Nurturing Spanish-speaking English learners to be bilinguals in the rural Midwest: Challenges and possible solutions

  • Haiyan Li Purdue University
  • Jennifer Renn Purdue University


Drawing on data from 10 Latino families in rural areas of a Midwestern state, this paper examines home language and home literacy practices of families with school-age English learner (EL) children. Interviews with parents of Spanish-English ELs were analyzed to determine patterns in language use and literacy practices and to identify their needs and challenges in raising bilingual children. Results indicate that while parents overwhelmingly express a desire for their children to be bilingual and biliterate, home, school, and community practices may present barriers in attaining this goal.