Liderazgo: Principals Enacting Language Policy
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Language policies in the United States have traditionally been characterized by assimilationist and deficit-based discourse about linguistically diverse students, resulting in subtractive schooling practices that have significantly limited educational access and achievement for Latino students (Brown, 2016; Valencia, 2010; Valenzuela, 1999). Dual language programs have proliferated as an additive alternative to the subtractive nature of transitional bilingual programming. Drawing on research about culturally and linguistically responsive leadership practices, language policy enactment, and holistic bilingualism, this study used a multicase study method to explore the lived experiences of four elementary school principals navigating language policy. All the schools in this study had well-established dual language immersion programs. Results from the study suggest that principals who were deeply knowledgeable about dual language practices made policy adaptations to improve students’ language and literacy outcomes, contested subtractive practices not aligned with bilingual and biliteracy-specific pedagogies, and employed an equity and social justice discourse to engage in advocacy and policy enactment.