Reading Habits: The lost culture

Reading Habits: The Lost Culture

The culture, clearly, has changed in the last decade. All these changes have affected society in different aspects, but one that should be taken into account is the academic aspect. The education field is, probably, the aspect that has been affected the most by the social and technological revolution and this is due to, that paradoxically, this revolution instead of becoming a useful tool has become into a problem. Mass media as flag of this revolution seems to be, in my opinion, the main cause of this problem and the academic field in our country is deeply affected by the Cultural Revolution, I mentioned before, in several aspects, but the one that worried me the most is the reading culture is lost, and is really easy to observe this change taking a look over the factors that have caused this phenomenon. So, analyzing these factors is the main intention of this written.

First of all, the reading culture, apparently, is affected by the students themselves with their clear lack of good attitude towards the act of reading with discipline and displaying a conscious exercise. However, the put all the responsibility on teachers by saying that they teach literature in a bored way by giving texts that they are not interested in. This fact gave me the idea that students are probably right, in consequence, I have studied this situation and I have noticed that the practices regarding the teaching literature exercises are too traditional, and with these traditional methods it is clear that is not enough to seduce students and approach them to a to a conscious reading habit, and even more, to fight back the influence of mass media.

Now, mass media, from my point of view, is the main guilty of causing the lack of interest of students for read, and consequently, the lost of the reading habits as a culture. As we can see, the constant shelling of mass media with marketing techniques over the people in order to make them fall into the consuming game is exaggerate and students do not escape this. For this reason, students are constantly taken away from their academic duties, like reading, and they rather to get worried about what is popular, things such as clothes, videogames, magazines, etc. Even, is worse how students consume the mass media in the sense of communication with the bad use given to it by wasting time watching poor quality TV shows (realities, sub operas, contests, etc), listening to the radio paying attention to the kind of music with no content or with content with bad suggestions; and the worst, the not proper use that they give to the internet spending more time in social networks instead of using it as a tool for acquiring knowledge.

To conclude, I want to mention how important will be to come up with solutions to this problem quickly; because this could increase with the time if not is taken into account as a serious problematic by teachers and students. Reading is not just a simple part of the student’s formation, but a way to get a complete meaningful knowledge and, what I consider more important, a critic position towards the situation in the world, that is not a secret, is not the best. So, it is necessary that adolescents start thinking about this to contribute with the required help to not let the world go down.

David Arango

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The second imagination: Thinking about learning

Imagination is one of the processes of most interest to the psychology and child pedagogy currently. In accordance with Ribot, quoted in V, Lev, “the creative and imaginative and the promotion of these are of vital importance for the overall development and maturity in the child’. This process, mainly the imagination develops linked to the environment in which it operates the child to be more specific in the school activity.

Likewise, the imagination has a direct relationship with the learning process of the child in various areas of knowledge, since this gives you means to develop the abstract understanding and the capacity of memorization all of contents for the work in class. On this way the imagination becomes not only a resource with relevance to the student as a means of learning, but also for the teacher and a principal object for your working methodology.

In sense delve into the conception of the imagination as a tool for teaching a second language, why should it be applied to the methodologies of class and the relevance that should have this in the current plans of bilingualism in the city of Bogota?, with regards to the talk by K. Egan:

“that while everyone recognizes the importance of imagination in the teaching, there is a lack of broad programs of research and powerful, focused in the imagination”.

What is proposed then is to show that some of the most influential principles in the teaching and curricula, trendy at the moment, tend to suppress the imagination of children and to eliminate their possible educational uses.

In this way we can say the imagination is a easy way to take in order to develop a new methodology into the English teaching class. In order to make it possible we can use tools such as art in almost all of it expressions: Literature, painting, and music. Literature is mainly The literature gives to the students a clear example for cognitive and linguistic proof who can develops a faster way to abstraction and interpretation process of concepts ideas and grammatical structures. At least this appears to be in the Spanish learning process and theoretically this statement could be able to any language, literature could be appropriate to the educational process on children. Taking in account these theories we can make possible to create the second imagination concept: This particular form of thoughts is related to the second language, it is the imagination about another culture or language, and it is singular because a second language is also another way to see the world for that reason is different than the first imagination. This imagination is also an excellent way to improve the second language learning process within a several conditions like: environment and experience.

But why imagination is the path to another perspective of learning? Is not only about the theories from “the creative and imaginative and the promotion of these are of vital importance for the overall development and maturity in the child’ is also the culture as a unit with language and the way to perceive the world. According to The Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis by Sapir and Whorf:

Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection”

Our language affects how we perceive things, that’s the key that may could make second imagination work as a factional tool to learning and also teaching process of the second language. Keep in following this theory we can find something else:

The fact of the matter is that the ‘real world’ is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same worlds with different labels attached”

Every language that we learned is another dimension of perspective, that’s why if we make thoughts of the second language in order to learn it we can internalized the second language like we did with our mother tongue.

Language might influence many different aspects of thought. Most empirical work has focused, appropriately enough, on those aspects that are easiest to assess without relying on language. This is important, since we otherwise risk finding influences of one aspect of language on some related aspect of language, rather than on some aspect of thought. Commonly studied cognitive variables include perceptual discrimination, availability in memory, and classification.

As a conclusion we can actually apply and create methods using the second imagination as a tool to reinvented some ways to teach in order to achieve a better level of English as a second language in children.

JUAN PABLO HINCAPIE SUAZA

MIGUEL ANGEL BERGAÑO TORRES

VIDEOCONFERENCE:  part one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZm4ISU1wvQ  part two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xsb0gr4HbE

THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING ENGLISH WITH AN EMPHASIS ON INTERCULTURALITY

“Culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge,

belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities

and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”

Edward B. Taylor.

 

By:

Kelly Mendieta

Johana Talero

Learning a second language, such as English, in recent decades is a necessity in the globalized world. English has become one of the most spoken languages ​​in the world. This is why, there is the need to train professionals to assist in the education of students with basic tools to understand the language and communicate with English speakers. But, teaching another language is not an easy task. Many teachers only teach grammar and formal aspects of language, overlooking the cultural component. The teaching of culture as a component in language education has been the subject of many discussions. It has been concluded that teaching a language, in this case, English, does not only imply learning formal structures but also involves learning the culture.  Nowadays, in Colombia this factor is important because of the students needs becoming in a challenge. This essay aims to do a review for the type of English education in public schools and the importance of interculturality.

In Colombia, the teaching of English has taken a great importance, not only for the country’s development, but also for personal development. However, despite the fact that in our country there is the NBP and curriculum standards of English teaching involve different components for learning, high school students have a low level. According to an investigation conducted by the Bank of the Republic, 93 percent of high school students have a low level in English (Sanchez, 2012). However, according to the law 115 teaching (1994) English from grade 6 is a must. I.e., thousands of students study six years English (some more than 6 years) and they are unable to communicate or at a basic level. It is here, where it is necessary to question the usefulness of such programs and the formulation of these laws. The NBP is based on international standards. Therefore, it is evident that the Colombian context is unknown and it is looking to make a general model of education for the entire country. In other words, multiculturalism in the country is not taken into account in that program.  Additionally, an assessment by English proficiency Index (EF EPI index), considers that Colombian people, in general, have a low level in English. However, these results were expected because of the method used by teachers in public schools.

While it is true that teachers must follow the rules, it is also true that the challenge as teachers is to teach itself. However, Colombian teachers in public school have archaic method to teach English. According to Claudia Amador, an expert on bilingualism, in Colombian public schools, teachers still teach in a traditional way (Linares, 2011). In many schools, the teaching of English is focused on grammar rules and formal aspects. Students learn to translate but not how to communicate effectively. In those schools students do not use the English in an appropriate way. Language users have not only learned to interpret signs and act upon them. (Kramsh,1998).  In other words, teaching a language involves not only recognizing the code, but using it to communicate. Kramsh mentions that the language expresses cultural realities, language embodies cultural reality and language symbolizes cultural reality (Kramsh, 1998). Learning a language, different from ours, implies not only learning the grammar rules but also learning the culture and the pragmatic dimension of it. This learning can be strengthened teaching focused on interculturality but as those teachers teach focused on formal aspects, students do not learn in a good way.

On the other hand, English in public schools is just one more subject. According to an investigation by a Masters student at the National University, only 9 percent of public schools have a specialized room for the teaching of English. This indicates that many public schools do not have tools to stimulate different skills. Also, most public schools have only three hours of English per week. In this way, it is clear that it is necessary more time to dedicate to the learning a second language. Some students hate to learn this language and they say that it is difficult but they do not stop and see if it is easy or not. There are a little portion of students that are interested in learning a second language and it is precisely the intention to teach in an intercultural way. This learning process implies several techniques and resources as a vehicle to have good results at the moment of teaching. Teachers have to show them that learn English is not a difficult task, it is a practical task.

In conclusion, to teach a second language in public schools in Colombia is a challenge in terms of effectiveness, because the students use to received a traditional education; schools do not have enough tools and resources to develop a the students skills; some students are not interested in the learning of English; there are cases where teachers do not know how to understand students needs. Nowadays, government is implementing a variety of proposals in order to show how to proceed with these schools. The government coincides with the necessity and the benefits of this way to teach. Not only, students become open minded but also, they have diverse opportunities in order to increase their lives stiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

Sanchez Jabba, A. (2012) El bilingüismo en los bachilleres colombianos. Colombia.www.banrep.gov.co/documentos/publicaciones/regional/documentos/DTSER-159.pdf

 

Ley 115 de 1994. Ley general de educación.  http://www.alcaldiabogota. gov.co / sisjur / normas/Norma1.jsp?i=292

 

Linares, Andrea. (2011) Criticas a la enseñanza del ingles en Colombia. Taken from www.eltiempo.com/vida-de-hoy/educación/ARTICULO–WEB-NEW _ NOTA _INTERIOR-9103576.html

 

Kramsch, C. (1998) Language and culture. United Kingdom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.