, being an immigrant myself, who is not only bilingual, but also a multilingual, I strongly believe that learning the English language should not be done at the expense of my heritage languages. Even though English is one of my first languages, alongside two other heritage languages, I have been positioned so if I want to assimilate into American society, I must give up my heritage languages and cultures. Unlike the immigrant children discussed in Shannon and Escamillas (1999), I am an adult; yet, I have been subjected to critical incidents that made me view my multilingual abilities as being deficient rather than beneficial. In one of my doctoral classes, a White American classmate wrote on my paper,
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You write well for an ELA student. After explaining to her that I was not an ELA student, she argued that I was a multilingual with an accent; therefore, English could not be my first language. I was not only saddened by that comment; I was hurt. The ability to code-switch, one of the gifted skills of multilinguals, is a common linguistic occurrence in Singapore. However, this does not occur here in the United States because of what bilingualism and multilingualism represent to mainstream Americans. Bilingualism is perceived as a deficit when spoken by minorities of color. Based on my own experience and those of my coworkers, I discovered that being American generally implies being a monolingual English speaker. Shannon and Escamilla (1999) clearly expressed this sentiment when they described William Bennetts, the Secretary of State, position on bilingual education, how Mexican American immigrants experience symbolic violence through coded language used in policies. Immigrants do not have to discard their languages and cultures...; however, the goal at school is proficiency in spoken and written English (Shannon & Escamilla, 1999, p. 354).
Bourdieus (2003) view of political, cultural, and social factors to language status within society, which has been further developed by Shannons and Escamillas (1999) application to the United States, can be applied to Freires (1970) work from his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. While Bourdieu (2003) argues for a political, cultural, and social approach to language status within society, and Shannon and Escamilla (1999) applied it to the context of the United States, Freire (1970) highlights an educational approach to free the oppressed through a critical pedagogy.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Freire (1970) describes a pedagogy where people are engaged in the fight for their own liberation, where the oppressed have the power to free themselves from their oppressors.
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Freire referred to this process as humanization. Freire (1970) also made comparisons between education as a practice of freedom and education as a practice of domination. His descriptions mirror Memmis (1992) description of the relationship between the colonized and the colonizers. According to Memmi, the colonized are suppressed through acts of domination practiced upon them by the colonizers. Just as in the description of education as a practice of domination, the educators in the classrooms may subconsciously act as the colonizers, transferring norms and values through lectures that students are expected to learn through rote memorization. Freire refers to this as the banking education model.
The BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals are oppressed by a curriculum and educational system that tends to reject their funds of knowledge, the knowledge that students gain from their family and cultural backgrounds (Moll, 1992) as they are taught about English culture and literature while the system downplays their heritage culture and language. This rejection is also demonstrated through English-only standardized tests, which is a way of oppressing BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals as their heritage language is not recognized (Darling-Hammond, 2010; Abedi, 2010). What Freire suggests is an education that practices freedom for the oppressed. He said, And as those who have been completely marginalized are so radically transformed, they are no longer willing to be mere objects, responding to changes occurring around them; they are more likely to decide to take upon themselves the struggle to change the structures of society, which until now have served to oppress them (p. 33). In bilingual classrooms, the oppressed would be the BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. Villenas and Moreno (2001) suggest how incorporating funds of knowledge (Moll, 1992) in the curriculum is one of the practices that helps Latino families, which include BFLA Spanish-English Mexican
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American bilinguals, learn. Tapping into students funds of knowledge is one of the practices that can be adopted in bilingual classrooms to practice freedom through education. Through funds of knowledge, the heritage culture and language of Spanish-English students is used as a way to help make the connections between learning in school and knowledge from home. Here, hegemonic culture in education expressed through English-emphasized teachings is balanced with heritage knowledge that students bring from their homes.
In the next section, I will describe how Bronfenbrenners framework on child development in natural settings helps to situate the critical importance of the linguistic environments of both home and school, and how they play key roles in contributing to harmonious bilingual maintenance among BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children.
Bronfenbrenner
Bronfenbrenner (1979) highlights ways in which children develop through their behaviors in natural settings. Although Bronfenbrenner did not adopt a critical lens, ignoring factors such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status, his work still inspires me to consider the natural environment in which BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals are immersed, specifically during their years of Spanish and English language acquisition in predominantly English-only environments. In this dissertation, I applied Bronfenbrenners ecological theory as I looked at language use and language choice of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children by observing them in their natural settings. The consideration that these students are bilinguals developing their linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing (Brown, 2007) in a monolingual society is an important factor to consider in my observations and analyses when I looked at their profiles as BFLA children
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developing their literacy skills. Bronfenbrenners ecological theory formed the basis of my analyses where I discussed how Globeville contributed to the development or the lack of it as I highlight the historiography of Globeville, the neighborhood in which the twelve student-participants lived and studied. Bronfenbrenners (1979) asserts that development takes place in interactive social environments (systems) such as the family and the preschool or classroom, referred to as microsystems. It benefitted the developing persons when these mesosystems were linked and mutually supportive.
Hegemony of English
Gramsci (1971) articulates the power relationship between education and class. He argues against traditional schools because these schools subscribe to what Ladson-Billings (1998) and Memmi (1992) would refer to as colonial education. Gramsci (1971) argues traditional schools that are designed to develop in each individual the fundamental power to think and ability to find ones way in life... (p. 26). In the United States, traditional education is commonly practiced in public schools. One of the aims of the bilingual programs offered in public schools in America is to transition students from a bilingual instruction classroom to an English-only classroom (Christine & Genesee, 2001). Through this aim, one of the ideologies of education, the hegemony of English in the United States (Shannon, 1995; Shannon & Escamilla, 1999) is observed.
Shannon (1995) stressed the hegemony of English over Spanish in the United States. She argues that the hegemony of English is practiced in and out of the classrooms. English hegemony is not about the status of English versus Spanish; rather, it is about who is speaking those languages. A White person who speaks both Spanish and English will be privileged while a non-White person with the same bilingual abilities will be deemed as
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deficient. The argument that English is given privilege over other minority languages is illustrated on a daily basis in classrooms as bilinguals continue to learn and to take tests in English. The status of language is dependent on who is speaking it and that Whites will always be seen in an asset-based light while people of color will always be seen though a deficit perspective. English spoken by bilingual minorities will never be good enough, or standard enough, because it will always be perceived as a second language for them. This is seen in the current educational practices in K-12, where non-White students are referred as ELLs and need to be transitioned to English by 4th grade when they are tested in English only (Darling-Hammond, 2010). These tests, designed by Whites, for White English speakers, are never a true and fair measurement of the academic proficiencies of bilingual students. Concepts coming together: Language and cultural experiences of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children living in a predominantly English setting
BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals live in a linguistic environment that is predominantly English. They are coerced to suppress one half of their identity. This is done through the ideology of education, most prevalent through the hegemony of English (Gramsci, 1971; Shannon, 1999) observed in the implementation of bilingual policies in the United States. The hegemony of English, supported by political, cultural, and social factors surrounding language status within society (Bourdieu, 2003), continues to marginalize BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. To study the profile of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals across the elementary school years, this research study will closely examine the linguistic environments surrounding these children as suggested by Bronfenbrenners ecological theory. The study will also look at the processes that ensure that harmonious bilingual development is achieved and maintained for this group of bilingual
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children. The close study of childrens linguistic environments is suggested by Bronfenbrenners ecological theory (1979). Applying Freires Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) I suggest some of the ways in which harmonious bilingual development can be achieved and maintained even with the current bilingual policies in place.
Definition of Key Terms
In this section, I will define some of the key terms that will be used frequently throughout the discussion of the research study.
BFLA
Bilingual First Language Acquisition (BFLA) is a term first introduced by Merril Swain (1976) in a brief summary of her dissertation work. It is the development of languages in young children who are exposed to two spoken languages since birth. Prior to Swains work, linguists referred to BFLA as simultaneous bilingualism (Bialystok, 2001, 2006). BFLA children acquire two first languages simultaneously from birth. Wolck (1987/88) refers to these languages as Language A and Language Alpha rather than majority and minority languages because BFLA children are exposed to both languages simultaneously. Therefore, these languages are given equal importance in their linguistic repertoire. Even though these children may acquire the two first languages simultaneously, their proficiency in the two languages may differ as they continue to develop linguistically. Some BFLA children may be equally proficient communicators in Language A and Language Alpha. Others may develop linguistically to be only effective listeners in Language A; yet, they are proficient speakers in Language Alpha. The latter group is known as passive bilinguals (Yamamoto, 1995). There are also groups of BFLA children who become proficient communicators of both languages but are literate only in one. All of the described examples
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of BFLA children are thus not experiencing harmonious bilingual development (De Houwer, 2009).
Although scholars in the bilingual field may argue that simultaneous bilinguals are BFLA speakers, there are subtle differences in the two terms. One of the most important differences which is the key element of this study lies in the identity of these bilinguals. While the term simultaneous bilinguals fails to give recognition to the linguistic abilities of the speakers, the term BFLA Spanish-English children focuses on the importance of language abilities as part of the bilingual identities of the children. In this study, the terms BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children bilinguals are used because the identity of being first language speakers of Spanish and English, and of having Mexican and American identities are both important elements in the repositioning of bilinguals. Their linguistic abilities and their heritage and cultural practices become a part of their being, their identities.
Bilinguals in America
BFLA Spanish-English ELA/ELL
Figure 3.1: Summary of bilingual identities in America
The BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals that I worked with are different from the BFLA children that De Houwer (2009) worked with. My focused population comes from a marginalized group who do not have access to resources while De Houwer worked with BFLA children who had access to language resources. Therefore, the profile of the BFLA children that I worked with differs from the profiles of children that De
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Hower worked with. However, through my dissertation and future work, I hope to demonstrate how these differences should not limit the childrens opportunity to achieve harmonious bilingual development.
Harmonious Bilingual Development
Harmonious bilingual development is a desirable state of bi-linguistic development where BFLA children become balanced in two first languages (De Houwer, 2009). This means that BFLA children can speak two language like native speakers and grow up learning to read and write in both systems of languages proficiently. In Colorado, achieving and maintaining harmonious bilingual development can prepare Mexican American bilinguals to be global citizens where they are ready and able to contribute to the American work force. My study aims to reveal how BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals have the potential to achieve harmonious bilingual development.
Predominantly English-only environments
Predominantly English-only environments refer to the settings in which BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals are immersed. In the United States, English is the official language of instruction and documentation. English is the societal language used in schools. It is the language of commerce used for business and trade. Even at home, English may be the language of communication due to the presence of older siblings or working parents who may be bilinguals who are predominantly English speakers. BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals are at risk of losing their heritage language, Spanish as they continue to live in the shadows of the White majority English speaking monolinguals. This study looks at how BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals
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attempt to maintain harmonious bilingual development of the societal language, English, and the heritage language, Spanish, while living in predominantly English-only environments.
Methods
From this section forward, I will discuss the methodologies involved in the qualitative research study that I started in the fall of 2014.1 will highlight the research design and the sampling scheme. I will also include a short summary of my personal beliefs and how the beliefs might influence my study to a small extent. I will also discuss the reliability and validity of my study, and provide brief information about the data collected. In this section, I will also highlight the data collection procedures as well as the data analysis procedures with their accompanying assumptions. In the chapter that follows, I will then present the data collected followed by an analysis of the data from the research study. This study looked at the experiences of twelve BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children.
An urban elementary school situated in a low-income neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, was selected as the main site for data collection. The neighborhood in which the chosen school is situated, discussed extensively in Chapter 1 under the section, Historiography of Globe ville, tells powerful stories of identity, survival, and achievement overcoming the odds. The Historiography of Globeville plays a significant role in situating the data to be presented in the next two chapters. Bronfenbrenner (1979) argues that setting plays a key role in telling the story of language acquisition among children. With this in mind, the story of Globeville is crucial in situating the stories of the student-participants in this dissertation.
In this section, details on design of the study, the data collection procedures and analyses are described. This is with consideration of the limitations and delimitations that the
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study may have. It is also accompanied by the researchers biases. Although this is a qualitative study that focused on only twelve children who attended the elementary school, I did look at three different grade levels in an urban elementary school to support the analyses drawn. The voices of their teachers and parents as well as the neighborhood in which they are immersed in have also been considered in the data collection and later, analysis procedures. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and in the context of this study, that famous saying stands true.
It is crucial to note that because I am working with a marginalized population who not only belong to the lower socio-economic income group, they are also racially marginalized for belonging to a minority population group. Besides these marginalizations, the student-participants are bilinguals, which again raises doubts to their linguistic abilities to succeed in school, bearing in mind that monolingual English is normalized in the United States. The negative labels that have been attached to the identities of the student-participants include ELL, ELA, language minorities, and failures at school. Because of these factors, it becomes crucial to uncover the bilingual voices of students who are usually overlooked and whose strengths and assets are often masked by quantitative assessments of their language and literacy abilities.
The diagram below summarizes how a childs language acquisition is impacted by his/her surroundings. Some may describe it as a bottom-up approach, beginning with the student-participant, his/her family, as their language usage is spread through community interactions, and later influenced by policies imposed upon society through schools. Others may argue that it is a top-down approach, beginning with language policies and ending with
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the child. In this study, I will demonstrate that it is a two-pronged approach. The language acquisition of a child is impacted in both directions, bottom-up and top-down.
Two-yronsed approach: Language Acquisition and Impact
Society (policies)


Community (Globeville and school)
1
Family (immediate and extended members)


Individual (student-participant)
A childs language acquisition is impacted by his/her surroundings as much as the linguistic environment is impacted by the childs experiences with language acquisition. For example, Mexican American parents are picking up English as their children attend American public schools, a trend briefly discussed in chapter 1, Historiography of Globeville. Community activities are changing in Globeville to accommodate the changing demographic of the emerging bilinguals. Finally, policies are changing to try to better meet the learning needs of bilinguals. This is reflected in the frequent changes made to the bilingual policies in the United States. Likewise, a Mexican American bilingual child is affected by the language choice of his/her immediate family members at social gatherings. The community, Globeville, determines the trade language used around the neighborhood. Finally, the larger society, Americans, determine the language choice and language preference that a Mexican American bilingual child may choose to develop over time.
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Research Design
The study describes the meaning behind a social issue, bilingualism and marginalization that a group of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals faced as a community in America. In this study, data collection began within the focus participants natural setting, the field sites where participants experienced challenges of bilingual language acquisition (Creswell, 2013). I became the key instrument for data collection where I examined documents, observed behaviors, and interviewed the student-participants. The interview questions were self-developed and later co-constructed with the student-participants (Creswell, 2013). Two main reasons that I decided to implement a qualitative study include 1) the need to explore the issues of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals experiencing bilingualism and bi-culturalism in America, and 2) the need to empower the focus participants to share their stories, to hear their voices, and to minimize the power relation that often exist between researcher and participant. These reasons are also cited in Creswell (2013).
This is a qualitative research study that integrates two approaches. These approaches suggested by Creswell (2013) are phenomenology and observations. This study is guided by the boundaries set within the mentioned approaches. The reason why the study needs to consider two approaches is because there is no one approach that best fits the study.
A phenomenological study describes the common meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a phenomenon and this description revolves around the experiences of the focused population (Moustakas, 1994). Phenomenology is considered because the studying of the phenomenon of shared experiences among BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children across a selected elementary school in the Denver Public School District
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(DPS) makes up a significant part of the study. The shared experience of being BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children experiencing bilingualism and biliteracy in DPS and maintaining harmonious bilingual development in and out of the school was pivotal to the study. As I studied this phenomenon, I also looked closely at their cultural practices in the classroom, on the playground, and at home with regard to language usage and language preference. I described what they experienced and how they experienced it (Moustakas, 1994). Therefore, I inevitably integrated observations, done in and out of the classrooms, into the study. Even though I started as a non-participant observer in several classrooms at Swansea Elementary School in the Globeville neighborhood, I eventually became a participant observer as I got to know the student participants better. However, in the final stages of the data collection, I had to distance myself as I began to draw analyses to my study. I focused my analyses and discussion around a few carefully selected student participants, twelve to be exact.
Sampling Scheme
I adopted four of Creswells suggested sampling strategies in qualitative inquiry (Creswell, 2013). They included maximum variation, opportunistic, combination, and convenience.
In maximum variation, I used various variations of documents of individuals, and sites were selected and documented based on specific characteristics that fit my research criteria. In my study, I was working with BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals studying in a public elementary school. However, since 95% of the student population was Mexican American and/or bilinguals, finding BFLA Spanish-English children was the challenge. I relied on the vice principals and teachers recommendations to
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establish the BFLA identities of the twelve focus participants I ended up working with. Documentation such as test scores were used to establish their identities.
In opportunistic, I followed new leads and took advantage of the unexpected lead that came up as I interacted with the student-participants. Even though I prepared a set of interview questions that I planned to ask the focus participants, their family members, and teachers, these questions were mere guidelines that I used to guide me in my research. Often, the interview sessions were led by the participants who offered personal narratives that formed a part of my data.
In combination, I did triangulation to meet multiple interests and needs, and in convenience, I saved time, money, and effort.
The sites that I selected for data collection were areas where the BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals carried out their routines. The chosen sites were also where social interactions among teachers, peers, and family members took place. Their school, Swansea Elementary School, in the Globeville neighborhood, was the main site for data collection where they spent most of their daytime interacting with their peers and teachers in a formal setting. Areas within the school premises where informal interaction occurred included the lunchroom, playground, and gymnasium. I also observed them at breaks and lunchtime where they spent time at play, in these informal settings. The last site that I selected was their homes where they were observed socializing with immediate family members as well as extended family members who came to visit on weekends.
As I observed them in their natural environments (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), I was able to better profile them. Data from my observations was triangulated with the interviews I conducted with the student-participants, teachers, and immediate family members. I also used
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documentation and artifacts that provided information on language policies for the targeted group. This data helped me address both research questions.
In the next section, I present the data collection procedures which included the process of becoming acquainted with Swansea and the participants. I also highlight how the data was collected after I got into Swansea and into the classrooms of the twelve focus participants.
Sites and Participants
Getting into Swansea Elementary School as a researcher was not easy. Even though I had worked with Mexican American children prior to this study, I was still just an international student who neither grew up nor attended high school in Colorado. I didnt have a network of contacts to help me gain access into DPS. However, I have a dedicated mentor who has been in this field for several years. She, Dr. Shannon, got in touch with one of her ex-students who helped me get in touch with the assistant principal at Swansea Elementary School. With the right networking contact, I managed to get into Swansea Elementary School and the opportunity to work with the twelve student-participants who opened my eyes as I began data collection for this research.
To ensure that sufficient data was collected, I went to Swansea Elementary School every day during the fall semester of 2014.1 started from the second week of their academic year. That was in the second week of September, and I stayed through the second week of November. I was in the school from 8:30 a.m. and stayed till 2:30 p.m. daily. On certain special days such as class outing days, Halloween, and parent-teacher-conference days, I stayed longer to observe informal social interactions among the student-participants. I also
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accompanied the student-participants on class trips where I collected data based on critical incidents.
The critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) is made up of a set of procedures where data collection is done through the observation of human behaviors. However, these observations were planned in such a way that they facilitated the potential usefulness in addressing the two research questions for my study. The mentioned observations were carefully planned each observation day at Swansea Elementary School to ensure that the observed incidents had special significance and meet the specifically defined criteria of the study. These criteria included identity, both self and perceived, language maintenance, language loss, and language preference, as well as opportunities that reflected methodologies for harmonious bilingual development and maintenance for BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals. (These will be discussed in the later section.)
On top of the daily visits to Swansea Elementary School where I collected most of the data, I also visited the homes of the student-participants. Besides the visits at school and at home, I also conducted interview sessions with the student-participants, their teachers, and their immediate family members to find out more about their language usage and language preference in school and at home.
The data from these interviews helped me understand how BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals have been repositioned as I looked at their self-identities and corroborated the data with their perceived identities. Besides looking at identities, self and perceived, I also looked at the practices that had been put in place at school and at home to help BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals maintain harmonious bilingual development. I also looked at some of the practices that the student-participants themselves
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had been practicing and are planning to put into practice to maintain their bilingualism and biliteracy.
Interviews were conducted individually and in small groups. Observations and interview sessions were video recorded as well as voice recorded using an iPad mini for class and informal observations, and a Sony camcorder and voice recorder for formal interviews. Data collection ceased once I discovered a pattern as the data saturated.
The data is presented in the form of narrative stories where the researcher and the student-participants co-constructed a story to convey a point (Riessman, 2008). In the data collection, the focus participants shed light on their self and perceived identities which helped me address the research question on the re-positioning of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American bilinguals.
Data Collection Procedures
To address the first research question, I adopted a bottom-up approach where data collection began with the student-participants themselves. I looked at how the student-participants self-identify. This was followed by the data from family members which included parents, siblings, and extended family members who frequently visit on weekends. Finally, I looked at data from the community and society which included teachers and teacher aides that the student-participants socialized with on a regular basis. Because the first research question looked at profiles of BFLA Spanish-English Mexican American children, I have decided that the best way to profile these children would be to look at both self-identity and perceived identity, beginning with self and how it impacts perceived identity. Therefore, a bottom-up approach best helped me address the first research question.
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To address the second research question, I adopted the top-down approach where I began data collection from the community, followed by family, and then I looked at how the student-participants themselves attempted to maintain bilingualism and in the process hindered harmonious bilingualism. The reason why a top-down approach was more effective than a bottom-up in the data presentation is that the policies imposed by the state and district impact the curricula carried out at elementary schools which directly dictated the strategies adopted by families and student-participants to maintain harmonious bilingual development. Therefore, a top-down approach best helped me address the second research question.
The data collection procedures included observations (classroom and based on critical incidents), interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials.
I interviewed three sets of participants, the students in the kindergarten, third, and fifth grade classrooms, some of their parents who were keen to participate in the study, and their teachers and teacher aides with whom they interact with on a regular basis. Below were the list of interview questions that I used as guidelines to help me address the research questions as I found out more the profiles of the student-participants, their language use, and ways they were practicing to achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development. Student-Participants
There were three groups of student-participants that I worked with for the research study. I worked with the kindergarteners aged 5-6 years old, third graders, aged 9-10 years old, and fifth graders aged 11-12 years old. All of the student-participants were co-selected by their teachers and me. Their teachers made suggestions based on three criteria: 1) they were Mexican Americans, 2) they spoke English and Spanish before coming to school, and 3) they were interested and willing to participate in the study.
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The greater challenge was ensuring that the selected student-participants were indeed BFLA Spanish-English children. For the kindergarteners, selections were based on a school assessment conducted to confirm that the kindergarteners indeed had exposure to English prior to school. For the third and the fifth graders, the presence of an older sibling who spoke English at home or who had at least one parent who spoke English were used as criteria.
Once the student-participants were selected, I started observing them in their classrooms. In the mornings, beginning with breakfast, I stayed with the kindergarteners. I even joined them for lunch. After that, I moved on to the third graders for math lessons, and then to the fifth graders for social studies/ reading lessons, then back to the third graders for Science lessons before going back to the fifth graders for math lessons. In the last period, I joined the Kindergarteners for either physical education lessons or music lessons. I would follow the student-participants, observing their social interaction patterns. I would also take note of their language choice and language preference. This was the daily routine for the data collection procedure conducted in the fall of 2014. At the end of the fall 2014,1 interviewed the student-participants.
The list of guiding questions that I asked the twelve student-participants is listed below. These questions have been categorized into three areas. They were ice-breakers which gave me the opportunity to get to know them better. After the ice-breaker, I moved on to community where I focused on questions to know more about their cultures and routines. Thirdly, I asked questions that helped me find out about their language preference. Finally, I asked questions that looked at their linguistic identity.
Ice-breakers
Tell me about yourself?
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How do you identify yourself? (Mexican, American, Mexican American)
What classes are you taking this year? Which class do you like best, why? Which class do you like the least, why?
Community: Culture/ Routines
What do you do in your free time?
Do you like to watch television? (Y/N)
What is your favorite program? What language is it in? (E/S)
Why do you like it best?
What about books? Do you like to read? (Y/N)
Do you read with your parents/ siblings? (Y/N)
If yes, tell me more about the books you read.
.anguage Preference
When you hang out with friends, what language do you use? (E/S/B)
How often do you use (Spanish/English)? (Dependent on previous answer.) When you hang out with family, what language do you use? (E/S/B)
Do you have a preference, why? (Y/N) inguistic Identity
How long have you been in Swansea? (1/2/3/4/5 years)
When you communicate with your teachers, what language do you use? (E/S/B) How long have you been using English? (1-3, 3-5, 5-7, 7-9, 9-11 years)
Do you speak English at home? (Y/N)
If yes, when did you start speaking English and with whom?
If no, what language do you speak at home?
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Besides the guiding questions listed above that were asked at interview sessions, I also took note of their social interaction patterns which gave me insights to their language choice and language preference. I then cross-referenced their language choice to their language preference.
Family
I also went to the homes of some of the student-participants who were involved in the study. I could not go to all their homes but I visited five homes from across the different levels, kindergarteners, third-graders, and fifth-graders.
When I was in the homes of the student-participants, I took note of the number of family members living in the household, the general cleanliness of the houses, the language choices for social interactions with different family members, and the presence of a study corner or books in the house. I asked several questions with regard to home language and preferred language for home entertainment.
Below is a list of the interview questions that I asked when I conducted the home visits. The goal is to get to know more about the student-participants home language use and home language preference to address the first research question. Like the previous set of questions, these were also guiding questions that look at what some of the current practices at home are to help the student-participants maintain harmonious bilingual development.
Who does (name of child) use English with?
Who does (name of child) use Spanish with?
What is the home language preference?
Is bilingualism important?
Why is bilingualism important?
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What are you doing to help maintain (name of child) maintain English and Spanish?
Do you have any translation experience with (name of child) that you dont mind sharing with me?
Educators
At the end of fall 2014,1 interviewed the teachers and teacher aides that I worked with to find out more about the bilingual curriculum offered by the school, and more about the student-participants that I was working with. The voices of the teachers and the teacher aides form a huge part of my data which later shaped my analyses.
Some of the guiding questions that I asked the teachers included:
What do you think is the language preference of (name of student)?
Can you share with me your views on the English ability of (name of student)?
Can you share with me your views on the Spanish ability of (name of student)?
Do you think bilingualism is important? Why?
What are you doing to help your students maintain bilingualism?
Besides interviewing the participants, I also observed them and their social
interactions. All of the sessions, interviews and observations, were recorded using my personal video recorder, voice recorder, and ipad. Below is a summary of the data collection procedures that I adopted for the purpose of the study.
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Table 3.1: Summary of Data Collection Procedures
Approaches Nature of the data Rationales
Observations Gather field notes first by observing as an outsider and then by moving into the setting and observing as an insider. Critical incident is also another procedure that I adopted as I gather field notes from observations to portray the themes of identities. This is analyzed in chapter 4 and 5. I want to be able to celebrate the voices of the participants as well as the researcher; therefore, it is crucial to begin as an outsider to get to know my participants on a more personal level before coming in as an insider. Critical incident allows me to look for specific situations and report on those observations. Because of my previous experience working with similar focus participants, I was prepared to note down specifics when I do my observations with the focus group.
Interviews Conduct a semi-structured interview, audiotape the interview, and transcribe the interview. The interview will be guided to help me better profile my participants and to understand their culture and practices. As I am hoping to address two specific research questions, I need to go in knowing what I want to focus on.
Audiovisual Materials Videotape or film social situation. Examine favorite possessions. This is to allow me to go back to the data as I make references in the later part of my analysis.
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Full Text
Yamamoto, M. (1995). Bilingualism in international families. Journal of Multilingulism and
Multicultural Development, 16. 63-85.
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REPOSITIONING BILINGUALS: BFLA SPANISH ENGLISH CHILDREN IN PREDOMINANTLY ENGLISH SETTING by IRDAWATI BAY NALLS B.A. with Merit, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2006 M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 2010 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Education and Human Development Program 2016

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ii 2016 IRDAWATI BAY NALLS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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iii This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Irdawati Bay Nalls has been approved for the Education and Human Development Program by Sheila Shannon, Advisor Nancy Commins, Chair Alan Davis Cheryl Matias June 30 th 2016

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iv Nalls, Irdawati (Ph.D., Education and Human Development ) Repositioning Bilinguals: BFLA Spanish English Children in predominantly English setting Thesis directed by Associate Professor Sheila Shannon. ABSTRACT This study looks at the profile of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilingual children across an elementary school in DPS, CO. Based on classroo m observations, and small group and one on one interviews with student participants, their teachers, and immediate family members, these bilinguals reveal how their identity is compromised as they survive in predominantly monolingual English speaking Ameri can settings. Their struggles, as they acculturate in America through their attempt to blend heritage and societal languages, and cultural practices, are revealed in the intimate sharing of counter narratives. Their suppressed voices bring forth a story ab out identity and the need to reposition the marginalized by giving recognition to abilities. Identity goes beyond skin color and accent. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Sheila Shannon

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v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This thesis may have been penned by me, but it is the culmination of contributions from an entire community. Without the moral, intellectual, and emotional support extended by my mentor, Dr. Shannon, I would have been unable to inhabit the privileged doctoral spaces that few immigrants can access. Continual encouragement from my family members and circle of friends gave me the courage to put one foot in front of the other until I reached the finish line. Most importantly, the hope, trust, an d respect that I received from the student participants and their teachers and families ensure that I will continue this work, which will someday foster more equity and support for bilingual minority students in our public schools.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAP TER I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. LITERATURE REVIEW III. METHODOLOGY AND THEORECTICAL FRAMEWORKS 30 65 IV RESULTS FROM RESEARCH QUESTION 1 103 V RESULTS FROM RESEARCH QUESTION 2 136 V I IMPLICATION REFERENCES 153

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vii LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1. Summary of Data Collection Procedures 90 2. Summary of Data Analysis Procedures 193 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Kindergarteners aged 5 6 years old Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Kindergarteners) Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure (Kindergarteners) Summary of Kindergarten Student Bilingual Abilities as Defined by their Teachers Third Graders aged 9 10 years old Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Third Graders) Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure (Third Graders) 104 106 109 109 110 116 118 118 118 119 13 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Summary of Third Grade Student Defined by their Teachers Fifth Graders aged 10 11 years old Language Interactions Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Fifth Graders) Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure (Fifth Graders) 119 124 125 128 129 130 19 20 Summary of Fifth Grade Student Defined by their Teachers Summary of Student Participants 139 134

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viii 21. 22. 23. 24. Summary of Language Instructions Summary of Practices to Maintain Bilingualism Su mmary of Educators 140 142 143 149

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ix LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Map of Globeville Globeville, the Industrial Community Schools in Globeville Races in Globeville 8 9 14 15 16 6 Household Income in Globeville 19 7 8. 9. 10. Mexican American Bilingual Identities I Mexican American Bilingual Identities II Re Cap Mexican American Bilingual Identities Summary of Bilingual Identities in America 36 42 53 74

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Positionality Mandarin on one of our trips to Tokyo. My ability to speak, read, and write in Japanese e and warned her in her preferred language of communication, Mandarin, in time. She is allergic to seafood. Just a small amount is toxic to her body and will result in rashes and swelling. I am a Queer, multi racial, multi cultural, multilingual, Singaporean woman who grew up with three first languages, two of which are heritage languages which also carry the cultural practices of my ancestors with each of the languages, and the third is a societal language which is the language spoken by the major ity in my country and carries economic benefits when used in communication. My heritage languages are Mandarin and Malay, and my societal language is Singaporean English. At 17, I picked up a n additional language, Japanese. I wanted to learn Japanese becau se I wanted to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a volunteer to counsel victims of the aftermath of nuclear bombing. Now, at 34, I live a bicultural life one in Colorado, United States, where I am a doctoral student and another in Singapore, where I teach C ommunicative Business English to adult learners. As if knowing I am trying to learn still another language, Spanish. I was drawn to the Spanish language when I began working with Mexican American bilinguals in Colorado back in 2009. I felt that the only way I could better understand them was to learn at least some basic Spanish. My knowledge of multiple languages translates into a cacophony of complex identities. As a Mandarin speaker, I am able to communicate with the cashiers at

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2 the supermarket. Using Mandarin breaks down language boundaries between us, making them friendly and helpful every time I need assistance with certain products. As a Malay speaker, I am able to access and better understand policies in Singapore because Malay is the national language here. As a Japanese speaker, I am able to find my way around Japan easily. Japan is a monolingual country, and without Japanese, a tourist can feel helpless. I frequent Japan often because Narita Airport in Tokyo is where I transit when I travel from Singapore to Colorado and vice versa. I also visit famil y and friends, and sometimes shop in Japan. Knowing Japanese is thus an asset. I have learned to effectively leverage my lingu istic skills to survive and thrive in societie s where English is the predominant language. Even though English is one of my first language s, the fact that English i s not my only first language means that to many people I will never be considered a native speaker of English (Braine, 2010) because I spe ak with an accent Being a minority multi racial, multi cultural, and multilingual I live within a hegemonic society dictated by rules created by those in power. Singapore and Colorado are places tainted by colonization, places where English has become th e de facto language of POWER. I, like many minority multilinguals accent am powerless in these societies, where standard English is The de facto language, as we continue to live in the shadows of the hegemony of English (Gramsci, 1971; Shannon, 1995 ). I have been subjected to linguistic marginalization in a variety of spaces As a young professional working for a British educational insti tute based in Singapore, here a ll of my colleagues are White and from the U.K, the U.S., or Australia, countries where English is the de facto official language As the only teacher of color I have been questioned about my

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3 tive I vivid ly recall a racial micro aggression (DeAngelis, 2009) to which I was recently subjected to when my line manager asked me to lie about my nationality. I was asked to introduce myself as American in my Speaking and Pronunciation Lev el 2 course He claimed my Asian identity might give students an opportunity to question my abilities. While I was hurt and offended, I summoned the courage and dignity to turn down the request. I am p roud of my Asian roots which have resulted in my multil ingualism under no circumstances would I deny who I am Besides, my students will be able to see that I am Asian from my physical appearance. While most of my work colleagues praise me for my ability to speak English fluently, some have also attempt ed to correct my accent. Sadly, I had similar experiences in my doctoral program in Colorado. Some of my classmates and professors assumed that English is not my first language and I do not see these praises as compli ments because English is my first language; therefore, it should not be a surprise to anyone that I speak and write English. Such micro aggressions and marginalization reinforced my knowledge regarding the marginalization o f bilingual people in the United States. Eriksen (1992) pointed out that multilingualism has always been viewed with suspicion in the United States. How can the deficit notion of mar ginalized bilingual people in the United States be positioned to help mono linguals understand that bilinguals can be native speakers of English too? In order to reverse deficit notions of marginalized bilinguals they need to be repositioned as having assets, strengths, and possibilities. There are many profiles of bilingual lea rners among them students whose initial acquisition of languages is through two languages Bilingual First Language Acquisition ( BFLA ) children. However, there is a lack of research regarding the

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4 profiles of these students. It must also be noted that w ith globalization, the English language that used to belong excl usively to the White colonizers is now a language commonly spoken by children of immigrants and the colonized. Therefore, it is becoming a common occurrence to see a non ish and speaking it as a native tongue. Problem Statement Global white s upremacy (Allen & Howard, 2012) underlay s much of humani and present struggles during colonization by Europeans, and the struggle for equality is still evident tod ay through the ideology of racism. People of minority race have been a target of linguistic abuses since the time of colonization. This is evident through the various deliberate policies that have been implemented through education and immigration laws. For example, i n Singapore, the policies surrounding current bilingual education are coded to prioritize certain official languages over others (Lee, 2010). These code d references coincidently allow the language of power to coincide with the majority language and in Singapore, these languages are the heritage language, Mandarin, and the societal language, S ingaporean English. Singapore is comprised of approximately 79% Chinese (Mandarin speaking) with the remaining 21% Malay speaking (also the national language) and Tamil as heritage language s (Lee, 2010). Similarly, i n the United States, the language of the majority, English, gains inevitable power. Bourdieu (2003) describes this as societies using language as symbolic power Bourdieu argues that language(s) should not be viewed only as a means of communication, but also as a medium of power through which individuals pursue their own interests and display their practical competencies. When language is viewed from this Bourdi eudian perspective, it must be critically examined not only as a tool of speaking and

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5 the minority multil ingual speakers ( ) who face discrimination because of linguistic hegemony (Shannon, 1995) In this study, I focus on the case of Bilingual First Language Acquisition ( BFLA ) Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. C oincidently, these bilingual speakers are also immigrant minorit ies in Colorado, United States, whose population constitutes t he majority of the minority non White American population (U.S. Census, 2010). I choose to work with BFLA Spanish English Mexican Americans bilinguals because like me, they are bilinguals with more than one first language. Their first languages, Spanish and English, not only make them bilinguals, they are also bi cultural. This is partly because of the constant exposure to the societ al language, American English, and the heritage lan guage, Spanish, prior to school, and their unique lived experiences of growing up with two cultures, the societal culture, American, and the heritage culture, Mexican. Significance of Study Bilingualism, a global phenomenon, is an area of research that has been receiving much attention (De Houwer, 2009 ; Callahan & Gandara, 2014; Kayi Aydar, 2015; Silva Corvalan, 2015 ) ; yet, the field has not been fully exhausted (De Houwer, 2009 ) Bilingualis m is a sub field of linguistics, and is an important component in educational research. However, there are researchers in the field who have failed to fully consider the social impact of language use within society (De Houwer, 2009) This stance is made in consideration of the political influences played out in the power strug gles within race and class in the economically driven multilingual society that we live in.

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6 Although research studies on bilingualism and multilingualism have been receiving much att ention, studies that investigate BFLA Spanish English bilinguals in the United States are limited. This research study will look specifically at how BFLA Spanish English children who are Mexican Americans, navigate predominantly English only environments. This study will also look at the school practices that are put in place to achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development (De Houwer, 2009) among these BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children. Through this study, I hope to address two researc h questions: 1. What are the profiles of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children the across elementary school years? 2. What structures are in place that either support or hinder BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children to maintain harmonious bilingual development? In doing so, I hope to contribute to the asset based reposition ing of bilinguals within the U.S. conte xt In the US Mexican American bilinguals heritage language, Spanish, has been p.8). These coded references have one similarity, Spanish is not viewed in the US as an offici al language Ruiz (1984) proposes three basic orientations in language planning in the Un ited States. These categories are language as a right, language as a resource, and language as a problem. The third c ategory, language as a problem, used Spanish as a reference, (Cummins and Danesi, 1990 ) where the main goal of the language planning is the identificat ion and determination of the language problems of linguistic minority students (Ruiz, 1984). Mexican American bili nguals in the United States comprise the largest linguistic minority

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7 among students (U.S. Census, 2010). For this reason, it is necessary to c onsider their linguistic needs when planning educational policies pertaining to language However, the field of bilingualism in the United States has already been saturated with studies on Mexican American bilinguals and language policies (Cummins & Danesi 1990 ; Ruiz, 1984 ). Therefore, my research study will look specifically into BFLA Spanish English children, taking a special interest in Mexican Ame rican bilinguals, who are bilinguals with two first languages but often misunderstood as under achievers second language learners of English (ESL), or English language learners (ELL) BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals struggle to survive in a monolithic society that normalizes the heg emony of English (Gramsci, 1971 work that discusses hegemony describes the status of English in the United States, highlighting how English as a hegemonic language continues to margi nalize Spanish, especially for Mexican Americans, in the United States. In the next section I highlight the historiography of Globeville, the neighborhood from which the twelve student participants who are BFLA Spanish En glish Mexican American bilingual, live and go to school Hist o riography of Globeville Bronfenbrenner (1979) defines the central process in the ecology of human being and the changing properties of the immediate setting(s) in which the developing person lives (p.133 ) With this understanding, from a developmental perspective, the critical aspects of human development are both physical and social. These two aspects enable and encourage a child to participate in a variety of activities both jointly with an adult or with

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8 their peers, or even spontaneously by himself or herself (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Following Bronfenbrenner, Globeville becomes a central setting in this study. In the review of literature (found in the next chapter), I will make connections to how bilingua lism has been discussed in the context of the United States with regards to Mexican Amer ican immigrants. In this section I will briefly highlight how bilingualism is practiced among the Mexican Americans living in Globeville, Colorado the site of the cur rent study Education will not b e the main focus of this section as it is an aspect of the research that is explored in the rest of the chapters. Instead, this section will provide a description of Globeville, its location and how it is marginalized in ter ms of access to resources such as fresh foods and a proper public library. It will look at the residents of Globeville, past and present, and the reasons that brought them to li ve in Globeville. With a focus on the current population, Mexican Americans, it will highlight some of the challenges that these reside nts face, living in Globeville. Mexican American bilinguals are a marginalized group for two main reasons: 1) they are perceived as immi grants even when they are born in the US, and 2) they are biling uals who are E nglish L anguage L earner s (ELLs) even when they could have spoken English since birth. As highlighted in the later section, a large number of Mexican Americans reside in Globeville, making the area a good general representation of the Mexican American community and their living conditions. Globeville Globeville is a mixed residential industrial neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. It is situated in north Denver, along the Platte River. It is bisected in two directions by major highways, I 25 and I 70, cutting the neighborhood into four parts. Currently, the residential community is surrounded by numerous industries. These industries include asphalt

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9 manufac turers, a wood treatment facility, a pet food manufacturer, a stock complex, animal rendering facilities, a plant, two smelters, and waste water treatment facilities. The presence of the various industrial facilities in Globeville is not a surprise given i ts geographical history. Below are two images. The first is a simplified map of Globeville which shows its location in Denver. The second is an image that shows Globeville as an industrial community in d owntown Denver. Figure 1 .1: M ap of Globeville ta ken from Denver Public Library

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10 Figure 1 .2: Globeville, the industrial community taken from Denver Real Estate Watch Globeville was originally occupied by homesteaders and farmers. The area was well known for the smelters that were built before the turn of the century and for the Eastern European immigrants who worked in the area. These settlers came to Globeville seeking religious freedom and economic opportunities. Globeville became their choice for resettlement because it offered jobs in the smelters, railroads, meat packing plants, foundries, and brickyards. While the homesteaders believed in a lifestyle of self sufficiency, the smelters craved a lucrative career that utilized simple metallurgy to extract base metals from their ores. Globeville was a p lace of great opportunities once upon a time; however, over the years, the demographic of Globeville has changed. Some of the pertinent changes that

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11 Globeville has undergone, and how these changes have impacted the demographic of the area are discussed in later sections of this chapter. In 1903, the Omaha and Grant Smelter closed and was gradually dismantled. February 26, 1950 was the day for the demolition of the Grant Smelter smokestack. The demolition was symbolic of the end of the mining and smelting era, especially for Globeville. For the residents of Globeville, it marked the end of job opportunities, one of the main reasons that had brought the immigrants to move to Globeville in the first place. During the D epression period, the stock market crash ed. The effect of the crash was felt greatly by the residents of Globeville by the 1930s. This is because the railways cut the road work from six days to two days, taking away the livelihood of the residents. The meat packing plants also laid off workers w hich continued to take away jobs from the residents of Globeville. As a result, the churches also experienced a drop in their membership. Federal programs helped to provide some jobs with flo od control, rat control, and of installation of the sanitary sewers. From 1903 through 1930, progress and assimilation were put in place in America. Just as Globeville was annexed into the city of Denver, the residents who were initially immigrants into the United States were being of fered citizenship. Some of the assimilation initiatives resulted in the children of immigrants with newly acquired citizenship in America learning English in schools. Job opportunities were created in Globeville, and these jobs helped families buy homes an d re settle once again. Small businesses and churches started to prosper. A fter the World War II along with the rest of America, the residents of Globeville were once again seeking new jobs. With the shortage of housing, second generation

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12 descendants we re seeking new loan opportunities for building houses in the suburbs of Denver. In addition, the Valley Highway (I 25) and the construction of I 70 split Globeville in half and thus removed a large number of the original houses from the Globeville area. T he Residents: Past, Present, Future. Similar to the storylines of other immigrant communities such as the Polonia Triangle in Chicago and the North End in Boston, the storyline of Globeville does not differ much. Like all immigrant stories, the story of Globeville starts with immigrants escaping their old countries to pursue the American dream, with the promise of job opportunities and platform s to speak their mind, speaking on religion among other matters. Denver holds about one hnic population, with 25, 000 immigrants (Abbott, Leonard & Noel, 2013), and Globeville holds about a fifth of that immigrant population. In Globeville, part of Denver, established in 1889, the Eastern Europeans fled forced army conscription and poverty. T hese immigrants worked hard, 12 hour days to scrape together $2 daily wages (Doeppers, 1967). This first community of immigrants into Globeville bonded together to form fraternal lodges. The large major ity of the original residents of Globeville were Eur opean immigrants. This section highlights the four distinct groups of immigrants. The immigrants, belonging to distinct groups made up the past and some into the present, and perhaps even the future residents of Globeville. This section will continue to hi ghlight the two main factors, work opportunities and religious freedom, which have brought residents to Globeville. Th e Orthodox Slavs made up of Carpatho Russians came to Globeville because of religious freedom and job opportunities. Their religion that used the language of the people instead of Latin at Mass supported a married clergy. They came in the 1880s working in

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13 smelters. Work was laborious at the smelters, and the men were often sick from exhaustion. Help for the men and their family members cam e from the ethnic fraternal lodges. In Globeville, the oldest of these lodges was the Russian Orthodox Catholic Mutual Aid Society founded in 1895. In addition to providing insurance and moral support, the goals o f these organizations included the spread a nd preservation o f the Orthodox Faith in America Members of these lodges also founded the Holy Transfiguration of Christ Cathedral in 1898. As one can see, one of the strongest factors that brought this community together was their religious belief. Throu gh their faith, they also received comfort when work got too difficult. The Polish immigrants began arriving in Globeville in the 1880s, around the same time that the Carpatho Russians came to Globeville. In the beginning, only a small Polish community developed in the 4500 4800 blocks of Washington, Pearl, Pennsylvania, Logan and Grant Streets, and on Emerson Street near the Platte River. The Polish in Globeville formed organizations that would provide financial help in the events of injury, sickness, and the comforts of old country customs as the immigrants assimilated into the American way of life. The Polish soon moved up the economic ladder as they assimilated and moved out of Globeville into better neighborhoods. The Southern Slavs that included the Slovenians, Croatians, Macedonians, and Serbs settled in the southern part of Globeville. Distinguished from the Orthodox Slavs by their religion, Roman Catholic and their usage of the Roman letters, they differentiated themselves well as religion is a strong factor driving both groups of immigrants. However, like the Orthodox Slavs, they also worked at the smelters and work was hard and dangero us with men riskin g disability or even death from the extreme heat, toxic fumes, and dust from

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14 the heavy metals. To provide financial security for themselves, the Southern Slavs formed independent, fraternal societies that offered sick and death benefits for their members. Together with the Russians, they built the Russo Serbian Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration in 1898. In addition, the societies offered a connection to the language, culture, and h eritage practices of their home towns. Places like th e American Fraternal Union, Western Slavonic Association are among the few clubhouses where the Southern Slavs can feel at home. Slovenians and the Croatians in Globeville also built the Holy Rosary Church at 4664 Pearl Street which opened on July 4 th 1920. The church became a place where the Southern Slavs could attend Mass. According to Doeppers (1967), although these immigrants viewed themselves as Globeville residents, they still preferred to congregate in smaller neighborhoods with others who shared their cultural heritage and common language. The fourth and last group of immigrants that settled in Globeville that I will highlight is the Spanish speaking people. The Spanish spea king people who moved to Globeville were not new to Colorado or the United States. Like the rest of the distinct groups of people, they moved to Globeville for similar reasons. Today, they form about 82% of the current population of Globeville, forming one of the largest group in that area (taken from The Globeville History). Spanish English S peaking Residents of Globeville: Present and Future As highlighted, the demographic of Globeville has evolved over the years. In the 1950s, there were only twelve Me xican American households. By 1965, there were 123 Mexican American households. They were soon replacing Polish as the largest community in

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15 Globeville (Doeppers, 1967). Currently, the entire neighborhood has become a blend of working and middle class with a high proportion of Mexican Americans, and recent immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America (Hunt, 1999). Despite the drastic change in the demographic, from having Orthodox Slavs, Polish, Southern Slavs, and Spanish speaking people to having most ly Spanish speaking people, one constant r emains. Globeville is a neighbo rhood of immigrants and children of immigrants, and remains a blue collar, working class area where residents are there to find job opportunities and to live near their work place. The graph below shows the time taken for the residents of Globeville to travel to work. As seen, most of the residents live near their work place, which is within the community, making work opportunities one of the main reasons why people move to Globevill e. Figure 1 data (January 2016)

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16 Based on the graph above, most of the residents in Globeville live and work within the Globeville area. Travel time to work for the reside nts in Globeville ranges from ten to twenty five minutes. A s imilar pattern is observed among the school going children who also attend schools situated within the Globeville areas. The map below shows the schools found in the Globeville areas. Figure 1 .4 Schools in Globeville taken fr om Floodlight Project This section looks at the Spanish English speaking residents in Globeville, mainly Mexican American bilinguals. Mexican Americans may be a minority in the United State, but in Globeville, they are the majority, forming 82% of the curr ent population (taken from The Globeville History). Although Globeville is home to a variety of Spanish speaking residents, this chapter focuses on the Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the

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17 area. Due to the great increase in the number and dis tribution of Mexican American families in the area, the enlargement of the Glob eville area becomes necessary. The pie chart below shows the demographic of Globeville by race. Figure 1 .5: Races in Globeville taken from citi data (January 2016) Globevill e is home to several groups of immigrants and the association to immigrants in the United States is that they often have low socio economic status (SES), are not proficient in English, and need help assimilating into the United States. Immigrants are mainl y blue collar, working class individuals. However, being immigrants, one challenge remains for them, the fear of losing their heritage cultures as they leave their homeland seeking better opp ortunities. For the residents of Globeville, whose num bers make up fewer

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18 than 4,000 residents (taken from Globeville neighborhood in Denver, CO), the need to assimilate as Americans is real. Figure 1 .6: Household Income in Globeville take from citi data (January 2016) The figure above reflects the Apartment G uide c omparison of household income. It demonstrates how the Globeville neighborhood average income compares with other neighborhoods. Globeville has the lowest average household income in the neighborhood. In addition to their low SES, the residents of Globevil le have to combat industrial pollution. Pollution The neighborhood, Globeville, is a mixed residential industrial area. While the industrial facilities create job opportunities for the residential community in Globeville, the same opportunity creates a v ery unsettling environment for the residents of Globeville.

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19 S ince the 1980s, the residents of Glo beville have been reporting strong industrial odors in the neighborhood that have impacted their lifestyles. The asphalt odor for one is strong enough to cau se eye, nose, and throat irritation. Because of the strong odor, residents are forced to shut their doors and windows, and keep off their yards and patios to avoid discomfort (Morgan, Hansgen, Hawthorne, & Miller, 2015). Despite the desperate cries for hel p to improve the environmental conditions in Globeville, no violation has been recorded. This could be because the pleas come from immigrants of the United States, a group of residents that may not be worthy of great inves tment. However, the residents of G lobeville have taken matters into their own hands to resolve the health issues and so, they made the decision to move away from the area (Morgan, Hansgen, Hawthorne, & Miller, 2015). This may explain why the demographic has changed over time. However, the constant remains, occupants of Gl obeville are still immigrants to the United States. The figure below reflects the concentration of pollut ants, in parts per billion present in the atmosphere in Globeville. Even though the level of pollutants is high and the odor is strong, not much has been done to improve the situation in Globeville. The residents of Globeville continue to suffer from the constant air pollution in t he atmosphere.

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20 Figure 1 .7: Evidence of air pollutant in Globeville (Morgan, Hansgen, Hawthorne, & Miller, 2015). The quality of life in Globeville is f ar from the American dream for which these immigrants h ad left their home countries Par t of the reason is that these residents are not even able to enjoy their own front porches and backyards. Unfortunately, it seems that these events are not within the control of the residents of Globeville. About two decade ago, in 1994, the cleanup workers came to help the residents of Globeville improve on the pollution situation. Armed with shovels and Bobcats, they ripped away sod, flower beds, vegetable gardens, and even sacrificed some of the heirloom roses throughout north Denver in Globeville. They managed to remove twelve to eighteen inches of dirt and soil contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and lead from the nearby Asarco plant, which had processed heavy metals for nearly a century. D and pleas, not much had been done. When the residents continued to complain about the

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21 unbearable pollution, they were informed by the authorities that the soil in Globeville had passed the required quality tests and are safe; therefore, the residents have to just live with the situation (ta ken from 5280.com). Many of these homes in Glob eville have low fences enclosing their front porches. In the better kept part of the Globeville area, one may notice neat lawns with flower gardens. This reflects the immaculate care that the residents in Glo beville take to upkeep their neighborhood, and their homes. The area that may demonstrate a decline in the up keeping of their lawns are principally on the fringe, and these areas correlate with the new Mexican American households. However, one should not judge too quickly as many of these residents are known to be responsible tenants who care for their homes and neighborhood (Doeppers, 2015). There is not much that they could do due to the current state of pollution from the factories ending up right in th eir own backyards. Besides not having access to clean air in the Globeville neighborhood, the residents also do not have access to fresh food produce. This will be discussed in the next section. Food Deserts A f ood desert is defined as an urban area wit h a population that does not have access to healthy, fresh foods, and sadly, food deserts in Denver only occur in areas where the population s are low income and are minorities (Stilley, 2012). Food deserts can also refer to an area where low income minorit y residents do not have access to healthy and affordable foods, and where fast foods restaurants dominate the landscape (Gordon et al., 2011). The first use of the term, food deserts, in North America referred to rural area s of Missisippi without supermark et access (Rose et al., 2009). Since then, research on food deserts has been

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22 a hot topic in the United States. In this study, Globeville is the focus area for the discussion on food desert. Food deserts create numerous problems for the local population. Even though food deserts only refers to inaccessibility to fresh foods, the absence or lack of fresh foods have negative implications. Food deserts are correlated with negative health outcomes (Raja, Ma, & Yadav, 2008). Without access to f resh foods on a r egular basis a person can suffer from diabetes or other related health problems (Meade, 2008). Food deserts also cause an environmental justice problem. Here, an treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of 2010). A study conducted by Stille y (2012) who looked at 9 focus neighborhoods in Denver County revealed that two of the areas, Elyria Swansea and Globeville, are food desert areas. The study also revealed that these areas have a high proportion of children with a very high percentage of n ew birth rates. Therefore, these areas actually need access to fresh, healthy highlighted, Globeville holds a high percentage of Hispanic population. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (2010) highlighted that the two races, Blacks and Hispanics, are more likely to develop diabetes. This is especially true among Colorado adult s between 45 64 years old. Therefore, Globeville and its neighbor, Elyria Swansea, are areas that actually need to have access to fresh, healthy foods to help the residents combat diabetes and other health related issues.

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23 Globeville and Elyria Swansea have very l imited access to grocery stores that are within walking and bus transportation distance. Due to the prevalent air and soil pollution conditions in these areas, growing fresh crops in the backyards is not an option for the residents in these areas. Therefor e, while the residents are suffering from air pollution which has also affected the soil in their backyard, they also have to combat food deserts which will lead to more health issues in the future. Besides these issues, the residents also have to battle n oise pollution with the building of the highways that continue to marginalize the residents. Building of the Highways Besides air pollution, soil pollution and the looming health issues due to food desert conditions, noise pollution is another challenge that the residents of Globeville have to contend with. As it is, the noise from traffic racing by on I 25 and I 70 rumbles through the neigh borhood. The reconstruction of Highway I 70, will not only add to the existing air pollution but will also contribut e to the existing noise pollution affecting the residents of Globeville. At 50 years old, the viaduct is deteriorating. Therefore, there is a need for growth and redevelopment for the area bounded on the east and south by the South Platte River, Inca Stre et to the west, and the city limits to the north, around 53rd Avenue. According to Mayor Michael Hancock, the development is much needed to reconnect Globeville and Elyr ia Swansea to a better future, a His promise is that the reconstruction will help improve the health of the South Platte River, turn Brighton Bouleva rd into an inviting gateway to downtown, reconstruct I 70 so that the neighborhoods and businesses will be reconnected, provide more accessi bility to commuters with light rail stations, and implement neighborhood revitalization programs.

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24 Local historian, Mary Lou Egan explained that the residents at Globeville doubt the rationales behind the promised projects. This doubt arises from years of exploitation due to generations of poor urban planning and hostile treatment dished out at the residents of Globeville, past and present. The residents of Globeville do not want to be viewed as living on a piece of land that is undeveloped. They are proud of their neighborhood which has been home to generations of families, homes, places of worship, and has had a rich history. Egan added that Globeville has a personality. In the past, the construction of I be relocated or destroyed. Soon af ter, the construction of I 70 followed suit. The route for I 70 marched top. It li t erally meant that the spot where the two highways would meet stood at the heart of Globeville, uprooting and displeasing its residents. Those in the construction path had to evacuate. Buildings were split in half when owners refused to move. However, they were still expected to pay property taxes on the whole lot and not the half that they got to reside in. St. Joseph Polish Church and its school barely survived. In 1984, a semi carrying Navy have taken place, closing exits, rebuilding ramps, adding bridges, and further cutting off access routes in and out of Globeville for its residents. Over the years, the residents of Globeville had to deal with the noise, pollution, and isolation. Slowly, the residents moved and the demographic ch anged. Public Library? Besides having to battle with physical challenges such as pollutions (air, soil, and noise) and enduring inaccessibility to fresh and healthy food produce, the residents of

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25 Globeville also have to overcome a mental challenge. For y ears now, the residents of Globeville have not been given access to a proper public library. The Globeville area which includes Eyria and Swansea, have not had a branch library since the 1950s (Sarling & Tassel, 1999). The bookmobile visits to the local e lementary schools in those areas, Swansea Elementary being one of the selected schools, are the only library service to the community. During one of the days that I was at Swansea Elementary School, I was fortunate to have observed the bookmobile visit whe re the students were given a book each to take home to read. The students were excited about the books that they selected as they showed me their books and the kindergarteners sat me down to read for them. From my observations, it was apparent that the chi ldren enjoy reading if they were given access to books; however, such privilege is not afforded to them. Inaccessibility to a public library has affected the residents in Globeville. In 1990, the U.S. Census Data reported that North Central Denver has the highest percentage of teenage dropouts at 29.93% com pared to Denver County at 16.17% and Colorado at 9.77% The census also reported that unemployment was twice in the North Central Denver areas. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the absence of a pub lic library has affected the educational experience of the residents which then lead s to the question s of unemployment and income. For years now, the residents of Globeville and its immediate neighboring areas, Swansea and Elyria have been c ut off from th e rest of Denver They have not been given adequate access to some of the mo st basic needs such as a free and public education a public library, and fresh and healthy foods. Instead, they have been given an oversupply to pollutants via air, soil, and nois e. The current residents who are mostly Hispanics have come

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26 together to voice their thoughts. In the next section, I will highlight some of the ways that the residents have chosen to fight back to defend what is left of their homes. Voices of the Resident s With all that had happened to Globeville, the residents decided to fight back. They re at industrial park came up again in 1975. It took the residents another two years of negotiations to stop the city from re zoning Globeville as an industrial par k. However, in 2006, the city council revamped its original zoning code, and Globeville slowly slipped into neglect. The residents were refused home improvement loans (taken from 5280.com). Today, through social m edia platforms, the residents of Globeville are finally given a voice. Facebook, a popular social media platform is one way through which the residents of Globeville voice their views. On this page, one not only observe s the goings on in the neighborhood, but is also drawn to the activit ies and celebrations in the neighborhood. The residents also use schools as another platform to inform others to come forth and make a stand. Flyers are placed at schools to act as a medium of comm unication among the residents of Globeville.

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27 In a neighborhood that began by distrusting the government, the residents need tim e project has included $47 million for projects in the area. However, much of that will go towards the Brighton Boulevard project. Perhaps, Globevill e might enjoy part of that budget. For now, the residents have a voice to try and fight back. Another means by which the residents can fight back is through education.

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28 Summary This section looked at the historiography of Globeville, the neighborhood in w hich the twelve student participants grew up It looked at the origins of Globeville, highlighting some of the pertinent events that have impacted Globeville over the years. It also traced the original residents and how the demographic has evolved over the years. However, one constant remained. Globeville belongs to immigrants who are there to seek the American dream of better job opportunities, religious freedom, and a voice to speak their mind. Some of the c hallenges that the residents of Globeville fac e are current and on going. However, unlike decades ago, the residents have the opportunity to at least speak their mind. Perhap the current residents, Mexican Americans, will have the opportunity to defend Globeville for generations to come while making it a less polluted and more residential, less industrial neighborhood. Conclusion In this introductory chapter, I introduce d my positionality, a Queer, multi racial, multi cultural, multilingual Singaporean woman who has been marginalized on more levels than most White monolingual Americans. Because of my unique positionality, I am drawn to Mexican American bilinguals, especially BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children. Our similar lived experiences with regards to our pos itionality and identities push me to want to work with them in this study. As I continue my dissertation, I will write a review of literature highlighting gaps in similar studies on Mexican Americans and bilingualism and biliteracies in the United States. I will also provide a desc riptive chapter of the methodologies and theoretical frameworks that guided my dissertation. This will be

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29 followed by two result chapters, addressing each of the research questions. This dissertation will be concluded in the final chapter as I discuss my f indings and analysis.

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30 CHAPTER II REPOSITIONING BILINGUALS: LITERATURE REVIEW T he education of Mexican American bili nguals in the United States has been constantly debated since the implementation of the Bilingual Education Act i n 1968 (Krashen, 1999; San Migue l, 2004). The debate for English only instruction versus bilingual education instruction has caused a stir in the shaping of educational programs for Mexican American bilinguals in K 12 s chools (Krashen, 1999; San Migue l, 2004 ). Part of the reason for the debate is attributed to the increasing number of Mexican American bilinguals in K 12 classrooms (San Miguel, 2004). According to the 2010 Census, Mexican American bilinguals, who are a subset of the Mexican American population s in the United States, are the largest of the minority groups in the United States, and this number is rising (Orfield & Lee, 2005). It is also estimated that in 2040, (monolingual) White Americans will make up less than 50% of the American population (Ce nsus, 2010). Based on the existing population demographics, and the predicted future demographics in the United States, it is crucial to consider the linguistic needs of not only White Americans, but that of Mexican American bilinguals in planning educatio nal programs in the United States. According to Gandara and Hopkins (2010), many second and third generation Mexican American bilinguals born in the United States are exposed to Spanish and English since birth. This group of Mexican American bilinguals is identified as bilingual first language acquisition (BFLA) Spanish English children (De Houwer, 2009). American researchers such as Bialystock (2001, 2006) refer to them as simultaneous bilinguals Although both groups of bilinguals present similar linguis tic abilities they may have two home languages the term BFLA Spanish English (De Houwer, 2009 ) children gives

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31 recognition to the specific linguistic abilities and identities of Mexican American children while the term simultaneous bilinguals as given by B ialystok (2001) fails to be specific in the recognition of language abilities as well as the reference to dual identities and cultural practices. For the purpose of this review, Mexican American bilinguals will be the general term used to refer to bilinguals who come from Mexico and immigrated to the United States. This term also includes first, second, and third generation Mexican American bilinguals who have one or more Mexican immigrant parents. The term BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals will refer to a specific sub group of Mexican Americans who Gandara and Hopkins (2010) label as the second and third generations. This is because they are the group of bilinguals who have been exposed to Sp anish and English since birth, even though they may be English or Spanish dominant, and their cultural identities include being Mexican and American at the same time. In other word s they are also acculturated children of immigrants who have successfully b lend ed heritage and societal languages and cultures. The children involved in my study are identified as BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. They are the new, emerging group of bilinguals in the United States whose parents may have come from Mexico. Despite having parents from Mexico, the majority of these children are born in the United States; thus, they have dual identity Mexican Americans Their linguistic identities are a huge part of their lives, acquiring and maintaining the societal l anguage, English, and the heritage language, Spanish. Due to their unique bi linguistic identities, they have been impacted in more ways than one. I examined studies that focused on two major themes surrounding the educational experiences of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children. The first theme is their identity as Mexican American bilinguals in elementary schools, looking at their experiences

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32 with language use, language loss and language preference being placed in certain programs at school. Th e second theme is to observe how Mexican American bilinguals maintain their bilingualism focusing on their bilingual maintenance on a personal level, as being a part of a bilingual family, school and community, and society. Prior to the review of the liter ature on the m entioned themes, I also looked at the settings at which these children receive their education. A historiography of the targ previous chapter. There has been research that focuses on the h egemony of English (Shannon, 1995), Mexican American bilinguals as language brokers for their families at parent teacher conferences ( Orella, Dorner, & Pulido, 2003 ; Baker 2006; Dor ner, Orellana, & Jimenez, 2008; De Jong 2011), and the maintenance of Engl ish and Spanish at schools (Gutierrez, 2008). There has also been research that looks at the types of bilingual programs offered to Mexican American bilinguals in K 1 2 (Barnett et al, 2007). However, studies that focus on the repositioning of Mexican Amer ican bilinguals, in terms of identifying their linguistic abilities and dual identities as BFLA Mexican American children in classrooms is lacking. Therefore o ne of the aims of this literature review is to discuss the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals by identifying their linguistic abilities as BFLA children in classrooms. It look ed at programs offered to Mexican American bilinguals from 1994 t o present. In addition, it look ed at the social aspects for helping Mexican American bilinguals achieve harmonious bilingual development through successful communicative practices at homes and at school. The search engine I adopted looked at peer reviewed articles published from 1968 to present. 1968 to 2002 was a crucial period as the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) (1968) was

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33 in place. The types of educational programs that were put in place during those years have impacted Mexican American bilinguals. The n in 2002, the BEA was terminated by the new education federal policy, with the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (2002). With NCLB, came new education reforms that have impacted Mexican Americ an bilinguals. This review investigate d studies on the edu cational programs that have impacted Mexican American bilinguals during those years to the present date. In searching for relevant peer reviewed literature from this time period, the initial key term used was BFLA Spanish English children in the United States. However, the term BFLA has not been consistently used by bilingual researchers in the United States. For instance, Bialystock (2001, 2006), Gandara and Hopkins (2010), Garcia (2009), Petitto and Holowka (2002), all use different terms to describe t his bi linguistic phenomenon of Mexican American children. Terms such as simultaneous bilinguals were used instead. Mexican American bilinguals was the key term used to guide the search. Other terms came up in the discussion of Mexican American bilinguals. These included Hispanics, language minorities, English Language Learners (ELLs), Spanish English bilinguals, and immigrant students. Therefore, all these terms will be considered in the discussion of repositioning Mexican American bilinguals because they represent a sub grouping of Mexican American bilinguals. I also examined studies on how English becomes the de facto language through educa tional programs that discussed language a rts and other core content subjects such as math and s cience. Research exam i ning elective subjects such as music and physical education was not were excluded as it is beyond the scope of the review. However, studies that looked at fact ors contributing to harmonious bilingual development and language maintenance of the heritage

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34 and societal language s of Mexican American bilinguals are significant in addressing the second research question ; therefore, studies that looked at how parents pl ayed key roles in deciding the types of educational programs that they wanted for their Mexican American bilingual children were decision impacted the educational experiences of Mexican American bilinguals. This review also incorporated studies that looked at the motivational factors alongside effective programs that helped Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic success and maintain bilingualism in schools and at homes. The Focus participants : Mexican American B ilinguals in the United States Before the discussion of the reviewed literature begins, it is important to have a clearer understanding of the focus participants BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. Therefore, this section will attempt to offer a brief bac kground on Mexican American bilinguals in the United States, focusing on BFLA Spanish English children. According to the Student Population Census done in 2004, Spanish speakers in the United States are most often of Mexican descent or origin. These Spa nish speakers make up part of the Mexican American bilinguals in the United States. Latinos, who are Spanish speakers, are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, making up 14.5% of the population (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Mexica n American bilinguals make up the largest subgroup of Latinos, at 9.3% of the total population and 64.0% of the Latino population (United States Census Bureau, 2005). The Mexican American population is substantially younger, on average, than the general Un ited States population; therefore, this growth has been even more striking among the youth population (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Being the largest youth population in the United States, 24.4% who are reported as of Hispanics descent, (United Cens us Bureau, 2014), the educational needs of

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35 Mexican Americans are crucial to be considered in planning educational programs in the United States. According to Gandara and Hopkins (2010), most research tends to examine first, second, and third generation Mexican American immigrant children. This assertion is supported by Eilers, Pearson, and Cobo Lewis (2006). They conducted a three year ethnographic study, working with 24 families in Miami. They looked at the types of bilingual development and language al ternatives for immigrants, focusing on the generations of ree generation implies that adults typically remain monolingual in their heritage languages, but their childr en become fluent bilinguals and their grandchildren largely monolingual English speakers. Results revealed that out of the 24 families observed, only one family succeeded in providing their children, aged between 3 to 36 months, equal exposure to English a nd Spanish. In the other 23 families, the children were more proficient in English than in Spanish. The authors conclude with highlighting the importance of implementing bilingual programs for Mexican American bilinguals to ensure Spanish language maintena nce alongside English language acquisition at schools. Their study also revealed that first, second, and third generation Mexican American immigrant children are linguistically different from one another. While the first generation tends to be bilingually stronger in Spanish, the second generation tend s to be more balanced in English and Spanish, and the third g eneration tend s to be bilingual but are English dom inant. This is observed in the that the study adopted. Mexican American c hildren in the second and third generation are what De Houwer (2009) would label as BFLA Spanish English children because of their exposure to societal and heritage languages prior to school

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36 BFLA, a term first introduced by Swain (1976) in a brief sum mary of her dissertation work, is the development of language in young children who are exposed to two spoken languages from birth (De Houwer, 2009). Linguists such as Bialystock (2001, 2006) have referred to this occurrence as simultaneous bilingualism. B FLA is an important field of marriages are becoming common due to globalization (De Houwer, 2009) Children produced from such marriages grow up hearing two differe nt languages spoken on a daily basis. Even monolingual societies like the United States are experiencing more BFLA children in the classrooms (De Houwer, 2009). This is largely due to an increase in the number of first, second, and third generation American immigrants 1 BFLA is a concept in the field of linguistic study started by Ronjat in 1913 (De Houwer, 2009) who observed the language development of his own son, Louis. Louis was exposed to German and French since birth. Ronjat did not refer to this linguistic phenomenon as BFLA, but reference to Ronja phenomen on. In 1966, Macnamara discussed how bilingual education puts children at risk for academic failure or language impediment in the Irish context Two years later, in 1968, Diebold claim ed that b ilingual children beca me socio c ultural misfits as they identified with neither language group as natives. In the 1980s, studies on bilingual ism began to generate more interest a mong linguists and educators Researchers became interested in looking at the relationship between bilingualism and language impediments. However, there is a gap in research that looks at how bilingualism can positively impact biliteracy through carefully planned bilingual education programs. 1 According to United States Census Bureau, there are more than one in five people in the United States who are first second, and third generation American citizens.

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37 Specifically, according to the definit ion of BFLA given by De Houwer (2009), and an equivalent linguistic phenomenon described by Bialystock (2001, 2006), BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are proficient in both spoken English and Spanish. This is because they would have been ex posed to both languages from birth due to their surrounding environment, which include s family, community, and society, even though they may not possess the academic discourse of either or both languages. Their linguistic capabilities thus differentiate th em from other Mexican American bilinguals who may have only acquired oral proficiency in English from school. Consideration of their social and cultural environments is pivotal to understanding their linguistic needs in school. Mexican American bilingua ls BFLA Spanish English ELA/ELL (acquired English and Spanish before schoo l) ( acquired Spanish at home) ( learned English at school) (may not possess the academic discourse in either languages) Figure 2.1: Summary of Mexican American bilingual identities in America (1) Therefore, the literature that I am reviewing will look at the past ten year s from 2004 through today. The goal is to address ideas of evolution of language use among Mexican American bilinguals which leads to their repositioning in the education system in the United States. Three sub subjects that the two factors, setting (Globeville) and focused population (BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals), will consider include: (1)

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38 linguistic identities of Spanis h English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States, (2) English only schooling environments and it s impact on Mexican American bilinguals, and (3) bilingual education policies from social, cultural, and political perspectives. Educational programs that are offered to Mexican American bilinguals in the United States Now that I have briefly explored the Mexican A merican bilingual population, I will examine studies related to educational programming offered for these students in the United States. The re are two types of linguistic educational experiences that Mexican American bilinguals are offered in public schools that the studies in this review examined. One is to receive instruction in English only and the other is to receive instruction in two lan guages, Spanish and English in a wide variety of program configurations This section will review studies on the effectiveness of each type of program, English only instruction and bilingual instruction, as well as tutoring programs, after school programs, and summer programs that are conducted either in English only or in dual languages, to help Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic proficiency in schools. English only This section looked at research studies on three English only programs. One of the studies is a comparative study of an English o nly program to a supplemental Spanish language program that wa s offered in an English only preschool, to Mexican American bilinguals in public schools (Restrepo et al, 2010) Although there have not been ma ny programs that specifically address the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals, there are programs that looked into the educational needs of Hispanics, language minorities, English Language Learners (ELLs), Spanish English bilinguals, and immig rant students.

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39 These programs have directly impacted Mexican American bilinguals because as highlighted earlier, they are also recognized as Hispanics, language minorities, ELLs, Spanish English bilinguals and immigrant students. In al l three studies, the linguistic needs of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals were not discussed, and this is a gap that this review will address. Restrepo et al. (2010) conducted an empirical study that examined the effects of a supplemental Spanish language inst ruction program for students who spoke Spanish as their home language and attended English only preschools. They looked at the effects of the program, focusing on sentence length in words, subordination index, and grammaticality of sentences in both langua ges. The study in volved 45 students, 30 of whom received English only instruction while the remaining 15 received 30 minutes of Spanish instruction alongside English instruction, for a period of 16 weeks. Pre and post tests were conducted to determine res ults of English language acquisition. Their study showed that the 15 students who received bilingual instruction made significant improvement when compared to the 30 students in English only instruction, in all areas except grammaticality of sentences. Thi s study showed the significant improvements that bilingual instruction can make to help Spanish English bilinguals achieve academic proficiency, even when it occurred for a small amount of time. This study also showed that English only instruction can be e ffective, but bilingual instruction is more effective in helping Spanish English bilingual acquire academic language skills. Through another empirical study, Denton, Anthony, Parker, and Hasbrouck (2004) looked at the effects of two English only tutoring programs on English reading development of Spanish English bilingual students in five schools across Te xas. The students, from

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40 Grades 2 through 5 were grouped into two groups. 51 students were tutored and the other 42 students were not tutored. Each tutor ing session lasted for 40 minutes and took place three times a week for ten weeks. Pre and post tests were conducted using Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests and results showed that students who received tutoring made significant progress in word identificati on, but not in reading comprehension in English. The results from this study implied that English only instruction was effective in helping Spanish English bilinguals read words, but not necessarily in helping them improve their comprehension skills in Eng lish reading development. Freeman (2012) conducted an empirical study that loo ked at the impact of a digital m ath intervention program in ELLs mathematical abilities and perceptions of their future possibilities. The program was conducted in English only. The study looked at 50 Hispanic students in a Colorado high school, 36 of these students were from Mexico. The program HELP Math was used. It wa s an on line program that embeds sheltered instruction and research based strategies directly into the m ath cur monitor performance. Results showed tha t students performed better in m ath standardized test s with the program. Results from the three empirical studies that looked at programs using English only instruction were inconclusive to claim that English only instruction wa s more effective than bilingual instruction. Students showed improvements in their learning in all three studies; however, in Restrepo et al. (2010) and Denton, Anthony, Parker, and Hasbrouck (2004 ), results also implied that Spanish English bilinguals could perform better with bilingual support.

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41 Bilingual Instruction Before I begin reviewing studies that look at bilingual instruction I will first look at the definition of bilingual instruction According to Christine and Genesee (2001), bilingual definition also means that one of the two languages involved is always the majority or societal language while the second language of instruction is the min language, which is the case with Mexican Americans. There has been no consensus on what the nature of bilingual education is, and bilingual education is implemented in a myr iad of ways, mos t of which conform to the dominant paradigm that the goal is to learn English rather than to develop bilingualism. Christine and Genesee (2001) provide d two basic goals of bilingual education programs. These goals include transitioning students from a l anguage they know to the societal language. For Mexican American bilinguals, this transition is from Spanish to English. Bilingual education could also refer to the adding of a language or languages so that students can become bilingual or multilingual ac cording to Christine and Genesee The emphasis is placed on oral acquisition of both languages (English and Spanish for Mexican American bilinguals) and literacy acquisition in English. According to Garcia (2009) however, their linguistic proficiencies in either language may not be the academic discourse. Despite this, their linguistic backgrounds already differ from ESL 2 and EFL 3 students who are exposed to English only in schools. In 2001, Bialystock raised a question: How might bilingualism result in impaired cognitive, as well as linguistic development? In a different study, Bialystok herself addressed 2 ESL refers to a group of bilinguals who are learning or have acquired English as a second language. 3 EFL refers to a group of bilinguals who are learning or have acquired English as a foreign language.

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42 this question as she studied childhood bilingualism in school in 2006. Bialysto k did a comparative study on biliteracy and its effects on bilingual students. Her study was not conclusive as the has a positive impact on biliteracy for some bilingual children, it also reflected a negative impact for other bilingual children. Therefore based on her results, it is fair to conclude that bilingualism will impact biliteracy in one way or another. Researchers on bilingualism need to find a more conclusive relationshi p between bilingual children and bilit eracy acquisition. Dopke (2000) talked about atypical structures observed in speech communication produced by Mexican American bilinguals. In her study, differences observed between monolingual and bilingual children w ere significantly small, with bilingual children being less proficient than monolingual children. In the same study, she also discussed inter language ambiguity, which talked about spontaneous utterances with evidence for cross language influences. However her study failed to consider the impact of bilingualism on bilitearcy acquisition. Therefore, results from her study were inconclusive to state that bilingual instruction is not helpful for Mexican American bilinguals. There are currently three different schools of thought on the kind of bilingual education programs offered in schools in the United States. They are the transitional program, structure d immersion program (August, Calderon, Carlo & Eakin, 2006), and two way immersion program (Calderon & Slav in, 2001). Now that I have briefly explored bilingualism and biliteracy, this section will look at bilingual programs that are offered to Mexican American bilinguals from preschool through K 12. Although there have not been many programs that specifically address the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals, there are programs that support the educational needs of Hispanics, language minorities, English Language Learners (ELLs), Spanish English

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43 bilinguals, and immigrant students. These programs hav e directly impacted Mexican American bilinguals because they are often recognized as Hispanics, language minorities, ELLs, Spanish English bilinguals and immigrant students. There are three areas to bilingual programs that this section will highlight. They are vocabulary development, bilite racy development, and testing. Mexican American bilinguals BFLA Spanish English ELA/ELL (acquired English and Spanish before school) ( acquired Spanish at home) ( learned English at school) (may not possess the academic discourse in eith er languages) 1) Hispanics 2) Language minorities 3) ELLs Are they all the same? 4) Spanish English bilinguals 5) Immigrant students Figure 2.2: Summary of Mexican American bilingual identities in America Vocabulary There are three empirical studies that looked at the vocabulary development of Spanish English speakers in bilingual programs. Uchikoshi (2006) examined the growth rates in vocabulary over an academic year f or 150 Latino ELLs enrolled in a bilingual Spanish English kindergarten. Umbel and Oller (2001) examined the receptive vocabulary knowledge of mid socioeconomic status Spanish English students in a dual immersion progra m, which

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44 involved 102 participants from first, third, and sixth grades. Lugo Neris, Jackson, and Goldstein (2010) examined vocabulary instruction using English only, enhanced with Spanish as the bridging language to produce greater word learning among you ng bilingual children, during a storybook reading intervention program. Their study involved 22 Spanish English bilinguals ag ed 4 to 6 years old. In all three empirical studies highlighted above that looked at vocabulary growth, results were conclusive tha t Spanish English bilinguals showed significant improvements in growth trajectories when there is bilingual support. Uchikoshi (2006) used video viewings to provide English language exposure to Spanish English bilinguals while Lugo Neris, Jackson, and Gold stein (2010) used storybook reading as a strategy to expose students to English. In both studies, Spanish was used as language support to help students with vocabulary learning and comprehension. In all three studies, assessments were used to measure stude students acquire vocabulary skills with bilingual support in classrooms. Biliteracy development. There are six empirical studies that looked at biliteracy development of Spanish English speakers in bilingu al programs. Three of the studies focused on preschoolers and the other three looked at first graders in elementary school. Preschoolers. Mehta, Branum Martin, Fletcher, Carlson, Ortiz, Carlo, and Francis (2006) looked at the bilingual phonological awareness of 812 preschoolers in a transitional bilingual program. Hammer, Lawrence, and Miccio (2007) investigated the relationship between 88 Spanish kindergarten reading outcomes at Head Start. A year later, they reported on a study that at Head Start (Hammer, Lawrence, & Miccio, 2008). Results from all three st udies revealed

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45 bilingual program. The s tudy from Mehta et al. (2006) showed that there was a relationship between Spanish and English language awareness, and this knowled ge is significant to help educators plan bilingual programs to help Spanish English students acquire English while maintaining Spanish. Both studies by Hammer, Lawrence, and Miccio (2007, 2008) focused on Head Start program s Their study in 2008 also showe abilities decreased with a lengthy summer vacation. In both their studies, results sh owed that bilingual instruction benefitted Spanish E nglish preschoolers ; however besides bilingual instruction summer vacation did ha ve a negative impact on receptive language abilities. All three empirical studies that focused on Spanish English preschoolers in bilingual program s revealed that students showed an improvement in biliteracy acquisition with bilingual support in preschool. First Graders Calhoon, Otaiba, Cihak, King, and Avalon (2007) examined the effects of a supplemental Peer Mediated Reading Program with 76 students. Arce (2000) conducted a study that drew a portrait of an actual classroom striving to initiate a transf ormative educational experience in an urban elementary school involving 26 students. Branum Martin, Foorman, Francis, and Mehta (2010) examined the contextual effects of bilingual programs on reading and language instruction, involving 1, 338 Spanish domin ant students. All three empirical studies looked at first graders in bilingual program s The studies by Calhoon, Otaiba, Cihak, King, and Avalon (2007), and Arce (2000) looked at reading intervention programs. Both studies concluded that Spanish English f irst graders showed improv ement in biliteracy development Branum Martin, Foorman, Francis, and Mehta (2010) study

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46 program s outperformed immersion program as stude nts from English immersion and Spanish maintenance bilingual programs were measured. However, in all three studies, first grade students showed improvement in biliteracy abilities when put into a bilingual program at first grade. In the six studies that looked at the biliteracy development of Spanish English bilinguals, the researchers failed to consider the initial bi linguistic abilities of the measured at the end of th e programs, and all students showed biliteracy impr ovements with bilingual support in schools. However, the pertinent question, looking at how much biliteracy improvement the students made is not addressed. The amount of improvement made is a better measur ement of the effectiveness of biliteracy development. The studies also failed to establish the social and cultural backgrounds of the students because the bi linguistic abilities of the students were not specified, i.e. whether they are BFLA Spanish Englis h students, or English or Spanish dominant students. The identity of Spanish English bilinguals is an important consideration when measuring their bi literacy development; yet, this was not addressed in any of the studies. Testing Baker, Park, and Baker (2011) looked the developmental patterns in pse udo word reading and oral reading fluency in a Paired Bilingual Reading Program, involving the 214 Spanish speaking ELLs in first grade, 156 in second grade, and 142 in third grade. Their study, like those of Montrul and Potowski (2007) and Reese, Gallimore, and Guthrie (2010) focused on standardized testing. However, these testing results were not accurate measurements of biliteracy development because the emphasis is placed on English language

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47 learning even though students went through a bilingual program. In all three studies, Mexican American bilinguals were the main participants. These elementary school students were measured based on their reading test scores. Students were given bilingual instruction in reading, but they were measured for English language acquisition through standardized testing, ignoring their Spanish language ability. This form of measurement is not accurate to dents showed biliteracy growth in English and Spanish language development as they had undergone bilingual instruction in the classroom. Another gap that was not addressed in the three studies that was discussed was that none of the studies considered the social and cultural backgrounds of the participants. This is reflected when the students were referred as either Spanish English students or Spanish speaking ELLs. Since the studies looked at bilingual programs, recognizing the bi lingusitic abilities of the students is important; therefore, knowing if the students were BLFA Spanish English bilinguals, Spanish or English dominant bilinguals would provide a more accurate representation of students bi linguistic abilities. Although students in all three s tudies showed an improvement in biliteracy acquisition with bilingual support, information on students init ial bi linguistic abilities was never discussed. The next section discusses bilingual programs that have contributed to helping Mexican American bil inguals achieve academic success in school. Programs This section will look at four areas of bilingual programs. Two empirical studies will look at the roles of educators in ensuring a successful bilingual program Seven empirical studies l ook ed at what successful bilingual programs may look like. Of these seven studies,

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48 four focus ed on preschool progr ams and the remaining three look ed at elementary programs. Two studies look ed at competing language ideologies that students face in bilingual prog rams. There are five studies that look ed at comparative programs such as transitional bilingual versus dual immersion program s Roles of educators in bilingual program Combs, Evans, Fletcher, Parra, and Jimenez (2005) conducted an empirical study that ex amined the effect of a dual language program on teachers administrations, and students in an English only state. The study that was conducted at Nopal Elementary School involved 36 interviews with school staff and 27 parents and Mexican American bilingual students who were learning English. Results from their study sh owed that educators were unfamiliar with the model for teaching the program which resulted in students underperforming in both Spanish and English at school. Both studies by Mehta et al. (2006), discussed earlier, and Combs, Evans, Fletcher, Parra, and Jimenez (2005) are significant in highlighting the importance for educators to understand the model for bilingual programs in order to efficiently help Mexican American bilinguals cope w ith acquiring English while maintaining Spanish in school. Successful programs This section looks at programs at two levels of schooling. The first will look at studies of bilingual programs at preschool and the next will look at programs from elementary school. Preschool Gromley (2008), Reyes and Azuara (2008), Rodriguez, Diaz, Duran, and Espinoza (1995), and Nakamoto, Lindsey, and Manis (2011) looked at successful programs in preschool. In Gromley (2008), results showed that Mexican American bilingual s

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49 experienced substantial improvements in pre reading, pre writing, and pre math skills in both English and Spanish. Mexican American bilinguals whose parents spoke Spanish at home or whose parents were born in Mexico benefited the most in the bilingual pr eschool program. Reyes and Azuara (2008) conducted a study that explored the relationship between emergent biliteracy and growing up in a biliterate environment on 12 Mex ican American bilinguals aged 4 and 5 years old that revealed that these bilinguals developed meta linguistic awareness about print in both languages from a young age. Their study supported Gromley (2008) findings that Mexican American bilinguals who received biliteracy input from home benefit the most through bilingual instruction. Dia z, Duran, and Espinoza (1995) looked at pre and post test results to measure bilingual and biliteracy development and their study also showed that Mexican American bilinguals gained English proficiency while maintaining Spanish when placed in bilingual pr eschool. However, the findings from these three studies were contradicted by Nakamoto, Lindsey, and Manis (2011). Findings from Nakamoto, Lindsey, and Manis (2011) revealed that although students in bilingual programs had significantly higher scores in Spa nish reading than those in English immersion, their English reading scores were significantly lower. The findings from their study implied that even though Mexican American bilinguals could gain proficiency in English while maintaining Spanish when placed in bilingual programs, the biliteracy growth differs for each language. linguistic growth when they received different level s of language instructions. While the E nglish immersion program placed emphasis on English language learning, the bilingual program placed emphasis on equal language learning; therefore, results from pre and post

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50 test will correlate with the amount of exposure bilingual students have to each l anguage in school. Elementary Calderon and Slavin (2001), August, Calderon, Carlo, and Eakin (2006), and Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2001) looked at successful programs at elementary school. Calderon and Slavin (2001) looked at a Two way Immersion pr ogram for Spanish English students at Hueco Elementary School outside El Paso, Texas. The program was considered successful because students showed positive progression in biliteracy skills, and these measurements were based on analyses of English reading test scores and classroom observations. August, Calderon, Carlo, and Eakin (2006) study compared a two way immersion program to a transitional program. Results based on test scores revealed that the 113 students acquire d English better in a two way immer sion than a transitional program. Both studies looked at bilingual programs, but measurements of biliteracy skills were based solely on English test scores. Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2001) whose study focused on how a bilingual teacher applied differ ent research based strategies in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classrooms showed that these Mexican American immigrant students excelled academically. All three studies that looked at successful bilingual program s showed that Spanish English bilinguals ac hieve success in school when placed in a bilingual program that focused on dual language learning; however, testing in these studies should measure biliteracy and not just English literacy. Competing language ideologies Hasson (2010) and Pastor (2008) conducted empirical studies that looked at Spanish English students and their struggle with competing language ideologies. Hasson (2010 ) study looked at 202 undergraduates who were enrolled in either a bilingual or ESOL program

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51 and compared them to those who were enrolled in English immersion program s in elementary school Results from his study revealed that there was a definite shift towards the English language among all participants. Students were losing Spanish as they acquire d English. Pastor (200 8) study that focused on an after school intervention program also showed that the 16 Spanish English bilinguals of Mexican descent showed a preference for English when interacting with adults and peers as they were carrying out computer activities and tar eas (homework) during the intervention program. Both studies implied that Spanish English bilinguals face competing language ideologies when undergoing bilingual programs in school as they struggle to acquire English while maintaining Spanish. Comparative programs Barnett, Yarosz, Thomas, Jung, and Blanco (2007) compared the effects of a dual language program with an English immersion program in a preschool. Their study looked at ere in the English immersion program. All participants were Spanish English bilinguals. For the 79 children were in the dual language program, they were rotated between two classes, English and Spanish, weekly. The two programs were compared based on child th in literacy and m ath. There was no difference on the English language measure. However, among the native Spanish speakers in the dual language program, there was a significant gain in Spanish vocabulary compared to those in the Englis h Immersion Program. Both programs however succeeded in helping children develop learning skills. Clark, Touchman, Martinez, Garza, Ramirez Marin, and Drew (2012) looked at middle schoolers. Their study also compared English only instruction versus bilingual instruction. Results showed that bilingual students pe rformed better in science when s cience

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52 was taught in bilingual classrooms than in English only instruction. Both studies showed that students achieved biliteracy proficiency in content subject s with b ilingual instruction Tong, Lara Alecio, Irby, Mathes, and Kwok (2008) also compared two programs, transitional bilingual and structured English immersion. In their study, they looked at 534 Hispanics who were ELLs, Mexican American bilinguals i ncluded, over a period of two years as they go through either the transitional bilingual program or the structured English immersion program. The focus of their study was to compare the growth rate in academic English oracy. They grouped the students into four groups. There were two treatment groups, one in the transitional bilingual program and the other in the structured English immersion program. The other two groups were the control group for each of the programs. All students showed significant improve ment. Therefore, it is conclusive to state that first language acquisition, Spanish, does not impede second language acquisition, English, among Spanish English speaking students, Mexican American bilinguals included. The results conclude that bilingual in str uction is effective in helping students achieve proficiency in English oracy. Another study by Slavin, Madden, Calderon, Camberlain, and Hennessy (2011) supports this conclusion. Their study that looked at English reading measures showed that there w as no significant difference between transitional bilingual English reading measures when compared t o results of reading measures after English only instruction. This study affirms that bilingual instruction is effective in helping Mexican American bilingu als acquire English while maintaining Spanish. Block (2011) also conducted an empirical study that compared the dual immersion program w ith the English only program. Forty English dominant Latino students in four 90:10 Spanish dual immersion program s and 6 2 of their peers in English only program s

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53 towards bilingualism and biliteracies. Observations showed that students from the dual immersion program enjoyed bilingualism and biliteracies more than their peers from the English only program. Summary In conclusion, the findi ngs from this section that looked at the four areas of bilingual programs, the roles of educators, successful programs at two grade levels, the competing ideologies, and comparative programs, identify one key gap 14 of the 16 studies in this section failed to consider the bi linguistic abilities of the Spanish English students involved in the studies. Block (2011) specified that the Spanish English bilinguals were English dominant La tino students while Gromley (2008) highlighted the home language of the students. The remaining 14 studies referred to the participants as Spanish English bilinguals without consideration of their language dominance. It is crucial to take a socio cultural approach when looking at bilingual programs for Mexican American bilinguals. It is an assumption that most of these students would be Spanish English bilinguals; however, some of these students could be English or Spanish dominant, and some could be monoli ngual English or Spanish students. Besides overlooking the identification of bi linguistic abilities of these students, the studies also tend to focus on English literacy testing rather than on biliteracy testing. This is not a fair measurement of student linguistic abilities, especially when the studies look at bilingual programs that helped students succeed in schools. Even though all studies reported that Spanish Engl ish students showed improvement in schools, the emphasis is placed on English literacy testing, making the term bilingual program a misleading term. This is because if students were to undergo a bilingual program, the measurement of the academic proficiencies should be in dual languages to avoid a situation

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54 described by Hasson (2010) and Pastor (2008), where students faced competing language ideologies in maintaining English and Spanish. Mexican American bilinguals BFLA Spanish English ELA/ELL (acquired English and Spanish before schoo l) ( acquired Spanish at home) ( learned English at schoo l) (may not possess the academic discourse in either languages) 1) Hispanic s 2) Language minorities 3) ELLs 4) Spanish English bilinguals 5) Immigrant students Figure 2.3: Summary of Mexican American bilingual identities in America (Re cap) Other Types of Programs This section will look at other types of programs that are offered to Mexican American bilinguals in public school. There are four empirical studies that will be looked a t, all of which focused on how the programs considered the educational needs of Mexican American bilinguals. Are they the same? No, they are not; yet, they are categorized under the same labels without regards and considerations for their bi linguistic abilities or cultural heritage.

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55 Callahan, Wilkinson, and Muller (2008) highlighted the importance of immigrant ability of the United States. Based on their observation, Mexican origin linguistic minority youth in United States schools generally demonstrated lower levels of achievement. English as a Second Language (ESL) programs provide an institutional respons e to the effect of which may vary by the proportion of immigrant students in the school. In their study, they used propensity score matching, and data from the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement Study (AHAA) and the National Long itudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). They estimated the effect of ESL placement on Mexican origin student achievement for first second and third generation adolescents separately in schools with many and few immigrant students. The results revealed that the estimated effect of ESL placement varied concluded that ESL enrollment may be protective for second generation Mexican origin adolescents in high im migrant concentration schools, and may prove detrimental for first generation adolescents in contexts with few other immigrant students. Their study highlight ed the importance of considering the educational needs of Mexican American students as they repres ent the future of economic stability in the United States. Gonzalez, Goetz, Hall, Payne, Taylor, Kim, and McCormick (2011) did a quasi experimental study that evaluates the effectiveness of Early Reading First (ERF) program for preschoolers. The study l ooked at preschoolers from two multi ethnic schools, mostly low income Hispanics. Gray (2007) conducted a similar study on ERF, involving Hispanic bilinguals. Both studies reflected that ERF program is effective in enriching language and literacy skills am ong preschoolers. Then, Sturtevant and Kim (2009) conducted an empirical

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56 study that examined the literacy motivation among middle school students in an ESOL program using 20 survey questions and semi structured interviews. 27 boys and 23 girls in three ESO L classes participated. Of these 84% were Spanish English bilinguals. 16 of the students were in a beginning ESOL program, 18 were in an intermediate ESOL program, and 16 were in an advanced ESOL program. The results from the survey identified similaritie s among students of different genders, but differences between those in the beginning and those in the advanced ESOL program. Those in the beginning program were more motivated. Based on the four studies that this section looked at, it is conclusive to argue that the early educational needs o f Mexican American bilinguals are important to be considered, and early literacy programs are eff ective in motivating students in schools. A gap that these studies overlooked was the failure to make a distinction to the levels of bi literacy that these students were at in regards to their language and literacy skills. Even though the studies looked at ESL and ESOL programs, only English literacy was given importance while Spanish was downplayed in the discussion. Therefore, the discussion on motivation of students may not be an accurate representation of students in regards to the types of literacy programs. Other Factors This section will look at four factors that contribute to the academic success in school cultural differences between Mexican American bilinguals and other students, mot ivation from adults, and the formation of identity (community and self) are important factors that contribute to the academic success of Mexican American bilinguals in school. This section will be looking at 13 empirical studies that discuss these factors and how they work hand in

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57 hand with effective bilingual programs to help Mexican American bilinguals achieve academic success in schools while acquiring English and maintaining Spanish. Parents Mc Cabe, Goehring, Yeh, and Lau (2008) did an empirical s tudy that compared parental locus of control (PLOC 4 ) among parents of clinic referred Mexican American preschoolers to parents of non referred Mexican American preschoolers. Results demonstrated that referred Mexican American parents exhibited a more exter nal PLOC than non referred Mexican American parents across a number of domains. It was highlighted how Americans. Implications for the design of culturally sensitive inte rventions for Mexican American preschoolers with behavior problems were highlighted. This study is significant for educators and policy makers to be aware of the types of preschool programs needed to decrease behavioral programs among Mexican American pres choolers with the consideration of parents. Dorner (2011) did a three year ethnographic study with six families, all of whom were Mexican immigrants with children who identified as Mexican American bilinguals. The study looked at how and with whom immigrant parents discussed educational choices when enrolling their children into a two way immersion program. Results from the study showed that it was important for parents to discuss these options with the school to make sense of the two way immersion program for their children. Parents played key role s in ensuring the academic success for Mexican American bilinguals. Collaboration between parents and school was necessary in ensuring that these students achieved success. Another study that 4 Lyman, and Prentice Dunn, 1 986).

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58 also supports this conclusion parents playing key roles in ensu ring academic success for their children is an empirical study conducted by Bollin (2003). Bollin (2003) explored the development and changes in the Mexican system of education and educational aspirations of Mexican parents for their children. Observatio n revealed that most Mexican parents considered it advantageous that their children had the opportunity to attend school through high school in the United States. At the same time, they considered it equally important for their children to make some financ ial contribution to the fa mily while going to school. The author suggests that this understanding of cultural difference between Mexican and American parents can help United States schools formulate programs and make curricular decisions that could reduce the high dropout rate among Mexican American students in middle school. Both studies by Dorner (2011) and Bollin (2003) emphasized the importance of collaboration between school and parents to ensure success in school for Mexican American bilinguals. At th also made an implication to the concept of be ing a Mexican American bilingual a s an identity, and the awareness of this identity is important for school. Another study that also looked at identity and how identity correla ted with confidence and academic success in school is discussed by Cavazos Rehg and Delucia Waack (2009). Identity Two studies have explicitly considered the relationship of the identity of bilingual students in relationship to the instructional approach. The first, by Cavazos Rehg and Delucia Waack (2009) examined the self esteem, acculturation, and ethnic identity of 150 Latino students enrolled in either a bilingual or a traditional Spanish program. 99 students were in the biling ual program and the rest were in a traditional program. Results from their

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59 study revealed that the 51 students in the traditional program had a higher level of acculturation in areas of language use, elec tronic, printed media, and social relationship than those in the bilingual program. The sec ond was by Huang (1995) who conducted a similar study looking at the relationship between proficiency in bilingual reading and writing and self esteem. His study involved 1034 eighth grade Mexican American students who are bilinguals and English the study conducted by Cavazos Rehg and Delucia Waack (2009). Both studies revealed that bilinguals had higher self confidence than those who were English dom inant; and the more contact students have with the heritage language at school, the better they performed. Another study that also supports this conclusion is a study by Dorner, Orellana, and Li Grining (2007). Dorner, Orellana, and Li Grining (2007) did an empirical study involving 87 Mexican identity as language brokers for the ir family correlate with their m ath achievement scores in school. The participants were group ed into three groups, Active Language Brokers, Partial Language Brokers, and non Language Brokers. The deciding factors on who are active, partial, and non language brokers were dependent on interview questions s uch as who translated at hom e, for whom, and the frequency of translation Results from the study conclude that Mexican American bilinguals who are active language brokers for t heir family performed better on m ath achievement tests compared to the other two groups. This finding reminds us that the c .89) and that translating involves the linguistic individual two languages.

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60 Motivation Thirteen studies looked at factors that contributed to academic success for Mexican American bilinguals. The first, by Weiss and Dempsey (2008) compared the performance of Mexican American bilinguals who c laimed to be more proficient in English than Spani sh. However, based on the results of the study, this group o f bilinguals performed better in Spanish than English academically. The significance of this study is to help educators be aware that although Mexican American students in their classrooms are exp osed to more English than Spanish, these students are more confident with Spanish. However, the study also revealed that Mexican America n students could perform well in English Standardized Testing if the testing were conducted in a non stressful and quiet environment. Mexican American bilinguals have other needs to help them achieve success in school, and these needs go beyond just an effective curriculum. Pacheco (2010) conducted an empirical study that discussed this importance. Pacheco (2010) analyze s illustrative classroom events documented during an California. Through a performativity lens around dictionary work and homework that emphasizes the discursive c onstitution of subjectivities, she demonstrates how discourses around achievement and success in the current reform context exacerbated one bilingual oriented ideologies about English learners (Mexican American students) and their familie s. Her analysis has implications for practitioners and researchers interested in effectively supporting the most vulnerable student populations, and their teachers, in public schools. Results from her observation reveal that in order to enhance the academi c potential an expanded

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61 repertoire of assistance strategies that reflect sound, even empowering, approaches that reject deficit based perspectives and instead build their languages, cu ltures, group histories, and intellectual capabilities (Tejeda et al. 2002). Moreover, teachers must begin to acknowledge Language Learners to organize transformative approa ches to the liter acy curriculum (Luke & Carrington 2002). Rumberger and Larson (1998) documented the differences in educational achievement among poor, first and second generation Mexican American bilinguals in an urban middle school in LA. Their study looked at the socioeconomic and socio cultural aspects of students. The school of which 94% were of Mexican descent and 73% of them were Spanish English bilinguals. Their study focused on the students entering the school at se venth grade and exiting at ninth grade. The three groups of students that the study compared were those who were in the English only program, bilinguals who were proficient in English and bilinguals who had limited English proficiency. Results from their s tudy revealed that while achieving proficiency in English is important, it is not sufficient to succeed in American schools. Their study also showed that bilinguals in the bilingual programs performed better than those in the English only progra m. These re sults were consistent with similar studies con ducted by Buriel (1994) and Sta nton Salazar and Dornbusch (1995). All these studies concluded that among Spanish English bilinguals which included Mexican American bilinguals, third generation Mexican American bilinguals reflected a higher drop out rate than first and second generations. According to Gandara (2010), third generations are mostly English proficient. Based on these studies, it is conclusive to state that Mexican American bilinguals need bilingual i nstruction to perform in

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62 school, but they can do better when the school also provide s other kinds of support. Cabolla (1997) conducted an empirical study that looked at the other kinds of support to help Mexican American bilinguals succeed in schools. Ch abolla (1997) looks at the strategic interventions that are adopted at UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz to help Mexican American students in their outreach program s. It concluded that factors such as counselling process, courses offered, the monitoring o f students, and having motivating principals are important influences in ensuring their success. All these preparations should begin in middle school. Besides preparation in middle school, enric hment programs could also help Mexican American bilinguals do better. Through an empirical study, school and academic achievement, actual course choice, and graduation rate. Two programs, science and E nglish were used to determine results. The study involved 85 ELLs from an ethnically diverse, high poverty school in Georgia. Results from the study revealed that involvement in enrichment programs in s cience and English can positively influence itude, aspirations, and behavio r towards school. The 13 studies reviewed looked at factors that contributed to academic success for Mexican American bilinguals. Most of the studies identified parents (Dorner, 2011; Bollin, 2003; Mc Cabe, Goehring, Yeh, & Lau, 2008) and identity (Cavazos Rehg & Delucia Waack, 2009; Dorner, Ore llana, & Li Grining 2007) to be the main factors that helped Mexican American bilinguals achieve success in school. While an effective bilingual program is necessary, so are these other factors. Mexican American bilingual s are a minority community in the United States, but they are the largest of the minority group (Orfield & Lee, 2005). Ensuring their success in school is an economic investment to the country.

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63 Conclusion This literature review looked at empirical stud ies from 1994 to present. The review focused on studies that looked at factors that contributed to success in schools for Mexican American bilinguals. Taking a socio cultural perspective through a critical lens, t his review considered studies of programs a nd other factors that contributed to the success of programs to help Mexican American bilinguals succeed. This review also considered the connection between the social and cultural environments of Mexican American bilinguals through a critical lens. This i s done by identifying who they are in the United States, and giving recognition to their bi linguistic abilities. Recognizing their bi linguistic abilities implied that their varied linguistic abilities as bilinguals in the classrooms are considered when l ooking at the two types of linguistic experiences that Mexican American bilinguals go through in schools. Results from the synthesized studies were conclusive to argue that all programs were effective in helping Mexican American bilinguals succeed in schoo ls, but bilingual instruction is most effective in helping Mexican American bilinguals maintain some degree of Spanish while acquiring English. However, the growth of student program to p rogram Besides the studies on programs, other factors also contributed to the success of Mexican American bilinguals in school. These factors included parents (Dorner, 2011; Bollin, 2003; McCabe, Goehring, Yeh, & Lau, 2008) and identity (Cavazos Rehg & Delucia Waack, 2009; Dorner, Orellana, & Li Grin ing 2007). failure to identify Spanish English bilinguals in terms of their bi linguistic abilities. Most of the studies referred to their participants as Spanish English bilinguals, with no consideration to whether these bilinguals were BFLA Spanish English, or English or Spanish dominant

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64 students. The studies looked at bilingual instruction in classroom s and attempted to measure emic proficiency with no re gard to their bi linguistic abilities and/or identities the linguistic proficiencies were not discussed in detail? As mentioned in the earlier section, identity is correlated to academic success for Mexican American bilinguals; yet, in stu dies that measured proficiency only English language acquisition is given importance while downplaying Spanish language acquisition. Being bilinguals is part of the identity for Mexican American biling uals; yet not enough discussion has been covered in this aspect of their school success. In conclusion, two major gaps were not ed as this review of literature was synthesized. The failure to identify Mexican American bilinguals in terms of their bi linguistic abilities when looking at bilingual programs in school will not help educator s plan effective classroom instruction that would help these students succeed An inaccurate reflection of their linguistic abilities through testing that placed an emphasis on English acquisition is not an accurate measurement of their acade mic success. Educational policy makers need to address these gaps in order to better underst and the linguistic challenges that M exican American bilinguals face in schools. Better educational policies that consider a socio cultural perspective through a critical lens need to be adopted to plan effective programs in school for Mexican American bili nguals who are often referred as Spanish English bilinguals with no regards to their bi linguistic proficiencies.

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65 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY AND THEORECTIAL FRAMEWORKS This research study aimed to reposition BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States. It asked the broad question How can the deficit notion of marginalized bilingual/multilingual people in the United States be repositioned to help monolinguals understand that bilinguals can be native speakers of English t oo? It also asked two key questions relating to the repositioning of marginalized BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. The first question What are the profiles of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children across the elementary school yea rs?, looked at the profiles of marginalized BFLA Spanish Eng lish Mexican American bilinguals, focusing on their self and perceived identities The second question, What structures are in place that either support or hinder BFLA Spanish English Mexican Amer ican children to maintain harmonious bilingual development? looked at harmonious bilingual development whic h refers to the current practices that individual s family, and community have put in place, while considering school and state policies, to nurture bilinguals so that they can grow up as balanced bilinguals bilinguals who speak and write in Spanish and English proficiently It also considers the structures that hinder harmonious bilingual development for BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilingu als. Adopting a critical lens in addressing the research questions I utilized the following conceptual frameworks in my research study: 1) ) framework of hegemony which is later developed by Shannon (1995) to discuss Mexican American bilin guals and cultural, and social factors to language status within society, and 3) ) work

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66 from his Pedagogy of the O ppressed to understand instructional practices in American classrooms These frameworks will form the basis of my research methodology and analysis. Additionally, I will apply concept of the behaviors in a natural s etting. I will inter lace his sociocultural concepts within the critical frameworks that I am adopting. View of Political, Cultural, and Social F actors to Language Status within S ociety Bourdieu (2003) is a sociologist whose work looks at the relations am ong language, power, and politics. He argues that language is more than just a means of communication. Language is also a medium of power throu gh which individuals may pursue their own agenda. In the United States, the English language is used to pursue th e English only agenda in public schools as other minority language s such as Spanish are downplayed. Applying (2003) work, I will describe the struggles of minority multilinguals in the United States. BFLA Spanish English Mexican American biling uals possess two first languages, Spanish and English, and their identities as Mexican American s put them in the minority multilingual community in the United States. While there is a lack of definitive statistics it has been speculated that there are more children growing up bilingual than monolingual (Tucker, 1998). However, it must also be noted that there are many types of bilingual children. While some are sequential bilinguals, meaning t hat they grew up learning one language followed by another (Bialystok, 2001, 2006) BFLA children grew up with two first languages from birth (De Houwer, 1995). BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children grew up with a heritage language, Spanish, and t he societal language, English. By denying the teaching of heritage language in schools and emphasizing English only programs

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67 through the transitional bilingual program which aims to move students from bilingual instruction classrooms to English only classr ooms ( Christine & Genesee, 2001; Darling Hammond, 2010 ; Abedi, 2010 ) t he United States h as unofficially made English h er official language, marginalizing Mexican Americans and ot her bilingual students of color As Bourdieu (2003) argues, education is the invisible hand that control s the linguistic capital in a region or country when he states that with In the context of the Un ited States, this is manifested w hen bilingual students of color are continually pressured to abandon their heritage language s through the implementation of transitional bilingual program (Christine & Genesee, 2001) The practice (Abedi, 2010) Bourdieu (2003) argues that linguistic utterances can be understood as the product of the relation between the an individual uses la nguage(s) in a certain manner, within a particular setting, that individual may implicitly and sometimes even exp licitly adapt their words to fit the specific situation. S ince language is a form of identity (Gopinathan, Pakir, Ho, & Saravanan, 2003) the deci sion to use specific language in a identity The choice of vocabulary in any given communication is imbued with various semantics that ofte n result in different pragmatics expected of the audience being addressed. For ex ample, code switching is not perceived as desirable among bilingual immigrants and might produce a reaction where these speakers are perceived negatively by other monolingual English speakers when code switching is used in communication Even the

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68 accent adopted by the speaker carries forth different messages in different contexts. However, the ability to code switch between languages and accents is not made available to all spe akers. Shannon and Escamilla (1999) showed through critical incidents how coded language is used to enact symbolic violence upon Mexican American immigrants in our classrooms. For example, Mexican American immigrants experienc e symbolic violence through such coded language. Policies have been worded in certain ways to make documentation around bilingual education sound politically correct. T he goal of bilingual education in the United States is not to teach in two languages as one would be made to believe The ultimate goal of bilingual education has been to transition students in to an English only environment so that t hey can become more mainstream and standard in their speech (Christine & Genesee, 2001) As a researcher whose interest lies in Mex ica n American bilinguals, I understand that one reason that all immigrants, Mexican American bilinguals included, should be learning English is to gain access to resources in the United States. English is the language of survival for success and is one of the key ingredients for educational success. However, being an immigrant myself, who is not only bilingual, but also a multilingual, I strongly believe that learning the English language should not be done at the expense of my heritage language s Even tho ugh English is one of my first languages, alongside two other heritage languages, I have been position ed so if I want to assimilate into American society, I must give up my heritage languages and cultures. Unlike the immigrant children discussed in Shannon and Escamilla (1999), I am an adult; yet, I have been subjected to critical incidents that made me view my multilingual abilities as being deficient rather than beneficial In one of my doctoral classes, a White American classmate wrote on my paper,

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69 After explaining to her that I was not an ELA student, she argued that I was a multilingual with an a ccent; therefore, English could not be my first language. I was not only saddened by that comment; I was hurt. The abili ty to code switch, one of the gifted skills of multilinguals, is a common linguistic occurrence in Singapore However, this does not occur here in the United States because of what bilingualism and multilingualism represent to mainstream Americans. Bilingu alism is perceived as a deficit when spoken by minorities of color. Based on my own experience and those of my coworkers I discovered that being American generally implies being a monolingual English speaker. Shannon and Escamilla (1999) c learly expressed this sentiment when they described ecretary of State, position on bilingual education, how Mexican American immigrants experience symbolic violence through coded language used in policies. school is proficiency in spoken an Escamilla, 1999, p. 354). within society, which has been furt application to the United States, work from his book, Pedagogy of the O ppressed While Bourdieu (2003) argues for a political, cultural, and social approach to language status within society, and Shannon and Escamilla (1999) applied it to the context of the United States, Freire (1970) highlights an educational approach to free the op pressed through a critical pedagogy. Pedagogy of the O ppressed Freire (1970 ) describes a pedagogy where people are engaged in the fight for their own liberation, where the oppressed have the power to free themselves from their oppressors

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7 0 Freire referred to this proce ss as humanization. Freire (1970 ) also made comparisons between education as a practice of freedom and education as a practice of domin ation. His descriptions mirror and the colonizers. According to Memmi, the colonized are suppressed through acts of domination practiced upon them by the colonizers. Just as in the description of education as a practice of domination, the educators in the classrooms may subconsciously act as t he colonizers, transferring norms and values through lectures that students are expected to learn through rote memorization. Freire refers to this as the banking education model. The BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are oppressed by a curr iculum and educational system that tends to reject their funds of knowled ge, the knowledge that students gain from their family and cultural backgrounds (Moll, 1992) as they are taught about English culture and literature while the system downplays their h eritage culture and language. This rejection is also demonstrated through English only standardized tests, which is a way of oppressing BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals as their heritage language is not recognized (Darling Hammond, 2010 ; Abedi, 2010 ). What Freire suggests is an education that practices fr those who have been completely marginalized are so radically transformed, they are no longer willing to be mere objects, responding to changes oc curring around them; they are more likely to decide to take upon themselves the struggle to change the structures of society, which until now p. 33). In bilingual classrooms, the oppressed would be the BFLA Spanish English Mex ican American bilinguals. Villenas and Moreno (2001) suggest how incorporating funds of knowledge (Moll, 1992) in the curriculum is one of the practices that helps Latino families, which include BFLA Spanish English Mexican

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71 American bilinguals, learn. Tapp unds of knowledge is one of the practices that can be adopted in bilingual classrooms to practice freedom through education. Through funds of knowledge, the heritage culture and language of Spanish English stu dents is used as a way to h elp make the connections between learning in school and knowledge from home Here, hegemonic culture in education expressed through English emphasized teachings is balanced with heritage knowledge that students bring from their homes. In the next section, I will describe how Bronfe development in natural settings helps to situate the critical importance of the linguistic environments of both home and school and how they play key role s in contributing to harmonious bilingual ma intenance among BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children Bronfenbrenner Bronfenbrenner (1979) highlights ways in which children develop through their behaviors in natural settings. Although Bronfenbrenner did not adopt a critical lens ignoring fac tors such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status, his work still inspires me to consider the natural environment in which BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are immersed specifically during their years of Spanish and English language acqu isition in predominantly English only environments. ecological theory as I looked at language use and language choice of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children by observing them in their natural sett ings. The consideration that these students are bilinguals developing their linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing (Brown, 2007) in a monolingual society is an important factor to consider in my observations and analyses when I looked at their profiles as BFLA children

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72 developing their literacy skills analyses where I discuss ed how Globeville contributed to the development or the lack of it as I highlight the historiog raphy of Globeville, the neighborhood in which the twelve student participants live d and studied B that development takes place in interactive social environments (systems) such as the family and the preschool or classroom, r eferred to as microsystems. It benefitted the developing persons when these mesosystems were lin ked and mutually supportive. Hegemony of English Gramsci (1971) articulates the power relations hip between educ ation and class. He argues against traditional schools because these schools subscribe to what Ladson Billings (1998) and Memmi (1992) would refer to as colonial education. Gramsci (1971) argues think and abil it p. 26) In the United States, traditional education is commonly practiced in public schools. One of the aims of the bilingual programs offered in public schools in America is to transition students from a bilingual instruct ion classroom to an English only classroom (Christine & Genesee, 2001). Through this aim, one of t he ideologies of education the hegemony of English in the United States (Shannon, 1995 ; Shannon & Escamilla, 1999 ) is observed Shannon (1995) stressed the hegemony of English over Spanish in the United States. She argues that the hegemony of English is practiced in and out of the classrooms. English hegemony is not about the status of English versus Spanish; rather, it is abo ut who is speaking those lan guages A White person who speaks both Spanish and English will be privileged while a non White pe rson with the same bilingual abilities w ill be deemed as

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73 deficient The argument that English is given privilege over other minority languages is illustrated on a daily basis in classrooms as bilinguals continue to learn and to take tests in English. The status of language is dependent on who is speaking it and that Whites will always be seen in an asset based light while people of color will always be seen tho ugh a deficit perspective. Engli sh spoken by bilingual minorities will never be good enough, or standard enough, because it will always be perceived as a second language for them. This is seen in the current educational practices in K 12, where non White s tudents are referred as ELLs and need to be transitioned to English by 4 th grade when they are test ed in English only (Darling Hammond, 2010). These tests, designed by Whites, for White English speakers, are never a true and fair measurement of the academi c proficiencies of bilingual students. Concepts coming together: Language and cultural experiences of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children living in a predominantly English setting BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals live in a ling uistic environment that is predominantly English. They are coerced to suppress one half of their identity. This is done through the ideology of education, most prevalent through the he gemony of English (Gramsci, 1971 ; Shannon, 1999) observed in the implementation of bilingual policies in the United States. The hegemony of English, supported by political, cultural, and social factors surrounding language status within society (Bourdieu, 2003), continues to marginalize BFLA Spanish English Mexican Amer ican bilinguals To study the profile of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals across the elementary school years, this research study will closely examine the linguistic environments surrounding these children as suggested by cological theory The study will also look at the process es that ensure that harmonious bilingual development is achieved and maintained for this group of bilingual

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74 children. The close study of childr e suggested by Bronfenbren ner (1979). Applying Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) I suggest some of the ways in which harmonious bilingual development can be achieved and maintained even with the current bilingual policies in place. Definition of Key T erms In t his section I will define some of the key terms that will be used frequently throughout the discussion of the research study. BFLA Bilingual First Language Acquisition (BFLA) is a term first introduced by Merril Swain (1976) in a brief summary of her dissertation work. It is the development of languages in young children who are exposed to two spoken languages since birth. Prior work, linguists referred to BFLA as simultaneous bilingualism (Bialystok, 2001, 2006). BFLA children acqui re two firs t languages simultaneously from birth. Wolck (1987/88) refers to these languages as Language A and Language Alpha rather than majority and minority languages because BFLA children are exposed to both languages simultaneously. Therefore, these la nguages are given equal importance in their linguistic repertoire. Even though these children may acquire the two first languages simultaneously, their proficiency in the two languages may differ as they continue to develop linguistically. Some BFLA childr en may be equally proficient communicators in Language A and Language Alpha. Others may develop linguistically to be only effective listeners in Language A; yet, they are proficient speakers in Language Alpha. The latter group is known as passive bilingua ls (Yamamoto, 1995). There are also groups of BFLA children who become proficient communicators of both languages but are literate only in one. All of the described examples

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75 of BFLA children are thus not experiencing harmonious bilingual development (De Ho uwer, 2009). Although scholars in the bilingual field may argue that simultaneous bilinguals are BFLA speakers, there are subtle differences in the two terms. One of the most important differences which is the key element of this study lies in the identit y of these bilinguals. While the term simultaneous bilinguals fails to give recognition to the linguistic abilities of the speakers, the term BFLA Spanish English children focus es on the importance of language abilities as part of the bilingual identities of the children. In this study, the term s BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children/bilinguals are used because the identity of being first language speakers of Spanish and E nglish, and of having Mexican and American identities are both important elements in the repositioning of bilinguals. Their linguistic abilities and their heritage and cultural practices become a part of their being, their identities Bilinguals in Amer ica Mexican bilinguals Other bilinguals (non Mexican descent) BFLA Spanish English ELA/ELL Figure 3.1: Summary of bilingual identities in America The BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals that I worked with are different from the BFLA children that De Houwer (2009) worked with. My focused population comes from a marginalized group who do not have access to resources while De Houwer worked with BFLA children who had access to language resources. Th erefore, the profile of the BFLA children that I worked with differs from the profiles of children that De

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76 Hower worked with. However, through my dissertation and future work I hope to demonstrate how rtunity to achieve harmonious bilingual development. H armonious Bilingual Development Harmonious bilingual development is a desirable state of bi linguistic development where BFLA children become balanced in two first languages (De Houwer, 2009) This me ans that BFLA children can speak two language like native speakers and grow up learning to read and write in both systems of languages proficiently. In Colorado, achieving and maintaining harmonious bilingual development can prepare Mexican American biling uals to be global citizen s where they are ready and able to contribute to the American work force. My study aims to reveal how BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals have the potential to achieve harmonious bilingual development. Predomin antly E nglish only environments Predominantly English only environments refer to the settings in which BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are immersed. In the United States, English is e used in schools. It is the language of commerce used for business and trade. Even at home, English may be the language of communication due to the presence of older siblings or working parents who may be bilinguals who are predominantly English speakers. BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are at risk of losing their heritage language, Spanish as they continue to live in the shadows of the White majority English speaking monolinguals. This study looks at how BFLA Spanish English Mexican Ameri can bilinguals

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77 attempt to maintain harmonious bilingual development of the societal language, English, and the heritage language, Spanish, while living in predominantly English only environments. Methods From this section forward, I will discuss the metho dologies involved in the qualitative research study that I started in the fall of 2014. I wil l highlight the research design and the sampling scheme. I will also include a short summary of my personal beliefs and how the beliefs might influence my study to a small extent. I will also discuss the reliability and validity of my study, and provide brief information about the data collected. In this section I will also highlight the data collection procedure s as well as the data analysi s procedure s with their accompanying assumptions. In the chapter that follows, I will then present the data collected followed by an analysi s of the data from the research study. This study looked at the experiences of twelve BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children An ur ban elementary school situated in a low income nei ghborhood in Denver, Colorado, wa s selected as the main site for data collection. The neighborhood in which the chosen school is situated, discussed extensively in Chapter 1 under the section, Hist o riography of Globeville tells powerful stories of identity, survival, and achievement overcoming the odds. The Hist o riography of Globeville plays a significant role in situating the data to be presented in the next two chapter s Bronfenbrenner (1979) argu es that setting plays a key role in telling the story of language acquisition among children. With this in mind, the story of Globeville is c rucial in situating the stories of the stud ent participants in this dissertation In this section details on des ign of the study, the data collection procedures and analyses are described. This is with consideration of the limitations and delimitations that the

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78 study may have. It is also accomp anied by the Although this is a qualitative study th at focused on only twelve children who attended the elementary school I did look at three different grade levels in an urban elementary school to support the analyses drawn. The voices of their teachers and parents as well as the neighborhood in which the y are immersed in have also been considered in the da ta collection and later, analysi s procedures. and in the context of this study, that famous saying stands true. It is crucial to note that beca use I am working with a marginalized population who not only belong to the lower socio economic income group, they are also racially marginalized for belonging to a minority population group. Besides these marginalizations, the student participants are bil inguals, which again raise s doubts to their linguistic abilities to succeed in school, bearing in mind that monolingual English is normalized in the United States. The negative labels that have been attached to the identities of the student participants in clude ELL, ELA, language minorities, and failures at school Because of these factors, it becomes crucial to uncover the bilingual voices of students who are usually overlooked and whose strengths and assets are often masked by quantitative assessments of their language and literacy abilities. his/her surroundings. Some may describe it as a bottom up approach, beginning with the student participant, his/her family, as their lan guage usage is spread through community interactions, and later influenced by policies imposed upon society through schools. Others may argue that it is a top down approach, beginning with language policies and ending with

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79 the child. In this study, I will demonstrate that it is a two pronged approach. The language acquisition of a child is impacted in both directions, bottom up and top down. Two pronged approach: Language Acquisition and Impact Society (policies) Community (Globeville and school) Family (immediate and extended members) Individual (student participant) example, Mexican American parents are picking up English as their children attend American public schools, a tren d briefly discussed in chapter 1 Historiography of Globeville. Community activities are changing in Globeville to accommodate the changing dem ographic of the emerging bilinguals. Finally, policies are changing to try to better meet the learning needs of bilinguals. This is reflected in the frequent changes made to the bilingual policies in the United States. Likewise, a Mexican American bilingua l child is affected by the language choice of his/her immediate family members at social gatherings. The community, Globeville, determines the trade language used around the neighborhood. Finally, the larger society, Americans, determine the language choic e and language preference that a Mexican American bilingual child may choose to develop over time.

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80 Research Design The study describes the meaning behind a social issue bilingualism and marginalization that a group of BFLA Spanish English M exican American bilinguals faced as a community in America. In th is study, data collection began within the focus participants natural setting, the field sites where participants experience d challenges of bilingual language acquisition (Creswell, 2013). I became the key instrument for data collection where I examined documents, observed behaviors, and interviewed the student participants. The interview questions were self developed and later co constructed with the student participants (Creswell, 2013). Two main reasons that I decided to implement a qualitative study include 1) the need to explore the issues of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals experiencing bilingualism and bi culturalism in America, and 2) the need to empower the focus participants to share their stories, to hear their voices, and to minimize the power relation that often exist between researcher and participant. These reasons are also cited in Cres well (2013). This is a qualitative research study that integrates two approaches. Th ese approaches suggested by Creswell (2013) are phenomenology and observations. This study is guided by the boundaries set within the mentioned approaches. The reason why the study needs to consider two approaches is because there is no one approach that b est fit s the study. A phenomenological study describes the common meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a phenomenon and this description revolves around the experiences of the focused population (Moustakas, 1994). Phenomenology is considered because the studying of the phenomenon of shared experiences among BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children across a selected elementary school in the Denver Public School District

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81 (DPS) makes up a significant part of th e study. The share d experience of being BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children experiencing bilingualism and biliteracy in DPS and maintaining harmonious bilingual develo pment in and out of the school wa s pivot al to the study. As I studied this phenomenon, I also lo ok ed closely at their cultural pract ices in the classroom, on the play ground, and at home with regard to language usage and language 1994). Therefore, I inevitably in tegrated observations, done in and out of the classrooms, into the study. Even though I started as a non participant observer in several classrooms at Swansea Elementary School in the Globeville neighborhood, I eventually became a participant observer as I got to know the student participants better. However, in the final stages of the data collection, I had to distance myself as I bega n to draw analyses to my study. I focused my analyses and discussion around a few carefully selected student pa rticipants, twelve to be exact. Sampling Scheme ative inquiry (Creswell, 2013). They included maximum variation, opportunistic, combination, and convenience. In maximum variation, I used various variations of documents of individuals and sites were selected and documented based on specific characteristics that fit my research criteria. In my study, I was work ing with BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals studying in a public elementary school. How ever, since 95% of the student population was Mexican Ameri can and/or bilinguals, finding BFLA Spanish English

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82 establish the BFLA identitie s of the tw elve focus participants I ended up working with. Documentation such as test scores were used to establish their identities. In opportunistic, I follow ed new leads and took advantage o f the unexpected lead that came up as I interact ed with the student part icipants. Even though I prepared a set of interview questions that I planned to ask the focus participants their family members, and teachers, these questions were mere guidelines that I used to guide me in my research. Often, the interview sessions were led by the participants who offered personal narratives that formed a part of my data. In combination, I did triangulation to meet multiple interests and needs, and in convenience, I save d time, money, and effort. The sites that I selected for data colle ction were areas where the BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals carried out thei r routines. The chosen sites were also where social interactions among teachers, peers, and family members took place. Their school, Swansea Elementary Schoo l, in the Globeville neighborhood, wa s the main site for data collection where they spent most of their daytime interacting with their peers and teachers in a formal setting. Areas within the school premise s where informal interaction occurred included the lunch room, playground, and gymnasium. I also observed them at breaks and lunc htime where they spent time at play, in these informal set tings. The last site that I selected wa s their homes where they were observed socializing with immediate family members as wel l as extended family members who came to visit on weekends. As I observed them in their natural environments (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), I was able to better profile them. Data from my observations was triangulated with the interviews I conducted with the stu dent participants, teachers, and immediate family members. I also used

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83 documentation and artifacts that provided information on language polici es for the targeted group. This data helped me address both research questions. In the next section, I present t he data collection procedures which included the process of becoming acquainted with Swansea and the participants. I a lso highlight how the data was collected after I got into Swansea and into the classroom s of the twelve focus participants Sites and Par ticipants Getting into Swansea Elementary School as a researcher was not easy. Even though I had worked with Mexican American children prior to this study, I was still just an international student who neither grew up nor attended high school in Colorado. a network of contacts to help me gain access into DPS. However, I have a dedicated mentor who has been in this field for several years. She, Dr. Shannon, got in touch with one of her ex students who helped me get in touch with the assistant p rincipal at Swansea Elementary School. With the right networking c ontact, I managed to get into Swansea Elementary School and the opportunity to work with the twelve student participants who opened my eyes as I began data collection for this research. To ensure that sufficient data was collected, I went to Swansea Elementary School every day during the fall semeste r of 2014. I started from the second week of their academic year. That was in the second week of September, and I stayed through the second wee k of November. I was in the school from 8:30 a.m. and stayed till 2:30 p.m. daily. On certain special days such as class outing days, Halloween and parent teacher conference days, I stayed longer to observe informal social interactions among the student p articipants. I also

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84 accompanied the student participants on class trips where I collected data based on criti cal incidents The critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) is made up of a set of procedures where data collection is done through the observation of human behaviors. However, these observations were planned in such a way that they facilitate d the potential usefulness in addressing the two research questions for my study. The mentioned observations were carefully planned each observation day at Swansea Elementary School to ensure that the observed incidents had special significance and meet the spec ifically defined criteria of the study. These criteria included identity, both self and perceived, language maintenance, language loss, and lan guage preference, as well as opportunities that reflected methodologies for harmonious bilingual development and maintenance for BFLA Spanish English Mexica n American bilinguals. (These will be discussed in the later section.) On top of the daily visits to Swansea Elementary School where I collected most of the data, I also visited the homes of the student participants. Besides the visits at school and at home, I also conducted interview sessions with the student participants, their teachers, and their imme diate family members to find out more about their language usage and language preference in school and at home. The data from these interviews helped me understand how BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals have been repositioned as I looked at their self identities and corroborate d the data with their perceived identities. Besides looking at identities, self and perceived, I also looked at the practices that had been put in place at school and at home to help BFLA Spanish English Mexican America n bilinguals maintain harmonious bilingual development. I also looked at some of the practices that the student participants themselves

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85 had been practicing and are planning to put into practice to maintain their bilingualism and biliteracy. Interviews were conducted individually and in small groups. Observations and interview sessions were video recorded as well as voice recorded using an iPad mini for class and informal observations, and a Sony camcorder and voice recorder for formal intervi ews. Data collection ceased once I discovered a pattern as the data saturated. The data is presented in the form of narrative stories where the researcher and the student participants co construct ed a story to convey a point (Riessman, 2008). In the data collection, the focus participants shed light on their self and perceived identities which helped me address the research question on the re positioning of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. Data Collection Procedures To address the first research question, I adopted a bottom up approach where data collection began with the student participants themselves. I looked at how the student self identify. This wa s followed by the data from family members which include d parents, sibli ngs, and extended family members who frequently visit on weekends. Finally, I looked at data from the community and society which include d teachers and teacher aid es that the student participants socialize d with on a regular basis. Because t he first resear ch question looked at profiles of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children, I have decided that the best way to profile these chil dren would be to look at both self identity and perceived identity, beginning with self and how it impacts perceived identity. Therefore, a bottom up approach best helped me address the first research question.

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86 To address the s econd research question, I adopted the top down approach where I bega n data collection from the community, followed by family, and then I look ed at how the student participants themselves attempt ed to maintain bilingualism and in the process hindered harmonious bilingualism. The reason why a top down appro ach wa s more effective than a bottom up in the data presentation is that th e policies imposed by the state and district impact the curricula carried out at elementary schools which directly dictate d the strategies adopted by families and student participants to maintain harmonious bilingual development. Therefore, a top down approach best help ed me address the second research question. The data collection procedure s included observations (classroom and based on critical incidents), interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials. I interviewed three sets of participants, the students in the kinde rgarten, third, and fifth grade classrooms, some of their parents who were keen to participate in the study, and their teachers and teacher aid e s with whom they interact with on a regular basis. Below were the list of interview questions that I used as gui delines to help me address the research questions as I found out more the profiles of the student participants, their language use, and ways they were practicing to achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development. Student Participants There were thr ee groups of student participants that I worked with for the research study. I worked with the kindergarteners aged 5 6 years old, third graders, aged 9 10 years old, and fifth graders aged 11 12 years old. All of the student participants were co selected by their teachers and me. Their teachers made sugg estions based on three criteria: 1) they were Mexican Americans 2) they spoke English and Spanish before coming to school and 3) they were interested and willing to participate in the study

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87 The greater challenge was ensuring that the selected student participants were indeed BFLA Spanish English children. For the kindergarteners, selections were based on a school assessment conducted to confirm that the kindergarteners indeed had exposure to English prio r to school. For the third and the fifth graders, the presence of an older sibling who spoke English at home or who had at least one parent who spoke English were used as criteria. Once the student participants were selected, I started observing them in t heir classrooms. In the mornings, beginning with breakfast, I stayed with the kindergarteners. I even joined them for lunch. After that, I mov ed on to the third graders for m ath lessons, and then to the fifth graders for social studies/ r eading lessons, th en back to the third graders for Science lessons before going back to the fifth graders for m ath lessons. In the last period, I joined the Kindergarteners for either physical e ducation lessons or music lessons. I would follow the student participants, obse rving their social interaction patterns. I would also take note of their language choice and language preference. This was the daily routine for the data collection procedure conducted in the fall of 2014. At the end of the fall 2014, I interviewed the stu dent participants. The list of guiding questions that I asked the twelve student participants is listed below. These questions have been categorized into three areas. They were ice breakers which gave me the opportunity to get to know them better. After t he ice breaker, I moved on to community where I focused on questions to know more about their cultures and routines. Thirdly, I asked questions that helped me find out about their language preference. Finally, I asked questions that looked at their linguis tic identity. Ice breaker s Tell me about yourself?

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88 How do you identify yourself? (Mexican, American, Mexican American) What classes are you taking this year? Which class do you like best, why? Which class do you like the least, why? Community: Culture/ Routines What do you do in your free time? Do you like to watch television? (Y/N) What is your favorite program? What language is it in? (E/S) Why do you like it best? What about books? Do you like to read? (Y/N) Do you read with your parents/ siblings? (Y/N) If yes, tell me more about the books you read. Language Preference When you hang out with friends, what language do you use? (E/S/B) How often do you use (Spanish/English)? (Dependent on previous answer.) When you hang out with family, what language do you use? (E/S/B) Do you have a preference, why? (Y/N) Linguistic Identit y How long have you been in Swansea? (1/2/3/4/5 years) When you communicate with your teachers, what language do you use? (E/S/B) How long have you be en using English? (1 3, 3 5, 5 7, 7 9, 9 11 years) Do you speak English at home? (Y/N) If yes, when did you start speaking English and with whom? If no, what language do you speak at home?

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89 Besides the guiding questions listed above that were asked at inter view sessions, I also took note of their social int eraction patterns which ga ve me insights to their language choice and language preference. I then cross referenced their language choice to their language preference. Family I also went to the homes of some of the student participants who were involved in the study. I could not go to all their homes but I visit ed five homes from across the different levels, kindergarteners, third graders, and fifth graders. When I was in the homes of the student partici pants I took note of the number of family members living in the household, the general cleanliness of the houses, the language choices for social interactions with different family members, and the presence of a study corner or books in the house. I aske d several questions with regard to home language and preferred language for home entertainment. Below is a list of the interview questions that I asked when I conducted the home visits. The goal is to get to know more about the student language use and home language preference to address the first research question. Like the previous set of questions, these were also guiding questions that look at what some of the current practices at home are to help the student participants maintain ha rmonious bilingual development. Who does (name of child) use English with? Who does (name of child) use Spanish with? What is the home language preference? Is bilingualism important? Why is bilingualism important?

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90 What are you doing to help maintain (name of child) maintain English and Spanish? sharing with me? Educators At the end of fall 2014, I interviewed the teachers and teacher aid e s that I worked with to find out more about the bilingual curriculum offered by the school, and more about the student participants that I was working with. The voices of the teachers and the teacher aid e s form a huge part of my data which later shape d my analyses. Some of the guiding qu estions that I asked the teachers included: What do you think is the language preference of (name of student)? Can you share with me your views on the English ability of (name of student)? Can you share with me your views on the Spanish ability of (name of student)? Do you think bilingualism is important? Why? What are you doing to help your students maintain bilingualism? Besides interviewing the participants, I also observed them and th eir social interactions. All of the sessions, interviews and observations, were recorded using my personal video recorder, voice recorder, and ipad. Below is a summary of the data collection procedures that I adopted for the purpose of the study.

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91 Table 3.1: Summary of Data Collection Procedures Approaches Nature of the data Rationales Observations Gather field notes first by then by moving into the setting Critical incident is also another procedure that I adopted as I gather field notes from observations to portray the themes of identitie s. This is analyzed in chapter 4 and 5. I want to be able to celebrate the voices of the participants as well as the researcher; therefore, it is crucial to begin as an participants on a more personal level before coming in as an Critical incident allows me to look for specific situations and report on those observations. Because of my previous experience working with similar focus participants I was prepared to note down specifics when I do my observations with the focus group. Interviews Condu ct a semi structured interview, audiotape the interview, and transcribe the interview. The interview will be guided to help me better profile my participants and to understand their culture and practices. As I am hoping to address two specific research questions, I need to go in knowing what I want to focus on. Audiovisual Materials Videotape or film social situation. Examine favorite possessions. This is to allow me to go back to the data as I make references in the later part of my analysis.

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92 Data Analysis Assumptions According to Thomas (2003), data analysis assumptions are determined by research objectives, and multiple readings and interpretations of raw data. Listed below are the assumptions made in this study. 1) Primary code of analysis is the development of categories from raw data into a framework that captures key themes. 2) The research findings result from multiple interpretations by the researcher and participants. They are shaped by the assumptions and shared experiences of the researcher and the participants. 3) Trustworthiness of findings can be accessed by a range of techniques such as (a) comparison of findings with previous research, (b) triangulation within a project, and (c) feedbacks from participants. Data Analysis Procedures This section highlights the data analysis procedures that I adopted. There are three basic analysis stages. They consist of preparing and organizing the data, followed by reducing the data into themes through a process of coding a nd condensing the codes, and finally representing the data. Creswell suggests an adaptation from three source s, Madison (2005), Huberman and Miles (1994), and Wolcott (1994); this study considers an analytic strategy that incorporates the two approaches, p henomenology and observations, as discussed in Creswell (2013). Preparing and Organizing I started this process by first looking at all the notes that I took on my ipad and matched them up with the videos that I recorded on all my audio and visual device s. I created

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93 folders on my laptop as I matched up the notes and visuals according to themes. The folders that I created were broken first by levels, then by participants, followed by major concepts that I was looking at, namely 1) profiles, 2) language use and 3) harmonious bilingualism. I began to summarize each folders with short notes for easy referencing. Describing and Classifying Data As I continued to describe my notes for easy referencing, I further classified my data into three major categories, 1) participants describing their personal experiences, 2) describing social settings, participants, and events, and finally 3) describing the case and context. I made careful notes and identified patterns on a weekly basis as I took note of the various th emes that occurred. Interpreting Data As I began to interpret the data that I collected, I considered the theoretical frameworks that I used for this study (highlighted in the first half of this chapter). I also drew from the literature read (highlighted in chapter2). I then began to develop t extual descriptions of what happened during the observation and interview sessions and made connections to culture using direct interpretations and naturalistic generalizations. Representing and Visualizing Data I ch ose to utilize the visuals that I took of the participants in their natural setting, at home and at school. I also took visual evidence of their classrooms and neighborhood to better reflect their profiles and demonstrate how these environments nurture them as BFLA children. I also used tables to summarize my narrative style of writing as I presented my data. Below is a summary of the data analysis procedure that I adopted for this study.

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94 Table 3.2: Summary of Data Analysis Procedures Data Analysis and Representation Analytic Strategy Procedu res Data Organization Reading and Memoing 1) Create and organize files for data 2) Sketching Ideas 3) Note Taking 4) Summarizing Notes Making notes on iPad and highlighting certain descriptions. Write keynotes, and attaching summary sheets on keynotes and highlighted descriptions. Describing and Classifying Data into Codes/Themes Identifying Codes Describe personal experiences (phenomenon) Describe social settings, actors, and events. Describe case and context. Make abstract coding daily, and identify pattern weekly. Take note of themes. Interpreting Data Relate Categories to Analytic Framework in Literature. Develop text ual description of what happens, structural description of how it happens (phenomenon) Interpret how the culture works using direct interpretations and naturalistic generalizations (ethnography & case study) Contextualize with frame work from literature r eview in c hapter two. Representing/ Visualizing Data Displaying Data Create graphs or pictorial representations for summary. Compare and contrast findings and anal ysis with literature discussion Adopt narrative style of writing. Personal Values, Beliefs, and Assumptions I am a Singaporean multilingual with three first languages, two of which are heritage languages, and the third is a societal language. Being a multilingual speaker with more than one first language I truly identif y with the student participants I worked with. Like them, I

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95 am a minority multilingual immigrant in Colorado, United States. Being a non local, non Coloradoan, I have a different set of values and beliefs regarding bilingualism and multilingualism compared to the monolingual majority of Coloradoan. In Singapore where I grew up, bilingualism and multilingualism are celebrated, or at least my linguistic abilities are celebrated. As I observed the power relations between education and class status in Colorado since the time I arrived here, I notice d that social, cultural, and political factor s were three main themes to be analyzed closely as I studied the data. Like the student participants that I worked with, I too straddle between different heritage cultures and languages. Because of my unique cultural heritage and multilingual background, I am drawn to the student participants and am able to identify with their unique predicaments. However, I must highlight that despite being a multilingual, Spanish is not o ne of my heritage languages. I come from a privileged background where I acquired my multilingualism. Growing up, I did not experience symbolic violence the way these student participants have. However, as I move d to America, I began to experience marginal ization because of my multilingualism and my Asian status. Because of my unique multilingual and multicultural background, I became interested in the Mexican American community when I was preparing for my MA Thesis in May 2010. I began to work closely wi th the Mexican American community as I was involved in several after school tutoring programs, a part of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy. I was tutoring in several Aurora Public School (APS) and Denver Public School (DPS) programs. The tutoring prog rams allowed me to work closely with the Mexican American children, and that was when I began to notice their bilingualism and bi culturalism. I continued to work

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96 with the Mexican American community when I began my Ph.D work under the tutelage of Dr. Shann on, my mentor. We went into one of the DPS schools to observe bilingualism in a fourth grade classroom. In that classroom, I interacted with several of the Mexican American bilingu als, some of whom were BFLA Spanish English children. I also worked with ano ther professor at a different elementary school with a different group of Mexican American children from first, second and third grades, and again some of these students were BFLA Spanish English children. All of the work I did prior to the start of my di ssertation research founded the groundwork for my research study. I became very comfortable with the Mexican American community by the time I started on my dissertation research. I quickly assimilated and integrated myself into the three bilingual classroo ms that I was working in. My role as a non participant observer moved quickly to one of a participant observer because I was culturally aware of the needs of my student participants. Reliability and Validity Some researchers have contended that qualitativ e research has garnered much recom mends qualitative researchers engage in at leas t two of eight validation strategies in any given study. In this research, I considered four of the eight suggested validation strategies. The four validation strategies are: 1) prolonged engagement and persistent observation, 2) triangulation,

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97 3) rich, thick description, and 4) peer review or debriefing. With prolonged engagement and persistent observation in the field, I built trust with my participants as I learned more about their cultures and practices. This also allowed me to check for misinformation that may stem from distortion introduced by the inf ormants or even myself in the analysis process (Ely et al., 1991; Erlandson, Haris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993; Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1998). However, this strategy 2010) which may be a limitation in my study. Therefore, the next validation strategy, triangulation is pivotal to ensure validation in this qualitative research. In triangulation, the researcher make use of multiple and different sources, methods, inve stigators, and t heories to provide corroborating evidences (Ely et al., 1991; Erlandson, Haris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993; Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 1980, 1990). In this study, I collected dat a from studen t participants and corroborated that data with the data I collected from their immediate family members, teachers, peers, and documents that are made public. I began to code the data into various themes as I triangulated information to provide validity to my findings. However, I was also aware that most of the data collection approaches might be bias ed Therefore, a third validation strategy, peer review or debriefing is necessary. Peer review or debriefing provides an external check of the research process (Ely et al., 1991; Erlandson, Haris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993; Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1998). Lincoln and Guba (1985) de fine the role of the peer as a someone who keeps the researcher honest In this study, I invited my

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98 advisor and mentor, Dr. Shannon, to be the peer debriefer. The other me mbers of my dissertation community were also a part of this process. Finally, the fourth validation strategy that I considered was providing rich, thick description. This strategy allowed readers to make decisions regarding transferability (Ely et al., 1991; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1998). I provided details of the participants and settings. With detailed descriptions, I enabled readers to transfer i nformation to other settings (Erlandson et al., 1993, p. 32). Reliability can be address ed in several ways in qualitative research studies (Silverman, 2005). Rel iability can be enhanced with detailed field notes. These n otes are best captured with a high quality tape recorder, and by transcribing the recording. Silverman suggests intercoder agreement, which talks about the use of multiple coders to analyze transcr ipt data. In this study, different code names are used based on the three themes that the analysis will highlight. They are 1) identity, 2) language maintenance, language loss, and language preference, and 3) harmonious bilingual development for BFLA Spani sh English Mexican American bilinguals. Limitations Here, I will highlight some of the limitations of my study. Limitations refer to the influences that the researchers can not control. They are the short comings, conditions, or influences that cannot be co ntrolled by the researchers that place restrictions on the methodology and conclusions. The five areas of limitations are the analysis, nature of reporting, the instruments utilized, the sample size, and time constraints.

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99 Analysis This study hopes to put forward the voices of the participants. Because it hopes to do perspective, but it also considers the voice of the participants and puts forth in the analysis process o f the study. Nature of reporting As highlighted, this is a qualitative research study that hopes to value the voices of the researcher and already marginalized participants. The nature of reporting may not be the voices of mainstream Americans. It is in the form of a nar rative, also referred as story telling. These are ofte n considered as non mainstream epistemology, and may be perceived as biased. However, the bias is necessary to bring forward a different kind of epistemology that highlights a non mainst ream culture and identity as these BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are repositioned within the predominantly White monolingual English speaking American society. Instruments utilized T he instruments used in the study are personal instr uments that the researcher owns. Basic recording tools such as a voice recorder and video recorder are used to collect data in and out of Swansea Elementary. The quality of the recordings may not be the best quality, but they do convey the essence of the s tudy adequately. Sample size The sample size is small, and findings from it cannot be generalized. One of the limitations of this small sample size is that the profile of bilingual children changes as the policies surrounding education and immigration ch ange Therefore, the profiling that I have

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100 concluded are based on the data that I have collected from this study and may not stay current with newer policies and classroom practices that are put in place. Time constraints Being a foreign student, my time in Colorado for data collection is limited and constrained by the duration that I can afford to be in Colorado. I spent one semester for data collection, but I was more than willing to extend another semester for data collect ion to ensure that enough data wa s collected for analysis. Things not done and why Although this study is looking at bilingualism and Mexican Americans, it does not look at all Mexican American bilinguals. It only considers Mexican Americans who are BFLA children. This means that they are Spanish English bilinguals from birth due to language exposure not only from school as a contributing linguistic setting, but also from home language exposure. Literature not reviewed and why Currently, the literature is saturated with studie s that l ooked at bilingualism and /or Mexican Americans. However, the literature that looks at BFLA Spanish English children is limited as the topic is just emerging in the United States. This is because of the changing demographic and profile of Mexican Americans. BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children are becoming a more recent phenomenon. Therefore, the literature that I reviewed looks at the past ten year s from 2004 through today. Three major themes that the review considered include: (1) linguistic ide ntities of Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States, (2) English only schooling environments, and (3) bilingual education policies from social, cultural, and political perspectives.

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101 Population not studied and why This study focuses only on BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. This is because the goal of this study to reposition them based on their profiles. It looks at their identities, self and perceived identities. Summary of Methodology This is a qualitative research study that involved long hours of participation e Spanish English bilingualism wa s likely to occur. Data was collected over a period of one semester, fall 201 4, in classrooms, homes, play group s and/or the playground s of student participants. development is to observe them in their natural settings, these areas have been se lected to best observe Spanish English bilingualism. Fall 2014 was selected as it marks the first semester for the academic year, a fresh beginning for students. To ensure that social, cultural, and political factors are considered in my analysis, I worke d with BFLA Spanish English Mexican Americans from various age groups, and from both gender norms. Initially, I did considered socio economic status (SES) in my study as I tried to look at BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children from different SES g roups. However, all of the student participants come from similar SES background. Since this is a qualitative study that adopts a critical theory perspective, I am concerned with empowering human beings to transcend the constraints placed on them by race data. Data collection techniques such as interviews with student participants, their parents

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102 (immediate family members with particular attention to older siblings and co usins), and teachers are used to triangulate the observations I make. Other forms of data such as documents and artifacts that look at current school policies, state and district policies, and home practices of language usage are considered for triangulati on. The policies reviewed are policies that impacted language use for Mexican American bilinguals in Denver, Colorado. The practice of using a social justice interpretive framework (Creswell, 2013 ) is considered for the research as I continually remind myself that the aim of the research is to help me better understand BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals across the elementary schools years in Colorado. Their positionality in terms of their hierarchy, hegemony, racism, unequal p ower relations and identity were some of the factors that I considered as I look ed at their profile. The data collected are the co construction of accounts by participants and researcher. In conclusion, this chapter looked at the methodologies involved in the qualitat ive research study that I conducted in the fall of 2014. In the next two chapters, I will present the data that I collected back then, and discussed some of the findings based on interviews and observations. I will also introduced the student participants that I worked with, using their voices to bring forth counter stories of their struggles, straddling between two languages, cultures, and identities.

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103 CHAPTER IV RESULTS FROM RESEARCH QUESTION (1) Self and Perceived Identities This chapter addressed the first research question: What are the profiles of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals across the elementary school years? In this chapter, I highlighted some of the key findings regarding the stude nt rofiles. Here I presented data on how the focus participants self identified, and how their identities were perceived by their teachers and immediate family members. Data presentation was divided into three sections. The first focused on the kindergartene rs, the second ar e the third graders, and lastly the fifth graders. These three levels were chosen because I wanted to capture data that reflected who these BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children were in their first year at school, as they progres sed through elementary school, and at the end of their elementary school journey. These levels were significant to look at repositioning BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children in elementary school in the United States as they demonstrated how the i dentities of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals evolved over the duration of their elementary school years. BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children are the new and emerging group of bilinguals who are different from both second langua ge learners of English, and simultaneous bilinguals. BFLA children acquire their two first languages simultaneously from birth either by accidental exposure or through conscious effort made by family members to communicate with their children bilingually. Communication and exposure could happen via conversations or even television and Internet exposure to both languages on

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104 a daily basis. Either way, these children acquired communicative language skills in both Spanish and English prior to attending elementa ry school. Establishing the identity of BFLA Spanish English children was a challenge especially since I did not know the children prior to school. However, I based my conclusions that the twelve student participants are BFLA Spanish English Mexican Americ an bilinguals based on three indicators. The first was using the teache rs as reference. The second was identity, and finally, for the group of kindergarteners only, a test conducted by the school as an indicator of a ccess to English language prior to school. Results from interviews, home observations and documentations also revealed that the kindergarteners came from low income families. This was based on home visits co nducted as well as their zip code records at s chool. All of the kindergarteners were also on free and reduced lunch at school. Despite coming from a less privileged background, they demonstrated their bilingual capabilities pr ior to school. This was reflected in the placement tests conducted by the sc hool two weeks into the start of fall 2014 Even though these kindergarteners came from low income families, they were performing well. I explored the concept of self identity with the student participants in the kindergarten classroom. Even though they were only between five and six years old, they were aware of who they were and what their linguistic abilities were. They also showed an awareness o f who they often spoke to, and the linguistic abilities of their interlocutors. Their

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105 Table 4.1: Kindergarteners aged 5 6 years old Names Age (yrs) Gender Self Identity Jes s 6 Male Mia 5 Female Yasmine x Female Jes s Jes s came from a single parent family with a working father who spent very little time with him. Jes s spent most of his free time at home with his cat which he named Cin co Ga to. Jes s was independent and often helped the teacher, Ms. S, to manage the class. Jes s also watched a lot of television at home. His favorite program was The Power Ranger s Like s up; reading, and his favorite book wa s Curious George. He admitted to preferring the English language when communicating with his peers. He used Spanish with friends who cartoon, and they live s Spanish because his father did not speak a lot of English. But when his friends visited him, he would switch to speaking English at home. Jes s was a b alanced bilingual who code switched seamlessly between English and Spanish depending on the interlocutors. He spoke Spanish with Ms. S and knew that he could

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106 only switch to English when Ms. S wore a blue scarf. But with me, Jes s used only English because know everything in Spanish, and English Language Development (ELD) class. According to Ms. S, Jes Spanish fluently and use d each language accurately. Jes s was always aware of his interlocutors and switched language s as he deemed fit. Ms. S also added that Jes English really well, and attemp ts to use new v ocab often Jes He went to Summer Scholar Program which focused on English development. From the pr ogram, it was observed that Jes s was able to transfer kn owledge from Spanish to English Mia Mia lived with both working pa rents, and they are self identified Chicanos. According to Samovar, Porter and Mc Daniel ( 2009 ), Chicanos are Latino s who have lost the ability to communi cate in Spanish over the years Mia spent most of her free time playing with her Barbie dolls and her pet dog. Like Jes s, Mia liked to watch television too. Her favorite programs were Frozen and s with me during the interview. She also liked reading. Her favorite books we re Clifford and Five Little Monkeys. Mia used more English than Spanish at school. Sometimes, when prompted by Ms. S, she would respond in Spanish Like Jes s, Mia was in the advanced ELD class. Mia has

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107 developed a language preference towards English. She used English most of the time, even when she was spoken to in Spanish. Ms. S described Mia as having a language preference for English. She admitted that English language. This was bas ed on the recent test scores that were conducted at school, which Ms. S shared with Yasmine Yasmine lived with both her parents and a cat in a trailer house. When I visited her home, her extended family was there. I interviewed her grandparents and her ten year old aunt. From them, I discovered that Yasmine loved watching English programs with her aunt and her mother. H er mother also read and spoke English with her at home. Her father did not speak English, and Yasmine often translated for him when they went shopping at Walmart. table of Y Spoken English Spoken Spanish Reading T.V. Programs Home Language Preference Mother 10 year old aunt Father Extended family members English with Mother English with Mother and aunt Spanish Yasmine was in the gifted program for Spanish where she attended Spanish lessons with other high ability Spanish s peaking students. Like both Jes s and Mia, Yasmine was

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108 also in the advanced class for E LD lessons. However, unlike Jes s and Mia who preferred English as the language for peer interaction, Yasmine preferred Spanish. But she admitted to speaking in both English and Spanish depending on her interlocutors. She claimed that she only used English when it was necessary. Yasmine loved reading too, and her favorite books were princess themed books. However, the books she enjoyed reading were not made available at the school library. Yasmine has developed a language preference for Spanish. She used Spanish most of the time; howeve r, she would switch to English when she was spoken to in English. Yasmine was not very confident of her spoken English because there were times during the interviews that she responded with Ms. S described Yasmine as having a language preference for Spanish when it came to classroom interactions. She added that Yasmine was at grade level for spoken English, and e is really Tables 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5 summarized the language pattern of the focus participants in the kindergarten classroom. Here, I reported on the language choices and language preferences for communication and for leisure. I also provided of the student language abilities as perceived by their teachers.

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109 Table 4.3: Language Choice/ Preference for Communication (Kindergarteners) Home language Peer language Language preference Jes s Spanish English & Spanish English Mia English English English Yasmine Spanish Spanish & English Spanish Table 4.4: Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure Language Preference Reading T.V. Programs Jes s English Curious George in English and Spanish The Power Ranger in English Mia English Clifford and Five Little Monkeys in English Frozen and Barney in English Yasmine Spanish Princess themed books in Spanish x

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110 Table 4.5: Summary of kindergarten student abilities as defined by their teachers. Child Language Preference English abilities Spanish abilities Jes s Spanish with teachers and friends. Sometimes, English is used. He is very aware of his interlocutors. He switches when needed. Really well. Attempts to use new vocab often. Really well. Goes to Summer Scholar Program which focuses on English development. He is able to transfer knowledge from Spanish to English. Mia English Strength. Doing really good in Oral. Ok. Ability to transfer knowledge between the two languages. Yasmine Spanish At grade level. Strength. Starting to read and write in Spanish. Really good at Spanish phonics. Kindergarteners: Self versus Perceived Identity One of the main themes that emerged frequently from the kindergartners was that of identity. In the paragraphs that followed I highlight ed occasion s where self identity impacted bilingualism for the kindergarteners. Jes rom Mexico. I speak in Spanish too. Two of those language s spoke English and Spanish proficiently. During the interview sessions, his teachers praised him for his fluency in both languages. Besides these praises, on several occasions, he translated for me because he was aware that I do not speak Spanish. He was also confident when communicating in either language. He demonstrated his bilingualism and his confidence switching between the languages as he

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111 volunteered to become my translator on the trip to Anderson Farm. His willingness and eagerness to become a translator was an indicator that he was proficient and confident of his bilingualism. He was also proud of his bilingualism because he made reference to his bilingualism to rationalize why he is American. Being bilingual and the fact that he spoke Spanish and English made up his identity, American with Mexican ancestry. So, while being American is a part of his identity, his father coming from Mexico, and his ability to speak English and Spanish w ere other aspects of his self identity as well. Jes s was not the only kindergartener who was proud to be bilingual. Mia and Yasmine were also proud of their bilingual identity. When we were on one of the learning journeys, at Anderson Farm, dual languag e communication took place between the farmers and the students, and the teachers and the students. While the farmers at Anderson Farm gave explanations on farming and farming processes in English, the teachers who came on the trip gave instructions in Spa nish. The tour guide who worked at Anderson Farm, Kathy, spoke Spanish, and the kindergarteners were excited when she demonstrated abilities to speak both speak Spanish During the learning journey at Anderson Farm, the three student participants had to process communications in both languages and respond ed appropriately. The farmers spoke in English while Kathy, the tour guide, spoke in Spanish and English. The three kindergarteners processed both languages and responded as required. The student linguistic status as balanced bilingual; bilinguals who are proficient in both langu age A (Spanish) and Language Alpha (English). Despite their respective self identity, all of them

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112 were proud of their bilingualism and were excited to communicate with other bilinguals. The focal kindergarteners felt encouraged to display their bilingualis m when their linguistic environment encouraged so, as observed at Anderson Farm. languages to communicate with different student participants. With Jes s and Mia, she us ed Jes Spanish to her (Patricia, one of his classmates) because she only speaks Spanish. I know everything in Spanish, and I tran s was describing one of his peers who did not speak English. In his exclamation, he was proud of his bilingual abilities. At the same time, he was also proud of his translation skills. Despite being bilingual, Jes s has a language preference. One clear example that showed his preference for English over Spanish was when I conducted a simple vocabulary task inviting the focal kindergarteners to name the nouns shown on the picture cards. They were allowed to name the objects in either language, and for Jes s, he named the objects in English, even when I questioned him in Spanish. One possibility to rationalize Jes language choice was his awareness of my weakness to communicate in Spanish; therefore, he chose English. However, he was aware that he had the choice to use either language, and he picked English. Another occasion where Jes s demonstrated his preference for English over Spanish was during an interactive reading lesson. Jes ish lesson, Jes s sp oke English first.

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113 However, Jes s code mi casa Here, Jes s not only demonstrated his language preference, he also demo nstrated that he wa s a balanced bilingual and that code switching was not conducted due to the lack of vocabulary; rather; it was done it by speaking English, he s witched to Spanish. His awareness that Ms. S spoke English and Spanish but may have a preference for one language over the other in certain settings pushed him to consciously pick the preferred language during class discussion. Because he was ignored when he responded in English, he switched to Spanish. After the interactive reading session, the kindergarteners were instructed to draw out the story they read and demonstrate how they identified with the story Jes s drew a boy wearing a Mexican straw hat, a nd another boy in a Buzz Lightyea r costume. He explained that Buzz Lightyear was the costume he wore for Halloween that year. Again Jes s demonstrated how he managed his dual identity, American and Mexican, drawing two boys donning different types of clot hing. In the above described scenarios, the focal kindergarteners expressed excitement when they were allowed to speak either language. However, when their language choice was controlled by their interlocutors or/and their social environments, it caused a shift in their identities, limiting their opportunities for bilingualism. Bilingualism from Kindergarten: Language Maintenance versus Language Loss Of the three kindergarteners that I observed, Mia has developed a clear preference for English. Her mothe r spoke of her concerns over this matter, and her fear that Mia might grow

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114 up losing Spanish and her heritage culture. During one of the library periods, the kindergarteners were sitting around reading a book. They were allowed to pick any book in any lang uage that they preferred. Ms. S had a small library corner in her classroom where she had about 80 books in a variety of sizes. Almost all the books in the class library were in two ver sions, English and Spanish. Jes s and Mia picked a book that had an aud io text. As they A second occasion where Mia displayed her preference for English was during a presentation. The kindergarteners drew their predi ction of a story end ing. All three student participants were called up to share their drawings. Yasmine presented in Spanish while Jes s first presented in English, but switched to Spanish upon request by the teacher because it was a Spanish language development lesson. Mia p resented in English and refused to continue the presentation when instructed to use Spanish. A third occasion where Mia displayed her preference for English was at one of th e library sessions. Mia and Jes s read a Spanish picture book. Together, they dis cussed the content of the book in Spanish. I was not a part of the discussion, but merely an observer on the side. Mia used pictorial cues, a skill that was taught in the interactive reading lesson conducted in the morning where the teacher and students re ad, then asked and answered questions about the read story together, to de cipher the content. She and Jes s were asking each other questions and responding in English. Even when spoken to in Spanish, Mia responded in English. Mia is what Yamamoto (1995) ma y refer as a passive bilingual, a bilingual who can only listen and understand one language but is not able to produce that language via speech during social interaction. However, I noted that Mia was not a passive bilingual for she was able to respond in Spanish when needed and with encouragement.

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115 There was once when she was bullied by another student, and she informed Ms. S of the incident in Spanish. That was the first time I heard Mia communicating in Spanish. In the three observed scenarios, Mia clear ly demonstrated her preference for English, of Spanish for Mia. Yasmine, unlike Mia, preferred Spanish to English. On several occasions, Yasmine chose to commun icate in Spanish; however, Yasmine has also demonstrated on as many occasions that she was able to communicate in English if she needed to. Yasmine often used Spanish to communicate with her peers and teachers. However, in ELD class where Yasmine was not allowed to use Span ish, she spoke only English. On the playground and in the lunchroom, Yasmine sat with her best friend, Eva, and they talked in Spanish. Yasmine was a balanced bilingual. On one occasion, in the lunchroom, Yasmine her best f riend, Eva, walked in, she told Eva the same information in Spanish. Here, Yasmine displayed her language preference, Spanish. In her comfortable and preferred social setting, she spoke Spanish; however, when it was necessary, she would use English to comm unicate. Jes s was a balanced bilingual at this age; however, his preference for English was apparent even though he was only about 5 years old. At a young age, Jes s has developed a preference for English. This was observed when he chose to use English over Spanish when the language choice became his to make. One example was his language preference in the lunchroom as he ate and communicated with his peers. He chose English over Spanish. Another observed example was when Ms. S wore the blue scarf around her neck, an

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116 indication that the kindergarteners could communicate in either English or Spanish. Jes s picked English. Third Graders This section looked at the profiles of the focus participants from the third grade classroom. In this section, I highligh ted some of the key findings regarding the student Table 4.6: Third graders aged 8 9 years old Names Age (yrs) Gender Self Identity Ann 9 Female George 8 Male my parents are Mexican, but we do Mexican and American stuff together, like tortilla and playing Tom s x Male Ann Ann lived with both of her parents and older siblings. She also had her cousins who lived nearby, and they came to visit her daily. Her parents did not speak a lot of English, and tors when they shopped at a near by Walmart. However, all of her older siblings and cousins spoke English at home, and they watched English programs when their parents were at work. Her uncle also spoke English, and I had the opportunity to interview him during the home visit. Despite being exposed to a lot of spoken English at home, Ann school. Below is a summary of her home language pa ttern.

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117 Spoken English Spoken Spanish Reading T.V. Programs Home Language Preference Siblings Cousins Uncle Parents X English English When asked about her preferred language, she said (This term was introduced by the student, herself. In fact, it was used by all the third graders.) She code switched between English and Spanish when she did not have the word in one language or the other. Ann claimed that she did not have any friends who were monolingual English speaker s Ann has developed a language prefer ence towards English. She often used English to communicate with her peers, but she would switch to Spanish when spoken to in Spanish with her teacher. Ms. U felt that Ann was strong in both English and Spanish. George George lived with both working parent s, and they are Mexicans. His mother spoke some English and listened well, but she felt more comfortable with Spanish. When I was at their home, George was the translator between his mother and me for most parts of the

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118 interview. His mother told me that he watched English programs with his brothers at home. However, when they watched television as a family, Spanish is the preferred language George was race conscious, referring to this concept as skin color. He used the term in his description of his favor ite television program that was in English. The program was about a school white and brown children attended. In that school, white and brown children did not talk to one another. He identified with the brown child in the show and felt sad language pattern. Table 4.8: Spoken English Spoken Spanish Reading T.V. Programs Home Language Preference Brothers Mother X English & Spanish Spanish He also spent most of his free time playing soccer with his friends and a brother, and sometimes with his dog, Chica. He claimed to give commands to the dog in popular Spanish of the USA (Otheguy & Stern, 2010) ntate (sit down) English because his med that he knew more English than Spanish. George preferred English to Spanish. Like Ann, he often used English to communicate with his peers. However, he would switch to Spanish when his teacher spoke to

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119 him. His teacher highlighted that George translat ed well between the two languages, English and Spanish. Tom s Toms loved Chinese food and enjoyed playing with friends during his free time. His favorite game was Tag. Like his peers, Ann and George, Tom s used a lot of popular Spanish of the USA (Oth eguy & Stern, 2010) at home. However, he did have a good friend who was a monolingual English speaker, and he used only English with this particular friend. He claimed that his language preference was English. He felt that it was important to speak in both English and Spanish. He used English to communicate with friends, but used Spanish to translate for his family, especially his mother. Tom s has developed a language preference towards English. He recognized the value of English in the society that he lived in. He used mostly English with his peers but switched to Spanish when he communicated with his tea cher. His teacher said that Toms was doing okay in English, but his strength was in Spanish. Table 4.9: Language Choice/ Preference Home language Peer language Language preference Fear of losing Spanish Ann English & Spanish English Spanglish Yes George Spanglish & Spanish English English & Spanglish Yes Tom s Spanish & Spanglish English English No

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120 Table 4.10: Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure Language Preference Reading T.V. Programs Ann Spanglish Reads in both. Writes autobiography in Spanish. x George English & Spanglish Reads adventure books in English. English programs. Tom s English Reads animal books in English. x Table 4.11: Summary of third grade student linguistic abilities as defined by their teachers. Child Language Preference English abilities Spanish abilities Ann English Strong in English Strong in Spanish George A lot of Spanish Translate well between the two languages Tom s A lot of Spanish Doing ok Strength Third Graders: Identity To establish that they were BFLA Spanish English as well, I asked the teachers to select third graders who had an older sibling or cousin who lived with them and who spok e English. Ann, George, and Tom s did. Because of the presence of an older sibling or cousin at home who spoke English, the probability that these third graders were exposed to English prior to attending school was mu ch higher. They would have heard English being watched at home or played over the Internet. They might also have heard English being used by their older sibling or cousin who lived with them. Therefore, they are concluded to be BFLA Spanish English Mexica n American bilinguals.

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121 Both Ann and George identified as Mexican Americans, but according to Ann, she preferred to speak Spanglish which Otheguy and Stern (2010) refer to as popular Spanish of the USA a mixture of English and Spanish, while George claim ed to prefer to s peak English and the popular Spanish of the USA (Otheguy & Stern, 2010) Tom s identified as an American who preferred English; however, he admitted to spe aking both Spanish and the popular Spanish of the USA (Otheguy and Stern, 2010) at h ome. Through their self identifications, I observed that no matter whether the third graders acknowledged their Mexican roots or otherwise, they all gave recognition to their bilingualism and their experience s as translator s They also recognized the popul ar Spanish of the USA (Otheguy & Stern, 2010) as part of their communicative culture, their social linguistic identity. Ann participated actively during a translation lesson that I observed as she made reference to home l anguage use. It was a s cience b ridging lesson used to help students make the connection between what they learned in the classroom about electricity and how it was used in their homes. In that lesson, both Spanish and English were used. During the lesson, even though there was no blue s carf as there was in the kindergarten classroom, the teachers did explicitly say that the third graders were going to translate a few phrases. The phrases were written on the whiteboard (see images below). Ann offered several translations during the bridgi ng lesson. Besides that particular bridging lesson, Ann also translated for her peers. Sometimes, as the third graders complete d a m ath story problem written in English, Ann would explain to her peers the process to solving the story problem in Spanish. Besides Ann, George and Tom s too exhibited their translation skills on a few occasions in school. These were observed during the bridging lesson as well as during other lessons as they attempted to explain certain tasks to their peers.

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122

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123 On all of the occasions that I observed, two facets of their identities became apparent. The first is that they were proud of their bilingualism, and the second is that they were effective translators even though they were only in third grade. Their bilingual strength further affirmed their identities as BFLA Spanish English children. However, despite being effective bilinguals who were also translators not only for their family but also their peers aspect of their identity was aff irmed by the perceived achievement according to their teachers who claimed Third Graders: Language Maintenance versus Language Loss T he thre e third graders socialized using both English and Spanish ; however, the language choices of the focal third graders were impacted by the language choice of the adults that they socialized with. Among the three third graders, Ann code switched the most. S he did it seamlessly. She called this form of communication Spanglish She also added that it was one way that she could maintain her Spanish. All the three focal third graders expressed fear that they may lose Spanish. Besides Ann, George also used the same variety of Spanish Although he Spanglish interactions, and I obser ved that Ann and George code switched in their home interactions too

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124 Fifth Graders This section looked at the profiles of the focus participants from the fifth grade classroom. In this section, I highlighted some of the key findings regarding the s tudent Table 4.12: Fifth graders aged 10 11 years old Names Age (yrs) Gender Self Identity Angel x Female Mexican. Most of my uncles and aunties are Mexicans. Only mom and two aunties and an 1) His definition of American means that they are born in American. 2) His definition of Mexican means that they are born in Mexico. Sara 9 Female Juanita 10 Female Jos 10 Male Sof a x Female Camila x Female

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125 Angel Angel has an identical twin who was studying in the same school as him; however, they were placed in different classes by choice. Their mother worked as an administrative staff at the school. Angel had a unique social interaction pattern at home. He has b een trained by his mother to use different languages with different adults and in different settings. Because his parents worked a lot, Angel spent a lot of tim e at his grandparents could only use Spanish because his grandparents spoke only Spanish. However, his maternal grandfather spoke some English, and Angel often chose to switch to English when communicating with t his grandfather. At home, he spoke English with his mother, but when his father was around, all conversations mus t be in Spanish. The same rule applied for movie though English movies may be preferr ed by Angel and his brother, they were only allowed when their father was at work. This unique socialization pattern mirrors the modified version of 1P/1L (one parent/ one language) strategy. Below is a summary of his home language pattern. Spoken English Spoken Spanish Reading T.V. Programs Home Language Preference Mother Twin Brother Grandfather Father Grandmother English Both English

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126 Angel liked reading, and he only read English books. His mother also read to him in English at home. He was not able to read Spanish, but surprisingly, he co uld write in Spanish as he had been l earning Spanish writing from his grandmother who encouraged Spanish language learning at home. Even though Angel started school with bilingualism, he dropped out of the bilingual class and moved towards English only in second grade. Angel was a balanced bilingual who has developed a language reference. He seemed to prefer English to Spanish, using English more frequently with his teachers, peers, and family members. Sara Sara was a 9 year old girl who also happened to be a translator for her grandmother. She enjoyed reading books, especially books with a fairy tale theme. Her favorit e television English l anguage and said, (I) She had a monolingual English speaking friend who was learning Spanish from her. she learned English from him. Even though she preferred English, she admitted to code because all her immediate family members spoke English. She said that she had been using more English in school s ince third grade because her teachers used more English with her. Sara was a balanced bilingual. She felt comfortable switching between the two languages, English and Spanish. She did not seem to have a language preference.

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127 Ju anita Juanita introduced h erself as a Catholic who loves God. She admitted that she drew pictures of God in her free time. She liked spending time with her mother, and often watched (she) understand a lot her books are in English. Juanita used English to communicate with her peers and only switched to Spanish when she talked to friends who did not use English. She claimed to like bo th languages and believes that it is important to be bilingual to secure a good job when she grows up. Her Juanita has developed a language prefer ence towards English. However, she seemed comfortable with either language, switching back and forth with English and Spanish. Jos Jos identified as American. In his free times, he liked listening to Spanish and English songs. He also liked playing soc cer, drawing and reading English books on animals. While he enjoyed reading English books, he would spend time reading Spanish books to his younger brother. He had a Mexican American friend who was a monol ingual English speaker, and Jos would use only En glish to speak with this friend. At other times, he would use both Spanish and English to speak to other friends. Even though he identified himself as American, he preferred using Spanish to communicate.

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128 Jos felt a stronger affiliation towards Spanish. E ven though he spoke a lot of English with his peers, he expressed strong emotions towards the Spanish language. Sof a Sof a was born in Mexico and moved to America at a very young age. She liked reading and talking in both English and Spanish. Her family spoke mostly Spanish, so they watched television programs in Spanish at home She felt that she spoke both English and Spanish when communicating with her peers them s Sof a was a balanced bilingual. Even though her family members spoke mostly Spanish, she used both languages with her peers. She switched back and forth between the languages depending on their linguistic abilities. Camila At home, Camila watched the news in both English and Spanish because she felt that it was important to improve in both languages. She also read books in both English and Spanish. She read English books to her mother, and Spanish books to her younger sister. Despite being biliterate, she felt that she read and wrote better in Spanish than in Eng lish. Her mother spoke mostly Spanish; therefore, Camila was doing most of the translation during the home interview. Below is a summary of her home language pattern.

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129 Table 4.14: Spoken English Spoken Spanish Reading T.V. Programs Home Language Preference X Everybody X Both Spanish She used both English and Spanish to communicate with her peers. Somet imes, she and her friends would code switch between languages when they could not think of the appropriate lexical items to use. She had a monolingual English speaking friends, and she taught them Spanish. She did not have a preferred language and is comfortable using both, but sh e feared losing Spanish. Camila was a balanced bilingual who was comfortable with either language. Table s 4.15 and 4.16 summarized the language choice and language preference for the focus participants in the fifth grade classroom. The tables looked at l anguage preference during social interaction s with others and language preference when conducting leisure activities such as reading and watching television. Table 4.15: Language Choic e/ Preference for Communication Home language Peer language Language preference Fear of losing Spanish Angel Both English English No, but mom fears it. Sara Both Both Both Yes Juanita Both Both English No Jos Spanish Both Spanish Yes Sof a Mostly Spanish Both Both Yes Camila Spanish Both Both Yes

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130 Table 4.16: Language Choice/ Preference for Leisure Language Preference Reading T.V. Programs Angel English English Both Sara Both Fairy Tale themed in English Once U pon a Time in English Juanita English Biographies in English x Jos Spanish Readi ng books on animals in English Read to younger brother in Spanish x Sof a Both Reads in both. Spanish programs Camila Both Reads English books to mother Reads Spanish books to younger sister Watches news in both languages Fifth Graders: Perceived Identity by T heir Teachers Both Ms. W and Ms. X knew their student participants very well as they had been with the students for more than a year. Ms. W has taught the older siblings of s ome of the student participants According to Ms. W and Ms. X, all the student participants, with the exception of Juanita, preferred English to Spanish with regards to preferred language for classroom discussion. However, all of the student participants, except Angel, were at a native level of proficiency when it came t o spoken English. Angel has exi ted out of English Language Angel was a receptive speaker of Spanish even though this was not observed i n class. Ms. W

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131 rest of the five student participants, both Ms. W and Ms. X admitted that the students did not read in the Spanish language during lessons with the excep tion of one student who was not involved in the study. All of t he students have officially exi ted out of Spanish language instruction in third grade. Spanish language supp ort was only provided at home. Table 4.17: Summary of fifth grade student participan linguistic abiliti es as defined by their teachers Child Language Preference English abilities Spanish abilities Angel English. Uses mostly English with teachers. With friends, it is a mixture of English and Spanish, depending on interlocutors. Has existed out of ELD Doing really well in English. Receptive speaker of Spanish. Not observed in class. Sara English. With friends, it is depending on who she talks to. At native proficiency for speaking. The class does not read in Spanish, except for one student, Marl, who reads in Spanish. She just transferred in 2013. All the students officially exited out of Spanish instruction in 3 rd grade. Span ish support is only from home. Juanita Jos English mostly. Sofa English mostly, but sometimes she will switch to Spanish when she needs clarification. Camila English more often. Attempts to use varied vocabulary. Sometimes uses Spanish to clarify. Fifth Graders: Identity With the exception of Jos, all of the fifth graders ( Angel, Sara, Juan ita, Sof a, and Ca mila ) iden tified as Mexican American. Jos identified as American. However, similar to the third graders, regardless of their self identification, they highlighted that they spoke two

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132 languages, English and Spanish. Their bilingualism is a part of their identity, and it was something that they wer e proud of as well. Besides being bilinguals, all of them also claimed to be translators for their family. Some of them were translators for their peers as I observed them during lessons. The fifth grade class had a new st udent who spoke limited English; she needed a translator to better comprehend some key concepts. I have observed all of the focal fifth graders being involved with and playing translator f o r her. They were able to translate from English to Spanish, and once in a while, they even translate d her response, from Spanish to English. However, despite being proficient translators to their family and friends in social communicative settings, they were still perceived a s under performing in school. Their te achers told me this with regard to their s tandardized testing results. Fifth Graders: Language maintenance versus Language Loss Despite being proficient in both English and Spanish, as evidenced by their translation skil ls, all of the fifth graders expressed fear of losing Spanish, and none of t hem expressed any fear of losing English One of the fifth graders, Jos even exclaimed that if they (people in America) did not allow him to speak Spanish, he would go back to Mexico. For a fifth grader to express such fear reveals how real the issue of h eritage language loss is in the United States for Mexican American bilinguals. Jos is not the only fifth grader with such fear. All of the focal fifth grader expressed similar fear. Having spoken with two of their parents, I also learned that their pare nts also feared that their children may one day not be able to communicate with them in Spanish. At present, the focal fifth graders unanimously agreed that maintaining bilingualism is important. However, the school adopted a different view. Of the six f ocal fifth graders, one

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133 of them has exited out of the ELD p rogram, and the other five exited out of Sp anish language instruction in third grade. As a result of this, all of the focal fifth graders were receiving Spanish support only at home. The school did not provide Spanish support. Conclusion In conclusion, this chapter presented data that addressed the first research question which looked at the profiles of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. Looking at data from observations and interviews, I focused on two major themes, identities and langua ge use. In looking at the identities of the twelve BFLA children from across elementary levels, I considered their self and perceived identities. I also considered their language use and language maintenance in school and at home. As I looked at their lang uage use, I noticed their language patterns with peers, teachers, and family members to determine their language preference Below is a summary of the focus participants describing their home language, language preference, and how they self identify.

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134 Table 4.18: Summary on Identities of Student participants Name Home L anguage Language Preference Self Identity Perceived Identity Jes s Spanish English American Highly bilingual Mia English English American and Mexican English preference, Yasmine Spanish Spanish & English Mexican Mexican Grade level for spoken English, Strength in Spanish Ann English & Spanish Spanglish Mexican American Mexican American Strong in both English and Spanish George Spanglish & Spanish English & Spanglish Both Mexican Translated well between the two languages Tom s Spanish & Spanglish English American Did okay at English, But strength was in Spanish Angel English & Spanish English Mexican American Mexican American Exited out of ELD in second grade Preferred English Sara English & Spanish English & Spanish Mexican American Exited out of Spanish Language Instruction in third grade. Preferred English Jos Spanish Spanish American Sof a Mostly Spanish English & Spanish Mexican American Juanita English & Spanish English Both Exited out of Spanish Language Instruction in third grade. Preferred Spanish Camila Spanish English & Spanish Mexican American Mexican Exited out of Spanish Language Instruction in third grade. Preferred English

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135 *Since I did not conduct home visit for all the student participants, I could only interview those whose homes I visited. However, I made sure that I visited at least one from each level. ** blue font is used for perceived identity by teachers, and red for family.

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136 CHAPTER V RESULTS FROM RESEARCH QUESTION (2) Harmonious Bilingual Development In this chapter, I addressed the second research question: 2) What structures are in place that either support or hinder BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children to maintain harmonious bilingual development? In doing so, this chapter is organized around three main sections. Firstly, I looked at the language instructions at Swansea focusing on the uses of Spanish in sch ool at the different grade levels. Secondly, I looked at what supports harmonious bilingual development for the focused population, and lastly, I looked at what hinder s harmonious bilingual development for the focus participants Language Instructions Swansea celebrates diverse perspectives and cultures, and the students are supported in their mastery of the English language with opportunities to foster Spanish language development (Swansea.dpsk, 2016). Besides their regular bilingual programs, the scho ol also offers the Summer Scholars program whose mission is to support low income, academically struggling young learners by providin g rigorous literacy instruction and enrichment programs so that students can achieve measurable success and become life lon g learners (Swansea.dpsk, 2016). For the purpose of this dissertation, I focused on the language instructions offere d to the twelve focus participants Swansea offers the option of a bilingual program to their students at the start of their academic journ ey. Parents have the option of putting their children in an English only or a bilingual instruction classroom in kindergarten. All the twelve focus participants were in bilingual classrooms. It must be noted that Swansea offers a transitional bilingual pro gram

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137 where students are exited out of Spanish Languag e Development when they achieve English proficiency. Kindergarteners are given a test two weeks into the start of the academic year to gauge their English language abilities. Listening, Speaking, and Gr ammar skills are tested. based on abilities in English During the test, kindergarteners are given a picture to describe. After that, they are asked questions about th e picture. A model and acceptable response must be in complete sentence s Here, content knowledge is not the focus ; rather, the ability to speak s tandard English is the expectation. All three student participants selected for this study are placed in the h igh ability ELD classes. While this suggests that these kindergarteners are BFLA Spanish English children who received English input prior to school, it also means that these students are likely to be transitioned out of their bilingual classes sooner and be placed into English only classroom s Kindergarteners bilingual classroom, instructions were given in dual languages, Spanish and English. Ms S allowed both languages to be used in the classroom. During Spanish Language Development, which happened in the mornings, she would conduct shared reading with the st udents. Here, she would read to them, then they would read with her. During the first reading, she would also stop at critical parts of the book to ask prediction questions. During the question and answer sessions, students were allowe d to respond in eithe r language After the reading activity, students were often taught songs related to the theme of the read books. However, these songs would be in English. Then, students were given a writing task where

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138 they had to respond to a given question about the book The writing activities were in Spanish. I n the later part of the morning students were grouped into three major groups. While one group spent time with Ms S to work on their Spanish phonics, another group worked with a teacher aid e on their Spanish v ocabulary development. The third group worked in pairs to do 1) listening, 2) reading, 3) writing, or 4) Spanish literacy on the computer. English Language Development (ELD) happened at around 10:10 a.m. when students went into different classrooms (disc ussed in the previous chapter). In ELD, students learned English pronunciation through practice and drill as they attempted to mirror the ways their teachers spoke. After that, they had to practice in pairs or small groups. In these lessons, only English l anguage was spoken. Besides teaching in dual languages, the teachers also set up a class library that carried bilingual books. Students were encouraged to read in dual languages. Third Graders In the third grade classroom, dual language instr uctions was observed. The two teachers in the classroom spoke different languages to the students. While Ms U spoke Spanish, Mr T spoke English. They also taught in the ir respective languages. I observed the third graders for math and s cience lessons. Duri ng these lessons, students used both English and Spanish to acquire knowledge. In one of the s cience lessons, students translated from Spanish to English to describe phrases related to electricity. The teachers wrote a list of phrases in Spanish and stud ents were instructed to translate them to English. Translation skills were also evident in m ath. Students were given story problems in English and were asked to explain the problems in

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139 Spanish. After this they had to solv e the problems. Besides teaching c onducted in dual languages, I also found educational posters in dual languages. Similar to the kindergarten classroom, there was also a library with books in both languages. Fifth Graders Even though it was a bilingual classroom, le ssons were conducted i n English only. Both the teachers gave instructions in English, but the students were allowed to use either language to discuss and share ideas in the classroom. The presence of a new student from Mexico who spoke mostly Spanish provided the opportunity for students in that classroom to translate and use both English and Spanish. I observed that the six selected student participants from the fifth grade classroom used both languages when they worked with the new student as they translated for her. All t he books and notes provided to the students were in English. Unlike the kindergarten and third grade classrooms, educational posters in the fifth grade classroom were in English. However, the class library had both English and Spanish books. In the next two sections, I highlighted how these programs have supported or hindered harmonious bilingual development for the focus participants practices. I also looked at some of the strategies that the focus participants and their family mem bers have put in place that support or hinder harmonious bilingual development.

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140 Table 5.1: Summary of language instruction Language Instruction Kindergarten 3 rd Grade 5 th Grade Dual language instructions from teachers Bilingual interactions with peers Translation lessons Bilingual books Explicit teaching in Spanish Support: Harmonious Bilingual Development This section highlighted some of the strategies and practices that were put in place to help support harmonious bilingual development. It also reported the strategies that the focus participants planned to put in place to support their bilingualism later in life. Sel f Reading was one of the activities that the focus participants did to support harmonious bilingual development. From the interview sessions, I discovered that two of the three kindergarteners read in both languages, one of the third graders read and wrote in both languages, and three of the fifth graders read in both languages. Besides reading, the focus participants also continued to use both languages in their social interactions. They spoke Spanish at home with their family members while continuing to learn English in school. Speaking both languages also provided opportunities for them to continue to be translators, both for family mem bers and peers in the classroom The use of Spanglish better referred to as the popular Spanish of the USA (Otheguy & St ern, 2010) wa s one strategy that the focal third graders claim ed to use to continue speaking bo th English and

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141 Spanish. They fe l t that code switching wa s giving them the opportunity to communicate in both languages at the same time. The third graders report ed to wan t to continue speaking this variety of Spanish where they consciously choose to use English and Spanish to communicate in order to maintain their bilingualism. The fifth graders who had the least opportunities for Spanish development in the classr ooms claimed that they planned to learn Spanish literacy from grandparents and to re learn Spanish at a later age should they forget how to speak the language in the future. The third practice that the focus participants planned to carry out to maintain t heir bilingualism was to continue to watch television programs in both languages. Some of these programs included the news. Below is a summary of the practices that the focus participants admitted to doing in order to maintain their bilingualism.

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142 Table 5.2: Summary of practices to maintain bilingualism Level Maintaining bilingualism Kindergarten Speak and read in both languages. Use both languages when communicating with family members and peers. Continue to be translators. Watch television programs in both languages. Third grade Speak and read in both languages. Speak Spanglish. Use both languages when communicating with family members and peers. Continue to be translators. Watch television programs in both languages. Fifth grade Speak and read in both languages. Listen to songs in both languages. Use both languages when communicating with family members and peers. Continue to be translators. Watch television programs in both languages. Plan to re learn Spanish a t a later age. Learn Spanish literacy Family Family members also play significant roles in ensuring harmonious bilingual development. There were several practices that the family members of the focus participants have put in place to support bilingualism for their children. Firstly, all of the parents encouraged reading in both languages to their children. Even when the parents do not read English, they helped to download English texts from the for their children to read at home. They sat and encouraged their children to read to them while they read Spanish to their children. One of the grandparents of a student participant in fifth grade taught him to write in Spanish at home.

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143 Besides reading, the family members also watched programs in both English and Spanish watched both English and Sp anish movies to ensure that Angel was exposed to both languages. His family w y family who arranged to watch programs in both languages home, they would wat ch Spanish movies together. One of the most interesting practices I discovered was from a fifth grader and a kindergartener. In both household s a modified 1P/1L practice was observed. While English was spoken with certain family members, Spanish was spoken with other family members. In year old aunt while Spanish was used with her fath travel led to Mexico on a regular basis to ensure that Angel was exposed to the Spanish language and to the Mexican culture Below is a summary of the practices that family members have put in place to ensure harmonious bilingual development among their childre n.

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144 participants maintain bilingualism Level Maintaining bilingualism Kindergarten Speak English with some family members and Spanish with others. Read books in English and Spanish at home. Even when parents are not able to read English, the student participants will read to their parents. Parents will help to monitor at home. Third grade Speak English with some family members and Spanish with oth ers. Read books in English and Spanish at home. Even when parents are not able to read English, the student participants will read to their parents. Parents will help to monitor at home. Encourages accurate Spanish pronunciation at home while encouraging student participants to use English with siblings at home. Fifth grade Speak English with some family members and Spanish with others. Read books in English and Spanish at home. Even when parents are not able to read English, the student participants will read to their parents. Parents will help to monitor at home. Encourage accurate Spanish pronunciation at home while encouraging student participants to use English with siblings at home. Watch movies in English and Spanish. Watch news in English and Spanish. Regular visits to Mexico to maintain Spanish language and Mexican cultural practices. Community via Swansea The teachers represented a part of the community that the focus participants interacted with on a regular basis. This section looked at the support that teachers have provided to ensure harmonious bilingual development.

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145 B eing in a bilingual classroom with bilingual teachers provide d the student participants a greater opportunity to develop English an d Spanish literacy. Ms. S started the morning with In teractive Reading that wa s often in Spanish, but sometimes, she would pick an Englis h book. The kindergarteners took the hint fr om the blue scarf that she wore around her neck. This wa s the signal that kindergarteners were allowed to communicate their ideas in either or both languages. Co de mixing and code switching were allowed during lessons when Ms. S wore the blue scarf. Here, translation became a part of the lesson. Teachers prov ide d a phrase in English or Span ish, and the kindergartens would provide a translation equivalent (De Houwer, 2009 ). As expected, the thr ee BFLA student participants were able to do so. The translation lessons were especially helpful; however, we need to b ear in mi nd that the goal of the school wa s to transition kindergarteners out of the bilingual classrooms into English only classrooms as soon as possible Therefore, while the bilingual lessons and the use of the blue scarf were effective methodologies in helping the focal kindergarteners to achieve and maintain bilingualism, such a goal may not be achievable when the school system aimed to transition the kindergarteners out of Spanish learning programs as soon as possible. The teachers also equipped the class and school libraries with bilingual books. Alyssa Cares Foundation wa s a one of the foundations that work ed with the school and provided free bilingual books to the students. Each student wa s given a book to take home. A small team of volunteers vis it ed the school, bringing with them a variety of books across the grade levels. Students were scheduled periods to visit the school library to pick up a book to bring home. While some books were in English, others were in Spanish. There were also books in dual languages, where t he first half of the book was in E nglish and the secon d half was in

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146 S panish. This was an effective initiative on the part of the community to contribute bilingual resources for the students. Access to bilingual books wa s important t o ensure that BFLA children could acquire bi literacy in English and Spanish. To ensure that there are sufficient resources, the kindergarten teachers m et bi weekly to develop resources for bilingual lessons. They use d Teaching for Bil iteracy: Strengthening Bridges B etween Languages by Beeman and Urow as a guide to develop their bilingual curriculum. Having teachers who were bilingual wa s another helpful strategy. I observed this en they work ed with a monolingual English teacher to a bilingual Spanish English teacher. Children as young as kindergarteners were aware and could be influenced by the hegemony of English. With a bilingual teacher like Ms. S, the kindergarteners spoke fre ely as they share d ideas. However, when there wa s a re striction to the language that wa s allowed and when t he teacher wa s a monolingual English speaker, some students like Yasmine chose not to speak as much. O ne other strategy that the school put in plac e to help third graders achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development wa s to include translation lessons, which they refer red as bridging. It means to help the students bridge their school language, English and their home language Spanish. Even th ough the aim wa s to help students become more proficient in Englis h so that they could exit out of the bilingual classroom into an English only classroom, the process of allowing students to tap on the heritage language to process academic discourse wa s a great strategy that could lead to harmonious bilingual development.

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147 Besides bridging lessons, the third gr ade bilingual classroom also had bilingual teachers who spoke both English and Spanish, but they each specialize d in one language. Having bilingual teachers who specialize d in each language created a pseudo linguistic environment of 1P/1L strategy. This wa s a commonly practice d home language strategy where a bilingual child is trained to use one language to communicate with one parent and another lang uage to communicate with the other parent, providing a balanced social setting for communication. In the third grade classroom such a communicative setting wa s established as Ms. U and Mr. T specialize d in different languages despite being bilingual in En glish and Spanish. Even though the goal of the school may not be that they want ed to provide such a social setting, having two teachers like Mr. T and Ms. U coincidently provide d that for the focal third graders. Similar to the kindergarten classroom, th e teachers in the third grade classroom allow ed and encourag ed bilingual language discussion in the classroom amo ng peers. Even though Mr. T would r espond in English and Ms. U would respond in Span ish, the focal third graders were allowed to speak either language wit h their peers during discussion. This allowed the focal third graders to acquire knowledge regardless of language. It also encouraged harmonious bilingual developmen t as the focal third graders were assured that both Sp anish and English w e re valued in their educational development. In the fifth grade classroom, the teachers were bilinguals who believe d that while being bilingual wa s important, be ing able to speak English well wa s more important because of the standardi zed tests. Despite being a bilingual cl assroom, all of the lessons were conducted in English. However, the teachers encourage d and allow ed dual language interactions among peers and even between the teachers and selected fifth graders

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148 themselves. The encou raging of dual language interactions wa s very helpful in generating knowledge and robust discussion during lessons. There was an interactive reading lesson where the focal fifth graders were tasked to read a two page passage, and then answer ed a series of questions. However, the teachers made it interesting by allowing the focal fifth graders to: 1) Discuss the reading passage with their peers with no language restrictions 2) Relate to their personal experience and identity as Mexican Americans in Colorado That d iscussion highlighted issues of migration and fitting in. The focal fifth graders talk ed about their experiences and those of their families Such activities support ed harmonious bilingual development as it went beyond the teaching of language. It valued the cultural background s of the focal fifth graders by encouraging them to share their experiences including language struggles that they may have had. Therefore, teachers play ed a key role in encouraging harmonious bilingual maintenance and development in school. Besides the interactive reading lesson, both fifth grade teachers also allow ed the use of translation in the classroom. One of the fifth graders wa s a new student who had joined the class less than six month s from when I first worked with the fi fth graders. This new student was a passive bilingual who communicate d mostly in Spanish even though she understood English. Two of the focal fifth graders th at I worked with, Angel and Jos often translated for her. The teachers in the classroom encourag e d and commend ed this. In fact, oft en the teachers themselves would demonstrate the practice of fluid bilingualism as they taught in English and later translated certain key words in Spanish. This was often observed for cognates. Such

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149 an environment wa s vital in encouraging harmonious bilingua l development as it demonstrated to the focal fifth graders the value and importance of bilingualism. The teachers also lever aged on dual language discussion as they taught m ath concepts. While they may conduct a l esson that wa s fully in English, the focal fifth graders were encouraged to solve, discuss, and share ideas in English and Spanish. Below is a summary of the contributions that teachers played in supporting harmonious bilingual development among the focu s participants participants maintain bilingualism Level Maintaining bilingualism Kindergarten Fluid Bilingualism is practiced in the classroom. The blue scarf is used to symbolize free reign of language choice. Biliteracy lessons are conducted where translation is used as a bridging of the two languages. Separate periods allocated for Spanish and English language development to ensure that students are learning literacies in both languages. Teacher also utilizes funds of knowledge especi ally on the lesson, Boy and Girl Scout Program where students as young as 1 st grade help out at lunch and communicate in both languages. Third grade Following the lesson plans closely. Bridging between the two languages, drawing from both languages. Fifth grade Teacher provides an encouraging environment that allows usage of b oth languages at any time duri ng lessons and group discussion Provides English and Spanish words as bridging. Respects funds of knowledge as students share and make connections to their reading texts with the ir lives, cultures, and family/ community pra ctices. Encourages students to be comfortable to use either language.

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150 Hinder: Harmonious Bilingual Development While the previous section highlighted the practices that have supported harmonious bilingual deve lopment for the focal participants the same practices have also hindered harmonious bilingual development. This section forward highlighted ways in which harmonious bilingual development have been hindered for the twelve focus participants Strategies and Practices According to Ms. S, the resou rces provided by the district for teaching in Spanish were limited. This wa s unfavorable for helping each bilingual child achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development. Besides educational resources, there were also insufficient bilingual teachers in the classrooms. In the three classrooms that I observed, only t he third grade classroom a teacher who specialized in each language, Spanish and English. Allowing students the option to acquire knowledge in either languages was important because as observed, with Jasmine, she chose to speak less when she had a monolingual English teacher for ELD. While it was good that the focus participants had teachers who allowed dual language discussion, such activities may also hinder harmonious bilingual development when the student participants code switched to replace unknown vocabulary in either languages. The third graders referred to this as using Spanglish. Otheguy and Stern (2010) defined Spanglish as the popular forms of the language of many Hispan ics in the United States; however, Spanglish is a misleading term as it sows confusion about the Spanish language and its speakers. According to Otheguy and Stern (2010), the term Spanglish is unfortunate for four reasons. The first is that Spanglish conce als that fact that the features that characterize

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151 second reason is that Spanglish also incorrectly suggests that the spoken language is an unusual hybrid language. The third is it also inaccurately implies that Spanish is centrally characterized by the structural mixing of English and Spanish, and lastly it the use of the term Spanglish separates Spanish speakers in the USA from Spanish speakers from other parts of the w orld. Therefore, for the purpose of this dissertation, the term popular Spanish of the USA is more accurate compared to Spanglish when describing the variety of Spanish used by the third graders. Another practice that also hindered harmonious bilingual developm ent was the transition ing students out of a bili ngual instruction classroom to an English only classroom as soon as the students became proficient in English. This happened to Angel from fifth grade who had to learn Spanish li teracy from his grandmother because the school stopped providing Spanish devel opment support in the classroom Besides the school, parents at home also played significant roles towards harmonious bilingual development. Two of the parents that I spoke with admitted to encouraging their children to read English and Spanish books at home. They claimed to help their children download the English books from the school website. Sadly, the school did not upload Spanish books for the children to read as well. Such an act hindered harmonious bilingualism. Conclusion In this chapter, I addressed the second research question as I looked at harmonious bilingual development. I looked at the current practices that the twelve student participants have put in place to help them achieve and maintain harmonious bilingualism. I also considered the practices that they planned to put in place in the future, suc h as re learning

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152 Spanish. I looked at some of the strategies that their teachers and parents were practicing to help them achieve and maintain their bilingualism. In looking at these practices, I also considered some of the causes that may hinder harmonious bilingual development for the focus participants

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153 CHAPTER VI REPOSITIONING BILINGUALS: IMPLICATIONS This research study aimed to reposition BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States It asked the broad question How can the deficit notion of marginalized bilinguals in the United States be repositioned to help monolinguals understand that bilinguals can be native speakers of English too? It also asked two key questions relating to the repositioning of marginalized BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals The first question looked at the profiles of BFLA Spanish Eng lish Mexican American bilinguals, focusing on their self and perceived identities The second question looked at harmonious bilingual development whic h included the current practices that individual s family, and community have put in place, w hile considering school and state policies, to nurture bilinguals so that they can grow up as balanced bilinguals bilinguals who speak and write in Spanish and English proficiently It also considered the practices that hindered harmonious bilingual devel opment. In considering the current practices, I considered the Bilingual Turn (Garcia, 2009) as I looked at Language integration lessons in the classrooms. As points of reference, I based my study on two studies that covered a similar topic. De Houwer (200 9 ) who se research extensively covered BFLA children, conducted an in depth longitudinal study using data from all over the world. Silva Corvalan (2015) explored the language development of Spanish English in her two grandchildren who currently reside in t he United States I looked at Silva in the United States for discussing B(F)LA children extensively. The differ ence between my study and the two aforementioned studies is that the focus participants whom I worked with are marginalized immigrants or c hildren of immigrants who have limited access to resources,

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154 educational and linguistic, to name a few On the other hand, the focus participants of both De Houwer and Silva Corvalan were BFLA children from privileged backgrounds. T he twelve student participants whose voices I hope to highlight in this study carry powerful stories of identity and repositioning, and of bilinguals straddling Mexican and American cultures This chapter d iscusses and analyzes the implications of the study addressing the two research questions To recap, the research questions are: 1. What are the profiles of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children across the elementary school years? 2. What structures ar e in place that either support or hinder BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children to maintain harmonious bilingual development? Reviewing Research Question One In this section, I highlight h ow this study has advanced our understanding of the positi on ality of bilinguals in the U.S. by drawing from the theoretical frameworks in Chapter 3: Methodology and Theoretical Frameworks. Drawing from the theoretical frameworks and b ased on the data coll ected and presented in chapter s 4 and 5 I demonstrated that BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the early elementary years were more Spanish speaking than English speaking. As they progress ed through their el ementary school years, they beca me more linguistically balanced and develop ed a prefere nce for one language over the other. O f the three kindergarteners in this study two of them, Jes s and Mia, developed a preference for English whi le one of them, Yasmine, preferred Spanish over English. The third graders seem ed to display a similar lingu istic preference Only one of them expressed a

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155 clear preference for English; the other two expres sed a preference for the popular variety of Spanish a language that the third graders described as using both English and Spanish words to communicate ideas a nd thoughts However, it must be noted that all three student participants in the third grade ch ose English as their preferred language for peer communication. This was revealed when I interviewed them. I also observed them in class and at lunch, and notic ed that they used English more than Spanish Ann, who expressed preference for Spanglish only wrote her autobiography in Spanish while George and Tom s prefer red English books as reading materials. Among the fifth graders, only one of them claimed to pr efer Spanish over English, but four out of the six fifth graders fear ed losing Spanish over time. From the above summarized results which can also be found in table 4.18 I concluded that in the later elementary years, the focus participants beca me linguistically more balanced between English and Spanish. Some o f them develop ed a language preference either towards English or Spanish. In my study, BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals attending elementary schools develop ed language preferen ce over the years. By third and fifth grades, they express ed a fear of losing their heritage language, Spanish This was when they beca me aware of societal expectations that seem ed to be influenced by the hegemony of English played out through standardized testing (Darling Hammond, 201 0; Abedi, 2010 ). This will be explained in the next few paragraphs. Educational policies and classroom practices push ed for the teaching of English ( the societal language) over Spanish ( the heritage language) at schools throu gh the transitional bilingual programs and standardized testing (Christine & Genesee, 2001; Abedi, 2010) Even classroom teachers are pressured to produce desired state results; thus, they taught language

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156 a rts that pushed for one language over the other (English over Spanish). This conclusion was drawn based on the interactions and interviews I conducted with the teachers and teacher aid e s. The hegemony of English impacted the focus participants in two clear way s. First, t he focus participants develop ed a language preference with 10 out of 12 student participants using English more frequently when they interacted with their peers who also spoke English. S econd ly English standardized t esting had a major influence on their E nglish only agenda in schools. In the next section, I examine how the phenomenon of the manifest, as it pertains to language status within society. Bou (2003) application of political, cultural, and social factors as it pertains to language status within society is one of the foundation s of this research. Bourdieu described the struggles of minority bilinguals in the United States. adequate to produce sentences that are likely to be understood may be quite inadequate to produce sentences that are likely to be listened to, likely to be recognized as acceptable in all situations in which there is occasion (p 55). Here, he is describing that language status is not neutral. Language is not about how standard it is spoken; rather, it is about who is speaking the language. The twelve student participants with whom I worked BFLA Spanish English Mexi can American bilinguals, belon ged to the minority group who have two first languages. For BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals, h aving English as one of the two first languages wa s perceived as socially inadequate because as Bourdieu describes, Speakers lacking (p 55). English, the en as

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157 young as six year s old were aware of the difference in language status between English and Spanish in the United State s. Jes s explained that he used Spanish with friends who did not know English. He rationalized their lack of knowing English fluenc y for two reasons. The first was they did not watch cartoo ns (in English) and the second was they were from Mexico. Jes rationalization implied that to him, Spanish wa s an immigrant tongue. He associated the Spanish language with immigrants from Mexico who lack ed the ability to speak English due to inaccessibility (to cartoon in English). At six he was aware that English is seen as the legitimate language in America and Spanish is the immigrant language spoken by peers from Mexico who lacked access to English The third and fifth graders also recognize d the status of English and Span ish in the United States. They associated English to be the official language used in school domains while Spanish was kept as a language used in home domains. Th is wa s demonstrated w hen all of them recognized English as the peer language or they use at school to communicate with their peers). At the same time, they identified Spanish as their home language. All of the third and fifth graders listed Spanish as their spoken home language, with seven out of nine of them speaking both English and Spanish with their family at home. Only two of them spoke only Spanish at home with their parents, but communicated in English with neighb ors and friends who visited them at home. Another activity associated with the school domain is reading, and most of the third and fifth graders read in English even at home Four out of nine, less than 50% of them read bilingual books. However, all of t he kindergarteners r ead bilingual books at home The focus population allocated the English language for matters relating to school or in the areas of

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158 socialization with non family members and other leisure activities while Spanish is the language used to communicate with family members at home. The focus population & McClure, 2 015, p. 243). From these data, the focused population was aware of the language status between Spanish and English. While Spanish seemed to dominate the home language domain, English dominated school and socialization domains for the focus population. Thi s was further affirmed by the focus population who stated that English wa s needed for work opportun ities in America while Spanish wa s needed to communicate with extended family members. The twelve student participants recognize d the importance of English a nd Spanish equally in their lin guistic repertoire, and they were also able to allocate domains to these languages. While they were aware of the unity of bilingualism, they also understood the status that English carried. The focus participants practiced what Bourdieu (2003) states English functions as linguistic capital, used at school and to socialize while Spanish is used at home. Parents of the focus population also recognize d the importance of bilingualism. Like their children, they were aware that E nglish wa s necessary for their children to suc ceed in America. T hey strongly encourage d their children to learn English well by encouraging English reading and speaking at home. Those with younger siblings were encouraged to read to their si blings. All of the children had some kind of translating experience where they helped their parents translate at the doctor s office at the store, and even explai ned situations with law enforcement officer s. These incidents which reflected the need to use English in a n on home setting reinforced to maneuver in the

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159 United States. It holds political and social status with hegemony imposed by the American majority (Shannon, 1995 ). B eing BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilingual s, the focus participants claimed that they were as much Mexican as they were American, and they were as m uch Spanish speaking as they were English speaking. Table 4.18 which was a summary of the student identity, showed eight out of the twelve student participants claimed Mexican American identities and all of them claimed bilingualism as either their home language or language preference. Both Spanish and English languages playe d important role s in their lives Spanish was the heritage language recognized within the home language domain that took on a more cultural foothold associated with their Mexican heritage and cultural practices. On the other hand, English was the academic and societal language used in schools and at social settings in their linguistic repertoire. From the results that demonstrated how each language has been allocated domains, Span ish for home and English away from home I conclude that children as young as five years old and throughout the elementary school years were exposed to the asymmetric status of English and Spanish, and were aware of the superior status English language hold in t erms of its linguistic capital as they picked English to be the language to be used in a non home setting However, it must also be noted that despite the fact that the twelve focus participants identify themselves as both Mexican and American, and English and Spanish speaking, their identities have not been recognized in th e United States as they are still mislabeled as underachievers, ESL, or ELL (long term ELL) (Krashen, 2000 ; Stein, 1994; Flores, Kleyn, Menken, 2015 ). Even terms such as simultaneous bilinguals and sequential bilinguals (Bialystok, 2001) fail to give due recognition to their linguistic abilities as Spanish English

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160 speakers who have two first languages. Furthermore, these terms fail to recognize that t hey are culturally Mexican and American as they identify themselves to be. In the classrooms at Swansea I observed several exemplary practice s that help ed BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals achieve academically In these classrooms, languag e integration (Garcia, 2009) was practiced where Spanish was used to expand English to help the student participants develop deeper understanding. For example, in the kindergarten classroom, language a rts lessons were conducted in Spanish and English Flor es, Kleyn, and Menken (2015) refer to this type of language instructions as fluid bilingual instructions In the classrooms, t he focus participants was given opportunities to develop academic skills in both languages. This form of language instructions was also observed in the other levels. For example, in the third grade classroom, codeswitching or what the third graders also refer red to as Spanglish Spanish in the USA, became a common occurrence. Third graders code switched as they communicated with one another. Being bilinguals, codeswitching is natural (Moro, 2015) to them Codeswitching, which requires a strong command of English and Spanish is not an un structured phenomenon. The popular variet y of Spanish one of the results of codeswitching used frequently in the third grade classroom, is a language choice The choice to code switch also revealed how the BFLA Spanish English student participants in third grade live in between two languages, En glish and Spanish, and two cultures, Mexican and American. ness of cultures that Another fluid bilingual strategy that was used in the classrooms was translation. In the kindergarten and third grade classrooms, translation became a formal part of their

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161 lessons. Here, the focus population were given phrases to translate between English and Spanish. However, it must be noted that students at these two levels did not have to take standardized testing. Perhaps, this was why there seemed to be more bilingual communication between teachers and students in these classrooms compared to the fifth grade classroom. In th e fifth grade classroom, where standardized t esting was p ut in place, teachers communicated in English with the students. T he pressure of standardized testing (Darling Hammond, 2010 ; Abedi, 2010; Solano Flores & Li, 2006 ) may have caused educators to unconsciously assume the role of the colonizers where they oppressed the students by downplaying Mexican cultures and Spanish as a heritage language. They imp osed standardized t esting that wa s culturally biased against Mexican America bilinguals (Abedi, 2010) Teachers placed emphasis on English only i nstructions. This was observed in the fifth grade classrooms where unlike in the other two levels where Spanish was used, in the fifth grade classroom, the teachers only used English. During interviews with the educators involved in the study, all of the t eachers from all three levels claimed that while bilingualism was important, English was the language that the students needed to master at school. The goal of the teachers in the kindergarten and third grade classrooms was to help their students transitio n out of Spanish language development in to English only classrooms. The educators also added that Spanish was kept as the language that st udents would learn and continue to learn at home. T he educators in the fifth grade classroom reasoned that students ne eded to perform at testing; therefore, there was emphasis placed on learning English. This led me to conclude that BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals may have been influenced and pressured to accept English as the language of power to use in schools and to socialize with others. Spanish wa s kept as a home language, to be used to communicate with

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162 family members. The student participants also noted that English was needed to succeed at school, and Spanish was needed to communicate with family me mbers. They also added that bilingualism was important as they had to use both Spanish and English to help their family and sometimes even friends translate. Language choices made by the focus participants were influenced by their teachers and teacher aid e s. This conclusion, based on my observations and interviews is supported by Soliz and Giles (2014) who state that two of the factors influencing linguistic of stu dents, and 2) the perceptions that teachers have of students T eachers influence d age choice during classroom interactions As observed in the kindergarten and d by their in terlocutors (most o f the time, their teachers and teacher aid e s). In a traditional classroom, t eachers enjo y a higher status than student s. S tudents accommodate their teachers by shifting their l anguage to mirror their teachers (Soliz & Giles, 2014) In the th ree classrooms where I worked the l anguage choice of the teachers was often English. language choices were influenced by their teachers. also influence d BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals claimed their bilingual identity when their teachers and parents accepted and encouraged their bilingualism As demonstrated, the focus participants often communicated in the language that the teachers spoke to them in. P arents also play ed encourage d her to speak Spanish even though both her parents are self identified Chicano s. preferred English to Spanish. Despite

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163 the language preference, Mia identified as both Mexican and American (r efer to Table s 4.3 and 4.4 ). She did not abandon her Mexican roots despite her preference for English. As argued by Bourdieu (1971), language is no t neutral. It is political, cu ltural, and social. Even though Mia preferred the English language, she culturally identified as Mexican and gh I have only heard her utter a Spanish word once and teacher aid e also claimed that Mia hardly spoke Spanish. To summarize, the BFLA Spanish Engl ish Mexican American children in my study ca me from low income (immigrant) families. Alth ough t hey did not all have one or two working parents who speak English, they had someone at home who did speak English with them. The majority of them were more English speaking than Spanish speaking in the earlier years (or at least claimed to prefer English to Spanish); h owever, as they progress ed through their elementary yea rs, they beca me more balanced, and their preference for one language ov er another was conscious depending on their linguistic environments. Student s expressed fear of losing Spanish and learning English became a priority. Reviewing Research Question Two As I reviewed results analyzed for the second research question, I considered settings, both Globeville, the neighborhood, and Swansea, the scho ol, to be important contributor s to developing and maintaining harmonious bilingual development among BFLA children. Following De Houwer (2009) who suggested that family and community are the two main factors to achieving and maintaining harmonious bilingual development, I delved deeper as I also considered intrinsic motivation to maintain dual identities, Mexican and American, to be a fourth factor to achieving and maintaining harmonious bilingual development. Therefore,

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164 in analyzing the data, I have looked c losely at teachers, teacher aid e s, parents, and other family members who were a part of the ecosystem for the focus participants I considered how these individuals contribute d to developing bilingualism for BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals To answer the second research question and explore its corresponding assumption, I looked at four key factors. They are 1) physical settings, 2) family, 3) community, and 4) intrinsic motivatio n provided by the people who were a part of their communica tive system as well as other invisible driving forc es. Physical Settings: Globeville, the neighborhood, and Swansea, the school How did Globeville contribute to their bilingualism? As I considered the role that Globeville played in the development of bilingualism among the focus participants I reviewed chapter 3, looking at the historiography of Globeville. The twelve student participants live d and went to school in the Globeville neighborhood. As discussed in c hapter 3, Globevi lle is an industrial residential neighborhood populated with generations of immigrants and children of immigrants. The Globeville community is comprised of mostly lower income Mexican Americans. Despite having limited and sometimes no access to resources, the twelve student participants demonstrated they can over come all odds to achieve bilingualism As highlighted in Chapter 3, most of Globeville residents are of Mexican descent Therefore, Spanish is likely to be one of the community languages spoken b y many of the residents. English might be spoken alongside Spanish, as observed among the twelve st udent participants. T he community in Globeville provide d a bilingual environment that promoted bilingualism for the focus participants by having a community of Mexican American who

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16 5 were bilinguals themselves The focus participants was allowed to use either language to communicate with one another. Despite the encouraging l inguistic environment, there were other challenges that the focus participants faced How did Swansea contribute to their bilingualism? Swansea, the public elementary school that the twelve student participants attend wa s another setting that contributed to their bilingualism. Swansea offers a bilingual program that aims to 1) transition s tudents out of the bilingual program as they gain proficiency in English and 2) aid assimi lation through the learning of s tandard English hoping that wit h English, students can become more mainstreamed Alba and Nee (2003) rehabilitate the term assimilation to describe the experiences of immigrants to the United States. Bean and Steven (2003) discuss assimilation with respect to economic, linguistic, social, and special incorporation of foreign born peopl e in the United States. Considering their parameters for assimilation, in this study, I choose to focus on the assimilation with regards to education in public schools for immigrant children. One of the aims of assimilation is to get bilingual children to learn English so that they can better fit into mainstream American society (Waters & Jimenez, 2005). Children in Globeville attend ed schools in the neighborhood, and through the systemic hegemony of English, they were forced to abandon thei r heritage langu age as they beca me more proficient in English. This was a pattern observed among the fifth graders who were transitioned out of Spanish Language Development once they achieved English proficiency. Schools and educational policies in the United States did n ot encourage or promote bilingualism as an end goal for children of immigrants (Christine & Genesee, 2001) Fortunately, the twelve student participants that I worked with have learned to acculturate instead of assimilate. Padilla and

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166 Perez (2003) discuss acculturation to refer to the internal processes of change that immigrants experience when they come into direct contact with a host culture. Taking their cues, in this study, I define acculturation as a process that allows immigrants children to create ne w identities while taking the best of their original cultures and blending them with useful elements of American cultures. One of the ways that the focus population demonstrated accu lturation wa s through the using of two languages English and Spanish, or culture s, Mexican and American Being family translators was one of the ways that this was reported. Valds, Brookes, and Chvez (2003) highlight community interpreters to refer to untrained bilinguals who interpret voluntarily in interaction with non speakers of the majority language. In this case, the focus population who translate for their family members fall into the category of community interpreters. For example, the BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals that I wo rked with were able to communicate in both languages well and beca me family translators for their parents They were able to move seamlessly between the two languages, English and kes an intelligent Besides linguistic acculturation, the focus population also shared their cultural acculturation practices. They demonstrated the blending of cultures with their unique way of discussing and celebra ting Halloween Ann, from third grade, shared how she and her family celebrated Halloween in the U.S She added that even though Halloween was celebrated in Mexico, it wa s not done the way it wa s in America. She elaborated on the costumes she had worn for Halloween in America, and some were spooky characters from Mexican tales. In the fifth grade classrooms, the focus participants were able to take acculturation a step further

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167 by reflecting on similarities between themselves and the main charac ter in an Eng lish academic text They drew from their personal experiences as they discussed their challenges as immigrants and being bilinguals. This was observed during one of the reading lessons. Mexican American immigrants in the United States were often forced to abandon Spanish at school instead of being allowed to remain and maintain their bilingualism, in this way, discouraging acculturation However, a s observed acculturation wa s facilitated by BFLA Spanish English Mexican American biling uals, living in Globeville, through the blending of languages and cultural practices. Nevertheless, due to the lack of support in educational policies that promotes English only programs these children are not given the opportunity to maintain harmonious bilingual development at school. Cavazos Rehg and Delucia Waack (2009) and Huang (1995) also supported the claim that school plays a part in helping students maintain bilingualism when students have more contact with heritage language. However, as observe d in this study, as the focus participants moved up to higher levels in their elementary school journey, their contact with the heritage language is minimal. By the fifth grade, teachers used mostly English, claiming that Spanish development will happen at home. Family and Community: What has been done? What can be done? I add to De Houwer (2009 ) and Silva Corvalan (2015) argument who claim that family and community play significant roles in helping bilingual children remain bilinguals Besides family and community, society too play s significant roles in helping BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development through policies implementation Bilingual programs should not be about transitioning from Spanish to English (Christine & Genesee, 2001) I n a predominantly White monolingual

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168 American society where in addition to being minority bilinguals of Mexican descent, they are BFLA children with two first languages ; they should be allowed to acquire and maintain their first languages which are a part of their self identities. Educators can provide an encouraging bi linguistic environment to allow BFLA Spanish English c hildren to develop and maintain harmonious bilingual development as observed in th e kindergarten and third grade classrooms F Pedagogy of the Oppressed, where he suggested a pedagogy of the people engaged in the fight for their own liberation is a curriculum that educators can implement in their classrooms to help reposition BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. The educators that I worked with in this study expressed the importance of bilingualism; however, due to policies like standardized testing, they are pressured to help students transition to English only. With a curriculum suggested by Freire, educator s who are bilinguals themselves can begin to have dialogues with their students on bilingualism in America, their identities, and their positionality. Educators can introduce a practice of freed om rather than domination in their classrooms by placing equal importance in Spanish and English language teachings, and American and Mexican cultural practices. Besides school, family can also contribute towards harmonious bilingual development among BFLA Spanish English Mexican American children. During home visits, I noticed that extended family members were a huge part of the focus participants lives. Prior to the home visits, I intended to speak with only the parents of the student participants; h owever, I had the opportunity to also speak with uncles, aunts, and cousins of the student participants. This allowed me to focus on their language use at home with their family members and within their community. Even though I do not speak Spanish, I was able to conduct interview

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169 sessions with the family members. From the interviews, I had the opportunity to find out what bilingualism meant to them The response was unanimous among all family members and their vis iting neighbors who happened to be there during the visits Family members view ed bilingualism as i mportant because while Spanish wa s needed t o communicate at home, English wa s needed to succeed at school and later create job opportunities for the student participants. Family members also demonstrate d their pro bilingualism as they encourage d and promote d bilingualism at home. Some offered strategies such as reading and writing bilingually. Other s use d movie night s and television prog rams to ensure bilingua lism was practiced at home. Parents also admitted that their chi ldren translated for them at stores and the doctor This wa s again another avenue for bilingualism. All of these strategies promote harmonious bilingual development and if continued, BFLA Span ish English Mexican American childr en can grow up to be balanced bilinguals With s uch encouragement and strong support from family, these children are highly likely to maintain their bilingualism (De Houwer, 2009 ) However, as highlighted earlier, family player in achieving and maintaining harmonious bilingual development. Educators form part of the larger community in the linguistic repertoire of BFLA Spanish English Mexican Americans. Teachers and teacher aid e s within my study believe d that there were benefits to bilingualism; howe ver, more importance was placed o n learning s tandard English as opposed to Spanish Therefore, even as educators encourage d bilingual learning in all three classrooms, kindergarten, third grade, and fifth grade, there wa s a shift towards learning s tandard English skills acquisition in terms of speaking, reading, and writing from fourth grade onwards According to the teachers and teacher aid e s, s uch a shift from fourth grade onwards wa s at trib uted to two factors. The first wa s the s tandardized

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170 Testing conduc ted in English, and the second wa s access to job opportunities for the student participants later in life. However, as we reflect on why educators are driven by these two reasons, and co nsider why parents themselves are driven towards similar goals for their children, we will realize that the bigger players are the polic ies surrounding language use in American public schools. In the next section, I highlight ed one of the policies that i mpedes bilingual acquisition in school for BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals. The d riving forces behind the (anti ) Bilingual Education Act. I will look at fo ur key areas that drive the anti Bilingual Education Act. These area s include nati onal identity, the hegemony of the English Language (Shannon, 1995), the achievement gap between White (and Asian) students and Mexican Ame rican (and other minority group ) students attending public schools all tied to state and district policies. Equity In the context of this study, I define equity ad providing equal opportunities to students with consideration of where they came from. For example, BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are marginalized minorities in the United States. To provi de equal opportunities for them might imply to level the educational play ing field by rendering more support to them through resource allocation. In the case of bilingualism, this could mean to allow them to learn and continue to learn in both languages, E nglish and Spanish, an opportunity that may not be made accessible to monolingual English speaking Americans. T he federal government an d the states took steps towards banning bilingual education, and in states such as Colorado, where bilingual education i s still implemented, the program is being weakened as it receives less funding from the state, and also less

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171 recognition in terms of standardized test scores. This is because of the issues surrounding equity B ilingual education programs are unpopular amon g the majority voters as their children are not benefitting from the Bilingual Education Act (Stein, 2004 ) Achievement gap In Colorado, bilingual education is still in place after defeating Unz in 2000 and 2002 (Escamilla, Shannon, Carlos & Garcia, 2003 ) with transitional, immersion, and dual i mmersion programs. The federal Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) however includes significant anti bilingual components that still threaten bilingual students in all states, including Colorado. The ESEA, since 19 92, requires English language learners, which includes Mexican Americans and other minority group students, to take standardized tests in English within three years of entering the U.S. school system. This Act forces a lot of bilingual schools to restructure th not be recognized by the state (Stein, 2004) According to Green ( 1998 ) policy makers believe that bil ingual educatio n increases the achievement gap between White and Mexican American (and other minority language more successful in schools even though studies have proven otherwise (Green, 1998). H egemony of the English language The Bilingual Education Act which has been replaced with the English Language Acquisition Act (since 1992) through the NCLB Act aims to dismiss teaching of non English language s in public

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172 rally for having cities, countries, and states proclaim English as their official language to eliminate the use of minority languages such as Spanish (Krashen, 1999; Stein, 2004) In the United States, English is language of communication. Some believe that i f other languages such as Spanish are ever given a place of recognition in the linguistic repertoire of the United States, the English language might lose its power (Krashen, 1999; Stein, 2004) According to Moll (1998), language and culture are mediation tools of communication. To ensure the hegemony of the English language, Spanish and all ot her minority languages are not given recognition in public schools. Howeve r, this is done at the risk of taking away the human rights 5 of Mexican Americans and other minority language bilinguals National iden tity The United States has experienced an i nflux of the largest wave of non En glish speaking immigrants in its history, w ith Mexican Americans being the largest of the minority group (Orfield & Lee, 2005). This has increased the fear of the implementation of foreign ideologies into the United States (ibid). By replacing the Bilingual Education Act with ESEA in public school s, proponents thought that the fear that foreign language(s), culture(s), and ideology (ideologies) being established at schools would be eliminated (Stein, 2004) With such forces driving the anti bilingual act in traditional schools, what chance do BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals have in achieving and maintaining harmonious bilingual development? Policies impact education which impact educators and their strategies in the classrooms. Parents are affected by the policies as well. With p ar ents and educators tied to such policies, there is little that the student participants themselves can 5 This refers to Article 29 and 30 on the Convention on the Rights of a Child adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nation in 1989.

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173 do to continue to learn bilingually at school This is why intrinsic motivation plays an equally important role in helping BFLA Spanish English Mexican A merican bilinguals achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development so that they can develop to beco me BFLA adults. Social Identities: Race, SES, and Immigration Status The fourth and final factor that impacts the development and maintenance of harmonious bilingual development for BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States is intrinsic motivation which developed from the focus participant s social identities In this section, I am going to discuss three forces that impa ct harmonious bilingual development and maintenance. They are race, socio economic status, and immigration status. Lareau (2011) argues that social class or socio economic status plays a very significant role in the development of unequal childhood in Ame rica. While this is true to a large extent, I do not completely agree with Lareau (2011) as she also claims that social class overrides the impact that race has on childhood inequality. hooks (1994) on the other hand, argues that race is a significant fact or in American schools as it determines the distribution of Darling Hammond (2010) and Hanushek and Lindseth (2009). While I agree that socio economic status does play a s ignificant role in the development of unequal childhood, I must add that race is also a contributing factor to creating the unequal childhood situation. In her book, Unequal Childhood, Lareau (2011) discusses childhood development of American children ac ross socio economic status and race. She found that inequality permeates the fabric of culture in American families. Through in depth observations and

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174 interviews with families from three social classes, middle class, working class, and poor families, Larea u (2011) concludes that middle class families use cultural logic of child rearing that focus es on the concerted cultivation of children while working class and poor families tend to undertake the accomplishment of natural growth of their children. Lareau experiences. This implies that middle income children will continue to get access to resources that are not made easily available to children from working cla ss and poor families. Valdes (1996) argues this using t he class analysis argument when explanation of school failure involves the analysis of the role of education in maintaining class differences, that is, in maintaining the pow observed among the focus participants the fact s that they live in Globeville and attend play a part in maintaining social class difference in America. Working class children are kept in immigrant neighborhood s where t heir access to resources is limited However, it must also be noted that the Globeville population that belongs to the immigra nt population are working class, and these working class are of one race, Mexican American. As hooks argues race is a significant factor in American schools. Even though I agree with Lareau (2011) that social class does impact childhood inequality, I must also add that race plays an equally significant role, or maybe even more, especially in a predominantly White society such as America. Corsaro (1993) looked at friendship and peer culture in early childhood. His study also looked at family and relatio nships; ho wever, unlike Lareau, he focused on Mexican immigrants in the United States. His study showed how social class is related to race in the predominantly White

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175 American society. While middle class families tend to succeed due to their ability to acc ess resources, their access to resources is limited. I agree with him. Policy makers and writers such as Darling Hammond (2010) who looked at inequality in educational resources i n the United States have demonstrated how race and social class are connected and how these two factors affect distribution of educational resources and access to resources. Bowles and Gintis (2011) talk about how schooling in capitalist America looks and how educational reform is often targeted at children of certain race s and soc ial class es It is not possible to draw a clear line between race and class when discussing inequality in America, especially when addressing marginalized Mexican American bilinguals. Identity: Self and Perceived Following McKinley (2015) definition of Identity Construction Theory, who states that identity construction involves the formation of both cultural identity and academic identity I will elaborate on the challenges that BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals have to contend with as the y straddle between two first languages and cultures, merging these languages and cultures as the y form a new identity. According to McKinley (2015), i position in relation to others within the same cultural community (McKinley, 2015). Identity Construction T heory also explains the ideational and interpersonal relationships involved in forming an academic identity (ibid ). In working with BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals who are attending tradit ional public school s discussion on cultural and academic identities contribute to this study as I consider their identities, self and perceived Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the identities of BFLA Sp anish English Mexican American bilinguals. According to Kayi

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176 This implies m influence the language choice of the focus participants Within my study, t he four teachers and two teacher aid e s are bilinguals themselves. All except one were educated in the United States, having experienced the traditional American schools for themse lve s. One of them is pursuing her m asters in bilingual studies and another is planning to start her Ph.D in bilingual studies. One of the teacher aid e s is a teacher trainee who also shared intimate details on how she was marginalized as a Mexican American bilingual student. Despite their varying personal experiences with bilingualism, traditional schooling, and the United States, they have one thing in common. They are bilinguals and they believe that bilingualism is important. However language policies i n the United States dictate how and what should be taught in traditional public schools. While the educators in the study were bilinguals and hoped for their students to remain bilinguals too they also hope d that their students wou l d acquire s tandard Engl ish and transition out of a bilingual classroom into an English only classroom. They believe d that their students could continue to get Spanish support at home. This was relayed during the interactions and interviews I had with the educators. Because of their personal experiences which shape thei r philosophies, their classroom decisions and strategies are also impacted. Their identities as teachers to BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are negotiated as they put forward the importance of bi Instead of teaching regardless of language used, they are concerned with spreading knowledge in English. The educators in the fifth grade classroom relayed that they use only Engli sh to teach their students because of standardized t esting They want t heir students to

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177 perform well on E nglish only standardized tests However, they do allow students to communicate with one another in Spanish during class discussion. Despite allowing Sp anish communication in the classroom, I observed that they would only respond in English when spoken to in Spanish. This led students to switch to English. In the fifth grade classroom, I noticed that t language choices and preferences impact ed t he choice s W hile individuals form identities as they wish to be perceived by others, they might also take on the identities imposed on or assigned to them by other people (Mantero, 2007). Identity negotiation occurs when people are exp ected to take on or reshape their identities. This negotiation is influenced b y a variety of factors such as 1) the repertoire and importance of social identities 2) the setting, and 3) the actions and influence of others in those settings (Deaux, 2001). When the negotiation is successful, people may form new identities or reconstruct their existing selves. BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are in a position where they are negotiating their social identities in the classroom Their identitie s may be influenced by those around them such as their teachers. In conclusion, a teacher is not a neutral member in an educational setting. The choices of what to say and when to say is related to who we are and how we want to be perceived by others (Rex & Schiller, 2009). Even though the teachers are bilinguals themselves and recognize that bilingualism is an asset that their students shoul d have, state policies such as standardized t esting influence them to decide to teach in English only. Conclusions This study highlighted two key conclusions. The first is with respect to BFLA Spanish English M exican American bilinguals and harmonious b ilingual d evelopment. The

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178 second is around the reframing of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals within t he context of the United States. BFLA Spanish English Mexican American Bilinguals and Harmonious Bilingual Development BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in my study are the new and emerging group of Mexican American bilinguals in the Unit ed States who owned two first languages In the past, Mexican Americans may have been ESL and ELL or long term ELL However, the new and emerging group of Mexican American bilinguals are different because they are like ly to have two first languages. They a cquire d two first lan guages, English and Spanish from birth due to exposure to both languages prio r to school. The exposure to both languages might have come from hearing the languages being spoken at home by family members or being played on television. E ven though they ca me from low economic status and had limited access to basic needs su ch as cl ean air and fresh food and were not provided with sufficient support in school to continue to learn in English and Spanish, they remain ed bilinguals In the early e lementary school years, they were given the opportunity to acquire knowledge in English and S panish. In later years, they were persuade d to learn in English only. It wa s only in the later elementa ry years that they develop ed fear of losing the herit age language, Spanish. However, it must be noted that no matter which elementary year they were in, they saw the importance and be nefits of bilingualism. They were able to allocate domains to each language at a very young age wh en they expressed that Spani sh wa s mostly used at home wit h family members, and English was mostly used at school wit h teachers and friends who spoke English

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179 In order to achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development in the early years, family plays a key r ole with positive encouragement In the later elementary years, educators play an equally important role in nurturing and encouraging bilingualism. With the Bilingual Turn (Garcia, 2009), bilingual programs should be moving towards fluid bilingualism and away from transiti onal bilingual programs. However, educators are limited by policies. Therefore, intrinsic motivation to want to develop into BFLA adults comes into play for these student participants to maintain their bilingualism harmoniously. The repositioning of BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals is crucial because they are not ELA or ELL. As demonstrated in this study, they are bilinguals with two first languages, Spanish and English. They are also acculturated Americans who have blended two lang uages: the heritage language of Spanish with the societal language of English. Besides language acculturation, they have also blended their cultural practices, marrying heritage culture with societal culture. However, even as they have acculturated, they are sti ll perceived as bilingual immigrants. How does BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals fit into the American context? The next section will look at reframing them within the context of the United States. Reframing it in the context of the Unit ed States Language as a symbol and its role in the creation of language policies, nationalism, and cultural identification was discussed as early as 1968 by Joshua Fishman. In t he United States, language as symbolic violence plays a key role in the hegemon y of English (Shannon, 1995 ), which has shaped many language policies that have impacted marginalized BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in the United States. The traditional approach to language policy research is to examine policies from th e top down with a macro focus

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180 (Loring, 2015). However, the top down approach looks at policy befalling people without agency rather than looking at local knowledge (Canagarajah, 2005b). Therefore, scholars in language policy have recently highlighted the necessity of supplementing traditional policy analyses with bottom up research approach es (Canagarajah, 2005a; Ramanathan & Morgan, 2007). This study took on both the top down and bottom up approach es as I looked at language use and its impact on BFLA Span ish English Mexican American bilinguals studying in elementary schools in Denver, Colorado. De Houwer (2009 ) identifies BFLA children as children who are equally proficient in two first languages, Language A and Language Alpha. They have been exposed to both languages from birth through careful planning of language use at home. Such strategies include the 1P/1L strategy. Harmonious bilingual development is the desired outcome for BFLA children. In the United States, the profiles of BFLA children differ. T hese children may not be equally proficient in both Language A (Spanish) and Language Alpha (English) due to their marginalized status which limit their access to resources. However, they are still BFLA children due to exposure to both the societal and the heritage language since birth. Their language exposure and acquisition from home may be accidental, but they have demonstrated that they were proficient in both languages when most of them became translators for their families. How can they continue to de velop bilingually? Future Directions This study highlights how BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals are different from ESL and ELL students due to their differing language needs. They come to school having acquired E nglish. They may need to l earn s tandard English, but not at the expense of their heritage language, Spanish, which also forms a core component of their

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181 identities. They cannot continue to be perceived as either one language user or the other because they are both, and they are prou d of their bilingualism. At an early age, they expressed fear of losing the heritage language. This also means that policy makers need to reevaluate their language policies to consider the needs of these marginalized bilinguals. Policies that will help t hese children achieve and maintain harmonious bilingual development is desired so that they can contribute to American society. Policies need to look beyond race, SES, and immigration status. On top of policy changes in education, much can also be done for Globeville and Swansea to help the marginalize d community continue to succeed. The population of BFLA Spanish Engli sh Mexican American children is on the rise in the United States. This could be attribu ted to suggested immigration laws that are underg oing changes cy. No matter what the reason it becomes crucial for educators to better identify BFLA Spanish English Mexican American bilinguals in their classrooms. Re positioning them be comes the next logical process as educators pl an a curriculum that will prepare all Americans to be global citizen s These bilinguals are unique and can continue to be an asset if they can be nurtured to develop into balanced bilinguals. I hope to continue my work in this field as I begin to explore t he many ways harmonious bilingual development can be attained in American public school system s

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