thee, thou, thy and thine
After I'd studied "y'all" for a while I turned my attention to thee, thou, thy and thine. Most people have at least a basic background on them. They used to be informal ways of addressing people, used for friends and equals, similar to German "du" and Spanish "tu". Then Quakers mucked everything up by calling everyone by thee, thou, etc. and refusing to grant preferred status to the higher-ups, like tax collectors and royalty. THEN to avoid sounding like Quakers, English speaking society decided to just call everyone
you etc., without regard to status. So what happened to thee, thou, thy and thine? Several things. First, they went out of common use; they were common in certain Quaker areas and Quaker communities for a while, and in some British dialects, such as Yorkshire and near Lancashire, but they have begun to fade, even there, recently.
Now this story gets interesting in several ways. First is, what little usage they have today, could basically be called "put-on religious" or "put-on Quaker." If you want to sound old, or hopelessly out of date, or rigid or moralistic in the sense that people see old Quakers, you might want to use them. People generally have lost track of the grammatical difference between "thee" and "thou" so they might use "thee" in subject position, or less frequently, "thou" in object position, incorrectly. They don't have a very clear sense of their grammatical sense, except possibly in the places where they were really used daily.
Then, I asked the Quakers what they thought of so-called "plain speaking"...how could it be that, if it's called plain speaking, it's really only used in a "put on" way? Quakers are by nature opposed to pretentiousness, thus they shun such things as creating an in-group, putting on airs of any kind, or trying to "sound" as if they were something they're not. So, are these words doomed? Yes, in the Quaker community anyway. If they sound put-on, Quakers aren't going to use them. Period.
Such it is that the opposite has evolved from what was, at one time, "plain speaking." If it is no longer plain, it is on its way out, and if any group chooses
to start using it on a day-to-day basis, to create an ingroup, religious or not, or for any other reason, I'd like to know. It's a system, and, without wanting exactly to go back to the days of King James, I really would like to know how it sounds in an everyday kind of way.
Labels: dialects, grammar, y'all
I just had another experience which I would assume is common to ESL teachers: you teach an entire semester, and at the end of it, in that busy rush and exchange of e-mails with students, you realize that, as high level as they may be, and focused on whatever the class covered (in this case writing), they still don't know how to write a proper e-mail, or how to address a teacher properly. This infuriates me, because they are often highly competent in their own fields, if not others, and pretty good at English overall. But they can't address a teacher?
My idea is to reorganize all my teaching, all teaching, according to the functional value of things that they need to know. If I had done this, I would have made sure they sent 6-10 e-mails during the term, since being able to send an e-mail to a teacher is far more important than writing a good bibliography. I would have pounded it into them so that every student in that class knew how to write an e-mail. I would have made them address me so often that they would think twice before addressing me the wrong way.
In grammar, a good example is questions. Questions are hard, grammatically; we might put them late in a curriculum and I've seen them overlooked. But, from a functional standpoint, they're essential. I have high-level students who are uncomfortable asking for things. Why? Because they know their grammar may be wrong? Somebody should put questions first in the curriculum. Ram it down their throats. Make sure that, no matter what level they are (above 0), they know how to ask for a bathroom. Especially in an emergency.
In the old days, functionalism meant setting up lessons on ordering in a restaurant, or making a phone call. But I had some students who said, essentially, they never went to a restaurant, period. In a way I'm saying, take the things that are essential; rate them high; organize curricula around them; don't let anyone get far without knowing how to function in a basic way.
In a sense we can see the culture as a big blanket that covers the language. If you have no sense of the culture, the language to some degree won't get you very far. For example, if you don't know how to shake hands, or how to address someone, every interaction gets off to a bad start, and the subtle effects of being outside the culture or being inappropriate tend to overshadow all the good stuff or the human natural tendency to give you a break for being an outsider. In the same way, people who are trying to learn pronunciation are sometimes hampered by the fact that the very way you hold your mouth - its tension, its setting, etc., influences every sound - so that if you are too tense nobody can understand you no matter how well you make the words
...neofunctionalism is my way of saying, if people can't walk out my classroom door and address someone, or ask a question, then maybe I've failed them in a fundamental way and should rethink my priorities. It doesn't matter to me as much if they can't tip at the restaurant, that's further down the list, because my priorities start with the stuff that's most essential for their survival and which should be clear to them, life is really easier
for you if you learn this stuff.
Krashen used to say that basic social interaction, the oral kind, was the foundation of language skills and thus should be taught until it's mastered, before
one attempts reading and then, later, writing. This was what he was after too, the idea that once a student understood and could respond appropriately to the teacher, then serious class-learning of such things as reading could commence, not before
...Today's world is much more writing-oriented, with so much business happening by e-mail, etc. Sometimes I think the best thing I could do with these high-level students (powerhouse readers, adequate writers, clueless listeners) is to separate them into an immersion experience where, when it was over, they could at least ask for help in any area, they thought in English often
, they were used to addressing people; they spoke up often
to get what they need, etc. Concentration on immersion/needs/questions first. If they walk out of your classroom and know how to get stuff, they'll probably be ok.
Labels: krashen, learning theory, personal, reading, ttu, writing
international education at tech
Texas Tech has never gone out of its way to attract internationals, but like most universities, it attracts a fair number anyway. They like Texas: it's sunny, friendly, warm, reasonably-priced in terms of living expenses, and diverse enough to make them not stand out too harshly as they go around town.
But the story is a little unbalanced. Tech has 1700 internationals, depending on how you count them; out of 1400 on this campus, over 80% are graduates; only 260 are undergraduates. Unlike UT-Austin, Texas A & M, or Univ. of Houston, all in the top 25 for serving internationals nationwide, Tech has gone down; whereas internationals were 6.7% in 2011, 4.7% in 2012, down 30%, and no telling what they are now, in 2013. Tech's overall retention rate is 80%, which is pretty good, but with internationals their goal is to reach 70%, which appears to show a difference, if I am reading the right numbers in the right way. My guess is that our 260 undergraduates are struggling. In many departments they say, sink or swim, we aren't set up to accommodate you well.
This highlights a huge difference between Tech and, say, Texas A & M, where internationalism is a well-established part of the culture. People come and stay to places like A & M because there is an established community, and people have seen internationals before, and know how to deal with them. It's a little harder in Lubbock, which is much more provincial.
A little over a year ago, Tech lost its Intensive English Program to ELS, a private storefront school in downtown Lubbock. ELS has branches in various places, such as Houston, some well-established, but because it's not part of Tech, many internationals were dismayed by this switch and aren't sure that ELS can train them appropriately for success at Tech. One disgruntled student wrote a "Google review":
ELS Lubbock center is very bad for to many reasons, First, the final SSP/LS exam is not from the book you study before its very hard to pass, because you didn't study SSP book and test you for same thing did not study it . second, the the teachers is not ready to teach us, and didn't have any expensive. next, its very expansive 1730 a month ? for what for all that money . last thing, if you are from muslim you have hard mistreatment. I would not advise anyone to a join ELS Lubbock center
You expect a certain amount of disgruntlement anyway, but you would hope this storefront would be integrating students into Tech life, able to show them the student culture. In fact, they do go to pumpkin patches, or volleyball games, or whatever they can. I'm not disparaging them; they are doing their best. Their website tries hard to show that. Conditional admission into TTU says to some degree, that they are
part of the culture, they are accepted, Tech likes them. There are only about 60, though. They hope to climb over a hundred; they hope to get Tech over 2000, in the next four years. Good luck!
Out of Texas Tech's 34,000 students, less than 1% come from over 500 miles away, and that number includes students from Brownsville, TX, and Port Arthur, TX, both over 500 miles away. Tech is not used to attracting students from Louisiana or Illinois, much less China or India. It could. The President recently expressed commitment to the idea. He might, in fact, commit the university to trying to recruit, which is a complicated business, but which is possible. Where would he look? I have no idea, but I have suggestions: Vietnam, China, Brazil, South America, Korea.
What constitutes adequate support for these students? Mainly, they like to have others from their same country around, so that they have someone to celebrate the major holidays with. To that end we should support the student groups and associations that already exist, and encourage others to form. Some universities make separate freshman writing courses for internationals, or provide writing assistance. We have
a center where they support internationals, take care of their visas, etc. I'd like to see those numbers go up; it would be good for Tech, and good for Lubbock. Here are some more questions I have:
1. Will it really be possible for a storefront IEP to deliver to Texas Tech a rise in enrollment
, as promised, or will we continue to flounder, as we have been? What's the secret to attracting them here; what can we promise them that will work?
2. Are students as well prepared, after a year or so of education off campus, as they were in the floundering IEP that was on
campus, before it gave up the ghost & closed down 15 months ago? That IEP was unable to do the paperwork necessary for accreditation, and just closed instead; I've never been satisfied with the story, but that's what I know. I also don't know which IEP, that one or ELS, would be more responsible for our present retention figures. I assume this stuff is tracked.
3. Presently our 1400 students are from about 100 countries, starting with India (34%), China (16%), and Korea. Where else? How does the present (60) population at ELS compare to the TTU population...in other words, what kinds of students will ELS be feeding into TTU in the coming years? Of course I'm more interested in their general preparedness than their countries of origin, but I might have to know the latter to make some stereotyped guesses about the former.
4. Presumably our biggest supply of internationals is coming in through the graduate school, and they already have pretty good English, pretty well prepared for their graduate study. These grad programs are doing their own recruiting, I'd guess. So what are they saying? How are they doing this? How does this recruiting system work?
At a time when international enrollment is at an all-time high in US universities (USC has over 7,000), TTU appears to be missing the boat, but not too concerned about it. They've set out as a goal, to do something about this, and I'm sure they're trying. I'm actually very curious about how it will all work. As far as I can tell, it's one step backward for every step forward.
Labels: language, personal, ttu
When I was in graduate school, all teaching methods that involved instant feedback were out. If you were to jump on a student for pronouncing "three" as "tree," for example, he would stammer, make the correct "three" word again, lose his train of thought (not to mention his confidence), etc. Theory favored the affective side of it: let him speak as much as he is capable of speaking; let him string entire sentences together; correct him later, if at all, privately, and let him know that his pronunciation and/or grammar are impeding meaning, or should be worked on before the others. Naturally, those that impede meaning are more urgent than those that don't. Also, we are well aware that with much feedback in general, there is not a direct relationship between what you tell them to work on, and what actually gets improved on the following day. They like feedback, and appreciate it, and are especially grateful to know when it is responsible for their grade's being a little lower than they'd like, but, even when they apply themselves to changing their pronunciation or grammar, often they can't, at least not right away. Or, they will change it on a prepared speech, but immediately get thrown off when asked a question or expected to produce language spontaneously.
Now I am in a situation where I am teaching high-level learners; grammar and pronunciation are sometimes an issue, but usually not. The issue for them is often lack of tone, poor tone, long thought groups or poorly broken up thought groups, lack of prominence or no stress on important words. Tone, I think, is extremely important. They drift into a monotone, and people fall asleep, losing not only the information but also a sense of how important it is. Tone doesn't come naturally to speakers of other languages. They're head is full with creating sentences, recalling what they meant to say, making correct pronunciation (which, as I've said, is not bad at this level.
But a graduate student, A.H., has taken to giving them instant feedback on their DI (discourse intonation), mostly with their permission, and her partner, R.R., now jumps right in there beside her. They'll stop a student in the middle of the second sentence and say, "No tone!" or "Why are you using a rising tone? Are you unsure of yourself?" or perhaps, "Mind your prominence! Stress on the important words!"
Students, as I've said, liked this, and agreed to it willingly at first. They needed to know their faults and the sooner the better, they figured, even at the expense of obviously losing their train of thought, getting rattled in front of a crowd, etc. Generally they would be teaching in front of their peers. Generally their presentation was limited - maybe ten minutes at most. Generally they would stumble upon being corrected, but get back on their feet fairly quickly. Sometimes the fault that was pointed out would be corrected in what they produced after the feedback. In those cases, we could say it was a success. They were directed to mind an aspect of their DI (often one they weren't paying attention to); they would mind it; they would improve, and presumably they would learn the skill of considering DI simultaneously with the other things they were trying to juggle.
I stuck to my traditional method, which was to point out their weaknesses on a grading sheet, to be given them after (well after) their presentation, which often pointed out both DI weaknesses and traditional, pronunciation/grammar problems. My theory was that private, separated feedback could be handled more rationally later, could be separated from the plain view of peers, and allow their immediate observations more room to develop as they were speaking.
The instant feedback system had several negative consequences. One is interesting and worth noting. One poor girl, frustrated at being criticized for lack of tone, had adopted an uptalk kind of style. This actually is quite common. Students hear others doing it, and adopt it, and notice that they do better with uptalk than with nothing. I actually encourage it, although I know it's rather grating to the ears of a native speaker, it makes us say, "you're from the valley?" or "you're asking me?" or some such. But it is
a tone, developmental as it is, and it helps them begin to hear them, hear their consequences, etc. So A.H. jumps on her for her uptalk, and says, basically, "You're giving out your syllabus (true). You're telling them how you're going to grade them (also true)...and you make it a question? WHY are you using uptalk?" The poor girl, flustered, starts over again. She realizes the feedback is intended to help her, she's not overwhelmingly embarrassed. But she really doesn't know
how to vary her tones, or she would have done it. She is more embarrassed by not being able to make what she wants, than just being mistaken.
And this, in general, is probably the biggest problem. Tone becomes fluent in developmental increments, which are now disrupted, and not allowed to be half-perfect. If she develops a fear of uptalk, or picks up the disparagement on the part of native speakers in the room, she goes back to monotone. The disruption of the process sets back the entire thing, and, as a result, she can't use varying tones at all until she is entirely ready to make them all right.
I have often pointed out this tendency in the development of grammatical structures, for example, present perfect continuous. A student, in trying to say "I have been going to the Rec Center" says instead "I have been go to the Rec Center," producing an intermediate, developmental form. The computer tells them that's bad, go back to square one, or, the student is corrected and set back by an aggressive grammar-cop type of ESL teacher, who jumps on him, marks him down, publicly shames him, or whatever. Bottom line: avoid that structure altogether. Avoid trying it, avoid developing it, avoid putting it out there. Correction can have an opposite effect of stifling ordinary natural developmental progress. And it certainly doesn't reward experimentation, the risk-taking required to master anything.
These may be the traditional arguments against all
feedback, and they remind me a bit of the writing "Error correction wars" in which some theorists argued strenuously against all
error correction, and even those who were in favor of it were reduced to saying how much and how strenuously they would couch it in positive terms, save it until the end, devalue it or absorb it into larger meaning-expression issues. That kind of feedback, in writing, was out
and was staying out
as far as I could tell, last I checked. Those who wanted to know principal
were left looking online for one of those online proofreaders.
I should mention, by the way, that A.H. and R.R. tried to set up a study; they asked students how they felt; they tried to determine whether this method worked, and how students actually felt about it. While getting accurate results on its efficacy may be extremely difficult, the controlled environment under which they asked students their true opinions might yield interesting results; I'll keep you posted.
Labels: grammar, ita's, learning theory, ttu, writing
keep calm y'all
I have a couple of grad. assistants working for me who teach often. Today I said to them, I have a bone to pick with y'all. As I watch you, I've noticed that you use "y'all" sometimes to address the class. But other times you use "you guys". And you NEVER use "you" to refer to the class. What's up with that?
They admitted, they were avoiding "you". You grow up in Texas schools, they said, if a teacher addresses the class as "y'all", everything's fine. If the principal addresses the class as "y'all", everything is fine. If anyone uses "you" everything is NOT FINE.
So they are avoiding it at all costs. It sounds rude, short, uncaring, harsh.
Now they are well aware of the problems of "y'all" sounding hick, sounding southern, being too informal, etc. They are also well aware of the problem I told them, that even we northerners were beginning to give up on "you guys" because it only referred to half the class at any given time, and the other half was bound to be offended.
But in the north, "you" as plural is not really marked one way or the other. It's not rude, it's not formal, it's not really a problem, using it with a class, using it with friends, using it with anyone. The only problem with it is that it isn't really clear
; it can refer to one person or many.
They have many ways to refer to one or many down here. "Y'all" can be used for one or many, but is used for one mostly when you don't know that one, or it is an older person, or you have to assume that the person has family or people around that you don't know about. Waitresses use "y'all" for singular; they're allowed. They have to be polite to everyone. They don't have time to sit and decide whether you are one or many. "Y'all" in that context generally refers to "you and yours" and is remarkably similar to some other languages that essentially use you-plural in polite situations. So in fact "y'all" can and does act as both singular and plural in all kinds
of situations, making it as ambiguous, in number (sometimes), as "you" is up north.
But one teacher pointed out something else. There is actually a "clipped y'all" which sounds more like "yaw" or "yuh". It's singular "y'all". Even though there is a plural
y'all, all-a-y'all, it's actually a quite complicated situation, and it has more to do with politeness, which always matters, than true number, which is a fluid concept (since not knowing whether someone has family, is the same as assuming that they do, and you just don't know it). We northerners shake our heads at the concept that "it's not about number."
About this "yaw" or "yuh" - I have
heard it. I'll keep my ears out for it again. There aren't so many people you can even ask
, as they aren't always all that aware of how they speak or why; they misreport, or give questionable data. Doesn't matter. If you live here a while, I figure, you get the hang of it. People are friendly. They like to talk.
So I told them, well, there's always "you folks" or "you lot" - I doubt they're going to go with the Pittsburgh "you'ns" or the bronx "youse" which I once, by the way, heard in Alton, IL. These are similarly marked. There's a whole lot of us who have trouble with all the options. Now that I'm Texan, I'll start having trouble with "you", because I'll begin to hear it the way they hear it - too formal, too rude. One doesn't want people thinking one doesn't care.
Labels: grammar, languages, ttu, y'all
report from Lubbock
It's been almost two months since I posted here; you might think I'd died, or fallen off a cliff, for as much as I've had to say about professional matters in general. It's true that I post a little on my other blogs, which I'll mention, but most of all, I've just been busy, and as I get older, I get a little more tired, and find it more difficult to go out of my way to point out something interesting.
But it is a new term, and I owe you an update, which I will provide. I teach a new class in writing dissertations and theses, for high-level graduate students. I used my eap2 skills to set up a writing project such that we would study a public issue (in our case Lubbock water crisis) and investigate how people feel about it; it's a fairly straightforward project on the perception of people toward an environmental condition (again, eap2 prepares me well) but the class is developing the project together, though they will write reports individually. If it ends up online (which I'd prefer), I'll keep you informed. Otherwise I'll just tell you what I've learned. In essence I've learned how theses look different in different departments, and use different styles, and carry different expectations depending on what any given department would call "data".
The other class is a high-level ITA speaking class, but the difference at Texas Tech, from other places, is that we (and the self-made textbook we use) identifies and graphs out discourse features that are crucial in the conveying of meaning and intent, features such as prominence, tone, thought groups, etc. We actually categorize and measure these things so as to give students, many of whom have adequate pronunciation and grammar, more insight into what is really hampering their ability to communicate successfully. It's very interesting and, in my view, somewhat cutting-edge, since other programs don't even really know how to talk
about some of these.
My last assignment is at the Univ. Writing Lab, but it's really my favorite, because I enjoy the people and it's more like working as part of a collective of very smart people who all practice a craft together; this also is a little more like CESL, and a little less like an academic department. Frankly, my office building is a little like Europe, with teachers of Portuguese, Italian, German, French and Spanish but about as much true camaraderie as the EU as well, and you have to give the office staff 24 hours to copy anything, and sometimes I long for the more free-wheeling ESL life.
It was at the writing center, however, where they actually assigned to me this set of youtube clips
which finally stirred me up to post in this blog. It's an interesting set on the problems in writing that ESL students have when encountering and trying to master writing in English. It stirred lots of memories in me, and awakened my passion for ESL writing, which in fact I am teaching, both at the lab and in the dissertation class. In this movie I saw my old friend Deb Healey, and was reassured that my skills, developed over decades, were valuable. I think the movie deserves its own review, which I will provide above, but in the meantime, I just want to say, I'm still here, still kicking, still teaching, basically, and walking home, since somebody lifted my bicycle in May.
I have two projects, both somewhat shelved, because it's so hard to get to the kids' schools, and soccer practice, in the time available to me. And, the walking, even the six blocks that it is, across a ten-lane road, exhausts me, for some reason. My shoes got to the point where nails seem to be sticking up into my foot but I've been to busy to simply buy new ones, or more appropriately, buy ones that are better designed for long walks at night. My two projects are as follows: I'm writing a book on language as a self-organized system, and in general I store my work here
, though I have the book itself elsewhere. Also, I have begun a serious study of text linguistics, which is really the linguistics of texters, as opposed to the linguistics of big books and entire tomes, which some people think it is, and which appears when you google "text linguistics." The fact is, this new field, the study of human communication behavior when phones and computers are mediating it, needs a name, although "computer-mediated communication" is close to acceptable. I struggle with it, because I'm really after text linguistics, yet I can't call it that; the name is taken.
So that's a report from the Hub City. The clouds come over in enormous colorful gusty-looking monsters but it rarely rains. The painters have moved in and sprayed chipped paint all over our yard thus causing us to suspect that our sunflower crop will have lead in it. Finally, the boys are both on soccer teams, thus causing a flurry of cross-town transportation issues not to mention finding matching shin-guards, a ball, filling a water bottle, etc. All for the purposes of activity, which supposedly makes them sleep better, but in fact, it's usually me who falls face-down on the pillow long before they do. I've found that wearing a fine-looking hat on nineteenth street increases my chances of being seen across ten lanes, so I do, and now people look at me oddly but go around me, and I limp across those lanes getting in the bicyclists' way.
Labels: cesl, chat, ita's, linguistics, self-organized systems, toefl, ttu, weblogs, wikipedia, writing, youtube
translation plateau, cont'd
A lot of times on the first day of class you get very interesting questions; these are the better students, who have been studying during the breaks, and have been saving up these questions because they're really stuck. In this case it was a Sri Lankan woman, with very good English, who is going to be an international teaching assistant here and thus is almost ready to actually teach in English.
She said the following, roughly: "I don't have any trouble thinking and using English when I'm in my own field, because I learned everything in that field in English. But the rest of the time, I have trouble thinking in English; I always think in my native language and then translate. Why do I have such trouble? I know I can
do it, I just can't bring myself to do it?
My answer was roughly the following. People have trouble at this point switching over to thinking in English. My guess is that you are afraid of losing something related to your native language. If you think about it, you won't really lose your ability to speak and remember your native language. You might forget a few words, or not have as good access to it, when you bring English to the front and use English all the time. But you won't actually lose
I suspect the answer lies more in fear of losing an aspect of your native culture that you really are
afraid of losing, for example, some part of its values, or its code. People at first look at American culture as if it's like the movies - it's wild, and violent, and immoral, etc. When they get here they are genuinely attracted by certain aspects of it: increased freedom and respect for women, more liberal attitudes toward the disabled or different groups of people; Americans have different attitudes toward guns, toward extramarital sex, toward racial differences. These are all bound together in what it means to you to "become more American." But it is not necessarily related to the language you speak. It is theoretically possible to speak English 100% of the time, and not really change your values or your morals at all from what you had when you got here.
What happens, though, is that we change our values little by little, subconsciously, and in some cases we are even aware of changing our values a little. And that scares us; we feel now truly cast adrift from the native culture, looking back on it and being somewhat apart from it. It reminds me of a story an Asian told me about how he went back home, possibly to Korea, and someone told him he looked like he was walking like an American
, possibly taking up too much of the sidewalk. Could it be that he actually walked
differently after a stint in the U.S.? If so, it could have been subconscious. The point is, we are sometimes aware we are changing, and sometimes not aware, but in the same way, we fear this, we dig in, we react to our own changes within ourselves.
I am not a counsellor, I told her, so I can't address how you talk to yourself
to alleviate these fears, and absorb yourself more deeply in your new language, so as to make your life more efficient, and integrate yourself better into your new community. As you speak to yourself, separate language and morality - you can speak whatever language you want, and still keep the values that you yourself have chosen to live by. Second, assure yourself that you will not lose anything of substance - you will know your native language forever, regardless of how long you speak with something else. Finally, efficiency, ease of speech, and clear communication are enough of a reward that you will soon see that this change is worthwhile, and overdue; what is a little harder, maybe, is getting at the true differences between cultures that do
involve values and morals, and decide for yourself what you want. If it's related, even in your mind, to the language you are speaking, it doesn't have to be. You learned it once purely for the ability to participate fully in your field, and teach in it. Now, use it also to really know the culture you are in. You can suspend your acceptance of all the values you presently associate with it, and take those or leave them at will.
The decision to think in a new language all the time often comes after it's efficient, easy or even possible. It ties people up because they can't do it and they can't even identify their reasons for being unable to do it. So, it seems inevitable here that we accept the idea that sometimes we are at war with ourselves subconsciously, and we have to have a good talk with ourselves to resolve it, and come out with a kind of working peace treaty. At times the next step is a very large one, and has to be taken with the entire body.
Labels: language, learning theory, ttu
one month, not much to show
Somehow it's less impressive to tell people that I'm working on three
books, than to tell them I'm working on one. Maybe it's because you lose some credibility when you keep working on even one, and never finish it. Such as it is, though. I have one on language as a self-organizing system; I have a novel, at least one (which has been going for a long time), and I have an autobiography, which at least I'm qualified to write.
I did get a few things into paperback form (see above) this summer, so that, if you really want to read my writing (most of which is stored
on the web, see template, fish around, you'll find it)...you can have a nice little createspace-made version. I recommend the two below as among the best but more are coming. I have taken to publishing them myself. I figure it will be simpler that way, if I ever become good at it, and I will always own the stories, which for some reason I'm attached to. In fact it's not easier; it's taken me more time; it's been laborious.
I have a friend in the TESOL business; she started Wayzgoose Press
; she prints a variety of ESL/EFL books and I could team up with her; she might even be willing to publish some of what I've written. I have only begun to actively publish ESL/EFL things; most of it, I did for SIUC, and is still floating around the SIUC/CESL Dropbox, being used at CESL, where it should be. To tell the truth, I could create more, and even want to; I've done it for years, and wouldn't mind doing it some more. But I'm serious about the three books above; I want
to finish them; I have a lot on my plate already.
Meanwhile my short (one month and a half) vacation is over; it's back to work here in Texas soon enough. I have to accept some of what's finished as what's finished, and keep on going. Now I'm in the ITA business (International Teaching Assistants); I have less to say, in general, here, but I'll keep you posted.
Labels: cesl, personal, tesol, ttu