Year 4 Number 104 May 18th 2003
4900 SHARERS are reading this issue of SHARE this week
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being SHARED
In SHARE 104
1.- E-mail and the acquisition of English (Part One).
2.- Say the Word: Vocabulary on Elections.
3.- One Intelligence or several?
4.- A Spa for the Soul.
5.- Course on Educational Psychology and the Teacher of English
6- Why did the chicken cross the road?
7.- Reference Books for free.
8.- Talk on “Catchphrases” in Banfield.
9.- Seminar on Family Law and Successions.
10.- Spanish for Foreigners: Dictionary of Argentinian Spanish.
11.- News from Laguna Larga, Córdoba.
12.- The Edgar Allan Poe Collection.
13.- ARTESOL Convention in Tandil.
14.- Bs As Players June Tour.
1.- E-MAIL AND THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH (PART ONE)
Our dear SHARER Vera Lúcia Menezes de Oliveira e Paiva from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais has sent us this paper on the use of e-mail in the English Classroom which she wants to SHARE with us all. Today we are publishing the first part of it.
The Role of e-mail in the Acquisition of English
has affected every aspect of human communication, from dating to conducting
(Sonia Arrison, director of the Pacific Research Institute)
This article examines the role of e-mail in the acquisition of English as a foreign language in the light of second language acquisition theories. Suggestions for integrating e-mail in the classroom and the judicious use of the genre are outlined before the presentation of some tools, such as discussion lists and forum. In addition, this paper presents a review of international e-mail projects available on the net, in order to give support to the conclusion that electronic interaction is an efficient tool to promote language acquisition in a foreign language-learning context.
E-mail, the fastest way to send and receive electronic messages anywhere in the world, has affected human communication and opened new windows for second language acquisition (SLA). E-mail users connect themselves through a mail server, that is, a computer, which works as a post office at an Internet provider, sending one’s messages to their destinations and receiving and storing messages which will be sent to their owners when required. There are some Internet providers free of charge and most of them are web-based, which means that users must connect to the World Wide Web to read their messages. The different e-mail services have enabled people all over the world to communicate, making intercultural communication a reality.
As pointed out by Kelm (1996) "our major objective in second language education continues to be that of bringing individuals together so that they might communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries" (p. 19). My contention is that e-mail is a unique tool for bridging the gap between English learners and English speakers.
The increasing use of e-mail in second language learning must be viewed in the light of second language acquisition theories. Different theories have claimed to explain how a language, different from one’s mother tongue, is acquired.
and Long (1991) divide
to Larsen-Freeman and Long (1991), theories of
there are, according to Larsen-Freeman and Long (1991), at least forty theories
1. Nativist assumptions:
existence of language universals.
Ellis (1997) highlights the importance of Chomsky´s theory of Universal Grammar
2. Environmentalist assumption:
The closer a person is of the target-language group the more he or she will learn. According to McLaughlin (1987), "social and psychological distance influence second-language acquisition by determining the amount of contact learners have with the target language and the degree to which they are open to the input that is available" (p. 111).
3. Interactionist assumption:
Interaction is essential to language learning. Hatch (1978) says that "one learns how to do conversation, one learns how to interact verbally, and out of this interaction syntactic structures are developed" (p .404). Even though, the basic assumption in second teaching has been the opposite – one learns structures and then uses them in discourse – no one doubts that verbal interaction is an important factor in language acquisition.
But to what extent has the Internet been a useful tool as far as the learning of a new language is concerned? It seems it fits any of the theories described above as the learner can use meaningful language and keep close contact with the target-language group, while interacting with native speakers or other language learners.
E-mail and language acquisition
E-mail has had a huge impact on education, mainly in foreign language learning where opportunities to interact with speakers of the target language were hardly found before the Internet creation. Although most students have free e-mail accounts, more and more schools today offer Internet access to their students. Unfortunately, less privileged students are still apart from this efficient communication technology, but I think we can hope that, in the near future, every student will have access to the Internet tools.
Several Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) researchers have reported the benefits of using e-mail in EFL. Warschauer (1995, p. 2) states that
e-mail provides students an excellent opportunity for real, natural communication. Many of our students – often even those living or studying in English-speaking countries – lack sufficient opportunities for communicating in English. E-mail can put students in contact with native speakers and/or other learners across town or around the world in minutes and provide the authentic contexts and motivations for communication that teachers are always trying to supply.
Bosswood (1997) reminds his readers that "conferencing via e-mail, or communication with the classmates and teachers through networked computers, offers many opportunities for language learning" (p. 71). Windatt et al (2000) claim that "as a means of communication, the Internet allows students around the world to interact with one another cheaply, quickly, and reliably, opening up the classroom to the real world in a way which has never before been possible" (p. 6). Chapelle (2001) lists a number of studies which identified the benefits of cross-cultural communication and other insightful reports on the use of e-mail for language teaching can be found in several publications, such as Egbert et al (1999); Debski and Levy (1999), Paiva (2000), Warschauer (1996, 1999), Warschauer and Kern (2000), Warschauer et al (2000).
The reading of such texts reinforces the thesis that electronic communication offers the necessary conditions for language acquisition as the learner performs an active role in the learning process, receives a huge amount of authentic input and interacts in authentic situations. In addition the learner gets closer to the target-language group in a faceless, non-threatening situation.
Teachers and learners can use e-mail for different learning purposes. Some of them are: keypals, discussion lists, forums, e-mail projects, etc.
Many EFL students have had the experience of corresponding with pen-pals, building up friendship solely through letters. Those students will probably never meet their pen-friends, but they will never forget how much they learned when exchanging letters with people abroad. The Internet version of pen-pals or pen friends is called keypals and is faster and cheaper than writing traditional letters. I contend that exchanging e-mails with foreigners is one of the most interesting and useful activities available for EFL learners. "The exchanges, whether student-to-student or class-to-class, exemplify writing for communicative purposes, especially when the keypals are from different cultures" (Bosswood, 1997, p. 71). Students from several countries can form groups to discuss various issues, produce collaborative research and essays, and publish on the web. Kitao and Kitao (1996:1)point out that
This is a good opportunity to practice English but it is also an opportunity to learn about other cultures and to share one's own culture. It is fun for students, and it is a way that they can use the English that they are learning to actually communicate. Students get excited when they receive replies to their messages, and that motivates them to study English harder.
sites help people to find keypals all over the world. One good example is IECC
(Intercultural E-mail Classroom Connections), a free public service, which was
created in 1992 by three professors from
IECC has distributed over 28,000 requests for e-mail partnerships. (.…) IECC was one of the first services on the Web to facilitate international pen-pal exchanges between teachers and classrooms around the globe. (.…) IECC is dedicated to helping teachers connect with other teachers to arrange intercultural e-mail connections between their students. A new service, IECC-INTERGEN, helps teachers and their classrooms create intergenerational partnerships with volunteers who are over 50 years of age. (available: http://www.iecc.org )
Having a keypal is just one possible use for e-mail in learning a language. There are several ways for integrating e-mail in the classroom. Below I present some suggestions:
A class can have a correspondence exchange with another class in an English speaking country;
Students can develop joint projects (ex. publish an online newspaper) and tasks with a partner in another country;
Teachers can have students sign up for a discussion list;
Teachers can use copies of e-mail as sources of authentic material to review vocabulary and grammar in the classroom;
Students can maintain early and continuous personal and professional contact with partner teachers;
Teachers can use e-mail as a feedback mechanism for learner writing;
Teachers can ask students to write online journals;
One can reduce photocopies by sending handouts to students such as Syllabi, class schedules, lesson plans, and homework assignments.
Teachers can have students sign up for e-mail services which deliver daily or weekly different pieces of information on the English language or learning activities. Some examples are AWAD – A.Word.A.Day which sends a new word everyday followed by examples with context. Old files can be found at http://wordsmith.org/awad/awadmail.html. The address for subscription is http://wordsmith.org/awad/subscribe.html; Churchill House's Phrasal Verb of the Day [http://www.churchillhouse.com] which sends every day one phrasal verb followed by a definition and sentences to exemplify its use. At the end of the week an exercise with the phrasal verbs of the week is sent and you also receive a message with the key for the exercise.
Teachers can have students sign up for e-mail services such as Your Daily Inbox [http://www.dailyinbox.com] which delivers daily different kinds of texts: recipes, stories, jokes, proverbs, quotations, the day's top historical events, helpful advice, a daily picture for reflection, etc. If the whole class is not connected, the teacher can get any of those and share the service with the students for different oral or written activities.
© 2003 by Vera Lúcia Menezes de Oliveira e Paiva.
2.- SAY THE WORD: VOCABULARY ON ELECTIONS
We would like to share with
you some basic vocabulary on “Elections” which may come in handy in your classes
these days. The electoral systems in
We hope you will find this text useful for your lessons.
Adriana Mizrahi and Viviana Myslicki
Vocabulary on Elections
On April 27 Argentinians
went to the polls:
The polling process passed off smoothly. Apparently, it was not marred by fraud, with party overseers/supervisors/representatives/controllers (fiscales de mesa) and polling station officials/supervising officers (presidentes de mesa) ensuring that the election was not rigged (fraudulenta). However, supporters of one of the candidates who trailed third later spread rumours of ballot-rigging, which were not confirmed.
Having first checked that their names were on the electoral roll/ electoral register (padrón), citizens in every voting district went to polling stations (centros electorales, e.g. escuelas). This time, since they were only voting for president, voters could not split the ballots (cortar boleta) and there were no blanket lists (lista sábana).
Once in the polling booth (cuarto oscuro), they picked the ballot (paper) (papeleta/boleta) with the ticket (fórmula) of their choice –with the presidential candidate and his/her running mate (compañero de fórmula), put it into an envelope that had previoulsy been stamped by the the people presiding over the polling station (mesa), and then sealed it. On leaving the booth, they cast their ballot (depositar la boleta) in the ballot box (urna). Polling was heaviest after midday, and decreased by four o’clock. Polling closed at six pm.
The press was not allowed to reveal the results of the exit polls (encuestas en boca de urna) until a substantial number of votes had been counted at the official tally centre (centro oficial de cómputos). In the evening, news coverage showed some of the candidates surrounded by supporters and card-holding party members (afiliados) at their party’s headquarters (oficinas centrales, bunkers) after the election, celebrating the outcome of the vote counting (escrutinio).
As none of the candidates scored a convincing win, securing/ polling more than 45 per cent of the vote/valid votes, or 40% of the valid votes cast with at least a 10% margin/a 10% lead over the runner-up/ second place candidate, the two who scored most votes will now fight/ go through to a second round/ run-off . Both of them made it through, though election results showed these two candidates were neck-and-neck. One of these two candidates has already served two previous terms in the post; as for the other, he has been heavily backed by the incumbent president.
According to pollsters (encuestadores)/opinion polls (encuestas de opinión), protest votes (votos castigo) might run as high as 10% in the second round. They predict that a high number of voters are likely to spoil their ballot papers (anular sus votos) or cast blank votes/ballots (votar en blanco). Now the electorate seems torn between who to vote for and whether to vote at all and abstain in protest. Political scientists (politólogos) agree that one candidate is likely to achieve/gain/score/pull off (colloq.) a sweeping victory.
On May 25, Argentina’s caretaker/interim president will hand over power to his successor, transferring the sash (banda presidencial) and the ceremonial staff (bastón de mando) to the president-elect, who will hold office / be in office for a four-year period; that is to say, his term will expire in 2007.
A big “Thank you”, Viviana and Adriana. We hope to be hearing much more from you!
3.- ONE INTELLIGENCE OR SEVERAL?
Our dear SHARER
Paula Aguirre from
New York Times February 17,
Brain Scans Reflect Problem-Solving Skill
By Erica Goode
Scientists have spent decades arguing over whether intelligence is best conceived as a generalized ability or as the capacity to excel in particular areas of mental, social or emotional functioning.
The debate encompasses a variety of incendiary issues, including whether I.Q. tests have any value, and it is likely to continue.
Meanwhile, a new brain imaging study offers the first glimpse of how differences in the ability to reason and solve problems might translate into differences in the firing of neurons in the brain.
People who scored high on Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, an intelligence test, also showed more neural activity in specific brain regions while performing an exacting memory task, the researchers found. The matrices tap what experts call "general fluid intelligence," which studies suggest is strongly influenced by heredity. Raven's test scores correlate highly with scores on I.Q. tests and other standardized measures of intelligence.
"To our knowledge, this is the first large-sample imaging study to probe individual differences in general fluid intelligence, an important cognitive ability and major dimension of human individual
difference," wrote the researchers, led by Dr. Jeremy R. Gray, a research scientist in the department of psychology at
Dr. Gray said the findings indicated that the variations in test performances were mirrored by differences in brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, a brain region involved in working memory, planning and goal-directed activity. The subjects who did well on the intelligence tests also showed greater activity in several other brain areas, including the anterior cingulate cortex and the cerebellum. The brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Dr. John Duncan, the deputy director of the Medical Research Council's Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England, and the author of a commentary with the journal article, called the study "a significant step" toward understanding the specific brain mechanisms that were recruited into action by the kinds of problems found on intelligence tests.
"The fact remains," Dr. Duncan wrote, "that standard intelligence tests do measure something important." But he added that it might take "50 years of research or more" for scientists to really understand what was happening and how different brain systems worked together.
In a study published in 2000, Dr. Duncan demonstrated that on positron emission tomography scans, the lateral prefrontal cortex lights up, indicating increased activity, when people solve problems like those on I.Q. tests. But he noted that some other studies, using other types of mental tasks, had found reduced brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex in people who did well on the tasks.
"This, too, is plausible if you think that people who are having trouble are spinning their wheels to solve the problem and don't achieve as much," he said.
The new study, however, supports Dr. Duncan's findings of increased activity and extends that work.
The findings, Dr. Gray said, suggest that fluid intelligence involves the ability to stay focused and keep new information in mind in the face of distraction.
In the memory task, the subjects were presented with a series of words or pictures of faces on a computer screen and asked to quickly identify whether each was the same as that presented three screens before. In some cases, the subjects were shown words or faces that had appeared two, four or five screens before, complicating the assignment.
It was in these more difficult cases that the subjects with high scores on the intelligence test performed more accurately and showed greater brain activity than those with lower scores.
Dr. Gray likened the task to trying to remember a 10-digit phone number while listening to an interesting conversation. "Presumably, people of higher intelligence should be able to resist that
distraction and to retain the phone number in what psychologists call working memory."
But the increased brain activity in people who performed well could also represent other mental activities, like inhibiting incorrect responses and reducing or monitoring conflicting perceptions.
Dr. Gray said he and his colleagues were still debating whether intelligence was best thought of as an innate general ability or as the ability to succeed in different domains. "You could spin it both ways."
Several researchers, including Dr. Robert Sternberg at Yale and Dr. Howard Gardner at Harvard, have argued that the notion of general intelligence has little value and that it makes more sense to measure people's strength or "intelligence" in different types of activities.
But Dr. Earl Miller, a professor of neuroscience at the Picower Center for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, "The idea that performance on a task that's supposed to tap into general intelligence can predict real differences in activity in the brain lends support for the idea that there is a general intelligence."
© 2003 by New York Times.
4.- A SPA FOR THE SOUL
Our dear SHARER Laura Smuch has sent us all this tempting invitation. Read on:
A Spa for your
The questions most of us ask ourselves are: "How can I communicate better with my students, produce better material, earn more money, be happy and productive, "survive" the different crisis in our country and the world?
I feel we can't do all that ....without burning out. We can't do much to change a situation directly. The only wise thing we can do is to start becoming aware of ourselves. When we improve our intrapersonal communication we are more prepared to communicate with others on a deeper level.
This winter I will be offering a three-day course for you, the person inside the teacher. Together we will explore the ways in which being a fulfilled human being influences all the roles we have: teachers, parents, neighbours, husbands, wives, partners, lovers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, customers, writers, trainers, researchers, friends,....
Of course we will discuss classroom application where appropriate, especially what we can do when our students need the sort of love and care we ourselves need and don't know where to find.
Students are exhausted and stressed. What about teachers? Most of them are worn-out, too. That's why I think a good idea is to give ourselves the time and permission to explore the internal resources we have to tap into our potential to live the life we choose to have.
"A Spa for your Soul" will be three days to stop and reflect, gain insights, energy and inspiration for the rest of the year.
Come, join me in this "retreat" in the quiet neighbourhood of
These are some of the topics we will cover:
· Time management
· Living a mindful and soulful life
· Finding joy in our activities
· Respect for ourselves and respect for others
· Examining our beliefs and values
· The "inner spa"
· Small indulgences
· Being present
· Simple kindnesses
· Goal setting
· Discovering your passion
· Meditation, visualisation, relaxation techniques
· Looking after your body
· Developing your intuition
Use these holidays for yourself!!
Very limited vacancies – If you want more information, you can reach me at
Lauraszmuch@aol.com - 4641-9068
5.- COURSE ON EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THE TEACHER OF ENGLISH
Our dear SHARER Liliana Martinez has sent us this announcement:
Our ten-session course this year, addressed to teachers at all levels, is on Educational Psychology and the teacher of English. Each session deals with different key issues in learning and teaching examined in the light of recent psychological developments.
Weekly sessions (all of them conducted by Liliana R Martínez M.A.) from May to July, will take place on Saturdays from to .
Attendees will be awarded – upon successful completion –a certificate from the Dirección General de Enseñanza de Gestión Privada del Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Fees: Whole course (ten sessions) $130 – or two payments of $75
Each of the first eight sessions can be attended separately. Single session $20
All the sessions will be held at Gateway , Rivadavia 5551 ,Caballito, B Aires.
For further details, please contact us at 4432-0950 (office hours: 9-12 /15-20)
May 24th What the learner brings to the learning situation
May 31st The learner and motivation
June 7th How the learner learns
June 14th What the teacher brings to the teaching-learning situation
June 21st How the teacher can promote learning
June 28th Tasks in the language classroom
July 5th The learning context
July 12th Final Written Evaluation
July 19th Integrative Discussion of the written evaluation.
6- WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
Our dear SHARER Tamara Piacentini from
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
ERNEST HEMINGWAY To die. In the rain. Alone.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.
GRANDPA In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.
BARBARA WALTERS Isn't that interesting? In a few moments we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting and went on to accomplish its life-long dream of crossing the road.
JOHN LENNON Imagine all the chickens crossing roads in peace.
ARISTOTLE It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
KARL MARX It was a historical inevitability.
VOLTAIRE I may not agree with what the chicken did, but I will defend to the death its right to do it.
RONALD REAGAN What chicken?
CAPTAIN KIRK To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
FOX MULDER You saw it cross the road with your own eyes! How many more chickens have to cross before you believe it?
SIGMUND FREUD The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.
BILL GATES I have just released eChicken 2003, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook - and Internet Explorer is an inextricable part of e-Chicken.
ALBERT EINSTEIN Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?
BILL CLINTON I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken, please?
GEORGE W. BUSH We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or it is against us. There is no middle ground here.
MOHAMMED ALDOURI (
SADDAM HUSSEIN This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.
7- REFERENCE BOOKS FOR FREE
The following is a reproduction of an e-mail to Peru´s ELT list. We thought our dear SHARERS might want to take advantage of this offer as well.
I'm writing to let you know that two Methodology books are available for free by entering the following web page: www.richmond.com.ar
Once in the page it takes a few seconds to load. Then, click on the blue square. Next, click on RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS where you will find the following two books:
Developing Resources for Primary (for primary school Teachers)
The Mixed Ability Class (for secondary school Teachers)
Each book consists of 95 pages and graphics so you might need a bit of patience when downloading, particularly with Developing Resources for Primary since it hasn't been divided into chapters to download.
Best of luck to you all
8.- TALK ON “CATCHPHRASES” IN BANFIELD
Our dear SHARER Lidia Oleiro has sent us this invitation:
A language talk - "Catchphrases -
What's The Catch?"
"Believe it, or not",
catchphrases appear EVERYWHERE in the English language and as more and more
authentic material is being used, it is inevitable that catchphrases will appear
on a very regular basis. They all play a very important part in communication.
This talk takes a look at some of the most popular and used catchphrases in
order to give an insight view into how catchphrases work.
by: Stapley Educational Services
& Windsor Language Services
Date: Friday 23rd May - Time:
Registration: Windsor Institute - 011-4202-6421 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Registration at - www.stapley.com.ar Fee: $15,00
9.- SEMINAR ON FAMILY LAW AND SUCCESSIONS
Our dear SHARER and friend Martha Ortigueira has an announcement to make:
El Centro de Graduados en
Lenguas Vivas de la UCA dictará el siguiente seminario sobre Derecho
21 y 28 de junio: “Family Law and Successions”
a cargo de la Dra. Silvia
Elena Kenny de Cavanagh.
Abogada y Profesora Titular de Práctica Profesional I y II y de Derecho Angloamericano en la Carrera de Traductor Público de Inglés de la UCA.
Master in Comparative Jurisprudence de la New York University. Integrante de la Junta Directiva de la Corporación de Abogados Católicos.
Está dirigido a traductores públicos de inglés y a abogados con un nivel pos-intermedio/avanzado de inglés.
El seminario se dictará en inglés y se ilustrará con documentos tales como sentencias de divorcio, convenios matrimoniales y testamentos en inglés y en español y una declaratoria de herederos tipo.
Horario: de 9 a 13: 30 hs.
Aranceles: Asociados activos / Estudiantes: $50 - Graduados de Lenguas Vivas: $60
Por teléfono: 4338-0775 -Por mail: email@example.com
Cerrarán la fecha anterior a la realización de la charla o seminario siempre y cuando no se haya cubierto el cupo con anterioridad a dicha fecha.
10.- SPANISH FOR FOREIGNERS: DICTIONARY OF ARGENTINIAN SPANISH
The following is a reproduction from Despacho informativo viernes 16 de mayo de 2003
By Ing. Eduardo Cosso - Secretaría de Extensión Universitaria Cultura y Comunicación Social
Rectorado de la Universidad Tecnológica Nacional
Título: El habla de los argentinos ya tiene diccionario propio
Creo que decir 'se bajó Menem', es un argentinismo", dice Susana Anaine, la subdirectora del Departamento de Investigaciones Filológicas de la Academia Argentina de Letras. Lo dice leyendo "se bajó Menem" de una hojita de cuaderno garabateada. Así empieza el camino por el que muchas palabras han ido a parar al Diccionario del habla de los argentinos, que se acaba de publicar.
Del habla de los argentinos, sí, que es castellano, pero ese castellano que cualquier argentino sabe que no le entenderán los hispanohablantes de otras latitudes.
La Academia acaba de sacar un diccionario entero con esas palabras, un diccionario donde figuran "miguelito" (y es un clavo, no un chico), "mersa", "mielero" y "hacer la pera". Un diccionario que sabe —y explica— qué es un "escrache", y puede "cachar" perfectamente lo que se dice sin ser ningún "bocho". Que mira por dentro a los que hablan y sabe lo que es "romperse el alma", "pisar el palito", "irse a los caños" y "andar seco". O "ponerse el lompa", "piantarse de la casa" y salir para el "cacerolazo".
Lo hicieron entre once personas, investigadores de la Academia, un poco en la Academia misma —entre fichas, un par de computadoras que una empresa donó y que ya están lejos de ser nuevas, libros, libros, libros— y otro poco en la calle. Con las orejas paradas, con la tele prendida, con Internet, con los reality shows, con los diarios y las revistas. En todas partes el castellano de la Argentina vive y cambia. Lo difícil es pescarlo.
"Usamos nuestro olfato de hablantes. Alguien trae una palabra o una frase, la investigamos, tratamos de ver si se usa —y cómo— en otras partes, buscamos ejemplos de su aparición en los medios o en algún libro, si nos parece que forma parte del habla de los argentinos, hacemos una definición y la pasamos a la Comisión de Habla de los Argentinos. Ahí se revisa, se acepta o se rechaza, se modifica, ése es el camino", cuenta Anaine.
¿Todas las palabras merecen estar en un diccionario? "Nos fijamos que la palabra tenga un uso reconocido en una comunidad y que no sea una de esas palabras al viento, que pasan y se dejan de usar. A veces esperamos, a ver qué pasa con una palabra", dice Anaine. Y esta redactora lo comprueba. Otra investigadora se acerca y le habla a Anaine de "corralito". ¿Se va a seguir usando? Suponen que sí, pero quizás como "rodrigazo", para contar algo del pasado, algo puntual. Quizás, entonces, tenga que ir a la enciclopedia y no al diccionario. Se sigue estudiando.
Las que no se saben si durarán, quizás no. Las que ya casi no se usan, en cambio, seguro que sí. "Es parte de la utilidad del diccionario, así se puede saber de qué se trata una palabra que puede aparecer en un texto y ya no se usa". El diccionario lo indica: desusado, dice, antes de explicar uno de los significados de "amurar": "dejar a alguien abandonado". El ejemplo es cantado: "Percanta que me amuraste/en lo mejor de mi vida". Desusado y de Cuyo: "Catarato": agente de policía.
"Tomamos en cuenta el uso más difundido y no a alguien que marque el buen uso", dice Anaine. "Miramos en Internet, si ponemos una palabra en un buscador y aparece muchas veces, entendemos que se está usando, pero tampoco damos como válida una palabra sólo porque aparezca en Internet".
¿Pero todas las palabras que se usan merecen estar en un diccionario? ¿Incluso las que, bueno, no se dicen a la hora del té? "Si se usan, sí", dice Anaine. "Lo que hacemos es indicar el nivel de uso: pueden ser coloquiales, las que se usan en cualquier conversación informal, o vulgares, que son esas palabras que caerían mal en esa misma conversación". Lo sabe una nena que se arregla la pollera y el nivel de lengua para entrar a la Dirección de la escuela. Lo saben los que cargan de palabras "vulgares" un cantito, para agredir. Los hablantes lo hacen, el diccionario lo describe. Hay muchos ejemplos. Entre las coloquiales: "amueblado": hotel donde se alquilan habitaciones para citas amorosas; "andar como bola sin manija": hallarse desorientado; "descular": desentrañar, comprender el funcionamiento de algo.
Vulgares son aquellas que no se suelen escribir en el diario. Por ejemplo —esto es una excepción—, "Dar bola": prestar atención; "Cachucha": órgano sexual de la mujer; "Cagar": perjudicar a alguien. Las vulgaridades, por supuesto, pueden estar en textos consagrados, como Don segundo sombra, de Ricardo Güiraldes. De ahí la Academia toma el ejemplo para definir "pedo". "te vi'a zapar de culo en el bañadero 'e los patos pa' que se te pase el pedo", dice. La definición —cualquier argentino lo sabe— es "estado de ebriedad, borrachera".
El idioma dice lo que dice y dice las intenciones de quien habla. Por eso, en el diccionario se avisa si una palabra es despectiva. Es el caso de "bolita": natural de Bolivia. De "ortiva": soplón, batidor.
Claro que no alcanza con poner "piantavotos", con poner "entrevero", o "de cuarta", o "rigorear" o "tira", no alcanza con poner todo el Diccionario del habla de los argentinos para escribir un texto que suene argentino. Eso dicen algunos escritores. "Palabras las hay, y muchas —dice la poeta Diana Bellessi— pero me parece que se trata, particularmente, de un tono, de una disposición de la sintaxis, eso que yo llamo encontrar la frase, o la llegada de la frase en algún momento del poema que reúne todo lo demás a su alrededor, y que se siente venir del habla, el habla argentina o el habla del pago. Por supuesto que el voseo y su consecuente alteración verbal también anclan territorialmente el idioma, y todos los localismos, las palabras indígenas, las contracciones (ha'i de tener, por ejemplo) y el lunfa urbano."
Leopoldo Brizuela, Premio Clarín de Novela 1999, opina: "Tengo la certeza, como lector y escritor, de que hablamos y escribimos otro idioma que el que se escribe, sobre todo, en Castilla. Me cuesta tanto trabajo leer el 'castellano' como leer en otro idioma. Además, siento que este idioma nuestro no se caracteriza tanto por sus palabras propias como por una austeridad, que los españoles suelen confundir, en un resabio de mirada imperial, con pobreza. Una austeridad, en fin, que tiene menos que ver con lo dicho que con los silencios, o mejor, con el silencio, con la experiencia del silencio. Quizá porque en nosotros perdure el trauma de todo inmigrante: hallarse en una playa extranjera y comprender que hay muchas, muchísimas más cosas que palabras, y que siempre las habrá —perder la seguridad imperial en el poder del lenguaje—. En la literatura, quien escribe por primera vez esa lengua es Borges. Si se quiere, escribimos en lengua Borges".
Este trabajo, el que hoy se publica, empezó a hacerse en 1998, pero tuvo como base el Registro del habla de los argentinos, una publicación anterior de la Academia y la impresionante colección de fichas en las que se registran palabras desde la década del 60.
Por supuesto, un diccionario argentino registra palabras de origen quechua —como "chucho", "machar", "pampa" y "chúcaro"—, de origen guaraní —como "mamboretá" y "matete"—, de origen araucano —como "mallín"— y de origen francés, como "galocha". Y sin duda, muchos italianismos, que son como una marca en el orillo de la argentinidad: "A veces —dice Anaine— ponemos palabras que se usan también en países vecinos. Entre las que son exclusivas de la Argentina hay, sobre todo, italianismos".
Ejemplos varios: "¡Minga!": voz que expresa negación, falta o ausencia de algo; "Minestrón": sopa de verduras con fideos o arroz y legumbres; "Pelandrún": Pícaro, astuto.
No es definitivo, no está completo, no es una foto acabada del habla argentina, "pero en algún momento teníamos que terminar". La gente de la Academia, que hoy preside Pedro Luis Barcia, y en particular la gente del Departamento de Investigaciones Lingüísticas y Filológicas —Francisco Petrecca y Susana Anaine— abrieron una dirección de correo electrónico para quienes quieran discutir alguna definición o aportar una palabra: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Y como siempre, por dudas del lenguaje, funciona el Servicio de Atención de Consultas Telefónicas, de 13.15 a 18.45 al 4802-2408.
De allí saldrán mejoras para la próxima edición, que será en dos años. Posta.
11.- NEWS FROM LAGUNA LARGA, CÓRDOBA
Our dear SHARER Silvana Cornatosky from Interlink writes to us:
Interlink is pleased to invite you to the English Seminar:
“Some practical activities to teach listening and speaking in the classroom”.
Lecturer: Patricia Lauría de Gentile
Jefa de Trabajos Prácticos de Didáctica Especial II y Observación y Práctica de la Enseñanza II del Profesorado de Inglés de la Facultad de Lenguas (Córdoba).
Place: Las Cañas – Catalina Rodríguez 129 – Laguna Larga.
Date and Time: May, Friday 23rd. .
Certification: Certificates of Assistance will be submitted.
Information and resgistration: INTERLINK – San Nicolás 730 – Tel. (03572) 481173 – Laguna Larga.
Fees: $ 15 . You can register by phone: (03572) – 481173 or by mail: email@example.com
Sponsor: Librería Blackpool and Longman - Longman books will be raffled.
12.- THE EDGAR ALLAN POE COLLECTION
Our dear SHARER Ximena Faralla announces:
On the Road Theatre Company
May 23rd -
The Edgar Allan Poe Collection
Three stage versions of his most famous stories:
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Red Death
The Pit & the Pendulum
Adapted by Ximena Faralla & Julián Vidal
Music by Julián Vidal
Directed by Ximena Faralla
Cast : Matías Roberto - Veronica Taylor - Inés Vrlijack - Nicolás Pueta - Lucas R. Tsolakian - Mercedes Ponte
at "The Playhouse" -
Ticket : $7
Book your seats now! - 4568-7125 - firstname.lastname@example.org
13.- ARTESOL CONVENTION IN TANDIL
Our dear SHARER Vivian Morghen, ARTESOL President sent us this reminder:
Argentina TESOL –ARTESOL- is pleased to announce the 17th ARTESOL Convention, to be held on June 27 - 28, 2003 at Universidad del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The ARTESOL Convention is open to all members of the English Language Teaching community.
Argentina TESOL is an affiliate of a worldwide association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, TESOL, whose mission is to improve the teaching of English all over the world. TESOL and its 90 affiliates provide information and counsel on the latest pedagogical advances for the acquisition of the English language through courses, seminars, conferences, publications, and study-trips.
professional activities during the Convention include plenaries, concurrent
sessions, and exhibition of the latest publications in ELT. If you would like to
be a presenter at the Convention, please complete the attached Call for Participation -Proposal Form
and either fax it or email it to ARTESOL by
The 17th ARTESOL Convention is an excellent opportunity for EFL teachers throughout the country to gain insight into the state of the art of our profession on a national basis. Therefore we ask you all to help us make this event as enlightening and fruitful as possible.
Let’s all meet in Tandil,
14.- STORYTELLING IN YOUR SCHOOL.
Our dear friend and SHARER Celia Zubiri sent us this invitation to her plays:
MARTÍNEZ - TEATRO DE LA CAPILLA - Ladislao Martínez 539
10 AM -CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
2:30 PM-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
CHACABUCO - CINE TEATRO ESPAÑOL - Pueyrredón 35
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
-QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
Sales Reepresentative: Isabel Alcalde > 02352-430270
JUNÍN - TEATRO LA RANCHERÍA - Chacabuco 40
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
-QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
Sales Representative: Silvia Terroba > 02362-423352 > email@example.com
PERGAMINO - COMPLEJO "LA OPINION PLAZA" - San Nicolás y Julio Roca
9 AM -QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
11 AM -SCHOOL TIES
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
-QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
-DOCTOR IN SPITE OF MYSELF
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
- QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
-DOCTOR IN SPITE OF MYSELF
TRES ARROYOS (Teatro y programación a confirmar)
PUNTA ALTA (Teatro a confirmar)
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
-QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
BAHÍA BLANCA (Teatro a confirmar)
-DOCTOR IN SPITE OF MYSELF
11 AM -SCHOOL TIES
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
-QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
CORONEL SUÁREZ (Teatro a confirmar)
-CHEERS FOR GOOGIE
-QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK
-DOCTOR IN SPITE OF MYSELF
Sales representative in Punta Alta, Bahía Blanca & Coronel Suárez:
Academia Juan XXIII > Ana Antonia Giner > 0291-459648
we want to say goodbye with three proverbs that our dear SHARER Sandra Damazzo
If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
The best memory is that which forgets nothing but injuries. Write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust.
One moment of patience may ward off a great disaster; one moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Omar and Marina.
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