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High School Latinx Counternarratives

Experiences in School and Post-graduation


Juan A. Ríos Vega

This book represents an ethnographic study of the experiences and counternarratives of twelve Latinx young adults. All of the participants in this study are first generation immigrants to the United States, representing different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and immigration statuses. Drawing from Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) and Queers of Color Epistemologies as a theoretical framework, this book analyzes the personal experiences of Latinx during and after finishing high school. This book uses a classroom project (dialogue journals) to reconnect with twelve former English language learners (ELLs) from the Southeast after ten years. Through the use of dialogue journals as an English as a second language (ESL) strategy to support writing, the participants in this book document personal and communal experiences as Latinx immigrants in the United States. This book will represent an excellent asset for teachers, school administrators, counselors, staff, preservice teachers, practicing educators, graduate students, scholars, and policymakers.

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Chapter Five Conclusions, Implications, and Final Words


Conclusions, Implications, and Final Words

I cannot be a teacher without exposing who I am. Without revealing, either reluctantly or with simplicity, the way I relate to the world, how I think politically. I cannot escape being evaluated by the students, and the way they evaluate me is of significance for my modus operandi as a teacher. As a consequence, one of my major preoccupations is the approximation between what I say and what I do, between what I seem to be and what I am actually becoming. (Freire, 1998, p. 87–88)

I have always felt love for reading and writing in both Spanish and English. As an English language learner and English as a second language (ESL) teacher, I knew that my students’ biggest challenges were reading and writing. After reading some stories written by Latinx writers within the U.S., I encouraged my students to write their own stories. My students and I realized that Latinx stories of struggle and resistance in the U.S. were very similar.

I used dialogue journals every semester as a writing strategy in my ESL class. In 2007, I received a grant to develop a literacy project with my students. It was before Christmas break when I gave each of my students a disposable camera. Part of the assignment was to take pictures of the holidays. I encouraged them to take ←107 | 108→pictures of their family parties and other end-of-the-year traditions. I asked them to take...

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