Document Type


Publication Date



This ethnographic study explores the literacies of bilingual families living in the Rio Grande Valley on the U.S.—Mexico border. Murillo argues that immigrant families living on the border play an important role in their children’s literacy development, but that their voices are seldom heard in schools due to powerful and persistent deficit views of Spanish and Spanish-speaking families. To counter these views, Murillo describes the literacy practices that bilingual families engage in on a daily basis, and reports bilingual parents’ views about literacy in Spanish and English. To encourage and guide language arts educators who wish to use bilingual family literacies as resources for teaching and learning, Murillo identifies key themes and instructional strategies that bilingual and monolingual teachers alike can use with bilingual readers and their families.


© 2012 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Original published version available at

Publication Title

Language Arts



Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.