162 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Health Disparities and the Applied Linguist bridges theory and practice to demonstrate how applied linguists are uniquely positioned to make vital contributions towards advancing health equity in the U.S.

    As language, power, and health are deeply interconnected, learning to articulate these connections is essential to understanding persistent health disparities in linguistically minoritized communities.

    This book offers a nuanced portrait of the complex interactions of social and environmental factors underlying health disparities in the U.S., beginning with a brief introduction to key theories linking language, power, and health, and a historical overview of significant language-related healthcare legislation. Real-life examples from diverse contexts in clinics, classrooms, and communities reinforce the ways in which we can mobilize our knowledge as applied linguists and become engaged in social justice efforts in our communities. 

    The authors encourage critical conversations about health equity in multilingual contexts and emphasize the urgent need for cross-disciplinary problem-solving and collaborations. The volume is a must-read for students, scholars, and practitioners in applied linguistics and language education, and anybody interested in working at the intersection of language and health.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables



      1. Language, Health Disparities, and Applied Linguistics
      2. Health Care and Language in U.S. Law
      3. Language Access and Interpretation in Health Care
      4. Language, Culture, and Power in Clinical Interactions
      5. Language, Health, and Learning in Adult English Classrooms
      6. Strengthening our Capacity for Health Equity Work
      7. Afterword by Pilar Ortega




    Maricel G. Santos, EdD, is a Professor of English at San Francisco State University. She has worked in community-based adult education classrooms. Her research explores the role of adult learners as change agents in health equity work in transnational communities. She was a 2008-2013 fellow with the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) program, the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Institute of Health.

    Rachel Showstack, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Wichita State University. Her work on Spanish heritage language learning, Spanish in the U.S., and language and healthcare has appeared in various scholarly journals and edited collections, and she is co-editor of Contexts of Co-Constructed Discourse: Interaction, Pragmatics, and Second Language Applications. She is also the founder and president of the community-based Latinx health equity organization Alce su voz, for which she recently received funding from the Kansas Health Foundation.

    Glenn Martínez, PhD, is the Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and a Professor of Spanish, Bicultural/Bilingual Studies, and Public Health at The University of Texas at San Antonio. His research focuses on language policy and planning in the health delivery system in the United States. His research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute of Health, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute.

    Drew Colcher is a PhD candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on contact linguistics, language ideologies, and Spanish in the U.S. His work has appeared in Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics and the volume Contexts of Co-constructed Discourse: Interaction, Pragmatics, and Second Language Applications.

    Dalia Magaña, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics at the University of California, Merced. Her research focuses on improving healthcare communication with Spanish speakers and developing intentional language pedagogy. The California Breast Cancer Research Program and The U.S. Department of Education have funded her collaborative studies. In 2021, her book, Building Confianza: Empowering Latino/a Patients Through Transcultural Interactions was published.