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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


Language and Power - WTF?

wtfToday, I watched a CNBC episode of their new series "What the Future" (WTF). I'll refrain from commenting on their narrative and how they provide pleasant propaganda to the masses about helping those less fortunate. I find their message of "choice not charity" rather simplistic and self serving to their business clientele.

No, what hit me while watching the episode (about micro financing of urban poor in Nairobi) was how they used language - specifically subtitling. Every poor black person had their spoken language subtitled, even though their English was in many cases clearer than the white presenters/narrators. Go figure? I've noticed this before over the years. Especially how Hollywood would throw in subtitling of Asian characters, even though their fluency and pronunciation was fine. What gives?

Language IS power and I find in operation here, a certain unacknowledged linguistic colonialism. No spirit that accepts the realities of the new "Globlish" and International English that is flourishing around the world. I essence, those with power and money - the producers of these shows (like CNBC) are saying, "We speak the right English and they don't". Even though their English is very clear and understandable, they are using subtitles to silently and serendipitiously promote the idea that these individuals, races, peoples, cultures are "lesser" and "impure".

Now maybe I'm taking the arguement too far but I'll let you be the judge. Watch the episode and come to your own conclusions. Language is used as a means of power and to power. In this case, I find it all a bit too much. I wish I could produce my own episode where all the whiteys were subtitled and the Blacks, Russians, Asians weren't. The understanding would still be the same but the message, as McLuhan would have said, the "massage" , would have been different.

[by the way - I like the series! I just don't like their way of subtitling.]

Downloads: 72

Comment by csagel on November 23, 2010 at 3:35am
Good point.
It's also interesting that Judy, the communications officer, is not subtitled.

Comment by ddeubel on November 23, 2010 at 9:46pm
Yes, I forgot to remark about that but is another nail in the arguement that it isn't just "race" but really about power....
Comment by Anita Lauer on November 25, 2010 at 3:42am
I wish that English subtitles were everywhere. It would make lesson planning so much easier!

Comment by ddeubel on November 25, 2010 at 6:33pm

So true! One of the resources I've used extensively as an ESL teacher were the closed captioning services on most programs in Canada/US. As you said, it makes life easier.

I really think that countries like Sweden/Denmark that made subtitling in English mandatory for many TV programs, really got a societal benefit through it. I'm a big one for subtitling and its power (thus my interest in karaoke). 22 frames and dotsub are two resources for subtitled video online.

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