Open 58, 2020-2

Page 1

ISSN 2228-0847

EATE Estonian Association of Teachers of English

The EATE Journal Issue No. 58 OCTOBER 2020

COMPUTER-BASED FOREIGN LANGUAGE EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT IN THE ESTONIAN CONTEXT – OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Kristel Kriisa 1 LANGUAGES FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES Ursula Erik, Ülle Sihver 4 HYBRID TEXTS: AN INNOVATIVE GENRE TO INTEGRATE LITERARY AND INFORMATIONAL TEXT William Bintz

7

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: IS IT WORTH THE TIME? Kelli Odhuu 15 FROM BILINGUALISM TO MULTICULTURALISM IN CANADA Carol Kahar 18 HEINRICH MUTSCHMANN – PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH PHILOLOGY IN TARTU (DORPAT) FROM 1921 TO 1939 Enn Veldi 27 ACADEMIC ANGLO-ESTONIAN SOCIETY Ilmar Anvelt

37

THE OTHER SIDE OF SUMMER Julia Hirsch 43

Experienced Educator CAN DO! An interview with Tiiu Vitsut

46

Reading Recommendations DEMYSTIFYING THE COMPLEX SPELLING OF ENGLISH Kärt Roomäe

50

THE END OF THE WORLD OR JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE Erika Puusemp

52


ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOW 50TH ANNIVERSARY MID-YEAR EXPANDS COOPERATION & SKILLS ACROSS BORDERS From January 29 to February 1, 2020, English Language Fellows from the United States, Regional English Language Officers (RELO), and RELO Assistants representing 21 European countries gathered in Tallinn not just for their own professional training and a best practices exchange, but to share their expertise with local Estonian Teachers of English. On Day 4, Fellows presented workshops and poster sessions at the Critical Thinking and STEAM in 21st Century English Education professional development conference. Alltogether, 80 local educators from universities, colleges, high schools, and elementary schools across Estonia attended, with wide representation from both Estonian-speaking and Russian-speaking teachers. The topics of critical thinking and STEAM emphasized the type of logical, scientific thinking that is needed to counter disinformation and encourage social cohesion in Europe.

Photos by Tiiu Vitsut

Estonian Association of Teachers of English www.eate.ee Chair Erika Puusemp erika.puusemp@gmail.com

Editor of OPEN! Ilmar Anvelt ilmar.anvelt@ut.ee

Current account EE331010152001597007 in SEB


COMPUTER-BASED FOREIGN LANGUAGE EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT IN THE ESTONIAN CONTEXT – OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Kristel Kriisa Foundation Innove

In the globalised world where everyone is expected to speak at least one foreign language in addition to their mother tongue, the ways of evaluating people’s foreign language skills are becoming increasingly important. At the same time, rapid technological developments, as well as a recent worldwide pandemic have led to innovative approaches to how language tests are prepared, administered, assessed and analysed. This has also been the case in Estonia. Up until now, the foreign language tests used in external assessment in Estonia (e.g. national standardised tests and exams) have been traditional paper-based (PB) tests, which have been produced following ALTE Minimum Standards as well as EALTA Guidelines for Good Practice in Language Testing and Assessment. The Year 9 and 12 examinations are linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and measure all four basic language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing. To implement the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy, the Ministry of Education and Research initiated the Digital Turn programme where it is stated that computer-based (CB) assessment would create “more and easier opportunities for schools to make use of assessment results in teaching and to measure different types of knowledge and skills” (HTM, 2018). Based on the above, CB standardised tests and CB exams will soon be developed and introduced. The Ministry wants to develop CB foreign language tests that measure all the four skills and are prepared, administered and assessed in the Examination Information System (EIS). Test results can be accessed by different stakeholders (e.g. students, parents, teachers, school management, school administrators, ministry, testing organisation) and should help them make decisions concerning teaching, learning and assessment processes. In 2017, the Ministry and Foundation Innove started cooperating closely to establish an e-assessment system for foreign languages. A document giving an overview of this innovative approach in foreign language assessment was developed in collaboration with several foreign language experts. It concluded, firstly, that students should receive more systematic feedback on the progress of their foreign language learning, and secondly, that CB tests to evaluate as well as indirectly support students’ foreign language learning pathways should be available at the end of Years 6, 9 and 12. Although students’ foreign language proficiency has been evaluated externally in Estonia ​​for more than 20 years, the number of people who can be considered experts in the field of foreign language assessment is relatively small and not many national studies have been carried out in the field. Therefore, a master’s thesis in educational technology was written at Tallinn University in 2019 (Kriisa, 2019), which studied the suitability of CB tests for implementation in the national external evaluation system based on the first pilot CB test in English. Another master’s thesis will be written next year to analyse how CB tests could be used in the Estonian context to evaluate students’ speaking skills. Overview of pilot tests Since 2018, five different CB tests in English have been piloted. Interest in the pilot tests has been remarkable and in total 2,102 students from 81 schools have taken part in the pilot sessions. Three of the tests were at A2 level, one was at B1 level and one was a bilevel (B1/B2) test. Four of the


tests assessed reading, listening and writing skills, one measured students’ speaking skills. Most of the tasks in the pilot tests were automatically marked by computer. Writing tasks were double marked using marking scales: by schoolteachers and by assessors trained at Innove. In total, 128 different teachers of English have been involved in the assessment of the five pilot tests. At the end of each test, a short questionnaire consisting of mostly multiple-choice questions was added to collect feedback from students. Feedback has also been collected from those involved in administering and assessing the test (e.g. teachers, educational technologists and trained assessors). CB tests: opportunities The pilot tests have shown that compiling tasks for CB tests in the EIS environment gives item writers the opportunity to approach the task from a different angle, because several rules that apply to paperbased tests are no longer relevant. However, based on the recommendations of testing experts, the convenience of the test taker must be constantly considered when compiling tasks both on paper and in an e-environment. The EIS also offers more creative and interactive solutions than paper-based tests allow. For example, images, sound files, graphs and videos can be used to illustrate text, without adding any additional costs. CB tests replace boring gap-filling and matching tasks with much more interactive solutions, such as drop-down menus, text boxes or dragging the answers. The EIS also offers additional options which help increase test security. For example, multiple-choice tasks can be programmed so that students see the answer options in different orders. This reduces the risk of students collaborating with one another whilst sitting the test. The median time spent on completing the test and the feedback collected from students suggest that taking CB tests is faster, more exciting and more convenient than taking traditional PB tests. In contrast to the common practice of all students completing the listening component together and listening to each audio file twice, students were able to complete the listening tasks at their own pace, thereby reducing average time spent. Because the audio files were listened to individually using headphones, each student was able to play them at their preferred time. The students could also decide for themselves whether they needed to listen to each audio file once or twice. The writing tasks look more authentic in the EIS environment than in a PB test. In the latter, one option is to ask the students to write a letter to his or her pen friend, which seldom happens in real life, or have them write an email on paper using a pen, which is another illogical activity. In a CB test the environment is natively digital which lends itself to a natural user experience for such task types. The fact that in the writing task, the number of words written is automatically counted is certainly helpful to the students as they do not have to spend extra time checking whether they have met requirements. In the case of open-ended questions, students can delete and retype a misspelled answer, whereas in a PB test, any corrections made will always remain visible and can look messy. The pilot tests demonstrated that automated assessment can be used with most tasks, which is obviously much faster than with PB tests. In the case of PB tests, the risk of human error in assessing is clearly much higher than in the case of e-tests. Thus, e-assessment makes it possible to significantly reduce the level of subjectivity. For matching and multiple-choice tasks, the key is generally easy to compile, and assessment is completely automatic. The responses do not have to be keyed in manually and the writing part can be assessed by several assessors at the same time, so there is no need to scan or transport the papers. The computer automatically scores blank answers with 0 points and automatically counts the number of words written which significantly reduces the assessors’ workload. Support materials for the assessors (e.g. marking scale, sample scripts) can also be uploaded to the portal and the assessors can easily ask the Assessment Team Leader for advice during the assessment period. When it comes to PB tests, assessors often struggle as it is not always easy to decipher students’ handwriting. In the case of e-tests, difficult-to-read or even illegible handwriting does not affect assessment. CB tests: challenges Unfortunately, the EIS occasionally imposes limitations and the use of digital solutions sometimes results in unexpected technical problems. Since 2018, either before or after each pilot test, software 2


development has been necessary to create numerous new solutions. Also, the graphical user interface of the EIS portal takes some time to get used to and registering test takers online or taking a CB test can be a bit tricky when done for the very first time. Sometimes logging-in to the EIS environment using a password, ID card, Mobile-ID or Smart-ID, can create problems that do not occur when students are sitting a PB test. In addition, the e-assessment limits the types of tasks that can be used. In the case of open-ended tasks, the assessment criteria need to be thought through very carefully and more experts need to be involved before testing. Assessing open-ended listening tasks also poses some challenges. Such tasks require additional work during the test development period and a careful pre-testing process to ensure that all correct answers are automatically marked as correct in the end. In the case of PB listening tasks, small typographical errors in responses have been acceptable so far. However, because the computer cannot decide independently which errors may be considered minor, and as it is also impossible to include all potential misspelled responses in the assessment algorithm, misspelled answers are automatically marked as incorrect. Feedback The pilot tests have shown that students generally like taking CB tests. Probably because these allow the use of digital solutions and because images, sound files and interactive features make the whole process of taking the test more interesting. The pilot tests have also revealed that depending on Internet bandwidth, technical problems may occur, and these can obviously have a negative effect on students’ performance. Fortunately, most of the students stated that there had been no technical problems during the test. Teachers’ feedback suggested that students were not used to typing text and tended to make more spelling mistakes than they would have in PB tests. An analysis of responses to the writing tasks confirmed the same issue. The English and Estonian alphabets are relatively similar. However, for Russian-speaking students (especially younger ones), having to use a foreign keyboard can cause serious problems as it is completely different from what they are used to. Next steps The pilot tests carried out so far have shown that it is possible to design, administer, sit and assess CB English tests in the EIS environment. Compared to PB assessment, CB assessment offers several innovative solutions and will probably replace PB tests in the future. However, it also presents several challenges that need to be overcome before high-stakes national PB exams can be replaced by CB ones. In the autumn of 2020, more pilot tests in English will be carried out. While the first trials focused more on designing tasks and administering tests in the EIS environment, future ones will aim to provide reliable and understandable feedback to students, teachers and schools. WORKS CITED HTM. (2018). Digipöörde programm 2019–2022. www.hm.ee/sites/default/files/2_digiprogr_2019_22_ seletuskiri_28dets18.pdf. Kriisa, K. (2019). Arvutipõhine võõrkeeleoskuse välishindamine Eesti kontekstis – võimalused ja kitsaskohad (master’s thesis). https://www.etera.ee/s/V21X41JIEG

3


LANGUAGES FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES Ursula Erik

Estonian University of Life Sciences

Ülle Sihver

Languages, and for specific purposes – what could possibly be so specific about a language or the purposes of learning it? Let us take a look at teaching them, based on real-life case studies. Teachers of languages for specific purposes (LSP) meet each year and this year shared their experience at the seminar “Learner of LSP. What and how should be taught?” at the Estonian University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool, EMÜ) in Tartu on 14 February 2020. The presentations gave insights into the joys and mission-impossible moments of the teachers – or how else would you describe the task of teaching French to beginners in 40 hours, from total zero, so that the learners would manage with basics in Mali, on their real mission? Madli Kütt from Estonian National Defence College (Kaitseväe Akadeemia, KVA) energised the audience with her story of teaching not ’just a language’, but a ’backwards-language’, as even NATO is OTAN in French, for learners with a very practical communicative goal. She found out first what exactly the learners needed, then “understood I have to forget about the available textbooks” and worked out a system of simulation and role plays, creating associations for spoken language with movement, gestures, associations and vocabulary cards. The varied and inspiring teaching kit prompted a question from the audience about how much time it took to prepare for the 40 hours of teaching. Madli Kütt was diplomatic, expressing hope it had been within the general hours of working time required for teachers. Maia Boltovsky, also from the Estonian National Defence College (KVA), described how to encourage reflecting and meta-learning activities, with a learner insight by cadet Mihkel Veski. Learners with insufficient preparation of learning strategies for studies need practice to develop their self-regulated learning skills. Cadet Mihkel Veski explained how a total no-group-work person – what he had thought he was – could enjoy reflection, self-reflection and peer reflection when work is well planned and tasks suitably organised. Kaarin Tuuksam and Sigrid Tooming from EMÜ described the obligatory English for Specific Purposes course for the 1st year students. EMÜ ESP courses have a common framework, based on the curricula and objectives of the university, and specific terminology of the field for groups. The focus is on being able to write abstracts (for coursework and theses), explaining the speciality concepts in Estonian, based on comprehension of specific information in English (an article in Wikipedia) and being able to express the ideas in English (presentations). Mare Roes from the Tallinn University of Technology (Tallinna Tehnikaülikool, TTÜ) told us about her experience of teaching ESP and highlighted the correlation between objectives and teaching hours. Sigrid Parts from the Estonian Business School (EBS) shared their practice of teaching languages for business communication. The students of EBS are expected to be able to communicate in at least three languages.

4


Kaire Viil from TTÜ Virumaa College (Tallinna Tehnikaülikooli Virumaa kolledž) described her experience of motivating e-course learners, especially during the all-too-often drop of enthusiasm after the first weeks of active participating. It should be kept in mind that motivation can be internal or external or combined and needs to be encouraged. She reminded us of an EMÜ student’s feedback to an online grammar course, which sums up the mixed motivation and self-regulation students might struggle with: “I joined the course because I needed the credit points, but ended up learning something as well.” An e-course is a flexible way of enabling learners to combine their studies in and out of the classroom and develop the skills for self-management of learning. Some very specific aspects that have to be considered were discussed by Jelena Kapura and Kerli Linnat from Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (Sisekaitseakadeemia, SKA). The title of their presentation about ageing population and curriculum development evoked curiosity. Actually, the connection is logical, as they are training students for the 112 distress calls, to be able to communicate in Estonian, Russian and English. An issue one might not think about is the callers – all of them in trouble, sometimes in panic or drunk or both, often using the vocabulary you will not find in any textbook nor in many dictionaries either, or just having a very limited command of the language which is not their mother tongue, but the 112 has to find out what is going on, despite the callers themselves sometimes not having a clear idea of what is wrong. Jelena Kapura mentioned that their students’ average age is rising due to young people’s insufficient Russian. The callers, on the other hand, tend to be elderly people whose Estonian is poor. Surprisingly, the Estonian-Russian speakers do not have an advantage, she said, as they communicate in Russian, but take notes in Estonian, which needs mental processing and specific vocabulary. The recurrent theme during the seminar was the wide scope of language skills. The future specialists have to manage when they start their independent career and often face long and complicated texts or instructions. Therefore, the set of the so-called survival skills has to include an understanding of machine translation, its limits and practical applications. Ursula Erik (EMÜ) gave a brief overview of machine translation and what more there is to it than Google Translate. Even Google Translate is not the source of jokes it used to be and has switched from the statistical piece-to-piece method to Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT), which uses wider context and is more accurate. Irina Koksharova (EMÜ) gave examples from English and Russian and stressed that the learners have to know what they need the language for, and how to find the relevant terminology by checking, rechecking and double-checking. The number of texts of some fields is higher in the internet, therefore the translations are more reliable, e.g. with technical and veterinary terminology. Ursula Erik demonstrated the machine translation options of TartuNLP and Tilde. TartuNLP, University of Tartu, specialises in neural translation. Their neurotolge.ee even enables multilingual translation with a mix of languages in a sentence, changing the style from informal to formal to polite, and correcting errors. Tilde is a European language technology company, which has Estonian in their Tilde Translator choice of languages and provides a number of services, including processing of documents. Learners tend to think about dictionaries when they need “a word“, therefore we have to give them practice to make them aware that terms are often not translated word for word; the context has to be considered, and sources like the Riigi Teataja parallel texts (legislation in Estonian and English), Wikipedia multiple language versions and the IATE termbase with the languages of the European Union should be used when looking for a term that is correct and used in the field. In addition, it should be kept in mind that the learner of LSP has to have a good command of terminology in their mother tongue. They should know that CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools with translation memories are available. CAT tools are different from machine translation, as they enable creating personal databases and text corpora. At the end of the day (as the saying goes in contemporary Estonian), one could not help feeling in awe with the creativeness of the teachers. Mostly it is not possible to rely to just one textbook, as the needs and the teaching context is... just specific. Well, it is LSP! 5


Based on what was discussed and shared, some guidelines could be outlined that might be helpful: • Identify the needs of the learners. The higher and vocational education institutions have the curricula and objectives that set the general aim; lifelong learners of language courses describe what they need the language for. For example, a group of journalists or lawyers need to grasp the nuances of complicated grammar; engineers are generally more straightforward but have to understand there’s no need to translate user manuals word-for-word (Push the button with your finger: if you include the ’your’ in Estonian, it implies as if in some cases it would be acceptable to push it with someone else’s finger), and doctors or veterinarians have to be able to speak the ’human language’ as well, to explain the problem to the patient or the patient’s owner. • Consider the number of teaching hours you have and how many learners are expected to participate, think carefully what could realistically be achieved within the timeframe. • Course design as described by L. Dee Fink (A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning, https://www.deefinkandassociates.com/GuidetoCourseDesignAug05.pdf ) is efficient. For example, the learners need to prepare for doing a presentation. That is the aim and final point to start planning backwards from. The skills for a presentation are speaking and preparing visuals. The activity before the final presentation (Step 3) could be discussing the drafts in small groups, to become more confident with the material and edit the visual (Step 2). To prepare the draft presentation, the learners need to know about visuals and highlighting information, which would be a chance to practice speaking in peer discussions (Step 1). These 3 basic steps could be taken according to how much classroom time you have for each activity. • Be prepared for very varied language skills – always have a ’survival kit’ for the slow and for the fluent learners. • Teaching LSP often includes MSP, mother tongue for specific purposes, as the learners are learning their speciality and terminology in their mother tongue as well, and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). • Work hand-in-hand with teachers of the speciality. If that is not possible, you can teach language for learning the speciality. Our experience in EMÜ is that learners have to realise that their work actually matters more than ’getting the grades and credit points’. Therefore, the community aspect is relevant to make the learner feel what they do is of importance for the society. In EMÜ, the LSP task of writing an article for Wikipedia is the learners’ contribution to develop terminology and specific texts in Estonian. To sum up, a quote on teaching LSP: “Language for specific purposes (LSP) courses are those in which the methodology, the content, the objectives, the materials, the teaching, and the assessment practices all stem from specific, target language uses based on an identified set of specialized needs.“ (Jonathan Trace, Thom Hudson, and James Dean Brown. An Overview of Language for Specific Purposes http://nflrc.lll.hawaii.edu/media/docs/NW69-01.pdf ).

6


HYBRID TEXTS: AN INNOVATIVE GENRE TO INTEGRATE LITERARY AND INFORMATIONAL TEXT William Bintz College of Education, Health and Human Services, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA

My ELA standards emphasize reading literary text, but they also emphasize reading informational text. I’ve always associated ELA with teaching literary text, especially fictional narratives. My problem is that I don’t know how to integrate literary and informational text in my ELA classroom (10th grade ELA teacher). This article is a response to the problem expressed by this English/ Language Arts (ELA) teacher, and many others like her. It introduces hybrid text as an innovative genre to integrate literary and informational text. I begin by describing hybrid text as an extension of paired text and then identify several design features of hybrid text. I end with some final thoughts. Paired Text Hybrid text is rooted in paired text (Bintz, 2015). A paired text is two texts that are conceptually related in some way, e.g. topic, theme, genre, etc. Paired text is based on the belief that reading is about making connections, specifically making personal connections between the books readers are currently reading and their past experiences. Purpose of Paired Text Paired text has many purposes. One purpose is to put intertextuality into action. Intertextuality refers to the cognitive process of making connections across texts. Paired text is an instructional strategy that helps readers make intertextual connections across texts. By using paired text, readers develop both an expectation for connections and strategies for making the search for connections more productive and wide ranging. Types of Paired Text There are many different types of paired text. A paired text can be two texts by the same author or illustrator, two texts on the same story one of which is a traditional version and the other a variant, two texts with similar story structures or text types, two texts with similar topics or themes, two texts with similar content areas, two texts from the same genre, two texts – one literary (fiction) and one informational (nonfiction) – that deal with the same or related topic, and combined-text picture books, texts that integrate multiple genres of expository and narrative writing. Consciously pairing texts or recognizing the intertextual connections between texts has multiple benefits. Benefits of Paired Text Paired texts help students learn about one book from the other. They also help students learn content 7


area material. In fact, reading and sharing understandings of paired text contributes to learning not only in ELA but also across all subjects. Specifically, paired text: 1) enables students to share and extend understanding of each text differently from reading and discussion of only one text, 2) helps students to read one text and in the process build background knowledge for reading a second, related text, 3) provides experiences with multiple genres and content areas, 4) demonstrates how different genres provide students with different lenses for interpreting the text and, therefore, different ways of knowing about texts, 5) highlights different text structures, specialized academic vocabulary, captions, diagrams, subheadings, maps, etc., 6) increases vocabulary by seeing the same or similar words in different contexts, and 7) increases motivation to explore topics students are not initially interested in. Hybrid Text Hybrid text is an extension or variation of paired text. Instead of two texts, hybrid text is a single text in which two different types or genres of texts are integrated into one. More specifically, a hybrid text is a single text that integrates literary and informational text. These texts present information about a specific topic using narrative as the primary means of expression. These texts essentially have a dual purpose. They tell a story and present information at the same time. Hybrid texts are also referred to as mixed-genre text, multi-genre text, and post-modern picture books. Some examples of hybrid texts include The Bumblebee Queen (Sayre 2006), Big Blue Whale (Davies 1998), If the Earth‌Were a Few Feet in Diameter (Miller 1998), Energy Island (Drummond 2011), One Riddle, One Answer (Thompson 2001), and A Wreath for Emmett Till (Nelson 2005). One of the most interesting and innovative aspects of hybrid texts is the use of different design features. Design Features of Hybrid Text Hybrid texts can be characterized as multimodal texts because they present information across a variety of modes, including visual images, design elements, written language, and other semiotic resources. These multimodal texts convey information through multiple systems or modes, including visual images, typography, graphic design elements, and written text. In short, hybrid texts integrate language, illustration, and design. Here, I identify and describe seven design features in specific hybrid texts. Font. Traditionally, the term font is often associated with typeface; that is how writen text is designed. Fonts vary depending on characteristics such as height, width, angle, weight, and style of written text. Python (Cheng & Jackson 2013) is a hybrid text that is written in two kinds of fonts to highlight the difference between the literary and the informational text. The literary text uses a formal font and the informational text uses an italicized font.

Specifically, Python is a picture book that uses rich language and beautiful illustrations to describe important characteristics and behaviors of the diamond python, a snake indigenous to the Australian 8


bush. The literary text (narrative) tells the story of the python waking, smelling the air, and prowling the bush looking for food. After several missed attempts, the python sucessfully pounces, constricts her prey, and digests her meal, slowly, plentifully, and secretly. Later, the python coils around her eggs and waits for hatchlings to appear. Once born, they, like their mother, will spend their lives smelling, watching, and waiting. In Python the informational text effortlessly follows the narrative, letting the narrative of one diamond python lead the way. In this way the informational text enriches the narrative with important and fascinating content area material about the life of the diamond python. Interestingly enough, the informational text is not only written in a different font but also, unlike the narrative text, is written in a curving design that effectively resembles the slithering movement of the python throughout the story. Volcano Rising (Rusch 2013), Flight of the Honey Bee (Huber 2013), Emu (Saxby 2015), and Big Red Kangaroo (Saxby 2015) are other hybrid texts that use the same design feature. In particular, Big Red Kangaroo alerts readers to pay attention to two kinds of text by stating: “Look up the pages to find out all about kangaroo things. Don’t forget to look at both kinds of words – this kind and this kind.” Motif. Motif is a single, repeated design. Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library (Rosenstock 2013) is a fascinating hybrid text (picture book) that uses motif as a design feature. It describes an important character trait of Thomas Jefferson, a trait often overlooked by historians and history textbooks. Namely, Jefferson loved to read and collect books. He loved both so much that, over the years, his accumulated collection helped create and establish the world’s largest library at the time, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

From a literary perspective, this hybrid text provides a fascinating biography of Thomas Jefferson, his life with books, his passion for reading, collecting, and sharing his library with others. From an informational perspective, it uses the motif of an opened miniature book with a two-page spread inserted on each page. Each miniature book provides interesting information about Thomas Jefferson and his love of books. These miniature books also provide family information, historical information, quotes by Jefferson as well as quotes of other people at the time, including slaves, congressional representatives, political opponents, family relatives, and international diplomats. Another hybrid text that uses the motif is The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau (Yaccarino 2009). In this instance the motif is a circle on each page, representing a water bubble in the sea. Each bubble contains historical information, especially quotes made by Jacques Cousteau about his passion for the sea. Play, Mozart, Play! (Sis 2006) is yet another hybrid text that uses the motif as a design feature. Marginalia. Marginalia is a design feature that uses written text, symbols, illuminations, scribbles, and comments in the margins of the text. Starry Messenger (Sis 1996) is an award-winning picture book that uses this design feature to introduce the famous scientist and mathematian, Galileo Galilei. 9


The literary text (narrative) depicts the life and times of Galileo as a famous scientist, mathematician, astonomer, philosopher, and physicist. It highlights Galileo’s refusal to accept the conventional thinking of the time, and his telescopic observations of the stars proving that the earth was not the center of the universe but rather the earth rotated around the sun. The informational text is provided through marginalia – that is, information provided in the margins of each page.

In Starry Messenger, each page is a double-page spread with illustrations covering approximately three-fourths of the complete page. The remaining space is a top-to-bottom single column replete with important historical information in both words and pictures about Italy, Galileo’s country; Pisa, Galileo’s birthplace; the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria di Vallombrosa and the University of Pisa, Galileo’s schools; and a hydrostatic balance, a practical thermometer, a geometric and miltary compass, and the first astronomical telescope – the scientific instruments invented by Galileo. Like other hybrid texts that use marginalia as a design feature, readers could read the text of Starry Messenger without the panels (marginalia), and it would make complete sense. However, with the information presented in the margins the reader’s understanding and knowledge of the topics addressed is enhanced. Other hybrid texts that utilize this design feature are Snowflake Bentley (Martin 1998), No Fear For Freedom: The Story of the Friendship 9 (Johnson 2014), The 5,000-YearOld Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt (Logan 2002), and Dark Emporer & Other Poems of the Night (Sidman 2010). Poetry. Poetry is a distinctive literary type of writing. Haiku is a traditional form of poetry. Haiku Hike (2005) is a delightful hybrid text written and illustrated by fourth-grade students. It tells the story of two young friends who decide to go on a hike to observe and photograph nature. Once hiking, they realize they have left the camera behind. So, they decide to write in researcher notebooks about the interesting things they see along the way. They write haiku poetry, a traditional form of Japanese poetry, and field notes, a kind of writing often used by scientists while make observations of a phenomenon. This hybrid text highlights both genres.

In Haiku Hike the literary text includes a collection of haiku poems about waterfalls, mighty oak trees, spring peepers, wildflowers, moose, and dragonflies that the friends see and write about along the way. The informational text includes written field notes that provide interesting facts about all of them. 10


Together, this hybrid text integrates not only literary and informational text, but also Science and English/Language Arts through both genres. Other hybrid texts that use poetry as a design feature are Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars (Florian 2007) and One Leaf Rides the Wind (Mannis 2002). Symbolism. A Drop Around the World (McKinney 1998) uses lyrical text to tell the story of the water cycle. It describes how the water cycle supports life everywhere through the journey of a raindrop as it travels around the world in the sky, on the land, under the ground, and in the sea. On this journey, water is also described in terms of changing forms – liquid, solid, and vapor. The informational text is provided through symbolism, a design feature in which an object is used to represent an important idea.

A Drop Around the World incorporates a variety of symbols to add important information to the literary (narrative) text. These symbols include a hot air baloon to indicate that raindrops are world travelers, a snowflake to indicate that raindrops turn from a fluid to a solid when temperatures fall below 32 degrees F or zero degrees C, a cloud to indicate how different clouds are made in the atmosphere, an unbalanced scale to indicate that water is heavy, a leaf to indicate how water keeps the earth green and healthy, and a rainbow to indicate how water can bend light. These symbols are integrated into the text. They appear at the end of lines of text to enhance reader understanding of what is happening to the raindrop at different phases of the water cycle and the important science behind it. At the conclusion of the story, the symbols are presented with an explanation and information about what they stand for. This invites the readers to use this important reference while they are reading to enhance their understanding and knowledge of the content. The Great Wall of China (Fisher 1986) is another hybrid text that uses this design feature. Illustrative Chronology. The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Sis 2014) is a beautiful biography that celebrates the remarkable author of The Little Prince, one of the world’s most beloved books. The literary (narrative) text describes the life and times of Antoine De Saint-Exupery from his birth in France to his last courageous flight from which he mysteriously never

11


returned. In between, he lived an adventurous life always centered on aviation. Among other things, as a young man he learned to fly and then became a pilot. Later, he was hired by a commercial airline to deliver mail. In this job, he created new mail routes in South America and eventually became a pilot in World War II. In 1943 The Little Prince was published. The informational text is shared through illustrative chronology. This design feature presents a colorful chronology of important events, information, and people related to the narrative text. Many illlustrations are accompanied by single captions, while others are multiple illustrations and captions connected to the text. Still others are full-page, single illustrations without text, such as the work of Peter Sis: Wall (2007), The Tree of Life (2003), Tibet Through the Red Box (1998), Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus (2003). Fun facts and intriguing questions. Matter: See It, Touch It, Taste It, Smell It (Stille, 2004) is an introduction to the scientfic concept of matter. It describes several characters engaged in real-life situations in which matter is involved in some form or function. Through these situtations, readers learn what matter is, the three kinds of matter, and the changing states of matter.

The literary (narrative) text is accompanied by fun facts located at the bottom of each page. These facts provide entertaining snippets of additional important information about matter. These fun facts are extended at the end of the book with a glossary of important vocabulary words and Matters of Fact, even more snippets that significantly extend readers’ understanding of the concept of matter. Engineering the ABC’s: How Engineers Shape Our World (Novak 2010) stretches significantly beyond fun facts and poses intriguing questions to the reader, hence, it is another hybrid text that effectively uses this design feature. Notes, words, phrases and definitions. The Salem Witch Trials: An Unsolved Mystery from History (Yolen & Stemple 2004) is a fascinating account of one of the most tragic and unimaginable, yet true, events in American history. It describes townspeople who lived in Salem Village, Massachusetts, a small Puritan community in 1692. One day, three young girls were apparently afflicted with a mysterious illness. Their symptoms included convulsions, contortions, and shouting unintelligible

12


words. The local physician diagnosed them as “bewitched�. A witch hunt and trial quickly followed. Based mostly on forced confessions, 141 townspeople were arrested and convicted of witchcraft, and of those, 19 were actually hanged. It took 300 years (1992) for the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass a resolution acknowledging that the accused had been innocent of witchcraft. This hybrid is a mystery story and informational text about a fascinating time in American history. It uses notes, words, and definitions as a design element. As a mystery story, it cleverly situates the reader as a detective or super sleuth who must detect and interpret important clues that appear on each double-page spread throughout the story. These critical clues are strategically embedded in the narrative text and require inferential thinking to understand the hysteria around witchcraft at the time. Other clues appear in the informational text as historical notes written in traditional spiral notebooks. In addition, relevant vocabulary words and phrases with definitions are written on different colored post-its and appear on each page. Other hybrid texts that use a similar design element include G is for Googol (Schwartz 1998) and Q is for Quark (Schwartz 2009). Multiple Data Sources. Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story (Morgan, 2006) is a literary (narrative) text that is narrated by the universe. Through the voice of the universe, it describes the evolution of mammals on planet Earth before there were any humans. It also describes a time when unique animals, such as rabbit-sized camels, elephants with teeth on the tips of their trunks, and baby bats who cling to their mothers as they fly all roamed the earth. Over time humans joined mammals and evolved with them into a very imaginative species. Today, humans continue their evolutionary adventure but must be careful to take care of planet Earth.

Mammals Who Morph is packed with informational text that generously complements the literary text through multiple data sources. One data source is a beautiful set of illustrations that are visually appealling and bring the narrative to life. This hybrid text also includes running timelines that appear at the top of each page and timelines at the bottom of each page that identify important science concepts related to evolution. It also includes a richly informative section at the end of the narrative that expands on various concepts and includes colourful photographs for emphasis. Finally, it includes a glossary, suggested related books for children, teachers, and parents, recommended videos, and other resources. Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story (Morgan 2002) and From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story (Morgan 2003) are other examples of hybrid texts that use this design feature. Some Final Thoughts Hybrid texts offer teachers and students new potentials for learning in the ELA classroom and also across the curriculum. Instead of seeing literary and informational texts as mutually exclusive, hybrid texts treat them as mutually supportive. The literary draw readers into the story world while 13


informational add facts and depth to students’ understanding. In short, hybrid texts invite readers to take different but complementary stances on a single text. REFERENCES Bintz, W. P. 2015. Using paired text to meet the common core. New York: Guilford Press. Hybrid Texts Cheng, C., & Jackson, M. 2013. Python. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. Davies, N. 1998. The big blue whale. London: Walker. Drummond, A. 2011. Energy Island: How one community harnessed the wind and changed their world. New York: Macmillan. Fisher, E. 1986. The Great Wall of China. New York: Macmillan. Florian, D. 2007. Comets, stars, the Moon, and Mars. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Inc. Haiku hike. 2005. By fourth-grade students of St. Mary’s Catholic School. New York: Scholastic. Huber, R. 2013. Flight of the honey bee. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. Johnson, K. P. 2014. No fear for freedom: The story of the friendship 9. Simply Creative Works. Logan, C. 2002. The 5,000-year-old puzzle: Solving a mystery of ancient Egypt. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Mannis, C. D. 2002. One leaf rides the wind. New York: Viking Press. Martin, J. B. 1998. Snowflake Bentley. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. McKinney, B. S. 1998. A drop around the world. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publication. Miller, J. 1998. If the earth...were a few feet in diameter. New York: Greenwich Press Ltd. Morgan, J. 2006. Mammals who morph: The universe tells our evolution story. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publication. Morgan, J. 2002. Born with a bang: The universe tells our cosmic story. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publication. Morgan, J. 2002. From lava to life: The universe tells our earth story. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publication. Nelson, M. 2005. A wreath for Emmett Till. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Novak, P. O. 2010. Engineering the ABC’s: How engineers shape our world. Northville, MI: Ferne Press. Rosenstock, B. 2013. Thomas Jefferson builds a library. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek. Rusch, E. 2013. Volcano rising. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. Sayre, A. P. 2006. The bumblebee queen. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. Saxby, C. & Byrne, G. 2015. Big red kangaroo. London: Walker Books. Saxby, C. & Byrne, G. 2015. Emu. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. Schwartz, D. 1998. G is for googol. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle. Schwartz, D. 2009. Q is for quark. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle. Sidman, J. 2010. Dark emperor and other poems of the night. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Sis, P. 2006. Play, Mozart, play! New York: Greenwillow Books. Sis, P. 1996. Starry messenger. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Sis, P. 2007. The Wall. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Sis, P. 2003. The tree of life. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Sis, P. 1998. Tibet through the red box. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Sis, P. 2003. Follow the dream: The story of Christopher Columbus. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Sís, P. 2014. The Pilot and the little prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. New York: Macmillan. Stille, D. R. 2004. Matter: See it, touch it, taste it, smell it. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books. Thompson, L. 2001. One riddle, one answer. New York, NY: Scholastic. Yaccarino, D. 2009. The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau. Decorah, IA: Dragonfly Books. Yolen, J. & Stemple, H. E. 2004. The Salem witch trials: An unsolved mystery from history. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 14


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: IS IT WORTH THE TIME? Kelli Odhuu, Ph.D.

Regional English Language Officer U.S. Embassy Tallinn

This summer I had the opportunity to take an online professional development course called “English Language Programs Training of Trainers.” I wanted to connect with colleagues, learn more about conducting effective workshops, and understand more about online professional development. Through the 5-week experience, I found out three things: First, I found out that I was more interested in the resources than passing the class. Since I haven’t been conducting workshops recently, I couldn’t put the newly gained knowledge to use immediately. When I start doing workshops again, I will refresh my mind on several important points in the course, such as adult learning theories and teacher expectations for effective professional development. Secondly, I found out that discussions are both fascinating and a waste of time. When I was professionally interested in the topic, I found myself writing longer responses and responding more to my colleagues; when the topic didn’t seem relevant to me, I wrote a short, boring response to the discussion thread and didn’t read others’ responses. Time was also wasted when I felt that I had to take time to respond to others’ comments, even if they weren’t interesting to read. Thirdly, I understood that hybrid courses are most effective for me. Once a week, we would meet together online for an hour. Each synchronous session was scheduled the same way on Zoom: the welcome, three breakout room discussions followed by whole group summaries of those discussions, and a survey question and whole group discussion of the results of the survey. When I write this down, it seems boring and long, but it wasn’t. Each discussion was relevant and interesting to everyone because the discussion questions were worded generally enough to include a wide range of specific topics, and we could have continued to discuss if given the time. These insights are important as they directly relate to adult learning theories (see Garrison 1997; Knowles 1968; Kolb 1984; Mezirow 1978). Specifically, I want to be self-directed, deciding what I want to learn when; I want what I learn in professional development to build on my own past experiences and still have practical relevance for future activities; and I want opportunities for collaboration, especially synchronous collaboration. Are these similar to your needs during professional development? When I think about professional development conferences, our needs as adult learners are often taken into account: we get to choose a workshop from several concurrent sessions; successful workshops make sure the content builds on our previous knowledge and can be implemented or reflected on immediately to develop more effective teaching practices; and we often find ourselves being directed to “share with a partner” and collaborate that way. So, what happens when you decide to take an online professional development course alone? How do you meet your need of collaboration with colleagues? Do asynchronous online discussions satisfy your desire to share your insights with colleagues? Or when you write a discussion thread, do you feel something tangible is lacking? Teachers want to connect with other teachers to grapple with new resources, methodologies, or ideas. How can you connect with others when you are alone? The solution to this is to create a teacher support group in your community (Murray 2010), whether that community be in person or virtual. Murray explains the concept of this type of “study group”: 15


A study group is a group of teachers who meet regularly to discuss a particular aspect or issue related to their teaching. The number of participants can range from three to fifteen. The meetings are structured and have an agenda to follow, and each teacher takes a turn as the facilitator of a meeting. However, the meetings are informal and collegial, with everyone participating in the dialogue. Such meetings are not the same as workshops; no one teacher is “the expert,” and the goal is to learn together about a specific aspect of their teaching strategies and practices. Between meetings, the group reads materials related to the issue to be discussed at the next session. A study group can also be conducted online if that is more convenient and the technology is available. (7) This sounds like a wonderful concept, doesn’t it? Those teachers who have taken part in this type of study group will most likely speak highly of the support, learning, and professional growth that comes through this strategy. I took part in this type of learning network when I was a new teacher, and when I became head teacher, I kept up the practice with my teachers. This strategy can also happen organically in the teacher’s room. Discussion questions can be created by a teacher each week, placed prominently in the room or emailed with links to resources or handouts to read. Discussions during break times can focus on these discussion questions. The elephant in the room, however, is the amount of time this professional development strategy takes. A teacher cannot fit this strategy in whenever she has time or find an hour here or an hour there for this strategy. The best results come from weekly attention. And this weekly attention takes away from the time you spend planning your lessons, which then could make your lessons worse— for a time. In the long run, though, this professional development will make your lessons and your classroom better. Let me liken this situation to an athlete reconfiguring her movements. Let’s say a tennis player wants to change her stroke to make it more powerful on the court. The tennis player works on the swing during the off season, but when tournaments start, the player’s stroke isn’t up to professional standards yet, but she still takes part in tournaments, playing worse until her new stroke is perfected. This is the same for a teacher. We will become better teachers through consistent professional development, which takes time away from our lesson planning. What happens when we spend two hours a week on our own professional development? Our classroom lessons must suffer— we are still effective teachers, but just a little less effective because we won’t spend as much time finalizing our lessons. In the long run, though, our effectiveness will reach new heights as the new learning kicks into our practice. What can you do now for your own professional development? There are many courses available online. My office is offering some great courses at the following address: https://www.openenglishprograms.org/MOOC “Professional Development for Teacher Trainers,” a course for creating, presenting, and evaluating effective teacher training workshops is open now: enrollment stops very soon—October 23—and this is a facilitated MOOC for 5 weeks. The other course available this fall is “TESOL Methodology,” which provides learners with strategies for teaching speaking, listening, reading, and writing to English learners of different ages and contexts. This course is self-paced, and enrollment closes November 20, 2020. My office also offers full scholarships for graduate level online courses from leading universities in TESOL in the United States (https://www.openenglishprograms.org/GOC_Information): • Content-Based Instruction • English as a Medium of Instruction • Integrating Critical Thinking Skills into the Exploration of Culture in an EFL Setting • Professional Development for Teacher Trainers 16


• Teaching English to Young Learners • Teaching Grammar Communicatively • TESOL Methodology • Using Educational Technology in the English Language Classroom These are intensive 8-weeks courses with about 20 teachers per course, and teachers spend about 8–10 hours a week participating in them. Teachers who have taken these courses state how rewarding they are and that, after the course, the teachers are more effective in the classroom. Write to me at RELOTallinn@state.gov for the application. In terms of adult learning theories, these courses are full of effective teaching practices and reflection for self-improvement. But what about the live, synchronous engagement with other teachers? I see two very important methods that teachers can use for live engagement (whether virtually or in person). First, be observant in those first weeks of the online course to the other teacher participants. Whose responses in the discussion board do you agree with and find interesting? Whose responses promote a discussion in a positive way? Invite 4–5 of those teachers through individual emails to a Zoom session or Google Hangouts. Create 3 or 4 discussion questions for the 45- or 60-minute session. If the first session goes well, invite the group back again, asking how the “study group” can better meet their needs and stating how your needs are met through it. The second way to create the important collaborative side in the online course is to take the course with 3–4 colleagues already in your professional learning network. You and your colleagues can take the course, meeting together once a week to discuss questions and issues that arise through the course. By taking the course with colleagues, you can put yourselves on a schedule to finish the course together and present your findings to colleagues at EATE conferences. Professional development is important for all teachers, but it takes some effort and time. When the topic is relevant to us, and the knowledge practical, we gain motivation to learn. The last important aspect of professional development, the collaborative side, must also happen for teachers to be fulfilled. Collaboration might not be addressed in most online courses, so it is up to us to create our own collaborative study groups. The benefit to our own professional development is tremendous and worth the extra effort. WORKS CITED Garrison, D. Randy. 1997. Self-directed learning: Toward a comprehensive model. Adult Education Quarterly, 48: 1, 18–33. Knowles, Malcolm S. 1968. Andragogy, not pedagogy. Adult Leadership, 16: 10, 350–352. Kolb, David A. 1984. Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Mezirow, Jack. 1978. Perspective transformation. Adult Education, 28: 2, 100–110. Murray, Alice. Empowering Teachers through Professional Development. English Teaching Forum, 48: 1, 2–11.

17


FROM BILINGUALISM TO MULTICULTURALISM IN CANADA Carol Kahar

Vineland, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

Canada’s linguistic journey has been a long and fascinating one replete with accounts of English- and French-speaking immigrants, and then a massive post-Second World War influx of 750,000 between 1946 and 1952, most of them settling in the province of Ontario. Unlike the French and English populations, the newer immigrants have not had their languages and cultures embedded in our constitution. Thus, the birth of multiculturalism as national policy in Canada. My province, Ontario, received many of these post-war immigrants from Europe, including the many who were dispossessed and displaced for political reasons, and others for economic reasons. That posed the predicament of how to integrate these diverse families and their cultures into Ontario society. That challenge has continued through the years to currently include most recent immigrants from war-torn countries, such as Syria. During the past decade or more, Canada has absorbed at least 200,000 immigrants annually. Until recently, the federal and provincial governments have failed to address what is perhaps the largest socio-cultural and linguistic controversy in Canada, which involves the First Nations, the indigenous populations (both Amerindian and Inuit). The first European settlers and their colonial and post-colonial governments and agencies initially did their utmost to suppress these native cultures and to discourage the use of indigenous languages. There are more than 70 indigenous languages across 12 language groups currently spoken in Canada. In 2016, an estimated 260,550 people were speaking their indigenous language. The overall number of indigenous language speakers has grown by 3.1 percent in the last 10 years. Political activity to sustain and resurrect these indigenous languages and cultures has intensified amid much controversy, litigation and even occasional violence. Clearly, it is beyond the scope of my informal and personal narrative to address major fundamental issues of language policy. My stories and adventures, both humorous and serious, follow... First encounter with bullies In 1946 I met a young Greek girl who attended my elementary school in Toronto. We were both in primary grades at the time. She had next to no English as her family had just arrived from Greece. I befriended her and we began walking home from school together every day. Helen (an apt name for a Hellenic) and I came to enjoy one another’s company. One day several bullies from a grade 8 class (about 13 to 14 years old) came from behind us, chorusing: “Go back where you came from! We do not want you here!”

18


I had a choice. I could join the bullies by demonstrating my Canadian-accented English or I could run like hell with Helen. I chose to side with Helen — and I have made such choices in my life from that time on. My multicultural secondary school Having been promoted in my schooling over the years, I was admitted to secondary school at age 12. Most first-year students were 14 years or older. Given my pre-adolescent appearance, I felt awkward and did not fit in very well. Seating in regulation desks was a problem, as my feet did not quite touch the floor, something unkindly pointed out daily by a typing teacher. Going to the school cafeteria for lunch was an emotionally painful experience, so I looked for a quiet place to eat my lunch in solitude. It was not Carol with her pinginaabrid, Toronto 1958 long before I discovered by chance several likeminded first-year students. These were to become life-long friends — similar to the Estonian pinginaabrid. My new-found, equally self-conscious lunch companions were offspring of Japanese, Ukrainian, and Polish immigrants. My Toronto school was already multicultural in 1952. We continued to eat lunch together on the stairs to the second floor for the full five years at Parkdale Collegiate. Despite the curious location for our midday meal, I have many fond memories and doubt that I would choose the cafeteria over our stairs, if given the chance today. Choosing a school president In our final year of secondary school, grade 13, we were to elect a student president and had to decide between two fellow candidates: one, a scholar of note, who ridiculed students of immigrant parents during his address to the student body. Or... a Ukrainian-Canadian, large and robust, a mediocre student, but star halfback on our football team. When Eugene stood in front of us, he gave a very short speech but entirely in Ukrainian. And... Eugene, the Uke, won by a large majority. We voted for him despite most of us not understanding a word of his speech. For my graduating class, the alternative was not acceptable. Another large influx of immigrants to Toronto in the 1950s In the 1950s, large numbers of Italian families immigrated to Toronto, where there was already a large diaspora for them to join. The Toronto Board of Education decided that placing the immigrant children, regardless of age, in the primary grades would facilitate their learning of English. Unconscionable, but that was the Board’s decision! Launch of my teaching career I continued to advance quickly through my early schooling and graduated Toronto Teachers’ College at age 16. 19


My career began in Toronto with a primary class, grade 2. I was given 48 students, falling short of the requisite 50 students needed to split the class in two. So, 48 students it was for my rookie year of teaching. My class included 10 teenage Italian boys with no English, most of whom were only two to three years younger than I. I was more than a bit apprehensive and already self-conscious regarding my evident youth, having been sternly challenged by a senior teacher who assumed I was a truant pupil skipping class when she met me in the hall. I burned the midnight oil many nights preparing simple games for my Italian students, while still involving the native English-speakers in my newly devised program. Games and other fun activities worked best for the whole class. And they still acquired the requisite reading and math skills. There were no problems with the curricula, discipline or TEFL. Teacher and students alike prospered and benefited that year. It remains the most memorable year in my teaching career. Intolerance survived in Ontario Two close friends from secondary school were Japanese-Canadians, but despite our friendship they never did disclose the horrific treatment their families experienced during and after the Second World War in Canada. I knew nothing of the internment camps in Western Canada, and my friends were too humiliated to enlighten us. The Canadian Government had a misplaced fear during WW2 of Japanese-Canadians being a security risk. In fact, there was not a single instance of treasonable activity among Canadian Japanese. Most Japanese families were deported from lush coastal British Columbia onto the desolate windswept prairies of Alberta to endure confinement behind barbed wire. Family homes and businesses were expropriated without compensation. After the war, these Japanese-Canadians were resettled in eastern Canada, mainly Ontario. With typical energy and industry, these families re-established normal lives and provided their children with higher education, in many instances each with multiple degrees. It would be in 1988, many years after graduation from university, that I learned of the Japanese internment as well as that of the Ukrainians and other resident peoples whose countries had not sided with the Allies during both World Wars. The Ukrainians interned happened to come from the territory that until the First World War was under Habsburg rule, hence Austrian. The family of Canada’s pre-eminent environmentalist, Dr David Suzuki, was among the Japanese detainees forcibly dispossessed and confined. In 1988 the Canadian government finally apologized to the displaced Japanese-Canadian families and offered rather paltry financial compensation as well. My friends and their surviving parents reluctantly accepted the long-overdue apology but not the financial compensation package. Too little, too late. More information: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/japanese-internment-banished-and-beyond-tearsfeature Introduction to my life-long love, conviction, pursuit, and passion I first met my future husband, Jüri, in 1962 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. At that time I knew nothing of Estonia, nor of the Estonians’ nightmarish plight post-WW2. With Jüri as my tutor, 20


I learned quickly. We married in 1964 and moved to Toronto where the majority of the 17,000 Estonian immigrants lived at that time. Here we began socializing with local Estos, favouring those of the older generation. We delighted in their fellowship and benefited from their varied background experiences and exploits. So much history... My first Estonian word and obstacle to learning As singing is a large part of Esto social evenings, I became familiar with many songs. As many of the rahvapärased pop tunes were in 3/4 time, I somehow came to believe that the most important Estonian word to learn must be ringi. Thus ringi, along with tere, and palun were for a short while my total Estonian vocabulary Why? Because our older friends preferred to flaunt their excellent English.

Carol and Jüri Kahar at Estonian celebration of New Year's Eve, Toronto 1964

For me this was not a workable arrangement, as I was quite aware that once discourse shifted from Estonian to English, so did the atmosphere. I much preferred the Esto atmosphere and insisted that Estonian be spoken. Today this is called immersion… I started to ask for words or phrases, as needed. With tutoring from Jüri, my Esto adventure began and led to much humour along the way. Üks või kaks? We first attended an Esto Song Festival in Seedrioru, a large Estonian summer camping complex west of Toronto. So beautiful! Flags flying and, for exiles, an enormous gathering: some 5,000 Estonians with fields of parked cars showing licence plates from many US states and Canadian provinces. The toilets at that time were outdoor privies with two seats apiece. I was in the long lineup for when suddenly an older Esto lady asked, “Mitu auku, üks või kaks?” I figured out an answer to her question and answered boldly, “Kaks!” I knew my numbers to twenty already. However, we ended up seated together at the first vacant outhouse. My WC comrade began a conversation entirely in Estonian. With heartfelt embarrassment, I had to confess to being a nonEstonian. But that would soon change since I was under the warm-hearted tutelage of my husband and new Estonian friends. The historical anecdotes were rich and colourful. Memorable dinners shared with Johanna Päts, widow of Prof. Voldemar Päts and sister-in-law of the last pre-war president. Dancing the tango with Major Boris Leeman, still nimble and erect at 80 as he was as the young commander of 2nd Squadron of the Ratsarügement when he led that famous long raid to Jekabpils far behind Bolshevik lines. Vivid accounts

Dr Jaak Kukk, Carol and Jüri Kahar, Mrs Saar at the 50 th Estonian independence celebration, Estonian House, Toronto 1968

21


by Dr. Jaak Kukk of late evenings in the company of Karl August Hindrey and General Ernst Põdder and other luminaries given to talk of books and art when Kukk, then a junior cavalry officer and aide to Põdder, was obliged to remain at his superior’s side until all hours. In the process, he was transported to a world far from his military training and one where such raconteurs as Hindrey and Anton Jürgenstein displayed erudition which he only later encountered in the halls of Tartu University. Then, during his visits from Vancouver, I was privileged to spend time with Colonel Jaan Unt, who succeeded Kuperjanov in charge of the famous battalion.

Dr Enn Elbing, Carol Kahar, Dr Jaak Kukk in Lexington, Kentucky 1968

It was exposure to many such figures from the early days of the Old Republic that enabled me to get a sense of the spirit and sacrifice that built a nation that endures. The Finno-Ugric people of Northern Ontario In 1968 we moved to Thunder Bay (then the twin cities of Fort William & Port Arthur) in northern Ontario, where Jüri taught at Confederation College. The faculty were an interesting and diverse lot, drawn from many branches of academe and industry, with a substantial contingent of New Yorkers who Veterans of the Estonian War of Independence, found their remote northern setting quite exotic. And Toronto, 24 February 1968 the president of the College was an RCAF Air Vice Marshal of some distinction. Despite the fact that my university majors were English literature and psychology, at the insistence of a departmental chairman, I was recruited to teach a course in natural science. But that’s another story... In short order, we were befriended by the small Esto society, which, if memory serves, numbered well under 100, with perhaps half that number being ‘active’ adults. Today, that area atop Lake Superior is also home to the largest Finnish community outside Finland. Many reside in Thunder Bay, a city of some 110,000, but small rural communities in the area reflect the Finnish presence: Kivikoski, Sistonen’s Corners, Lappe, etc. And the local telephone directory has pages and pages of Mäkis and Hills, all quickly altered upon arrival from rather longer and more ‘difficult’ Finnish names. Needless to say, the proliferation of Hills, in both variants, and generally all unrelated families, led to substantial confusion at the official, legal and commercial levels. Vabariigi aastapäev 1968 was commemorated and attended by members of the local Estonian and Finnish communities. I sat next to two ladies I thought were speaking Estonian. And so, I joined in, adding: “Ma ei ole eestlane. Olen kanadalane. Abikaasa on eestlane. Vabandust, et ma ei oska väga hästi eesti keelt.” The ladies quickly replied: “Me pole ka eestlased ja ei oska eesti keelt hästi. Oleme soomlased. Abikaasad ka on eestlased.” After a burst of laughter, we continued in a combo of Finnish and Estonian. And it worked. It was a memorable evening. Despite the small Estonian contingent and an aging male chorus of perhaps ten 22


or a dozen gentlemen, the anthem was mighty and resonant: the full complement of the local Finnish male choir, composed largely of metsamehed, were totally at home with the Pacius melody, albeit with their own lyrics. What’s in a name? Many years ago, our late friend Enn Elbing, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Monash, was visiting from Australia. We had a party, and late into the evening, I was cornered by a local guest: “Nice fella, that Aussie prof, but what’s his name?” – “Enn.” “C’mon. We’ve been talking for hours. I can’t just call him N! I mean, my name is Frank. You don’t call me F, do you?” “Well, his name really is ENN.” “N… Just an initial? You Estonians can be so ‘formal’!” A Japanese Toivo Mäki? Toivo Mäki was a professional bartender, and a very successful one, much in demand at local weddings and all major social functions in Thunder Bay. Since Finns constituted a high proportion of his clientele, this Toivo Mäki had learned Finnish and legally changed his name. A Japanese Toivo Mäki? We attended a large social function, and there he was – the Japanese Toivo Mäki, in charge of his own crew of bartenders, and chatting away to the many Finnish guests in Finnish. Besides Finns, Thunder Bay also has large contingents of Italians and Ukrainians. It is (seriously) the only place I know of where amongst the choices of pizza toppings you can order … chopped cabbage and herring. Assigned to a multicultural school in Toronto We missed our friends and returned to Toronto from Thunder Bay following the birth of our first child, Andres. Once settled, I returned to teaching at an inner-city school. My assignment was to teach the three academic years of grades four, five, and six in two years to a group of very bright youngsters. It was an irresistible challenge that I eagerly accepted. Shevchenko and Wordsworth My star students, Bohdan and Zenon, introduced the class to the poetry of their favourite Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevschenko. To Ukrainians, he is rather like a combo of Kristjan Jaak Peterson and Juhan Liiv. On one occasion Zenon read William Worthworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” in English. He and Bohdan then translated the poem and read it to the class in Ukrainian, pointing out the musical qualities of both languages. Impressive and unforgettable. Bohdan continued his schooling and is a Professor of International Relations and has written extensively on Ukrainian history and politics. And Zenon is a corporate lawyer and economist. High flight from Hong Kong At the beginning of the second year of the accelerated program, I was asked to include a new student, 23


Oi Li. She had recently arrived in Canada and spoke no English. It was a challenge that the students and I accepted with enthusiasm, despite having little confidence at the time about how to approach the task. Where to begin? Picture dictionaries. Short one-on-one sessions with students primed to focus on one aspect of teaching, such as groceries, clothing, furniture, colours, counting, etc. Oi was a bright little girl, and she learned quickly. In fact, she learned so quickly that the class decided that Oi would represent our class at the annual November 11 commemoration in the school auditorium. This was quite the challenge, with just over a month to teach Oi the words to “High Flight”. (This poem was written by John Magee, who at 18 became a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force in WW2 and was killed a month after writing the poem.) Somehow, we managed... Oi stood on the stage in front of the entire school body on November 11 and recited the poem flawlessly. Our class sat in the front row, silently mouthing the words of the poem, like anxious parents on the opening night of a theatrical production. There was an almost audible sigh of relief as Oi spoke the final line of the poem “Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” We had done it! Go you house We moved to Canada’s largest military base at CFB Borden, north of Toronto, where Jüri taught Francophone military students and I was at home with our firstborn, Andres. He was four at the time and spoke only Estonian, as our Toronto friends were mostly Estos with offspring of their own. We knew that our children would pick up English quickly once in the school system. So Estonian was the chosen language of the home. Andres was playing on our front lawn, first day at Borden, and I was watching from the living room window. There he was sitting on the tricycle belonging to the boy next door. We had yet to be introduced to the family. Suddenly Ronnie, the boy next door, appeared at his front door and called out, “Get off my bike! Go home!” I had no idea how or if Andres would respond. But he did. Andres stood astride Ronnie’s tricycle and called out rather forcefully but at a slow pace, “You go you house. You bugger!” And to my amazement, those were my son’s first words in English. Other amazing words followed, and mysteriously without apparent formal instructions. Upon receiving an inoculation by our family doctor, Andres responded to the needle with a truculent “F____ doctor!” Andres and Nathalie The military base was very family-oriented, and before long Andres had a new friend from across the street: Nathalie, four-year-old daughter of Francophone parents. She spoke only French, although her parents were bilingual. Each day Andres would arrive home with stories about Nathalie and her family. I spoke with Nathalie’s mother and learned that Nathalie had many stories about Andres too. How they communicated remains a mystery to the adults in their world. But they did communicate and remained close friends until the family posting to another military base the next year, a regular ritual in the Canadian Armed Forces. By then Andres was in kindergarten and learning English quickly for the most part.

24


Hommikumantel and the need for enlightenment Andres enjoyed school and his first teacher, Mrs Cauthers. By Christmas, he had started to participate in the daily sharing time. One day he announced with great pride that he had a new hommikumantel, a gift from his grandparents. What, the children asked, is a hommikumantel? Andres asked Mrs Cauthers to explain to the class, but she did not know either. He came home angry and mystified. “Mu õpetaja on nii loll, et ta ei teadnud, mis on hommikumantel!” Mrs Cauthers and I had quite a chuckle over hommikumantel when we next spoke. Base Borden Francophones start kindergarten Convention in most Ontario schools is to complete class lists in June for the upcoming academic year. And so it was at Base Borden where I taught Junior Kindergarten in the morning and Computers in the afternoon.

Andres Kahar with a compatriot, Esto '76 in Baltimore, Maryland

The list of new students was long as the Base was full to capacity. We had four kindergarten teachers ready to accept the incoming lot of whom many were Francophone. And the Anglo teachers did not want (or know how) to cope with them. I found myself taking one after another of the Francophone students on the list. By the end of the day, 10 of my 20 students – fully half! – were Francophone, while my colleagues had but two or three apiece. This was a very new challenge for me. My three colleagues enforced speaking only English from day one on their young French-speaking charges – even with their Francophone peers. I chose to permit the speaking of French among my young Francophones early on. How else could these young children communicate or enjoy their first taste of school? Then a breakthrough... In early November, during show and tell, a daily sharing time when children sit in a circle and tell stories or bring a favourite toy to show to the others, I asked as usual for participants. Until that day my young French charges had all declined. Then Mathieu stood up and began his show and tell. When finished, Mathieu said in a loud and somewhat astonished voice… “I speaka da Anglish!” By Christmas all my Francophone charges spoka da Anglish. By the end of the school year they were all bilingual and had had a happy time becoming so as well. Times change and socio-political accommodations are made accordingly. Two of the Base elementary schools that were primarily Anglophone had within a few years acquitted new names and French immersion curricula, presumably reflecting the demand among the current Base population. Go to the neighbour Andres attended Estonian weekend classes at Estonian House in Toronto. The annual fundraiser was a fashion show on Mothers’ Day weekend. There was a variety of attire worn by the students. Andres wore his Tartu folk dress. My friend, Helgi, had a problem as the button on her daughter’s outfit had come off. What to do? 25


Fortunately, the Esto House manager and everyone’s ‘favourite uncle’, Paul Naaber, lived upstairs. The preoccupied Helgi instructed Tiina to “… mine Naabri juurde.” Tiina was gone for a very long time but had an explanation when she returned. She told her mother that the neighbours spoke neither English nor Estonian. Now that was curious. Tiina had not realized that her mother had meant the Naabri juurde as directing her to the affable Paul Naaber upstairs rather than to the building adjoining Eesti Maja. Tiina had gone next door to the home of an older Chinese couple who, surprisingly enough, spoke neither Estonian nor English. However, the wife understood enough English or Estonian to sew on Tiina’s button. Perhaps this serendipitous chance encounter between young and old representatives of two diverse cultural groups foreshadowed changes in the macrocosm of Canada’s complexion. While today Estonian remains one of the tiniest linguistic components in the Canadian mosaic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) is now by far the most widely spoken unofficial language in the country, supplanting Italian which was in my long ago youth the second language in the Toronto area. Recent decades have seen a myriad of languages from Southeast Asia: Hindi, Urdu, Sinhalese, Thai, Tagalog, Indonesian, and various dialects of Arabic. Closing... A sense of humour was indispensable during my experiences over the years. I could continue with more stories and adventures on a variety of disparate experiences in Ontario and in Estonia. Needless to say, I had many unusual communicative conundrums while living in Lasnamäe, in the 1990s when Jüri and I taught at the Sisekaitse Akadeemia (then: Riigikaitse Akadeemia) and compiled STANAG-6 (NATO standard English tests for the Estonian public service.) Perhaps another time... Carol M. Kahar – retired teacher and computer coordinator with fond memories of all grades from kindergarten to university. She has lived and taught in several Ontario cities (Canada) and in Estonia.

MALL TAMM IN MEMORIAM EATE commemorates Mall Tamm (15 July 1940 – 16 August 2020), former Lecturer of the University of Tartu whose main speciality was teaching of interpreting. She made her first acquaintance with interpreting at courses at Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow and applied her experience when returning to Tartu. An essential step in Mall Tamm’s career was the Tallinn yachting regatta of the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980 when she had to train approximately 300 students to work as interpreters for the Olympic guests. When Estonia was preparing for accession to the European Union, a special master’s programme of interpreting was established in 1999, and Mall Tamm was one of the first teachers there. Mall Tamm continued active work as an interpreter ever after retirement and arranged training courses for court interpreters and state officials. We will always remember Mall Tamm as an optimistic a lasting contribution to the development of interpreting in Estonia.

26

and

energetic

teacher

who

made


HEINRICH MUTSCHMANN – PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH PHILOLOGY IN TARTU (DORPAT) FROM 1921 TO 1939 Enn Veldi

Associate Professor Emeritus Department of English University of Tartu

It must have been in 1973 when I noticed the name Heinrich Mutschmann for the first time. As a first-year student of English, I was browsing the shelves of English-language dictionaries at the university library. There was a thesaurus of American slang published in 1942, which listed ‘A glossary of Americanisms’ by Mutschmann published in Dorpat in 1931 among its sources. As a student I was impressed by the fact that the work of this scholar was known in North America. In fact, throughout the Soviet period Mutschmann’s name was rarely mentioned. There is a footnote about him in The development of English language studies in the 16th– 20th centuries by Oleg Mutt (1982: 40): Heinrich Mutschmann (1885–1955), professor of English at Tartu University in 1920–1938, worked later at Marburg University (West Germany); he is remembered primarily for his manual of English phonetics and research on English dialects and American English. Now a century has passed from the time when Heinrich Mutschmann arrived in Tartu, and it is time to take a fresh look at the life and work of the professor who laid the foundation of English philology in Tartu. As a starting point I was inspired by Terje Lõbu’s recent article about the German professors employed by the University of Tartu at the beginning of the first period of independence of the Republic of Estonia (Lõbu 2019). It then transpired that one of my teachers, Pent Nurmekund (until 1936 Arthur Roosmann), had attended a number of courses taught by Heinrich Mutschmann in the early 1930s. Fortunately, his hand-written lecture notes and a seminar paper on American English have survived and can be consulted at the university library. These materials provided the student’s perspective to Mutschmann’s lectures. Moreover, in the late 1970s, Pent Nurmekund recommended me to do some research about the history of teaching English at Tartu University.

Heinrich Mutschmann

By the time Heinrich Mutschmann was offered a full professorship in English philology in Tartu in 1920, he was a well-qualified German Anglicist. Moreover, he had studied and taught for a number of years in British universities before the First World War.

Heinrich Mutschmann was born in Essen an der Ruhr in Germany on February 18, 1885. His father Ernst Mutschmann was a teacher of deaf-and-mute people. In 1904 Heinrich Mutschmann graduated from an upper secondary school of science in Essen. In the autumn of the same year he was admitted to the University of Bonn where he studied Germanic and Romance philology as well as philosophy (his university studies are described in detail in Mutschmann 1909). In the autumn of 27


1905, he travelled to England and enrolled as a student at the University of Liverpool. In Liverpool he studied Germanic and English philology, as well as Old Icelandic and Phonetics. His most important teacher in Liverpool was Prof Henry Cecil Kennedy Wyld 1870–1945). Prof Wyld played an important role in the academic growth of Mutschmann as a phonetician, historical linguist, etymologist, dialect researcher, name researcher, and lexicographer. The topic of Mutschmann’s doctoral dissertation about the North-Eastern Scotch dialect was also suggested by Prof Wyld. Mutschmann then spent a month in Cumberland and worked at the British Museum where he focused on Modern English grammars. Upon returning to Germany in 1906, he enrolled for the winter semester in Göttingen and then returned to Bonn. In the late summer and autumn of 1907, he travelled to northern Scotland and studied the Scottish dialect on the spot. It is remarkable that apart from studying written sources Mutschmann also carried out fieldwork in the boarding schools of Aberdeen with regard to the Scottish dialect. Thus, he became an authority on the Scottish dialect. Mutschmann took his doctoral exam in July 1908 and defended his doctoral dissertation A Phonology of the North-Eastern Scotch Dialect in Bonn in 1909. Mutschmann’s academic supervisor in Bonn was Prof Karl David Bülbring (1863–1917). The early scholarly publications of Mutschmann focus on the etymology of various Scottish words, which were published in Beiblatt zur Anglia. Mutschmann then worked five years in England as a university lecturer. In 1909–1914 he was Lecturer in German and in Phonetics at the University College, Nottingham. There is a noteworthy statement by Mutschmann about phonetics from that period. He wrote in 1911 that “the business of the phonetician is to record the facts and nothing but the facts; and if he is a philologist at all, he will understand and respect them: ‘non ridere, non lungere, neque detestare, sed intelligere’ should be his motto’” (Mutschmann 1911: 276). However, his most important publication from that period is The Place-Names of Nottinghamshire. Their Origin and Development (1913). The idea for this dictionary of place names was suggested by Prof Wyld, who had done a similar study about Lancashire. Mutschmann’s book has stood the test of time and was republished by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Mutschmann also translated A Short History of English (1914) by H. C. Wyld into German. Unfortunately, then the First World War broke out and the publication of the translation by Mutschmann was delayed for five years (see Wyld 1919). In October 1914 Mutschmann returned to Germany and held the position of a lecturer in English in the University of Frankfurt am Main until April 1919. In 1916–1918 he served in the army. A tragic event at the end of the war was that his elder bother Hermann Mutschmann, professor of classical philology in Königsberg, was killed by a grenade in northern France in 1918. In the summer semester of 1919, he replaced the professor of English philology in Marburg. The year 1920 witnessed several important changes in Heinrich Mutschmann’s life. In January he married Marianne Baltzer (b 1896), daughter of Franz Baltzer, professor of the Technical University of Berlin who had designed Tokyo railway station. Their daughter Bettina was born in Marburg in October 1920. In 1920 Heinrich Mutschmann became Privatdozent of English philology in Marburg. He habilitated (qualified as a university lecturer) under Prof Max Deutschbein. In 1920 the University of Tartu offered Heinrich Mutschmann a full professorship in English philology. And last but not least, in 1920 Prof Henry Cecil Wyld, a major influence in Mutschmann’s academic growth, moved from Liverpool to Oxford and took up a professorship there. A few years later Prof Wyld made a book donation to the English seminar in Tartu. In 1920 Mutschmann published Der andere Milton (1920), which he dedicated to the memory of his brother Hermann Mutschmann. In the same year he also published Milton und das Licht (1920), which he dedicated to Marianne, his wife. These two books started a whole series of studies (see the references section) on the personality and blindness of John Milton. They turned Mutschmann into a well-known but highly polemical literary scholar whose views were met with harsh criticism. However, 28


Mutschmann’s approach to the study of Milton could also be regarded as an interdisciplinary one. On the one hand, he analysed the personality and blindness of Milton from the perspective of individual psychology as understood by Alfred Adler and medical opinions of eye specialists. On the other hand, he used his extensive knowledge to make his point. In fact, his theory that Milton’s blindness was caused by albinism was based on his study of the semantic development of the words auburn and abrown in the Oxford English Dictionary. Eleanor Brown (1934) listed the following theories about the possible causes of Milton’s blindness: punishment by god, albinism (Mutschmann), congenital syphilis, glaucoma, and myopia and detachment of the retina. She regarded the first two explanations as fantastic, the third one improbable, and the last two as probable. Medical views have changed over the years, but the title of the article by John Rumrich “The cause and effect of Milton’s blindness” shows that the topic was of interest again in 2019. Mutschmann was also fond of comparing word groups in various works from different periods in order to establish textual similarities. In this respect his hypotheses could have been checked much more convincingly using the methods of modern electronic text analysis. Mutschmann became a regular contributor to such scholarly publications of German Anglicists as Beiblatt zur Anglia, Englische Studien, and Die neueren Sprachen. When browsing these journals now, I was amazed by their wealth of content. Heinrich Mutschmann held his inaugural lecture The Secret of John Milton in the festive hall of the university on February 1, 1921. His choice of the topic shows what was on his mind. The programme of English philology in Tartu had three levels; approbatur, cum laude, and laudatur (RA EAA 2100.2b.49) The approbatur level was also required for the exam of secondary-school teachers. Mutschmann used German for documentation; this explains why the programme is in German. I Approbatur Forderungen für die Oberlehrer-Prüfung im Englischen

1. Eine gute Aussprache des Englischen; die Fähigkeit einen phonetischen Text im Alphabet der Internationalen phonetischen Assoziation lesen und erklären zu können. Kenntnis der Theorie des englischen Lautsystems. Jones, Outline of English Phonetics (S. 1–99) (Teubner), Jones, An English Pronouncing Dictionary (Dent), Jones, Phonetic Readings in English (Winter), Annakin Exercises in English Pronunciation (Niemeyer). 2. Die Hauptregeln der englischen Grammatik und Syntax.

3. Englische Sprachgeschichte in Umriss (Zusammensetzung des Wortschatzes, Herkunft der Schriftsprache, das beste Englisch. Wyld, The Growth of English.

4. Die englische Literaturgeschichte in Umriss, besonders vom Zeitalter der Renaissance bis zur Gegenwart. Sefton Delmer, English Literature (Teubner), Young, Primer of English Literature (Cambridge University Press). 5. Es müssen gelesen sein Teile der Werke von: a) Dichtern: Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, R. Browning. b) Prosaikern: Carlyle, Macaulay, Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Meredith, Kipling, Hervig-Förster, British Classical Authors (Westermann). 29


6. Es müssen gelesen sein zwei Stücke von Shakespeare, je eines aus folgenden Reihen: a) Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Richard III, Julius Caesar. b) Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Merchant of Venice. Ferner zwei Romane von zwei verschiedenen Schriftstellern in folgender Reihe: Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Meredith, Kipling. Als Wörterbücher werden empfohlen: Onions. Shakespeare Glossary (Clarendon Press). Fowler & Fowler. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (Clarendon Press).

The requirements of the cum laude level included the requirements of the approbatur level but additionally II Cum laude Ferner, genaueres Studium von Sweet, Primer of Spoken English (Clarendon Press); Übung im schriftlichen Gebrauch eines phonetischen Alphabets Einer Studium von Fowler and Fowler, The King’s English (Clarendon Press). Sweet, New English Grammar II (Clarendon Press), soweit es sich um das Neuenglische handelt. Onions, An Advanced English Syntax. Außerdem genaueres Studium eines besonderen Schriftstellers, von dem die Hauptwerke gelesen sein müssen. The requirements of the laudatur level included the requirements of the previous levels and focused on language history. As one can see, at this level a student was required to read Old English texts, including 500 lines of Beowulf, and be able to point out relationships between Old English words and their Gothic cognates. As for Chaucer’s Middle English, a student was required to read the prologue and one of the Canterbury Tales. III Laudatur Ferner entweder: (1) Genauere Kenntnis der Sprachgeschichte (Laut- und Formenlehre bis zur Gegenwart) auf Grund des Studiums alt und mittelenglischer Texte. Es müssen gelesen sein: Förster, Altenglisches Lesebuch (Winter) [oder Sweet Anglo-Saxon Primer (Clarendon Press)], 500 Verse Beowulf [Ausgabe von Schüking], von Chaucer der Prolog und eine der Canterbury Tales [Knight’s Tale usw.], Ausgabe von Koch (Winter), oder andere. Als Handbuch zum Studium der historischen englischen Grammatik wird empfohlen: Wyld, A Short History of English (Murray) [Horn. Historische neuenglische Grammatik (Trübner), Kluge. Geschichte der englischen Sprache, in Paul’s Grundriss (Trübner)]. Verwandtschaft mit der gotischen Laut- und Formenlehre wird vorausgesetzt. (2) genauere Kenntnis der Literaturgeschichte, nebst dem Spezialstudium eines besonderen 30


Abschnittes daraus (z.B. Shakespeare, das elisabethanische Drama, Milton, die Aufklärung, die Romantik, die viktorianische Dichtung, der englische Roman, usw.) Heinrich Mutschmann laid the foundation of teaching of English philology at the University of Tartu according to the European standards. The content of his teaching was based on the best British and German textbooks of the time. He introduced the ideas and work of Daniel Jones, including his Pronouncing Dictionary, Otto Jespersen, and Henry Cecil Wyld. He insisted on using the monolingual Concise Oxford English Dictionary, which had been published in 1911. Over the years he taught a wide range of courses in English philology. What is impressive about Mutschmann is that he was a true philologist – he was both a linguist and a literary scholar. Below is a list of some of the courses that he taught (according to the study directory of the university for the years 1921–1939). English language: Practical English phonetics, Modern English phonetics, Phonetic exercises (proseminar), Historical study of the Modern English sound system, History of English inflections, Modern English syntax, History of the English language, Reading of Chaucer’s prologue to the Canterbury Tales, Reading of Old English texts English and American Literature: Marlowe and the early Elizabethan drama, Life and works of John Milton (with interpretations), Interpretation of selected passages from Milton, Interpretation of Paradise Lost, The Elizabethan drama including Shakespeare, Life and works of Shakespeare, Interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Pope and his school, The poetry of Shelley, The works of G.B. Shaw, Outlines of English literature, The English novel, Modern British and American novelists, D. H. Lawrence, Interpretation of Modern English poetic texts, Reading of Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis’ Arrowsmith, John Dos Passos’ The 42nd Parallel, Interpretation of Aldous Huxley’s short stories, J. B. Priestley’s English Journey Other:

H.W. Nevinson. The English (Routledge Introductions No, 6), Neville. The English people.

Mutschmann taught the majority of English philologists in Estonia during the interwar period. His students constitute the first generation of highly qualified English philologists in Estonia, including Ants Oras, Johannes Silvet, Minna Simtam (later Simre), Leopold Kivimägi, and Paul Saagpakk. Below is a selection of masters’ theses (mag. phil.) from the interwar period (according to Album Academicum universitatis Tartuensis 1918–1944): Oras, Ants. Statistical inquiry into the use of colour names in the larger poems of Shelley (1923) Saks, Ida (later Veldre). Studies concerning the use of compounds in Milton’s Poetry (1925) Schwalbe (later Silvet), Johannes. The development of Milton’s blank verse (1925) Simtam (later Simre), Minna. Stress in modern English compound nouns and adjectives (1925) Kuusik (later Jürma), Mall. Critical studies in the word-statistics of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Dorian Gray’ (1927) Tiling, Elsa. Critical study on the word statistics of Wilde’s ‘Dorian Gray’ (1928) Rosendorf, Margarete. An inquiry into the use of colour names in the different periods of Tennyson’s literary career (1928) Kibbermann, Elisabeth. The Functions of the Saxon genitive in present-day English (1932) Kivimägi, Leopold. Accidence and syntax of the adjective in present-day English (1934) Tschakkar, Irma. A comparative study of the use of colour names by some English poets (Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson) (1937) 31


Ants Oras continued his studies in Leipzig and Oxford, where he completed his doctoral dissertation. Oras became Mutschmann’s successor with a focus on English literature. Samuel Albert Nock, a young American scholar, defended his doctoral dissertation on parallel word groups in the works by John Milton in Tartu in April 1929. Nock’s dissertation was reviewed by Heinrich Mutschmann and Ants Oras. Paul Saagpakk was impressed by Mutschmann’s perfect pronunciation of English, which was highly polished (Vihma 1999: 75). It appears that Paul Ariste had also attended Mutschmann’s lectures. He recalled in 1967 that Mutschmann had kept repeating during his lectures that students should work with ideas rather than with books. He also wrote that Mutschmann must have been a wellread man because his glossary of Americanisms was based on extensive reading. Finally, Ariste pointed it out that Mutschmann despised Estonians because they did not have their Milton and Shakespeare (Ariste 1967). This observation characterizes Mutschmann’s attitude towards the local language and culture. Mutschmann’s limited knowledge of Estonian was a drawback because he was unable to compare English and Estonian. For this reason, his first English reader for Estonians (1925) was not successful. Mutschmann also published several adapted texts with vocabulary for Estonian schools. These included, for example, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1935) and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1935). Most of his language comparisons are about English and German. Also, Mutschmann authored (Mutschmann 1930) and co-authored (Nock 1930, Deutschbein et al. 1931) several textbooks of phonetics, grammar, and American English, which were published in Germany and were intended for the German student. He also contributed a chapter on American literature to the book Amerikakunde, which was published in 1931. In Tartu Mutschmann also acted as head of the modern languages section of the didactic-methodological seminar. Mutschmann taught the course “Methods of teaching modern languages with seminar exercises” until 1932. Under his supervision the University of Tartu trained secondary-school teachers of foreign languages. In 1924 he sent a German-language article about the aims and methods of teaching English in Estonia to several Estonian newspapers, which was translated for publication (Mutschmann 1924). In this article Mutschmann discusses the productive and receptive modes of teaching and claims that the two methods should be combined for the teaching of English. Mutschmann stressed the importance of reading English books as a link to the culture of the Anglo-Saxon world. Teachers should encourage their pupils to use dictionaries, and each pupil should read at least one book in English before leaving school. Mutschmann made two presentations at the First Congress of Foreign Language Teachers in Tallinn in 1928. One of them was entitled “The aim and methods of teaching modern languages” and the other “About the importance of studying British and American English” (Mutschmann 1928). He also attended and made a presentation at the First Congress of Gymnasium Teachers in Tallinn in 1929 (Mutschmann 1929). By that time English was in the process of becoming the first foreign language in Estonia instead of German. 32


Mutschmann pointed out that the Estonian teachers of English suffered from lack of direct contacts with the English-speaking world, and therefore it was difficult to achieve a good command of English. He stressed the necessity of systematic help through closer ties between the secondary school teachers and the university. Teachers should broaden their horizons by foreign travel. They must also understand the nature of their mother tongue. The personality of the teacher is of utmost importance. In his view, an average pupil should be able to read prose and poetry, to discuss those books in one’s mother tongue, to have a correct pronunciation, to ask questions about everyday life and answer them, to write simple sentences about simple things. In the summers of 1926 and 1927 Mutschmann travelled to the United States. In these years he taught as a visiting professor at the universities of Iowa and Chicago. Since then he also started to promote the study of American English and culture through his courses. Sinclair Lewis was the first American writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Mutschmann taught two courses on Sinclair Lewis and wrote a foreword to three books by Lewis, which were translated into Estonian. He compiled A Glossary of Americanisms (1931), which was based on extensive reading. It was “intended for the use of those who wish to read contemporary American novels, journals, and similar literature, and who find that even the standard dictionaries, both of American and of British provenience, do not afford the assistance that they need” (Mutschmann 1931: 3). H. L. Mencken characterized A Glossary of Americanisms by Mutschmann as follows: At Tartu-Dorpat in Estonia Dr. Heinrich Mutschmann, professor of English there, has printed an excellent Glossary of Americanisms (1931) — in fact, a much better one than any that has come out in America since Thornton’s (Mencken 1957: 87). In 1938 Mutschmann left Tartu and relocated to Marburg. By that time, the Mutschmanns had four daughters. Their first daughter Bettina (1920–2019) was born in Marburg and the second daughter Corona (b 1923) in Dresden, but Imogen (b 1931) and Perdita (1934–2004) were born in Tartu. Perdita Sanchez-Mutschmann was a well-known Austrian ceramic artist. Some data about Mutschmann’s life and work after 1938 can be found in Fischer (1957) and Strunz (1999). In Marburg Mutschmann had to confine his teaching to phonetics and American studies. In the winter semester of 1942–1943 he taught in Bonn and then from 1944 in Innsbruck. Since 1948 he taught again American English and American literature in Marburg. Mutschmann’s publications of this period include a small dictionary of basic vocabulary of English. It listed about 1500 lexical items and a short list of American words (Mutschmann 1945). There are at least six editions of this book. He also published some adapted texts for German schools; for example, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1949), which he had also published in Estonia. His main work of this period, however, is Shakespeare and Catholicism (co-authored by Karl Wentersdorf). Mutschmann himself was a Catholic (the fact is mentioned in Mutschmann 1909). Mutschmann’s 33


discussion of Shakespeare’s world view (1926) shows that he had been thinking about this topic for a long time. The German-language book came out in 1950, and the enlarged English version was published in America in 1952. This 446-page book is a fascinating study, which I have on my desk and awaits scrutiny. In 1950 Heinrich Mutschmann turned 65. In order to celebrate this occasion, Walther Fischer and Karl Wentersdorf collected fourteen contributions for Shakespeare-Studien. Festchrift für Heinrich Mutschmann (1951). Ten contributions are from German scholars and four from America, including S. A. Nock, who had defended his doctoral thesis in Tartu. The volume also includes a selected bibliography of scholarly papers by Heinrich Mutschmann. However, it would be a challenge to compile a more complete bibliography of all his articles and book reviews. In 1954 Mutschmann was named honorary professor of the University of Marburg. He passed away on November 29, 1955. REFERENCES Album Academicum universitatis Tartuensis 1918–1944. www.ra.ee (accessed on 15 September 2020). Ariste, Paul. 1967. Mõnda Tartu ülikooli õppejõududest. TRÜ. 11.01. Brown, Eleanor Gertrude. 1934. Milton’s Blindness. New York, Columbia UP, 182 p. Defoe, Daniel. 1935. Robinson Crusoe. Edited by H. Mutschmann. Tartu: Kool. 67 p. Defoe, Daniel. 1949. Robinson Crusoe. Für die Schule bearbeitet von H. Mutschmann. 2. Auflage Duisburg: Visser. 56 p. Deutschbein, M; Mutschmann, H.; Eicker, H. 1931. Handbuch der Englischen Grammatik. Zweite, verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage. Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer. 284 p. Fischer, Walther and Karl Wentensdorf (eds). 1951. Shakespeare-Studien: Festschrift für Heinrich Mutschmann zum 65. Geburtstag überreicht. Marburg: N.G. Elwert. 208 p. Fischer, Walther. 1957. Nekrolog. Heinrich Mutschmann (1885–1955). Shakespeare Jahrbuch, 93, 282–284. Lõbu, Terje. 2019. Saksa kultuuriruumist pärit teadlased Eesti Vabariigi Tartu Ülikooli teenistuses. Ajalooline Ajakiri, 2 (168), 227–263. Mencken, H.L. 1957. The American Language. An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States. Fourth edition. Corrected, enlarged, and rewritten. New York: Knopf. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1907. Die Entwicklung von Nasal vor stimmloser Spirans im Niederdeutsche. Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur, 32, 544–550. Mutschmann, Heinrich 1908. Die etymologie von n.e. to bore ‘ennuyer’. Beiblatt zur Anglia, 19, 179– 183. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1908. Neuschott breers. Beiblatt zur Anglia, 19, 382–383. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1908. Nordengl browst (brüst), ‘a brewing’. Beiblatt zur Anglia, 19, 383–384. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1908. My Pronunciation of German r. Modern Language Notes, 23: 3, 67–69. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1909. A Phonology of the North-Eastern Scotch Dialect. Part I. The Middle Scotch vowels in the North-Eastern Scotch Dialect. Inaugural Dissertation. Bonn: Peter Hanstein. 88. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1911. Review of Handwörterbuch der deutschen Sprache von Daniel Sanders. Neu bearbeitet, ergänzt un vermehrt von J. Ernst Wülfing. Achte Aufl. (erste der Neuarbeitung) Leipzig: Wigand 1910. 887 p. The Modern Language Review, 6: 2, 274–276. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1913. The Place-Names of Nottinghamshire. Their Origin and Development. (Cambridge Archaeological and Ethnological Series). Cambridge UP. 179 p. (Republished by Cambridge UP in 2011). Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1920. Der Andere Milton. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. 112 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1920. Milton und das Licht. Die Geschichte einer Seelenkrankung. Halle: Niemeyer. Sonderabdruck aus Beiblatt zur Anglia, 30: 11/12. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1924. Inglise keele õpetamise sihtidest ja meetoditest Eestis. Päevaleht, 20.11. 34


Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1924. Zur Frage des Albinismus Miltons. Beiblatt zur Anglia, 35, 272–276. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1924. Milton’s Eyesight and the Chronology of his Works. Acta et Commentationes Universitatis Dorpatensis. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1924. Studies concerning the Origin of ‘Paradise Lost’. Dorpat. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1924. Milton in Russland. Dorpat: Laakmann, 10 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1925. The Secret of John Milton. Dorpat. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1925. Esimene inglise keele lugemik. First English Reader. A Book for Beginners. Tartu. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1926. Shakespeares Weltanschauung. In: Shakespeares Werke. Übertr. Nach Schlegel-Tiek von Max J. Wolff. Berlin, 22, 155–202. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1928. Uute keelte õpetamise eesmärk ja meetodid. Kasvatus, 3, 144–146. Mutschmann, Heinrich, 1928. Inglise ja ameerika keele uurimise tähtsusest. Kasvatus, 3, 146–147. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1929. Über den Fremdsprachunterricht. Gümnaasiumi-õpetajate I kongress 3., 4. ja 5. aprillil 1929 Tallinnas. Tallinn: Eesti Õpetajate Liidu Kirjastus, 70–72. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1930. Praktische Phonetik des Englischen. Einführung in ihre Theorie und Praxis. Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer. 181 p. Mutschmann, H. 1931. Amerikanische Literatur und amerikanisches Volkstum. Fischer, W. et al. Amerikakunde. Berlin, 1931. 179–244. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1931. Glossary of Americanisms. Dorpat. 72 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1936. Milton’s Projected Epic on the Rise and Future Greatness of the Britannic Nation. Together with a reprint of the anonymous pamphlet entitled ‘Great Britain’s Ruin Plotted by Seven Sorts of Men. Tartu: J.G. Krüger. 87 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1939. The Origin and Meaning of Young’s Night Thoughts. Acta et Commentationes Universitatis Tartuensis. B, Humaniora, XLIII. 22 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1945. Der grundlegende Wortschatz des Englischen. Die 1500 wesentlichsten Wörter. Mit Berücksichtigung des amerikanisches Englisch. Fünfte Auflag. Marburg: Elwert, 32 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich; Wentersdorf, Karl. 1950. Shakespeare und der Katholizismus. Speyer. 256 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich; Wentersdorf, Karl. 1952. Shakespeare and Catholicism. New York: Sheed and Ward. 446 p. Mutschmann, Heinrich. 1963. Englische Phonetik. 2. Auflage bearbeitet von Günther Scherer. Berlin: Gruyter. 113 p. Mutt, Oleg. 1982. The development of English language studies in the 16th–20th centuries. Tartu, 82 p. Nock, S. A. 1930. Spoken American. Conversations in American on American Subjects. Edited by H. Mutschmann. Leipzig und Berlin, Teubner. 100 p. Rumrich, John. 2019. The Cause and Effect of Milton’s Blindness. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 61: 2, 95–115. Strunz, Gisela. 1999. American Studies oder Amerikanistik. Die deutsche Amerikawissenschaft und die Hoffnung auf Erneuerung der Hochschulen und den politischen Kultur nach 1945. Wiesbaden: Springer. Vihma, Helgi. 1999. Aaviku seltsi esimene auliige Paul Saagpakk. The first honorary member of the Aavik Society. Artikleid ja arhivaale II. Articles and Archives II. Tallinn 71–82. Wells, H.G. 1935. The Time Machine. Edited by H. Mutschmann. Second, revised edition. Tartu: Kool. 100 p. Wyld, H.C. 1914. A Short History of English. With a bibliography of recent books on the subject, and lists of texts and editions. London: John Murray, 240 p. Wyld, Henry Cecil. 1919. Kurze Geschichte des Englischen. Übersetzt von Heinrich Mutschmann. Heidelberg: Winter. 238 p.

35


HAVE A LOOK AT TEXAS (photos on p. 53) 1. The Texas State Capitol in Austin. The Texas State Capitol is 302.64 feet (92.24 m) tall, being taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It was designed by architect Elijah E. Myers and constructed from 1882 to 1888. 2. Citizens commemorate the victims of racism in downtown Austin, Texas. 3. The Pearl, San Antonio. The fish flying under the bridge represent the area where its designer used to live. 4. Round Rock donut. The city of Round Rock is named after a round rock in Brushy Creek (see photo). This round rock marked a convenient low-water crossing for wagons, horses, and cattle. 5. Deer in San Antonio. The fish flying under the bridge represent the area where its designer used to live. 6. George H. W. Bush memorial in the Plaza of Presidents in Fredericksburg at the Admiral Nimitz Museum (see photo).

The "round rock" of Round Rock, Texas, in Brushy Creek. Photo by Larry D. Moore

Plaza of the Presidents at the Admiral Nimitz Museum. Photo by Ed Uthman

EATE congratulates its Committee member Kati Bakradze on the title of Tallinn Basic School Teacher of the Year 2020

HEINO LIIV 90 EATE congratulates Heino Liiv, Associate Professor Emeritus of the University of Tartu, long-time Head of the Department of English, whose 90th birthday was on 7 September. His main research areas were methods of teaching English and contrastive grammar. In co-authorship with Nora Toots, he published the textbook Advanced English for the Estonian Learner (Part I, 1978; Part II, 1980). He has written more than a hundred research publications. He established contacts with many foreign universities, and when opportunities opened in the last years of the Soviet Union, invited the first foreign lecturers to teach in Tartu. Colleagues remember him as an exacting and strict lecturer who cared for his people and always stood for the wellbeing of the department. We wish Heino Liiv good health, continuing endurance and freshness of spirit.

36


ACADEMIC ANGLO-ESTONIAN SOCIETY Ilmar Anvelt

Editor of OPEN!

English teachers in Estonia have had their organisation, the Estonian Association of Teachers of English, since 1991. It is not known that a similar association of teachers existed before World War II, but there was another organisation that promoted the English language and knowledge about the culture and economy of English-speaking countries – the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society, which was primarily meant for the students and teaching staff of the University of Tartu. The initiator of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society was Ants Oras. According to the newspaper Üliõpilasleht (Anglo-Eesti ühing asutatud, 1931), the opening meeting of the society was held on 1 February 1931. On behalf of the founding members, Ants Oras submitted the statutes of the society to the university administration for registration on 6 March 1931. The University Council confirmed the statutes on 24 March 1931 (EAA 2100.19.8). §1 of the statutes formulates the aim of the society: “The aim of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society is to assemble primarily academic Estonians interested in Anglo-Saxon culture, dealing with this cultural space in a scholarly manner and introducing its achievements to the academic circles as well as the public at large, and trying to arrange contacts with Britain and America for acquiring of information and entering into friendship ties” (EAA 2100.19.8). The statutes were signed by Ants Oras, E. Lepik and Arnold E. Muhel as founding members (EAA 2100.19.8).

Ants Oras

On 19 October 1931, the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society submitted to the university administration the list of its members, according to which its President was Dr Ants Oras and VicePresident Johan[nes] Silvet MA. Ants Oras was president of the society until 1934; thereafter, until the liquidation of the society in 1940, its president was the English lecturer Henry Harris (EAA 2100.19.8).

The membership of the society included many well-known people, for example, artists Voldemar Eller and Jaan Jensen, philosopher and later rector Alfred Koort, medical scientist and rector from 1920– 1928 Heinrich Koppel, literary scholar Daniel Palgi, professor of biology Johannes Piiper, astronomer David Rootsmann (later Taavet Rootsmäe), prosecutor Richard Rägo, professor of history Peeter Treiberg (later Tarvel), politician and jurist Jaan Tõnisson, politician Ilmar Tõnisson, jurist and politician Jüri Uluots, professor of medicine Albert Valdes, student Paul Saagpakk, who later became known as the compiler of the big Estonian-English dictionary. In total, the list included 87 names. The list of the next year, 1932, included 100 names already, among them folklorist and diplomat Oskar Kallas. By 37


the second semester of 1932, the membership had dropped to only 54; later it grew again, in the second semester of 1936 there were 92 and in the second semester of 1938 even 173 members (EAA 2100.19.8). The society arranged both educational and entertaining events. Frequent news items in the newspaper Postimees attest to the diverse and energetic activities of the society. For example, Postimees writes that the Academic AngloEstonian Society arranged a memorial evening to George Washington (1732–1799) in the assembly hall of the university on 23 November 1932 (Mälestati Ameerika vabadusvõitlejat 1932).

Henry Harris

In addition, on 27 April 1933, Ants Oras asked the university administration for permission to plant an oak in memory of George Washington in the park on Toome Hill. The oak would have been planted by H. E. Carlson, chargé d’affaires of the US embassy. The decision by the university administration from the following day was “to allow, detailed arrangement to be entrusted to the Toome committee” (EAA 2100.19.8). The preserved documents do not confirm that the oak was really planted. The society arranged English courses for both adults and children. Postimees repeatedly published announcements about them. Along with Henry Harris, Johann Estam has also been mentioned as a teacher of the courses. Postimees writes about the course that began on 24 January 1938: “Teaching will follow the principles of practical language acquisition so that the participant in the course would achieve a sufficient command of the language for needs of everyday life.” (Akad. Anglo-Eesti Ühingu… 1938). The society also mediated the stipends of the British Council. For example, Postimees wrote on 29 June 1936 that Mr Saagpakk and Mr Variste were staying at the University of Southampton as stipend holders (Paul Saagpakk later became known as a lexicographer, Jüri Variste, however, as a choir conductor) (Akadeemilise Anglo-Eesti… 1936). On 6 January 1940, Postimees announced that teachers of English would receive four stipends, 200 pounds each. The stipends were meant for studies at English universities or colleges (Neli stipendiumit… 1940). The society organised various lectures and presentations. For example, on 7 November 1934, president of the society, Lecturer Henry Harris showed slides of various English artists’ works. As Postimees writes, the pictures were accompanied by Lecturer Harris’ “humorous explanations which were followed with great excitement” (Huviküllane õhtu… 1934). On 6 October 1937, Johannes Silvet made a presentation on the theme “How is a dictionary written?” The speaker gave a detailed overview of the compilation of his English-Estonian dictionary and the related questions (Mag. J. Silvet… 1937). The society considered development of economic ties and dissemination of knowledge about economy one of its tasks. On 30 October 1935, Postimees writes about the plan to establish a section of economic policy at the society (Anglo-Eesti Ühing arendab… 1935). On 19 March 1937, Postimees gives an overview of the meeting of the economic section of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society where Professor of Economic Geography Edgar Kant (Rector from 1941–1944) made a presentation on the theme “Economic relations between Estonia, Baltoscandia and Great Britain” (Baltoskandia riikide… 1937).

38


On 15 April 1937, Postimees writes that Associate Professor of History Hendrik Sepp dealt in his presentation with English-Estonian trade relations in the past, particularly in the 19th century and the early 20th century. He stated that, in the past already, Britain bought more from Estonia than it sold, while the enlivening of trade helped to create independent peasantry in Estonia (Sepp 1937). On 7 October 1937, Associate Professor Eduard Poom (Dean of the Faculty of Economics from 1938) made a presentation on the theme “The Importance of the English Language for a Study of Economics”. He underscored that Estonia had excellent trade relations with Britain and British economic literature was more highly appreciated than German. Therefore, English was included in the new curriculum of economics as the first foreign language (Inglise keele tähtsusest… 1937). On 10 November 1938, Arvo Horm spoke in the economy section about Estonian foreign orientation in economics and emphasised that we should learn more about British economics (Horm 1938). On 12 July 1939, Postimees published the article “New professorship for the University of Tartu” where it describes the initiative of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society to create a professorship of British economic history at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Tartu and says that the Faculty of Economics had expressed its support to the proposal (Uus professuur… 1939). Actually, the Faculty of Economics had already employed Arnold Cantwell Smith who was to teach selected issues of British economy in the 2nd semester of 1939 as a recommended course (EAA 2100.2.1108). In February 1940, Postimees paid particular attention to Richard Williams-Thompson’s presentations on the British social system. On 17 February 1940, it summarises his lecture, highlighting the most important points in the headline of the article “4 million dwellings in 20 years. What Britain is doing on social issues. Health and unemployment insurance and old-age pension for everyone” (WilliamsThompson 1940). The society developed close cooperation with the British embassy. Relations with the embassy and material help received from there were one of the reasons why Henry Harris was accused of spying for Britain in 1940. On 1 November 1934, Postimees published the article “British government’s gift to the AngloEstonian Society. British diplomatic representative spoke about Shakespeare” where it is reported that the British representative in Estonia Mr Hill spoke in the Student Union about Shakespeare as the English national poet. Mr Hill’s clear and impressive manner of presentation was an example of the intensity of literary avocations which could often be met among British statesmen and diplomats. Mr Hill surprised the listeners with the news that he had brought along a hundred-volume library of British classics which the British government had decided to donate to the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society (Briti valitususe kink… 1934). Later, Wilfred Hansford Gallienne (1897–1956), chargé d’affaires of the embassy, is often mentioned in the news. Postimees describes Gallienne’s visit to Tartu in November 1935. On 27 November, he made a presentation to the members of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society “Charms of the consul’s profession” and took part in the party which Postimees describes on 29 November in the article “Anglo-Estonian Society’s lively party”. Gallienne said about the students, “I gladly noticed that students speak English here, and considering the scanty opportunities for practising the language, I think that they are even stronger in it in writing than orally.” (Anglo-Eesti Ühingu… 1935). The British embassy also supported the society with books. In 1936, the embassy donated 68 volumes of recent literature worth of 280 kroons, and the next year, the embassy budget included 680 kroons for buying books for the society (Briti toetus… 1936). The society also received support for furnishing its rooms; Postimees writes on 2 October 1936: “As noted earlier, Britain has expressed 39


great interest in the activities of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society and also given actual help in furnishing the rooms of the society. The embassy has promised to send the society three large carpets and curtains” (Korterisisustust Inglismaalt 1936). In April 1937, the famous British admiral Sir Herbert Richmond visited Tartu and, as a guest of the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society, gave two lectures in the assembly hall of the university (Kuulus Inglise admiral... 1937). On 12 May 1937, the society arranged a tea party on the occasion of King George VI’s coronation. H. Harris spoke about the significance of coronation and played coronation music from gramophone records (Koosviibimine Inglise kuninga... 1937). For the first time in Estonia, an exhibition of English books was opened in Tallinn on 7 April 1938. The exhibition was organised by the Akadeemiline Kooperatiiv bookshop in cooperation with the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society (Tartu) and the English-Estonian Cultural Society (Tallinn), the University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology (Eestis korraldatakse... 1938). W. H. Gallienne visited Tartu again during students’ May festivities in 1938. Postimees writes on 2 May 1938 about his great interest in student life. He considered watching of and participating in students’ May festivities the most colourful and interesting part of his visit (Briti diplomaatliku esindaja... 1938). Among entertaining events, Postimees mentions the parties arranged by the society. In the article “Romeo and Juliet and Old Black Joe” Postimees gives a detailed description of the party in the Bürgermusse club on 19 November 1934. The programme included songs performed by soloists and even the society’s mixed choir conducted by Richard Ritsing, instrumental pieces on the piano and the accordion, poetry recitals and dances (“Romeo ja Julia”... 1934). Postimees also mentions the party at Bürgermusse on 7 April 1935 where the play Mrs. Briddlecombe and the Furriners directed by Eduard Türk, an actor of the Vanemuine theatre, choir and solo songs, dialogues, etc. were performed. The choir was conducted by composer R. Ritsing; the revenue of the party was used for replenishing the society’s library (Ak. Anglo-Eesti Ühingu... 1935). On 13 November 1936, there was a concert and ball in the Vanemuine; the concert part consisted of English music (Inglise muusika õhtu 1936); in 1938, the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society arranged a concert ball in the Sinimandria restaurant (Akadeemilise Anglo-Eesti... 1938). On 3 November 1937, the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society arranged a concert in the assembly hall of the university; its programme consisted mainly of the works by Estonian and English composers. The revenue of the concert was used for replenishing the society’s library (Oja 1937). The society mediated the visits to Tartu by writers Robert Byron and Rebecca West, Professor of Economic History J. R. Clapham, art historian and architect Brian Cook, singer Mary Hamlin, pianist John Hunt, violinist Thelma Reiss, and leader of the Mount Everest expedition Hugh Ruttledge. The National Archives of Estonia store many texts of songs sung in the society (EAA 1857.1.14, EAA 1857.1.15), mostly in typescript, some also rewritten by hand. These include such wellknown songs as “Auld Lang Syne”, “For He’s 40

An envelope of song lyrics


a Jolly Good Fellow”, “What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor”. Some envelopes where the song lyrics were kept bear the stamp “Stolen from the Academic AngloEstonian Society”, obviously for preventing taking the songsheets along from the society. As an exception, there is the song “Jõevana” with Estonian lyrics; its original is “Ol’ Man River” from Jerome Kern’s musical Showboat. There is also a song in English, “My Estonia” (“When hope her cheering smile supplies, / And winter flies far, far away, / Beneath Estonian beauteous skies, / When spring becomes more sweet and gay…”). Unfortunately, the authors of neither the melody nor the lyrics are mentioned. Perhaps it was sung to the tune of some Estonian song, although the lyrics do not seem to be a translation of a wellknown Estonian song. The National Archives of Estonia also keep three guestbooks of the society (EAA 1857.1.18) in a narrow oblong format; the first of them was started on 23 October Envelope with the stamp "stolen" 1931. The last entry was made on 14 August 1940 by R. Eres, O. Vares [? signature not clearly legible] and William Rosenberg. During its existence, the society rented rooms at several places in the midtown of Tartu (Gustav Adolfi 14–1, Gildi 1, G. Adolfi 14–3, Magasini 12– 3). A detailed description of opening of the new premises of the society is given in Postimees of 6 March 1936: “Academic Anglo-Estonian Society in new rooms. Yesterday, the rooms at Gustav Adolfi 14 were festively turned over to the Anglo-Estonian Society. The meeting was opened by Vice Rector H. Kruus who gave an overview of foreign cultures and their influence on the development of our education, emphasising the British Empire’s friendly attitude to Estonia. After Vice Rector’s greetings, H. C. C. Harris, President of the society, thanked the speaker for congratulations and Mr A. Oras provided an overview of the history of the society...” (Akadeemiline AngloEesti… 1936). On 27 June 1938, Postimees writes that during the month of June the French Institute and the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society moved to Gildi 1 “and received a much more beautiful and spacious location near the university” (Prantsuse Instituut… 1938). In management questions, the society also approached the university administration. On 8 March

A song with Estonian lyrics

41


1940, the society asked to be given the house at Vallikraavi 9 which used to belong to the former German student fraternity. The reason was that the society was accommodated in a rented apartment paying 75 kroons of rent per month. The letter emphasises that the society has attempted to promote students’ English skills in all ways and replenished the society’s library to the possible extent. Because of the shortage of lecture rooms in the main building of the university, Professor Ants Oras and Lecturer Henry Harris have held some of their lectures and seminars in the rooms of the society. The letter bears the resolution “To be discussed when the buildings mentioned in the letter are acquired by the university” (EAA 2100.19.9). The documents do not reveal that anything was done about the transfer of the house before the communist coup in June 1940.

Guestbooks of the society

The society was liquidated in August 1940 like the other academic organisations of the first independence period of the Republic of Estonia. There is an undated letter by Henry Harris where he informs the committee of the society that he cannot continue as its president and thanks everyone for their loyal cooperation. Ants Oras writes on 5 August 1940 that “because of various obstacles it is impossible” for him to remain a committee member of the Anglo-Estonian Society and its vice-president. On 8 August, treasurer and secretary of the society Venda Mandel wrote to the university administration that three members of the board, including president and vice-president had written letters of resignation. The letters of both Oras and Mandel carry the stamp of the university administration and decision of 9 August 1940: “Considering that the organs of the Academic AngloEstonian Society are legally incapable, the Society is designated to liquidation and its liquidation is entrusted to the student organisations liquidation committee” (EAA 2100.19.8). Anne Lange writes in her monograph Ants Oras (2004: 285): “Estonian anglophiles were in the orbit of interests for the security services of both Soviet and German authorities, and understanding that, the Society has been wise enough to destroy its papers.” Nonetheless, some archival materials and numerous newspaper articles have preserved that enable us to get an overview of the diverse and energetic activities of the society. Henry Harris died soon of pneumonia without being able to return to his homeland. To slander him, the NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Interior Affairs) spread rumours that he had committed suicide. Ants Oras was interrogated by the NKVD who called the Academic Anglo-Estonian Society “a stinking cave of English espionage” (Oras 2002: 74–75). REFERENCES Ak. Anglo-Eesti Ühingu piduõhtult. 1935. Postimees, 97, 8 April. Akad. Anglo-Eesti Ühingu inglise keele kursused. 1938. Postimees, 18, 19 January. Akadeemiline Anglo-Eesti Ühing uutes ruumides. 1936. Postimees, 63, 6 March. Akadeemilise Anglo-Eesti Ühingu kontsertball “Sinimandrias”. 1938. Postimees, 313, 18 November. Akadeemilise Anglo-Eesti Ühingu stipendiaadid Inglismaale. 1936. Postimees, 171, 29 June. 42


Anglo-Eesti Ühing arendab tegevust. 1935. Postimees, 296, 30 October. Anglo-Eesti ühing asutatud (1931). Üliõpilasleht, 1, 16. Anglo-Eesti Ühingu hoogus pidu. 1935. Postimees, 326, 29 November. Baltoskandia riikide eluküsimuseks on Balti mere vabadus. 1937. Postimees, 77, 19 March. Briti diplomaatliku esindaja suur huvi üliõpilaselu vastu. 1938. Postimees, 118, 2 May. Briti toetus Anglo-Eesti Ühingule. Postimees, 157, 13 June. Briti valitsuse kink Anglo-Eesti Ühingule. 1934. Postimees, 299, 1 November. EAA – National Archives of Estonia. Eestis korraldatakse inglise raamatunäitus. 1938. Postimees, 90, 1 April. Horm, Arvo. 1938. Meie majandusteaduslikust orientatsioonist. Postimees, 307, 12 November. Huviküllane õhtu Anglo-Eesti Ühingus. 1934. Postimees, 306, 8 January. Inglise keele tähtsusest majandusteadlastele. 1937. Postimees, 272, 8 October. Inglise muusika õhtu. 1936. Postimees, 308, 14 November. Koosviibimine Inglise kuninga kroonimise puhul. 1937. Postimees, 125, 10 May. Korterisisustust Inglismaalt. Postimees, 266, 2 October. Kuulus Inglise admiral tuleb Tartu. 1937. Postimees, 88, 2 April. Lange, Anne. 2004. Ants Oras. Tartu: Ilmamaa. Mag. J. Silvet rääkis sõnaraamatu koostamisest. 1937. Postimees, 217, 7 October. Mälestati Ameerika vabadusvõitlejat. 1932. Postimees, 277, 25 November. Neli stipendiumit õpetajatele Inglismaal. 1940. Postimees, 5, 6 January. Oja, Eduard. 1937. Eesti ja Inglise muusikaõhtu. Postimees, 300, 5 November. Oras, Ants. 2002. Eesti saatuslikud aastad 1939–1944. Tallinn: Olion. Prantsuse Instituut suletud 20. augustini. 1938. Postimees, 170, 27 June. “Romeo ja Julia” ning “Old Black Joe”. 1934. Postimees, 317, 19 November. Sepp, Hendrik. 1937. Juba minevikus ostis Inglismaa meilt rohkem kui müüs. Postimees, 101, 15 April. Uus professuur Tartu Ülikooli. 1939. Postimees, 183, 12. July. Williams-Thompson, Richard. 1940. 4 milj. elamut 20 aastaga. Postimees, 46, 17 February.

THE OTHER SIDE OF SUMMER Julia Hirsch

New Paltz, New York

The leaves were light green then, and the daffodils were just beginning to bloom, but now the leaves are turning, and the local apple orchards are welcoming visitors to pick the new crop. It’s been six months since I settled into my house in New Paltz, determined to wait out Covid-19 far from Manhattan where everyone agreed that subways, buses, museums, restaurants, concert halls and the crowds were breeders of infection. Summer is on the wane, but the virus hasn’t subsided. Life is different and I’m still getting used to the changes. As a retired person with few family responsibilities, I used to navigate with a great sense of freedom and the awareness that I always had many choices – to go to this grocery store or that one, to go to the library or browse in a bookstore, to meet a friend for lunch or stay home, go to the Opera or read a book – has become very circumscribed. Many of the places I liked to go to are closed or require long waits for admittance, as numbers within are limited. Even a walk along a country lane has its strict rules. One must stay a distance from others and wear a mask which often constrains breathing and blots out the tangy scents of late summer. The virus has also limited relationships. Handshakes and hugs are out of the 43


question. After many months of avoiding proximity, my daughter (with whom I don’t share a home) and I finally decided to hug each other. We do so with a sense of danger. But we’re also pleased we’ve given ourselves permission to be deviant. Fancy that! A mother and daughter giving each other a hug. That in a way sums up the entire story. The virus is perverse, evasive, unpredictable – and in defying the rules we’re taking a chance with our health. The virus shapes my daily life in countless other ways. Starting mid-March and until three weeks ago I ordered my groceries online from a local supermarket. I’d spend at least an hour trying to find what I wanted on a set of colorful screens which often did not include the particular items I wanted. I learned to settle. That didn’t bother me, I’m not fussy. But what I did resent was having to spend a lot of time cleaning what I received with disinfectant before putting my cans, bottles, jars, and fresh produce in my pantry or fridge. That’s what we’re advised to do, to be safe, and I want that, for sure. So I continue to wipe. To vary the experience of providing for daily needs, I sometimes walked a couple of miles to a speciality store that sells organic fruits and vegetables. I enjoyed the walk – often meeting a family of geese and their goslings that occupied the grounds of a long-abandoned diner – but getting home was much harder. I’d wait for up to thirty minutes to get a cab – driven by a masked driver – home, and when the hot weather settled in, I no longer could tolerate the wait for half an hour in 37 degrees Celsius. Reluctantly I decided to lease a car. I can now get to the supermarket within ten minutes. A limited number of customers are allowed in the store. We are required to wear masks, though some people seem to think their purpose is to cover their necks, not their mouths and noses. We wait at the checkout at a “safe” distance – deemed here to be about two meters – and generally we do not make eye contact. “Did you find everything you needed?” the cashier asks, with a breeziness that suggests she’s reading an invisible script written in easier times. “Sure,” I say, knowing that she isn’t responsible for the many empty shelves in the store. Paper goods and household cleaners are in short supply. Certain cereals seem to have disappeared. Their absence is replaced by extensive displays of the same cereal, a visual tease that, for a moment, obscures the reality of the situation. On some days there are no dried beans. On other days there seem to be fewer choices of coffee. Fresh fruits and vegetables are quite abundant but, on some days, I can’t find any lettuce, and yesterday I couldn’t find any broccoli or string beans. Last week I tried to find some printer paper for my computer. The local print shop, which also sells stationary, was almost out of it: I could only buy a single package. I ordered more from a large chain store some thirty miles away. I was promised delivery within two days. When five passed, I was informed that my order “was sent back to the warehouse.” When I asked why that had happened, I was told, there was a problem “in the supply chain”, and I wasn’t going to get any paper at all. Such shortages are by no means life-threatening but in a country that has been known for its abundance this is a novelty. I vaguely remember the petrol shortage in the 1970’s, and occasional warnings about tainted lettuce (one as recent as a few months ago), but these shortages are more extensive and seem to have become a part of daily life. The world of consumer goods has undergone some other changes. A number of large – and old – stores have declared bankruptcy, among them such prestigious ones as Brooks Brothers and Lord and Taylor. A number of restaurant chains have gone out of business as well. The world of online sales seems to be thriving. One can now buy food from Amazon – though at a price. I haven’t tried that yet. The decline in commerce – the closing of what has been called “brick and mortar” stores and restaurants which actually started a while back – and the suspension of actual, physical attendance at all levels of the educational and corporate worlds has had a huge effect on yet another market, namely that of clothes. Entire columns in newspapers and magazines address the question of what to wear when one’s workplace is the kitchen or the bedroom. A recent and very humorous article by 44


Patricia Marks in the New Yorker describes at length the new trend of wearing pajama pants while working online. One can wear traditional business attire above the waist but below the belt one can wear something loose, baggy and informal. Some writers have also commented that the absence of “dressing up” can be demoralizing, and recommend that one should “smarten up”, even if the results can’t be seen by fellow Zoomers. While I haven’t taken to wearing pyjama pants while Zooming, I Zoom a few hours a week. This is how I stay connected to the volunteer organization I work with and wrote about a few OPENs ago, and also how I participate in a variety of book groups. Once a week I meet with friends in a Google Hangout, and a few months ago I enjoyed a large gathering with family living across the country. While I appreciate the technology, it seems to strip us of warmth, and spontaneity. Sometimes, however, something unexpected happens, such as the sudden appearance of a pet crossing the screen, or the cry of a baby in another room. The sounds of fire engines and ambulances can also be carried across the electronic waves, and it’s funny to suddenly be thrust into the ordinary sounds of a distant city. Last week I went to New York City for two days. Many shops are still closed or have limited hours. Quite a few are gone, their windows entirely empty of merchandise and large signs posted inside reading, “For rent.” Streets are congested in a new way. There are far more bicycles on the move. Some keep to designated bicycle paths while others weave in and out among parked cars, moving vehicles and pedestrians. Restaurants are now allowed to create outdoor accommodations on the sidewalks and even in the street where cars used to park. These accommodations are often as large as twelve meters long and almost as deep allowing for a number of tables and chairs placed about two meters from each other. Simple wooden planks or wire fencing barriers shield patrons from traffic. Some of these protective devices are topped with flower boxes or draped with plastic trellises, in an attempt to mask the proximity of cars, trucks and bicycles. With luck one can imagine oneself at a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Europe, at worst one is reminded that we’re in Covid and everyone is trying their best to overcome the limitations imposed by the pandemic. Spirits have been lifted in other ways. Bread baking has become quite the rage, a homey pursuit rendered easier when the baker is also working from home and has time to check on the rising dough. Cooking, especially dishes that take some time to prepare, has grown in popularity. A friend who volunteers at Bide-a-wee, a large and particularly humane animal shelter, reports a constant scarcity of pets to adopt. Plant nurseries are short of garden soil and some other common horticultural products. Time has acquired a different structure. One has both too much and too little of it. Looking back at what I wrote last spring as the pandemic got started, I find some continuities and some changes. The sight of a masked face has become the “new normal.” I find myself more suspicious of someone not wearing one, or wearing it around their necks, than I do a person whose face I can barely see at all. Smiles have disappeared. Individual facial expression is obscured. I sometimes try to make eye contact but it’s not the same as a smile and I often fail to get a response. There is certain caution, a suspiciousness, in the air which makes it hard to connect. I continue to find it hard to focus, as an underlying anxiety gnaws away at my concentration. (I’ve taken to listening to Audible Books while I walk.) I’ve been doing some gardening, though hardly enough to cause a shortage, and one of my great joys this season has been the bounty of a tomato plant which I planted in a bucket. I spend much more time at my computer than I used to as it has become a shopping center, a social hub, a concert hall, and a gym. I spend more time on the phone talking to close friends and family. I’ve grown indifferent to what I wear. My hair has grown unruly, and I pin it up which makes me look a bit more old-fashioned than I am. A hairdresser in town has offered limited access to her skills but I don’t want to take a chance: safety, for me, takes precedence over vanity. The streets of New Paltz are busier now. There is far more car traffic and many more pedestrians as the college has reopened and students – some observing the necessary protections against Covid-19 45


while others disregard them – crowd the streets. School started a few days ago, but the patterns of attendance differ from class to class, school to school and district to district which makes keeping schedules very challenging for teachers, parents and students alike. Some restaurants are now offering side-walk seating of the sort I saw in the City, and a large public parking lot in the middle of town has now in part been appropriated by adjacent bars and cafes as a place for patrons to sit outdoors. There is perhaps a certain novel creativity in the air. Masks can now be purchased in gift shops, online, in pharmacies, at street-corner stores. One can buy them in a variety of patterns, including cat whiskers, skeletal smiles, floral designs and even one that has VOTE printed on it. Musicians who can no longer perform in concert halls play in the park free of charge to an audience gathered at a safe distance on blankets. A friend sent me a photograph of murals painted on the wood that has boarded up vacant stores on the Bowery in lower Manhattan. People have volunteered to shop for those who can’t safely get out and about. This morning I got a message from a social-service organization in Brooklyn asking for volunteers to make three calls a week to an elderly person who is alone and in need of human contact. For a few weeks – until the harvest was done – my daughter and grandson volunteered to pick produce at a local farm that distributes food to local needy families. (It was too hot for me to join them.) The days are growing shorter. I no longer hear the peepers in the marsh across the street, but the crickets are chirping loudly at night. In a few weeks, I expect that the roads leading to and through New Paltz will be thick with cars, as the autumn leaves will be glowing their usual yellows and oranges, and sightseers will be wanting to catch the spectacular sweep of the mountains in their bright regalia. And I’ll be wondering what the world will look like the next time I write for OPEN!

Experienced Educator CAN DO! AN INTERVIEW WITH TIIU VITSUT

What do you see as the worst and best aspects of today’s education from a (grand)parent’s point of view? Firstly, let me say that it is a blessing and a privilege to see your children’s children grow in a world with opportunities we never had, facing challenges we never imagined. For us science fiction was a bubble, a fairy-tale; our grandchildren now live in that bubble. Their electronic toys invented some decades ago serve as their study tools. There is a lot of positive in our education – it’s contemporary, free and offers equal opportunities (almost, because the place of birth plays an important role in the availability of opportunities even in small Estonia). Teachers and students have access to a massive knowledge bank over the internet (in case this “human right” is granted where you live); the virtual world has almost no borders. In my opinion, the task of the school is 46


to teach navigation skills and critical thinking. And here’s a catch. Where is the system supporting teachers to keep up? Is it left with individuals’ need for professional development? In an ideal world professional development and in-service training opportunities should be part of the country’s educational system. And yet, on the downside of our current education, I witnessed the harm done by social distancing during the spring period and overall home-schooling. No matter how fancy the computers, screens and work platforms are – children and adults miss their peers, in-person contacts. The system did not collapse, but I hope it never repeats again at this scope. Maarja Vaino’s comment in today’s (Sep 15, 2020) Postimees points out one sample of a survival skill: “The current level of education has been maintained thanks to the wisdom of many teachers not to implement (my addition: in a hurry) any new reform coming from the ministry.” Thank you, teachers! In modern times, the population is aging everywhere, therefore the role of grandparents should be gaining importance. The editorial article in Contemporary Social Science journal (Volume 13, 2018), Twenty-first century grandparents: global perspectives on changing roles and consequences by Ann Buchanan and Anna Rotkirch highlights the increasing role that grandparents are taking in raising the next generation, not only in the United Kingdom but across the world. “Why are grandparents playing a major role in rearing the next generation?” The same article concludes that “there is still much we do not know, but across the world, many of these grandparents are filling the gap for timepoor mothers and fathers (and in some cases failing parents). Indeed, they are the new army of proxy parents. As societies, we need to support them for they are playing an increasing role in raising the next generation. These children will be all our futures.” As a full-time working grandparent, I often feel sorry that I don’t have enough time for my grandchildren. On the recent Grandparents’ day, I was deeply moved when my grandkids, one by one, just dropped by to give a thank-you hug. I never knew of such a day in my childhood. My Grandmothers rarely hugged. By the way, Arthur Kornhaber, M.D., founder of the Foundation for Grandparenting, has identified 11 special roles that grandparents play in the lives of children. They are (in alphabetical order): Ancestor, Buddy, Hero, Historian, Mentor, Nurturer, Role Model, Spiritual Guide, Student, Teacher, and Wizard. We cannot fill all these rolls equally well, but they are all important in the development and education of grandchildren. How can you, in your position today, influence education in Estonia? The understanding who to become came to me in the 10th grade at high school. I had played school with my toys and cousins since kindergarten, imitating the school stories of my older sister. But it had been just a game. I also played a dentist with my teddy bear, but this was because I was so afraid of dentists. Anyway, things changed in grade 9 because of my new English teacher, a very experienced lady, who had been to the UK! For me she was the voice and thought I believed in 100 per cent. I tried to pick up everything I could: her pronunciation, fluency, knowledge; I loved her classes, and with awe. In grade 10, I scored maximum in a big English level test (an absolute boost of confidence!); in summer after the 10th I worked as a camp counsellor together with a third year German language student of Tallinn University, and my mind was set – I want to become a teacher of English. And so, I did, and worked 10 years at Tallinn School no. 4. The world changed in early 90s, and so did my life. During the fourth maternity leave in 1992, I challenged myself and changed tracks. Did I know what an embassy is? No. Did I know what Public Affairs means? No clue. Neither did we know anything about PR or private banking. We dived in and learned. I regretted for the first three years that I had quit school, because every June when my children stayed home for the summer I couldn’t. But gradually I learned how working with former colleagues and their students, offering them American music concerts, English language programs and materials supported the audiences. Since the first US English Language Fellow, Bim Schauffler working in Estonia in 1992–93, a lot 47


has been done: Foreign Language Centers were established together with the British Council, the North-American Studies Center was opened at Tartu University in 1993 by the late Ambassador Robert Frasure, English language specialists and speakers were invited to speak at schools and present at local conferences, Estonian English teachers attended programs in the States. I was well aware that many school people did not consider American specialists in the field of teaching English so trustworthy as British experts who were considered authentic. However, there have been wonderful American English language specialists visiting and teaching in Estonia, presenting at EATE conferences, and touring schools. Embassy’s input and support to Estonian English teaching has been more than moderate. The four American Spaces in Estonia run multiple public programs. During the last decade, the number of our programs for English teaching has increased, monetary contribution as well as the number of specialists working in Estonia has been bigger than ever. The young English teaching assistants (ETA) who have had assignments in Estonia (Tallinn, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi and Valga) for the past four years have provided a native speakers’ angle to the host schools and American Spaces. We partner with GLOBE schools and Junior Achievement, endorse STEAM education and youth exchange. As an outcome of our efforts to offer professional development for English teachers at vocational schools, we organized two conferences together with the British Council for this particular audience. As a result, in March 2020, a group of ten English teaching educators from vocational schools were invited to attend a program in the States. Unfortunately, COVID cut their trip short, and the follow-on virtual program in August did not fully replace the cancelled meetings with American colleagues. This year, COVID has naturally taken its toll on most of our exchange programs. We all hope that January will bring us new ETAs, but we will have no ELFs (English Language Fellows) at Universities. My practice has taught me that people-to-people programs have the biggest impact on all parties involved. When you need to know about a country, ask somebody who was born and has lived there. Teaching English and telling the America story – its nature, cultural diversity, people, science - it is two in one with our guest speakers. What skills in life do you find most necessary? Sticking to one’s inborn values, we still have to try and go with the flow; we need to change with time, adapt to the new environment and expectations of the society – it is a survival skill. Very Estonian, isn’t it? Years ago, I learned and memorized from a Finnish wise-woman, a yoga guru and healer with herbs, many universal truths she targeted primarily at women: eliminate whining and complaining, look for and see the beauty around you, never knowingly harm anybody, listen more and speak less, consider your thoughts before you spell and share them. I have tried hard to follow these words of wisdom. And it has become much, much easier with age. I often meet school kids of different age, and sometimes I cannot but admire their scope of knowledge, and for me it instils faith in the future. Great moments! And at other times, I see young outwardly confident people with quick responses, reactions, which are, unfortunately, shallow, or totally misleading, wrong as for facts. It’s most unfortunate, but it does not irritate me anymore. I might have been like that myself when several decades younger. Their time will come, and sooner than expected, because our daily life is like on a roller coaster. And hopefully, like all generations before them, they need to learn from their own mistakes. But I don’t like to see young people living like rolling stones. Supposedly, it makes it easier to cope with hardship and the unknown. I tend to believe that we should know where we come from; a solid foundation of knowledge helps develop a broader picture, draw conclusions, and compare with present day issues. No matter how complicated new technologies may make the life of the not so very tech-savvy of us, people with a broader and deeper understanding have better chances to overcome difficulties. I am an avid believer in the mind of a peasant. Today’s slogans, “dream big, the sky is the limit “are great, inspiring, but keeping your feet down and head cold sound more like me. Which skill or knowledge is the next one in your list? Obedience training with my mongrel puppy Elli, refreshing my German language skills, learning more 48


about forestry and growing trees (need it in my country home). In your opinion, what’s something that will always be in fashion, no matter how much time passes? Honesty and politeness. Which game from your childhood would you like to teach to children today, and why? Today, children play too little outdoors. We played interesting scouting games and treasure hunting. Even playing a grocery store outdoors in summer with different wild plants and herbs, stones and spruce cones was creative. I have tried to arouse my grandchildren’s interest but haven’t been successful. I respect all parents and teachers who give their kids a chance to discover nature and wildlife. We shouldn’t forget that we are all part of it, it’s people’s duty to protect not abuse nature. What do you do to unwind? Sometimes to unwind means to do absolutely nothing! Sit back or have a nap. But my family knows that starting a clean-up, going for a walk (now again with a dog), reading or watching a missed movie on the follow-up is the time for me to actually unwind. I have no exclusive, un-heard-of, exotic hobbies to escape the daily routine. However, I tried meditation in the 80s. It was mysterious and promising. I learned the technique at a course, but I couldn’t practice it regularly, because there was always a big family and noise around me, so it was hard to switch off and focus. But maybe it still helped a little to keep my balance. In high school, the load of schoolwork and other off-school activities was very demanding, accomplishments for me came only with hard work. Knitting became my best unwinding technique in these years, the end of the seventies. Of course, motivation was high – nobody else had a similar sweater. When I had to learn something by heart (and there was quite a lot, both in high school and university), I could walk back and forth, repeating the text and… knitting at the same time with spools of yarn in my pockets. Today, with mostly teleworking, it’s hard for me to stay away from garden work. Garden is a superb environment for unwinding. And here I sit, looking from my home-office window down at my garden and not getting there. Soon it will pass, as the weather gets colder and it’s not a tempting activity for a while. Then we will get to the period, where cosy evenings with friends (COVID permitting), books, or knitting help me unwind. By the way, now I mostly knit just for the sake of the process: knitting a long scarf, branch it out, and start all over – sounds stupid, but is very relaxing! Besides, it’s not an activity only for my finger, I’ve noticed that my toes move in the same rhythm. Try it! An armchair sport indeed. Needless to say, I feel relaxed and at ease amidst my family either at home or in our country house. Cannot help, I am a people’s person. When did something start out badly for you but in the end, it was great? Nothing comes to mind. What is the funniest joke that you have heard recently? Jokes come and go, I enjoy them when I hear, but unfortunately, I am bad with sharing them. Humour definitely plays an important role in life. Therefore, I am a humour consumer, not a producer. What is in the last photo you took? The family apple tree in my country home garden is three years old and has one apple. A stubborn small red apple I did not dare to pick it yet but took a photo. 49


If you could change places with a historic person for a day, then who would it be and why? It’s not very funny or glamorous, but at the age of 15 or 16, I got hold of the book Gone with the Wind, and I felt as wilful as Scarlett O’Hara. Today I wouldn’t change places with her, but I often use her saying “Tomorrow is another day”, meaning self-encouragement, I can, and I will. Tiiu Vitsut works as Public Engagement Specialist at the US Embassy in Tallinn. She was interviewed by EATE Committee members.

Reading Recommendations DEMYSTIFYING THE COMPLEX SPELLING OF ENGLISH Kärt Roomäe

MA student, University of Tartu

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style is an informal reference book written by Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief of Random House USA Inc. The book was published in 2019 and it is meant for all language fans, including teachers and students. Thanks to its conversational style, clear of complex grammar terms, the book will spark students’ interest about topics typically considered boring, such as spelling. The main title, Dreyer’s English, is a testament to the book’s subjective approach, where an experienced copy editor shares his practical knowledge rather than referencing theory. For example, in Ch. 6, Dryer admits that he has a dislike for grammar jargon and mentions the implicit knowledge of native speakers that is based on intuition, rather than on reciting rules. The book is divided into two parts. The first is more philosophical, while the second includes lists of observations that could be used as a basis for home assignments and even dictations, and his honest opinion about the validity of common mistakes and interesting features of language. Dreyer admits that he too is unsure about some rules, such as comma usage when the word ‘too’ is ending a sentence. After giving two example sentences, he simply says, “I haven’t the foggiest. So to blazes with it.” (p. 32) He does not claim to know all the rules, making his statements trustworthy and his writing more approachable. Dreyer’s use of second-person narrative is personal, engaging the reader (“you, dear reader” on p. xvi), and the style is not too formal; for example, he uses contracted forms. On pages xvii-xviii, he even writes, “Let’s get started.” The tone is thus conversational and resembles a dialogue. Dreyer is opinionated at times: his comment concerning the usage of apostrophes as plural markers deserves the following quote: “Step back, I’m about to hit the CAPS LOCK key.” (p. 36) Readers can identify references to three participants in the text: the narrator, the reader, and the editor (whose suggestions are named in some of the footnotes).

50


Chapter titles in Dreyer’s English are very literal, such as Ch. 3, “67 Assorted Things to Do (and Not to Do) with Punctuation”, where Dryer admits that punctuation marks are scary but necessary – the main problems will be discussed, but no comprehensive overview is provided, as some punctuation marks are rarely used. What is especially useful in terms of using this book for learning purposes is that correct and incorrect variants are set side-by-side with explanations. Numerous footnotes are easy to follow as they are provided at the bottom of the page, even though the symbols indicating them are easy to overlook at times. Issues that may come up when writing in English are listed, so that areas can be bookmarked for easy reference depending on the aspects your students are struggling with the most. To give a few examples of the recommendations made by Dreyer, reading aloud may help to notice the strengths and weaknesses of your writing; ideally, we should not have to reread anything. We should also be critical about the rules instead of simply accepting them. Dreyer compares different ones, naming them the Four C’s and the Great Nonrules of English (p. 7). A useful parallel for students on the topic of colons is given: “Think of colons as little trumpet blasts, attention-getting and ear-catching. Also loud.” (p. 35) He emphasizes that people understand our writing differently, “[o]ne person’s clarity is another person’s ‘Huh?’” (p. 26) He also suggests typing a paragraph manually rather than copying and pasting from the Internet to better feel the text (p. 45). Furthermore, Dryer makes a generalization that the most important thing about our writing is to be “logical and consistent” (p. 103). I agree in the sense that even in the case of some grammatical mistakes and misspelled words, if our writing is coherent and cohesive, the reader will understand the message. In Ch. 7, the basics of good storytelling are described, and while some of the comments are perhaps too technical for non-native speakers, it offers a good chance to think about the commonly used expressions, such as ‘nodding your head’ and ‘shrugging shoulders’, wherein redundant parts are in italics. Fiction can be deceiving too: as it turns out, murmuring and hoarse whispering are not as common as it seems from fiction. Dreyer moreover introduces some interesting observances about the changes happening in the English language. For instance, fewer punctuation marks are used (p. 21). Did you also know that in the case of ‘website’, the original term was ‘Web site’ with the intermediate hyphenated ‘Web-site’, a change in spelling reflecting the importance of the frequency of use? The author points out how conventions have changed regarding inner monologue, and whether it requires quotation marks (p. 119). The second part starts by naming some of the most often misspelled words, even though the author has left out their definitions. Dreyer says that while “no one expects you to memorize the spelling of every word in the notoriously irregular, unmemorizable English language,” (p. 130) being able to spell is “a commendable skill” (ibid.). It should be noted here that non-native English speakers have likely less trouble with words like dilemma, memento, and weird, as we are taught with a specific focus on linguistic structures that may receive little attention at schools in the case of native speakers of English. Some attention is also paid to suffixes, such as classic/classical on p. 177, a feature especially relevant in the context of exam preparation, just like words lay/lie (p. 192-194). Ch. 12 has an appropriate title, ‘The Trimmables,’ indicating words that can be omitted, e.g., ‘absolutely certain’, similarly to ‘fall down’ on p. 245. Ch. 10 shows that sometimes the word we use is wrong in that specific context, a play on phonetics, e.g. allude/elude on p. 169. Some points are more advanced than others, such as the difference between appraise/apprise, and do not necessarily deserve attention in our context. The explanations are sometimes funny, but hopefully this will help students remember the differences. What classifies this book as a rewarding read is the multitude of examples from different books such as The Great Gatsby, Bleak House, and The Hobbit. However, some comments are focused on American context, and might be unfamiliar to an Estonian reader: for example, there is a discussion about US state abbreviations on envelopes and Dreyer calls himself a “patriotic American” who favors series comma (to find out why not Oxford or serial, turn to p. 24). 51


Dreyer’s English, all in all, is a refreshing look at the spelling norms of English. The book is written in an engaging style that should appeal to those normally shying away from grammar issues. It covers multiple topics, both historically and contemporarily relevant – even browsing some of the chapters will be useful for those working with language.

THE END OF THE WORLD OR JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE? Erika Puusemp

Miina Härma Gymnasium, Tartu

In a precarious time due to the coronavirus, would you read something that has predicted the conundrum to some extent but has a ray of hope in it? Severance, the 2018 satirical debut science fiction novel by the Chinese-American author Ling Ma, is just such a book – the main character Candace Chen fluctuates in her musings between her current predicament, being one of the few people who have for unknown reasons so far not contracted the fungus-caused Shen Fever that has basically obliterated global civilisation (there are unaffected pockets at the beginning of the story still in remote places including the isle of Kihnu, for example), her parents’ experience of immigration to the US from Fuzhou, China (her father being among the first granted the possibility to study in a university in Utah), and her own experience of working as a Bible product coordinator for a New York firm who ordered many of their products from China (where the fever originated from). Candace is nostalgic about the first summer after finishing college when she spent months walking the streets of New York and taking pictures and living off her parents’ legacy and postponing getting a job, and about her boyfriend Jonathan, who left New York in the early days of the fever in the hopes of living someplace less capitalist, less consumption-oriented, and even about Salt Lake City, where she grew up as a first-generation immigrant. She stays in New York, manning the office she works in until all infrastructure falls apart and no alive people can be seen (the ones infected repeat old routines compulsively, without consciousness and until death), and documents the downfall of the city in a blog. Finally she flees and ends up joining a group of eight other people who seem to be inexplicably immune to the fever and, under the influence of quite a tyrannical religious leader, struggle to survive in what they call the Facility on the outskirts of Chicago. Obviously, things do not turn out to be good. So this is predominantly a story of staying alive and staying hopeful no matter what, quite a satirical spin on both the end of times and predominant international firm office culture, which was awarded the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction and has been included in several Best Books lists of the year. The New Yorker has penned it as “the best work of fiction (…) about the millennial condition – the alienation and cruelty that comes with being a functional person under advanced global capitalism, and the compromised pleasures and irreducibly personal meaning to be found in claiming some stability in a terrible world”. Read and decide for yourself, though. 52


HAVE A LOOK AT TEXAS (Explanations on p. 36)

1

3

6

2

4

This time's photos come from Andre Boyer (pictured with his wife) who worked as English Language Fellow in Narva in 2018/19.

5



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.