Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Week 2. Entries # 4,5

Blog week 2

Entry # 4 Choose a text in a language that you are not familiar with. Read it, find a way to make meaning.

After considering what language to choose, I decided to go along with the alphabets I know: Latin or Cyrillic. I would never be able to make head or tale of the text in Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic. One can only imagine how students, whose alphabet is not Romanic, feel when they are given a text in a different alphabet. Probably, this is where the saying “ It’s all Greek to me” comes from. My text is in German. It was a Russian textbook for German speakers. The directions are given in German.  I did not understand everything, but I understood some of the instructions, thanks to cognates and background knowledge.
Strategies to use in teaching ELA students:
•    Look for cognates
•    Background knowledge on the subject
•    Visual and audio prompts

My second choice was a text in Check. It was a tour of  Moscow Kremlin. Check is a Slavic language with Romanic alphabet. I felt much better reading it. I had an advantage of having a background knowledge about Moscow Kremlin, Romanic Alphabet and congnates in Russian and Check. After comparing these two texts one can have a better understanding of challenges the students are facing: those who can find cognates in their own language feel more secure and can learn vocabulary faster. Teacher will use a differentiated approach in teaching those whose language offers little linquistic support to learning English.

Resources: Textbook, Teaching Russian to German Speaking Students
                  Text "Moscow Kremlin" in Check

Entry # 5.  Gennifer Choldenko “ Al Capone does my shirts”.
 One of the characters in the book, Natalie, has autism. Her brother has to give up much of his childhood to accommodate to is sister’s needs. The problem of autism is not acknowledged in some countries and cultures. This is something that will need to be addressed and discussed in class, prior to reading the book.

    Alcatraz was a prison for most notorious prisoners. Discussion about crimes and various ways of punishment in different countries .  If ELA students are advanced, one can talk about capital punishment and student’s outlook on it.

    School system. Should all students be accepted at the same school and educated the same way? (  At first Natalie was rejected by her new school).

    Al Capone, a notorious criminal, helps Natalie to get into a school which rejected her at first. Al Capone uses his “connections”. In some countries and cultures knowing the right people can get someone a long way. Discuss this with students and find out if this is customary in their cultures too.

References: Gennifer Choldenco, Al Capone Does my Shirts

Cynthia Mercati, “The Secret Room”.
This book is about World War 2 and the discrimination of Jews during Nazi invasion.

Components in the book, which need to be addressed to help comprehension :

•    What is a discrimination?
•    Racial discrimination.
•    Religious discrimination.
•    “Everyone in the world is different.” Acceptance and the value of it in human relationships.

References: Cynthia Mercati, " The Secret Room".


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