"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chucho and Jacinto

When I was thinking of language brokering, the first thing that comes to my mind is that Adam Sandler movie from a few years back "Spanglish". There is one scene in particular that really stands out to me (that I looked for on YouTube to post and of course couldn't find), the housekeeper is frustrated with Adam Sandler's character and wants to have a conversation with him but she doesn't speak English - so she has her daughter translate for her. The mother is completely reliant on her daughter to communicate - the language broker.

When I googled Language Broker, many of the results that came up were articles and studies on children and adolescents as the language brokers in their families, mostly families with immigrant parents. This makes sense to me, and I know that it's not completely uncommon to have parents without the necessary communication skills. When I was growing up I went to school with someone who had deaf parents. Because of this, he and his sister did a lot of the communication for their parents since they both knew sign language.

What I found frustrating in our reading though, was that the two brothers were acting as language brokers to Spanish speaking citizens of a Spanish speaking country. It reminded me little bit of what you hear about Americans sometimes that "we all expect everyone to speak English and be able to communicate with us". I know in the case study, that the English speaking component of life in Ramona is political and economically based, however, it was frustrating for me when I was reading it that it was so hard for these farmers to find the books that they needed to do their job in Spanish. It would drive me crazy to have to rely on someone else to get information about my job that I should have no problem obtaining. This article makes me curious about other homeland language barriers that countries have, might have to do some more research on that!

1 comment:

  1. Lauren, your empathetic response to the article seems right to me. To put a Freirean spin on this, these "slights" are opportunities for generative themes. To 'read' the (colonized) world, to ask why these language structures are in place, to understand their geneologies, to discover who wins and who loses, to find ways to resist and subvert. Mazok chooses to shine on a light on actions of agency on the part of Chucho and Jacinto, but she might as easily dwelled on the oppressive side of the story!


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