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Solo tengo una pregunta por hacerle: Nos podria proporcionar una lectura por cada 5 dias?
I just have a question: Could you give us a new reading for each day of the week?
What teacher would not like to hear this sort of request from a student? Alba, the woman who asked for the extra readings, was involved in a parent literacy project at her children's elementary school in a city in the Southwestern United States. The class for parents that met one evening a week was designed to invite Spanish-speaking parents' involvement in school-based literacy. The above entry from Alba's reflective journal signals to the fact that she was highly motivated and even wanted more than the one reading per week that was assigned in the class.
This type of request is a far cry from the stereotype of the Latino immigrant parent that is prevalent in media and even educational literature. Commonly held assumptions based in deficit thinking posit that parents like Alba are not interested in their children's education, do not have literacy skills necessary to help their children with schoolwork, and do not spend time reading with their children at home.
Through our interactions with the twelve parents involved in this after-school literacy project we found that regardless of their level of formal education, parents were highly motivated to read with their children, to engage with related assignments, and they even requested more readings, sometimes--as in the case of Alba--more than we were prepared to offer! In our experience, the key to such high levels of engagement related to matching parents with culturally and personally relevant reading material, what we are calling: texts that matter.
Texts that Matter
Before we continue, it is important to clarify why we have chosen to identify the parents as Mexican immigrants. While terms like "Latino" and "Hispanic" would also potentially work, and may sound more inclusive, we want to avoid the danger of implying that all Latinos are one monolithic group. We use the term Mexican immigrants to refer to the parents in this study because all of the parents who participated were originally from Mexico.
We contend that their transactions with the specific readings were related to their backgrounds as Mexican immigrant parents. This does not mean that other people will not be able to glean important or useful information from this text that could be adapted and applied in other contexts.
A growing body of scholarship in the area of literacy views reading through a socio-cultural lens (Gee, 1990). This view of reading goes beyond technical skills of decoding sound-symbol relationships and highlights the importance of cultural, historical, and political contexts for comprehension. Teaching and learning in this framework, therefore, must draw on funds of knowledge (Moll, Gonzalez, & Amanti, 2005) based in the background knowledge, life experiences, and linguistic practices of the students and their communities.
Based in a constructivist paradigm, socio-cultural views of literacy place a high degree of importance on how students connect to what they read. This means that instruction must follow constructivist principles and allow ample opportunity for discussion and learner-centered activities. In addition, this framework requires careful attention be given to text selection. Since readers construct meaning by connecting new material with prior knowledge, …