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Language ecology in practice. Implications for language education in multilingual settings Claire Kramsch UC Berkeley.

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Presentation on theme: "Language ecology in practice. Implications for language education in multilingual settings Claire Kramsch UC Berkeley."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language ecology in practice. Implications for language education in multilingual settings Claire Kramsch UC Berkeley

2 Outline Changing times An example of language ecology in practice –At the Vietnamese grocer –At the Chinese grocer –At the Vietnamese butcher Language use as a complex, dynamic system Ecological analysis of the data Symbolic competence Implications for foreign language educators

3 Changing times Psych/CS 124 + Psychology 290G “This course is part of an emerging interdisciplinary effort at Berkeley to explore language within its individual, societal, cultural, and historical frameworks. We situate language in contexts of individual mental processes as well as contexts of interaction between individuals in a society and between social groups. We approach language learning and language use as a nonlinear, relational human activity, co-constructed between humans and their environment, contingent upon their position in space and history, and a site of struggle for the control of social power and cultural memory.”

4 Report of the MLA Ad hoc committee on foreign languages, 2007 The goal [of college and university foreign language majors]: translingual and transcultural competence. The idea of translingual and transcultural competence places value on the multilingual ability to operate between languages… In the course of acquiring functional language abilities, students are taught critical language awareness, interpretation and translation, historical and political consciousness, social sensibility, and aesthetic perception.

5 Precis du plurilinguisme et du pluriculturalisme (2007) (G.Zarate, D. Levy, C. Kramsch, eds.) Linguistic and cultural pluralism is more than the mere coexistence of various languages. It is primarily about the transcultural circulation of values across borders, the negotiation of identities, the inversions, even inventions of meaning, often concealed by a common illusion of effective communication… The teacher trainers of tomorrow will need to operate in a globalized space where verbal exchanges will be increasingly plurilingual and pluricultural.

6 Language ecology in practice At the Vietnamese grocer Excerpt 1 1.Juan: How much panza do you want? (tripe) 2. DF : voy a comprar cinco libras I’m going to buy 5 lbs de panza manana of tripe tomorrow 3. Juan: OK manana 4. DF: /\ ma’alob. good 5. Juan: _/OK! 6DF: \/ Dios bo dik thanks 7Juan: _/bo dik 8DF: _/saama tomorrow 9Juan: @@, 10 @@ 11 _saama 12DF: ah

7 At the Chinese grocer Excerpt 2 1.DF: ((TO BUTCHER IN MAYA)) 2.Butcher: si si si 3.DF: ((TO CLERK)) buenas… 4. vengo mi maestraI’m with my teacher 5.AW: 6. teacher 7.Clerk: OH [@] 8.DF: [ah] 9. es mi maestra\she’s my teacher 10. ah 11. eh-nomas, este, pase a preguntarI just uh passed by to ask 12. la masa que agarro mi hijo the masa that my son 13. ochenta y ahora/ took, 80 and now... 22.Clerk si bien. Yes good. 23. le toco masa aca ahora he’ll take masa here now

8 At the Chinese grocer Excerpt 3 31. DF: estamos de paseo con la= maestrawe’re out walking with the teacher 32 por eso yo no/\vinethat’s why I didn’t come 33. Clerk: ah/ 34. DF: si\ 35 ah 36 Clerk: ((to AW)) my Spanish is really limited 37 but I try to understand him 38 @ [@@@@] 39 AW: [that’s 40 good] 41 DF: [si ah ha]

9 At the Chinese grocer Excerpt 4 74DF: mucho trabajo.a lot of work 75Older lady: ah @@@ 76DF: eso es el ticherthis is the teacher 77Clerk: ((TO OLDER LADY IN CHINESE)) 78Older lady: hi @@@ 79AW: hi 80Clerk: ((TO DF)) manana when you come [I give you no espanol] 81Old lady: [@@@@@] 82Clerk: [[solo English]] 83DF: [[@@@]] 84 NO, 85Clerk: Jose, tomorrow when you come in I don’t speak Spanish with you any more 87DF: [@@@@] 88AW: [no no I’m] not teaching him English. 89 I’m teaching him to read and writing in Spanish. 90 I’m not teaching him English. 91Clerk: oh oh 92 read and write Span-[ish.] 93AW: [yeah,] read and write Spanish 94Clerk: that’s good ‘cause he like he not even recognize the numbers

10 At the Chinese grocer Excerpt 5 107AW: we’re going to learn to read the numbers 108 ((TO DF)) dice que vamos a aprender a leer losI said we’re going to learn numbers 109 numeros para que [puedas…]so that you can 110DF: [ hm ] 111Clerk: [that’s the most important part first: 112 one two three four five six seven eight nine ten. 113AW: that’s right 114 yeah 115 where did YOU learn English? 116Clerk: America 117AW: [oh=] 118Clerk:[many] years ago 119 121 I never know it in my life because my mother come 122 when I come in 19 uh 80 123 I still went to ESL program 124 I still learn 125 that’s why he [can too] 126AW: [ yah] 127 yah yah 128Clerk: ((TO DF)) when me aqui 129 twenty years early 130 nada speak English 131DF: nada 132Clerk: nada 133 todo English aqui 134DF: ah

11 At the Chinese grocer Excerpt 6 135Clerk: learn first 136 ABCD 137 todo aqui 138DF: ah entiendes Maya 139 ano mas 140 ah 141 entiendes Maya 142AW: a lot of people speak Maya here, huh? 143Lady: yeah 144AW: you’re learning some Maya? 145Lady: uh:: not much 146 Latinos is 147DF: ahi esta? 148 eh= en la tarde [y=/] 149Clerk: [OK] 150DF: bueno 151 nos vemos 152Lady OK 153 good to see you.

12 At the Vietnamese butcher Excerpt 7 60Butcher A: { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "http://images.slideplayer.com/10/2736900/slides/slide_12.jpg", "name": "At the Vietnamese butcher Excerpt 7 60Butcher A:

13 At the Vietnamese butcher Excerpt 8 95Bela: What’s your name? 96Butcher A: Felipe 97Bela: Felipe (.) 98 /\ OK Felipe 99Butcher B: Felipe sabe espanol muy bien ((LEANS OVER THE COUNTER TO GIVE BELA A CARD)) 100Butcher A: this one with my name 101Bela: @@ [@@] 102AW: [thank you]

14 Language use as a complex, dynamic system Relativity of Self and Other Time scales Emergentism Unfinalizability Fractals

15 An ecological analysis of the data The ecology of multilingual spaces - In excerpt 1 - In excerpts 2-6 The ecology of embodied time - the different timescales - staging event, styling the self - identities and speaking positions - what’s in a name?

16 Symbolic competence Definition Subjectivity or subject-positioning Historicity or an understanding of the cultural memories evoked by symbolic systems Performativity or the capacity to perform and create alternative realities Re-framing

17 Implications for foreign language educators We are not teachers of a linguistic code but teachers of meaning 1.Meaning is relational/multidimensional 2.Meaning is mediated 3.Meaning is multiscalar and recursive 4.Meaning is emergent

18 5. Meaning is unpredictable and double- voiced 6. Meaning is fractal 7. Meaning is subjective 8. Meaning is historically contingent 9. Meaning is reflexive

19 Conclusion The 21 st century is about meaning, relations, creativity, subjectivity, historicity and the inter- (as in interdisciplinary, intercultural etc.) Curriculum guidelines and national standards are not everything, a monolingual worldview may be overcome, as long as cunning reigns.


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