ERIC Number: EJ869700
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 28
Linguistic Moments: Language, Teaching, and Teacher Education in the U.S.
Brandon, LaVada; Baszile, Denise Marie Taliaferro; Berry, Theodora Regina
Educational Foundations, v23 n1-2 p47-66 Win-Spr 2009
Many diversity courses that prepare pre-service teachers do not address the significance or the impact of language barriers on linguistically diverse learners. Often time, new and veteran teachers construct their bilingual and/or bidialectical students as others and are unaware of how to use their students' social, cultural, and political linguistic communities to facilitate the academic growth and development of these learners. The end result is that teachers silence their students' cultural perspectives and approach them as little broken bodies needing to be fixed. Each of the contributors to this article is a teacher educator who currently has or has had in the recent past the responsibility of teaching "the diversity" course within their respective teacher education programs. Based on their distinct yet similar experiences, they believe that it is critical to find ways to effectively address language--within these courses--not simply as a technical skill and not simply by stressing the need to learn standard English, but more importantly by seeing language as a fundamental expression of cultural identity which is shaped by the interplay between family/community values and beliefs and educational policy and practice. In their efforts to bring this perspective into their classrooms, they often use their own linguistic experiences as a way to critically examine how profoundly they shape the ways in which they come to understand language and engage it with their students. In this article, they each share a critical linguistic moment, which they frame as critical race counterstories, to make visible the ways in which their own diverse linguistic experiences have shaped their concerns, and efforts as teacher educators. "Linguistic Moments #1: Facing the Power of Language," recounts the experience of a mother/teacher/educator who faces the power of language as her child's teachers attempt to silence and replace her daughter's native tongue with Standard English. "Linguistic Moments #2: "Tu hija tiene mucho poopoo!"," forefronts the efforts of a novice teacher to teach her Spanish-speaking students as they faced down the tyranny of California Proposition 187. Emphasizing both personal and political dynamics of language diversity, a teacher's experience is fore grounded in theoretical frames that support the inextricable links between language and identity. In "Linguistic Moments #3: A Bilingual/Dialectical Dilemma in Teacher Education," the author relives her experience as a woman of color fighting against "stereotypical oppression" while attempting to advocate for a bilingual/bidialectical pre-service teacher in the ivory tower and the schoolhouse.
Descriptors: Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Educators, English (Second Language), Teacher Attitudes, Context Effect, Bilingual Students, Politics of Education, Sociolinguistics, Black Dialects, Social Bias, Cultural Awareness, Language Attitudes, World Views, Political Socialization, Second Language Learning, Barriers, Teacher Student Relationship, Teacher Expectations of Students, Mandarin Chinese, Power Structure, Value Judgment, Prior Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A