This video made me want to cry tears of linguistic joy.
This public school in Los Angeles is teaching kids to essentially become bilingual—learning the “mainstream” form of American English without devaluing the AAVE they speak at home. Absolutely incredible.
Here’s another video from the same series (the documentary “Do you speak American?”), talking to some of the now-adult children and parents who were part of the landmark 1979 court case (MLK Jr. Elementary school kids vs. Ann Arbor MI school board), finding that the black children in the school were being discriminated against based on their language.
It’s longbeenshownthat it’s more effective to teach children to codeswitch between multiple dialects or languages than to force them to abandon what they speak at home and use only the dominant one, both in terms of children’s skills with the dominant language (how do you learn to sound out words when the sounds you’re using don’t correspond to your teacher’s?) and in terms of children’s emotional development (unsurprisingly, people don’t like school much when they’re constantly told that their community is wrong). Barriers for teaching children to codeswitch are for political and social reasons, not linguistic ones.
The small skull effigy pendant was made by the Maya of the Pacific Slopes of Guatemala. Similar in size, artistic quality, imagery, and function to the earlier Olmec pendant (2009.20.231), this expressive ornament demonstrates the continuity among later Mesoamerican peoples of body adornments functioning as symbols of identity, status, and power. This remarkably delicate pendant connotes the Mesoamerican ideology of death and rebirth as a central principle of the universe’s natural cycle. It may also pertain to the shamanic journey between worlds, the shaman’s passage to the supernatural realm being likened to death and rebirth.
Theresie, three-year-old daughter of Erkuaktok [Iquugaqtuq], a Pelly Bay [Arvilikjuaq] Inuk, standing next to a snowman carved by her father. 1951.
Credit: Richard Harrington / Library and Archives Canada / PA-176251 Restrictions on use: This photograph may be reproduced for research or private use (September 2003). For more information, please contact the National Archives of Canada. Copyright: The copyright has expired with respect to the photographs taken before 1 January 1949
The title of the photograph in square brackets is based on information provided by the project “A face, a name.” This project allows youth and Elders in Nunavut to work together to identify people that appear on photographs held at Library and Archives Canada and register their names.