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Subject:

Peace and the Community College/article-links/Overcoming Language Anxiety

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 06:55:12 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (94 lines)

June 29, 2007


Peace and the Community College


In the aftermath of an earthquake and flooding in rural Macedonia this
spring, a team of American aid workers rushed to the disaster zone. A small
town had been hit particularly hard, its buildings suffering devastating
structural damage, its streets filled with wreckage. Working with a team of
Macedonians, the Americans negotiated with hostile locals for access to the
zone. Living in military barracks, the Americans spent two weeks performing
emergency care and recovery, rescuing victims and repairing buildings. 

But there was no major natural disaster in Macedonia this spring, nor were
there Americans negotiating with belligerents for access to the area.
Rather, it was all part of an elaborate final exercise for students from two
American colleges and one Macedonian college.

Initiated and organized by Paul Forage, director of the Center for Disaster
Relief and Humanitarian Assistance at Indian River Community College, in Ft.
Pierce, Fla., the disaster was an expansion of the four-day mock disasters
that Forage had created in the forests of central Florida for the last few
years.

As a faculty member at a community college in Florida with a limited budget
for conferences and travel, Forage said he had "no access" to experts in
international relief and government who could help him create a program like
the one in Macedonia.

But last year, as one of 18 faculty members and administrators selected for
the United States <http://insidehighered.com/www.usip.org>  Institute of
Peace's weeklong seminar on international peace and security, Forage was
able to meet peers from other community colleges, as well as members of the
Washington delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and
officials from Macedonia, among other countries. The institute is a
federally funded, nonpartisan organization that promotes peace and conflict
resolution by providing educational tools in the U.S. and in zones of
conflict, as well as support on the ground of international conflicts.

From Hawaii to Maryland, community college faculty and administrators
converged on the institute's Washington headquarters last spring and again
this year, from May 29 to June 3, for "Global Peace and Security in
Community Colleges and the Communities They Serve," a series of lectures,
simulations and networking events designed to broaden the perspectives and
knowledge of faculty and administrators interested in incorporating
international issues into their curriculums.

Source/continue article:  http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/06/29/ccpeace

 

 

June 29, 2007


Overcoming Language Anxiety


The symptoms are familiar: a lack of confidence, a reluctance to speak, even
insomnia in some cases. What appears to be a kind of anxiety attack or
extreme phobia could become debilitating for a student's well-being, let
alone participation grade.

But this particular ailment isn't listed in the DSM-IV.

What sounds like a case of chronic stage fright could be occurring on
college campuses every day, according to a growing but contested body of
research about foreign language classes.

It's called "language anxiety." The reasons people disagree about it are
clear: students might not be aware of their problem, for example, and the
number of factors that affect learning could cloud researchers' analyses.
And who hasn't felt a little nervous learning a foreign tongue?

But scholars like Elaine Horwitz, a professor of foreign language education
at the University of Texas at Austin, believe there's a definite connection
between what they've identified as language anxiety and performance in the
classroom. Originally, when Horwitz began doing research in the virtually
nonexistent field in 1986, she focused on extreme cases. But she found that
the problems students described were more widespread, if milder.

Source/continue article:  http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/06/29/language

 


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