The Deep Approach:
Second Languages for Community Building

Samuel Alejandro Azocar is currently a doctorate student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Originally from Chile, he has been teaching ESL at the UW–English as a Second Language Program since 1999. His academic interests are tuned in ESL, linguistics and foreign language instruction. Since his involvement in the Harmony Heights project, Alejandro has developed an increasing interest in the role of Spanish in the teaching of Latino immigrant children. His research interest also involves issues of linguistic dominance and subordination that Latino children experience in American schools. In his spare time, Alejandro enjoys movies, biking, traveling, and talking on the phone to his family back in Chile..

Nathan Black is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research interests center around the use of technology — especially video — in second and foreign language teaching, with a particular interest in finding ways for educators to become involved in the development process. He is particularly interested in the challenge of responsibly representing and constructing culture in the language classroom. Although Nathan speaks as much German as he can at home, his wife Alayna’s ASL lessons are far more popular with their four-year-old daughter Rachel and one-year-old son Kennion. He is convinced that this will likely continue with their third child who will be born later this year.

Denise Hanson was the 2001–2002 TEACH Wisconsin Project Coordinator for Madison Metropolitan School District and UW–Madison. She is currently both a high school Spanish teacher at Madison West High School and a faculty associate at UW–Madison in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She has taught at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. She considers the complete disregard for the well-established research on the power of early elementary content-based second language instruction by the United States educational system as a basic, yet correctable, fault. She believes that children who are not offered the opportunity to learn a second language before the age of ten are being unnecessarily/severely/significantly disadvantaged in today’s global society. She asserts that teaching is one of the most powerful positions one can hold in any given society, and that when done with unconditional love and mutual respect for one’s fellow human beings, teaching brings peace and harmony to the individual as well as the greater community.

Dory Lightfoot is a former teacher of English as a second language who has her Ph.D. in bilingual education from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is currently teaching at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. Her research interests are in the education of language minority students, and in challenging our conceptions of "risk" for low income and second language students. Her beliefs are, first, that educators need to reconceptualize current understandings of the "risk" factors presented by students who are low income, racially or ethnically diverse, and second language learners. She also believes that such students have an enormous untapped potential, and that they can demonstrate surprising talents and abilities when given an educationally enriched and challenging program.

François Tochon is heading foreign language education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is full professor in the Departments of Curriculum & Instruction (School of Education) and French & Italian (College of Letters & Sciences). François has published over twenty books and some hundred scientific articles and book chapters which have brought him international recognition. He is the happy father of Olivier, his four-year-old son, who is developing in English, French, and Spanish. Isabelle, his spouse, was born in Argentina and is quadrilingual. They built a dome and are active for sustainable living. They demonstrate an integrated life where academic concepts are enacted in actual endeavors for a better society.

Donna Vukelich is currently a dissertator in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She formerly taught at a K–12 bilingual school in Managua, Nicaragua, where she lived for many years. She has two sons, Jorge and Joaquin, and she and her husband, Claudio, are raising them bilingually. Her research interests include the many issues (including language, racial politics in the schools, and questions of cultural citizenship) affecting Spanish-speaking immigrant students in the United States, particularly the upper Midwest. She is active in local groups working to ensure academic success for students of color.