Language, Space and Power: A Critical Look at Bilingual Education (Bilingual Education & Bilingualism)

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9781853598784: Language, Space and Power: A Critical Look at Bilingual Education (Bilingual Education & Bilingualism)

Language, Space, and Power describes the sociolinguistic and sociocultural life of a Spanish-English dual language classroom in which attention is given to not only the language learning processes at hand but also to how race, ethnicity, and gender dynamics interact within the language acquisition process.

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About the Author:

Samina Hadi-Tabassum received a doctorate degree from Columbia University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She is the director of the Bilingual and ESL Program. Her research interests include bilingual education, multicultural education, and linguistics.

Review:

"Dr. Hadi-Tabassum’s critical ethnography of a fifth grade dual language classroom challenges the positivist view of language and culture in education as bounded, essentialized entities. Dr. Hadi-Tabassum explores how students utilized resources in music, language arts, and popular culture to make fluid the seemingly clear and definite border between English and Spanish and Anglo and Latino/a cultures. In these “third spaces” where English and Spanish mixed in politicized and poetic forms, Dr. Hadi-Tabassum offers a vision of contemporary education within hybrid and contingent events."

(Nancy Lesko, Maxine Green Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University.)

Hadi-Tabassum’s book provides an interesting and critical look within the walls of a dual-immersion classroom. She provides an engaging exploration of the many angles and depths of bilingual education and gives the reader insights into the unequivocal spaces often created and maintained within a bilingual classroom environment. Unquestionably, this book is a fascinating linguistic exploration for those interested in ideas surrounding power, identity, gender, race, and class, as well as those investigating notions of critical questioning and awareness within the minds of language learners.

(Anne C. Weber, Temple University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics 2007, Vol. 7, No. 1)

Hadi-Tabassum’s engaging study can serve as a model for anyone who is interested in learning from a well-articulated, conceptualized, theorized, and researched naturalistic study directed and supervised by graduate faculty at a highly reputable Division I research university.

(Carlos J. Ovando Anthropology & Education Quarterly 38:3)

This book makes a valuable contribution to bilingual education research by pointing out how language itself is not only the potentially hegemonic system in a dual immersion classroom, and vividly illustrating the effects of introducing artistic, literary and musical texts charged with social, historical and political meaning. The book offers a unique view on the dynamics of power and the interactions between students, teachers and the curriculum in one dual language classroom.

(Colleen Gallagher, Georgetown University International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 10:4)

Hadi-Tabassum's work is a valuable contribution to bilingual education research and will be of particular interest to other students and researchers in sociolinguistics and ethnography. 

(Kristin Snoddon, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education TESL-EJ June 2007, Volume 11, Number 1)

Samina Hadi-Tabassum presents a multifaceted view of a fifth grade dual language classroom. Hadi-Tabassum’s comprehensive picture of a classroom illustrates the author’s premise that a dual language classroom can be a “decentered, fragmentary place of conflicting voices that coexist and collide together” (p. 2). The idea of a connection between language and power is not new, but examination of it within the framework of dual language classroom space is innovative.

(Vasthi Reyes Acosta, Teachers College Teachers College Record, July 11, 2006)

The book makes an interesting and timely contribution to our understandings of linguistic inequalities and bilingual program implementation. This book points to exciting possibilities for collaborative research in the areas of learning theories, sociology and anthropology, political science, cognitive musicology, pedagogy, language acquisition, and neurological science.

(Debbie Cole, University of Texas Pan American Linguist List 18.258)

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