"Language Brokers and Schooling: Connecting Immigrant Children's Translating Capabilities to Academic Literacy"
AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: Language Brokers and Schooling: Connecting Immigrant Children's Translating Capabilities to Academic Literacy
Author: Tien Thuy Ho (PhD Alumna)
A body of research has shown that language brokering is common in multilingual communities and involves complex competencies that are rarely recognized in schools. Through exploratory case studies, I seek to understand the language brokering experiences of immigrant children and their relations to academic literacy. Data sources include journal entries and interviews with students, parents, and teachers. Findings reveal mixed feelings concerning identity and self-efficacy towards this responsibility. While some felt confident in their skills, others felt anxious about misinterpreting. Immediate feedback from parents, the English-speaking community, and schools play an integral role in how they view their skills. In these contentious times, a classroom climate of inclusivity that will equalize the playing field for immigrant children is paramount.