chapter  12
5 Pages

Extension: Reclaiming Language as a Community Text

ByAndrea García, Kathryn F. Whitmore

In classrooms with multilingual children, teachers and educators like Fain and Horn understand the power of using high-quality children’s literature to invite all readers into literature conversations, regardless of their native language or their proficiency in the language of prestige in their academic setting. When language policies narrowed Horn’s freedom to use her students’ heritage language in the classroom, she invited her students to hold literature conversations at home. By providing books in Spanish and English, her students and their families discussed literature together at their leisure in both languages. In our separate and different contexts (Andrea in New York and Kathy in Iowa) we also worked with families to validate their cultural and linguistic resources by gathering around books in the community.