Fwd: The Language Feed - July 23, 2005

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Wed Jul 27 17:49:17 UTC 2005

The Language Feed
July 23, 2005

This issue and archives can be read on the web at

Yet again, the Ebonics debate rears it's truly ugly head.

Ebonics suggested for district
San Bernardino Sun, July 17
Incorporating Ebonics into a new school policy that targets black
students, the lowest-achieving group in the San Bernardino City Unified
School District, may provide students a more well-rounded curriculum,
said a local sociologist.

Commentary: Teaching ebonics in San Bernardino is a mistake
Desert Dispatch, July 22
Children in the San Bernardino City Unified School District are being
given access to a new program in the coming school year. No it's not
designed to help them with stuff like math or reading. It's not some
kind of pilot science program, and American history is taboo in
California anyway. San Bernardino City schools will begin allowing
teachers to use supplemental materials that will immerse black students
in ebonics.

Does Ebonics belong in the curriculum?
MSNBC, July 19
'Situation' host Carlson and 'Outsider' Kellerman discuss merits of

Ebonics as Education? Fo' Shizzle!
The Simon, July 19
Education has finally rounded a corner. "AOLspeak is a different
language, it's not slang as many believe," said Mary Texeira, a Cal
State San Bernardino sociology professor on the vanguard of new
education techniques. "For many students it is their language, and it
should be considered a foreign language.

Black Conservative Group Blasts Ebonics Plan for California Schools
CNSNews.com, July 20
A black conservative group is criticizing a controversial pilot program
in San Bernardino, Calif., schools that would inject "Ebonics" slang
into the schools' curriculum.

Ebonics: the last bastion for blatant and unapologetic racists.
For those who have an interest in learning about Ebonics instead of
reading misinformed diatribes, see the following links:

A curricular unit from PBS's Do You Speak American? on African American

African American English: A Web Page for Linguists

The Linguistic Society of America's FAQ "What is Ebonics?"

The Linguistic Society of America's Resolution on the Oakland Ebonics Issue

A Linguist Looks at the Ebonics Debate

Dialect Education: Not Only for Oakland

Ebonics and Linguistic Science: Clarifying the Issues

Now back to your regularly scheduled Language Feed

Not lost in translation
Houston Chronicle, July 23, 2005
As immigrant children learn to read and write in English, they often are
relied on to interpret and negotiate for their parents.

Language training helps stroke patients speak
Reuters, July 22
People who've experienced a stroke can lose the ability to use or
understand speech, a problem known as aphasia. Now, new research
suggests that a short-term type of intense language training called
constraint-induced aphasia therapy (CIAT) can improve language function
in these patients.

France may order language tests for migrants
The Guardian, July 23
Immigrants may have to pass a French language test if they want
long-term residence rights in the country, a junior social affairs
minister said yesterday.

New Test to Better Assess Language Proficiency within DoD
Navy Compass, July 22
A new language test scheduled to roll out beginning in October will
better measure language professionals’ fluency in real-world situations,
the Defense Department’s senior language official said July 13.

Foreign brides get language boost
Taipei Times, July 23
In an effort to improve the Chinese skills of the 126,361 foreign
spouses in Taiwan like Mei-feng, the Ministry of Education (MOE) invited
language teachers and linguists to design a Chinese-learning curriculum
aimed at foreign spouses.

Once-Forbidden Language Is All the Talk in N. Korea
Los Angeles Times, July 21
The communist nation has discovered English's utility in international
affairs, but finding a good teacher in this isolated land is difficult.

Sinologists: Chinese language becomes more important globally
Peoples Daily, July 21
"The Chinese language has become more important globally, and China has
also played a positive role in promoting its Chinese," said Canadian
Ambassador to China Joseph Caron in Beijing on July 20 at the opening
World Chinese Conference in Beijing.

Computerized program gives a tough test on language skills
San Jose Mercury News, July 20 (email: language at yahoo.com; password:
After 14 years of English lessons at home in Japan, Urara Tsubo expected
to breeze through a diagnostic test for a language class she's taking
this summer in Hayward. But this was a different kind of test. Rather
than talking with an instructor, Urara, 17, phoned into a computerized
system that asked her to repeat phrases and construct sentences.

Female adolescents trendsetters in teen talk
University of Toronto News, July 18
A casual remark by a teenage girl such as “She’s so not cool” may be
dismissed as typical teen talk. Young women, however, are leading
changes in the way adolescents speak, according to a University of
Toronto linguistics expert.

The Case For Preserving Indigenous Language
SBS Radio, July 19
How much is your culture tied in with the language you speak? And, in
today's globalised economy, is there still a case for teaching languages
other than English at Australian schools?

Global markets sound call for language study
Chicago Tribune, July 17
Habla ingles? Parlez-vous anglais? Ni shuo ying-wen ma? The phrases ask
in Spanish, French and Chinese, "Do you speak English?" And around the
globe, the answer increasingly is yes.

Newburyport hopes to save language classes
Boston Globe, July 17
Newburyport school officials hope to create an optional after-school
language program for younger students, now that foreign languages have
been axed from the city's elementary school curriculum.

Language center causing a stir

Pioneer Press, July 16 (email: language at yahoo.com; password: language)
The St. Paul school district's decision to open a language center for
Hmong refugees this fall at Randolph Heights Elementary is ruffling a
few feathers among parents whose Early Childhood Family Education
classes will be displaced.

U.S. schools lack adequate Chinese language skills
Reuters, July 12
U.S. schools lack resources and teachers to meet the demand for Chinese
language and culture studies, despite the growing importance of China's
economic and political relationship with the United States, according to
a study released by the Asia Society on Tuesday.

Aboriginal language training to get boost in N.W.T.
CBC North, July 12
Officials with the N.W.T.'s department of Education Culture and
Employment say they want to strengthen aboriginal languages through
better training and coordination to ensure more children understand
their native tongue.

Indian community seeks to preserve language with special course
WSTM.com, July 12
A Mohawk Indian village founded more than a dozen years ago in the
tribe's ancestral region is seeking to keep its native language alive.

Before You Apply for a Job, Learn a Foreign Language; If You're Already
in a Job, Learn One Anyway
Yahoo News, July 5
Now is the time to know a second language and nowhere is that more true
than in the job market.

French is becoming the language of beauty
Journal Times Online, July 10
At the Douglas Cosmetics beauty supply store downtown, Christine Arnold
surveys the French phrases and translations on the many
glamorous-looking packages - and laughs. As a native French speaker,
Arnold trips over the many mistakes.

Uniting China to Speak Mandarin, the One Official Language: Easier Said
Than Done
New York Times, July 10 (Member ID: langfeed6; password: language)
As a crowd formed around a rare foreign visitor in this town's open-air
market, the conversation turned quickly from the price of dried fish and
fresh fruit to how many dialects people here could muster.

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