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ODC-ETS Webinar: 2021 Second Place Winner - Dr. Giselle Negrette Martinez
Wednesday, June 01, 2022, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Category: Events


Bilingual Ways with Words: An Ethnographic Study of Language and
Social Constructions in a Kindergarten Dual Language Class 
Giselle Martinez Negrette, PhD
2021 Second Place Winner
Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT


Dissertation Description 

This dissertation is a year-long ethnographic case study that investigated how emergent bilinguals in a dual language immersion (DLI) class perceived, enacted, and negotiated the tenuous intersections of race, ethnicity, social class, and language. Employing qualitative research methods, this study used the intersectional lenses of raciolinguistics, sociological theories of social class position, and contemporary theorizations of multilingualism to explore first, how kindergarten emergent bilinguals in a DLI class perceived and responded to socially-constructed notions such as race, ethnicity, social class position, and bilingualism; and second, how kindergarten emergent bilinguals in a DLI class enacted and negotiated the intersections of race, ethnicity, social class position, and language.  

The findings revealed that emergent bilinguals are not passive receptors of ideologies, but actively engage in making social judgements. They use elements from their school environment and negotiate them through languaging, in concert with peers and teachers, to make sense of and shape their bilingual social worlds. This research uncovers the ways in which language practices and relationships are shaped by social constructions from a young age. These findings have significant implications for equitable and just design of policies, programs, and practices in multilingual/multicultural/multiethnic contemporary schools.