Christian Faltis: The Importance of Bilingualism and Biliteracy

Well, you can see that I’m, you know, strongly an advocate for for bilingual and bi literacy, but I’m also, you know, I’m advocating those things for all of the content areas. And what we have here with our faculty is really we have all of our all but two of our faculty are bilingual. So and one faculty members, Turkish, English and other faculty members, Arabic, English, they both have sort of low intermediate level of Spanish. So they get that the rest of them are Spanish, English bilingual. So we’re we’re all on board for those kinds of things. I think what I really want to do is once we can, you know, get back into the schools we have built into the schools, I haven’t been in the schools yet is to really bring back what we’ve got in the schools into our classrooms here and have a stronger connection with what’s going on in those classrooms to our classrooms here. So that’s a that’s a little bit difficult. When I first came here, I was, you know, it was online. I’d never done online stuff before and and I didn’t care for it at all. I’m a very people oriented hands on. Do things show me I can. I can provide feedback, immediate and pull you in and question, and we can do all this stuff in groups and you can’t do that. It’s hard to do. Or at least I couldn’t do it very well because I like to work with people. So that’s, you know, I’m just excited about that in the next next three years or so that we can do this. You know, those are that’s essentially what we’re doing. And the dean here is, you know, he’s sort of he’s he’s elite that this dean is the most sophisticated. Curriculum developer that I’ve ever been around, I mean, he understands curriculum. Most deans are usually they come from higher ed or they’re from psychology or something. They don’t really understand teacher education. But this dean does and is able to, you know, really help us and lead us in ways that get us to think about all these things. And then my experience and, you know, some 30 plus years in teacher education and particularly one that questions, you know, colonialism and and, you know, dominant views of a dominant ideologies about language and culture and those kinds of things that I think there’s a good mix and we have a pretty, I would say, critical pedagogical faculty here that that questions a lot of things that are going on in schools, in the testing world, in the political world of Texas Education Association, those kinds of things. So we, we, you know, work within the system, but we also question a lot of the decisions that are made by those people to help our students because we want our students to go in and eventually become leaders in their schools and hopefully change the schools in ways that that are much more geared to the communities and families that they serve. And right now, I’m not saying that they aren’t, but I’m saying that they’re under the control of the Texas Education Association, which is somewhere else and has dominated it, dominated by dominant views of what it means to be an educated person. And so we’re we’re sort of questioning a lot of those kinds of policies and and practices and and preparing our our teachers to work with children to help them become really good critical readers, to be knowledgeable their content areas and to be people in communities who can make choices based upon facts and ideas and reading and reading deeply and not, you know, going to tick tock or or the web for views on on certain kinds of issues. So that’s it. All right.

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