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Association for better TEFL

 
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 670
Location: Vientiane

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 3:53 am    Post subject: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

I posted this in the general section:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=1148729#1148729

I think such an association is long overdue. Maybe it's been in front of my face all along and I've missed it...
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 5:30 am    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
I posted this in the general section:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=1148729#1148729

I think such an association is long overdue. Maybe it's been in front of my face all along and I've missed it...


You mean one like TESOL International as an umbrella organization or
KOTESOL in Korea,
ThaiTESOL in Thailand,
JALT in Japan,
TESOL Canada, etc....

.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 670
Location: Vientiane

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:

You mean one like TESOL International as an umbrella organization or
KOTESOL in Korea,
ThaiTESOL in Thailand,
JALT in Japan,
TESOL Canada, etc....

.


Both it seems. nomad soul brought me up to speed on TESOL International, thanks.

The cool thing about JALT (at least when I was a member) is there was plenty of research into the Japanese language as well as well as TESOL. Wasn't the study of a second language part and parcel of becoming a TESOL professional at one time?
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 565
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
The cool thing about JALT (at least when I was a member) is there was plenty of research into the Japanese language as well as well as TESOL. Wasn't the study of a second language part and parcel of becoming a TESOL professional at one time?

You could check out AAAL (American Assoc. for Applied Linguistics) which has really become more of an international organization nowadays. It's focused on all aspects of Applied Linguistics (not just English, and not just language teaching). It's a bit more 'academic' than TESOL Int. Assoc. is, and the focus isn't as much on teaching, though language teaching is still a part of it.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 670
Location: Vientiane

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

rtm wrote:

You could check out AAAL (American Assoc. for Applied Linguistics) which has really become more of an international organization nowadays. It's focused on all aspects of Applied Linguistics (not just English, and not just language teaching). It's a bit more 'academic' than TESOL Int. Assoc. is, and the focus isn't as much on teaching, though language teaching is still a part of it.


Thanks! That's definitely what I was looking for, though I'm going to join both. I hope AAAL continues to spread internationally; good stuff. I think I'm at the point where I understand the utility of English of course, but don't have much to add to the discourse on acquisition. I still enjoy the classroom (people never get old), but I don't want to do so much of it anymore. I really can't handle another 'workshop' I don't think.
And I'mat a point where I can't discriminate much between languages anymore- they're all extremely interesting. I'm focusing on tonal languages at the moment, but only because my history has led me to that. I think I'd be happy anywhere really.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 565
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
I'm focusing on tonal languages at the moment, but only because my history has led me to that. I think I'd be happy anywhere really.

Are you interested in how tonal languages are taught, learned, and used, or are you interested in the structures and sounds of the languages themselves? The former would be applied linguistics, whereas the latter would be theoretical and/or descriptive linguistics (most likely phonology and/or phonetics, given your interest in tones).
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 670
Location: Vientiane

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

rtm wrote:

Are you interested in how tonal languages are taught, learned, and used, or are you interested in the structures and sounds of the languages themselves? The former would be applied linguistics, whereas the latter would be theoretical and/or descriptive linguistics (most likely phonology and/or phonetics, given your interest in tones).


Descriptive and comparative- tonal languages are clustered in only two parts of the world (not counting pitch language or a couple of exceptions), so the range and quality of different tones is therefore rare and unique. Also what is the history? Did tones enter into totally different language groups through foreign drift or do Asian tonal languages come from a single prototype? And why did some historically tonal languages become non-tonal?

Actually, I'm most interested in archival/preservation of ethnic languages and dialects that are disappearing due to urbanization. This is an aspect of applied linguistics that requires attention in many parts of the world now. When languages disappear so do cultures. There is a social and political aspect to this work that is very important. If language and culture can at the very least be preserved, there is a good chance that those values associated with it can be resurrected not just for the benefit of the affected community, but the society at large- perhaps even the world. Unfortunately, young migrants who go to the cities to work to earn money more often than not end up ashamed of their village language. Amongst Asian hill tribes, as with Native Americans, we are seeing the same rise in alcoholism and unemployment in villages that are increasingly becoming empty. Some young people, perhaps feeling they are sticking at least in part with their heritage, end up wearing jeans in the day and putting on fake shows at night for tourists. Recently in Jinhong, Yunnan, the entire Dai settlement on the east bank of the Mekong was demolished within a couple of weeks to be replaced by Dai style bungalows for tourists surrounding a brand new Buddhist temple. Now isn't all that eerily familiar...

Well, I got off topic, but yes- language preservation. I am sure the tonal part of that is important as well but not sure how offhand, other than to say unique things are inherently valuable.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
putting on fake shows at night for tourists


That's one part of China that really irks me: the shows for the Han Chinese tourists--kitsch up the minority culture for the amusement/enjoyment of the majority.

"C'mon fat_chris! Let's go see the show!" Umm, no thank you.

It's one reason why I'm really not interested in going to Tibet.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 670
Location: Vientiane

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

fat_chris wrote:
bluetortilla wrote:
putting on fake shows at night for tourists


That's one part of China that really irks me: the shows for the Han Chinese tourists--kitsch up the minority culture for the amusement/enjoyment of the majority.



From Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show to the Polynesian Village in Oahu, it's the demeaning spectacle of the wild natives for the imperialist ignorant 'civilized' people.I remember being struck sometime in my teens that watching beautiful animals locked up in cages in zoos was somehow disgusting. And I've never took my children to one (though their school did dammit). What is the difference between a zoo and a boat ride through the Polynesian village?

And I don't if it's true, but I've heard that the Bushman are now just getting fat in reservations and doing nothing cept posing for pics by the white tourists. Paradise Lost.

Times change and the old ways fade out, but it doesn't mean that the old values cannot be integrated into the new environment. Just look at the very successful Kejia people. Sure, the traditional houses are disappearing but important cultural traditions are intact and, importantly I believe, they preserve their language and identity. They are respected and they respect others.

And i would ask what are we in this TEFL environment? Aren't we often stereotyped, gawked at, laughed at, have our noses made fun of, what color are your eyes, used, whatever...'yeah, you'll get the job- you got a white face.' All my students used to call me Mr. Bean so I grew my hair out so I wouldn't look like him anymore. Seems trivial maybe- but Mr. Bean put on a goofy gig- gets annoying you know. If we want a genuine exchange and to build genuine friendships, we need to pick our places wisely and the onus is on us. Often Westerners in mills and so on just reenforce stereotypes and cause more division, not less.

It's easy for me to boycott certain types of businesses. I came to Asia as an exchange student and began teaching as a part time job, not knowing that's what I'd end up doing. Now I know a lot of stuff. Maybe it's not so easy for a naive young person with a CELTA, no second language, and a cheerful disposition but no idea of Asian history or culture. I can see disappoints coming pretty quick for them. Or that most managers grow to dislike the foreigners they employ because the management are businesspeople, not educators, and are frustrated that Westerners don't share their work values. To be honest, I think a native with good English would make a far better teacher, but Asia is riding high on xenophilia; white faces are status symbols and in demand. Their accents are exotic and 'correct'. Brains? Everyone has one of those.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Association for better TEFL Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
If we want a genuine exchange and to build genuine friendships, we need to pick our places wisely and the onus is on us.


This.

blue tortilla wrote:
To be honest, I think a native with good English would make a far better teacher, but Asia is riding high on xenophilia; white faces are status symbols and in demand. Their accents are exotic and 'correct'. Brains? Everyone has one of those.


Also this.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9317
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All anybody needs is a correct party line.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Great Greater Eurasia TEFL Collective Comradeship!

Get some!

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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