Re: Reading Images

Ania Lian (ania@LINGUA.CLTR.UQ.OZ.AU)
Fri, 5 Jan 1996 11:07:53 +1000

On Thu, 4 Jan 1996, stacey a ayeh wrote:

> ....
> Let me put it this way; if you had never seen the English alphabets before
> in your life and you were confronted with it for the first time. What would
> you see? Would you see the shapes of each individual letter? or could you
> only see it (and identify it as the letter "A") if you had been taught that
> this is the letter "a"- apple begins with the letter.....
> Does any one appreciate what I'm trying to get at?

Yes, I do, and probably many others. From the point of view of an applied
linguist and language teacher, this is the very phenomenon we have to
deal with every day. Just because we have ears it does not presuppose us
to hear the difference between, say, French sounds and English sounds. I
think that organisation of relationships is THE most crucial issue in my
work. It is not about racism, although I have known teachers say that
s/he has an impaired hearing/brain because s/he cannot tell the
difference. Once understood that life is about organisation of
relationships the paradigms of our thinking broaden and attitudes change.

In Australia there is currently running a French program about the brain.
It was interesting to see (and anthropologists probably have known this
for years) that a baby is born with brain's network organised around the
things that are crucial for its survival. Other connections are made as
the child grows.