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“I Don’t Want To Write for Them” An At-Risk Latino Youth’s Out-of- School Literacy Practices Mary Amanda Stewart, 2011 Literacy Research Association 61

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  • I Dont Want To Write for Them An At-Risk Latino Youths Out-of- School Literacy Practices Mary Amanda Stewart, 2011 Literacy Research Association 61 st Annual Conference Jacksonville, FL [email protected]
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  • Problem: The Disconnect Studies show Latino youth possess many skills Reading, writing, digital literacies Multilingualism Transnationalism: Adept at border crossings Political knowledge and activism Many of the skills they have acquired due to immigration are needed in society today, yet rare in mainstream populations. (Surez- Orozco, Surez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008)
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  • Problem: The Disconnect Latinos drop out of school more than any other ethnic group. ( Gndara, P. 2010) By 2021, 1 of every 4 students in the US will be Latino, largely due to Mexican immigration. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010) Studies show most of their out-of-school literacy practices are misunderstood, unrecognized, or devalued in the classroom. (de la Piedra, 2010; Godina, 2004; Rubinstein-vila, 2007)
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  • Research Questions 1. What is the range and form of the participants out-of- school literacy practices? 2. How does the participant view the relationship between his out-of-school literacy practices and in-school tasks?
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  • Theoretical Framework Sociocultural Theory (Lewis, Enciso, & Moje, 2007) Assumption #1: Each literacy practice is social in nature as it affects and is affected by other beings who also exist in fluid cultural spaces.
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  • Theoretical Framework Funds of Knowledge (Moll, 1992) Assumption #2: Students, their families, and their communities possess rich knowledge and skills that can be used in the academic environment to further learning. There is value in understanding youths out-of-school literacy practices for the classroom.
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  • Theoretical Framework New Literacy Studies (Gee, 1990; Street, 1995) Assumption #3: Literacy is political, social, cultural and plural in nature. Re-envision what counts as literacy Literacy Practices- The multiple forms one uses to make and represent meaning such as dress, body, written, audio, and oral discourses
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  • Methodology Single-case study Participant 19-years-old Self-proclaimed Chicano, 2 nd -generation of Mexican origin English-only schooling (L1: Spanish) Transient due to migrant work in agriculture Crime: juvy, alternative school, jail Dropped out of high school Lived in Mexico 1 year Returned to another state to finish high school
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  • Methodology Three forms of data collected from June- November 2010 Four semi-structured interviews Artifacts Poetry journal Social networking sites Observations of language brokering Church Home for recovering drug addicts
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  • Methodology Analyzed data using constant-comparative method Recursively compared each incident or artifact against others to identify similarities and differences, determine its code, and redefine the properties of the individual code (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) Code for forms of out-of-school literacy practices Five axial codes that are the most saturated
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  • Findings Five most saturated codes Poetry Writing Language Brokering Book Reading Technology Activism
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  • Poetry Writing: Im an Open Poet. Poetrys place: Out-of-school If they tell me to write a poem for a school assignment, Ill pull one of these out just cause I dont want to write for them. Framework for how he perceives all of his out-of-school literacy practices Writes to express anger and frustration: Its a way to relive it [anger]. Like some people eat out of anger, some people do stupid things out of anger, I write. Its a positive way to not get hurt or nothing.
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  • Pablos poem with teachers visible comments [Again, good, but this is in Narrative format. It could work better in poetic verse.]
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  • Rewritten poem in Pablos poetry journal showing dismissal of teachers comments
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  • Haiku in Pablos notebook. Cited from memory in an interview.
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  • Language Brokering: Im the Translator for the World. Childhood experiences Mother School Current situation Spanish-speaking aunt English-speaking uncle When he [my uncle] wants to speak to someone in Spanish, Im his voice in Spanish.
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  • Language Brokering Translating sermons Live, simultaneously on AM radio station Chosen among many bilinguals Sophisticated vocabulary Translating in jail Here in jail in [state], if theres like a Mexican who cant speak no English and all the officers speak English, Ill be like he said this, this, and this. And I translate what he said to the cop.
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  • Book Reading: I Just Walk around School Reading Shakespeare. Began reading for pleasure in juvenile detention Reads for religious purposes: English and Spanish Reads Shakespeare and Neruda to influence his own writing What he got from reading Shakespeare: The ways love was expressed. The way Shakespeare compared a summers day to his lover. Or maybe just a comparison of the words of love.
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  • Technology: As Soon as I Get out of the Shower, Ill Have Like Four Texts Waiting. Texting Gaming Instant Messaging Social Networking Lack of access out-of-school due to punishments and financial situation
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  • Digital Spaces MySpace Homepage i still love to cook, right poems, and play sports but the newist hobbi is band, choir, and JROTC im a JR. at [West Side] hi skool its kool so far so ohh ya and im 17 so good buy and God bless u...
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