Expanding Definitions of Giftedness: The Case of Young Interpreters from Immigrant Communities

Synopsis

This book is about bilingual young people who have been selected by their families to carry out the hard work of interpreting and translating to mediate communication between themselves and the outside world-between minority and majority communities. It examines the experiences of these young interpreters and the skills they develop in order to fulfill this role. A strong case is made that in order for such students to be identified as gifted on the basis of their bilingual abilities, the field of gifted and talented education must embrace the concept that bilingualism is a strength. The field must also make developing bilingualism a focus of programs designed to meet the needs of the increasingly multilingual student population in the United States. The research this book reports-part of a larger five-year study of giftedness through linguistic and cultural lenses, funded by OERI through the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented-was conducted by researchers whose background is very much outside the field of gifted education. Rather, their focus is on language, working within the traditions of qualitative sociolinguistics. Thus, this book offers a unique approach to the exploration of giftedness. It asks researchers and practitioners ordinarily accustomed to working with quantitative data to examine and make sense of detailed and rich analyses of students' linguistic performance, and argues that it is only by understanding the challenges of such bilingual interactions that the field of gifted and talented education can expand and reframe its vision of giftedness.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • Guadalupe Valdés
  • Heather Brookes
  • Christina Chávez
  • Claudia Angelelli
  • Dania García
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Mahwah, NJ
Publication year:
  • 2003