Community language resources in dual language schooling

Patrick H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This ethnographic case study was concerned with the role of comniunity-based, minority-language resources in dual language schooling, and their influence on the use of Spanish by children from English-speaking and Spanish-speaking homes. Integrating theory from the fields of language planning, language revitalization, community participation, and funds of knowledge, the study triangulated data from participant observation in classrooms; interviews with educators, parents, and community members; and document and archival analysis. Examination of minority-language use at an established, highly regarded dual language school and of the shiftingpatterns oflanguage dominance in the Mexican American neighborhood surrounding it revealed that the minority-language resources most immediately available—held by fluent bilingual elders and recent immigrants from Mexico—were less likely to be incorporated into planned curriculum than the knowledge and experiences of majority-language parents and elite bilinguals. This finding is attributed to the social distance between educators and neighborhood families, the ambivalence of Mexican American parents and school staff toward the use of non-standard varieties of Spanish in schooling, and the need for greater awareness of processes oflanguage shift and loss. Implications for dual language practice and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-404
Number of pages30
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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