English Language Learners in the Classroom
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English Language Learners in the Classroom
multilingual, bilingual education, second language acquisition, English Language Learners
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There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent

There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it

"Speech with a drawl, twang, clipped consonants, broad vowels, slurred words or extra diphthongs might give away that the speaker is from the American South, Boston, the Midwest or elsewhere. The spice that a certain region may lend to spoken language can even be strong enough to flavor non-audible language as well. Indeed, American Sign Language (ASL) has its own accents. And like its audible counterpart, one of the strongest regional accents in ASL is that of Philadelphia residents, reports Nina Porzucki for PRI."

 

Tags: language, culture, regions.

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Abdulsalam Al-Mukradi's curator insight, February 14, 7:16 PM

Accents are varies but we really have to care about the language itself. Universities play a major role in avoiding accents in languages. They try to use one accent that follow the dictionary phonetics.

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Are Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Na'vi real languages?

View full lesson on TED-ED: What do Game of Thrones' Dothraki, Avatar's Na'vi, Star Trek's Klingon and LOTR's Elvish have in common? They are all fantasy constructed languages, or conlangs. Conlangs have all the delicious complexities of real languages: a high volume of words, grammar rules, and room for messiness and evolution. John McWhorter explains why these invented languages captivate fans long past the rolling credits.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 4, 2014 10:54 AM

This TED ED video lesson brings up some important questions to ponder for cultural geography (and uses some popular fantasy/science fiction examples to do it).   For languages that are spoken by actual populations, they often 'borrow' vocabulary from other languages, making some ask the question, can loan words damage language integrity? 

 

Tags: language, culture.

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Google Says "Ungoogleable" Can't Be A Swedish Word

Google Says "Ungoogleable" Can't Be A Swedish Word | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it

"Ogooglebar. That's Swedish, and means "something you can't find with the use of a search engine." At least, that's what the Language Council of Sweden wanted Ogooglebar to mean--until Google stepped in, fearing that the word had negative connotations for the firm."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 27, 2013 12:26 PM

I am used to the French trying to slow the flow of English words into French, but shocked that Google would join in the fray to slow linguistic change.  Words evolve based on cultural shifts and technological changes and the computer industry has especially created new words to describe emerging, new social interactions.  I'm certain that the company Google is thrilled that "to google" is the verb of choice to describe the action of searching for online for content.  I would have guessed that Google was savvy enough to understand that this "ungoogleable" term is not an indictment on the company, but a new way to define that elusive, mysterious, indefinable quality for a generation that sometimes acts as if everything can be found of Google. 


Tags: language, culture, technology, google, diffusion.

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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:49 PM

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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Un-Fair Campaign

Un-Fair Campaign | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it

The University of Wisconsin-Superior is in one of the least ethnically diverse regions of the United States and the university is partnering with other local organizations across that region aimed at highlighting structural advantages within society for Caucasians.  This campaign to make 'white privilege' visible has not surprisingly generated controversy and has made race and its impact of society an issue quite visible, to the discomfort of many.   The author of the book, "Colorblind," speaks about this issue on PBS as he argues that the United States is not in a post-racial society. 

Questions to Ponder:  In what tangible ways can you see 'white privilege' in our society?  Is this ad campaign a good idea?  What does the term normativity mean and how does it relate to this topic? 

Tags: race, racism, culture, unit 3 culture, book review and ethnicity.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 4, 2012 11:56 AM
I believe this campaign is being made aware in the Wisconsin area of the U.S. because the population is primarily white. Therefore, this region may be trying to make its people aware of the fact that racism can still exist even though this region may be ignorant to this issue. And this region is not to blame for its ignorance because a vast, non-diverse racial community is all they are exposed to, and all they know.
Seth Dixon's comment, September 4, 2012 9:29 PM
I think some people feel that pointing out institutionalized bias feels as though the campaign is blaming them for simply being white. I had a special blue ticket to go to the front of the DMV line today and I was thrilled but it made me think about the others still waiting. There's an analogy in there but I don't want to force it.
steffiquah's curator insight, July 16, 2014 7:25 AM

There is no logic as to why whites should be treated better than the blacks. It is society being biased and we could make a difference. A colour shouldn't define a person's personality, fate, or future. We should not be biased towards them but instead, give them fair and equal opportunities as any other people. I personally do not think racism should be a problem in the first place. What makes them discriminate blacks and make them lower than the whites in the first place? I hope something can be done about this.

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Retronyms: Linguistic Shifts

Retronyms: Linguistic Shifts | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it

A 'retronym' is a term specifying the original meaning of word after a newer meaning has overtaken it.


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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 3, 2014 9:06 AM

unit 3

God Is.'s curator insight, May 3, 2014 1:15 PM

Some of you might appreciate this article.. Darn I feel old! LOL

A.K.Andrew's curator insight, May 6, 2014 8:32 PM

Fantastic images for our modern day terms.

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This Pittsburgh restaurant only serves food from America's "enemies"

This Pittsburgh restaurant only serves food from America's "enemies" | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Conflict Kitchen is the only restaurant in the world that serves cuisine solely from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict.

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Claudia M. Reder's insight:

A great way to begin a discussion on language, culture, identity, and politics.

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, October 3, 2013 4:26 PM

Any Ethnic conflicts here HUGGERS?

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 20, 2013 3:04 PM

Initially I wasn't really sure what I thought about this resturant. My initial reaction was that I hated it and thought it was a bad idea. I to seemed like we were supporting another country by serving their food. However there is a cultural experience involved when we go out to eat. Many people go out to italian resturants to get the experience of italy and etc. However after really thinking about it the US is typically in conflict with another countries government, not the people who live there. By selling the food of countries we are in conflict with almost gives us an idea about what exactly the culture is there. I think it almost educates people in such a way. I think that might be the purpose on the resturant. By eating at this resturant it opens peoples eyes to what people of that particular country are consuming on a regular day basis. That experience can be good or bad, but either way it still opens up peoples eyes to the type of world other countries are living in. I think by eating there you open yourslef up to a new cultural experience, which I belive is exactly the point that the kitchen is trying to serve. Even if it is through food. 

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:06 PM

Conflict Kitchen serves foods from the countries the United States is in conflict with. They might be doing this to show Americans a little bit of how their culture is b eating their foods. 

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Chinese-Mexicans Celebrate Return To Mexico

Chinese-Mexicans Celebrate Return To Mexico | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it
MEXICO CITY — Juan Chiu Trujillo was 5 years old when he left his native Mexico for a visit to his father's hometown in southern China. He was 35 when he returned.

 

Migratory patterns and globalization can lead to some intriguing cultural blends that would seem improbable 100 years ago. This story of shows vividly how ethnicity does NOT always correspond to culture.


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Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:17 PM

What a journey that must have been, to not return to your country for 30 years after going on vacation. Apart from the personal story in the article, the notion of ethnic groups that we practical never hear of is really interesting. While it makes sense that there were Chinese people in Mexico, it's just something which I never actively realized. There should be a  book of ethnic conflicts which never make the well-known history books, if there isn't one already.

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Afghan Troops Get a Lesson in American Cultural Ignorance

Afghan Troops Get a Lesson in American Cultural Ignorance | English Language Learners in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.

 

Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it.  Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms.  Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting.  The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues.  The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive. 

 

Tags: culture, war, unit 3 culture, conflict.


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Rich's comment, October 3, 2012 1:28 PM
We could have used an idea like this quite a long time ago. The cultural bridges have already been burnt to the ground.
Kendra King's curator insight, February 27, 2015 7:18 PM

I think the comparison to Vietnam at the start of the article shows just how little our culture learned last time. During the Kennedy administration, troops were given "guides" to inform them about the area as the article suggests. However, this "hearts and minds" strategy was a huge failure. So, what does the United States do? Send the army to a forghien country again  with "recommended readings" and superfine "video games." As a result, some are so offended they are killing American fighters. While I might think this a bit extreme, the US also came in the country in an welcomed manner to begin with. Furthermore, the west (overall) consistently looks down upon Middle East culture. Belittling a culture will eventually anger the people. It is common sense that is consistently overlooked. 

 

Something clearly needs to be done and while I think this strategy might not have immediate short term results, the military should continue on with the plan regardless. Currently, the tensions in the country are incredibly high. Clearly, what ever efforts the US put towards working with Afghanistan citizens came of as insincere. As such, people might just look at American's new attempt to work with them as a disingenuous effort. Furthermore, they might think calling it "ignorance," is just excusing Americans' actions. In the long term though, if done correctly, soldier's might actually learn to be more empathetic of the culture and more genuine so that the Afagni's might actually realize it all is just a "big misunderstanding" (there is a significant culture gap that will take time to learn) and not just laziness on the part of American's.    

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 7:30 AM

The mixing of two cultures can be both a blessing and a curse. The world is a better place when people of diverse cultures can have a mutual understanding of each other. However, in reality cultural roadblocks often disrupt progress. Often times the cultural misunderstandings are not that serious. However, in some cases those misunderstandings can lead to violence and death. NATO coalition troops have been killed by their Afghan counterparts over this issue of cultural misunderstanding. This current crises, has lead to a program that aims to teach the Afghans that the perceived slights are not done purposely. Hopefully this program will build better cultural understanding between the NATO allies and the Afghan army.