chapter  10
13 Pages

‘Whose English is this, anyway?’ Mother tongues and literatures of the borderlands

WithRodrigo Joseph Rodríguez

English language arts and literacy education can be contested subjects, especially in the preparation of educators who will teach in secondary-level schools with students whose first language may be Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Kachiquel, Spanish, and Vietnamese, among additional world languages. Teachers interested in the inclusion of diverse literary and linguistic traditions have re-examined their attitudes and perceptions about the role of reading, writing, authorship, and representation in the classroom and in our global society. World languages are native to the continental United States and challenge the perception of English as the sole language of imperialism and domination. The segregation of children and adolescents in schools further alienated them from equal access to resources and equitable treatment in their schooling with limited access to postsecondary studies. To name the world often begins in one's first language, or mother tongue, which is a critical language for literacy that informs the learning of additional world languages as well as sociocultural identity formation.