The question is not what you look at, but what you see.- Henry David Thoreau
Gloria Anzaldúa (1990, p. 207):
If you really want to hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity-I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself ... as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate.
"Things that may never be an actual part of our teaching are parts of us and thus affect everything we touch. Who we are is woven into how we behave, how we approach colleagues, how we envision our work, our world, and our future together. We need to take the time, no matter how hectic our days become, to stare out at the sea or to sit quietly in the yard or up on the rooftop and ask ourselves what it is we care about and how honestly we share our lives and passions with one another and our students. New methods of instruction will continue to evolve in direct proportion to who we are, and how much of that we are willing to bring to our teaching." -Maureen Barbieri
"Although helping ELLs become proficient in English is typically seen as the responsibility of English-as-a-second language (ESL) and bilingual specialists, this is not enough. To achieve the goal of proficiency, all teachers must assume responsibility for teaching literacy skills to ELLs at the same time as they teach students the core curriculum. Teaching reading and writing skills cannot be done successfully if it is restricted to certain times of the day or to certain teachers, nor can it be isolated from the rest of the curriculum." (Cloud, Genesee, Hamayan, 2009)
"...most people in the world speak more than one tongue, and in (some) places...it is common to speak three or four distinct languages and a dialect or two as well." (Gibbs, 2002)
"By creating a truly multicultural reading and writing environment in the classroom and throughout the school, you validate and honor the languages and cultures of your minority." (Cloud, Genesee, and Hamayan, 2009)
One's destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller
• Reciprocal questioning—Teachers and students engage in shared reading, discussion, and questioning with the goal being to help students learn to ask questions of themselves about the meaning they are constructing as they read.
• Interdisciplinary units—Recommended that teachers include and connect content learning with language arts and culturally diverse literature.
• Topics drawn from children’s lives and interests (sometimes from curriculum) demonstrate how to make connections across the curriculum through culturally relevant literature.
• Scaffolding—Teacher explicitly demonstrates the difference between what students can accomplish independently and what they can accomplish with instructional support.
• Journal writing gives students opportunities to share their personal understandings regarding a range of literature in various cultural contexts that inform, clarify, explain, or educate them about culturally diverse societies.
• Character study journals permit students to make their own personal connections with a specific character as they read a story.
• Open-ended projects allow students to contribute at their varying levels of ability and explore a topic of interest drawn from their readings of culturally rich literature. Artifacts, including writings, poems, and/or letters, from students’ lives or culture can represent an ethnic or cultural group.
• Cross-cultural literature discussions groups—Students discuss quality fiction and nonfiction literature that authentically depicts members of diverse cultural groups.
• Character reading—Students form opinions about a specific issue or cultural concept put forward in the text or respond to a significant event that occurred during the character’s life.
• Written reports give students opportunities to write about their heritages and cultural traditions or a single cultural or ethnic experience.
To develop oral language and the ability to retell fiction in any grade level, use wordless books to talk about and/or write about the story. Aside from developing language and vocabulary, you can analyze story structure and introduce different retelling graphic organizers.
**Send the books home for familes to retell in English and their primary language. With no words, insecurities about competency in the English language will disappear.
***Check the attached booklist. I have noted which books are immediately available from me. Also check with the school librarian.
This webpage has 135 wordless books: http://nancykeane.com/rl/317.htm