Re: [xmca] Sam I Am

From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth who-is-at uvic.ca>
Date: Fri Jul 06 2007 - 22:25:22 PDT

Hi,
I find it interesting for you to note that there are "several
varieties of English ...." I think this is astonishing from a
particular ontology, but from an ontology of difference, an ontology
that the philosophers I have repeatedly referred to, are not
astonished about. I articulate such a different perspective on
language in a couple of upcoming pieces, one that shows how language
never is identical with itself, and therefore always different, not
only a few. . . and another paper that picks up on an article Jean-
Luc Nancy writes about culture, language, identity, each as a form of
mle...

We need to begin rethinking our approaches and take non-self-identity
as a starting point, and then all the arguments about difference are
problematized in very different ways, sameness is constructed, even
self-sameness is the result of a constructive process, which has
interesting consequences for theorizing Self, language, cognition,
culture, and so on....

Cheers,
Michael

On 6-Jul-07, at 6:34 PM, Phil Chappell wrote:

Hi David,

Many interesting points (with some interesting sign/symbol
combinations thrown in:-) My main concern was that on a public forum
you were appearing to represent others' points of views on the global
status of English. "The Americans say this...the Brits say that".
Your arguments for teaching English as school subject are sound and
reflect what goes on in bilingual and international schools in places
that I am familiar with, although don't forget the large and growing
demand for adult programs; and from my experience, many students in
those programs practice what Kumaravadivelu describes as self-
marginalisation (or similar term) by demanding "native-speaking
teachers", even though the likelihood is that they'll be
communicating with others who are not "native-speakers", and their
learning experiences are likely to be more enriching if they were to
have an expert-novice relationship with someone more familiar with
the social practices that the novices are learning to engage in -
using English to get things done with other people who do not use
English as their main language.

In an interesting twist, the macrostrategic framework of
Kumaravadivelu was criticised by BANA applied linguists as not
representing anything innovative in ELT, to which Canagarajah
responded that it has been in use in outer and expanding circle
contexts for a long time, but the framework has not been stored in
the academic literature. I tend to think they're maxims that
sensitive language teachers have likely been practicing for a few
decades now. I've pasted them below for any interested readers, but I
think discussions of other matters are waiting in the wings!

One side note, having recently returned to my BANA home country after
12 years in a country where English is big in demand but low on the
everyday usage scale, I am struck every day at how bi- and multi-
lingual the population has become. There are several varieties of
English inside this "inner circle" BANA country that I am not sure
have been documented. I am becoming a public eavesdropper...the whole
constructs of ESL/EFL/EIL/ELF/EI-EI-O need dismantling!

Cheers,

Phil

Macrostrategies for achieving situation-specific, need-based
classroom techniques: (Kumaravadivelu, 2003)*

1. Maximise learning opportunities,
2. Minimise perceptual mismatches,
3. Facilitate negotiated interaction,
4. Promote leaner autonomy,
5. Foster language awareness,
6. Activate intuitive heuristics,
7. Contextualise linguistic input,
8. Integrate language skills,
9. Ensure social relevance,
10. Raise cultural consciousness

*Kumaravadivelu, B. 2003, 'A Postmethod Perspective on English
Language Teaching', World Englishes, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 539-550.
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Received on Fri Jul 6 22:27 PDT 2007

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