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For information on Hispanic culture
The curriculum modification projects created by PRCP
The following links will take you to a variety of useful sites.
The Professional Development resource materials
The ELL Resource Center at UNK has a long list of ELL-related materials available for checkout by participating schools. Click on the appropriate link below to browse the Center's inventory! To borrow an item, please contact Glenn Tracy at 308.865.8821 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spanish Language for Educators
Interested in Spanish pronunciation rules and a comparison of English and Spanish phonetics? It might help you understand difficuties Spanish-speakers are having with phonics in your literacy program. Download the PDF file below. You must have Adobe Reader installed on your machine to
The SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model
For information on Hispanic culture, go here. For information on the Sudanese culture, go here.
Christmas Traditions in Mexico
The celebration of Christmas in Mexico begins with las Posadas (posada is the Spanish word for inn) on December 16. For nine consecutive nights throughout Mexico children reenact the Holy Family's quest for lodging in Bethlehem. Children play the roles of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, angels, the Santos Reyes or Wise Men, and pastores and pastoras (shepherds and shepherdesses) and proceed from house to house requesting shelter for the night. They are refused shelter until the third house, traditionally, where they are invited to enter. Piñatas are almost always a part of the celebration that follows.
Another Mexican Christmas custom is the Pastorela or Shepherds' Play, a theatrical presentation performed by either amateur or professional groups and dating back to Mexico's colonial period. They were originally a way of teaching Catholic doctrine to the indigenous peoples through the dramatization of Biblical stories. The story of the Christmas Pastorela is the shepherds' adoration of the Christ Child. The plays are usually light and humorous and ends happily after a series of misadventures for the shepherds.
In the U.S. the principal decoration for Christmas is often the Christmas tree; in Mexico it is the Nacimiento (the Spanish word for birth) or Nativity scene. Nacimientos can be quite large, often taking up most of a room. They include not only Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child, and the other figures common in the U.S. and Europe, but also other dwellings, characters, animals, and natural features sufficient to create an entire village. The Christ Child is not placed in the manger until Christmas Eve.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your studens each year from September 15 to October 15! Why has this time period been set aside to honor the contributions of Hispanic American? Because these dates include these two important holidays:
The information below is a summary of a presentation by N.C. Bol, a young man from the Sudan, at the Omaha Public Schools' Fall ESL Conference on November 7, 2003.
Sudan is the largest country in Africa and is bordered by Egypt, Libiya, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Republic of Congo, and other countries. Throughout its history Sudan has been divided by ethnic, cultural, and religious differences into two separate zones: the Arab-Muslim north and the Christian-African south. The tensions between the two zones have resulted in decades of civil war and the attempted forced Arabization and Islamization of the southern part of the country. The civil war has resulted in the deaths of nearly three million people and has displaced over six million. English is the common language of the two groups, but Arabic is spoken in the north and tribal languages such as Nuer, Dinka, Zande, and Shuluk are spoken in the south. The Nuer and the Dinka are the two largest ethnic groups in the south.
In Sudan 85 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and only one in three children are able to attend school. In the conflict zones the literacy rate is only 15 percent.
Sudanese society is very hierarchical, with defined roles for each gender and also for age groups. Men are the dominant figures and the heads of households, and are responsible for all family activities and obligations outside of the home. Men must protect the family against danger. Boys begin to assume male responsibilities at about age 14 or 15, and at this same age they begin to expect the privileges given to adult men. Women are subordinate to men, but women are responsible for what takes place inside the home, including the care and feeding of children.
Marriage in the Sudan can be either arranged or chosen, and the payment of dowries can take place in both situations. The dowry is considered a compensation to the bride's parents for the loss of her services in the household. The dowry is a part of what makes the marriage legitimate, and it ensures that the wife will be treated with respect. Polygamy is common in the Sudan (and throughout a large part of Africa) as it assures the male of additional wealth and children along with the continuation and protection of the family and the abilty to farm larger amounts of land. The first wife must agree to all subsequent wives. Divorce is very uncommon in the Sudan. Sudanese refugees to the United States have tried to maintain some of these customs in this country, but with little success. Clearly, the legal system does not permit polygamy, which means that a man with more than one wife who wants to emigrate to the U.S. must choose one wife to accompany him and the children. Families are often separated as a result.
In the Sudan children are taught to respect adults and to treat people with dignity and courtesy. Mild physical forms of punishment such as spanking are the preferred forms of discipline. Traditionally children remain with the family until marriage, and they maintain close ties afterwards. In the United States, the Sudanese have encountered problems with child-rearing traditions because some of their practices may be perceived as abusive. When families are separated by hardship and immigration, traditional patterns of behavior are disrupted and children may begin to behave disrespectfully toward adults. As with other immigrant groups, children learn new customs and language more quickly, thus gaining power over their parents, which creates severe generational conflicts. Courtship patterns are also disturbed -- in the Sudan a young man only courts a girl he plans to marry, and no others. Divorce is extremely common among Sudanese refugees to the United States, which means that there are very many single-parent families. Domestic violence is common in some Sudanese communities because traditional family roles cannot be maintained in this country.
One extremely important component of Sudanese society and culture is absent among the refugess who have come to the United States: the elders of the Sudanese community. The elders traditionally maintained order in their villages and intervened in disputes, and they had absolute power to solve family problems. However, few older Sudanese emigrated to this country, and the role of mediator and repository of traditional wisdom has gone unfilled, hastening the breakdown of the family and other social ills in the face of the challenges of starting life in a new country
Mr. Bol suggested that school personnel take extra steps to build relationships with Sudanese children, including making home visits, as a way to create stability in their lives and prevent discipline problems.
For additional information on Sudan and the Sudanese, see the following websites:
The CIA Factbook
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