who speaks my language?

I learnt today that all 20 or so students in my class speak more than one language. We talked about today's research tip "Doing research is a process--it's like learning a new language"* and then I asked some of them--those who had lived in places where their second/other language was the majority language** to explain how they got along.

We got into a lively debate about the roles of "learning" (reading and learning grammar and such) and "learning by doing" (making an ass out of oneself in a "foreign" setting). Hopefully, while they may not remember much about research itself, this bit will stick.

I know I often say that I'd love to have a job in a small-town American college. But, in a way, it's rather enjoyable that TUWSNBN is quite international. One of my examples today was about Southern Thailand. I asked if anyone knew anything about what was going on there and, to my pleasant surprise, a couple of kids gave a summary of the current separatist movement, the religious breakdown and the government's response.

They still expect me to come in and lecture and I'm not quite sure they are convinced that sitting around talking about various research topics and questions is actually, you know, learning about research or even quite what one does in a uni class. But, I'll keep working on them and see what happens.

* I can only do so much. Cheesiness is factored into the "Research tip" format itself. Last week's, for example, was something about lenses.

** Just because I think there's a difference between learning a language from childhood and learning it when older. Kids don't much care about making an idiot of themselves. Grown-ups (well, most of them) do.


At 2/02/2007 9:27 AM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL making an idiot of yourself is part of the fun in learning I think. Besides it often sets you apart from those stuffy types...lol

At 2/03/2007 3:05 PM, Blogger Priya said...

But but but...I want to be a stuffy type (for once)

Not much chance of that this time around either.

At 2/05/2007 2:08 PM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL Well i applaud you in your efforts....good luck


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