chapter  9
Latino Language Practices and Literacy Education in the U.S.
ByOFELIA GARCÍA
Pages 19

Few issues are as important in U.S. education circles today as how to promote the literacy practices of language minority students, and in particular those of U.S. Latinos, the largest language minority. With this in mind, this chapter focuses on the growing dissonance between the complex sociolinguistic reality of U.S. Latinos and the monoglossic1 literacy policies and practices enacted to educate them. As Hudelson (1994) has said, “Literacy is language and language is literacy” (p. 102). All processes of reading, writing, listening and speaking are interrelated and mutually supportive. Thus, they need to be considered and developed holistically. In this chapter, therefore, I argue that the lack of understandings of the complex language practices of U.S. Latinos, and the inability of schools to build on them, is responsible for much academic failure.