Friday, April 07, 2006

New movie to document the District's schools through immigrants' eyes

The Georgetown Voice looks at a project by Sara Burnes to explore the educational opportunities of immigrants in the District's public schools in a new documentary. Titled "Immigration: A Step Up or a Step Down?" the film is being shot by students enrolled in Georgetown University's Immigrant Ethnography class.
"What we've looked into is the discrepancy between the opportunities available to students in their home countries versus their experiences of higher education in America," Burnes said.

Burnes and her fellow filmmakers, who are completing their interview footage this week and plan to have a rough cut finished by the time classes end, have faced logistical challenges on the way to seeing their movie reach the screen. On their first day at Wilson, none of the school administrators they talked to knew where the correct ESL classroom was, according to Stephen.

"Just to witness what an ESL class is like is a reality check," Burnes said. "The teacher that we've been working with doesn't even speak Spanish. She's kind of removed from her own classroom."
The film is scheduled to be complete before the end of the school year, but there are no plans to publicly show the film as of yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps these silmmakers need to think a little more about what is supposed to happen in an ESL classroom. Why would an ESL teacher need to speak Spanish? The District has immigrants from many more places than just Central America. The idea is to be teaching English to all of these students, regardless of their background. I doubt many ESL teachers in the area speak Amharric, but they still manage to teach Ethiopian students.