Spanish as a tool for inclusive globalization: Linguistic equity in double immersion classrooms in California

Keywords: Spanish, English, dual-immersion, globalization, inclusivity, linguistic equity


The growth in the number of Spanish-English double immersion programs in the United States calls for an obligatory analysis of the role that Spanish will play as a vehicular language within the classroom and as an enriching nexus of Spanish society. In this theoretical article, we will review the negative impact and linguistic segregation of measures, such as Proposition 227 in California, and then we explore the role that Spanish may have, once Proposition 58 is passed, as a tool for educational equity and inclusive globalization. We depict the possibility of creating educational areas where Spanish has the same linguistic status as English. Likewise, we claim the value of Spanish as an intrinsic part of the history and the national idiosyncrasy of the United States and reaffirm the idea of coexistence and mutual enrichment of both languages, becoming an example of a plural society in terms of language and culture.

Author Biographies

Maria Capdevila-Gutierrez, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
M. A. Modern Languages and Literature/English, University of Nebraska, EE. UU. Professor, Toll Middle School (GUSD)/Universidad Castilla-La Mancha
Fernando Rodriguez-Valls, California State University, Fullerton
M. A. Education, Ph.D. Teaching, Learning and Culture; Claremont Graduate University. Profesor Asociado, Secondary Education Department, College of Education, California State University, Fullerton, CA; EE. UU.


Adelman Reyes, S. y Crawford, J. (2011). Diary of a Bilingual School: How a Constructivist Curriculum, a Multicultural Perspective, and a Commitment to Dual Immersion Education Combined to ... in Spanish and English-Speaking Children. Portland, OR: DiversityLearningK12 LLC.

Adelman Reyes, S. y Kleyn, T. (2010). Teaching in Two Languages: A Guide for K-12 Bilingual Educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Aquino-Sterling, C. y Rodríguez-Valls, F. (2016). Developing ‘teaching-specific’ competencies in bilingual teacher education: Towards a culturally, linguistically and professional approach. Multicultural Perspectives, 18(2), 73-81.

August, D., Goldenberg, C. y Rueda, R. (2011). Restrictive state language policies: Are they scientifically based? In P. Gándara, y M. Hopkins (Eds),

Forbidden Language. English Learners and Restrictive Language Policies (pp. 139-158). New York: Teachers College Press.

Beeman, K. y Urrow, C. (2012). Teaching for biliteracy: Strengthening bridges between languages. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon.

Berliner, D. (2011). Rational response to high stakes testing: The case of curriculum narrowing and the harm that follows. Cambridge Journal of Education, 41(3), 287-302.

Burdick-Will, J. y Gómez, C. (2006). Assimilation versus multiculturalism: Bilingual education and the Latino challenge. Journal of Latinos and Education, 5(3), 209-231.

Calderón, M. E. y Minaya-Rowe, L. (2010). Preventing Long-Term ELs: Transforming schools to meet core standards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Canagarajah, S. (2006). Ethnographic methods in language policy. En T. Ricento (Ed.), An Introduction to Language Policy Theory and Method (pp. 153-169). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Cassany, D. (2010). Investigaciones y propuestas sobre literacidad actual: multiliteracidad, internet y criticidad. Cátedra UNESCO para la Lectura y la Escritura: Universidad de Concepción, Chile. Disponible en

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2014). A critical look at dual language immersion in the new Latin@ diaspora. Bilingual Research Journal, 37(1), 64-82.

Collier, V. P. y Thomas, W. P. (2004). The astounding effectiveness of dual language

education for all. NABE Journal of Research and practice, 2(1), 1-20.

Cox-Petersen, A. (2010). Educational partnerships: Connecting, schools, families and the community. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chardenet, P. (2013). Éléments pour un interlinguisme méthodologique en quelques notions. En S. Sofia Stratilaki y R. Fouillet (Eds.), Éducation aux langues. Contextes et perspectives (pp. 255-266). París: Riveneuve Éditions.

Delgado-Larocco, E. L. (1998). Classroom processes in a two-way immersion kindergarten classroom (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Davis, CA: University of California.

Delpit, L. (2006). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York, NY: New Press.

Díaz-Polanco, H. (2010). Identidades múltiples en la globalización. En D. Gutiérrez Martínez (Coord.), Epistemología de las identidades. Reflexiones en torno a la pluralidad (pp. 199-239). México D.F., México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Dorner, L. M. (2011). Contested communities in a debate over dual-language education: The import of “public” values on public policies. Educational Policy, 25(4), 577-613.

Fortune, T. W. y Menke, M. R. (2010). Struggling learners and language immersion education: Research-based, practitioner-informed responses to educators’ top questions. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Advanced Research and Language Acquisition.

Freire, P. (2005). Teachers as cultural workers: Letters to those who dare to teach (con un comentario nuevo de Peter McLaren, Joe L. Kincheloe y Shirley Steinberg). Cambridge, MA: Westview Press.

Freire, P. (2013). Education for critical consciousness. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic.

García, E. E. y Curry-Rodríguez, J. E. (2000). The education of limited English proficient students in California schools: An assessment of the influence of proposition 227 in selected districts and schools. Bilingual Research Journal, 24(1/2), 15-35.

García, O. y Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gándara, P. y Contreras, F. (2009). The Latina/o education crisis: The consequences of failed social policies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gándara, P. y Hopkins, M. (2010). Forbidden language: English language learners and restrictive language policies. New York: Teachers College Press.

García, O. y Kleifgen, J. A. (2010). Educating emergent bilinguals: Policies, programs and practices for English Language Learners. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Gibbons, P. (2009). English Learners, academic literacy, and thinking: Learning in the challenge zone. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hadley, A. O. y Reiken, E. (1993). Teaching Language in Context, and Teaching Language in Context--Workbook. Florence, KY: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Heifetz, R. A. y Linsky, M. (2009). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Ibarra, J. (2012). La integración lingüística del alumnado inmigrado. Textos de didáctica de la lengua y la literatura, 61, 9-21.

Jong, E. D., y Howard, E. (2009). Integration in two-way immersion education: Equalising linguistic benefits for all students. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 12(1), 81-99.

Kappel, J. y Lochtman, K. (2009). The world a global village: Intercultural competence in English foreign language teaching. Bruselas: ASP - Academic & Scientific Publishers.

Knight, J. (2014). La internacionalización de la educación. El Bulletí, 75. Disponible en

Kramsch, C. (2013). Teaching culture and intercultural competence. Hoboken, NJ. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Labov, W. L. (2012). What is to be learned: The community as the focus of social cognition. Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 10(2), 265-293.

Lacorte, M. (2010). Español en los Estados Unidos y otros contextos de contacto: Sociolingüistica, ideología y pedagogía. Madrid: Iberoamericana.

Leiva Olivencia, J. J. (2010). Educación intercultural y convivencia desde la perspectiva docente. Profesorado: Revista de Currículum y Formación del Profesorado, 14(3), 251-274.

Lindholm-Leary, K. y Block, N. (2010). Achievement in predominantly low-SES Hispanic dual language schools. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13(1), 43-60.

Lindholm-Leary, K. y Hernández, A. (2011). Achievement and language proficiency of Latino students in dual language programmes: Native English speakers, fluent English/previous ELLs, and current ELLs. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 32(6), 531-545.

Linsky, M. y Heifetz, R. A. (2002). Leadership on the line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Lippi-Green, R. (2011). English with an accent: Language, ideology and discrimination. New York, NY: Routledge.

Livingstone, K. A. y Ferreira, A. (2009). La efectividad de un modelo metodológico mixto para la enseñanza-aprendizaje de español como lengua extranjera. Boletín de Filología, 44(2), 89-118.

Lomas, C. (2014). La educación lingüística, entre el deseo y la realidad. En C. Lomas (Ed.), La educación lingüística, entre el deseo y la realidad: competencias comunicativas y enseñanza del lenguaje (pp. 9-17). México: FLACSO.

López-Bonilla, G. (2013). Prácticas disciplinares, prácticas escolares: qué son las disciplinas académicas y cómo se relacionan con la educación formal en las ciencias y en las humanidades. Revista Mexicana de Investigación Educativa 18(57), 383-412.

Llorian González, S. (2011). Hacia un sistema de referencia único para el alumnado inmigrante: el papel del Marco común europeo de referencia. En I. Ballano (Coord.), Evaluar la competencia lingüística del alumnado inmigrante (pp. 13-34). Bilbao, País Vasco: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Deusto.

Menken, K. (2012). Emergent bilingual students in secondary school: Along the academic language and literacy continuum. Language Teaching, 46(4), 438-476.

Montrul, S. (2012). El bilingüismo en el mundo hispanohablante. Malden, MA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Nero, S. y Ahmad, N. (2014). Vernaculars in the classroom: Paradoxes, pedagogy, possibilities. New York, NY: Routledge.

Omaggio, A. C. (2001). Teaching Language in Context. Boston, MA: Heinle and Heinle.

Orozco, R. (2014). New directions in Hispanic Linguistics. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Paffey, D. (2014). Language ideologies and the globalization of “standard” Spanish. Broadway, NY: Bloomsbury Academic.

Parodi, G. (2010). (Ed.). Alfabetización académica y profesional en el siglo XXI: leer y escribir desde las disciplinas. Santiago: Editorial Planeta Chilena, S.A.

Parrish, T., Perez, M., Merickel, A., Linquanti, R., Socias, M., Spain, A., Speroni, C., Esra, P., Brock, L. y Delancey, D. (2006). Effects of the implementation of Proposition 227 on the education of English learners, K–12: Findings from a five-year evaluation (Final Report). Palo Alto, CA y San Francisco, CA: American Institutes for Research and WestEd. Disponible en

Potowski, K. (2007). Language and identity in a dual immersion school. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Reese, L. y Feltes, J. M. (2014). La implementación de programas de doble inmersión en escuelas multigrados rurales indígenas. Sinéctica, 43, 1-18.

Rodríguez, D., Carrasquillo, A., y Soon Lee, K. (2014). The bilingual advantage: Promoting academic development, biliteracy, and native language in the classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Rodríguez-Valls, F. (2011). Coexisting languages: Reading bilingual books with biliterate eyes. Bilingual Research Journal, 34(1), 19-37.

Rodríguez-Valls, F. (2016). Pedagogy of the Immigrant: A journey towards inclusive classrooms. Teachers and Curriculum, 16(1), 41-48.

Rodríguez-Valls, F. y Aquino-Sterling, C. (2016). Maestros de secundaria y preparatoria, maestros de lenguaje: la importancia de propiciar el aprendizaje de la lengua a través de contenidos curriculares. Journal of Bilingual Education Research and Instruction, 18(1), 106-120.

Rodríguez-Valls, F., Solsona-Puig, J. y Capdevila-Gutiérrez, M. (2017). Teaching social studies in Spanish in dual immersion middle schools: A biliterate approach to history. Cogent Education: Curriculum and Teaching Studies, 4(1), 1-12.

Rojas, D. (2014). Estatus, solidaridad y representación social de las variedades de la lengua española entre hispanohablantes de Santiago de Chile. Literatura y Lingüística, 29, 251-270.

Shin, S. J. (2012). Bilingualism in schools and society: Language, identity, and policy. New York, NY: Routledge.

Showstack, E. (2012). Symbolic power in the heritage language classroom: How Spanish heritage speakers sustain and resist hegemonic discourses on languages and cultural diversity. Spanish in Context, 9(1), 1-26.

Thomas, W. P. y Collier, V. P. (1998). Two languages are better than one. Educational Leadership, 55, 23-27.

Uriarte, M., Tung, R., Lavan, N. y Díez, V. (2010). Impact of restrictive language policies and engagement and academic achievement of English Learners. En P. Gándara y M. Hopkins (Eds.), Forbidden language: English Learners and restrictive language policies (pp. 65-85). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Valdés, G. (1996). Con respeto: Bridging the Distances Between Culturally Diverse Families and Schools: An Ethnographic Portrait. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Valdés, G. (2015). Latin@s and the intergenerational continuity of Spanish: The challenges of curricularizing language. International Multilingual Research Journal, 9(4), 253-273.

Valenzuela, A. (2016). Growing critically conscious teachers: A social justice curriculum for educators of Latino/a youth. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Vidiella Pagès, J. (2010). Espacios de traducción cultural y políticas de experimentación en las artes visuales. En A. Vianello y E. Díaz (Eds.), Cultura y Política ¿Hacia una democracia cultural? (pp. 115-124). III Training Seminar de Jóvenes Investigadores en Dinámicas Interculturales). Barcelona: CIDOB Edicions.

Vygotsky, L. V. (1986). Thought and language. Boston, MA: The MIT Press.

Zentella, A. (Ed.). (2005). Building on strength: Language and literacy in Latino families and communities. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Theoretical Articles