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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