Category Archives: Culture

13-Year-old Hunts…With Her Eagle!

Ashol-Pan is a member of the Kazakh people in the Altai mountains of western Mongolia. What distinguishes Ashol-Pan from other 13-year-old girls is that she is a huntress and her partner is a huge golden eagle! She is believed to be the first female in Mongolia to take part in an activity reserved solely for men in the last 2,000 years. In addition, photographer Asher Svidensky captured breath-taking pictures of Ashol-Pan and her beautiful golden eagle.

Huntress Ashol-Pan. Photo- Asher Svidensky.

Huntress Ashol-Pan and her Golden eagle.Photo- Asher Svidensky.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Excerpt: A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia by William Kremer, BBC

“A photographer who snapped what could be the world’s only girl hunting with a golden eagle says watching her work was an amazing sight.
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill – and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress…The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature.

You don't really control the eagle.  Ashol-Pan Photo- Asher Svidensky

You don’t really control the eagle. Ashol-Pan Photo- Asher Svidensky

You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?
The eagles are not bred in captivity, but taken from nests at a young age. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size –

The females grow large. Asher Svidensky.

The females grow large. Asher Svidensky.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

a large adult might be as heavy as seven kilos, with a wingspan of over 230cm.
After years of service, on a spring morning, a hunter releases his mature eagle a final time, leaving a butchered sheep on the mountain as a farewell present. That’s how the Kazakh eagle hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own strong newborns, for the sake of future generations.

13-year-old Ashol-Pan is shy. Photo- Asher Svidensky.

13-year-old Ashol-Pan is shy. Photo- Asher Svidensky.

He describes Ashol-Pan as a smiling, sweet and shy girl. His photographs of her engaging in what has been a male activity for around 2,000 years say something about Mongolia in the 21st Century.” Read more…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.

Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to examine the titles of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.

KWL Chart

Directions: Have students use this  KWL chart from Michigan State University to list the information they already know about Mongolia, golden eagles, and hunting.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about these topics.

Advanced K-W-L chart.Intervention for Reading copy

 

II. While Reading Activities

Vocabulary

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Most children are a little intimidated by golden eagles.
  2. Kazakh boys start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares.
  3. Today there are around 400 practicing falconers.
  4. A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback.
  5. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open.
  6. The skill of hunting with eagles  lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature.
  7. The eagles are not bred in captivity.
  8. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size.
  9. Hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own newborns, for the sake of future generations.
  10. The generation that will decide what will happen with every tradition.

Word Chart By Education Oasis

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Ashol-Pan is from Thailand.
  2. According to the article Ashol-Pan could be the world’s only girl hunting with a golden eagle.
  3. The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are one of several groups that hunt with golden eagles.
  4. They hunt in summer, when the sun is warm for the eagles.
  5. According to the article the hunters don’t really control the eagle.
  6. Male eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size.
  7. After years of service a hunter releases his mature eagle back to nature.
  8. Golden eagles have at least 3 eaglets per year.
  9. Ashol-Pan is described as a smiling, and assertive.
  10. Her parents want her to become a doctor.

Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives to describe pictures
Directions:Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives. Students can share their stories with the class. For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar: Adjectives.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?

KWL Chart
Directions:  Have students  fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

  1. The article states, “The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.” How would you put this into your own words?
  2. The Kazakhs use the golden eagles as a means of hunting for food. Can you think of other groups of people who use animals to assist in hunting?
  3. It states, “The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?” Based on this information, how difficult would it be to train a golden eagle to hunt? How long do you think it would take you to train an eagle?
  4. Have you ever hunted in your country? If yes, provide examples. If you have not, would you like to learn how to hunt? Provide reasons for why or why not.
  5. With your group research what life is like for a teen living in Mongolia today. For example, the types of homes, transportation, foods, clothing, and communication.

IV. Listening Activity

Video Clip: The Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

“This is a digital story about the art and sport of hunting with golden eagles in western Mongolia.” 

Pre-Listening

Listening for New Vocabulary or New Terms

Directions: Here is a list of words from the video. Have students find the meanings before they listen to the video. As students listen, they are to  check off the words and phrases as they hear them.

  1. Altai Mountains
  2. raptors
  3. formidable 
  4. predators
  5. utilized
  6. aggressive
  7. Marmots

video Link

While Listening Activities

Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences taken from the video. They are to choose from the options presented.

  1.  The  Altai Mountains is also the birthplace of the accident/ ancient art of falconry.
  2.  Today political borders/binders divide the region.
  3. The nomadic people that residence/reside here live as they always have in conjunction with the land and with nature.
  4. The people of the  Altai  maintain/mountain a strong and connected relationship with nature.
  5. The  Kazakhs like many, were persecuted for practicing their cultural/culture traditions.
  6. One of the highest expressions/express of the culture is the ancient art of eagle hunting.
  7. Golden eagles are  deployed/employed as they are the largest and most powerful of the raptures.
  8. With the wing span/sprain of up to 8 feet these formidable predators can weight up  to 5 kilograms.
  9.  It is the  male/female  golden eagle that is utilized as they are larger and more aggressive than their male counterparts.
  10. The eagle is fed/federal grown squirrel and marmot.

 Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of the Kazakhs changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion of them.

2. Did  you learn any new information?

3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the Kazakhs.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture | Tags: ,

The Beauty of Global Christmas Festivities

It’s that time of the year when people world-wide celebrate Christmas. This is one of our favorite lessons on Christmas celebrations. The following article highlights six countries and their unique traditions for celebrating Christmas.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

U.S. President Obama and the  First Lady celebrate Christmas.

U.S. President Obama and the First Lady celebrate Christmas.

Excerpt: Six Christmas Traditions From Around the World, By Jane Margolies, The New York Times

“Christmas trees, Santa Claus and gingerbread lattes are all well and good. But with the homogenizing creep of Yuletide customs, travelers might well worry they’ll go to the trouble of getting somewhere new over the holidays only to find it’s just like everywhere else. Not the six places here. Each has its own way of celebrating Christmas, and with the festivities unfolding in plazas, parks and other public places, travelers are free to join right in.

Directions near Castleton in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England, where Christmas singing resounds in local caves. Credit- Jamie Duff:Press Association Images

Directions near Castleton in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England, where Christmas singing resounds in local caves. Credit- Jamie Duff:Press Association Images

Castleton, England

This pretty English village in Derbyshire’s Peak District is known for its walking paths and, high on a hill, the picturesque ruins of a Norman castle. It’s also home to four spectacular caverns bristling with stalagmites and stalactites. On weekends leading up to Christmas two of the caves offer caroling sing-alongs.The Basilica of the Nativity, on the place where Christ was born, in Bethlehem. Credit- Nasser Shiyoukhi:Associated Press

Jerusalem

In most parts of Israel, where Christians make up about 2 percent of the population, it’s business as usual on Dec. 24 and 25. But in this city where Jesus lived and died, Christmas is joyously celebrated in the Christian quarter of the Old City. Churches decorated with trees conduct nonstop services in many languages with Jews and Muslims often sitting in. Marching bands and bagpipers led by Arabian horses weave through the narrow streets to Manger Square, the plaza outside the Basilica of the Nativity, which stands on the grotto where Jesus was born.

Sculptures made of radishes are shown at Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Credit- Judith Haden:DanitaDelimont.com

Sculptures made of radishes are shown at Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Credit- Judith Haden:DanitaDelimont.com

Oaxaca, Mexico

Posadas — door-to-door processions that re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter — and a parade with candlelit paper lanterns fill the streets of this city in southwestern Mexico… But the most awe-inspiring custom is the century-old competition known as the Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) on the evening of Dec. 23. In the zócalo, the city’s central square, under a canopy of lights, farmers display elaborate sculptures — nativity scenes, robed kings, musicians — all carved out of the giant radishes grown locally.

Père and Mère Noël stroll the streets of Quebec City. Credit- Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

Père and Mère Noël stroll the streets of Quebec City. Credit- Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

Quebec City

 You would think temperatures in the teens and wind whipping off the St. Lawrence River would drive everyone indoors. But the 403-year-old capital of Quebec province revels in the outdoors at Christmastime, when stone buildings sparkle with lights. Fortify yourself with maple sugar pie from the Ferme Line & Steve Morency stand at Le Marché de Noel in the farmers’ market in the Old Port area.

Christmas lights decorate the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Credit Alseeandro Bianchi:Reuters

Christmas lights decorate the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Credit Alseeandro Bianchi:Reuters

Rome

Although the larger-than-life nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is under wraps until Dec. 24, when this year’s still-top-secret version will be unveiled just in time for the Pope’s midnight Mass, you can feast your eyes on the remarkably detailed 18th-century Neapolitan carved-wood crib… Piazza del Popolo, to see crib elements made of everything from coral to chocolate. Or just duck into any church or cathedral you happen by.

Farolitos, paper bags with votive candles inside, illuminate Taos, N.M. Credit- Walter Bibikov:DaniaDelimont.com

Farolitos, paper bags with votive candles inside, illuminate Taos, N.M. Credit- Walter Bibikov:DaniaDelimont.com

Taos, N.M.

Bonfires blaze nightly in the plazas, bringing a block-party vibe to this New Mexico town. Farolitos (brown paper bags lighted with votive candles) line streets, snaking past galleries and art studios… When the Spanish came here in the 17th century, they brought their culture, and today celebrations blend Catholic and Native American traditions.”

 

WISHING EVERYONE A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS!

~ESL VOICES~

A bauble on a Christmas tree By Kris De Curtis-Wikicommons

A bauble on a Christmas tree By Kris De Curtis-Wikicommons

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. In addition, students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Tasks
Stimulating background knowledge

Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, to find out what they already know about Christmas celebrations in different countries. Next, have students look at the pictures in the article to generate ideas or words about the topic. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board.

Have students  use the UIE brainstorming chart (sample) for brainstorming the meanings of terms.Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

II. While Reading Tasks

 Vocabulary

Words In Context

  1.  This pretty English village in Derbyshire’s Peak District is known for … the picturesque ruins of a Norman castle.
  2. At Peak Cavern’s evening songfests participants sit inside the… cave — which has great acoustics — to belt out “We Three Kings” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  3. From Jerusalem, many people make the pilgrimage six miles south to Bethlehem…
  4. …the plaza outside the Basilica of the Nativity, which stands on the grotto where Jesus was born.
  5. Posadas — door-to-door processions that re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter…
  6. But the most awe-inspiring custom is the century-old competition known as the Noche de Rábanos…
  7. But the 403-year-old capital of Quebec province revels in the outdoors at Christmastime…
  8. Or just duck into any church or cathedral you happen by.
  9. …along with burlap-and-straw depictions of the Italian witch called La Befana, said to fly around on a broomstick at Epiphany…
  10. Bonfires blaze nightly in the plazas, bringing a block-party vibe to this New Mexico town.

Reading Comprehension

True / False/ NA

Directions:  The following statements were taken from the article.  If  a statement is true, students write (T) if  a statement is false they  write (F)  and  provide the correct answer from the article. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA

  1. Each country mentioned in the article has similar ways of celebrating Christmas.
  2. This pretty English village in Derbyshire’s Peak District is known for its walking paths.
  3. On weekends leading up to Christmas in Derbyshire’s Peak  people can  sing in the caves.
  4. From Bethlehem  many people make the pilgrimage six miles south to Jerusalem, to celebrate.
  5. In Oaxaca, Mexico, the most awe-inspiring custom is the century-old competition known as El  Día de los Muertos on the evening of Dec. 23.
  6.  Creations such as Nativity scenes, robed kings, musicians, are all carved out of the giant radishes grown locally.
  7. In Quebec City the 403-year-old capital of Quebec province revels in the outdoors at Christmastime.
  8. In Rome the larger-than-life nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is under wraps until Dec. 24 … will be unveiled just in time for the Pope’s midnight Mass.
  9. La Befana, is an Italian santa  said to fly around on a broomstick at Epiphany, dropping down chimneys to leave candy or lumps of coal.
  10. In Taos, N.M. celebrations blend Catholic and Native American traditions.

•  Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

 

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

 

Discussion/Writing Tasks 

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can choose to write an essay on one of the discussion topics.

  1. Describe how Christmas is celebrated in your country.
  2. Which celebration described in this article is your favorite? Explain why.
  3. List the similarities and differences  between the six celebrations.

 

Group Project:

Directions: Have students go to this site Santa’s Net  which has a large collection of traditions  from different countries.  Have each group choose a country that celebrates Christmas differently from the ones mentioned here, and describe that  country’s celebration.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip:  First Lady Previews the 2012 White House Holiday Decorations

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes military families, including Gold Star and Blue Star parents, spouses and children, to the White House for the first viewing of the 2012 holiday decorations.

While Listening Tasks

Sentence  Fill-ins

Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences taken from the video. They are to choose the words from the choices provided.

1. As First Lady, I think you all know that I have had the ___of traveling all across this country.

a. privilege

b. joy

c. honor

2. It’s a___ house.  I like it.

a. cold

b. cool

c. cozy

3. Our___ families truly represent the very best that this country has to offer.

a. merry

b. militia

c. military

4. You are just ___ focused parents.

a. phenomenal

b. phenomena

c. phenomenon

5. And then, there are our military kids.  You guys look ___today, and handsome and very clean.

a. gifted

b. glamorous

c. gorgeous

6. And we’re going to try to change that, because we’re going to have sugar and ___and stuff like that.

a. goo

b. glue

c. glute

7. And so many of you step up and handle your ___while mom or dad is away.  Right?  You do what you can do.

a. business

b. jobs

c. duties

8. And I just want you all to ___– all of you — just how proud we are.

a. understand

b. no

c. know

9. And that’s really why we wanted to___all of you here today — to say thank you.

a. include

b. invite

c. welcome

10. And we are also___ our military families with some very special decorations on the official White House Christmas tree that’s in the Blue Room.

a. honoring

b. welcoming

c. hosting

Post-Listening Tasks

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

  1. After listening to this video what do you think of Mrs. Obama plan to invite the children of military parents for fun activities at the White House?
  2. What is your personal opinion of Michelle Obama? Would you like to meet her?
  3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the  First Lady or her staff members. Share them with the class.

ANSWER KEY: Christmas Traditions

 

World’s First Maya-Language Telenovela!

“Baktun” is the name of the first Mayan Soap Opera (Telenovela) ever created for the Maya language. It has all of the usual patterns of soaps: greed, betrayal, revenge, and unrequited love.  What is interesting is that they’ve incorporated historical Mayan beliefs and culture into the contemporary format.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Advert for

Advert for “Baktun”First Mayan Telenovela. Photo- Latina News.

Excerpt: A Culture Clings to Its Reflection…By Randal C. Archibold, The New York Times

“It might be the cleanest Mexican soap opera around. The passionate love scenes that are a staple of the genre were reduced, bowing to conservative local sensibilities, to a few pecks on the cheek and hand-holding as innocent as junior high schoolers on a first date.

It was not the only accommodation made by producers of what is considered the first “telenovela,” as soap operas are known here, entirely in an indigenous language, Maya, and with a story line rooted in the community.

Actress from “Baktún” Photo- Huffington Post.

Actress from “Baktún” Photo- Huffington Post.

For starters, María, the love interest, cannot bring herself to say “I am falling in love with you” when her beau-to-be, Jacinto, finally gets his act together. Because while phrases of desire like “I love you” are roughly translatable into Maya, it is trickier to express being “in love” in the language.Mayan actor Hilario Chi Canul. Photo- You Tube

“It’s more like ‘the heart of my heart is happy,’ ” said Hilario Chi Canul, a professor of Mayan language and culture. He also helped write the script and also plays the leading man in the telenovela, called “Baktun,” which makes its debut this month on Quintana Roo State public television.

Residents of the town of Tihosuco, Mexico, for a screening of the new Mayan language soap opera, or telenovela, called “Baktun.” Ginnette Riquelme for The New York Times.

Residents of the town of Tihosuco, Mexico, for a screening of the new Mayan language soap opera, or telenovela, called “Baktun.” Ginnette Riquelme for The New York Times.

But “Baktun” is as much a cultural journey as one of the heart, using a contemporary story line that blends Mayan ceremonies and beliefs with the tale of a young man who emigrates to New York City to work, distances himself from family and community — even becoming rusty in his language — and eventually returns and learns the value of preserving the community and not forgetting his roots. Or his childhood sweetheart, who has taken an interest in his brother.

Mayan ritual. Photo- Mirror News

Mayan ritual. Photo- Mirror News

Baktun (pronounced bak-TOON) refers to a megacycle of the Mayan Long Count calendar and was deliberately chosen as the title in light of the attention it received last December, when widespread misinterpretations fanned on the Internet led people to claim that the end of the world was nigh. In reality, one cycle ended and another began. In the telenovela’s case, the cycle is a metaphor for life’s ever-changing chapters.

At an ancient site in Guatemala, a group of Mayans held a sacred ritual to welcome December 21st, the end of their calendar cycle. Photo- China.org

At an ancient site in Guatemala, a group of Mayans held a sacred ritual to welcome December 21st, the end of their calendar cycle. Photo- China.org

Telenovelas are popular in the Mayan communities, too, but they are not presented in their language or their reality. Most members of the cast are residents of the town with little or no acting experience, smitten a bit with the star turn.  Entertainment offerings in Maya are sparse. There are occasional documentaries and Hollywood movies dubbed in Maya. A full-length telenovela, or any television drama for that matter, set in the Mayan world in Maya is unique, experts on Mexican soap operas said.

Still, Mr. Cárcamo and Mr. Chi Canul had to win the support of community elders, who were skeptical of outsiders but eventually were convinced by the idea of a Mayan story told by Mayans. But working in Maya and in a community where public displays of affection are frowned on presented stiff challenges as well; many staples taken for granted in telenovelas, like passionate love scenes, would offend the community.

One translation stumped them, so they simply avoided it. “New York” is referred to as “the far, faraway town.” What, is a York?”  Read more… 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Predictions

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Place students in groups and  have them read the title of the post, and of the actual article.  Then, have students  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. Have students use this Vocabulary Word Chart by Against The Odds.

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Sentences

  1. The passionate love scenes that are a staple of the genre were reduced.
  2. It was not the only accommodation made by the producers.
  3. Soap operas are known here, entirely in an indigenous language.
  4. It has standard ingredients of the form: greed, betrayal, and family squabbles.
  5. It uses a contemporary story line that blends Mayan ceremonies and beliefs.
  6. It is the tale a young man who emigrates to New York City to work.
  7. In the telenovela’s case, the cycle is a metaphor for life’s ever-changing chapters.
  8. Telenovelas are popular in the Mayan communities.
  9. Most members of the cast are residents of the town.
  10.  Mr. Cárcamo and Mr. Chi Canul had to win the support of community elders, who were skeptical of outsiders.

Word -Recognition

Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. Have them skim the article to check their responses.

  1. It  mighty/might be the cleanest Mexican soap opera around.
  2. The passionate/passion love scenes were reduced.
  3. In the telenovela’s case, the cycle/circle  is a metaphor for life.
  4. Most members of the cast are residents/resident of the town.
  5. On a recent evening, Mr. Cárcamo show/showed some episodes of the drama.
  6. It’s better to speak/spoke English.

 

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. This is the first telenovela entirely in an indigenous language.
  2. The passionate love scenes were portrayed by foreigners.
  3. Phrases such as “in love” were difficult to express.
  4. The story is about a young man who emigrates to New York City to work.
  5. The Maya people will make a lot of money from the telenovela.
  6. The movie that will be shown at film festivals, was shot in New York.
  7. Most members of the cast are residents of New York.
  8. It was estimated that 80 percent of the village speaks Maya as a first language.
  9. Mr. Cárcamo, wrote the script in Spanish and then adapted it with Mr. Chi Canul into Maya.
  10. The translation that stumped the actors was the word “New York”.

Grammar Focus

Identifying Parts of Speech

Directions: Students are to identify the noun words in the following paragraphs. Then they are to use these terms to create their own paragraphs about the Mayan telenovela. After have each group share their stories with the class.

“We wanted to show you could still be proudly Mayan even in this modern world with mass media and digital communication,” said Bruno Cárcamo, the veteran film and television producer who made the show and previously oversaw a documentary on fading indigenous languages in Mexico. “Telenovelas are popular in the Mayan communities, too, but they are not presented in their language or their reality.
The series, in 21 episodes and also packaged as a movie that will be shown at film festivals, was shot in this remote, historic village in Quintana Roo State, 140 miles southwest of Cancún and famed for a church left damaged from a 19th-century Mayan uprising.”

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the discussion topics.

  1. In the article professor Adrien J. Charlois states  “It’s very important that indigenous people are able to tell stories of their reality, not only in documentaries but in fictional formats.” Explain what he means in your own words.
  2. In your opinion, do you think the Mayan community will change in light of this new publicity? Provide reasons for your answers.
  3. Explain how using the Maya language for a soap opera might help the preserve the language.
  4. In the last part of the article it states, “One translation stumped them, so they simply avoided it. “New York” is referred to as “the far, faraway town.” What, is a York?”  New York City is famous, so why didn’t the Mayan actors recognize the name?
  5. What other indigenous languages can you think of that might be used for telenovelas?

1-Minute Free Writing

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

IV. Listening Activity

Trailer: ‘Baktún’ You Tube

Note To Teachers: Because this trailer uses the Maya language with Spanish subtitles, the activity will not have a regular listening component.The students can answer the following questions based on what they see.

  1. What did you like or dislike about the trailer?
  2. After watching the trailer with your group members outline the story plot of the movie.
  3. What Genre is this movie? (Drama, Suspense, Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Love story).
  4. What rating would you give this film based on the trailer? (PG, PG-13, R)
  5. Based on the trailer would you go to see this movie? Would you recommend this movie to your friends?  Provide  reasons for your answers.

 Post-Listening Questions

With your group members make a list of questions that you would ask anyone connected to this film.

ANSWER KEY: Mayan Soap opera

Is Sibling Bullying As Damaging As Peer Bullying?

The issue of bullying  in schools and more recently in cyber space, have caused officials, parents, and concerned parties to take strong measures to help stop the relentless harassment  many students endure. One form of bullying rarely discussed is the type that occurs  among siblings, which many parents think is just a “normal rite of passage”. However, recent studies show that sibling bullying can have traumatic effects that last well into adulthood.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Bullying Siblings. Photo- The Winding Ascent.

Bullying Siblings. Photo- The Winding Ascent.

Excerpt: When the Bully Is a Sibling  By Anahad  O’Connor, The New York Times

“Siblings have been bickering and trading blows since the time of Cain and Abel. But the torment and fighting that is often shrugged off as normal sibling rivalry may not always be so benign.

Giuseppe Vermiglio, Cain and Abel, early 17th century.

Giuseppe Vermiglio, Cain and Abel, early 17th century.

New research suggests that even when there are no physical scars, aggression between siblings can inflict psychological wounds as damaging as the anguish caused by bullies at school or on the playground. The findings offer an unusual look at an area of family life that has rarely been studied, in part because infighting among brothers and sisters is widely considered a harmless rite of passage.

5 tips to manage sibling rivalry. Photo- Focus forward.

5 tips to manage sibling rivalry. Photo- Focus forward.

 The new study, which involved thousands of children and adolescents around the country, found that those who were attacked, threatened or intimidated by a sibling had increased levels of depression, anger and anxiety.

Corinna Jenkins Tucker, the lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, said that behaviors among siblings that cross the line into abuse deserve more recognition…There appears to be different norms of acceptability. Peer aggression is unacceptable, but it’s not the same for siblings.

Verbal Abuse can damage. Photo- Mothering.

Verbal Abuse can damage. Photo- Mothering.

Dr. Tucker said that the growing number of programs and public service announcements aimed at stopping bullying and violence in schools and other settings should include a focus on sibling relationships as well.

Sibling Abuse Trauma By John V. Caffaro. Amazon

Sibling Abuse Trauma By John V. Caffaro. Amazon

 John V. Caffaro, a clinical psychologist and the author of “Sibling Abuse Trauma” [stated] Parents who fail to intervene, play favorites or give their children labels that sow divisions — like “the smart one” and “the athlete” — can inadvertently encourage conflict.

Nationwide, sibling violence is by far the most common form of family violence, occurring four to five times as frequently as spousal or parental child abuse, Dr. Caffaro said…Our society tends to minimize child-on-child violence in general. We have these ideas that if you’re hurt by a child it’s less injurious than if you’re hurt by an adult, but the data don’t support that.

But the new research, conducted through interviews with children and their parents, measured the impact of a broad range of violence. It looked at physical assaults with and without weapons and the destruction or stealing of property, as well as threats, name-calling and other forms of psychological intimidation.

Catherine Bradshaw, an expert on bullying and the deputy director of the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence at Johns Hopkins University, said the study was impressive in its scope and scale, and noted that it showed that all types of sibling aggression, from mild to severe, were associated with worse mental health. “ Read more… 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic of sibling bullying  through discussions and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about “ sibling bullying”.  Have them list information that they would like to learn about bullying. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic. Have students use this new K-W-L chart from ReadWriteThink.

New K-W-L Chart from Read Write Think

II. While Reading Activities

Synonyms

Directions: have students choose the synonyms (the words closest in meaning) for the words in bold. Students can use the Vocabulary Word Cluster Chart by Freeology as a guide.

Vocabulary word chart by Freeology

Sentences

1. Siblings have been bickering and trading blows since the time of Cain and Abel.

a. argue

b. joke

c. sing

2. But the torment and fighting may not always be so benign.

a. dangerous

b. kind

c. angry

3. New research suggests that even when there are no physical scars, aggression between siblings can inflict psychological wounds.

a. calm behavior

b. violent behavior

c. nervous behavior

4. New research suggests that  aggression between siblings can inflict psychological wounds as damaging as the anguish caused by bullies at school.

a. happiness

b. sadness

c. suffering

5. The new study, which involved thousands of children  found that those who were intimidated by a sibling had increased levels of depression, anger and anxiety.

a-helped

b. frightened

c. encouraged

6. Behaviors that cross the line into abuse deserve more recognition.

a. acknowledgment

b.  disbelief

c. encouragement

7. There appears to be different norms of acceptability.

a. unusual

b. extraordinary

c. usual

8. Peer aggression is unacceptable.

a-unequal

b. equal

c. older

9. There are a growing number of programs and public services aimed at stopping bullying.

a. torment

b. befriend

c. help

10. The effects of sibling abuse often continue into adulthood.

a. cousin

b. sister or brother

c. aunt

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video.  As students listen to the video if  a statement is true they mark it T.  If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Siblings have been bickering and trading blows since the time of Cain and Abel.
  2. New research suggests that as long as there are no there are no physical scars,  aggression between siblings is nothing to worry about.
  3. Infighting among brothers and sisters is widely considered a harmless rite of passage.
  4. The new study  involved thousands of  adults around the country.
  5. Siblings who have famous parents almost never fight.
  6. Peer aggression is unacceptable,  and it is the same for siblings.
  7. Nationwide, sibling violence is by far the most common form of family violence.
  8. For the new research, interviews  were conducted with children and their classmates.
  9. The effects of sibling abuse often  stop in adulthood.
  10. Boys have a tendency to fight more than girls.

Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures

Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

For a review of visit ESL Voices Grammar: Adjectives

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

KWL Chart

Directions:  Have students  fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the discussion topics.

Review ESL Voices Modes of Essay Writing.

  1. If you have a sibling, were you bullied by your sibling? If yes, describe the circumstances. If no, explain the type of relationship you and your sibling had.
  2. Did you bully your younger brother or sister when you were young? Explain why you did or did not.
  3. If you are an only child, did you miss having a sibling when you were young?
  4. Provide reasons for your answers.
  5. With your group members make a list of reasons why siblings might bully one another.
  6. Make a list of solutions that might stop siblings from bullying each other.
  7. The article states, “New research suggests that even when there are no physical scars, aggression between siblings can inflict psychological wounds as damaging as the anguish caused by bullies at school or on the playground.”   How would you put this statement into your own words?

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip:  Sibling Bullying as Damaging as Peer Bullying: Report ABC Good Morning America.

Introduction: Dr. Richard Besser discusses the dangers of bullying by a brother or sister on ABC news.

 While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video.  As students listen to the video if  a statement is true they mark it T.  If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Dr. Richard Besser is a psychiatrist..
  2. The study’s goal was to find out if the same effects occurred from sibling bullying as from peer bullying.
  3. Dr. Besser stated that he rarely asked parents about bullying in the  schools.
  4. Dr. Besser stated that children who bully their siblings are  usually the youngest.
  5. The research showed that bullying by siblings can be  more  damaging than peer bullying.
  6. Dr. Besser’s advice was for parents to have zero tolerance for bullying.
  7. He also stated that parents should not model violent behavior in the home.
  8. When parents see positive interaction between siblings they should separate them,
  9. When parents observe bullying between siblings they should should separate them.
  10. According to Dr. Besser he picked on his  brothers when they were young.
  11. He was the youngest brother of four siblings.
  12.  His Brothers are also doctors.

 Link for video here

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of sibling bullying changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion.

2. Did  you agree with everything the speaker said?  Discuss which comments  you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with.  Explain why.

3. Do you feel different towards your sibling (if you used to fight, or were you always nice with your brothers or sisters) now?

4. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the Dr. Richard Besser.

ANSWER KEY:  Sibling Bullying

Increased Diversity + Various Languages = Less English?

Since the passage of immigration reform legislation in 1965, the  influx of  people from other countries into the United States has steadily increased.  Many large communities have settled in New York City. Although the article discusses the various foods, cultures, locations, and the wonderful diversity these communities bring, some Americans (see comments) are concerned that immigrants who are  unwilling to learn English or assimilate into the American culture, will  create problems for Americans in the long run. Other Americans disagree and have experiences to substantiate their arguments.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Immigrants and working families attend a march to demand legalization in 2011. (Gabriel Bouys:AFP) Washington Post.

Immigrants and working families attend a march to demand legalization in 2011. (Gabriel Bouys:AFP) Washington Post.

Excerpt: Take the A Train to Little Guyana By Kirk Semple, The New York Times

“On an old building at 12 St. Marks Place, hovering above the sushi counters and tattoo parlors, is an inscription chiseled in the stone facade: Deutsch-Amerikanische Schützen Gesellschaft. It marks the location of the German-American Shooting Society clubhouse, long defunct… Little Germany is long gone — and other European enclaves that once defined immigrant life in New York City have also faded or disappeared altogether. But in their place, a welter of immigrant neighborhoods have formed, populated by newcomers from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. As with earlier waves of immigrants, many of the newcomers fled economic hardship, armed conflict and other adversity, and have settled near their compatriots for convenience and mutual support, organically forming communities within the ethnic mosaic of the city. Because the foods and goods of home are such a central part of these communities, we have included places to find typical fare in each neighborhood, as well as retail spots that cater to the immigrant population…

Arab-American organization in Brooklyn, NY

Arab-American organization in Brooklyn, NY

Arabs
It is an amazing sight, and a dramatic manifestation of the emergence of a thriving pan-Arab enclave in northern Bay Ridge. Bay Ridge’s population was the latest in a series of Arab enclaves that began with a settlement of mostly Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians in Lower Manhattan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A Bengali celebration in Kensington, Brooklyn. James Estrin: The New York Times.

A Bengali celebration in Kensington, Brooklyn. James Estrin: The New York Times.

Bangladeshi
More than 74,000 Bangladeshi immigrants live in New York City, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau, a 20 percent increase since 2009, making them the 11th-largest foreign-born population in the city. “I feel like I’m living in my own country,” said Mr. Lovlu, executive editor of Thikana, one of several Bengali newspapers published in the city. “You don’t have to learn English to live here. That’s a great thing!”

NYC Chinatown celebrates Chinese New Year. Photo- Zimbio.

NYC Chinatown celebrates Chinese New Year. Photo- Zimbio.

Chinese
For generations, New York City knew one Chinatown and only one Chinatown: the world-famous neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. But today, if you ask an alert cabdriver to take you to Chinatown, he might respond, “Which one?” There are now more than 350,000 foreign-born Chinese spread across the five boroughs, coalescing into several Chinatowns and making them the city’s largest immigrant population after Dominicans, according to the latest American Community Survey, a continuing study by the Census Bureau.

Sandra Vallejo of Ecuador at home in Queens with six of her seven children. Andrea Mohin:The New York Times.

Sandra Vallejo of Ecuador at home in Queens with six of her seven children. Andrea Mohin:The New York Times.

Ecuadoreans
There are now more than 137,000 Ecuadorean immigrants in the city, making them the sixth-largest immigrant population. In several census tracts straddling Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, at least a quarter of the population is of Ecuadorean descent, according to Census Bureau statistics.

Women lined up to present gifts to Mr. Acheampong-Tieku, the Ashanti chief of New York during the ceremony in the Bronx last month. Photo- Dave Sanders for The New York Times.

Ghanaian women lined up to present gifts to Mr. Acheampong-Tieku, the Ashanti chief of New York during the ceremony in the Bronx last month. Photo- Dave Sanders for The New York Times.

Ghanaians
The primacy of fufu in the Ghanaian diet is evident in the stock at Anokyekrom African and Caribbean Market (1152 Sheridan Avenue; 718-618-0717) in the Concourse Village section of the Bronx…The number of immigrants from Africa living in New York has soared over the past few decades. There are now more than 27,000 Ghanaians, the largest African immigrant group in the city, with most spread across several Bronx neighborhoods, and in pockets in Queens and Brooklyn…

Koreans At Unidentified Flying Chickens in Jackson Heights. Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times.

Koreans At Unidentified Flying Chickens in Jackson Heights. Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times.

Koreans
Korean immigrants in the greater Flushing area first gained a foothold along Union Street. As their diaspora grew in numbers and wealth, the population spread east along the line of Northern Boulevard, the area’s main commercial corridor, into Bayside, Little Neck and then into Nassau County.

A Sri Lankan New Year's celebration on Staten Island. James Estrin:The New York Times

A Sri Lankan New Year’s celebration on Staten Island. James Estrin:The New York Times

Sri Lankans
Sri Lankans, many fleeing the civil war in their country, began settling in Staten Island several decades ago; by some estimates, more than 5,000 people of Sri Lankan descent live in the borough. They are scattered throughout the island, though the commercial focus of the population is a short stretch of Victory Boulevard where it intersects with Cebra Street.” 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, writing, and a  debate.

I. Pre-Reading

 Predictions

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to read the title of the post and of  the article.  Then, have them  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.

II. While Reading

Vocabulary

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. Students  will find this vocabulary chart by Learnnc.org useful as a guide.

 Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Sentences:

  1. An old building at 12 St. Marks Place, hovering above the sushi counters.
  2. There is an inscription chiseled in the stone facade.
  3. In their place, a welter of immigrant neighborhoods have formed.
  4. As with earlier waves of immigrants, many of the newcomers fled economic hardship, armed conflict and other adversity.
  5. Friday Prayer at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge is so popular that the mosque often fills to capacity.
  6. It is an amazing sight, and a dramatic manifestation of the emergence of a thriving pan-Arab enclave in northern Bay Ridge.
  7. More than 74,000 Bangladeshi immigrants live in New York City, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau.
  8. There are now more than 350,000 foreign-born Chinese spread across the five boroughs, coalescing into several Chinatowns.
  9. The number of immigrants from Africa living in New York has soared over the past few decades.
  10. Guyanese of East Asian descent are concentrated in large numbers in Richmond Hill and neighboring Ozone Park.

Reading Comprehension

True / False/ NA

Directions:  The following statements were taken from the article.  If  a statement is true, students write (T) if the information is not available, students write (NA). If  a statement is false they  write (F) and  provide the correct answer from the article.

  1. According to the article, the German immigrant community dominated the East Village and the Lower East Side for much of the 17th century.
  2. Today, the immigrant population consists mainly of newcomers from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.
  3. This shift was triggered by the passage of immigration reform legislation in 1965, which opened the door to greater numbers of non-Europeans.
  4. Many of the city’s immigrants will continue to live in New York City.
  5. For generations, New York City knew only one Chinatown the world-famous neighborhood in Staten Island.
  6. According to the article, Chinese are the largest immigrant population after Dominicans.
  7. There are now more than 100,000 Ghanaians, the largest African immigrant group in  New York City.
  8. According to the latest American Community Survey figures, there are about 140,000 Guyanese immigrants living in New York City.
  9. Many Korean-owned businesses can be found in New York City and Korea.
  10. Koreatown of Manhattan,  is located on 32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I.

  1. Since 1970, the number of foreign-born New Yorkers has more than doubled.
  2. About 32 percent of the city’s immigrant today came from Latin America.
  3. As with earlier waves of immigrants, many of the newcomers fled economic hardship.

II.

  1. Mexicans may be the most subtle immigrants group in New York City.
  2. The reasons for this are complex and varied.
  3. There are now more than 186,000 Mexican immigrants in the city.

III.

  1. Food bloggers are among the city’s most adventurous explorer.
  2. Sri Lankans  began settling in Staten Island.
  3. They are scattered throughout the island.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the discussion topics.

  1.  From the article, “I feel like I’m living in my own country,” said Mr. Lovlu, executive editor of Thikana, one of several Bengali newspapers published in the city.“ You don’t have to learn English to live here. That’s a great thing!”  Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Provide reasons to support your answers.
  2. Many Americans feel that if immigrant communities do not make an effort to learn English, they are disrespecting American culture. Would you agree or disagree with this sentiment ? Provide reasons for your answers.
  3. It has been pointed out that there are Americans who live in other countries and often don’t speak the language of that country. What are your thoughts about this?
  4. Many American educators feel that it is necessary for new comers to the U.S. to learn English for survival purposes (e.g., being able to communicate  during emergencies such as hospital visits, asking for help from police or fire agents, etc.) Do you support or refute this idea?

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip: Ellis Island

Introduction: “The immigration point for millions of Americans now provides electronic access to all their records – a wealth of genealogical information.”

While Listening Tasks
True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
Between 1992 and 1954 approximately 12 million immigrants came through Ellis Island.

  1. Ellis Island is located in San Francisco.
  2. Ellis Island was the first federally controlled immigration system.
  3. Before Ellis Island there was another control system over immigration.
  4. At one time immigrants didn’t need anything but their fare to come to the U.S.
  5. Many Americans sent money to their relatives in other countries.
  6. In 1921 controls were put into place due to the large influx of immigrants arriving in the U.S.
  7. The controls were used to detect rich immigrants.
  8. If immigrants were illiterate, in poor health, or did not have enough money, they were deported back to their countries.
  9. In the 62 years of Ellis Island’s operation, all but 5 percent of immigrants were eventually admitted.
  10. The make-up of immigrants hasn’t changed over the years.
  11. 50 percent of Americans can trace a relative who came through Ellis Island.
  12. At the Ellis Island museum people can look up relatives who came through Ellis Island.

Video link

Group Debate

Topic question: Should immigrants be required to learn English?

Directions: Divide students into  two teams for this debate. Both teams will use the article  as their source of information.

Team A will list five reasons for immigrants having to learn English.

Team B will list  five reasons against immigrants having to learn English.

Each team will have time to state their points of view,  and the teacher decides which team made their points.  For organization, have students use this great Pros and Cons Scale organizer  from Freeology. 

Pros and Cons Scale

Debate Issue:

Mr.Lovlu, a Bangladeshi and executive editor of Thikana, a Bengali newspapers published in the city, made the following statement:

“I feel like I’m living in my own country, you don’t have to learn English to live here. That’s a great thing!”

In the comments section from this article some  Americans were concerned  by  Mr. Lovlu’s statement and provided their reasons why.  On the other hand, some Americans defended his statement.  Have each group go through the comments and choose the ones that offer support for their side of the debate. There are over 120 comments and here are a few for students to begin working on.

Pros

“This is not a new issue… first-generation immigrants generally don’t learn English, or have difficulty doing so. But the kids always do. For example: My best friend is now pursuing a PHD. He was born here shortly after his parents immigrated from Ecuador. His parents spoke no English, and all my friend spoke was Spanish as a child… up until he started Kindergarten. With no formal English education, he picked up the language within weeks, just by being surrounded with a class full of English-speaking kids. And eventually, his parents learned the language as well (as adults, it took them longer).”-Jeremy W. -Brooklyn

“…Some of the most passionate and patriotic citizens I have come across are immigrants who truly appreciate the value of what this nation affords them. Where you see threatening communities I see an influx of ideas and imagination that is going to help this country remain as a beacon for enterprise…By the way, what exactly do you think these business owners taxes are paying for?”-Shawn-New York

“My husband is an immigrant and now speaks good English, which he uses at work and and with the friend he has made here. From time to time however, especially if he is having a bad day, it’s a real boon for him to be able to speak in one of his other two languages. It makes him feel less homesick and also like he is able to express his inner feelings, which are muted when speaking English.”-Didi-Philadelphia

 Cons:

“Which of you lauding the immigrants who refuse to assimilate want to teach a classroom of kids with 20-30 different languages where the parents refuse to learn english? And keep in mind, how these kids do on state and national tests would be part of your job evaluation.”- seeing with open eyes-usa

“Why is it OK for someone to brag about not learning English, when the social compact implicit and explicit in our immigration laws includes learning English? What does NYC spend on translation services every year?” Tina Trent-Florida

“I admire the detail and research that went into the formation of this article… But the comment by the Bengali newspaper editor greatly disturbed me about not learning English because everything in your neighborhood is conducted in the mother tongue…This great country gave you and your family another chance you would not have received in your home country. . .” -robin s.-nj

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture | Tags: ,