Speaking in Tongues: Integration and Immersion | Not in Our Town

Speaking in Tongues: Integration and Immersion

Grade Level: 
Middle School (6-8)
High School (9-12)

A clip from the film, Speaking in Tongues. 

From SpeakingInTonguesFilm.info: Sometimes a small idea has big implications. Consider America’s resolute commitment to remaining an “English only” nation. It turns out that our attitudes about language reflect much bigger concerns: that language is a metaphor for the barriers that come between neighbors, be they across the street or around the world. 

Our idea in making Speaking in Tongues was to showcase a world where these communication barriers are being addressed. An African-American boy from public housing learns to read, write, and speak Mandarin. A Mexican-American boy, whose parents are not literate in any language, develops professional-level Spanish while mastering English. A Chinese-American girl regains her grandparents’ mother tongue—a language her parents lost through assimilation. A Caucasian teen travels to Beijing to stay with a Mandarin speaking host family. Their stories reveal the promise of a multilingual America. Each kid’s world opens up when they start learning two languages on the first day of kindergarten; each is developing both bi-cultural and bi-lingual fluency.

Read more about the film here. 


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