Multicultural EducationEducación Multicultural Bilingualism Bilingualismo Silvia Campazzo
School Reform with a Multicultural Perspective • “…ME allows educators to explore alternatives to systemic problems that lead to academic failure for many students and it fosters the design and implementation of productive learning environments, diverse instructional strategies, and a deeper awareness of how cultural and language differences can be influence learning.” (J. Banks and Ch. Mc Gee Banks, 2001)
Multicultural Education Definition: • “…a process of comprehensive school reform and basic education for all students. It challenges and rejects racism and other forms of discrimination in schools and society and accepts and affirms the pluralism (ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, economic, and gender, among others) that students, their communities, and teachers reflect. ME permeates the schools’ curriculum and instructional strategies, as well as the interactions among teachers, students, and families, and the very way that schools conceptualize the nature of teaching and learning. Because it issues critical pedagogy as its underlying philosophy and focuses on knowledge, reflection, and action (praxis) a the basis for social change, ME promotes democratic principles of social justice.” (Nieto, 200)
Language Diversity and Education • “Language diversity has a strong influence on the content and process of schooling practices for both language-minority and language-majority students in the United States. As a system of communication linking sound, written or visual symbols, and meaning, language is an indispensable bridge for sharing knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes within and across cultures. It has a tremendous power as the paramount instrument of cognitive development, and it can open or close the door to academic achievement”. (J. Banks and Ch. Mc Gee Banks, 2001)
The Sociocultural Nature of Language and Language Acquisition • Like culture, language is learned, it is shared, and it evolves and changes over time. • It is a forceful instrument for giving individuals, groups, institutions, and cultures their identity.
Language can be analyzed from many points of view: • Physical level: It is a system of sounds and movements made by the human body and decoded by the listener’s auditory system. • Cognitive point of view: It is a tool for the expression of thought. • Anthropological point of view: It is and intricate and pervasive component of culture. • Semiotic point of view: It can also be studied as a system of signs and symbols that have socially determined meanings (Shaumyan, 1987)
Pedagogical Point of View: • Language is what has been learned by someone who is said to have gained communicative competence in a particular language. • In order to said this, there are three familiar components that have to be developed: • Phonetics and phonology (sound system) • Morphology (how units of meaning are formed into words) • Syntax (grammar) • Lexicon (vocabulary)
Beyond these four components there are other culture-related domains that must be mastered in order for communicative competence to be achieve. • Discourse -how the language is organized in speech and writing. • Appropriateness -adjusted to the social situation. • Paralinguistic -distance between speakers, intonation, gestures, and other body language. • Pragmatics -interaction of discourse-cultural norms. • Cognitive-academic language proficiency -mastery of the language proficiency needed to learn and develop abstract concept (Cummins, 1979,1981, 1991, 2000).
Then, we can say: • Language acquisition is a complicated, subtle, culture-specific, and lifelong process. • Educators thus need to realize that the difference between English and Spanish, for example, or even between standard English and Black English, is much more that a difference in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. (Ogbu, 1999; Perry and Delpit, 1998)
Points to “think about it” • Language is a complex process requiring years to reach communicative competence. • Teachers should be realistic about the years of language development. • Languages grow and develop as tools of communication within a given environment.
First and Second Language Acquisition • The research indicates that language learning is an instinctual (Pinker, 1994) and developmental process that involves predictable stages. We acquire our first language as children, in the context of natural, interesting, and meaningful interactions within our social and physical environment - playground language (Cummins, 1981).
Time • BICS (basic interpersonal communicative skills) Cummins (1981) suggested that an average non-English-speaking student could learn to communicate at this level in English after about two years of instruction in an acquisition-rich environment. • CALP (cognitive academic language proficiency) (Cummins 1981) This level of communication depends on a speaker’s (or writer’s) ability to manipulate the vocabulary and syntax and discourse style with precision (Ovando, 1083). Cummins suggested five to seven years.
CUP (common underlying proficiency) • Just because children speak little or no English does not mean that they come to school as blank slates. • Cummins (1981) concludes that prior acquired knowledge and skills in the home language transfer to the new language. • Knowledge acquired through the student’s first language is not only useful but also crucial in the continuous cognitive development of the student in the second language (Ramírez, 1991)
Bilingualism • The difference in student performance in a bilingual program, in contrast to an all-English program, as that students typically score at or above grade level in their first language in all subjects areas. When students are tested in their second language, they typically reach and surpass native speakers’ performance across all subject areas after 4-7 years in a quality bilingual program.
Language Variety in the United States • American Indian languages: about 175 • In addition to the mix of languages, language contact has produced many indigenous languages varieties knows as pidgins, creoles –such as Gullah, Louisiana French Creole, and Hawaiian Creole-, and dialects. • Black English: “…this happened often on the plantations of the New World, where slaves from different language backgrounds were forced to use a pidgin among themselves, and between themselves and the masters.” (Anttila, 1972)
Approximately 337 languages are spoken or signed by the population, of which 175 are indigenous to the area. • Others: American English, Canadian English, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Greek, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, French, Hebrew, …
Some Numbers • English - 215 million • Spanish - 32 million • Chinese languages - 2.0 million + (mostly Cantonese speakers, with a growing group of Mandarin speakers) • French - 1.6 million • German - 1.4 million (High German) + German dialects like Hutterite German, Texas German, Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch • Tagalog - 1.2 million + (Most Filipinos may also know other Philippine languages, e.g. Ilokano, Pangasinan, Bikol languages, and Visayan languages) • Vietnamese - 1.01 million • Italian - 1.01 million
Politics • 1968: Title VII Bilingual Education Act and the landmark U.S Supreme Court Decision Lau V. Nichols (Waugh & Koon, 1974), which provided a legal basis for equitable treatment of students from non-English-speaking background in U. S. schools. • 1992: Los Angeles School District offered bilingual instruction in Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, and Armenian. • With the passage of Proposition 227 on June 2, 1998, Californians voted to eliminate bilingual education.
Critique • This draconian initiative puts a very negative spin on biculturalism, bilingualism, and biliteracy in U. S. society. It also denigrates the positive value that first-language instruction can have on academic achievement for language-minority students. (Crawford, 2000;Ovando &Collier, 1998; Ovando & Pérez, 2000)
Addressing Language Needs in the Multicultural Classroom • Should the school curriculum affirm cultural and linguistic pluralism through an additive process? • Or should the schools pursue an ideological conservative agenda of assimilating language minorities into mainstream U. S. society by subtracting their ancestral cultures and languages?
Alternative • “Rather than thinking in either/or terms of pluralism or assimilation, however, perhaps it would be useful to view U. S. society as a dynamic and complex cultural and linguistic organism—one that is constantly evolving and changing in accordance with the nature of circumstances”.
Then… • “Within such an environment of constructive pluralism, it cannot be acceptable to blame the student’s genetic, environmental, cultural, or linguistic background for his/her lack of academic success in the English-dominated classroom”. • “…teachers should not judge children’s language abilities by the schoolyard grammar” (Torrey, 1983)
Pedagogical Platform(Crawford, 1999) • 1- Language development in the home language as well as in English has positive effects on academic achievement. • 2- Language proficiency includes proficiency in academic tasks as well as in basic conversation. • 3- English Language Learners should be able to perform a certain type of academic task in home language before being expected to perform the task in English. • 4- Acquisition of English language skills must be provided in contexts in which the student understands what is being said. • 5- Majority and minority students should be in classes together in which cooperative strategies are used.
Bilingual Program • A two-way bilingual program is specifically designed to give both languages equal status -the English-speaking children learn the minority language at the same time that the language-minority students are learning English (Collier,1995). • ESL teacher’s skills: • 1- A sound knowledge of theory and methods of language acquisition • 2- An understanding of the relationship among culture and language, identity, and adjustment to the new school environment • 3- The ability to design instruction in content areas such as math, science, and social studies at the same time that they are learning English.
Critique • “The ESL teacher strives to enable the English-language learner to develop phonology, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary primarily through communicative activities rather that through such approaches as lecture and drills” (Heath, 1986). • ESL teachers do not necessarily need to speak the first language of their students, but they do need to have as broad and understanding as possible of the history, folklore, traditions, values, attitudes, and current socio-cultural situation of the cultural groups with which they work.
Case: Bilingualism in the Classroom • Title of the Case: The Lonely Puppet
Characteristics • Grade Level: 4th • Subject Matter Area: Spanish Language and Culture • Generic Teaching Topic: Languages and Races in Latinamerica • Teacher Characteristics: 10 years of experience teaching Spanish and Spanish Culture. English is her second language. Interpreter for parent/teacher conferences.
Characteristics of the Curriculum: As a Chapter School the parents have a great input and have voted for a new curriculum. The teacher presented a SociallyOriented-Multicultural Education Program, which also included new strategies and methodologies for teaching and learning, such as TPR and Storytelling TPR. • Contextual Information: As a teacher introduces “Races and Languages of South America”, one student asks “Why do we need to learn her way if we are twenty two and she is just one? • Community Factors: 91.77% White, 4.07 % Hispanic, 1.16% African American, 2 % Asian, 1% from other races. • School Factors: Chapter School(K-8th). Student Population-90% White, 5 % Hispanic, 3% Asian, 2% other)
Story Mrs. Galantini is a creative teacher. She has being developing a new methodology with her students while adapting the new program to the different levels that she teaches. Lately, she has noticed that one girl stopped participating in her class. During recess, she asked the girl, “ Don’t you enjoy our class any more?” “¡Si! …Yes”. But they do not want me to speak Spanish to you. They said that if I want to have friends in America I need to speak americano. The next day, Mrs. Galantini brought twenty three hand-puppets to the class: twenty two were brown and one was tan. She gave the tan puppet to Josefina, the only bilingual, dark skin, Hispanic girl in her class. She asked the students to decorate and name their puppets. The project took a week. When the puppets were ready, she announced that “Francisco,” the tan puppet, will be telling them a story while teaching Spanish at the same time. One student asked, “Why do we need to learn her way if we are twenty two and she is just one?”
--“Francisco is a boy.” --“But Josefina is going to use it.” --“Yes, Josefina is going to use it because she is the only one that can speak Spanish. In another way he will be lonely because nobody will understand him.” --“He is stupid, he does not speak English. He needs to go with Josefina to the ELL teacher!” --“He will be learning English but he needs time, and meanwhile we can help ourselves by learning his language, then everybody will win. Do you think that to be able to speak more than one language makes people less smart?” Nobody answered.
Questions for reflection • 1- What special problems do language-minority students experience in school? • 2- What programs and practices can schools implement to help these students experience educational success? • 3- Identify some principles for working effectively with language-minority students. What support and training might teachers need to implement these principles in the classroom? • 4- Is “one “ student enough reason? (“The power of one”).
And in order to end my case… • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xjPODksI08&feature=channel
References • Banks, J. & Banks Ch.(2001) Multicultural Education - Issues and Perspectives. 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. • Redman, G. (2007) A Casebook for Exploring Diversity. 3th ed. New Jersey. Pearson-Merril Prentice Hall. • http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-9214/minority.htm