Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cultures without borders

Last year I presented this in an URUTESOL syposium. I was just reviewing it under the new light of this experience with FLACSO. So I thought it was a good idea to bring it up again with a few comments.

The main idea behind this presentation is that the meeting point between language and culture finds its greatest stage in the internet, where production is abundant, available for free and extremely rich. It is our role to teach students to dig behind symbols to find those interesting stories that weave below the evident. To what extent will this new medium transform our lives? We cannot say anything yet, but certainly it will expand the types and number of genre and challenge our creativity and competence.

Now, do you want to witness the wonderful story between Richard and Marian? Do you want to know why Alejo, an Urugayan child and Salvador, a Spanish grownup became friends? In this presentation I collect a few stories and illustrate them with their authors permission. The all show the natural human need to communicate, made possible throught the interent. They are briefly analyzed in their linguisctic and cultural content.

1 comment:

  1. Dar all,

    I consider that the Web 2.0 and all its tools have in a way helped people to communicate in an easy way and given the opportunity for them to know them a little bit better than what we might know a person in the flesh for the first time. That's what I have experienced with the net. As human beings we sometimes do not let others know a little bit about oursleves and the reasons might be the following:

    * lack of time
    * being afraid of being rejected by the other person
    * as the other person is someone who knows more than us we might feel not good enough to have a chat with that person
    * the other person or myself might show (and it is not true) that we do not feel like communicating with other people
    * a person might not feel confident enought to talk with certain type of people

    There might be a thousand reasons why one cannot get to another person and talk with and maybe became friends, one never knows what could happen.

    From my personal point of view and experience I can say that I have made great friends via Internet, I have seen some face to face and others I haven't. I guess that I could not have formed such a good relationship out of the internet as the other people are far away from my city and If I had met them once it was just for a short time. Some people who I consider my friends are friends whose relationship started in the net, others I just met in some courses and we continued in touch via MSN. I have also have friends I met in the "real world" as many call it. But Internet has given me the possibility of meeting people whom I would have never met if it had been in the street, course or other places.
    I have also learnt a lot about other cultures, something that it would have been impossible as I'm not rich enough to travel all over the world.
    This is something we have to take advantage of so as to make our students conscious that there are differences all over the world they have to be respected. And I might be a dreamer, but who isn`t? We can get, working with our students and having them working and respecting differenteces, a better world.

    Juan Domingo