Saturday, September 24, 2011

Talking Points #2

Aria by Richard Rodriguez & Teaching Multilingual Children by Virginia Collier

     These articles initially seemed very unlike our previous readings but they have the same overall concept.  People are often ostracized because of their race, class, gender or sexuality but people who can't speak the same language as the people who hold the "power" feel the same way.  Relating back to the card game, I remember feeling angry at first.  No one seemed to understand the same rules that I understood, but once I realized that we had different rules and were essentially speaking different languages, I was more accepting of the other players rules.

     This is a video of Antonio Graceffo teaching in an ESL classroom.  He shows some ways that he gets his students to respond to him in English. Going along with Collier, "Teach the standard form of English and students' home language together with an appreciation of dialect differences to create an environment of language recognition in the classroom", you have to do more than just teach students English. You need to acknowledge that the languages are different and allow the student to recognize it themselves, but then teach the students to embrace the difference.
     Collier states in her article "Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language."  A students culture directly ties into the language that they speak. The same way that any teacher would need to be culturally competent, I think an ESL teacher would need to be more sensitive to differences in cultures and this article touches upon just that. ESL Classroom and Cultural Sensitivity
     The following article gives more ways to aid in the success of an ESL student - ways to make their transition and the learning process itself easier and more enjoyable. Success for ESL Students

      This is my favorite of the videos I've watched relating to ESL.  It may be common knowledge, but the game he plays with the children is a great way to get the students to speak in English.  They're forced to use their own words in English to describe the item and it's uses.
     In class I would like to bring up one of my first realizations after reading both articles.  As an ESL teacher, all of the pressure is put on you as the teacher, to teach the student as well and as fast as you can - but what Rodriguez seems to say is that it's just as much up to the student as it is to the teacher.  Rodriguez fought learning English, he enjoyed the security of his home spoken Spanish, but one day he decided to allow himself to speak English.  Had he not chosen to do so, he would have remained a solely Spanish speaking student in a English speaking society.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis

I thought that some of you may be interested in this case.  Georgia just executed a man who was possibly innocent.  The case was 20 years old, witnesses recanted their statements, their was no murder weapon found, and no DNA evidence.  I find it upsetting that our justice system is so flawed that it does not want to admit the fact that they made a mistake.  Former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict, and millions of people, influential and not, asked Georgia to revoke his death penalty but they didn't.

This article discusses the digital outrage through Twitter. It's great to see people making a stand through social media!

This is my favorite of the articles I've found, mostly because it has a series of links that you can go to from the article.

You could just as well Google Troy Davis - there are more articles about this than I could post in one blog.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Talking Points #1

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

     McIntosh argues that white people on a regular basis, unknowingly take advantage of their "white privilege" and way that they live their lives. The environment that taught them to be unmindful to their advantages, is in itself the problem. Reason being that the unconscious disregard that their whiteness is a race is in fact the very act that makes other people of different color feel oppressed. I found there to be an unspoken message or maybe it was just a realization I made, but there are so many things that minorities will never have the opportunity to fully experience or understand, simply because they are not white.  Despite how hard they work, how much money they have, or even what person they marry, they will never have white privileges.
     The main point that she discusses is that just being white gives you a mentality that blinds you to struggles that other races face from day to day.
     In class I would like to bring up the 26 small details taken for granted by the privileged whites.  Until you see it right in front of you, it's hard to recognize the struggles that others face. I believe that those of a dominant group don't often see the hidden privileges and shelter that they have.
     I would say that I take advantage of the 26 listed points.  Despite being Native American, I don't really notice my race (I wasn't really raised to notice it) but reading through this list and recognizing them was very strange.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

About me

My name is Heather Forthun and I tranferred to RIC from CCRI and I am an Elementary Education major.  When I'm not in class I'm either killing zombies, watching horror films, reading Stephen King novels or doing something else unproductive.  When I'm not eating and sleeping on campus, I'm either working at Stop & Shop or I'm at home with my three cats - Madison, Oscar and Kodiak (also known as basement cat) - so be prepared for Lolcats.