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Passing For English Fluent: Latino Immigrant Children Masking Language Proficiency

854 words - 4 pages

Monzó and Rueda (2009) conducted a study examining the concept of passing for English proficient in Latino immigrant children. They studied a group of Latino English language learners (ELLs) in and outside of school. They not only observed these students but also interviewed them as well. Within these interviews students opened up about their feelings about their first language, English, and their place in American society. Monzó and Rueda (2009) then found within their data the most common forms of passing for English proficient that these students used.
While reading this article one of the most shocking sections were when the students were talking to Monzó and sharing their outlook ...view middle of the document...

Another statement that Monzó and Rueda (2009) recorded was equally as alarming. One little girl said that all of the people working in jobs such as janitorial staff are all Latino. She expressed that the reason non-Latinos have office jobs, or in her mind more respectable jobs, is because they already have money. This is a sad view to have on your own race and language. However, all she knows is what she sees in real life, on the television, and what she hears around her. This also reminded me of the same chapter in Lippi-Green (2012). In this chapter it discusses how Latino/a people are represented in the media. Lippi-Green (2012) explains this, “Latino/as are almost always portrayed as violent and with explosive tempers, Chicanos/as in California’s large cities are drug pushers, gang-members, pimps. In rural areas migrant farm workers. Just as Disney never thought to give the character of a carpenter (or a firefighter, or a street sweeper) a French accent, film makers find it difficult to imagine Latinos/as as accountants, copy shop owners, engineers, or veterinarians” (p.261). This idea supports how this little girl could feel the way she feels about her language community and herself.
The part of this article that I will most definitely pull from in my future is the discussion on strategies for passing. As an educator of ELLs this information will be especially useful. I appreciated how explicitly these strategies were stated. I also...

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