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  #21  
Old 21.04.2011, 23:31
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Re: Non-native German kids became majority in Zurich

I was not talking about ingeneering st2lemans
The idea is only that the thought is only thought if you can prove that you have thought it, and for that proof, you need language. Whether that means that thought and language are one and the same thing or not is an open debate that I would continue in a phisolophy forum, not here

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  #22  
Old 22.04.2011, 00:07
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Re: Non-native German kids became majority in Zurich

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The idea is only that the thought is only thought if you can prove that you have thought it, and for that proof, you need language.
Or to build a device that proves your point!

To quote ZZTop "I'll be back for you, jack, and I'll let the machine speak!"

Tom
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  #23  
Old 22.04.2011, 10:34
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Re: Non-native German kids became majority in Zurich

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I was not talking about ingeneering st2lemans
The idea is only that the thought is only thought if you can prove that you have thought it, and for that proof, you need language. Whether that means that thought and language are one and the same thing or not is an open debate that I would continue in a phisolophy forum, not here
I actually remember taking the Otis Lennon Ability test back in gradeschool. It was fun. It had a lot of "what is the next shape in the pattern" type questions. In any case, there is a certain amount of Hubris in the suggestion that somebody has only thought if and when you yourself have the ability to discern this fact. Even more so if your ability is limited to word based communication.

I'm willing to accept crossword puzzles as a way to exercise the mind and sharpen the wit. But as tempting a thought as the Worf hypothesis is, it is wrong.
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  #24  
Old 22.04.2011, 10:58
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Re: Non-native German kids became majority in Zurich

What you call fact and construction (engeneering) is in fact a language construct in the same way you see it as visual construct. The pure logic expressed by maths has its own language, the recognition of a shape is also the visualization of the task expressed by the wording of the question that you process conceptually and need not saying the words out loud expressing your reasonning to actually still have a word conceptual processing of the task. The idea of logic link between two objects of your thoughts is the expression of the articulation of the concept of consequence. In other word, image and language work the same way. The base for this philosophy of language is Wittgenstein's works, see his interpretation of the Abbildtheorie (sorry no idea how he named it in English). But EF is not the place to conduct this conversation, from what I've seen so far.
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  #25  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:01
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

I'm not so much worried about non German speaking kids resp. those who cannot speak it good enough. The problem of a narrow minded and non-creative teacher is worrying me far more.
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  #26  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:04
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

Problem of some engineers is that they can't write a decent report. Great technical expertise is useless if you can't explain it. My theory is that they did not acquire decent language knowledge.
whatever is well conceived is clearly said... and the words to say it flow with ease. (Boileau).
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  #27  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:05
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

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The problem of a narrow minded and non-creative teacher is worrying me far more.
What would be a not-narrow minded and creative teacher?
I'm keen on learning and I am not sure exactly what you refer to (I don't know primary school well, I must admit, I am at the other end of the system, ten years later).
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  #28  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:09
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

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(...)
The problem of a narrow minded and non-creative teacher is worrying me far more.
I won't blame the teacher. I think they are also limited by the education system & rules. It's not easy to bend the rules. I have my kids in a Montessori school and the teachers have more room for creative teaching.
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  #29  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:18
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

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It's not easy to bend the rules.
It's forbidden to bend the rules... see definition of rules. I know that I get on every body's nerves by refering all the time to the dictionnary, but doing so is a great way of understanding the country better. Even in Montessori school you do not bend Montessori's rules, just any other rules of your liking. Just like I can bend the rules of other institutions or cultures but not the ones of my employer...
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  #30  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:25
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

I meant the discussion or "problem" (whatever you name it) is a fact in schools in Zurich, so I would assume the teachers or the ones responsible for the schooling system would think about it and offer solutions.

And no I'm not meaning the recent SVP placard saying "Schweizerdeutsch im Kindergarten".

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What would be a not-narrow minded and creative teacher?
I'm keen on learning and I am not sure exactly what you refer to (I don't know primary school well, I must admit, I am at the other end of the system, ten years later).
Creative in accepting facts and offering proper solutions. Re narrow minded thinking: as mentioned by some posters, e.g. your kid cannot speak German, as a fact they cannot go a class further, to next level education, to university etc. etc.



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I won't blame the teacher. I think they are also limited by the education system & rules. It's not easy to bend the rules. I have my kids in a Montessori school and the teachers have more room for creative teaching.
Yes that's right. But blaming the system will not get you anywhere.
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  #31  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:28
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

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It's forbidden to bend the rules... see definition of rules. I know that I get on every body's nerves by refering all the time to the dictionnary, but doing so is a great way of understanding the country better. Even in Montessori school you do not bend Montessori's rules, just any other rules of your liking. Just like I can bend the rules of other institutions or cultures but not the ones of my employer...
like a bamboo tree bend but don't break Discussion will probably come to mentioning "Dead poets society".
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  #32  
Old 22.04.2011, 11:33
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

Here is a cultural difference.
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  #33  
Old 22.04.2011, 12:02
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Re: Non-native German kids became majority in Zurich

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I'm willing to accept crossword puzzles as a way to exercise the mind and sharpen the wit. But as tempting a thought as the Worf hypothesis is, it is wrong.
Thanks Thomas, the article in your link is interesting reading. However, it also shows that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was not completely wrong. It just was too narrow. I speak quite a few languages more or less fluently, and while using one of them I have to switch my thinking in order to express my thoughts, and the choice of words imposed on me also influences my way of thinking to a certain degree.
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The idea of logic link between two objects of your thoughts is the expression of the articulation of the concept of consequence. In other word, image and language work the same way. The base for this philosophy of language is Wittgenstein's works, see his interpretation of the Abbildtheorie (sorry no idea how he named it in English). But EF is not the place to conduct this conversation, from what I've seen so far.
Wittgensteins Abbildtheorie = Wittgenstein's picture theory of language, see here.
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I meant the discussion or "problem" (whatever you name it) is a fact in schools in Zurich, so I would assume the teachers or the ones responsible for the schooling system would think about it and offer solutions.
As for teachers being creative etc., what can a teacher do when he / she has to deal with at least eight different language backgrounds (and mentalities) in the same class? I think that is the real problem.
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  #34  
Old 22.04.2011, 12:15
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

Well, that article shows brillantly that the English speaking author is unable to think grammatical gender are something different from sex-gender. Saying der Stuhl does NOT mean that we see something sexually genderly male. In other word, this English speaker mixes up totally the too oppositions feminin-masculin and female-male. They are distinct in my French/German mind and will always be. This is why I have no problems saying der Backfisch masculin when refering to this female being. NO contradiction whatsoever, sorry. English definitly shaped the argumentation of this article. And of the research it refers to.
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  #35  
Old 22.04.2011, 13:13
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

Faltrad, that article is not only about grammatical gender. Orientation is another aspect that shapes thinking, and there are many more.

For instance, Greek has no words for starboard and port (the latter, in this case, not meaning a harbor but the side of a boat / ship opposite to starboard). Greeks just use "right" and "left" instead, which can be very confusing, especially when you cannot see the person who speaks, for instance on marine radio or when your boat hand is a the bows and you are at the tiller on the back deck. I have a boat in the Aergean, and I can tell you it's difficult to tell a Greek boat hand what to do without being able to use those terms that are so common and handy in other languages.

Maybe that's the reason why Greek ferries sometimes hit a rock that's clearly visible.

What's more, Greek has the aorist through all times, not only like the passé défini / passé simple in French. While talking, this must be taken into account with every single verb you use. It makes you look at things in a totally different way. The most annoying thing about this is the fact that even preschoolers can handle it with ease, because that's the way they think, whereas I have to struggle with every sentence ("Now wait a minute, will I do that only once or during a limited period of time, or shall it be done repeatedly or on a longer term?").

Or look at the German verb "fahren," which has no equivalent in English (and in many other languages, at that). If German is your native language, it has shaped your way of thinking. While speaking in another language, you have to switch something in your mind.

Ok, I think we are going OT.
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  #36  
Old 22.04.2011, 13:49
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

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Faltrad, that article is not only about grammatical gender.
Totally agree, I just thought it was a good example of the topic.
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  #37  
Old 22.04.2011, 16:24
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

what i say is, the swiss (together with other EU countries where this is an issue) have a choice: change the rules and allow the growing number of immigrant kids a fair competition and take advantage of their abilities by integrating them into the work force, or continue using language issue as a barrier to keep them off from climbing the social ladder to ensure native kids' future top positions.

i believe in the long term, fair competition is always better for the country

for those who will argue language proficiency in the primary-middle school is the sole determining factor of a kids success: i give you the example of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. There, immigrant kids (who perform poorly in English) have no problem in going to engineering, science, business or politics simply because they have second chances down the road. I personally find it crazy that a kids fate is pretty much determined at the end of middle school
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  #38  
Old 22.04.2011, 16:53
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

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change the rules and allow the growing number of immigrant kids a fair competition and take advantage of their abilities by integrating them into the work force, or continue using language issue as a barrier to keep them off from climbing the social ladder to ensure native kids' future top positions.
Wait a minute: the weaker level of command of the language among kids of foreign origine is real. Teacher correcting matura essays here. The question is only how fair can one be given the fact that the level expected in language skills has no reasons to be lower for one part of the population just because they happen to have to deal with several languages. The problem is not even against foreigners as we have the same problem within the four national communities, in bilingual cities and even more for the Romansh minority who have to go German for their education, like any immigrant (including expat kids). There is absolutely no "plan" to keep social ladder for local children, as part of the national population is victim of that due to the nature of the plurilinguistic national community. It's too simple to blame the locals, you are basically saying that immigrants are discriminated all the way through... but the difference of language level is relevant to all carreers involving climbing the social ladder. Why would you employ people lacking abilities compared to other applicants? It's like employing me as an English teacher, that would be pure HR incompetence.

I am sorry to insist, but if one is less articulated in written and oral communication as other applicants, one should not get the job. It's irrelevant whether the applicant in question is from Uganda, from the UK or just from the last backasss village house at the top of the last hill before the end of the forest of deepest Switzerland!! And believe me, there are quite a few very local Swiss students in my classes that would not get the job either precisely because they have a far too vague idea of what High-German is expected to look like.

Your US example is fine, but it is the exact same thing in CH given the local system: The best way to engeneering carreer is definitly not matura-schools but the other ones that you clame are a form of discrimination. CH is doing exactly what you are claiming is missing: giving opportunities to children of different abilities in the local national language and let them explore other lines than the matura-schools and let them have the time to developp their language skills during those years, with the possibility to go over to matura-schools regularly. The second chances are many and come regularly on a student's path in CH. But forget the "all university" system that you are used to, otherwise, we will be talking pass each other in all eternity. I even have colleagues, math and science teachers that did an apprenticeship first. Good for them! They are Swiss, one of them has quite a bad High German in my opinion and he is a wonderful intelligent academically at the top secondary teacher at matura level. A foreign mother tongue student with needy German skills at 14 could do exactly the same and end up giving matura grades in 15 years. That is CH.

Of course, being a language and litterature teacher, I may see that as far more dramatic as most other people... but speaking of fairness should involve the messurement of students' achievements from what they really deliver. At the end, in life, it's the result that counts. And that should be the real focus of fairness in assessment. Humblely me thinks that one can not make excuses for everything.

EDIT: You want to talk about social discrimination with language in elitist school system? Go to France. Plenty to talk about in that field.
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Last edited by Faltrad; 22.04.2011 at 17:05.
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  #39  
Old 22.04.2011, 17:16
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

Oh dear....

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Wait a minute: the weaker level of command of the language among kids of foreign origine
........
Of course, being a language and litterature teacher
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  #40  
Old 22.04.2011, 17:19
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Re: Kids with a native language other than German became majority in Schools in Zuric

Did Faltrad say he was teaching English? I thought it was his German skills and teaching experience which enable him to make the comments here.
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