Currently, I am a student in a class called Taking Charge Linguistic Coaching for Special Needs and At Risks Learners. For my final project, I will be using my blog and my podcast to explain the five domains. For this post and future podcast, I will be looking at the song. Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix to describe Domain 1- The Principles of Linguistic Coaching- The goal of Domain one is as follows –
“To empower ourselves and others to examine the underlying assumptions that show up as our Self- Narratives: to observe the underlying commitment to our speaking and listening that close or open learning possibilities.”
One of the central tenants of Taking Charge is the following – When something happens in your world, you can respond or react. The goal of the linguistic coach is to show the learner how to respond with effective coordinated action. A linguistic coach will dialogue with the learner. The song Hey Joe shows an individual reacting to something that occurred in his world. It also includes an observer who dialogues with Joe. Joe in this dialogue reveals his behavior and his plans for future action.
Domain One has two main parts that I will define, and then illustrate how they appear in the song lyrics-
- Background of Interpretation ( Self- Narrative): Demonstrated competence in observing the underlying backgrounds of interpretation, or sets of assumptions, we use to describe ourselves and others, our self-narratives.
The self-narrative in this song is of a man named Joe, there is an observer who is watching Joe and dialoguing with him
The song begins with the linguistic coach who observed his friend Joe walking down the street carrying a gun. The coach asks the question- Hey Joe, where are you going with that gun in your hand? Joe responds honestly, “I’m going down to shoot my old lady, caught her messing around with another man. Joe had something happen in his world; his wife was cheating on him. Joe picked up a gun and went to shoot her. As a learner, Joe has come to the conclusion that killing his wife would end his problems. The pain would go away, and he would be healed.
Joe goes off, shoots his wife, kills her, and then comes back.
When we look at Joe’s behavior we can put together his self-narrative, He is walking down the street with a gun, He clearly states that he is going to kill his wife for cheating on him. Joe is hurt and upset. His narrative is that he has been done wrong and the person who wronged him and caused his pain needs to pay. At this point, it is tempting to make to draw conclusions on Joe’s actions, but that isn’t the point. The point is to observe his behavior.
This is Joe’s background of interpretation. His wife was cheating on him was done wrong and the way to right that wrong was to kill her.
Next, I want to look at Part Two of Domain One and show how it relates to the second part of the song.
Part 2- Commitment in Speaking and Listening- Demonstrated competence in observing the effectiveness of the commitment in speaking and listening of ourselves and others(i.e., our speech acts: offers, requests, promises, and assertions) in closing or opening possibilities for coordinated action.
The observer in the song sees Joe walking down the street again. He addresses Joe – Hey Joe, I heard you shot your old lady down. You shot her down to the ground. The observer is in the role of the Linguistic Coach, Joe then responds- Yes, I did, I shot her. Joe continues
From the song- “I shot her. You know I caught my old lady messing around town. And I gave her the gun, and I shot her! Now the next thing that happens is that the observer begins to dialogue with Joe to see what Joenext actions will be- In the song, the observer says- Joe, I said where are you going to run, to now, where you, where are you gonna go? The observer is dialoguing with Joe, and he gets this response from him- Joe says the following-I’m going down south, way down south to Mexico way! “
Ain’t no hangman going to put a rope around me!” Joe is demonstrating his competency and is following part 2 of Domain 2. Joe is making a promise and an assertion. He is showing his skills in the following ways. 1. He is aware that his actions are wrong in the eyes of other people. 2. He knows that he will need to leave. 3 He has picked a place -Mexico to run to. 4. His plan in his mind will help him to avoid the Hangman.
The observer, by starting with, has opened the way for Joe to reveal his plan. Joe’s action will be to run to Mexico to avoid being found by the Hangman and executed. The point of this exercise is not to offer an opinion on what I believe should be done to Joe for killing his wife. My role as a linguistic coach is to help the learner see that they are a learner, and help them make positive choices in the future.
This is important working with At- Risk-Learners. We can be tempted to blame their parents or blame the students for poor behavior choices in the past. Yet if I, as a learner, do that, I will close off possibilities for future learning.
By seeing that student as a learner, We could help them make positive choices in the future. I will discuss more of this, and talk about how I would linguistically coach Joe through his decisions to run to Mexico to avoid the Hangman on my podcast – The Steven Thompson Experience- In the meantime- Listen to Hey Joe.