Published on June 15, 2007
CULTURAL DIVERSITY SEE ALSO “ETHNIC HUMOR”: CULTURAL DIVERSITY SEE ALSO 'ETHNIC HUMOR' by Don L. F. Nilsen ALLIE FARNLOFFPEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN MOLDOVA: ALLIE FARNLOFF PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN MOLDOVA I began my joke: Q: What do you call someone who knows 3 languages? A: A genius. Q: What do you call someone who knows 2 languages? A: Brillilant.' Q: What do you call someone who knows 1 language? A: An American. (Farnlof 5) Slide3: I waited for the bursts of laughter to begin, but…nothing. No roars of laughter, no giggles, not a squeal, not a smirk…nothing. What went wrong? I knew my grammar was perfect; my vocabulary was correct, my pronunciation was clear, and yet nothing. I leaned over and asked Nina, 'Don’t they get it?' Nina looked at me with disapproval. 'Why do you make a joke like that? It’s not funny! How can you speak only 1 language! We speak three. It’s shameful.' (Farnlof 6) Slide4: Diane-Elaine Popa mentions three components in understanding humor: ability, situation, and wordplay. 'Ability underscores the significance of cultural differences, which allow an individual to perceive a situation as humorous, or not. Situation identifies humor as a socially dependent event that relies heavily on interaction among the participants, and wordplay refers to the languge content in the humor' (Farnlof 7, Popa 48). Slide5: My joke failed simply because I did not take into account the social and cultural parameters set down by moldovan society. In a country with very few resources, people pride themselves in their multilingualism…. To think that Americans, with all our resources, would still speak only one language is unthinkable in the Moldovan mindset, and therefore nothing to laugh about' (Farnlof 7) THE COLOR PURPLE MODEL : THE COLOR PURPLE MODEL G. L. Robinson’s 'Color Purple' model is based on a very powerful metaphor. The model uses color symbolism to state that there are three lenses a language learner can use in viewing a new culture. It can be viewed through the eyes of the native culture (the blue lens), or through the eyes of the target culture (the red lens), or through bilingual eyes that compare, contrast, and blend the two cultures (the purple lens). Slide7: Only the purple lens (which is based on both the red and the blue lens) provides the complete picture, and only the purple lens is a dynamic and variable model that can accommodate differences of gender, ethnicity, immigration, and multiculturalism. This paper is significant in how it uses this 'Color Purple' metaphor to investigate cultural differences and the process of language and culture acquisition. (Robinson 117) SOME HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS: SOME HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS Discuss the history of religion in America. Discuss American imigration and porous borders to the North and to the South. Discuss color symbolism as it relates to ethnicity and gender. What is the significance of black, white, purple, blue, blonde, yellow, red, etc. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION For each of the following marginalized groups, discuss the development of rights, and discuss the affect of affirmative action on the development of these rights. Women Gays Blacks Hispanics Native Americans Asians POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FACE: POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FACE Positive face is for social bonding. Negative face is for autonomy and power. Explain how face is used differently by the following groups: Women Gays Blacks Hispanics Native Americans Asians ENGLISH ONLY VS. CULTURAL DIVERSITY: ENGLISH ONLY VS. CULTURAL DIVERSITY What are the advantages of the English-only movement? What are the advantages of cultural diversity? Is there a middle ground? CONTRAST CHINESE AND ENGLISH: CONTRAST CHINESE AND ENGLISH Contrast Chinese 'I' and English 'I' 'Chinese can’t hear Americans at all; the language is too soft and western music unhearable. I’ve watched a Chinese audience laugh, visit, talk-story, and holler during a piano recital' (Clark, 17) BILINGUAL ISSUES: BILINGUAL ISSUES Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your native language or dialect in terms of mountains and trails, and streams. Should America be considered a 'melting pot,' or an salad in terms of bilingualism? !SHAKESPEARE IN THE BUSH: !SHAKESPEARE IN THE BUSH 'Sometime,' concluded the old man, gathering his ragged toga about him, 'you must tell us some more stories of your country. We, who are elders, will instruct you in their true meaning, so that when you return to your own land your elders will see that you have not been sitting in the bush, but among those who know things and who have taught you wisdom' (Clark, 35) !!BASIL BERNSTEIN: !!BASIL BERNSTEIN Basil Bernstein distinguished between a 'restricted code' and an elaborated code.' Explain. !!!BENJAMIN WHORF & HENRY LOUIS GATES: !!!BENJAMIN WHORF andamp; HENRY LOUIS GATES CONTRAST: 'Linguistic Determinism,' or Linguistic Relativity' Discuss Henry Louis Gates’ The Signifying Monkey. What is 'signifying,' and how does it advantage marginalized groups? What is 'Prototype Theory?' What is 'marking' and how does it advantage eccentric characters in sit coms, etc.? Slide17: References # 1: Caldas, Stephen and Suzanne Caron-Caldas’ 'Rearing Bilingual Children in a Monolingual Culture: A Louisiana Experience' (Clark, 514-525). Clark, Virginia, Paul Eschholz, and Alfred Rosa. Language: Readings in Language and Culture, 6th Edition. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. Bohannan, Laura. 'Shakespeare in the Bush' (Clark, 27-40) . Cunha, Edite. 'Talking in the New Land' (Clark, 3-12). Davies, Christie. The Mirth of Nations. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2002. Eschholz, Paul, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark. Language Awareness: Readings for College Writers, 9th Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. Slide18: References # 2: Doloff, Steven. 'Racism and the Risks of Ethnic Humor' (Eschholz 273-275). Erdem, Ebru. 'Culture Learning and Teaching in the ESL College Writing Classroom: A Model for Second Culture Acquisition.' Portfolio Paper. Tempe, AZ: ASU, April 10, 2006. Eschholz, Paul, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark. 'Prejudice, Discrimination, and Stereotypes.' Language Awareness: Readings for College Writers, Ninth Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005, 215-290. Farnlof, Allie. 'English Language Graffiti and Verbal Humor in Modern Day Romanian and Moldovan Society.' Tempe, AZ: LIN 515 Paper, April 11, 2006 Slide19: References # 3: Hadjistassou, Stella. 'Cultural Diversity.' Tempe, AZ: PowerPoint Presentation, April 7, 2006. Hale, Constance. 'How Do You Say Computer in Hawaiian?' (Clark, 503-513). Jones, Rachel. 'Not White, Just Right' (Clark, 489-491). Kingston, Maxine Hong. 'Finding a Voice' (Clark, 13-18). Slide20: References # 4: Lord, Nancy 'Native Tongues' (Clark, 19-26). Popa, Diana-Elena. 'Jokes in Translation.' Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 13 (2005): 48-57. Robinson, G. L. 'Second Culture Acquisition.' in Linguistics and Language Pedagogy: The State of the Art. Ed. James E. Alatis. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1991, 114-122. Rodriguez, Richard. 'Bilingual Education: Outdated and Unrealistic' (Clark, 479-482). Schiffrin, Deborah. Approaches to Discourse. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1994. Whittemore, Katharine. 'Saving California Languages' (Clark, 492-502).