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Integration as Perpetuation: Learning from Race Evasive Approaches to ESL Program Reform

by Andrew H. Hurie & Rebecca M. Callahan - 2019

Background: Currently, most Latinx emergent bilingual (EB) students are educated in English-medium programs alongside English-dominant peers. Legally mandated social integration of EB students coincides with a prescriptive linguistic emphasis on content-language integration in ESL (English as a second language) programs; both integrative approaches are particularly salient in the current hyperracial climate in the United States.

Focus of Study: We explore two schools’ responses to Latinx EB population growth via the intersecting racial and language ideologies informing and influenced by programmatic changes, educator perceptions, and pedagogical practices.

Research Design: This qualitative multiple case study spans two Texas schools selected by purposeful maximal sampling over the course of two separate academic years. Data include semistructured interviews, focus group interviews, and participant observations.

Findings: We find that institutional structures across the sites tended to promote a denial of responsibility for racial stratification and a concomitant disciplining of the school curriculum. We argue that both integrative approaches ultimately perpetuated white racial domination.

Conclusions/Recommendations: We suggest that ESL research and practice would benefit from an explicit questioning of racializing discourses and boundaries of academic disciplines as part of a racially literate critical practice designed to counter the normalization of whiteness.

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12 1503428), Design Technology in Engineering Education for English Learner Students (Project DTEEL), PI, Callahan, R.M., Co-PI, Crawford, R. In addition, the authors were supported by grant P2CHD042849, Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Opinions reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agencies.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 121 Number 9, 2019, p. 1-38
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22772, Date Accessed: 9/23/2021 10:44:07 PM

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About the Author
  • Andrew Hurie
    The University of Texas at Austin
    E-mail Author
    ANDREW H. HURIE is a doctoral candidate in the Bilingual/Bicultural Education program at The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on the intersections among bilingual education, race, place, political economy, and school privatization policies. His recent writing appears in Language and Education and Íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura.
  • Rebecca Callahan
    The University of Texas at Austin
    E-mail Author
    REBECCA M. CALLAHAN is an associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the academic, linguistic, civic, and social integration of bilingual EL students in the K-12 schools. Her recent work appears in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Administration Quarterly, and Journal of School Leadership.
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