The Power of Talk
How Words Change Our Lives
- Felecia Briscoe - University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
- Gilberto Arriaza - California State University, East Bay, USA
- Rosemary C. Henze - San José State University, USA
Communication | Diversity | Leadership
Unlock the power of language to promote equity in your school! This enlightening book shows how everyday speech can be a transforming force in today's schools, creating a more equitable environment for people of all backgrounds. Written by experts on language and diversity, this resource combines research-validated tools and real-world insights for addressing verbal communication issues within the classroom and schoolwide. Readers will find:
- Case studies and vignettes that show how language contributes to school change and shapes community relationships
- Thought-provoking exercises that strengthen language awareness and leadership skills
- Guidance on effectively coaching students and colleagues on equity issues and the use of appropriate language.
By using language to overcome barriers, foster collaboration, and promote respect, leaders can make a significant difference in the quality of life and work in schools.
"In a down-to-earth style, the authors explain how, by paying attention to how we talk, people can make a difference to the quality of life and work in schools. Drawing on real-life examples, they show that by thinking critically about how we habitually interact with others and by making the necessary changes in our own behavior, leaders can model respectful and collaborative ways of addressing and responding to others and gradually change the norms of the whole community."
"The authors appeal to educators on both a professional and a personal level. Changing the discourse will not only improve school achievement for students, but will allow educators to more effectively express their beliefs about equitable and socially just education."
"I like the specific strategies in each chapter for helping educators become aware of how language influences beliefs and assumptions. I also like the suggestions for how to develop skills for using language in a more equitable way."
"I really liked the tone the authors used throughout—it was never negative or condescending. The authors did a good job of explaining the effects of language without preaching or looking down on those who might not be aware of the effects their language has on others."
"This book will be very useful for teachers and teacher educators. The organization and accessibility of the concepts in this book are a major strength. The examples that are given are concrete and make concepts easy to understand."
"This book needs to be in the hands of every educator and administrator. Too many times, the adults involved in education forget the power of the words they use."
"Any chapter is enough for a year's worth of conversation, and occasionally a good argument—among students, staff, and families. It is an invitation to a dialogue with one's peers, but it also works as a dialogue with oneself. I found myself both arguing with the authors and shifting my own stance as I went. A must-read."
"I couldn't stop reading this book! It masterfully pinpoints how language plays a critical, fundamental role in our daily lives as educators. Most important, it shows us how our deepest thoughts are manifested in language and how we can deal with them in our continued efforts to dismantle gender, racial, and class prejudice."
Didn't get sufficent votes from
department members to warrant adoption, however, I reference it in my Intro to Inclusive Ed course and recommend that
students purchase it and add it to their professional library. It's one of the best books I've seen for
teaching in the language of the learner.