The Choice of Language

By Jia Pu——the third post

A couple of days ago, I happened to watch a video on YouTube, which inspired me to say something about immigrants and their choice of languages. The video is actually a pretty short  interview of several second generation immigrants, whose parents speak broken English and suffered all kinds of difficulties due to their low proficiency. The link of this video is attached in the reference section so that anyone interested can have a look. It is touching and it reminds me of the language maintenance in immigrant families.

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Is education bringing real equity?

By Wei Yang

I finally start my blog 3 connecting to my blog 1 as I promised, but I have a lot of thoughts that I just can not put them all out into a tidy and neat blog.

We keep on saying that education is the only way for people who come from a low social class to get equal opportunity to fight for what they want, to live a life that the so called rich people can live. So we hope an educational system that is efficient, respects diversity, assists economic growth, provides accountability to citizens, and gives parents reasonable control over the values their children learn (Godwin & Kemerer, 2002). But the truth is with the huge gap between the rich and poor getting bigger and bigger, only a small number of people get benefits from education or only the people who can afford to go to good schools benefit from education.

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J’articule my thoughts

Geraldine Gras

Hi everyone,

For my second blog post, I was inspired by a TED talk presented by Jamila Lyiscott entitled “3 ways to speak English”. Her words echoed in my head and I let myself free-write. Now, unlike Jamila I’m not an author, nor a poet or some kind of composer. I simply enjoy rhymes and non-academic line order. Biensur, il fallait écrire en franglais – parce que je veux communiquer not just with you, mais aussi avec vous.
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Language Myth of Being Native-like!

By: Faten

For a long time, languages are actually associated with certain ideologies and attitudes that shape the way how one language is used or perceived. It is interesting that Van Herk (2012) tapped on the various language myths that we, as ESL learners or teachers, exposed to almost every day which creates somehow language anxiety.

Having Lauren spoken about language anxiety on FaceTime yesterday, she mentioned very sensitive issue that attached with me as English second language learner and teacher. She spoke about three types of people who might experience language anxiety such as; multilinguals, elders and more advanced L2 speakers. Personally, what is make me feel anxious toward the language is the fact that I have to sound like natives of English in order to be advanced L2 learner or teacher. It is actually one of the language myths that strongly appeared in almost all of my language educational life. I remember when I was in the high school that I was pushed to sound like native Americans by my English teacher in order to do the class presentation perfectly! At that time, I spent plenty of time watching American English YouTube channels and movies with no subtitle and I believed at that time these were the most accurate and advanced English version existed in the world.

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Reflection on Ideologies and My Language Biography

By Jamie(Xuan)

It might be a bit late to mention about language biography now, but today’s class really inspired me on the concept of ideologies and how they are related to my own language learning/use in real life experience.

As a Chinese, Mandarin as my native language have made up most of my life so far, and as I’ve been exploring more parts in China, the change of locations really contributes to my understandings of ideologies (which I was not even aware of at that time). Here I will share some of my experience and my thoughts.

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Privilege, Critical Self-Reflection, and the Opportunity to Build Counternarratives

by Melissa J. Enns

I confess that this is not my first attempt at writing my third post. Actually, I wrote a post about linguistic performances of machoism, an often dominating performance of “manliness,” in Mexico, observed when I spent a few months there years ago. However, I decided not to post it.

Here is why. I felt that my perspective was too limited, particularly as an outsider looking in. Despite my interest and enthusiasm for Hispanic culture, I had the sense that it crossed a line to comment on cultural performance in a way that could be seen as negative. It seemed uncomfortably close to countless instances where white people have taken it upon themselves to interpret the intricacies of other groups, as though “white” perspective could provide them with cultural guides for their own practices. I realized that if I felt that talking about my experiences through the lens of machoism was not appropriate, it was probably not.

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Well, I have a knack for languages, but attitudes towards the language/speakers do matter!

By Mansour Ahmed:

In school, Arabic, namely Arabic grammar, which constitutes a chronic headache for most students of Arabic, was my favorite subject. I especially looked forward to sentence parsing and assigning the proper cases and diacritical marks to lexical items. In grade 7, I started learning English. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it just as much, English grammar in particular. Motivated by some German friends, I once decided to learn German all by myself. In three months, I learned so much. My pronunciation was almost native-like, according to them. A few years ago, I decided to add French to the list. Initially, my knack did not fail me (but it began to falter, see below for whys). Perhaps, this is genetically determined because my kids do outstandingly well in languages (Arabic, English, and French) in school. Hence, it may be possible to say that some people have a knack for languages while others don’t. Besides this special gift for languages, which to date has not been fully accounted for and understood by SLA researchers (to the best of my knowledge), it is argued that how well and how fast a second language can be acquired depends on a number of factors/variables, such as motivation, L2 instruction, and attitudes (among others). I will endeavour to tersely illustrate the role of attitudes in L2 acquisition (NB: the attitudes I am talking about here is slightly different from those in VH chapter).

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