You are here

Sage online ordering services are currently unavailable due to network disruption. We are working to restore service as soon as possible. In the meantime, our books are still available widely via retailers and online. Currently we are only able to supply digital inspection copies. These can be requested via this site, or direct from Vitalsource and Kortext. If you need a print copy, please contact your local Academic Sales Consultant, who will be able to arrange to send this once our systems are back online.

If you need further assistance please visit our Contact us page for further information. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Language of Identity, Language of Access

Language of Identity, Language of Access
Liberatory Learning for Multilingual Classrooms

October 2024 | 336 pages | Corwin

Grow students’ linguistic capital AND value their home language

In Language of Identity, Language of Access, authors Michelle Benegas and Natalia Benjamin highlight the urgent need for a revolution in language education that validates home languages and dialects while equipping students with the linguistic tools for social mobility. Their original LILA framework rejects the socially constructed hierarchy of languages and provides students with a broader linguistic repertoire.

This accessible and teacher-friendly guide presents an overview of this liberatory approach to language and literacy, an exploration of linguistically sustaining and expanding instruction, and practical guidance on designing lessons that attend to the language of identity and the language of access. Additional recurring features include:

  • Voces provide real-life teacher experiences from the classroom
  • Reflecciónes encourage educators to consider how principles and ideas relate to current practice and promote translanguaging
  • Practical applications of theories (PATs) provide conceptual frameworks and lesson plans on various topics and activities.
  • End of Chapter Conversaciónes encourage dialogue and enable educators to implement concepts in their classrooms.

Offering a fresh perspective on academic language as a means to access power and social capital, Language of Identity, Language of Access is a guide for ALL educators committed to linguistically sustaining pedagogies and empowering students with linguistic capital for social mobility.

How to Use This Book
A Note on Terminology
Part A: A Liberatory Approach to Language and Literacy in the Classroom
Chapter 1: It’s Time to Do Better - Moving beyond binary thinking about language in the classroom
Embracing Our Polarized Commitments: Finding Middle Ground

Positioning LILA: Challenging a Few of the “Fundamentals”

Language Teaching and Learning

“Additive” Approaches to Language Instruction


Use of the Term “Academic Language”

The “Haley’s Comet Effect” in Education

Part B: Language of Identity: Practical Applications of Theory
Chapter 2: Foundations in the Language of Identity and Criticality
Language of Identity and Criticality

Using Foundational Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks

Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: Identity and Criticality

Historically Responsive Literacy


Raciolinguistic Ideologies

Community Cultural Wealth

Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors

Background on Language Domains

Chapter 3: Building the Language of Identity: Practical Applications of the Theory of Translanguaging
What is Translanguaging?

Using Mentor Texts

Chapter 4: Building the Language of Identity and Criticality: Practical Applications of Community Cultural Wealth
What is Communtity Cultural Wealth?

Chapter 5: Building the Language of Identity and Criticality: Practical Applications of Language Orientations
What are Language Orientations?

Orientations as a Text Analysis Tool

Part C: Language of Access: Practical Applications of Theory
Chapter 6: Foundations in the Language of Access
Functionalism and the Levels of Language

Planning for Functional Language Instruction through Noticing

Noticing at the Word Level: Phonology

Forecasting Text

Word-Level Text Scanning

Sentence-Level Text Scanning.

Discourse-Level Text Scanning.

Avoiding Unintentional Language Assessment

Designing Targeted Language Assessments

Chapter 7: Building the Language of Access: Practical Applications for Teaching Word-Level Language

Word-Level Access Language Objective (ALO) Guide

Chapter 8: Building the Language of Access: Practical Applications for Teaching Sentence-Level Language
Sentence-Level Access Language Objectives

Chapter 9: Building the Language of Access: Practical Applications for Teaching Discourse-Level Language
Discourse-Level Access Language Objectives

Part D: LILA: Putting it all Together
Chapter 10: Planning for LILA in the classroom
Classroom Inventory: Language of Identity and Criticality

Classroom Inventory: Language of Access

LILA School-Wide Inventory


"There is an emerging trend to challenge current language learning settings and to dismantle linguistic supremacy, but there is a lack of clear, accessible translation of these ideas into meaningful, teacher-friendly resources. This book accomplishes just that!"

Andrea Honigsfeld
Professor, Author Consultant, Molloy University, NY

"It is refreshing that Benegas and Benjamin build on the construct of academic language as an entrée to the power and social capital of English rather than dismiss these tenets of language education outright. The newer ideologies posed here that are associated with language as a window to access and language as a portal to identity allow us to envision firsthand the evolution of our thinking on what constitutes linguistic and cultural sustainability and its expansion for multilingual learners in schools today."

Margo Gottlieb
Educator, WIDA

This is a must read for anyone who is committed to empowering multilingual students, validating their native language, and learning how to take an Anti-Oppressive Approach to Language in the classroom. Our students’ native language must be as advantage!


Jennifer Dickerson
Dual Language Teacher, NYDOE

"As an educator, I have seen the disconnect between teachers and students in regards to language barriers. From how students either struggle transitioning from their home language to language that is more acceptable in the formal school setting.  LILA sheds light on what language of identity, language of access practices that exist in our world today with our EL and ML populations."

Amanda Austin
Principal/ School Leader, Iberville Parish School Board, LA

"This book will provide teachers and school administrators with a current understanding of how language may provide a barrier for student learning and growth, and how it can be used for positive outcomes, and inclusivity. LILA moves the needle to help teachers understand language use and acceptance of home languages of their students. It is about time!"

Dr. Laura Metcalfe
School Administrator and Post-secondary professor, Grand Canyon University, AZ

"This is a timely book with wonderful connection of literacy development and equity. The practical examples and templates bridge theory into professional practice and provide a much needed start for teachers."

Louis Lim, Ed.D.
Principal, Bur Oak Secondary School, Canada

"The politics of language and identity are becoming more topical, and it is reaffirming the realization that language and cultural identity are one intertwined package. This book drives forward two, topical, social justice issues- the language of identity, and the language of access, and the message is supported by decades of proven teaching resources. This book is a teacher’s delight, and it demonstrates the Practical Application of Theory (PAT) for teachers who want to make a difference in their students’ lives. And, importantly, it has international application."

Dr Neil MacNeill PhD, EdD, FACEL
Teacher, Mentor, Author, Ellenbrook Primary School, Australia

"The book is a necessary work to support ML teachers and students. It provides a clear, reasoned guidance that supports not only bilingual teachers, but general education teachers as well."

Catherine Sosnowski
Adjunct Professor, Central CT State University

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781071909423