Students (probably) cursing you out in a different language?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, May 14, 2017.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Comrade

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    May 17, 2017

    I agree with Peregrin that saying English only is insensitive to students whose first language is not English. I still think you can say he is being off task and distracting his peers.
     
  2. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    May 17, 2017

    One time, a student called another one a "pendejo." Since I knew what that meant, I called him out on it, spoke with him in the hallway, and wrote him up for cursing. Since you don't know what is being said, as others have said, you can write him up for disrupting class. That's about it.
     
  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 17, 2017

    The general idea is that English learners are supposed to use English only in the classroom. It is not insensitive or unfair. In my opinion, during lunch and recess they should be able to use their first language, but some schools have the policy to not allow that, which also makes sense, it would facilitate their learning.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    May 17, 2017

    I think obvious exceptions could be made if a child is speaking to you in a language you both understand (i.e. you're bilingual, and using that to help them figure out an English way of saying something), or if they're doing something similar with a classmate (asking a quick question in Spanish to help understand in English how to phrase something or whatnot). I don't think it's an all-or-nothing situation...just like everything.
     
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    May 17, 2017

    Yep. As long as you are trying hard to decipher the words you will lose the real problem which is not following your directions. Backtalk can come in many forms, a foreign language being one. The goal is always the same: change the agenda. If the student can get you to talk about his words he leads you away from your agenda, get to work-follow my directions, to discussing the denotation and connotation of foreign words. Like angling, he casts, you take the bait, and he reels you in. Moreover, the class is watching. If they see how easy it is to side-track the teacher with backtalk those inclined to goof off will try it too since it is working.

    The way to handle backtalk is not backtalk as you stated. If you open your mouth in response to a lippy student you provide the topic sentence for his/her next backtalk. Then it escalates with the teacher trying to get the upper hand (word) until finally, with little options and pushed into a corner, the teacher has the "final word" with a write-up. This is why insolence in the form of backtalk is the number one office referral.

    Not responding verbally does not mean ignoring and walking away. That teaches the class goofing off is free. Many teachers believe if you don't acknowledge the behavior it will extinguish and go away. This could happen if you have control over the peer group (audience). Snickers, oohs, thumbs up and other indoor gymnastics from friends will serve as rewards that far outweigh the "consequence" of being ignored.
     
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  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    May 17, 2017

    I teach in a school with a huge ESOL population and many students speak Spanish when talking amongst themselves. Saying "English only" is not only rude (in my opinion) but would be frowned upon.

    Even if I explained why I had said "English-only, school policy," the head our ESOL department wouldn't want to hear it. I teach in a Black majority school where the climate is not always friendly to ESOL kids (my students are always complaining about the "Mexican kids" even though in Baltimore, many of our Latino kids are not Mexican). Our Black students often tell the Latino kids to only speak English and it causes a lot of racial tension between the groups. If they saw a teacher telling the Latino kids "English-only," we would be inviting a sh*t storm.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    May 18, 2017

    This is not a disagreement with Linguist, (and I'm a little off the subject, too. I agree that no student should be speaking disrespectfully toward anyone or disrupting another person in any language), but I have a thought about ESL students being required to speak English in school, especially during lunch or recess, based somewhat on Pinker's writings, especially assuming the school they are in also contains English as a first language students. Would a preference for English be a more natural experience for the students in their language learning so that they are developing bilingually; and would an encouragement for English students to speak somewhat in the other language, especially with younger elementary students, be profitable. I'm even thinking of bilingual word walls, not for every vocabulary word, of course, but perhaps a student generated word wall of the foreign words. Historically, isn't this how languages developed as immigrants' children conversed with native children and is one reason a language has words derived from other languages.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 18, 2017

    What I'm hearing though is: don't ignore, and don't respond. What should I do that's in between those two?
     
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  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 18, 2017

    While they are in a learning environment, they need to use the language of the classroom, which is both in English and profanity-free. What they say and do on their own time is another matter. If they claim you're being racist, simply remind them that part of their education is to master thinking academically in English, and the classroom is the place for practicing this mastery.
     
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  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 18, 2017


    I definitely see the benefit of non-native English speakers and English speakers conversing in a foreign language, this is an opportunity for the English speaker to practice a foreign language skill, the same when we require non-native speakers to speak English.
    What is not-preferable is when non-native speakers speak in their own language - it is usually excessive, and lazy.
     
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  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    May 18, 2017

    I think that some are missing the point. I teach ESL as well as SPED, and they don't have to speak perfect English to get ideas across, so stop giving the troublesome students a bye on their behavior based on ESL students who may or may not be in the room. English only is meant as a way of stopping someone going on and on in a foreign language that perhaps only a single teacher would understand. That's a power play, not ESL. That has nothing to do with ESL, everything to do with being fresh and disrupting class. "English only" can be said with head down or up, as the lesson continues, ruining the student's attempts to hijack the class or class time. If there is no response and the distraction continues, I would continue teaching while clearly looking at the offensive student/students as I write down their names. I believe this fits the criteria of "don't ignore" while also meeting the advice to "don't respond (in a way that gives away your power)". I suspect that I work in an environment where I have good reason to err on the side of caution. I never have to say that I am writing the offending students up, because as soon as I have recorded names, I set that sheet in my drawer where I will use it to write up the students at a slightly later time. I would never give students the power to make me stop what I am teaching just to make a point. I make my point when admin deals with the write-up. Good admin will back you up, and you never need to get into a stare down with a student out to ruin the learning for everyone else.

    Don't ignore, state the rule, continue your presentation, and it isn't "don't respond" but only respond in an effective manner that doesn't give away your power as teacher. Let me repeat - this is NOT an ESL thing, so disconnect them in your mind if you seem conflicted. There is such a huge difference between ESL students conversing quietly, or using ESL resources to comprehend the content. Trust me, the vast majority of ESL students will attempt to speak in English, in an attempt to "fit in" and it will not be about the "English only" rule. The more ESL students you teach, the more you will recognize that OP's initial post is not about an ESL student in the least.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  12. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    May 19, 2017

    That is the great paradox of classroom management! How often I have questioned my own reactions to situations, and that's in elementary school! What I have discovered is that over time, teachers gain an intuition type of insight on how to respond--it won't even be like you had to think about it, you'll just do the right thing at the right time. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this with an example of workers at a factory who after practice can determine the sex of baby chickens (difficult to differentiate until more mature) yet they have no idea how they determined it. I experience the same thing when I play an improvisation on the piano. I've practiced various riffs over and over, but how I decide which to use, how I instantaneously modify the riff, and how I suddenly add a riff I've never practiced I have no idea--it just happens.
     
  13. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    May 19, 2017

    When research was being done in real classrooms it showed teachers with the most time-on-task and cooperation do respond. They do it in a way that is not typical when we think "disciplinarian". What they "do" is move their face, shoulders, arms, hands, feet and toes in such a way that their body does all the "talking". Think of it as a set of moves planned and choreographed by the teacher which allow the teacher to manage a room full of squirmy bodies just by moving correctly. The thing about teachers who are good at body language is it looks most unremarkable. Unless you know what to look for the feeling you get observing one of these teachers is how lucky they are to get all the good kids.
     
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  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 19, 2017

    While I appreciate both of your insights into this matter, neither of your posts are very helpful.
     
  15. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    May 19, 2017

    Yep. Pretend you know what he's saying and hope he doesn't call your bluff. Kinda different: but at the beginning of this year, I was told by other students that this boy flipped me off. I approached him privately and said I can give him a referral for that right now, or we can start over and you can never do that again. (I really couldn't write him up since I didn't see it, but thankfully he didn't call my bluff). Since then we got along great.

    I know you're having a rough year with these guys, so it's hard to know the answer considering school's almost over. I had a terrible class last year. I knew most of them hated me; even when they were behaving, the hatred was there. Once it's so far gone, I feel like there's nothing you can do to bring them back. I think now's the time for damage control/mitigation, not trying to solve problems.
     
  16. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    May 20, 2017

    This was part of the procedure used by Mr. Fred Rogers. No one believed he would hold the attention of a bunch of preschoolers unless he would dress up as a clown (as was actually requested of him). Instead, he dressed as he would describe "honestly". In any other situation, he, personally, would wear a business suit, so that was his wardrobe for addressing his television audience. Back to the subject at hand, his body posture, facial expressions, and eye contact were to an imaginary child, the TV camera, in other words, he taught an imaginary child in his imaginary classroom. I began my post by mentioning this was part of his procedure.

    What was the second part? As also stated above, his second technique was, in his words, honesty; in other words, authenticity. Not just his wardrobe, but his mannerisms, his humor, demeanor, his manner of speaking (yes, he really talked like that), well, as the actor who portrayed Mr. McFeely described him, he was always the real Mr. Rogers.

    A final part of his procedure was revitalization and relaxation. He and others attribute this to his success in televised teaching. His workday mornings began with singing and swimming; every morning. For him, personally, prayer was an important part of his day at the office. As needed, he would take a day off from everything and walk in the woods.

    I know his audience is a much lower age group than whom I taught and certainly much, much lower than high school, but when I was in college, he was one of my "textbooks". I watched him twice everyday, and for one of my class assignments, I did a video of myself doing a similar program. (From then on, I supposed you can guess what my nickname became)! Anyway, I cannot begin to detail how much Mr. Rogers has influenced my teaching career! Perigrin, I think I know what you're going through, because I've had my rough experiences with behavior, too, especially my fourth year when I taught inner city, but overall, my success in behavior management, classroom lessons, and all aspects of teaching can be attributed to Mr. Rogers.
     

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