Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I want to start off by saying that Deborah Tannen wrote her essay on a very interesting topic. Out of all the times I've spent in class, I've never really thought about the communication skills and the differences between different genders, races, and ages. She lays out her thesis clearly in paragraph two by saying, "One facet of this is conversational style: how different regional, ethnic, and class backgrounds, as well as age and gender, result in different ways of using language to communicate." She concentrates on the gender aspect of communication the most because that one has the most variation. In most cases, the men are the overpowering communicators who like to control the conversation by always contributing. On the other hand, women can play that role too; however, out of most cases, the women are far less talkative than the men. In my opinion, I don't think gender should affect a person's contribution to a discussion. I think it is solely based on confidence and whether the person is shy to speak to a large audience. Can this be the reason we have not yet seen a female as President of the United States? Although there are other factors into that equation, the things Tannen talks about are most certainly an affect. I really like the final paragraph of the essay which said, "The goal of complete equal opportunity in class may not be attainable, but realizing that one monolithic classroom-participation structure is not equal opportunity is itself a powerful motivation to find more-diverse methods to serve diverse students--and every classroom is diverse." I completely agree with Tannen because in all of my years spent in classrooms, I contributed to the diversity and witnessed how being a foreigner could create differences in interpretation. Plus i know most people that come from my country to learn in the US are often extremely shy and prefer not to contribute to discussions. I think Tannen did a great job addressing an issue that often passes over our heads.