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[Xmca-l] Re: Request for advice



Dear Helena,
They say we should teach classes entirely in English in Japan.

Many lifelong language teachers here accept that isn't probable or 
possible.
I have the most success with a mix with an upperclassman student with a 
higher level of English 
interacting with me in front of the rest of the class.  The ones who can 
"hear" are processing and attempt to participate. The ones who don't, 
move with the others to imitate. It's easy to conceal that they aren't 
hearing and understanding, as long as specific acts of understanding are 
not required.  It's very easy to nod understanding when you don't.

I cobbled together a language teaching approach based on "Community 
Language Learning" (40 years ago) and Wharton's Freshman "boot camp" (
2004 vintage) for which older students were given credit for a class to 
coach/mentor a group of freshmen in a community activity. Einami's code-
switching and code mixing resonates with ideas of mixed community events 
where "intrinsic" skills emerge and the group follows community leaders.

The maneuvre is to merge and invite, without precipitating rejection.  
The approved English speaker models the desired goal and draws out 
certain talented learners who demonstrate their ability, which improves 
the more they do it, in an environment in which they will not be 
punished for talent.  There is also a larger group of participants doing 
what they can to keep up.  

This all goes together with the flow provided by Andy's comment:
"and on the other hand tutorials, which apart from being 
essential to the education provided by top-line universities 
are informal and conversational? Perhaps to allow mixing 
languages in the tutorials so that the concepts delivered in 
lectures and books can be *grasped*."

The "event" or "collaborative group project" is something which can be 
rooted in its own native culture, and celebrated - with goal language 
narrative moving along with the original impulse celebrating community, 
family, culture - with visual input provided by the home culture - it's 
familiar.  ...  It project grows and the English grows along with it...

It seems to me that you wanted a brief suggestion in a presentation ... 
putting forth an idea that might be acceptable to the deciders ... So 
the ideas that are being offered are to be boiled down into an image. So,
 perhaps there is something in the culture right in front of you that 
carries the index of what you are looking for (as in David's suggestions 
mentioning Chinese influence, French, or American on the Vietnamese 
culture.)
V

----- Original Message -----
> Dear Helena.
> Your dilemma resonates with what we are experiencing in Tanzania. As a
> post colonial country, we have been grappling with the issue of
> language of instruction for a very long time. Our education system has
> been jogging between Kiswahili and English and for a long time we had
> settled on Kiswahili for all the subjects in elementary level (primary
> 1-7) and English for secondary  to university level.
> 
> Talk of silences in classrooms. Here and there you could hear a sound
> of broken English from the teachers. The end product of such a process
> does not need to be described here.
> 
> Of recent, the new policy has granted the use of both languages
> (Kiswahili and English).
> 
> In your case, think of code-switching and code-mixing. Another
> strategy is team teaching (check Stanford University).
> 
> Kind Regards,
> 
> Elinami
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 03/01/2016, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
> > Helena,
> >
> > Is it possible to ignite their imaginations around the concept of a 
seminar?
> > Or dare I say, peer-learning / study groups?
> >
> > Vera devised the peer-exam, which is really cool, how about that?
> >
> > I don't think peer-exam technically qualifies as an "Ivy-League 
method"
> > (though it certainly is innovative), but it's peer-led learning, and 
that
> > may be useful for overcoming the obstacles you and your teachers 
face?
> >
> > So those are my (naive) pieces of broccoli and spinach for your 
Vietnamese
> > noodle soup.
> >
> > Kind regards,
> >
> > Annalisa
> >
> >
> >
> 
> 
> -- 
> Dr. Elinami Swai
> Senior Lecturer
> Associate Dean
> Coordinator, Postgraduate Studies
> Faculty of Education
> Open University of Tanzania
> P.O.Box 23409
> Dar-Es-Salaam
> Tell:255-022-2668992/2668820/2668445/26687455
>  Fax:022-2668759
> Cell: (255) 076-722-8353; (255) 068-722-8353
> http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Womens-Empowerment-Africa-Dislocation/dp/
> 0230102484
>         ...this faith will still deliver
>         If you live it first to last
>         Not everything which blooms must
>         wither.
>         Not all that was is past
> 
> 
>