When families settle in a new country, children can be key to their integration. As youth attend school, learn English, and become acquainted with a new culture, they may translate and interpret for their family members: they become culture and language brokers. While some embrace this role, others struggle with their identities, living “in between” various people, ways of being, and spaces. Simultaneously, schools, their policies, and the policies and beliefs of their surrounding communities are important for immigrants’ integration and sense of belonging in their new home. From 2017-2021, my research in this area came from a National Professional Development grant supported by the US Department of Education: Strengthening Equity and Effectiveness for Teachers of English Learners: for more on this, see see-tel.org.
Over the years, my research questions have included: How does language brokering shape children’s academic achievement? How does language brokering change over the years? How can schools and communities attend to immigrant youths’ diverse identities and their families’ integration processes? What kind of policies and educational programs best support immigrant families and their children?
- Dorner, L., Song, K., Kim, S., Trigos-Carrillo, L. (2019). Multilingual family engagement: Shifting the focus from what families need to how they can lead. Literacy Today, November/December Issue. International Literacy Association, Newark, DE.
- Crawford, E., & Dorner, L., Eds. (2019). Educational leadership for immigrants: Case studies in times of change. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Dorner, L. (2017). Turning points and tensions: Emerging adulthood for language brokers. In R. S. Weisskirch (Ed.), Language brokering in immigrant families: Theories and contexts. New York, NY: Routledge Psychology Press/Taylor and Francis Publishers.
- Dorner, L., Kim, S., Floros, A., & Mujanovic, M. (2017). “Everybody kind of looked at me like I was from Mars:” Preparing educators through qualitative service-research projects. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30(7), 669-687.
- Sandoval, J.S.O., Dorner L., & Devonshire, J.* (2014). The unspoken truth: Evaluating attitudes toward immigration in Missouri. International Journal of Social Science Research 2(2), 55-71 Retrieved from: http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijssr/article/view/5365/4513
- Kim, S.* & Dorner, L. (2014). “Everything is a spectrum:” Korean migrant youth identity work in the transnational borderland. In S. Spyrou & M. Christou (Eds.), Children and Borders, pp. 276-292. Hampshire, England: Palgrave MacMillan.
- Dorner, L. & Layton, A. (2014). “¿Cómo se dice?” Children’s multilingual discourses (or interacting, representing, and being) in a first-grade Spanish immersion classroom. Linguistics and Education, 25, 24-39.
- Kim, S. & Dorner, L. (2013). “I won’t talk about this here in America:” Sociocultural context of Korean English learners’ emotion speech in English. L2 Journal, 5(2), 43-67. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2x9811c6
- Reynolds, J., Dorner, L., Orellana, M.F. (2010). Siblings as cultural educators and socializing agents. In J. Caspi (Ed.), Sibling development: Implications for mental health practitioners, pp.107-121. New York, NY: Springer Publications.
- Dorner, L., Hager, E., Peate, M.M. (2009). Citizenship education in elementary schools serving new immigrants. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 22(2), 23-26.
- Dorner, L., Orellana, M.F., & Jiménez, R. (2008). “It’s one of those things that you do to help the family:” Language brokering and the development of immigrant adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(5), 515-543.
- Dorner, L., Orellana, M.F., & Li-Grining, C.P. (2007). “I helped my mom” and it helped me: Translating the skills of language brokers into improved standardized test scores. American Journal of Education, 113(3), 451-478.
- Orellana, M.F., Dorner, L., & Pulido, L. (2003). Accessing assets: Immigrant youth’s work as family translators or “para-phrasers.” Social Problems, 50(4), 505-524.
- Orellana, M.F., Reynolds, J., Dorner, L., & Meza, M. (2003). In other words: Translating or “para-phrasing” as a family literacy practice in immigrant households. Reading Research Quarterly, 38(1), 12-34.