Losing the Mother Tongue in the USA: Implications for Adult Latinxs in the 21st Century


Nilsa J. Thorsos, PhD (Editor)
National University, San Diego, CA, USA

James Martínez, PhD (Editor)
Department of Initial Teacher Preparation and Services, Dewar College of Education and Human Services, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, USA

María L. Gabriel, PhD (Editor)
Director of Language, Culture, and Equity, Loveland, Colorado, USA

Series: Languages and Linguistics
BISAC: EDU005000

In this unique and timely book Losing the Mother Tongue in the USA: Implications for Adult Latinx in the 21st Century, Thorsos, Martínez and Gabriel highlight Latinx scholars and colleagues as they explore the value of 21st century bilingualism in the United States of America (USA). Using critical counternarratives and testimonios to highlight their individual, and sometimes collective, experiences as each Indigenous Latinx author examines the profound and diverse reasons they experience a loss of their Spanish mother tongue. Through individual testimonios, each author addresses the main objectives of the book: (a) to share Latinx motives and purposes needed to assimilate or acculturate in the USA, (b) to reflect on the navigation necessary to be successful within a whitestream education system and job market, and (c) to provide a cautionary story to parents, educators, and all Americans about the dangers of Spanish language loss.

At a time when Latinxs continue to be the fastest growing population in the USA at all levels of education, this volume opens up critical dialogue that fills a void in the academic literature, especially as it relates to language, identity, and culture. Losing the Mother Tongue in the USA is an important book for this time and era for much needed insight into how multicultural education can be decolonized, theorized, and practiced from the perspective of cultural insiders; thereby honoring the unique voice and experiences of Latinxs.

With the USA being built on the backs of Latinx labor, this book is long overdue in acknowledging Latinx intellectualism and expertise. The book has implications for ethnic studies, faculty and staff in higher education, and teacher education, intended for use by both undergraduate and graduate students, multicultural education scholars, administrators, policy makers, and internal and external stakeholders in higher education. The chapters in this book may also provide valuable contributions to the literature on Spanish language loss for master and doctoral students, and further serve as an excellent reference for professoriate interested in the language dispositions and contexts of bilingualism, multilingualism, multiculturalism, nationalism, and globalism.

(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. History, Ideologies and Language Policies Underpinning the Loss of Spanish in USA
(Clara Amador-Lankster, National University, San Diego, CA, US)

Chapter 2. My Warrior Testimonio: A Story of Linguistic and Cultural Resistance
(María L. Gabriel, Director of Language, Culture and Equity, Loveland, CO, US)

Chapter 3. Recalling the Shame of the Past, Imagining a Hopeful Future
(Margaret Sauceda Curwen, Chapman University, Orange, CA, US)

Chapter 4. Testimony (Testimonio) of a Seventh Generation Californian
(Kay Higuera Smith, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, US)

Chapter 5. Just Call Me Dr. A: My Experience with Language Loss
(Meagan Caridad Arrastía-Chisholm, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, US)

Chapter 6. I Am Pedro: Embracing My Mexican Culture and United States Identity
(Pedro Olvera, California, Azusa Pacific University, CA, Azusa, US)

Chapter 7. Hablas en Español?: Testimonio of the Wealth of My Spanish Language
(Antonette Aragon, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, US)

Chapter 8. The Coconut in the Room: El Testimonio De Una Tejana
(Sonia Rodriguez, National University, San Diego, CA, US)

Chapter 9. Coming to Terms
(Jo A. Birdsell, National University, San Diego, CA, US)

Chapter 10. My Journey as a Second-Generation Mexican American in Los Angeles
(David Michael Olea, Assistant Principal, Anaheim, CA, US)

Chapter 11. Reconciling and Reclaiming the Language of My Free Spirit
(Amanda Jo Cordova, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, US)

Chapter 12. Stripped of My Mother Tongue
(James Martínez, Valdosta State University, GA, US)

Chapter 13. Afterword: Knowing What We Know Now…
(Nilsa J. Thorsos, National University, San Diego, CA, US)


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