LINGUIST List 6.288

Thu 23 Feb 1995

Qs: Linguistic Songs, Survey on Standard American English

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  1. Bob Fradkin, Linguistic Songs
  2. Portia Williams, SURVEY: Is Standard English White (in the minds of our students)?

Message 1: Linguistic Songs

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 95 12:02:30 ESLinguistic Songs
From: Bob Fradkin <RAF100Foduvm.cc.odu.edu>
Subject: Linguistic Songs

Dear Singing Linguists,

Does anyone know of any fun songs about linguistics? Surely someone in the past
 quarter century has come up with some clever lyrics and a catchy tune about an
y number of topics in phonology, morphology, syntax, spoofs on personalities,
parodies of other languages, etc. I am interested in them not only as in-group
entertainment among linguists but as teaching tools for beginning linguistics
students. I am currently teaching a Structure of English class to English major
s and future high school teachers, and I think they would really profit from
some quasi-academic input. (I am a guitarist/folk singer by avocation, so if yo
u have notes written out youcan send them by regular mail or just buzz the lyri
cs by e-mail and mention the tune they go to.) If no such things exist, this is
 a great opportunity for somebody to pen "Talking Phoneme Blues", a full-blown
text to "You Take the High Node. . .", or "Minimal Pair Mambo." My school addre
ss is:
Bob Fradkin
Dept. of Foreign Languages
Old Dominion Univ.
Noroflk, VA 23529-0085
raf100foduvm.cc.odu.edu
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Message 2: SURVEY: Is Standard English White (in the minds of our students)?

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 11:12:01 SURVEY: Is Standard English White (in the minds of our students)?
From: Portia Williams <portiauxa.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: SURVEY: Is Standard English White (in the minds of our students)?

Is Standard English White-in the minds of our students?

There has been a lot of talk about American English and its many dialects;
but, most people seem to agree that the English most widely accepted is
that called "Standard English," or that English spoken (many will argue) in
the media and the vast mid areas of the United States. Because of this,
many students studying English in this country (or their own country) want
to be taught by someone who represents the standard, and in most people's
mind, that someone is white.

I am interested in finding out the extent to which people share this
belief; but, more specifically, I am interested in finding out if this
"belief" has an effect on ESL students, and on student learning in the ESL
classroom. But I need your help.

To learn more about this phenomenon for a paper that I am writing, I would
greatly appreciate anyone (worldwide) who has taught ESL/EFL students
filling out the survey below--whether you agree with the above comment or
not. I am also interested in learning about any experiences you have had
which may be related to this topic.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN EXERCISE IN POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. I AM SINCERELY
INTERESTED IN EVERYONE'S TRUE OPINION AND EXPERIENCES REGARDING THIS
MATTER. ALL RESPONSES WILL BE CONFIDENTIAL. PLEASE ANSWER AS HONESTLY AND
CANDIDLY AS POSSIBLE. THANKS. [If you have already responded to this
survey on another list or bulletin board, please ignore this one. Also,
student surveys are being posted to a number of network groups.]

TEACHER SURVEY
please e-mail all responses to portiauxa.cso.uiuc.edu

PART I: BACKGROUND
Name (optional):
Nationality:
Sex:
Native Language:
Race/Ethnic Background:
Years teaching:

PART II: CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE IN THE U.S.
1. If you have taught ESL in the U.S., where did/do you teach (city, state,
school)?
2. What level did/do you teach (k-12, undergraduate, graduate)?
3. In general, are your classes heterogenous, homogeneous, near homogeneous?
4. Upon initial contact with an ESL class, do you generally give your
background or an oral list of your credentials? If so, why?
5. In general, how many students drop from your class in the first week?
6. Have you ever been asked by a student if you were a native speaker?
7. Are your students generally inquisitive about culture and race
differences in the U.S.? If so, please explain.
8. Does your curriculum generally include activities dealing with culture
and or race?
9. Are you comfortable or uncomfortable discussing race issues with your
students? Please explain.
10. Has a student ever made a racist comment (against *any* race or ethnic
group) in your class.
11. Has a student(s) ever questioned your knowledge of the English
language? If so, please explain, giving as many details as possible.
12. Have you ever felt the need to prove yourself to your students? If so,
please explain giving as many details as possible.
13. Do you believe your race or ethnic origin had a negative/ positive/
neutral effect on the class? Please explain.

PART III: CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE THE U.S.
1. In what countries outside the U.S. have you taught?
2. What level(s) (k-12, undergraduate, graduate)?
3. Were you required to show a picture when hired?
4. Are/Were your class(es) heterogenous, homogeneous, near homogeneous?
5. Are/Were you ever asked by students if you are a native speaker?
6. Do/Did you ever feel the need to prove yourself to your students?
7. Do/Did your students question you about race issues in the U.S.?
8. If so, what were their main questions, concerns?
9. Are/Were you comfortable or uncomfortable discussing race issues with
your students? Please explain.
10. Do you believe your nationality, race or ethnic origin had a negative/
positive/neutral effect on the class? Please explain.

PART IV: Private Tutoring
1. Have you ever given private tutoring lessons in the states or abroad?
2. After arranging the lessons, have you ever had a student change his or
her mind after meeting you?
3. If so, what reasons did he or she give?
4. Did you agree with the reasons given?

PART V: ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
Please use this space to elaborate or comment on any experiences you wish
to include:

please e-mail all responses to portiauxa.cso.uiuc.edu
)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Portia Williams
portiauxa.cso.uiuc.edu
Division of English as an International Language
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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