African American Linguists (AAL)

Promoting World Languages in the African-American Community

 

AAL Supports Black History Month from a Global Perspective

In the spirit of Black History Month, AAL looked for ways to globalize the discussion so that it goes beyond the borders of the United States and is inclusive of the African diaspora.  In order to broaden the discussion of African-Americans, AAL joined with world language departments of the public school system to do presentations on Afro-Latino & Afro-Francophone cultures. The purpose of the presentation is two fold 1) to educate all students about the diversity Spanish and French Speaking Countries. 2) to create a link between the African-American community and the African diaspora. AAL hopes that this connection will encourage and influence more African-Americans to pursue the study of world languages so that they may become more marketable in a global society.

Krishauna Hines-Gaither gives an Afro-Latino/Afro-Francophone presentation for the Foreign Language Department of Carver High School, NC.


 

Causes of Low African-American Enrollment

Causes of low African-American Enrollment in Foreign Language Programs

Suggestions for the LEA, IHE, K-12 School, FL Program, Teacher Ed. Program Classroom Teacher, Home, Community

Source(s)

What does the data reveal?

Total FL degrees(2004-05): 22,820

White (non-Hispanic): 14,517

Black (non-Hispanic): 790

Hispanic: 3,313 

Asian or PI: 1,074

Am. Indian/Alaskan Native: 111

Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 1,435

Non Resident Alien: 1,580

Create and fund a marketing and recruitment initiative to attract & retain HQ teachers.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, (2004-05),  Wilberschied, L. & Dassier, J.L.(1995),

Lange, D. (1991)

Systemic Concerns

 

 

Structural/institutional inequalities

Examine the history of the program. What was its foundation, one of inclusion or exclusion? How can the institution make the program one of inclusion?

Crossroads Diversity Training

Core values

Examine the core values of the program/institution.

Create a strategic plan to meet those values.

ACTFL: AAS SIG (2006)

Under qualified teachers:

A recent NC study revealed that high poverty schools are disproportionately served by lateral entry teachers

Create incentive programs to attract highly qualified teachers. Offer funding for professional development. Pair LE teacher with a mentor teacher.

NCDPI Report: 2006

Collaboration

 

 

Linguistic and cultural dissimilarities between home and school

Create collaborative relationships w/family through positive first contacts, conversations, newsletters, and relationship building. Remember that different does not mean bad or substandard.

Murrell Jr, P.C. (2002)

Delpit, L. (1995)

 

African-Americans often advised into less academic career routes (social sciences or social welfare)

Reconstruct advising as collaborative process between student-school-home (community meetings, conferencing, faith community)

Moore, Z. (2005)

Moore, Z. & English, M. (1997, 1998)

Garibaldi, (1992)

 

First generation students often African-American and Hispanic. 43% do not complete degree.

Forge mentoring relationships, create clubs of solidarity, get students connected (Multicultural/departmental clubs), offer developmental resources (tutors, websites, community events, bridge programs)

NCES

Instructional Concerns

 

 

Focus on grammar

Adopt a functional approach to developing oral proficiency and cultural awareness. Who talks more—student or teacher?

Coltrane, B. & Peterson, E (2003)

Hines, K. & Redmond, M.L. (2002)

 

 

Poor instructional practices

Focus on multiple intelligences and diverse instructional techniques. Differentiate instruction. Close textbooks & do practical activities (skits, role-play, dialogues, music, kinesthetics)

Shrum &  Glisan (2005)

Davis, J.J. & Markham, P. (1991)

 

Disconnect from content

Diversify instructional materials. Evenly integrate multicultural lessons like the African diaspora. Use the community to close the gaps (speakers, parents, community & collaborations).

Hines, K & Jenkins, T. (2005 & 2006)

Chiwawana, F. (2006)

Non-academic language devalued  as “non-standard” (i.e. African-American Vernacular, Chicano Spanish)

Accept rich cultural dialects. Do not esteem one over the other i.e. Spanish of Madrid vs. Caribbean Spanish; Canadian French vs. Parisian French

Foster, M. (2002) Wilberschied, L. & Dassier, J.L. (1995)

Valdés, G. (1991)

 

Program Concerns

 

 

Unaware of career options

Make it practical. Inform students about the benefits of foreign language study.

Moore, Z (2005)

Financing study abroad

Start early with planning and inform students of scholarships and grants. Create service-learning projects. Promote programs like peace corps or teaching abroad.

Hines,K. & Jenkins, T. (2005 & 2006)

Teacher Education

 

 

Structural/institutional inequalities

Examine the core values of the program/institution.

Create a strategic plan to meet those values.

Davis, J.J. & Markham, P. (1991)

Crossroads Diversity Training

Standardized testing for entrance exams and licensure exams

 

Use alternate entrance procedures like interviews, portfolios etc.

Wilberschied, L. & Dassier,J.L. (1995)

 

Absence of articulation agreements

 

Full articulation between high school, community college, and university facilitates transitions.

Wilberschied, L. & Dassier, J.L. (1995)

 

Go out and get ‘em approach

Use programs like “Teaching Fellows” at the high school level to recruit students. Deliberately advertise & market to minority candidates. Collaborate with high schools & community colleges.

Moore, Z. (2005)

Lack of incentives

Collaborate with area businesses to create incentive grants or partnerships to increase minority enrollment.

Lange, D. (1991)

Lack of professional development within teacher education departments on minority recruitment & retention

Incorporate staff development activities on the inclusion (and retention) of persons of color in the department within regularly held departmental meetings

Lange, D. (1991)

AAL is coming to a city near you!

AAL is in the process of regionalizing the organization. We are planning to have regional chapters throughout the country. If you are interested in organizing an AAL chapter in your area, please contact Krishauna Hines-Gaither.

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