IMRJ 12-171(In)Validating Language-Minority Literacies: A Closer Look at the Effects of Arizonas Anti-Bilingual Education Law

Eric J Johnson


In this discussion, I explore the unfolding effects of Arizonas anti-bilingual education law (Proposition 203) on schools with predominant language-minority student populations. Instead of facilitating academic progress, policies like Proposition 203 obstruct the scaffolding of native-language abilities in the process of developing academic literacy proficiencies in Englishultimately resulting in significant academic challenges for language-minority students. Based on this premise, I describe the everyday literacy practices of immigrant and language-minority students as a way to demonstrate that the students academic difficulties do not represent their true competencies. My aim is to emphasize the breadth of student literacy practices that occur both at school and in the community in hopes of initiating a dialogue on how to expand on these practices to enhance classroom instruction. To do this, I propose a model for efficiently identifying literacy practices as a way to help educators bridge their students everyday experiences to school contexts.