Monday, September 11, 2006

the Apostle Paul and TESOL

"Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 1If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me." Is this stuff relevant?

Karl Johnson of Cornell's Chesterton House wrote this about Canagarajah's presentation (which was, sadly, cancelled) on ESL and Christianity: "Although the entanglement of Christianity with colonialism and the teaching of English is complex, Christianity commonly preserves and empowers native cultures against the homogenizing tendencies of Western culture precisely because Christianity values vernacular languages."

Babel. Pentecost. Imperialism. Evangelism. International English Teaching. I suddenly want to explore this issue way more. Christianity as linguistic Good Guy? Sociolinguistics term paper, anyone?

Related Reading: The Ascent of Babel: An Exploration of Language, Mind, and Understanding by Gerry T. M. Altmann