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Critical Language Awareness in an ELL Urban Language Classroom: Transforming a Latina Teacher’s Language Ideology

How can language be re-conceptualized as a tool and resource in contested pedagogies? Vygotsky theory of the mind (1978, 1986, 1998) and Engeström Activity Theory (1987, 1992) document how learning and development are situated within sociocultural contexts (Scribner & Cole, 1981; Tharp & Gillmore, 1988). Vygotsky theory of the mind (1978) central tenet is “understanding everyday activities and of cognitive processes” (Mondada & Pekarek Doehler, 2004: 467), or the process of appropriation itself, as it happens in everyday practices without isolating it from social context or human agency. Even though the goal of activity theory claims to be multi- voiced formation research that analyzes the role of mediation or the context of production, however when creating a curriculum or instructional design are rare. Given that as adults, ideology has become a mental tool and a resource via participating in discursive practices, thus regulating our behavior and materializing in the activities of the educator’s instructional design. In other words, the activities and pedagogical decisions the instructor makes, not only transmit ideas of the designer, but also that of the collective. The purpose of this dissertation is to define how critical language theories during a professional development program can sustain and support “awareness of and insight into what one’s cultural locations” and how its meaning from such awareness may have an effect on “what one does, how one thinks or perceives, and the actions one chooses as a teacher” (Genor and Goodwin, 2005) of linguistically diverse students. The goal is to define and implement a theoretical construct of decolonizing theory as it pertains to the current issues of heritage language teachers who teach culturally and linguistically diverse students in mainstream classrooms, and the implications for teacher education programs in the absence of linguistic diversity under the oppressive English- Only mandate.
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