They Were Trained for This Moment #NeverAgain

How the student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High demonstrate the power of a comprehensive education.
By DAHLIA LITHWICK, Feb 28, 2018
Source: SLATE

Resolved

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to class Wednesday morning two weeks and moral centuries after a tragic mass shooting ended the lives of 17 classmates and teachers. Sen. Marco Rubio marked their return by scolding them for being “infected” with “arrogance” and “boasting.”

The Florida legislature marked their return by enacting a $67 million program to arm school staff, including teachers, over the objections of students and parents. Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill opted to welcome them back by ignoring their wishes on gun control, which might lead a cynic to believe that nothing has changed in America after yet another horrifying cycle of child murder and legislative apathy.

But that is incorrect.

Consumers and businesses are stepping in where the government has cowered. Boycotts may not influence lawmakers, but they certainly seem to be changing the game in the business world. And the students of Parkland, Florida, unbothered by the games played by legislators and lobbyists, are still planning a massive march on Washington. These teens have—by most objective measures—used social media to change the conversation around guns and gun control in America.

Now it’s time for them to change the conversation around education in America, and not just as it relates to guns in the classroom. The effectiveness of these poised, articulate, well-informed, and seemingly preternaturally mature student leaders of Stoneman Douglas has been vaguely attributed to very specific personalities and talents.

Indeed, their words and actions have been so staggeringly powerful, they ended up fueling laughable claims about crisis actors, coaching, and fat checks from George Soros.

But there is a more fundamental lesson to be learned in the events of this tragedy: These kids aren’t freaks of nature. Their eloquence and poise also represent the absolute vindication of the extracurricular education they receive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Despite the gradual erosion of the arts and physical education in America’s public schools, the students of Stoneman Douglas have been the beneficiaries of the kind of 1950s-style public education that has all but vanished in America and that is being dismantled with great deliberation as funding for things like the arts, civics, and enrichment are zeroed out.

In no small part because the school is more affluent than its counterparts across the country (fewer than 23 percent of its students received free or reduced-price lunches in 2015–16, compared to about 64 percent across Broward County Public Schools) these kids have managed to score the kind of extracurricular education we’ve been eviscerating for decades in the United States. These kids aren’t prodigiously gifted. They’ve just had the gift of the kind of education we no longer value.

Part of the reason the Stoneman Douglas students have become stars in recent weeks is in no small part due to the fact that they are in a school system that boasts, for example, of a “system-wide debate program that teaches extemporaneous speaking from an early age.”

Every middle and high school in the district has a forensics and public-speaking program.

Coincidentally, some of the students at Stoneman Douglas had been preparing for debates on the issue of gun control this year, which explains in part why they could speak to the issues from day one.
Resolved

The student leaders of the #NeverAgain revolt were also, in large part, theater kids who had benefited from the school’s exceptional drama program. Coincidentally, some of these students had been preparing to perform Spring Awakening, a rock musical from 2006.

As the New Yorker describes it in an essay about the rise of the drama kids, that musical tackles the question of “what happens when neglectful adults fail to make the world safe or comprehensible for teen-agers, and the onus that neglect puts on kids to beat their own path forward.” Weird.

The student leaders at Stoneman Douglas High School have also included, again, not by happenstance, young journalists, who’d worked at the school paper, the Eagle Eye, with the supervision of talented staff.

One of the extraordinary components of the story was the revelation that David Hogg, student news director for the school’s broadcast journalism program, WMSD-TV, was interviewing his own classmates as they hid in a closet during the shooting, and that these young people had the wherewithal to record and write about the events as they unfolded.

As Christy Ma, the paper’s staff editor, later explained, “We tried to have as many pictures as possible to display the raw emotion that was in the classroom. We were working really hard so that we could show the world what was going on and why we need change.”

Click here to continue reading story

Emma González
Photo: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma González gives a speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Feb. 17.
Photo edited by Slate. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Advertisements
Posted in Debates, Education, human-rights, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#SexTurkey: Noel Gallagher revela insólito incidente con periodista chileno

noel

SANTIAGO.- Las agendas promocionales de un artista internacional suelen incluir una que otra entrevista telefónica con medios de comunicación de los países que visitan. En eso estaba Noel Gallagher, líder de Oasis, tras arribar a Santiago, Chile esta semana, cuando la particular pronunciación del reportero local transformó una pregunta de rutina en otra que para el guitarrista resultó verdaderamente insólita.

En ánimo de preguntar por la ausencia del anterior baterista de la agrupación, Zak Starkey, el periodista pronuncia una frase que Gallagher entiende una y otra vez como “Sex Turkey” (sexo con un pavo). Tan descolocado se sintió el guitarrista de Oasis que posteó el diálogo completo en el blog del MySpace del grupo, bajo el título de “Cuentos de Noel desde la mitad de ninguna parte“. La conversación fue la siguiente:

Periodista: Hola, ¿Noel?
Noel Gallagher: Hola.
P: ¿Comenzamos?
NG: ¡Vamos!
P: Ok. La última vez estuviste en Santiago con “sex turkey”, ¿qué pasó?
NG: ¿Cómo?
P: ¿Qué pasó con “sex turkey”?
NG: Disculpa. ¿Dijiste “sex turkey”?
P: Sí, Qué pasó con él…

¿Con él? ¡Jesús!“, acota el guitarrista, quien bromea con las “dudosas artes” que formaron parte de su pasado. Pero así y todo, “¿puede este tipo puede pensar que tuve sexo con un pavo?“, se pregunta.

Y luego sigue con el diálogo.

NG: Ok. Parece que aquí se cruzaron algunos cables. Volvamos al principio y empezamos de nuevo. Lentamente, ¿sí?
P: Como tú quieras.
NG: Ok. Fire at will.
P: ¿Disculpa?
NG: ¡No importa! ¡Comencemos de una vez!
P: Ok. ¿Puedes explicarme cómo fue estar en Santiago con “sex turkey” y cómo se compara con Chris Sharrock (baterista actual)?”

O esto es una broma para un programa de radio en vivo o alguien puso ácido en mi té“, dice Gallagher que pensó en ese momento.

NG: ¿Cuando tú dices “sex turkey”, quieres decir “Zak Starkey”?
P: Por supuesto.
NG: Aah, ¿Zak Starkey? ¿Dijiste Zak Starkey?
P: Claro. ¿Qué pensaste que dije?
NG: ¡Ja! Fuck, ¡Zak Starkey! Pensé que dijiste… oh, no importa. Creo que tenemos que cortar esto.
P: ¡Pero no has contestado a mi pregunta!
NG: Ambos son lo mismo. Necesito tenderme ahora. Adiós.

Fuente: Emol.com, 7 de Mayo de 2009

Posted in Culture, Education, EFL, Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#CHILE: LA INCREÍBLE CONFESIÓN DEL CARABINERO QUE SE HIZO VIRAL POR SU MANEJO CON EL INGLÉS

Sebastián Boyd Pastén. Ese es el nombre del cabo segundo de Carabineros que sorprendió esta semana por su gran manejo del inglés.

La situación quedó registrada en un video en Arica, donde Boyd –de 24 años– da instrucciones de ayuda a unos turistas algo perdidos y queriendo movilizarse por la Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera. El material se hizo viral en redes sociales en cosa de horas.

Personas en redes sociales señalaron que se podría haber criado en Estados Unidos por tan buen manejo del idioma extranjero, pero el carabinero lo niega.

Lo cierto es que nació en Ovalle. “Varias personas han dicho que crecí en Estados Unidos, pero nada, nunca he salido al extranjero. Me han dicho ue mi inglés tiene un acento más británico, eso sí”, dijo en una entrevista al diario La Cuarta.

En la misma conversación declaró que ni en su familia se habla inglés. “Aprendí solo. La pronunciación la trabajé con internet en YouTube. Cuando vi películas sin subtítulos me di cuenta que estaba avanzando”, agregó.

Eso sí, el estudio del inglés es algo que lleva desde hace tiempo. “Aprendí inglés por medio de un diccionario cuendo era niño, a los 11 años (…) Estana en una biblioteca familia, en un estante, y ahí empecé”, relató.

A su juicio, el chileno le teme al inglés y por eso no se maneja tan adecuadamente. “Si nosotros nos ponemos a hilar fino, el inglés tiene una cantidad de verbos muchísimo menor que el español. El español tiene como tres mil verbos y el inglés, menos de cuarenta”, aseguró.

A su vez, “la pronunciación parece que es muy intimidante, como las palabras se escriben de una forma y se proncuncian de otra, a la gente no le gusta esto”.

Tras el video, Boyd ha recibido las felicitaciones de su familia y también compañeros, quienes jamás se habían enterado de su gran manejo del inglés.

“La mayor parte de mis compañeros no sabía para nada que hablo inglés, porque no lo ando mostrando a los cuatro vientos”, declaró.

Fuente: Ahora Noticias, 23 de febrero de 2018

Posted in Culture, Education, EFL | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Martin Luther King Is Dead Now: Should #BlackHistoryMonth Be Eliminated?

Black_History_Is_Ame_Cover_for_Kindle (1)
Should Black History Month Be Eliminated? That question gets asked every year around this time of year, when we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some people go so far as to argue that if we don’t have a White History Month, then it isn’t “fair” to have a Black History Month. Others quickly point out that every month is White History Month in the USA, and the debate sooner or later goes away until the next year comes around…

My purpose today is to look at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by looking at his death. I know that is a paradox, to examine a man’s life by looking at his death. Nonetheless, I recall three eulogies of Dr. King: 1. Dr. King “spoke” at his own funeral, effectively eulogizing himself. 2. The famous Robert F. Kennedy announcement of Dr. King’s assassination, and 3. the little known eulogy of Dr. King by David Dinkins.(???)

The question immediately arises: Who is David Dinkins? The obvious answer is that that is the reason why we have Black History Month, not to remember Dr. King. If we lived until we could not remember anything but only one thing, from here to eternity, that one thing would be Dr. King. He is unforgettable for all time, for all of humanity.

David Dinkins, on the other hand, runs the risk of being forgotten, for he was but a mortal man. In his life, however, he did become the first (and only) African American Mayor of New York City, elected in 1989 (1 term in office,1990-1993). I wonder how many people living outside of New York City today know that?

So I would argue that Black History Month is a vehicle for discovery, to discover the David Dinkins of our history, on the one hand, and to honor the legacy, not only of Dr. King, but the legacy of a people whose history did not begin in 1619 in Virginia. We go way back, to a time and place in history in which we were Kings and Queens, rulers of empires, scientists and artists, statesmen and warriors. Black History goes way back, even before the time of recorded history.

The American chapter of Black History indeed began in August, 1619, when “20 and odd” Africans first “arrived” in America, not aboard a Dutch ship as reported by John Rolfe, but an English warship, White Lion, sailing with a letters of marque issued to the English Captain Jope by the Protestant Dutch Prince Maurice, son of William of Orange. A letters of marque legally permitted the White Lion to sail as a privateer attacking any Spanish or Portuguese ships it encountered.

The 20 and odd Africans were captives removed from the Portuguese slave ship, San Juan Bautista, following an encounter the ship had with the White Lion and her consort, the Treasurer, another English ship, while attempting to deliver its African prisoners to Mexico. Rolfe’s reporting the White Lion as a Dutch warship was a clever ruse to transfer blame away from the English for piracy of the slave ship to the Dutch…

As you can see, re-visiting historical accounts helps you to have clarity about the facts, but also, allows the passage of time to deliver a less passionate, more objective judgement about people and events that transpired at a past moment in history.

For me, it’s like watching a movie you have already seen before. For instance, I watched “Titanic” seven (7) times, (the movie was so emotionally evocative), and each and every time I saw the movie, I noticed something different. I left each viewing with a different reflection. Beauty, love, dedication, destiny, hope, hopelessness, fate, justice, discrimination, class, chivalry, survival and the triumph of the human soul over adversity, yes, all of these things and more made their ways to my consciousness on each successive viewing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you that Black History Month is no different. Today, for the first time in 55 years, I discover who David Dinkins was (the 106th Mayor of New York City), what he did with his life, and this amazing rhetorical rendition of a eulogy for Dr. Martin Luther King. If I discover nothing else new during this celebration of Black History Month 2018, I am more than compensated by having found this brilliant eulogy to share with you…

***

david-dinkins 1990 - 1993

Martin Luther King is dead now, and we, the mourners and losers, are left with his dreams—with decisions to make. He is dead now, and there are no words we can say for him, for he said his own. He is dead now, and any eulogy must be for us, the living.

Martin Luther King is dead now, so for him there is no tomorrow on this earth. But for us there are tomorrows and tomorrows. He painted a picture of what our tomorrows could be in his dream of America. This past weekend painted a picture of how that dream could become a nightmare should we lose sight of his principles.

Martin Luther King is dead now, but he left a legacy. He planted in all of us, black and white, the seeds of love of justice, of decency, of honor, and we must not fail to have these seeds bear fruit.

Martin Luther King is dead now, and there is only time for action. The time for debate, the time for blame, the time for accusation is over. Ours is a clear call to action. We must not only dedicate ourselves to great principles, but we must apply those principles to our lives.
Dinkins Mandela

Martin Luther King is dead now, and he is because he dared believe in nonviolence in a world of violence. Because he dared believe in peace in a world of conflict. He is dead now because he challenged all of us to believe in his dream.

Martin Luther King is dead now, and we cannot allow the substance of his dream to turn into the ashes of defeat. If we are to build a tribute to what he stood for, we must, each of us, stand for the same things.

Martin Luther King is dead now, and I ask each of you, the living, to join him and me, to go from this room and keep the dream alive.

We must now commit ourselves, we must now work, we must now define what kind of America we are going to have—for unless we make his dream a reality we will not have an America about which to decide.

Martin Luther King is dead now—but he lives.

Posted in Black History Month, Culture, Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rarely seen footage of Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967, where he delivered his speech “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?

“Thank you very kindly. Principal, Mr. Williams, Members of the faculty and members of the student body of Barratt Junior High School, Ladies and Gentlemen. I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here today, and to have the opportunity of taking a very brief break in a pretty busy schedule in the city of Philadelphia, to share with you the students of Barrat Junior High School. And I want to express my personal appreciation to the Principal and the administration for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to see this very fine and enthusiastic group of students here at Barrat.”

I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is in your life’s blueprint?

This is the most important and crucial period of your lives. For what you do now and what you decide now at this age may well determine which way your life shall go.

Whenever a building is constructed, you usually have an architect who draws a blueprint, and that blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, and a building is not well erected without a good, sound and solid blueprint.

Now each of you is in the process of building the structure of your lives, and the question is, whether you have a proper, a solid, and a sound blueprint.

And I want to suggest some of the things that should be in your life’s blueprint.

Number one in your life’s blueprint should be, a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.

Now that means you should not be ashamed of your color. You know, it’s very unfortunate that in so many instances, our society has placed a stigma on the Negro’s color. You know there are some Negro’s who are ashamed of themselves? Don’t be ashamed of your color. Don’t be ashamed of your biological features. Somehow you must be able to say in your own lives, and really believe it, “I Am Black But Beautiful!” And therefore you need not be lulled into purchasing cosmetics advertised to make you lighter, neither do you need to process your hair to make it appear straight. I have good hair and it is as good as anybody else’s in the world…And we gotta believe that. Now in your life’s blueprint Be Sure that you have a principle of Somebodiness.

Secondly, in your life’s blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold, what you will do in life — what your life’s work will be. Once you discover what it will be, set out to do it, and to do it well.

And I say to you, my young friends, that doors are opening to you–doors of opportunity are opening to you that were not open to your mothers and your fathers — and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to enter these doors as they open.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, “If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.”

This hasn’t always been true — but it will become increasingly true, and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don’t drop out of school. I understand all of the sociological reasons why we drop out of school, but I urge you that in spite of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you’re forced to live so often, with intolerable conditions — stay in school.

And when you discover what you are gonna be in life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. And just don’t set out to do a good Negro job, but do a good job that anybody could do. Don’t set out to be a good Negro doctor, or a good Negro lawyer or a good Negro school teacher or a good Negro preacher or a good Negro barber or a beautician or a good Negro skilled laborer. For if you set out to do that, you have already flunked your matriculation exam into the University of Integration. Set out to do a good job and Do That Job So Well that the LIVING, the DEAD, or the UNBORN couldn’t do it any better.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of Heaven and Earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail.
If you can’t be a sun, be a star.
For it isn’t by size that you win or you fail.
Be the BEST of whatever you are.”

***
“Finally, in your life’s blueprint, must be a commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice. Well life, for none of us, has been a crystal stair, but we must keep moving, we must keep going!

If you can’t fly, run.
If you can’t run, walk.
If you can’t walk, crawl,
but by all means, keep moving!”
***
— From the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
***

Posted in Black History Month, Education, human-rights, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Lowest White Man’ by Charles M. Blow| New York Times OP-ED COLUMNIST

Benedict_Donald_Cover_for_Kindle
As an African-American, I know that it is an extremely rare occasion, when the truth about racial division and discrimination in the United States of America is so openly and eloquently, and most importantly, understandably, offered for public consumption, as the way in which Mr. Charles M. Blow has done in his recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, entitled, “The Lowest White Man.” It is compelling, profound, and absolutely undeniable in its analysis of this “dark side” of American culture, history, and recent politics, as evidenced and embodied in the person of President Donald Trump, a man who I am fully convinced committed treason against the very nation that elected him to be its president. I wrote about it in my book, Benedict Donald: A Comparative Analysis Of Benedict Arnold, Donald Trump, And Treason. That is a sincere belief I share with tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of Americans from all walks of life, races, religions, and sexual preferences. Having done due diligence to my personal point of view related to President Trump, I now present you with the Op-Ed, adding only that what you are about to read, is what African-Americans usually share with one another,from a very early age, so that we understand the way the world works, why we are told that no matter how good we are at anything, we must strive to stand head and shoulders above a white competitor, because being just as good as a white man, or just a little better, always means second place…
***
The Lowest White Man
by Mr. Charles M. Blow
New York Times
January 11, 2018

I guess Donald Trump was eager to counter the impression in Michael Wolff’s book that he is irascible, mentally small and possibly insane. On Tuesday, he allowed a bipartisan session in the White House about immigration to be televised for nearly an hour.

Surely, he thought that he would be able to demonstrate to the world his lucidity and acumen, his grasp of the issues and his relish for rapprochement with his political adversaries.

But instead what came through was the image of a man who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about; a man who says things that are 180 degrees from the things he has said before; a man who has no clear line of reasoning; a man who is clearly out of his depth and willing to do and say anything to please the people in front of him.

He demonstrated once again that he is a man without principle, interested only in how good he can make himself look and how much money he can make.

Yes, he has an intrinsic hostility to people who are not white, particularly when they challenge him, but as a matter of policy, the whole idea of building a wall for which Mexico would pay was just a cheap campaign stunt to, once again, please the people in front of him.

Trump is not committed to that wall on principle. He is committed only to looking good as a result of whatever comes of it. Mexico is never going to pay for it, and he knows it. He has always known it. That was just another lie. Someone must have stuck the phrases “chain migration” and “diversity lottery” into his brain — easy buzzwords, you see — and he can now rail against those ideas for applause lines.

But he is completely malleable on actual immigration policy. He doesn’t have the stamina for that much reading. Learning about immigration would require reading more words than would fit on a television news chyron.

If Donald Trump follows through with what he said during that meeting, his base will once again be betrayed. He will have proved once again that he was saying anything to keep them angry, even telling lies. He will have demonstrated once again his incompetence and unfitness.

And once again, they won’t care.

That is because Trump is man-as-message, man-as-messiah. Trump support isn’t philosophical but theological.

Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy.

It is the belief that even the least qualified man is a better choice than the most qualified woman and a belief that the most vile, anti-intellectual, scandal-plagued simpleton of a white man is sufficient to follow in the presidential footsteps of the best educated, most eloquent, most affable black man.

As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in the 1960s to a young Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

Trump’s supporters are saying to us, screaming to us, that although he may be the “lowest white man,” he is still better than Barack Obama, the “best colored man.”

In a way, Donald Trump represents white people’s right to be wrong and still be right. He is the embodiment of the unassailability of white power and white privilege.

To abandon him is to give up on the pact that America has made with its white citizens from the beginning: The government will help to underwrite white safety and success, even at the expense of other people in this country, whether they be Native Americans, African-Americans or new immigrants.

But this idea of elevating the lowest white man over those more qualified or deserving didn’t begin with Johnson’s articulation and won’t end with Trump’s manifestation. This is woven into the fabric of the flag.

As I have written here before, when Alabama called a constitutional convention in 1901, Emmet O’Neal, who later became governor, argued that the state should “lay deep and strong and permanent in the fundamental law of the state the foundation of white supremacy forever in Alabama,” and as part of that strategy he argued:

“I don’t believe it is good policy to go up in the hills and tell them that Booker Washington or Councill or anybody else is allowed to vote because they are educated. The minute you do that every white man who is not educated is disfranchised on the same proposition.”

In his essay “Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880,” W.E.B. Du Bois discussed why poor whites didn’t make common cause with poor blacks and slaves but instead prized their roles as overseers and slave catchers, eagerly joining the Klan. This fed the white man’s “vanity because it associated him with the masters,” Du Bois wrote.

He continued:

“Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of Negro toil of all sorts. He never regarded himself as a laborer, or as part of any labor movement. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own ‘niggers.’ To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white.”

For white supremacy to be made perfect, the lowest white man must be exalted above those who are black.

No matter how much of an embarrassment and a failure Trump proves to be, his exploits must be judged a success. He must be deemed a correction to Barack Obama and a superior choice to Hillary Clinton. White supremacy demands it. Patriarchy demands it. Trump’s supporters demand it.
_____
I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter (@CharlesMBlow), or email me at chblow@nytimes.com.
_____
Benedict_Donald_Cover_for_Kindle
Benedict Donald: A Comparison Analysis Of Benedict Arnold, Donald Trump, And Treason

Posted in Black History Month, Culture, Politics, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quo Vadis? ¿Adonde Vas? Where Are You Going?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quo vadis? ¿Adonde vas? Where are you going? Most of us have answered that question by now. The end of the past year and the beginning of the present year was a perfect time for such a personal reflection. The answer, of course, is as varied as the people who ask and answer the question. I can’t help but think that for some of us, we are going nowhere. We are right here, or right there, exactly where we want to be. That’s a good place to be, isn’t it? Imagine being so content with who you are, what you are, and where you are, that you decide to go nowhere.

In my case, this blog gives me the opportunity to look back over the past years and see what I was thinking about, what I was doing, and what I was writing about. I can see my words, see the visual images, and even in some cases, relive the moments of joy and happiness, disappointment and setback, progress and stasis. Writing, then, is a way of leaving a permanent record of a moment in time. To put this another way, it is as close to immortality as a human being can get. Long after I have drawn my last breath on this planet, a part of me will still be available for another human being to find, and to “feel,” in a book someplace, and who knows… maybe it might affect the future?

So today, I have selected some images and put them together, randomly, in the slideshow at the top of the page. Although the images are random, I see the story quite clearly. I am a teacher of English. Teaching English has brought me intense joy and happiness over the past 16 years.

I have come to agree with Dr. Stephen Krashen, who believes that comprehensible input, in the form of speaking and reading, is the best possible way to teach English to most people. Let me add here that a lot of people totally disagree with Dr. Stephen Krashen. However, that is what makes teaching and learning English so much fun.

You see, there has never been, and never will be, one magic way of teaching that works for everybody. So we agree, we disagree, we advocate for what in our experience has worked best for us. For me, what works best, is talking with people, and getting them to read books, even if I have to write the book myself.

That brings me back to where I started. Quo vadis? I couldn’t answer that question without first taking a look at where I have been. I’ve got a pretty good idea of where I want to go in 2018 now. What about you? Quo vadis? ¿Adonde vas?

Posted in Reading, Reflections, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to Teach Debating: Theory & Practical Handbook for the Non-Native Teacher, Debate Coach & English Language Learners

How To Teach Debating:Theory and Practical Handbook is the best of both worlds, theory and practice… “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” ~ Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities” In the Dickens’ quotation we find a contradiction. How can the “best” be the “worst”? Likewise, most debate coaches have differing interpretations about debating. As a debate coach, I emphasize the practical, namely, you learn to debate, by debating.

I dedicate this book to all teachers, coaches, and students worldwide, and especially to the non-native speaker of English. Since most books on debating are aimed at native speakers of English, this book addresses this disparity while still being useful to a native speaker. For example, there are many practice activities, drills and exercises. This makes it a highly practical book for the non-native speaker, who above all else, will benefit most from such practice. Nonetheless, it also addresses debating theory, both inductively and inductively. Therefore, it is an excellent resource book for all debaters, debate coaches, and teachers to have.

Finally, debating helps you to understand that others see the world differently. This understanding promotes mutual respect and tolerance of diversity. In this way, debate plays a role in building a better world for everyone to live in…

Do you teach English Language Learners? It is estimated that over 1 billion people are currently learning English world wide. According to the British Council, as of the year 2,000 there were 750 million English as a Foreign language speakers. In addition, there were 375 million English as a Second Language speakers. The difference between the two groups amounts to English as a Foreign Language speakers using English occasionally for business or pleasure, while English as a Second Language speakers use English on a daily basis.

These impressive numbers are driven by adult speakers around the world who use English to communicate in the workplace. It is a commonly held misconception that these speakers need English to communicate with native speakers. While ESL is required for those living and working in English speaking cultures such as the UK and USA, it is equally true that English is used as the lingua franca between nations where English is not the primary language. In a globalized world, the number of English learners around the world is only expected to further grow as the global trend to begin teaching English to young learners at increasingly younger and younger ages continues.

Teaching English Language Learners Worldwide contains relevant ELT pedagogy, educational theory, and is a Practical Guide for both the new and esperienced teacher. The practical guidebook offers educators practical strategies for teaching in all settings: EAL / EIL / ELL / ESL / EFL worldwide.

It is written by a teacher of English who has over a decade experience in a variety of settings, including language institutes, schools, and university, with all ages and levels, from beginner to advanced.

The book is written in a friendly, engaging, authentic, practical voice. It makes for easy reading and reference while motivating and interacting with the reader. The author is the Past-President of TESOL Chile, and thus is no stranger to the controversial topics in English Language Teaching, which he takes head on in this book.

The writer says: “This is the book I wish I had when I first started teaching English language learners. It would have made me a better teacher.”

It provides research-based instructional techniques which have proven effective with English learners at all proficiency levels. The author requests you write a review for this book if you find this book to be helpful to you in your practical teaching, where it is most valuable. Thank you in advance for your support.

Posted in Authors, Debates, Education, EFL, Reflections, Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sell More Books Through Amazon Links

.@Georiot: Sell More Books Through Amazon Links http://wp.me/p4h3m4-y4 #IndieAuthor #IARTG

Nicholas C. Rossis

Update: GeoRiot is now geni.us. Find out more!

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books GeoRiot is now GeniusLink

I was reading a post on D.G. Kaye’s blog where she was explaining that “when we post links to our books on Amazon and people from different countries of the world click on them, you may be losing potential readers because many countries have their own country code in the URL and believe it or not, if they land on Amazon.com and aren’t tech savvy to navigate to their own country page, it results in a potentially lost sale.”

That’s when it occurred to me; I’m friends with Ryan Shepherd of GeoRiot fame, so why not ask him for a guest post on the subject? Here is what he has to say.

How To Sell More Books Through Your Amazon Links

In today’s break-neck, 24-hour news cycle culture, most people find it hard to decide what to…

View original post 549 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Teaching Academic Writing: Theory, Practice & The Passive Voice Controversy

Teaching Academic Writing is highly practical while addressing the theory underpinning academic writing. It is organized into three parts. Part One: “Writing for Scholarly Publication”, takes a historical look at Academic Writing to inform contents for an Academic Writing course. Part Two, “Helping Preservice Teachers” gives an actual course plan used sucessfully by the author. Part Three, “The Passive Voice Controversy”, demythifies the active voice / passive voice controversy. This is a must have for teachers and students alike.
*****
What Reviewers Are Saying
*****
1. “…the “Product Approach” and the “Process Approach” to writing.”
2. “The book also takes a bold look at the use of the passive voice and why avoiding its use might not be the best way to deal with it.”
3. A quote attributed to Professor James Williams stands out the most in Baker’s discussion of the passive voice controversy: “The roles of teachers with respect to passive constructions therefore should not be to issue a universal ban against them but rather to help students understand when passive constructions are useful and necessary.”
4. “This book is very informative. It shows how you can combine theory and research into a powerful learning tool for students learning to do academic writing. It also promotes a reflective approach, as the author literally questions the use, misuse, and abuse of the passive voice.”

*****
Click link below to see:
Other Books by Thomas Jerome Baker
*****

Posted in Education, EFL, Reflections, Research, Writing | Leave a comment