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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19129

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
Keywords: Multilingualism
Multiliteracies
Interculturalism
Oaxaca
English Language Teaching
Children
Teacher Preparation
Mexican Indigenous Languages
Critical Ethnography
Critical Action Research
Identity
Narrative
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.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19129
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_thesis.pdfDoctoral Dissertation3.27 MBAdobe PDF
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig21VideoSofia.movVideo Figure 2117.98 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig23VideoChildren.movVideo Figure 2325.48 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig24VideoAlex.movVideo Figure 2413.85 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig25VideoAnabel.movVideo Figure 2514.08 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig26VideoRoberto.movVideo Figure 2619.22 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig31VideoBenito.movVideo Figure 319.75 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig33VideoFederico.movVideo Figure 3311.36 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig35VideoElisa.movVideo Figure 3513.44 MBVideo Quicktime
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Lopez-Gopar_Mario_E_200911_PhD_Fig37VideoEdgar.movVideo Figure 3724.66 MBVideo Quicktime
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