Ana Celia Zentella, Ph.D., was born and raised in the South Bronx by a Puerto Rican mother and Mexican father, taught at City University of NYC for several decades before moving to the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where she is now Professor Emerita. Zentella is an anthro-political linguist, well known for her research on U.S.Latino varieties of Spanish and English, language socialization, bilingualism, “Spanglish”, and “English-only” laws. Zentella is presently the Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change at Swarthmore College (2009-2010), where she is working with her students on the publication of Multilingual Philadelphia: Portraits of Language and Social Justice
I am a proud product of New York City’s public schools in the Bronx where I attended school from kindergarten through high school, as well as college.. It wasn’t a safe or easy journey from my Puerto Rican and Mexican home in the South Bronx to completion of a graduate degree and a Phi Beta Kappa key. I am eternally grateful to the teachers who helped me along this difficult journey. But that was decades ago, and in many ways the journey for the children of immigrants and other linguistically and racially different groups has become even more dangerous.