Tuesday, July 9, 2013

English Vinglish


English Vinglish poster.jpg
Worth Watching!


Last week I wrote about book recommendations for new writing teachers with an emphasis on books for teachers who have ELL students in their classrooms. I have been planning how I can be a better teacher next year; what do I need to or what should I do differently with my students to ensure their progress.
Well, it is vacation time and movies are part of that vacation fun! Like a good teacher on vacation I had visited my local library to peruse new books while eyeing the new movie selection as well. This movie title really caught my eye: ENGLISH VINGLISH!  I could not not take it home with me!

My daughter and I have for years been fans of Indian movies. There is just something special about them. Sometimes they are funny or even boisterous; other times they are touching and they make you tear up (at least me).
ENGLISH VINGLISH had all of those components! But most of all, it talked about how learning a language--being able to communicate--brings new respect and self-worth to a person's life. Learning a language empowers a person to be whatever they might want to be!


As I watched the movie, it made me think about me; how learning English has totally changed my life. I would not be where I am today if I had not persevered in learning English. I would not be part of this blogging community if I had not learned English. 
The movie also made me think about my students; am I a teacher that empowers them or one that points out their mistakes and shortcomings? How CAN I better empower my students? How can I make them fall in love with a language that can then in turn shape their lives and give them unlimited opportunities?  Could I find new ways to irrigate the souls of my students--not just correct and grade their papers? 
I have much to think and ponder this summer. Reading, re-reading, watching movies, reading blogs and learning from others. After all, when I irrigate my soul I prepare the soil that will help grow all those seedlings come September again. This coming year, there will be no drought in my classroom--or my soul!


23 comments:

  1. Love the thoughts about irrigating their souls and empowering them as writers. It's a tough balance to do that and find ways to point out areas for edits and revisions. I know I have been actively trying to write positive comments but it's harder for me to do that than to just correct and edit. I'll have to check out that movie sometime from the library. Thanks.

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    1. The movie is a longer one but so worth watching! I think I need to make a sign for my classroom that talks about positive comments.

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  2. I love Indian movies too, and that looks good, Jaana. What a thoughtful post you wrote just from going to the library and connecting the learning you've done to how you want to approach the new school year. I too like your thoughts of irrigating the soul, yours and your students. I really believe that comes first, then the learning parts. Thanks!

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    1. Our teaching and learning is all about the connections! Isn't that what we teach our students as well?

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  3. You make such an important connection to your own journey and learning as you share the watching of the movie.

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    1. Elle, the journey is ongoing! Thanks for being part of my journey.

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  4. You asked such powerful questions, especially this one:
    Could I find new ways to irrigate the souls of my students--not just correct and grade their papers?
    With thinking like this, there will be no drought in your classroom, Jaana!

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    1. Tara, thank you for your kind words!

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  5. Jaana, this post sent me scrambling back to your January post about your OLW. I love your thinking about how to irrigate your soul, body, spirit, and mind. I love that summer gives us time to think and ponder.

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    1. Irrigate has really become part of my world this year. Thanks for remembering!

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  6. Thanks for sharing the movie trailer - it looks fabulous. I have added English Vinglish to my "must watch" list. And, like you, even just from the trailer I am making connections to my ELL students. Perhaps this will be a movie to share with my colleagues to help us all remember what students go through when they arrive in our schools without knowing English.

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    1. When I was watching the movie, I was thinking how I could incorporate at least a few scenes to professional development this coming year. If you end up showing it to your colleagues, let me know what they think.

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  7. Yes to "irrigate" our souls is so essential and it is blessing we have time in the summer to hunt for new water sources. What an insightful post you have written.

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    1. I love you phrase "hunt for new water sources!"

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  8. You have just demonstrated that even on vacation, great teachers never stop thinking about their students and subjects. What serendipity put this movie into your line of vision that day.

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    1. Isn't it fun how we find the movies that we eventually will watch.

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  9. Love the picture in my head- helping my little seedlings grow!
    I plan to finish up the fort tomorrow morning at school. It's pretty cute if I do say so myself :)

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    1. Can't wait to see the pictures!

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  10. I love how you brought this back to your OLW, Jaana. I think you sound like exactly the kind of teacher who will empower and inspire your students! Like you, I want so badly for them to enjoy learning, enjoy English, and see that their bilingualism is a powerful asset that they are lucky to have, not a shortcoming. :-)

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    1. Jennifer, I wish I could meet you "in real life" one day! Maybe we could take a lesson from Elsie's book and arrange a meeting. I think I would learn so much from you!

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    2. I would LOVE that, Jaana! I think you're somewhere in Ohio, right? We should be able to make it happen! :-) I have an email button on my school webpage (http://www.dublinschools.net/jmitchell.aspx) that you can click to email me. Let's plan something! :-)

      P.S. I just searched my library website and they have English Vinglish! Reserved it! :-)

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  11. The power of having a second or third language is wonderful. You are amazing, thinking about your own life, continuously growing, and ensuring that your students get the best experience in learning English. I hope that you will find time to irrigate your body and mind by finding fun and peace just for yourself.

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    1. Terje, I am having a relaxing summer. Only one online course that does not take that much time. Unfortunately, no lake time this summer.

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