Lack of materials in the
Haitian Bilingual Program

by Tony Jean-Jacques, 1992
[English translation: E. W. Védrine]

In memoriam Tony Jean-Jacques


"Lack of materials in the Haitian Bilingual Program" Is the title of an interview that Tony Jean-Jacques (educator and writer) had with some Haitian educators who worked in the former Haitian Bilingual Program in the Boston Public Schools (USA)

(Jan-Jacques is speaking)

The reason why I have conducted this research on the “lack of materials in the Haitian Bilingual” is because I care about the problem and  that I also know sooner or later I will experience it. Most Haitians pertaining to the new generation are confronting this problem. Unfortunately, they all see it but ignore it. If someone would like to become a teacher, it is important to talk about this issue. The central problem or the main theme of my research is to recognize the lack of materials that exist within the Bilingual Program. In order to call the Program “bilingual”, students must be able to read and write in their native language. This problem is important because it gives children a bad impression of their native language. I've read many articles and books that talk about the problem of bilingualism in Haiti. In the problem relating to my thesis, most of my studies focus on the problem of literacy. In order to eradicate it, there are many ways to do it. So, education in Creole is not the central point to focus on. Even in the American schools, the problem reappear. Fortunately, the French language is not there as a tool for the elite. My personal approach is talking about this problem with many professionals. This method is appropriate because it gives us a good opportunity to know first what's going on in the bilingual classrooms.

Departing from my research, I find that as of now it exists a lack of materials in the public schools. However, this lack of materials can serve as a bridge to create a window through the public system. I learn a lot from this research. Unfortunately, I need more time to be able to put together all my information. I use many books, articles, newspapers, etc. I had to interview 6 professional Haitian teachers who think strongly concerning the promotion of this positive attitude that they expect as key of improvement and creativity among the bilingual students. Joel Theodat is the director of the Haitian Bilingual Program at West Roxbury High School; Emmanuel W. Védrine is a lecturer (in Spanish) at the University of Rhode Island. However Védrine has taught Social Studies for 3 years at English High School (Haitian Bilingual Program), one year of French and Spanish at Faragut Elementary School. In 1992, he taught French and Spanish at St. Gregory High School (private school, Boston ).

Furthermore, the professor that I have contacted is a professor of Linguistics and Education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. He is the director of the East Zone for Boston Public Schools, taking about professor Marc Prou. Professor Prou, while facing the problem of the Bilingual Program, has problem with its name. He states: “All documents are written in English”. He continues: “The movement to teach only English gives a reflect of the political cloud that blackens the discussion of the fundamental pedagogical principle that applies to all students. These principles suggest that the cultural differences can prevent the children from learning if the instructions ignore these differences. We all are supposed to go through this mental and strategic process such as for instance things that happen spontaneously, guessing, mental and strategic construction, mental change, mental process and others that require an ambiance where cultural instruction can succeed. To be able to understand the indication of these things and the nature of these mental works, children have a cultural and linguistic competence; they give these children the opportunity to use what they know. Professor Prou also emphasizes on these principles when he says: “These principles should be declared and applied even if political pressure and racial prejudice become a obstacle”.

Question : To be able to promote and educate the bilingual students, we need materials. Do you think we have enough for Haitians?

Prou : I see there are enough for Haitians. I have bought some books in Haiti. So, some of these materials do not 100% go with the reality that the students are experiencing. In this case, what I realize that it is essential we create materials that can help students to see themselves working in a new direction while living in the society. So, these materials are supposed to be developed according to the school need. What I see is a team of Haitian teachers to work together, to be able to develop materials for the Bilingual Program in the schools in Boston. I have information about that information in some cities in Massachusetts such as in Cambridge and Somerville. There are some teachers who are developing materials for their own classroom.

Question : Is it normal to say that the groups you mention are working to furnish books for all the cities where there exist programs for Haitians?

Prou : Well, it's too early to say that these groups are well-structured to create materials for cities where they have Haitian programs now. There are volunteers and then the priority is in the transition. In the curriculum, they want these students to learn English quickly. And I say that most Haitian teachers that we have don't have an adequate training to be able to develop materials. For some people, it's the first time they see the Creole language working. Right here, there is a limitation.

Question : Do you mean Haitian teachers are not qualified to teach Creole?

Prou : Well, I don't say they are not qualified but they have received different trainings. So, this reading is English. And I know that there exists an attitude against the Creole language. Most teachers don't consider it as a strong tool to use in their class. Even if explanations were given to them to teach in Creole but they don't emphasize on the Creole language for the students. For the teachers, the fact that they know that the program is transitional, they try to use the Creole language orally to enable students to make the transition. So, everything that exists has to do with reading; they do it in English. They use a system where you can see that the transition is done rapidly. So, the program is an oral bilingual one done in one language. They use both languages (English and Creole) orally. However, when they are writing, they only use English.

Question : You mention programs that are creating materials?

Prou : Yes, there are many materials for the primary level that were created in Haiti during the 80's. However, some of these materials are not used because the teachers are not used to them. And then, I should say that Boston Public Schools don't encourage teachers to keep Haitian materials. So, from this point, we can say that there is a lacking. That's where the program is ill-equipped. In the East Zone Office, we buy materials in Creole for $4,000; as you can see that, it's not all. We have dictionaries, history books but we don't have enough for everyone. Sometimes we recommended books but the teachers refuse to use them. We need to look at the attitude of the teachers. When working with the teachers and parents, the information we get is that the children are Americans. We need to learn from the English materials. So, I am not in the classroom on a 24 hour basis. Sometimes when I visit the schools, I observe that they don't use these materials. Even if they have materials in Creole, but none of the Haitian teachers try to do their best to create their own materials. They make copies for students. A person must not know that the Bilingual Program is a program that is there to remedy. I am against that. Bilingual Education has a foundation. So, it's not a question to prepare students to mainstream (to enter regular program in English only); when someone is bilingual, he is bilingual for life. It's an insult for someone who is bilingual and for bilingual students in general. The teachers are under a lot of pressure, specially bilingual teachers who teach the native language. The school principals sometimes pressure them while asking for more English in the classroom. Sometimes, they ask them to use the English language because they want the students to learn English quickly. So, some of the teachers accept that as a success when they say “this year, some of my students go to regular program”. So, the effort to give the native language more power has become of little importance.

Question : What does the East Zone Office do in order to be able to make teachers of the Bilingual Program care about what is being done while they are making experiences, they are teaching students in their native language?

Prou : Though we have workshops for teachers to be able to empower them to teach them better. While they are using the native language, once going back to the classroom, they forget everything they've just learned from the workshops. They keep on teaching the same old way. I should say that this procedure takes time. It is a slow process. Some of the teachers want to try it. A person must realize that the program is brain new. And we need to look at the teams we are using in the bilingual program, specially the Haitian Bilingual Program. These teachers have received a training in their country. This training was to teach in Africa and in Haiti. They are good educators. However, they don't interpret the reality of the environment of the United States. So, when looking at their work in America, they are not 100% complete. I hope that some of the bilingual teachers who have received a training will be in this environment to be able to put life in this procedure. So, I hope that they can work together to be able to create new materials that can be used. Not only here in the US, but also in Haiti.

Question : What kind of materials would you like to see they use in the coming years?

Prou : Well, in this program (the Haitian Bilingual Program), we receive all types of students: those who are illiterate, those who can read and write. Some of our students came from the best private schools in Haiti. There are some who came to the US with visas in their passport. Some of them did not have legal papers. We need materials of all types. For students who are well-equipped, there is no problem at all to make this transition. But those who can't read and write don't have advantages.

Question : Who do you think is responsible for the lack of books: politics, bureaucracy or teachers?

Prou : No, I can say that there are many other things. For example, the teachers are not interested in buying books for students in the native language. If they have $300 to buy books, they'd rather spend it on books dealing with phonics instead of buying books in the native language. If you ask them to buy Haitian history books for students, they'd tell you: “Well, I have a copy. So, I am going to make copies for them” or “I am going to write on the board for them”. They are not going to spend their money buying books in the native language; when you talk to them about books, they think the books that are important are math books.

Joel Theodat, director of the Haitian Bilingual Program at West Roxbury High School, talks about "prejudice", how it's being manifested in the Haitian community and in the schools by people whoa re in the personal of the regular program. Parents and students can interpret that as a conflict in cultural values. Often, it is manifested in a space where people are engaged in dialogues with others who have different cultures from them and furthermore, differences between languages and physical characters. Also, according to Theodat, this type of prejudice can prevent teachers and students from developing a personal and narrow relation that children need to learn in school. Theodat notices one of the important problems of the Haitian Bilingual Program are students who don't speak a word of English have all their books in English. The Bilingual teachers also have the tendency to explain things in English only with no help for the students in their native language. He continues to explain that the primary purpose of bilingual education is to help students of linguistic minority in order to be able them to reach an advanced level in literacy and then they can learn the information and develop mental quality that is called “ability to be able to put things in their orders”. That can be done earlier though the native language and it's easy to transfer it to a second one. Theodat declares that the use of the native language (Creole) in the capacity that is possible in the environment of the school to facilitate the children's ability to be able to develop their critical thinking and their creative knowledge. According to him, the reason is that this mental assembly lies on linguistic and cultural experience that the children usually find at home and that they bring this experience to the school. He continues to say: “unfortunately, the school don't always have the resources to educate the students in their own language but the teachers and students' classmates can be of great help. In my school, we have some books in the native language. The teachers should make their own translation”. All this means it very difficult for the bilingual teachers to promote what they expect; as we can see, they do two jobs at once.

In my understanding, I learn a lesson from the interview with Theodat; that is, the nature of the literacy problem that the linguistic minorities are confronting as its roots and it's related to the lack of a series of things such as knowledge that was guessed by teachers and people who are writing books to use as materials. The more knowledge the students have in their own culture and the way in which they apply it in the book can help the school personal and books to be used as texts to be able to give more access in the content of the lesson and the sense that it makes for minorities to avoid stereotypes and to show the potential of students have to learn. I realize that some teachers in the Bilingual Program don't care about the materials available here in this country and in Haiti. And they don't try to get in touch with other Haitian teachers who are in other public schools.

Emmanuel W. Védrine also talks about “time” and “flexibility” that teachers in the Haitian Bilingual Program need in order to be able to work in a new environment where behavior can have many interpretations and the experience that they are having daily in the schools were they are and the community where they live have a meaning and values that are different. Védrine continues saying that the teachers can realize that some of the students who just arrive in the US did not have any type of literacy whatsoever and that they (teachers) should expect a slow progress shown by these students. To continue, the most important thing is that they shouldn't blame (these teachers); they shouldn't blame students either for the fact that they show a sort of incompetence or a negative result. Védrine continues to say: “Bilingual teachers can have an influence to create or develop a positive influence that bring success in the students' life.”

According to Védrine, even if the success is minimal or does not exit at all, the teachers should have firm insurance in the students' potential and the way in which the teachers show encouragement to make their works available (publish or show them). Védrine says that even if bilingual teachers use these ideas daily, it requires a lot of practices and many creations and what they believe in; little by little with the time, all these sacrifices will have a merit. Védrine declares that he is conscious of the problem that the Bilingual teachers are experiencing. He mentions that in some public schools there are no teachers' aids (paraprofessionals). He ads that the Bilingual Program should have a certain number of students per classroom, but sometimes this number increases because there are new students who keep on coming to the program. Sometimes, teachers see students who are coming to their classroom all the time even at the end of the school year. According to Védrine, this creates a sort of “unbalance” in the knowledge and also the teachers should spend more time with the new students. And also, sometimes it's not very easy for student to function because of their age…

Rate materyèl nan Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen An

pa Tony Jean-Jacques, 1992
[trakdiksyon anglè: E. W. Védrine]

In memoriam Tony Jean-Jacques


«Rate materyèl (pedagojik) nan Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen» an se tit yon entèvyou Tony Jean-Jacques (edikatè, powèt) te fè ak kèk edikatè ayisyen ki travay nan Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen ( Boston Public Schools ( USA )

(Jean-Jacques ap pale:)

Rezon ki fè m fè rechèch sa a sou ‘rate materyèl' ki genyen nan Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen an se paske mwen sousye de pwoblèm nan e ke mwen konnen ta kou l ta, m ap konfwonte pwoblèm sa a. Pifò anseyan ayisyen ki apateni a nouvèl jenerasyon an konfwonte pwoblèm sa a. Malerezman, yo tout wè l men yo iyore l. Si youn moun ta vle vin anseyan, li enpòtan pou l pale de pwoblèm sa a. Pwoblèm santral la oubyen tèm prensipal rechèch mwen an se pou rekonèt rate materyèl ki egziste nan Pwogram Bileng yo. Pou rele pwogram yo «bileng», fòk elèv yo konn li ak ekri nan lang matènèl yo. Pwoblèm sa a enpòtan paske li bay timoun yo yon move enpresyon de lang matènèl yo. Mwen li plizyè atik ak liv ki pale de pwoblèm bileng an Ayiti. Sou pwoblèm ki relate tèz mwen an, pifò etid yo santre sou pwoblèm alfabetizasyon. Pou rive elimine pwoblèm nan, gen anpil mwayen pou fè sa. Donk edikasyon kreyòl la se pa li ki pwen santral pou vize a. Menm sou tè meriken an pwoblèm nan reparèt. Erezman, lang fransè a pa la kòm zouti klas elit la. Apwoch pèsonèl mwen pou etidye pwoblèm sa a se pale ak plizyè pwofesyonèl. Metòd sa a apopriye paske l ban mwen yon bèl opòtinite ou konnen toudabò sa k ap dewoule nan klas bileng yo.

Apati rechèch mwen an, mwen jwenn ke egziste aktyèlman yon rate materyèl nan lekòl piblik yo. Sepandan, rate materyèl sa a ka sèvi kòm pon pou kreye fenèt atravè sistèm piblik la. Mwen aprann anpil nan rechèch sa a. Malerezman, mwen bezwen plis tan pou kapab mete tout enfòmasyon sa yo ansanm. Mwen itilize plizyè liv, atik, jounal, elt…

Mwen gen pou m entèvyoure 6 pwofesè ayisyen pwofesyonèl ki panse fèmman konsènan pwomosyon atitid pozitif sa a ke yo atann kòm kle amelyorasyon ak kreyativite pami elèv bileng yo. Joel Theodat se direktè Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen nan West Roxbury High School. Emmanuel W. Védrine se konferansye nan University of Rhode Island (depatman espayòl), sepandan Védrine te anseye syans sosyal pandan twazan nan English High School (Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen), yon ane fransè ak espayòl nan Faragut Elementary School ak nan Murphy Elementary School.

Apre tou, twazyèm pwofesè ke m te kontake se yon pwofesè lengwistik ak edikasyon bileng nan University of Massachusetts-Boston ; li se direktè East Zone nan pou Boston Public Schools, an palan de pwofesè Marc Prou.

Pwofesè Prou, pandan l ap fè fas ak pwoblèm Pwoblèm Bileng nan, gen pwoblèm tou nan «non» pwogram nan. Li deklare: «Tout dokiman yo ekri an anglè». Li kontinye: «mouvman pou anseye sèlman an anglè a bay yon reflè de nyaj politik ki nwasi diskisyon prensip pedagoji fondamantal ki aplike a tout timoun. Prensip sa yo sijere ke diferans kiltirèl yo kapab anpeche timoun k ap aprann si enstriksyon yo iyore diferans sa yo. Nou tout sipoze pase nan etap mantal sa yo tèlke pa egazanp bagay ki fèt espontaneman, devinèt, konstriksyon mantal e estratejik; chanjman mantal, pwosede mantal e lòt ankò ki mande yon anbyans kote enstriksyon kiltirèl kapab pran pye. Pou kapab konprann edikasyon bagay sila yo e nati travay mantal sa yo, timoun ki gen yon konpetans kiltirèl e lengwistik, yo dwe bay timoun sa yo opòtinite itilize sa yo konnen an. Pwofesè Prou mete plis anfaz sou prensip say o lè l di: «prensip sa yo dwe deklare e aplike menmsi presyon politik ak prejije rasyal ta tounen yon obstak».

Kesyon : Pou kapab pwomote e edike elèv bileng yo, nou bezwen materyèl. Èske ou panse nou gen ase materyèl pou Ayisyen?

Prou : Gen ase materyèl ke m wè. Mwen te achte kèk liv an Ayiti. Donk, kèk nan materyèl sa yo pa 100% (san pou san) ale ak reyalite elèv yo ap viv. Nan ka sa a, sa ke mwen reyalize sèke li esansyèl ke nou kreye materyèl ki ta kapab ede elèv pou wè yo menm k ap travay nan yon nouvèl direksyon pandan ke y ap viv nan sosyete a. Donk, materyèl sa yo sipoze devlope selon bezwen lekòl la. Sa ke mwen wè se yon ekip anseyan ayisyen ki pou travay ansanm pou kapab devlope materyèl pou Pwogram Bileng lan nan lekòl Boston yo. Mwen byen sousye de aktivite sa yo nan kèk vil nan eta Massachusetts. Pa egzanp nan vil Cambridge ak Somerville, gen kèk anseyan ki devlope materyèl pou klas yo.

Kesyon : Eske li nòmal pou di ke gwoup ou mansyone yo ap travay pou founi liv pou tout vil yo kote ki gen pwogram pou Ayisyen?

Prou : Bon, li twò bonè pou di ke gwoup sa yo byen estriktire pou preye materyèl pou vil kote ki gen pwogram ayisyen kounyeya, gen volontè epitou priyorite a se nan tranzisyon an li ye. Nan korikilòm nan, yo vle elèv yo aprann anglè radidopresto. Epitou, mwen di ke pifò anseyan ayisyen ke nou genyen yo pa t resevwa yon trening adekwa pou kapab devlope materyèl. Pou kèk moun, se premye fwa yo wè lang kreyòl la ap travay. La menm, gen yon limitasyon.

Kesyon : Èske w vle di ke pwofesè ayisyen yo pa kalifye pou anseye kreyòl?

Prou : Bon, mwen pa ta di yo pa kalifye, men yo fè trening diferan. Kèk ladan yo te resevwa yon trening pou anseye lekti. Donk, lekti sa a se lekti anglè. Epitou, mwen konnen ke gen yon atitid kont lang keyòl la. Donk, pifò pwofesè pa konsidere lang kreyòl la kòm yon zouti fò pou itilize nan klas. Menmsi yo bay esplikasyon, yo anseye an kreyòl men yo pa mete anfaz sou lang kreyòl la pou ta anseye elèv yo l. Pou pwofesè yo, lefèt ke yo konnen sa Pwogram Tranzisyonèl yo vle, yo eseye itilize lang kreyòl la oralman pou kapab ede elèv fè tranzisyon an. Donk, tout bagay ki genyen yon rapò ak lekti, yo fè l an anglè. Yo itilize yon sistèm kote ou ka wè ke tranzisyon an fèt rapid. Donk, pwogram nan se yon pwogram bileng oral ki fèt nan yon sèl lang. Yo itilize toude lang yo (anglè, kreyòl) oralman. Sepandan, lè y ap ekri, yo itilize sèlman anglè.

Kesyon : Ou mansyone pwogram ki ap kreye materyèl?

Prou : Wi, ge anpil materyèl pou nivo primè a ki te kreye an Ayiti pandan ane 80 yo. Sepandan, kèk nan materyèl sa yo pa itilize paske pwofesè yo pa abitye ak yo. Epitou, mwen dwe di ke Boston Public Schools pa ankouraje pwofesè pou gade materyèl ayisyen yo. Donk, apati pwen sa a, nou kapab wè ke gen yon rate. Se pou sa pwogram nan mal ekipe. Nan Ofis East Zone lan, nou achte materyèl an kreyòl pou $4,000; kòm ou kapab wè, se pa ase. Nou gen diksyonè, liv istwa; men nou pa gen ase pou tout moun. Pafwa nou ta rekòmande liv men pwofesè yo refize itilize liv sa yo. Nou bezwen gade atitid pwofesè yo tou. Lè w ap gade pwofesè ak paran yo, enfòmasyon nou jwenn sèke timoun yo se Ameriken. Yo bezwen aprann nan materyèl anglè yo. Donk, mwen pa nan klas la 24 sou 24. Pafwa, lè m vizite lekòl yo, mwen obsève ke yo pa itilize materyèl sa yo. Menmsi yo genyen materyèl an kreyòl, men kèk nan pwofesè ayisyen yo eseye fè tout sa yo kapab pou kreye pwòp materyèl yo. Yo fè kopi pou elèv yo. Yon moun dwe konnen ke pwogram Bileng lan se yon pwogram ki la pou l remedye. Mwen kont tout sa. Edikasyon Bileng gen yon bèl fondasyon. Donk, pa gen kesyon pou prepare elèv yo pou antre nan yon pwogram regilye. Lè yon moun bileng, li bileng pou lavi. Se yon ensil li ye pou moun ki bileng e pou elèv bileng an jeneral. Anseyan yo anba anpil presyon, espesyalman anseyan bileng yo ki anseye lang natifnatal la. Direktè lekòl la pafwa tache nan kò yo pandan yo mande plis anglè nan saldeklas la. Pafwa, yo mande yo pou itilize lang anglè a paske yo vle elèv yo aprann anglè a rapidopresto. Donk, kèk nan pwofesè yo asepte sa kòm yon siksè lè yo yo di: «ane sa a, kèk nan elèv mwen yo antre nan Pwogram Regilye (an angle sèlman)». Donk, efò pou t a bay lang matènèl la plis pouvwa vin yon tounen yon bagay minim.

Kesyon : Kisa Ofis East Zone nan fè pou kapab fè anseyan pwogram bileng yo sousye de sa k ap fèt pandan ke y ap fè esperyans, y ap anseye elèv nan lang matènèl yo?

Prou : Byenke nou gen atelye pou anseyan yo pou kapab ba yo pouvwa pou anseye pi byen pandan y ap itilize lang matènèl la, apre yo retounen nan klas yo, yo bliye tout bagay yo sot fè nan atelye yo. Yo kontinye ap anseye menm jan. Mwen dwe di pwosedi sa a pran tan. Se yon travay ti pa ti pa. Kèk nan anseyan yo vle eseye li. Yon moun dwe reyalize ke pwogran nan tounèf. Epitou, nou bezwen gade ekip ke n ap itilze nan pwogram bileng yo, espesyalman Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen an. Pwofesè sa yo te resevwa yon trening nan peyi yo. Trening sa a se te pou anseye an Afrik ak Ayiti. Yo se bon edikatè. Sepandan, yo pa entèprete reyalite anviwonnman Etazini an. Donk, lè ou gade travay yo an Amerik, yo pa 100% konplè. Mwen swete ke kèk nan anseyan bileng ki resevwa yon trening ap nan milye sa a pou kapab mete vi nan pwosedi sa a. Donk, mwen espere ke yo kapab mete tèt ansanm pou kapab kreye nouvo materyèl ki kapab itilize. Pa sèlman isit Etazini, men Ayiti tou.

Kesyon : Ki kalite materyèl ou ta renmen wè yo itilize nan ane k ap vini yo?

Prou : Bon, nan pwogram sa a, Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen an, nou resevwa tout sòt elèv: sa ki iletre, sa ki iletre a mwatye, sa ki konn ki ak ekri. Kèk nan elèv nou yo soti nan meyè lekòl prive nan peyi Ayiti. Genyen ki vin Etazini ak viza nan paspò yo. Kèk ladan yo pa t genyen papye legal. Nou bezwen materyèl sou tout dimansyon. Pou elèv ki byen ekipe yo, pa gen okenn pwoblèm pou fè tranzisyon sa a. Men sa yo ki pa konn li ak ekri pa gen avantay.

Kesyon : Kimoun ou panse ki responsab rate liv: politik, biwokrasi oubyen pwofesè?

Prou : Non, mwen ta di keg en anpil lòt bagay. Pa egzanp, pwofesè yo pa enterese nan achte liv nan lang matènèl la pou elèv yo. Si yo gen $300 pou achte liv, yo ta pito achte liv fonik olye yo achte liv nan lang natifnatal la. Si ou mande yo pou achte liv Istwa Ayiti pou elèv yo, yo ta di: «bon mwen gen yon kopi. Donk mwen pral fè kopi pou yo» oubyen: «mwen pral ekri sou tablo a pou yo». Yo pa pral depanse kòb yo nan achte liv nan lang natifnatal la. Lè ou pale yo de liv, yo panse ke liv ki enpòtan yo se liv matematik.

Joel Theodat, direktè Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen an nan West Roxbury High Schoo, pale de «prejije», kòman li manifeste nan kominote ayisyen an e nan lekòl pa moun kin an pèsonèl Pwogram Regilye a. Paran ak timoun kapab entèprete sa kòm yon konfli nan valè kiltirèl, pito ke li vin yon filozofi byen pale e ki rasis tou. Souvan, li manifeste nan yon espas kote moun yo angaje nan dyalòg avèk moun ki genyen kilti diferan de yon lòt e anplis, diferans lang e karaktè fizik yo tou. Selon Theodat, tip prejije sa a se yon prejije ki patikilyèman enpòtan pou konbat paske li ka anpeche anseyan e elèv devlope yon relasyon pèsonèl e etwat ke timoun bezwen pou vin aprann lang lekòl la. Dapre Theodat, kèk nan pwoblèm enpòtan nan Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen an se elèv ki pa pale yon mo anglè gen tout liv o an anglè. Anseyan bileng yo tou gen yon tandans pou bay esplikasyon sèlman an anglè san okenn èd pou elèv yo nan lang matènèl yo. Li kontinye pou l esplike ke premye bi edikasyon bileng nan se pou ede elèv minorite lengwistik pou kapab atenn yon nivo avanse nan alfabetizasyon epi yo kapab aprann de enfòmasyon yo e devlope kalite mantal ke yo rele abilite pou kapab mete bagay yon an plas yo; sa kapab fèt pi fasil atravè lang matènèl la epi li fasil pou transfere l a yon dezyèm lang. Theodat deklare ke pou itilize lang matènèl la (kreyòl) nan kapasite ki posib la nan anviwonnman lekòl la pou fasilite abilite timoun yo kapab devlope panes kritik e konesans kreyatif. Selon li, rezon an sèke aranjman mantal sa a chita sou esperyans lengwistik e kiltirèl ke timoun yo toujou jwenn nan fwaye yo epi yo pote esperyans sa a nan lekòl la. Li kontinye di: «malerezman, lekòl yo pa toujou genyen resous pou enstwi timoun yo nan pwòp lang yo men itilizasyon monitè yo ak kondisip elèv yo kapab ede anpil nan lekòl mwen an, nou genyen kèk liv nan lang matènèl yo. Anseyan yo dwe fè pwòp tradiksyon yo. Tout sa rann li trè difisil pou ansesyan bileng pwomote sa yo espere; kòm nou ka wè, yo vin fè de dyòb alafwa».

Nan konpreyansyon pa m, mwen aprann yon lesyon nan entèvyou ak Theodat la, sètadi, nati pwoblèm alfabetizasyon an ke minorite lengwistik yo konfwonte pran rasin li epitou li an rapò ak rate yon seri bagay tèlkòm konesans kit e devine pa anseyan ak moun k ap ekri liv pou sèvi kòm materyèl yo. Plis konesans timoun nan genyen nan kilti pa li e fason yo aplike l nan liv la kapab ede pèsonèl lekòl la ak liv pou itilize kòm tèks pou kapab bay plis aksè nan kontni leson an ak sans li fè pou minorite pou evite estereyotip epi pou montre kapasite timoun yo gneyen pou aprann. Mwen reyalize ke kèk anseyan nan pwogram bileng yo pa sousye de materyèl ki disponib yo nan peyi sa a e an Ayiti. Epitou, yo pa eseye antre an kontak ak lòt anseyan ayisyen ki nan lòt lekòl piblik.

Emmanuel W. Védrine pale tou de plis «tan» ak «fleksiblite» anseyan nan Pwogram Bileng Ayisyen yo bezwen pou kapab mete tèt yon an yon anviwonnman nouvo kote konpòtman kapab genyen plizyè entèpretasyon ak esperyans ke y ap fè fas ak li chak jou nan lekòl kote yo ye ak nan kominote yo rete a gen siyifikasyon ak valè diferan. Védrine kontinye pou l di ke anseyan yo kapab vin reyalize ke kèk nan elèv ki fèk rive Etazini yo pa t genyen oken tip alfabetizasyon kèlkeswa. Epitou yo sipoze atann yon pwogrè lan ke kèk timoun ka montre. Pou kontinye, bagay ki pi enpòtan an sèke yo pa dwe blame tèt yo (an palan de anseyan) ni tou, yo dwe blame elèv yo lefèt ke yo montre yon enkonpetans oubyen yon rezilta negatif. Vedrine kontinye pou l di: «anseyan bileng yo kapab genyen yon enfliyans pou kreye oubyen devlope esperyans pozitif ki gen siksè nan lavi timoun nan lekòl».

Dapre Védrine, menmsi siksè a minim oubyen li pa egziste, anseyan yo dwe genyen fèm asirans nan kapasite timoun yo ak fason anseyan an ankouraje pou l fè soti travay ke timoun yo ap fè a. Védrine di menmsi anseyan pwogran bileng nan itilize ide sa yo chak jou, sa mande anpil kreyasyon ak sa ke yo konfye ladan l. Piti piti avèk tan, tout sakrifis sa yo ap gen merit. Védrine deklare ke li konsyan de pwoblèm ke pwofesè bileng yo ap konfwonte. Li mansyone ke nan kèk lekòl piblik pa gen anpil asistan anseyan (parapwofesyonèl). Li ajoute ke pwogram bileng nan sipoze gen yon sèten nonb elèv pa klas men pafwa nomb sa a ogmante paske gen nouvo elèv k ap antre nan pwogram lan. Pafwa, anseyan yo jwenn elèv k ap vin nan klas yo tout tan menm nan fen ane eskolè a. Selon Védrine, sa kreye yon tip dezekilib nan konesans epitou anseyans yo dwe pase plis tan ak elèv ki fèk parèt yo. Pafwa, li trè fasil pou elèv yo fonksyone akoz laj yo…

Emmanuel W. Védrine
P.O.B. 255962
Dorchester, MA 02125-5110 (U.S),