Latina/o language minorities with learning disabilities: examining the interplay between in- and out-of-school literacies
There are many educational issues connected to the exponential growth of the Latina/o population in the U.S. One such issue is Latina/os’ educational outcomes in the area of literacy. Despite the increased attention to subpopulations of students (e.g., English language learners, students with disabilities) there is little attention given to students that do not fit neatly into one subcategory, which positions Latina/o language minorities (LMs) with learning disabilities (LDs) in a liminal space where their educational services are fragmented into either being a student with LD or a LM student. Unfortunately, labels that are meant to afford students resources often result in fragmenting students’ educational experiences. This becomes evident when attempting to locate research on students who have ethnic, linguistic, and ability differences. Rarely are their educational needs as Latina/o LMs with LD met fluidly. Understanding the intersections of ethnicity, language, and ability differences in situated literacy practice is imperative to creating the deep, nuanced understanding of how Latina/o LMs with LD might become proficient in the use of critical twenty-first century tools such as new literacies. In this study I used cultural historical activity theory in combination with New Literacy Studies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009; Gee, 1996) and intersectionality (McCall, 2014) to examine how Latina/o LMs with LD’s participated in literacies across in- and out-of-school contexts with the following research questions: In what ways does participation in literacy change for Latina/o LMs with LD as they move between in- and out-of-school? What situated identities do LMs with LD enact and resist while participating in literacy across in- and out-of-school contexts?