ERIC Number: EJ737940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Reference Count: 48
Bilingual Education Students Reflect on Their Language Education: Reinventing a Classroom 10 Years Later
Whitmore, Kathryn F.; Crowell, Caryl G.
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, v49 n4 p270-285 Dec 2005
Ten years ago, an ethnographic study in a bilingual whole-language third-grade classroom identified conditions that defined the classroom as a learning community: a high level of intellectual expectation, symmetric power and trust relationships, authenticity, and additive bilingualism and biliteracy. The students' insights strengthened the authors' determination to advocate for authentic, holistic, and transformative language and literacy instruction. This article reports findings from follow-up interviews with those third graders, now young adults, who reflect on their experiences. A particular finding is the indication that nonschool contexts for language and literacy (e-mail, television, communication with friends and family in Mexico, and restaurant work) had more influence on these students' Spanish maintenance than did school contexts. This study compels us to renew the fight for bilingual education for all students beyond the point when English-language learners are deemed to have acquired sufficient English competence to participate in school. The voices of the four students and their parents that are reported here affirm for the authors the benefits of whole language theory and pedagogy, the critical value of bilingual education for all students (not just English-language learners), and the essential nature of fostering community in classrooms. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Grade 3, Young Adults, Cultural Awareness, Ethnography, Bilingualism, English (Second Language), Bilingual Education, Language Maintenance, Spanish Speaking, Educational Environment, Holistic Approach
International Reading Association, Order Department, P.O. Box 6021, Newark, DE 19714-6021. Tel: 800-336-7323 (Toll Free); Tel: 302-731-1600; Fax: 302-737-0878; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico