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Language, Space and Power: A Critical Look at Bilingual Education

reviewed by Vasthi Reyes Acosta - July 11, 2006

coverTitle: Language, Space and Power: A Critical Look at Bilingual Education
Author(s): Samina Hadi-Tabassum
Publisher: Multilingual Matters, Clevedon
ISBN: 1853598798, Pages: 295, Year: 2006
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In Language, Space and Power: A Critical Look at Bilingual Education, Samina Hadi-Tabassum presents a multifaceted view of a fifth grade dual language classroom.  Hadi-Tabassum focuses on the classroom culture and cultural power struggles. In doing so, she identifies the “in-between space” or third space, where much of what is usually transparent, silent, and unquestioned about language and linguistic borders and boundaries is made visible, vocalized, and questioned. Hadi-Tabassum’s comprehensive picture of a classroom illustrates the author’s premise that a dual language classroom can be a “decentered, fragmentary place of conflicting voices that coexist and collide together” (p. 2). In Hadi-Tabassum’s classroom, the equilibrium between Spanish and English is always moving and changing. She describes this fluidity in terms such as “decentered,” “fragmentary,”  “fundamentally unstable and shifting,” and “knows no permanent or solid place for linguistic equality.” (p. 9) The fluidity of the two languages and the constant collisions and... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 11, 2006
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12589, Date Accessed: 8/3/2021 8:06:22 PM

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About the Author
  • Vasthi Acosta
    Teachers College
    E-mail Author
    Dr. VASTHI REYES ACOSTA, graduate of Teachers College, also holds a Master of Science degree in Bilingual Education from Bank Street College of Education. With over 25 years experience within the field of bilingual education, she has trained teachers throughout the northeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands while coordinator of the Early Childhood Bilingual Multicultural Resource Center at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. As associate professor at Hostos Community College, she supervised student teachers placed in bilingual settings. She has developed bilingual multicultural curriculum and taught in the NYC public school system. She has presented at state and national conferences. Presently she is Project Director of a Two Way Bilingual grant at a NYC dual language school.
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