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How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent

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Gabriela Vazquez

on 5 December 2014

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Transcript of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent
Presented By: Gabriela Vazquez

Author Julia Alvarez
Dominican-American writer and poet
Born March 27, 1950 in New York City
Spent years in the Dominican Republic until they were forced out of the country due to her father's political rebellion (under dictator Trujillo).
Julia Alvarez
Attended Middlebury College in Vermont
Hated anything that had to do with work when she was younger like school, writing, math, etc.
Her father was involved in deep underground trouble in the Dominican Republic and was exiled out by dictator Trujillo.
Struggled adjusting to the U.S. growing up; was often called 'spic' by school peers.
About the Book
The novel's major themes include acculturation and coming of age. It deals with the myriad hardships of immigration, painting a vivid picture of the struggle to assimilate, the sense of displacement, and the confusion of identity suffered by the García family, as they are uprooted from familiarity and forced to begin a new life in New York City. The text consists of fifteen interconnected short stories, each of which focuses on one of the four daughters, and in a few instances, the García family as a whole.
About the Book con't.
In How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, the family is forced to leave the U.S. after having an, upper-class life in the Dominican Republic. The four Garcia sisters, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia are devastated that they are leaving their home to a foreign land called New York City. Throughout the book the reader is able to tell that the family is slowly getting used to American society. Even though the girls are Hispanic, it is obvious that they go through the same struggles as normal American girls.
Relevance to Bilingual Education
This book is very relevant to bilingual education because it is a story about 4 girls who start to loose some of their ethnic identity because of mainstream America. The girls always used to speak Spanish back when they were at home and when they moved to NYC, they had to quickly assimilate and learn how to speak English. Today, this is very common with children and young adults who leave their native country and come to the U.S. with limited to no English only to find themselves enrolled in school with a limited to no ESL classes.
Multiculturalism in the Classroom
Teachers in multicultural classrooms must:
be open to their students
put forth the effort needed to get to know their students inside and outside of class.
be willing to share some of their experiences to get students to open up on an emotional level.
be interested in his/her student
be willing to be open-minded and not base opinions and personal bias. learning, understanding, and culturally fluent.
learn the patterns of the students in their class.in their class.
Multiculturalism in the Classroom con't.
be open to the variety of students in his/her classroom and do some basic research on the culture of their students.
be prepared for the unexpected, for example, in some cultures hugging and kissing is normal but inappropriate in the classroom. The teacher must be ready to set ground rules from the start.


Why I Chose this Book

I chose this book due its cultural relevance and because many young girls can relate to the story. It also reminds us how a language can be lost after not being used for a long time and what the cultural implications might be. How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents offers students insights about the Dominican Republic's history and culture, as well as insight about racial and gender issues of the 1960s. More importantly, Alvarez gives voice to the many bicultural members of the United States community. She shows the Garcia girls' lives as intricate, complex, tragic, and triumphant.
The girls' father's involvement in an attempt to overthrow the Dominican dictator Generalissimo Trujillo forces the family to flee the country into the foreign land of the United States. Once in New York, the Garcia girls must mature into womanhood amid an intolerant culture that rejects their dark skin and their native Spanish. The girl's heritage clashes with the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s, thereby delivering them into perfectionism, mental illness, and divorce.
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