LINGUIST List 10.1116

Thu Jul 22 1999

Disc: Masaki Oda/JALT/Last Posting

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  1. Masaki Oda, Response to Linguist List 10.1015

Message 1: Response to Linguist List 10.1015

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 01:23:17 +0900
From: Masaki Oda <odalit.tamagawa.ac.jp>
Subject: Response to Linguist List 10.1015



I have been informed by several colleagues about the comments on my
chapter in Braine (1999). I would like to take this opportunity to
respond the issues raised by Joseph Tomei and Charles Jannuzi.

First of all, I was quite surprised to have read through their
comments and found out that neither of them has actually read the
chapter. Therefore, the readers should, at least at this point, keep
in their minds that the comments were not necessarily about what I
said in my chapter, but what they thought I had said in my
chapter. Therefore, I would strongly suggest that they read the
chapter including references.

Let me thank Mr. Tomei for his comments. I would, however, say that I
cannot see any major difference between his view on the issue and
mine. I believe that most of his questions will be answered in the
chapter in question. It should also be noted that I was talking about
JALT between 1994-1996 when abo ut 45 % of its membership were native
speakers of Japanese. I am aware of th e current financial situation
of JALT makes it difficult for the organization to provide various
membership services than before. Nevertheless, I simply wanted to
raise a question that it would be fair that the organization makes
its best effort to disseminate important information to all its
members a equally as possible.

Secondly, as I said in the chapter (p.111), I credited JALT for having
made effort to put its bilingual policy into practice. Bilingual
interpretation in 1995, which Mr. Tomei mentions in his comment, was
the one of the examples I talked about in the chapter. 

Thirdly, the issue of tenure of foreign nationals in higher education
has also been my major concern. I admit that I have not talked about
it in the chapter, because my topic was the language use in JALT's
administration. For yo ur interest, there is a prevailing perception
by people that academic organizations are not supposed to be involved
in non-academic issue. Therefore, ( I remember that in my tenure as
JALT's national PR chair, there was a year when JALT was not able to
receive official endorsements from several prefectures as the
organization had job placement service without permission from the
local labor office. As a result, roughly 40 teachers were not able to
get paid release from schools to attend the annual conference, this
shows that the prefecture governments have some negative attitude
towards the issue). This may be something strange for those from
overseas, but it is a rule beyond our control. I believe that this
could be the reason why many academic orga nizations do not even talk
about the issues of employment.

Lastly, I am nothing against the use of English in ELT organizations,
nor I am promoting a monolingual Japanese policy. I wanted to say that
the language should never become an obstacle for obtaining information
one is entitled to, especially because JALT is a group of language
teaching professionals wh o should be sensitive about the issue.

In contrast to Mr. Tomei's comment, Mr. Jannuzi's comment on my
chapter is hard to comment. He is entitled to make any comments but I
am afraid that people without context would not understand the points
he is making. In many instances, he comments on what he thinks I
said. Unfortunately, I can neither discuss nor defend what I have
never said. I believe that there is a limit on what one can say about
someone's chapter without reading it [For those who are interested in
reading exchanges between Mr. Jannuzi and myself on TLT, JALT's
monthly journal, please refer to the reference section of the 
chapter].

In conclusion, I would like to stress that a large part of their
arguments have been derived from the fact they have made comment on my
chapter without reading it. I strongly hope that they would be able
to find some answers to his questions once they read the chapter
carefully.

Sincerely,

Masaki Oda

********************************
Masaki Oda, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept. of Foreign Languages
Tamagawa University
6-1-1 Tamagawa Gakuen,
Machida, Tokyo 194-8610
JAPAN

e-mail. odalit.tamagawa.ac.jp
 odamiea.att.ne.jp
********************************
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