Wednesday, August 31, 2005

language barrier

The problem with teaching bilingual students is that they know something you don't.

Today I gave a short quiz in my writing class.
Only 5 questions long, it was meant to be a midpoint check of what they have learned and what they still need to work on.

The test failed to accomplish its goals.
It failed because no one did.

I think.

Actually, I have no idea if the test was a failure.
I have no idea if anyone cheated.

All I know is that half way through the quiz a conversation was had.
In Yup'ik.

There was a bit of giggling as well.

I cannot simply accuse them of cheating without evidence.
And I cannot even pronounce most Yup'ik words to check their meaning with the Yup'ik teacher.

Currently I am in my DEAR class. (drop everything and read)
They are talking in a foriegn tongue all around me.

What are they talking about?
Don't ask me, I am just a kassaq.

(Yup'ik for "whitey")
(it's pronounced gussik)

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