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Do aspects of language using a language is so much a part of our everyday lives that we do not realize just how complex an activity it is. Linguistics is the science responsible for investigating this activity we take so much for granted. During this series some of the tools and methods used by linguists to study the complexities of language will be demonstrated the series is prepared and never rated by Dr. good. Franco an associate professor of English and Linguistics at George Peabody college for teachers in today's program. Vivian mortar associate professor of linguistics at Skerritt college building a graduate student and part time instructor in English at Peabody college and Robin fuller assistant dean of men and advisor to international students at Vanderbilt University. Joined Dr. Frankel to talk about teaching English as a foreign language. Today we're going to have a fourth program in Applied Linguistics. The last one in this particular theorist. And we are
going to talk about teaching English to foreigners. Sometimes people speak about teaching English as a foreign language. Sometimes people speak about teaching English as a second language. And the question should be asked is there any difference are they just interchangeable or is there a difference. Most teachers today and scholars in the field will make a difference. And I think it's worthwhile clarify this before we go into some technical aspects of teaching. Teaching English as a foreign language is usually understood to mean that the language is taught for some practical purposes other than complete oral communication let's say as an auxiliary tool for scholarly purposes that a person can read the language fluently or that he can take notes or things of this sort. A typical example for English as a second language would be a country in which English is the
only language all its citizens have in common. For instance. Let's say India where so many languages are spoken and the only means of common or communication is in that so it has to be spoken fluently by everybody to serve that purpose. I think familiar was a similar situation for French and when you say a word about that place in North Africa the majority of people in the country unfamiliar with Arabic speakers but because there is a large French minority still there in other countries and they communicate with one another in French. I thought that would be needed for one part of the population that is correct. What about the Berbers and some people in the country have contact with Europeans. Thank goodness they also speak French there was a speak French so their various countries were what we call the second language is the lingua franca and flaked off the country. That's what it amounts to you know. Nowadays we also run into
the expression teaching English to speakers of other languages rather than teaching English to foreigners and the abbreviation test or teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages will probably occur a number of times during our discussion here. Before we go into some taking aspects I think some romance will not do us any harm. You have been teaching English in North Africa haven't you. Well tell us a little bit about your experience as linguistic and otherwise linguistic. Yes well I had a unique experience I think. Our teaching English in a very native school. This was not even a European school this was an Arabic at least say yes in the medina the Arabic section of one of the large cities in Morocco which to Rabat the capital city and it was a school where the Koran was taught in a most interesting way I found that it was almost necessary for me to adopt some of the techniques that Koran professors the students were so is that a recitation man and
that is correct yes. Yes. So the saying in this takes with the Koran cancelation Well not exactly I mean it's a matter thank you. Most of the year professors practically all of them were Arabic speaking and Arabs from different countries and I. Think you learn and you know me a little bit and I wasn't helpful doing you know teaching in order to go and work entirely without the native language. I used the direct method as much as possible I had to use French occasionally I said and then I started learning Arabic of course I learned much about the structure of Arabic in a way my students responded to in a way. Good. Well that's interesting. I would like to ask you one other question. You're now teaching freshman that in grad. Trying to teach a native speakers of English English. So I mean tell us something about the basic differences you find problems between
Speakers of Other Languages non-native abroad and American freshman. Well of course it's quite different with American freshmen they know the patterns of the language and I've known since the age of two like mastered all the phonemes and the syntax structures and it's more an approach to English as an art using it effectively and understanding of the full value of words and how how to use the most forcefully. Of course teaching non-native speakers is quite different they have to learn the phoneme system the patterns they have to learn to think in the fully aware of these differences. I would like to have a few words about the difference between teaching students of rote the way you did and the teaching of foreign students or other people in this country learn English media and what are your main problems when. You have foreign students. I guess one of the main problems of that is speak English only in your class and then they go out and speak their own
language. Or do they live in the American culture and really integrate it. It depends upon the individual student. Yes in some places as it's clear we have American roommates and they get quite a bit of practice at the dinner table or chatting in their rooms in this sort of thing. Some of them will get out and make friends in the community and have a real opportunity to get acquainted with the life and culture here. Others will stay in their own language group and practice. At least they have the opportunity something which you couldn't say only about your student and the rock of their difficulty is that they go out of the school or they leave the school behind. Whatever the number of hours US and there's nobody really except many Americans at that time and I think my students to become tainted like I say. But most of us that way. Speaking home without it they are always speaking homes.
Well it will now be interesting just a few words about the administrative aspects here for the teachers. Now let's for a moment here the administrators. We have foreign students come to this country who don't know enough of the language to go along with their American classmates. So they're being sent to classes for learning English. And they do all they have classes let's say three times a week. In some instances more three times a week and they have a trained teacher and a trained linguist who knows what he's doing and he teaches them the patterns and he teaches them five new words or 10 new words every hour so that within a week say 30 40 new words and after five or six years they may be able to communicate in their midst Phaedo West accepts you in this university but I'm going to do it. Problems are broad and they have. Many
ramifications it seems to me. My study is limited the study is probably not broad enough yet on the speaker of a foreign language that the English speakers from a foreign country. He comes here with with a limited amount of English and to the universities here in Nashville or to most in the United States he comes. Having had some background some testable background in the United States in speaking English and comes to study here in English and classes taught in English. The problems are broader Ergo than his. Then what we can measure back to us. You know the teaching has generally not been contra oriented logically and perhaps rightfully so. But when he arrives here the cultural differences even the way classes are taught the way test are given here become a part of his English problem.
I don't like using a linguist so neglecting the cultural aspect even in disagreement with the way language. Im used to these people not abroad perhaps here. Yeah I think that this is a problem of what we call the intensive English courses for the for the students here. I'm very much concerned for a student who comes here who has some difficulty with English though his test will show he can do an adequate job and is it medical to a university for graduate study it in a fairly sophisticated way. But faced with the problem of the lecture situation in the classroom and the necessity of responses in English which are we cannot we cannot avoid this are culturally oriented. He's faced with a larger problem than he might have imagined before coming here or that the linguist mind of the mansion when he was when he told him. So we are really talking here about linguistic method.
So what you're really saying is that even the intensive English course which consists of three four hours a day not three four hours a week is insufficient in itself if it is not accompanied by somebody else as for who engages in cultural orientation. That's exactly right yeah. So you're quite is not really worth killing but other people will not realize that more is needed and language structure. That's right. Yeah. Well I think that's a good point to listen to some of the material we have for further discussion. I am a picture. I am a teacher I am a creature. What I do. Where are you. I am not sure
how you are through every AM. I my wife. What are you. Working on.
Good photo work. Well moving on this was obviously France he hasn't
dealt us for beginners. What were you doing in vain trying to achieve. Well it was. Pronunciation but it was also pattern practice yet a new vocabulary. In some instances the culture of writing you know. They were practicing all four things at the same time. Does not come together. If you're How do you justify that. You do all four together. Losing is confusing. They're all tied together. Words have no real meaning except in the context. Yes. That's Joe sounds have more meaning when they're used in a meaningful word. For us. Agree. What about the patent practice and when and when you're drilling transportation of course you drill patterns to follow logical patterns. When you drill sentences you drill morphological pattern of the syntactic patterns you keep them separate or are they in some way intertwined in the exercises he was
there all together in these exercises altogether and where were the students from we just heard him in. Venezuela and Peru so they were Spanish speaking. What are some typical problems of Spanish speaking students. Well you've probably noticed a student instead of student by the arm for yes the lack of a full stop in places where you have a 3 yr. Well this is how do you get how do you how do you yes yes yes. What does it indicate. Do your have to have an idea of Spanish structure in order to be able to understand these mistakes and to correct them in the right fashion or do you simply repeat until they are able to repeat correctly. Well you try repetition first if that doesn't work you give a demonstration using your organ. Sometimes you can draw a picture that will help.
Doesn't it have to know what is in their own structure so that you can predict some of these mistakes certainly of course if you work with a certain language group very long you'd find the not very clear just from the ones you just pointed out. For instance for m what's going on here why should that be so in the student's own language. He has and has no heir so that he will always use the sound of his own language. Another mistake was typical of the Spanish and student what's going on here. He doesn't have a consonant cluster. Is at the beginning of a word in its own language or as he has in years. Yes but you know language. How about the Arabic speaking students do they have similar problems. Oh yes very definitely of course the problem is more complicated here because they speak a Semitic language rather than an indo european they are accustomed to different patterns. Yes but let's speak about the financial aspect for a moment I'm interesting interested
to hear whether they have similar problems for instance his initial consonant clusters. Yes of course they can't say there is the tree. Yes what would they say. They would probably speak it the way the French do. True. So that you can also predict after one of their mistakes and then you will concentrate on whatever is difficult for them. That's why I believe in the program we talked about foreign language as we already used the term contrastive analysis. We may do that once more here. What does that mean contrastive analysis for a linguist. Maybe it was important what does it mean. Well being able to understand the differences in structure between two languages. Yes. You can have can try contrastive Soundsystem you know the sort of thing a study of the soundsystem differences. OK very systems do understand correctly that this would mean that if you have
overlap for identity is let's say the hour you just mentioned Spanish has an English has r so you don't have to drill the pronunciation of art was because of Spanish but they don't have ADD. So you have to drill countries like bad bad bad bad so and so on. I believe from my experience there's another interesting contrast to the question of links which you don't have that correct. They have difference in loudness. Yeah although not as great as any and it has many levels but they don't lengthen the stress. Yes that's alright but the sheep sheep can dress for instance difficult correct. Oh I thought you meant in terms of syllable length. Yes they do not have the lights on the streets. Oh yes I see. You mean even that the length. Yes they do not have a death song that's right in the sense that we have them. Yeah yeah yeah. I should have said defines a right. All right. Now do we ever get students
in Utah. Yes we have a class of them. Sometimes they're wives of students who use that. So what's the first step for somebody doesn't know anything at all. How do you stop for them. You go ahead and explain to them everything in English right. We don't know what I mean. So what do you do. Well we have a very good book which has pictures of things like a door or window. Yes this is a door. This is a table. This kind of thing. Yes or we may have one where we have a teacher in the student standing there how do you do. Yes and I say my name and I go on to practice before we go to the next section is one of the question do you find it more difficult to teach classes consisting of because of regularized you have languages you prefer if they come from one language speaking you know it's a very interesting experience to deal with people from many different languages but it would be easier in a sense you know that everyone OK well thank you will hear some class with different ones for a change in a moment.
Give me an R R I. I am as good a good taste as good. OK good. But don't go away because they are not doing. I do.
Not think you are a creature feature. Not far. And I read it she. Remarked. I mean there's a lot more. And Mickey Arthur and Mrs. Martin and Mickey are you there.
Well at least they're obviously grammatical. Wells. And how long does it take you think you know until the students have mustered with the help of such a girl. It would depend upon how often they practice outside of places where you see and if they supplement their classwork with tape recorder work and so forth they can pick it up in a relatively short time. You ask them to go to the lab and some other person what is your experience and invest grama mispronunciation earlier but here we have a difficult problem with dramatic and drills. Tell us about your experience. Yes well I found that it's most efficiently taught with the drill. Yes with repetition and I would agree with what the supporters say at about the length of time it takes Of course it varies with the individual student considerably. How much does class size influence the possibility to learn it fast. It influences it considerably with smaller classes of course one can give each student more prizes in an ideal class size than. I would think about
8 students we have no idea is that true. In many colleges they try to keep the prices. Down to not more than 10 or 12 at the very most even though they may have big. Classes they'll cut them up in this group or break the Army and Air Force language schools all to do that so they also found that's the best. There's an interesting you know really just where I am something. All I. Yeah right. Well he teaches you know how we do it if we don't want to look at it. We want them to learn from hearing hearing and there's no other way of telling us that you're good you're you're you're you're you're saying my blank. Yes but I wanted to say that for Arabic students for instance there would be no great surprise because the ex-president their own language this way anyway. So would that be a valuable first beat yourself. Would it take a long time to convince them that there is this copulative verb in English which has to be inserted Ideally of course drill should be constructed for the linguistic group
that one is teaching wasteful. Right. Students from particular language groups. Yes well this is of course one of the problems that linguists have to deal with and of course differences for beginners and for differences for the speakers of different languages the difference whether you teach in the United States of all this has to be take into account and in fact linguists are becoming more and more aware of these differences. People are not equal and the conditions are not identical. But let's listen to some advanced students. My English name is I came from Singapore I came from Singapore Peabody thing. So there's a whole what is. Needed just needed that need to
go out and get it. Whenever. Whenever I talk to my room you have. Yes an American graduate student named Jackson. I know Bob. Is a nice fellow. He is very current helps me in many ways. I think you. Heard. It was pretty bad at first but I'm starting to feel I am starting to feel at home.
I'm getting over a little break when I feel you have a roommate. Yes I know he's very card. You helped me in many ways. Things must be difficult for you right now. At first it's pretty bad at first but I'm starting to feel. We could easily identify half a dozen topics we could talk about in another program for instance where our teachers educated for a test or
one that I will try to have people speak like natives is a certain charm in my native accent. Where does writing come in and so on. But we don't have the times of just let's ask one of two questions on what you just heard obviously and you don't know any Chinese. So you had this young student produce some sounds in Chinese to give you no idea what his native system most of that you would be able to identify his mistakes. There were students from quite a few different countries it seemed in this group. But could you tell us just a little bit about it in a minute or so. There were 13 students in the class from 12 different countries from 12 countries one brother. Turkey Jordan and Korea. Well that's quite a few different languages isn't it. Did you find it difficult though is it with the advanced class was it OK to have some from so many different countries. One reason we have to take them in small groups is that each person has his own individual problem you know what you have to
work. Let's go to the question of money. Would it be advantageous to provide a teacher for students from each different country separately as it's financially impossible. It is financially but you would consider the advantages from from my point of view it would be if we could find plans to do that. It would certainly be wonderful if your university or any other university could employ that many linguists. Well thank you very much. In today's program Vivian marter associate professor of linguistics at Skerritt college graduate student and part time instructor in English at Peabody college and Robin fuller assistant dean of man and advisor to international students at Vanderbilt University joined Dr. Frankel to talk about teaching English as a foreign language in a classroom. Excerpts were recorded in classes at college conducted for foreign students in the university center
area of Nashville. The topic for next week's program will be words new aspects of languages prepared and narrated by Dr. Frankel an associate professor of English and Linguistics at George Peabody college for teachers and is produced in the studios of WP. This is Richard Waddell speaking. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
New aspects of language
Teaching English as a Foreign Langu
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Nashville Public Radio
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Producing Organization: WPLN
Producing Organization: Nashville Public Radio
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Chicago: “New aspects of language; Teaching English as a Foreign Langu,” 1968-11-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “New aspects of language; Teaching English as a Foreign Langu.” 1968-11-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: New aspects of language; Teaching English as a Foreign Langu. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from