[EDLING:199] Re: L2 in US Schools

Richard Hudson dick at LINGUISTICS.UCL.AC.UK
Fri May 14 10:30:43 UTC 2004

Dear Bernard,
I see what you mean. Sure - changing attitudes is a major challenge, and
one thing is clear: it takes time. Probably measured in generations rather
than years. And another thing: it takes concerted action across the board,
not just concentrated in schools. Universities have a major role in this,
as the trainers of future teachers.
         Best wishes,  Dick

At 11:15 14/05/2004, you wrote:
>I was certainly impressed by the activity, but it is a very bureaucratic
>public relations type site.  I continue to wonder if anyone has found a way
>to change public beliefs. Or, obviously, the belief of teachers that it is
>worth becoming FL teachers.  Our local director general had a simple answer:
>surely any primary teacher can teach all the English that primary children
>need!  Seriously, how might one go about establishing (or re-establishing)
>the valuing of multilingualism in monolingual societies?
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
>[mailto:owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Hudson
>Sent: Friday, May 14, 2004 11:01 AM
>To: edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
>Subject: [EDLING:197] Re: L2 in US Schools
>Dear Bernard,
>Thanks. I'm surprised it struck you that way. I don't know about attracting
>and persuading since I've not looked at it from that point of view. You may
>well be right. The main function is to report activity, of which as you say
>there's quite a lot. All I can say is that FL have much higher profile now
>than they did a few years ago, and that there are quite a lot more
>resources for it and a clearer plan. The resources for FL are far less than
>for literacy, and may not be enough to turn the situation round. The
>planning is generally good. The main block is the supply of teachers, which
>has very little hope of hitting the target of one FL teacher per primary
>school by 2010.
>          Best wishes,  Dick
>At 04:04 14/05/2004, you wrote:
> >Dick
> >I looked quickly at the site, and was impressed by it verbiage (and
> >spelling mistakes).  There is plenty of activity.  But who will it
> >attract?  Or convince? Bernard
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
> >[mailto:owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Hudson
> >Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 11:05 PM
> >To: edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
> >Subject: [EDLING:193] Re: L2 in US Schools
> >
> >
> >Much the same debate has been going on for some time in the UK, because
> >of similar problems in our education system. In fact, it's very easy to
> >see that the situation has got worse in the last ten years - fewer
> >16-year olds opting for languages in the last two years of school,
> >fewer going on to university to study languages (with disastrous
> >effects on language depts at university), and (therefore) fewer
> >graduates training as language teachers, so fewer (and worse) language
> >teachers in school, so fewer 16-year olds opting for languages .... But
> >the government (whose head, incidentally, can speak fluent French) is
> >trying hard to reverse the trend. There's quite a lot of information
> >about what they're doing at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/languages/.
> >          Incidentally, one interesting fact that's emerged from the
> >various inquiries into the problem has been that the Republic of
> >Ireland, which (of
> >course) is also an English-speaking country, does not have the same
> >problem. With a tenth of our population, they have the same number of
> >school-leavers specialising in languages. (But more recently, I'm told, the
> >rot has been setting in, which is disappointing.) So much for the argument
> >that our national unconcern about foreign languages is the inevitable
> >consequence of the dominance of English.
> >          Dick Hudson
> >
> >
> >At 19:07 13/05/2004, you wrote:
> > >Well, although we don't have these expectations in the foreign
> > >language classroom--the question is why (as B. Spolsky mentioned as well
>on the
> > >listserv).   Why is it seemingly unimportant for a country that has so
> > >many immigrant populations to be fluent in those other languages?
> > >Why are Spanish-English dual language programs so stigmatized?  Why
> > >is multilingualism not seen as an asset in the hiring process (for
> > >some it is--but not categorically)?  I would like to live to see the
> > >day when we have a leader who is educated enough to respond in French
> > >and then translate his response for the other reporters.  That'll be
> > >the day.
> > >
> > >At AAAL, I was struck by one presentation in particular that began in
> > >the speaker's mother tongue.  She mentioned how important it was to
> > >align herself with her country and culture by beginning this way.
> > >Although she had to present her paper in English--it was important
> > >that she make the listeners aware of how this English presentation
> > >affects how she is viewed within her own culture.  A growning,
> > >"required" English fluency worldwide may be what is happening, but
> > >that doesn't make it right.
> > >
> > >So we come back to how to really start changing these long-held
> > >ideologies.  In a globalizing world--is it not better to make
> > >relations more close by showing alliance through language learning
> > >and fluency?
> > >
> > >-Maureen (Mo)
> > >
> > >"Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu> wrote:
> > >I think Leo VanLier identifies some of the issues that are crucial
> > >here. American linguistic culture just doesn't have the expectations
> > >and values about "foreign" language learning that others, do.
> > >
> > >He says: d) as part of a successful education, everyone was expected
> > >to succeed in language classes. [and] If there is one ingredient that
> > >stands out in my mind it is EXPECTATIONS. It was simply expected that
> > >an educated person spoke the three foreign languages....
> > >
> > >American linguistic culture doesn't have these expectations, and
> > >constantly denigrates them. Did people notice what happened a while
> > >back when a reporter at a press conference held by GWB asked the
> > >French ambassador (foreign minister, whatever) a question in French?
> > >GWB went ballistic, chewed out the reporter, castigated him, mocked
> > >him, ridiculed him. Sure taught him a lesson!
> > >
> > >So much for the value of language learning, and using it
> > >appropriately.
> > >
> > >H. Schiffman
> > >
> > >
> > >Do you Yahoo!?
> > >Yahoo! Movies -
> > ><http://movies.yahoo.com/showtimes/movie?mid=1808405861>Buy advance
> > >tickets for 'Shrek 2'
> >
> >Dick (Richard) Hudson, FBA
> >Dept of Phonetics and Linguistics,
> >University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
> >020 7679 3152; fax 020 7383 4108; www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/home.htm
>Dick (Richard) Hudson, FBA
>Dept of Phonetics and Linguistics,
>University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
>020 7679 3152; fax 020 7383 4108; www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/home.htm

Dick (Richard) Hudson, FBA
Dept of Phonetics and Linguistics,
University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
020 7679 3152; fax 020 7383 4108; www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/home.htm

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