Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Language as a Barrier

Link to Will Richardson's interview with Carol Dweck : http://www.ustream.tv/channel/plp-live
Language we use (with anyone) is a barrier. If I were to say to you, ich bin sehr gut, or something, that language would be a barrier unless you knew it.
If I were to say to you, I attended a webcast were I heard and saw Carol Dweck, you would say "that's nice dear, pass the sugar." You would ignore it, because the schema in your brain, often called prior knowledge, is just not there.
But if I changed my language to say, I saw a TV broadcast of Carol Dweck, you would understand and be able to incorporate and respond.
Similarly, if I say to my colleagues at my school, I have a bimonthly webcast, they respond, "that's nice dear, pass the salt". But if I change the language and say, I have a bimonthly broadcast (or even radio show) they perk up, recognise and respond.
Our language about this fabulous Web2.0 world has been a barrier to so many. It is up to us to change our language to provide something familiar for people to "hang the knowledge on" as we learned in college with the prior knowledge thing. Anticipatory Sets and all that.
Carol speaks of the same barriers that our language, and because of it our mindsets, provide. Or do the mindsets come before the language? This is interesting ...

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