Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Revisiting Collier on Multilingual children

Collier has a pretty firm standpoint throughout her piece on how English should be taught as a second language. She is adamantly against the common practice of having children speak only English when they are in the classroom learning because it can damage the child's confidence and diminish the aspects of culture they have unique to their family and language (This is evidenced with Richard Rodriguez). I pulled out some quotes that I think demonstrate her views on teaching multilingual children well;
1. "Don't teach second language in a way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language" (223)

2. "Be aware that children use first language acquisition strategies for learning or acquiring a second language" (223)

3. "To dismiss the home language in literacy development instantly places immigrant children at risk" (233)

4. "On the false premise that English oral competence is all that an immigrant child needs to compete with native English speaking peers, too many ESL or other English-learner programs fail to provide a literacy curriculum for their specific needs"(232)

5. "Teach the standard form of English and students' home language together with an appreciation of dialect differences" (227)

I find that Collier sums up her main ideas about how to teach ESL students with just her talking points, but tried to pick a couple more in depth quotes from the descriptions as well.
Although I think I understood the article well the first time, the biggest difference for me this time around, is that I was looking at the article in the context of my first-hand experiences in my SL class.

In looking at my classmates blogs:
I pulled a quote from Lindsey Leclerc revisiting Collier, that just struck me, and summed it all up so succinctly.
"In the end, by embracing a students first language around the English language, you are helping them to become a better student, while allowing yourself to become a better teacher."

I also pulled a quote from Cindy Rojas, which was from the same week as Collier, but referencing Rodriguez.. However I think it also applies to the point that Collier is trying to present that English only diminishing can be damaging rather than helpful as it's intended.
"Like Rodriguez, English was my second language and I was embarrassed to speak Spanish out of my house. I grew up in Lincoln, RI, and majority of the people in my town were white. Growing up, I was sort of ashamed coming from a different culture."

I pulled this quote from Erika Lincoln because I feel it is a quote we have all deemed important in our writing. It sounds so simple and  straight forward in texts and  theories, but in reality, can be difficult and frustrating and perhaps present a problem if you have a student who speaks only Spanish and you as a teacher speak only English. The natural instinct is just to correct students, because it makes you feel as if you are helping them, teaching them the rules and codes of power. But it is important to check that because it could be damaging also.
One of the tips that I really appreciated was, "3. Don't teach the language in a way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language"(227). I found this tip to be extremely helpful as an inspiring teacher who will have to deal with multilingual students in the future.

I really liked the way Jessica Tenerella summed up what Colliers argument means to us as future educators.
"Our main goal as educators Collier says, is to be able to set these children up for success in society while allowing them to use their native language to get them through it and help them through any way it can."

I also really love how Chanel Jones set up her blog- with an example for us to relate to, and then pulling out the concepts discussed by Collier demonstrated in her example. It was great, and effective. I couldn't quote the whole blog (but please read it if you haven't already!!!), so just pulled this out.
"If life as a adolescent student is difficult and tumultuous at best when speaking only one language, When integrating a student into a curriculum or cultural setting that is that differs from their own native background, the everyday stresses of schooling may seem tenfold to a struggling multilingual student."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

In the Service of What?

I chose to do extended comments on Jessica Tenerella’s Blog (who did extended comments on Erika Lincoln's blog). Like her and Erika, I also had similar misconceptions and fears going into my school, and also a rewarding outcome.
Images won't upload, here are URL's
Pic One
Pic two

I really liked Jessica’s comment that as future educators especially, Service Learning is one of the most important experiences we can gain for our future careers. While I think volunteering can be beneficial to every high school or middle school student, I think that often they are just doing it because they have to, not to gain anything from it. I know this was the case with many students completing the community service hours at my high school. As we take more courses discussing diversity and analyzing the field of education, we begin to see more clearly the value of these experiences, and go into them looking to learn as much as we can. As Kahne and Westheimer state in the article, without a critical thinking and reflective component, students often won’t gain any deeper understanding of the people they are working with. But on the flip side, just learning on paper about those they are working with doesn’t provide them any real experiences to relate it to. One component is ineffective without the other. Often schools don’t have a service learning project that addresses both of these aspects completely however, so the potential is never achieved.

As with Erika and Jessica, I was also worried about the condition of the school, student behavior, and the area the schools are in. Since reading Kozol, you begin to picture all poor communities in the way he so vividly described. I had never been to the area my school was in, so not knowing what to expect, I expected the worst and went in with expectant images painted by Kozol, which did not accurately display my school or its community at all. Also like them, I was pleasantly surprised. The outside of the school doesn’t look rundown, although the inside is a little worn around the edges. It far exceeds my poor expectations of it. The students and faculty are great- warm and welcoming, eager to learn and help. They anticipate the days that I go in as much as I do, and are excited to work with me. Same as every kid they fool around, but that’s the thing- they are like every other kid; not disrespectful or any of the other qualities students in the article, or we for that matter expected. It was a great experience to be out of my comfort zone, and then to have my fears and worries turn out to be unfounded.

I LOVE Jessica’s final point- that teachers are in the most opportune place to follow Delpit’s lead and teach the culture of power.  We are the ones who are going to be responsible for shaping these little people, and giving them the tools they need to be successful, it is important for us to fully understand our own biases and ability to either make a positive or negative impact.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us: Reflection

I really enjoyed this article, I’ve always been interested in how media portrayal influences how we perceive beauty and mostly how these messages affect children. The gender and personal image aspects always interested me more than the racial aspects for some reason. As a child born in the Disney era, looking at these stereotypes within Disney fascinates me. In my high school, we had to do a huge project called exhibition in order to graduate. The basics of it is that you pick a topic you're interested in, research this topic using valid sources, and you put together a project on how to get information about this problem exposed and try to solve it. You then have to present your project and plan for change to a panel of judges who grade your efforts and success. A lot of work for a project that most kids didn’t care about beyond as a graduation requirement, but definitely a learning experience. I did mine on Eating Disorders, and my project evolved to become how the media was a major factor in causing eating disorders. One of the reasons I chose to research eating disorders for my exhibition is that one of my best friends really struggled with anorexia, and I wanted to learn more; what could cause someone to hate their body and how to help her. The information I found was astounding, and in a way I did what these students did, but on a smaller scale- beginning to look at how the media presents perfection and how dramatically it influences our opinions. Instead of publishing a magazine article, I worked with one of the health teachers in the high school to create a better Eating Disorder and body image unit. A high point in the body image issue is Dove's Real Beauty Campaign in which they vow to use real women in all of their ads, with no photoshopping.

 The lines dotted in on the woman signify where her body would need to be changed in order to attain the figure of Barbie

I grew up in a family who always stressed that the models on tv weren’t realistic, that heroes and rich princes were unlikely to schwoop in and marry me, and that I was capable of doing more than sweeping the floor and cooking dinner, so even though I love these fairy tales, and I’m sure I didn’t completely avoid the ideals they instill, I think my family tried to also give me a firm footing in reality. Recently there has been a lot of stir over the newer Disney movies like Brave and Frozen because they are beginning to break through some of the Disney stereotypes.