Testimoniando en Nepantla: Using Testimonio as a Pedagogical Tool for Exploring Embodied Literacies and Bilingualism

Christina Passos DeNicolo, Monica Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research study examines the use of testimonio, a narrative of marginalization, in a third grade language arts classroom. Through a Chicana/Latina feminist framework, which prioritizes theorizing from the body, the authors explore the process of sharing and witnessing testimonio as an embodied literacy practice. Data sources for this qualitative case study consist of written work, oral recordings, and interviews at the end of the data collection period. Through data analysis, students’ embodied knowledge was evident in their reading and writing of testimonio. The findings indicate that emergent bilingual Latina/o students found themselves within a contradictory yet transformative space as they made sense of the politics of bilingualism alongside their bilingual identities. In creating a space for students to reflect and contemplate their lives between worlds, they were able to discuss painful experiences and reframe them towards transformative ends. As such, testimoniando, the process of sharing the narratives, became a pedagogical tool to identify nepantla, the in-between space, where students negotiated the productive tensions of their language learning processes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Language & Literacy Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • embodied literacies
  • Testimonio
  • emergent bilinguals
  • Nepantla
  • Latina/o


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