RE: [cp] Sharing vs Applying -- Chris Reid's digital picture book
- I will report back on how the picture book idea goes. The book is just the
artifact - it will be the process used to create it, I expect, that will be
the measure of success. Including jettisoning the ideain favor of something
else if it flops.
re: your mom and speaking Spanish in Puerto Rico, the best example I ever
saw of the apparent importance of facets of our existence in confirming
identity ( job, the region where we live, language, etc) was on a nude beach
many years ago. Few if any of us were completely nude. Whether it was a
bandana, the book carried, a pipe, a necklace, or supercool sunglasses,
almost everybody had on some sort of ornament that seemed to carry hints of
how each of us saw ourselves.
That said, sunglasses also have a practical purpose (and language as well).
From my unofficial observation, there are lots of reasons people may
continue speaking their primary language. There are probably as many
reasons why people now are steadfastly not learning more than one language
(e.g. those who speak English in an increasingly multicultural society).
Having been trained in tutoring ESL by Literacy Volunteers of America, I
know that their highest rate of success in teaching English to non-native
speakers is with people who have had more formal education and can read and
write in their own language. English is much harder to learn than Spanish
(anyone who tries to explain pronunciation rules of through, trough, though,
thought, and drought will see what I mean!).
As regards why people speak Spanish, everybody has a different experience, a
different story to tell. In general, the people I know want to learn
English. The jobs my friends can get are low paying, (the green industry
jobs are among the lowest wages even if you DO speak English) and they
therefore must work longer hours. Often English classes are expensive, and
time is in short supply. People learn what they need to survive - some very
basics - but when communication is more nuanced (subtleties of pruning a
particular rose or shrub), survival English is not enough. So there's a
basic catch-22 of wanting to learn English, but having no time to do more
than "fight fires" in English. This, obviously, can go on for years. It's
the same dilemma as people with families who want to return for more
schooling. Or nurses in hospitals, for that matter, who learn enough to
Just yesterday, a group of us were "potting up" some perennial flowers that
were ready for the next size pot. The person who showed me how to do it
spoke English. She told me not to tamp the soil down because it makes it
quite difficult for the roots to spread and grow, and the plant stays small
and not too vigorous. When two coworkers joined me (who speak Spanish), I
noticed one person tamping down the soil in the pot, and was able to pass on
the tip I had received from my teacher.
Dreaming onward, I am looking forward to a world in which we begin to able
to easily learn some of each others' native language. THAT would be most
cool. I sometimes find the opportunity of listening to a native speaker
telling me something in Spanish to be an opportunity to hear the other clear
into their soul. It is often a rich treat to hear the words of an idea or
emotion expressed in a person's native language. Words carry so much more
than just definitions.
I look forward to the day when my friends, as well, will be able to hear and
understand me when I speak to them of ideas and emotions I can express best
If I substitute "nurse's language" or "secretary's language" for native
language or English, maybe this post will have increased relevance to people
committed to the power of communities.
- Ah, but define rich and relevant!~ One person's rich and relevant is
another person's boredom.
Best not to judge our own creations, perhaps!
You raise a very interesting point about lurking and why one might do that.
Has our CoP e-group become a place to demonstrate increasingly sophisticated
permutations of thought or the expansiveness of one's own thinking organ?
And DO we have an unspoken rule or perceived practice that those who do not
wax brilliant need not respond? Twould be a pity. I love my own certainty,
but ultimately in time find it is a boring wasteland.
Hmmmmm. What do you think, Dr. P? How does it look from where you sit?
Do you see room for the humble, the beginner, the person who uses plain
words and dares to ask questions others may find simple, as well?
Hope you'll respond.