Title

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

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Office: 206-R MCKB
Department:
TEd

Brief Biography

I was born in Spain to an Ecuadorian father and a Spanish mother. My wife and I came to the U.S. in 2007.

I was as an elementary school teacher for 4 years in Spain; and I was a Spanish dual language teacher for 3 years at an urban school in Utah.

I previously worked for 2 years as a professor at New Mexico State University.

I enjoy spending time with my wife and children (Érica, Rebeca, and Mónica).

Teaching Interests

I enjoy teaching educational issues from an equity and critical perspective.

Research Interests

Dual language education

Language education policy

Multicultural education

Awards

Selected Publications

Dual language teachers’ stated barriers to the implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy (2017)

Authors: Freire, Juan Andres; Valdez, Verónica

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Volume: 40

Issue: 1

Page Numbers: 55-69

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/wZK8ZDc4ZFGWKawaE7KW/full

Abstract: click to view

Culturally relevant pedagogy receives limited attention in many U.S. dual language classrooms. This article focuses on understanding the barriers eight elementary Spanish-English dual language teachers saw as preventing the implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy in their urban classrooms. Employing critical sociocultural theory and drawing on pláticas as a method, four primary barriers were identified: lack of time, lack of culturally relevant materials, lack of knowledge, and the belief that social justice topics were inappropriate for young children. The individual and contextual issues surrounding these barriers and their implications are discussed for teacher educators and those involved in dual language education.

Language as whose resource?: When global economics usurp the local equity potentials of dual language education (2016)

Authors: Delavan, M.; Valdez, Veronica; Freire, Juan Andres

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19313152.2016.1204890

Abstract: click to view

Utah’s public schools are home to an increasing number of K/1–6 dual language (DL) programs established through a state-centralized model that has sparked interest domestically and internationally. We theorize three potential constituencies of DL—maintenance, heritage, and world language—then use critical discourse analysis to examine how equitably multiple official state promotional materials discursively portray these constituencies and their interests as well as what other discourses most strongly emerge. We found Utah’s state DL discourses were targeted primarily toward a White, world language constituency, and we found that the explicit privileging of economic considerations discursively erased equity and local language concerns associated with maintenance and non-White heritage constituencies. We argue that this discursive misdirection represents a narrow application of the language-as-resource policy orientation. We conclude with implications for favoring a version of globalized language education that promotes local diversity and equitable access to opportunities.

The (dis)inclusion of Latina/o interests from Utah’s dual language education boom (2016)

Authors: Freire, Juan Andres; Valdez, Veronica; Delavan, M.

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15348431.2016.1229617

Abstract: click to view

Utah’s state planned model of dual language education has grown and spread rapidly. Drawing on critical race theory and LatCrit, we examined state policy documents and promotional materials for their discursive portrayal of Latinas/os. Our analysis revealed a pattern of centering the interests of the White, English-dominant majority and those without an ethnic connection to the target language, while marginalizing or silencing Latina/o interests. Implications for dual language education stakeholders are discussed.

The gentrification of dual language education (2016)

Authors: Valdez, Veronica; Freire, Juan Andres; Delavan, M.

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Volume: 48

Issue: 4

URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11256-016-0370-0

Abstract: click to view

Utah’s dual language education (DL) initiative, officially introduced in 2007 and backed by unique state-level planning, is touted as a new “mainstreaming” of DL and is sparking interest across the U.S. Using a critical language policy lens and a mixed method approach, we asked which student groups were positioned discursively and materially to benefit the most from this policy across three types of privilege: white racial privilege, wealth, and English privilege. A critical discourse analysis conducted of five main Utah DL policy texts pointed toward already privileged student groups being discursively targeted for DL participation. Analysis of the demographics of schools housing DL programs between 2005 and 2014 showed a statistically significant drop in access for those without the three forms of privilege under study. We argue these findings are consistent with a larger trend toward the metaphorical gentrification of DL by students of more privilege than those it historically served. We discuss our concerns that as the Utah model spreads nationwide, the gentrification process threatens to position DL as the next wave in a broad pattern of inequitably distributed enrichment education within U.S. schools. We recommend steps toward avoiding this inequitable outcome.

The marketing of dual language education policy in Utah print media (2016)

Authors: Valdez, Veronica; Delavan, Garrett; Freire, Juan Andres

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Volume: 30

Issue: 6

Page Numbers: 849-883

URL: http://epx.sagepub.com/content/30/6/849

Abstract: click to view

We argue the emergence of a shift in U.S. language education policy discourses from an equity/heritage (EH) framework focused on equity for English learners and non-English heritage languages, toward a global human capital (GHC) framework linked to neoliberal considerations of the language skills of individuals and nations. This discursive shift represents a change in the audience to which language education programs are primarily marketed. Drawing on a critical approach to content analysis to test for evidence of this discursive shift in Utah, we analyzed 164 articles from 5 Utah newspapers from 2005 to 2011 that assigned value statements to dual language and bilingual education. EH values declined or changed little over time whereas GHC values increased. Policy implications are discussed.

Nepantleras/os and their teachers in dual language education: Developing sociopolitical consciousness to contest language education policies (2016)

Authors: Freire, Juan Andres

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

URL: amaejournal.utsa.edu/index.php/amae/article/view/ 288/224

Abstract: click to view

Language education policies in the United States have affected the education of Latina/o students, especially those en la frontera, including those enrolled in dual language education. Pre-service and in-service teachers in the field of dual language education can benefit from viewing Latina/o students as nepantleras/os when examining language education policies. In addition, it is necessary for those educators to develop sociopolitical consciousness in order to advocate for their students and to contest restrictive language education policies affecting nepantlera/o students in the physical and/or psychological borderlands. Similarly, dual language teachers need to support their students’ development of sociopolitical consciousness in order to empower them to contest oppressive language education policies impacting their educational lives. For this, there is a need to transform dual language education and include sociopolitical consciousness as one of its goals.