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."

No comments:

Post a Comment