Re: [xmca] Syllogism and interlanguage: Some definitions

From: Mark deBoer <mark who-is-at>
Date: Mon Dec 31 2007 - 15:43:21 PST

Hello David,

Yes it is the wug test. I knew I had made a mistake and in the latter
part of my mail I had corrected it. I thought I had changed throughout
but I missed the opening wug... I mix up the bod test and the wug test
to make wud test occasionally.

My appologies for the Corder discussion. I have not read up on Corder
as much as I should have, although up to now I haven't had a chance
to. I will find out more. Thanks!

The words and rules... well, I teach a lot of children for one, which
probably has strayed me in that direction. Since starting this MA,
thinking has changed, but its still hard to break a 10 year mold. My
current research and the direction I am working toward is more in the
interactionist kind of thinking. It's tough being in Japan and trying
to convince parents that their children shouldn't be learning just the
grammar and a million words in vocabulary, but the washback effect is
a powerful force here. Simply put, I have to eat. So I have to find
balance. I have managed to convince a lot of the parents to the
direction I want to take their children, but innovation in language
teaching in a country such as Japan... well, I know it's a lot
different than Korea. I've been pulled aside by principals of grade
schools telling me not to teach the children English, but to make them
think that English is fun and easy. In those areas, students see
English once a month for 45 minutes. I've heard that textbooks that
are used in Korea take a month to go through, yet the same textbook
here takes a year.

In my University classes I don't teach words and grammar, much to the
dismay of my students. They learn how to mean. My classes are all
designed to make them use the English they know to make themselves
understood. The tests I design are based on that as well. They don't
do pairwork, they interact and get information they need from the
entire class.

Yes the Dialogic Inquiry first chapter is a gem for the Halliday-
Vygotsky contrast and comparison. There are a few other articles I
have managed to find, the trouble being that I have to stick to the
coursework and at the same time answer the 'preset' questions. So I am
looking for anything that I can get my hands on to get well acquainted.

We don't have to disagree David, I think we need to agree that what
you teach and what I teach are completely different. I think you might
actually find that we share the same thinking, but being in two very
different countries with two very different jobs, well, it comes down
to the situations we are in.


On Jan 1, 2008, at 1:05 AM, David Kellogg wrote:

> Mark:
> Yes, we disagree on a lot; perhaps too much to clutter up the list
> with. (Our BIGGEST theoretical disagreement is that you apparently
> subscribe to the "words and rules" model of language.)
> But here are some questions of fact we can probably agree on (and
> some of them you will need to get straight for your dissertation.)
> a) S. Pit Corder was not a constrastive analyst. He was (as I
> said!) the founder of the interlanguage hypothesis and error
> analysis. See his 1981 book which contains his earliest essays (the
> earliest ones extant).
> b) The "wud" test is actually the "wug" test. See Jean Aitchison
> "Words in the mind" or Eve Clark. (when I had this argument with
> Jean Aitchison, she admitted that children acquire phonaesthesia at
> about the same time they acquire the "wug" rule, but phonaesthesia
> is neither a "word" nor a "rule")
> c) You are right--I mixed up Herbert Seliger and Larry Selinker
> (I've done some work on Seliger's HIGs and LIGS problem). It's
> Selinker who did fossilization, and he's a "words and rules" man
> like you. Seliger's an interactionist like me. Seliger's also worked
> on fossilization, though; especially first language attrition.
> d) The comparison between Halliday and Vygotsky that you want is in
> the work of Gordon Wells (see "Dialogic Inquiry") and of course in
> the work of Halliday himself (see "On Grammar", Volume One of his
> Collected Works, p. 354.)
> If you think about it objectively, you will see that the expression
> "have got" for "have" is gratuitously complex, and there is no
> reason to teach it to foreign language learners. The British seem to
> do perfectly well without it!
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> ---------------------------------
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Received on Mon Dec 31 15:48 PST 2007

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