We live in a time when many U.S. residents harbor "English only" sentiments -- that is, to be considered a good citizen you have to speak English and also stop speaking anything else. Multilingual Chicago is a grassroots organization I belong to that seeks to counter such linguistic hegemony by promoting linguistic diversity in our city, both that brought by immigrants and their descendants as well as by English speakers studying other languages. In 2007, Mayor Daley signed a resolution brought forth by the efforts of this group.
I am a Professor of Hispanic linguistics in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am also a faculty affiliate in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and in the Social Justice Initiative.
Since 2009 I've served as Editor of the journal Spanish in Context.
Most broadly, I am interested in the promotion of minority languages and multilingualism (see my TEDx talk), particularly via elementary schooling. My work focuses on Spanish in the United States, including factors that influence intergenerational language transmission, connections between language and identity, and heritage language education. Some of my recent research topics include:
* Language development in dual immersion schools
* Mexican and Puerto Rican Spanish in Chicago, and the language and identity of mixed “Mexi-Rican” individuals
* Teaching heritage languages, particularly Spanish in the U.S.
* Spanish use in Chicago quinceañera celebrations
* The use of “Spanglish” in commercially published greeting cards
Why do heritage speakers need a separate Spanish course? What are some of the linguistic, affective, and academic considerations that educators should keep in mind? This is the talk I gave at Lake Forest College, IL, in September 2013.
Esta charla se trata de la importancia de promover el uso y la lectura la lengua española en la casa y en la escuela.