Tag: language

Curious DavidGlobal Education

Last(ing) Thoughts about Going Global

Across the years I have been fortunate to have learned from a number of global educators. Luis Miguel Miñarro, an educator in La Mancha, Spain, shared with me how he used Animoto  to make a Carnival video in 2014. I still follow him on LinkedIn.  Thank you, colleague, for helping me to discover new ways of learning and of sharing my learning.
I treasure the “care package” I received from educator friend, Inci Aslan, in Turkey who was the principal investigator of an Etwinning project I closely followed…
 Thank you, Inci. I hope that you are well, safe, and happy. I admire what you have done in the classroom and think of you and other friends from Turkey when I am watching global news events.
Lithuanian educator Irma Milevičiūtė befriended me on Epals years ago and whetted my  interest in global communication. Heartfelt thanks, Irma — and so delighted that we have reconnected on Facebook!  What I have learned from you and with you has been enduring.
Thank you, Australian educator Julie Lindsay, for expanding my global horizons with your seminar Flat Connections Global Project. Best wishes on your new creative global learning endeavors.

Thanks to Saskia de Rooy for revitalizing my appreciation for art through your campus visits. And of course thank you to the many international students who have enriched my life and my learning.

My world continues to expand as it shrinks.
How does one keep up with “the learning revolution” or Classroom 2.0? How does one keep abreast of developments in International Education?
I try to keep reasonably aware of international events through reading articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian.  I occasionally shadow Global Education Conferences  and follow several WordPress blogs dedicated to Global Education. And yet I remain so globally illiterate.
Here are my some of my reflections on this topic a few years ago….
 The world is open. I’ve been thinking about how to make our campus and curriculum more global. Here are some incipient thoughts about how that might de done.
  • Increase awareness and use of media such as BBC News and  Google News.
  • Incorporate Kiva into the classroom.
  • Tap into high quality online lectures .
  • Rather than relying so much on Google Translate, explore other languages.
  • Capitalize on cultural universals such as musiccuisine, sports, and literature. Our international students have so much they can teach us.
  • Reading: We need to encourage faculty, staff, and students to read, discuss, and discover world literature. Ann Morgan’s blog (a “Year of Reading Around the World”) is a wonderful place to start – as if Words Without Borders.
  • Though no substitute for reading, excellent audio and video recordings exist of introductions to world literature, world history, travel, and world religions.
And here are even earlier reflections…..
  • What is the appropriate foundation for general education in the 21st century?
  • Are we faculty appropriately educated for teaching in the 21st century?
  • What skill sets, traditions, and knowledge are as vital today as when this academic institution was founded?
  • Can we change our general education program without intentionally changing our institutional mission?
  • Should part of a general education be mastery of another language? If so, how does one define mastery> Is it enough merely to know the right phrases to allow one to travel within another country?
  • Should one be fluent in another culture’s history, customs, idioms, national concerns, and language?
  • Can internationalization be achieved through the 21st century equivalence of international pen pals using Skype?
  • What defines global citizenship? Global awareness?
  • How can we continually reaffirm and rediscover our common sense of humanity?
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Thank You, Global Educators, for Your Impact

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A provocative blog piece by Luis Miguel Miñarro, an educator in La Mancha, Spain… We had “interacted” in prior years when he shared with me how he used Animoto  to make a Carnival 2014 video. Now we interact on Linked-in and, soon,  Skype. Thank you, Colleague, for helping me to discover new ways of learning and sharing my learning via Padlet

A care package from an educator friend, Inci Aslan,  in Turkey who was the principal investigator of an Etwinning project I closely followed…

 Thank you, Inci, and congratulations on your recent wedding….

A Facebook chat message from Lithuanian educator Irma Milevičiūtė who befriended me on Epals years ago and whetted my  interest in global communication. Heartfelt thanks, Irma—though we have lost touch, what I have learned from you and with you has been enduring….

An informative hour-long  Fuzebox.com  conference with Julie Lindsay, an educator in Australia, about the Flat Connections Global Project —my world continues to expand as it shrinks. Thank you, Julie—I find your China project particularly intriguing and hope that we can be in touch again soon.

How does one keep up with “the learning revolution” or Classroom 2.0? How does one keep abreast of developments in International Education? I try to keep reasonably aware of international events through reading articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian. I occasionally shadow Global Education Conferences  and follow several WordPress blogs dedicated to Global Education. And yet I am so globally illiterate. Here are some of my past musing about these questions

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/08/06/loosely-translated-a-lithuanian-a-turk-an-american-and-a-teacher-from-poland-enter-a-virtual-meeting-room/

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/05/07/three-questions-raised-from-attempting-to-create-a-virtual-cultural-immersion-course/

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/04/14/reflections-on-creating-a-virtual-cultural-immersion-course-lessons-learned-part-1/

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/04/21/pioneering-a-virtual-european-cultural-immersion-course/

Here are my some of reflections on this topic a few years ago… The world is open. I’ve been thinking about how to make our campus and curriculum more global. Here are some incipient thoughts about how that might de done. I’d welcome your thoughts.

  • Increase awareness and use of media such as BBC NewsGoogle News, and Newsvine.
  • Incorporate Kiva into the classroom.
  • Explore global views of religion, spirituality, and being.
  • Tap into high quality online  or “portable” courses.
  • Explore other languages.
  • Capitalize on cultural universals such as musiccusine, sports, and literature.
  • Reading: Let’s encourage our faculty, staff, and students to read, discuss, and discover world literature. Though no substitute for reading, excellent recordings exist of introductions to world literature, world history, world religions, etc.What suggestions do you have that are simple and cost effective?

And here are even earlier reflections…..

I’m still reflecting on some interesting ideas that emerged in a “listening session” I attended today with two other faculty colleagues concerning a proposed change in our general education program for students at Carroll. I left quite confused, but that is not atypical for me. What is the appropriate foundation for general education in the 21rst century? Are we faculty appropriately educated for teaching in the 21rst century? What skill sets, traditions, and knowledge are as vital today as when this academic institution was founded? Can we change our general education program without intentionally changing our institutional mission? How do we avoid throwing out the baby with the bath water? Should part of a general education be mastery of another language? If so, how does one define mastery—knowing the right phrases to allow one to travel within another country? Or should one be fluent in another culture’s history, customs, idioms, national concerns, and language? Can this be achieved within the traditional four years of a college education and still allow students a traditional major? If we are interested in being more global, shouldn’t we append USA to all our institutional publications? Can internationalization be achieved through the 21rst century equivalence of international pen pals using Skype or VoiceThread?  Through changing the “three r’s” to mastery of 20th century learning tools?   Through BBC language acquisition in 12 weeks courses or by investing time in other such (free) online language learning resources? What does is mean to globalize or internationalize a campus? How can that best be achieved? Is the best way to do so to bring international students and faculty to campus? To send our students and faculty abroad? To create communication opportunities world-wide through Internet means? To expand faculty and students’ knowledge of history, cultures, international economics, and international relations? To conduct collaborative international research and learning projects? Should I join the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology?  Which organizations do I drop out of to allow time and money for these new ones?  What defines global citizenship? Global awareness? How can we continually reaffirm and rediscover our common sense of humanity?

Ayuda me. I’m going postal 🙂  global!

Curious David

Glassy-Eyed from Bombardment by Buzzwords

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Just finished reading an eclectic, creative book from the Bloombury Literary Studies  “Object Lessons” series by colleague John Garrison about Glass. I always enjoy reading things written by individuals who write better than I, see things which I don’t, and who alter my myopic perspective.

John’s “object lesson” for some reason triggered my thinking again about (over) use of platitudes in higher education such as “transparency,” “engagement”, “empowerment,” and “moving forward.”  I have ranted about this before in the context of my perceptions about over zealous “branding.” Maybe my hypersensitivity (?) to these issues is caused by the joy of knowing people like John and poet BJ Best who remind me of the beauty of language. Maybe I just am in need of the forthcoming Thanksgiving family celebration.

Buzzword bingo anyone?


Curious David

¿Puedo aprender más español?: Aventuras de un viejo profesor de psicología

As I have written elsewhere, I have a long fascination with language and language learning and find very useful the compilations that Jane Hart makes of language learning resources. I continue to be wary of language translation software though it seems to becoming better and better. On my short list is to investigate Duolingo.

A student (Luis E.) recently shared with me some preliminary results of some research he is doing as part of an internship in Milwaukee. He showed me a survey which he had designed and a web page he had created that clearly showed evidence of his talent, his potential, and some possible ways we could learn together—and I could learn from him.

Finally I might have an excuse to see whether there are any traces of the Spanish I learned at Howland High School and the 24 credit hours of Spanish earned at Oberlin College and Guanajuato, Mexico.

Doy la bienvenida a tus comentarios — especialmente aquellos de ustedes que hablan español!



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Nifty Shades of Buzz-Transparently Attempting to Engage the Reader as I Move Forward with Rebranding:)

Branding Love
Three books that I have reread the past few years are George Orwell (Eric Blair)’s 1984 and Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

George Orwell fascinates me on a number of accounts—his mastery of language, his prescience, and his outlook about politics. While I was faculty president, I gave copies of his book to people as a reminder of the chilling threats and effects of totalitarianism and the dangers of doublespeakLewis Carroll, though more playful, also is masterful with language and with alerting us to the the dangers of when illogic becomes the norm and when language is misused and abused. I find my institution’s decisions a few year’s ago to redefine the word “department” in our Carroll argot and the changing of our name from “college” to “university” Humpty-Dumpty-like. And the “buzzwords”  and evolving (sometime assaulting) lexicons creeping into our everyday discourse are painfully annoying, hinder communication and add many shades of gray to my beard. I am abuzz with buzzwords

Buzz:

  1. hum
  2. murmur
  3. high
  4. bombination
  5. drone
  6. purr
  7. whirring
  8. sibilation
  9. hiss
  10. whiz
  11. sigh
  12. rustle
  13. sough
  14. rumor
  15. report
  16. gossip
  17. heresay
  18. scuttlebut
  19. scandal
  20. small talk
  21. chitchat
  22. fizzle
  23. sizzle
  24. Look here for more here: 

It is interesting how the “buzzwords” (e.g. transparency, branding, moving forward, engagement, buzz) have positive connotations for some professionals and create a need create a need for a swear jar or playing buzz word bingo for others.

Gotta buzz the dog outside before buzzing a friend to see if he wants to play buzzword bingo tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll buzz over to Melibee to read some of their wonderful posts about global issues and making the world a better place.

 

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Nuanced monologue: I’ve been talking to my computer a lot lately—and sometimes it talks back.

I’ve been talking a lot to my computer lately since I installed on my Mac the Mavericks Operating system.  I have been quite impressed by the dictation accuracy of Nuance’s Dragon Dictate and the degree to which I can use voice commands to control the machine.  Over the past 40 some years I have followed with interest developments in “communication” between humans and computers.  In the 60’s I interacted with Eliza, the Rogerian therapist and in the 70’s the Talking Moose resided on my early Macs—useful toys. But the capabilities of software to “read” text, translate simple conversations, and follow voice commands has dramatically improved since then and become useful in my work. What was once fiction (e.g. The Circle, 2312, Lexicon) is much closer to (dystopian) reality.  The challenge remains how to let technology be a tool controlled by (rather than controlling) me. It is easy to be seduced by the WOW factor.  

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So far I have not QUITE formed a “singular” “SIRIous”  emotional relationship with “her” nor discussed serious religious beliefs . Now, my relationship with books is another matter! 


Curious David

Three Questions Raised from Attempting to Create a Virtual Cultural Immersion Course

I’ve been thinking a lot about language learning lately. To what degree is being limited only to one’s native language a barrier/handicap to international travel and to international/cross-cultural understanding? Less than I thought.) Is there value in attempting to master another language? (Absolutely but there are constraints of time and pragmatics.) How good are extant software translation programs? (The applications are getting better and better but don’t believe all that is promised unless you—and the person you are communicating to—have a good sense of humor). Obviously  the answers to these questions are not as simple as my parenthetical replies imply.  However, I’ve been thinking deeply about these issues this semester as I’ve widened the horizons of my students and of me through creating a pilot virtual cultural immersion course.  My thinking has been especially stimulated by the fascinating work of Ms. Irma Milevičiūtė and her International PenPals Club project in Lithuania.

I’ve travelled abroad three times and clearly am overdue to travel abroad again. While attending Howland High School in Ohio I traveled with the Spanish Club to Portugal and southern Spain. It was a whirlwind, two-week “tourist-oriented tour” with very little interaction with native speakers (Qué lastima!). At Oberlin College I experimented with different majors of study (English, then Communications, then Spanish, ultimately psychology—ah, the joys of a liberal arts education). While an undergraduate there I lived for a summer in Mexico studying at the University of Guanajuato. All my classes taken there (e.g. “Spanish Golden Age Theater”, “History of Mexico”) were taught in Spanish by natives, and I lived in a boarding house where no one spoke English (though I had an American roommate and a number of American classmates from several other colleges and universities). During my third year of graduate studies at The Ohio State University where I was pursuing Masters and PhD degrees in Experimental Social Psychology I joined my graduate school adviser, Tom Ostrom, who was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Bergen, Norway for 6 months of research and study. Though I took a language course there (Norwegian for Foreigners)—and proudly possess a certificate for attempting to master the language, all my daily interactions were with English-speaking Norwegian faculty and students. The 6 months of study and travel there resulted in friendships which remain today, a much deeper appreciation of another culture, and a humbling of what I what I knew.

Unfortunately as a youth I almost had my interest in learning another language destroyed by the results of a misinterpreted psychological test. I recall being devastated by the experience of being told that I had “failed” a foreign language aptitude test. The “failure” probably was one factor motivating me to attempt to learn foreign languages in High School and eventually, to studying psychology (to better understand why children succeed or fail and the effects of labels on performance).  In high school I took two years of Latin (thank you, Mrs  Bode—Gratias tibi ago!) culminating with obtaining the highest score in the State of Ohio on a standardized test. Though, alas, I was not nominated for Pope nor have I yet traveled via Time Machine— the discipline of learning Latin and about the Roman culture was enriching and rewarding. It no doubt facilitated my two years of study of Spanish culminating in my achieving the highest score in the State of Ohio in that language. In both cases, though, it was a combination of excellent teachers, a supportive academic environment, an opportunity to learn about the culture and its literature, music, art, theater, politics, history, customs, and its cuisine that was vital to my learning.  No doubt other factors contributing to my success were supportive parents, friendly competition with my Howland High school peers and my Big Sister, Connie Sue!

Good luck Beatrice, Kristijonas, Meda and Davidas in the international English language Amberstar competition whose results are due any day now. Thank you Katerina (from Kurgan), Hersonia (from Mexico), Reidar (from Norway), and especially Irma (from Lithuania) for your many acts of kindness, good humor, and inexhaustible patience with this curious professor as he attempts to become more globally educated and aware. Research shows that bilingualism has so many advantages over above the pragmatic. I am indebted to you for lessons learned and I admire, respect and envy you.