Spring 93 Vol 6 n°13

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Vo1.6 N째 13

Inviting Children to Make Connections Between Reading and Writing Katherine Davies Samway and Dorothy Taylor

Sometimes we are fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to hear children spontaneously share insights into their literacy process.


Not long ago, Homa, an eighth grader, explained in her reading dialogue journal how reading and writing can influence each other: l ... don't think that it matters if a book is a mystery or not for the auther to make you ask questions from your self. 1 think most 01 the books I've read make me ask questions from myselfin the beginning and 1 have written stories that make the readers of them ask questions and 1 can start another one that way too!!! Homa's remark reveals the way in which she was conscious of how writers craft their storiesand how her reading influenced her writing. Professional writers often ta1kabout how theirwriting is influenced by what they read;

Homa's comments show that children who are developing readers and writers and second language leamers like herself can make and express connections between their reading and writing. Sometimes we are fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to hear children spontaneously share insights into their literacy process. As teachers, we have made inferences about how children's reading has influenced what or how they wrote (e.g. "I saw her reading Tuck Ev erlasting [Babbit, 1975] last week, and this story of hers reminds me of it. I bet she modeled it after Tuck Everlasting" ). We realize, however, that we cannot rely solely on our hunches. We need to talk directly with students about these issues in order to better understand them as learners. We have, therefore, interviewed students to find out how theirreading influences their writing. Some of these interviews were face-to- face interviews with Taylor, and others were telephone interviews with Samway.

In many ways, literature studies serve the same purpose as writing conferences- they give students and teachers an opportunity to explore texts collaboratively (Continued on page 3)

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(From page 1)

The Children and Their ESOL Classes We will describe some connections that three nonnative-English-speaking middle school children related when asked to comment on how their reading influenced their writing. Eduardo (sixth grade) , Homa (eighth grade), and Shanti (eighth grade, special education placement) live in a suburban neighborhood in Massachusetts.

Through their reading, these young authors became acutely aware of the needfor strategies to "book" readers and spontaneously experimented witli devices such as dialogue for accomplishing that.

read had influenced their writing we learned a great deal about them. Sometimes our hunches were confirmed, but more often we were given access to new information about the writing processes ofthese young writers. They talked about how the content of their stories, the vocabulary, and the mechanical features they used had often been influenced by what they had read. But mostly they talked about how particular literary features that they had encountered in the books they read - genre, leads, and plausibility had influenced their writing. In doing so, they demonstrated an analytical awareness of what one can do or cannot do as a writer.

Their native languages are Spanish, Farsi, and Hindi respectively. They attend an ESOL pull-out class two to three times a week, each class lasting for approximately 50 minutes. In these classes they write on self-selected topics and confer with their peers and teachers about their writing. They correspond with Taylor, their ESOL teacher, in a reading dialogue journal in which they reflect upon the books they are reading out of class. They also correspond with Samway in letters about their writing processes. In other words, the students have multiple opportuni ties to be thoughful readers and writers. As teachers, we are interested in what we can do to enhance this kind of reflectiveness. That is, we believe that it is important to explore classroom learning events that are conducive to thoughtful leaming. In the final section of this paper, we will discuss in more detail how the events in their ESOL classes contributed to the children's ability to see and talk about connections between their reading and writing.

Connections the Children Made When the children talked about how books they Page 3



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Genre Mostofthechildren's writingconsistedofpersonal narrative or third-person fictionalized pro se. However, they experimented within their chosen genre. For exarnple, Eduardo had read and been very impressed by O. Henry stories with their twists at the end. When Taylor asked him what he liked about the stories, Eduardo responded: It was interesting ... because you always think, in the end, the opposite thing you think is going to happen happens. It's always weird. After writing a story about a soccer tournament, Eduardo cornmented that he deliberately tried to have an unexpected ending. The story describes how his tearn was winning 3-0 at half-time; in the second half it started to rain, the score was tied, mothers carne to collect their children, and the narrator's tearn was reduced to half its size. The narrator's mother also picked him up before the end of the garne and was very angry that he got so wet exposing himself to the possibility of sickness. He did get sick, and when he was well again, he retumed to his tearn.

Eduardo ended his story in this way: When I was okay I went to practice with my team. I asked them, "Who won?" They answered, "They did - ten to three. You are out of the team for a seasonfor not staying the whole game." "Come on", I said, but they told me, "Get out of here, and never ask ifyou can come to practice, or be on the team.WIMP!!" I waited a whole year so I could play again with the team. Now they aren't angry with me amymore. Although the ending seemed a bit implausible at first reading, it was unexpected.

Eduardo waited eagerly for him to return the book to the bookshelf so that he could read it. Knowledge often circled the room this way in a kind of domino effect.

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Eduardo impressed us with the way in which he built up the suspense. He cornmented on how he enjoyed stories with surprise endings, and went on to reflect on how O. Henry stories had influenced him as a writer: Eduardo: Like, when 1 write a story from O. Henry. Teacher: Are you thinking specifically of"A Soccer Tournament"? That O. Henry has influened your writing in "A Soccer Tournament"? Eduardo: Yeah, because we were playing super okay and then it started to rain and we /ost. Teacher: Okay, so you started out with one idea and you put some kind of twist on it? Eduardo: 1 tried to. Eduardo had been inspired by O. Henry stories to try something he had encountered in them-an unexpected ending. The children read fairy tales and sometimes used this genre as a model. For example, after reading Cinderella stories, Shanti wrote a story about Madonna becoming Michael Jackson's wife. Her story began: When Madonna was eight years o/d her father died. Then her mother got married with another man beca use her mother wanted Madonna to have afatherandsisterandbrother.ButwhenMadol/na got o/der her stepfather and her stepsister and stepbrother didn't like her beca use she was so beautifu/. And her stepbrother and stepsister were so ugly and mean to her. They never /et Madonna go anywhere. But one time her stepbrother and stepsister went to the park, and Madonna said, "Can 1 go with you." They said, "No, you can't go with us." she said, "Only one time, then I won't go anywhere e/se." They said, "O.K., we wil/let you got with us on/y one time. Then you can't go anywhere else," She said, "O.K." In the story, Shanti went on to describe how Madonna meets Michael Jackson in the park. He asks her to marry him, but her stepfather is furious with her because he wants his own daughter to marry the rich and famous Michael Jackson. (continued




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..9l.warĂĄs DON'T BE LEFf OUT! TESOL offers a variety of awards to its rnembers: travel grants to attend the TESOL Surnmer Institute or annualconvention,fellowshipsfor graduatestudy, and financial awards for excellence in teaching, rnaterials development, or research. There are also awards to honor contributions to affiliates and valuable service to TESOL and the profession. For award descriptions and application/nomination guidelines, consult the June/July 1993 issue of TESOL Mattersorcontact TESOL at 1600Cameron Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314-2751. Take advantage 01these funding opportunities NOW! In Argentina contact: ARTESOL MaipĂş 672 (1006) Buenos Aires Argentina



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(from page 5)

He forbids the marriage, Madonna is made to retum to her life of drudgery, hard work, and ugly clothes. At night Michael Jackson comes to their house, recognizes Madonna, and says he wants to marry her. The stepfathercalls the police because Michael Jackson will not accept that he cannot marry Madonna and will not leave. The police eventuall y take the stepfather tojail and Madonna and Michael Jackson marry ... and live happily ever after. Later in the year, Shanti talked about the influence of the Cinderella stories on her Madonna story. Teacher: What about in Madonna, how did the Cinderella stories that you read influence your writing of the Madonna story? Shanti: Well, like, same thing happen in Cinderella, like the stepsister 01' stepfather, stepmother, they a/ways treat her like in, not kind way, but they always tell her todo workand Madonna book doesn't take her anywhere until she just said, "Let me, can you take me one time fo park and then / won't go anywhere?" And they say, "Yes." AI/d in Cinderella story this one happen. The fairy godmother helped her. As this short excerpt shows, Shanti borrowed both characters and themes (evil being punished and rejection) from the Cinderella stories. The children often talked about their readings and

themes with their peers and ESOL teacher, and in these discussions, they explored special interesting elements of the genre. Later, they sometimes incorporated those elements into their own writing. In this way, they often transformed personal narratives into fictionalized stories utilizing genre features that appealed to them.

Leads Through reading, Homa leamed how essential it is for authors to begin their stories with a powerful, captivating lead. She was acutely aware of the difficulties for a reader if the beginning is labored and tedious, and she was determined not to do this in her own writing.In her reading dialogue journal, Homa wrote: I think there would be a way for the author of the book to describe the characters of (he book whithout making the book boring, Sometimes in some books the author doesn't even have to describe what (he characters are like because (he reader will find out what they're like by (he things the character does in the book. Do you know what Lmeanl! In the short stories / write 1don't reallydescribe whatthepeop/e are /ike in it beca use / think maybe that's for the reader to deside ..In the beginning of the books 1pay attention to what kind ofwriting that is ... ... sometimes 1ay to use that kind of writing, When sheread and wrote, Homa critically analyzed the craft of writing. She was aware of how other authors write and used that knowledge to enhance her own writing. For exarnple, she cornmented that she had noticed that beginning a story with dialogue can be a very effective way of c~pturing one's audience and began one of her stones, Bad News, in the same way: "You know who just called?" Mom asked. "/ don't konw. Who?" / answered. "Just take a wild guess," Mom replied. "1 don't know. Did.Grandmacall or something?" I asked, not too interested. "Not but you say you were at the library doing vour homework after school?" Mom questioned. This story was about an occasion when the narrator deceived her mother and her mother found out.

March 8-12, 1994 The Baltimore Convention Center Baltimore, Maryland U.SA


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on page 7)

Later in the story, she was caught up in self-pity and was called to her parents' room because they had bad news for her. She was sure that the bad news concemed her punishment, but instead discovered that her great grandfather had died. It is a very poignant story, one in which dialogue in the form of telephone calls built up suspense, a skillful device for developing the plot. Authors do not have long to capture their audiences. Through theirreading, these young authors became acutely aware of the need for strategies to "hook" readers and spontaneously experimented with devices such as dialogue for accomplishing that. Plausibility The children read a lot of fiction and were constantly confronted by issues of plausibility, in the books they read and in the stories that they wrote. For example, Eduardo read and enjoyed Aesop's Fables. Later, he wrote his own fables, including this one: The bat and the rabbits "He/p, help!" exclaimed a rabbit. When his mother was talking to anotherrabbit. "Oh, someone is kidnaping my son, ifI wouldn't have left him there all alone." cried the rabbits mother. The other day all the rabbits knew what had happened, The next day the ug /y bat kidnaper askedfor 1,000,000 carrots. But the parents of the rabbit didn't have that much of carrots so they asked for them to another rabbits. Finally the (continued

on page 8)

January 1994 20-22

Technology, Reading, and Learning Difficulties, 12th annual national conference, San Francisco, California. Contact Educational Computer Conferences, 1070Crows Nest Way, Richmond, California 94803. Te1.51O222-1249. 1-800-255-2218. March 1994 3-5

International Listening Association (ILA) annual convention, "Listening: The agent for positive change", Boston, Massachusetts, Contact Sheila C. Bentley,ILA, 1035WestTree Drive,Collierville, Tennessee38017. Tel. 901853-7690. 5-8

American Associationof Applied Linguistics (AAAL). Annual conference, Baltimore, Maryland. Contact AAAL, PO Box 24083, Oklahoma Cíty, Oklahoma 73124. Tel. 405-843-5113, Fax 405-843-4863, E-mail: jmay@rex.uokhsc.edu. 28-30

Federation Internationale des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes (FIPLV), 18th world congress, "Fun with Languages: Keys to Europe, Gateway to the World", Hamburg, Germany. Contact FIPLV Head Office, Seestraí.Se 247, CH-8038 Zürich, Switzerland.




TESOl affiliates help educators at the local level develop and maintain effective organizations which seek improvement in teaching English as a second 01' foreign language. These regional affiliates provide educators with professional information and support in a geographic area. Affiliate conferences, newsletters and varied membership services encourage information exchanges and provide a valuable source of contact for other associated organizations. In Argentina,

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(frorn page 7)

rabbit'sfamily gotthat amount ofcarrotsundtheyleft itwhere the bat told them to. The bat didn'tgive the rabbit back, but he said he will give it back at night. "It is almost night, we will get him back." said the mother. At night when the rabbit was suposse to be home, someone put something between the two lea ves infrontofthe burrolw. The mother took the lea ves out very carefully and she fainted beca use it was her son ear. The bat did this many times but whenthe tigers caught him they killed the ugly bato /F YOU K/LL WITHOUT ANY REASON YOU HA VE TO FEEL WHAT DYE IS UKE. In an earlier draft, the ransom had involved money, Eduardo and his ESOL teacher had talked about whether this was plausible, even in afable, and he returned to the fables he had read to explore the issue further. Later, he said: y ou told me that / used to put too many characteristics of persons in the animals. Now I put some, but not as much as ... like they go bowling or have money ... I said instead of money, one million carrots.

Sometimes our hunches were confirmed, but more often we were given access to new information about the writing processes of these young writers

Eduardo's writing andcomments refleeted his understanding that authors have considerable license, but that there are bounds. Learning to Make Connections Talking about one's own literaey proeesses and development is not an easy task, particularly if one has not had many opportunities to practice the skill. This is especially true for nonnative English speakers who generally have fewer opportunities to engage in this type of reflective activity. In their ESOL class, Homa, Shanti, and Eduardo were offered many opportunities to be thoughtful readers and writers. What followsis a description of some of the ESOL classroom aetivities and an explanation of how they may have contributed to the children's developing powers of reflection. Self-selection of Reading Materials and Writing Topics Homa loved mysteries, Eduardo admired the irony of the O.Henry twist, and Shanti preferred a happy fairy tale ending. In their interviews, each of these students eonnected a reading preference to a writing style that they had admired and modeled. In their ESOL class, the students were encouraged to read and write extensively on self-selected topies. Teaehers and peers were sources for book and topic ideas, but the final reponsibility for selection was up to the individual student. Thus, students quickly developed areas of special interest and expertise and applied (continued on page 9)

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1994 June 20Rugust 5


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(from page 8)

TESOL'94 g;a!fimo~ March 8-12, 1994

this knowledge to their writing (e.g., Homa's recognition and use of dialogue as a way to make a captivating lead sternmed from her interest in suspense and mysteries). Students learned quickly to look to one another as sources of ideas for books to read ortopics to write about. Eduardo's interest in O. Henry was sparked when another student, Mikhail, excitedly pulled the collection of O. Henry stories off the shelf and exc1aimed that he had read many of these stories in Russian. Eduardo waited eagerly for him to return the book to the bookshelf so that he could read it. Knowledge often circled the room this way in a kind of domino effect.

Peer and Teacher Writing Conferences Students read theirpieces of writing in peer and teacherconferences and were encouraged to provide thoughtful criticismo (For a more detailed description of this approach to writing instruction [writer's workshop, see Atwell, 1987;Calkins, 1986; Graves, 1983; Samway, 1992; and Urzúa, 1987.) It was during a writing conference that Eduardo talked about the issue of plausibility in his story The bat and the rabbits. Eduardo immediately grasped his teacher's point about the sensitive balance between reality and imagination in fiction. After the discussion about The bat and the rabbits, Eduardo was overhead saying to another student. "11'sinteresting, but is it believable?"

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Multiple Opportunities Written Reflection


Once or twice a week, the students and Taylorwrote to each other in ĂŠl reading dialogue journal. (For a more detailed description of dialogue journals, see Atwell, 1987; Fulwiler, 1987; and Peyton & Reed, 1990.) Although the focus of the correspondence was on books, the students and teacher often found themselves making spontaneous connections between what they were reading and their own writing (e.g. Homa's cornments about the selfquestioning nature of stories quoted at the beginning of the article). The students also corresponded with Samway in letters that focused on discussions about writing and writing processes. Prior to the interview in which Shanti discussed the influence of Cinderella on her Madonna story, Shanti and Samway had a similar conversation in a letter. Shanti wrote the following: you askedmewhy was Madnnia story was easier. Because I read lot cinderealla stories beca use they give lot of ideas like stepsister, stepbrother and stepfather.

Shanti and the otherchildren had multiple opportunities and more than one person with whom to reflect on their processes. As a consequence, the children developed confidence in their own insights. Shanti provides an excellent example of this phenomenon. Her reading dialogue joumal entries were rather formulaic throughout the school year (i.e., listing the title, the name of the author, and her favorite part). In contrast, in her letters to Samway, shedisplayed a growing self-assuredness; she initiated topics and asked and answered questions. In the interview with Taylor, that selfassuredness emerged when the topic turned to the point that she and Samway had discussed

earlier in their letter. For the first time in the interview, Shanti spoke without hesitation and explained and illustrated her points at length. Eduardo also had multiple opportunities to reflect upon his literacy skills. In this case, his language arts teacher also invited students to reflect upon books and writing. When discussing the influence of his reading dialogue journal, Eduardo commented: InLA. [Language Arts] I can do it quicker beca use 1 have, like, more experience with this. [Name of Languge Arts teacher} is telling us "What do you think about the book?" now I can answer it because l'm reading maybe this books and in there-so I can say the same thing and it's easy.

TESOL'94 ~alttmOFe March 8-12,1994

Literature Studies Although students were given a great deal of time to develop their individual tastes and expertise as readers, students occasionally worked together to study a piece or pieces of literature as a group. (For more detailed description of literature studies, see Edelsky, 1988, Peterson & Eeds, 1990; and Samway etal., 1991.) (continued

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page 11)

These diseussions were openended and students were free to raise any issues suggested by the texto In many ways, literature studies serve the sarne purpose as writing eonferenees-they give students and teaehers an opportunity to explore texts eollaboratively. When Shanti commented that her Madonna story was easier because she had read a lot of Cinderella stories, she was referring to ESOL class had just eompleted these discussions when she spontaneously wrote Madonna. Concluding Remarks All of the activities described above reflect the value of a eollaborative language and literaey environment. When adults and children are members of a leaming eornmunity, they are able to help each other generate writing topies, select books to read, refine ideas, and assume a more conscious, cri tical stanee as a reader and writer. The young people introduced in this paper have had many opportunities to be reflective readers and writers. Like professional writers, they are eonscious of how others craft stories. When they read, they are aware of what works and does not work, and often utilize thatknowledge when they write. For example, they borrow elements from other people's writing that catch their imagination and seem appropriatefortheirown writing, thereby enhancing their literacy development. As Shirley Brice Heath (1985) has pointed out, children must be provided with

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opportunities to develop such reflective powers in order for extensive literacy to emerge.

References Atwell, N. (1987) In the middle: Writing, reading, and learning witĂą adolescents.

TESOL '84: A brave new world for TESOL (pp. 15-28). Washington,

DC:TESOL. Peterson, R., & Eeds, M. (1990) Grand conversations: Literature groups in action. Richmond Hill, Canada: Scholastic. Peyton, J. K., & Reed, L. (1990).Dialogue journal writing with nonnative English speakers: A handbook for teachers. Alexandria,

Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook VA:TESOL. Babbit, N. (1975). Tuck everlasting. Samway,K. Davies. (1992). Writer's New York: Farra, Strauss & Giroux. workshop and children acquiring Calkins, L.M. (1986). The art of English, Washigton, DC: National teaching writing. Portsmouth, NH: Clearinghouse for Bilingual Heinemann. Education. Edelsky, C. (1988). Living in the Samway, K. Davies et al. (1991). author's world: Analyzing the Reading the skeleton, the heart and author'scraft. The California Reader, the brain of a book: An altemative 21, 14-17. reading programo The Reading Fulwiler, t. (ed.) (1987). The journal Teacher,45,196-205. book. Porstmouth, NH: Boynton/ UrzĂşa, C. (1987). 'You stopped too Cook. soon': Second language children Graves, D. H. (1983). Writing: composing and revising. TESOL Teachers and children at work: Quarterly, 21, 279-304. Porstmouth, NH: Heinemann. Heath, S. B. (1985). Literacy or (From TESOLJOURNAL, Vol. 2 literate skills. In P. Larson, E. Judd, No. 3 -Spring 1993) & D. Messerschmith (eds.), On Page 11



"Just what is the difference between English for SpecificPurposes (ESP) and content -based instruction (CBI)?" is a question often raised by teachers and administrators in the field. On the surface it is a simple query; however, sorting out the differences is a complex task because these two approaches are grounded in a common philosophy that takes into account the backgrounds, needs, and interests of learners. The roots of CBI are commonly traced to three main antecedents: immersion education, language across the currículum, and language for specific purposes. Looking at this "family tree", it is immediately evident that there is a close familiar relationship between ESP/ LSP on the one hand and CBI on the other. AccordingtoAnnJohns(CATESOLJoumaI5,l,pp.71-

75), ESP and CBI share a dissatisfaction with the traditional abstraction of language from its natural environment. In other words, they combine a focus on language usewith an emphasis on discourse-embedded language usage, employing authentic materials, tasks, and language environmentsas the vehicle for achieving their teaching objectives.

Further, both expand the definition of language teaching lO include cognitive skills andcritical thinking. The approaches differ in the populations served, the skills taught, and the respective research traditions. Johns notes that ESP serves adult EFL language leamers intemationally, and has a rich research tradition (dating back to the early 1960s). As such, ESP encompasses the teaching of leamers with specifiable needs while CBI, its younger cousin, is anchored in ESL settings such as Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US and is linked to the K-12 setting. And though ESP courses may focus on one skill (e.g. reading), CBI courses favor an integrated, all-skills focus. Unlike the linguistically oriented and text-based research of ESP, CBI is concerned with the immediate c1assroom (materials/curriculum designo instructional strategies, and the like). 1am in complete agreement with John's assessrnent of ESP and CBI's common ground. However, 1don't agree with her claims about CBI's scope, which she limits to domestic settings with pre-adult or young adult population. Nor do 1 agree with her statements regarding research efforts in this still very young approach lo language teaching. FirSI. regarding the similarities: ESP and CBI are both international in scope and Ilavor. (continued page 13)

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R.becca Oxford September 28, 1993 and September 30, 1993 Content-Area ESL at the University level: Secrets of Success Mark Clarke November 4, 1993 and Novembe"r 5, 1993 How Not to Intertere with Learning

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Register now by calling Sharon Bolton, Education Programs Coordinator, TESOl Central Office, 703-836-0774. The registration fae fOI each site is US$150. Then, after you register, you will receive a dedicated telephone number to dial the day and time of tha conference. You may use a speaker phone, a public address system, or any suitable equipment to enhance your group's participation. Don't delay, sign up today because the number of sites is limited. Gather your colleagues and let TESOL come to you with career enrichment.

Audiocasssttss of prsvious Ts/sTESOL Confsrsncss and handoU! matsría/s are avaí/ab/e. Ask Sharon for a ptic« líst. ~

Each site receivss an audiocassette of the conference.

\ij# Page 12

Tel. 703-836-0774

Fax 703-836-7864

(from page 12) The CBI sessions at international conference 00 the teaching/learning of second languages (128 CBI sessions al msoc~~~e~~oceclfu~'~~r the many informal reports of CBI programs that I receive from coUeagues around the world. Moreover, CBI research doesn't focus solely on the classroom, as shown by ongoing research in sheltered classrooms in the US where the discourse of teachers and learners is being microscopically examined for the insights it yields. As for fue differences, ESP grew out of commercial ventures, and even today displays a commercial bent. CBI, on the other hand, grew out of academic needs and remains firmly entrenched in academic institutions. CBI populations may be broad and amorphous (i.e .. from different disciplines), but the students are brought together through the vehicle of content. ESP audiences, conversely, are more identifiable; they are brought together in common pursuit of expanded language proficiency in targeted areas. Learners in an ESP course are iM~men~Uym~vated0~.,whmiliey~_~ are learning is pragmatically informed. with immediate value totheirprofession). CBI learners are motivated by know ledge as an avenue to success in more general or intrinsic terms. In this sense, the ESP course is field-specific, whereas the CBI course consists of a broad based inquiry into academic knowledge, with a particular topic chosen not as an object, but as a vehicle of study. Articulating the differences of these closely-allied approaches is a challenge because there are dozens of ESP venues and many types of content-based prograrns, including therne- based, sheltered, adjunct, and the new "hybrid" programs that are emerging out of these prototype CBI models. My purpose in exploring the differences between ESP and CBI is not to favor one approach over the other, but rather to define the populations most appropriately served byeach.and toclarify someofthe muddy waters surrounding these commonly employed approaches to second/foreign language teaching today. (From TESOL Matters August/ September 1993)




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Sometimes ESL is a joke Definition of ESL teaching: Insanity in the farnily. Question: Why are ESL teachers so poorly paid? Answer: Talk is cheap. Question: What do you get when you cross Total Physical Response with the Silent Way? Answer: Total Silence. Definition of a successful ESL cornposition teacher: One who has the write stuff. What's worse: incornrnunicativecornpetence, orcornrnunicative incorn petence? Question: What do you call teachers who are tearn teaching in a cornrnunicative classroorn? Answer: A pair-work pair. You want to hear a joke? Here's a joke: Sorne people think that ESL is so easy to teach that any native speaker can do it.

Page 13

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edited by [ames Dean Brown

From TESOL Matters April /May



TESOLAND THE UNITED NATIONS: A NEW PARTNERSHIP Just as the UN charter of 1945 affirms that this world organization will work with governments of the world's great nations, it also states that it will work with and Ihrough 1101/governmental organizations (NGOs). In the spring of 1990. TESOL became an NGO of the United Nations' Departrnent of Public Information (DPI). One result of our new relationship will be thc most obvious when we gather in New York ncxt March Ior TESOL '91. Monday, March 25, TESOL Day at the Unitcd Nations. and a whole day ofbriefings is being planned for 200 convention participants. Look for details in convcntion rcgistration materials. Other aspects of this relationship are less obvious. As an NGO of the DPI, we have easy acccss to information on the objectives and projects of the UN and its agencies. We are expected 10: *provide a channel through which inlormation concerning the United Nations reaches the public: playa crucial role in mobilizing public opinion and *building understanding for the United Nations, its related agencies and programs. and *monilor and promote policies 01' our various countries in support of Unitcd Nations goals anct resolutions.

Inthese early months of our new relationship, we need to hear more about your special intercsts. The many UN programs and issues cover peace and security, economic and social development, decolonization, disarrnament, human rights, health, crimc. and drugs.just to narne a Iew. There have been world conferences on the environrnent, youth, womcn. the aging, population, shelter, and food. NGOs nave hclpcd thc UN launch international years for peace, Ihe child, and disablcd pcrsons. What topics are pertinent 10 your studems, your affiliate, your own work? We also need lo bccome beuer adviscd by TESOL members as lO how you wish to utilize this new so urce of infonnation and exchange. A daunting volume of materials is produced al the United Nations, all of which can be copied without charge. Computer access is avnilable Ihrough UNISER. Some rnaterials can be sent through regular communications frorn the TESOL Central Office toaffiliates; some publicaiions can beobtained by writing. UN Informationofficesthroughout the world will provide TESOL membcrs with intormation. What dissernination processes will be affordablc and convenient for you? Rcprinted from The TESOL Newsletter, Vol. XXIV. No. 5. October 1990.

1he solution lo your beginners classes? ElementarJ'.


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Progre" Book. Tcocher's ~~k, COSseHe Teochcr's R COsseHe;, ond floshc~s:ds~ce


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Page 14



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RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU'VE EVER USED "THE ENVIRONMENT" AS A THEME FOR A LANGUAGE CLASS by Darlene Larson March 25, 1991 -TESOL Day at the UN- was an historie occasion for the Association. Two hundred TESOL members were treated to a full day of reports from various UN agencies about the problems they address and the solutions they attempt. But the number in attendance was small in comparison to TESOL membership, theTESOL '91 partieipants, and thenumber of classroom teachers who need to be informed about UN projects and goals. As a result, many who attended advised thatfuture TESOLconvention programs include speakers about topies such as human rights, global understanding, economic development. and environment. Individuals who didn't attend have asked "Why would we invite an environmentalist to speak at TESOL?" 1 have asked those who attended the UN reports to respondo FromSally Hinrich, ORTESOlL .."Environmental issues are related to other significant TESOL concems, namel y peace and human rights. What one woman or man does in her or his own community will affect the life of neighbors around the world. If peace is an issue relevant to our students' lives.

For without understanding how we pollute our environment through war as well as technology, peaceful environmental measures may have no lasting effect on our polĂ­tical neighbors. If human rights is an issue forTESOL, then the environment also must be an issue. Without clean air and water, without clear land to farm, we, as world citizens, lose the basic human right to a healthy, safe space in whieh to live and raise a family. Without a clean environment, we will have no world worth giving to our children, wherever they may live. Second, global and local concem for the environment is consistent with many of the world's religions and is reflected in harmonious cultural customs in many countries. Finally, the environment is an issue ofhuman dignity. TESOL, through sociopolitical concems and the UN should be committed to helping our students improvc their lives by any means possible on the simple basis 01" humanitarianism" . (continued page J 7)


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(from page 15 ) From Kip Cates, Tottori University, Japan ..."Why "Global Issues in Language Education? Both the JALT N-SIG and the "Global Issues" Network find theirroots in serveral sources: 1) in current Japanese interest in 'intemalization' and the growing public awareness of Japan's global responsibilities and links to world problems, 2) language teachers in Japan increasing awareness of the field, of global education, and of the work of such organizations as "Educators for Social Responsibilities", 3) the growing numberof conference presentations, academic papers, and newsletter articles on global education themes within professionallanguage teaching organizations such as TESOL, IATEFL and JALT, and 4) a growing dissatisfaction wi th traditional language teaching methods and materials which ignored content, omitted critical thinking and global perspectives, perpetuated false stereotypes, and avoided real-world issues". FromLorraineP .Sarhage,ESLProgrameoordinator, Dwight-Englewood Sehool, Englewood, New Jersey, USA ..."As TESOL celebrates its intemationalism with platitudes and projects, what worthier area for our professional concems than the condition of our shared global environment? Publishers increasingly incorporate 'green' issues into materials. As practitioners. we have a responsibility to acquire background understanding as well as to stay infonned on recent developments". From Sylvia Mulling , Kean College o/ New Jersey, USA ..."The mere fact that we are educators demands that we contribute to our students' growing awareness of the global reality surrounding us. One need not be a biologist to discuss the effects of pollution on life on landand in thesea. Oneneed notbeanenvironmentalist to point out the necessity of recycling. One need not be an ecologist to present information about the destruction ofthe rain forests and its consequences for life on Earth. One need not be a meteorologist to speculate about the effects of ozone deplction on the weather. One need not be a naturalist to consider the consequences of the extinction of species. We need not take sides on controversial issues. but it is our business to present the issues. The danger to our planet and its existing life can no longer be questioned. To ignore environmental concems is to evade our obligation to informo We must not assume that our students willleam elsewhere what they should know about global conditions. Just as teachers must inform students, so must TESOL inform teachers.

TESOLcanhelpteachers by disseminating information about the environment and promoting ways to incorporate environmental concems in cIassrooms and support involvement in extracurricular and cornmunity activities". . From Esther Lucas, Herzliya-Pituah, Israel ..."The recent appearance of global themes in English textbooks indicates that there is a general awareness of the need to teach these issues in the ELT classroom. The environment, women's rights, problems of the Third World, and peace education have all been touched upon. There is a need for TESOL to develop these and similar global topics in our programs. Various surveys carried out in the eighties, such as one initiated atLueneburg University in Germany, show the interest taken by students in leaming about global issues. Young people want to know what they can do about the development and destruction that is going 011 around them. Who better than Teachers of English 10 Speakers of Other Languages to help them leam? (continued page 18 )

DIALOG ]OURNAL WRITING: ON BECOMING BETTER PERSONS TOGETHER Dialog Jourrial Writing (DJW) is not a new technique Ior writing compositions. DJW is not a pedagogical tool thc teacher may use to innovate her/his teaching style. DJW is a way of getting what we know as "te~chcr growth, it .isa way of becoming a better person working together with your students. What is DJW about? It is simply starting a convcrsation in written form with our students, a conversation that will havc as various subjects as the two persons involved may think oL. situations in the classroom, personal problems, doubts about tapies discussed in class. apologies and so on. The important thing is lo remember all the time that writing journals is a personal, private way of knowing e~ch. other. From your teaching practice, you surely know this IS very difficult to reach in a standard c1assroom setting. Your students will write you and you will either answer or write thern. The frequency of the exchange is optional, but once a week is, in my opinion, a suitable one. This frequency wilI also depend on the number of students you have. Remember that it will be like answering as many "Ieuers" from friends as students you have. (continued next page)


(from page 17) FromJohnFanselow,PastPresident, TESOL..."There are those who feel the onIy goal we should have as ESOL teachers is to be sure that our students speak, read, write, and understand English. But what will they speak about, and leam to read, write, and understand? We can teach language for its own sake -pen is a nounWe can teach language as an area of instruction: pens are made of plastic - athennosetting polymer of high molecular weight. We can teach language to express personal feelings and infonnation: 1love using plastic pens. We can teach about our environment: some plastic pens cannot be easily converted into disposable garbage and when bumed in an incinerator will produce some chemicals that are not friendly to our lungs. We can combine all ofthese ways of teaching English or we can select one that is most important to uso Given the present perilous state of our environment, 1 try to understand what each of us do in our daily lives that contributes to the deterioration or cleaning of the environment. By introducing the study of the environment to my language class, the students and 1 leam aboutvarious content are as -science, public policy, economics, etc- and about the needs and aspirations of both my students and colleagues. As 1teach about the environment, 1hope not to become an advocate for one point of view but rather an enquirer after truth in a field that concems both me, my students, and subsequent generations of teachers and students. 1see exploration of environmental issues as something that enables us to integrate language for its own sake, language as an area of content, and language as ameans of personal expression. Additionally, exploration of environmental issues has the potential of infonning us of ways of living so that life for us and our future generations can become more positive, healthy and promising. "

Dialog Journal Writing Something you will have to consider is the high degree of privacy of the journals. You will have to evaluate how much you are ready to share with people you still do not know very well. The personal involvement in the activity is inevitable and you should be willing to engage in it. Keeping copies of the students' diaries is basic if you want lo follow the personal process behind DJW. Be sure to ask your students whether they agree with your keeping copies of their joumals. If they do not, be respectful. Never correct students journals as if they were a routine composition exercise. This is difficult because we have been trained to instincti vely reaet before mistakes of a gram rnatical or stylistic kind. Correctingjoumals should be done through feedback, rewriting, eomprehensible input and many other subtle ways that we usually use in oral aetivities. 1have been working with DJW for two years and 1have found it hard and time eonsuming. Yet these disadvantages are far outweighed by the personal development 1 underwent and the knowledge of what is going on in my students minds and hearts. 1know no other way to "teach" than trying to become a better person together with those other persons who are my students. 1 do not get a better salary because of this; on the contrary, 1know 1lose money. But it is a price 1am more than willing to pay. More information about this experience in future reports ...

1 am grateful to all of the above contributors for their views and for the time they took to express them. One more comment -if every news anide and broadcast reports the arguments of communities and provinces and nations about environmental issues and there is agreement on the "rightway to treat our environment", why is the Earth in its present state? Reprinted from TESOL Matters, October/November 1991


Page 18

Cristina Martínez, ARICANA, Rosario, Santa Fé Inés OIga Cossettini, Rosario, Santa Fé

lowa State University

1994 TESOL INSTITUTE For informatíon, please contact: .TESOL Institute Department ofEnglish 316R.oss Hall. lowa State University Ames,IA50011 Tel.: (515) 294-7819 Fax: (515) 294-6814 In Argentina contact: ARTESOL

Iowa State University 1994 TESOL INSTITUTE The TESLlLinguistics facu1ty at Iowa State University, in cooperation with the Department of English, will host the TESOL Institute at Iowa State University, June-August 1994 Thirty graduate courses will be offered in two three-week sessions, taught by faculty from universities across the U.S. and Europe. About 200 students and visiting scholars are expected to attend each session of the Institute, which will focus on analysis, leaming, and teaching of languages for communication in contexto

10 addition to the courses, participants will attend lectures presented by visiting faculty each week. Other features of interest include the TESOL Summer Meeting, hosted by the University of Northem Iowa, as well as two conferences: a Symposium on Professional Communication in an Intemational Context and a Conference on Computers in Applied Linguistics. Students may take Institute courses for Graduate College credit, and others may attend as non-credit or as Visiting Scholars. Tuition and Fees Registration Fee: Credit Students: Non-credit Students: Visiting Scholars:

$ 160 $ 340 per course taken for graduate credit $ 340 per session* $ 440 per session*

โ ข Non credit students and Visiting Scholars may attend as many courses as they wish.

Housing Air-conditioned dormitory room: Single occupancy: $ 360 per session Double occupancy:$ 250 per session Full Meals: $ 264 per session*

* Customized meal plans are available For more information, please contact: TESOL Institute Department of English 316 Ross Hall lowa State University Armes, lA 50011 Fax: (515) 294-6814 Phnne: (515) 294-7819

~[Ff1Q~~ ~tr~~~@ fr~@ [K]@fr~ #\lfU

Many thanks from the EFL-ISmembership to the following individuals who made the EFL-ISHospitality Booth one of the best ever!! Blanca Arazi (ICANA), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mabel Chena (ICANA), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Beatriz Solina (ARICANA), Rosario, Argentina, Rito Ford (CEVAZ), Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Sonja D. Moman (CCPA), Asunciรณn, Paraguay; and to the following English Teaching Officers representing the United States Information Agency, who generously gave their time to help staff the booth: JoeI Wiskin, BiII Carroll, Chuck Seifert, Johanna Kowitz, James Ward, George Wilcox, Greg orr. and Domon Anderson.


11.路A8~fHi'A We'd like to thank very especially those ARTESOL members issue. In case you have forgouen about it, it read as follows:


who sent in responses

to the question

raised in the Fall


What is the best way to cope with large classes? Can communicative activities be used succesfully without a complete loss of control? First we are including

an article from the TESOL Journal, which also provides

a very good answer to this question,

the teacher. But how can role playing be done with so many students in so little time? One successful rolc play activity follows. I present a situation like the following: A husband and wife have been married for a little more than ayear. They have nochildren. The husband runsa business ROLE PLAYING out of his home. His wife works as an IN A LARGE CLASS attorney in a downtown law firmo Their salarios are comparable. However, the by Ellen Rosen husband is unhappy because he never sees his wife. She works late every day and is usually gone on the weekends. If Teaching a c1ass of 30 or more students with her, differs significantly from teaching a he wants to eat lunchordinner she insists that smallerclass. Cornmunicative activities he makc un appoirument. On their likerole-playing become unmanageable annivcrsary, he mude an appointment in larger classes. This is espccially true when class lime with her for the whole day. but she spent is limited. When 1 first made thc 3 hours in thc morning talking on the transition from small to large classcs, l phone with her law partncr, When the avoided role playing. l didn't feel it was husband insistcd that she hang up, she fair to let only a few students perform in mude him call hack and apologize to her front of the class. Giving everyone a partncr. The husband is frustrated and turn seemed to bore the students. even if docsn't know what lo do about his the content of the role plays varied. rnarriagc. Because my college-lcvel c1asses met Alter explaining thc situation, l divide for 2-4 hours a week, I felt there was thc class into groups 01' three. adjusting very little time to invest in role p铆aying the groups so that both scxcs and al least two languages are rcpresentcd. Then and other enjoyable, communicative activities. 1 tell thcm to ehoosc one rolc each: Role playing, however, has inherent husband, wife ormarriagecounselor. value. It gives students the opportunity (11' thcre are extras. thc Iourth pcrson is to shed their own identity and take on the law partner). The husband. wife. someone else's point of view, it allows and partner add details to their sides of them to venture into cornrnunicative the story. The counselor's job is lo gel 10 situations that are outside the typical the bottom of rhe problem by asking c1assroom; and itcreatesan environment questions: where they can use language creatively What is the wife's version of the story? to solve problems. Meaning becomes The husband? Why did they marry in the focus, and language is the means to thefirst place? Is there still tove in this that end. Finally, feedback can be marriage? WiII eithercfthembe willing

provided by the whole class, not just



Page 20

I give them 15 minutes. If a group getl stuck, 1 encourage the counselor t control the conversation, and sugges some questions to direct its flow. Afte 15 minutes of loud, animated discussions, we conclude thc activity by having each group summarize their findings to the class: Did the husband 01'

wife agree


change or was there l/O

hope? Why? Additional role play situations are easy to find. Some excellent sources are newspaper articles and advice columns and TV talk shows, and short storics. Look for an interesting or un usual contlict in a relationship (e.g.; parcnt/ child, boyfriend/girlfriend, mother-inlaw/daughter-in-law .etc). Studentscan either read about the situation bcforc hand or listen to a summarized vcrsion and take notes. Concurrent role playing is an efficient way to involve the entire class in a creative, highly interactive activity. IL

can act as a bridge between reading and writing, and it makes an ideal prewriting activity fora causc-clfcct. problem-solution, oropinion paper. Because evcryone participates. including the mOSI rcticcnt studcnts, rolc playing can actually save c1ass lime. The underlying issucs come out qu ick ly, sometimes wi th surprising twists that would not come up in hours of traditional class discussion. (from TESOLJOURNAL.

Spring 1993)

pays off in the end. It is well known that teachers can use communicative activities in small groups successfully. Yet it is also well known that behavior problems usually arise when dealing with large groups. For this reason we dare suggest some gimmicks to improve classroom management based on our experience with children. Careful planning requires taking into account the psychological development of the students. Young children have short attention spans, therefore, having many short activities proves more effective than having few long ones. Also we must keep in mind that little ones need to engage in hands-on experiences and avoid activities that are too abstract for them. Establishing certain classroom rituals such as saying hello and goodbye always with the same song, attracting their attention making use of some sort of routine (song,rhythmical clapping) help to keep control because students know what to expect after these signals. Instructions must be simple and perfectly clear. To make sure they are, model the expected performance as many times as necessary. Make use of the high achievers of the group to help you model the activities. Split the class into small groups to increase participation and integration. To encourage cooperation among members of a group have them share material s and assign different roles to the different members of a group. Choose a group leader within each group, so when a doubt arises, the children can consult the leader first. In this way, you minimize the number of children asking XQY. questions. (spokesperson, secretary that records information, etc). Establish a system of rewards (stars, points,awards) forthe groups that work best, (Encourage competition between groups and cooperation between members of the same group). Finally, even though it may seem hard atthebeginning, do notfeel discouraged. The process towards student independence is sometimes long, but it

1993 2nd Year Students ICANAES

Conducting communicative activities in large groups is a lot like conducting an orchestra - a large numberof different elements must be blended together, working in different ways to achieve a common goal: successful completion of the activity which will ultimately result in language acquisition. Bearing in mind the concept of group work in which each member of the group is essential and plays a 'unique' role, we developed our own rules of thumb which are the result of our class discussions and of our own teaching experience. -Work in groups. Keep your groups small, in that way each member feels a greater responsibility. -Balance the talents and abilities of the members of the group by grouping high and low achievers, reticent and outgoing students, males and females. -If the class is very large and/or the students are nor used to group work, assign each member of the different groups a role lO perform in the group: time-keeper, secretary, moderator, etc. Have students aIternate roles. -Remember to allow students to play the role of facilitator. Do not always take overo -Set ground rules the first day of class. -Give clear instructions in order to help students understand what they are expected lo do. Do not just tell your students what to do, do it with them. -Always press your students for time; give them slightly less time than you think they will really need. An activity that is dragged longer than necessary will invariably lead to chaos. It is much more effective to grant additional time


later if it is really needed and wanted. -Keep your students busy all the time. Do not spend time preparing for the nextactivity. Finda way todistribute material s promptly and effectively. -Plan for a greatvariety of activities. Two or three activities of the same kind in a row willlead to loss of motivation. -Provide meaningful and relevant activities that facilitate students' use of previous experiences to understand and anchor the new input to their prior knowledge. -Plan tasks that have distinct purposes instead of creating extrinsic reasons for the completion of tasks. Students learn language through collaborating with others in purposeful activities. -Never forget responses.

lo praise


Alejandra Garcete Zulema Noziglia 1993 1st Year Students ICANAES


How do people best learn languages?

If you would like to respond lo this new question, send in a short response (under 200 words). We will publish several of your reponses in an upcoming issue. All question and responses should be sent to: Mabel Gallo Editor, Ask the ATN ARTESOL Newsletter ICANA, MaipĂş 6472 1006- Buenos Aires . Argentina



• Eases beqmninq learners into the program with lifteen readmess lessons.

H. Douglas Brown

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• Introduces structures in clear, easy-to-read




PRf.:'I:TICEHAll REGf~1'~


• Prepares students lor a more creative use 01 English with a carelul proqressron Irom presentation to application.

To request your eun,;nal,on copy wril•. to: Mr. Ray Adam«. Ptenlice Hall K"J(enls lntemanonal , Englewood Cliffs. New J",.,...y. 07632. u.s. A. ur call, ~2011 592-2019.






• Features hurnorous. rea: lile situations, all colorfully illustrated. • Contrasts and recycles structures, lunctions, and vocabulary utilizing a sprraled scope and sequence. • Furrushes Teacher's Eciuons. Workbooks, Audio Programs, Tests, and Picture Cards that make VISTAS both practical and accessible.