On July 6, 1984 Bobby Doyle and Chanthania Roberson gave birth to a precious baby girl
at Texas Women's Hospital in Houston, Texas. Brittaney Doyle is the third child of a total
of seven within her blended family. Brittaney's parents both are from Baytown,
My family background
Brittaney's mother, Chanthania Roberson, attended Lee College where she obtained her
Associates degree in Accounting and her Father Bobby Doyle has an Associates degree in
mechanical engineering. Unfortunately things between her two parents didn't work out
and her mother married Ell Roberson Jr., but her Father is unmarried presently. Within
her blended family she has a thirty-four year-old brother named Ell Roberson III
(Houston, TX), a thirty-three year-old sister named Ersheika Doucet (Baytown, TX), a
twenty-seven year-old brother named Charles Godfrey (Charlotte, NC), a twenty-six year
old sister named Shante' Doyle (Los Angeles, CA), a twenty-five year-old sister named
Oceanell Godfrey (Baytown, TX), and a twenty-five year-old brother Quaid Landheart
(Baytown, TX). She lives with her mom, stepdad, and her one year old daughter Bailee
Dowdye. She lives in Baytown, Texas were she was raised her entire life and she still
resides today. Brittaney attended elementary, Jr. high, and high school in Baytown, TX.
She attended Ross S. Sterling and Robert E. Lee High School where she graduated within
the top twenty percent of her 2002 graduating class. She obtained her Associates Degree
in Education at Lee College in Baytown, TX and is currently working towards her
Bachelors degree in Education at the University of Houston Clear Lake.
Brittaney shared the above photo of her Granny, Annetta Grevenberg, because within
her family she made the biggest influence in her life pertaining to language. Growing up
Brittaney always loved to read, but when she would read she always wanted to
pronounce words correctly, comprehend what she would read, and know the definition
of new words in the text. So when she would go ask her Granny how to pronounce a
word or what the definition of a word was she would always tell Brittaney "Go get the
dictionary". Brittaney feels as if that was a very good quality that her Granny instilled in
her at a young age. Still to this day Brittaney keeps the dictionary app installed on her
phone for this very reason. Her Mother also had a major influence in her life pertaining
to language. Brittaney can recall vividly being read a bedtime story and the nights she
and her Mother didn't read they would sing a song. Brittaney's Mother was firm on
Brittaney when it came to reading because she always wanted to improve her reading
skills. Brittaney was an early talker, a great speller, and an even better reader. These are
things her Mother saw in her at an early age and that is the reason why she was so firm
on Brittaney. She always wanted her to do better.
Brittaney is a native English speaker. She can fluently understand, read, and write in
English. It is said that English is one of the hardest languages to learn, but Brittaney feels it
isn't of course because that is the only language she has acquired her entire life. Brittaney
studied Spanish for two years in high school and she says that because she didn't use it
she lost it. She still can understand and say very little in Spanish.
Places of Travel
Brittaney has traveled to Mexico and while she was there she was able to communicate
enough to know what time the shuttle left the hotel and what food was being served for
breakfast. She can remember going into the convenience store to buy a soda and the'
sign read 13 pesos. She immediately thought, "Oh my I can't afford to live in Mexico". As
she was leaving out of the store she was asked did she need any help and she said "Why
is a soda 13 dollars"? The store clerk chuckled and said "No, no! That's one US dollar".
She explained how she had to laugh at herself because she didn't realize how dumb
she had made herself look. She will be traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico soon so I'm sure
she'll have more stories to tell.
Britaney's greatest memory about reading in school was Accelerated Reader. She enjoyed
AR so much because it gave her the opportunity to read which is something she likes to
do and be competitive at the same time. She also enjoyed AR because she had a choice
to read whatever she liked reading. It wasn't a book picked by her teacher. She can
remember one semester she was so determined to beat the other grade level classes she
had so many books logged on her AR Reading log her teacher didn't believe it was true.
Brittaney feels like AR was a good reading program to encourage students to read and
she knows that AR is one of the reasons why her reading skills are so great.
MEET STACEY VALENCIA
Brittaney Doyle interviewed Stacey Valencia, who has born in Dallas, Texas. Both of
Stacey's parents were born in Mexico. Stacey is bilingual, she started learning English at
the age of 13. Stacey developed additive bilingualism, which means Stacey learned a
second language in addition the first. Growing up neither one of her parents knew
English, her parents know English now. Her father still struggles with English, he can read
English good but has a hard time writing in English.
BRITTANEY VS. STACEY'S FAMILY INFLUENCE
Unlike Brittaney, Stacey didn't have any family influence In learning English from her
parents but she did have older cousins who did help. Stacey received English language
support from school, peers, and imitating her teacher, peers, and classmates. Stacey
isn't a reader but she is a talker, especially if it's a topic she's comfortable with. According
to Krashen, language acquisition, in informal terms, is picking up a language-learning it
unconsciously from the social environment. Language learning, on the other hand, is
learning a language or learning about a language in a formal sense, for example in a
classroom setting (Lessow-Hurley, 2013, p. 67). Based on Stacey's response on how she
acquired English refers back to both of the ways Krashen proposed a child learns a new
WHAT LANGUAGE(S) DO YOU KNOW?
As mentioned earlier in the article Stacey is bilingual, Stacey can fluently understand, read,
write, and speak English and Spanish. Stacey felt that English was not hard to learn
because she started to acquire the English language at a young age. Stacey studied French
in high school for a year, she still remembers the basics of the French language, so she
can understand some things when people are conversing.
STACEY'S POSITIVE & NEGATIVE ENGLISH EXPERIENCE
While interviewing Stacey, she did express that she experienced some positive things
while acquiring English. She mentioned that she had teachers who really worked with
her until she was in the fourth grade. They were very caring, patient, and had the desire
to help her understand what was being taught. But as we all know we have to accept the
good with the bad, Stacey explained that while in school she can vividly remember one
negative experience that affected her affective filter. The school she attended constantly
switched her from bilingual to regular classrooms on several different occasions. As we
reflected back on the Second Language Acquisition reading guide it states that "the more
comprehensible input an ELL receives in low-stress situations, the more efficient ELLs
are in developing L2". It also states that "emotions can be a barrier to language
acquisition", so as teachers we should strive to keep students' stress levels as low as
possible. It's understood why Stacey felt her affected filter had been affected. But in
spite of her feeling that way she didn't allow that to detour her from learning English or
making good grades.
To acquire a new language is a challenging task. So as a future ESL teacher please
remember to remain patient with your ELL students, be encouraging to them speak slowly
so that your ELLs can comprehend, and that repetition is good. Keep in mind that
it take a child 3-4 years to acquire BICS and it can take 5-7 years to acquire CALP, and that
ELLs are learning social language but ALL students are learning academic language.