ARC Publication: Beatriz Lado

Beatriz Lado and Carmín Quijano
"Ideologies, Identity, Capital, and Investment in a Critical Multilingual Spanish Classroom"
Critical Multilingualism Studies, 8(1):135-164

Although Spanish is a local language in the U.S., U.S. Spanish varieties are mostly absent from the language classroom. This practice perpetuates monoglossic language ideologies, which are limiting and detrimental to language learners (García and Sylvan 2011). Conversely, critical approaches take into account the sociohistorical context (Leeman and Serafini 2016) and students’ backgrounds to help learners “gain critical understanding of how language is intertwined with social and political structures” (Leeman, Rabin, and Roman-Mendoza 2011b: 481), which may allow students to develop critical language awareness (Fairclough 1992) to identify the production and reproduction of hegemonic language ideologies, and to resist their domination.

This project adopts a critical approach to the teaching of Spanish at the college level while incorporating local Spanish and students’ backgrounds into the classroom. The study focuses on a first-semester Spanish course where the majority of students are language-minoritized multilinguals and racialized learners with connections to the Latinx community. A small number of students are also Latinxs. Through questionnaires, journals, and semi-structured interviews at the beginning and end of the semester, we describe three case studies to examine how the introduction of a critical approach helps students negotiate their language ideologies, capital, and identities while being engaged in the language learning process. The project draws from research on Norton’s identity work (Norton 2000, 2013), language ideologies (Kroskrity 2000, 2004), and Darvin and Norton’s (2015) framework to investigate how ideology, identity, and capital intersect and impact learners’ investment in the practices and learning of Spanish and their additional languages.

Lado, associate professor of Spanish at Lehman College and also affiliated with the Ph.D. Program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, is a former Distinguished ARC Scholar. 

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Submitted on: NOV 17, 2020

Category: ARC Publications