Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

The Evolution of the Spanish print environment in one Los Angeles community

Sandra Liliana Pucci, Sharon H. Ulanoff.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Spanish print environment in one Latino community in Central Los Angeles and the impact that the anti-immigration, anti-bilingual education post Proposition 227 era has had on that environment. It attempts to answer the following research question: What Spanish print materials are available (including schools, libraries and the larger community) and how has that availability changed since the implementation of Proposition 227? Authors conducted an ecological, “community study” in order to examine the impact of Proposition 227 on the residents of this Central Los Angeles Latino community. Data were collected during observations in several locations within the community, including schools, libraries, and commercial venues. These observations were conducted during “walking tours” of the neighborhood and formal visits to schools and libraries. Walking tours focused on four major access points: kiosks or newsstands, mini-markets, public libraries, and bookstores. Five school libraries from original comparative studies were also revisited. A further data set consisted of semi-structured and informal interviews of community members, including local residents, shopkeepers, librarians, teachers and students. Results which emerged from this analysis included a decreased availability of Spanish print materials even in a community with a high concentration of Spanish speakers, and a decrease or elimination of Spanish print materials in school and public libraries within the community; This was most striking in the school settings. Implications for the development of both first and second language literacy, as well as academic achievement are discussed. The potential impact on the ethnolinguistic vitality of Spanish in Los Angeles is also highlighted.


Sandra Liliana Pucci  (United States)
Associate Professor of Bilingual Education
School of Education
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Sandra Liliana Pucci received her PhD in language, literacy and learning from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She is Associate Professor of Bilingual Education at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her research interests lie in primary language literacy development in linguistic minority communities, language policy and planning, and secondary bilingual/heritage language education. She is the recipient of several federal and state grants to promote bilingual education and bilingual teacher professional development.

Sharon H. Ulanoff  (United States)

California State University, Los Angeles

  • Language minority communities
  • Spanish language literacy
  • Print environment

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)