Is E an African language? Are teachers using email?

Thursday, December 18th, 2008 | Computer Usage, training

Some teachers of a foreign (or second) language insist that only this language be used in their classes. For example, a teacher of English to non-English speaking learners may be adamant that only English is spoken in her class.

This approach makes sense. The only way to learn a new language is to use it. It doesn’t matter if the grammar is not perfect at the start, or if the learner battles with vocabulary; the important thing is to get the feel of the language and then to gain some confidence in using it.

When technology is brought into a school, a new language is likewise introduced: the language of E.

How do we help teachers (and learners) to start using this language? One way is by insisting that they use E as the main medium of communication.

E is not a spoken language; it is a language in a different sense. But one can apply the principles of language learning. For example, in written communication with teachers, one should insist on using only email. One of the first things that teachers should learn is how to use email.

Principals can play a big role by being firm that all internal communication (memos, schedules, circulars, etc) take place via email. Of course, that implies that the principal has bought into the concept of E.  It also implies that a stable network is in place and that all teachers have email addresses and that they have received adequate training in its use.

Facilitators at schools must put the necessary structures and training programmes in place to ensure that email becomes the standard way of communication in a school.

[This posting has appeared a year ago on my previous blog - see the interesting comments that some teachers have made on this topic].

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2 Comments to Is E an African language? Are teachers using email?

Brian Barker
Friday, 19 December, 2008

As far as learning a second language is concerned, can I put in a word for Esperanto?

Although it is a living language, it helps language learning as well. Five schools in Britain have introduced this neutral international language, in order to test its propaedeutic values.

The pilot project is being monitored by the University of Manchester, and the initial results are very encouraging. These can be seen at,%20S2L%20Phase%201.pdf

An interesting video can be seen at and a glimpse of Esperanto at

Monday, 22 December, 2008

Oh, man. Our school uses email a lot, but I’d love to reduce my paper load even more!

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