Hmong Culture and Language Mai HouaVue Kelly Schmieg Ashley Davis Michelle Heidt
History • Agricultural group of people originating from China • Migrated to southern China, Laos, and Vietnam to escape oppression • Hmong of Laos recruited by US CIA to fight in the “Secret War in Laos” (1961-1973) • After the war, Hmong were targets of retaliation for helping the Americans in war
History • Many fled Laos into Thailand to escape persecution • Those that made it across the border lived in refugee camps • 1976- Hmong families first resettled in USA and other countries • Hmong people can be found in China, Lao, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, Australia, France, Canada, among other countries
Resettlement in the U.S. *Groups of Hmong initially resettled in cities across the US but many relocated to 3 main states: CA, MN, WI
Sponsored by family members & relatives • 1,000+ churches that work with Hmong community to sponsor refugees • 1980s- UM Agricultural Extension Service provided $6 million for education, equipment, and land to Hmong farmers and their families • Large Hmong community • Available organizations that provide services such as English classes and employment services Why Minnesota?
School and Literacy • Short history with formal education • Isolation in Laos • Location barriers • Language barriers • Non-literate • Written language 1950’s
Value of formal education • De-valued or highly valued • May not be able to get help with schoolwork at home • After-school program, tutoring, in-class help, etc. How will this affect instruction?
Works Cited • Handbook for Teaching Hmong-Speaking Students. Developed by Bruce ThowpaouBliatout,Bruce T. Downing, Judy Lewis and Dao Yang. Folsom Cordova Unified School District, Southeast Asia Community Resource Center, 1988. Retrieved from http://www.reninc.org/PDFS/HmongBk.pdf • Refugee and Immigrant Population in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Macalester College. Retrieved from http://www.macalester.edu/anthropology/refugees/hmong/ • Street, B.V. (Ed.) (1993). Cross Cultural Approaches to Literacy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Print.
Language There are two main dialects of Hmong language are the Green Hmong and the White Hmong. Hmong is a monosyllabic English is polysyllabic Teachers: Break polysyllabic English words into syllables that resemble Hmong words.
Hmong students need help understanding that in English many words that are spelled the same but hold different meaningful tones. Also learning pitch patterns will help them better learn how to pronounce long words
Words in the Hmong language only have one form. This is a great leaning opportunity for the study of such words (past tense verbs, contractions, idioms etc.) that are uncommon in Hmong culture.