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The Construction of Moral and Social Identity in Immigrant Children's Narratives-in-translation

Author(s): I. Garcia Sanchez and M. Orellana


In this article we examine the complexities of immigrant children’s role as translators and linguistic mediators between their parents and their teachers during parent-teacher conferences. In our analyses, we first examine the linguistic structure of teachers’ narratives about the children, and then look at how children construct their moral and social identities as students in their translations of these narratives, and how parents respond to their children’s translations.We found that in their translations children consistently downgraded their teachers’ praise and exaggerated their responsibility for any problems the teachers identified; parents in turn took up the problem focus and underscored children’s responsibility. Implications for the socialization of immigrant children and parents into educational institutional ideologies, as well as the impact of these practices on children’s development are discussed.

APA Citation:

Garcia Sanchez, I., & Orellana, M. F. (2006). The construction of moral and social identity in immigrant children's narratives-in-translation. Linguistics and Education, 17(3), 209-239.

This paper was originally published in Linguistics and Education. The preprint manuscript version is included here with the permission of the authors. The original publication is available at

032MoralSocialPP023_R1.pdf — PDF document, 1066Kb

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