Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Albert Whitehead: Implications for Second Language Learning



“Whitehead's famous pedagogical trilogy - Romance, Precision, Generalization - provides a nice symmetry to the discipline/freedom paradox.  It neither denies the role that choice plays in embracing an educational arena nor does it let us "off the hook" when it comes to our responsibility to come under a discipline's "discipline." (Gramenz, 2015)
In this blog I take one area of scholarly endeavor and "walk it through" the three stages. I discuss how I "fell in love with this area (Romance), the steps I took to learn the details (Precision), and how I have practically applied this area (Generalization). 
Learning English as a Second Language is the perfect example of how I became passionate about a subject.

Romance: When I was an adolescent, I was a hopeless romantic (I still am!). I always listened to romantic music and I was in love with the concept of love. All romantic music would speak to my heart and I wanted to meet prince charming. I went to see the movie Footloose with Kevin Bacon. I was young and the movie spoke to my heart. The rebelliousness, the love, the music, it was the perfect movie. I bought the sound track. I felt in love with the music. I wanted to sing the songs. The sound track came with the lyrics, I learned the basics of the English Language because of I fell in love with music. I wanted to learn more.

Precision: There comes the hard work. I asked my dad to help me pay to take English classes. I was in college. The more I learned English, the more I was able to sing popular songs. I studied English as a Second Language for 3 years. Hard work, lots of grammar rules but I loved it. I had to apply myself to learn the language well. The more I knew, the more I wanted to know.

Generalization: As a professional at one of the largest universities in Mexico City, I needed to have an academic experience abroad. I was able to get a scholarship and I became a Junior Research Scholar at the University of California in Irvine. I met my husband to be there, who doesn’t speak Spanish. I got married and I moved to Fresno more than 16 years ago.
Not a long time ago, I watched again the original Footloose movie. That was such a completion of a cycle. I am a Seventh Day Adventist (liberal), I speak English, and I love music. The movie was such a piece of art in my own perspective! I never realized that the language that I learned for the love of music, served as the language of love for my particular circumstances. I am married to an American citizen who only speaks English. I love the English language. Yes, I do have an accent and it gets me into sticky situations at time but in general, people love that I sound different. I was very dedicated trying to learn a second language because it spoke to my heart. Interestingly enough, life came to a perfect circle when I fell in love and married someone that spoke the language that I had learned with so much dedication and patience. You never know how second language learning might change your life.

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