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ERIC Number: EJ1119744
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2381-3369
Toward Expanding What Counts as Language for Latina and Latino Youth in an Urban Middle School Classroom
Martinez, Danny C.; Montaño, Elizabeth
Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, v65 n1 p200-216 Nov 2016
In this article, we report findings from a yearlong design research project that worked to leverage the language brokering skills of Latina/Latino middle school youth in an urban school setting. We began the project by asking seventh-grade students to talk about the many languages they speak in their daily lives. Throughout the project, their teacher, Ms. Reyes, drew on youths' tacit understandings of language to engage them, metalinguistically, in learning activities that went beyond classroom activities, with specific attention to the various ways language is used to persuade different audiences across contexts. We concluded with documenting their reflections on the project and their understandings of their language use. We share data of transcripts from focus group discussions between four students. Findings revealed that student's tacit understandings about language fell into four categories, "language of respect," "diverse ways of speaking," "what they learned" about language, and an emerging sense of their "academic confidence." We use these data to show how youth shared knowledge and understandings about language that they had not been asked to share before. We conclude with suggestions for how classroom teachers can work toward expanding what counts for language in English Language Arts classrooms.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 7; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Los Angeles)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A