Box #2: Language Policy & Literacy

U.S. Case Study #1

On March 26, 1790 the U. S. congress approved the Naturalization Act. In the next century (19 th century) according to Spring (1997) [Note 1] the U. S. government and educational systems "rejected the concept of the United States as a multicultural society" and instead promoted the U. S. as a "society unified around Protestant [Euro] American culture" (p. 1). There was the perception that deculturalization was necessary to acquire the loyalty of the "Other" (i.e., those other than Euro American Protestants).

  1. Identify some of the cultural crises (i.e., stresses on society) that were occurring in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. How did these crises affect the societies living in the U. S. (i.e., Euro Americans, African Americans, Indigenous peoples, Mexican Americans, and the Irish and German immigrants)
  2. Review the Naturalization Act of March 26, 1790 .
  3. Define Deculturalization .
  4. Describe the role/purpose of the common school movement of the 1830s and 1840s.
  5. Do any of these crises, acts, or movements have bearing on society in the U. S. today in 2004? If yes, why? If not, why not?
  6. Explain the concept of cultural competence and the importance of this concept to assessment and intervention of individuals with communication disorders. What impact can the lack of consideration for culture have on clinical service?
  7. Review the article by Peggy McIntosh (July/August, 1998), White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. Peace and Freedom (pages unknown). This article is also available on the web. Explain the concept of white, middle class privilege as it relates to clinical intervention. [Note 2]
  8. Explain the concepts involved in assessing clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Give some examples of speech, language, and/or audiological assessment tools that are and are not sensitive to the needs of individuals from diverse cultural/linguistic backgrounds. Discuss what can be done with those tools to ensure appropriate assessment results.
  9. Explain the concepts involved in culturally appropriate clinical intervention with clients and their families. Identify a type of communication (speech, language, and/or audiological) disorder and describe cultural considerations that would impact clinical interventions for that disorder.

For the class presentation,

  1. Identify the problems gleaned from the research conducted for this task
  2. Analyze the problems from various perspectives
  3. Provide evidence (references) for your analyses
  4. Connect this case study with the issues we've discussed in class throughout the semester: globalization, immigration, marginalization, bilingualism and bidialectalism, and literacy. Also insert into the discussion the issue of current demographics in the U. S.
  5. Discuss the situation of this case as it relates to current day issues (2004), and
  6. Propose various strategies for addressing the problems.

This is your final examination , consequently, the presentation should be a formal one including handouts, visuals (e.g., power point or overheads as appropriate), and bibliographic references.

  1. Spring, J. (1997). Deculturalization and the struggle for equality: Brief history of the education of dominated cultures in the United States . Second edition . New York : The McGraw-Hill Companies.

  2. This question, as well as questions 8 and 9 were adapted from a syllabus ( Contemporary Issues in Clinical Intervention ) located on line that was produced by Delores Battle.

Copyright © Yvette D. Hyter May 2004