Howard B. Altman (Ph.D., Stanford University) is Professor of Modern Languages at the University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
The Language Connection, Or Talk Is Not Always Cheap*
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1978 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 11, Issue 4, pages 359–365, September 1978
How to Cite
Altman, H. B. (1978), The Language Connection, Or Talk Is Not Always Cheap. Foreign Language Annals, 11: 359–365. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1978.tb00050.x
Adapted from the presidential address delivered at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of ACTFL, San Francisco, 24 November 1977.
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Cited By
ABSTRACT Although language is our professional ‘connection,’ it also has the capacity to function as our ‘disconnection’ in two ways: on the one hand, teachers of different languages disconnect themselves from one another, resulting in a highly fragmented profession; on the other hand, the language we use, and the ways in which we use it, in communicating with one another, with our students, and with educational decision-makers has the effect of disconnecting us from ourselves and from those we most need to impress. In Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk, Postman illustrates how our use of language often works against us. Crazy talk is talk which has bad or unachievable purposes; stupid talk is talk which is ineffective in achieving its purposes. By examining our professional discourse, various examples of crazy talk and stupid talk in our journals and our interactions with one another are illustrated. It is hoped that an awareness of the impact of our use of language will allow it to serve as our ‘connection’ instead of our ‘disconnection.’