On March 26th-27th, the International Herald Tribune carried an article by Roger Cohen head-lined: Gratitude towards the USA turns into resentment.
Cohen opens his article with these words:
America's children have come of age and, as befits this rite of passage, they bridle at their parent. South Korea is one such country, birthed under American protection, saved from North Kora's invasion in 1950 by United States forces……
How can a major newspaper carry junk of this ilk? Was Korea "born" under US tutelage or was this a proud kingdom of many centuries standing which spent the period 1910 to 1945 enslaved to Japan, and the second half of the 20th century cut in two by the warring Communist and Capitalist camps?
Later in his article Cohen asserts that Germany was birthed into modern democracy by the USA…… He also expresses his astonishment that recently Germany should have decided to stand in opposition to an American war ( Iraq 2003).
I suppose it is salutary, though, to hear, set out in clear words, what our US masters think about us. Yes, we are ungrateful for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ungrateful for Agent Orange still wreaking its havoc in Vietnam, we are ungrateful for Kissinger's approval of
Indonesian genocide in Timor, ungrateful for America's toppling of Allende in Chile.
We show lack of understanding for US support of Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war on the 1980's, we have not thanked the US for training Osama bin Laden and the Taliban to fight the Russians in the 80's. And our greatest ingratitude, perhaps is not to have thanked the Bush family for bringing democracy to the 100,000 Iraqi civilians whom he, Rumsfeld and Blair have slaughtered over the past two years along the Tigris and the Euphrates.
I bow my head and thank our masters.
What's in this Issue?
How do you feel about teaching your students that the s and es of the third person singular is no longer important, and that one can happily talk about informations and Advices (and not just in its legal use) ? In ELF at the gate, Jennifer Jenkins suggests that English as a L,ingua Franca is maybe what we should be teaching so that Russian managers can talk to businessmen from Peru in a more than adequate inter-language.
It is rumoured that people in Vienna (Siedelhofer and Widdowson) are assembling a corpus of ELF and that this pidgin should be set up as the model to be aspired to.
Though I cannot see myself as an instructor teaching ELF, and I would never, as a learner want to set out to learn such an interlanguage, I currently edit HLT which is 50% written in ELF! There are several articles which have clear non-native features and in one piece in this issue I have been careful to preserve the energy of the mother tongue voice behind the English, while correcting elements I guessed the author would want to have corrected.
So Jennifer Jenkin's article leaves me as a house divided against itself. I do not know where I really stand on this issue. I wonder where you stand? Write and let other HLT readers know.
The major article category is particularly strong this time with seven contributions prduced by writers coming from many different angles:
Catherine Bryden in Clowning and the heart of teaching brings us a Steinerian view of how learning clowning can help a teacher to be more flexible, while Nick Owen in Dynamic Leadership, seems to be responding to Adrian's article on Leadership in the January 2005 issue, but actually proposes an analysis of leadership based on the Theory of Spiral Dynamics, an area that is of considerable interest. In Dogme, or dancing in the dark Scott Thornbury speculates on what a "Dogme" coursebook might be like. This is challenging, since, so far, the Dogme movement has decried the coursebook as the work of the Devil. Do we have a recanting Thornbury?
Under short article you will find a lyrically good piece by Lou Spaventa : Creativity in the classrom comes from, how you live your life. If you teach primary, don't miss Songul Erdogan's Guided Visualisation with 9 year-olds, which shows a natural adaptation of the NLP that the author learnt from Jane Revell and Susan Norman.
My own favourite piece in this Issue, speaking as a biased reader and not as an even-handed editor, is Don't roar at difficult students in which a voice from Novosibirsk shows just how useful "hard" students are to any teacher- they constitute invaluable opportunities for teacher growth…. and I don't mean cancer!
Turning to nitty-gritty practical ideas, this Issue offers you a feast: Hitomi Masuhara's
Helping Learners to achieve multi-dimensional mental representation in L2 , is down-to-earth practical all the way through. Lesson Outlines brings you five exercises for teaching culture from the book Gill Johnson is preparing. Old Exercise is for people teaching either primary or sleepy evening classes of adults: new ways of using the old chestnuts: Simon says. In Teachers' Resource Book Preview you will find a dozen writing techniques that follow on from those you will have already seen in January HLT.
Enjoy the second issue of 2005
While in the last three months of 2004 HLT was regularly clocking up 650-700 visitor sessions per day, since the January Issue went up around February 3rd 2005, visitor sessions have shot up around 1050 per day. Here at Pilgrims we are both non-plussed and over the moon! We are now sending out the e-mail announcing each new issue to 10,000 people!
Please help us bring this rich archive to the attention of more and more of the 5 million EFL teachers on this Globe. One good way to do this is to use the send to a friend facility you will find to the left of each page. This way you can share bits you like with people you know anywhere in the world.
You may wonder about the appropriateness of the political opening of this editorial.
The reason for speaking out in this way is because the English language is inevitably bound up with the major power where the language is spoken "natively". One expression of US hegemonic domination is the powerful rhetoric of the conqueror, of which the article quoted above is one small example, though a particularly outrageous one.
HLT will carry more examples of hegemonic rhetoric in future issues.