The study of heritage Spanish is receiving more credit and recognition in the classroom. Meghann Peace and Emily Bernante, professors of Spanish at St. Mary’s University and St. Edward’s University, explain this recent phenomenon (00:18). And, a historic Mexican movie theater which was once a cultural cornerstone for the community is getting a second chance (13:57).
Code-Switching In The Classroom
It’s not uncommon for borderland natives to fuse two languages into one. Here in Texas, we often refer to this code-switching as “Spanglish.” While it might have been frowned upon by academics in the past, academia is now recognizing heritage Spanish as a valid, useful form of the language that offers speakers a unique cultural foundation that should be cultivated.
Social linguist Meghann Peace, associate professor of Spanish at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, studies the attitudes of heritage Spanish speakers about their language.
Emily Bernante, assistant professor of Spanish at St. Edward’s University in Austin, is also a social linguist, who studies how the use verbs by heritage Spanish speakers change over generations — and how they differ by gender.
One of the last classic Mexican movie palaces in San Antonio still stands — but in disrepair. It was built in 1949, and for three decades played host not only to films, but variety shows known as “variedades” during Mexico’s golden age.
FRONTERAS EXTRA | Alameda Theater: The Past & Future Of San Antonio's Mexican Movie Palace
Stars like Pedro Infante, Maria Félix, and Cantinflas would grace the stage. And unlike other nearby theaters, it offered desegregated seating. The Alameda Theatre was, and remains, a landmark of Hispanic culture in San Antonio.