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Speaking in Tongues

Marcia Jarmel; Ken Schneider; Jarmel, Marcia; Schneider, Ken; Kanopy (Firm)
Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
Speaking in Tongues begins with an ordinary first day of public school kindergarten in the USA—except that the teacher speaks only Chinese. We are in a language immersion class, where, from day one, students will receive 90% of their instruction in Cantonese. Remarkably, their school will test first in English and math among their district’s 76 elementary schools. Speaking In Tongues will warm your heart and open your mind about the potential of our children to easily learn multiple languages, and what that means for the world in the future. The program is now being used by thousands of teachers, professors, librarians and administrators around the world, and is also influencing education policy reform in the U.S. Congress. This is the only documentary exploring dual-language immersion programs and their influence on students, families and global society. Jason is a first generation Mexican-American whose immigrant family embraces bilingualism as the key to full participation in the land of opportunity. Durrell is an African-American kindergartner whose mom hopes that learning Mandarin will be a way out of economic uncertainty and into possibility. Kelly is a Chinese-American recapturing the Cantonese her parents sacrificed to become American. Julian is a Caucasian 8th grader eager to expand his horizons and become a good world citizen. Using a verité story-telling approach, the film follows the four students as they enter the portal of language and open their minds to new ways of thinking and being in the world. Durrell orders his first Chinatown meal in Mandarin. Kelly learns traditional cooking from her Chinese-speaking grandma. Julian travels to China and bargains for clothes in Mandarin at a Beijing marketplace. While the kids grow in ease and skill with their second tongue, the grown-ups argue. An angry Chinese dad at a school meeting bellows, “We are in America! We need English!”. To explore these contentious debates at the national level, Speaking in Tongues turns to Ling-chi Wang, a community activist who pioneered efforts to establish multilingual education in the United States. Ling-chi laments the nation’s stubborn attachment to monolingualism, a phenomenon that masks deeper social tensions about diversity and difference. Employers need employees with multilingual skills, universities spend millions teaching foreign languages, yet the U.S. Congress routinely considers “English-only” legislation, and 31 states have already passed such laws. Essential for library collections in: Education, Dual-language, Multicultural Education, Language and Culture, Second Language Acquisition, TESL, Teaching Foreign Languages, Linguistic Anthropology, Psychology of Language Skills and Development, Sociolinguistics and International Affairs.
Director
Marcia Jarmel; Ken Schneider
Release Date
2010
Language
English
Credits
Director: Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider.
Published
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2015.
Recording Info
Originally produced by PatchWorks Productions in 2010.
Publisher no.
1053911 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (1 video file, total: 57 min) : digital, stereo., sound, color
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details
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