Browsing Senior Theses & Projects by Author "Acosta, Margarita"
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- ItemLanguage Minorities Developing Multiple Literacies: Additive Bilingual Education and Transformative Pedagogy(2009) Acosta, Margarita; Napoli, Donna Jo, 1948-This thesis explores issues of academic achievement in Spanish speaking linguistic minorities in the United States. It argues for the implementation of pedagogy that develops not only English language and literacy skills but also strives to develop language and literacy skills in Spanish. This argument is in light of the vast amount of research that has found that home language literacy is a necessary prerequisite for effective second language and literacy acquisition (Beykont 1994, Collier 19B7, Cummins 200, Ovando & Collier 199B, Stong & Prinz 2000). Currently, school systems do not have educational resources in place, many times because of legislation that prohibits it, that would allow for the large and growing percentage of . our student population of linguistic minorities to develop their home language. This failure to implement theoretically sound educational programs for linguistic minorities has had horrific implications for the academic achievement and school retention rates for students of Latin American descent. Almost one in three Latino students drops out of high school (US Department of Education 2003) compared to 13% of African Americans and 7% of white students. This paper provides an overview of the history of oppression of cultural and linguistic minorities, shedding light on some of the underlying racially prejudiced beliefs that have contributed to systematic oppression. It also problematizes some common ideas of what it means to be literate and biliterate in our society and suggest a better working definition of the terms. Included is a discussion of some of the models of bilingual education and why some are less effective as well as less socially just than others. Most important is the argument that education should not aim to simply reproduce the societal structures of power, but that it should work to cooperatively engage students and teachers in a dialogue for societal change. By exploring and developing multiple literacies in schools, not only are students' languages legitimated but so are their own personal identities. By doing this, the educational outcomes of language minority students can be improved and in turn the future of this nation and the world can expect a much brighter future.