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|Title: ||“What Makes Children Different Is What Makes Them Better”: Teaching Mexican Children “English” to Foster Multilingual, Multiliteracies, and Intercultural Practices|
|Authors: ||Lopez-Gopar, Mario E.|
|Advisor: ||Cummins, James|
|Department: ||Curriculum, Teaching and Learning|
English Language Teaching
Mexican Indigenous Languages
Critical Action Research
|Issue Date: ||24-Feb-2010|
|Abstract: ||This dissertation documents a critical-ethnographic-action-research (CEAR) project conducted in two elementary schools in Oaxaca, Mexico, with the collaboration of one language teacher educator and ten language student teachers. The two schools have a diverse student body composed of mestizo children and children from different Indigenous groups. The CEAR Project challenged historical and societal ideologies that position Indigenous children as deficient learners and their translanguaging and multiliteracies practices as inappropriate for schools. The CEAR Project was also a response to a world phenomenon that associates English with “development” and economic success and Indigenous and “minoritized” languages with backwardness marginalization.
The CEAR Project’s purpose was to use the student teachers’ English language praxicum in order to: (a) develop elementary school teaching expertise, (b) co-construct affirming identities among all the participants, (c) foster multilingual, multiliteracies, and intercultural practices, and (d) dialogue with the children in order to change pejorative ideologies that regard certain languages, literacies, and cultures as better than others. The Transformative Multiliteracies Pedagogy developed by Cummins (in press) and critical pedagogies theory (Freire, 1970; Norton & Toohey, 2004) informed the CEAR Project and the data collected through classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, and children’s work samples.
Using narrative, photos, and videos, this dissertation presents the migratory lives, the families, and the language and literacy practices of 50 children, and their views regarding the English language and Indigenous languages and peoples. It portrays the vivid critical moments and changes that occurred in the praxicum as the children became teachers and linguists. Through the construction of identity texts and the translanguaging and multiliteracies practices that the student teachers and the children engaged in, stories emerge that portray them as the intelligent, creative, and genuine individuals that they really are. This dissertation also documents how the children’s complex lives challenged constructs such as “family” and “Indigenous,” and the new Mexican educational policy that brings English into public elementary schools using a generic English software. It is concluded that every policy, theory, social construct, pedagogy, and curriculum should be challenged on a daily basis if we are truly to serve the ever-evolving diverse classrooms of today.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses
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