#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
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
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
TESL Methods & Materials
Directional Survival Skills
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Materials Needed: simple map students can write on.
Time: 20 min. exercise Continue reading