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. 

1 comment:

  1. I chose the same article to read, reading this I could reflect on myself seeing how I am Bilingual. Collier pointed out great things throughout this piece. We both Believed that Guidelines 1 and 2 were really interesting!