LINGUIST List 20.623|
Sat Feb 28 2009
All: Obituary: Eleanor Jorden
Editor for this issue: Catherine Adams
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1. Peter T.
Obituary: Eleanor Jorden
Message 1: Obituary: Eleanor Jorden
From: Peter T. Daniels <grammatimverizon.net>
Subject: Obituary: Eleanor Jorden
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Eleanor Jorden, a linguist and world leader in language pedagogy and
language teacher training, died Feb. 11 at her daughter's home in
Connecticut. She was born in 1920.
During her 19 years at Cornell, the professor emerita of modern languages
established the university as one of the world's leading institutions for
the study of the Japanese language. In 1972 she founded the Full-year Asian
Language Concentration (FALCON) program, now in its 37th year. Unlike other
programs of the time, FALCON consisted of a full year of intensive language
instruction and achieved levels of fluency rarely seen in foreign learners
Jorden came to Cornell in 1969 as a visiting professor of linguistics. She
was granted tenure in 1972 and was appointed to the Mary Donlon Algers
Chair of Linguistics.
At Cornell Jorden co-wrote two seminal textbooks. "Reading Japanese" was
the first in the field to attempt to enable students to read Japanese
rather than simply decode it into English. "Japanese: The Spoken Language"
represented a new approach to language teaching, rooting the language in
its social context and cultural framework, while guiding students toward
mastery of appropriate social interaction and grammar.
Jorden left Cornell in 1988 to teach at the National Foreign Language
Center in Washington, D.C., where she co-wrote the study "Japanese Language
Instruction in the United States," which influenced government policy to
support the training of Japanese language teachers. Her efforts helped to
ensure that the many new programs in Japanese sprouting up across America
would be staffed by trained professionals.
Prior to Cornell, Jorden worked at the U.S. Department of State's Foreign
Service Institute, where she had become a world leader in language teaching
with the publication of the landmark textbook "Beginning Japanese." She
also founded and directed the service's language school in Japan and served
as dean of the service's Asian language school in Washington, D.C.
(This notice originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle, online:
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