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ERIC Number: EJ999664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
The Language of Connection
Gold, Eva; Simpson, Deb
English in Australia, v47 n3 p41-43 Dec 2012
Researchers at "Facebook" and the University of Milan have dismissed the idea of 6 degrees of separation between two people and maintain that it has shrunk considerably in the past few years to 4.7 degrees. This may not seem surprising until they realise that the original experiment published in 1967 by the psychologist Stanley Milgram was drawn from 296 volunteers who sent a postcard through friends and then friends of friends to a specific person in a Boston suburb. "Facebook" together with researchers at the University of Milan performed a study earlier this year using all 721 million active "Facebook" users. Of course, the quality and level of "friendship" is of a different order but people are still people and we are clearly getting closer and closer on a global scale. We are connecting with more people locally through technology and also expanding the workplace base across national borders. The students will be living and working in a world where people are connected globally through ties of culture, economics, politics, enhanced communication and travel and a shared environment. It is important to prepare the students to be open to difference and be comfortable and constructive in these new levels of proximity. Global Education is a national education initiative to integrate global competencies into existing curriculum, to help students develop the knowledge, skills and awareness they will need as global citizens. As a part of the Global Education Project, the ETA is developing a resource to support teachers in implementing cross curriculum requirements through units of work incorporating language activities. The resource called "The Language of Connection" is aimed at Years 7-10 and rests on the premise that while there is much emphasis on teaching argument in English, there are many social and political situations where this way of thinking and interacting with others can be unhelpful. This resource provides units and activities to support students in developing the language and structures to engage interdependently, co-operatively, sensitively and appreciatively with others whilst still effectively analysing ideas and concepts.
Australian Association for the Teaching of English. English House, 416 Magill Road, Kensington Gardens, SA 5068 Australia. Tel: +61-8-8332-2845; Fax: +61-8-8333-0394; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia