[EDLING:205] Re: L2 in US Schools

Maureen T. Matarese maureenmatarese at YAHOO.COM
Fri May 14 20:08:35 UTC 2004

A clarification question: are you saying that it IS easy to persuade multilingual immigrants that monolinguism in English is good, or were you questioning whether it is or isn't?

Bernard Spolsky <spolsb at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
But going in the other directions, it seems quiet quick to persuade the
children of multilingual immigrants that monolingualism in English is a good
thing? And universities? How many universities in English speaking
countries demand that their students have serious foreign language

-----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 1:31 PM
To: edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Subject: [EDLING:199] Re: L2 in US Schools

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? 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: 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
> > 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" 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 -
> > >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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