In an ever globalising world like ours, you can be born anywhere on the sphere (Perhaps, Antarctica is a less likely destination but still… there are plenty of places to be born on our planet.) You have an instant advantage in becoming the master of your culture and native tongue the moment you are born. You begin learning your native tongue without even being aware of the process. It’s total immersion.You do not even remember learning how to speak it, read it or write it. It’s almost automatic like breathing.
The first action we learn right after being born! Every soul born, masters it in just a few seconds. Everybody is excellent at it… We can easily say that we are all native breathers! Now, imagine that you are hired as a native breathing-instructor to teach how to breathe to a bunch of newborns (and just for the fun of it, imagine that they cannot learn it by themselves). What would you do? How would you even start? What would your first instruction be?
Open your mouth and suck in air through your mouth or nose???
In theory, being a native and having it done a zillion times, you should be an excellent teacher at Breathing – 101. However, that’s not the case, is it? Think about Albert Einstein or Dr.Michio Kaku (if you want a more contemporary example)! Did they start gaining scientific knowledge right from the time they were born? Were they native physicists? The answer is a big “no”. But, noone can claim that they are (or would be) “not so competent” in teaching Physics, can they? We should look at the non-native language teachers the same way. There may be marvels among us (language teachers) who will always fall behind in job hunts just because we are not passport holders of a country that we are teaching the language of. Having mastered the target language for decades will not put you in front of a native candidate (in a job application) who has no experience in teaching! Sometimes the label is more important than the content.
I have no intention of offending native language teachers in this article, but don’t we at least, deserve an equal chance in professional life? Below are some points which might make non-native language teachers a choice at least:
Non-native language teachers…
* have gone through a similar learning process as their pupils and can identify the tough parts in learning the target language and take precautions…
* can explain unexpected questions about grammar points as they have not learned it unconsciously unlike native teachers…
* can adjust their level of English according to the students’ level and communicate much easier with them…
* are more intercultural and aware…
* have better sppelign, speeling, splenig….spelleing…. (or maybe I should leave this one out)
I want to know what you think. Please comment!!!
It’s our world now… we live in a realm where nobody knows anything. No one cares anymore; not the nobility, not the simple peasants, not even the nosy people you run into here and there. Nope. The hope is long gone and all that remains are the distant noises of some inner conflicts one might have, barely audible like northern winds on a warm summer night. Knowledge is what we lack and somehow we have no intention of reaching for answers even if it knocks on our doors. Answers are not welcome anymore. We have become noobs where once experts thrived in this world.
A change might be coming, hiding behind a simple yes/no question. You have to decide NOw….
Show me the existence of wordless communication, where sweet looks and gentle touches do the talking…
Turn me into a bedroom mirror, so I can watch you fall into sleep every night…and wake up with every light…
Equip me with a brand new collection of a 1000 words of love to describe my never-ending feelings…
Allow me to enclose you all over in my octopus arms…
Kiss me so deeply, sucking the air in until it runs out in my lungs…
Build me someone immune to infinite cuddles…if you can’t be the one…
And, if that’s the case… then,
Rip my soul in two…so that I can be sure that someone capable of true love like me, exists in this realm…
P.S: Lol….the first letter of each line, spells out STEAK BAR! Perhaps, my true love…
A second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year…are some of the time related vocabulary invented by us; people, trying to have a global standard in measuring time. It’s a good thing that we had the movement of the sun to base our newest concept on or else we would be timeless in a maelstrom of confusion.
Is each unit of time mentioned above, really the same in length for everyone or are they subjective?
A minute feels like eternity at your first kiss …
Perhaps, we feel that way because 1 minute is 60 seconds…and 60 is more than 1… regardless of the word that follows it.
A minute can also feel much shorter than a millisecond when you’re standing by the deathbed of a loved one.
The same logic can be applied here as 1 minute can be 0.0166666667 hours which is a tiny fraction of a whole.
No matter how long it is…a minute is never sufficient.
As technology keeps developing, we start drifting away from other individuals of flesh and blood close to us, trapping ourselves in prisons of solitude of our own doing (like social media…and oh! The irony!). Soon, we realize what we are desperately looking for… ; being connected to others in the first place, creating a weird dilemma … perhaps strangers but people…to real people who are geographically distanced hundreds of miles apart.
Our quest to find such connections has also affected the language we had been using for ages in unimaginable ways (though if I’m writing it here, it’s imaginable).
The term “selfie” is a good word to demonstrate how much we progressed in terms of being connected to others; the society.
The verb/slash preposition “like” nearly became more commonly used in its “noun” form in an overnight with the sudden impact of the social media like (here it’s a preposition) Facebook, Twitter and instagram. As we started liking (and here it’s a verb) weird looking babies’ pictures along with photos of cats, we started enjoying the impact of being liked by people whom we have never met in person. Then, the number of “likes” (and here it’s a plural noun) started to matter. Some people even paid (or still pay) money to purchase virtual followers or automatic likers. The quality of the content we like has also degraded from real works of art to masterpieces of rubbish that our stranger friends post daily. We like to be liked and this makes us proud somehow.
Here are the specifics of a social experiment I did a while ago: I posted the picture below on one of my social media accounts without a caption and guess how many “likes” I got?
38 likes within minutes…Wow! Maybe I do have some artistic qualities I’m not aware of.
P.S: Hit the like button for this article to honor the content and I’ll like one of your…err…stuff you posted online.
In our infancy, we were taught the wickedness of lying and that we should always be honest towards other kids/people.
Not much time passes before we learn that a society without lies is an utopia. You may have realized this at an early stage (if you’re smart enough) when your parents lie to you to protect you (or at least this is how they defend themselves). That’s the initial shock.
The next stage is in adapting to the society is conceptualizing the degree of lying; believing that white lies are actually necessary to secure a spot amongst friends or society.
Imagine your best friend asking how her new, but horrible dress (let’s say it’s yellow) looks… I can almost hear you saying “Nice”, especially avoiding stronger positive adjectives or exclamations like “wow!” which we consider to be a form of lying. The use of the word “nice” and rolling your eyes to avoid further eye contact really helps you to remain besties.
But, it’s still lying, isn’t it? What is worse is that you’re lying to your best friend…
So, what can be done to ensure not pissing your mate while uttering words of truth.
The answer is simple: Bending the truth! Or not having to lie but still sharing your true opinion/emotions. But how?
Okay, the first lesson is free: “Bending the Truth 101″…
All you have to do is to mumble something barely audible like “hmmm”, following a statement somewhat true : “I think, it would suit you much better if it was in blue”
The key phrase here is “much better”… as “better” doesn’t always mean good. However, it can make the transition from “terrible” to a plain “bad”. The real message you convey would be “Your dress looks bad!”
Another tip is to select words wisely. Here’s another case I once read in an ELT Activity book:
A little girl goes to her mother and asks if she could have ice-cream before dinner. The mother says no. Then, the little girl goes to her father to ask him the same question. The father asks her if she had asked her mother. The girl nods her head in confirmation. The father says “Then, I suppose you can have one”. The girl runs happily towards the ice-cream stash.
Does the girl have a hidden agenda? Yes
Is she lying? No.
Here’s a personal story; I used to live only a couple of blocks from my previous work place (which was on a very busy street) and it usually took me 3 minutes to walk to work. Nobody knew where I lived so whenever I was late for a meeting I would tell my boss that there was heavy traffic (which was indeed true although it never affected me).
No lying, no hard feelings…
As I got older, I mastered truth bending and got along pretty well with friends. But, it wasn’t enough. I started dreaming of a world of total honesty like in the Ricky Gervais movie “The invention of Lying”.
Then, I decided to give it a try; being totally honest with everyone. I lost many friends but the ones who remained… they became my true friends because when you’re totally honest, they become the same and you begin to share the most intimate secrets with each other…That’s priceless…The connection becomes concrete…
You should give it a try to see for yourself.
P.S: I do think this is not one of my best work… but it is to the point… and I admit I’m expecting a few good words about this entry nevertheless.
What’s your favorite letter in the alphabet?
It may sound like a weird question but I believe everyone has that one favorite letter and people are drawn to it whenever they hear its unique sound that sets off a tingle in the soul.
Mine is the letter “o”. It has always been. I love how it’s articulated more than its round shape and marvelous curve, so it’s not physical attraction obviously. It’s much deeper.
Check out some of my favorite words in English regardless of their meanings: Parasol, Pastoral, Aroma, Slope, Mountain, Mojo, Oyster, Coral and Loo. And have you ever heard a more beautiful preposition than “Over”? They all contain the letter I have always been in love with even though not every combination works out for me. The word “telephone” repels me instead. Perhaps, I have heard it countless times from other people, strangers around me and it doesn’t feel special, unique and not only mine anymore.
I can never explain my attraction towards “o” but here’s a theory; all the words that have great significance for life, have it inside somewhere: Oxygen, Love, Soul, God, Women, People, Booze, Bacon…
And the names “Zoe”, “Monique” and “Olivia” have always drawn me to their owners.
Weird but my first girlfriend ever, who was not that attractive other than being a redhead, was the proud owner of the name “Rosemary”.
Before I finish… I want to mention how I find new music to my taste: I just Google (another sexy word) music, scroll down names of unheard bands and click on the band or the song name that attracts me. You’ll never believe how that will work out for you. If I hadn’t done that I would have never enjoyed “The Mojo Men”, “Voodoo Sex Stuff”, “Coeur de Pirate” and “Katja Vandl”.
The moral of this article?
From now on, pay attention to the people you meet, the new words that you encounter and their names and see who or what you are attracted to, to find your own favorite letter or sound.