Our book Gramática Española: Variación Social (Routledge, 2018) teaches about grammar in a way that emphasizes the social underpinnings of language. It guides students in an examination of how Spanish grammar varies depending on place, social group, and situation. Students examine why some varieties of Spanish are considered prestigious while others are not, drawing on current and historical sociopolitical contexts, all while learning grammatical terminology and how to identify categories and constructions in Spanish. A recurring theme throughout the book is an examination of the underlying social reasons that shape our language attitudes and prejudices towards particular ways of speaking.

Why should teachers adopt a sociolinguistic approach to teaching grammar? Linguists have been arguing for such an approach for over a decade because traditional approaches tend to reinforce prescriptivist ideas and inadvertently trigger linguistic insecurity, especially among heritage speakers. Furthermore, students connect much more with grammar when it is taught in a way that highlights its relevance to humanity and society. Finally, by concentrating on fewer topics but doing so in a deep and engaging way, students gain a profound understanding of the grammatical concepts covered. Importantly, the success of a sociolinguistic approach finds empirical support in results from pre- and post-tests given to students who were taught using many of the materials that appear in our textbook (Shin & Hudgens Henderson 2017).
Please note that authors' royalties from book sales are donated. Here at UNM, I have created the Latinx Linguists' Fund, which aims to address Ana Celia Zentella's call to action to increase representation of Latinos in the field of Linguistics; she writes: "When members of racial/ethnic and language minorities clarify and draw upon the difficulties they face in an increasingly English-only nation in their analyses, they enhance our ability to address questions regarding language acquisition, proficiency levels and loss, as well as language reclamation, language education, and language policy. But the disturbing figures regarding educational achievement in our communities reveal a major hurdle that must be overcome before the ranks of LatinU linguists can increase: although 86% of Hispanic students were born in the US, and the vast majority are fluent in English, their high school graduation rates are low (76.3 % in 2013-14) (US Department of Education, 2015), only 13% have a bachelor degree, and only 4% have completed a graduate or professional degree (Díaz-Campos, 2016). Sub-groups of distinct national origins differ radically when the percent of earned college degrees is compared: “less than 10 percent of Mexican, Honduran, and Salvadoran populations hold a bachelor’s degree (Puerto Ricans = circa 12%), while 32 percent of Venezuelans and about 20 percent of Argentineans and Colombians have similar levels of degree attainment” (Zerquera and Flores, 2016, p.2). I take these data to be a call to action. One part of the solution involves the recruitment and training of future linguists who can teach and work with educators and professionals in the legal, health, and social service fields to ensure that LatinUs succeed in school and on the job, and live healthy lives. And encouraging LatinUs to become excited about the study of language can help ensure their academic success."

-Zentella, Ana Celia. (2018). “LatinUs and Linguistics: Complaints, Conflicts, Contradictions—the Anthro-political Linguistics Solution” In Naomi L. Shin & Daniel Erker (Eds.), Questioning theoretical primitives in linguistic inquiry (Papers in honor of Ricardo Otheguy). John Benjamins.