Friday, September 7, 2012
Politics can be fun, even educational, so have a laugh with cartoons from American newspapers
A ‘thank you’ to those who read your blog is always in order, especially a merci, danke, and gracias. I ran out of my appropriate words early, but not out of appreciative words - thanks to my German-American wife.
First, to the American language readers’ ‘thank you.’ It is to be found by googling “Best Political Cartoon of 2012 (so far).” They are in a section of LiveCitizens, which is dedicated to thought provoking dialogue.
Now to those non-primary English speaking readers of this blog: an especial ‘thank you’ – and a referral to that same google site. In fact, this blog started out with a thought given to those whose English is a learned language . Languages don’t necessarily imply communication, particularly humor. Humor doesn’t translate readily. When I got through laughing at the cartoons it struck me that they might be helpful to those who read my blog as a way of increasing their “American” language skills. The cartoons are clever, rather than subtle, and the written lines are short and colloquial - ideal for appreciating what Americans think is funny..We all look forward to the time when evolution makes revolution just items on a quiz in a history class. A good laugh at a political cartoonist’s satire can help that along.
English language learning discussion groups might have a problem. I mention such groups because the number of hits from countries sometimes falls in about the right number for a discussion group. The difficulty is that the theme is political and so uproariously funny that it might very well kick off questionable exchanges between individuals. Concentrating on language and the current American situation would solve that problem, though. The selection of cartoons is explicitly non-partisan.
What particularly snatched at my hopes, however, is that some teachers of English might be included in the folks who read this blog. It struck me that the cartoons would make a marvelous power-point presentation over several sessions. They would include language, culture, and current events. A lecturer would have a ‘field day’ using those cartoons with a group of students – oh, yes: I intentionally use colloquialisms for their learning value; I write as I speak. English read as literature is one thing, but conversations in a plane, train or as an exchange student is another…not to mention that we Americans would love having you come and visit.
There is another thing. Associated with the LiveCitizen is “fixus.com.” It encourages dialogue and particularly ideas useful for the common good. It would be worth studying the site to see how you and your friends might want to use computer networking in your own setting.
Why not forward to a good friend?