Hi! I saw in one of ur post you are an EFL teacher. I'm doing a research for uni and i was wondering if u could help me answer this question. Should the EFL teacher be exposed to Classic english literature? if you think so why yes or why not? In other words you think is important for the teacher to have a knowledge of English Literature? what would be your pros and cons?
I think it is important not to generalize English language teaching. This work is done under such diverse contexts, by teachers who have equally diverse funds of knowledge. I think literature is an extremely valuable tool to learn about ourselves, others, and of course language. I suggest that teachers become familiar with a variety of texts; novels, films, songs, or advertisements, for example, that can expand their repertoire of tools.
Everyday practices, everyday pedagogies: a dialogue on critical transformations in a multilingual HK school (Miguel Pérez Milans with Carlos Soto)
(in preparation): Everyday practices, everyday pedagogies: a dialogue on critical transformations in a multilingual HK school. In: Julie Byrd Clark & Fred Dervin (Eds.),Reflexivity and Multimodality in Language Education: Rethinking Multilingualism and Interculturality in accelerating, complex and transnational spaces. New York: Routledge.
Faculty of Education
University of Hong Kong
Faculty of Education
University of Hong Kong
This chapter provides a reflexive dialogue between a researcher and one of his focused participants, a teacher involved in critical pedagogy, in the course of a critical sociolinguistic ethnography carried out in Hong Kong. Data collection was focused on a local school coping with declining enrolment that had recently implemented an International Division aimed at teaching multi-lingual ethnic minority students through English as a medium of instruction, while maintaining a local division serving the school’s majority Chinese student population. In the context of a local pre-university education system traversed by competitiveness, streaming, exam-oriented teaching practices, and reforms aimed at developing a knowledge economy, participants at the research site emphasized the extent to which the International Division provided minority students with opportunities to overcome a marginalised position. However, the fieldwork pointed to institutional tensions over resources and practices. Analysis of classroom and Facebook interactions reveals how all these conditions set up interactional contexts where teachers and students faced difficulties in negotiating meaning, yet were able to achieve transformational forms of resistance. With very different ages and levels of English proficiency in a same classroom, participants constructed meaning by leaning on various languages, modes of communication, voices, genres and registers that allowed them to display not only official knowledge, but also a wide range identities. On the basis of these interactional dynamics, the researcher and his focused teacher engage in a collaborative reflection on what ‘critical’ means to them under those everyday circumstances, with an emphasis on the potentials of a collaborative reflection like this for both critical educators and sociolinguists interested school spaces as sites for empowerment.
Dr. Miguel Pérez-Milans has conducted critical sociolinguistic ethnography in Spain, London, and China.
Carlos Soto is a doctoral student and has worked as an educator in the United States and Hong Kong.
Keywords: critical research in education, critical sociolinguistics, critical pedagogy, Hong Kong education, multilingualism, ethnic minorities, youth, institutional transformation, social inequality, social agency.
A mistaken interpretation of how the world actually is
A body of ideas characteristic of a particular social group or class
Ideas that help to legitimate a dominant political power
False ideas that help to legitimate a dominant political power
The conjuncture of discourse and power
Ideology and Economic Systems (derived from a Marxist framework):
Any society must reproduce its conditions of production.
This includes thematerial conditions as well as the social conditions.
The capitalist economic system must also reproduce—via culture—the ideological conditions for its continuance; in particular the belief in private property, a class system, and the importance of consumption.
These beliefs are the “ruling ideas that serve the interests of the ruling class.”
Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) are institutions that produce these ideological conditions. Examples include schools, churches, political parties, and mass media outlets.
(from Stuart Hall“The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power,” In Stuart Hall and Bam Gieben, eds., Formations of Modernity, pp. 275-332)
A discourse is a group of statements which provide a language for talking about – i.e., a way of representing – a particular kind of knowledge about a topic. When statements about a topic are made within a particular discourse, the discourse makes it possible to construct the topic in a certain way. It also limits the other ways in which the topic can be constructed…
Discourse it is not based on the conventional distinction between thought and action, language and practice. Discourse is about the production of knowledge through language.
A ‘discursive practice’ is both a form of communication and the act of producing meaning.
Since all social practices entail meaning, all practices have a discursive aspect. So discourse enters into and influences all social practices…
The relationship between ‘discourse’ and ‘ideology’
A discourse is similar to what sociologists call an ‘ideology’: a set of statements of beliefs which produce knowledge that serves the interests of a particular group or class.
Why, then, use ‘discourse’ rather than ‘ideology’? One reason which Michel Foucault gives is that ideology is based on a distinction between true statements about the world (science) and false statements (ideology), and the belief that the facts about the world help us to decide between true and false statements. But Foucault argues that statements about the social, political, or moral world are rarely ever simply true or false; and ‘the facts’ do not enable us to decide definitively about their truth or falsehood, partly because ‘facts’ can be construed in different ways. The very language we use to describe the so-called facts interferes in this process of finally deciding what is true and what is false.
Language is not transparent.
Language—not necessarily reality—makes meaning possible, and it is the means by which we give meaning to the world.
Since our experience of reality is mediated and structured by language the things what is experience as ‘natural’ are actually constructed by language itself (to varying degrees).
Language is a social and therefore ideological; it ‘speaks’ us.
This is why Louis Althusser describes ideology as a system of representations, or more precisely, he says: “ideology is a (re)presentation of the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.”
Ideology and Subjectivity:
· Our consciousness is a product of language and ideology.
· Ideology interpellates or ‘hails’ individuals as subjects.
· Cultural texts position us as subjects; they reinforce or sometimes create a specific perspective, worldview or disposition
· Hegemony is the manufacture of consent, and it is a best described as a process that is common in countries with democratic governments (non-authoritarian).
· Hegemonic blocs are groups and/or institutions that exercise social leadership.
· These blocs must gain consent from “the people.” Therefore, they must legitimate their position of social dominance.
· A dominant class or bloc must articulate (i.e. both link and express) its own interest with the interests of other (subordinate or subaltern) social groups.
· Hegemonic power is maintained by a combination of coercion and consent.
· Hegemony implies that social power is always unstable and is defined by perpetual struggle.
· Hegemonic power is never guaranteed and must be won and maintained (this is the function of ideology)
These are some vocab words that I hope to someday teach my high schoolers. Who says teenagers can’t learn radical vocabulary??
Sometimes as teachers we have to “map” our oppression.
We need to take a look at the structural forces which constrain our work or provide opportunity in our classes. And we need to examine how we have responded through our agency. Have we become hopeless? Have we become the teacher we hate to be? Can we re-claim our agency?
I am a Pakistani I am elegance A candle of peace I am a Pakistani I am extremely blessed Whether I am rich or poor I am barely bothered I am a Pakistani if you hit me with stones Place a gun to my head I’ll greet you with a flower I am a Pakistani A hat on my head Fond of honor I am music and dance I am the Tune of love I am cherished by all I am a Pakistani
On International Women’s Day, let us pay tribute to all women worldwide who contribute so much to the well-being of their families, communities and nations. Today on International Women’s Day, and every day, let us go forward with the vision that progress for women is progress for all.
This is for you. Yes! simply every women who is a part of the world.
“Right Brain or Left Brain?
When is the last time you designed a learning experience for both?
Students love choices.
Next time you design a learning experience or develop an assignment, give some attention and offer the right and left brain choices.
Keep it simple.
Here are some examples:
Math…Left: do page ___, problems ___ to ___ Right: On page ___, arrange problems ____ to ___ in terms of level of difficulty, and explain why. Solve any five of the problems.
Spelling…Left: write each word three times and use in a sentence Right: draw the outline of each word and write three sentences, using all words in just those three sentences
Writing…Left: write a persuasive paragraph. Right: Write a scene in a play where one person persuades the other to do something
Remember, if YOU don’t think outside the box every once in a while, how will ‘they’?”—
The proportion of young Hong Kong woman who are underweight nearly doubled over the past 15 years, leaving more women at risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis, according to a study by a Queen Mary Hospital doctor.
Dr Annie Kung Wai-chee found the percentage of 20- to 29-year-old women monitored from 2005 to 2010 who could be classified as having low body weight was nearly 40 per cent, up from 23 per cent in a 1995-2000 study conducted by the hospital’s osteoporosis centre.
Kung used the World Health Organisation’s classification of a body mass index (BMI) - calculated by dividing a patient’s weight by their height squared - as the basis of her study. It says an index of 18.5 to 22.9 is normal.
In other words, four in 10 Hong Kong young women included in the study’s most recent phase had a BMI that was lower than 18.5.
Kung said weight-conscious women were getting thinner and exposing themselves to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a decrease of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time.
"When a female is in puberty and she tries to control her body weight by eating less, she can’t get enough calcium and vitamins to sustain bone growth," she said.
Low body weight, smoking and too little calcium in the diet are all possible contributors to the disease. Apart from brittle bones, it also causes height loss and stooped posture.
Researchers monitored the BMI of women in various age groups in two phases, with 1,080 in the earlier group and 550 in the latter.
Similar increases were also seen among other age groups. About 30 per cent of those 80 or older were found to be underweight in the second phase, many more than the 6 per cent in the first phase.
Kung described the consequences as extremely serious and cited the experience of one of her patients as an example.
"Four years ago she weighed 36.3 kilograms and her BMI was 14. One day she slipped on a wet floor and broke her left leg," Kung said. The patient was diagnosed with osteoporosis after surgery. "A minor accident like this wouldn’t cause such serious consequences to youngsters with normal bone density," Kung said.
The then 19-year-old woman ate two meals a day but only dry food. After four years of treatment, she now weighs 41kg. Even though she was still underweight, Kung said, the disease was being managed.
"If a person has been underweight for more than a year, it’s very difficult for body weight to resume to a normal level because of psychological factors and dieting habits," Kung said.
To avoid developing osteoporosis, the doctor said women should maintain a healthy body weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise. She advised those whose BMI was less than 18.5 to have a bone-density check.
The Osteoporosis Society of Hong Kong says 300,000 women and 100,000 men suffer from the disease.
40% of Young Women in Hong Kong Underweight
From the South China Morning Post
I wish the article explained why this phenomenon is happening.