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The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom, New Edition [Paperback]

Our Price $ 15.26  
Retail Value $ 17.95  
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Item Number 385260  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   229
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.21" Width: 5.67" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2008
Publisher   New Press
ISBN  1595583505  
EAN  9781595583505  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Now in paperback, "The Skin That We Speak" takes the discussion of language in the classroom beyond the highly charged war of idioms and presents today's teachers with a thoughtful exploration of the varieties of English that we speak, in what "Black Issues Book Review" calls "an essential text."
Edited by bestselling author Lisa Delpit and education professor Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, the book includes an extended new piece by Delpit herself, as well as groundbreaking work by Herbert Kohl, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Victoria Purcell-Gates, as well as classic texts by Geneva Smitherman and Asa Hilliard.
At a time when children are written off in our schools because they do not speak formal English, and when the class- and race-biased language used to describe those children determines their fate, "The Skin That We Speak" offers a cutting-edge look at crucial educational issues.

Buy The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom, New Edition by Lisa Delpit & Joanne Kilgour Dowdy from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781595583505 & 1595583505

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More About Lisa Delpit & Joanne Kilgour Dowdy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lisa Delpit is an Eminent Scholar and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education and Innovation at Florida International University in Miami, where she lives. Her work is dedicated to providing excellent education for marginalized communities in the United States and abroad. Herb Kohl is a recipient of the National Book Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He was the founder and first director of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative in New York City and established the PEN West Center in San Francisco, where he lives. He is the author of more than forty books, including the bestselling 36 Children and the classic I Won t Learn from You (The New Press)."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Eh.   Oct 16, 2008
If I had written this critique just after reading the first half of The Skin That We Speak, it would look much different. The first half of the book was truly eye-opening for those of us who grew up speaking "standard" English at home, at school and with friends.
This collection of essays made me confront my beliefs about other accents and dialects that I'm not so familiar with. For instance, growing up in the north, I was taught (not by any particular person, just by experience) that southerners' slow drawl was an indication that that whole segment of the country was slow and backwards-thinking. I also learned that people who don't "talk right", those who can't be bothered to conjugate a simple verb properly, for instance, were ignorant. Reading The Skin That We Speak helped me to understand that these are hurtful stereotypes and could be picked up on by my students no matter how I tried to conceal or deny them.
The essay that helped me the most professionally was Judith Baker's. She is a high school English teacher like me and wrote an essay with a great lesson plan in it. She suggests that students will be much more willing and eager to learn to speak and write standard English if they feel that their home language is respected. She suggests a project in which students really think about what they hear outside of school and bring it to school for discussion with other kids. The students are then taught that there is a time and place for each type of language: home, formal and professional. Given a bit of guidance, students understand that they need to be "trilingual" if they want to be successful in school and in life. This essay made me excited to start class the next day and try some of Baker's theories. I even shared it with my colleagues and they agreed that it's a great idea!
Unfortunately, this book is 230 pages long and I think they could've stopped after about 120. The second half of the book is filled with essays that are basically repeating the main points of the previous ones. We understand, by that point, that standard English is not the only acceptable form of the language, that nobody really speaks English the way it is written, that students need to feel respected before they'll be eager to learn formal grammar and that speech is not an indicator of intelligence. Do we really need over 100 extra pages to get these points across? One writer actually goes so far as to say that, basically, English isn't that great of a language anyway because it's derived from other languages, so we should all quit being so uppity about grammar and spelling. Towards the end of the book, I was rolling my eyes and sighing so frequently that my husband came into the living room to find out if I was ok.
If you are a teacher who is considering buying this book because you need some fresh ideas for your classroom, don't. There aren't enough to justify the cover price. If you enjoy the beating of a long-dead horse, by all means, have at it.
J. Jack  Oct 15, 2008
I felt that this was a great book to read. It reached me on a variety of levels. As a teacher it forced me to reflect on my own beliefs about language and literacy. As a person of Caribbean decent, it made me think about the injustice and prejudice that is so often placed on students of a different heritage. Each story in the book gives you another aspect of how language and the way we speak affects our lives. Whether we are the student in the classroom that is being negatively stereotyped or the teacher having to deal with multiple second language learners, this book has opened my eyes to understand both sides. From the teacher aspect, I have also received ideas on how to better relate to my diverse learners through one of the selections. I realized that by welcoming their culture into the classroom the student thus feels respected and welcomed, which makes it easier for them to attain the target language.
It's great tips like this and many others that you will find within the book "The skin that we speak." I recommend this book to those who are interested in looking deeper into language in the classroom and beyond.
Delpit  Sep 17, 2008
Outstanding book that helps change the methodology of teaching second-language students. Hearing the voices of actual students helps to relive their pains.
Satisfied Customer  Jan 11, 2007
I am very satisfied with the quality of the book and the expedience of the delivery.
Showing your race/sexual orientation/socioeconomic status/culture by the way you speak.  Sep 30, 2005
An interesting look at differences in language -- accent, vocabulary, and dialect. This book explores the judgements that people, even young children, make when they hear a voice. Well-rounded and very pragmatic about solutions. Doesn't just say 'Oh, people shouldn't judge each other.' Because, like it or not, we do.

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