Monday, June 13, 2011

Rodriguez/Collier (Connections)

Richard Rodriguez

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Richard Rodriguez's article "Aria" is a personal reflection of his childhood experiences with bilingual education. Throughout his article, Rodriquez offers detailed information on how learning English was a struggle at times and how learning English as a second language negatively and positively affected his life.

 At the beginning of Rodriguez article, he discusses his culture and the language/private sounds that were spoken at home. Spanish was the primary language that Rodriguez spoke at home with his family. As Rodriguez slowly began using more English at home, as requested by his teacher, he felt that the private bond between him and his family slowly diminished. Unfortunately learning the English language lessened the dialogue between Rodriguez and his family, but there were many positive things that occurred in Rodriguez's life as a result of learning English.
 As time progressed and Rodriguez became fluent in the English language, he experienced public success and developed his individuality.

Virginia Collier
"Teaching Multicultural Children"
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In "Teaching Multicultural Children", Collier supports bilingual education. She believes that bilingual education is the most affective way to teach children whose primary language is not English. Throughout her article, she emphasizes the importance of appreciating the different languages and cultures that are present in the classroom. Collier believes that teachers should support the acquisition of the English language, while retaining the child's primary language that is utilized at home.

Within "Teaching Multicultural Children," Collier examines the challenges bilingual teachers encounter. Within her informative piece of writing, she provides seven guidelines for teachers. The guidelines help educators acquire a better understanding of how to effectively teach children who are learning English as a second language. Collier believes that the guidelines give educators the opportunity "to better understand how teaching English to second-language learners can become an enriching experience when appreciating students' different languages and life situations."

1. Be aware that children use first language acquisition strategies for learning or acquiring a second language.
2. Do not think of yourself as a remedial teacher expected to correct so called “deficiencies” of your students.
3. Don’t teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language.
4. Teach the standard form of English and students’ home language together with and appreciation of dialect differences to create an environment of language recognition in the classroom.
5. Do not forbid students from code-switching in the classroom. Understand the functions code-switching serves.
6. Provide literacy development curriculum that is specifically designed for ELL.
7. Provide a balanced and integrated approach to the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.


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While I was reading the articles by Rodriquez and Collier, I immediately discovered a connection to Delpit's article "Other People's Children". While reflecting back and analyzing Delpits idea of  "culture of power" which was discussed in her article, I found a strong connection to Rodriguez and Collier's views on this topic.

 Delpit feels that there is a "culture of power" evident in schools that negatively impacts children of minority. She believes that educators need to be aware of this in order to make children successful in the larger society while also validating their culture.

The English language is the language that the "culture of power" utilizes. Rodriguez discusses his personal experiences learning the English Language and Collier provides a guide for teachers that teach English as a second language. Delpit, Collier and Rodriquez all believe that children should be taught the English language because it is the primary language used by people of  power. A child's unique culture and language should be acknowledged and appreciated, but in order to be successful within today's society a child needs to be explicitly taught the the values of the "culture of power".


  1. Melissa you did a greta job of stating each Author's point of view and you made some great connections to Delpit as well. I made some of the same connections during my readings.

  2. Great blog. Nice summaries of the articles. I also did connections and made many of the same connections to Delpit as well.