The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth: Building Culturally Responsive, Critical and Creative Education in School and Community Contexts, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth

Building Culturally Responsive, Critical and Creative Education in School and Community Contexts, 1st Edition

By Sharon Verner Chappell, Christian J. Faltis


220 pages

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The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth offers a critical sociopolitical perspective on working with emerging bilingual youth at the intersection of the arts and language learning. Utilizing research from both arts and language education to explore the ways they work in tandem to contribute to emergent bilingual students’ language and academic development, the book analyzes model arts projects to raise questions about “best practices” for and with marginalized bilingual young people, in terms of relevance to their languages, cultures, and communities as they envision better worlds. A central assumption is that the arts can be especially valuable for contributing to English learning by enabling learners to experience ideas, patterns, and relationship (form) in ways that lead to new knowledge (content). Each chapter features vignettes showcasing current projects with ELL populations both in and out of school and visual art pieces and poems, to prompt reflection on key issues and relevant concepts and theories in the arts and language learning. Taking a stance about language and culture in English learners’ lives, this book shows the intimate connections among art, narrative, and resistance for addressing topics of social injustice.


"Advocates of bilingual education, the authors make a compelling case for native language use and maintenance for English-language learners. Readers seeking to understand the academic achievement gap will appreciate the original perspective presented … In light of the recent adoption of the common core standards in most states, this book represents an important perspective and provides strategies for engaging bilingual youth in rigorous and evidence-based reflection centred on the arts. Summing Up: Recommended." —A. Anderberg, Eastern Connecticut State University, in CHOICE, April 2014

"The editors of The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth offer a timely and persuasive argument for ways to revitalize arts-based education in our increasingly diverse society. … It becomes clear in reading this volume that the arts offer unique avenues for teachers and artists to create the conditions necessary for historically marginalized multilingual youth and their communities to claim a voice and a space for self-representation and action in our schools and society." —Teachers College Record

Table of Contents


Dalida María Benfield


Chapter One: Introduction

Arts Artifact One: NWCLB (No White Child Left Behind)

Simón Candú

Arts Artifact Two: Buying Time

Marilyn Dike Dunn

Vignette One: Through My Lens: A Child’s Perspective

Elizabeth Renner

Chapter Two: Knowing your students, becoming a culturally responsive teacher

Arts Artifact Three: Pinewood Estate Trailer Park

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

Vignette Two: Documenting Dreams: Immigrant Girls’ Aspirations through Shadow Portraiture

Dafney Blanca Dabach

Chapter Three: Building Family-Community-School Partnerships

Arts Artifact Four: La Noche

Louisa Castrodale and Luis Fausto

Vignette Three: A Matter Party: Celebrating Science and Deepening Understanding

Shannon Burgert

Vignette Four: The Older Sister: Beyond ELL Pronunciation to Performance and Purpose

Dorothy Abram

Vignette Five: Making an Edible School Garden with Multilingual Children: Engaging Linguistic, Cultural, and Community Resources

Saskia Stille

Chapter Four: Playing with Language, Playing through the Arts

Vignette Six: Acted and Enacted Lives: Language Play, Theatre, and Language Development at the Border

Mary Carol Combs and J David Betts, Paul Fisher

Vignette Seven: Journey: Identity and Language Development through the Arts

Jessica Mele and Karena Salmond

Arts Artifact Five: Separated Families

Simón Candú

Chapter Five: Living stories, Telling stories

Vignette Eight: Conceptual Translations from English Language Learners' Indigenous Storytelling

Eva Rose B. Washburn-Repollo

Vignette Nine: Working with Korean Newcomer Immigrant Adolescents in Community Art by Joo Ae Kim

Vignette Ten ¿Y el Caballito de mar, donde vive? – Exploring Science and Literacy through Bilingual Storytelling and Shadow Puppetry with Head Start Children

Daphnie Sicre

Chapter Six: Responding critically to literature

Vignette Eleven: Migrant Students Vignette their Lives: Languages and Cultures Cross the Fields into the Classrooms

Fernando Rodríguez-Valls, Sandra Kofford, Alicia Apodaca, Lizett Samaniego

Vignette Twelve: Young Writers Program for Migrant Youth

Elizabeth Lewis

Vignette Thirteen: Which ‘A’ Will Be?: Acculturation, Assimilation, Americanization

Daniel A. Kelin, II

Chapter Seven: Responding critically to world events

Vignette Fourteen: Eastside High School: May Day Service Learning Project from Alumni to Future Alum

Luis Genaro Garcia

Vignette Fifteen:Critical Performative Literacy in a Middle School ESOL classroom: Voices for Undocumented Latino Communities

Ruth Harman, Kinga Varga-Dobai, Kelli Bivins & David Forker

Chapter Eight: Talking to the system through youth media

Vignette Sixteen: Youth Media: Making it in the World!

Deborah Romero

Vignette Seventeen: Having Our Say: English Language Learners Talk back to Teachers

Susan Adams

Chapter Nine: Creating Counter-Narrative Practices at School

Vignette Eighteen: Ethnodrama: Transformative Learning in Multicultural Teacher Education

Masakuzu Mitsumura

Vignette Nineteen: Seeing Art, Seeing the World: Modern Art and Literacy Development with English Learners K-12

Marguerite Lukes & Calder Zwicky,; contributions by Louise Edman, Kim Hummel, Rachel Lindsay

Chapter Ten: Building Sustainability in/with Multilingual Communities

Arts Artifact Six:Inspecting Borders

Sharon Chappell

Vignette Twenty: It Is NOT What it Is: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Critical Pedagogy, Cultural Production, and Youth Development in the Youth Roots Program

G Reyes

Arts Artifact Five: Language Lessons I

Melisa Cahnmann Taylor

Appendix A: A Process for Building Critical, Creative, Caring Experiences

Drew Chappell

Appendix B: Resources for Educators and Artists

About the Contributors

About the Authors

Sharon Verner Chappell is Assistant Professor, Department of Elementary & Bilingual Education, California State University, Fullerton, USA.

Chris Faltis is Dolly and David Fiddyment Professor of Education and Director of Teacher Education, School of Education, University of California, Davis, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Arts & Humanities
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language