Queer as a second language.

Comments from a teacher attending a TESOL conference.

“When I go to TESOL, I try to take some time to go to a session that may not be directly related to my work as a teacher educator and professional developer.?? It is a way for me to explore and expand what I know and what I think.?? This year I went to a very interesting session by Cynthia Nelson and the ILGBT Forum.?? Cynthia created a reader’s theater piece entitled “Queer as a Second Language” and used the voices of actual ESL students and teachers collected through research about??sexual identities in the ESL classroom.?? The piece was performed and then a discussion was held where folks could talk together about how the characters experienced and grappled with socio-sexual diversity in the classroom.
It was fantastic to sit with a group of colleagues and listen to how we all have (or have not) dealt with issues of sexual identity in the classroom and what this means for teachers and students.?? I was also very intrigued by the performance idea – doing ethnographic research and integrating ideas and informant’s words into theater.?? It was very moving and a cool way to explore research findings!”

How does this relate to language learning?

"Tips on Mastering a Second Language" sort of.

Here is the first of two articles entitled “Tips on Mastering a Second Language” . If we wade through the socio-linguistic jargon, the message is that you have to want to learn a language in order to learn it. It is, however, not true that you have to give up your own identity or culture to become a part of another language and culture. If that were the case I, and other polyglots, would be in a sad state of multiple schizophrenia. I think if this article could be reduced to a couple of paragraphs it would only gain in clarity.

Turkey is going to invest in native English speaking teachers, up to 40,000 of them.

This ambitious program to bring native English speaking teachers to Turkey is described here. One interesting comment at the bottom of the article says

“The ministry is also preparing multimedia centers in schools to pave the way for distance English learning.”

The world of education is changing little by little. This would certainly make sense in order to bring native language instruction to a variety of locations and keep costs down. A great opportunity for LingQ!

Words can sound pretty similar, and knowing which one to use is often difficult in a new language.

One problem in learning a new language is that for a long time, there are certain words that just sound the same. It is not so bad when we listen or read, since the context helps us out. However, when we go to use the word, we really need to know which one to use.

At LIngQ, I save many different forms of words, and I save lots of?? phrases with my new words in them. Each different case, each different person or tense, is a different word. Of course, there are many words with common roots, or prefixes or suffixes. They all get saved.

Every so often I go the Vocabulary page and search by root using the *root* and search function. This can turn up lists of many tens of examples of similar sounding words, in a variety of tenses, cases, and phrases. Reviewing them all at one place helps me to see how they are connected and how they are different.

Try it. I believe it helps us notice, and it helps us get a better feel for which word to use.