Student Profile: Learning English Through Content Transcript
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Faiza a deeper learner from: Internationals Network for Public Schools
Faiza: Lately I've realized that so many people care about my identity and I wonder why do they care so much about my race whether it's black, brown, white or even burgundy and how could it possibly just leads to slavery.
12th Grade Student
Brooklyn International High School, Brooklyn, NY
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Faiza: I'm from Yemen. I came here in the end of 2006. I went straight to middle school in sixth grade. I'll tell you it was hard because I didn't speak English. I was bullied because I was wearing a head scarf. Nobody really understood the difference. I was different than everyone else.
12th Grade English Class
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: Faiza, could you read it for us?
Faiza: Yeah sure. How does F. Scott Fitgerald's character in The Great Gatsby serve as a reflection of society in America during the 1920s?
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Faiza: Brooklyn International High School is very special for many reasons. One of them is that the students are coming from many different places, many countries, speak different language, just make us understand that help each other, you know.
Faiza: She won't say it in front of people.
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: That makes sense. So you're staying true to Daisy's character by not revealing herself to everybody.
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: I like it.
12th Grade Humanities Teacher
Brooklyn International High School, Brooklyn, NY
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: Faiza is an incredible student. She has self-awareness that really goes above and beyond many people I know her age. She knows her identity and is very proud of it, but she's the most warm and accepting person.
"Identity" Poem - for Social Justice Expo
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Faiza: If you're wondering because of my head scarf yes, I am a proud Muslim but that doesn't mean I have no respect for other beliefs or a _____________ believe in equality.
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: The poem that she shared recently at the Social Justice Expo that talks about her identity, you can see that as she matures she adds more to that and it's just a beautiful piece.
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: So good morning, everybody.
Students: Good morning.
12th Grade Literary Discussion Group
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: So this is our last Great Gatsby discussion. I'm so glad that you've all stuck it out with me.
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Faiza: The teachers are very, very helpful and they understand the struggles that we face.
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: What does it mean with it being empty now?
Faiza: He worked so hard build- to get his huge house and tried his best to get rich so that he could get back together with Daisy but--
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: Our school's philosophy and my philosophy is that you can only teach literature or any content area to English language learners through the content. We'll read a piece and as they're reading they are doing collaborative work. They are investigating a question.
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Student: She weren't that serious about the love but she was in love with him.
Faiza: Why do you think then he regrets that?
Student: I think like the whole process, I think Gatsby was determined that Daisy only likes me and loves me. It was so confusing for him so that's why he's like yeah, why did you just throw me over?
Faiza: We go through the literary techniques, the message behind it, the theme, the why would an author write certain things like that? You go more further deeper into the reading. We help push each other forward. I think that's what makes this school very special.
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Student: Like some people like to believe that he's a god or like God is watching them. I just wonder like what kind of God they believed in.
Faiza: It's because the eyes when Daisy and Gatsby were going out and together there was the eyes was there too. I feel like it's like God is always watching.
Faiza: When I came here, there are a lot of programs, right? Like ADL, Anti-Defamation League. I'm in the National Honor Society. I'm in the Arabic club. I was in the poetry club. And I learned that to take my struggle and make it into something that it's going to be very powerful and one of them is just poetry and doing workshops teach others about bullying, stereotypes and many things like that.
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Faiza: You need to study the struggle of liberty, go back to history, know what is it like to be in a time of slavery where slaves were being killed and women were used without a heart or mercy.
Shahzia Piranu-Mellstrom: I think she's always had a very kind heart. As her English grows we get to see it more.
Faiza: George was telling her you can fool me but you can't fool God. And there's like a big poster in front of them with the eyes and glasses which symbolizes God.
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Faiza: I strongly believe that I will be successful. I really want to be a pediatrician. Another thing is a poet so who knows. It's nice to have these two skills.
Faiza: And I learn the mystery be part of the peaceful community because I'm not ignorant. I believe in change and equality. Thanks.
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