Each month the School of Education and Human Development's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will engage faculty and staff in learning focused on DEI. The monthly series will have four parts:
The DEI Collective Learning Series is intentionally framed in this way to allow faculty and staff to build a shared understanding of topics and concepts (read and watch/listen) before engaging.
Collective learning experiences offer benefits to participants such as deeper contextualization of concepts, identity development, and relationship building. Collective learning experiences around issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, offer opportunities for participants to process, understand, and evolve in a safe environment to cultivate a personal and professional climate of access and belonging.
The Office of DEI at the School of Education and Human Development culls together monthly curriculum around issues of DEI for you to read (week 1), watch/listen to (week 2), prompts upon which to reflect on the read and watch/listen materials (week 3), and to engage as a community (week 4).
- Read: Short and impactful articles, chapters, or blogs to help frame the topic for the month (Week 1).
- Watch/Listen: Watch a pre-recorded presentation, YouTube recordings, and/or listen to a podcast focused on the topic for the month (Week 2).
- Write: Journal, write reflections, and respond to prompts/questions based on the "read" and "watch/listen" for the month reading and recording (Week 3).
- Engage: Participate in an on-Grounds session, which may include presentations from authors from the readings, presenters from the pre-recorded session or podcast, an expert on the topic of the month, as well as opportunities to connect and converse with members of our community around the month’s topic. (Week 4).
September 2022: The Power of Multilingualism
Bi/multilingualism is an experience that shapes our brains for a lifetime in areas such as attention, empathy, reading, and engagement in an increasingly multicultural world. While the cultural and linguistic diversity of students in US k12 classrooms is growing, the teacher workforce remains predominantly White and monolingual. By decentering the dominant monolingual experience and leveraging the power of bi/multilingualism, we challenge the relegation of knowledge about instructing bi/multilingual students to ESL teachers alone and encourage all educators to invite students’ whole linguistic selves into the classroom.
1. Ofelia García, Nelson Flores, Kate Seltzer, Li Wei, Ricardo Otheguy & Jonathan Rosa (2021) Rejecting abyssal thinking in the language and education of racialized bilinguals: A manifesto, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 18:3, 203-228, DOI: 10.1080/15427587.2021.1935957
Optional due to length and technical language
Abstract: Following Boaventura de Sousa Santos, the authors of this article reject the type of “abyssal thinking” that erases the existence of counter-hegemonic knowledges and lifeways, adopting instead the “from the inside out” perspective that is required for thinking constructively about the language and education of racialized bilinguals. On the basis of deep personal experience and extensive field-work research, we challenge prevailing assumptions about language, bilingualism, and education that are based on raciolinguistic ideologies with roots in colonialism. Adopting a translanguaging perspective that rejects rigid colonial boundaries of named languages, we argue that racialized bilingual learners, like all students, draw from linguistic-semiotic, cultural, and historical repertoires. The decolonial approach that guides our work reveals these students making a world by means of cultural and linguistic practices derived from their own knowledge systems. We propose that in order to attain justice and success, a decolonial education must center non-hegemonic modes of “otherwise thinking” by attending to racialized bilinguals’ knowledges and abilities that have always existed yet have continually been distorted and erased through abyssal thinking.
2. Why Multilingualism is an Asset for Learning Acceleration: https://tntp.org/blog/post/why-multilingualism-is-an-asset-for-learning-acceleration
1. Language allows us to connect with people from around the world. It opens our minds and hearts to new experiences and different ways of life. But learning a new language can be difficult, so how did we do it as children? And are our adult brains even cut out for learning new languages? CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to Professor John Schwieter about what’s happening in the brain when we learn a new language and the potential health benefits of being bilingual. Plus, cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky explains how language may have the power to shape the way we think and see the world.
2. Video on the Benefits of Bilingualism: https://youtu.be/MMmOLN5zBLY
For monolingual participants, what reflections on the experiences of people who are bi/multilingual challenge your current practice?
What can teacher education programs do to challenge deficit notions of bi/multilingualism, and emergent bilingualism?
September 27 at 2pm (hybrid event) Holloway Hall/ https://virginia.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJApf-mhrjMpHNAr4dDxuLw7bzPUn8ev367t