Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Chicano Studies

Reader 1

Sheila Walker

Reader 2

John Raymond Buriel

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Adriana Esquivel


Language brokers are children of immigrants who use their skills as bilinguals to interpret or translate for their family and/or community members. Although language brokering may begin in childhood or preadolescence, language brokering may continue until adulthood. While there are a small number of studies that have touched upon change over time, this study’s primary focus is on language brokers’ experiences relating to change over time. This was accomplished through semi-structured in depth retrospective interviews among Latina/o young adults attending small liberal arts colleges. Three aspects of language brokering were examined, the practice of language brokering, feeling towards language brokering, and family dynamics. Three new aspects of language brokering emerged, brokering for parent’s business, brokering for the community, and brokering technology. Siblings played the role of the language broker at different points in time and to different extents. Parents’ English language developed, and they were able to navigate some tasks due to their language development and their experience completing typical forms. Feelings of joy and frustration, in deed, coexist. Feelings towards language brokering also changed from embarrassment and nervousness to confidence and satisfaction. The patterns and experiences found in this study highlight the complexity and dynamic nature of language brokering.