Friday, May 28, 2010

Textbooks for TESOL & Culture Class - ideas?

Re-opening comments for the first time in a couple of years for this question...

I'm teaching an "Intro to Teaching ESL" course later this summer as part of a sequence of classes. The first class will cover a lot of the "practical" aspects -- teaching the 4 skills, methods, materials, strategies, etc. -- and my portion will mostly cover "cultural" aspects of TESOL.

Question: what textbook should I use? The hope is something broad, not too theoretical, and cheap.

Ideas so far (with Canadian price):

Language and Culture by Claire Kramsch ($23) - short, many short collected readings, but not TESOL-or-teaching-focused per se

Teaching Culture: Perspectives in Practice by Patrick Moran ($40) - tons of exercises, examples, etc, but written by a foreign lg teacher (French) and focused on teaching culture rather than "cultural issues" in teaching

Culture in Second Language Teaching and Learning by Eli Hinkel ($22) - I like this one, and I think even though it was written in 1999 it gets at a lot of issues (and has stuff by a lot of different authors)...leaning toward it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From the new issue of World Englishes

Always a fascinating journal, but these articles particularly caught my eye. Hope to read soon:

Chinese perceptions of Inner Circle varieties of English

from World Englishes

Research from populations around the world on attitudes to varieties of English is essential in order to have a better understanding of how the complexities of globalization play a role in the form of English as a world language. To that end, university students in China were asked to name countries around the world where they believe English is spoken and indicate what kind of impression they have of those varieties without the presentation of voice stimuli. This type of data elicitation enables the participants themselves to provide the researcher with evaluative categories and avoids problems associated with using voice stimuli. The results indicate that the effect of the cultural hegemony of US English as a variety is complex, and that, contrary to assumptions, US English is unlikely to be a model for a 'standard' variety of world English in the traditional sense.

Linguistically privileged and cursed? American university students and the global hegemony of English

This paper analyzes written discourse generated in response to an open-ended questionnaire administered to 136 students at two different universities in the southwestern United States and to 15 non-American students at a large Danish university. The questionnaire aimed to inspire reflection about the impact of the global rise of English on American mother-tongue speakers of English as well as on those who do not have English as a mother tongue, especially with respect to the question of mono vs. multilingual practice. Most American and non-American respondents represented the learning of a foreign language as something American mother-tongue speakers should do but as something which is not necessary. There was widespread, though not unanimous, agreement that English is necessary for non-mother-tongue speakers. Responses are also grouped, discussed, and analyzed in terms of the instrumental, multicultural, or mix of multicultural and instrumental logic used. The author is especially concerned with the intersections between the global hegemony of English and the learning of foreign languages. The study and analysis conducted here offer insight into these intersections. Given that so much is at stake in terms of the relationship between the global expansion of English and foreign language learning, the author concludes that further research into this relationship is needed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ying Ge Li Shi

Is this racist? I got distracted by YouTube videos of people of Asian heritage showing "how to speak with a Chinese accent" (aka making fun?) a while back and Sarah told me to stop because she thought it was racist.

You can see that the person who made this video is using one of those books which purports to teach "English" by giving Chinese characters that are vague equivalents of English sounds. See if you can tell what she's saying. And whether you think it's mean.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Books for me to check out

keep this in mind for teaching this summer -

Writing across the curriculum in secondary classrooms : teaching from a diverse perspective

  • Author: Harriet Arzu Scarborough
  • Subjects: English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- United States ; Interdisciplinary approach in education -- United States ; Multicultural education -- United States
  • Description: Introduction / Promoting Literacy in Science Class / Math and Science in My English Class? Why Not? / Writing in a Law-Related English Class / Using Writing for Political Awareness / La Voz Liberada: Writing to Learn in a Sheltered English Class / Writing to Learn as a Way of Making Sense of the World / Real Live Audiences for Real Live Communication: Writing to Learn and the Possibilities of Technology / Writing Teacher Learns / "Forever on the Morning Wind": Expanding the Canon of American Literature / Place Poetry: A Form of Self-Expression / Perspectives on the Three-Voices Narrative / Bridging the Gaps and Spaces among Learners in a Writing-to-Learn Classroom / Making the Transition from High School to University Writing Across the Curriculum / Rearranging Desks /
  • Publisher: Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Merrill
  • Creation Date: c2001
  • Language: English
  • Format: vi, 218 p. ; 24 cm..
  • ISBN: 0130224898
  • Type: Book


Language and learning across the curriculum

Saturday, May 08, 2010

"long time" and "no see" separately

This could be interesting, too.

for example, from the OED:

1842 N. Amer. Rev. Jan. 100 In some parts of New England and Canada, is a kind of midge..which is sufficiently formidable to the feeling, though so minute to the eye that the Indians in Maine give it the name of No-see-'em.
"long time" in "standard English" has been around forever (like, "it took a long time for that egg to cook," or whatever), but look at these uses of "long time" in Jamaican English:

1961 F. G. CASSIDYJamaica Talk vi. 107 Long time means long ago (‘Him gone long time’). 1971 Jamaican Weekly Gleaner 3 Nov. 5/1 Tams are also in (well, we did have that long time).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Google as Corpus - "I took GRE" vs. "I took the GRE"

As a native speaker of English, for some reason I have this intuition that "I took the GRE" is preferable to "I took GRE."

However, "I took GRE" yields over 66,000 hits on Google, whereas "I took the GRE" only shows about 44,000.

So either I'm wrong (possible) or more non-native speakers take the GRE than native speakers (also quite possible).

It could also have something to do with "I took GRE classes" or sentences like that.

But still:

"I took GRE yesterday" - 587
"I took the GRE yesterday" - 241


"I took SAT yesterday" - 2
"I took the SAT yesterday" 157

So...maybe more NNSs are taking the GRE and writing about it on the internet, while more NSs are taking the SAT and writing about it on the internet?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Long Time No See: Etymology

I'm now apparently obsessed with the etymology of "long time no see." I have a hunch that it is based on making fun of non-native English rather than a direct translation from Chinese, but I don't know how one might "prove" this. I'll let you know what I come up with. The earliest instance I can find it in written form is in Glenanaar: A Story of Irish Life from around 1895-1905 or so. That would certainly allow for contact with Chinese Pidgin English to make its way to England. But how trustworthy is early documentation of CPE? Then again, am I being unfair when I think it can't be "accurate" because it was so blatantly racist?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Long Time No See" = "Chinglish" or not?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "long time no see" is an expression which originates from (American) Native speakers making fun of Non-native speakers of unspecified L1 background. The first recorded usage the OED has is a reference to Native American (not Chinese) speech.

While its similarity to 好久不見 (hao jiu bu jian)is notable, I haven't seen any proof that this is actually a "loan translation," and I'm not sure you could ever "prove" such a thing.

c. Colloq. phr. (orig. U.S.) long time no see, a joc. imitation of broken English, used as a greeting after prolonged separation.

1900 W. F. DRANNAN 31 Yrs. on Plains (1901) xxxvii. 515 When we rode up to him [sc. an American Indian] he said: ‘Good mornin. Long time no see you.’1939 R. CHANDLER in Sat. Even. Post 14 Oct. 72/4 Hi, Tony. Long time no see. 1940 [see HIYA int.]. 1959 D. BEATY Cone of Silence viii. 105 ‘Hello, Clive.’ ‘Long time no see.’ 1959 C. MACINNES Absolute Beginners 68 Hail, squire... Long time no see. 1971 D. E. WESTLAKE I gave at the Office (1972) 164 ‘Hello, Arnold,’ I said... ‘Long time no see.’