The Educational Consequences of Parental Deportation: Mexican Immigrant Children's Negotiations of Family Language Policy and Migratory Decisions

A talk by Sarah Gallo of Ohio State University. 4/22/16. 12 pm.

In this talk I will examine the complexities of how young Latin@ children with a recently deported parent engage with, resist, and refashion family language policies within their routine interactions. Through the case of 8 year-old Princess, I highlight how children—sometimes in concert with their parents and at other times at odds with them—orient to monoglossic schooling ideologies as they prepare for and contest the possibilities of transnational schooling in Mexico. I focus on the case of Princess following her father’s deportation in Pennsylvania to examine how she articulated awareness of her family’s counterpoint lives. I highlight how limited opportunities to develop dynamic bilingualism in U.S. schools shape families’ decisions, such as enduring family separations rather than repatriating to Mexican schools for which they believe their children are not prepared with the academic Spanish resources required for educational success. My findings reveal the unintended language education consequences of immigration policy as well as the complex ways that a child—in the face of potential separation or repatriation—discursively contributes to family language policies and migration decisions. I argue that educational policies and schools must open up ideological and implementational spaces to dynamically develop both languages in order to better prepare children— especially those from undocumented families within a context of unprecedented deportations in the US—for educational success on both sides of the border.

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Duration: 1:19:42