|As a school system Miami-Dade
County Public Schools are fortunate to have students that
speak approximately ninety-seven (97) different languages.
I'm told that throughout the world over 2,796 separate languages
are spoken. I am excited about the possibility of our school
environment becoming one wherein our students have fun learning
from the many languages that exist within our system.
What is language anyway? To me language
is so vast that it touches everything in our world. No doubt
in my mind that it is the most important form of human communication,
it is a form of human behavior, a way of speaking, and a
system that uses words.
best indicator of intelligence was not "rote
memory" but "transfer" ...
example, when our students use the word "blackboard."
The Germans call it "Tafel" or "Wandtafel."
In the language of many of our young folk they will say
the blackboard is the "place where the chalk talks."
When speaking about "feet" the
French say "pied", the Dutch say "voet",
the Germans say 'fusz", the Spanish say "pie"
and many of our children say "dogs."
I was always informed that the best indicator
of intelligence was not "rote memory" but "transfer"
that is the ability to learn something's use in one forum
and then transfer it to another.
I believe that we can use language as one
of the learning domains to do just that and more:
One, we can create situations
that inspire students to increase their
knowledge in math and science
Two, we can encourage healthier intergroup
Three,we can encourage our students
to be more successful overall in
learning across differences.
During my years of interacting with
students I discovered that their
brilliance comesin many forms. One of the main forms was the
ability of our youngsters to manipulate the English language
in creative ways. Students speak to each other in
speak to each other in their own unique and intelligent
their own unique and intelligent way.
Most linguists agree that the
way language developed was quit arbitrary, meaning that
any combination of sounds used in any language could have
been chosen to represent an object or anything else for
which there was a need in oral communication. My prayer
is that rather than be critical about our children's creativity
we simply work with them to make them better. And so it
is with my use of "Mack and the Turtle"
I want to introduce the importance of meeting our children
where they are and then taking them where they should be.