Is there a need for books written in Spanish in the school system?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by arobins, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2007

    I would appreciate your view on whether there is a need for books written in Spanish in the school system.

    April Robins
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
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  3. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Some of our students use bilingual (Spanish/English) story books.
     
  4. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    TeacherShelly,

    Do you prefer bilingual books or two books side by side, one in Spanish and one in English? Also when your students use the story books, are they trying to learn English or Spanish most of the time?

    Thanks,

    April Robins
     
  5. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I think I prefer bilingual books. These books are optional for the students. They bring home three books per week, read them and choose one to journal about. Most of the students are learning English. Two, though, have parents who want to keep their Spanish going, since they speak fluent English.

    Does that help?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not in great need in my school (K-4) . We have a high ESL population but use immersion in English for their ESL learning. We have a few bi-lingual dictionaries, some books in English and Spanish to use with our limited World Language curriculum but books written in Spanish would not be a big expenditure in my district.
     
  7. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    In GREAT demand here in TX. Our bilingual teachers are constantly struggling to find picture books written in Spanish to read to their classes. It's very difficult to try and translate the words from English to Spanish in your head as you read them. I could go on and on but I assure there is a HUGE demand for them here.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    vannapk, are you aware that a good deal of what Usborne publishes in English, it also publishes in Spanish? See http://www.ubah.com/b1854, and rummage around for the offerings in Spanish, which include stories but also nonfiction.
     
  9. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Vannapk,

    Would you prefer bilingual or books dedicated to the Spanish language?
     
  10. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    TeacherGroupie, it looks like Usborne has a number of Children's Picture Books in Spanish.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Yes, exactly - a good deal of Usborne's backlist is translated into Spanish.
     
  12. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    I'm not a bilingual teacher myself, I just work in a majority bilingual district and I see the struggles my bilingual colleagues have daily trying to find good quality picture books in Spanish to read to their pre-k-1st grade classes. I think what they really want are the popular titles in Spanish, the ones that you would read in any classroom. I don't think it matters if the book also has English translations or not- that type of thing would appeal more to a parent who was trying to teach their child both languages imo. I don't think Usborne is an approved vendor for our school district, but thanks for the link Teacher Groupie.
     
  13. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2007

    Vannapk, thank you so much for your input.

    April Robins
     
  14. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    I think having access to bilingual books (of any language -- but of course, the ones you have a need for first) is extremely important for many many reasons.

    1. It is important that literacy/fluency in two languages is encouraged in both our multilingual children AND our currently monolingual children.

    2. Offering books in a child's native language sends a message that their language/culture matters. It justifies their experiences, makes them feel important, comfortable, etc.

    3. Having access to bilingual books offers newcomers (no matter what kind of program they are in -- monolingual English or bilingual programs) a comfort, sense of security, and affords them the opportunity to continue to read while they are getting a hold on the English Language.

    4. Having bilingual books in a classroom library gives monolingual children opportunities as well: It fosters the idea that other languages are equally as acceptable, worthy, and widespread as English. It exposes them to the languages of the world where they may not have had that exposure otherwise. It helps to create cultural inquiry, curiosity, awareness, etc. It also may provide the child with the opportunity to learn a bit of vocabulary, or something about the target culture.



    I feel that there is a HUGE place in public schools for bilingual books of all languages that spans many reasons.
     
  15. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Our school has Spanish class twice a week for each student, and she does use Spanish story books with them, but they are mostly spanish translations of books they already know in English, like popular story books.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I've taught on the west coast and the midwest. I think alieliza brings up some very good points...

    but..

    overall, I must say that unless the parents are strong enough to demand this, and all teachers support this movement, most schools will not provide bilingual materials.

    for the most part, I believe many administrators are hung up on having kids pass tests, period. They are not interested in them keeping their native language, or having parents help encourage language art skills. The most we will have is letters home translated. But how many teachers translate all their homework? :huh:

    In the pre-k setting, I think it is important to have a good mix. But I use mix with emphasis. I don't see any reason to totaly immerse a non-Spanish speaking child into a class that uses Spanish for most of the day. I think once they pass 1st grade, they can appreciate and utilize the second language. I know it is easier to learn a language while they are young, but I think some kids who are behind are struggling too much to have another language to learn.

    I take the time to find magazines, and kids books in Spanish. I also have materials translated for me. Sometimes, some of the words are not identical, and the story loses some of its meaning...

    for example. In the story, "Are you My Mother?", the baby bird gets picked up by a constuction crane, and he calls it a 'snork', because that is the sound it makes. In the Spanish version, the crane is called a "big thing". That is just a slight difference, but it is different still the same. Some teachers don't pay attention to this, when sending home Spanish-language materials.

    I have worked hard to learn the Spanish language, and I get mixed reactions from other teachers. Most feel they have to deal with it, but not happy about using it. they feel threatened and annoyed when I use it. I don't know what to say. We must communicate with one another. Why not use a language that my children, parents and other teachers understand?

    I believe until we get a universal understanding and acceptance of Spanish as a Second Language and not English as a second language, things will continue to be quite fuzzy.

    Mas o menos.
     
  17. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    I agree that most administrators and many teachers do not recognize multilingualism as a priority or even as a benefit to society. My question, though, is, how will the value of multilingualism ever infuse itself into society unless we help to foster it?

    It is very easy to just accept the fact that so-and-so doesn't deem it important (and Im not pointing fingers at anyone, it happens everywhere, in every school), and this is something I am grappling with as I pursue my Masters degree in Multicultural Education (I am an ESL teacher but completely support bilingualism in my students).
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    try sp. ed, pre-k and bilingual!

    How can I reach the needs my special needs kids, if they can't even understand me?

    I considered that route you are taking for my Masters program as well.

    But I was worried, what if I move to an area that does not embrace this belief?

    "I am working towards my Masters in Bilingual studies."

    "Oh, we don't need that here."

    Yes, I got that statement from an interview.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "'Idiots,' TG said cheerfully."
     
  20. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    I work in a school with a very high population of English Language Learners, the only population that I serve.

    I make it very clear, in a professional way, that these children are my passion, that culture is my greatest interest, and that I care very much about the success of each of my students.

    I work in a neighborhood that was formerly Italian-American (the teachers and administration still represent the old population), and has had a recent influx of immigrants from around the world, but with majority populations of Chinese (and *some* other Asian countries), Russian, and Middle-Eastern Immigrants. (I have children from 18 countries with 10 languages represented among them.)

    Culture is not a priority among administration in my school, nor among teachers. A lot of it is just what people were taught to value (or not value) and what they have and have not been exposed to in their lives. I could go on and on about the misconceptions, etc., but Ill spare you all.

    I frequently feel that I am fighting an uphill battle, however, schools are responsible for the success of ELLs, and they should be so lucky to have someone who is so proactive, and is really looking out for the good of the children in each and every way.

    I keep telling myself the children in this school need someone like me, even more so than the children in a school that values culture.... but that won't stop me from finding that school at some point in the future!

    In all honesty, I say go for what you love. I chose Multicultural Education (it is not a certification program -- I will not come out of this degree with any other certification than what I already have, but I will come out with a wealth of knowledge about culture and the way in which it interacts with education, and how to successfully teach about culture -- and maybe it will open different doors for me...) because it is what I love, what I find interesting, and the field I thought best to invest 50,000 dollars into!
     
  21. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    When I become president, things will change.
     
  22. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    LOL

    Ill wait for that day!
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'll be your secretary of education.
     
  24. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Master Pre-K in '08

    Wait no more Aleliz...

    this is bigger than all of us!!!


    My election campaign....

    No more wars unless the other guys actually come over here and mess with us first. Let other nations solve their own issues, unless they ask for help. Help is distributed in 2 yr sessions. Re-evaluated after 2nd year. Must pay for help after that.

    Free health education and preventative care

    Manadatory free preschool for all

    Everyone must learn 2 other languages besides English

    Kindergarten starts when you are 5 and its September - regardless of what day school starts

    No more life time jail sentences - after 10 years, get out and start working and pay taxes like the rest of us!

    $5 tax on cigarettes for cancer research
    $10 tax on alcohol for alcoholism research
    Arrested and convicted drug addicts and dope dealers must pay a tax to prevent drug abuse

    No more racial profiling, diversity training, and equal opportunity
    Everyone will have equal opportunity to succeed
    No more identifying races - we are all of the human race

    Return of prayer and/or a moment of common sense in schools. Just a moment to realize, remember, and be thankful. You choose who you wish to thank.

    Chicago, IL will pass the .25 bottled water tax, so people will actually drink water at home, and not litter the sidewalks with empty bottles. Those who pay the tax will be rewarded with a .5 refund (just like CA) thru an instant recycling station outside major food stores. This will give the homeless people something to strive for, cleaning up and earning money.

    Finally,

    Two guys for every girl....

    Statistics prove we will outlive both of them.... Make it fair and square so we won't kill each other trying to steal somebody else's man.
     
  25. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Ok, guys back to children's books written in spanish.
     
  26. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    If you moved your family to another country, would you expect - no, REQUIRE - the schools, businesses, government, etc. to cater to your language and culture? I would not.

    I would expect that it would be I who was required to learn a new language and a new culture, and use my former language and culture in my own home.

    Small children will pick up a new language as quickly as they picked up their first language, if it's required in order to get anything they want. If I moved to France, I would expect to sit in a French classroom in complete and utter confusion for quite a while until the words started making sense. And since I would be completely at a loss until I, not they but I, started to learn, I would be wise to start learning.

    It is not the responsibility of anyone except the person himself/herself, to immerse themselves in the culture of the country they chose, of their own free will, to live in.

    For tiny children, little story books that have both languages
    might be helpful, but for older students and adults, it's a matter of requiring oneself to learn a language that will be of absolute necessity to know in order to live here productively.

    We are a melting pot, not a TV dinner with each different food frozen solid in its own compartment, not touching or interacting with any other compartment's contents. We can be and speak as we like in our homes, but if we intend to go out and interact with the American public, we must all speak English and understand the culture. It's beyond my own comprehension that someone would move here and expect life to go on exactly as it did in the old country. The older immigrants did not expect that, except those who cowered together in sections, and even then, the younger generations bucked up, learned English, and went out there to work, to school, to contribute. Bold, intelligent people do not cower at home in disoriented confusion for the rest of their lives. They hold their heads up, plunge in, and learn how to live in the country they have landed in. We are all different, and these differences are to be embraced, but in order for us all to understand each other enough to be able to embrace, we must be able to understand a common language. In the States, that common language is English. In France, it is French. In Mexico, it is Spanish. Etc. Move to a country and learn its language. Period.

    Those who choose to live here need to choose to learn the language. The old ways are for your home. To venture outside that home, one must acclimate oneself to the culture in which one has chosen to live.
     
  27. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    But why can't we make it easier for them by doing what we can in their language... like providing bilingual books?
     
  28. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    I have to disagree with you, Mamacita.

    Providing books in the native language of any student does anything but hinder their ability to learn English. It simply encourages literacy while the language learning process takes place, enables a student to feel comfortable and secure, proud and safe, thus facilitating a mindset and environment where the student feels comfortable learning, taking risks, and opening up.
    This is the kind of environment that encourages language learning.

    There are so many, countless, advantages to bilingualism. This is not about "frozen foods" or any pot, it is about encouraging world knowledge, allowing for cultural acceptance as well as adjustment and/or acclimation.

    Furthermore, comparing "old (and bold and intelligent)" and "new (and cowardice)" immigrants is incomprehensible. If you want to do this kind of comparison, we must compare the "old" and "new" country, morals, interests, and kind of world we live in. Why should this (or any) country not move forward, accepting and embracing cultural and linguistic diversity.

    There is no reason that two cultures, or a bicultural person, cannot coexist with each other or between cultures. There is nothing wrong with a Chinese-American, rather than a Chinese, or an assimilated American.

    It is clear that anyone that would demand that English be promoted, and English only, does not know much about language and literacy development, the benefits of bilingualism, and what it takes for success in our global world.

    I also have to say that you would probably be singing a different tune if you, yourself, were an immigrant child, an involuntary immigrant who has left behind all that was comfortable for them by no decision of their own, to end up in an American school with people who are not sensitive to your culture or what you are experiencing. I don't see a single thing wrong with providing scaffolding not only for that child's academic success, but for their self esteem, for the development of a bilingual person, etc. Nor do I disagree with providing this kind of support for an older student or adult.

    Also, I have to point out that many immigrant parents demand NOTHING. Many people come from cultures with very different roles for parents when it comes to the school system. Many are happy with whatever you provide their student with, and would never think of demanding anything, because what the teacher says is what is accepted. If they were provided with such texts in their native language, I can assure you, they would be incredibly grateful.

    Furthermore, we cannot make sweeping generalizations about any population. Who are we to judge, or pretend to know, about the intricacies of anyone's life situation, the circumstances for immigration, their new life at home, their resources, or their awareness of such. How can we compare the "old" to the "new", making generalization about each (incredibly diverse) groups of people?

    All of this said, I am an ESL teacher. I teach English. I believe that my students and their families should speak English in order to reach their greatest possible success (I acknowledge that many adults, if they live in the right place, do not need to learn English in order to achieve some sort of success, but this does not go for everyone). I do not, though, believe that English takes precedence over the maintenance of any native language, in the whole scheme of things.
     
  29. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I worked for awhile at a Summer camp where we hired staff from all over the world. Many of the staff that came were fluent in 4 - 5 different languages. This enables them to better compete in the global economy. I sure wish that someone forced me to take 4 years of Spanish in high school and that I took it in college, but I had other priorities at the time (not sure that they were good ones either).

    I work in a city of neighborhoods. There are many areas of the city where there are first time immigrants from many different cultures. Since nothing in our system is standardized, we have many different bilingual/esl models. We have immersion (English/Spanish, English/Mandarin- maybe others), dual language, pull-out, push-in, sheltered English and probably more. Anyway, even with all of these options the latest research seems to be that when kids are younger they will pick up the language fast. However, if they are new to the country when they are older (say above 1st grade) they will be better off to be taught in their native language and then taught English too. If this is what makes kids successful, than this is the programing I want in my community.
     
  30. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    During Vietnam, my husband was an officer in the military. We lived overseas for three years. Our daughter attended a school provided by the government where she was taught in English. I wish we all had learned a little Japanese.
     
  31. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I have been an advocate of learning foreign languages down in the early elementary, for YEARS. Bi-lingual people have an advantage that people who know only one language can never have. Businesses offer higher salaries to people who are fluent in more than one language, and rightly so.

    My point was merely that when one is living in a certain country, no matter what that country might be, one should expect to do the adapting himself/herself. Language classes are fantastic, and I believe that smart people take all they can, but all other classes and daily living misc. should be conducted in the language of the country in which one resides. It is each individual's responsibility to do all the adapting.

    I think it is presumptuous of any person to expect favors, exceptions, and catering* from a school, business, or government.

    *unless we're talking deep-dish pizza and cake; I'm all for that.
     
  32. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    deep dish, with everything...including pinneapple...?

    I tell you, I worked in a Head Start program in L.A. and our lunch menu almost always consisted of something from the predominate groups in our classes. Only one day a week did I see a dish that I recognized, and could pronounce!

    I didn't know what I was eating the rest of the week! I just left it all on my plate, and slurpped my water, making conversations, pretending to eat!

    Yeah, personally, I didn't think it was fair.

    I never saw any neck bones, black-eyed peas, collard greens or corn bread.

    Not one chicken wing!

    :woot:

    What does this do for these children? Does it show them that eventually, when they get to elementary school, they must learn to eat speghetti, cheeseburgers, and chicken tenders? Or worse, the new, healthy menus of salads and fresh fruits? :unsure:

    You know, one parent made an entire school district take jello off their menu.

    because it's made from pork... :crosseyed
     
  33. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    How is jell-o made from pork???
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    According to http://www.gelatin-gmia.com/html/rawmaterials.html, on the Web site of the Gelatin Manufacturers' Institute of America, "The principal raw materials used in gelatin production today are cattle bones, cattle hides, and porkskins."

    Who knew?
     
  35. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Gelatin (also gelatine, from French gélatine) is a translucent, colorless, brittle, nearly tasteless solid substance, extracted from the collagen inside animals' connective tissue.

    If you ever notice, when you bake a ham, the fat and juices at the bottom of the pan will make a gelatin! It has no taste..Jello perfected this to a dessert.


    http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question557.htm
     
  36. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I did! awww TG... you beat me to it!

    uh...porkskins also known as pork cracklins..are quite a snack...

    sigh...taking me back to 5th grade...

    there are many dishes that we eat that other cultures and certain religions avoid...

    but to come to a school and demand that they remove a favorite snack because your family doesn't eat it...

    is that fair?

    I don't really understand this...making me sit thru meals of stuff I never eat and don't like and taking away things which are familiar to me...
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Wikipedia, in an article that sounds knowledgeable and gives references, indicates that the original gelatin was made from the bones of geese.
     
  38. kbk

    kbk New Member

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    I have 6 English language learners in my second grade class.

    The bilingual text is very helpful for the beginning English speaker,
    but I find that the parents are the ones who really want these books.
    Some of my parents do not speak English and this "simul" translate ability is helping them to feel good about reading and speaking English. These books give them the ability to be a part of their child's education and they can discuss plot, characters, setting. make predictions....

    Also I'm noticing a new trend. Since this is California, many English only homes are trying to learn Spanish and are also wanting my bilingual books! They are wearing out fast!
     
  39. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    yeah, I saw that..

    six geese a-laying??? :D

    now tell me, what on earth is blue jello made from?

    I will not eat any food that is blue...except for blueberry yogurt and blueberry muffins!
     
  40. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    the same thing as red jello only using blue die instead of red :lol:
     
  41. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    boy, I tell ya...these teachers are something else! :rolleyes:
     

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