Case Study

Watch the videos from the CUNY Teaching Bilinguals Web Series, found at:

Teaching Bilinguals (Even If You’re Not One)

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Create a document in which you answer the questions related to each video. Please respond thoughtfully and robustly, with details and examples.

Questions for Videos

Video 1: Getting Acquainted

New York and Florida are states with a large population of students whose first language is not English. According to Sara Vogel, in New York, these students were often forced to speak English or remain silent. What language practices did you experience when you were in school in Florida (or elsewhere). What practices have you seen in your previous field experiences?
Puerto Rican and other activists in New York in the 1960s and 1970s, with some degree of success, advocated for bilingual education. Which groups advocated for English language learners in Florida in the 1980s, resulting in the 1990 Florida Consent Decree? What did the Consent Decree accomplish?
Define “translanguaging”. What is your opinion of this practice?

Video 2: Being an Advocate for Bilingual Students

How does Ms. Conte use students’ backgrounds as resources in their learning? Give two additional ideas to implement.
How does reading books featuring multicultural/multilingual characters create a culture of inclusion? Have you participated in this practice in the classroom, as a student, a teacher, or an observer? Describe your experience.
How can English speakers profit from exposure to bilingual books?
Conte, being monolingual, was uncomfortable about her students speaking in languages she didn’t understand. She felt that she would lose control of the classroom. What did she find out? What are your thoughts about not controlling everything that goes on in the classroom?

Video 3: Bilingual Superpowers

What are benefits of graphic novels?
Describe the process Ms. Ballantyne-Berry uses with her graphic novel assignment.
How does Ms. Ballantyne-Berry use students’ language repertoire as a resource?

Video 4: Knowing your Students

Chapman-Santiago reads a quote from Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. How does this quote apply to a teacher’s work?
What might you learn by carefully watching the cues students send through body language and facial expressions? Describe an example from when you were a student, or when you taught or observed a class.
What information can a teacher gain by encouraging students to use their home language?
What are some practical ways to incorporate home language as a scaffold?

Video 5: The Benefits of Bilingual Education

What does Sara Vogel mean when she states in her introduction to the video that teachers can “push for more” in promoting their students’ learning?
Aponte says that reading the book My name is Jorge on Both Sides of the River has changed her students’ lives. Describe what you think is the impact of the book on students.
What is the goal of bilingual education programs? How does a bilingual program impact English speakers?

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