Academic Master


Reflective Research Paper on Linguistic Journal

Annotated Bibliography

Brandon, L., Baszile, D. M. T., & Berry, T. R. (2009). Linguistic Moments: Language, Teaching, and Teacher Education in the U.S. Educational Foundations, 23, 47–66.

In the United States, many students come from diverse backgrounds and as such do not have a strong grasp of the English language. The authors of this article have had experience teaching such students and have been one of these students. They believe that language; to such students should not be taught from a technical standpoint but rather from a cultural perspective including the students’ diversity in the language learning process. This will not only take away the intimidation from learning a completely new language but also take down the barrier between the teacher and students as a strong understanding will be developed. The teachers need to make their students trust them so that they feel comfortable learning and conveying their concerns when facing difficulty in learning. A language is a fundamental tool for expressing oneself so it should be taught effectively. During the early years, the children learn to speak by listening to the people and slowly they develop a strong command over the language. They do not need a technical understanding of the language to express their thoughts.

Apart from concern about the students, the authors share their struggles as teachers who came from diverse backgrounds and had to face oppression and discrimination due to it. In this article, each author has shared their “Linguistic Moment”, which expresses their concerns when faced with a linguistic dilemma and the way they responded to it. The authors also come from diverse backgrounds and they understand the struggles of their students. These authors share their experiences as bi-lingual teachers; emphasizing the personal and political dynamics of language diversity. They share their fights against stereotypical oppression and the way their culture and beliefs were used against them. Many Teaching Certification courses do not take into consideration the diverse cultures of the teachers and do not prepare them for the situation that may not understand due to their cultural differences. The system falls short of making the teachers fully equipped for these situations (Brandon et al., 2009).

The authors of this article are educators and have experience in teaching. Their work highlights the struggles of the teachers; a topic that is not discussed enough. They do address the concerns of the bi-lingual students but the article’s main focus is the struggles of the teachers. These authors are reliable as they are sharing their own experiences in a way that helps us understand the difficulties that they face in this field. They do not use an accusatory tone but rather provide solutions to address these situations so that future generations of teachers do not have to face such problems. This article is also peer-reviewed so it makes the authors and the source credible sources of information on this subject (Brandon et al., 2009).


The struggles of the teachers are not discussed often as compared to the students. Several articles can be found easily about the problems faced by the students but not many can be found regarding teachers’ struggles and much less so on the teachers of color. This section of the paper will analyze the struggles of these teachers based on the article selected.

The article is divided into sections marked as “Linguistic Moments”, each moment is a personal account of each author describing the struggles that they faced due to their cultural difference. The first moment describes the struggles of having a different dialect or accent, the way it can be used against an individual. Many people dislike strong accents in teachers as according to them it hinders the learning of the students. The accent can be distracting and hard to understand; affecting the performance of the students. It is a general notion that teachers should have clear speech so that the students understand the material being taught to them and that is understandable, however; having an accent does not mean that a teacher is not able to speak clearly. A student will understand the source material if the teacher is good at their job regardless of the way they speak. Many teachers are native to the United States and do not have accents, however; their students do not have the understanding of the subject being taught. This statement is not to point fingers but to make it clear that accent is not a hindrance in the learning process. Another dilemma is that people may not understand that just because your family comes from another country does not mean that you may know that language. This may cause false expectations of the teacher and may cause unnecessary hindrance for them. Racism and stereotypical oppression is also another problem that is not talked about enough. One author writes that she is Chinese-American and despite being fluent in English she was placed in a bi-lingual class. This caused her to struggle in studies just because she was racially different it was assumed that she was bi-lingual. This led to unnecessary stress on the part of the author who was very capable of performing well in a normal class.

These struggles stem from the authors’ childhood up till their careers in teaching, it is astonishing to observe that these struggles have not been eradicated over the years and continue to this day. In multicultural societies, there is no doubt that multiple languages will exist so there should not be so much oppression in this regard. The concerns of these authors are not baseless as there are studies that show the teachers of color face discrimination and low pays as compared to white teachers. The low wage and high stress make the teachers of color quit their jobs as they are not valued by the work they do but their worth is gauged by the color of their skin. This issue is bigger than the language you speak; it is a deeply rooted dilemma of the United States and it stems from its discriminatory history. First, the people of color were slaves, then they were not allowed to be in the same room as the white people and now they are still treated differently. It is deeply disturbing that we still feel the need to separate people into groups and judge them based on the group they belong to. People’s worth should come from the value that they bring to the table and not the color of their skin.

It is not a secret that hiring people of color is to show that the organization is not racist. They do it to fulfill the quota and avoid any trouble from the public for being racist. It is shameful that if people speak another language and look different they are automatically treated differently. Oppression still exists whether we like to admit it or not and just by saying “Do better”, does not mean that the consequences can be avoided as the damage has already been done. Language is a beautiful form of expression and a part of every human’s culture; it should not be used to create a divide. The beauty of the English language was considered to be its inclusivity of other cultures but unfortunately, it is being used as a weapon of discrimination.

Due to high discrimination against people of color, the number of racially diverse teachers is declining in the school. The American education system must treat every teacher the same and eradicate the unequal treatment of the teachers. This article only presented the struggles faced by the teachers regarding their language difference but it is unfortunate to accept that this issue is bigger than the language barrier. The article helps us in understanding what our teachers go through daily for their students. It has made me respect them even more as they are supposed to show professionalism at every step of the way and guide us through our education. Hopefully, future generations will eradicate this injustice so that the students and the teachers of color will not have to face such discrimination.


Brandon, L., Baszile, D. M. T., & Berry, T. R. (2009). Language, Teaching, and Teacher Education in the U.S. 20.

Brandon, L., Baszile, D. M. T., & Berry, T. R. (2009). Linguistic Moments: Language, Teaching, and Teacher Education in the U.S. Educational Foundations, 23, 47–66.



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