Initially, I had planned to complete the assignment by the weekend, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I needed time to reflect…
I am passionate about teaching and learning languages because it allows me to gain the tools that allow me to examine the Francophone culture from beneath the waterline of the cultural iceberg.
This fall I took an Anti- Bias and Diversity online course offered the Anti-Defamation League. In the course, I learned about the cultural iceberg metaphor. Below is a definition from Mike Berg’s blog
When you first arrive in a foreign culture, you start at the tip of the iceberg. Above the waterline, which represents your level of cultural awareness, are the actions, thoughts, and words (observational behavior) of a culture. What you don’t see, however, until your water level lowers revealing more of the iceberg is the beliefs, values, and assumptions of a culture that motivates the observational behavior above the surface. Thus, the waterline is one of the reasons wars are fought and you cannot help but feel lost when exposed.
Being able to communicate with Francophones in their native language has allowed me to see the culture from beneath the waterline. I am fortunate to have close Francophone friends who have welcomed me as a guest into their homes and into their inner sanctums. It is this up close and personal observation of daily life in a francophone culture that propels me to search out ways for my students to be able to examine culture from up close as well.
The internet has allowed me to bring Francophone culture into my classroom in a way I would have never imagined. As a child, I watched a show called “The Big Blue Marble” and dreamed that I would be able to one day meet my pen pals from Sweden England Texas
What fuels my fire is when my students start making connections to the francophone word. When my students tell me of a new Francophone singer or they have turned their cell phone or IPod language into French. I smile because I know that they are starting to experience that hunger of knowledge… When my students finally become open to learn about the francophone culture, they come closer to getting beneath the water line of that cultural iceberg and their lives will be changed forever, as mine has.
I selected this picture because it represents the beneath the intimate beauty of a multi faceted culture. Relationships are an example of the beneath the water level of a culture while a wedding itself is one of the above the water level facets of the cultural iceberg. This photo represents both the visible and invisible aspects of a culture.
I am passionate about teaching; I am passionate about cultures; I am passionate about learning; I am passionate about life…
I would like to tag the following people to pass on this Passion Quilt…
• Write a short post about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
• Post a picture from a source like Flickr CC or Flickr Creative Commons
• Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to Miguel Guhlin’s original blog entry.
Why are YOU passionate about teaching AND learning languages?