LANGUAGE WITHIN AND ACROSS LATINX COMMUNITIES WORKING GROUP

The linguistic landscape of the United States is marked by a history of hybridization, erasure, and revitalization. Along  with assimilationist practices,  this nation has continued to  express conservative and nativist sentiments towards speakers of languages other than English. The English Only movement has pushed for the elimination of bilingual programs in urban public schools in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts with a growing Spanish-speaking majority. The recent attention to the so called “thirty million word gap” focuses on the perceived deficits of low-income, bilingual parents  to provide good language models for their children. And the “latinization” of southern states brings new challenges and threats to existing racial and linguistic tensions to teachers and schools who must respond to  this rapidly changing demographic. These public expressions and attitudes have repercussions across a myriad of institutions serving Latinx individuals, families, and communities. Our aim is to contribute to IUPLR’s research foci by developing a public intellectual voice that informs discourses about Latinx and their languages and to examine and address misconceptions and research that are prejudicial to Latinx  children, families, and communities. As part of our goals, the working group will

1)  Identify and  examine recent scholarship that documents the linguistic varieties spoken within and across Latinx communities. This effort will also examine the racialization processes that intersect with linguistic expression.  A starting point will be the group’s discussion of the book by Potowski (in press), which provides a comprehensive treatment of the Spanish in the U.S., as well as other recent books on related topics.

2)  Engage in and disseminate research that rigorously examines the linguistic, social, and cultural practices of  Spanish-speaking, bilingual, translanguag-ers, and multilingual Latinx with the goal of identifying and showcasing new linguistic practices and trends of the past 10 years.

3) Expand  the scope of the Working Group by including a  scholars from a variety of disciplines  to convene around language related issues and to develop or present the best methodologies to examine the current linguistic landscape of Latinx communities. The working group is committed  to  the training and mentoring of junior scholars in this area of research and will outreach to graduate students and junior faculty within and outside IUPLR institutions.    

4) Commission a series of white papers/research briefs  that frame linguistic and social issues that could be helpful in combating restrictive policies in schools and other institutions and advancing new language policy.


CONVENORS: 

Patricia Baquedano-López (UC Berkeley) and Kim Potowski (University of Illinois at Chicago)

MEMBERS:

Ines Casillas, UC Santa Barbara
Nelson Flores, University of Pennsylvania
Zitlali Morales, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jonathan Rosa, Stanford University