Melody Wharton

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Interview Text and Audio


Melody Wharton was born in Venezuela, but moved to Miami, Florida with her family when she was seven years old. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and later moved with her husband to Watts, California where she worked as a teacher for two years. She moved to Chapel Hill to work as a dual language teacher and today she is one of the people in the district who has dedicated the most time to this program. In this interview she covers various themes, including the importance of bilingualism, the difference in the expectations of children from different economic backgrounds, the process of enrolling in the dual language program, the legal decisions that affect students in North Carolina, and her personal experiences. She remembers that when she entered the second grade, her physical characteristics and last name created a big obstacle, because the majority of teachers assumed she was North American and she did not receive enough individual help to learn the language. Now she coaches teachers throughout the district, helping them develop curricula and connecting them to resources necessary for integrating language learning and culture in the classroom.



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