Applying a critical lens to language education, this book explores the tensions that Latinx students face in relation to their identities, social and institutional settings, and other external factors. Across diverse contexts, these students confront complex debates and contestable affirmations that intersect with their lived experiences and social histories. Martinez and Train highlight the pedagogic and ethical urgency of teacher responsibility, learner agency and social justice in critically addressing the consequences, constraints, and affordances of the language education that Latinx students experience in historically-situated and institutionally defined spaces of practice, ideology and policy.
Reframing language studies to take into account the roles of power, inequality, and social settings, this book provokes dialogue between areas of language education that rarely interface. Through privileging the learner experience, the book provides a window to the contested spaces across language education and generates new opportunities for engagement and action. Offering nuanced and insightful analyses, this book is ideal for scholars, language researchers, language teacher educators and graduate students in all areas of language education.
Chapter 1: State of Emergency in Language and Education in the 21st Century
Chapter 2: Beyond Invention: The Language-ness of Experience in Institutional Perspective
Chapter 3: Experiences of Mobility and Mobilization of Experience
Chapter 4: Becoming Transformative Translingual Professionals
Chapter 5: Language Experience in Language Education for Latinxs: Experiencing criticality, historicity and ethicality in our times
"This volume takes a much-needed next step in the field of Spanish as a heritage language by bringing diverse areas of language education into dialogue with each other. Martínez and Train challenge scholars and educators to frame issues related to Latinxs and language in terms of social justice. I highly recommend this book for language teacher educators and scholars of Spanish applied linguistics."
--Rachel Showstack, Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, Wichita State University, USA
"Tension and Contention is a remarkable, highly original volume. Urgent and personal, at its core is a carefully unfolding commentary on "languageness"—in this case, a special way of naming Spanish in the U.S. that "interfaces at multiple circuits within the complexity of lived experience." Martinez and Train diligently demonstrate why we must understand Spanish-English bilingualism and Spanish language education in the U.S. as political and social institutions with fraught, if not racist histories. It is clear that a critical appraisal of Spanish language education—its history and its future—must center Latinx languageness at every turn. I’m excited for my colleagues in research and teaching to pay close attention."
--Adam Schwartz, School of Language, Culture & Society, Oregon State University