Conference Theme Panels “Looking Back, Thinking Ahead: Merging the past, present, future of ELT” Sponsored by FAAPI 2001
Panel 1 – Thursday 20th, 14 hrs – San Agustín Auditorium María Silvia Stagnaro, M.A. – “The Challenge of the Present: Responding to the Requirement of Total Quality in our Classrooms” Our main concern as teachers has always been to be ‘good teachers’. What a challenge! How can we define the elements that make for ‘quality’ in our classrooms? In the past, different teaching methods came to our aid, giving us the cues we needed to come close to the ideal. Nowadays, however, it seems that what is being called for is a professional who is capable of freeing himself from the straightjacket of methods in order to respond empathically and creatively to the requirements of his/her ever more demanding students. Are we ready to take face the music?
Dr. Pascual Masullo – “Can Generative Linguistics shed any light on foreign language teaching?” It is a widely accepted assumption that foreign and second language teaching should draw largely on the findings of linguistic theory, as well as theories of language acquisition. A summary will therefore be presented of current research within the generative paradigm (including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and the lexicon) which is strongly felt to contribute in a positive manner not only to curriculum design, but also to error analysis and evaluation. A consideration of modern contrastive analysis, as well as the four skills within a modular conception of the mind will also be included.
Lidia Soler, M.A. – “Some considerations on past, present and future practices in the teaching of pronunciation” For the last hundred years the teaching of pronunciation has gone through different stages which reflect the changing theories and methods of English language teaching and their attitude towards pronunciation. This paper reviews some of the most relevant issues in the teaching of the pronunciation component in EFL and considers some continuing needs for new approaches and lines of research in the field.
Panel 2 – Thursday 20th, 16 hrs – San Agustín Auditorium Claudia Ferradas Moi, M.A. – “Literature revisited” Gone are the days when the prestigious role of literature in ELT was unquestioned. With the advent of methods and approaches which focused on spoken language, literary texts were often disregarded. At present, literature is being revisited, but what is meant by literature today and how should it be approached? Besides, along with feminism and gender studies, postcolonialism and multiculturalism have questioned the canon. Has ELT kept pace with these changes? And how is literature to meet the challenge posed by new technologies?
Daniel Reznik, M.A. – “Business English” A couple of decades ago EFL teachers equipped with some basic knowledge of business terms and the rudiments of commercial correspondence felt confident that they would meet the language learning needs of business organisations. The realisation that " Business English " was no more than an umbrella term for a range of disparate disciplines prompted practitioners to seek further training in content areas for a better understanding of the environments in which they had to operate. But the pace of change in the world of business now calls for a different kind of teacher, one who can become a professional resource, course designer and evaluator. This presentation will examine the core competencies involved in the transition from English teacher to communication skills trainer and explore the challenge ahead.
Dr. Cristina Elgue de Martini – “Cultural Studies: Its impact on cognition” The presentation traces the antecedents of Cultural Studies in Britain back to the courses organized by the adult education movement for working class people since the beginning of the 20th Century, especially those of the late 1940s in the field of visual arts, in radio, press, and advertising, in music and literature. It then concentrates on the work published in the 1950s and early 1960s by Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, and refers to the official beginning of this interdisciplinary field, with the founding of the Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies in 1964, and the role played by Stuart Hall. After considering the significance of Cultural Studies in America, attention is focused on its impact on education: not only on conventional school matters like curriculum (namely, the absorption of Literature into Cultural Studies), but also on the broader context of cognition. In this sense, the essay attempts to explain how as a consequence of the theories and practices developed by its practitioners, Cultural Studies has fostered a new form of rationality based on locational thinking and has privileged a narrative construal of reality, building new conceptions of race, space, place, home, identity and culture.
Ron White, M.A. – “Managing the Future” People entering ELT as a career typically spend a lot of time gaining technical/professional expertise which they will update over the years by attending conferences and workshops. With changes in the world of work, professionals are now finding that technical expertise is only part of what is needed in order to survive and that career management skills are needed as they re-invent themselves as one person enterprises. They also need to develop a range of other management skills as they assume responsibility for supervising others and for working within an increasingly market driven sector.