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maintaining home languages

 
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Thuy



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: maintaining home languages Reply with quote

Many children and families are facing a crisis in which their culture, identity and language is not supported or maintained at home and especially at school.
My question is

"How does the school you teach at, or yourself as a teacher, maintain the child's native language"

A lot of children are losing their mother tongue because they go to school, learn English and begin speaking English at home.
Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Also if you could discuss any issues related to the maintainance of home languages.
Thank you.
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Senorita Daniels



Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 202

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach at a small school in Wisconsin. All of my students are from Mexico. I speak Spanish with some of the parents and translate all of the notes I can for them. I also speak Spanish with some of my students (mainly the new immigrants). I aslo have had some teachers ask me to teach Spanish words to the rest of the class, as part of a unit on Mexico or help with the adjustment to a new country by having kids learn more about Mexico or the language. There is an apartment building in town that is called "Little Mexico", where everyone speaks Spanish, so I don't see my students losing their cultural identity.
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Natalija



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I know your message was posted awhile ago, but if you are still interested or for anyone else interested in maintaining first language and culture in school, there's a few approaches that might be appropriate.

One idea is to possible have a unit on something such as different holidays from around the world and discuss how and why they are celebrated. Things like this often result in the English students learning new vocabularly for which there is no direct transaltaion into English.

Also, just in everyday lessons, invite all students to use examples from their own life experience, whenever its possible try to relate content back to things that students have expereinces or may be familiar with. THis will make learning mor meanigful to students as well as expose all of them to the experiences of their classmates.

Studying sports icons, politicians, activistis and other public figures from different countries may be a good way for students to research things in their first language, but then present it in English. This is also a way for all students to become more aware of world issues.

A lot of this relates to culture rather than language, but the two are very closely linked and if it is an English school, it may be difficult to actively promote another language if it is not an official part of the curriculum. Do any of the other students speak or study Spanish? Is there any way students could do a mini-unit on Spanish, allowing those students who speak it fluently be 'experts' and expand on the cultural meanings and implications of the language?

Anyone with any other thoughts (or disagreements!?) on this topic, I would be very interested to hear back from you
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clio.gr



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 58
Location: ATHENS-GREECE

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think translation is the answer to your problem. Don't forget there is the Mother Tongue Interference problem which is one of the main problems with bilingual speakers.

In Greece we have the same problem too. In our classes there are many children from Eastern European Block and Arab countries and from India and Pakistan too. Most of them are born in Greece or when they came here they were babies. To make matters worse, the Greeks are behaving as superiors towards them and their fellow countrymen so they try to fit in by denying their origins and their Mother Languages.

I strongly believe that the answer to our problem (because we are educators and not just teachers) is to cooperate with other colleagues and organise projects on different cultures are on being different subjects. The outcome of the projects can be presented to the community and not only to the other students and teachers of the school.

The English language can serve as a communicational link of all the languages and cultures of the school and the broader community.

Are you familiar with the project method?
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clio.gr



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 58
Location: ATHENS-GREECE

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you plan your project remember that it is a good idea to involve parents too because i think they are the key to the problem. Oh! and be sure you have discussed it with your colleagues and superiors.

Please let your students decide the specific task and outcome of their work and let them organise the whole thing. Your role should be supportive not dominiaring.

Let them decide on their on work and interests. Let them time and space to work together and get to know each other deeper.
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engleangsam



Joined: 18 Jan 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:22 am    Post subject: Benefit of teacher who know sociolinguistics in teaching Reply with quote

I have question about sociolinguistics, Do teacher should know about sociolinguistics? And Dose sociolinguistics have advantage for teacher in educating? Idea
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1311
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For sure but perhaps you should post this as a separate post.

There are many courses in sociolinguistics and many, many books.
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KRizzo



Joined: 23 Jan 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:07 pm    Post subject: Crisis of Keeping First Language Reply with quote

Thuy,

This is a topic that remains a crisis all over the United States (and I am sure other countries as well). Unless your school has a Bilingual Program I am not sure how you can remain or begin teaching in their first language. I completely agree with continuing to have international subjects and special assignments and projects related to their culture and history of their culture - this will benefit all students.

I hope you have some resolution as this must be frustrating for you!

Kerri
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smontaez



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Maintaining Native Language Reply with quote

In regards to your question, “How does the school you teach at, or yourself as a teacher, maintain the child's native language,” I am fortunate to teach Spanish to K-4 graders and because we offer world language to elementary students, not only are the NNS (non-native speakers) getting exposed to the Latino culture, but the LEPs are maintaining their language at the same time. The LEPs also serve to enlighten others with respect to their country, culture, traditions and the like. It's a beautiful thing when we speak about a country that a student is from. Students stay on task because they are talking about things they know about. Many of them relate authentic stories about either their home life here in the United States or about their country.
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wenrodriguez



Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 9
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An effective Bilingual program wants to develop the students L1 and use that as stepping stone to make students proficient in English. A Spanish class is not a substitute for a Bilingual program. Spanish class is better than nothing but the goals of a Bilingual class vs that of a Spanish class are so different. Students are getting no content education in a Spanish class. In a Bilingual class they received content and can learn about culture. The L1 is vital to a student's success in acheiving English proficiency.
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Jeff28



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that ultimately, if we here to teach English, we have to remember that while maintaining the L1 is important, is not the most important thing. Especially in a bilingual classroom, it could be very tempting to use the L1 more to sort of counteract them using their L1 less out of the classroom. A much better way would be to, through weaving in cultural facts, important people, etc into your lessons, stimulate their own interest in their culture, in their language. At the end of the day, we only have a limited amount of time with them, and if they have no interest, or are even just neutral towards maintaining their L1, it will continue to deteriorate.
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