From sending schools to career and technical centers: Race- and language-neutral policies as barriers for emergent bilingual students
Mark Emerick

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Vassar College

Primary Discipline

Second Language Learning/Bilingual Education
Despite decades of research and advocacy, emergent bilingual students (EBs) continue to experience marginalization and limited opportunity to learn in U.S. secondary schools. As a result, some researchers have considered the potential of career and technical education (CTE) as a pathway for EBs to achieve college and career readiness, even as they are underrepresented in CTE programs. To gain insight into EBs' under-enrollment in CTE, this study examines how school-level policies and the practices of school leaders, counselors, and teachers along the CTE enrollment pathway may contribute to these disparities. Engaging in a 9-month ethnographic study, I will (a) examine official and de facto school policies regarding CTE enrollment, (b) document counseling practices and how these practices affect EBs? opportunities for college and career readiness, and (c) consider the ways in which EBs draw on social, familial, and navigational capital to negotiate these complex educational systems in pursuit of their career and life goals. The study will challenge inequitable structures and advising practices that limit EBs? access to CTE, center the rich narratives of students who decide to pursue CTE programs during high school, and provide insights for school-level interventions and equitable career counseling practices for EB youth.
About Mark Emerick
Mark R. Emerick is an assistant professor of education at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A first-generation college student, he earned his B.A. in English and M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in applied linguistics from Temple University. Broadly, Dr. Emerick?s research draws on critical race theory to examine how language and identity affect equitable access to educational opportunities for emergent bilingual students in U.S. schools. In particular, he has focused on the potential of career and technical education as a pathway for emergent bilinguals to attain college and career readiness, the racialized and linguistic ideologies that influence conceptualizations of college and career readiness, and how attitudes about language influence local-level policies in career and technical education centers. His research has appeared in Anthropology and Education Quarterly and Educational Administration Quarterly. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Mark was a middle and high school ESL teacher. At Muhlenberg, he teaches courses in TESOL, social foundations of education, and sociolinguistics.

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