Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ethnog 1

In regard to my RQ the sources I used depicted it as a need for students to enable them to succeed. The sources informed me that using multiple methods in order to create fluency in codeswitching is pivitol. I have learned that it is not enough to just lecture to students in one discourse but to also demonstrate and instruct in a variety of discourses so that you can tap into the students prior knowledge and create a sense of ownership for the students in the material they are being asked to learn and retain. The gaps that still remain in my project are narrowing my question and figuring a way to triangulate my research. Big ? for the last question you asked.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Censorhip V. Codeswitching Question

In regard to AAVE how do you teach something that is always changing?

this question is one that really intregues me because in several of the articles that i have read over the past week have discussed using aave as a tool to teach but i dont really understand how. From the time i have been listening to music hip hop has always been one of my favorites. and over the years new vocabulary is always being added and old vocabulary is not necissarily done away with but put into storage and everyonce in a while some artist will go up to that attic and see what treasures they can find. in regard to the aave in the classroom i think it is important for students to be able to distiguish between their primary discourse and the dominant discourse. Many students know how to code switch but dont really understand why or they think that their home or primary discourse, for one reason or another, is flawed creating the reason for them not to use it. It is also interesting to think about how aave gets filtered throughout the country. once a particular type of vocabulary has been spreed throughout the country

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gee and Delpit

Question: How do these terms fit together to frame gee’s overall argument? what is their relevance to Literacy teaching and learning
Answer: the specific recurring terms that Gee uses in his writing work to frame his argument in a way that tries to relate to an everyday teacher or educated reader. He uses these terms to create clearity in his work. He defines the uses of these words and continues to implement them so that his readers are continually engaged and keeping pace. The relevance these terms have to literacy and learning is that they capture the essence of what language is. They acknowledge that language is more than symbols and words. They bring to life that this topic is very much about different stages of individuals’ lives
Question: How do these terms fit together to frame delpits overall argument? What is their relevance to literacy teaching and learning? In particular, what problem does delpit have with gee?
Answer: These terms frame delpits argument in a way that brings life and power to her piece. They enable the reader to read and understand that language, like knowledge, is power. Their specific relevance to literacy and teach are that they demand the reader to recognize that if you do not acquire the dominant discourse if you do not teach the dominant discourse the gap between the “Discourse’s”, as Gee uses it, will never be closed. Her biggest problem with gee is that he is viewing society as two separate entities those who have the power and those who don’t, those who want to belong and do and those who want to and cant. He is not an enabler, one who allows individuals to achieve “the American Dream”, he believes in entitlement and doesn’t think there is room to have upward mobility.
Blog entry
What to gee and delpit have to say to one another?
They argue over the issue of whether language can be acquired or not. Whether it can be taught and learned or just experienced. They have to say to each other that we have a long way to go before we are all on an even playing field.
Where do I stand in relation to the issues they raise in their arguments?
My position in relation to these issues is one that sits in between agreeing with both Gee and Delpit. I agree with Gee that a Discourse is so much more than just a language. It creates a type of personality, which those inside of that Discourse learn to project. I have a strong disagreement with Gee in that he is too much of an absolutist and does not really think that individuals outside of certain discourses can gain acceptance into the dominant discourse, as Delpit defines them. I also like Gee’s ideas about apprenticeship. I really agree that you have to practice the language, mannerisms and everything that goes along with it to become a master of your particular Discourse. As for Delpit I really like her stance against Gee that supports the acquisition of superficial features. It is essential for individuals trying to compete in our society be knowledgeable of every “little secret”. People in our education systems have the right to have the chance to become affluent members of the Dominant Discourse and the only way to do that is to present them with as Gee would say an Identity Kit and show them how to use it.
Considering that students enter our classes with vastly different language experiences, why are these concepts and their arguments relevant to us as English teachers? What further questions do they raise?
These concepts and their arguments are relevant and important to us as English teachers because we all need to understand that there is a significant gap between the Discourses and we have the potential to become pivotal players in educating our youth to be members of the Discourse of their choosing. These issues and arguments are important because once in the classroom it will be up to us to decide what and how to teach these students. It will be on our shoulders to include or not the superficial features that create more inclusion it will be up to us to teach or “Not-teach” and students will rely on us to persuede them and encourage them to be students who want to learn and ignore the urge to become “non-learners”. The questions that are presented to me are how many teachers out there have the same mind set as Gee does in his essay and what can we do to help them realize that all people are equal and every student deserves teachers who constantly give their all everyday for as long as the choose to teach no matter who they are teaching.
What specific topics/questions would you like to explore further in regard to language and literacy? What seems important for you to know?
I am interested in further exploring some of the terms and ideas associated with the Gee and Delpit such as Not-Learning, Not Teaching, superficial feature, apprenticeship and meta-knowledge. It seems important to me to have knowledge of why students choose not to learn, what motivates them to drop out of school or just show up and do nothing. With this I am also very interested in why a teacher would feel as though they need to dumb down their lessons and what the choose to teach or not to teach. I really agree with Gee on some aspects of superficial features and apprenticeship and I want to know more and how to apply them to my own soon to be classroom. And I would simply like to read more on Gee’s idea of meta knowledge

Friday, September 19, 2008

Language Investigation Three

Through my primary and secondary education I was given the tools I would need to move on/advance throughout the system. Each year teachers would inform my classmates and I about what we will need to be ready for the next grade. In primary school I remember that most of my said English/Language Arts courses were focused on learning how to physically write in legible print and cursive. These courses also placed a lot of emphasis on developing vocabulary through spelling tests and a lot of outside reading. In conjunction with these staples of English education students were constantly asked to demonstrate critical thinking skills. These were displayed by means of journaling and summary writing. I can't really remember specific standards and what not, but I do remember just being expected to put forth a genuine effort. Obviously with things such as spelling tests those are black and white but with writing in primary school they were measuring improvement by variation of language in our writing which they could then see evidence that as students we were filling our end of the the bargin by reading outside of the classroom.
During my time in grades 7-12 was when more stringent structure was impliment. The five paragraph essay was introduced. In these grades I remember the decline in spelling tests, although they never fully diminished, and the increase of free writing and introduction of and the importance and value of revision. Reading was never lost and only implimented more heavily. Teachers began and continued to remind students that language variation was a pivitol piece of writing and expressing your thoughts. One thing that I am unable to remember is the length of papers assigned. I just remember that my teachers were caught up on making sure that we had five quality paragrphs that held a good flow. In secondary school I remember that the converstation and discussion of literature recieved more attention. Teachers were not only interested in how we were able to compose a written document but also how we could think on our feet linking together important aspects of literature and ideas in an oral setting.
Reflecting upon my up bringing in the education system I regret not having more motivation to learn not seeing the importance of truley applining myself. I don't remember teachers stressing the importance of education on what I would consider myself middle of the row students. If you were at the low or high levels you were given more attention. You were either pushed to catch up to the rest, at the lower end, or pushed to develope your natural talents, regarding the higher end.
Now as a college student I have come to realize the importance of reading and writing. Reading and writing are not only developed skills that an English major needs but ones that will enable all majors to go further in thier studies. My communication skills have been dramatically increased since I have been in college not only to the credit of my teachers but also becuase there is a constant level of competion once you enter college that is continually ampliphied through out the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Language Investigation Two

Over the course of my summers I work at a business which rents party equipment. This business specifically is known for renting tents. When I started this job a couple years ago I quickly learned that every employee was equipped with a specific discourse that I was quite unfamiliar with. The party rental language. It is more or less universal among the party rental community but if you are on the outside and hear a conversation in this language you would begin to feel like a foreigner. Communication among this community is essential to the day to day operations of these businesses and as an outsider you are expected to acquire this language quickly. For example as a driver for my company my boss will give you very specific instructions for the day starting with the truck one might be driving. At Party Time (the rental company I work for) trucks are not referred to as trucks they are referred to as numbers, such as 35, 45, 242, 212, 243, etc. He will then inform you to grab your contracts, check 43 for support equipment, grab your temp(s)/assistant(s) and start your route. When referring to contracts this identifies what the customer has ordered and what the driver needs to have loaded on his truck. It is very important when reading your invoice to take note of whether you are scheduled to deliver or pick up the order. Whether it be a pick up or delivery drivers always need support equipment. This is the gear needed to not only make the delivery go smoothly but also many times to make it possible. Support equipment includes Tent Jacks to help lift the heavier tents, White Straps to secure the tent to the ground, Stakes, also used anchor tent, Pins to fasten the tent parts together, and so on. When my boss informs me to grab my temps he is referring to actual workers, these workers are Temporary Employees hired through employment agencies who are day laborers. Assistants are Party Time employees who are not drivers but assist the drivers. Other types of language that is important to know is terms like Pole Tent and Frame Tent. Pole tents are just like the giant circus tents with huge center poles and Frame tents are smaller tents with no center poles but are like a framed house with no roof or walls. To continue with tents 20x, 30x, 40x, 60x and so on are different sizes of tents. Outside of the tent language there are many types of tables and chairs that are rented. Rounds and Banquets are the most common. Rounds are simply round tables and Banquets are rectangles. The Chairs can be referred to by brown plastics, natural woods, white resins, or black canes. These different terms depict different types of plastic chairs and wood chairs. With many more terms and phrases you can understand that there is a bit of a learning curve just as Rose had when trying to learn and understand academic speaking and writing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

9/3/08 Warm Up

What Patterns did you see among the LI you wrote and read?

The patterns that I noticed as I wrote and read teh LI were those of simplicity and originality. I also noticed that of the LI's I read I could personally relate to each individual. Many of us have a lot of language in common, I suppose its because we all come from a common region.

What do the patterns reveal about language and its conventions in family contexts?

The patterns reveal that from region to region within the United States individuals share common dialects.

What does it mean to be an insider in terms of language? what questions and issues do your conclusions raise for you as a future teacher?

in terms of language to be an insider means to be in the know. to have a deeper understanding of language and its use within specific situations. The issues it raises for me as a future teacher is that you must be in touch with the language of your students and what the general dialect is of the area/ part of the country you live in if I end up out side of my place of origin.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Language Investigation One

Throughout our lives my brother and I have been exposed to many different words and phrases which have been brought to us by an eclectic group of family. For reasons that are unknown to my brother and me our mother has always been “hard of hearing” as she always put it and has never been able to correctly pronounce or articulate certain words. These words, mind you, have no relation to one another aside from the fact that our mom cannot pronounce them. So as an alternative to pronouncing the words correctly she simply adapts them to her vocabulary as she sees fit. A stand out example of this is the word calzone. Coming from an Italian up bringing my mother could never say calzone so she substituted cannoli in its place. Now cannoli is a word but it has a different meaning. A calzone is a type of pizza folded before it is cooked to hold a filling. A cannoli is almost the same thing except that it is a dessert instead of a meal. Moving on, my grandparents have always expressed themselves like nobody else in know. Each of them come from the southern United States and are unique in their language. Any time my brother and I were being to loud and obnoxious in she would immediately shout at us to stop “all that hootin and hollerin”. Further when she felt that we were being poor listeners and/or not making smart decisions she would not hesitate to assert that we were “hard headed”. As for my grandfather he would always greet us with the same line “well chief whadda ya got to say fo yo self”. When he would say this my brother and I would always look at each other and try desperately to submit an answer that would show our worth. When he said this to us he was always looking for us to show that we were constantly trying to grow and become well rounded young men. As for our dad, he always had a mix between original and very simple language. Whenever he would talk about the large homeless population in Denver he would always refer to them as “bums”. As for simple and straight forward he would constantly refer to our friends fathers as such and suchs “Ol Man” and he would always refer to our family dog Waylon as “the dog” never calling him by his name. Our dad was constantly upfront about his thoughts and opinions and sometimes crude. During puberty my brother and I each went through a rough patch with acne but it was my dads goal to make us comfortable with it. Each morning we would come down to breakfast if either one of us had an new break outs, dad would immediately point out that we had grown a new headlight over night. With all this my brother and I have turned out fine sometimes coming off a bit too forward with people but all in all our language experiences have given us a good laugh.