Sunday, March 05, 2006

No Speak English

A character in the novel we are reading refuses to learn in English and pines for her native home. When she discovers her toddler singing the lyrics to a soda jingle in English, she screams at him "No speak English! No speak English!" I asked my class of exclusively second-language learners to respond to her decision not to learn English.

"I think it is okay that she does not want to learn the language she lives on because she might be scared to lose her 1st language."

"I think she is dumb. There is nothing stopping her from learning... She even wants to stop her child from learning. Her child is lucky he is learning."

"I think she dos not want to learn English because she is going to forget her culture."

"I think Mamasota is unfair because she does not let her kids speak English."

"It is not okay because she needs to learn for she could talk to people. If she does not learn she will not have friends."

"I think she is being selfish because it is good for people to learn new things."

I think this one is my favorite. You just cannot argue with it:
"No, it's not okay. If you don't know english then you don't."


Blogger Ms. M said...

What is the name of the book?

8:27 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros.

The vocabulary is around a 4th grade level, but there are a ton of idioms, and the syntax (choppy sentences, run-ons, etc.) can make it more difficult.

Kids love it, though.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Polski3 said...

Amerika, vat a greet kuntry! Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness do not require one to HAVE TO learn to sprechen die English. Good question for your ELL kids.

3:46 PM  

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