This is where we are now

At a meeting at the New York City high school where I conduct research, we discussed placing 11th grade immigrant students in internships. Teachers talked about where to place a young man– let’s call him Adisa– who can’t read or write “in any language” as one of teacher put it. They settled on his interning at a…

Is Learning English the only thing that matters?

During the course of my research I see kids doing really cool stuff with language every day. They play around with each others’ languages, take interest in learning vocabulary words across different languages and think deeply about audience and perspective as they try out different linguistic forms. In a journal article I published in the…

The “Illegal” Immigrants I Know

Rosa. When I met Rosa, she cried a lot. She called me her “school mom”. After she graduated she married another student named Pedro. They lived in a barely furnished apartment with lots of windows in Brooklyn with her sister. Pedro worked a lot and ran marathons. I visited her. Rosa made me tamales from scratch,…