Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Assimilation--cultural norm or cultural destruction?: Comparing Central Ideas in Two Texts - Section 3: Building Knowledge: The Central Idea of Wild Tongue


Since we were behind in our discussions of the essays, I told the students to read and annotate "How to Tame a Wild Tongue."  I did not require them to answer the study questions.  Mistake.  If the students had the chance to think thought their analysis, class might have gone better.

I tell the students to work in groups to answer the questions.  The controversy begins when they get to purpose. In order to state purpose, the students have to identify the audience.  One table starts to get loud. They are on topic, but loud.  I go over to monitor the discussion. The group is arguing about wether or not they would be the target audience since three of the five of them are Spanish/English bilingual. One young man adamantly states that he speaks Spanish not the broken Spanish of Anzaldua. One of the girls says there is nothing wrong with her Spanish it is American Spanish or Spanglish and lots of people speak it.  

While I am trying to redirect them to the text, another student asks a kid across the room if he speaks Tex-Mex or Spanish.  A different student then comments that recent immigrates are the best Spanish speakers because they are closer to Mexico. The student who speaks Spanish but does not have Mexican heritage is offended by that statement. 

I realize that we are not going back to the text until we have some resolution to this discussion.  So, I ask the students to calm down and raise their hands and remember to respect the opinions of their peers.  The first student that raises his hand is a white student. He says in Spanish that he has been in a bilingual school since pre-school and he speaks Spanish better than a lot of Hispanics at the school (One of the kids translated it for me). No one disagreed with him. However the rest of the discussion is in both Spanish and English about the quality of Spanish spoken by Hispanics in the US.  According to my students, it varies depending on how long their families have lived in the US and wether or not they visit relatives in Mexico.

I ask them is it because the longer someone lives in the US the more likely they are to assimilate to the dominate language. I am trying to take the discussion back to the text.   Some say yes and some say I need to spend more time on the south side where Spanish is the dominate language. I ask isn't that Anzaldua's point? Silence. 

I finally accept that the chart is not going to happen.  If we are going to have time to work on project planning, we have to move on.

  What really happened.
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: What really happened.
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Assimilation--cultural norm or cultural destruction?: Comparing Central Ideas in Two Texts

Unit 2: Identity and Culture: Identifying the Central Idea and Evaluating Evidence in Informational Texts
Lesson 3 of 11

Objective: SWBAT determine a central ideal of two texts by analyzing and comparing differing perspectives on cultural assimilation.

Big Idea: Speak up or speak what--the language we speak defines our culture.

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