[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[xmca] Re: Are Fleer and Hedegaard Bernsteinians?

David-- That Butzmamm quote (seems like its Freud's birthday about now--
isn't it spelled mom?).

Anyway, when i speak a foreign language (always badly!) its as if there is a
binary choice tree involved. First branch: English vs. foreign language.
Then at one time the only choice was "french" -- had jo other. Then I
learned Russian way in situ as described earlier, so Russian trumped French
in the "foreign language bin." Then i sort of learned Spanish quasi in situ.
now the trouble really started.
Russian intruded on spanish, spanish intruded on Russian! And now,
sometimes, Russian intrudes on English!

Marilyn and Marianne-- what do you think??

On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 7:02 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Wolff-Michael likes this quote from Derrida:
> We only ever speak one language.
> We never speak only one language.
> Butzkamm has a rather more realistic formulation, "We only learn language
> once". He means, of course, that languages consist of other languages, much
> as minds are made up of other minds (either in the form of discourse or in
> the form of text).
> For example, our elementary English syllabus consists of mostly GERMANIC
> nouns (e.g. "table" and "apple") but as the children grow older they will
> acquire more LATINATE ones (e.g. "refrigerator" and "helicopter"). Korean
> works the same way; yesterday at lunch we had a choice between a stately,
> scholarly sounding restaurant with a Chinese name and more rustic, village
> fare sold in a restaurant with a pure Korean title.
> You know, it turns out that the so-called "vocabulary explosion" is a kind
> of myth, like the "explosive" economic growth of very poor countries. Any
> normal human mind left in a social situation of development that is
> sufficiently open to provide new word meanings at the proper rate (say, a
> multilingual one, or just a reasonably challenging cognitive one) will
> naturally continue to acquire vocabulary at roughly the same rate as a baby
> all life your life long. The problem is that everyday life in a monolingual
> capitalist society really doesn't supply this, so those of us who want to go
> on learning new words in our fifties are really forced to emigrate.
> My Portuguese is only good for some things, but I do know the difference
> between 'ser" and "estar". I originally thought it was the difference
> between "etre" and "avoir" in French, because of course French uses "to
> have" in many situations where English would use hte copula. Then I learned
> some Spanish, so I figured it it was like the difference between "ser" and
> "estar" in Spanish. This too is wrong.
> As far as I can figure out, "ser" is really about BEING or ESSENCE, and
> "estar" describes ESTATE or temporality passing STATE. So the weather tends
> to be "estar" and people, particularly in their class/national/gender
> origins tend to be "ser".
> Now the reason I mention all this is that I've been worrying a little bit
> about the references in Fleer/Hedegaard to "machine gun fire" conversation
> in Andrew's household. We are not actually given any examples of "machine
> gun fire" conversation, so the mind (well, my mind) inevitably associates it
> with the constant moving around that seems to go on in the Peninsula family
> which is semi-internalized by Andrew when he goes to school as "scanning".
> That is, words are sprayed out in short bursts without any precise aim,
> splattering whole rooms in a single salvo. It's not a very pretty metaphor,
> but that seems to be what the authors are getting at.
> So what we get is a kind of "mismatch" hypothesis. The language of home
> does not match the language of schooling, and this augurs poorly for
> Andrew's cognitive development. Engestrom's article in the Daniels'
> "Introduction to Vygotsky" also puts forward a similarly Bernsteinian
> theory, and suggests three basic ways of overcoming the mismatch.
> a) Davydov and Schmittau: Providing sufficiently powerful CONCEPTS that
> will allow the child to take their school understanding into the
> mismatched extracurricular world.
> b) Lave and Wenger: Provide experiential communities of practice that allow
> the child to take the extracurricular world into the mismatched school.
> c) Learning by expanding: that is, EXPANDING the school until it merges
> with the community and expanding the child's extracurricular world until it
> is one with the school.
> Engeström, Yrjö (2005) Non scolae sed vitae discimus: Toward overcoming
> the encapsulation of school learning. 157-176. in Daniels, H. (ed.) (2005) An
> Introduction to Vygotsky. Hove and New York: Routledge.
> It seems to me that each view is Utopian in its own way (in a good way!)
> but that all may actually be unnecessary. There are a couple of things
> wrong, EMPIRICALLY wrong, with the Bernsteinian mismatch view, at least as I
> understand it.
> a) By the time kids get into high school--even middle school--they are not
> talking like their parents. They talk like each other. So how can a learning
> deficit be blamed on a home language?
> b) If anything, middle class home language is LESS strongly framed than
> working class language, and yet middle class kids DO do better in school.
> c) None of this appears to apply at all to bilinguals, at least not above a
> certain threshold. Bilinguals have a cognitive edge in every subject, even
> nonllinguistic ones, and it's lifelong (so that, for example, bilinguals
> actually do better when they get Alzheimer's!)
> In the 1950s, Stalin wrote an essay on "Marxism and Linguistics" in which
> he criticized Vygotsky's friend and teacher J. Ia. Marr for arguing that
> language was "superstructural", and did not by itself create class
> differences but rather reflected them. Stalin, who was obsessed with the
> idea of stability in nation states, argued that language was base; if you
> control language, you control the nation state and everybody in it as well.
> Interestingly, Marr had argued against explicit instruction in grammar, and
> some of Chapter Six of Thinking and Speech, in which Vygotsky defends
> grammar instruction, is a polemic against his friend.
> I remember that part of the excitement of reading Vygotsky for the first
> time was the realization that here was somebody who did NOT make Piaget's
> mistake of thinking that language was pure epiphenomenon and on the other
> hand recognized that at any one moment language is a small part of some
> larger picture we can call culture (much of which is also made up of
> language, but language in the form of text rather than in the form of
> ongoing dicourse). So in that sense language is not destiny; it's a matter
> of "estar" rather than "ser".
> It's not that we only speak one language: it is that we only learn language
> once.
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> --- On *Thu, 5/27/10, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>* wrote:
> From: mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Cognitivist theory & language learning
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 4:06 PM
> The Davids have provided professional answers to your question, Tony.
> Just a couple of thoughts of a different sort.
> The message got me to wondering, again, about AA Leontiev's work on second
> language learning which was discussed here a long time ago (at something i
> code as "here" but not sure where it was except on line and somehow
> connected with LCHC).
> My own limited experience is that learning a language outside of the
> context
> of its use in locally organized activities in that language is
> extra-ordinarily problematic. Perhaps, as David Ke suggests, because one
> has
> to solve Plato's learning paradox. But my solution to that paradox is to
> place it inside of culturally organized activity which presupposes it has
> been solved, which is exactly what Tony cannot do.
> I learned a lot more Russian in Moscow the first time we went than my wife
> did, although once we were there with a newborn, she did a lot more
> learning
> than I did. Why?
> First time she was not allowed to work and only got out of the student role
> when she got into a practicum journalism experience, but unfortunately from
> the perspective of language learning it was at the English language
> Newspaper, Moscow News. Made perfect sense in its way. Meantime, i was in
> the middle of a group of Luria co-workers whose English was minimal, who
> had
> serious work to do, who had to get me to understand and coordinate or risk
> harm to someone. Never mind saying it just right,
> just get what has to be said out there in a way that others can work with,
> and over time, you improve from myriad and confusing sources of feedback.
> Second time I spent most of my time reading over horrible translations of
> thesis for a conference from Russian to English and fixing them within
> heavy
> constraints while my wife had to be darn sure our two month old survived,
> which required her to deal with a tough old nanny, curious Russian
> pediatricians with ideas she did not love and had to argue with,
> and the ability to elbow her way to hot water in a dorm full of folks with
> sharp elbows and tongues.
> Pushkin is said to have said that the best way to learn a foreign language
> is in bed. That presupposes various linguistic and non-linguistic forms of
> interaction with a fair amount of emotional infusion, but the idea seems
> right.
> Wonder what Plato would have advised?
> mike
> On Mon, May 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
> >wrote:
> > Tony, David:
> >
> > Last night in my grad seminar, we discussed "the belly button is bigger
> > than the belly". This is a Korean expression we use as shorthand to refer
> to
> > a whole range of problems, from quite theoretical to very practical,
> which
> > have in common the underlying difficulty that context is always richer,
> more
> > complex, and more difficult to understand than any text which attempts to
> > realize it even though when we present it in the form of a picture or a
> > video or a Korean text it looks extremely straightforward.
> >
> > For example, when the teacher wants to teach something like "Hi, I'm
> > Zeeto", the teacher needs to use a picture of Zeeto introducing himself
> to
> > some non-Zeeto, Typically this involves getting the children's attention,
> > giving them information (e.g. "This is Zeeto") and then checking
> > understanding ("Who?"). Even if we break it up into very small
> utterances,
> > the learning "belly button" is rather bigger than the teaching belly.
> >
> > The same problem happens when we want the children to repeat. (Now, YOU
> are
> > Zeeto. Listen, Zeeto! "Hi, I'm Zeeto". Repeat, Zeeto!) and when we want
> to
> > check understanding. (we end up saying things like "What did Zeeto say
> when
> > he wanted to introduce himself to Julie?"). We are always left a little
> like
> > the little Saint Augustine asking Saint Monica, 'Mommy, what does "mean"
> > mean?'
> >
> > I suppose it all goes back to Plato's problem. The belly button problem
> is
> > really all about the attempt to understand a more powerful system
> (context)
> > with a less powerful one (text). And so too is the cognitivist approach
> to
> > any quintessentially social phenomenon. The answer to "Who am I?" is
> really
> > not "Well, who is asking the question?" but rather "Who wants to know and
> > why?"
> >
> > I think for that reason David Ki's response, which is basically to stand
> > outside Tony's question in such a way that it unasks itself, is really
> the
> > right one. But Tony probably wants something more heuristic, something
> that
> > stands inside the question and explodes it.
> >
> > The two most common verbs a learner of Portuguese probably needs (and
> needs
> > to distinguish) are "ser" and "estar". But they are neither things we do
> > frequently nor things we rarely do and they are neither mental verbs nor
> > action verbs. More, the all important distinction between them cannot be
> > understood as any of the above.
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Seoul National University of Education
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- On Mon, 5/24/10, Tony Whitson <twhitson@UDel.Edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=twhitson@UDel.Edu>>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > From: Tony Whitson <twhitson@UDel.Edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=twhitson@UDel.Edu>
> >
> > Subject: [xmca] Cognitivist theory & language learning
> > To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> > Date: Monday, May 24, 2010, 9:12 AM
> >
> >
> > I'm using a variety of tools for learning Portuguese, including dubbed
> and
> > subtitled movies as well as books written for instruction. In one of
> these,
> > following a list of sixteen first-conjugation verbs, I find this helpful
> > advice:
> >
> > ====================
> > In order to learn these verbs, try to first memorize them by putting the
> > verbs into lists or categories. Can you divide the above list into
> "things
> > that I do often" and "things that I rarely do"? How about dividing the
> list
> > into "action verbs" and "mental verbs"? Whatever categories you chose to
> > organize the verbs, the important thing is that you find a way to process
> > and arrange these new pieces of information in your brain. Once you have
> > done this, it will be easier to retrieve the information later.
> >
> > (Source: Ferreira, Fernanda L. The Everything Learning Brazilian
> Portuguese
> > Book: Speak, Write and Understand Portuguese in No Time. Avon, Mass.:
> Adams
> > Media, 2007., p. 111)
> > ====================
> >
> > I see this as an extraordinarily clear and straightforward expression of
> a
> > view of learning that I find quite common in education circles. I expect
> > that I'll be using it as a clear example of wrong-headed thinking about
> > learning.
> >
> > Maybe others will find similar value in this example; but I'm also
> writing
> > to ask if anyone has equally clear and succinct examples to share that
> could
> > be used to show what's wrong with this, and how to understand learning
> more
> > appropriately, instead ... things that would be clear and easily
> accessible
> > for people in education for whom the cognitivist approach seems to be
> right?
> >
> > Muito obrigado,
> >
> > Tony Whitson
> > UD School of Education
> > NEWARK  DE  19716
> >
> > twhitson@udel.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=twhitson@udel.edu>
> > _______________________________
> >
> > "those who fail to reread
> > are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> >                   -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
xmca mailing list