Ideologies, Identity, Capital, and Investment in a Critical Multilingual Spanish Classroom
Although Spanish is a local language in the USA, US Spanish varieties are mostly absent from the language classroom. This practice perpetuates monoglossic language ideologies, which are limiting and detrimental to language learners (García and Sylvan 2011). Conversely, critical approaches take into account the sociohistorical context (Leeman and Serafini 2016) and students’ backgrounds to help learners “gain critical understanding of how language is intertwined with social and political structures” (Leeman, Rabin, and Roman-Mendoza 2011b: 481), which may allow students to develop critical language awareness (Fairclough 1992) to identify the production and reproduction of hegemonic language ideologies, and to resist their domination.
This project adopts a critical approach to the teaching of Spanish at the college level while incorporating local Spanish and students’ backgrounds into the classroom. The study focuses on a first semester Spanish course where the majority of students are language-minoritized multilinguals and racialized learners with connections to the Latinx community. A small number of students are also Latinxs. Through questionnaires, journals, and semi-structured interviews at the beginning and end of the semester, we describe three case studies to examine how the introduction of a critical approach helps students negotiate their language ideologies, capital, and identities while being engaged in the language learning process. The project draws from research on Norton’s identity work (Norton 2000, 2013), language ideologies (Kroskrity 2000, 2004), and Darvin and Norton’s (2015) framework to investigate how ideology, identity, and capital intersect and impact learners’ investment in the practices and learning of Spanish and their additional languages.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).