Two dual language preschool teachers’ critical consciousness of their roles as language policy makers

Sultan Kilinc, Sarah Alvarado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper explores how two dual language preschool teachers demonstrated critical consciousness in their dual language education (DLE) classroom in Arizona. DLE has historically been grounded in equity for language minoritized students and promises to support students’ bilingualism, biliteracy, sociocultural competence, and academic achievement. However, inequities within DLE have been a social justice concern hindering DLE’s goals. Arguing the role of teachers’ critical consciousness in addressing inequities in DLE, we used Spolky’s language policy theory to understand teachers’ language policies in their classroom. In this ethnographic study, data was collected through interviews, participant observation, and recording classroom instruction. Utilizing the constant-comparative method, we identified two themes—critical reflection and action—exhibiting the teachers’ critical consciousness as language policymakers in their classrooms. The teachers reflected on the DLE’s value for students and the power hierarchies among English and Spanish and the speakers of those languages. Their actions were toward promoting bilingualism, challenging English hegemony, and creating an inclusive and social justice-oriented learning community. Our study contributes to preschool DLE literature by documenting the teachers’ challenges regarding how larger oppressive beliefs related to language and race influenced students’ language use and the teachers’ actions to dismantle such challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-503
Number of pages19
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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