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Stephanie Hanson Minnesota English Language Program University of Minnesota.

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Presentation on theme: "Stephanie Hanson Minnesota English Language Program University of Minnesota."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stephanie Hanson Minnesota English Language Program University of Minnesota

2  Summary of research  Activities for student reflection  Group discussion on issues

3  Constant connectivity has changed:  How people communicate  How often people communicate  Quality of conversations ▪ Loss of conversational skills

4  Fewer face-to-face conversations  Fewer phone calls  More texts or instant messages “In corporations, among friends, and within academic departments, people readily admit that they would rather leave a voicemail or send an e- mail than talk face-to-face. Some… are forthright about avoiding the ‘real-time’ commitment of a phone call.” (p. 15)

5 “I talk to teenagers who send and receive six to eight thousand texts a month [and] spend hours a day on Facebook” (p. 260)

6 “In this new regime, a train station (like an airport, a café, or a park) is no longer a communal space but a place of social collection: people come together but do not speak to each other. Each is tethered to a mobile device and to the people and places to which that device serves as a portal.” (page 155)

7 With text, “all matters… are crammed into a medium that quickly communicates a state but is not well suited for opening a dialogue about complexity of feeling.” (p. 268)

8 “Teenagers talk about what they are losing when they text: how someone stands, the tone of their voice, the expression on their face, ‘the things your eyes and ears tell you,’ as one eighteen-year-old puts it.” (p. 268)

9 “… in a call… things could get ‘out of control.’ A call has insufficient boundaries… When texting, she feels at a reassuring distance… ‘In texting, you get your main points off; you can really control when you want the conversation to start and end. You say, ‘Got to go, bye.’ You just do it… much better than the long drawn-out good-byes, when you have no real reason to leave, but you want to end the conversation.’ This last is what Audrey likes least – the end of conversations. A phone call, she explains, requires the skill to end a conversation …” (page 190-191)

10 “Deval …says that he might, not now, but sometime soon, ‘force himself’ to talk on the phone. ‘It might be a way to teach yourself to have a conversation… For later in life, I’ll need to learn how to have a conversation, learn how to find common ground so I can have something to talk about, rather than spending my life in awkward silence. I feel like phone conversations nowadays will help me in the long run because I’ll be able to have a conversation.’” (page 201)

11 Survey of 14,000 college students from 1980- 2010: Sharp drop in empathy skills since 2000 05/uom-ecs052610.php

12 “I interview management consultants [who]… say they used to talk to each other as they waited to give presentations or took taxis to the airport; now they spend that time doing e- mail. Some tell me they are making better use of their ‘downtime,’ but they argue without conviction. The time that they once used to talk as they waited for appointments or drove to the airport was never downtime. It was the time when far-flung global teams solidified relationships and refined ideas.” (P. 14-15)

13 Social interaction and negotiation of meaning lead to language acquisition (Long, 1996) If students are interacting less, how is this affecting their language acquisition?


15 1. How can we continue to help our students find opportunities for social interaction? What (new) forms might this social interaction take? 2. If native speakers’ conversational skills are deteriorating, what standards should we use with our students?

16  Live WITH technology  Revive manners  Reclaim our concentration

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