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En Mi Pueblo, La Alfabetizacion
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En Mi Pueblo, La Alfabetizacion

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A presentation about a class of adult Spanish literacy learners, and what I, as a volunteer teacher, learned from them. …

A presentation about a class of adult Spanish literacy learners, and what I, as a volunteer teacher, learned from them.
Una presentación sobre una clase de aprendices adultos de la alfabetización en español, y lo que, yo, como maestro voluntario, aprendí de ellos.

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  • 1. En Mi Pueblo No Hay Cocos A Presentation by Francis Timothy Walsh, Ph.D. timwalsh65@yahoo.com
  • 2. The Sociocultural Problem
  • 3. Data Regarding Mexican Immigrants to New York City “Mexicans had the highest rate of population growth of all the major racial and ethnic groups in New York City in the 1990s.” “Among all cities in the United States, New York is now ranked No. 11 in terms of the size of its Mexican population, ranking close to cities… such as San Diego, Santa Ana and San Jose, California.” “The average household income per person of the Mexican population is among the lowest of all the major racial and ethnic groups of New York City.” “Of all the major racial and ethnic groups in New York City, the Mexican population has by far the lowest educational attainment.” Source: Rivera-Batiz, 2003, pp. 1-5
  • 4. The Problem Solvers
  • 5. Left to Right: M (teacher), E, F, baby, M (PR), J, R Missing: E2, E3, R Most learners were native speakers of Mixteco, an indigenous Mexican language. The class was given in Spanish, their second language. Many had not attended school in their home countries.
  • 6. The Setting
  • 7. A Poster in the main office captures the philosophy of the program.
  • 8. • Community-based organization in East Harlem • Two-hour Spanish adult literacy classes four mornings a week • Trained, experienced teachers • Volunteer teacher (me) working with a paid instructor, one day a week
  • 9. A First Attempt at a “Solution”
  • 10. Session One One on One Instruction Teacher-initiated interaction Intended technique: beginning a discussion based on a common image, then recording the discussion, then reading it back
  • 11. The Stimulus I brought in a line drawing of three cocoanut trees to begin a discussion. This image had been useful with other groups.
  • 12. En mi pueblo no hay cocos. In my town there aren’t any cocoanut trees. The discussion didn’t go as I had expected. First of all, only one learner came to class that day. I asked her if she had cocoanut trees in her hometown. Her answer surprised me:
  • 13. En mi pueblo no hay cocos. En otro pueblito llama Zopotitlán Lagunas los domingos venden todas las frutas. Artículos para cocinar. In my town there aren’t any cocoanut trees. In another town on Sundays they sell all kinds of fruits. Sewing articles. E and I worked together for two hours. We practiced writing and reading these three “sentences,” that she had created.
  • 14. E had shown me that my idea (a discussion of cocoanut trees) was based on my experiences, not hers. I needed to change my approach in the next class.
  • 15. In the second class, I first emphasized E’s story from the previous week. We all read the story together, with E leading us. Next, we focused on “Print awareness,” and learners chose the font for all of our future exercises. Again, I was surprised. Session Two, Part A
  • 16. En mi pueblo no hay cocos. En otro pueblito llama Zapotitlán Lagunas los domingos allí venden todas las frutas. Artículos para cocinar. En mi pueblo no hay cocos. En otro pueblito llama Zapotitlán Lagunas los domingos allí venden todas las frutas. Artículos para cocinar. En mi pueblo no hay cocos. En otro pueblito llama Zapotitlán Lagunas los domingos allí venden Todas las frutas. Artículos para cocinar. En mi pueblo no hay cocos. En otro pueblito llama Zapotitlán Lagunas los domingos allí venden Todas las frutas. Artículos para cocinar. I asked students to look at E’s transcribed text, and tell me which font was most legible. The response was unanimous: Comic sans ms (I thought they’d choose the fourth selection, monaco.)
  • 17. Once we’d discussed E’s experience and agreed upon a font, I tried basing the reading experience on the group’s life experiences, not just mine and E’s. Session Two, Part B
  • 18. 1. I elicited the first sentence, asking questions about the learners’ lives before coming to New York. 2. A learner contributed an idea. 3. Then I read the sentence, pointing to the words. 4. After that, the contributor read the sentence, followed by each member of the group, one by one. 5. Next, learners copied the sentence. 6. One by one, I visited each student, asking her or him to read. 7. The group read orally. 8. Learner volunteers read from the transcribed text to the group. This was a day’s work. We used the Language Experience Approach (LEA) to generate a text.
  • 19. En nuestros pueblos, nuestros padres trabajan sembrando en la tierra. In our villages, our parents work on the land. The First Group LEA Sentence: We practiced reading this sentence for forty-five minutes.
  • 20. Session Three •We reviewed. •We played games. •We edited. •We composed the second sentence
  • 21. A Game: Unscramble the Sentence o The teacher and students make word sheets for each of the words in the story (up to that point). o He reads the complete story on the newsprint story page first alone, then with the students, pointing to the words. o The teacher takes the stack of words and holds them up sequentially. o Students read each word together. o The teacher puts the words of one sentence on the chalk rail, in order. o The teacher scrambles the words. o Volunteers unscramble the words, asking for help from classmates, if necessary.
  • 22. Editing the Original Sentence • The presence of a new group member forced us to make an editorial change. • The sentence became inclusive, representing the group as it had changed. • Grammatical correctness was secondary to inclusiveness.
  • 23. En nuestros pueblos, nuestros padres trabajan sembrando en la tierra. En nuestros países, nuestros padres trabajan sembrando en la tierra y en la ciudad. In our villages, our parents work on the land. In our countries, our parents work on the land and in the city. Original Revised
  • 24. The Second Group LEA sentence: Cultivando la siembra para alimentar a la familia. Cultivating the crop to feed the family.
  • 25. Fourth, Fifth, Sixth Sessions: •Review •Games •Adding sentences
  • 26. A Game: A Linguistic Cloze En nuestros _ _ _ _ _ _, nuestros padres _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ sembrando en la _ _ _ _ _ _ y en la ciudad. Working as a group, learners guessed the missing words. We used blanks as cues to the number of letters in each word. We didn’t do this until we had practiced reading each sentence several times.
  • 27. Session Six: •Students completed the text. •Taking turns, they read the complete text. •Students copied the completed text into their notebooks. •The teacher took photographs of each student, as preparation for individualized writing.
  • 28. En nuestros países nuestros padres trabajan sembrando en la tierra o en la ciudad. Cultivando la siembra para alimentar a la familia. La llegada a Nueva York fue dura. Encontramos un clima nuevo. Encontramos problemas con el inglés y el trabajo. Estamos superando para seguir adelante.Todos luchamos por la familia escribiendo y aprendiendo en la clase. In our countries our parents work on the land or in the city. They cultivate the crops in order to feed the family. Arrival in New York was hard. We encountered a new climate. We encountered problems with English and work. We’re overcoming to get ahead. We’re all struggling for our families writing and learning in class. The Completed Text
  • 29. Sessions Seven-Ten: Individualized Writing
  • 30. Nombre: _______________________________ Fecha: ____________________ Mi Historia ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ _________________________________ __________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ Yo vine a est e país par a t r ab aja r . par a la fa milia. Vine a Nueva Yor k en e l 9 0 con mi espos o. Yo tomé el avión d e Los Angeles a Nueva York . Vinieron mis hijos en el 94. --J I came to this country to work. for my family. I came to New York in ’90 with my husband. I took the plane from Los Angeles to New York. My children came in ’94. One learner’s autobiographical text
  • 31. Cross-cultural Collaboration: A woman from Puerto Rico works with a companion from the mountains of Southern Mexico.
  • 32. I began with a picture, and returned to pictures, but in a transformed way.
  • 33. I made this drawing as a response to learners’ discussion about working the land. Based on learner narratives, I changed the images in my teaching materials.
  • 34. I made this picture in response to learners’ comments about “running” as their first experience of the United States. Based on learner narratives, I changed the images in my teaching materials.
  • 35. Happy graduates of an adult literacy program. •“Go to the people. Learn from them…” •How can we best do this?