The application of the materials from this seminar to the ESL classroom is somewhat complex. These are not history classes, traditional English classes or even anthropology classes in which I could really incorporate an entire unit on Native American history, culture or literature.
The goal of these classes is to teach English to non-native speakers, but within that goal lies the teaching of culture, history, literature, and the issues of transition into a new culture. Therefore, I began to look for materials that might be effectively inserted into intermediate-to-advanced-level multiskills or reading/writing classes.
Materials selected would need to be comprehensible to students at those levels and not demand a great deal of background on the complexities of Native American history and culture. Nevertheless, before beginning any Native American topics, I would give the students a map showing the locations and names of the various tribes. It is very easy (especially among new immigrants) to assume that "Native American" is an all-encompassing term, whereas each tribe has its own unique culture. This has been a primal point made by the scholars of this seminar.
As I began to think about my experiences with ESL students, several ideas regarding Native American materials and perspectives came to mind:
It is within these parameters that I have selected the following materials. These ideas are just a sampling of ways to include Native American materials in ESL classes and to make Native Americans and their culture more visible. It's a beginning.
|Short Stories: The Experience of Liminality|
|Myths, Legends and Story Telling|
|Native American Literature and ESL Students' Writing|
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