Dr. Baros is currently in the process of submitting a manuscript related to her dissertation to academic journals. Updates will appear here.
Ignore the Textbook: A Phenomenological Investigation of Transgender Including Nonbinary Student Experiences in Spanish Courses
Dr. Baros's doctoral dissertation investigated the experiences of trans students in Spanish language classrooms. To do this, she interviewed three trans students, one woman, one agender person, and one genderfluid person, to discover their perspectives and feelings about studying the langauge, the binary nature of the langauge, and the availability of appropriate words to identify themselves, such as gender-neutral language.
She found experiences were unique to each individual, although there may be a significant difference between the experiences of binary and nonbinary trans people. In many ways, experiences in English-speaking settings were similar to non-English speaking settings, but some experiences were unique to non-English settings based on available words, grammar, and culture. There was little linguistic or cultural support for nonbinary students presented in Spanish courses. Students used a variety of strategies to navigate discursive spaces, including making adjustments to make situations easier such as adopting standard binary non-English language in lieu of preferred nonbinary language. However, this did not impact these students' motivation to learn these and other languages. It is important to note, however, that participants had high intrinsic and community/career value for language learning, so these findings represent a "best-case-scenario". Finally, participants and Dr. Baros make recommendations for inclusive language practices and future research, including gathering additional narratives and experiences in order to better understand the experiences of trans students.
Please see the accompanying presentation to the right. Additional files, including the final draft and audience-specific infographics, will be uploaded when available.