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Miguelina Quinones: Dominican Roots, Global Teacher

Miguelina Quinones: Dominican Roots, Global Teacher | Language and culture | Scoop.it

It’s a long way from the tropical sunshine of the Dominican Republic to the snowy shores of Lake Michigan. Miguelina Quiñones has made not only a journey of miles but also a journey of emotional discovery to share her story of struggle and acceptance with us. Once an awkward immigrant child herself, she now works in a local school district that could be called the United Nations of the Midwest.

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Nkechy Ezeh: The Critical Importance of Early Childhood Education

Nkechy Ezeh: The Critical Importance of Early Childhood Education | Language and culture | Scoop.it

After moving to the U.S. from Nigeria, Nkechy Ezeh battled the relentless snows of her adopted Michigan and the seeming coldness of the American don't-just-drop-in culture. However, a far greater shock awaited her: learning that despite its wealth of knowledge about early childhood development, Americans weren't applying it to educate the children of our most marginalized families. Listen as an award-winning educator talks about equity in education and her brainchild, the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative.

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U.S. Fourth of July Parade

U.S. Fourth of July Parade | Language and culture | Scoop.it

Independence Day (aka the Fourth of July) is celebrated across the country in many ways. In my town of Allendale, MI (pop. 20,000+), there is a traditional parade. To summarize the experience: families lined the sidewalks with lawn chairs and picnic blankets. They wore red-white-blue clothing and even fancy hats, glasses, and buttons. 

Here are the morning's photos, along with some brief commentary.  I hope this gives a glimpse of small-town American culture for my international readers.

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Vowel #5

English Vowel #5 is hard for most ESL learners to make. Practice it here. ​Alan includes spelling patterns, exceptions, and sample sentences.

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Feel Like You Belong – Augustin Nsabimana

In this story of loss and redemption, "Auggie" Nsabimana tells of the national chaos that was 1994 Rwanda. The parting words of his big brother became the title for his book, "See You In Heaven." https://youtu.be/ZxhZ0yeG-l4

Alan Headbloom's insight:
Surviving Genocide: Rwandan Makes the Case for Aiding Refugees
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Feel Like You Belong – Deepa Iyer

Why do Americans fear foreigners? Author Deepa Iyer, herself an immigrant from India, talks about Islamophobia and racial anxiety following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

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Being a native English speaker is globally useless if you can’t speak other versions of English

Being a native English speaker is globally useless if you can’t speak other versions of English | Language and culture | Scoop.it

Language skills are often trumpeted as a cornerstone of social integration, allowing citizens to participate fully in their host communities. British prime minister David Cameron recently announced a £20 million fund ($29 million) for English language lessons to tackle radicalization in the UK, for example. Similarly, US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has called for assimilation and English-speaking...


Via Nicos Sifakis, Patrisius Djiwandono
Alan Headbloom's insight:
Gaining global competence: the new generation's workplace imperative
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Chinua Achebe quote

Chinua Achebe quote | Language and culture | Scoop.it
Chinua Achebe quote
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Feel Like You Belong – Ana Ramirez-Saenz

Ana Ramirez-Saenz talks about her childhood immigration to Michigan & her work today as an inclusion consultant.

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Word Stress (Part 1)

Word Stress (Part 1) | Language and culture | Scoop.it

English learners can't stop after learning the consonant and vowel sounds of pronunciation. Equally important is the flow of English speech. Here is an overview of the first component of those rhythms: word stress.

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Sonia Manzano: "Sesame Street" Pioneer

Sonia Manzano: "Sesame Street" Pioneer | Language and culture | Scoop.it

Growing up Puerto Rican in the South Bronx of the 1950s and 60s was tough. Poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, and being the "invisible minority" were daily occurrences. Yet Sonia Manzano found her refuge in the performing arts, and the young dancer was poised to accept the job of a lifetime when the Children's Television Workshop cast her as Maria on the now-acclaimed Sesame Street children's program. After four decades of performing on PBS, author Manzano reflects on the importance of children of color seeing themselves represented in the media--both on the stage and behind the camera.

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David Alicea: Social Justice for All of God's Children

David Alicea: Social Justice for All of God's Children | Language and culture | Scoop.it

David Alicea knows firsthand the peaks and valleys of life. Homeless on the streets of New York at age 10, he bounced between several foster families before being taken in by a young couple who gave him his stability. They eventually took him back to their native Puerto Rico, where the hardscrabble kid learned discipline and the love of the church.

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Vowel #9 – The Great American English Vowel Series continues: /ou/

Vowel #9 – The Great American English Vowel Series continues: /ou/ | Language and culture | Scoop.it

Alan teaches the pronunciation of Vowel #9 in American English: /ou/. He includes spelling patterns, exceptions, and sample sentences for practice. 

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Gail Harrison: Good Neighbors Come in Many Colors

Gail Harrison: Good Neighbors Come in Many Colors | Language and culture | Scoop.it

This week's guest can be described as a builder of bridges and breaker of barriers. With one foot planted firmly on each side of the world's longest international boundary, Gail Harrison is a dual US-Canadian citizen. And she uses that broad outlook to inform her daily work, where she is the executive director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance.

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At #119, Culturium Is Newest Addition

At #119, Culturium Is Newest Addition | Language and culture | Scoop.it

Following June's addition of 4 new names to the Periodic Table (including Nihonium), element #119 is unveiled: Culturium 

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Feel Like You Belong – Jorge Rodriguez

In this deeply touching interview, fitness expert Jorge Rodriguez talks about his own challenges with health and the surprising generosity of others.

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Feel Like You Belong – Deepa Iyer

Why do Americans fear foreigners? Author Deepa Iyer, herself an immigrant from India, talks about Islamophobia and racial anxiety following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Alan Headbloom's insight:
The author of "We Too Sing America" talks about unconscious bias and the need to interrogate ourselves.
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Feel Like You Belong – Joe Lurie

When do our cultural perceptions become deceptions? Whenever we let stereotypes and unfounded assumptions take over our thought processes.

Alan Headbloom's insight:
Joe Lurie smelled lions when he didn't.
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What's So Funny? – Charles Dickens Riddle

What did the bartender ask Charles Dickens when the author ordered a martini?
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Muffler Dream

Muffler Dream | Language and culture | Scoop.it

A woman dreams all night long that she is a muffler. Alan's joke of the week includes a clever play on words.

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David Alvarez: Tracking Colonialism

David Alvarez: Tracking Colonialism | Language and culture | Scoop.it

David Alvarez grew up on the thin slice of rock between earth, sky, and sea called Gibraltar. With a view of the dying vestiges of British colonialism in his own life, he launched on a career of researching and telling about that provocative legacy in other lands. He chats with us about S. Africa, Palestine, and Healing Children of Conflict.

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