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Challenging Notions of "Struggling" Reader in a Dual-Language Program

Sat, April 10, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Second Language Research Paper and Symposium Sessions


While emergent bilinguals (EBs) are the fastest growing population in U.S. schools (McFarland et al., 2018), unfortunately, their dominant narrative is framed by “struggling” (Hikida, 2018) and steeped in deficit thinking (Valencia, 1997). Dual language (DL) programs are one approach to countering this narrative by honoring and sustaining students’ home language and literacy practices alongside English development. However, little is known about how teachers collaborate within these programs to address the needs of a diverse spectrum of EB readers. In this qualitative study with teachers I found that DL programs can be sites of resistance to traditional framing of “struggling” readers through collaborative practices, teacher beliefs and actions, and fostering social emotional development.