Who will you impact? by Trisha Moller

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Flag_of_Puerto_Rico.svgWhen asked to write a blog post I was so excited. I set about to decide what to write and time just passed and before I knew it August arrived. Well, now I’m ready. I LOVE CI methods and teaching and believe that it holds the key to helping our students acquire a second language more successfully. As language teachers we offer our students so much. Since we want it to be comprehensible, every story we tell personal or otherwise has an impact on someone in our classroom. The culture we offer also impacts them. Sometimes more than we know. This past week I found a letter from a parent that I received in 2010. I keep a file of cards and notes to read after one of ‘those’ days. You understand. This letter was from a mom who was a heritage speaker from Puerto Rico who grew up in New York City  and was enrolled in English kindergarten. She was raised to abandon and shun her heritage as a puertorriqueña. She was ashamed to embrace her heritage. She married an American who spoke only English. It was evident that she was saddened by this. Her son had landed in my Spanish 1/2 class as a freshman. All year Doug seemed to devour Spanish class. He always wanted to be up front. It was true. She wrote me that her son came home everyday and talked about Spanish class. He started to question her about family and her heritage. She was thrilled to answer. She then wrote “I wish you could be a fly in the wall of our living room as Doug teaches his dad Spanish each evening.” She was so proud that her son wanted to embrace the heritage she had tried to abandon. That summer they would go to Puerto Rico to visit family and show the kids her heritage. I was overwhelmed by this note. So, on those days when I feel that a lesson has flopped or I was not at the top of my game, I shall remember that the CI culture through stories and novels are impacting someone. It’s language acquisition and CULTURE acquisition as well. Thanks for reading!

Trisha Moller has been teaching Spanish in New York for 20 years. She is passionate about languages and would learn as many as possible if she had unlimited hours in a day. She’s an avid quilter with two grown sons, two rescued greyhounds and a husband. She blogs at http://www.dulcineaspeaks.com/.

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