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March 1996 - Issue No. #22 (p.4)

Abstracts of Global Education Articles from Language Teaching Journals

Please send in relevant news items on global topics from language teaching journals.

Teaching and Practicing Feminism in the University ESL Class

TESOL Journal. Vol 4. No 3. Spring 1995

Stephanie Vandrick, University of San Francisco, USA

This article argues that feminist ideas, defined as equal rights and opportunities for women, should be dealt with in university ESL classes, though sensitivity is required regarding cultural differences and the choice of issues studied. The author argues that topics studied need to go beyond "safe" issues such as equal pay for equal work to include difficult but important issues such as violence against women, sexual harassment, women and religion, and media stereotypes of women. She suggests teachers study the research on women and gender in the classroom, search out textbooks that deal with women's issues, include items about women when studying newspaper English, literature or TV documentaries, cite women as authorities, become non-sexist role models, proscribe sexists remarks in class, vary the use of the pronouns he and she, and encourage students to participate in women's studies courses and events. She concludes "As educators, we have an opportunity, even an obligation, to teach not only information and skills but also consciousness about issues of justice."

Ah, Linguistic Tolerance!

Modern Language Journal. Vol 79. No 4. Winter 1995

by Ana Dicklow

This short item in the Media Watch section of the Modern Language Journal (MLJ) recounts the story of Ana Dicklow. Dicklow, who was born in Cuba but has lived in the US for 25 years, went to an ice cream store in Connecticut to get a birthday cake for her 80-year old father. The manager of the store, however, refused her request to have "Happy Birthday" written on the cake in Spanish. She offered to write it herself on the frosting, but manager Fred Craig said, "Nope. This is America, and I'll only write it in English." Craig was suspended. MLJ comments "Somebody should have told Craig that there are now 24 million Hispanic households in the US - that's a lot of birthday cakes - and many companies are increasingly courting the economic potential of those households."

South Korea's Globalization Program: What It Means for Native Speakers

TESOL Journal. Vol 5. No 2. Winter 1995/1996

by Janet Niederhauser Honam University, South Korea

In this opinion piece, the author discusses the current drive for globalization (segyehwa) in Korea and discusses the challenges and contradictions faced by native English speakers teaching there. She notes how the term globalization is chanted by the media almost like a mantra, despite it being very ill-defined for the average Korean. She describes the pressure from the government and demand from Korean parents for practical English and for more native English speakers in schools but notes the institutional resistance of schools to this and the aversion of Korean teachers of English who can't speak English, teach their classes in Korean and feel threatened by native English speaker colleagues

Student Self-Segregation by Language, Class or Ethnic Group

TESOL Journal. Vol 5. No 2. Winter 1995/1996.

edited by the TESOL Journal staff

In the Summer 1995 TESOL Journal, a teacher wrote in about the problem of international ESL students segregating themselves in and out of class by native language, ethnic group and social class. She requested suggestions about how to challenge stereotypes students hold of each other and how to help them form meaningful friendships across cultural barriers. Three teachers responded. One explained how it is natural for people to want to be with others with whom they share common interests, values and experiences and that such self-segregation does not necessarily indicate prejudice. Another suggested making ethnic and cultural differences a focus of class study. The third suggested team building strategies such as cooperative group work, buddy systems, student projects about each other's cultures, bringing ethnic guest speakers into class, doing humanistic self-esteem exercises and, if necessary, trying formal prejudice reduction programs such as A World of Difference published by the Anti-Defamation League.

Journals Referred To:

Modern Language Journal, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 114 N Murray St, Madison WI 53715-1199 USA

TESOL Journal, TESOL, 1600 Cameron Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2751 USA


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