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A handy place to link to conferences that interest me

Since other intercultural trainers / language teachers may be interested in the same conferences I am, I thought I’d share my notes and links.

TESOL international submit by June the year before (June 2014 for the 2015 conference)

TESOL’s calendar – (focuses on immediately upcoming conferences for which the deadline for submissions has passed. Scroll down far enough and you may see something you can submit to)

IAICS 2014 – submit to the The International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies by Feb. 2014 for their July-August conference.

Stutterer told not to speak in class

Interesting story here from the New York Times. A professor told one of her students not to speak in class because he stutters and his questions take too much class time. While you want to treat everyone equally, what happens when a stutter or some other disability leads to a student monopolizing class time?

Tell me about yourself

Here’s one suggestion on how to answer one of the most common job interview questions, “Tell me about yourself.”

As one commenter rightly points out, however, the job candidate doesn’t come across as very interesting or likable. You need to have a bit of personality to have a chance at building a rapport with the interviewer.

Here, the advice is to tell the interviewer what’s in it for them, which should sound familiar to my students:

Here’s some more advice. The correct version starting at around 2:00 has the same issue, it’s focused on the job but it’s not real interesting or personal. She does at least say she’s excited about getting back to an educational setting so we learn something about her. She could be more personable though.

They suggest: relevant to the job, 1-2 rehearsed minutes, job objective, experience and skills.

I suggest, practiced but not memorized or rehearsed. Relevant to the job and personalized.

Note that tell me about yourself comes in many flavors, even why are you applying for this job is pretty similar. If you get several questions that mean “tell me about yourself,” you need to be careful not to get repetitive.

Discussion topic – cops arresting man in wheelchair

Big news in America right now. Let me give you a few language samples from native speakers:

Maybe he did lunge for the weapon – he suddenly thrust out his hand which could’ve been a punch, or a grab for a weapon.

Saw nothing wrong with the police officers actions IF the guy did throw a punch, shove, or grab. Hard to tell what the guy did. Police were not overly violent in the takedown.

Since the cameraman obviously had an axe to grind, I find it extremely suspicious that the footage starts a split second prior to the takedown. the action is already in frame and steady when the footage starts, so it leads me to believe there was additional footage. Bet it shows the guy being belligerent.

This is ridiculous.

For those who didn’t bother watching the footage, what you have is two fairly physically imposing cops, with one restraining the left arm and the other the right arm, of a paralyzed man in an electric wheel chair. There is a very slight struggle on the part of the “suspect” — about as much as any reasonable person would struggle if some random person grabbed your arm. The cops proceeded to lift the paralyzed man up out of the chair and faceplant him onto the concrete sidewalk. At that point, the cops handcuffed him. Some blood proceeded from the suspect’s head. There was no struggle on the part of the suspect outside of the initial reaction to the grabbing by the cops.

Cops have a duty to use REASONABLE force when effectuating an arrest. Can anyone say the force used was reasonable under the circumstances, without making absurd references to some miniscule possibility that the suspect had a knife/gun/WMD tucked away in his wheelchair somewhere?

Cops get way too much leeway by some people in our society.

Does this coach deserve to get fired?

He warned his high school athletes not to run with shirts off but I guess the message didn’t get through. Article here. This might also lead to a discussion of high school sports and double standards: “Westwood High track coach Tom Davis was fired last week because one of his runners decided to whip off a shirt during training on a 75-degree day. This wasn’t a girl, by the way. It was a boy.”

An introduction to job interviews

The first one is for students to discuss – there’s a core message or two in there about being honest and being resourceful. The rest are all jokes – I would use either the Monte Python or the 2 Seinfelds but probably not all 3. Seinfeld might lead to some questions like “What’s a better way to prepare for an interview?”

The Pursuit of Happyness:

George Costanza getting coached for an interview:

And the actual interview:

Monte Python nonsense:

What does it mean to be a man? Miller Lite commercials tell us something about US culture

An interesting discussion would be: “does it mean the same thing to be a man in your country?” This conversation topic has been mentioned before.

For example Americans often think Korean men are effeminate.Two of the reasons are skinny jeans and speedos. We see them in these Miller Lite commercials. Interestingly the name of the ad campaign is “Man Up”

Skinny Jeans (Kirk Zipfel)

European ManThong (Isabella Grace)

The beginning of the World Schools 2010 debate chanpionship

The Prime Minister begins after a few minutes in part 2 and continues into part 3. The Opposition Leader begins his speech in the middle of part 3. THW never bail out big companies.

Part 2:

part 3:

Heroes and Monsters: Understanding Live Action Role Playing Games

Interesting article here about a UW class on Liave Action Roleplaying. I’ve actually done this so it may be more interesting to me than to people who have no idea what it is, but it certainly doesn’t seem like an academic discipline.

I could be wrong though. The professor tries to spin it academically:

“My goal is to think about how games can be analytical and critical, how games can tell us about the world around us,” Chang said. “One goal of the class is to realize that live-action has a stigma. It’s about challenging those stereotypes and realizing how live-action games tells us about the different roles and personas we play in real life.”

And there is a reading list on the course page. Still the fact is they are playing a game once a week not unlike the LARP I’ve done (I assume).

Discussion on Japanese fashion and culture

Interesting article here about a skirt that unfolds into a coke machine disguise so women can hide from attackers like ninjas used to. And a very interesting quote from the designer: While British women might prefer to take self-defence classes, Miss Tsukioka said: ‘It is just easier for Japanese to hide. Making a scene would be too embarrassing.’