International Association for the Improvement of Mother Tongue Education. IAIMTE
This study documents the findings of action research projects generated by two teachers with different cultural backgrounds and grade levels; one is a bilingual Spanish-English high school teacher and the other is an English monolingual first grade-reading teacher. Teachers’ cognitive and professional development is examined by taking into account the results of the action research project on the literacy needs of their students. Qualitative data from teacher interviews and reflections have been collected and analyzed. These teachers as researchers of their own practice plan and integrate cultural interpretation produced by the children to better understand how learners construct knowledge through primary language and in the acquisition of English. In the kindergarten/first grade classroom, the teacher cannot use the native language of the children and must use non-fictional text to teach beginning reading. The teacher uses a culturally graphic text with English prose to see if children respond positively to the ethnic representation in the symbolic art. This teacher is documenting children’s reactions to the text and her own learning process as a result of the use of these texts with Spanish speaking children. In the high school context, the teacher is teaching in the native language of the students. Student writing samples have been generated based on a literary prompt at the beginning of a literature unit and at the end. These are analyzed based on literary elements that also include an oral language presentation in the native language.
Special issue Multicultural Literature Education
Garcia, S. S. (2015). Spanish Language, Cultural Knowledge and Teachers’ Professional Development in an English-Only Environment, Special issue of L1 on The Linguistic, Cultural, Social and Political Complexity in the Multicultural Literature Classroom. International Association for the Improvement of Mother Tongue Education. IAIMTE.