Immigrant Children and the Politics of English-Only: Views from the Classroom

By Tom Stritikus | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Proposition 227 and Teachers'
Work: English-Only
and Open Court

In this chapter, I address the connections between Celia and Connie's experience of Proposition 227 decision-making processes at Westway and their enactment of literacy practice. I consider the classroom practice of each teacher in a separate section. In each section, I address the structure of literacy instruction and the nature of language use within that structure. I conclude each section by addressing the connections of a teacher's individual qualities and the local enactment of practice in her classroom.


LEARNING TO READ AND LEARNING ENGLISH IN CELIA'S
CLASSROOM

The other first grade teacher has been really stressed out. All
the Open Court People want us to do is teach reading. I am
like, [Mija don't worry about it. Just do the best you can
because the kids have got to learn the language before they
can even read this stuff.] (Celia, October 12, 1999)

Literacy instruction in Celia's classroom reflected the way she was positioned by the implementation of Proposition 227 at the district and school. For Celia, the implementation decisions were a source of professional and personal tension (see Chapter 4 for a full discussion). The tension this positioning created in her instruction was exacerbated

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