Conduits of Communication, Conduits to Understanding Part I My Second Language Journey 1. French -Michelle, Anne vous travaillez -Ou est Sylvie? -Paul Verlaine -literal, -dialogue, grammar, vocab -no understanding Chanson d’automne, Paul Verlaine Les sanglots longs Des violons De l'automne Blessent mon cœur D'une langueur monotone. Tout suffocant Et blême, quand Sonne l'heure, Je me souviens Des jours anciens Et je pleure Et je m'en vais Au vent mauvais Qui m'emporte Deçà, delà, Pareil à la Feuille morte. Chinese -Zhongguo, Meiguo, dong -beginnings of insight into a culture -pronunciation horrid 中国 美国 東 British English -typical dialect vocab bumbershoot, lorry, WC, loo etc. -Quite… -Right… -tone -communication gaps and gaffes …Japanese ah so desnei Part II ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE …NOT A FOREIGN LANGUAGE …Naturalistic language learning …du tal svenska? -limitations of naturalism -Protocol to study language in the target language (immersion) Essential Elements -time -cultural assimilation TRADITIONAL TEACHING a. Vocabulary b. Structure (grammar) c. Pronunciation d. culture/context NATURAL ACQUISITION a. communicate -imitate (pro+vocabulary) b. assimilate -culture/context c. Structures (grammar) WE IN SCHOOLS GENERALLY DO A GREAT JOB ON VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR. VARIED ON PRONUNCIATION. …AND ARE GENERALLY THE WEAKEST IN CONTEXTUALIZATION AND CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING. -The second language approach is an attempt to merge the strengths of the traditional with the understanding and lasting value that comes with natural acquisition. Part III EAI-Hefei Summer Language Teacher Training 2004-2008 The goals of the course: -developing skill, proficiency, and excellence in authentic pronunciation, vocabulary, idioms, word usage, and culture. Authentic Pronunciation: -tone -cadence -dialect and regional differences (American Standard versus accent based language) Vocabulary -idioms -slang -age-based language -vocabulary in context (contextual clues) Cultural Competency -language as a window -to authentically communicate -to authentically understand (not only to interpret but also to infer) Challenges and triumphs -difficulty finding appropriate texts and resources (text that was initially used was “canned” and inauthentic.） …the solution??? -Create an authentic American English reader. An American Quilt: Readings in American Language and Culture …CHALLENGE How to create an environment conducive to cultural assimilation and learning??? …SOLUTION Base the course pedagogically around American educational principles. (class size, interactions, and methodologies which provides for a more immersive environment) …Challenge Keeping the language as a communication tool and making it important and relevant. …Solution Having the course have a content theme. (2008 The Environment… energy, habitat, sustainability, climate change, and community action.） Making it relevant to bridge cultural gaps and provide authentic understandings Part IV Why Authentic Language Learning is Important and Essential -Two of the most important communication tools of the 21st Century are used in this room. -English and Chinese [others arguably are Spanish, Arabic, and Urdu (Hindi language group)] To review…what is authentic??? …that which can be communicated and understood in all its levels. (from cursory surface level to most subtle) -Americans use stories and metaphor to communicate。 -American English is a MUTT…we come from a myriad of languages and cultures…our language is constructed by the melding of our COLLECTIVE experience (unlike most other languages which are a representation of a COMMON experience) and the bridges (metaphor again) are illustrative stories, parables, verse, and song. • So to truly become fluent in American English…one must attempt to understand America. • The same is true of Chinese and China. The world has great problems and issues that can only be solved together. We can only make progress in these areas by gaining (cultural/intercultural) understanding. As we inch towards authentic language fluency we will make massive strides towards understanding and solutions.