Conflicting Ideologies of Mexican Immigrant English Across Levels of Schooling

Sarah Gallo, Holly Link, Elaine Allard, Stanton Wortham, Katherine Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This article explores how language ideologies-beliefs about immigrant students' language use-carry conflicting images of Spanish speakers in one New Latino Diaspora town. We describe how teachers and students encounter, negotiate, and appropriate divergent ideologies about immigrant students' language use during routine schooling practices, and we show how these ideologies convey different messages about belonging to the community and to the nation. Although the concept of language ideology often assumes stable macrolevel beliefs, our data indicate that ideologies can vary dramatically in one town. Elementary educators and students had a positive, "bilinguals-in-the-making" ideology about Spanish-speaking students, while secondary educators used more familiar deficit accounts. Despite their differences, we argue that both settings tended toward subtractive schooling, and we offer suggestions for how educators could more effectively build upon emergent bilinguals' language skills and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-140
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Multilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


  • New Latino Diaspora
  • emergent bilinguals
  • ethnography
  • language ideologies


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