Congratulations to all of the 2018 Bilingual Education Research SIG Award Winners! 

2018 Outstanding Dissertation Awards  

First Place (Tie) 

Sofía Chaparro, Ph.D.  
Assistant Professor 
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
School of Education & Human Development
University of Colorado, Denver

Title: Language and the Gentrifying City: An Ethnographic Study of a Two-Way Immersion Program in an Urban Public School

Abstract: Two-Way bilingual immersion programs, which bring together language majority and language minority children with the goals of bilingualism and biliteracy for all, are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. And while research shows high academic achievement for both language majority and language minority speakers, as measured by standardized testing (Thomas & Collier, 2002), a number of studies highlight the problematic tensions that arise around issues of equity, power, and the role and status of Spanish (e.g. Cervantes-Soon, 2014; Fitts, 2006; Valdés, 1997). I add to this literature by examining both the larger social processes that bring different groups of people together in the same urban space - such as gentrification and immigration – and how families and children differently experience the program. Through this ethnographic, discourse analytic study, I shed light on the social dynamics that influenced the creation of this program, including a funding crisis in the district along with a movement by middle class mostly white parents to "opt-in" to the public school system. I show how the efforts of one group to support and promote this program were driven by a desire for equity but also enmeshed in a system that reproduced class and race privilege. I demonstrate the stark differences in the realities of parents who composed the group of "English-speakers" and those who were the parents of the "Spanish-speakers." Yet, in the classroom, I illustrate how children showed a wider range of proficiencies than their labels allowed. I argue that, through everyday interactions children socialized each other into both languages, and into a range of ways of communicating that went beyond linguistic codes. Finally, through the concept of raciolinguistic socialization, I show how race and class impacted children’s trajectories, which were consequential to not only their identities, but also decisions to stay or leave the program itself. Children and families from vastly different class, cultural, racial, and linguistic backgrounds are differently subject (or not) to processes of racialization and marginalization, which have consequences for their schooling experiences and eventual outcomes. As such, both these processes, and these programs, merit more scholarly attention.

Dissertation Supervisors: Nelson Flores & Betsy Rymes (Co-Chairs)

Degree Granting Institution: The University of Pennsylvania

First Place (Tie)

Daniel Heiman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
Graduate School of Education
Portland State University 

Title: Two-way Immersion, Gentrification, and Critical Pedagogy: Teaching Against the Neoliberal Logic

Abstract: This nine-month critical ethnography documented a TWI (two-way immersion) school and community in a rapidly gentrifying urban context in Central Texas in 2015-2016. The documentation of neoliberal processes on the ground revealed dual gentrifications at the community and school levels; increased property values that pushed the traditional Latinx population to the margins and the gentrification of a TWI program as it became a highly sought out place for English dominant families. I conducted interviews with multiple stakeholders, participated in myriad school meetings and events, and most importantly documented and collaborated with a fifth-grade teacher who integrated critical pedagogy as a response to these neoliberal processes. Findings at the classroom level revealed the teacher’s deliberate stance to move beyond TWI’s traditional pillars of academic and linguistic proficiency in two languages and multicultural competence to include a fourth pillar around the development of students’ critical consciousness. A key facet of this response to both macro and micro neoliberal processes was our decision to position gentrification as a “generative theme” and carry out a thematic unit with students. Student interactions, blogs, and interviews demonstrated a deeper sense of critical consciousness about how gentrification was impacting their communities and school. The findings offer empirical support for the proposed fourth pillar of TWI and implications for TWI policy, practice, research, and bilingual teacher preparation are discussed. 

Link to dissertation

Dissertation Supervisors: Claudia Cervantes-Soon & Rebecca Callahan (Co-Chairs) 

Degree Granting Institution: The University of Texas at Austin

Second Place

Suzanne García-Mateus, Ph.D.   
Visiting Assistant Professor of Education
Education Department
Southwestern University 

Title: She was born speaking English and Spanish!” Co-Constructing Identities and Exploring Children’s Bilingual Language Practices in a Two-Way Immersion Program in Central Texas.

Abstract: This ethnographic and longitudinal study titled, “She was born speaking English and Spanish! Co-constructing Identities and Exploring Children’s Bilingual Practices in a Two-Way Immersion Program in Central Texas” examined how the language practices of emergent bilingual students in a two-way dual language bilingual education (TWBE) program contributed to the co-construction of their and each others’ identities. I drew from theoretical frameworks related to the concept of identity specifically: sociocultural linguistics, figured worlds, and positioning theory. Key findings suggest that the strategies teachers used to promote language learning played a role in the ways students were positioned. Additionally, a critical curriculum opened up spaces in the classroom where children could draw from their linguistic repertoire despite the strict separation of the language of instruction in TWBE programs. Finally, when teachers modeled flexible bilingualism they promoted the use of both Spanish and English, at times simultaneously, and the academic content became the focus. As a result, students engaged in deeper conversations about social inequities experienced by minoritized language communities. The findings have implications for Latinx immigrant students learning alongside language-majority students, particularly in the areas of teacher education, research, and language policy in TWBE programs.

Link to Dissertation 

Dissertation Supervisors: Dr. Deb Palmer & Dr. Claudia Cervantes-Soon (Co-Chairs)

Degree Granting Institution: The University of Texas at Austin

2018 Early Career Scholar Award 

Ramón Antonio Martínez, Assistant Professor of Race and Education at Stanford University 

Bio: Ramón Antonio Martínez is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. Dr. Martínez explores the intersections of language, race, and ideology in the public schooling experiences of racialized students, with a particular focus on bi/multilingual Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x children and youth. His research examines: (1) the everyday language and literacy practices of racialized students, and the ways that these practices overlap with the forms of language and literacy privileged in academic settings; (2) the competing ideologies that inform language policy and classroom practice in urban schools, including the ways that students and teachers in these schools articulate, embody, and challenge such ideologies in their everyday interactions; and (3) the preparation of pre-service and in-service teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse learners. He has published articles in journals such as Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Bilingual Research JournalInternational Multilingual Research JournalLinguistics and EducationResearch in the Teaching of English, and Review of Research in Education. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, Dr. Martínez was an assistant professor of Language and Literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. Before earning his doctorate from the Division of Urban Schooling at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, Dr. Martínez worked as an elementary school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award   

Chris Faltis, Professor of Language, Education, and Society & Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University

Bio: Christian Faltis is Professor of Language, Education, and Society and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. His research interests include teacher education for emergent bilingual users, bilingual and dual language education, and critical arts-based learning. Faltis has been a Fulbright Scholar. He was the recipient of an AERA Distinguished Scholar Award in 2001. He was inducted as an AERA Fellow in 2016. Among his many publications are Preparing Teachers for Teaching in and Advocating for Linguistically Diverse Classrooms: A Vade Mecum for Teacher Educators (2016), Secondary Bilingual Education: Cutting the Gordian Knot (2015), The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth (2013), Education, Immigrant Students, Refugee Students, and English Learners (2011), and Teaching English Learners and Immigrant Students in Secondary School Settings (2007). 

He holds an MA degree in Mexican American Graduate Studies from San José State University and an MA in Second Language Education and PhD in Curriculum & Teacher Education with an emphasis in Bilingual Cross-Cultural Education from Stanford University. Professor Faltis is also an artist who integrates political art concerning Mexican immigration with educational policy and practices. His work has been shown in multiple venues across the United States.

2018 Graduate Student Travel Awards ($500)

Kathryn Accurso, University of Massachusetts Amherst 
Lourdes Cardozo-Gaibisso, University of Georgia 
Laura Hamman, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Heather Schlaman, University of California, Santa Cruz