Understanding the Interconnectedness between Language Choices, Cultural Identity Construction and School Practices in the Life of a Latina Educator
Sandra Patricia Mercuri
Institución Universitaria Colombo Americana ÚNICA
language choice, language ideology, language loss, cultural identity, Latino education.
This qualitative research looks at the effects that language choices and cultural practices have on identity development in the education of minority students in the United States. It examines the educational journey of Irma, a Latina educator. Through the analysis of interviews with the participant, this paper intends to show the effects of language ideologies on her cultural identity and literacy development. The interviews with this Latina educator exemplify how language, cultural identity, and loss change one’s life. They also exemplify the constant struggle of many minority educators working with second language learners of English who have lost and later regained their heritage language and now understand the importance of defining and strengthening their inherent cultural identity. In re-establishing her personal and professional identity, Irma contributes to the process of breaking the vicious cycle of cultural deprivation and reproduction of the social structure that has put speakers of a language other than English at a disadvantage in life and in society. In adulthood, Irma continues to re-construct her cultural identity, re-define her bilingual position in society, and re-gain her sense of self.
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Sandra Patricia Mercuri, Institución Universitaria Colombo Americana ÚNICA
Mercuri, S. P. (2014). Understanding the Interconnectedness between Language Choices, Cultural Identity Construction and School Practices in the Life of a Latina Educator. GIST – Education and Learning Research Journal, (6), 12 - 43. Retrieved from https://latinjournal.org/index.php/gist/article/view/412