Lecture with Dr. Kim Potowski: Language and Identity in a Dual Immersion School
Thursday, April 13, 2017 -
16:00 to 17:00
University of Texas at Austin, PAR 201
Dr. Kim Potowski
Dual immersion schools teach in a minority language between 50-90% of the day to two groups of students: second language learners and heritage speakers of the non-English language. Research on these programs consistently finds that they result in higher levels of both English learning and academic achievement for children who are English language learners. But what about students' Spanish? This study explores the Spanish proficiency of a group of students who studied preschool through 8th grade in a dual immersion school in Chicago, IL. Their general oral fluency, written proficiency, pragmatic ability via appropriate politeness, and accuracy on four concrete Spanish constructions revealed that students develop quite strong levels of Spanish proficiency, but there is room for improvement. Ethnographic observations andinterviews revealed that the role Spanish plays in students' identities is strongly connected to their choices about when and how to speak it.
Language and Identity in a Dual Immersion School - Dr. Kim Potowski