I am a professor in the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. My work examines the daily life experiences of the children of immigrants in urban schools and communities, with particular attention to children’s work as language and culture brokers. My research has shown the broad range of ways in which bilingual children use language to make sense of the world and to mediate information for others.
My first book, “Translating Childhoods: Immigrant Youth, Language and Culture” (Rutgers University Press 2009), explores the role that immigrant children play as language brokers at home, school, and in public places.
My second book, Immigrant Children in Transcultural Spaces: Language Learning and Love (Routledge, 2017) is based on my work designing, implementing and studying a play-based afterschool program for immigrant youth at a school in central Los Angeles.
A co-edited volume with Inmaculada García Sánchez (Language and Cultural Practices in Communities and Schools: Bridging Learning for Students from Non-dominant Cultural Groups) shows how everyday language and cultural processes could be built upon in school.
My most recent book (Mindful Ethnography: Mind, Heart and Activity for Transformative Social Research) explores how contemplative traditions and practices of mindfulness can enhance the quality of our ethnographic research, and how ethnographic methods can help us address some of the most challenging issues of the times we are living.
Prior to joining the faculty of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies in 2003, I served on the faculty of the School of Education & Social Policy at Northwestern University. A graduate of Brown University, I earned my Ph.D. at the University of Southern California through night classes while working as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles by day.