Monday, October 27, 2014

Collier -- Revisited

Quote 1:
"One must teach in two languages, affirm the cultural values of both home and school, teach standardized forms of the two languages but respect and affirm the multiple varieties and dialects represented among stu­ dents in class, be a creative and flexible teacher, serve as a catalyst for discovery as students learn to operate effectively in their multiple worlds, be able to mediate and resolve intercultural conflicts, keep students on task and on and on." (222)

Quote 2: 
"The critical distinction to maintain is between how children acquire the capacity to converse casually in a second language. and how they learn to become proficient students using second language. These are two entirely dif­ ferent processes." (225)

Quote 3:
"Once upon a time there was a grown-up who loved children. One child who came to know this person was eager to find out about many things. Together they discovered the intimate secrets of time and space and nature and the way things work. They played with language. They both grew in wisdom and they learned how infinite and mysterious knowledge is ..." (222)

Quote 4:
"Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language." (227)

Quote 5:
"When two languages are used in the school curriculum, the teacher should plan the precise times to use each language. Bilingual pedagogy research indicates that the teacher should clearly separate the two languages of instruction. For example, the teacher should speak Spanish when the instructional language is Spanish, and speak English when instructional language is English. On the other hand, young children should be permitted to speak the language they know best." (229)

Quotes from the blogs of other classmates:
1. "While reading Virginia Collier's  Teaching Multilingual Children, I feel one of her main arguments is teachers need to embrace the different languages and cultures students bring into the classroom and use that in order to teach children English." (Essence's Blog)
2. "Collier explains that as a teacher, our mission is to help our students become fluent in their academic language but also give them the tools to continue sufficiently speaking their native language in the outside world." (Erika's Blog) 
3. "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." (Chanel's Blog) 
4. "Suppose you are put into a classroom where the teacher only speaks Swedish. You're incredibly confused for most of the lesson, but you've got a few Swedish phrases down, but then you realize that you have to use the bathroom. And for the life of you, you can't remember how to ask to use the facilities." (Chanel's Blog)

Main Point:
I think that Collier is trying to stress the importance of the proper way to teach multilingual children in the classroom. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

In The Service Of What? - Reflection

"In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning" is written by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer. The authors discuss how important and beneficial service learning is to those that participate and the community. Service learning allows students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply to every day situations. This is a great program for students to get involved in because it helps communities and allows students to take what they are learning in their classrooms and apply it which extends their learning. I believe that the easiest way to learn is through hands on work and that is exactly what service learning does. 

I am currently working on a service learning project at Mary Fogarty Elementary School in South Providence. For the past three weeks I have going into a first grade classroom and helping the students with literacy. To be completely honest, I was slightly concerned going into the school because of the area it is in. South Providence does not have a great reputation. I come from a middle class family who lives quite comfortably. I knew that I would be helping those who are less fortunate. As soon as I walked into the classroom, the teacher as well as the class welcomed me with open arms and it was obvious that the teacher found my coming to be very helpful for her. She has a full class with 24 students, many whom speak spanish as their first language. I work with the students who are on the level of reading and those who are below the level. Many of them can use the extra help that they may not get at home and I am very pleased to give them that help. It is also great to see that I am helping the teacher in the classroom get a break from keeping the entire class in control. I have been working with the students for just three weeks now, but I have already learned so much. It is such a joy to see how excited they are when I walk in the class and it feels great to help others. Working with the students and watching the ways in which the teacher conducts her class has helped me grasp the understanding of teaching and gets me excited to one day have a class of my own. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us - Hyperlinks

This article by Linda Christensen is very interesting. It discusses how the issue of cultural stereotypes was introduced to children through Disney movies, books, and cartoons.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Safe Spaces (Reflection)

In this reading, my eyes were completely opened to something I have never thought of before. To start off, I would like to give a quote that stuck out to me while I was reading and perhaps sums up the entire reading into a few sentences. "If our homes are incubators, keeping our children safe as they grow into the patterns of family life, schools are 'outcubators'- places that introduce new ways of thinking and behaving." (page 84) I found that this quote was perfect and so relevant. In today's society, we see the idea of a 'perfect' or 'normal' family depicted through advertisements, magazines, paintings, movies, and many other ways. Typically you see or think of a woman, man, and children when you hear the word family and marriage. In reality, our society should welcome any form of relationship and family whether it be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In this particular article, the writers are educating readers on why and how teachers should incorporate the topic of LGBT into their classrooms. As a future educator, I have never really thought about how I would introduce the topic of LGBT into my classroom. This is a topic I am very passionate about. Last year, in my human rights class, many of my papers and presentations revolved around LGBT. As a straight person, I think it is crucial to know and learn about the LGBT community. I know many people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual and it pains me to see them have to hide their sexuality around family, friends, and especially in school. 
I went to Pilgrim High School in Warwick for my entire high school career. We welcomed the LGBT community and had a club for those who are part of that comity and also for those who are straight. Many people became involved which was great. I had never heard of a big issue with any discrimination against those who are LGBT. But, in 2012, there was a student mural being painted by someone who I was graduating with. The mural was suppose to depict the life of a man, which included a young child in school growing into a man marrying a woman. This is where the problem arose. As you can see in the mural below, the man is with his wife and his child with wedding rings above them. The painting was almost completed until a faculty member said that it may offend those who live alternative lifestyles, which is very true. Once again here is an example of how easily the 'normal' life of a man and family can be represented. After a lengthly debate, the decision was to paint over the family portion of the mural and be done with it. My high school got backlash for this and the story was featured in many newspapers and on the news. I found this to be very surprising as my high school community was very open and welcoming to those of the LGBT community. 

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
Obviously the conversation about LGBT is an ignored or avoided one. Many people become uncomfortable when they hear the words gay or transgendered. Why? Why is it that in 2014, there is still controversy and discrimination to those who are in the LGBT community? It is hard to wrap my mind around why some of us care about other people's sexual orientation. There is no reason for the news to be covered with stories about an actor, athlete, or musician 'coming out'. It is time to stand up for what is right.