Summer 2001 Vol XIV N°1

Page 1

Summer 2001 PersonerĂ­a JurĂ­dica IGJ 464

Volume XIV, No. 1

Imported Theories I Local Understandings: Parts 1 & 2 By Donald Freeman From TESOL Matters October / November 2000 and December 2000/January/February 2001 Note: This is an abridged version of a plenary address given at the 34'h Annual TESOL Convention in vencouver, March 2000. The oral character of the talk has been retained.

I want to talk about the knowledge we teach by, and I want to start with this point: We are looking in the wrong place if we turn to academic disciplines to define teaching and learning and make them understandable. The knowledge that animates language teaching can -and needs to- be found within the activity of teaching itself and not beyond it, in work about teaching. In the phrase "the activity of teaching", I mean something more than just the actions of individual teachers in the classroom, or the actions and reactions of learners. l'rn referring to the teacher and learners as participants: to the ways in which they conduct their work together; to the background of that work; to the tacit norms and the explicit rules they evolve to do the work in the classroom, institution, and wider community; and to the tools they use to get the job done. AII of this together constitutes knowledge -knowledge that comes through discovering and testing what teachers know in and through classroom practice. It is knowledge composed of local understandings. It does not need to depend on importing ideas from elsewhere. This is my argument, let me set the stage for it. The dynamic of knowledge in language teaching is an interesting one. It can be framed in two interrelated questions: 1.What counts as knowledge in language teaching? 2.What knowledge do language teachers Artesol Newsletter,

Summer 2001

teach by? The first question is purposefully ambiguous. When I ask what counts as knowledge in language teaching, the retort comes: counts to whom? to researchers? teacher educators? administrators? policy-makers? .Iearners? Or to the folks who are doing the job in the classroom? That is precisely my point: What counts as knowledge to one group may or may not be what counts as knowledge to another. The problem is that we assume that there is com. mon knowledge that everyone in the field of language teaching does or should subscribe to. This is where the second question comes in. By asking about the knowledge language teachers teach by, I want to focus directly on language teachers themselves, on how they know what they know to do what they do, regardless of where that knowledge originates., Let me draw an analogy. A while ago, I heard a radio interview with an academic who had contributed to a newly published UNESCO encyclopedia. In the discussion, the interviewer pressed the author on why a new venture of such magnitude was necessary. After all, she queried, didn't we basically know most of the facts already? The author replied with a story. He explained that his family had lived for generations on the banks of a major river that they knew as the River Niger. Years later, when he was in elementary school, he learned from a then-available encyclopedia in the school library that the River Niger had been "discovered in 1796 by a Scotsman named Mungo Park". This left him with the question: Because the river had been "discovered in 1796", how could his forebearers have lived beside it and never known it was there? (continues




Con ten ts EXECUTIVE



Presldent Mabel Chena

Flrst Vlce-Presldent Vivian Morghen

Second Vlce-Pres/dent Claudlna Lo Valvo

Secretary Mabel Gallo

Treasurer Mercedes ,Auad

Votlng Members, Clara Muniz Estela Ganibelln de G6mez Gabriela Alemani Ana Marla Rocca Lillana Orsl Elena Diez Marta Garcla Lorea Adriana Calabrese

~t~f-2001 AmiANCING THE STATE OF ESOL THROUGH CONTINUING EOUCATION Southwat Academy No one knowI ballerlhan you!he ~ICI ~ conIIrUIg ecb:IIIon lo BoUIde"r ColOrado Itay lheId ~ nndllnd I8d1I01ogf kI June 15-17, 2001 IInpgetelcl*1g.11:sOll:.ct.n.. Northeaat Academy 11I1/1 k1IarIcIIvefonIn lar prallllloulla Boston Massachusetts •• you who •• cammIlad lo laIang ,


June 2~u\y 1, 2001 Midweat Academy •

Chlcago, IIlInols July 13-15, 2001 Paciflc Academy · C lif 1 San Olego, a om a July 27-29, 2001 ,

TESOL lCICIamIeI fócus on !he dIIIIaIgaIInd 1CÜII1I1IaI.1naaase you eIedIvanaIS • 11IESOl. práeeaIan11.&di wQdcIhap 111 cancalllldad CDIII8lec¡'bytap.ncth1ady1o emenca yoII' pIOfllliollllepuwlhwIh lIa banaIII ~ paer nalwoIIdngon 1 lIivecsIy caqlI»-e perfad ~ lar 1 weekand lIIInIIl WoItcshaps

TESOL Academy

700 South Washington Street, Suite 200 Alexandria, Virginia 22314-4287 USA Tel. 703-836-0n4 Fax 703-836-7864 E-mail

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FridayaIIemoan 1tIIotVISIIIday nocn The ••.• lee 11US$199 lar TESOL membersInd US$259 lar 0IheIslIId ilcIudes allnsInJcIonaI materIaIs, C8f1iIi. c:aI8s ~ lIendance, l8frestiIIIIri braaks, lIId 1pnMew ~ TESOL's laIesI¡dJIcaIions lIId leaI:herl8SOII'CIS.

Summer 2001

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By López Arriazu, Rocca, Fernández, Calabrese, Viz ¡





This article is a summary ot the propasal presented at ARTESOL Convention, 8-9 September 2000, Tucumán

Every human being has the hidden capacity of leading their own life. As a result, they construct their own biography. Therefore, culture, social extraction and generation differences which are elements of everyone's biographycan interact as important resources in the learning process, particularly in foreign language acquisition. Every student has their own cultural universe which requires respect and legitimization of that student's discourses, 'that is, their own linguistic codes, which are different but not inferior (Freire, Paulo and Macedo, "Literacy: Reading the Word and the World" in Graman, Thomas, "Education for Humanization: Applying Paulo Freire's Pedagogy to Learning a Second Language" ). It is only throuqh this respect and leqitimization of the students' mother tongue and its linguistic codes that they have the opportunity and the means of developing their own critical thought about foreign language acquisition. Thus, knowledge is gained in a more natural way, awakening linguistic and cultural associations. This also presupposes a radical change in the teacher's role whose main task will be to bring those associations to the surface. There- . fore, the real challenge is to provide bioqraphi- ' cal coaching, which involves the joint discovery by teacher and learner of biographical opportunities for shaping the learning process (Alheit, Peter, "The Biographical 'Question' as a Challenge to Adult Education"). It also Involves the opening of true spaces for students' participation, and of consultation sources to help them learn and acknowledge, if necessary, their own need to consult (Pre Diseño Curricular para la Enseñanza Básica). City schools for adults and adolescents in Buenos Aires are very special places in many respects, being the population attending classes there the most relevant of these characteristics. It could not be more varied: ages ranging from fourteen to eighty, and mixed nationalities as well as mixed social insertion. The present article will try to sum up our expe-

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rience at Escuela No 2, Adults, D.E. 12, focusing on a description of the teacher's role, and the variety of strategies used in the English class to achieve integration and motivation in the learning process, always respecting the above mentioned diversity.

PROCEDURE After a diagnostic survey is carried out to assess the biographical diversity of each course accurately, we set the development of respect for an integration of cultural, social, and generation heterogeneity as an overall objective. Another objective we set, which is of utmost importance and which interplays with the latter, is the development of the students towards autonomous learning and critical thinking about their foreign language acquisition. Of course, all this together with the ordinary objectives found in any communicative course. Achieving objectives such as these implies a process. Some of the strategies we deployed or tried to foster in order to build the process are social, affective, metacongnitive, cognitive, and communicative ones. Although all strategies are interrelated, we consider that social, and affective strategies provide the frame for cognitive, metacognitive, and communicative strategies to work at their best. Thus, a relaxed atmosphere boosts the productivity of cognitive strategies during a learning activity. What follows is a brief description of social, affective, and communicative strategies and how we implement or exploit them in class. Cognitive and metacognitive strategies are not dealt with here partly because of length, partly because the use we made of them is along the lines of the work cn strategy training most course books include nowadays. It is irnportant to highlight, though, that cognitive, and metacognitive strategies work together with affective strategies, boosting each other. Social strategies: These strategies involve empathizing and cooperating with others. This leads to interaction in the target language and, consequently, to a further development of (continúes


page 10)


(from page 1)

I want to explore this notion of the river that has not been formally named. There is a river by which those who are now working, and who have worked, in classrooms live. But it is unnamed because it has not yet been discovered ... at least by those whose job it is to draw maps, write encyclopedias, and to codify knowledge. Teachers' knowledge is the river that has not been recognized because it has not yet been formally mapped or named.

Very Brief Hislory The field of TESOL has long been concerned with what constitutes knowledge in language teaching. Twenty-five years ago, Peter Strevens (1976) suggested a model of the teaching learning process as a basis for language teaching, a proposal that was not widely accepted. Two years later, Bernard Spolsky (1978) outlined a field of educational linguistics that would blend the work of linguistics with classroom language teaching. Discussions followed on the scope of applied linguistics and its place in language teaching. Since that time, many colleagues have participated in these conversations. However, the idea that there is knowledge in language teaching that may be separate from our so - called parent academic disciplines remains complicated, and even contentious. These arguments have focused on the river itself -on how broad, deep, and swiftit is, and on where it runs. In the process, however, we have not overtly addressed the issue of who names it. That question is as much one of politics as it is one of science, one of values and valuing as it is of definition.

The Image Because naming knowledge can quickly become elusive and vague, I'd like to build an image of what I am talking about. I want to construct an analogy to explore the relation between knowledge in teachinq, where it comes from, and how it is named. l'm going to present two versions of this image, and I invite readers to consider how the image chanqes from the first to the second version.

Knowledge in Frame Let me ask a couple of questions about this image. First, what is it? A snow shovel. If 1push you to define it further, you might say it is a tool Artesal Newsletter,

Summer 2001

used for removing snow. If 1ask you what the snow shovel implies, what associations it brings, you might say "hard work, days when school is canceled because of snow, sore bรกcks, wet feet, cold hands," and so on. If you ar-e fortunate enough to never have shoveled out a driveway after a blizzard however, these associations are largely secondhand, coming to you through books, movies, television, and other people's accounts. This image illustrates my first point: We use tools to accomplish certain things, and these tools are packaged in their own heritages and significance that come from our direct experience with them and from secondhand information. Knowledge is a lot like that. It is a tool used by those who possess it to accomplish particular ends. Likewise, specific understandings (ordomains of knowledge) come with their particular heritages. To the users, someof that heritage may be firsthand, and much of it may be secondhand. Teachinqknowledqe can be a tool in this same sense. If as a teacher you understand how to do a jigsaw activity or you understand inter-Ianguage, you may use these understandings as tools to do your work. You can set up a lesson according to what you know about jigsaw activities, or you may listen to what your learners say or read what they write using what you know about inter-Ianguage. These ideas are tools that you use in doing your job, But you don't have to use them. You rnay no. do so because you don't have the tools - they are ideas you don't know - or because they don't make sense in those particular circumstances. Going back to the snow shovel: If the storm is light o~your driveway is short, you may decide to sweep the snow away with a broom or just ignore it. In the same way, as a teacher, you could decide to use your knowledge differently. For instance, you might decide to read one set of jigsaw information aloud and have the class as a whole respond using the other set. So these are my points. First, that knowledge can be a tool and like any tool, it comes with a heritage that shapes its use. Second, that the same functions can be accomplished with different tools, which appear more - or - less appropriate to the work at hand. Users create and modify tools according to the situation and the tools they recognize. And if they don't recognize them, the tools are not available.

(continues on page 6)



The 14th Argentina TESOL (ARTESOL) Convention took place in Tucumán, September 89, 2000. It convened 150 ELT professionals from Argentina, neighboring countries and the United States. Participants and presenters represented all areas of EFL including adult and children EFL educators; ESP specialists; and many teachers affiliated with universities and high schools. The Convention was held outside Buenos Aires for the first time in the history of the ARTESOL. The local host was the Binational Center in Tucumán, ATICANA (Asociación Tucurnana de Intercambio Cultural Argentino Norteamericano ). Present at the opening ceremony were Thomas Haran, Public Affairs Officer of the Em-· bassy of the United States, Jorge Gimenez, President of ATICANA, Mabel Chena, ARTESOL president, . Lydia Stack, keynote speaker, James Stack, from San Francisco School District; Vivian Morghen, ARTESOL first vice president; Maria Dolores Esteban, ATICANA Executive Director, Maria Inés Cordoba, Head of the English Department of the University of Tucumán and Susana Bertini, Lenguas Vivas Director. Dr. Lydia Stack's trip to Argentina was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the United States Embassy. Stack, TESOL Past President, conducted three plenary sessions. Content Based Instruction and From reading to writing to EFL offered a hands-on experience on the benefits of using content to teach lanquaqe in an EFL class. Her third plenary included a thorough description of necessary steps and attitude when doing peer coaching. She stressed the importance of working in collaboration with more experienced teaehers as an essential step to move in. the right direetion. Lydia Staek's enthusiasm and expertise provided a great lesson to the whole audienee. A short informative TESOL MATTERS section followed whieh provided partieipants with

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Summer 2001

relevant information on areas sueh as TESOL affiliates, interest sections, awards and future eonventions in the Southern Cone. Ana Bru, viee-president of URUTESOL made interesting eomments on the first TESOL academy held in Uruguay and a BRAZTESOL representative Cristiane Lopes commented on the Fourth Southern Con e Convention to be held in Curitiba, Brazil in July 2001. Qualified professionals from Argentina and Brazil eonducted eight aeademie presentations, three poster sessions and two eommereial presentations. Topies eatered for the interests of the audience and addressed ELT professional development matters. Hugo Loyola, International marketing manager for Longman ELT group condueted a plenary on Strategies for conversation.

15th ARTESOL Convention June 15 -16.


Córdoba, Argentina Contact: ARTESOL Maipú 672, Buenos Aires 54-11-4322-3855/4327-3633 Email:


(from page 4)

Knowledge or Frame Now to the second version which 1'11 describe:

of this image

The French Surrealist Mareel Duchamp took a snow shovel, mounted it as sculpture, and called it "In Advanee of a Broken Arm". "In Advance of a Broken Arm" is what Duchamp called a ready-made. He defined these sculplures -which included Ihings like bicycle wheels, urinals, and bottle racks - as follows: A "Ready-made lis) an everyday object elevaled to the mosl dignified level of an artistic object al Ihe mere whim of the artist." (Brelon, 1938/1969, p.23)

Duchamp biographer Juan Antonio Ramirez (1998) elaborates on this definition: The Duchamp invenlion which made the most original conlribulion lo Ihe development of contemporary art was Ihe ready-made. Much has been wrillen in an attempt to explain such works, but their essential meaning can be expressed in two words: a ready-made is somelhing "already-made" or previously produced. The artist does nol create, in a Iradilional sense, bul chooses from among objects of Ihe industrial or natural world. (p.26) .

1 don't intend to delve into the history of modern art; rather, 1 do want to use Duchamp's sculpture as a counterpoint to the actual shovel pictured above. Let me ask the same two questions as you look at this second image. First, what is it? You might reply that it's a snow shovel or - in view of what 1 have just told you - that it is a picture of Marcel Duchamp's ready ~ made, "In Advance of a Broken Arm". AII three of these answers are accurateo Now let me ask the second question: What does this snow shovel imply? What associations does it bring for you? You might mention art galleries, modern art, may be Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup cans, and even perhaps a course on art history or Surrealism that you might have taken. The tool in this case is the snow shovel as a ready - made. Its heritage and associations are being used and purposefully to challenge ideas of what art is and how the artistic process works. Duchamp (in Ramirez, 1998) says of the snow shovel, in a. magazine interview in 1915: "Speaking as an artist, 1 consider the shovel the most beautiful thing 1 have ever seen" (37). This tool is being used to question whether creating and choosing are the same in artistic production, or whether they are two distinct and different processes. If y贸u choose a snow shovel as a sculpture, are you creating it as a piece of art? Duchamp presents two basic alternatives: We either have the same tool in tow contexts (your garage and the art Artesal Newsletter,

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gallery) or we have two different tools - the snow shovel in your garage and the sculpture ir) the gallery. Is it one object in two contexts or is it two different objects? In other words, does the context change the object? Does the use change the tool? Does the frame change the knowledge?

The Two Objects I Two Contexts View To pursue this line of thinking: If a snow shovel becomes a piece of sculpture when it moves from your garage to a modern art gallery, if it is two different objects, then we are arguing that tools do not have intrinsic definitions or identities per se. We are saying that tools are defined by their uses rather than simply by their contexts, by how, with whom, and why they are used, rather than by what they are. This the two objects I two contexts view. Think about this argument in terms of teaching knowledge. In their daily work, teachers are encouraged to use other people's ideas as ready - mades. The assumption is that ideas can be imported and still be the same ideas. Both preservice training and continuing professional development encourage and require teachers to use concepts and ideas that are produced outside of daily classroom experience. Teachers are expected to import theories and appropriate concepts from elsewhere to use as tools for defining, directing, and explaining what they do with the learners in their classrooms. Thus choosing and creating are seen as the same. Choosing ready - made ideas (or importing theories) takes the place of creating one's own tools or local understandings. Look at some of the archetypical tools of our trade that are regularly imported into classrooms: acquisition and learning, the categories of standard grammatical analysis (e.g. nouns, verbs), learning styles, accuracy versus fluency, BICS and CALPs - the list goes on. These function as tools. They do so in the art galleries of graduate education, in- service seminars, and professional meetings like this one, but how well do they work in the day to - day snow storms of teaching?

The One Object View Le!' s go back to the one object view: It holds that this shovel is still a snow shovel even when it is being used as a ready- made sculpture, that regardless of context, its essential (continues


poge 8)


Upcoming Events Conventions February 27 - March 3, 2001 TESOL 2001 "Gateway to the Future" St. Louis Convention Center St. Louis, Missouri, USA E-mail: or Fax: 703-836-7864 June 15 -16,2001 15th ARTESOL Convention C贸rdoba, Argentina E-mail: July 12 -152001 4th'Southern Cone TESOL Convention Curitiba, Brazil * BRAZ-TESOL & Southern Cone TESOL E-mail: August 1 - 3,2001 9th Peru TESOL Convention "Teachers towards the new Milennium" Arequipa, Peru April 9 - 13, 2002 TESOL 2002 "Language and the Human Spirit" Salt Lake City, Utah Cal! for participation deadline: May 1, 2001

TESOL Academies ( June 15-17,2001 Southwest Academy University of Colorado Boulder Colorado

June 29-July 1, 2001 Northeast Academy Boston University Boston, Massaschusetts

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Summer 2001

July 13-15,2001 Midwest Academy OePaul University Chicago, IIlinois July 27-29,2001 Pacific Academy San Oiego State University San Oiego, California


(from page 6)


nature doesn't change. Perhaps SO, but how tools are used always has consequences. Consider the basic categories of grammar for example. When they are used descriptively, they provide a powerfu1 tool to crack the organizational structure of a new language. They can serve learners in approaching new input, grasping forms, and making comparisons between what they know and what they are learning. However these same tools used to describe language forms can also be used to prescribe what is appropriate or correct. For example, until the work of Basil Bernste铆n (1971), William labov (1972), and fellow sociolinguistics of the 1960s and 1970s, the . English spoken by urban African Americans in the United States was regularly labeled as incorrect and ungrammatical. Using the same tools of linguistic description which had been used prescriptively to marginalize AfricanAmerican English, labov mapped out this vernacular as a full linguistic system in its own right, thus leading to the description of Black English. This example could simply prove the point that the tool itself is neutral and that the problems lie in how it is used. I'd argue the opposite: The tool and its use can never be fully separated. The snow shovel always carries with it the potential for snow removal; grammatical categories always carry with them concepts of correctness. Think about finding an object in the back of a kitchen drawer or at the botton of a tool box, an object that you don't recognize. You take it out and hold it up, trying to figure it out, or someone tells you what it is, the tool is essentially useless to you. Without its potential use, the tool is not a tool. With definition comes potential usefulness. In the case of Black English, labov's description did not resolve the sociopolitical perceptions that accompany language use. Although it is recognized as a linguistic system, Black English continues to be a stigmatized form in majority settings where linguistic power, and access to it, depend on control of standard English, as Lisa Delpit (1996) and others have demonstrated. AII of which raises the question of what it means to use a tool. In the case of our snow shovel, the tool is a physical 路object. In the case of acquisition and learning, learning styles or grammatical categories, these tools are virtual. They are ideas and concepts, but Artesal Newsletter,

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they are tools just the same. Using tools, whether physical or virtual, involves two things: the norms and rules of how to use them and a community that accepts those norms and plays by those rules. For example, if you use the concept of /earning sty/es, as a tool to talk about how a particular student in your class is performing, you will probably do so in an academic or professional setting with fellow teachers. If you do so with the family of the student, the situation will be different. You willlikely need to explain the tool itself - what you mean by /earning sty/es - in' order for it to make sense to this audience. With colleagues, everyone participating can contribute to the discussion because they know how to use the tools. If you are talking with the student's family however, you, as teacher, control the tools; you have defined them; you need to explain them to the family members in order for them to participate in the discussion. If they don't know how to use your tools, it is hard for them to take part in your discussion. These kinds of interactions happen all the time: between teachers and parents, between administrators and teachers, between new teachers and researchers. Each of these groups or communities has access to different snow shovels, to different tools for doing their respective jobs. Consider practice teaching for exarnple. A student teacher comes equipped with conceptual tools from the teacher education programo The classroom teacher uses tools gained from her own professional training and her ongoing work in that classroom. They have different tools that they either have to trade - as in "the intern's new ideas are as helpful here as the teacher's wisdom of practice," Or they need to give up one set of tools and adopt the other, as in "Forget what you learned in theory, this is how things really work in practice." Or they need to develop a new set of hybrid tools, which happens in well - designed school - university collaborations. This process in an extremely complex one. However they are arrived at, these tools, this common set of ideas, are being used for two potentially different ends. These ideas of acquisition and learning, learning styles, or BICS and CAlPs (if these are the tools) are being used by teacher and student teacher to teach the students in the classroom. Simultaneously, these same tools are being used to help the (continues on page 9)


(from pnge 8)

intern learn to teach. In one sense, they are the same tools, the sarne snow shovel. In another, they are different tools, or rather ideas and concepts already made in one setting, the professional community, that are being used in another - in the classroom. They are sculpture being used as snow shovels. What I'm getting at here is the notion that the use actually creates the tool. It does so according to the rules or norms for how to use it, norms that implicate a group or community that use the tool in that way. In 1915, Duchamp used this shovel as a sculpture. It has achieved a heritage of its own according to the rules of the art world. Sixty years later, in 1972, "In Advance of a Broken Arm" was auctioned at Park - Bernet Gallery for $6,000. Thus the norms of the art world supported and even increased - its value. This question of how the context makes the object, the use creates the tool, or the frame defines knowledge is a central one for teaching and learning. Our work constantly involves ideas as tools, tools that we define as we use them. Our common notion that ideas are irnported from one setting or community to another is, I think, wrong. lnstead, redefinition or re-creation seems a more accurate way to describe what happens. My argument is that teaching knowledge is supposed to be built out of imported ideas - these ready-made concepts that are supposed to shape the world of classroom teaching. But these concepts (e.g., acq'uisition / learning, learning styles, or grammatical categories) are labels about the work; they are not the tools that get the work done. . Just as the map is not the territory, so toa professional knowledge is not teachers' knowledge. On the surface, the tools may appear to be shared, but they are fundamentally different. The tools that are used to build the professional field of TESOL' are not those used to do the work with learners in classrooms. They 'rnay look and sound the same, but they are used differently, for distinct and different purposes, by each community. We do not change a tool simply by using it in a new way. That is because a different use brings a different community and makes it a different tool. A shovel in the art gallery, although it looks like a snow shovel, becomes a ready - made piece of sculpture. To rnake a change, both the tool and its use must be accounted for simultaneously and interactively. The knowledge and its frame have to be dealt Artesol Newsletter,

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with together. This interplay is at the core of the dilemma of teachers' knowledge.

Teacher Knowledge In the words of my title, are imported knowledge and local understandings really incompatible? My short answer is yes and no. As long as we treat ourselves as one big cornmunity and thus overlook the basic distinctions in the work, we do and the norms we work by, then I do believe that, yes, imported knowledge and localunderstandings will continue to be incompatible. As long as teachers continue to be asked to accept ready-made concepts and ideas to improve their work, and as long as their own ideas are either treated like the snow shovel hanging in the art gallery pretending tobe a sculpture or teachers are told that they must learn to sculpt (to do research) if they want to hand any of their ideas as art, then, yes, I do think we will maintain very separate realms of knowledge. But lest we end here on a pessimistic note, I'd like to make a case for how I can see reconciling imported knowledge and local understandings. Much of what I am aboüt to say comes from the work ofthe Teacher Knowledge Projet ( html), an ongoing collaboration between my institution, the School for International Training, and . teachers, schools, and districts throughout Vermont, under the leadership of our home district, the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union. The Teachér Knowledqe Project gives teachers opportunities an support to examine their work, to articulate what they know about what they do, ánd thus to challenge and expand the tools that this knowledge provides. In addition to organizing and facilitating forms of reflective professional development, the project is conducting a sustained research program that examines the influences of this work with teachers on theiF students' classroom learning. We are identifying and tracing what we call durable linkages among reflective professional development, participating teachers' work, and their students' classroom learning. What we are finding speaks to this question of how teacher knowledge works.

Three Misconceptions In closing, I want to mention three (continues'o¿' page 12)


(from page 3)

communicative strategies. In our school, students group freely, but most of the times those people who already know each other try to stick together. Frequently, the teachers aim to achieve real communication through group changes, which the students generally accept. For some specific activities - especially those concerning comparison of traditions, cultures, and habits - students are encouraged to discuss and solve problems by themselves interchanging ideas with the different groups. The outcome is that the learners discover a better way to express their ideas in English, within their own knowledge and usinq their own words. Affective strategies: These strategies are concerned with the learners' emotional requirements, such as confidence and encouraging yourself. Particularly in the case of our school, affective strategies are highly relevant. One of the key issues to motivate students is to make them feel active participants in the teaching-Iearning process. In this sense, making decisions becomes central. This is achieved by reaching consensus on different points on a daily basis. Those points inelude the negotiation of: a) Pace of study: time for extra practice, an activity or exam dates, b) Specific objectives, be they functional, grammatical, or thematic, which could not be of interest for the qroup. e) Extra material: students are encouraged to bring material to study, such as vocabulary areas, songs, etc.c) Grammatical contents: sometimes time provides the opportunity to choose between two or more contents. Communicative strategies: are those used by a learner to promote communication with others. They are strategies used by speakers when they come across a difficulty in their communication because of the lack of adequate knowledge of the language. One of the strongest fears is the fear to speak. Paradoxically, they want to speak. It is very important to respect the pace each student needs. In this respect, if the group thinks they need to write dialogues first, they do so, but, afterwards, they are encouraged to role-play the situation. Moreover, they are encouraged to set themselves personal goals. This proves successful beca use weaker students can also be proud of their improvements since they do not compare their performance to their elassmates'.

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Summer 2001

REDEFINITION OF THE TEACHER'S ROLE As we have seen, the interplay of different strategies determines a specific role of the teacher. Teachers and students become joint explorers of the students' biographical resources in order to exploit and make use of them to acquire the English language. A description of a typical atmosphere to be achieved by means of this is, by force, general, because, apart from basic relationships like cooperation, it is the students that will define their own environment. Therefore, the implementation of these strategies does redefine the role of the teacher in a véry clear-cut way. Not only should the teacher be aware of the strategies involved along the learning process and of those necessary to create a propitious ambience, but also have the appropriate expertise to train the students in them. One of the most relevant results of this approach is that students' commitment does not depend only on their wish to learn, but on the social links they create at school. As most of our students comment, attending the English classes is raising themselves above the mediocrity and selfishness of the contemporary world. It is a retreat that fills them with positive attitudes both to learn enthusiastically and to share their experiences with other human beings.

Eugenio López Arriazu Teacher of English graduated from ISP "JoaquínV. González". He was co-editor of "The Inner Eye" and has collaborated in several publications. He is currently teaching at Ese. 2 Adultos D.E. 12 and works for the GCBA as teacher trainer. Ana Maria Rocca Teacher of English graduated from Universidad del Salvador . She teaches at Escuela N" 2-Adultos D.E. 12, Facultad de. Filosofia y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and at Instituto Libre de Segunda Enseñanza Adriana Sandra Calabrese Teacher of English graduated from El Profesorado de la Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa. She teaches at Escuela N° 9 D.E. 12 (Children), Escuela N" 2-Adultos-D. E. 12 and Cultural Inglesa de Buenos Aires Mirtha Alicia Fernández Primary Teacher. Teacher specialized in Adults and Ado- . lescents graduated from Instituto Superior de Formación Docente y Técnica No. 42, Pcia. de Buenos Aires. School Librarian graduated from Instituto Suuperior de Formación Docente y Técnica No. 42, Pcia. de Buenos Aires. She has worked at Centros Educativos de Nivel Primario, and Primary Schools for Adults. At Present, she is Headmistress at Escuela 2, Adults, D.E. 12, and works as schoollibrarian at Escuela No. 6, D.E. 11. Diana Mónica Viz Teacher of English graduated from Instituto del Profesorado Daguerre. She teaches at Escuela N° 3 D ..E.6 and Escuela N° 25 D.E. 12(Children), Escuela N° 9, Secondary School D.E. 11 and Escuela N° 2 - Adultos D. E.12.


BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION AT SCHOOL By Silvia Spillman de Stier Over the last decade, Latin American countries have gane through military governments whose educational policies were based (and some still are) on power. Having been brought in an authoritarian environment where the teachers words played a predominant role, I grew up believing that knowledge was acquired by enforcing the contents into the brain. However, it was only when I started teaching adolescents that I realized that the power model was no longer effective as a result of the fall of dictatorship regimes. This historical moment challenged me into looking for other ways to have them both behave and learn, and get better results. After running a small scale research in which I followed up the behavior and learning process of three adolescents at high school I identified the causes for their disruptive behavior and their impossibilty to learn and explored their weaknesses and their strengths. I was determined to enforce modification based on INFLUENCE, permission and responsibility involving teachers, parents, the students and myself into the process of


change. The results were significant in two of the three cases studied. If we could expand the useof INFLUENCE approach based on respect, lave, understanding and commitment, we could produce overwhelming results in the class than when exercising the POWER control. Therefore I strongly believe that we, teachers, no matter what we teach, will gain students motivation if we once and for all look into our own ways of approaching the adolescents of today and persuade rather than impose in arder to obtain better results through a more understanding approach of the age arrange of students our teaching aims at. I invite all educators who are willing to enjoy their teaching with adolescents almost free of stress to read carefully about the benefits of the INFLUENCE APPROACH in a teaching-Iearning situation. Silvia Spillman de Stier Head of Senior School Washington School



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(from page 9)

points that I will frame in contrast to misconceptions in how teacher knowledge is conventionally viewed. The first misconception, which occurs widely -the design and delivery of teacher education and teacher licensing are prime examples- is that teachers' knowledge is individual. Although knowledge appears to reside in individual teachers' separate work and experience, this typography masks the fact that the knowledge itself is socially embedded. Teachers know in relation to their students, their colleagues, their administrators, and so on. The tools of this knowledge emerge in and through social interactions, which is why truly collegial settings provide a highly effective medium for professional development. Here teachers can and will articulate the tools they use in their work with and to other teachers. The second misconception, which follows from the first, treats teacher knowledge as a product. Aqain, evidence of this mistaken view is widespread. Seen as a product, we act as if teacher knowledge can be packaged and taught in preservice teacher education, can be tested in teacher tests, and can be upgraded through professional development simply by introducing new concepts and ideas. Further we argue about the status of the product itself, about linguistic or content knowledge in our field. We have long suffered from the rnyth that if you can speak English, you can teach it. Thus, the value of professional knowledge about English language as content is severely donwplayed, and competent, knowledgeable nonnative-English-speaking teachers are often overlooked in favor of people who speak the language as their mother-tongue. Seen as a product, knowledge of English can be gained by accident of birth rather than by professional education. In contrast to this view of knowledge as a product of cultural capital, in our research we are looking at teacher knowledge as instrumental, as an emerging loose group of tools. These tools are ideas, concepts, ways of knowing, of seeing, of responding that teachers develop through experience, including -but not limited to- their professional training. At best, university-based professional training can only introduce the tools and put them into circulation. Learning to use them has to happen on the job. And as. we have said, the tools change when and as you use them. Artesal Newsletter.

Summer 2001

Which leads to the third misconception, that knowledge in teaching is sequential, that it can be learned first and then applied or implemented. This misconception is largely responsible for how professional education functions in learning to teach, that the settings in which knowledge is introduced (e.g. universities or training programs) can be separated frorn the classrooms and schools in which it is used. In contrast, we are finding that teacher knowledge emerges in and from use. As a loose set of tools, teachers make their knowledge in what they do. Thus the critical variable has more to do with the social and professional structures of work -with whom teachers work and how they work together- than what they bring to the job. Teacher knowledge is not a toolbox that does the individual's job of teaching nor is it a set of prepackaged ideas that are acquired in one place and used in another. In terms of my title, "Imported Knowledge/Local Undestandings", all knowledge in teaching comes (or is imported) from somewhere else: from professional training and/or personal experience. Although these tools com from somewhere else, however, they are always used 10cally. In this use, they are re-created, reformulated. As Marcel Duchamp. might have said, there are no ready-mades in this business.

Closing When we talk about putting theory into practice, about teachers applying theory to work in t~eir classrooms, about implementing standards or curricula, we are misconstruing the fundamental way in which knowledge works as a tool. Theory belongs to, and functions for, those who use it to do their work. Likewise practice belongs to those use it. Because these communities do different work according to different norms, they create different tools or different versions of the same tool. Theory or standards or curricula enter classroom s as educational ready-rnades. They are chosen in most cases for teachers from the world beyond the classroom. Why, then, should we be surprised if many of these innovations often end up figuratively hung on the wall as pieces of art, rather than used to shovel snow in the classroom? They are tools from other worlds of activity, knowledge that does not fit with the doing of teaching. [continues


page J 5)

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G ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~www~~w~~~~~w~~~~~ Argentina TESOL is pleased to announce a new project: On Goíng PDSs. These sessions are open to all ARTESOL members and to the English Language Teaching community as a whole. They are aimed at enhancing the teaching of English as a foreign language by providing a discussion forum for teachers to interact on matters of common interest. We intend to meet the first or second Saturday morning of every month, except for the month of January. The first session was held on Saturday November 18 at the School of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Buenos' Aires, UBA. The subject, Foreign Language Acquisition was skillfully coordinated by Sue Hirschmano To begin with, Sue and her staff of researchers at UBA made short presentations which covered the acquisition of lexis, the acquisition of culture and the acquisition of read- . ing and listening skills. Next Marta García Lorea made a brief rundown on the teaching implications of the Multiple Intelligences Theory. In addition, Liliana Orsi shared with the group Lightbown and Spada's list of myths concerning the acquisition of second/foreign Languages.

Video and Oesigning our Own Materials. If you would like to participate or be a presenter, please complete the attached Registration Form and lor Call for Participation Proposal Form and either fax it or email it to ARTESOL. Presentation forms should be received at least two months prior to the presentation day. For example all those who are interested in presenting, let's say, in' August 2001 should be sending their proposal not later than the first week in June. We do expect the support of all our members for the benefit of ARTESOL as well as for the enhancement of our professional development.

Contact: ARTESOL Rainbow Practical English T eaching Center Saenz 341 1832 Lomas de Zamora 4243-6570

The second POS was conducted by Marta García Lorea. The subject was Multiple Intelligencies and was held att the Belgrano prernises of the Instituto Cultural Argentino Norteamericano on Oecember 2, 2000. The first session for 2001 will be held onFebruary 10th from 9am to 1pm at Rainbow Practical English Teaching Center in Lomas de Zamora, and will be conducted by Liliana and Patricia Orsi. The topic is Teaching with Artesol News/etter,

Summer 2001




2001 PROPOSAL FORM Complete the 2001 Proposal Form. This form must be typed. If you need additional space, attach a single sheet of white bond paper.

(Type the mailing address to whom all cOffespondence should be sent)



........................................................................................................................................................................................... (Home Phone #)

(Office Phone #)




(Zip Code)

DCheck here if not a mernber of Argentina Presenters (in the order they should be listed)



TESOl nstitutional


Type of Seetíon Demonstration Workshop

Abstract (50 words maximum)




Biographical statements (25 words per presenter, 100 words total)


Equipment needed:


Artesol Newsletter,

Summer 2001 .



(from page /2)

I started this talk with and anecdote about the naming of the River Niger. I want to return to it now to draw and analogy. The River Niger is like the knowledge that flows through the day-to-day work in the classroom. Knowledge is the set of tools that teachers use on a daily basis. They do exist. Unfortunately, we believe that they need ta be named in encyclopedias, or mapped in professional publications, in order to recognize their existence. We have accepted this industry of naming as the way to understand and ta improve teaching. To counter this trend, we need to recognize and name the unique nature of teacher knowledge, as socially based and thus reliant on others, as emerqent rather than fixed, and as dynamic and in constant use. We need to put local names on the map

Bernstein, B. (1971). Class, codes and control. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Breton, A. (1938/1969) Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme. Rennes, France: Editions Galerie des Beaux - Arts. Delpit, L. (1996). Other people's children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: New Press. Labov, W. (1972). Language in the inner city: Studies in Black vernacular English. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Ramirez, J. A. (1998). Duchamp: Lave and death, even. London: Reaktion Books. Strevens, P. (1976). A theoretical model of the language learning / teaching process. Working Papers on Bilingualism, 129 - 152. Donald Freeman directs the Center tor Teacher Education, Training, and Research at the School tor Intemational Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont. He is currently documenting practitioners' knowledge and its significance for student leaming.




Southwest Academy Boulder, Colorado June 15-17, 2001

Northeast Academy Boston, Massachusetts June 29-July 1, 2001

Midwest Academy Chicago, lIIinois July 13-15, 2001

P aCIlflIC A ca d emy San Diego, Califomia July 27-29,2001 ~ ~

Artesol Newsletter,

No one knows bette,r.than you the importance of continuing education to stay ahead of trends and technology in language teaching. TESOL academies are an interactive forum for professionals Iike you whoare committed to lifelong leaming. TESOL academies focus on the challenges and solutions that will increase you effectiveness as an ESOL professional. Each workshop is a concentrated course led by top-notch faculty to enhance your professional growth with the benefit of peer networking on a university campus-a perlect setting for a weekend retreat. Workshops run concurrently from Friday aftemoon through Sunday noon. The registration fee is US$199 for TESOL members and US$259 for others and includes all instructional materials, certificates of attendance, refreshment breaks, and a preview of TESOL's latest publications and teacher resources.

TESOl Academy· 700 South Washington Street, Suite 200 oAlexandria, Virginia 22314-4287 USA Tel. 703-836-0n4. Fax 703-836-7864· E-mail

Summer 2001



15 & 16, 2001

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION PROPOSAL FORM Deadlines for receipt: Demonstrations, W,orkshops, Colloquium, Pos ter Sessions, Swap Shop: May 31st, 2001. Complete the 2001 Proposal Form. This form must be typed. If you need additional spaee, attaeh a single sheet of white bond paper.

(Type the mailing address to whom all correspondence

should be sent)



(Home Phone #)

(Office Phone #)

(Fax #)


(Province, Zip Code)



Cheek here if not a member of Argentina TESOL Presenters (in order in which they should be listed)

Institutional Affiliation

Type of Section (check one)

Type of Section (check one)






Poster Session

Swap Shop

Abstraet (50 words maximum) Summary: Biographical statements (25 words per presenter, 100 words total)

Argentina TESOL - MaipĂş 672 (1006) Buenos Aires - Argentina Fax.#: 54-11-4394-2979/4772~ 5104 E-mail:

Artesal Newsletter,

Summer 2001




CALL FOR PARTICIPATION DUE DATE: MAY ARGENTINATESOL is an Argentine organization with broad interests. The eonvention is planned for professional development and provides opportunities for social interaetion among eolleagues who share eommon interests. The program eommittee invites presentations dealing with elassroom praetiees, researeh in language learning and teaching, or the connection between the two. We welcome proposals from teachers, teachers in preparation, graduate students, researchers, program administrators and materials and curriculum developers, including colleagues in related disciplines such as communication, education, linguistics, foreign languages, anthropology, sociology and psychology. KINDS


~ DEMONSTRATION: Rather than describing or discussing, a demonstration shows a technique for teaching or testing. Normally the presenter's statement of the theory underlying the technique takes no more than five minutes. The rest of the time is used for showing, rather than telling. The abstraet should include a brief statement of the presenter's, central purpose and a description of what will be demonstrated (e.g. role playing) and how it will be done (e.g. some of the audience participating as students or an unrehearsed lesson with actual students). 1h 30m. ~ WORKSHOP: . In a workshop, one or more leaders work with a group, helping them either to solve a problem or to develop specific teaching or research technique. There is very little lecturing by the leader (s), the emphasis is, rather, on the participant's activity which is carefully structured by the leader (s). The abstract should include a statement of the workshop's goal, a surnrnary of the theoretical framework, and a precise description of the tasks to be performed during the workshop. 1h 30m. ~ COLLOQUIUM: A colloquiurn provides a forum for a group of scholars to discuss current pedagogical, political, or research issues in TESOL. Ideally, participants exchanqe papers in advance and make formal responses to each other's presentations. In any case, both presentation and discussion, Artesal Newsletter,

Summer 2001

31, 2001

should be part of the session. Abstraets and proposals should include a deseription of the topie for the eolloquium and the same name and affiliation of eaeh of the invited partieipants. AlI eolloquia will be open to non partieipating observers. 1h 30m. ~ POSTERSESSION: A poster session allows for informal diseussion with participants during the time that a selfexplanatory exhibit is presented on a large display board (Dimensions: 1.50 x 1m.); it includes a title, the name and institutional affiliation of the presenter (s), and a brief text with elearly labeled photos, drawings, graphs, or eharts. Presenters must be available for discussion. The hour before the session is reserved for setting up the exhibit and the hour after for its dismantling. 1h. 30m. ~ SWAPSHOP: Send 1 copy of your lesson plan before May 30th and bring 20 copies of that plan to the Converition. In exchange you will reeeive an admittanee ticket that will allow you to enter the swap shop. Your heading should include a lesson title, your name, and school or programo STEPS IN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS Submission steps for Demonstrations, Workshops, Colloquia and Poster Sessions. (1)Complete the attached Proposal Form using either the form itself or a photocopy. One requirement of the proposal form is to provide an abstraet that will appear in the program book, alphabetized under the first presenter's last name, if the proposal is accepted. The abstract helps eonvention partieipants decide which presentations will be most appropriate to their concernsand needs. The abstract should adhere to the following guidelines: Abstract guidelines (a) It should not exceed 50 words. (b) It should be written in the third person, future tense (UThe presenter will begin by... And she will then ..."), (e) It should avoidall references to published works. (d) It should be carefully edited and proofread. (e) It should be written to drawthe most appropriate audience to presentation. 17

Sample Abstract "The SPEAK Test is administered widely across the US to prospective graduate teaching assistants. Regardless of the score required for passing, American students frequently complain about foreign TAs. What are theparameters of intelligibility? Results from a statistically anaIyzed randomized sample will attempt to answer that and other questions". (2)Prepare two copies of the proposal formo Be sure you have a third copy for yourself. (3)Prepare a one-page summary of the presentation content. This proposal summary is the only part of the proposal seen by the referees; it does not appear in the program book. Summary (a) (b)




DEMONSTRATION:central purpose and description of what will be demonstrated. WORKSHOP:statement of goal, synopsis o f the theoretical framework, precise description of tasks to be performed. COLLOQUIUM: synopsis of issue (5) to be discussed, brief schedule of the presentations and discussion time. POSTER SESSION: main ideas to be presented and description of the visual display

Tltle: Choose a title that will be clear to the intended audience, and limít it to a maximum of nine words, Capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and initials, do not put the title in quotation marks. Example: Music and movement for kindergarten and the primary grades. Blographlcal Statement In a maximum of 25 words, give your first name, family name, institutional affiliation, and relevant acfívltles or publications. Oegrées are normally llsted, and titles SUGhas professor are not capitallzed. You can generally omit "currently". Example: Jane Ooe, a specialist in curriculum development and composition, teaches ESL in Houston public junior high schools. (Not currently teaches) (17 words). AII proposals must arrive at Argentina TESOL, Maipú 672 (1006) Buenos Aires, Argentina by May 31st, 2001. Ph. #: 54-11-4394-0110/ 5411-4772-5104/ Fax # 54-11-4394-2979/ 47725104. E-mail:

Summary .Guidelines (a) It is limited to one typed 8 1/2" x 11" inch (21.5 x 28 ·cm) page. Summaries longer than one page will be disqualified. (b) The typing is double-spaced, dark, and readable. (e) The presentation's purpose and point of . view are clearly stated. . (d) Supporting details and exarnples are included, (e) Familiarity with current practices and/or research is evident. (f) The best format (e.g., paper, demonstration, etc.) has been selected. (g) The presentation includes use of a variety of techniques (e.g., activities, visuals, etc.) (h) The material outlined can be covered in the allotted time. (i) The contents have been carefully edited and proofread. (4)On the proposal surnrnary, put the following in the upper left corner: 1. Type of presentation (Le. Oemonstration, - workshop, colloquium, and poster session), 2. Audiovisual equipment needed, and 3. Title.

Artesol Newsletter,

Summer 2001


15th ARTESOL Convention .June 15 - 16. 2001 C贸rdoba, Argentina \.~


Contact: ARTESOL Maip煤 672, Buenos Aires Tel. 54-11-4322-3855/4327-3633 Emai1:

Artesal Newsletter,

Summer 2001