Hablemos Juntos (Let’s Talk Together): Reimagining Early Language Intervention
Decades of research has been dedicated to demonstrating differences between low- income children’s early language and high-income children’s early language: much of this research also indicates differences between racial/ethnic groups. This research, conducted from a middle-class White normative perspective, posits that these early differences are the cause of the achievement gap, and therefore deficits: many researchers and popular discourse argue that for these reasons there is a need for early language intervention programs. Latino families are a fast-growing population in our country, and are a target population for these interventions. I contend that the concept of intervention is colonizing in nature, and that in order to truly work for equity we must rethink the concept as opposed to merely culturally adapting programs. Rather than interventions intended to fix children and families, interventions should create avenues for empowerment so that educators and families may work together to fix schools and society. I provide a framework for such a program, with recommendations for adapting the framework to different contexts.