LAZY MONOLINGUALISM?

TAKE A STAND PERSUASIVE SPEECH

Topic: Americans should speak more than just English.

Supporting Disciplines: Psychology, Sociology and Economy

Why Be Only Monolingual?

Should Americans be constantly diagnosed with a case of “lazy monolingualism?” As Americans, we expect everyone to speak English. What a presumptuous thing to think. I think most of us are a little guilty of putting on school or even job applications that we speak another language other than English when in reality we speak only ten words of. The United States Census Bureau asks this particular question, “does this person speak a language other than English at home?” If you take a moment to analyze that question you will soon realize that the bureau’s question about what language is spoken at home is not equivalent to asking whether you speak more than one language. You may speak another language other than English at home but do you practice it outside of home? I believe bilingualism and multilingualism are a necessity of everyday life for the majority of the world’s population.

Most say English is the global language, even though only a small percent of the world speaks it. Americans feel that learning a second language is not necessary. It is not only Americans who get annoyed at immigrants for not speaking proficient English. Whenever you travel abroad, what language do you communicate with? Is it English? When we travel we expect to speak in English and be understood. Have you ever thought how wrong this is? Us, Americans, should be the ones learning and speaking the native language of that particular country.

We often think that by speaking louder or vocalizing a little slower, a foreigner will understand us better.

In the United States many people are proud to be monolingual and often look down on those who are not.

Is there such thing as “language prejudice?” Studies at Harvard have found that infants as young as five months old prefer speakers of their own language to speakers of other languages, even before they learn to talk. Psychologists showed videos of children speaking English and French to five-year olds from English and French speaking homes, and then asked the children which speaker would they like to be friends with. The English favored the English speaker as did the French favored the French speaker. The psychologists concluded that “the tendency to favor otherwise unfamiliar members of one’s own social group begins to emerge early in human life…” This suggests that bilingual babies may be more accepting of diversity and help reduce social conflicts later on.

Language not only is influenced by psychological matters but as well as economical. America’s education efficacy in preparing students for the global economy has been recently in debate. Today graduates face competition as millions of recent job entrants hit the market. Recent statistics at both the high school and university levels reveal declining interest in language. The Modern Language Association conducted surveys of enrollment in languages other than English at U.S. institutions of higher education. Its 2015 report reveals a 6.7 percent decline in enrollment in such courses. This was compared to 2013 data. The president of the Modern Language Association, Russell Brand, argues that monolingualism is a “disadvantage in the global economy.”

Many feel there is no practical advantage in learning a second language. Well I have to say I disagree completely. When learning another language you also learn culture. This emphasizes the importance of understanding the “other.” Language changes your perception on life. It provides you with a new way to think about certain things. It helps you socialize and become more accepting of other cultures. Today learning has never been more convenient. People can’t say they can’t afford classes when YouTube has become a huge platform that offers free tutorials. Apps available such as Duolingo are totally free. The Internet in general can be a great help when wanting to learn a second language. To me there is no excuse for not expanding your language skills. People of any age can manage to learn; it’s all about you putting an effort to do so.

“I speak English, so I don’t have to learn a foreign language…”

English may be accepted as an international language for business, therefore Americans feel another language is unnecessary. The problem is that the global job market is more competitive each day with new well-educated multilingual entrants. Many other countries have learned to master English on top of their mother tongue. Why can’t Americans do the same? Another reason many people oppose to expand their language skills is the time it requires to master another language. Language skills must be built over time, fluency doesn’t come easy for some and it must be constantly cultivated in order to maintain it.

I believe remaining monolingual restricts your educational and social development. It limits your communication and thinking abilities. Acquiring knowledge in another language other than your mother tongue opens up opportunities in your personal, professional, economical, and social life. I don’t believe in the statement, “you’re in America, speak English.” I understand English is America’s first language but this does not mean others should look down upon those who are bilingual. It is embarrassing to make fun of those you know more than you. Those who are proud of being bilingual or multilingual rather than monolingual are the ones who are a step ahead of the rest. Living in America is an opportunity many take for granted and even though there is this concern of maintaining the American culture, learning another language shouldn’t be threat it should be a benefit for you as an individual to grow.

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TAKE A STAND: DEANNA

STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY

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Animal abuse is a topic that really upsets me and puts me in such an angry mood. It is so heartbreaking to me to believe that there are mentally unstable people that are capable of harming animals that only bring happiness to our lives. I completely connected to Deanna’s speech because I also have a dog, she is not a Pitbull but she is a Schnauzer, which I love to death. Dogs do really become man’s best friends. My dog is my best friend; she literally follows me everywhere once I get home. My dog’s name is Honey and she is the happiest dog whenever my parents or I arrive home. I can’t imagine how my life will be once she is gone. I’ve spent the last twelve years with her and although you may think that is a lot, I feel time has flown by and I still see her as that cute little puppy I got for my 8th birthday. 

Deanna stated that animal cruelty is happening since a long time around the world with little to no awareness of it. She spoke about her Pitbull Ice and how many people have negative perceptions of Pitbulls as pets. Although these dogs may intimidate many, that doesn’t mean people should treat them any different from any other dog. Abuse is not the answer and all animals should be treated with love, care and respect. It is our responsibility to give dogs the affection they give us. Although animals are not humans, they do have the ability to feel. Please be aware and speak up for those who cannot speak!

TAKE A STAND: DHARTI PATELL

WHY SHOULD WE STOP USING FACEBOOK?

Facebook since 2004 became a popular social networking site used worldwide. My fellow classmate argued that we should all stop using this social networking platform. She started her speech giving us an introduction as to how she joined Facebook back in 2009. After six years since she first made her account, she feels Facebook has become a great issue regarding privacy concerns as well as becoming a distraction tool. Dharti also argues that this social network used to be about competition and who could add the most friends in order to appeal as a popular person. She breaks down her arguments through its advantages and disadvantages.

Disadvantages:

  1. Facebook consumes too much time.
  2. Affects physical and mental health negatively.
  3. Privacy concerns.
  4. Constant friend requests from strangers. Is it safe?

Advantages:

  1. You can connect yourself with family and friends around the globe.
  2. Good advertising platform for expanding business.

Dharti related her stance to two disciplines, psychology and sociology. Facebook ties in with psychology and sociology because this social network can greatly influence your self-esteem. It gives us a tool to alter the way we want others to perceive us as. I believe she had strong arguments and made it very clear to the audience what her stance was from the start.

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DEBATE: PRO OR CON DEATH PENALTY

DeathPenalty300JPGOur FCIQ class had an in class debate regarding the issue of the death penalty. The class was divided into two groups, those who were in favor of the death penalty and those who went against it. I was part of the group who had to argue in favor of the death penalty. The first time you hear the words “death penalty” they sound strong and frightening the thought of being penalized with your own death. Although it may seem an extreme means of providing justice to the victims or the family of the victim, it is sometimes the moral thing to do in order to punish the actions of the criminal. As a group we presented three arguments in order to back up out stance regarding the issue.

  1. Should we pay higher taxes in order to sustain the lives of criminals?
  • The death penalty proves to be less expensive than life imprisonment. When you analyze how the government funds these prisons, you reach the conclusion that the government is supplied with funds through the taxes of its people. Meaning we, as citizens are responsible of paying higher taxes in order to maintain criminals alive in prison. Do you believe this to be fair? Giving our own money to those who don’t deserve it at all?
  1. It provides closure for victims:
  • There are many victims of a single murderer. The criminal gets caught, tried and convicted, and it is understood that the punishment will be severe.
  • The murderer has deprived his family and friends of a love one. Their grief may not end with the murderer’s execution, but the execution does engender a feeling of relief at no longer having to think about vengeance.
  1. Death Penalty lowers crime rates:
  • If people see what could happen to them if they commit a murder then crimes would decrease in fear of the death penalty. Most people fear death and this is a rational example to demonstrate people that crimes are not worth committing.

Opposing Argumentsposter_yeoh

  1. Suffering becomes Elongated
  2. Human Rights Violation
  3. Religious Opposition
  4. Criminals Deserve a Second Chance

In conclusion, capital punishment could be argued that the justice system makes no provision in response to the crime of murder and thus provides no justice for the victim.

PERCEPTION

What is perception?

How do you recognize things around you?

You recognize things around you by their shape, color, texture, aroma, basically by using your five senses.

Perception is defined as the recognition and interpretation of sensory information. It also involves the process of how we respond to the information. Think of perception as a process where we take in sensory information from our surroundings and use that information in order to interact with our environment.

People tend to confuse sensation with perception. To make it clear for those you don’t see the difference we will take an example. Let’s say you receive a call from an unknown number and your hesitant to answer because you don’t recognize whom it may be but at the same time your curious to know. You answer and immediately recognize the voice of your friend. Even though you did not recognize the number, you heard your friends voice and recognized it as his/her. In this case hearing the voice was considered perception and recognizing it was perception. Sensation is defined as passively receiving information through sensory inputs, while perception is interpreting this information.

Proprioception is the ability for us to be aware of our body’s motions through the five senses. Our senses send their messages to the brain through a process called transduction. This means the information gathered by our senses is transformed into electrical impulses that the brain can understand.



Richard Gregory’s Theory

Psychologist Richard Gregory argued that perception is a hypothesis. When looking at something, we develop a perceptual hypothesis, which is based on knowledge we already have. However according to him, perceptual hypothesis can be disconfirmed by the data we perceive. Through studies he concluded that a lot of the information reached by our eyes is lost by the time it reaches the brain. Therefore it is up to the brain to make an educated guess based on past experiences. Gregory believed that our perceptions of the world are hypotheses based on past experiences and stored information. In conclusion, sensory receptors receive information from the environment, which is then combined with previously stored information about the world, which we have built up as a result of experience.

Supporting Evidence of Gregory’s Theory

  1. Unlikely objects tend to be mistaken for likely objects.
    1. As seen in the video above, the hollow mask of the face seems to be normal when faced to the audience but when it gradually turns around our perception of it changes.
  2. Perceptions can be ambiguous
    1. For example the Necker cube is a good example of this. When you stare at the corners of the cube, the orientation seems to suddenly change. The front face may become the back face and vice versa.
    2. The brain has the ability to perceive two equally hypothesis and is unable to decide between them.

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S.A.F.E IN HARLEM

Service Learning Project

Throughout the course, as a class we had to engage in a service-learning project. Service-learning is a teaching and learning approach that incorporates community service with academic study, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. The goal of service-learning is to strengthen both NYIT students with local communities into building collaborative partnerships in order to meet community needs. This project is offered in Foundations of Inquiry because through this course we achieve research and critical thinking skills that helps us enrich our knowledge in order to help others.

As a school we partnered with a non-profit organization called Lets-Talk-Safety, which is oriented towards substance abuse programs targeted to teens between the ages of 13-18. The president of this organization is Felecia Pullen, who we collaborated with in order to give out surveys and collect data within Harlem.

In groups of three or four, we collected data through a community survey that basically asked questions regarding students experiences with substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs. The day I went with my group, it snowed, so we got to the school as soon as students were heading home. We decided to remain as a group and approach groups of students to hand in the surveys. Some were in a hurry because it was snowing or they simply just wanted to avoid us. Most of the students were willing to take the surveys for us, so as soon as their group saw one of them take the survey that would motivate others to do the same. What helped us the most was convincing at least one person to take it, which would lead others to do the same. If one would say no, then the rest would also avoid taking it. As a group our goal was to collect 30 surveys each in order to reach the class goal. Although we each collected between 20-30 surveys we did in fact reach the goal as a class.

Once the data was collected, it was our responsibility to enter the data into an online assessment tool that compiled the information and directly presented the findings to the S.A.F.E In Harlem board. Even though the data was primary data, since we each went to the location and physically handed in the surveys to students, we can never be 100% percent sure that the answers are reliable. Students could have easily circled random answers in order to leave as soon as possible or they could have answered questions according to how much they wanted to let the organization know about them. Another issue I found that could have altered the data was the names of the drugs. I feel that students probably had not heard of those drugs and perhaps there could have been a way to make it clearer for them what they were.

I relate this project with the discipline of Statistics, because it is important to learn how to take reliable data in order to formulate conclusions to approach a solution to a question; in this case a concern. The question was how much are teens between the ages of 13-18 exposed to substance abuse environments and what percent do consume these substances. A survey was put together in order to help us collect data in order to compile it and draw conclusions.

STATISTICS

What is Statistics?

Statistics in general is the science of learning from data. We use data to study the past and to predict future experiences. It is concerned with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, as well as the effective communication and presentation of results relying on data.

Statistics is the science of:

  1. Collecting Data
  2. Analyzing Data
  3. Drawing conclusions from data.

Statistics breaks down into four different steps:

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Collect data.
  3. Display results.
  4. Draw conclusions.

Statistics is broken into two branches:

  1. Descriptive Statistics
    1. Describes the basic features of the data in a study. With descriptive statistics you are describing what is or what the data shows.
    2. Includes methods of:
      1. Organizing data.
      2. Summarizing data.
      3. Graphically displaying data.
      4. Using numerical formulas to describe the nature of data.
  1. Inferential Statistics
    1. Is defined as the branch of statistics that is used to make inferences about the characteristics of a population based on sample data.

Types of Data

There are two types of data:

Primary Data: Data found by yourself. Primary data tends to be more reliable.

Secondary Data: Data you got from another source. Secondary data is not reliable since you are not 100% sure that your source is being honest. It is key to trust the source.

Ways to Split Data:

Quantitative: Data the collects quantity.

Ex: How tall is a person? The answer would be a number.

Qualitative: Data that does not collect any numeral information but collects data related to quality.

Ex: What color of hair does a person have?

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