Daily Archives

2 Articles

Blogging

Deborah Tannen PhD: Linguist And New York Times Bestselling Author

Posted by Rachel Evans on
Deborah Tannen PhD: Linguist And New York Times Bestselling Author

Deborah Tannen PhD: Linguist And New York Times Bestselling Author

Deborah Tannen PhD: Linguist And New York Times Bestselling Author

Before you have another conversation you should read one of Dr. Deborah Tannen’s books on linguistics. Dr. Tannen has multiple degrees in English, English Literature, and both an MA and a PhD in Linguistics. Dr. Tannen has published and lectured extensively around the world. She has also published 10 books for the mainstream audience, defining and decoding the differences in language usage between peers who speak the same language. She demystifies a lot of the reasons that disagreements and misunderstandings may occur between people. The wonderful thing about Deborah Tannens books is that she doesn’t lose the reader in a lot of jargon and she explains the premises for each of her theories in easy to follow language that serves to clarify your understanding of the ways that language is used.

Her books use real world examples to illustrate her points and they also gives the reader some insight into who Deborah Tannen is and why she chose the field that she chose. She already held degrees in both English and English Literature and was compelled to study Linguistics after the break up of her first marriage. Quite simply she and her first husband were always butting heads and getting into arguments and neither of them understood why. In fact she says that at times she wondered if one or both of them were crazy! After her divorce she attended a lecture on Linguistics and reasons for the problems in her marriage suddenly became obvious. Her passion for linguistics was kindled and she went back to school to earn an MA and her PhD. in linguistics from the University of California in Berkley. She currently teaches and lectures at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

She has since lectured extensively, been featured on radio and television shows, written several academic papers and books for scholarly publication, and also has written 10 books for the mainstream audience. When you read on of her books it is almost an epiphany, things become so clear. You begin to understand how people interact and how differences in conversational style can lead to disagreements, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations. Dr Tannen has done in depth research on conversational style and comprehension on mothers and daughters, sisters, siblings, employers and their employees, children, and many other interpersonal dynamics, seeking and then explaining the dynamics that occur in the space between what you said and what the listener thinks that you said. Dr. Tannens books will give anyone a deeper insight into how language affects both our day to day life, our perceptions of people and events, and offers suggestions on how to decode and demystify the art of conversation and interpersonal interaction.

Dr. Tannens books have been extremely well received by the public. Her book You Just Don’t Understand- Women and Men in Conversation (1990) spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list and was the number one best seller for a whopping 8 months. Since then You Just Don’t Understand has been translated into 30 other languages. She has followed that with several other New York Times bestsellers which have explained and demystified talk and interpersonal interaction for millions of people who had thought that the relationships with their husbands, wives, mothers, mother-in-laws, bosses, and children were hopeless.

Since conversation happens everyday, there is no way that you can read one of her books before you engage in your next conversation or argument, however her books are still available in bookstores everywhere in multiple different languages and you can find both new and used copies of her books on sites like Amazon.com and even Ebay. I encourage anyone who has ever held a meaningful conversation with another person and had it go awry of what they intended to seek out and purchase one of Dr. Tannen’s books as soon as is possible. You will be glad that you did, and you will understand how language and imagery are related and how they affect your day-to-day communication with others, and what can be done to remedy a lot of rifts in a number of interpersonal relationships.

Blogging

How Technology is Changing Education

Posted by Rachel Evans on
How Technology is Changing Education

Most people know intuitively that the educational process is being impacted by new technology, but many may not realize the subtle ways it has been woven into our society. Most would agree that the Internet, for example, has greatly reduced the amount of time and effort required to write a research or term paper-but what about claims that technology such as smartphones are reducing attention spans leading to less qualified graduates? Such changes are difficult to discern, but a lot of researchers are looking into the impact technology is having on the educational system and at ways to make it for the better.

First, the down side-several prominent researchers studying the impact of cell phone use and video game playing on modern children have come to a consensus: it really does lead to reduced attention spans which ultimately result in less being learned both in school and at home. It also leads to faster teacher burnout as it becomes more difficult to get and hold student’s attention. One bright note is that some of the researchers suggest that instead of resorting to more entertaining teaching techniques, teachers look to new technological ways to reach their students. One of those ways might be through the use of other technology. Textbooks on tablet computers, is one example. More and more schools are doing so because of the obvious advantages: up to date information, animated graphics, sound capabilities, embedded learning applications, etc.

Another way that educators are using new technology is by taking advantage of the Internet. In a recent research project, Henry Jay Becker, conducted a massive study of teacher habits focusing most specifically on how they are using the Internet. He found that teachers are using email and texting as a means of communicating with students and parents-they’re using Facebook and other social media as well. He also found that many are using cloud data depositories to share papers, graphics, video and other classroom material and that some are also using interactive applications developed specifically for children at various grade levels. In summing up, he concludes that new technology is adding richness to the learning experience and that both teachers and students are receiving great benefit from it.

Technological change isn’t limited to just children, of course, college educators and students are being impacted as well. Universities now offer degrees online and student/instructor interactions via the Internet are now the norm. Furthermore, students have access to higher quality and more up to date research in their chosen field than at any other time in history. The most profound changes are in taking place in ways that researchers call “disrupting the classroom.” This means that instead of giving or listening to boring lectures, students interact with both instructors and automated lessons. Instructors monitor the pace of learning and offer guidance along the way rather than read from notes. The new method is believed to be more engaging, rewarding and in the end, a more pleasant experience for both instructor and student.

What cannot be discerned at this time, of course, is whether students are better or worse off than generations that have come before them. The new technology is still too new to tell. That will change of course as time passes and today’s students make their way into the work force-future research on how well they are doing will be the ultimate measure.