[EDLING:207] Re: L2 in US Schools

Bernard Spolsky spolsb at MAIL.BIU.AC.IL
Sat May 15 18:32:43 UTC 2004


Maureen, I am saying that from the various cases I have looked at, the move
towards monolingual hegemony seems easier.  The classic example is of course
Hebrew revival (I choose that because it is not a move to English), where
multilingual immigrants raised monolingual Hebrew speakers (who later added
English for other reasons).  The struggle for Hebrew was certainly over
before the establishment of the state of Israel - there were campaigns for
it mainly in the 1930s.  And of course in the US (and I assume UK), as
Fishman showed in his classic study, most immigrants who were allowed to
integrate shifted to English in a generation or so.
Bernard

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
[mailto:owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Maureen T. Matarese
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2004 11:09 PM
To: edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Subject: [EDLING:205] Re: L2 in US Schools


Bernard,
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?
Thanks,
-Maureen

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
proficiency?
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 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. Universi! ties 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 
> >s! pelling 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 teac! hers, 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)
> > >
> > >"Haro! ld 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 mi! nister, 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 W! C1E 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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