Bilingual education (was: Butterflies and life)

From: Marie Judson (mjudson@sbcglobal.net)
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 09:52:11 PDT


David, as you say, I'm sure the complexities are more
than could be known by casual observation. The
atrocious accent may have been only a small part, no
part, or could have explained the entire situation.
I'm not sure partial grammar would play a part, as
these students communicate in Spanish with great ease
with each other and choose that for the language among
themselves, unlike many students who have lost their
Spanish at an early age. Also this is one of the
classrooms where Spanish among the students is
*tolerated*, for which I do laud the teacher.

What was interesting to me was that the teacher
obviously felt he was doing a good act by using
Spanish in the classroom, considering that bilingual
education is absolutely ruled out in the school and
there is a serious problem with what are called
"literacy blocks," which keep ESL students from taking
part in most educational options and opportunities at
the school. But his great action was rebuffed, which
to me, revealed multiple layers of complexity beyond
the obvious.

marie

--- David Preiss <davidpreiss@puc.cl> wrote:

>
> It is, indeed, a complicated issue, I think. It also
> matters what
> Spanish the teacher is talking and to whom, and
> there are lots of
> cultural variations that remain unheard for a
> untrained ear. The
> standard Spanish talked by somebody that learned it
> as a second language
> might not accomplish its intended goal as well. And,
> finally, it may
> well be the case that as Rodriguez mentioned, the
> Spanish the kids bring
> to the school is not canonical or "grammatical"
> either. Lots of
> complexities that sum up to a very interesting
> phenomenon.
>
> David Preiss
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -
> Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile: www.puc.cl
> PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
> Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
> Phone: 56-2-3544605
> Fax: 56-2-354-4844
> E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marie Judson [mailto:mjudson@sbcglobal.net]
> Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 10:41 PM
> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: RE: Butterflies and life
>
>
> David,
>
> This brings to my mind students at San Diego High
> School (where 70% of students are from Spanish
> speaking homes) not wanting their teacher to speak
> Spanish to them in class. My sense was that the
> students saw the teacher's attempts with Spanish as
> an
> invasion of the identity they preferred to keep
> sacrosanct from school control. In this case,
> perhaps
> rather than reflecting Yrjo's horizontal boundary
> crossing, the students' breaking away was from the
> disciplinary technologies of a standardized school
> culture that eliminates all but one 'culture' - i.e.
> subtractive
> schooling - a breaking away that preserved identity
> on their own terms.
> Perhaps it could be seen as protecting boundaries.
> But then again, the
> act of preserving a boundary may be an act of
> boundary crossing on some
> other level. In an education system that does not
> test in Spanish,
> seldom rewards the speaking of Spanish and in fact
> often disciplines
> against it, asking a teacher not to speak Spanish
> may have been a
> transformative act.
>
> Just thoughts...
>
> Marie
>
>
>
>
> --- David Preiss <davidpreiss@puc.cl> wrote:
>
> >
> > Thanks Dorie, for the info. As relates to the
> issue
> > of loss between
> > hispanics, I must say that it always impressed me,
> > as a Chilean, the way
> > hispanic identity was framed in the USA. Indeed, I
> > think that the
> > metaphor of breaking away works nicely there.
> > Octavio Paz, the Mexican
> > Nobel Prize, makes an interesting description of
> the
> > identity of the
> > hispanics in his "Laberinto de la Soledad". More
> or
> > less, he says that
> > what strikes him of mexican immigrants in the US
> is
> > the fact that they
> > radicalize their identity through different
> symbols
> > such as their
> > clothing to a point where its reference either to
> > mexican or north
> > american identity becomes diffuse, to stay in some
> > sort of nowhere
> > place, that is, it breaks away with both the
> mexican
> > roots and the north
> > american context. I was not an immigran myself,
> but
> > I found that Paz's
> > interpretation still holds, from my very na´ve
> > perspective as a
> > transitory and perplexed student. Spanglish can be
> > seen in the same way.
> > It is not Spanish at all, but it is not English
> > either. Interestingly,
> > one of the moves of the spanglish is to use
> English
> > words employing the
> > grammar of Spanish such as in vacunar la carpeta,
> > where vacuum is
> > actualized as a verb and carpet is treated as a
> > substantive, but very
> > far away from the "right" translation, "aspirar la
> > alfombra". When you
> > use a language grammar to perform the other, which
> > language is the one
> > that wins? More generally, when you break away and
> > put the rules of your
> > cultural subjectivity to treat with the content of
> a
> > strange one, what
> > kind of complex cognitive act do you perform?
> Would
> > be your cultural
> > life as brief as the one of the butterflies?
> >
> > David Preiss
> >
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > -
> > Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile:
> www.puc.cl
> > PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
> > Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
> > Phone: 56-2-3544605
> > Fax: 56-2-354-4844
> > E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Dorie Evensen [mailto:dhd2@psu.edu]
> > Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 5:20 PM
> > To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > Subject: RE: Butterflies and life
> >
> >
> > David - The book is about the author's experience
> as
> > a child of Mexican
> > immigrants educated in quite traditional Catholic
> > schools in California
> > (1960s). It's the story of his "losing" his
> family
> > and ethnicity as he
> > came to embrace the discourse of traditional (and
> > mostly classic)
> > education. The book has undergone criticisms
> > because of Rodriguez'
> > position against affirmative action - he was
> > admitted to (now here is
> > where
> > my memory fades), I think, Yale (I also think it
> was
> > a graduate program)
> >
> > under affirmative action protocols - his argument
> is
> > that af. ac. should
> >
> > not be for people like him. He winds up refusing
> > the position.
> > Rodriguez
> > works now for the Pacific News Service and does
> > occasional essays on the
> >
> > The News Hours (PBS). What remains with me about
> > the book is his vivid
> > sense of loss coupled with a strong desire for the
> > new development he is
> > so
> > aware of having experienced.
> > Dorie
> >
> >
> > At 05:02 PM 4/4/2005, you wrote:
> >
> > >Dorie,
> > >Sorry for not knowing the person, but could you
> > please say more about
> > >this book? David
> > >
> > >David Preiss
> >
>
=== message truncated ===

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marie Judson
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Communication
UCSD, Mailcode 0503
858.643.9090
mjudson@ucsd.edu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



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