Title

"Why in This Bilingual Classroom… Hablamos Más Español?” Language Choice by Bilingual Science Students

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

5-1-2013

Abstract

This qualitative research study examines the internal and external factors that impact Latino/a students’ use of language in the science classroom and in the laboratory during instruction. This study was conducted in a school in the southwestern United States, serving an economically depressed, predominantly Latino population. The object of study was a fifth grade bilingual (Spanish/English) class where English was the means of instruction. The findings demonstrate the students’ awareness of their own bilingualism, preference for speaking Spanish, and their conceptualization of English as the language of academic success. Most significantly, it has also been observed how the institutional context impacts the teacher’s and the students’ performance causing an implicit institutionalized bias against Spanish, affecting the students’ language use.

Sponsorship/Conference/Institution

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA)

Location

San Francisco, CA

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