Publication details [#62455]

Peñalva, Stacy L. 2017. An ethnographic portrait of translingual/transcultural navigation among immigrant children and youth: voices during Sunday school at a Latino Church. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 38 (5) : 438–452.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This ethnographic inquiry sets out to foreground the voices of 34 first through twelfth graders who belong to first-generation immigrant families from Mexico and Central America and attend Nueva Vida Church (fictitious name) in a Midwestern US city. They insightfully think about their language, culture and citizenship during Sunday school class focus groups, and as we listen to their candid conversations, we note themes that appear as they live their translingual, transcultural and transnational lives: their perceptions of their own language use and fluency, the use of ‘Spanglish’, language and family relationships, thoughts about language, culture and identity, linguistic agency, their decision-making processes, and so on. The inquiry elucidates the unique set of skills and comprehensions owned by these young people as they make meaning across and through cultures, languages and national ties. This inquiry aims to turn up the volume on these immigrant voices and elucidate the process via which children with feet in more than one language, culture and country navigate and make decisions about their lives.