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Becoming a Mexican American in the U.S. South: GATESOL Teacher of the Year Featured Event

  • 04/17/2021
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Zoom

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Dr. Claudia Martinez is a Georgia Southern University graduate, the 2020 Georgia TESOL Teacher of the year, a Member-at-Large of the GATESOL Board of Georgia, a first-generation immigrant/college student, a woman of color, a previous Migrant student, and former English Language Learner. Dr. Martinez just graduated with a doctorate in Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University. She is an advocate for both her students and the community. She is passionate about educating others and believes in the importance of critical and cultural and linguistic responsive teaching. She decided to become a teacher because she knew the Migrant and EL-struggle first-hand, "I became an ESOL teacher to help create better learning experiences and opportunities for other minorities," she said. “I want to show other minority students that they can go to college and make a difference. I want them to see me and think, “if she could do it, I can do it too.”


My presentation will be an autobiographical exploration of my childhood experience in Méjico, my experience of involuntary immigration, and my life in the United States. Theoretically I draw upon a wide array of literature on the experience of immigrants such as issues of language (e.g., Igoa, 1995; Soto, 1997; Valdez, 1996, 2001), culture (e.g., Au, 2014; Soto, 1997; Phillion, He & Connelly, 2005), power (e.g., Freire, 1970/1992; He, Phillion, Chan, & Xu, 2008; Soto,1997), and identity (e.g., Anzaldúa, 1987, 1990; Gonzales, 2016; He, 2003, 2010). Methodologically I draw upon autobiographical writings of people of color (e.g., Anzaldúa, 1990; He, 2003, 2010; Anzaldúa & Keating, 2009; Moraga & Anzaldúa, 1983). I will end by discussing the 6 meanings that emerged from my study. 


Georgia TESOL

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