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HomeLanguage LearningLiterature for Transformation: Nicolás Guillén’s “Negro bembón”

Literature for Transformation: Nicolás Guillén’s “Negro bembón”

Editor’s observe: This put up is the fifth (and last) in a sequence by Dr. L.J. Randolph with reference to essential pedagogy, social justice oriented instructing, inclusivity, and anti-racism within the language classroom. Learn the remaining right here.

On this put up, I share about how I take advantage of a bit of literature that’s nearly 100 years previous to be able to body a dialogue about historic and present-day problems with race and identification. I hope this put up helps you as you think about the way you may transfer from comprehension to essential reflection in your personal courses utilizing quite a lot of sources.

The textual content is “Negro bembón” (“Thick-lipped Black Man”), revealed by Afro-Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén as a part of the gathering Motivos de son (1930).

The presentation linked under explains the development of actions that I observe to introduce the poem and have interaction college students with comprehension and reflection actions.

Though the method differs barely for every useful resource or subject, I do attempt to embody every of the next elements when introducing a textual content:

  • preparation (important questions, requirements, and can-do statements)
  • private connection
  • historic context
  • comprehension actions
  • linguistic evaluation
  • thematic evaluation
  • intertextuality
  • connections to justice actions

The textual content dialog under (shared with the permission of the scholar) presents one instance of how college students could join with the content material in surprising methods. Right here, the scholar displays on how the poem and associated actions helped her to connect with the experiences of a few of her relations, together with her Black husband and Black stepson.

Scholar: The explanation why I used to be so reluctant [to take a Spanish class] is as a result of each single Spanish instructor I’ve had prior to now simply desires you to memorize a bunch of vocabulary phrases and I really feel like they don’t actually educate however you incorporate soo [sic] many various issues it’s inconceivable for a pupil to not be taught. Additionally on my fathers aspect of the household we’ve got some Mexicans which might be married into our household and I’ve bought some blended race Mexican cousins and I confirmed them the poem from module 2 they usually liked it. They liked how respectful and inclusive your class is.

Me: That’s so great! I’m glad they appreciated the poem. I positively attempt to be intentional about together with a number of views from quite a lot of Spanish-speaking individuals … so I’m at all times appreciative when individuals discover. Thanks once more!

Scholar: Effectively I needed to get them to clarify the poem and to be sincere I felt form of dangerous as a result of we mentioned all the problems and issues they’ve confronted as a result of they’re blended with Black and Mexican and it was surprising and eye opening and I respect that form of data and awakening. And I’ll admit race wasn’t a dialog that I actually had rising up as a result of my household wasn’t racist. We simply weren’t raised like that, However I by no means knew in regards to the race points in America and particularly within the south till I met my husband. He’s Black however he’s an immigrant. He was born and raised in Jamaica so he’s very darkish skinned and the seems to be we obtain once we exit in a public [place] is simply loopy typically particularly from white individuals. After which to learn that poem was simply coronary heart breaking.

Me: I can think about! I’m glad that what we’re learning at school helped spark or proceed different conversations. Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas and reflections with me. I take pleasure in listening to in regards to the completely different connections college students make to the content material.

Scholar: No I needs to be thanking you as an alternative and it positively did open my eyes and pressure me to consider my previous experiences. And it’s nerve racking to me as a result of I’ve additionally bought my step son which my husbands son and I’ve plenty of humorous seems to be every time he calls me mother out in public. I’ve raised him since he was 3 months previous so he is aware of me as his mom however typically white individuals will stare at me every time he calls me mama and I reply to him. So after finishing module 2 it was a impolite awakening but it surely was a wanted awakening! So once more thanks very a lot and I hope you take pleasure in your night time Professor.


So, what are your ideas? Has this presentation modified or enhanced the way in which that you just incorporate literature (or different texts) as a method to promote essential language research? What different methods have been profitable in your personal courses?

L. J. Randolph Jr., Ed.D., is an Affiliate Professor of Spanish and Training and coordinator of the World Language Instructor Training Program on the College of North Carolina, Wilmington. He teaches programs in Spanish language, modern Latinx cultures, and second language instructing strategies. His analysis focuses on quite a lot of essential points in language schooling, together with the instructing of Spanish to heritage and native audio system and the incorporation of essential and justice-oriented pedagogies.

The put up Literature for Transformation: Nicolás Guillén’s “Negro bembón” appeared first on Open Up.



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