Todos juntos/All together: Bilingualism, Bilingual Education, and Integration in a Gentrifying Neighborhood
Luis Poza

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



San Jose State University

Primary Discipline

Second Language Learning/Bilingual Education
Current research on the experiences and outcomes for students classified as English learners in dual immersion (DI) bilingual programs is ambivalent. On the one hand, there are consistently benefits in achievement, English language development, attitudes toward schooling, and future earnings when compared to peers in monolingual English instruction (Callahan & Gándara, 2014; Lindholm-Leary & Borsato, 2001; Lindholm-Leary & Hernández, 2011; Umansky & Reardon, 2014). On the other hand, gaps persist between students from historically marginalized groups (English Learners, students in poverty, students of color) and their more affluent white peers in such programs, and qualitative research has shown that prevalent social hierarchies are reified in interactions among students and in school-family relationships (Cervantes-Soon, 2014; Palmer, 2009; Scanlan & Palmer, 2009). DI programs are, nevertheless, increasingly popular in the US, and this growth in the number of programs coincides with a trend toward re-urbanization among middle class families and young professionals. Emerging research on gentrification shows similar conflicts, as the benefits of additional financial resources and social capital in a school are juxtaposed to tensions and power disparities among the established and newly arriving gentry families, including ultimately the displacement of the former from the community (Posey-Maddox, Kimelberg, & Cucchiara, 2014). The proposed study would undertake a social design methodology (Gutiérrez & Vossoughi, 2010) to jointly inquire with a school community the challenges and opportunities of a bilingual program in a gentrifying neighborhood in hopes that community change could be leveraged to build upon existing strengths and foster meaningful integration of students and families across ethnic, linguistic, and class backgrounds.
About Luis Poza
Luis Poza, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at San José State University. Previously, he served on the faculty the University of Colorado Denver and taught in elementary schools in East Palo Alto and New York City. Luis received his PhD in 2014 from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education with dual concentrations in Sociology of Education and Race, Inequality, and Language in Education. His research investigates language ideologies embodied in teaching practice and education policy, and he has published on parent involvement in the schooling of immigrant youth, on improving curriculum and instructional practices for bilingual students, and on better aligning policy and curriculum to new understandings of bilingualism and second language acquisition. He currently teaches courses about effective instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse students, school equity and education policy, and theories and methods of bilingual education. Beyond academics, Luis is a board member of the Colorado Association for Bilingual Education, served on the Colorado Department of Education’s Accountability Working Group devising the state’s plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act, and is a member of the Working Group on ELL Policy, a coalition of researchers involved in educational policy throughout the country on matters such as ELL classification, evaluation, instruction, and teacher preparation.

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