The Hegemony of English: A Case Study of One Bilingual Classroom as a Site of Resistance

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This article discusses and suggests ways to resolve some of the problems of relative language status in the United States, focusing on English and Spanish in the context of bilingual education. The article begins with a discussion about linguistic hegemony, its definition, and some of its implications and consequences including its impact on human rights. I propose an approach that recognizes, challenges, and resists the hegemony of English based on a case study of one bilingual fourth-grade classroom. Many previous studies have focused on the variety of problems in bilingual education, frequently concluding that English almost inevitably becomes the single focus. In contrast, the teacher in this case study successfully overcomes the hegemony of English and creates a linguistic environment in her classroom in which English is not dominant and Spanish is not dominated. Finally, I amplify on the ways this approach liberates and empowers minority-language children and enriches their educational experience.