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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?

positivelypersistentteach:

aquarian-sunchild:

positivelypersistentteach:

aquarian-sunchild:

positivelypersistentteach:

girlwithalessonplan:

Sounds pretty xenophobic to me.

I wrote a whole response to this and then tumblr deleted it.

Ugh.
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

great scene, great analogy

A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

I really enjoyed this talk; especially the end, where he talks about operationalizing his philosophy.

Mar 9

dampsandwich:

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME

What the actual fuck

(Source: nosdrinker)

only the cool kids would have this thought if they saw this tree

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.

- Dear Abby responding to a question about a conservative couple unable to accept same-sex couples as neighbors. NAILED IT. (via Yahoo)  (via gaywrites)

Crushed 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.

Food stamp recipients document their lives in photos

“‘Hunger Through My Lens’ has a dual mission: to empower people who are living in poverty and to promote awareness about hunger issues. Sponsored by the non-profit group Hunger Free Colorado, the program gives digital cameras to food stamp recipients and asks them to chronicle what it’s like to be hungry in America.”

I really like this project. I hope it helps people think and act more concretely regarding the issue of hunger, not only in America, but around the world as well.

What a Famous Drawing's Naughty Bits Can Tell Us About Human Origins

"But in selecting his model for human perfection, Leonardo also managed to depict how our perfect bodies, upon closer inspection, are never so perfect after all. His sketch also reminds us that there is a certain futility in humans’ historic search for an exemplar, the one individual we can all point to and call the pinnacle of the human form. Unlike Leonardo’s neo-Platonic ideals, there are no archetypes in biology, beyond those we hold in our own minds.

Vitruvian Man simultaneously displays the elegance of our body and the deep-seated imperfections and old-fashioned workarounds that we inherited from our ancestors over the course of 3.8 billion years of life on Earth. Through him, we can tell parallel stories: the story of the evolution of our bodies, and that of the evolution of our understanding of the universe.

He allows us to marvel at how the universe and its natural laws, working through such an imperfect, iterative process as evolution, could produce an organism as curious, intelligent, and self-reflective as Homo sapiens. A hairy, awkward, sometimes violent, sometimes peaceful creature who can gaze up at the sky and ask: Who am I, and why am I here?”

A giant of the New Left passes | Al Jazeera America

Cultural theorist Stuart Hall exemplified the strengths and faults of post-50s neo-Marxism
"Even if you add them all up, these signs don’t compose a happy ending to the novel of Hall’s career. Francis Mulhern, who was quite acerbic about cultural studies and its tolerance for “the secret pleasures of everyday capitalism,” strikes a more fitting balance between Hall’s accomplishments — on the one hand, the prejudices that he helped beat back that are no longer able to tyrannize, and on the other, all the struggles Hall was still involved in down to the final days of this extraordinary life on the left: “What time is it? No Longer, yes, and still Not Yet.”"

RIP Stuart Hall. May we remember him in our thoughts, words and actions for years to come.

Why Stormtroopers Always Miss - Imgur

Why Stormtroopers Always Miss - Imgur

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.

huffingtonpost:


Striking Photo Challenge The Way We See Blackness
Who is Black? What is Blackness?
[Photo Credit: Dr. Yaba Blay]

This is a really stimulating look into the struggles these folks have with racial identity.

huffingtonpost:

Striking Photo Challenge The Way We See Blackness

Who is Black? What is Blackness?


[Photo Credit: Dr. Yaba Blay]


This is a really stimulating look into the struggles these folks have with racial identity.

Feb 8
vasuki:

This ad on the subway goes hard as fuck


Yes, more talk about this.

vasuki:

This ad on the subway goes hard as fuck

Yes, more talk about this.