## Personal Blogs

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## Analysing Second Life interaction

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I made a first go at analysing some recordings of the Second Life sessions we did in April.  I was influenced by conversation analysis as described in Hutchby and Woofitt (2008) but did not do a full painstaking conversation analysis.

It is noticeable how often there is a spoken conversation going on at the same time as people were using text chat about often quite different issues.  It was also quite interesting to notice that students would sometimes write comments that undermined what was being said.  For example, one student was saying that speaking was quite simple in second life and a message popped up on the text chat saying "Not for me it wasn't.

Hutchby, I. and Woofitt, R (2008) Conversation Analysis Second Edition Cambridge: Polity.

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## linguistics in the media

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Monday, 13 Jun 2011, 09:43

An interesting article about bilingualism in The Observer today, showing the advantages of being bilingual.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/12/ellen-bialystok-bilingual-brains-more-healthy

The question about trilingualism raises important issues about the practicalities of linking this research to the configuration of the brain rather than social factors.  Presumably many people who learn a third language have done so as a choice (although there are many parts of the world where three languages are used).

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## Turnitin

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Increasingly universities are using Turnitin to check on whether assignments are being plagiarised and I was looking at the results for some student work yesterday.

It struck me that although it is useful, the findings have to be treated with caution.  One student had quite a high score but many of the hits related to her bibliography, which included the standard items.  Another student had 0% matches which seemed to indicate it was not related to any previous academic work so perhaps a very low score is also problematic.  Despite this, I think it does have a useful consciousness raising function for students making them aware of how they use sources.

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## Taunton Day School Handout 2

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Friday, 20 May 2011, 16:24

This is the second handout from the Taunton day school with brief notes in  italics.

Using grammatical analysis to be critical

Aims

1 To examine how texts with a strong stance can be analysed in terms of the course concepts you have covered.

2 To have an awareness of how these texts can be changed and the effects these would have.

A text with a clear position expressed

As you read through the text, fill in the following table:

 Field of the text Tenor Mode

Read through the text and underline what you think are significant indicators of the stance of the writers of this text.  How are they trying to manipulate/persuade the readers?

Some things to notice:

Stance - our

Governments would be selected ..... (cf "We would select.... )

modality

placement of Australia (trying to hide a big country?)

repetitions

 Our current tried and tested voting system gives everyone one vote and delivers clear outcomes. The Alternative Vote is a complicated, expensive and unfair system that gives some people more votes than others. It might sound like a small change but the danger is in the detail – it's a politicians' fix. Governments would be selected (espistemic) through backroom deals and people would have no control over where their vote goes. It should be (deontic) voters that decide who the best candidate is, not the voting system. Defend one person, one vote. Vote NO to AV on 5 May. Why Vote No AV is costlyThe change to AV will cost up to an additional £250 million. Local councils would have to waste money on costly electronic vote counting machines and expensive voter education campaigns. With ordinary families facing tough times can we really afford to spend a quarter of a billion pounds of taxpayers' money bringing in a new voting system? Schools and hospitals, or the Alternative Vote – that's the choice in this referendum. AV is complex and unfairThe winner should be the candidate that comes first, but under AV the candidate who comes second or third can actually be elected. That’s why it is used by just three countries in the world – Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea . Voters should decide who the best candidate is, not the voting system. We can't afford to let the politicians off the hook by introducing a loser's charter. AV is a politician's fixAV leads to more hung parliaments, backroom deals and broken promises like the Lib Dem tuition fees U-turn. Instead of the voters choosing the government, politicians would hold power. Under AV, the only vote that really counts is Nick Clegg's. We can't afford to let the politicians decide who runs our country. Vote NO to AV on 5 May 2011 NOtoAV is a campaign that has support from right across the country. Members of the public, trade unionists and members of several political parties are part of a campaign that has a common goal. Whilst we have many different views on what system of elections is best for Britain, we all believe that the Alternative Vote (AV) system will only damage Britain 's democracy   http://www.no2av.org/why-vote-no/ (accessed 4th May 2011)

Try making changes that will make the stance the opposite to the one given in the text. For example “Our current tried and tested voting system gives everyone one vote and delivers clear outcomes” could be changed to “Their old fashioned discredited system gives some people power and delivers unfair outcomes”.

How would you classify the kinds of changes you make?

Analysing an example of a text with the opposing position

How would you go about analyzing the position exemplified in the text below?

How is it similar to or different from the first text?

What are alternative verbs that could be used for the underlined ones and what difference would they make?

Things to note

- change of "must" in headline to "should".

- high density of the word "conservative" in the last two paragraphs.

# Britainmust change its electoral system – or slump back to Ukania

The AV system isn't/  might not be ideal, but it's the best choice we have. Voters should seize this opportunity: it will not come again

·

Today, Britain holds what is only its second national referendum, and the first to be unconditionally binding. It's a big day. Any British voter who wants this country to move towards a more open and responsive political system should turn out to say yes to the introduction of the alternative vote in general elections. That's a small first step, but others would follow.

Illustration by Matt Kenyon

If, as most opinion polls now suggest, the Noes have it, this will be a victory not just for the Conservatives, as a party, but for a small-c conservative, English view of how Britainshould be. It will be the political counterpart of last week's royal wedding. Those of us who want constitutional reform that keeps the baby of British traditions, but throws out the dirty bathwater, will be dunked right back in that bathwater. The conservative, English-dominated, ramshackle kingdom of Ukania (to borrow the Scottish writer Tom Nairn's ironic coinage) will endure, until eventually one of its constituent parts – probably Scotland – decides that enough is enough.n

It is amazing how the anger at the dysfunctional, corrupt old politics of Westminster , which exploded in 2009 over the issue of MPs' expenses, seems to have evaporated. "Our political system is broken," said the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition programme for government, published less than a year ago, and signed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Our system is broken – so don't fix it, says Cameron now, campaigning vigorously against electoral reform, stuffing an unreformed House of Lords with party placelings, and insisting only on a redrawing of constituency boundaries that benefits his party. Joining him to defend the first-past-the-post electoral system, many Labour veterans show themselves to be conservatives under the skin.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/05/av-electoral-reform-for-best (Accessed 5th May 2011)

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## A London Review of Books article on universities

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 19 May 2011, 09:40

Another LRB article on universities that questions some assumptions about Ivy League universities and the way that the government seems to be uncritical.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n10/howard-hotson/dont-look-to-the-ivy-league

The following is a key quote:

"Might markets have the beneficial side effect of driving up academic standards? Much depends on the measure you use; but the academic standard that markets are most likely to drive up is the one that matters most to high-fee-paying students: marks. Way back when, the average mark in the US was supposed to be a C. Nowadays, the more expensive the university, the higher the average mark, with the average in private universities now an A-minus. Why is grade inflation so closely correlated with fee inflation? The reason can easily be guessed. If you’ve attended one of America’s hundred costliest colleges or universities and paid upwards of $200,000 for a four-year degree, then it had better be a good one." Share post ## An article on SATS by Michael Rosen Visible to anyone in the world Edited by Patrick Andrews, Friday, 20 May 2011, 17:07 A very interesting article about the SATs taken a few days ago by many schoolchildren including my own son: http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/488574/6732581.aspx#6732581 Students of E303 and E844 might see links with some of the concerns of their courses. Share post ## Day school in Taunton - session 1 Visible to anyone in the world Edited by Patrick Andrews, Friday, 27 May 2011, 14:50 I led a couple of sessions here for the e303 course. I decided it would be useful to apply some of the contents of the course to the study of literary texts and to critical reading. The handout for the literature session is given below with some teacher notes in italics. ******************** The language of literature Discuss the following questions in groups. Is there anything distinctive about the language of literary texts? If so, what is it? If not, what helps you to decide whether a text is literary? The main feature is that they are deviant in some way. Look at the following extracts from the beginnings of literary texts to help you decide. What, if anything, do they have in common?  The Christening I am a sperm whale. I carry up to 2.5 tonnes of an oil-like balm in my huge coffin- shaped head. I have a brain the size of a basketball, and on that basis alone am entitled to my opinions. I am a sperm whale. When I breathe in, the fluid in my head cools to a dense wax and I nosedive into the depths. My song, available on compact disc is a comfort to divorcees, astrologists and those who have ‘pitched the quavering canvas tent of their thoughts on the rim of the dark crater’. …… Armitage, S. (2010) Seeing Stars London : Faber and Faber. The field here is somewhat deviant. It might also be said that there is some deviance textually in the repetition of "I am..." I also thought "brain the size of a basketball" was an adaptation of "brain the size of a planet".  1 Found Objects It began the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel. Sasha was adjusting her yellow eye shadow in the mirror when she noticed the bag on the floor beside the sink that must have belonged to the woman whose peeing she could faintly hear through the vaultlike door of a toilet stall. Inside the rim of the bag, barely visible, was a wallet made of green leather. Egan, J. (2010) A visit from the Good Squad London: Corsair. Again some of the subject matter (peeing) seemed deviant and there was also some textual deviance in the way that it refers to "the usual way" right at the beginning of the story before we know what usual way is.  I consider it my duty to forewarn the reader that the event described in this tale relates to a very distant time. Moreover, it is a complete invention. Mirgorod is now quite another place; the puddle in the middle of the town dried up ages ago, and the dignitaries, the judge, the clerk of the court and the mayor are all respected and well intentioned men. Gogol, N. (1834, translated Aplin H 2002) The Squabble London : Hesperus. This is a story that seems to be in a spoken mode in some ways and this is typical of Gogol's "skaz" technique. I also think there is textual deviance in the use of "Moreover" which contrasts with "a very distant time". So, it is not clear if the events are invented or just belong to a distant time. Also, the final sentence seems to throw both the distance and the invention into doubt. Linguistic tools that could be useful What are the linguistic concepts that you have learnt about so far on the course and how might they help you to analyse a literary text? Some examples would include unusual marking of theme and rheme. A corpus would help a reader to recognise unusual combinations or expressions that typically belong to clashing registers (in the Longman Grammar sense of the word). Which of the concepts, if any, might have revealed something about the texts above? Corpus linguistics, the textual function. Applying grammatical tools What strikes you as you read the extract below? The use of "I heard/I saw" # What I heard about Iraq in 2005 ## Eliot Weinberger In 2005 I heard that Coalition forces were camped in the ruins of Babylon . I heard that bulldozers had dug trenches through the site and cleared areas for helicopter landing pads and parking lots, that thousands of sandbags had been filled with dirt and archaeological fragments, that a 2600-year-old brick pavement had been crushed by tanks, and that the moulded bricks of dragons had been gouged out from the Ishtar Gate by soldiers collecting souvenirs. I heard that the ruins of the Sumerian cities of Umma, Umm al-Akareb, Larsa and Tello were completely destroyed and were now landscapes of craters. I heard that the US was planning an embassy in Baghdad that would cost$1.5 billion, as expensive as the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero, the proposed tallest building in the world.

I saw a headline in the Los Angeles Times that read: ‘After Levelling City, US Tries to Build Trust.’

I heard that military personnel were now carrying ‘talking point’ cards with phrases such as: ‘We are a values-based, people-focused team that strives to uphold the dignity and respect of all.’

I heard that 47 per cent of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein helped plan 9/11 and 44 per cent believed that the hijackers were Iraqi; 61 per cent thought that Saddam had been a serious threat to the US and 76 per cent said the Iraqis were now better off.

I heard that Iraq was now ranked with Haiti and Senegal as one of the poorest nations on earth. I heard the United Nations Human Rights Commission report that acute malnutrition among Iraqi children had doubled since the war began. I heard that only 5 per cent of the money Congress had allocated for reconstruction had actually been spent. I heard that in Fallujah people were living in tents pitched on the ruins of their houses.

I heard that this year’s budget included $105 billion for the War on Terror, which would bring the total to$300 billion. I heard that Halliburton was estimating that its bill for providing services to US troops in Iraq would exceed $10 billion. I heard that the family of an American soldier killed in Iraq receives$12,000.

I heard that the White House had deleted the chapter on Iraq from the annual Economic Report of the President, on the grounds that it did not conform with an otherwise cheerful tone.

Within a week in January I heard Condoleezza Rice say there were 120,000 Iraqi troops trained to take over the security of the country; I heard Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat from Delaware, say that the number was closer to 4000; I heard Donald Rumsfeld say: ‘The fact of the matter is that there are 130,200 who have been trained and equipped. That’s a fact. The idea that that number’s wrong is just not correct. The number is right.’

# Weinberger E (2006) “What I heard about Iraq in 2005” London Review of Books Volume 28, number 1: 7-1

Compare it to the following version.  What are the differences in terms of effect and which concept(s) from the course do you think could help explain the differences?

I think the concept of theme and rheme is very useful for examining the differences.

# Iraq in 2005

In 2005 Coalition forces were camped in the ruins of Babylon.  Bulldozers had dug trenches through the site and cleared areas for helicopter landing pads and parking lots, thousands of sandbags had been filled with dirt and archaeological fragments, a 2600-year-old brick pavement had been crushed by tanks, and the moulded bricks of dragons had been gouged out from the Ishtar Gate by soldiers collecting souvenirs. The ruins of the Sumerian cities of Umma, Umm al-Akareb, Larsa and Tello were completely destroyed and were now landscapes of craters.

The US was planning an embassy in Baghdad that would cost $1.5 billion, as expensive as the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero, the proposed tallest building in the world. A headline in the Los Angeles Times read: ‘After Levelling City, US Tries to Build Trust.’ Military personnel were now carrying ‘talking point’ cards with phrases such as: ‘We are a values-based, people-focused team that strives to uphold the dignity and respect of all.’ 47 per cent of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein helped plan 9/11 and 44 per cent believed that the hijackers were Iraqi; 61 per cent thought that Saddam had been a serious threat to the US and 76 per cent said the Iraqis were now better off. Iraq was now ranked with Haiti and Senegal as one of the poorest nations on earth. The United Nations Human Rights Commission reported that acute malnutrition among Iraqi children had doubled since the war began. Only 5 per cent of the money Congress had allocated for reconstruction had actually been spent. In Fallujah people were living in tents pitched on the ruins of their houses. This year’s budget included$105 billion for the War on Terror, which would bring the total to $300 billion. Halliburton was estimating that its bill for providing services to US troops in Iraq would exceed$10 billion.  The family of an American soldier killed in Iraq receives \$12,000.

The White House had deleted the chapter on Iraq from the annual Economic Report of the President, on the grounds that it did not conform with an otherwise cheerful tone.

Within a week in January Condoleezza Rice said there were 120,000 Iraqi troops trained to take over the security of the country;  Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat from Delaware, said that the number was closer to 4000; Donald Rumsfeld said: ‘The fact of the matter is that there are 130,200 who have been trained and equipped. That’s a fact. The idea that that number’s wrong is just not correct. The number is right.’

# Weinberger E (2006) “What I heard about Iraq in 2005” London Review of Books Volume 28, number 1: 7-1

For those who are interested in language analysis of literary texts, Short's (1996) book is very good.

Short, M. (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose Harlow: Longman.

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## Second Life - session 5

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Monday, 18 Apr 2011, 15:45
In many ways, this was a consolidation session with students presenting their responses to the design briefs.  The main functions were explaining and justifying the responses.
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## Second Life session 4

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Friday, 15 Apr 2011, 15:57

This session involved students in designing in response to design briefs set by other students.

There was a lot of exploratory talk (Mercer 2000) with students giving reasons for something (eg "Papier mache would be good because you can shape it) or for not choosing a particular course of action (If we used glue, it would make it unrecyclable").

There were three other phenomena that struck me.  Firstly, although there was a lot of talk, there were also silent episodes as students concentrated on the task.  Secondly, the boundaries between study and social life seemed to blur (Snyder 2000) as students chatted about their experiences after they had finished the task.  Thirdly, some of the students began to react against the use of pseudonyms.

Mercer N (2000) Words and Minds London: Routledge

Snyder I (2003) "A new communication order: researching literacy practices in the network society" in Goodman S., Lillis T, Maybin J and Mercer N (eds) (2003) Language, Literacy and Education: a Reader Stoke on Trent: Trentham

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## Second Life - session 3

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 19 May 2011, 15:50

Another interesting but rather different session.  We started in Second Life and then split into groups in Flash meetings for group discussions making use of a whiteboard before returning to Second Life for a plenary.  The group task involved clarifying the concept of fragility before setting a design brief for the other groups.

The move to Flash meetings was interesting psychologically as people moved from being avatars to being their real selves.  Many of the techniques for building meaning that Mercer refers to were apparent during this stage.  For example, there were reformulations “We can use the whiteboard” followed by “You can use the whiteboard” with the interesting change of pronoun perhaps helping the students to feel more responsibility.  There were also repetitions like “Breakable, yes”.   There were elicitations “If you think about a design brief, what would you have”.  There were also exhortations like “Great teamwork!”

The return to Second Life allowed for reflection on the task and to pass on information about the design briefs to be worked on.

The switches between Second Life and Flash Meetings seemed to work reasonably smoothly although there were some lags going between them.

Mercer N (2000) Words and Minds London : Routledge

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## Working in Second Life again

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 12 Apr 2011, 10:33

There was a second session last night, which was again interesting.  A lot of what I observed links with much of my other OU courses.

First of all it was noticeable how much the students learnt by talking to each other.  This was evident even before we really started when one student helped another in completing some questions about the concept of fragility.

The next part of the session involved the students in constructing objects so there were many language phenomena which were interesting.  These would seem to be language in action (Carter and McCarthy 1996).  One interesting feature was the use of informal language while on task - eg "It is tricky/it is a bit fiddly".  This reminds me somewhat of the hybridity referred to Gutierrez et al (2003).

There was a brief exchange in French between two French speaking students that was perhaps useful in enabling them to do the task.  Perhaps, this use of languages other than English could be encouraged, especially if it makes the task more efficient and then the students would need to report in English so they still have scope for practising the English they need.

References

Carter R and McCarthy M (1996) Exploring Spoken English Cambridge: CUP

Guttierez K., Baquedano-Lopez P, and Tejeda C (2003) "Rethinking diversity: hybridity and hybrid language practices in the third space" in Goodman S., Lillis T, Maybin J and Mercer N (eds) (2003) Language, Literacy and Education: a Reader Stoke on Trent: Trentham

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## Working in Second Life

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Monday, 11 Apr 2011, 09:24

I am doing some language support for some sessions on Second Life for some students studying design.

We had the first session and it seemed to go well.  Some general reflections are listed below:

- it is hard to control movements and it feels surprisingly embarassing when my avatar does strange actions like getting too close to others.

- the language used in the first discussion did not seem very technical but had features of general academic discourse - suggestions were made ("perhaps...." "might.....") and critiqued.

- text and voice is used, sometimes simultaneously which puts quite a demand on concentration.

- I gave brief feedback on language issues and the main items some students struggled with were my jargon (e.g "hedging").  This is understandable as they are not studying language but this makes it clear how much we get used to our own specialised terms.

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## Online group work

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014, 22:58

It has been interesting that online group work for L185 seems to have been particularly successful this time - it is working how it should.

It is noticeable that there is a lot of supportive chat going on as well as the task focused discussion.  There are many women in the groups and this does tend to confirm that women post more of what Rovai (2001: 41) calls “socio-emotional messages”.

Rovai, A.P. (2001) “Building classroom community at a distance: a case study” Education Technology Research and Development, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2001, pp. 33–48

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## Jonathon Frantzen's "Freedom"

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:17

I have recently finished this novel and it is interesting that he seems to be quite quotable in materials about language - he is featured in the E303 materials and I have used extracts from "The Corrections" in my face to face materials and some distance learning materials I wrote a few years ago.  I suspect this novel will also be used by materials writers.

In  particular, one of the main characters writes an autobiography featured near the beginning and later at the end of the book.  The title of this is "Mistakes were made" and this made me wonder why it was not "I made mistakes" or "The mistakes I made" in the first extract.  However, in the second extract, it becomes clear that it was not just the writer of the autobiography who made mistakes.

This is just one example of issues in the novel where the forms are significant for the meaning of the whole novel.

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## Guy Deutscher's "Through the Language Glass"

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 12:01

I have just finished reading this book.  It is argued that we can say anything we need to say in any language but that each language forces us to make some distinctions that others might not.  For example, in Russian, there is a need to decide whether something is siniy (dark blue) or goloboy (light blue).  This, he argues makes the distinction more significant in speakers of Russian than it is for those who do not speak Russian although most people can recognise different shades of blue and label them as we do in English by, for example, using light and dark.

There is another key example, which is that of Matses, a language spoken in Peru.  Here, speakers have to state how they know facts they state (Deutscher refers to them being like "the finickiest of lawyers" (page 153)).  There are separate verbal forms for whether you know something from direct viewing, inferred from evidence (eg a footprint), conjecture or from rumour.  This would presumably give listeners a good opportunity to be critical of other people's claims to knowledge.

Overall, a very interesting book although there are some aspects of the style that are slightly irritating such as a tendency to refer to language as weird or outlandish.

Reference

Deutscher G (2010) Through the Language Glass London: Heinemann.

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## Police interpreters

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:18

There are interesting reports in Private Eye (unfortunately, the web site does not seem to include the details) about the contracts for interpreters.

It seems that the job of interpreter is being deprofessionalised and there are many compromises with quality as a result of saving money.  One shocking case is where Czech interpretation is being used for Slovak users whereas in the Czech Republic, Slovak suspects are given interpreters using Slovak.  As well as the danger of misinterpretation of nuance, there are the general affective factors of suspects being helped by people who do not share the same language.

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## Sorry I Haven't a Clue and language

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:19

The comedy programme "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" could provide useful examples of many aspects of language analysis.  For example, last week there was a reference to 20,000 odd people in Thanet where the comedy derives from the fact that the odd could be attached to 20,000, meaning about 20,000 or to the people, meaning that the people are odd (strange).

It is interesting how often comedy can help us be aware of how language works in context/discourse.  McCarthy's(1991) book starts with an example from Morecombe and Wise.

McCarthy M (1991) Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers Cambridge: CUP

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## Reflections on yesterday's Elluminate

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:20
The session seemed to go okay and there was some useful content discussed but students seemed to prefer to use the texting option than speaking.  I would like future sessions to be more student centred.
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## Elluminate compared to Adobe Connect

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:20
I had a go with using Adobe Connect a few days ago.  It seems quite simple compared to Elluminate.  This is both good and bad.  From the point of view of students having problems connecting, Adobe Connect seems more successful but it seems to be more limited pedagogically.
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## Style in Tony Blair's autobiography

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:21

Another good article in the London Review of Books.  This time it is on Tony Blair's style in his autobiography.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n02/john-barnie/our-guy

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## very interesting article on how work is represented in language textbooks

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:21

This is a very interesting article on textbooks and the kinds of capitalistic perspectives that are often shown.  If any students of E844 are reading, they might see the links with Wallace's article and her reference to the overuse of topics like "diets, dating and dinner parties".

It is interesting that there are still analyses of "Streamline" and "Strategies" as I wonder if these are still used.  I think I remember Strategies as being quite critical as it says here.  I also remember reading an East German textbook with a portrait of a British working man who was a Morning Star reader.

Gray J (2010) "The Branding of English and The Culture of the New Capitalism: Representations of the world of Work in English Language Textbooks" Applied Linguistics 31/5: 714-733

http://applij.oxfordjournals.org.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/content/31/5/714.full.pdf+html

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:22

I have received a couple of issues of the technogogy newsletter at http://tinyletter.com/technogogy

It has been useful and interesting so far.

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## iTunesU

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:23

This is a great source of lectures and other academic content.  There is lots of Open University context.  It is useful for students of EAP as they can access their subject matter and also useful for Masters in Education students as there is so much relevant content.

There is an interesting lecture by Lightbown at http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/tc.columbia.edu.1389069061

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## Statistics and machine translation

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 10 Nov 2011, 14:44
There was an interesting TV programme on statistics last night on BBC4.  It was explained how statistics are used for machine translation.  The presenter who was Swedish was impressed with the results of a translation from Swedish to English but I was not so impressed as he was - perhaps different expectations.
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## Being critical

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:24

This is a tricky aspect for some students and I think it might need some clarification.  I think Poulson and Wallace is useful

Poulson and Wallace (2004: 6) suggest that it is important to:

·         Have a sceptical attitude towards your own and other people’s knowledge and how it has been produced

·         Have a habit of questioning knowledge and how this is produced

·         Scrutinise claims and check the evidence for them

·         Respect others’ points of view

·         Be open minded

·         Be constructive.

I think all of these points are useful.  Some students on courses I have taught on have seemed to think it is mainly about finding fault and criticise texts for not being totally different kinds of texts.

Poulson L and Wallace M (2004) Learning to read critically in Teaching and Learning London: Sage.

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