“Dual-language programs have been growing in popularity nationally for several years now, spurred on by demand among native speakers of common languages as well as monolingual English speakers who want all the benefits that come from bilingualism.
In Boston, however, it has taken a long time to get enough people—and the right people—to agree Haitian Creole deserved to join Spanish in the public schools’ dual-language program. And it wasn’t only district administrators who had to be convinced. The Haitian community wasn’t entirely on board, either.
“Brain research has shown people who are bilingual perform better on a range of cognitive tasks, and long-term studies of students in dual-language programs show they score higher than their peers on standardized tests by middle school. When it comes to students who show up to school speaking a language other than English, dual-language programs that pair English with their native language have been the only ones shown to remove stubborn achievement gaps between these students and their native-English-speaking peers, according to the leading dual-language researchers Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas.”
I never knew I was attached to the way my mother smells until she changed her perfume. Her simple ‘rose’ wasn’t enough for her anymore. I beg to differ. The sweet, plain scent that comes from burying your face in her neck came with a sea of silk scarf, the faint tint of her bureau drawer still lingering on the cloth. Everything about the scent is lovely; have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like the sweet scent of rose? Now there are different types of roses, the kind of deep red rose you buy with Baby’s Breath for Valentine’s Day and then there is the kind I am talking about. Continue reading “The Maternal Rose”→
I never was aware of the fact that I “wrote” until the spring of my second year in college. Yes, I’ve always written papers for class and I took creative writing in high school, but I never considered that this is what a writer is. Within my world of peers this was normal. We all wrote because we had to and got decent grades. I had always known I was a good writer, but to me, that just put me at ‘average’ in a rigorous prep school. I got what I think of as ‘average’ grades and assumed that writing was something a large percentage, if not all, are good at. And while I was partially right, I hadn’t encountered a poor writer up front before to realize how natural writing is for me. However many nails it feels like I am pulling when I sit down to write an assignment, it is fewer than others, or at least more of a natural habit to me. Continue reading “Why I Write: A Meditation”→
“When speakers from different language backgrounds work together using a common language, they draw on subconscious concepts that lie below the surface of the language they happen to be conversing in.
For example, in the German mind, the English word “put” conjures up different images: “legen” means to lie horizontally, “setzen” to make something sit, and “stellen” to stand something vertically. Each of these meanings automatically gives the German speaker access to new ways of approaching a practical problem. In this way, using different languages in collaboration may lead to new connections being made, especially when dealing with complex tasks.”
Friday night started off slowly and innocently at the Schützenhaus, a sort of clubhouse bungalow with a bar and a hall for shooting. The weather was gray and cool; the atmosphere was a bit awkward as many Germans are before they reach their pleasure plateau six beers in.
About 40 people were there for shooting and grilling, ages ranging from two to 70+. The kids romped and played football/soccer on the adjacent fields, only yowling once in a while when the parent would look in the direction and decide that the kid wasn’t in danger. Under a pavillion, which the village teen boys built out of wood and bricks, the same boys grilled sausages and marinated pork steaks. On a table nearby were sauerkraut, carrot salad, potato salad with ham and pickles, and bread with herbed butter that had been stuffed into bell peppers for decoration. Traditional German picnic benches and tables were set up in the parking lot and we all crowded around – aside from the few who felt it more important to have a few beers inside instead. Continue reading “Schützenfest 2016: An Honorary Queen from Boston”→
A rough translation for those of you non-German speakers. There were a few liberties taken back at the newspaper office or something was lost in translation during the interview, so I’ve added a few brackets with notes.
Many writers and bloggers can attest to how challenging it can be to make time in everyday life to write. I am no exception. Even though I told many friends and family members that they could rely on my blog to hear about what I am doing and where I am, I have realized that this isn’t realistic and doesn’t produce what I am looking for, it just yields a list of events and facts without much depth. Instead, looking back on events in a reflective manner produces more insightful postings. The problem here though is that, as an artist and ahem perfectionist, I then feel like I can’t be rushed or put a deadline on “how I feel.”
But don’t worry, all those events you may have seen me post photos or heard about in passing have been documented and drafted to be revisited and published when I have sufficiently marinated my thoughts and feelings. Until then, you can follow my daily moves and routine on Instagram and my larger trips on Flikr. I have made a promise to myself that I will indeed post all my drafts by the end of summer 2016 and I intend on keeping that promise.
“[T]he dual language program has boosted involvement by Latino parents, which has long concerned school officials here. It has also created more opportunities for cross-cultural appreciation and made Spanish a language that is an important part of the school, not something to try to ignore, she says.”
“Jean Berko Gleason is a living legend in the field of psycholinguistics — how language emerges, and what it tells us about how we think and who we are. She has helped to illustrate the remarkable ordinary human capacity to begin to speak, and she’s continued to break new ground in exploring what this may teach us about adults as about the children we’re raising. We keep learning about the human gift, as she puts it, to be conscious of ourselves and to comment on that. For her, the exploration of language is a frontier every bit as important and thrilling as exploring outer space or the deep sea.”