Advocates for Second Language Learners Lessons from Those Who Care. Sonia Nieto Cultural Diversity & Language Education Conference Imin International Conference Center University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu September 17 - 19, 2004. “Teacher faces firing for hitting children…”.
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Cultural Diversity & Language Education Conference
Imin International Conference Center
University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu
September 17 - 19, 2004
Understanding that social relationships and political realities are at the heart of teaching and learning: Mary Cowhey (We Shall Have to Begin With the Children) and Jimmy’s story
Understanding that “being nice” is not enough: Mary Ginley’s story
Recognizing that learning about students’ cultures and languages entails more than learning facts and figures and strategies: Vinh’s story
Appreciating the complexity of culture: “You know you’re Puerto Rican when…”
Appreciating the complexity of culture: another example - Ariel Dorfman’s story
Understanding that identity is not just a personal matter, but embedded in institutional life: Elizabeth Capifali:
Recognizing that power and power relations are deeply implicated in notions of language and culture, and often arbitrary and frivolous.
What if Black English were the standard? How would practice in and outside the classroom change as a result?
“I viewed the video Quality Bilingual Education twice. I wept both times. The Portuguese-speaking girl, Carla, attended kindergarten in a school that is less than a block from where my parents live in Cambridge…”
If I had the chance to go back in time, I would discuss critical literacy practices with Ms. Curry. As a teacher, and as that student, I would tell her…
This is a long list, Ms. Curry, but please consider the fact that your pedagogy of literacy was dysfunctional. It was stripped of context, meaning, and function.
Acknowledge students’ differences and act as a bridge between students’ identities and societal and classroom culture: Ambrizeth Lima
Acknowledge racism and other biases - and do something about it:
Being advocates for students by teaching them the “cultural capital” they will need to succeed: the case of Yahaira Márquez
Learning the language of the students: The case of Bill Dunn “coming out of the closet” as a Spanish speaker
Becoming an advocate for second language learners means understanding that teaching is an inherently political endeavor: returning to Bill Dunn several years later: -
“I work in an urban vocational high school. Eighty-five percent of my students are Hispanic. Eighty-three percent qualify for free or reduced lunch, and seventy percent are native Spanish speakers…