Sunday, September 27, 2015

Teaching Multilingual Children by Virginia Collier- Reflection

When I read Teaching Multilingual Children and  Aria,  I automatically began to remember my times in elementary school. When I entered school I was placed in a bilingual classroom. But as I got older I was placed into an English classroom. And in the moment where I was placed into an English classroom, was where many of our (my mother and I) difficult nights began. I remember when I assigned homework in English I would sometimes have difficulty understanding the homework. That was when my mom would bring out her dictionary, where she was also trying to learn english from. And with this dictionary we would look up words and we would learn together. Now that I am older I have noticed that many of these situations occur frequently. 
"It is worse for many students who are placed in English-only classrooms with teachers who have no training in second language acquisition and who use an English-only curriculum." In elementary school I remember there was a classmate of mine who had been placed, I believe by her parent, in a English-only classroom. In that classroom she had difficulty expressing herself. It was not until the school year had begun that she had been moved into our classroom and was actually able to engage in it. 

Also as I read on I began to think about families who can't help their children outside of school. Not because they're bad parents but due to the fact that there are barriers. Collier stated "It is distressing state of affairs that teachers must encourage immigrant parents to promote home language literacy, not because it is a best practice for English-language learner literacy development, but because some states forbid schools to offer these tools directly to the children."  I know a couple of families who can't provide this for their children.  I know a specific family who can't really help their children with reading or writing. Because when she was younger she was not able to learn these. Which might make it difficult to acquire the power. They may know that knowing English gives them power and access to things in this country but might be able to acquire because of these factors.

Also when I read that teachers "..see themselves as the tools by which a particular student can rid himself of stigmatized dialect  features and become a speaker of the 'right' type of the standard language -the passport to achievement, success, and acceptance."When I read this I thought about Delpit's piece where she says, "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rule of that culture makes acquiring power easier." In school teachers are telling these students the rules in order to succeed. Such as the way Richard's parents in Aria, were told that they should  practice English with their children.  Which also reminds me of SCWAAMP. Where America-ness and speaking English is encouraged in order to fit in our society.

This is an interesting website I found that discusses the Bilingual Education Controversy that was discussed in our articles.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol


St. Anns Church, which supported a
lot of the families dealing with difficult
In Amazing Grace  I was very engaged with the text. I loved how Kozol was able to give various examples of the lives of those living in Mott Haven. I really enjoyed reading their stories and learning about how tough they have it. As I read, I kept thinking about the children whose lives ended to early, who lost their parents, and the effect that the circumstances they lived had on them.  Although I really enjoyed reading this chapter, there were three quotes that caught my attention. Some of these quotes just made me say, "Why? " and "What has been done to help them?"

"The place that Cliffe is referring to turns out to be a waste incinerator that was put in operation recently over the objections of the parents in the neighborhood...The waste products of these hospitals, she says, were initially going to  be burned at an incinerator scheduled to be built along the East Side of Manhattan, but the sitting of a burner there had been successfully resisted by the parents of the area because of fear of cancer risks to children."(Kozol, 7)

When I read this I immediately thought that there was a lack of respect towards the people living in Mott Haven. Did the people in these areas not have children? Or was it that they were less susceptible to develop cancer? The parents of these children also fought against the construction of the incinerator in their neighborhood.  Also when they constructed this incinerator they were not thinking about the people who had HIV/AIDS, whose immune system were already affected. And the construction of the incinerator would have been another contributing factor to their health issues. Also, as I read on, Cliffe's mom explains how on Jackson Avenue near the expressway people go and dump their trash. Which makes me think, if the authorities didn't respect their opinion or the people living in Mott Haven, then people such as illegal dumpers won't respect the residents and their community. While searching online I found an article from February 20th 1994 where the resident of Mott Haven spoke once again against the incinerator, this time, to SHUT IT DOWN.

"At least 12 people, including two infants, says the Times, have died because of staff mistakes at Lincoln, which is the hospital relied upon by families in the St. Ann's neighborhood. "(Kozol,15)
Many of the residents of Mott Haven were tested positive for HIV/AIDS but the hospitals they relied on were hospitals that made many mistakes and had caused the death of 12 people. Those who had been diagnosed were not receiving the proper care they deserved. This quote adds to the many circumstances that made these people's lives more difficult. And these will always have an inevitable effect on those who try to prosper, like the situation of Alice Washington. She knew she had to go into the hospital but the disorganized hospital  only made it possible for her health to worsen. I will assume that many people living in Mott Haven didn't have health insurance, which made it difficult for them to get better health care without paying the high rates.

"My teacher says , ' We came here in chains and now we buy our own chains and we put them on ourselves.'Every little store sells chains. They even have them at check-cashing...."(Kozol,24)
The analogy that was used by David's teacher was very interesting. In the beginning of the statement the teacher refers to literal chains that enslaved many African Americans. And at the end of the statement the teacher refers to the chains that people have put on themselves such as drugs, prostitution, or engaging in situations that put their freedom/life at risk. This quote really caught my attention and really made me think about the temptations that exists. One example are the drug dealers and prostitutes in the streets who try to reel people into their "products". Or people who see the cocaine dealer making so much money, might want to do the same. But at the same time they may be putting their freedom at risk and literally putting themselves in chains. 

Throughout this article I saw a common statement that Johnson, Delpit, Kristoff and David (Mrs. Washington's son) made, that those with power should lead an example. THOSE WHO HAVE POWER SHOULD USE IT TO HELP THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE IT. 

This book was published  in 1995, I was able to find an article from this year that shows and explains some of the changes that have occurred  in these 20 years. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

U.S.A., Land of Limitations by Nicholas Kristoff

Kristoff's perspective on the United States being a land of limitations was very interesting. I can understand his point of view when it comes to children's ability to progress. I have personally been able to meet people who have the opportunity but due to poverty, non-monetary and monetary, do not make it, due to the upheld standards. Many people do have the opportunities to progress but there are unplanned situations that become a barrier for these people. I know of someone who had planned on continuing their education.  But due to family situations, they could not continue to go to school. Throughout most of their education they had to be independent and make sure they prospered on their own. Even though they wanted to make school their priority there were other situations they needed to handle before accomplishing this goal.

 Although I can agree with Kristoff’s perspective, I do believe that in some aspects this country is the land of opportunity. When I visited Guatemala I was able to be appreciative for what I had.  There were houses that I saw that were practically falling apart. But if they were to come to the United States, even if it was the poorest area in town, they would feel accomplished. But living in that specific area and being of a certain class may become a limitation. Even if we work hard, we might not get to the top percentage because limitations do exist. And when we hear that some people made it, it becomes known. Why? Because those people we are hearing about are the few that actually broke this class barrier and sometimes even race barrier.  

I have attached a link to an article that discusses the working poor and their struggle. 

Who am I?

I'm Jackie and I am 20 years old. I was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 30th.

I am half Mexican and half Guatemalan. I have a pretty big family. This summer, I visited my family in Guatemala. I got to meet some of my little cousins which I had not met before. The last time I was there was when I was in 5th grade.  

This summer we also got two new members of the family. In early August, I adopted my dog named Grayson. He is a 10 year old shih tzu.

And at the end of August my baby cousin was born. 
This is Marjorie.
My summer was pretty exciting. But I also had to work. I work at Delta Consultants where I have been working since I was 16. When I'm not at school or working, I am most likely hanging out with my family and friends. But chances are that I am with my niece Sarai.
Trouble Two's 

Besides being with my family and friends I also like baking.