Hispanic American Learners Using Additive Bilingualism To Address Subtractive Educational Challenge Research Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Type: Research Paper Paper: #82920573 Related Topics: English Language, Social Capital, Academic Success, Cultural Practices Published April 01, 2022

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Using Additive Bilingualism to Address Subtractive Educational Challenge among Hispanic-American Learners


Latin Americans largest color population will account for about half of student growth over the next decade. Latin Americans are also the least educated of any ethnic group (Nuez, Ramalho & Cuero, 2010). Promoting the success of Latino Americans and other colored students is a major concern of educational systems that serve more diverse student organizations and become increasingly accountable to external institutions. Conversely, the population of teachers does not reflect this demography, as the majority of teachers/lecturers in American learning institutions are white. This divergence means that most teachers are unaware of their students daily experiences such as cultural background, dialect, family, home, and community. Because teachers tend to draw educational examples from their own experiences, these connections are not made for students.

Moreover, Hispanics in the United States have historically suffered from ridicule and abuse from mainstream cultures due to non-standard Spanish and English and codeswitching (switching between two or more languages ??or language types). In education, code-switching and the use of substandard English and native languages ??among students with low socioeconomic status (SES) of linguistic minorities, including Latino Americans, are widely recognized as deficiencies that need to be addressed (Alfaro & Bartolom, 2017). Therefore, it would help mainstream school teachers develop ideological clarifications that allow them to question their lacking views on new low-SES bilinguals and the non-standard languages ??they bring into the classroom. This paper, therefore, is a contribution to that endeavor, as it seeks to establish a practical teaching pedagogy to remedy the damage that has so far been done to the Hispanic population that has gone through the American schooling system. In particular, this paper discusses the use of additive bilingualism to address subtractive education challenges to Hispanic-American learners.

Description of the challenge

English as a Second Language (ESL) students in the US, especially Hispanic students, are considered language deficient. This is a result of the fact that our nations language policy does not support the development of learners, and by extension, citizens, who are biliteracy (Ochoa & Cadiero-Kaplan, 2004). Bilingualism is the development of academic skills in the primary language while pursuing the development of the English language and academic skills, leading to academic fluency in the primary languages ??(L1) and second (L2). As a result, students can listen, speak, read, and write fluently in at least two languages. Still, instead of promoting biliteracy, most schools and programs try to equate students with an English-only curriculum without regard to perception, developing students whose primary language is not English (Ochoa & Cadiero-Kaplan, 2004).

According to Valenzuela (1999), there are three major themes in Subtracting Schooling: caring, subtractive schooling, and social capital. Care in education is primarily related to student-teacher relationships, attitudes, goals, expectations, and priorities. The second topic is the subtractive teaching of Hispanic-American students. Instead of allocating resources to students, schools divert resources from Hispanic-American learners. When teachers explicitly refuse to build and maintain genuine two-way relationships with their students, they essentially reject Hispanic culture. In addition, subtractive schooling education tends to be essentially assimilative in that it attempts to remove or eliminate traces of Hispanic culture and language from the learner. The third topic of subtractive learning is social capital. Social capital is based on social exchange theory and is defined by its function in a group structure. Valenzuela (1999) views academic success as a collective process focusing on gender, U.S.-born groups, mixed-generational groups, and Mexican immigrants. Just as is typical of the Latino community, young Hispanic Americans value their social networks and take great honor in their language and culture.

Review of the literature

Language and culture

Language and culture are inextricably linked. Language is the culture in practice and its manifests in various forms and conditions. Cultures and communities are complex living systems, and thus, culture is full of systematic variants. Sociolinguistics is the field that examines the relationship between language and society and is founded on interdisciplinary features and nuances without being bound by any particular theoretical method (Spolsky, 1998). Language is associated with nationality, and all patterns and variations of a language can be described as dialects, styles, or registers.

The choice for any specific style or register is determined by several factors, which include place. Role-relationship between speaker and listener, and the topic. In addition, the choice of style will vary based on accommodation, solidarity, and gender (Spolsky, 1998). Accommodation can occur when the language choice is adjusted to suit someone outside the community or when a person wants their language to resemble the language. The register and language diversity chosen will help others determine which role/relationship predominates at a particular point in time. Second, language can be used to establish a local identity and establish a social identity, as in the case of slang. Unlike other language types, slang refuses to use formal Rule to allow experimentation, cross-pollination, and reinvention to keep it fresh. Slang can be used to show solidarity or group membership. It is commonly used among young people and deprived people. Slang is interesting because it embodies the desire to build solidarity locally and domestically and internationally, and is a social force that has a significant impact on language. Third, language is a reflection, record, and conveyance of social differences (Spolsky, 1998, 36), sometimes with precision, sometimes with less precision, as in the case of gender. This brings about such concerns as, who speaks more between men and women, men talk vs. women talk, and generic masculine.

Teaching culture

Some language teachers and program managers think that culture can be considered a plus in teaching macro abilities because the speakers linguistic decisions are based on what is appropriate. In contrast, some consider culture to be a core element of teaching in the classroom, as long as the linguistic choices made by the speaker are not determined based on a particular context that is culturally bound. As stated by Moran (2001), language is a window to culture. In other words, individuals need a language to operate cultural products and successfully…thinking skills and assist them through their learning processes. Instructional discussions promote discourse with teachers and classmates, rather than limiting expectations for Hispanic students by avoiding debate during instruction (Padrn et al., 2002). Hispanic students may lack complete command of the English language, making it difficult to participate in classroom conversations. One of the key advantages of employing instructional discussions with Hispanic students studying English is that they allow students to engage in extended discourse, a key second language learning concept.

iv. Instruction that is cognitive-guided

Learning practices that improve students metacognitive development are emphasized in cognitively directed instruction. It centers on the direct modeling and teaching of cognitive learning processes and provides an opportunity for students to put them into practice. Students learn how to monitor their learning by using numerous ways to speed their acquisition of English or academic information through explicit instruction (Padrn et al., 2002). This educational technique is advantageous to Hispanic children struggling in school because they can learn how to employ cognitive strategies successfully to overcome some of the individual barriers to academic success.

v. Instruction supported with technology

Technology-enhanced instruction is more student-centered and integrates more active student learning. Instead of imparting knowledge, teachers use multimedia and other technology to facilitate learning (Padrn et al., 2002). For Hispanic pupils studying English, technology might be very beneficial. Web-based photo libraries can help Hispanic students understand more (e.g., science and mathematics). By combining visual presentations with music and animation, multimedia can aid auditory skill development. Hispanic students can use digitized texts to ask for pronunciations of unfamiliar words, request translations of sections, and ask questions (Garate, 2012). Technology-enhanced training also helps students connect what they learn in the classroom to real-life events, giving teaching and learning a more meaningful context. It enables Hispanic students to integrate classroom content outside of their daily experiences with a rich and engaging medium that is more familiar to them.

Teaching approaches

Three approaches are suggested for teaching Hispanic-American learners; maintenance, transitional, and ESL. Maintenance involves a bilingual teacher introducing learners to basic English. Transitional, on the other hand, involves using two languages; where the native Hispanic language is used, the English increases with time. ESL is the choice method for learners who can read and write English effectively (Schmitt, 1985).


The above-mentioned excellent instructional strategies can help Hispanic pupils through additive teaching. They value students eagerness to learn as well as the cumulative knowledge they contribute to the classroom. On the other hand, reforms in classroom practice must be supported by policy changes that reflect the diversity of school contexts. Instructional approaches are important, but they are not the only way to improve schools. There will be no single solution to all of the educational issues that Hispanic pupils face. Each school should be treated as distinct, and educators should select from a variety of research-based strategies based on the requirements of the Hispanic students they serve. In addition to incorporating these techniques into the school environment, educators should acknowledge the importance of family and community…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alfaro, C., & Bartolomé, L. (2017). Preparing ideologically clear bilingual teachers: Honoring working-class non-standard language use in the bilingual education classroom. Issues in Teacher Education, 26(2), 11-34.

Enstice, E. M. (2017). Latino Parent Perspectives: How to Promote and Implement Additive Bilingualism. Journal for Leadership and Instruction, 16(1), 33-36.

Garate, M. (2012). ASL/English bilingual education: Models, methodologies and strategies. Vis. Lang. Vis. Learn. Res. Brief, 2(8), 1-8.

González, J. F. E. (2018). Analyzing Moran’s dimensions of culture in an English conversational course at UCR. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, (28).

Moran, P. R. (2001). Teaching culture: Perspectives in practice. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Nuñez, A. M., Ramalho, E. M., & Cuero, K. K. (2010). Pedagogy for equity: Teaching in a Hispanic-serving institution. Innovative Higher Education, 35(3), 177-190.

Ochoa, A. M., & Cadiero-Kaplan, K. (2004). Towards promoting biliteracy and academic achievement: Educational programs for high school Latino English language learners. The High School Journal, 87(3), 27-43.

Padrón, Y.N., Waxman, H.C. & Rivera, H.H. (2002). Educating Hispanic students: Effective instructional practices. Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence, University of California.

Schmitt, E. C. (1985). The 3 teaching methods in bilingual classes. The New York Times.

Seelye, N. (1984). Teaching Culture Strategies for Intercultural Communication. Lincolnwood: National Textbook Company.

Sheets, R. H. (2005). Diversity Pedagogy: Examining the role of culture in the teaching-learning process. Pearson College Division.

Spolsky, B. (1998). Sociolinguistics (Vol. 1). Oxford university press.

Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: US-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Cite this Document:

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