Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Diversity in an International Classroom
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Justin Trullinger



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 3110
Location: Seoul, South Korea and Myanmar for a bit

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always weird when they try for complete reversal. Even questions of race or nationality can give a strange impression.

I used an elementary textbook for a while, can't remember the name, in which the setting, a first grade classroom in English, is presented as containing one, and only one, minority child belonging to every minority the writers could think of.

One Indian kid.

One Native American kid.

One "Asian" kid.

One Muslim kid.

One Jewish kid.

One white kid of northern European descent.

A Latino kid...

You get the idea.

All the confused little Ecuadorians asked me, "Where is this class where all the kids are from all over the place?"

New York, I'd tell them. And London.


Best,
Justin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 695
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear steki47,

Yup - it's the "overboard" or "the pendulum swings too far in the other direction" syndrome.

SIde by Side 1B is especially guilty. Males do all the housework, and the ladies are all truck-drivers and baseball players.

Regards,
John


I'm not surprised when you figure that the sort of people who went to college in the 60s/70s/80s became academics and some started writing textbooks.

When I took the ACT back in '98 or so, there were passages on Native American women, etc. None of this is bad per se, but I do see a certain viewpoint being promoted.

In language studies, we speak of the difference between prescriptive and descriptive. A similar force is at work, me thinks. People who write textbooks can show the world they want, rather than what really is.

In fact, if I were a bit of a prankster, I would write an EFL text showing a math class with a room full of Chinese students failing the class! Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chancellor



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1335
Location: Zibo, China - if you're willing to send me cigars, I accept donations :)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
johnslat wrote:
Dear steki47,

Yup - it's the "overboard" or "the pendulum swings too far in the other direction" syndrome.

SIde by Side 1B is especially guilty. Males do all the housework, and the ladies are all truck-drivers and baseball players.

Regards,
John


I'm not surprised when you figure that the sort of people who went to college in the 60s/70s/80s became academics and some started writing textbooks.
Yes, the hippies are now the establishment!

Quote:
When I took the ACT back in '98 or so, there were passages on Native American women, etc. None of this is bad per se, but I do see a certain viewpoint being promoted.

I took the ACT so long ago (the late 1970s) that I don't even remember what was on it. As for viewpoints being promoted, the American government indoctrination centers (public schools) have been doing that since at least the early 20th century (see www.johntaylorgatto.com)

Quote:
In language studies, we speak of the difference between prescriptive and descriptive. A similar force is at work, me thinks. People who write textbooks can show the world they want, rather than what really is.

In fact, if I were a bit of a prankster, I would write an EFL text showing a math class with a room full of Chinese students failing the class! Very Happy
I think that a certain amount of prescriptivism is necessary (otherwise, languages cease to have all those patterns and things that separate them from gibberish) but this goes beyond mere prescriptivism.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 695
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chancellor wrote:
I think that a certain amount of prescriptivism is necessary (otherwise, languages cease to have all those patterns and things that separate them from gibberish) but this goes beyond mere prescriptivism.


Good point. Imagine if doctors followed that logic.
"You have severe diarrhea."
"Yes, I know. What you can do to help me?"
"Sorry, I'm just a descriptive doctor."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gaijinalways



Joined: 29 Nov 2005
Posts: 2279

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie posted
Quote:
Similarly, it may be helpful to inform learners that English-speaking people may swear on the street. It could be helpful to explain the social consequences of using such language. But I would seriously question the validity of a lesson whose aim was to teach students how to swear in English, or more pertinent to this thread, to teach what swearing is. My reluctance to deal with such material is not because I am somehow 'afraid' of it - it is because I really do not think it is my place, or any other language teacher's, to do so.


So when your students encounter profanity, you will report to them, "Oh, you don't want to learn that language", right????

I would agree with you, they don't necessarily need to learn to use it themselves, but there certainly is no harm in them knowing profanity and its related meanings for those situations where it might save them a literal beating.

So to think whether it's your place or not to teach them language seems a bit of a presumption in your case. After all, it's language and you are a language teacher, yes? Interesting that you seem to not want to teach language that students may want to learn, but instead assume that it's not your place to teach it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nozka



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 50
Location: "The City of Joy"

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize that all some teachers do is follow a textbook or some set curriculum, but others of us need to make choices about what to teach, and that means we are invariably bringing our opinions into the classroom. Some of us may be more objective about this than others, but no one is completely objective. If I'm the teacher, and I get to make the choice, why shouldn't I use topics that are interesting to me and challenge my students, especially if they respond positively to them?
Modern language curricula - as far as I know - are generally developed around language functions and/or tasks. What do my students need to do with language in the real world? Expressing opinions, discussing ideas, agreeing and disagreeing are important language functions that take up much of our language time. What do you think this forum is about?
This fear of opinion in the classroom is not about cultural hegemony, it's about cultural relativity. And what could be more PC and sacrosanct (in the ESL world anyway) than the doctrine of cultural relativity? I think it's this doctrine that deserves some critique.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chancellor



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1335
Location: Zibo, China - if you're willing to send me cigars, I accept donations :)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nozka wrote:
I realize that all some teachers do is follow a textbook or some set curriculum, but others of us need to make choices about what to teach, and that means we are invariably bringing our opinions into the classroom. Some of us may be more objective about this than others, but no one is completely objective. If I'm the teacher, and I get to make the choice, why shouldn't I use topics that are interesting to me and challenge my students, especially if they respond positively to them?
Modern language curricula - as far as I know - are generally developed around language functions and/or tasks. What do my students need to do with language in the real world? Expressing opinions, discussing ideas, agreeing and disagreeing are important language functions that take up much of our language time. What do you think this forum is about?
This fear of opinion in the classroom is not about cultural hegemony, it's about cultural relativity. And what could be more PC and sacrosanct (in the ESL world anyway) than the doctrine of cultural relativity? I think it's this doctrine that deserves some critique.
Do they not already know how to express opinions, discuss ideas, etc.? They do speak a language of some sort, don't they? That being the case, they don't need to re-learn how to express opinions, discuss ideas, etc., they only need to acquire the English language skills so that they can take their knowledge of expressing opinions, discussing ideas, etc. and carry it out in English.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Chancellor



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1335
Location: Zibo, China - if you're willing to send me cigars, I accept donations :)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gaijinalways wrote:
Sashadroogie posted
Quote:
Similarly, it may be helpful to inform learners that English-speaking people may swear on the street. It could be helpful to explain the social consequences of using such language. But I would seriously question the validity of a lesson whose aim was to teach students how to swear in English, or more pertinent to this thread, to teach what swearing is. My reluctance to deal with such material is not because I am somehow 'afraid' of it - it is because I really do not think it is my place, or any other language teacher's, to do so.


So when your students encounter profanity, you will report to them, "Oh, you don't want to learn that language", right????

I would agree with you, they don't necessarily need to learn to use it themselves, but there certainly is no harm in them knowing profanity and its related meanings for those situations where it might save them a literal beating.

So to think whether it's your place or not to teach them language seems a bit of a presumption in your case. After all, it's language and you are a language teacher, yes? Interesting that you seem to not want to teach language that students may want to learn, but instead assume that it's not your place to teach it.
Since there is no valid reason for profanity (there are also those people who automatically think less of people who use it), it is not essential that students learn it in class. There are plenty of other sources available (like dictionaries) should they want to learn it. You can point them to where they can explore such vocabulary on their own.

You make it seem like the ESL teacher is there to teach their students every word in the English language and all of the various nuances of meaning that go with them. At what point do you allow students to explore the language on their own?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9710
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am surprised that anyone would not see the problem with teaching learners foul language in the classroom. Apart from the vulgarity issue, I do not know many learners, apart from vulgar little teens, who would want such material in the lesson. Most of them have a pretty good idea of the basics of 'Anglo-Saxon' anyway.

But maybe that is where I have been going wrong all these years. Shame on me. I don't teach them how to tell sexual jokes either, or to blaspheme or to chant neo-Nazi football slogans. Just because I'm a language teacher, doesn't oblige me to engage in communication that I find offensive, and which the vast majority of cultured people also do. Is that a presumption? A pretty safe one.

Just curious, but have you never heard of students going to the boss and complaining that their teacher was being disrespectful to them by using/teaching such material? Or worse again, their parents complaining? Such a sheltered life if so.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3246

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the students and teachers and the FAO have asked me about swearing, they hear it in Western movies. I explain it to them the best I can (with the students it's one on one, I don't stand in front of the class and discuss it). One of the students thought that "darn" was REALLY bad. I explained that that's one you could say in front of your maiden aunt, no prob. It's always seemed ludicrous to me that "these letters in a certain order are bad". Are they bad because they're forbidden or are they forbidden because they're bad? Anyway, swear words in order of severity:
"C" word (referring to female pudenda)
"F" word (and all variations thereof, with "MF" probably the worst)
"CS" (fellatio)
"GD" (taking the lord's name in vain)
"SOB"
The upside of this has been that now the FAO knows when I'm REALLY angry about something.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nozka



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 50
Location: "The City of Joy"

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chancellor wrote:
[Do they not already know how to express opinions, discuss ideas, etc.? They do speak a language of some sort, don't they? That being the case, they don't need to re-learn how to express opinions, discuss ideas, etc., they only need to acquire the English language skills so that they can take their knowledge of expressing opinions, discussing ideas, etc. and carry it out in English.


Do they already know how to conjugate verbs, form sentences, organize paragraphs, etc? They do speak a language of some sort, don't they?

From now on I'm just going to give my students the OED to memorize. That it enough should be. No?

How else do you learn how to do these things in a foreign language besides practice?

Have you ever tried to have a sustained conversation with someone who has no critical thinking skills?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9710
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are we now saying that they only learn how to think critically after attending our EFL lessons?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nozka



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 50
Location: "The City of Joy"

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie, no.

But a surprising number of people do not learn critical thinking skills in any classroom, and that goes for both East and West.

If I'm teaching reading, I need to teach skills like inference and deduction. These things are tested on exams like TOEFL by the way.

Even if the students are not being tested in such a way, why shouldn't they learn it? Won't it make them better English learners, better readers, and better students in general? Why would I say, "that's not part of the English language, so I won't teach that?"

And please don't tell me that students already know these things. A significant percentage don't - the majority in some areas, and I'm not talking about children either.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 695
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Just curious, but have you never heard of students going to the boss and complaining that their teacher was being disrespectful to them by using/teaching such material? Or worse again, their parents complaining? Such a sheltered life if so.


This just happened to me at my last job. I was informed by the director of studies that a student said I talk about murder and violence a lot. Really? When? I have no idea.

Maybe I was talking about a newstory. There was a man who was recently arrested for murdering an English teacher in Tokyo.

In any case, the student complained that I made them feel uncomfortable in the lesson.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12877
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Nozka,

"I need to teach skills like inference and deduction . . . . . And please don't tell me that students already know these things. A significant percentage don't - the majority in some areas, and I'm not talking about children either."

Maybe I simply haven't taught in those "areas." but in my experience, students do already "know these things." What they often don't know is what we call them - i.e. inference and deduction.

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 5 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC