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Growing up Bilingual: Puerto Rican Children in New York

ISBN: 978-1-55786-407-9
334 pages
May 1997, Wiley-Blackwell
Growing up Bilingual: Puerto Rican Children in New York (1557864071) cover image


This book provides an inside view of the social construction of bilingualism in one of the largest and most disadvantaged Spanish-speaking groups in the United States.
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Table of Contents

1. Hablamos Los Dos. We Speak Both: Studying Bilingualism in the Community Context.

2. The Community: El Bloque.

3. The Bilingual/Multidialectal Repertoire of El Bloque.

4. Bilingualism En Casa.

5. The Hows and Whys of "Spanglish".

6. The Grammar of "Spanglish".

7. Life and Language in Young Adulthood.

8. Isabel: A Special Case.

9. Spanish Competence.

10. Raising the Next Generation of New York Puerto Ricans.

11. Maria: Learning to Defenderse.

12. Expanding Repertoires: Linking Language, Education, and the New Diversity.




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Author Information

Ana Celia Zentella, an anthro-political linguist, is Professor in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, and in Anthropology, Linguistics, and Developmental Psychology at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
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The Wiley Advantage

* Includes over two decades of research into a linguistically, racially and culturally diverse community.
* Suggests alternative for evaluating and teaching ethno-linguistic minorities that build upon a community's language patterns and orientations to literacy.
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"Growing up Bilingual is a profoundly compelling account of what it means to come of age in an economically impoverished but linguistically rich cultural environment.Without romanticising an often grim situation, Zentella tells a story that has long needed to be told. It should be read by every teacher and social worker who deals with Puerto Rican children. It should also occupy a prominent spot on the bookshelf of anyone seriously interested in language policy, ethnolinguistics, applied linguistics, bilingual education, ethnic identity or Hispanic studies." Alicia Pousada, University of Puerto Rico

"Along with her splendid sense of the need to portray memory and history, she brings wit, grace, and intelligence to her intimate and detailed portrayals of the life and language of Puerto Rican children and their families in New York." Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University

  • Winner of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists Book Award 1999

  • Winner of the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Prize 1998

"Zentella's book achieves its goal of describing the social and linguistic realities of New York Perto Ricans.........those who advocate for an English-only society and the elimination of bilingual education, as well as their foes, should read this work and consider the significance of language for those who are subject to domination by a different culture."Yolanda Rivera-Castillo, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa

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