Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Vietnamese girl speaks 11 languages

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
108 messages over 14 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 7 ... 13 14 Next >>
Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4197 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 49 of 108
25 June 2008 at 7:23am | IP Logged 
Bluecollar,

I don't want to seem rude, but I have to ask: are you involved in the sale of Wendy's music CDs?
You just seem to be excessively interested in this, constantly bumping the thread and talking up Wendy.

Personally, I think the exposure she is being given is excessive. Top 10 role models for young people? Anyone old enough to have role models is too old to start on Wendy's path and will always be "inferior". At best she's an example to parents, but where is the guidance? How can parents help their children achieve what she's achieved?

It's a really difficult question, because when you watch her read, you can see that she has actually been taught quite badly. Her phonic awareness is good (she said larkspur perfectly on first reading) but her general reading was stilted. She was pointing to each word as she read it: a common misconception among teachers is that when the reader's eye wanders it's because the reader isn't paying attention. Actually it's because a sentence is more than just a series of words, and you can't say a word correctly until you know what the next word is: compare "an orange" with "an orange shirt" -- the word orange is pronounced differently if it's a noun or an adjective, but it's written the same. You don't know which it is by reading the word on its own.

As for the music, yes its very good for an 8 year old, but that doesn't mean it's very good. As such, the music is not being sold on its own merits, but as a cutesy novelty.

So who benefits from giving Wendy all this exposure? To me it all smacks of exploitation.
1 person has voted this message useful



portunhol
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
thelinguistblogger.w
Joined 4438 days ago

198 posts - 299 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 50 of 108
25 June 2008 at 10:29am | IP Logged 
Cainntear:

   I really must visit Scotland someday. Apparently this is a place where it is normal for eight-year-olds to compose their own piano pieces and play them on national television. In the USA we're not very used to that; my Scottish ancestors would be ashamed. It must also be a place where children read perfectly, not only in English and Scottish Gaelic, but in Vietnamese, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese and French as well. A person must be truly mediocre indeed to find such a girl as Wendy Vo to be anything more than ordinary.

   An attempt to make Miss Vo a role model is not to say that all American children must be exactly like her or utter failures, it is message saying that playing the piano and knowing foreign languages are better ways to spend one's time than playing video games and watching cartoons all day. When we point to Michael Jordan as a role model for kids, we are not saying that they must all be world class basketball players. We are saying that even poor kids with no apparent talents, like Michael Jordan was, can persevere and achieve great things.

Over critical forum contributors:

   I've been reading your criticisms of Wendy Vo, Ziad Fazah, Stuart Jay Raj, Steve Kauffmann, etc. in these forums. Will belittling their achievements make you any better at your target languages? No one speaks perfectly, not even in their own native language. Ask any professional linguist. Though I think we should all strive to get as close to perfection as we can I don't think we should give up if we never learn to speak X language with absolute perfection. I also think that the people I mentioned above are role models for those of us who want to be fluent in many languages. Fluency and perfection are not the same thing. Even though they do not speak their 10+ languages perfectly, they speak them well enough for those languages to enrich and greatly complement their lives. If you make friends that you wouldn't have made otherwise, read wonderful literature that you wouldn't have even glanced at otherwise, have better job opportunities and eat really good food that you wouldn't have had otherwise, all because you speak several languages well (but not perfectly) have you not achieved something? Is that not noteworthy? To some of you this is not meaningful or worthwhile and I think that this point of view is extremely pessimistic and destructive.

Edited by portunhol on 25 June 2008 at 10:34am

11 persons have voted this message useful



Gilgamesh
Tetraglot
Senior Member
England
Joined 4428 days ago

452 posts - 468 votes 
14 sounds
Speaks: Dutch, English, German, French
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 51 of 108
25 June 2008 at 11:44am | IP Logged 
portunhol wrote:


Over critical forum contributors:

   I've been reading your criticisms of Wendy Vo, Ziad Fazah, Stuart Jay Raj, Steve Kauffmann, etc. in these forums.


That is, unfortunately, so true.

Whenever we discuss a person like that people become vicious arseholes for some reason. It's happened with everybody already.

It's like a certain protocol, something that must come to pass at all costs.

Someone posts an article/video or whatever about some person...

Then the nitpicking starts.

"In the 2nd Cantonese sentence, one of the tones was a little off... He doesn't seem to know a lot about Cantonese and I doubt he has studied it at all."

"The usage of that idiom would be incorrect in certain parts of Northern Argentina."

"He paused for a second while coming up with a translation for x; he's absolutely worthless, because speaking a language fluently means you can always translate anything perfectly, seemlessly on the fly."

"She (an eight-year-old kid) failed to read something correctly! There, I have it! Hold it at 3:35 and you'll see how she'll stutter a little bit and then even fails to produce the correct sound! I don't believe people like that should be allowed to live!"

--

THAT kinda stuff. It's all too common on boards like these.

People have been very vicious, very mean here... especially with the whole Ziad Fazah thing and all... Well, I guess some are just frustrated or can only feel good about themselves judging and criticizing others.

-

I'm not saying we should all dance around the maypole everytime we discuss someone like that, nor look at their achievements without a bit of scepticism or whatever you want to call it.
There's only an ever so slight and subtle difference between criticism and verbally urinating on someone.

Edited by Gilgamesh on 25 June 2008 at 11:51am

4 persons have voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4197 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 52 of 108
25 June 2008 at 11:57am | IP Logged 
First up, I agree that some of the criticism by other members has been entirely unreasonable. However...
portunhol wrote:
Cainntear:

   I really must visit Scotland someday. Apparently this is a place where it is normal for eight-year-olds to compose their own piano pieces and play them on national television. In the USA we're not very used to that; my Scottish ancestors would be ashamed. It must also be a place where children read perfectly, not only in English and Scottish Gaelic, but in Vietnamese, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese and French as well. A person must be truly mediocre indeed to find such a girl as Wendy Vo to be anything more than ordinary.

I never said she was ordinary. She has achieved an awful lot. She has without a doubt earned the label "prodigy". I simply object to any child being put in the public eye and ogled as a "beautiful freak". A lot of child prodigies have found fame to be deeply troubling and have had very unhappy lives. Mozart turned out OK, but he didn't have cameras following him around. He could go outside and be moderately normal.

I simply don't see how either society or Wendy will benefit from this.

As for my statement about her reading, it is certainly not a criticism of the child: it is a criticism of the educational system she has been exposed to. I am no prodigy, but I learned to read fluently because my mum didn't let me hide words with my hands -- my parents, both teachers, understood that a sentence is not just a sequence of words.

I fully expect to see a book entitled "How To Make Your Child Undecalingual" or somesuch. People will believe this is a magic bullet, but once more it would be better titled what we were doing while our child became bilingual with no analysis of what Wendy was actually doing while the teachers were talking to her, and making no attempt to generalise it for all children.

In reality, Wendy probably just learned naturally as any other child would, and any techniques will have been entirely incidental to the process. I mention her reading fluency as visible evidence that those techniques are suboptimal.

Furthermore, studies suggest that kids who are told they are exceptionally bright think they never have to try. They don't put any effort into their education and in the end they fail, and the "mediocre" overtake them educationally because they know what it means to work for something. Talking up this girl now could actually damage her intellectual development.

But someone's always willing to pimp out a cute kid just to see a dead president smile, and don't give a f&%k what is does to the child.

Edited by Cainntear on 25 June 2008 at 12:02pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



bluecollar
Groupie
United States
Joined 4340 days ago

43 posts - 48 votes

 
 Message 53 of 108
25 June 2008 at 12:12pm | IP Logged 
Leosmith
I would like to know if there are some people here who are successful in becoming a super polyglot.Hopefully I can learn a few things from them.
1 person has voted this message useful



bluecollar
Groupie
United States
Joined 4340 days ago

43 posts - 48 votes

 
 Message 54 of 108
25 June 2008 at 12:33pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear
You have a lot of strong opinions.Of course you have the right to say whatever you want.I just hope that you show your fellow language learners some respect.
1 person has voted this message useful



leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4736 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 55 of 108
25 June 2008 at 1:38pm | IP Logged 
bluecollar wrote:
I would like to know if there are some people here who are successful in becoming a super
polyglot.Hopefully I can learn a few things from them.

Go to: Members> Language Profile. There are 8 people fluent in 10 languages or more.
1 person has voted this message useful



bluecollar
Groupie
United States
Joined 4340 days ago

43 posts - 48 votes

 
 Message 56 of 108
25 June 2008 at 1:46pm | IP Logged 
Thanks,Leo


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 108 messages over 14 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 68 9 10 11 12 13 14  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3281 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.