In Collier’s Teaching Multilingual Children, the article’s primary function is to instruct teachers how to teach multilingual students. The author focuses on seven main points that teachers need to be aware of when teaching these students. She explains that teachers need to be sensitive to children’s first language and they need to teach them using this language in conjunction to English. Collier explains that their first language/home language is very important and if you fail to incorporate this language your students will not feel they are in a safe learning environment. The third key point illustrates that point by stating, “Don’t teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language.” The idea of not correcting the children when they make a grammatical error or when they code-switched was stressed throughout the article.
I have to wonder if Delpit would agree with this article by Collier. I feel that Delpit would say this approach of Collier’s was setting children up for failure. Delpit expresses the notion that children need to be explicitly taught the rules of the “culture of power” in order to be successful in that culture. Collier wants to have children learn English, which is the dominant language in the culture of power, by having children learn from exposure to the language. She also states that children should learn to read first by learning it through their first language. Delpit, in my opinion, would agree that children need to be taught to read in English so they can have the same opportunities of their peers that are already part of the culture of power. Delpit also explains that the parents of these children that are not part of the culture of power want their children to learn explicitly the rules of that culture. I think Rodriguez’s article Aria would agree with this. Rodriguez tells the story of how he acquired English as a second language. His parents did everything in their power to have their children learn English, which Rodriguez termed “public language.” Throughout this learning process, he explains how a rift grew for him between his Spanish speaking world and his English speaking world and how soon the English world was what he knew better. At the end of the article, Rodriguez says, “they (bi-linguists) do not seem to realize there are two ways a person is individualized so they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private (home language) individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality.” This quote I believe Delpit would agree with completely. I cannot help but wonder if there are two completely different views on how to teach these multilingual children not from the culture of power which method is the correct method to use?