Tag Archives: student voices

Research in English (Linguistics) A session 11: July 1st, 2011 – student voices

  1. Minority languages should not be banned, because I think all human being should have the right to choose a language they speak. I suppose prohibition on minority languages means freedom is disturbed. If minority languages are banned, parents speaking them cannot understand their own children’s feelings accurately, because the children are not supposed to learn those languages. I think it’s a good idea that minority languages are recognized as official languages, but it does cost much money in the countries, so if that’s impossible, those speakers should be allowed to speak them, at least in the areas they are spoken. People should tell what they want to say to their families or friends exactly. However, people speaking minority languages should be encouraged to learn major languages to spread their cultures to other areas. Also, if they become able to speak major languages, they can communicate with more people and share their sense of values with major languages’ speakers. So, major languages should be taught at school. I don’t think unifying into one language or a ban on minority languages necessarily makes countries become stronger. I suppose a true strong country is the country whose people are cooperative with each other. Also, I think the country which allow minority languages is thought of the humane country and admired by other countries.
  2. I don’t agree both suppress and support to minority languages. Because, as Bill Bryson say, “It seems not to matter greatly whether governments suppress them brutally or support them lavishly” (44). I think we leave it to nature. Instead of doing support, however, governments or linguists, or someone, should record and preserve minority languages to understand its speaker’s culture, history and view, or for other reasons.

Student voices: What is a myth? And other questions

What is a myth?

Below are students’ answers to these questions:

  1. What is a myth? Is a myth the same as a folk-tale (昔話)? Are they different? How are they different?
  2. Is a myth different from a fairy-story, or is it the same? How are they different? How are they the same?
  3. What is the difference between a myth and an epic poem such as Heike Monogatari?
  4. What is the difference between a myth and a novel such as the Tale of Genji?
  5. What is the difference between a myth and a legend, such as The One Inch Boy?
  1. .
    1. Myth is believed by people, but folk tale is made up story.
    2. Fairy tale is a story that someone has invented and is difficult to believe.
    3. Heike monogatari is chronicle, and character really lived long time ago.
    4. Genji monogatari is love fiction.
    5. This story is juvenile reading.
  2. .
    1. I think it is different. Myth is an idea or story that many people believe
    2. I think it is different.Fairy-tale is children’s story
    3. I think it almost is the same thing.Because they show up the god.
    4. I think it is different. Myth is really story, but novel is concoction.
    5. I think it is the same thing. I think they are true story.
  3. .
    1. I think myth is describe natural human behave and feeling. Different point is telling us about god or human living. Same point is based on human.
    2. Different point is fairy tale is more funny and understandable than myth. Same point is fiction.
    3. Different point is the history is really happens or not. Same point is fiction
    4. Different point is written a historical background or not. Same point is narrativity.
    5. Different point is legend is often change the story but myth is not. Same point is involved in a place-name and faith. Continue reading Student voices: What is a myth? And other questions

Student voices 学生の声 - Research in English (Linguistics) A session 8: June 10th, 2011

We learned that Pidgins are made and used to communicate with each other when people from different countries, gather, but they are stopgap measures(その場しのぎ).

If we are told not to use loan words at all, I guess we will have trouble in talking, because there are too many foreign words in Japanese, such as ball, pen, radio, desk, bag, milk, Castilla, and so on. A lot of them are a little modified in Japan to make us say easier (e.g. we refer pudding as “pulin”). However, I realized we always depend on many of other languages’ words without notice.

When encouraging people, the Japanese often say, “Donmai (which came from “Don’t mind),” but I heard before that actually, English native speakers usually don’t say it, instead, “Never mind.” So, I guess it’s a kind of Pidgin the Japanese made.

The loan word, “rent-a-car (レンタカー),” which we also use, is interesting for me, because it combines verb with noun. Also, I think it is useful, because it’s easier for us to say than “貸自動車.”

Besides, I learned about, “Singlish (Singapore & English),” at another class. Then, I watched the video about it. It was complicated and difficult for me to understand.

By the way, we should respect all languages, but I think there’s no wonder that people are proud of their mother tongue, like the ancient Greeks and Romans (← p. 30).

About Music and Art

After listening to what Mr. Sheffner said about music and art, I thought they were interesting, because their meaning depends on individuals. That is to say, they have many meanings. I think it’s important for children to watch abstract pictures and guess what they are, to broaden their views. Also, I noticed that when watching TV, we do not use our brain (do not imagine), so we are scolded if we watch it for hours.

Student voices – Research in English (Linguistics) A session 5: May 20th, 2011

Student Voices
student voices. Image from lummiyouthacademy. Click to visit source page.
  1. What is language? When animals communicate with each other, they may do so by means of touch, smell ,sight or sound. And, most animals have a very limited number of messages they can give or receive.Man probably acquired his sound signaling system at a fairly late stage in his evolution. They can produce an incalculable number of new combinations from the elements of his language. In addition, they can utter sentences which he has never uttered before and be understood.


    I was interested in the male grasshopper has only choice of six and bees can communicate only about sources of nectar. In a book I don’t remember, I read about a male gorilla was able to learn sign languages! I want to check in it.

  2. What is Human Language? 動物は、目や音や匂いで、又は触ったりして他とコミュニケーションをします。私たち人間や他の動物はその中で、最も音を使います。それは暗闇の中でも使えるからです。しかし、私たちが喋る時に使う器官(肺、歯、唇、喉など)は、主に、息をしたり、食べたりするために使われるので、進化のかなり後の段階で「話す」ことができるようになりました。動物の場合、合図とそれが伝えるメッセージは強く関連しますが、人間の場合は、殆ど関連しません。例えば、「ほん」という音自体には「本」という意味が含まれていません。殆どの動物は、「今」、「ここで」のことについてしか、伝えることが出来ません。しかし、人間は「今」のこと以外に、「過去」や「未来」についても語ることが出来ます。これを “displacement” と言います。又、動物が送るメッセージの内容には限りがありますが、人間は次から次へと新しい語を加えて(e.g. “computer”, “nuclear”)、色々な状況について話すことが出来ます。これは “productivity” と言います。他に、人間が動物と異なる点は、大体の動物は学ばなくても自動的にコミュニケーションができますが、人間の場合は、言語を習得するのに長い学習期間が要されるということです。私たちは母親や先生に教わって学習します。私たちが使う言語は、情報や自分の思いを伝えたり、良好な人間関係を保つために必要なのです。
  3. Summaryサピア・ウォーフの仮説は、私たちの思考には言語が関与しているため、認識力に制限ができることをいう。例えば、日本語の〈夜泣き〉に相当する語は、英語にない。そのため、英語話者には〈夜泣き〉の概念を認識することは難しい。この仮説は必ずしも肯定されていない。なぜなら、直観や同情心など、言葉の生じない気持ちもあるからだ。人間の言葉と動物のコミュニケーションには違いがある。その一つに、人間の言葉は伝えたい事とその合図の間に繋がりを持たない。例えば、〈elephant〉や〈象〉は同じ動物を意味するけれども、その単語の〈音〉に象は存在しない。また、人間は新しい言葉を作っていける事も違いの一つだ。Comment動物に言葉を話させる実験がある事を初めて知った。

Student voices – Writing Strategies 1, session 3: May 13th, 2011

Student voices
  1. It was very useful for me to discuss with my partners, because each person had a few different idea.  I could understand more than before the class. I’ll do my best for Chapter 3 & 4, as well.
  2. 13日の授業では、Chapter1とChapter2の本文の内容について
  3. I read Chapter1 and 2 of “The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe”, and answered ten questions. The questions were a little difficult for me,
    but I could understand and enjoyed reading the book.
  4. I learned “The CHRONICLES of NARNIA”, yesterday. It was difficult foe me to be an essay question. I want to improve my English skills.
  5. We read Chapter1 & 2 of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and answered some questions about it last Friday. I enjoyed reading it and could understand the story. I thought the Faun was a good Faun, because he told Lucy the truth before telling the White Witch that a Daughter of Eve was there. I’m looking forward to taking next class.
  6. Yesterday, we read chapter 1 through chapter 2 of the book, and found the answers of teacher’s questions and Study Guide questions. In addition, I leaened a lot of new wards. I couldn’t find all the answers. So I felt that I should read the book more and more deeply. I enjoyed your class, thank you.
  7. Today, we checked answer about chapter 1 and 2. I corrected 8 questions of the vocabulary quiz. I incorrected the number 5.
    I watched NARNIA by DVD. Today, I learned about NARNIA’s story in detail. I want to learn about this books more, so I’ll do my best. Today’s class was interesting! I’m looking forward next class. See you next time.
  8. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is very interesting! This book is not so hard and clearly understand. The sentences in the book are usefull.  I would like to keep studying this book.
  9. 今日の授業で、chapter1,2の課題の答え合わせをし、意味がよくわからなかった単語や英語の表現について知ることができました。
  10. Today, we checked expressions that are in the text. And professor gave us some questions from chapter1 & 2 and we solved. It made my understanding of story more deep. I remember “moth-balls” mean “bouchu-zai”! I thought I didn’t read so much because today I felt that it was little hard for me to solve your questions. I’m going to read next chapters hard.
  11. 今日も講義ありがとうございました。 今日の講義内容は、”The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Study Guide” を使ってのQ&Aでした。問題を解きながら読み進めていくと、より理解が深まって新しい単語も覚えられたので勉強になりました。来週も楽しみにしています。授業内容
  12. 今日の授業は、先生の問題に答えていくことで自分で読むときよりたくさんのことを理解できました。たまに問題の意味がわからないところがあったので聞き取りもできるようにしたいです。

These are the comments I’ve received by email by Sunday May 15th, 10 a.m. There are more summaries in the comments.

Student voices – Research in English (Linguistics) A session 4: May 13th, 2011

Student Voices
student voices. Image from lummiyouthacademy. Click to visit source page.
  1. 前回の授業では、言語の構造の違いについて、そして他国のことを皮肉った比喩的表現として使用されている例を学びました。他国の国民性を露骨に使用している点がとても面白かったです。特に、フランス語で死にそうなくらい退屈なことをバーミンガムに居るという表現を使うのは、なんて失礼なのだろうと、おかしかったです。
    日本では、一般的に使用されている言葉の中にこういった比喩的表現はあまりないと思います。日本は鎖国されていた島国であり、大和民族が圧倒的に多いため外国人との接点があまりなく、異国の国民性をそんなに知らないというのも理由の一つではないのかなと思いました。しかし、英語でずる休みをすることを“take French leave”と言うのに対し、日本では“サボる”と言いますが、“サボる”というのは、フランス語の“sabotage”が由来です。英語も日本語も同じような意味にフランスが関係しているというのは、やはりフランス人に何か理由があるのだなと考えずにはいられません。
  2. SUMMARY英語圏では、ずる休みは “take French leave” と表現され、ベルギーのタクシードライバーは、チップをケチる人を “un Anglais” (イギリス人)と呼び、フランスでは、死にそうなくらい暇なことを “etre de Birmingham” と言う。この様に、他の国の人々や場所の特徴を表現に取り入れている。そこには軽蔑の意味が含まれる。世界の言語に優劣は付けられないが、英語には明らかに勝っている部分が幾つかある。まず、英語には、ドイツ語とは異なって、代名詞の接尾変化(あなたを、あなた方の)が殆どないため、相手を指す場合は全て “you” で済ますことが出来る。そして、韓国語や日本語のように、話す相手の地位に従って動詞の接尾辞を変える必要はない。又、男性・女性名詞もない。しかし、 “what” には様々な使い方があるように、英語にも複雑な部分はある。


    私は、 “It’s all Greek to me.”(ちんぷんかんぷんだ) という英語の表現が気に入っています。しかし、 “take French leave” のように、わざわざ、相手の国の人々に不快を与えるような表現を用いる必要はないのにと思いました。



    Ex.) Good morning.  Have a good time.  Good luck!  Have a nice weekend.

    what は、関係代名詞や疑問代名詞として、または感嘆文など、様々な形で使用できるので、 “complex” よりも、 “convenient” の方が勝っていると思います。

    これまで、どうして Work Cited には出版された年まで必要なのか疑問に思っていたけれど、本の種類(ハードカバーやペーパーバック)によってページ数が変わるからだということを知り、その重要さが分かりました。

  3. 言語は、その国の文化に対応していると考えられがちだ。そのため、多くの言語で、特に良くない意味の単語に、他国の名前を使うことがある。例えば、ドイツ人はゴキブリを”Frenchmen”と呼ぶ。