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Re: [xmca] Are Fleer and Hedegaard Bernsteinians?

Hi David, just one excerpt about movement, set in motion by contradiction, movement that "has us running to the point of losing our breath----or our minds"

Does this "disorder of identity" favor or iniriblt anamnesia?
Doers it heighten the desire of memory, or does it drive the geneal<
igicil fantasy to despair? Does it tr'ri1ii.tt, t.prbtt, or liberaie?
All of these at the same time, no doubt, and that would be
another version, the other side of the contradiction that set us in
motion. And has us running to the point of losing our breath, or
our minds. (pp.18-19)

It is not stasis and synchrony.


On 2010-05-28, at 2:14 PM, David Kellogg wrote:

Derrida himself flags his method (rather strenuously) it by beginning the whole essay with "I have one language and it is not mine". This tells us that his essay is going to be an exercise in good old Saussurean synchronic linguistics. It is not ontogenetic, or sociogenetic, or even in any real (psychologically real) sense microgenetic except as a description of its own thinking process..
Derrida's particular form of Saussurean syncrhonism operates by oppositions, by comparisons of utterances (decontextualized utterances) which are both linked and distinct but in the final analysis not genetically linked. Wolff-Michael is right to say that Bakhtin does this too, but it is the early Bakhtin, the Neo-Kantian one who wrote "Art and Answerability" and not the Bakhtin of the Circle who wrote Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics.
Derrida delights in preaching what he practices. I guess what I was trying to do was to turn the tables a little and compare what he practices with what Butzkamm wrote. Now, Butzkamm doesn't write very much; as far as I can tell he's a jobbing teacher and doesn't have much time for that. But when he does write it is all about learning in real time.
On the face of it, his formulation "we only learn language once" is quite similar to Derrida's "I have only one language and it is not my own". But one of these formulations will lead us to think about Bloom and the "vocabulary explosion" and the very interesting fact that every language since Latin and Greek seems to incorporate academic concepts from FOREIGN languages. The other, as Wolff-Michael points out, turns in on itself and leads us to the Invisible Man in his underground cavern, well lit and well appointed, but still only a version of Plato's cave.
One of the things I love about Vygotsky and admire in Butzkamm which I miss in Derrida and even in Bakhtin is his clear embrace of materialism, of history as it is lived by children of flesh and blood and men of meat and bones. In Derrida, history is endlessly deferred; his love for humanity is with a very few exceptions a love of people who have not actually been born (as someone one said, rather unfairly, of Trotsky).. Even Bakhtin sees the novel and the carival and the other as always existing and not really developing; Bakhtin is, in the final analysis, an idealist historian to the extent that he is historical at all.. 
We have a strong tendency to understand our childhoods in much the same way; the family is a constant unit, but school is something that comes and goes. Ergo, the family has a permanent stamp upon our psyche, whether it is through sexuality (as in Freud) or class (as in Bernstein). Family is "ser" and schooling is only a passing form of "estar".
But suppose "ser" really derives from "estar" and not from "ser"?  Actually, it seems to me that ONLY if we accept that sexuality and class and above all LANGUAGE continue in school, but that they develop as school sexuality and school class and above all the language of SCHOOL, only then are we in a position to understand why children outgrow their families but do not outgrow their learning disabilities. 
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

--- On Fri, 5/28/10, Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth@uvic.ca> wrote:

From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth@uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Are Fleer and Hedegaard Bernsteinians?
To: lchcmike@gmail.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Friday, May 28, 2010, 5:46 AM

Okay, Mike,

David cites, 
> We only ever speak one language.
> We never speak only one language.

and then says, after a long text concluding:

> It's not that we only speak one language: it is that we only learn language
> once.

But Derrida doesn't say that we only speak one language. If David had read for us the whole page (p.21 in original, p.7 in English translation), Derrida says, 

I will first risk rwo propositions.
'fhey will also appear incompossible. Not only contradicrory in
themselves, this time, but also contradictory between themselves.

He says he risks two propositions. They appear contradictory, IN themselves, and BETWEEN themselves. David literally takes word for word, out of context. Moreover, the interesting thing Derrida says is this: 

They each take the form of a law. (p.7)

and he goes on,

this double postulation . . . is not only the very law of what is called translation. I would also be the law itself as translation. (p.10)

What David didn't tell us that this is written in the form of a dialogue, an internal dialogue, much like Dostoevsky writes, the one that Bakhtin analyzes in the author's poetics. It is dialogical, full of inner contradictions, really inner not logical, and there is development---pace Bakhtin----in the ideas. This is like the underground man, speaking the double tongue, which is one. What we find here is the best of development in the writing, development of ideas à la Bakhtin, not the literal readings and machine translations that we sometimes are offered. (Not by David, he is polyglot with his one tongue, the man of one and many tongues simultaneously)

Take this: In French it is like this:

1. On ne parle jamais qu 'une seule langue.
2. On ne parle jamais une seule langue.

Langue is also the tongue. And the difference between the two sentence is the "qu'" in front of "one," and in French, when you say "q" (pronounced, in IPA conventions, "ky"), then you are talking about the ass, an ass, not the animal, your behind. 

The other point is that you cannot in a strong sense translate, and this is precisely (one of) the point(s) of the piece. Take this:

Ce que je voudrais me rappeler moi-même, 
ce à quoi je voudrais me rappeler, (p.24)

These two parts of the same sentence are the same, to some extent, and they are different. In English they go like this:

What I would like to remind myself of; 
that to which I would like to recall myself (p.9)

these are different, not the same, different and different not the same/different 

And take the next clause:

ce sont les traits intraitables d'une impossibilité (p.24)
are the intractable traits of an impossibility (p.9)

He says, "trait intraitables", a contradiction in the concept itself. 

In contrast to Il'enkov, who philosophizes by obliquely pointing to the things he writes about, the contradictions, and in contrast to Bakhtin, who literally writes about the development of language, Derrida writes what they write about. Derrida writes development, and this is what écriture is about. And this is where I see David as misreading Derrida, or perhaps non-reading. And this is why I suggest that he ought to read Derrida like he reads LSV, whom he appears to love so much, so much so that he translates him.


On 2010-05-27, at 9:30 PM, mike cole wrote:

Michael and David-- You guys are talking over my head!
What does Derrida say that David Ke is misunderstanding?
Where is it said that LSV is beloved?
What Bakhtin should we be reading to decode this?
Which Mikhailov is in question here.
lost in may grey on so cal.

On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 8:44 PM, Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth@uvic.ca> wrote:

> Hi polyglott, man of many words, scholar of many examples . . . impressive,
> if it weren't for your misunderstanding of Derrida. Believe me, this
> philosopher is worth being read well, as well or better than your beloved
> Vygotsky. I am truly amazed in how similar his thinking is with that of
> Bakhtin, whom Mikhailov appreciates a lot.  :-) Michael
> On 2010-05-27, at 7:02 PM, David Kellogg 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
>> 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> wrote:
>> From: Tony Whitson <twhitson@UDel.Edu>
>> Subject: [xmca] Cognitivist theory & language learning
>> 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
>> _______________________________
>> "those who fail to reread
>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>>                    -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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