Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 11, 2016

Latino linguistic repertoires in an intensely-segregated Black and Latina/o high school: Is this super-diversity?

Danny C. Martinez EMAIL logo


This article explores the communicative interactions of one Latino youth, Lorenzo, in an English Language Arts classroom located in an intensely-segregated Black and Latino urban community. While the larger city in which this school is located is known for its diverse cosmopolitan population characteristic of super-diversity, I argue that Lorenzo’s language practices index his socialization in contact zones shaped by Black and Latina/o cultural and linguistic practices. While sociolinguistic perspectives on super-diversity might offer an explanation for the repertoires of languages uttered by Lorenzo and his Black and Latina/o peers, the language practices explored are reflective of the cultural historical experiences of Lorenzo’s intensely-segregated community which have been practiced prior to any conceptualization of super-diversity. Drawing on super-diversity research, language ideological inquiry and language crossing and sharing scholarship, this article calls for further attention to the cultural historical past of Black and Latina/o communities in future discussions of super-diversity in the U.S.


Transcription Conventions

[brackets indicate overlapping speech

(.) a period indicates falling contour

(?) a question mark indicates rising intonation

(:) colons indicate the sound preceding is noticeably lengthened

bolded words indicate loud speech

(1.5) numbers in parentheses mark silences in seconds

Translations appear inside (parenthesis)

Author notes appear in ((double parenthesis))

Inaudible utterances are noted by an ‘x’ inside parenthesis (xxx)

Adapted from Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50. 696-735.


Acuña, Rodolfo. 1996. Anything but Mexican: Chicanos in contemporary Los Angeles. New York: Verso.Search in Google Scholar

Agha, Asif. 2005. Voice, footing, enregisterment. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15(1). 38–59.10.1525/jlin.2005.15.1.38Search in Google Scholar

Alim, H. Samy 2004. You know my steez: An ethnographic and sociolinguistic study of styleshifting in a Black American speech community. Durham, NC: Duke University Press for the American Dialect Society.Search in Google Scholar

Anzaldúa, Gloria. 1999. Borderlands: La frontera, 2nd edn. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books.Search in Google Scholar

Ball, Aretha, Allison Skerrett & Ramon Martínez. 2011. Research on diverse students in culturally and linguistically complex language arts classrooms. In Diane Lapp & Douglas Fisher (eds.), Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts, 22–28. New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Bauman, Robert. 2007. The Black power and Chicano movements in the poverty wars in Los Angeles. Journal of Urban History 33(2). 277–295.10.1177/0096144206294740Search in Google Scholar

Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2010. Ethnolinguistic repertoire: Shifting the analytic focus in language and ethnicity. Journal of Sociolinguistics 14(2). 159–183.10.1111/j.1467-9841.2010.00440.xSearch in Google Scholar

Blackledge, Adrian & Angela Creese. 2014. Heteroglossia as practice and pedogogy. In Adrian Blackledge & Angela Creese (eds.), Heteroglossia as practice and pedagogy, 1–20. London: Springer.10.1007/978-94-007-7856-6Search in Google Scholar

Blackledge, Adrian, Angela Creese & Jaspreet Kaur Takhi. 2013. Language, superdiversity and education. In Ingrid de Saint-Georges & Jacques Weber (eds.), Multilingualism and multimodality: Current challenges for educational studies, 59–80. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.10.1007/978-94-6209-266-2_4Search in Google Scholar

Blommaert, Jan. 2010. The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511845307Search in Google Scholar

Blommaert, Jan. 2013. Ethnography, superdiversity and linguistic landscapes: Chronicles of complexity. Bristol & Buffalo: Multilingual Matters.10.21832/9781783090419Search in Google Scholar

Blommaert, Jan. 2014. Infrastructures of superdiversity: Conviviaity and language in an Antwerp neighborhood. European Journal of Cultural Studies 17(4). 431–451.10.1177/1367549413510421Search in Google Scholar

Blommaert, Jan & Ad Backus. 2011. Repertoires revisited: ‘Knowing language’ in superdiversity. Working Papers in Urban Literacies 67. 1–26.Search in Google Scholar

Blommaert, Jan and Ben Rampton. 2012. Language and superdiversity. MMG Working Paper 12-09, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen.Search in Google Scholar

Bogdan, Robert & Sari Knopp Biklen. 2007. Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theories and methods, 5th edn. Boston: Pearson A & B.Search in Google Scholar

Bucholtz, Mary. 1999. You da man: Narrating the racial other in the production of white masculinity. production of white masculinity. Journal of Sociolinguistics 3(4). 443–460.10.1111/1467-9481.00090Search in Google Scholar

Bucholtz, Mary. 2011. White kids: Language, race and styles of youth identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511975776Search in Google Scholar

California Department of Education. 2011. Data Quest [data file]. in Google Scholar

Carter, Philip. 2014. National narratives, institutional ideologies, and local talk: The discursive production of Spanish in a “new” U.S. Latino community. Language in Society 43(2). 209–240.10.1017/S0047404514000049Search in Google Scholar

Chavez, Leo. 2008. The Latino threat: Constructing immigrants, citizens, and the nation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Cole, Michael. 1996. Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Cole, Michael. 1998. Can cultural psychology help us think about diversity? Mind, Culture, and Activity 5(4). 291–304.10.1207/s15327884mca0504_4Search in Google Scholar

Creese, Angela & Adrian Blackledge. 2010. Toward a sociolinguistics of superdiversity. Z Erziehungswiss 13(4). 549–572.10.1007/s11618-010-0159-ySearch in Google Scholar

Farr, Marcia & Juyoung Song. 2011. Language ideologies and policies: Multilingualism and education. Language and Linguistics Compass 5(9). 650–665.10.1111/j.1749-818X.2011.00298.xSearch in Google Scholar

Franquiz, Maria & Maria de la Luz Reyes. 1998. Creating inclusive learning communities through English language arts: From chanclas to canicas. Language Arts 75(4). 211–220.Search in Google Scholar

Garcia, Maryellen. 1979. Pa(ra) usage in United States Spanish. Language and Linguistics 62(1). 106–114.10.2307/340085Search in Google Scholar

García, Ofelia. 2009. Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. Malden, MA & Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Pub.Search in Google Scholar

García, Ofelia & Camila Leiva. (2014). Theorizing and enacting translanguaging for social justice. In A. Blackledge & A. Creese (Eds.), Heteroglossia as practice and pedagogy (pp. 199-216). Netherlands: Springer.Search in Google Scholar

García, Ofelia & Claire Sylvan. 2011. Pedagogies and practices in multilingual classrooms: Singularities in pluralities. The Modern Language Journal 95(3). 385–400.10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01208.xSearch in Google Scholar

González, Norma. 2001. I am my language: Discourses of women & children in the borderlands. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.10.2307/j.ctv1kz4h4qSearch in Google Scholar

Green, Judith, Maria Franquiz & Carol Dixon. 1997. The myth of the objective transcript: Transcribing as a situated act. TESOL Quarterly 31(1). 172–176.10.2307/3587984Search in Google Scholar

Guerra, Juan. 2008. Cultivating transcultural citizenship: A writing across communities model. Language Arts 85(4). 296–304.Search in Google Scholar

Gutiérrez, Kris & Nathalia Jaramillo. 2006. Looking for educational equity: The consequences of relying on Brown. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education 105(2). 173–189.10.1111/j.1744-7984.2006.00081.xSearch in Google Scholar

Gutiérrez, Kris P., Zitali Morales & Danny C. Martínez. 2009. Re-mediating literacy: Culture, difference, and learning for students from nondominant communities. Review of Research in Education 33(1). 213–245.10.3102/0091732X08328267Search in Google Scholar

Gutiérrez, Kris, Betsy Rymes & Joanne Larson. 1995. Script, counterscript, and underlife in the classroom: James Brown versus Brown v. Board of Education. Harvard Educational Review 65(3). 445–471.10.17763/haer.65.3.r16146n25h4mh384Search in Google Scholar

Heath, Shirley Brice & Brian Street. 2008. On ethnography: Approaches to language and literacy research. New York: Teachers College Press.Search in Google Scholar

Hill, Jane. 1998. Language, race, and white public space. American Anthropologist 100(3). 680–689.10.1525/aa.1998.100.3.680Search in Google Scholar

Hill, Jane. 2008. The everyday language of white racism. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.10.1002/9781444304732Search in Google Scholar

Hull, Glynda & Katherine Schultz. 2001. Literacy and learning out of school: A review of theory and research. Review of Educational Research 71(4). 575–611.10.3102/00346543071004575Search in Google Scholar

Hymes, Dell. 1964. Toward ethnographies of communication. American Anthropologist 66(6). 1–34.10.1525/aa.1964.66.suppl_3.02a00010Search in Google Scholar

Johnson, Gaye Theresa. 2013. Spaces of conflict, sounds of solidarity: Music, race, and spatial entitlement in Los Angeles. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Search in Google Scholar

Jørgensen, J. Norman, Martha Sif Karrebæk, Lian Malai Madsen & Janus Spindler Møller. 2011. Polylanguaging in superdiversity. Diversities 13(2). 23–37.Search in Google Scholar

Makoni, Sinfree. 2012. A critique of language, languaging and supervernacular. Muitas Vozes, Ponta Grossa 1(2). 189–199.10.5212/MuitasVozes.v.1i2.0003Search in Google Scholar

Martinez, Danny C. 2012. Expanding linguistic repertoires: An ethnography of Black and Latina/o youth communication in urban English language arts classrooms. Los Angeles, CA: University of California. Ph.D. Dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Martinez, Danny C. 2015. Black and Latina/o youth communicative repertoires in urban English language arts classrooms. In E. Morrell & L. Scherff (eds.), New directions in teaching English: Reimagining teaching, teacher education, and research, 59–79. New York: Roman & Littlefield.Search in Google Scholar

Martínez, Ramón Antonio. 2010. Spanglish as literacy tool: Toward an understanding of the potential role of Spanish-English code-switching in the development in academic literacy. Research in the Teaching of English 45(2). 124–149.Search in Google Scholar

Martínez, Ramón Antonio. 2013. Reading the world in Spanglish: Hybrid language practices and ideological contestation in a sixth-grade English language arts classroom. Linguistics and Education 24(3). 276–288.10.1016/j.linged.2013.03.007Search in Google Scholar

Milroy, James & Lesley Milroy. 1999. Authority in language: Investigating standard English. New York & London: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Navarro, Armando. 1993. The South Central Los Angeles eruption: A Latino perspective. Amerasia Journal 12(2). 69–85.10.17953/amer.19.2.97p2744035243248Search in Google Scholar

Nicolaides, Becky. M. 2002. My blue heaven: Life and politics in the working-class suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920–1965. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Search in Google Scholar

Orellana, Marjorie Faulstich. 2009. Translating childhoods: Immigrant youth, language, and culture. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Orfield, Gary & Erica Frankenberg. 2014. Brown at 60: Great progress, a long retreat and an uncertain future. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles.Search in Google Scholar

Page, Helán & Thomas Brooke. 1994. White public space and the construction of White privilege in the U.S. health care: Fresh concepts and a new model analysis. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 8(1). 109–116.10.1525/maq.1994.8.1.02a00120Search in Google Scholar

Paris, Django. 2011. Language across difference: Ethnicity, communication, and youth identities in changing urban schools. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511978852Search in Google Scholar

Pastor, Manuel, Juan De Lara & Justin Scoggins. 2011. All together now? African Americans, immigrants and the future of California. Los Angeles, CA: Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.Search in Google Scholar

Pratt, Mary Louis. 1991. Arts of the contact zone. Profession 9. 33–40.Search in Google Scholar

Rampton, Ben. 1995. Language crossing and the problematisation of ethnicity and socialisation. Pragmatics 5(4). 485–513.10.4324/9781003060406-19Search in Google Scholar

Razfar, Aria. 2005. Language ideologies in practice: Repair and classroom discourse. Linguistics and Education 16(4). 404–424.10.1016/j.linged.2006.04.001Search in Google Scholar

Reyes, Angela. 2014. Linguistic anthropology in 2013: Super-new-big. American Anthropologist 116(2). 366–178.10.1111/aman.12109Search in Google Scholar

Rogers, John, Melanie Bertrand, Rhoda Freelon & Sophie Fanelli. 2011. Free fall: Educational opportunities in 2011. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA/IDEA, UC/ACCORD.Search in Google Scholar

Rosa, Jonathan. 2010. Looking at a language, sounding like a race: Making Latin@ panethnicity and managing American anxieties. The University of Chicago. Ph.D. Dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Rymes, Betsy. 2010. Classroom discourse analysis: A focus on communicative repertoires. In Nancy Hornberger & Sandra McKay (eds.), Sociolinguistics and language education, 528–546. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.10.21832/9781847692849-021Search in Google Scholar

Silverstein, Michael. 1996. Monoglot “standard” in America: Standardization and metaphors of linguistic hegemony. In Donald Brenneis & Ronald K.S. Macaulay (eds.), The matrix of language: Contemporary linguistic anthropology, 284–306. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.10.4324/9780429496288-18Search in Google Scholar

Smitherman, Geneva. 2000. Talkin that talk: Language, culture, and education in African America. London & New York: Routledge.10.4324/9780203254394Search in Google Scholar

Urciuoli, Bonnie. 1996. Exposing prejudice: Puerto Rican experiences of language, race, and class. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Search in Google Scholar

Urciuoli, Bonnie. 2003. Excellence, leadership, skills, diversity: Marketing liberal arts education. Language and Communication 23(3–4). 385–408.10.1016/S0271-5309(03)00014-4Search in Google Scholar

Valencia, Richard. R. 1997. The evolution of deficit thinking: Educational thought and practice. London & Washington, DC: Falmer Press.Search in Google Scholar

Vertovec, Steven. 2007. Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies 30(6), 1024–1054.10.1080/01419870701599465Search in Google Scholar

Wortham, Stanton. 2008. Linguistic anthropology of education. Annual Review of Anthropology 37. 37–51.10.1146/annurev.anthro.36.081406.094401Search in Google Scholar

Zentella, Ana Celia. 1997. Growing up bilingual: Puerto Rican children in New York. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishers.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2016-8-11
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton

Downloaded on 27.1.2023 from
Scroll Up Arrow