the problem of the "monolingual norm"

While I don't feel like there was a real connection between the two articles, I did enjoy Matsuda's article of "Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World." Just to start off with, individuals who can write in another language are truly amazing, as that unnatural skill, especially trying to sound fluent in another language, is completely challenging. For me, I struggle with just writing a sentence in Japanese, because I want to think about all of the rules of grammar, semantics, colloquialisms, and generally if it sounds natural and not "out of context." Thus, for someone who identifies as a multilingual writer, their mind has to continue to more consciously think of all of those rules and challenges, as opposed to just letting it come naturally to them - in all honesty, it does not come natural for a lot of native speakers, too, because writing comes as a difficult task for a good deal of people, regardless of their language.

Additionally, I found the part in Matsuda's article about English as the "monolingual norm" to be very important (49). In particular, I think Matsuda touches on the fact that, if someone holds English as a "superior" language and disregards / dismisses the possibility or presence of other languages in the field of writing, it creates a problem that is much related to the idea of privilege. Because of this privilege, it also can tie into an issue of the loss of voice, in that something can be culturally lost when translated, as opposed to being read in the mother tongue. For example, a piece of Japanese poetry has a meaning entirely in its linguistic context; however, by following this idea of a "monolingual norm" and "making" it English (as opposed to trying to read it in Japanese), the poem loses meaning. Ultimately, multilingual writers definitely have overcome so many obstacles in writing, and as Matsuda mentions, they are not as recognized; additionally, this lack of recognition and forcing them to conform to the "superiority" of the English language also poses a larger cultural and societal problem, which truly shapes the identity of these writers.

the problem of the "monolingual norm"

While I don't feel like there was a real connection between the two articles, I did enjoy Matsuda's article of "Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World." Just to start off with, individuals who can write in another language are truly amazing, as that unnatural skill, especially trying to sound fluent in another language, is completely challenging. For me, I struggle with just writing a sentence in Japanese, because I want to think about all of the rules of grammar, semantics, colloquialisms, and generally if it sounds natural and not "out of context." Thus, for someone who identifies as a multilingual writer, their mind has to continue to more consciously think of all of those rules and challenges, as opposed to just letting it come naturally to them - in all honesty, it does not come natural for a lot of native speakers, too, because writing comes as a difficult task for a good deal of people, regardless of their language.

Additionally, I found the part in Matsuda's article about English as the "monolingual norm" to be very important (49). In particular, I think Matsuda touches on the fact that, if someone holds English as a "superior" language and disregards / dismisses the possibility or presence of other languages in the field of writing, it creates a problem that is much related to the idea of privilege. Because of this privilege, it also can tie into an issue of the loss of voice, in that something can be culturally lost when translated, as opposed to being read in the mother tongue. For example, a piece of Japanese poetry has a meaning entirely in its linguistic context; however, by following this idea of a "monolingual norm" and "making" it English (as opposed to trying to read it in Japanese), the poem loses meaning. Ultimately, multilingual writers definitely have overcome so many obstacles in writing, and as Matsuda mentions, they are not as recognized; additionally, this lack of recognition and forcing them to conform to the "superiority" of the English language also poses a larger cultural and societal problem, which truly shapes the identity of these writers.

the problem of the "monolingual norm"

While I don't feel like there was a real connection between the two articles, I did enjoy Matsuda's article of "Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World." Just to start off with, individuals who can write in another language are truly amazing, as that unnatural skill, especially trying to sound fluent in another language, is completely challenging. For me, I struggle with just writing a sentence in Japanese, because I want to think about all of the rules of grammar, semantics, colloquialisms, and generally if it sounds natural and not "out of context." Thus, for someone who identifies as a multilingual writer, their mind has to continue to more consciously think of all of those rules and challenges, as opposed to just letting it come naturally to them - in all honesty, it does not come natural for a lot of native speakers, too, because writing comes as a difficult task for a good deal of people, regardless of their language.

Additionally, I found the part in Matsuda's article about English as the "monolingual norm" to be very important (49). In particular, I think Matsuda touches on the fact that, if someone holds English as a "superior" language and disregards / dismisses the possibility or presence of other languages in the field of writing, it creates a problem that is much related to the idea of privilege. Because of this privilege, it also can tie into an issue of the loss of voice, in that something can be culturally lost when translated, as opposed to being read in the mother tongue. For example, a piece of Japanese poetry has a meaning entirely in its linguistic context; however, by following this idea of a "monolingual norm" and "making" it English (as opposed to trying to read it in Japanese), the poem loses meaning. Ultimately, multilingual writers definitely have overcome so many obstacles in writing, and as Matsuda mentions, they are not as recognized; additionally, this lack of recognition and forcing them to conform to the "superiority" of the English language also poses a larger cultural and societal problem, which truly shapes the identity of these writers.

Multilingualism and New Technologies

multilingual

For this week, I don’t really know if I was able to connect with either one of the readings. I felt that reading “Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World” by Paul Matsuda was very repetitive and didn’t really offer any new information that I did not know. I strongly feel that the conversation reverts back to the “what’s the takeaway?” discussion that we fall upon in every single class now. While I don’t think that the article really added to or took away from my current knowledge of the topic, I am however able to understand the urge and need for globalizing composition. I can agree that there is a myriad of factors to consider and there needs to be a division amongst second language writers that directly correlates with their previous existing knowledge of the english language, which also factors in their diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this article is perfectly articulated in this one line from the article: “In other words, the questions is no longer limited to how to prepare students from around the world to write like traditional students from North America; it is time to start thinking more seriously about how to prepare monolingual students to write like the rest of the world” (Matsuda 2012, p.50 ).

technology

Moving along to the second article about blogs, wikis, and podcasts, I feel it emphasizes important ideas about new technologies that are completely relevant today. This brings forth the prevalent idea of the “born digital age”. One of my classmates brought up a very interesting idea of the teacher (much like the discussion in the first article) being affected by a “second language” of sorts and not having as much of a digital literacy as their students. Inevitably, the teacher’s knowledge is diminished, which in turn affects the classroom and how well they are able to relate to and converse with their students surrounding the topic of new technologies. There are endless opportunities as of late regarding ways to put content out into the world using the web. One might say that there is no ceiling for the possibilities available. Sometimes I feel as though, as the author suggests, always at the beginning of a sort of new era with technology that will continue to thrive and grow forever. What can come from the many tools we are now fully exposed to is beyond my own imagination, and hopefully it will continue to positively impact its users similar to the strides it has made in education thus far.

Blog 6: The power of the internet contribution to education


I didn't really see these two readings as interrelated with each other but maybe that's just me.
"Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World" by Matsuda had alot of interesting information but didn't really grab my attention like the Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts article by Richardson. The internet has so much potential and so much already developed that can add to the effectiveness of our education techniques.

The internet has really improved over the years. Richardson states that "Creating content of all shapes and sizes is getting easier and easier. This new Read/Write Web promises to transform much of how we teach and learn as well. We are no longer limited to being independent readers or consumers of information; as we'll see, we can be collaborators in the creation of large storehouses of information." (2) I completely agree with him. It is evident in this course. We are slowly moving toward more affordable education and integrating technology in the mix. "The Read/ Write Web is changing our relationship to technology and rewriting the age old paradigms of how things work." I see this as quite evident as I sit on the bus or train in this day and age. No longer are people starting conversations with the person next to them any longer. Every now and again you'll see that blast from the past but more prevalently I see people glued to their phones and listening to music (this one---> me). If you start a conversation with someone it's a lot nerve wracking than back in the day.

The article states, "Without question, our ability to easily to easily publish content online will force us to rethink the way we communicate with our constituents, the way we deliver our curriculum, and the expectations we have our students. It also has the potential to radically change what we assume about teaching and learning, and it presents us with important questions to consider." (5) The impact of the internet and advancing technology has been evident in even presenting in the world of education.

From chalkboards, dry erase boards to Projectors to PowerPoint and interactive presentation screen. I agree that schools need to be even more open to new technology of today as well. It is just become better and better. Like the article states kids have "hypertext minds"(7) today and know how to work with these technologies better than teachers. Although internet and new technology has cons as well like cyber bullying we must ensure students are taught how to and how not to interact with these new interfaces.

I personally would encourage students to use aliases and pennames. I would not encourage students to even use their first names. I believe in complete anonymity. Teachers must also interact with parents and encourage them to watch their children's usage of the internet for educational purposes and their personal cyber security.

Blog 6: The power of the internet contribution to education


I didn't really see these two readings as interrelated with each other but maybe that's just me.
"Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World" by Matsuda had alot of interesting information but didn't really grab my attention like the Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts article by Richardson. The internet has so much potential and so much already developed that can add to the effectiveness of our education techniques.

The internet has really improved over the years. Richardson states that "Creating content of all shapes and sizes is getting easier and easier. This new Read/Write Web promises to transform much of how we teach and learn as well. We are no longer limited to being independent readers or consumers of information; as we'll see, we can be collaborators in the creation of large storehouses of information." (2) I completely agree with him. It is evident in this course. We are slowly moving toward more affordable education and integrating technology in the mix. "The Read/ Write Web is changing our relationship to technology and rewriting the age old paradigms of how things work." I see this as quite evident as I sit on the bus or train in this day and age. No longer are people starting conversations with the person next to them any longer. Every now and again you'll see that blast from the past but more prevalently I see people glued to their phones and listening to music (this one---> me). If you start a conversation with someone it's a lot nerve wracking than back in the day.

The article states, "Without question, our ability to easily to easily publish content online will force us to rethink the way we communicate with our constituents, the way we deliver our curriculum, and the expectations we have our students. It also has the potential to radically change what we assume about teaching and learning, and it presents us with important questions to consider." (5) The impact of the internet and advancing technology has been evident in even presenting in the world of education.

From chalkboards, dry erase boards to Projectors to PowerPoint and interactive presentation screen. I agree that schools need to be even more open to new technology of today as well. It is just become better and better. Like the article states kids have "hypertext minds"(7) today and know how to work with these technologies better than teachers. Although internet and new technology has cons as well like cyber bullying we must ensure students are taught how to and how not to interact with these new interfaces.

I personally would encourage students to use aliases and pennames. I would not encourage students to even use their first names. I believe in complete anonymity. Teachers must also interact with parents and encourage them to watch their children's usage of the internet for educational purposes and their personal cyber security.

A Global "Society of Authorship"?

Of our two articles for this week, I responded much more strongly to Will Richardson's "Selections from Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms," or more specifically, one portion of said article.  On page 5 it states: "We are creating what author Douglas Rushkoff calls a 'Society of Authorship' where every teacher and every student, every person with access will have the ability to contribute ideas and experiences to the larger body of knowledge that is the Internet.  And in doing so, Rushkoff says, we will be writing the human story, in real time, together, a vision that asks each of us to participate (Rushkoff, 2004)."  What intrigues me is that now, ten years after the publication of the book from which the article is taken, we have a society where Internet access and participation is as widespread as Richardson predicted; however, I don't think it is a "society of authorship."  If anything, it seems like the more tools we have to distribute our voices in written format, the less people think of themselves as authors.  Instead, they come up with new words, like "blogger," to describe what they are and what they do, as if "author" or "writer" are taboo.  Why is that?  Anyone who writes is a writer.  If a blog is a kind of writing, then why not just call bloggers writers?  We don't call writers who write in other languages something different.  Who created this dichotomy and why?  And if writing is migrating more and more into the digital realm, then will writers someday cease to exist semantically, replaced by some other word that means the same thing?

As for the other article, I think what stuck out to me the most was the difference between types of multilingual students.  I never really took "1.5 generation" students (Matsuda 39) into consideration as something separate from ESL or EFL students.  And this is even after having worked with each type of student in the writing center, and having seen the difference in their issues and performance.  It makes me realize just how easy it is to overlook what, on the surface, seems like an obvious or commonsense concept in the academic world.  Sometimes we get so focused on each little task ahead of us, each individual session and student, that it's hard to see the whole picture.  I know this is kind of the opposite of the problem educational institutions usually have, but I think it is just as valid, and can have just as many negative effects. 

If we have tools, like those mentioned in the first article, to make voices heard by a global audience, then we really must make sure we're equipping people of all language backgrounds to make their voices heard by as many people as possible.  In this day and age, that often means legible, coherent English.  If we're unable to succeed in giving students that power, then it's no wonder they don't want to think of themselves as writers or authors. 

A Global "Society of Authorship"?

Of our two articles for this week, I responded much more strongly to Will Richardson's "Selections from Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms," or more specifically, one portion of said article.  On page 5 it states: "We are creating what author Douglas Rushkoff calls a 'Society of Authorship' where every teacher and every student, every person with access will have the ability to contribute ideas and experiences to the larger body of knowledge that is the Internet.  And in doing so, Rushkoff says, we will be writing the human story, in real time, together, a vision that asks each of us to participate (Rushkoff, 2004)."  What intrigues me is that now, ten years after the publication of the book from which the article is taken, we have a society where Internet access and participation is as widespread as Richardson predicted; however, I don't think it is a "society of authorship."  If anything, it seems like the more tools we have to distribute our voices in written format, the less people think of themselves as authors.  Instead, they come up with new words, like "blogger," to describe what they are and what they do, as if "author" or "writer" are taboo.  Why is that?  Anyone who writes is a writer.  If a blog is a kind of writing, then why not just call bloggers writers?  We don't call writers who write in other languages something different.  Who created this dichotomy and why?  And if writing is migrating more and more into the digital realm, then will writers someday cease to exist semantically, replaced by some other word that means the same thing?

As for the other article, I think what stuck out to me the most was the difference between types of multilingual students.  I never really took "1.5 generation" students (Matsuda 39) into consideration as something separate from ESL or EFL students.  And this is even after having worked with each type of student in the writing center, and having seen the difference in their issues and performance.  It makes me realize just how easy it is to overlook what, on the surface, seems like an obvious or commonsense concept in the academic world.  Sometimes we get so focused on each little task ahead of us, each individual session and student, that it's hard to see the whole picture.  I know this is kind of the opposite of the problem educational institutions usually have, but I think it is just as valid, and can have just as many negative effects. 

If we have tools, like those mentioned in the first article, to make voices heard by a global audience, then we really must make sure we're equipping people of all language backgrounds to make their voices heard by as many people as possible.  In this day and age, that often means legible, coherent English.  If we're unable to succeed in giving students that power, then it's no wonder they don't want to think of themselves as writers or authors. 

New Applications of Composition Studies– Blog #6

A great deal of American everyday life is based, as least in part, on the knowledge that our country has long been known as "The Melting Pot." This nickname exists because of all the cultures that have shaped (and are still shaping) America, a country inclusive of people of all colors, creeds, languages, and cultures. However, the Melting Pot can run into issues when all of these different cultures come together and struggle to communicate, due to the differences in language. For this reason, a key issue in the field of Composition Studies is the issue of teaching writing to people who speak languages other than English.  

“Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World” by Paul Kei Matsuda discusses the challenges (and importance) of teaching writing to people of different cultures. One of the biggest challenges that Matsuda addresses is the issue of how long it takes to learn the intricacies of a language that isn't your own, and this has a huge effect on how long it will take a student to be able to communicate effectively. Matsuda says that it is entirely possible for a non-native speaker to learn to communicate effectively, but it is a struggle because he is learning writing (which is already considered a language native to no one) in a language that does not come naturally to him. However, a point that I found to be quite interesting was where Matsuda says that, in the long run, knowing more than one language can make a student's composition skills stronger because he or she has the ability to work with "a broader range of linguistic and discursive resources" (40). This is to say, if a person wants to learn, (he or she) can achieve anything that he sets his mind to.

To address the point that learning a new language takes a lot of time, this is true, and a potential way to solve this issue is through providing ESL writing classes in schools, when children are at their most teachable. However, Matsuda also makes note that ESL has not been widely embraced by people who work in writing centers and, by lacking this ability, they are not serving the community in the best way possible. In failing to serve, school communities are losing valuable assets, according to Matsuda, because "second language learners may have expanded their intellectual capacity as a result of the constant demand of working with a broader range of linguistic and discursive resources" (5). In this day and age, ESL is no longer just a job for specialists, and teachers should be aware of how to help students who might have talent, but are limited because of language. Matsuda tosses around a few different ideas for the best ways of integrating non-native English speakers into the world of English composition, and I look forward to discussing this further in class. Composition Studies is certainly a field that should be internationally shared and recognized, because writing is important for everyone, regardless of language and if we need to do this by going out and learning about different cultures, then I say we go right ahead!

-

The second article we will be looking at in this class is "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts," by Will Richardson and this title reminds me very much of the discussions we had in New Media Studies regarding writing in the digital age. It is very obvious that our interests have shifted, and people share their news and opinions in public forums such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Although these sites tend to be more personal hosts for individuals, outlets such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts offer a new way of listening to and retaining information. The digital age offers more reach than has ever been seen before, especially in the recent past when stories and videos have become viral and spread all over the internet. 

It blows my mind that, according to Richardson, as of 2006, there was almost 26 million blogs. That was ten years ago! If this was the case ten years ago, I can't even begin to comprehend the numbers now. Access to the web has changed what it means to be both a reader and a writer, and one field that Richardson notes in particular is the field of journalism. The internet has provided a huge reach for people, and news can be shared and seen faster than the speed of light. If you need information to be communicated, you no longer have to wait for television or the next day's paper, all you need to do is post online. The internet has also put power in the hands on individuals who might not have it otherwise. For better or worse, anyone can be a reporter nowadays and, while this can be risky in terms of quality control, I think it's amazing that the average person has this option. 

One of the biggest issues of the digital age, however, is how it will impact the student/teacher dynamic. After all, the student is the "digital native." How is a teacher who did not grow up with the internet supposed to establish control over a student who has known how to navigate the web, almost like a second language?

We discussed this extensively in New Media Studies, but the topic never grows old because there are so many different ways of approaching the issue, and Richardson suggests that, even given the hardships, technology can be a major tool in the hands of the teacher. Yes, there are issues, most notably, safety, but the internet is too important of a development to be avoided. If students can be taught to navigate safely, there is no reason for them not to make use of this incredible resource. 
The topic of safety brings to mind a past issue that was found with the sharing of information publicly. The Greek philosopher Socrates did not like the idea of writing down and preserving information, I believe, because he felt that the power was in memory, and that recording information would make people lazy. In Phaedrus, written about 370 B.C. he said 
"He who thinks, then, that he has left behind him any art in writing, and he who receives it in the belief that anything in writing will be clear and certain, would be an utterly simple person, and in truth ignorant of the prophecy of Ammon, if he thinks written words are of any use except to remind him who knows the matter about which they are written."
He goes on, but I think you get the point. I bring this up for the purpose of mentioning that people, no matter how intelligent, are always resistant to change and new technologies. The internet is far too big an asset to be discarded in favor of avoidable risks.  The online world, as Richardson notes, has opened us up to so many opportunities, such as shared/collaborative knowledge, open access to any topic, fewer limitations than pen and paper, and the concept of knowledge as a process. It's going to take time to master, but I think it's certainly worth the risks. 

New Applications of Composition Studies– Blog #6

A great deal of American everyday life is based, as least in part, on the knowledge that our country has long been known as "The Melting Pot." This nickname exists because of all the cultures that have shaped (and are still shaping) America, a country inclusive of people of all colors, creeds, languages, and cultures. However, the Melting Pot can run into issues when all of these different cultures come together and struggle to communicate, due to the differences in language. For this reason, a key issue in the field of Composition Studies is the issue of teaching writing to people who speak languages other than English.  

“Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World” by Paul Kei Matsuda discusses the challenges (and importance) of teaching writing to people of different cultures. One of the biggest challenges that Matsuda addresses is the issue of how long it takes to learn the intricacies of a language that isn't your own, and this has a huge effect on how long it will take a student to be able to communicate effectively. Matsuda says that it is entirely possible for a non-native speaker to learn to communicate effectively, but it is a struggle because he is learning writing (which is already considered a language native to no one) in a language that does not come naturally to him. However, a point that I found to be quite interesting was where Matsuda says that, in the long run, knowing more than one language can make a student's composition skills stronger because he or she has the ability to work with "a broader range of linguistic and discursive resources" (40). This is to say, if a person wants to learn, (he or she) can achieve anything that he sets his mind to.

To address the point that learning a new language takes a lot of time, this is true, and a potential way to solve this issue is through providing ESL writing classes in schools, when children are at their most teachable. However, Matsuda also makes note that ESL has not been widely embraced by people who work in writing centers and, by lacking this ability, they are not serving the community in the best way possible. In failing to serve, school communities are losing valuable assets, according to Matsuda, because "second language learners may have expanded their intellectual capacity as a result of the constant demand of working with a broader range of linguistic and discursive resources" (5). In this day and age, ESL is no longer just a job for specialists, and teachers should be aware of how to help students who might have talent, but are limited because of language. Matsuda tosses around a few different ideas for the best ways of integrating non-native English speakers into the world of English composition, and I look forward to discussing this further in class. Composition Studies is certainly a field that should be internationally shared and recognized, because writing is important for everyone, regardless of language and if we need to do this by going out and learning about different cultures, then I say we go right ahead!

-

The second article we will be looking at in this class is "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts," by Will Richardson and this title reminds me very much of the discussions we had in New Media Studies regarding writing in the digital age. It is very obvious that our interests have shifted, and people share their news and opinions in public forums such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Although these sites tend to be more personal hosts for individuals, outlets such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts offer a new way of listening to and retaining information. The digital age offers more reach than has ever been seen before, especially in the recent past when stories and videos have become viral and spread all over the internet. 

It blows my mind that, according to Richardson, as of 2006, there was almost 26 million blogs. That was ten years ago! If this was the case ten years ago, I can't even begin to comprehend the numbers now. Access to the web has changed what it means to be both a reader and a writer, and one field that Richardson notes in particular is the field of journalism. The internet has provided a huge reach for people, and news can be shared and seen faster than the speed of light. If you need information to be communicated, you no longer have to wait for television or the next day's paper, all you need to do is post online. The internet has also put power in the hands on individuals who might not have it otherwise. For better or worse, anyone can be a reporter nowadays and, while this can be risky in terms of quality control, I think it's amazing that the average person has this option. 

One of the biggest issues of the digital age, however, is how it will impact the student/teacher dynamic. After all, the student is the "digital native." How is a teacher who did not grow up with the internet supposed to establish control over a student who has known how to navigate the web, almost like a second language?

We discussed this extensively in New Media Studies, but the topic never grows old because there are so many different ways of approaching the issue, and Richardson suggests that, even given the hardships, technology can be a major tool in the hands of the teacher. Yes, there are issues, most notably, safety, but the internet is too important of a development to be avoided. If students can be taught to navigate safely, there is no reason for them not to make use of this incredible resource. 
The topic of safety brings to mind a past issue that was found with the sharing of information publicly. The Greek philosopher Socrates did not like the idea of writing down and preserving information, I believe, because he felt that the power was in memory, and that recording information would make people lazy. In Phaedrus, written about 370 B.C. he said 
"He who thinks, then, that he has left behind him any art in writing, and he who receives it in the belief that anything in writing will be clear and certain, would be an utterly simple person, and in truth ignorant of the prophecy of Ammon, if he thinks written words are of any use except to remind him who knows the matter about which they are written."
He goes on, but I think you get the point. I bring this up for the purpose of mentioning that people, no matter how intelligent, are always resistant to change and new technologies. The internet is far too big an asset to be discarded in favor of avoidable risks.  The online world, as Richardson notes, has opened us up to so many opportunities, such as shared/collaborative knowledge, open access to any topic, fewer limitations than pen and paper, and the concept of knowledge as a process. It's going to take time to master, but I think it's certainly worth the risks.