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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Localizing Archival Memories of Spanish Language Education in California, Engaging with the Multilingual Histories of the Present

  • Author(s): Train, Robert W.
  • et al.

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Focusing on Spanish in California, this article offers language educators a critical perspective into how the languages we teach have histories constructed in shifting memories of language,speakership, and education. This article builds upon the 2007 MLA report’s vision for curricular reform that situates language study in “cultural, historical, geographic, and cross-cultural frameswithin the context of humanistic learning.” Cultural narratives and frames are connected to localized “archives” of histories and memories surrounding the learning and teaching of Spanish.Examining key texts and contexts, this article explores European and American imperial discourses surrounding language in education in connection to indigenous memories by the colonized or “reduced” Indians who were the among the first learners of Spanish in early multilingual California. This article advocates understanding archival texts as a step toward articulating an explicitly critical and historical component to recent reform movements in foreign language education. It is suggested that critical archival perspectives offer possibilities for rethinking and expanding the curricular space of history and memory in undergraduate and graduate Spanish programs, as well asin teacher education programs.

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