Here’s a nice infographic showing what the World would look like (Statistically) if there were only 100 people.
Men and women may be from the same species when it comes to biology, but when dealing with communication they have differences that some even consider to be out of this world. Books like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (1992) and That’s Not What I Meant! by Deborah Tannen (1992) have brought issues of gender communication and the importance of understanding such communication styles and techniques to the forefront of American society in recent years.
Three of those styles that are typical differences between American males and females will be discussed in this document. These three are: conversational style, pronunciation, and independence versus interdependence in storytelling techniques. Continue reading
The Volcano Santa Maria; been there, done that…and it was tough!
Ever since I heard about the moonlight hikes of the volcano Santa Maria, I thought that it sounded like a blast!
Hiking through the moonlit darkness into the dawn and then seeing sunrise from the towering peak and viewing up to 11 other volcanic peaks including looking down onto the live crater of Santiaguito, sounded like a great adventure for this boy. farm
So, here’s the story of my volcanicadventure…
- Name: Santa Maria
- Height: 12,375 ft (3772 mts)
- Comparison: Mt. Fuji in Japan is about 10 feet taller
- Trail rating: Strenuous
- Trail distance: Approx. 6.21 miles (10 km)
- Elevation increase from trailhead: Approx. 4,173 feet
I had been dreaming of doing this hike for two years so when I found out that some friends were interested I planned it for Nov. 15th, 2013 (technically a few days before the full moon but it worked better for our schedules). There were five friends from ASELSI and three guys visiting town from Michigan plus our friend Kevin, from Totonicapan, our guide, Hansy, two friends of his and two police officers for safety. (Apparently there have been some thieves prowling the trails and they recommend armed escorts to prevent attacks.)
In Quetzaltenango, we met up with Hansy near the stadium and his friend wowed us with a story of Hansy’s record ascent of the mountain (an incredible 45 minutes). Then we drove over to the central park where a van pulled up at about 12:30 a.m., and we headed out to the Santa Maria Summit Trail trailhead which ended up being quite a long ways from the foot of the mountain but, unless you’re on dirt bikes, that’s as close as you can get in a van. Continue reading
10 March, 2000
Humanity is searching for simplicity in the midst of this life so full of complexity. In Henry David Thoreau’s “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” and Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “The Channelled Whelk” the reader is exposed to two authors’ desire for simplicity and how they seek this. Although from different centuries, both authors have found similar sensations in nature to be calming and draw feelings of simplicity from it. One attempts to absorb the basis of life by changing surroundings and absorbing the simple things of this world. The other recognizes the way nature reminds humanity that the life within can retain lessons in simplicity and grace of the mind, heart, and environment. Continue reading
24 April, 2000
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
Tony Schwartz from the Harvest Business Review had some good insights into re-arranging priorities in a busy life.
He wrote that, “We mistake activity for productivity, more for better, and we ask ourselves ‘What’s next?’ far more often than we do ‘Why this?'”
It is important for us to prioritize and build in effeciency producing habits that become second nature.
Getty Images photographer John Moore took his coverage of immigration stories a step further when he traveled to the Mexico-Guatemala border, where Central American immigrants cross the Suchiate River, beginning their long and perilous journey north through Mexico. View his images here.
On my way to Tapachula to get a visa renewed, I witnessed people openly crossing the Guatemalan/Mexican border on rafts just below the bridge where immigration officers are checking documents for those who cross legally. They were going both ways.
Those headed north may have been just starting their journey to attempt a border crossing into the USA. Those heading south had loads of products, gasoline, etc. that they were not-so subtly smuggling into Guatemala where untaxed gas is openly sold along the highways at nearly $1.30 (US) cheaper than the going rate at legal gas stations.
Learning about Carl Learning English
April 28, 1999
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