Border Literacies and the Plazas Comunitarias Program
Keywords:Border literacies, Biliteracy, adult education, adult literacy
In this column, I hope to contribute to the wider discussion on this topic by highlighting a specific binational adult literacy program called Plazas Comunitarias to illustrate how some adults are developing Spanish literacy on the border and explore to what extent a model like Plazas could act as a bridge to both Spanish and English literacy learning. Among its many features, learners enrolled in Plazas can also work towards earning official certificates for primaria and secundaria (the equivalent to elementary and middle school) issued directly from the Ministry of Education in Mexico. At the same time, I take a look at the ways in which the local organizations that help implement the Plazas program play a role in overall community engagement and have the potential to be a valuable resource for Latinx families on the border and beyond, particularly for those with children enrolled in the school system. Therefore, K-12 educators working with Latinx families may well find programs such as Plazas to be a valuable community resource for parents by opening up avenues to literacy learning that could support both their and their children’s development.
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