Dr. Claudia Holguín Mendoza – Associate Professor, Hispanic Studies, UC Riverside
From Research on Sociocultural Linguistics to Critical Literacy for Language Education
In this presentation, Dr. Holguín Mendoza describes the design and implementation of a comprehensive Critical Sociocultural Linguistics Literacy curriculum that deconstructs and questions sociopolitical hierarchies, challenges the subordination of heritage language students’ linguistic practices, and elevates students’ voices and agency. Examples are taken from Latinx Spanish and their relevance is explored in connection with all speakers of heritage languages. She underscores the importance of building critical language programs on three interrelated foundations: stakeholder engagement, curriculum, and assessment. A truly comprehensive critical literacy-oriented program must integrate critical teacher training with a wide stakeholder engagement that serves to build on strengths from across the institution and to position the language program as a promoter of student success. Sociolinguistic justice and antiracist transformation through literacy occur when we critically understand how language and sociocultural access and expertise are socially constructed. Dr. Holguín Mendoza also describes research on assessment tools that have demonstrated how comprehensive critical literacy programs have proven to be a valuable model for language education and student empowerment, and how this model can be exported to other language curricula as well.