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Race, Social Justice, and Power Equity in Dual Language Education

Authors: Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon, Arizona State University
Date Published: August 19, 2019

This report synthesizes current literature, both empirical and theoretical, to offer an analysis of power dynamics in DLE within its historical, economic, and sociopolitical contexts.
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Summary

Dual language education (DLE) in the United States is situated in important ways within a long history of colonial legacies, racial tensions, asymmetrical power relations, and struggles for educational equity for marginalized groups. It could be said that any language education program is far from neutral, but for Latinxs, language is of particular significance given its role in the colonial, imperialist, racializing, and segregation processes that have shaped their community‚Äôs prospects in this country. 

This report synthesizes current literature, both empirical and theoretical, to offer an analysis of power dynamics in DLE within its historical, economic, and sociopolitical contexts. The analysis examines how power is exercised between Latinx children from immigrant and LM backgrounds and English speakers and their parents, the existing tensions between racial groups in DLE, and the strength of the current research on social justice, equity, and inclusiveness in DLE. Ultimately, the goal is to offer an analysis that may help DLE researchers identify potential ways to address inequities and increase the potential to promote social justice for historically marginalized communities through DLE education.

 

This paper is one of 5 commissioned for the Forum entitled, "Confronting the Equity Issues in Dual Language Immersion Programs," December 7-8, 2018 at UCLA. See the event page with the agenda and links to all papers.
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