EESL 536 Cultural Tour: Mexican American

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Multicultural Story & Cultural Tour of Mexican Americans & Spanish Speakers in the United States Based on “Black Hair” By: Gary Soto :

Multicultural Story & Cultural Tour of Mexican Americans & Spanish Speakers in the United States B ased on “ B lack H air ” B y : G ary S oto Introduced by : Hanan Balgaith Leana Stevens Comron Fallahian Marsha Billa EESL 536 CSUSB Instructor: Kathryn Howard September 5, 2016


Summary: “BLACK HAIR” BY: GARY SOTO This is a story told by a 17 year old Mexican American boy that ran away from home because of his dysfunctional home life with his mother and stepdad. He was homeless with no food or shelter until he found a job at tire factory. He felt like he did not fit in at work because the Mexicans he worked with spoke Spanish and his Spanish was not good. Some of the workers called him stupid because he didn’t know anything about tires. He tried to make sense of the people around him at work to figure out why they would stay in a job that was so hopeless. He always compared himself to the other workers that he felt were better and always evaluating what he was thinking and doing in a very negative way.

Lesson Plan:

Activities: Before Reading: The teacher may: *Activate students' background knowledge important to the content of the text by discussing what students will read and what they already know about its topic and about the text organization . Students, with some help from the teacher, may: *Establish a purpose for reading. *Identify and discuss difficult words, phrases, and concepts in the text. *Preview the text (by surveying the title, illustrations, and unusual text structures) to make predictions about its content. *Think, talk, and write about the topic of the text. During Reading: The teacher may: *Remind students to use comprehension strategies as they read and to monitor their understanding. *Ask questions that keep students on track and focus their attention on main ideas and important points in the text. After Reading: The teacher may: *Guide discussion of the reading through asking “ the discussion questions”. *Ask students to recall and tell in their own words important parts of the text. *Offer students opportunities to respond to the reading in various ways, including through writing, dramatic play, music, readers' theatre, videos, debate, or pantomime Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan:

Lesson Plan Objectives: To activate students’ background knowledge. To understand the intercultural nature of a labor work communication. To raise the awareness of different perspectives of people from different backgrounds. To identify the main ideas and supporting details. To explore the reasons and encourage critical thinking. To participate in small group literature discussions.

multimedia cultural tour (Spanish) :

multimedia cultural tour ( Spanish) 1968: Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed National Hispanic Heritage Week / 1969: Extended to one month. One out of nine Americans use Spanish as the to go to language at home Spanish was the first European language introduced to the United States In 1846 after the war between Mexico and the United States, Mexico lost half its territory for 15 million dollars. With that, the influence of Spanish in America diminished as well at that time. In order to preserve Spanish culture many libraries, museums and universities have been active in providing material. Spanish Speaking Culture in America: Overview *All stats from the US Census Bureau

multimedia cultural tour (Spanish) :

Poverty rate among Hispanics (23.6%) 2014 Hispanics without insurance (19.9%) 2014 Hispanics, 25 or older, with a BA degree or higher (14.4 %) 2014 Numbers that need improvement *All stats from the US Census Bureau multimedia cultural tour ( Spanish)

multimedia cultural tour (Spanish) :

Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964: prohibits discrimination based on foreign language (Is this law really being enforced?) With the growing number of Spanish speaking immigrants this law is needing more compliance than ever. Figures show that immigrants who speak an Asian language tend to speak better English than those who speak Spanish as their first language Problems being faced (Safety issues at factories and other work environments, substandard health care due to miscommunication, overall discrimination) multimedia cultural tour ( Spanish) The current situation for Spanish speakers Mather, Bootie Crosgrove . "Language Barriers Cause Problems."  CBSNews . CBS Interactive, 6 Aug. 2002. Web. 28 Aug. 2016.

Discussion questions:

Discussion questions 1. How does your family dynamics and interaction compare to Gary's? Are your parents more supportive? 2. Based on Gary's background, appearance, living conditions, etc., what are some stereotypes people may have had about him?


INTERCULTURAL CONCEPTS Defined as adaptation of other cultures. Becoming more homogeneous with the mainstream culture group. The narrator in the multicultural story is more comfortable interacting with people from other cultural groups as compared with Mexicans. He identifies himself more with people from other cultures such as the blacks. He considers himself as speaking better English as compared with his fellow Mexicans a sign of language assimilation. This is in line with the assertion that most people in US speak Spanish (“Multicultural story: Spanish language in America”). Assimilation


The narrator describes himself as “… a pocho who spoke bad Spanish” (Soto, 1985 , p. 3). Despite being a Mexican, he was poor in his native language as compared with English. The narrator gives accounts of how people from other cultures such as the Van Deusens had settled in America a sign of cultural integration. INTERCULTURAL CONCEPTS Assimilation


Having a generalized ideology or image of a given group of people. In the multicultural story, Mexicans are depicted as poor people. This is depicted in a number of ways including but not limited to the kind of work they engage in and their living conditions. This is in line with the fact that poverty rate among H ispanics stood at 23.6 percent as of 2014 (“Multicultural story: Spanish language in America”). INTERCULTURAL CONCEPTS stereotyping


It is also illustrated in the act of the Mexican woman who insisted that the narrator take bus fare even though there was no bus ferrying his route home (Soto, 1985 ). The narrator in the story describes the standard life of a Mexican; marry a poor fellow Mexican, “…work Mexican hours, and in the end die a Mexican death, broke and in despair” (Soto, 1985 , p. 5). He also gives a picture of how a typical Mexican home looks like when he describes how Rafael returned home to a house full of kids with mismatched clothes (Soto, 1985 ). INTERCULTURAL CONCEPTS stereotyping


resources Dorn, G. M. ( n.d. ).  SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE AN OVERVIEW  [Scholarly project]. In  Ibero-Amerikanisches   Institut . Retrieved August 28, 2016, from "Learning Goals and Objectives."  Learning Goals and Objectives . N.p ., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2016. <>. Mather, Bootie  Crosgrove . "Language Barriers Cause Problems."  CBSNews . CBS Interactive, 6 Aug. 2002. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. Sorrells , K., & Sekimoto, S. (Eds.). (2016). Globalizing intercultural communication: A Reader. Sage Publications. Soto, G. (1985).  Black hair.  Pittsburgh, PA:  University of Pittsburgh Press. Texas Education Agency. "Strategies That Promote Comprehension."  Reading Rockets . N.p ., n.d. Web. < -promote-comprehension. "THE ROSETO STORY."  INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION  ( n.d. ): n. pag . Centre for English Language Communication National University of Singapore. Web. < Vineyard Worker Harassed By Patrons | What Would You Do? | WWYD. (2015, June 20). Retrieved September 03, 2016, from

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