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Exploring Language and Learning

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Thanks to Paul for the guest blog post!!

I had a great session today 10:30-noon; the 3 presentations focused on Paulo Freire, Participatory Action Research, Gandhi, and Language Loss/Acquisition. I presented the first workshop, and the other 2 were very interesting with good dialogue among the approx 10 people. From the discussion, I have a question for readers to respond to or ponder.

One participant explained how difficult it is to get students interested in learning their local/native language, and often English is what they want to learn (because it’s perceived as the language of power and social mobility). We bounced good ideas around with mention of Delpit’s “Other people’s children,” and personal stories from embracing multilingualism with family members. However, I am wondering how Teacher Educators approach language learners in the classroom/curriculum to uplift their native dialect, but hold them to high expectations with English acquisition?

I hope to post a few more thoughts as this amazing conference progresses.

Stay tuned!

Paul D. Mencke, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Washington State University


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