The Need for Love when Teaching English as a Foreign Language

992 Words 4 Pages
Most of my attitudes toward languages other than mine have been shaped by being a English Language Learner teacher. This year there are twenty-seven different languages spoken in my school, many I have not heard of until recently. Growing up I was not exposed to other languages at all. I lived in a predominately Caucasian area of rural Pennsylvania. I did not have experiences with people of different races or languages. Where I live and work now is a stark contrast to my original experiences. When I began teaching at a high English Learner (EL) population school I had no idea what to expect. I have grown to love the diversity and different languages. I will often ask my students or their parents how to say certain words and listen …show more content…
Since I am only fluent in my first language (L1) I learned how to communicate in that language as a child and I do not remember much of how I learned the language. One of the positive influences I know I had was the presence of a large family. I am the fifth of seven children. I am sure I was able to learn language quicker because of the constant presence of many other individuals who were utilizing the language. Another positive experience in my language learning was the presence of a formal education and academic mindset. I attended preschool from a very young age and was able to read before I started Kindergarten. During the years where language development was being acquired rapidly I was able to learn from print in addition to hearing the spoken word. Some of the negative experiences were centered around just as negative events in my life. I was raised in an abusive home and because of that the language I had, and tended to share with others, was inappropriate and often got me into trouble. Ruby Sprott identified a situation where she was taught to speak a different way at home, school, and with her friends. She states that she does “wear a mask, and code switching… is a living reality that emerges out of a desire to remain sane and to stay alive” (Ogulnick, 2000, p. 46). I was able to relate to this as I too quickly learned there was a different set of standards to language at home, school, and with

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