By Henry Joseph Monck Mason
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Additional resources for A grammar of the Irish language
This analysis emerged after the data collection was finished; I reviewed the video tapes after the study was complete and reflected on both my own and Sra. Soto’s interpretations. I noticed that Sra. Soto’s participation in the Centers did not usually have the effect that she intended, which was to elicit conversation. To test these impressions, I devised a coding scheme for conversation (see the Appendix for a copy of the actual coding template used). Once again, I reviewed all videotaped segments of the Centers,5 this time counting the number of utterances in Spanish and English, as well as the number of utterances that were a mix of both languages and utterances for which the language was unclear.
Soto’s criticism of this teacher provided an interesting insight into her teaching philosophies. The majority of the children were gathered around the teacher in the middle of the room as she conducted a science lesson in Spanish about flotation. She began by placing a variety of objects in a tub of water and asking the children to predict which would float and then testing these 38 Language Use in the Two-Way Classroom predictions by allowing them to float (or sink). The children participated verbally in the initial predictions and then stood around the teacher watching as she tested the predictions.
Soto’s perspectives on bilingual education and on education in general are essential to this study. My intention was to understand her curriculum design and modification as a function of her own perceptions and evaluations of the classroom, which were necessarily mediated by her personal philosophies of education. In other words, before understanding what Sra. Soto did throughout the year to make her TWI classroom work, it was necessary to understand what she was trying to accomplish and how she herself defined pedagogical strategies as ‘working’ or ‘not working’.