Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Ofelia García

Committee Members

Kate Menken

Ira Shor

Michelle Fine

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Applied Linguistics | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Methods | First and Second Language Acquisition | Race and Ethnicity


Bilingual Education, Translanguaging, Latino, Middle School, Racialization, Translation


This dissertation explores bilingual Latino middle schoolers’ articulated understandings of their language practices as well as the links between language practices and processes of racialization and discrimination in the US. The research was conducted in the context of an after-school program whose explicit aim was to not only document students’ experiences, but to use those experiences as a basis for generating individual and collective critical understandings among participants. The findings of this case study center on the ways youth understand processes of racialization, translanguaging, and translation in the context of an English-dominant society, and how these understandings are connected to larger processes of discrimination and oppression, as well as resistance. The dissertation concludes by suggesting the need to center our understandings of bilingualism as well as language advocacy work on the lived experiences of bilingual youth and their communities. My hope is that this study will illuminate new possibilities for engaging with young adolescents in ways that foreground youth’s voices and experiences, generate opportunities for critical dialogue, and inspire social transformation.