Brokering Literacies: Child Language Brokering in Mexican Immigrant Families

Steven Alvarez


This article reports from instances of child language brokering among emergent bilingual youths and parents at a New York City after-school community literacy program composed largely of Mexican immigrant families. I argue youth language brokers negotiated literacies with and for their parents in differing contexts, with different audiences, and under different dynamics of power relations. Young language brokers utilize bilingual practices to effectively increase translate, interpret, and advise between adults and family members of different ages. Language brokers, I argue, use their bilingual learning to help their families, and to show they care.

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