“Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Nine: Welcome to Showbiz,” written by Norma Landa Flores and available on PDF digital download @teacherspayteachers.com, is a 29 page Short Story and Oral Communication Lesson that features the story entitled, “Episode Nine: “Welcome to Showbiz.” It is the ninth in a collection of 17 interrelated short stories about Cuca, an undocumented immigrant girl who makes her way from Mexico to Texas and Arizona to settle in with her aunt Miriam and cousin Dora in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, California, in 1929. The Saga takes place from 1924-1937. Each episode ends with an epilogue and is independent of the previous episode.
This material is suitable for students in grades 9-12 and above. In addition, the content is very helpful for any age level student learning English as a Second Language or for Special Education students having difficulty pronouncing [ i ] [ ɛ ] [ eɪ ] or substituting [ ɪ ] [ æ ] or [ ɑɪ ] for these sounds.The Epilogue section of this short story focuses on a pronunciation lesson with Multiple Choice Questions, Sentences for pronunciation and an unbiased assessment form for student feedback. “ Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Nine: Welcome to Showbiz,” encourages verbal communication, cooperation and oral collaboration.
Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Nine: Welcome To Showbiz,Contents [ i ] tense/air up to nasal area, [ ɛ ] relaxed/air over open jaw and
[ eɪ ] tense/air flows from [ ɛ ] to [ i ] Voiced Vowel
Pronunciation Pre-Assessment ..... 3
Does that Perrito Espeak Inglés? ..... 4
Welcome to Los Angeles, Cuca .....4
Welcome To Boyle Avenue Elementary School! .....7
Dora’s Theater Public Relations Meeting .....10
Dora Decides to Cooperate with Señor Silver Hair .....15
Epilogue: Life Should Be Beautiful and Happy! .....19
[ i ] [ ɛ ] [ eɪ ] Pronunciation Grades .....21
Multiple Choice Questions for Discussion .....22
[ i ] [ ɛ ] [ eɪ ] Vowel Pronunciation Post-Assessment .....23
Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria
for Assessing [ i ] [ ɛ ] [ eɪ ] .....24
Appendix: Suggestions for the Teacher/Facilitator..... 25
First Suggestion: Oral Communication About
the Short Story ..... 26
Second Suggestion: [ i ] [ ɛ ] [ eɪ ] Vowel Pronunciation
Third Suggestion: Oral Interpretation, Reader’s Theatre, ..... 28
Stage, Play, Broadcast, etc.
Peroration and Copyright Information..... 29
A wonderful bonus is that this Episode serves as a sample for writing a short story for Reader’s Theatre or Oral Interpretation of Literature, bilingually, because the text is rich in dialogue. The Episode is brief enough to edit into a classroom or speech tournament presentation. Furthermore, it improves pronunciation in a relevant, student-centered method too. The most important lesson to be taken from this Episode is that communicators must be good listeners in order to adapt their words and messages to the needs of the family, school and working conditions they find themselves in.
As Cuca’s aunt Miriam advises, “When in Roma, do as the Romanos do. Espeak Inglés,” Which of course means, “Speak English and pay attention to your listener’s responses so that you can more easily adapt to and thrive in your new environment.” All in all, this Episode highlights Cuca’s plan to survive through the use of two languages in her new land.