The Spanish I and II classes at Paulo Freire Freedom School – University have joined forces to form an academic and intellectual league of analysts and researchers in the first part of this 3rd Quarter. The theme and driving questions of this Action Research Project aim to analyze how experiences of culture and identity, both socially and internally, are affected by language. The function of this project is to discover the cultural, social, and linguistic climate of bilingual speakers and communities in Arizona and Tucson, including the discrimination and racism that creates division between bilingual and monolingual communities.
As Action Research implies, it is essential to take action and physically take our research into the community, and we have done just that. On January 7th, we had a youth community member facilitate very powerful discourse in our classroom and share his narrative and experiences as a Chicano youth who is both a published author and spoken word poet. On Wednesday, January 20th, we interviewed dozens of University of Arizona students and gauged their perspective on how social, racial, and lexical stigma changes the lives of native Spanish and other foreign language speakers.
We asked compelling questions that were both student generated and full of consideration. We engaged in social and collective discourse with University students and discussed the ways language has impacted their lives. We are incredibly proud of the diligence, professionalism, and dedication our young researchers displayed out in the field, and can not wait to facilitate their journey of understanding through community narratives and analytical data! Next week, we will hold conversations with students at a neighboring bilingual middle school to gain perspective, insight, and learn how these perspectives and experiences shape the community in which we live! PAZ!
~Mariah & Nieves