In episode 107, Stacey discusses the terminology we use to describe the languages we teach. Terms like foreign, world, second, modern, community, classical, and others all came up in a recent poll we ran on Twitter. Stacey discusses the results of that poll, shares insights from past guests Amy Andersen, Mandy Manning, and Ellen Toubman. Then we hear from Dr. Shannon Mason about her research on how the media discusses language education in Australia.
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We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.
Dr. Shannon Mason is an early career researcher in the faculty of Education at Nagasaki University. She spent more than 10 years teaching Japanese in schools in Australia and now researches language teacher career attrition and retention, language program conditions, and representation of language education in the media. You can also follow her on Twitter @Shan_Mason. You can find more of her research on ResearchGate and please check out this blog post she wrote about the term LOTE (langauges other than English).
Previous episodes mentioned in this episode…
Resources mentioned in this episode…
…One of my favorite resources on community language resources Community language resources: A handbook for teachers by Menacker
…more info on community languages (and the origin of the term)
…an article from the TESOL perspective on the difference between the terms foreign and second
…Bill VanPatten did a whole episode of Talkin L2 on the term foreign and why he thinks it should be eliminated. Check out episode 9 here. (I take a different perspective than him on this topic, but it’s an interesting listen. One thing that Bill says about the term world is that he doesn’t use it because it has a technical definition different from common use. That is also true about foreign which you can hear me discuss in the episode or read about in the previous link.)
…And check out this info Inga shared about the definition of “world” language
Apparently Japanese does not fit the criteria of a “World Language” according to: https://t.co/n8NgMGTXLq Interesting, right?
— Inga Paterson-Zúñiga (@IngalaG2) June 1, 2019
A vote for WORLD language…
I chose World language. Hw, in a conversation, I just say: I teach French. I use WL when referring to my department. I dislike “Foreign” bc “Foreign for who?” and it imparts the idea of otherness wh is what I try to dismantle in my classroom
— Nelly نلی (@profnoury) May 31, 2019
A vote for COMMUNITY…
Community language—because Spanish is a language commonly used by the members of our community!
— Erin Carlson (@Erinrae0399) June 1, 2019
A vote against FOREIGN…
I say "I teach Arabic." I don't like using 'foreign' because the language may not be foreign to some of my students, and what does that word imply? I do know that second lang is used to refer to langs other than the native lang, but it feels like jargon.
— Casey Chon (@ustaazacasey) June 1, 2019
Some votes against SECOND…
I agree w John, I teach Spanish & Russian, taught English. Second doesn’t work b/c it pre-supposes people only learn 1 other lang other than their native. World seems redundant-what other langs are there? If I had to, tho, I’d go w world out of the choices given
— Mundo de Pepita (@MundodePepita) May 31, 2019
A vote against LOTE…
Mostly I say “I teach Spanish and French.” But I asked for my district to replace Foreign with World when referencing our department. “LOTE” seemed to confuse people at best. What is a ‘lote?’ 🙂
— Jamie Edwards (@jmeeddy) June 1, 2019