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Open Access Publications from the University of California

“We teach in English here”: Conflict between language ideology and test accountability in an English-only newcomer school


Drawing from a six-month ethnography of tenth grade immigrant students from Mexico and their teachers in a Central Texas English immersion program, this article documents multiple contradictory teacher practices regarding the use of English and Spanish in the classroom. This article argues that these varying practices represented a tension between Literacy High’s official English-only policy and a contradictory political ideology prioritizing performance on standardized tests that led to tolerance of Spanish language use.

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