This study had three aims: to present a case study and explain the funds of identity of a Latina educator; to use this as an opportunity to connect heritage language to ideological clarity and humanizing pedagogies in educator preparation programs; and to illustrate how pedagogy and language education can include transformational and healing elements when educators are engaged in culturally and linguistically affirming professional development. By understanding ourselves as teachers in relation to the communities in which we teach, we are able to develop ideological clarity and reject deficit perspectives that serve to erase non-English languages spoken at home in order to effectively serve and advocate for our multilingual, emerging bilingual and heritage language students. This case study of one Latina’s journey to linguistic empowerment may serve as an example of how future teachers can transform their own experiences of language loss into empowerment and reclaim their own culture, language, and values not only for themselves but for their students as well.
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