Language, Learning and Love

Welcome! Use the pull-down menu to find information about my research, teaching and writing on language brokering, Cultural Modeling, pedagogies of heart and mind,  immigrant youth and families, and gender/literacy and power.  You will find links to public blogposts, academic papers, course syllabi and more. I invite you to leave comments: your reactions to my work, sharing of your own work, and dialogue with other readers.

On this page you’ll find my reconstituted blog (see Lessons on Impermanence), which offers reflections on these issues, and the themes of language, learning and love.  I have been thinking about these matters of heart and mind in41T4j75d6sL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ different ways since 1983: first as a classroom teacher, then as a researcher of language and literacy in immigrant communities and a designer of pedagogies, and always as a learner myself. Topics will include:

  • Reflections from my ongoing research on language and literacy practices in immigrant communities, both in and out of school
  • The “pedagogy of heart and mind” that we cultivate in an after-school program I direct in downtown Los Angeles (called “B-Club”), where Teacher Education students, and K-5 kids come together to learn while playing and play with learning  (See also my 2016 book: Immigrant Children in Transcultural Spaces: Language, Learning and Love)
  • Issues facing immigrant communities more broadly, especially the lack of love (and often direct hatred) that is directed against them.
  • Other random lessons from the grand School of Life.

For those who followed the blog that I began in June, 2015, please note that I was forced to restart in March 2016. I’ll be reviving the old blog posts in some form, but mostly learning from the past and moving onward, as is the way of Life.



  1. Sarah Blodgett

    May 4, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Hi Marjorie,

    I am a doctoral student in literacy at Boston University and just read your article on para-phrasing and included it in my lit review on family literacy. I was intrigued by the untapped resources these bilingual children could potentially bring into the classroom. Thanks for your work.

    • admin

      October 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! And thanks for commenting on this blog. I’m hoping to get more of a dialogue going with readers, but most of the comments I get are spam. Sorry I missed seeing yours (hidden in the spam) til now. There are so many untapped resources in bilingual communities – glad you are working on making them more visible too.

  2. Griselda Rivera

    December 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I am a current social justice and human rights graduate student, trying to figure out what my thesis/applied project should focus on. I decided to dig deeper into my personal story as a “language broker” for my immigrant family. I came upon your research articles, “The Work Kids Do,” and thought deeply about what you wrote in regards to not looking at immigrant children as a “problem” and instead highlighting their present lives and contributions. Their present lives as children who support, sustain, and sometimes change institutions. Thank you!

    • admin

      December 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Griselda. Would you tell me more about your experiences as a language broker, and your own work? I would love to know more, and I think other readers of this blog might also be inspired. Best, Marjorie

  3. your book looks WONDERFUL and I am so happy to see it receive a glowing review on our fantastic journal, JOLLE, did you see it?

    • admin

      November 13, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks, Misha! I just looked at it. I was so impressed with the careful read the reviewers gave to the book, chapter by chapter – they gave me new ways of seeing my own work! I love when we put out ideas into the world and they become a dialogue, rather than something just to be reacted against (as reviews sometimes can be – static critiques of static ideas fixed on pages). I have been thinking a lot about the power, but also the limitations, of words. How can we keep words alive, vibrant, dynamic, shifting…and respond more than react to them, dialogically, with love and “overstanding”?

      One critique I have heard of my book is that it is short. That all of the ideas could be further unpacked. I’m sure that is true. I had time pressure to finish…and also I WANTED to keep it short, succinct, and just PART of a larger conversation. I hope others will jump in and add to and build on that conversation. I’ll try to keep the ideas alive too. I do want to write more about Bruin Club, because it is a space that gives me so much joy, and hope, and sense of possibility…. Thanks for reading the review, and taking the time to write here!

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