Deborah Palmer is an assistant professor in bilingual/bicultural education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, United States. Her research interests include bilingual education policy and politics, two-way bilingual education, and teacher leadership. She is the director of Proyecto Maestría, a National Professional Development Project that aims to build teacher leadership in bilingual/ESL education. She works with teachers to define and build equitable learning spaces in diverse bilingual/multilingual classrooms.
Middle-Class English Speakers in a Two-Way Immersion Bilingual Classroom: “Everybody Should Be Listening to Jonathan Right Now …”
Article first published online: 30 DEC 2011
2009 TESOL International Association
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 177–202, June 2009
How to Cite
PALMER, D. K. (2009), Middle-Class English Speakers in a Two-Way Immersion Bilingual Classroom: “Everybody Should Be Listening to Jonathan Right Now …”. TESOL Quarterly, 43: 177–202. doi: 10.1002/j.1545-7249.2009.tb00164.x
- Issue published online: 30 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 30 DEC 2011
Two-way bilingual immersion education, offered in a fast-growing number of primary schools in the United States, provides primary language maintenance to minority language speakers while simultaneously offering an enrichment “foreign” language immersion experience to English-speaking children in the same classroom, generally with the same teacher. This fusion of two different groups of children, two different sets of expectations, is controversial: Is it possible to accomplish both goals at once, or will teacher and program inevitably end up serving the needs of dominant English-speaking children first? The equation is further complicated when the English speakers in a program come from mainly highly educated middle-class families, and the Spanish speakers come from mainly working-class immigrant families, as is the case in many of these programs. Drawing on audio and video data from a year-long study in a second-grade two-way classroom that shares this class gap between language groups, and using a methodology that fuses ethnography and discourse analysis, this article explores the ways English-speaking children can impact classroom conversational dynamics.