Abstract

ABSTRACT In this longitudinal, qualitative case study, critical pedagogical and sociocultural perspectives were employed to analyze the language and literacy strengths, challenges, inequities, and gentrification issues that characterized the first three years of a two-way, 50–50 Spanish-English dual-language (DL) program’s implementation, and how the DL staff addressed the challenges, inequities, and gentrification issues. Examples of strengths were a balanced Spanish-English instructional schedule, literacy materials in Spanish and English, and the presence of translanguaging. Some challenges were the required use of instructional reading materials and English report cards employed with the district’s monolingual English-speaking students, and finding time to teach literacy in both languages. Several initial gentrification issues were allowing more students from English-speaking families to enroll in the DL program than students from Spanish-speaking families and not providing Spanish report cards. Although the DL personnel resolved some of the inequities and gentrification issues, the district’s actions and policies undermined the DL program’s bilingual and biliteracy goals. The English-dominant students were privileged compared to the Spanish-dominant students, and the DL students’ English performance was prioritized over their Spanish performance. The importance of working with district staff to develop political and ideological clarity along with educational and research implications are highlighted.

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