I'm a first year teacher at a school with a lot of international students. The principal asked us to "insist that they speak only English, even in the halls with friends who share their native language." What are your feelings about this?
Sounds pretty xenophobic to me.
I wrote a whole response to this and then tumblr deleted it.
What are the age groups? What percentage speak English only? What other opportunities besides school do the students have to practice English skills? Does the school do anything to celebrate home languages/other cultures?
This sounds terribly disrespectful to the kids and their communities.
I work in a headstart/preschool program where most of the kids are bilingual in Spanish and English. We make sure all of our signs and labels are in Spanish and English as a courtesy to kids who might recognize one word but not the other, as well as to their family members who may not have as much bilingual experience as they do. It’s an effort to make as many people as possible feel welcome and appreciated.
In all honesty, insisting that one language be spoken at all times by bilingual students seems a bit instrusive on kids’ cultural identities. What I really want to know is why the principal is insisting on this. Is he afraid they’re going to talk smack about him in a language he doesn’t understand or something?
I’m sorry for the ramble but this bothers me so much.
Again, I’d like to point out that these are International Students at the high school level that are sent here to live with host families. It is a lot different than Pre-K, and even different than having students whose families recently moved here. You don’t know the program’s missions, the students’ reasons for wanting to come, or the parents’ reasons for sending their kids. Certainly the school is missing out on learning opportunities for their American/English-speaking students, but let’s not make jumps without all the information.
I studied abroad in College and lived with a host family, so perhaps my perspective is a bit different.
Ah, good point. I got carried away. I still wonder why the principal doesn’t even want them speaking other languages in the hall between classes though. That seems rather unnecessary.
My guess would be that they already knew a significant amount of English before coming here which is why they would be successful without much ELL support (often not as easily available in a private school). However, they probably need to improve their conversational English. They won’t get better at that if they are holding their conversations in their native language.
I’m a teacher at a language institute in Turkey, and I’m renowned at my school for quashing in-class conversations in Turkish. I’m the “serious teacher”. I employ this approach because these students don’t get many chances to speak English and I want them to practice when they do have the opportunity.
It seems to me that the principal could be driving the above-mentioned policy forward based on a rationale similar to the one I use. As I’ve only taught abroad, and I don’t know these students, I don’t know how reasonable that really is. As far as I can see, it’s a matter of balancing respect for different cultures with the educational goal of giving them the linguistic tools they need to live a fulfilling life. Where I teach, the latter makes it nigh impossible for me to allow, in good conscience, the speaking of Turkish, but it might be different when we’re talking about domestic versus international education.
James Arthur - “Young” by Tulisa (acoustic version)
great scene, great analogy
only the cool kids would have this thought if they saw this tree
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I relocated to Florida a little over a year ago and were quickly welcomed into our new neighbors’ social whirl. Two couples in the neighborhood are gay — one male, one female. While they are nice enough, my husband and I did not include them when it was our turn to host because we do not approve of their lifestyle choices. Since then, we have been excluded from neighborhood gatherings, and someone even suggested that we are bigots!
Abby, we moved here from a conservative community where people were pretty much the same. If people were “different,” they apparently kept it to themselves. While I understand the phrase “when in Rome,” I don’t feel we should have to compromise our values just to win the approval of our neighbors. But really, who is the true bigot here? Would you like to weigh in? — UNHAPPY IN TAMPA
DEAR UNHAPPY: I sure would. The first thing I’d like to say is that regardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person’s sexual orientation isn’t a “lifestyle choice.” Gay people don’t choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can’t change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.
I find it interesting that you are unwilling to reciprocate the hospitality of people who welcomed you and opened their homes to you, and yet you complain because you are receiving similar treatment.
From where I sit, you may have chosen the wrong place to live because it appears you would be happier in a less integrated neighborhood surrounded by people who think the way you do. But if you interact only with people like yourselves, you will have missed a chance for growth, which is what you have been offered here. Please don’t blow it.
Bizarrely (or perhaps appropriately) enough, The Voice of Holland has multiple excellent covers of Bob Marley songs on the books. This one is a cover of “No Woman, No Cry” performed by Lenny.
Egypt PSA: Put yourself in her shoes, instead of finding ways to blame her
Any person who wants to create a socially just society ought to empathize with those suffering from oppressive behavior. Props to UN Women for making this great video that helps people do that.
This is a really stimulating look into the struggles these folks have with racial identity.
This ad on the subway goes hard as fuck
Yes, more talk about this.