#3 Discuss how the topics in sociolinguistics will affect your practice in TESL and other relationships.
This Sociolinguistics class covered a variety of topics, and has proven very enlightening about communication styles and political attitudes in the United States concerning language education and very practical in how to deal with communications between cultures and genders. Continue reading →
Measure the value of a common language–this ability to communicate–and you will measure the value of a thread to a tapestry. Common language is a thread running through the magnificent tapestry of American society. It holds together the diversity of families and cultures in a common picture: diverse, colorful, yet unified and complimentary. Without the thread of common language, the tapestry that once portrayed a unified community will split and fall leaving one section here, another portion there, and yet another piece to be untangled by the house cat on its morning patrol of the Great Hall.
In the United States, English is by far the most widely used language, and, for hundreds of years, it has been the common bond that connects immigrants of all descent and grants them the title they have cherished so dearly–“American”. They value this title because it is a title that does not call for them to forsake all culture of their past but to gain a new culture and build one nation that spans the continent and not split it into sixty nations the size of Georgia. This unification is being weakened by the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants who no longer take measures or retain the desire to become American in language. Some of them are content to settle in areas where their native tongue is spoken not only in the homes but in the entire community allowing English to become an unnecessary luxury. This is perhaps convenient in their mind because they do not have to learn a new language, but it contributes to the division of this nation of immigrants. In 1983, Senator Walter Huddleston noted that open acceptance of English has allowed citizens and immigrants “to discuss our differences, to argue about our problems, and to compromise on solutions” while developing “a stable and cohesive society” (114). Many immigrants come to the United States to work and to build better lives for themselves. It must be realized that quality of life does not come from living at a certain location nor from working a certain job. One aspect of a quality life is unity with other human beings. Unity occurs when people not only work together but find ways to communicate with each other about their feelings, their plans, and their dreams. Continue reading →
Definitely a book worthy to be in the hand of every language teacher — Keep Talking by Freiderike Klippel. Klippel brings together a wonderful culmination of exercises and teaching techniques and ideas which should be practiced in many a classroom.
This book contains 123 activities all organized and categorized to be of maximum use for the teacher. For convenience, the activities are listed so a teacher can look up an activity which will fit her classroom needs specifically. There are three major headings for the activities: Questions and answers, Discussions and decisions, and Stories and scenes. Each activity is categorized by topic, language level, type of student organization needed whether from groups to individuals, amount of preparation involved, and time in minutes for the exercise to be completed.
In the United States there is the presupposition that bilingual education is the answer to teaching linguistically diverse children. The idea is that the children who have a mother tongue other than English and do not speak English as their own language will be sufficiently able to merge and communicate with the major culture of the States while being taught the majority of their classes in their native tongue. In many cases this presupposition creates a setting where the same children are never exposed to English beyond a few hours of each school day. Continue reading →
The subject of this case study is a male Vietnamese student at Oral Roberts University. For the sake of anonymity I will refer to the subject as “Carl”. Carl is 40 years of age and has been in the United States for 23 years although he has been studying and practicing English over a period of 26 years. His English studies began in seventh grade while still in Vietnam. Carl is right handed and worked very intently on the tests I asked him to take. He seemed very systematic and patient with the material even when he did not understand part of it. At the time of our interview, he had his watch set 10 minutes faster than real time. Yet, despite his apparent attempt to be on schedule he arrived about that many minutes late to our meeting. In this case study I will discuss Carl’s learning styles and strategies, his personality factors contributing to learning, and sociocultural factors involved in learning. Continue reading →
Leadership training among the Navajo men between ages 12 and 17 in the Shiprock Agency of the Navajo Nation Reservation.
A Note From the Researcher.
A comprehensive documentation of the needs and suggested solutions for any people group would probably fill volumes. This document is not, by any means, an attempt to address all the needs of the Navajo people but to identify specific leadership issues and present a possible solution in this area.
This project is an effort to contribute an organized leadership training program for young Navajo men. Its purpose is to train up young leaders who know Jesus Christ as Savior and friend and who will be able, honest, and wise leaders in every area of Navajo life. This project will take on several stages before completion: analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation and empowerment.
Community development is a process. Development is a long-term process of helping people to help themselves. It is said, “Give a man a fish and you will have fed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and you will have fed him for a lifetime”. This is the concept of community development–to empower people to care for and improve themselves.
In his book, Two Ears of Corn, Roland Bunch defined community development as “A process whereby people learn to take charge of their own lives and solve their own problems.” (1982). It is a development of attitude as well as resources. Bunch noted that poverty is often linked directly to mental attitudes more than actual physical situations (1982).
Community development includes many different areas: agriculture, economics, literacy, hygiene, and others. No matter what area in which the development is taking place it is important to remember that the purpose is to empower the people within their own society and culture so that changes are coming from within the culture and from the people, not merely because an outside influence is changing them.
In 1973 Dale Kietzman presented a definition of community development to the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). He said, “Community Development is the process of helping to strengthen a community (and its leadership) so that it can resolve, through its own initiative, the problems which face it” (Yost & Yost, 1999). Continue reading →
Original title: “The place of minority history and values in the classroom.”
As tomorrow’s teachers we ask how we can instill in the children an understanding of the value found in diversity. We want to show children that different opinion and views are valuable to society and their own lives. The difficulty is teaching this without alienating the children from each other.
The United States has been called a “melting pot” of peoples. In teaching our children, I think we should point out that rather than a meshing and melting of individual peoples into a unidentifiable mush, the U.S. is more like a color photograph. Each color is vital to the completion of the whole picture. Just as the photograph needs the variety of colors so society needs different opinions and ways of doing things to make it whole. Continue reading →
I have enjoyed my experience as a staff photographer for Oral Roberts University’s The Oracle. This semester provided an opportunity for me to gain experience in diverse photojournalism techniques and situations from close-up shots at dinner to impersonal parking lots. My time spent as a staff photographer has been well spent. When I joined the staff, my purpose was to gain a reason to be continually involved in photography and learn any new photojournalism techniques that would present themselves over the semester.
Toward the end of this semester, I was asked to go to The Oracle offices on Monday mornings and read over the headlines. This may be a small job, but I am now able to take a part in making The Oracle just a little better. Besides, I am gaining experience that will assist me later if I turn in a job application to my hometown newspaper over the summer. I had previously written and taken pictures freelance for The Fort Scott Tribune, but now I have a semester of experience which I can put in my resume`. Continue reading →