Building Comfort and Pride at the Borderlands of Spanish and English A Comparative Case-study of Three Heritage Language Teachers’ Raciolinguistic Identities in an Afterschool Spanish Language Club

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Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Luz Chung
Cheryl Forbes


Language teacher identity shapes how teachers teach (Kayi-Aydar, 2019) and is vitally important to understand in the context of a Club that aims to support high school students in reclaiming their Spanish. This paper describes how three undergraduate university students of color’s raciolinguistic identities (Rosa & Flores, 2017) were impacted by reflecting on events in the Club and in their own lives while facilitating an afterschool Spanish heritage language Club at a continuation high school. Analysis of interviews with the teachers, curriculum, and observations in the Club through a postcolonial lense revealed that a focus on building comfort and pride in the contested space between English and Spanish through flexible use of English and Spanish, not knowing Spanish, practicing Spanish, pride in Spanish, raising the status of Spanish(es), and the space between two worlds strengthened and deepened the three teachers’ raciolinguistic identities.

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