Stories as Invitation and Transformation: Global Literature Integration across Multiple Contexts

Volume IV, Issue 9
September, 2015

WOW Stories: Connections from the Classroom is a regular on-line publication of WOW containing vignettes written by classroom educators about children’s experiences reading and responding to literature in the classroom setting.

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Table of Contents

by Tracy Smiles

“Is Pokémon Japanese?”: Fifth Graders’ Intercultural Learning through Japanese Pictorial Texts
Junko Sakoi and Trinka Hall

Nudging Young Adults’ Readings of Gendered and Cultured Texts: What is the Role of the Adult in a Reader Centered Space?
Marie LeJeune

A Mirror and a Window: Read Aloud Multicultural Books for Adult EFL Learners
Yang Wang with Yuebo Zheng

Names, Objects, Histories: Intercultural Learning in Action
Kinga Varga-Dobai with Ze Moua and Sarah Kelley Campbell

Teaching through Story: Using Narratives in a Graduate Ethnicity Course
Michele Ebersole, Huihui Kanahel-Mossman, Alice Kawakami

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WOW Stories, Volume IV, Issue 9 by Worlds of Words is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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WOW stories: connections from the classroom
ISSN 2577-0551

37 thoughts on “Stories as Invitation and Transformation: Global Literature Integration across Multiple Contexts

  1. Miranda Woody says:

    I think I struggle most with creating the idea that I am part of a discussion group with my students, not their leader. It’s a difficult balance where I feel I almost need to remove myself from the conversation to let them lead themselves but I want to jump in and highlight their deep-thinking comments. The list that LeJeune created will really help guide my participation in my discussion groups so I’m not overbearing and taking over the group but that I can participate as an equal member. I especially like the idea of modeling my thinking aloud to help the students make sense of how to share their thoughts.

  2. sawan Alismail says:

    It was a joy to read this article and sure it is beneficial for teachers to consider. It shaped my thinking and gave me a broader view to what to choose for my future teaching years.
    The more the students read different topics the more they have deeper understanding to the social setting of multiple countries. Reading this article

  3. Norah Aldossary says:

    Literature is a written voice. We can see that clearly in the selected book Sold and in girls’ group discussion. Throughout the book, the author mirrors the important issues that girls’ of Nepal and India faced in their societies. On the other hand, the group discussion reflects the girls’ ideas and thoughts about the book and about the other culture. Since students’ voices should be heard, teachers can teach their students that they can read and express their ideas and opinions while studying literature and discussing some identity works. Group discussions have a major function, which is originating the citizen role by group works, identity works, making decisions, and discussing current issues. Indeed, group discussions can lead to see things in different lenses, to see the bigger picture, to express oneself, to evaluate critical issues, and to reflect others’ cultures and traditions. Moreover, composing social and cultural texts can help students to effectively participate and comprehend the subject matter. It is the efficient way to allow students to express their opinions about daily life issues. Therefore, group discussion is one of the essential factors of language art classes.
    I really loved this article.

  4. Kait H. says:

    While reading “Nudging Young Adults’ Readings of Gendered and Cultured Texts: What is the Role of the Adult in a Reader Centered Space?” I found it interesting to consider approaching more difficult content through literature. While I would never consider working with my third graders about prostitution, I do think literature could be an appropriate tool to guide students through a variety of different “difficult” contexts such as death, divorce, bullying, etc. While reading the vignette, it sounds like the students were allowed to come to their own conclusions regarding the events in the story which I think is vital to an effective literature circle. It is easy to select books (especially in elementary school) that guide students toward a desired opinion. However, by selecting a book that approaches a difficult context but allows students the freedom of thought and debate, the investment in the literature and discussion is heightened.

    In addition, I considered a literature circle approach that I observed while working as an IA. The teacher divided his classroom into two or three different reading groups and then created an inside circle and an outside circle. The inside circle consisted of one book group while the outside circle were the participants of the other book groups. The inside circle’s participants were the only ones allowed to talk which allowed for students to build off of each other’s thoughts during the discussion. This also prevented a large number of students needing to share their thoughts which enabled the conversations to reach new depths of understanding. Students in the outside circle were taking notes during the discussion and then had to write a response about what they would like to add to the inner circle’s discussion after the conclusion.
    I think this sort of strategy would be effective in leading whole class book discussions with the same purpose as discussed in this vignette. Not only is the entire class allowed to participate in one form or another, students are able to talk responsibility for the discussion and lead it accordingly. The teacher could still play the role of the facilitator but they also could step back and see how the discussion unfolds. While observing, they could take notes about discussion points that they want to come back and address as an entire class after the literature circle concludes. This vignette spurred me into considering how to use strategies discussed to enhance literacy at the elementary school level.

    After reading the first vignette, I read ““Is Pokémon Japanese?”: Fifth Graders’ Intercultural Learning through Japanese Pictorial Texts”. These two vignettes really made me consider how to mix to the two concepts to create an effective literacy approach in elementary school. I really enjoyed reading about using Japanese texts to help students learn about the Japanese culture. This is something that elementary school students really struggle with as they find it difficult to understand cultures that are different than their own. Using cultural texts for read aloud, literature circles, small group reading rotations (that are leveled), and whole class discussions students would be allowed to explore a culture in a variety of different ways. This would enable them to consider similarities and differences between cultures while also sharing learning that is independent to their text with the whole class during discussions. Students are generally interested in books that are “different” than normal texts which would help engage them in the content while also taking their learning further. In addition, students could be placed in literature circles that focus on a variety of different cultures. Then students could lead discussions using the inside circle/outside circle approach that I discussed above. Students in the outside circle could then write about similarities or differences that they notice between the culture they are studying and the culture that the other group discussed. This takes learning beyond just “us and them” by incorporating two new cultures other than what our culture considers “normal”.

  5. Miranda Woody says:

    This is an interesting study into how young students think about their own culture and the culture of others. I love the idea of incorporating pictorial texts to help the students envision Japanese culture. I think incorporating art into the classroom is very important, and it is a great way for students to gain a deeper understanding of another culture. I would love to start my students thinking about other cultures in this way.

  6. Kamilah Buamer says:

    An interesting study about using the stories behind names to discover more about the culture, the history and the uniqueness behind each and every name, as a future teacher I really liked how this activity combine personal, cultural and historical information that will make the students more engaged in searching about the story behind their names and learning about the name stories of other students.
    I enjoy reading the study and how it opened my eyes into thinking about other activities that could connect the students themselves and the teacher in more than one level.

  7. Sawsan Alismail says:

    Names, Objects, Histories: Intercultural Learning in Action
    It is true that the personal topics interest the students often, but the more it is beneficial the more they will remember it for a longer time. I wonder why most of our classes are having serious topics instead of making them full of energy like this class. I found it really excited to break their expectations and attract their attention in a way leads to more participation.

  8. Emily Hastings says:

    In LeJeune’s story, I really appreciated that high school girls were able to gather in an academic setting to talk about sensitive and applicable topics without the pressure of a grade. The fact that it was an after school option enabled a variety of people to attend, but it also probably limited the type of girl that joined the group. From some of LeJeune’s examples, I got the impression that the girls were not particularly involved in the gender role community. This allowed them to expand their ideas and vision about the lives around them.
    Since this is an academic setting, being a nearly passive teacher participant would be challenging for me. I would have to balance my desire to steer the conversation toward more “aha” moments with my desire for the girls to discover these key elements on their own. Part of this would be determined by the participants. If the girls involved are vocal and open about discussing thoughts, this group would be easier to lead than if they were not as vocal. However, this age tends to be receptive to modeled think-aloud strategies, which could be incentive enough to open up about their thoughts.

  9. Amanda Bustos says:

    As one of the adult readers in my 6th grade class, I am currently learning how to keep a thoughtful and meaningful class discussion about our current book without guiding too much of the conversation. At this moment we are reading “How to Steal a Dog” written by Barbara O’Connor and it is all about a dilemma that the main character feels when she resorts to a poor choice due to her family’s current situation. Topics such as survival, lying, honesty, and stealing come up, but in the context of being homeless. In my school alone there are at least 20 students who are currently experiencing homelessness and it is a very relevant subject in our community. The conversations can get a bit off course due to them being 11 and 12 years old with antsy bodies, but their ideas and concerns for the character show a depth of thought sometimes beyond their years. Most importantly, despite being in class and working, my teacher and I work very hard to make sure our students know it is a safe place to chat and talk and share their thoughts on the topic. Having a safe talking place has given the students a place to ask hard questions such as how does one become homeless and how does someone stop being homeless? What would you wear and where would your food come from? Who are the homeless people? These and many more questions are asked and elaborated on when we discuss certain requirements to live in a house, carry a job, or buy food. Their minds are opening up and they are using their voice to show they are understanding and are thinking about the various ideas in the book with more depth than they initially had. I am glad to have read this piece and I am looking forward to following more of the tips to help foster more in depth conversations on reading material and everyday topics.

  10. Amanda Bustos says:

    Again, this entry hits very close to home for me as an educator as well as my brand new teaching population. As an ELL (English Language Learners) assistant I am constantly learning do’s and don’ts with students from different cultures that are hopefully helping me shape my teaching approach. I recently went to a training about techniques to teach reading and small group work. However, that type of training isn’t really real life and it didn’t make an impact on what I learned or plan to do in my next class. The best lesson I learned this year thus far came from interacting with a fellow assistant. However, unlike me, this assistant speaks the language of our brand new students and she is very experienced in their culture. Questions and concerns that I had in respect to teaching and working with this student did not come from a workshop, but from a conversation about his home culture and how the shock factor of moving to the U.S. is impacting him. I think when professionals are looking to improve or test a theory of learning, it is best to DO it verses TELL it. Teachers, be them new or years in the field, are needing to constantly stay up with the current times and teaching methods. What is sometimes forgotten is how well teachers respond to working through ideas and proposed methods in action verses in listening. Sitting down and hearing stories and antidotes on different cultures or ways of learning in a different language could be more beneficial that a reading workshop. Just one week after my meeting with my colleague, the information that I learned has greatly improved my approach to this new student and he is beginning to find small successes in language learning. Immersion is not only good for students, it is still very helpful to teachers and it gives them a chance to experience the information. As it was stated in the first examples, there were groups of teachers that claimed they had learned what they were taught, but yet they did not actually show that knowledge or find it useful later on. When the teachers were deeply involved with the knowledge they were learning and building their own narrations with their new experiences, the lesson was clearer, understood and made changes in the classroom.

  11. Tracy McLaughlin says:

    As a teacher with ELL students in my classroom, I understand the importance of using multicultural literature in my classroom. It increases engagement with the text and reading aesthetically is a vaery important part of reading for both pleasure and comprehension. This article was a great reminder of how important it is. One of my favorite units to teach is fairy tales from other cultures, making sure that I incorporate ones that represent my classroom if possible. This deepens students’ understanding of other cultures.
    I love how the students in this article became more engaged with the text and illustrations, finding both culturally correct and incorrect parts. Engagement with text is what it is all about!

  12. Tracy McLaughlin says:

    The ideas of critical literacy is intriguing to me and something that is a newer concept in the last few years of my teaching. I love the ideas of using critical literacy to teach concepts and reflect on issues in our society. Students are often engaged with higher level texts while critically thinking about issues of inequality and injustice in the world. While the topic in this article would not be appropriate for my third graders, many issues such as poverty, equality in education and family would all be a way to get students thinking and interacting with texts in a critical way.
    A big challenge, as LeJune states in this article, is always “balancing the tricky balance of encouraging authentic, student/reader led pedagogies while using my voice to nudge and problem pose with group discussions.” That can be really hard as the teacher as I am using to leading my students! The list that LeJune created are great reminders!

  13. Emily Hastings says:

    When Ebersole, Kanahel-Mossman, and Kawakami looked into the cultural aspects of teaching, I thought about my own experience in the classroom. One of the schools I worked in had little ethnic diversity, but had children from really rich families and really poor families, with no middle ground. One of the main beliefs of the teachers was that they were already teaching in a culturally responsive manner like some of the teachers mentioned. Coming in with a fresh perspective, I noticed that that was not always the case. Since the diversity was not one of the hot topics taught in teacher preparation courses, the teachers were dealing as best they could. However, I noticed that in certain mannerisms or offhand comments/directions the students that came from a poorer family were being subtly discriminated against. I hope that when I am a full time teacher that I will notice my own actions and stop them or someone else will mention them so that all of my students are getting their due.

  14. Lisa S says:

    This article is a great reminder of how ALL students provide culture to a classroom. Each of their backgrounds and life experiences bring culture to a classroom setting. At a surface level, an outsider looking into a classroom might see the seven English Language Learners in my class due to their color of skin and ethnicity. However, culture is much more than looks. It is also more than “outside” cultures, or obvious cultures, from different countries. Even within the United States, Oregon, or even the city in which one lives, each person provides their own perspectives to a classroom setting. Students who live across town can lead very different lives and therefore bring different cultural experiences to the classroom. As a teacher this is an important reminder to make the time for students to share their experiences, their family background, and their own story because each child’s cultural experience provides a classroom the opportunity to be enriched with experiences of culture that might not be obtained otherwise. A teacher can provide cultural experiences, but students will value and respect their peers experiences as well.

  15. Hajar Alrehaili says:

    I really enjoyed reading this significant experience, and that help me to think critically about how teachers can enhance students’ learning. Addressing multicultural stories would give learners what culture means? They will read based on their background and experiences, and they will respect others and engaged with lessons.
    Teachers could place a variety of questions and meaningful activities to develop critical inquiry and having their identities. Having their identities led them to that a transformation in thinking and practice means a transform of what we think of ourselves and others

  16. Lisa S says:

    I believe multicultural literature is an exciting way to engage learners of all ages in a discussion of culture and comparison. In second grade we compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story by different authors or from different cultures. A few classic stories we discuss are Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs. It is amazing at the second grade level how many similarities and differences the students are able to discuss in relation to the different cultural backgrounds in the story. “A Mirror and a Window: Read Aloud Multicultural Books for Adult EFL Learners” by Yang Wang with Yuebo Zheng has brought to my attention that I might not only look at what the stories cultural take is, but also who the author is and from where they originate. Does the author have a deep cultural background in the culture they are writing about? Or, do they have an outsider’s perspective on the culture presented in the story. The author’s cultural background is not necessarily a topic I would discuss with my students. It would be a topic that would be interesting to discuss with colleges when choosing books to read with our classes and what message we might be portraying due to the author’s perspective. Overall, I believe multicultural literature, especially picture books, are a wonderful opportunity to enhance and enrich an educational setting for all ages.

  17. Hajar Alrehaili says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article. Engaging multipalculturle would both teachers and students. First impacting students, multipalculturle stories may encourage students to understand and value multiple cultural perspectives. Second, impacting teachers, teachers may change their practices, behaviors, and perceptions in significant way to enhance students’ motivation learning and academic success.

  18. Kristin says:

    I enjoyed reading this because it helped me to see that topics of interest and those that are valid and important to a students’ learning can be incorporated into daily lessons with students. These topics that were discussed in the story would help students to develop deeper thinking that gets kids talking about things that matter to them. Such things may also help students find similarities and differences to their own lives, and use that to understand as well as accept others and their cultures.

  19. Kristin says:

    Even though the “Name Story” was done with preservice teachers, I can see how it would be a memorable activity that helps students accept cultures within the classroom. It would give the students an opportunity to research their own cultures and present where they are from.

  20. sumaih binghilan says:

    According to this article, I found many interesting points which cached my attention. First of all, the writers mention in Teaching through Story: Using Narratives in a Graduate Ethnicity Course article that experiential knowledge, academic knowledge and reflective knowledge are necessary for transformation in leading to culturally responsive teaching. This will help student to understand more effectively and engage with knowledge while learning which could give them a chance to think widely and share their point of view. Also, this could be a chance to share different experience with different perspective with all respect of all cultures and its own understanding. This world is full of different cultures from different people, and it is great to share different ideas and understand people’s thinking through their experience.

  21. Mohammed says:

    I had faced a hard time keeping my students engaged in a group due to the different cultures that I had in that class. Teaching students the other cultures through stories would make them more engaged and excited especially if they were talking about a story that happened to them in another culture. Today, I learned that the different cultures at the class is significant to have different perspectives, and creating a way that would keep the students engaged and knowing from each other. I believe that students learn from one another as they do from heir teachers.

  22. Mohammed says:

    I am one of the people who speak two languages, and I extremely believe that learning a language is learning a culture. Choosing an important book that will help English language learners is important to improve students’ skills and achievements. Also, teachers should have goals to assist students in reading. ELLs like to read books about their cultures or about something that the know before. Therefore, it is extremely important in choosing the book that students should read.

  23. Abdullah Aldousari says:

    I am really into the idea of using pictorial texts and proponent. Let’s look back at the story of using illustrated books in teaching Japanese culture and reap the benefit of it. As most of us might know that there are two kinds of culture: surface and deep. Thus, teachers should take into their consideration how to teach their students what the culture is and how important it is for each person. The results of the article are extremely amazing. The gap among learners reduced and students became more welcoming for each other’s culture. Also, some of us as well as our students are visual learners that would make learning less stressful and more desirable. Consequently, teachers can get their students to express what he/she perceives or thinks courageously.

  24. Jenny Anderson says:

    I was challenged by Marie LeJeune’s “Nudging Young Adults’ Readings of Gendered and Cultured Texts: What is the Role of the Adult in a Reader Centered Space?” (2015). As an educator and a parent, I feel like maybe these conversations don’t happen enough with our children/students.

    I appreciate the model that was used to draw out conversation. It is difficult at times to think of facilitating instead of leading a group. I think this would be empowering to the students involved.

    In my mind, as I was reading this vignette, I could picture a group of students that have been harder to work with. A book study such as this, would facilitate conversation that otherwise might not happen. It would provide great motivation for reading as it would allow conversation to take place.

    Some of the students I work with would be familiar with the subject of the book used. I am curious what would be done if a student disclosed personal information. Were there parameters set at the start of the book group?

  25. sumaih binghilan says:

    the writers mention in the A Mirror and a Window: Read Aloud Multicultural Books for Adult EFL Learners that literature is a mirror which reflect different cultures while reading. People could learn new things about others cultures through reading and discovering their literature. Moreover, readers create meaning through participating in the text and expand their knowledge through reading other culture literature. Foreign students sometime need some support from their instructor to clarify some cultural meaning which hide in the literature that they are reading. Also, we know that discussion could help students to understand the literature more and help others who have a low level language or could not understand the context itself

  26. Ahmed Alsalman says:

    In this article, I have noticed some similar facts to what we face in our country. Students chance to read and share their responses to literature is almost not existed. I strictly believe that when students read, response, then participate by sharing their thought not only create meaning, but they develop their thinking deeply. Similarly, to wider students’ understandingو knowledge, and learning about their and other cultures, it is important to merge them into multicultural literature. I liked the idea to let students learn their culture through outsiders’ perspectives and learn other cultures from insiders’ perspectives. Doing so will give them an overview of multi-perspectives and multi-cultures, letting them contrast and compare in which it expands their knowledge. In fact, this article gave me a clear sight about how to make my class more engaged and motivated to learn a language through making critical responses on their culture from multicultural perspective.

  27. salehah says:

    I could say that I received insight  from reading this article(Names, Objects, Histories: Intercultural Learning in Action”  because of the literacy active that were provided  (the Name Story). Further , I realized how it is important to value my students’ identities. The name story is an important activity to begin the first day of the class. Sharing the story name, so the students and the teachers familiarize with each others backgrounds. I liked that the article offered guiding questions to help the teachers to include them in this activate  effectively in their classroom. Also, teachers can be more creative and expand on this activity .This activity helps students to understand  and shape their identities as well as to value people names.

    I will speak from my own experiences about names. people’s names are extremely  important to them because  it represents who they really are . I will share with my experience  with my name and how that some people did some effort  to pronounce  it correct . while others did not.  
    As a learners, I wanted  my teachers to pronounce my name correctly. When I came to United States in 2012, my teachers and friends did know how to pronounce  my name. in fact, one of my teachers call me in a wrong name in front the whole class, I was disappointed  , and told her my name is (.…) However, some of my teachers did their best to call my name correctly. I did appreciate those  who make an effort to pronounce my name correctly . However, with time I accept any pronunciation of my name because I can say that it is hard for some people to pronounce it correctly.

    After reading the article Teaching through Story: Using Narratives in a Graduate Ethnicity Course,” the major insight that I received  is to address and meet the needs of diverse students and how to be an effective teacher. In order for me to be a successful teacher , I need to collect information about my students’ cultural experiences . Also, to engage them I need to connect the subject matters to students’ experiences.  
    … My intention after reading this article  is to develop my underrating  about students’ values  and cultures,  so I can meet their academic needs .The framework that was mentioned in the article  highlighted three categories of knowledge  which helped me understand how to be more qualified teacher . By using the found of knowledge , I could  make a home visit or connect with students’ parents to obtain clear information about my students’ backgrounds . Also , it is important for my professional  development  to reflect in my performance in the classroom. My reflection could include my beliefs, attitudes, and my teaching practices  toward diverse learners.
    both articles were very interested because it helped me to understand  the concept of identity and culture for students . Therefore , it is my job as a teacher to familiarize myself students  and support them to meet their personal and academic needs.

  28. Norah Aldossary says:

    I’ve read “A Mirror and a Window: Read Aloud Multicultural Books for Adult EFL Learners” article, by Yang Wang and Yuebo Zheng.

    “I believe that learning a language is learning a culture”. I totally agree with this statement. Actually, I’m writing my thesis about the passion in literature and how literature can be a mirror of people’s culture, history and issues. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian novelist, once said, “Literature becomes the living memory of a nation.” Therefore, teachers should acknowledge the importance of studying literature for maintain their cultures. Moreover, they should be aware that being a part of a group is a human being need and to have the sense of belonging to the group is a self-importance need. It is an essential to teach our children and students the importance of a culture and society and being an effective member of society as well. Our children should learn about their own societies as well as other societies and cultures to develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions for each society.

  29. Mashael Alansari says:

    I like when they students learn about other cultures and I agree that they are learning many things. In fact, I had learned in school about the American culture a lot and I noticed that I was learning more and raising my awareness of my culture at the same time. I can say that I experienced the benefits of learning about another culture and almost the same results that are mentioned in the article. I was shocked in the beginning by difference then found that we are similar more than we are different. Thus, we may focus on improving our world by respect, understanding, and communicating with each others. I wish l had the opportunity to learn deeply about the other cultures in an early, and students have this opportunity, too.

  30. Mashael Alansari says:

    I like reading the possible strategies for nudging a critical stance. I was thinking a lot about how we can improve it in our education system.
    As in many other countries, in my country students are mostly suppose to accept information in their books without questioning and do not have time or a chance to think about the information that they are received. Moreover, when they find time after school and try to disagree or challenge the information, they have to repeat and memories the same information to get an A or pass the test.
    Thus, these strategies really opened my eyes to suggestions for working on improving this skill.

  31. Ahmed Alsalman says:

    It is a great idea of using pictorial texts as a way to introduce and discuss different cultures. This method makes students more engaged and active to widen their understanding and discover new information through pictures. Additionally, it urges students to participate and wonder about new things through pictorial text. Back to learning about the cultural differences, students will have more awareness about others cultures because they are going to compare what they have seen in pictures to their culture. Not only this, but I believe this will increase students curiosity of looking for further information or watching videos about what they wondered in other cultures. I also agree with what writer that students will also develop a sense of appreciating and valuing other cultures based on the pictorial text. In general, this article highlighted many important points that could support my way of teaching through pictorial texts.

  32. Sara Madani says:

    This article “A Mirror and a Window” is very interesting. Actually because we are “Saudi Students” as EFL learners have the same experience, it’s hard to understand authentic literature and expository texts. Wherefore, reading aloud Multicultural pictures books for EFL learners would help them learn about cultures so that they will understand. Also, it’s going to be great if teachers use questions and meaningful activities to help students see the whole picture and be responding and develop critical inquiry.
    In addition to that as the writer mention that readers can create the meaning while participating in the text and learn more about cultures. Finally, I really loved that the writer said, “Learning a language is learning a culture”.

  33. Sara Madani says:

    I didn’t think that the story behind names is beneficial. After reading this interesting study about Names, Objects, Histories: Intercultural Learning in Action I learned that the Story Name is a very good opportunity to understand others and know more about their culture and history. I think it is an excellent idea to start the term with your students. Moreover, it could make a good connection and respect between teachers and students when they know about their background. Also it is a good reflection that illustrated others identities.
    I really liked reading this study and I’m curious to search about the story behind my future students’ names and telling about the name stories of mine.

  34. James Kelly says:

    I really enjoyed this vignette. I hope one day that I can teach abroad. It is always encouraging to hear or read about other cultures that want to learn about English. I like how the teacher encouraged aesthetic as well as efferent stances to the story. I also like the idea that learning a language is learning a culture. They are both intimately connected.
    One think that really stood out in this vignette was the ability of the students to spot errors in cultural interpretations about the symbol of the dragon and many other discrepancies. I like that they were aware of the differences and how this understanding helped to learn how their culture is seen through the eyes of some Americans. This kind of reading really showcases the importance of authentic literature versus contrived.
    The techniques that the teacher used in conducting read-alouds and then recording them while also keeping a journal were very useful and something I hope to utilize in my own teaching practice. I am interested in how the teacher handles situations in which an american author gets some of the cultural facts wrong. This could be a great opportunity to learn.

  35. James Kelly says:

    In this vignette of teaching stories using narrative in graduate course work, I was reminded of my class on the importance culture plays in the lives of students. I think it is important to become aware of culture and how it affects students and what teachers can do to become more culturally responsive. I also like the three categories the author brought up such as experiential knowledge, academic knowledge, and reflective knowledge. I like that all three are connected and that it it is important for teachers to tale these factors into consideration and to be able to examine their own beliefs and attitudes. I am always interested in techniques a teacher can use to address a multiplicity of cultures in a meaningful way and to not just give superficial treatment to just a few. Some of the graduate classes that I have taken have 6-7 cultures in them making it very challenging to get everyone included. What I think is important in all of this when teaching is to let students know that their all cultures should be respected and that we can learn a lot about ourselves and others at the same time. By reflecting on our experiential and academic language we can become more aware of how we frame situations and what we can do to reframe them in more useful and culturally responsive ways.

  36. Jenny Anderson says:

    “Names, Objects, Histories: Intercultural Learning in Action”. I absolutely loved it. I think each one of us does have a story that can be told regarding our name.

    When I went to college, I was one of 18 who had a variation of Jenny as a name. Many people called me Jennifer, just assuming that my name was shortened. Others called me Jen. I felt proud to be an original Jenny. I was named after a song my mom fell in love with.

    When I was married, I took on my husband’s name, but will always consider myself a James (maiden name). I know some of the history behind it and it is fun to share.

    I think this project is an eye opening project that will broaden horizons for people. Reading it makes me want to go do something similar at my school.

  37. Abdullah Aldousari says:

    As a result of reading the article regarding, names, objects and histories, I become more convinced that students name and other people are part of their identities. For that reason, we, teachers, should do our best to cultivate the meaning of respect others names into our students minds and try as hard as we can to pronounce the names correctly. Surely, the activity of sharing each other names and what they represent and mean is icebreaking I think. It broadens students’ horizons towards accepting others’ identities and culture.

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