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June 1995 - Issue No. #19

Abstracts of Global Education Articles from Language Teaching Journals

Please send relevant news items on global topics from language teaching

An Attempt to Reduce Ethnocentrism in the Foreign Language Classroom

by Marc Cadd

William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, USA

This article reports on a study of prejudice reduction among American students of German. Researchers such as Lambert suggest that prejudice and ethnocentrism, which interfere with openmindedness and cross-cultural understanding, are fixed in children by age twelve. A study by Tuttle (1979), however, found that ethnocentrism may be reduced by stressing cultural similarities instead of differences. To test this, the author divided nine classes of 1st year German students into three groups: one stressing cultural similarities between Germans and Americans, one stressing cultural differences and a control group. A post-teaching survey, though inconclusive, did find a greater decrease in ethnocentrism in the similarities group.

Foreign Language Annals. Vol. 27. No 2. 1994.
[Abstracted in Language Teaching. Vol. 28. No 1. Jan. 1995]

Viva le Jumelage! (Long Live Twinning!)

by Moira Ball

Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

In this article, the author discusses the educational benefits of international exchange programs ("twinning") between schools and communities in countries such as England, France and Germany, and reports on a survey of twinning in the UK. Her survey highlighted the variety of groups involved in these exchange programs (schoolchildren, youth groups, college students, language teachers, government officials, handicapped people, police and even firefighters) and discusses how these exchanges both raise global awareness and spur motivation for school and community language learning.

Language Learning Journal. Vol 9. March 1994

Crisis of Change in Italy

by Nick Dawson

EL Gazette

In this short article, the author questions whether cultural studies in foreign language classes in Italy place too much emphasis on institutions and government rather than contemporary issues. He describes three approaches to the study of foreign cultures: (1) the traditional focus on the great political, scientific and artistic achievements of French, German, English and Spanish nations; (2) the focus of communicative language teaching on the culture of everyday life plus facts about institutions and systems of government; (3) a focus by more politicized teachers on problems in the target culture, such as racism, drugs and police harassment, in reaction to the rose-tinted view of foreign cultures presented in most textbooks.

EL Gazette. No 183. April 1995

Loss of Linguistic Diversity

Original Source

Chronicle of Higher Education. 20 April 1994

To the declining quality of urban life and the destruction of the rainforests, states this report, add the extinction of entire languages to the problems facing (and caused by) modern civilization. Up to half the world's 6,000 languages will die out during the next century, says Michael Krauss, professor of linguistics at the University of Alaska. In N. and S. America, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Australia, the former USSR, and other countries round the world, a few dominant languages are sweeping away minority languages with a speed linguists say has no historical precedent...Only 10% of the world's languages have enough speakers or government support to ascape extinction.

Modern Language Journal. Vol 78. No. 4. Winter 1994 USA

On ELT Culture and Communication

by G. M. Hall

University of Wales, UK

In this letter, the writer comments on Julian Edge's article ELT Culture and Communication (IATEFL Newsletter #125) concerning the social responsibility of the language teaching profession. He criticizes the current EFL trend of "British Studies" as cultural imperialism and welcomes an IATEFL Global Issues SIG, but stresses it must go beyond western ethnocentrism and well-meaning inaction. He concludes by warning that as English teachers we can "attempt to survive in our supposedly professional bunkers in which we discuss groupwork and the best way to use pop songs, hoping that the world will leave us alone" but will have only ourselves to blame for the consequences of political inactivity.

IATEFL Newsletter. No 126. Feb 1995

EFL Gazette, 10 Wrights Lane, London W8 6TA, UK
IATEFL Newsletter, 3 Kingsdown Chambers, Whitstable, Kent CT52FL, UK
Language Learning Journal, 16 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PN, UK
Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press, Edinburgh Bldg Shaftesbury Rd, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK
Modern Language Journal, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 114 N Murray St, Madison WI 53715-1199 USA


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