Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Teaching Multilingual Children"

From Tongue Tied by Virginia Collier

I thought that Collier had some great points that she wrote about. I agreed with many of them which is why I chose to do quotes this week and discuss the three that I thought were important. 

"The key is the true appreciation of the different 
linguistic and cultural values that students bring into the classroom"(Collier)

I thought that this was an important quote because it is nothing but the truth. How can you have students who speak another language in your classroom if you cannot appreciate different cultural backgrounds? To me it is not possible, you need to appreciate it to be able to accept it. If you accept your students and their different backgrounds, chances are you will have a better relationship with them. I think that it is very important to support a child's first language if you are going to be their teacher. 

"It is the social bias that language-minority students experience most often in school. 
When the children are very young, it is experienced as personal inadequacy. When the child is older, it is taken as an indictment, a personal and familial affront"(Collier)

   No matter what language is spoken, everyone is the same. Students are not different because of the language they speak and teachers need to understand this. Young children may feel that they are not capable of learning in school if the teacher does not incorporate their language that they speak at home into the classroom. Older children will think it is their families fault that english is not their first language but nobody chooses what culture and language they will come from and use to speak. Like Collier states in guideline number four, the languages need to be appreciated. 

"To affirm the home language means that they will not be told that they are wrong, or that what they say is vulgar or bad. Instead, the teacher analyzes with the students the differences between their dialect and the standard variety..."(Collier)

There was a bit more to this quote but I felt that the important part was in the beginning. A teacher shall not tell a student that the language they are speaking is wrong, rather to help them work on how to say their words in their language and put them into the english form. Telling a student they are wrong about their own language that they likely know better than you who does not speak it as a first language will not give them the courage that they need. The student will bring their language to the classroom, and the teacher will bring english to the classroom and together they shall work on them in a safe and comfortable environment. 

As well as teaching multilingual children, I think it is important to know the benefits of being multilingual. I think that if a teacher is having a hard time getting a student to believe that being multilingual is good, they should watch this video to be able to explain how it benefits the brain.

Points for discussion in class:
Students should always feel comfortable speaking their first language and teachers should be aware of how to incorporate the different languages and cultures into classrooms. Every language is special and children should not feel as though it is bad that they do not speak english. Just as Collier states, appreciation and acceptance is key. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Amazing Grace

Article by Jonathan Kozol

First off, this is one of the most heart-wrenching pieces that I have read. I was aware that the Bronx is a poorer community of New York, but I guess I did not realize the extent of it.  

Kozol takes a trip to the South Bronx and gets a tour from a young boy named Cliffie. Cliffie knows more than any child his age should know about disease, drugs, and violence. As Cliffie takes Kozol on the tour to different locations, Kozol lets us know a little bit more background about where they are. The South Bronx is filled with crime, trash, homeless people, and drugs on the streets.
Cliffie's mom states, "There's trashy things all over. There's a garbage dump three blocks away. Then there's all the trucks that drive through stinking up the air, heading for the Hunts Point Market. Drivers get their drugs there and their prostitutes"(Kozol 10-11).

In this video, they give a tour of the Bronx and some background information on it. They also mention about trucks and prostitution just like Cliffie's mother does in the above quote. This video will give you a better visual of the South Bronx as it is described in Amazing Grace. The streets are filled with garbage and homeless people trying to survive one day at a time...Nobody deserves to live like this but in reality, it is happening and the South Bronx is one of the poorest cities.

The rate of people that live in poverty in the Bronx is at a high rate. Kazol states at the beginning of this story, " Brook Avenue, which is the tenth stop on local, lies in the center of Mott Haven, whose 48,000 people are the poorest in the South Bronx. Two thirds are Hispanic, one third black. Thirty-five percent are children. In 1991, the median household income of the area, according to the New York Times,was $7,600(Kozol 3).    It is clear from the statistics that every family struggles in the Bronx. They do not have enough income to support their families and make ends meet. 

In this article, discusses the statistics of the people who live in the bronx. The article lists the poverty level, unemployment rate, drug and alcohol use, and much more. The article goes into further and more statistics that were mentioned in Amazing Grace. 
These are the issues that Kozol is pointing out in his article. By writing a first-hand account about the condition of the South Bronx, it allows the reader to become aware of the issue of poverty in the city. The children continue to suffer everyday and know far too much about things that happen in this city as in the drugs and violence. 

**I also figured I would add in this video that shows pictures of the South Bronx at a slower pace than the first video. I happened to come across it on youtube while looking for videos... It is six minutes long but, you could watch a couple minutes and be able to tell how poor the city is. ( Weird music but good pictures!!)

Points for discussion in class: 
Kozol gives us a first hand look at what it is like to live in the poorest city of the US. I feel as though one of his points in this article is that you never know where someone comes from unless you see it firsthand. Another point that I think is important is the issue of trying to solve this poverty rate. How can we help these innocent children out of this terrible area? How can we help their families? I don't think we are as aware as we think we are of what some living conditions are like in cities however,  I cannot speak for everyone. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

USA Land of Limitations

Article by Nicholas Kristof

Kristof argues that today we do not necessarily live in a "land of opportunity",but rather in a land of our beginnings. " They grow up not in a 'land of opportunity, but in the kind of socially rigid hierarchies that our ancestors fled, the kind of society in which your outcome is largely determined by your beginning"(Kristof).

Unfortunately in today's society, the way you are brought up is most likely the way that you will live your own life. This is not to say that it will 100% end up this way, but it is the norm for most cases. An example of this would be a person growing up living homeless, no money, or parents who had problems of their own. Most children who grow up this way will find it harder to step up and live a more healthy life if they have parents who cannot even take care of themselves. Of course there are some people like Steve Harvey who will find success despite the challenges. This is an example of how it is not the case for all people. I should make it clear that I do not think that what I stated above is always true, much of it is society today and how we treat each other depending on our social and economic status. There are also statistics in the article proving that people may live like they were raised.

Kristof is arguing that it should not be this way and that more attention should be put to the problem. The reasoning for this is that there are too many obstacles that a young person must face to try to get themselves out of this "rut"of not being raised the best possible way. Over the years there has been more of gap in the different social and economical statues which is caused by how people are brought up and how they live their life.

Kristof also talks about a good friend of his(Rick) who was one to be raised by a father who had problems of his own. Rick tried his best to get out of the "rut" he was in from being raised by a father who was an alcoholic but no matter how much he tried, he faced many obstacles. He was faced with too many responsibilities at a young age to be able to get an education and live comfortably. Rick was  a smart person but the obstacles he faced were much too large to focus on his education and his own well-being.

How you were raised, your economic status, and your social status are all ways that limit you in the USA today and that is what Kristof says should be given more attention. Your limitations should not prevent you from being who you want to be or prevent you from having every opportunity possible to be successful.

Points for discussion in class:

The main idea to this argument is that the USA does have limits that are mostly economic limits and social limits. It is not necessarily a "land of opportunity" like it should be. It is rather a "land of limitations" which is why people struggle. The gaps of being wealthy and of being poor are much too wide today. How do we all become successful and make America a "land of opportunity"? Is there an answer to this question?

Friday, September 9, 2016

All About Me

Hi my name is Cassie and I am a student at Rhode Island College studying elementary education. I am originally from North Kingstown RI but recently moved to West Greenwich RI. I have one younger brother named Jared who is nine years old and two step-siblings. I also have two nieces, Isabellah and Madison(five and two), who bring much joy to my life. I have been working at Dave's Market (part-time) for about two years now. Over the summer I spent time with my family and friends and visited my Dad in New Hampshire where he recently moved to!
Isabellah and I

My brother Jared on his first day of school in New Hampshire

My boyfriend Ben

My best friend and I in NYC