What if we talked about monolingual White children the way we talk about low-income children of color?

Here is a wonderful post from Nelson Flores over at Educational Linguist. Conversations about the “language gap” falsely position non-Standard-English-speaking families and children as flawed.  This brilliant piece of satire helps show what the problem is with that way of treating these students.  We cannot effectively educate students of color if we continue to view them as somewhat deficient versions of White children.  Instead, we need to study and capitalize on their strengths, many of which are completely absent from the repertoires of children from the dominant culture.

We could add to this article, “Monolingual children have been shown to have lower executive function than bilingual children, leaving them ill-prepared for the impulse control and higher-level thinking that are required in schools. The effects are far-reaching: monolinguals have been shown to be at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in adulthood.”  Any other facts about the “scourge of monolingualism” that should be included?

What if we talked about monolingual White children the way we talk about low-income children of color?.

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Ingrid O'Brien

I am a literacy consultant, doctoral candidate, and educator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in the language and literacy development of bilingual children, particularly ELLs in the Common Core. I coach teachers, design & adapt curricula for ELLs, and organize intervention programs.

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