Re: "Unpacking" social interaction and social class

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Tue May 11 2004 - 07:44:42 PDT

A reply to Mike...

Seems the wrong time to be pursuing this here, as analysis and emotions on
other issues run high (understandably). If I can convince my friendly CUP
rep here in Bangkok to arrange a copy for review (to be sent to a
co-reviewer, as I already have a copy), I'd be pleased to co-author a
review, if the MCA editors saw fit. After all, there are 20 papers.

In the meantime, if anyone has had the chance to read Carolyn Panofsky's
chapter, I'd be interested in getting some dialogue going; especially
regarding the impact on classroom learning identities and agencies created
by and through co-learners.

Just to share my local class in Thailand is, on the one
hand, neatly defined by Western discourse (I gloss generally-held views
that I perceive): the burgeoning middle class who mirror western ideals;
the transient rural working class (who keep the economy primed by their low
wage labour in construction, service and sex industry); the wealthy
Thai-Chinese class who manage businesses. etc. Whether these static labels
are present in daily interactions amongst the general population is not a
very interesting question. WHAT social class labels are
developed/applied/imposed by fellow learners during classroom language
learning activity is a very interesting question, in terms of the interest
in each learner's patterns of motives for language learning activity in
various contexts.

Other language learning in Thailand (English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian,
etc) is a popular pursuit. Other language teaching in Thailand is often
characterised by colonialist approaches (both sociological and
pedagogical), although the country has never directly been colonised by
western powers. As Carolyn Panofsky exhorts: sociocultural approaches to
learning need to pay much more attention to the social creation of
individual learner's identities and the relationship of learner identity to
learning if we are to expand our praxis.

Now I'm not sure if my little area of interest justifies this post, but
it's getting late...


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