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28 November 2012

Scene from "The Miracle Worker"

The "water" scene from The Miracle Worker is a great way to introduce the power of language.
My writing students are going to be writing literary autobiographies (autobiographies of their literary, written, reading, and spoken, experience), and I am going to show this video as an introduction to the theme of literacy and the power of language. There is also a nice quotation in our textbook from Helen Keller's biography The Day Language Came into My Life, which shows how powerful this moment was in her life:

"I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of [Annie's] fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness of something forgotten--a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of languaeg was revealed to me. I knoew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. The living world awakened my soul, gave light, hope, job, set it free... I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave a birth to new thought. As we returned to the house, every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me" (p. 122-3).

I wonder if my students ever had this "realization" in English. Does anybody remember a feeling like this with learning another language? Did it ever just "hit" you and you "got" it?

01 November 2012

Awesome Grammar Video!

Check out this awesome video about grammar made by my students for a class project. They're amazingly creative!