1st Edition

On Becoming Bilingual Children’s Experiences Across Homes, Schools, and Communities

    160 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    160 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    On Becoming Bilingual: Children’s Experiences across Homes, Schools, and Communities provides a theoretical and methodological introduction to research on children’s participation in and across a multiplicity of activities where they display complex linguistic and sociocultural knowledge.

    From a perspective that engages intersections of language, race, and class, the book reviews foundational and recent studies highlighting innovations, trends, and future directions for research. The book offers a helpful set of resources, including guiding questions at the start of each chapter, links to online and bibliographic sources, discussion questions and activities, and a glossary of key terms.

    This book is intended for scholars and students in language-oriented fields of study who are interested in learning about how bilingual children engage with, negotiate, and transform their social worlds.

    Table of Contents

    List of Illustrations


    Copyright Acknowledgements

    1. Introduction: The Social Worlds of Bilingual Children

    2. A Critical Approach to Language Learning in Social Context

    3. Becoming A Bilingual Speaker of Culture

    4. Bilingualism in Schools

    5. Children’s Participation in Social Activities

    6. Becoming Speakers for Others

    7. Developing a Critical Lens on Children’s Words and Worlds




    Patricia Baquedano-López is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Education and affiliated faculty in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in California and in Yucatán on the linguistic and cultural development of young migrant children and the revalorization of Yucatec Maya in the Yucatan-California Maya diaspora.

    Paul B. Garrett is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University. He has conducted field-based research in the Caribbean region, focusing on issues of language contact and change, and is currently participating and assisting in community-based efforts to revitalize the Lenape language.

    Simultaneously a rigorous account of and a tribute to bilingual children’s agency, knowledge, and creativity, On Becoming Bilingual is a must read for those seeking to understand the complex experiences of children growing up in linguistically diverse environments. Bringing together their experience as researchers of childhood bilingualism in North America and the Caribbean with detailed consideration of contemporary scholarship on bi/multilingualism and immigrant/postcolonial childhoods, Baquedano-López and Garrett offer us a compelling treatise on the social, political, and educational worlds that bilingual children inhabit and help create. Thoughtfully structured for use in graduate and undergraduate seminars, this state-of-the-art volume provides critical tools for discussions of the deficit framings of bilingual children’s skill and knowledge, and of how we can best support them in a dignity-affirming way.

    Inmaculada Ma García-Sánchez, Associate Professor of Social Research Methodology, School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles