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ERIC Number: EJ906328
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-0360-9170
"Cartitas de Carino": Little Notes to Say You Care
Smith, Howard L.; Riojas-Cortez, Mari
Language Arts, v88 n2 p125-133 Nov 2010
Spanish-speaking, Mexican American parents participated in a literacy workshop in which they created short, personal letters called "cartitas de carino" for their children. This paper reports on the content of their texts, which included drawings and messages that reflected the cultural norms and traditions of the families. Using a socio-historical lens, the authors show how the parents' "cartitas de carino" functioned as a tool of cultural and social mediation by communicating their affection and emotional support as well as the scholastic and behavioral expectations parents had for their children. This population (i.e., Spanish-speaking Latinos of the working poor class) is frequently relegated to studies on cultural, social, or educational deficiency. Based on the evidence from the "cartitas de carino," we affirm that Mexican parents, irrespective of their prior schooling or economic status, value literacy as a tool for cultural transmission as well as a form of self-expression, and they readily engage in literacy practices with their children when afforded the opportunity. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A