Reading: Karen Anijar. Teaching Toward the 24th Century: Star Trek as Social Curriculum (Pedagogy and Popular Culture). New York: Falmer Press, 2003. Access through library collection:http://books1.scholarsportal.info.uproxy.library.dc-uoit.ca/viewdoc.html?id=/ebooks/ebooks2/taylorandfrancis/2013-03-10/1/9780203011300
Reading: CHAPTER 4 Klingon as Curriculum: Militias, Minstrel Shows, & Other Language Games; CHAPTER 5 Resistance Is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated into the Predatory Jungle (Pp 142-190)
The readings this week had me thinking about language. The impact a persons language has on their culture and the interpretation of their culture is interesting. I am not much of a trekkie although did watch a number of episodes over my life - usually while sitting next to my dad who really enjoyed the show. The language of Klingon is intriguing and led me to consider all the languages and ways of communicating that exist out there. All manner of languages and dialects, but also language through a computer (aka Stephen Hawking), sign language, and all the languages of those who can't/don't communicate through traditional or untraditional means. What is their language?
The concept that struck me was just how much of an impact this conversation has for people who have language based learning disabilities, autism, language developmental issues etc. This challenge goes both ways. The individual who cannot be understood is often excluded because they "don't fit in" and/or "can't be understood". This often translates to "they don't understand" so "they don't care". Overall however, when people can't communicate - they have trouble...
Not because they are not valuable members,
Not because the people who love them don't understand / don't want to understand,
Not because they don't have something to say,
but rather because they lack the language to say it.
Social cues, inferences, dual meanings, and the like all pose additional comprehension challenges to the language impaired.
The loss of language as a result of forced assimilation, forced silence, or removal from one's culture highlights the damage that can be done when language is lost. It has given me pause to reflect on how this must feel for individuals without language in our own culture.