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  • November 10, 2016
  • 05:29 AM
  • 826 views

Building bridges in a divided world

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

As I am trying to finalize the manuscript for the second revised edition of my 2011 book Intercultural Communication: A...... Read more »

Markus, A. (2016) Australians Today: The Australia@2015 Scanlon Foundation Survey. Scanlon Foundation. info:/

  • November 4, 2016
  • 12:10 AM
  • 872 views

Stereotyped ethnic names as a barrier to workplace entry

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Who of the three women in this image do you think German employers are most likely to consider as a...... Read more »

  • October 31, 2016
  • 03:03 AM
  • 687 views

Room 33 Revisited

by teofilo in Gambler's House

In my post about the recent radiocarbon dating of macaw remains from Chaco Canyon, I mentioned another paper I’ve been meaning to post about. Published in 2010 by Steve Plog and Carrie Heitman of the University of Virginia, it takes a close look at burial practices at Chaco, particularly focusing on the northern burial cluster […]... Read more »

Plog, S., & Heitman, C. (2010) Hierarchy and social inequality in the American Southwest, A.D. 800-1200. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(46), 19619-19626. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1014985107  

  • October 27, 2016
  • 03:30 AM
  • 779 views

What makes foreigners weird? A quick guide to orientalism

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

One of the central arguments of my book Intercultural Communication is that, even today, much intercultural communication is approached from...... Read more »

Piller, I. (2011) Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. info:/

  • October 22, 2016
  • 04:10 PM
  • 803 views

Red meat and organs may pose a significant health hazard

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Neu5Gc, a non-human sialic acid sugar molecule common in red meat that increases the risk of tumor formation in humans, is also prevalent in pig organs, with concentrations increasing as the organs are cooked, a study has found. The research suggests that Neu5Gc may pose a significant health hazard among those who regularly consume organ meats from pigs.

... Read more »

  • October 10, 2016
  • 08:15 PM
  • 832 views

How States Promote Global English: Shifting Priorities in Education

by Peter Ives in Language on the Move

We are repeatedly told that people around the world are choosing to learn and use English. The media and many...... Read more »

  • October 8, 2016
  • 03:31 PM
  • 840 views

Concentrating on the social billions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using online social media does not lead to long-term problems with our ability to concentrate, according to new research. We are social animals, so it is really no surprise that billions of us now use online tools to communicate, educate and inform each other. The advent of social media and social networking has nevertheless been phenomenally rapid.

... Read more »

Doss, S., Carstens, D., & Kies, S. (2016) Episodic social media impact on users. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 4(3), 273. DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2016.079505  

  • October 1, 2016
  • 04:20 PM
  • 692 views

Nature or nurture: is violence in our genes?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nature or nurture? The quest to understand why humans kill one another has occupied the minds of philosophers, sociologists and psychologists for centuries. Are we innately violent, as Englishman Thomas Hobbes postulated in the 1650s, or is our behaviour influenced more by the environment we grow up in, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorised a century later?

... Read more »

Gómez, J., Verdú, M., González-Megías, A., & Méndez, M. (2016) The phylogenetic roots of human lethal violence. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature19758  

  • September 29, 2016
  • 12:36 PM
  • 797 views

No Population Continuity Between Pre Toba Eruption And Extant Humans In India

by Suvrat Kher in Rapid Uplift

Stone tools and fossils suggest that an early wave of Homo sapiens may have migrated into India as early as 100K years ago. Did these migrants leave a genetic trace in present day Indians.. ... Read more »

Mallick, S., Li, H., Lipson, M., Mathieson, I., Gymrek, M., Racimo, F., Zhao, M., Chennagiri, N., Nordenfelt, S., Tandon, A.... (2016) The Simons Genome Diversity Project: 300 genomes from 142 diverse populations. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature18964  

Groucutt, H., Petraglia, M., Bailey, G., Scerri, E., Parton, A., Clark-Balzan, L., Jennings, R., Lewis, L., Blinkhorn, J., Drake, N.... (2015) Rethinking the dispersal of out of Africa . Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 24(4), 149-164. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21455  

  • September 29, 2016
  • 02:21 AM
  • 830 views

Urban sociolinguistics in Dubai

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A couple of years ago, I mused here on Language on the Move what linguistic theory would look like if...... Read more »

Piller, I. (2016) Dubai: Language in the ethnocratic, corporate and mobile city. Smakman, D. and P. Heinrich. Eds. Metrolinguistics: Urban Language Ecologies around the World. info:/

  • September 21, 2016
  • 01:46 AM
  • 842 views

Can ESL teachers play a role in helping maintain the home language?

by Agnes Bodis in Language on the Move








ESL teachers play an important role in home language maintenance (Image Credit: Macquarie University)
Learning the host country’s language is important for migrants but we should not forget that maintaining the home language is just as essential for the next generation’s success in life. Unfortunately, in Australia there are no policies in place that support the home language maintenance of languages other than English. In the absence of top-down approaches, changing teacher beliefs can be a grassroots way to support bilingual education and combat migrant disadvantage.
I teach “Planning and programming in TESOL” for English language teachers as part of the Graduate Certificate of TESOL program at Macquarie University in Sydney. A great proportion of our students are in-service teachers who have decided to specialize in English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) teaching. EAL/D teaching is delivered in a variety of ways, which include providing support to students who need help with English alongside a class teacher or collecting EAL/D students into a separate group and providing full-time intensive support. In 2015, 251,336 students (32.3% of all students) enrolled in New South Wales government schools had a language background other than English. And over 145, 000 students (ca. 20%) were learning English as an additional language.
Home language maintenance
As one of the assessment tasks, our in-service teacher students analyse their teaching context and pinpoint salient features in the given context. Many of them identify the fact that EAL/D students in Australian schools do not speak English at home as problematic. This view constitutes a ‘deficit’ model of bilingualism, meaning it concentrates on what negative effects speaking a minority language might have for migrant children and speaking another language is simply seen as an obstacle on the way towards integration.
How can we turn this belief around so that bilingualism comes to be seen as an advantage? Highlighting the long-term educational and cognitive effects of bilingualism constitutes one strategy. These benefits have been covered widely in the media (e.g., here) and also here on Language on the Move (e.g., here). Economic benefits may be another long-term effect of home language maintenance. US research has found that bilingual children of migrants have higher earnings in adulthood than their English-dominant counterparts (Agirdag, 2016, see here for details) and that biliteracy is associated with better educational and occupational attainment (Lee & Hatteberg, 2016, see here for details).
In sum, research consistently points to the fact that bilingualism should have priority in education over fast assimilation into the dominant language group for the future benefit of the children.
Contesting monolingualism in language policy
To enable a positive bilingual strategy, it needs to be backed up by language policy. Australian language and language-in-education policies unfortunately consistently result in monolingualism, as Schalley, Guillemin & Eisenchlas (2015) found in an examination of literacy policies from the past 30 years. These researchers found that “the more multilingual Australian society has become, the more assimilationist the policies and the more monolingual the orientation of the society politicians envisage and pursue” (p. 170). Much of this assimilation to English monolingualism is achieved indirectly. This means that even if language policies appear to promote and value diversity and bilingual learning, they may result in monolingual outcomes: “standardized assessment, year-group performance targets and league tables undermine diversity and bilingual learning and can be highly damaging to the academic achievement of minority students” (Piller, 2016, p. 139).
What can be done to overcome the monolingual bias of our language policies that fly in the face of the research evidence to support the benefits of bilingualism? Schalley, Guillemin & Eisenchlas (2015) emphasise the importance of grassroots activism to enhance home language literacy. It is precisely here where our TESOL program aims to make a difference.
Teachers as grassroots language activists
All too frequently we hear stories of migrant families changing the home language to English in response to advice from their child’s ESL teachers. To parents, recommendations like these may appear to be based on professional authority but they are not backed up by research. The English language learning benefits of switching the home language may be minimal, particularly if the parents lack confidence in their own English. Against this small or non-existent short-term English gains, we must consider the long-term harm to the home language: changing the home language to English deprives EAL/D children of the long-term educational and economic benefits of bilingualism.
Research related to the benefits of bilingualism and to strategies to support bilingualism at home and in school need to be available to teachers. An ideal platform for this is through teacher education, as in our TESOL program. Changing teacher beliefs must be considered an important form of grassroots activism for a bilingual Australia while we work towards a national language policy for our times.
References
Agirdag, O. (2016). The Long-Term Effects of Bilingualism on Children of Immigration: Student Bilingualism and Future Earnings. In I. Piller (Ed.), Language and Migration (Vol. 4, pp. 341-358). London: Routledge.
Lee, J. C., & Hatteberg, S. J. (2016). Bilingualism and Status Attainment among Latinos. In I. Piller (Ed.), Language and Migration (Vol. 4, pp. 359-386). London: Routledge.
Piller, I. (2016). Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice : An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
Schalley, A., Guillemin, D., & Eisenchlas, S. (2015). Multilingualism and assimilationism in Australia’s literacy-related educational policies International Journal of Multilingualism, 12 (2), 162-177 DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2015.1009372







... Read more »

  • September 15, 2016
  • 12:24 AM
  • 897 views

Language and migration

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Humans are a migratory species. Although in modern society the dominant imagery we have created about ourselves is that it...... Read more »

Piller, I. (2016) Language and migration. Language and migration, 1-20. info:/

  • September 13, 2016
  • 04:48 PM
  • 636 views

Entitlement -- a damning recipe for happiness

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Entitlement--a personality trait driven by exaggerated feelings of deservingness and superiority--may lead to chronic disappointment, unmet expectations and a habitual, self-reinforcing cycle of behavior with dire psychological and social costs, according to new research. In a new theoretical model, researchers have mapped how entitled personality traits may lead to a perpetual loop of distress.

... Read more »

  • September 10, 2016
  • 04:09 PM
  • 876 views

Social connectedness can increase suicide risk

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Community characteristics play an important role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists who examined clusters in a single town. The study illustrates how the homogeneous culture and high degree of social connectedness of a community can increase suicide risk, particularly among teenagers.

... Read more »

  • September 6, 2016
  • 01:34 AM
  • 875 views

Why a multilingual social imagination matters

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2016 annual conference of the British Association of Applied...... Read more »

  • September 4, 2016
  • 04:25 PM
  • 641 views

Parents' math skills 'rub off' on their children

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Parents who excel at math produce children who excel at math. This is according to a recently released study, which shows a distinct transfer of math skills from parent to child. The study specifically explored intergenerational transmission--the concept of parental influence on an offspring's behavior or psychology--in mathematical capabilities.

... Read more »

  • September 2, 2016
  • 03:21 PM
  • 672 views

Babies chew on subtle social, cultural cues at mealtime

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

At the dinner table, babies do a lot more than play with their sippy cups, new research suggests. Babies pay close attention to what food is being eaten around them - and especially who is eating it. The study adds evidence to a growing body of research suggesting even very young children think in sophisticated ways about subtle social cues.

... Read more »

Liberman, Z., Woodward, A., Sullivan, K., & Kinzler, K. (2016) Early emerging system for reasoning about the social nature of food. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(34), 9480-9485. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605456113  

  • September 2, 2016
  • 11:28 AM
  • 741 views

Red Kangaroo

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

The Eatles are chomping on the remains of a red kangaroo. Come learn about some of the anatomical specializations in this fascinating animal.... Read more »

  • August 30, 2016
  • 06:48 PM
  • 696 views

How to Live a Life with More Positive Than Negative Feelings?

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Decision-making is the cognitive process of choosing a preferred option from among a set of options (Wilson and Keil 2001). Decision-making is present through every aspect of life, and making good decisions for every important occasion during lifetime is a human being’s constant endeavor (Garnham 2016). Historically, religion and philosophy have been the only domains […]... Read more »

  • August 30, 2016
  • 12:06 PM
  • 829 views

When Less Is More: The Costs Of Corporate Control

by Yuliya Ponomareva in United Academics

Something smells fishy about corporate governance today... Read more »

Yuliya Ponomareva. (2016) Costs and Benefits of Delegation: Managerial Discretion as a Bridge between Strategic Management and Corporate Governance. Linnaeus University Press. info:other/978-91-88357-09-0

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