An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©
Number 116 November
5850 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
Halfway down the weekend (unluckily!) I thought for a moment to reflect on how life is always a combination of bitter and sweets moments. I was thinking of life in general and of this last week in particular. I did not start the week in the best of ways. Early morning on Tuesday as I was heading to my classes at University, a brand new grey car collided with my old 93 Galaxy. This shows that they don´t make cars as hard as they used to as my old model could stand the shock much better that the hyper new car. The same does not apply to human constitution: the twenty-five (or whereabouts) year old driver of the new car was much better off than me (a passenger in my own old car). I was bruised and shocked and in considerable pain (especially as the hours passed) but without any major injury. Well, that´s the bitter part of it. Now on Friday I had to lecture at the UCA Meeting in Puerto Madero (obviously a place nobody can help falling in love with). It was such a great occasion. The organizers (faculty and graduates) had me well-pampered and even spoilt and I had the chance to hear some of my old buddies speak (and could even afford disagreeing with some of the things they said). Nobody noticed I was still a bit down the weather and that was the idea. You see why I think life is a bitter-sweet combination? And let me add: you can always make the “sweet” prevail if you try the accentuate the positive. Let us all give it a try this week.
Omar and Marina
In SHARE 116
1.- What is
2.- Spanglish: when two languages become one.
3.- The Impact of Oral Narrative in the Classroom – Part 2.
4.- My Nanny speaks Spanglish.
5.- Macmillan Educational Update Courses in La Plata.
6.- Tea for Heads of Department in La Plata.
7.- APIBA´s end-of-year activities.
8.- Yes! The TV Programme for Teachers of English.
9.- Moving House.
10.- “A Spa for the Soul” in Rafaela.
11.- News from Pitman Qualifications- City & Guilds.
12.- The November Issue of e-teaching online.
13.- “A Day of Language” in Buenos Aires.
14.- Auditions for 2004.
1.- WHAT IS APPLIED DRAMA?
Our dear SHARER and friend Ana María Rozzi de Bergel has sent us this article of which we are very prod to publish part one today.
Drama: Delimiting the field
By Ana María Rozzi de Bergel
Drama is a daily full-time activity. We play different roles, we communicate with our fellow human beings strategically, we plan and even rehearse scenes before performing them. Our life is but a long, enjoyable performance of a script we have written with a little help from our parents, social group, native culture and education, and which is undergoing constant transformations according to ongoing audience response.
Theatre mirrors life because it is conceptually alike. It is an art in real time, a happening, an event rather than a product and it needs a socio-cultural environment and interpersonal exchanges between human beings more than any other form of art.
It is not surprising, then, that theatre should be based on the exploration of human communication, its means and ends and as communication is such a comprehensive concepts, theatre requires the input of all other forms of art. Performers need to polish their expressive tools: voice, gesture, body language, diction, looks. Directors need to master the semiotic features of the art: the language of symbols, objects, visual and auditory stimuli, the codes of rhythm, suspense, climaxes, tempi and to be able to co-ordinate their work with stage designers, musicians and lighting technicians. When we add playwrights, usually the initiators of a theatre production, the picture is complete: theatre is the melting pot of all the arts. The same visual, graphic, verbal and spatial codes of communication are used in our daily life, making our circumstances so similar to those on a stage that some cynics have stated that life mirrors the stage.
At the English as a Foreign Language class, we are concerned with reproducing real life circumstances where learners may explore human interaction and communication. It is natural that we should look into drama principles and techniques for inspiration, but using drama techniques should not mean staging plays or acting before an audience. In educational sciences, a distinction has been drawn between theatre as an art form focusing on a product, a production for an audience, and applied drama, which focuses on the process of dramatic enactment in order to facilitate learning of another discipline - a foreign or second language, in our case. It is the use of drama as a learning medium based on pedagogical, linguistic and learning theory rather than on aesthetic or artistic principles. Its aim is to contribute to the personal growth and enrichment of the participants, not to impact an audience. To make the distinction even clearer, we are going to call it Applied Drama for TEFL. Of course, performing for an audience is also enriching, so the distinction is fully valid as a clear categorisation of different uses of theatre and drama for language teaching and learning, but in a comprehensive, humanistic educational setting there should be room for more than one type of application.
In fact, the use of drama in the classroom almost inevitably leads to the presentation of a theatre show sometime during the school year. Susan Holden (1981) discusses this point and concludes that whether the use of drama techniques leads to the performance of a play or not depends entirely on the views on education held by the school authorities or by the teachers. This is unquestionable, but does not destroy the apparent dichotomy between process-oriented or product-oriented use of drama, which is only erased when one uses either approach according to need.
Educators should view theatre as a discipline to be undertaken by those seeking to become performers, directors or technicians, either in the professional or in the amateur field. The subject may well be optional in the school curriculum, as not everybody will feel the call of the stage, or it may be compulsory but provide opportunities for students to participate in various ways, according to their talents. As a vital part of their training, these students need to perform before an audience, and to do it regularly. There is very little discussion on this point, the arguments mainly focusing on what happens when drama is not used to teach drama, but to teach English or any other subject in the school curriculum.
When teachers restrict the use of drama in the English classroom to the enactment of short plays or scenes, confusion arises as to the purpose of these activities, as learners naturally wonder why they are rehearsing if they are not going to perform. In these instances, it is always best to provide an audience of sorts - maybe another group of learners - and carry out the performance. This will give a clear goal to the activity, which may otherwise fail due to lack of purpose. Maybe those who believe that drama is always goal-oriented (Via, 1981) are thinking only in terms of performance of drama texts, obviously produced to be played.
Learners will not necessarily feel the need to perform before an audience, however, if Applied Drama become a natural part of each lesson, and if they are used to enhance learning and motivation. Applied Drama-based teaching should provide training in human communication and its many facets: appropriateness to context, respect for role relationship, clarity of speech, use of non-verbal communication, exploration of cultural traits, tone of voice, intention, negotiation of meaning and the many nuances of emission and reception of messages and construction of shared meanings. It should also provide insight into the contextual aspects of discourse such as geographical location, social-cultural environment, moral values and historical background. In brief, it is the closest we can get to learning a language in real-life situations. Drama will lose its theatrical value to subordinate its principles and techniques to the achievement of certain goals in a non-theatrical field: language learning, in this case.
This type of teaching should not induce in learners the need to perform in public; however, nothing prevents a clever combination of both uses of drama: in daily classroom work, and for the production of a show. One does not preclude the other, and we should seek to enrich our work rather than restrict it. However, a clear idea of the distinction between theatre training and Applied Drama is necessary as a starting point.
The following table has been adapted from Eines and Mantovani (1997).
APPLIED DRAMA FOR TEFL
There is always a performance before an audience.
Drama is used as a teaching tool. Performing before an audience is optional, or is done in class, for peers, as part of the learning process.
The emphasis is on the end product.
The emphasis is on the process.
Students train to become proficient users of drama and theatre techniques.
Students use drama techniques to become proficient users of the language.
Work is usually based on a play or a script, very often written by the teacher or a playwright.
Work is usually based on the performance of situations or activities outlined or created by the participants, which develop and change as they are played.
Performers must memorise the lines and the staging and be ready to repeat the performance as often as necessary, without major modifications.
Improvisation of texts and actions is allowed and encouraged. .
The outcome must meet certain artistic standards of excellence.
The outcome must be pedagogically relevant, even though it may be artistically flawed.
The show is a finished product which is always performed in full.
The performance or activity may be interrupted, re-organised, extended or shortened according to need.
Performances are at a theatre hall or auditorium.
Performance take place anywhere, usually in the classroom.
Scenography, props and costumes must be coherent in style with the staging, and are often supplied by professionals or by parents.
Participants choose and/or design and produce their props, scenography and costumes using the elements available and establishing their own conventions.
The performers play professional roles which belong to the adult world, even when they are children.
The performers carry out learning-oriented tasks appropriate to their age.
The audience has to be entertained.
The performance has to entertain and interest the participants.
The audience and eventually the critics will evaluate the performance.
The participants will evaluate the performance. Eventually, they will do this jointly with the audience.
Training is undertaken only in those areas which are relevant to the production of the show.
Techniques are drawn from different fields and used as appropriate to produce the desired learning outcomes.
There is a third type of theatre activity linked to foreign language learning: the professional performance of theatre shows for educational purposes. This can be linked to the curriculum in various ways and the learners' participation is active rather than passive, if the teacher knows how to exploit the visit to the theatre. In many cases, the companies staging these shows provide workbooks with suggestions and activities, as well as guidance on the desired level and characteristics of the audiences they are addressing.
These distinctions and definitions are useful in that they may trigger further discussion as to the role, purpose and implementation of drama-based methodologies and also to contribute to a more academic approach to a discipline which needs to enter the teacher education curriculum.
Shakespeare's famous words, "All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players", might be edited for educational purposes to read " ......... all the men and women are script-writers, players, directors, audiences and critics".
S.(1981) Drama in Language Teaching. Londres,
Eines, J. y Mantovani, A. (1997) Didáctica de la dramatización, Barcelona: Gedisa
Via in Holden, S .(1981) Drama in Language Teaching. Londres, Longman
About The Author
Ana Maria Rozzi de Bergel
English Teacher, Licenciada en Gestión Educativa, currently working towards her Magister en Gestión de Proyectos Educativos. Coordinator of the Licenciatura en Enseñanza del Idioma Inglés, Universidad CAECE. Coordinator of the English Department at CENTUM, a centre for Trinity College London's Certificate in TESOL. Coordinator and curriculum designer of the first post-graduate course in Applied Drama for TEFL, taught by Universidad CAECE and CENTUM, leading to the Licentiate Diploma in Applied Drama. moderated by Trinity College London (Drama, Speech, Music and Dance Department)
© Ana Maria Rozzi de Bergel
2.- SPANGLISH: WHEN TWO LANGUAGES BECOME ONE.
Our dear SHARER Hernán Valvano has sent us this interview to Ilan Stavans, the author of 'Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language' by Silvana Paternostro.
The Meaning of
What happens when two languages become one?
By Silvana Paternostro
Unless you speak Spanish, you might not be aware of the controversy over Spanglish, a broken mix of Spanish and English spoken wherever you see Latinos these days—in the barrios of the Bronx, Spanish Harlem and East Los Angeles, the migrant worker camps of Oregon and Arizona and the tonier, tree-lined suburbs of San Antonio and South Florida.
The “language” is taking over the Unaited
Esteits—that’s how it is spelled in Spanglish according to Ilan Stavans, its
main advocate and author of the new book, “Spanglish: The Making of A New
American Language” (288 pages. HarperCollins Rayo. $24.95). The book
combines a serious academic essay—perhaps too serious—about the origins and
importance of Spanglish, a compilation of more than 4,500 terms and a delightful
translation of “Don Quixote’s” first chapter into Spanglish as proof that this
mutt of a language exists. Stavans is determined to defend it, to not let it
die, as has almost happened to Yiddish, the language of his childhood in Mexico
City, where he grew up a middle-class, Eastern-European Jewish blond kid. In
other words, an outsider.
Stavans work is a noble endeavor and incredibly fun project. A fool for words and etymology, Stavans fell in love with Spanglish when he first heard it on the streets of New York City. He was a newcomer, a young, curious soul with a literary bug and a rootless past. Just like he wasn’t Mexican in Mexico, he could feel the struggle of the young Latinos, trying to mesh two cultures, by speaking both Spanish and English in the streets of the New York. “There was something that was simply exquisite,” he writes, as if describing the girl who stole his heart. He lost his head for her and has, faithfully, protected and defended her since then.
To many, Stavans, who became an academic,
does not have the right credentials to appropriate Spanglish. From his
northeastern ivory tower—he teaches Latin American and Latino studies at Amherst
College—he has developed a network of researchers and informants from all over
the continent who call him with tips on the matter. They look through local
papers, listen to radio shows, sit at bodegas and pizzerias, hang out with the
cops and the cousins in the hud (yes, Spanglish for “hood”). Slowly,
Stavans has put together a list of 6,000 words—not all made it into the book—and
the list grows every day. But some barrio boys are not happy about this. “He is
taking it from the streets and into the classroom,” says Latino writer Ernesto
Quiñonez, “but he is not one of us.”
His critics don’t stop there. What Stavans
finds poetic and avant garde, others find offensive. Feathers get ruffled when
fiddling with Cervantes’s masterpiece. To purists—such as the members of the
300-year-old Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, whose mandate is to keep
Spanish as “pure” as it was in the 16th century—this is the equivalent of
translating Shakespeare into Ebonics. To the very stodgy members of the Royal
Academy, Stavans’s work only serves to desecrate pure Spanish. Ditto say the
academics and linguists of Spanish in this country. They are too locked up in
their comfortable offices to want to see what is happening in the streets today,
For others, it’s a political argument.
Spanglish is a trap that leaves Latinos poor and in the barrio. Spanglish is a
deterrent to success. They must learn English, they argue, because it is the
language of upward mobility in this country. For Stavans, who includes a
translation of parts of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of
Independence in his introduction, Spanglish is instead a tool of empowerment, a
way of accepting that coming from two cultures “makes you broken” but American
Stavans’s flechazo, his
love-at-first-sight, with Spanglish is understandable. To a Spanish speaker with
a soft spot for music, change, irreverence, spontaneity and a
street-smart instinct of survival, Spanglish is smart, funny, adorable, gutsy
and modern. It is simply delicious to see how to vacuum the carpet becomes
vacunar la carpeta, which in pure Spanish translates to the nonsensical
to vaccinate a folder. But it is also a way of rebelling against the
stubbornness of stodgy Spanish rules. “Spanglish is the answer to the urgent
need of finding quick, immediate words to technology in a modern, wired world
where Latinos have immediate access,” he says. If Spanish purists do not embrace
modernity, Latinos have found a way of entering today’s globalized word. Thus
reguardear for rewinding and forguardear for fast forward. So what
if Stavans was born white and outside of the barrio, and so what if he likes to
see an army of conquistadors out to get him, as far as I can tell, his
infatuation hurts no one. He has found, in the United States, a way to feel at
home at last. What follows are excerpts of our interview:
NEWSWEEK: I don’t know if I speak Spanglish or not. Is there one correct Spanglish? As you present it, there is, and my Spanglish is a completely made-up thing. I make up words as I go along.
Ilan Stavans: The fact that when you invent
words, somebody else can understand it is already a sign that there are ears out
there that have been responding to a similar stimulation. There are words like
rufo [roof] or marketa [market] that are already established. But
when we hear new terms that are coined through our imagination, and we don’t
need to ask one another “what do you mean by this?” then we have the beginnings
of a language. We’ll ask perhaps at the beginning or we’re puzzled, but very
quickly we incorporate those words.
And that is definitely happening with Spanglish in this country.
Definitely. I feel there’s a culture out there that is enabling all this. I think that Spanish TV and radio are enabling us to find a space where your creative Spanglish and mine and that of other people can meet and find some sort of middle ground.
You mean a
pop culture. Thanks to J. Lo and Ricky Martin …
And to Don Francisco [the variety-show host]
and Cristina [the talk-show host] and Jorge Ramos [the news anchorman].
So Jorge Ramos presents Univision’s national newscast in Spanglish?
His Spanish is not pure. It’s prostituted. He has said it himself. He says “green card” on air, not tarjeta de identidad.
Does he say “green card” in an American accent or “grincar”?
“Grincar.” And people immediately
understand. And if you saw a transcript it would be spelled g-r-i-n-c-a-r. No
need to define it.
And this is exactly what has the purists in Madrid and in Latin America cringing. Spanish departments in this country are also up in arms about it. You are advocating the death of Spanish, Stavans.
Spanish departments in this country are
filled with people from the older generations, who came here as refugees or
political exiles from Latin America, often hating the United States but coming
here as the only option from, say, Chile or Argentina. They became ostriches in
Spanish departments, got tenure, and now all these kids, 20, 30 years younger
than they are that use a different Spanish than theirs are coming into the
classroom. And these professors look down at this culture as it not being as
powerful as García Márquez or as Luisa Valenzuela, which is
So it’s both a generational issue and an argument of high culture versus low culture.
It is a younger generation that is embracing
Spanglish. And I think that the dialectic between high culture and low culture
is fascinating. I think those shows are certainly low culture. But we are
witnessing the transition of Spanglish from a pop culture to a more middlebrow
and even avant-garde approach. Something that high culture, or the more
sophisticated minds, are embracing.
You’re telling me that Don Francisco would be considered …
Considered kitsch. Kitsch that is
embraceable, empowering. It’s the equivalent of the rascuache, kitsch
with an ethnic twist. Chicanos in the 1960s dressing like Tin-Tan were
rascuache. For a while, parents bought your cheap slippers at Kmart, and
everybody looked down at you in the neighborhood because you didn’t have the
slippers or the T shirts or the nice jacket that other kids had. But there came
a time in the ’60s when they said “well, let’s buy those slippers because
that is the culture that we come from and it’s a form of empowerment.
The whole La Raza movement.
Yes. I think there is an
upper-middle-educated class of young, urban Latino professionals who are saying
that the Spanglish that was looked down in the ’50s and ’60s as the rotten,
broken, illegitimate form of communication is now precisely what we are—a broken
form of identity that is perfectly full. I sit in a restaurant in Miami and in
the table next to me are two young, Cuban-Americans, speaking Spanglish, going
back and forth from one language to another, coining new terms, using terms that
are localisms, and there’s nothing strange or anachronistic about it. I go to
San Antonio and I hear a doctor and a teacher, also going back and forth from
Spanish to English because they are sitting eating in a restaurant, or in a park
and they want to be heard or seen as los chicanos or los tejanos.
They want to differentiate themselves from the Anglos that are surrounding them.
I have many students who tell me that they have parents who are very unhappy
with the Spanglish that they speak. They want them to use pure Spanish, and they
feel that the presence of assimilation is messing them up. But what they do is
they come to school, and they sit in the cafeteria, and they use Spanglish that
will define their turf vis-à-vis the other ethnic groups. Two Asians come in and
you immediately see the two Latinos speaking Spanglish. For me, it’s the shaping
of a new identity that is just astonishing.
Then you also have the Anglo argument against Spanglish.
That’s a question of assimilation and
entering the melting pot. Other immigrant groups have come with their own
languages of communication, Gaelic, German, Italian and Yiddish, and after two
or three generations those languages have all but vanished. There are relics of
them in the English language, but those immigrant groups have very much become
part of the United States. They’ve learned the English of the United States.
Latinos are not doing the same thing.
So Latinos are raising some questions of American identity.
Right, like has the American Dream
collapsed? Is the melting pot no longer melting the new, the incoming
immigrants? Have we failed as culture? It brings up the whole issue of the
Founding Fathers and what America’s job in the world is. Are Latinos proving us
all wrong, or maybe we have to be more emphatic and angrier and more forceful
with Latinos to make them speak English.
Because if not, they’re going to take over?
Because they’re going to take over, because
they’re not going to learn the language. And they’re going to create a country
within the country. By the way, I don’t think that that’s true.
Let’s take that argument a little bit further. If they don’t learn the language, they also will not follow the rules of what being an American means?
Right. English is the great equalizer.
Through language comes education, through language comes political
participation, language becomes the way of being and of dreaming, and all that,
and then the “I love you, America.” And that is not happening.
But why isn’t it happening?
I actually think that it is a false
argument. On the one hand, it’s true that Latinos have not followed the same
patterns [as] when Jews or Italians learned the language. By the second or third
generation, the grandchildren already spoke English and Yiddish or Italian
became a topic of nostalgia. Latinos are a very different group in that no other
immigrant group has come from just across the border. The geographical proximity
really changes the spectrum. For a Mexican to live in San Antonio, and in half
hour to be on the other side—you don’t forget the past the way an Italian from
Palermo or an Irish from Dublin did. Yes, Latinos have not abandoned their
language the way other groups have but they are also embracing English. They
speak both Spanish and English. And that angers some people in this
I am not convinced that is going to happen. It’s the first time it’s happening, so we are seeing and learning as we live it, I guess. But I’m not holding my breath. As much as I enjoy Spanglish, I’m not sure it’s not going to end up like Yiddish and that no more than 15 words will enter the language and become household words.
The Jews came between 1850 and 1930, and
that’s it. But Latinos have been coming and coming. But with Spanish it’s
different. Once the Nicaraguans begin forgetting Spanish, there come the
Salvadorans, and once the Salvadorans stop coming, the Guatemalans come, and
then there come the Nicaraguans again …
And the Ecuadorians, and then the Colombians. So as long as there is political turmoil and poverty in Latin America and both are going to be around for a while, there will be Spanglish por lontain—that’s my Spanglish for “for a long time.” But it is true that it is a different language than the one I grew up with. The public announcements are in a Spanish that is very different from the Spanish that you and I grew up with.
You ride the subway and you see all those ads that they put on top or on the door, you know, WATCH YOUR STEP: vea tu paso, which means see your step
ads are being written unconsciously into Spanglish by people who are convinced
they are using correct Spanish.
By people who don’t know sufficient Spanish,
but that’s the culture that we have and mistakes will become patterns.
At first, I have to admit they feel like desecrated Spanish and then you learn to enjoy the deformities and actually see the poetics. So what power can a few old teachers and stodgy men in Madrid have against a whole generation of American kids who want to keep some kind of cultural identity? By the way, what’s your favorite Spanglish word?
The latest one is colorid, which is
being used all over Argentina. It comes from caller ID. I love socketes
for socks and washeteria is such a beautiful word. It makes you feel that
you are being washed yourself.
Well I think we should come up with a word for “lighten up” for all the controversy—how would we spell lighten up? L-a-i-t-e-n-o?
With an accent on the o, and there we start
at the beginning of our talk, we are making up words.
Well, that’s my contribution to your lexicon.
About the Author
Silvana Paternostro is the author of “In the
Land of God and Man: A Latin Woman’s Journey” (Plume/Penguin) and a senior
fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York City.
© 2003 Newsweek, Inc.
3.- THE IMPACT OF ORAL NARRATIVE IN THE CLASSROOM – PART 2
Today we are publishing the last part of the article that our dear SHARER Graciela Obregón from Santa Fé sent us. If you missed part one, you can always find it in the SHARE Archives of our Website: www.ShareEducation.com.ar
The Power of Storytelling
During interviews, students repeatedly discussed the plots of stories by relating them to their own life experience. Bruner (1990) calls this the creation of a "transactional relationship" between reality, memory, and imaginary/narrative worlds. Transactional connections help learners to what they know in order to contextualize what is unknown, thereby affording the learner, in this case the story-listener, with the power to control understanding and knowledge.
Findings show that students participated in this transactional relationship in many ways. For example, students often linked their life history to that of story characters by discussing the details and actions in stories with visual images that they had enjoyed through movies, video games, and television shows.
Larry: When I thought about the evil knights in this story I thought about this game I can play called war craft. It has this knight with these horns and you can click right on him and he moves or he doesn't more and he can say things. They associated story images with familiar events and places in their own lives.
Brendan: I just imagined that this guy. I just pictured him with the hair (the King of Ireland's Thirteenth Son) and in the background I thought [about Lincoln]. I go to Lincoln State Park every year and I am at this campsite across from this well. And we walked in and we could see that over the water there was this big tree that had fell down and it fell down and that's what I pictured. Except I didn't picture a big tree I pictured a little trail that goes like that. And there would be all these rocks over here and the mountains over there and a bunch of things like that.
Thomas: When I heard about the fight (in The King of Ireland's Thirteenth Son) I thought about these stands and these people walking around saying 'peanuts, peanuts, get your peanuts.' And these guys all piled up in the fight.
They also made empathic connections to story characters by consistently using phrases such as; "if I were like him;" "If I were her," or; "that's just like me."
Matt: Yeah, I'd be like the thirteen son of the King of Ireland, yeah. Because, he got to use his sword, and a stick, and a sling shot, and a bow. And he got to do something I like to do too, clean house and gardening and stuff.
Kimberly: Tokyo stood up to the dragon and after that the dragon went to go after her and he roared and if I were her I'd be scared. I think she was scared and brave.
Peg: I liked the girl in the story because she always would look in the mirror at herself, like me because I'm always combing my hair and putting it up.
In this way, the storytelling experience was both educative and powerful because it allowed students an opportunity of controlling their understanding through a comparison, or negotiation, of real and fantasy worlds.
James: Well in real life she would have died because she was gone for like a whole two or three years wasn't it? And how could she make money to get food? Because I don't think that she had that much food in her back pack unless she stopped and made some vegetables and took some vegetables and peanuts.
Developing A Storytelling Relationship
When students were asked what they thought about the experience of storytelling, all had positive responses. They liked the storytelling sessions because of their entertainment value ("it was fun") and because storytelling was "funny," "cool," and "really neat." Storytelling also helped to make information "interesting." For example, Kimberly felt that storytelling was "important because they come from so many different countries and stuff... that is what keeps them from being boring." Laura's opinion was that "the way stories were told" was more important than the content of the tales. She observed that "its got to be good telling to make it a good story, otherwise it's boring."
The fact that students focused on how the story was told, as opposed to the content of the stories themselves, was surprising since one of the assumptions underlying this study was the belief that it was the material, i.e. plots, characters, and motifs, that was most important to children. Students disagreed with this premise and felt, instead, that without the activity of telling, along with the interest and drama it evoked, the story content would have less value. The subsequent meaning gleaned from the roles, motifs, and archetypes of stories had more impact when told orally (as opposed to reading them from a book).
The most powerful part of the storytelling, according to students, was the "way it gets told" and the relationship that developed between the teller and listener.
Laura: I'd choose a storyteller coming in and telling, it's better in school, it's better than reading a book. Because you (the storyteller) can make it more funnier and you don't have to follow (read) the real story.
Missy: well I thought the storytelling was cool. It's the way you tell them with the voices and stuff.
Brendan: I've never heard so many stories! I barely even know any stories. If I took a chunk off my brain, a part that I knew would grow back and I took off that part that had all the stories I know it wouldn't even hardly be that big. But its been growing since you came and started to tell stories. Yes! ... Those hero stories and stuff, you make them seem like it is so funny and stuff. That's what I liked, how you make it funny. Hero stories are not supposed to be funny but I like them better when they are.
Storytelling, students agreed, created relationships between students and the story, between the story and life experience, and between the teller and the listener. Missy described this relationship as being "an ambassador." She observed that when stories were told aloud the teller was behaving like an ambassador because she was bringing stories from other cultures and other places to the school. A storyteller is like an ambassador because the teller is a bridge builder, a person who broadens the discourse by describing images and messages from other worlds. A teller, like an ambassador, also creates détente.
Missy: Storytelling is being an ambassador, for me you are [an ambassador] 'cause you make people happy.
In addition, Steven observed that hearing stories encouraged him to talk and tell more stories.
Steven: the way you played her out (the witch in the story) was good. See, I think that is one of the key thing in storytelling—[it] is like acting out the characters well. I wouldn't do it so good.
Researcher: what is another key thing about storytelling?
Steven: You don't tell it the same way twice. And well you exaggerate sometimes. I think it would be better if [teachers would tell stories more] because it adds more fun into the day but it can raise conversation in class.
Researcher: is that bad?
Steven: Well, conversations during math and stuff. Conversations about the story while you are doing math and stuff, like playing a math game, and then you start to talk about the story instead of doing what you are supposed to do.
Storytelling & Learning about Identity
Data indicate that combining storytelling with post-performance discussions enhanced students' ability to clarify and examine their value systems. When students were presented with a variety of stories from disparate cultural texts, they began to examine their own biases and conceptions. For example, while storytelling allowed students to reflect on their own condition by hearing about life through the lens of story, students also had an opportunity to see their own lives more clearly and in some cases differently.
Matt: well he did battle to marry the princess, that was an awful lot of battling, I would have done that!! It's fun. I do it with my brothers and wrestling is fun. Sometimes, when they don't get hurt.
Jacob: I'd like to be that guy with the golden hair because I would have more strength.
Through the process of listening, consuming, and reflecting on stories, students clarified their own values and their own condition.
Stories and story discussions also provided descriptions of others unlike themselves.
Missy: Well[in the story] girls and women should be doing what they want I guess. They would do what they want... I think women should do anything they want.
Jacob: being adventurous is a boy thing. ...but the girl didn't run away (like the boys in the story did), If girls get embarrassed or something usually they just stand there and go 'So?' Like me, I was jump roping and I lost my pants. I was definitely embarrassed. I ran away.
The stories also gave students a greater palette of images to choose from.
Many students had a difficult time with the behavior of nontraditional heroes and heroines portrayed in some of the stories. Children struggled with the concepts of warrior women and housekeeping men. They had an especially hard time accepting the behavior of the princess Atalanta who defied her father by refusing to marry.
Walter: Well, its her choice to get married or not. And she should go by her own life and if she doesn't want to get married then it's her own fault. If she gets to be an old crippled lady and then she dies and there's nobody to rule the kingdom, then people could come over and attack and stuff. It would be her fault.
As this study progressed, however, and as more stories containing differing viewpoints were told, many of the children began to either challenge their own traditional and conformist ideas or to adjust their social consciousness.
The activity of storytelling along with the content of the stories told, had an impact on students' interpersonal relationships, empathy, and interest. Through stories and storytelling, children were exposed to long-standing archetypal models that engaged their imaginations. Storytelling stimulated sympathetic responses as well and caused students to think more deeply about their social world.
The telling of traditional texts in educational environments raised student consciousness and enriched the lives by engaging them in thinking critically and deeply about social issues. This enrichment, in turn, influenced their discourse and reflections—especially pertaining to issues of diversity and equity. As they participated in story-listening and post-telling discussions they began to identify cultural norms and standards and were able to explore their own lives through the lens of story. In addition, storytelling provided a model for students to create relationships between themselves and the teacher/researcher. Finally, storytelling provided an educative environment that helped children develop individual perspectives.
By participating in storytelling, the children in this study created transactional experiences that increased their knowledge of self and others. They did this by reflecting on images and conditions in stories and linking them to known cultural concepts and paradigms. Therefore, storytelling needs to be understood as a way of knowing, and as such, we need to recognize it for the valuable educative tool that it is.
By examining the content of stories along with the form in which the stories were communicated, students were given an opportunity to explore what Jackson (1995) calls the "epistemological function" of stories in schools. As he points out, "stories do not simply contain knowledge, they are themselves the knowledge we want students to possess" (p.5). In addition, when students in this study were exposed to a consistent diet of storytelling and when they were asked to explore the ways that these stories functioned they began to reflect on their own positions within society. This is what Egan (1997) defines as developing a "romantic understanding," or emotional perception, of story content. Students often spontaneously discussed their empathic responses after listening to stories. This was probably because, as Egan posits, stories and storytelling required them to actively engage in content by using both their emotional intelligence and their cognitive ability.
Egan (1997) sees the educative and creative value of stories as the primary function of narrative expression. For him storytelling is a generative activity that creates an integrated and "educated mind," one that is connected to both the logical and imaginative ways of knowing. He also suggests that stories, both in format and presentation, are essential pedagogical tools for teaching and learning.
Egan's assertions have merit (1997). Although the research reported here is limited in scope, findings indicate that storytelling enhanced the students' abilities to reflect and develop relationships between the texts, teller, and themselves. As a result, these relationships supported and amplified students' comprehension, listening, and interaction with others.
Stories, in this instance, were also tools that linked participants to the social world of school. The fact that these students made connections to their own lives as well as relating empathetically with others after the storytelling experience indicates that participating as a listener of stories was an important act of negotiation and diplomacy. Students also used the storytelling event as an opportunity to connect and explore relationships. The act of telling, combined with the content of the stories themselves, became the link that connected the learner with both interpersonal and intrapersonal realms. Therefore, narratives are found to be seminally important to the learning and development of children.
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About the Author
Robin Mello, Ph.D., a professional storyteller, recieved her doctorate at Lesley University. Currently she is an assistant professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she has founded a multicultural/educational storytelling group called "Stories of Our Roots."
International Journal of Education and the Arts
Volume 2 Number 1 - February 2, 2001
4.- MY NANNIE SPEAKS SPANGLISH
Our dear SHARER José Luís García has sent us another tongue-in-cheek contribution:
Tengo un big problem. My nanny es spanglish, habla en spanglish,
piensa en spanglish y a mí me educa
en spanglish. Every night me cuenta cuentos, like this: Once upon a time, iba Caperucita
throught the forest when, de
repente, ¡zas! The wolf!. El lobo said to Caperucita: Where vas tan
pretty, Caperucita?... etc. etc. A cuenta de it, I am aprendiendo a to
talk de la same way y now I have verdaderos problems para poder hacer que la
people pueda understand me.
Cada morning cuando I wake up de la bed y voy
al bathroom, me miro en el mirror and I pienso: What kind of future me
espera?... Cómo could
I relacionarme correctly with the
people? How can I evitar las smiles de la
people, when they me oyen to speak?.
Because, ¡claro! Es muy strong hear me hablar. Sometimes, cuando I want pedir algo into a shop, el dependiente se vuelve medio crazy, trying de entenderme. He gives me sopa en lugar de jabón y things por el estilo, and so he decidido no hacer more shopping.
¡En fin! All my life es un sufrimiento continous,
al no poder expresarme with property. A pesar de it, my parents no quieren to change
de niñera, because they think que it is muy "chic" y creen que I am learning
inglés de verdad. Incluso they are pensando en to send me a los United States o
perhaps a Ireland, para que perfeccione the language. Oh, my god! Qué can I do en un country de esos? Here in spain,
al menos, entiendo a la people
(more or less) y casi consigo que me entiendan.
And sumando all these cosas, no puedo more que belive que, thanks to my niñera, I am
I don't konw si me habéis understood....
5.- MACMILLAN EDUCATIONAL UPDATE COURSES IN LA PLATA
Our dear SHARER Claudia Kowalczuk from Macmillan has sent us this announcement:
Saturday 15th November in La Plata
This talk by Omar Villarreal
Omar is a Teacher of English and Technical English from Instituto Nacional Superior del Profesorado Técnico. He is a Licenciado en Ciencias de la Educación from Universidad Católica de la Plata and a Licenciado en Tecnología Educativa from Facultad Regional Avellaneda – Universidad Tecnológica Nacional. He is a University Lecturer in the field of Applied Linguistics and English Language. His post-graduate studies include Applied Linguistics (INSPLV) and Educational Research (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba).
An interactive and dazzling workshop on how to exploit children’s stories to the fullest.
Stay Tuned to Your Secondary Students´ Needs!
Connect! a new Macmillan course for secondary students that offers unconventional and innovative ways to connect.
Both talks by María Marcela Marianelli
Marcela graduated as a teacher of English at St. Catherine’s Teacher Training College in Belgrano. She has a vast teaching experience in both state and semibilingual schools. Former FCE and CAE teacher at St.Trinnean´s School in San Isidro. Former Regente de estudios at Instituto Superior Santa Trinidad. ELT Consultant for Macmillan Publishers since 1988.
and time : Saturday, 15 November 10:00
Venue: Centro Cultural Islas Malvinas - Avenida nº 19 y nº 51, La Plata
Enrolment: The House Books - Tel. 0221 4214396 or Macmillan firstname.lastname@example.org
6.- TEA FOR HEADS OF DEPARTMENT IN LA PLATA
Next Saturday 15th of November, Omar Villarreal will have tea with a group of Heads of English Department in La Plata. Seated around the tea table, the heads of department will participate in the following activities:
17:00 – 17:20 Leadership in Educational Institutions: The Case of the English Department.
17:20 – 17:50 Presentation of TOP TEENS
17:50 – 18:20 Intercambio informal – Preguntas y Respuestas
18:20 Presentation of Macmillan gift bag to all participants.
Venue : Ways Institute- Avda 7 Nro 1942 entre 512 y 513 – La Plata
Omar is the Head of the English Department at Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Nro 41 de Adrogué and coordinates the Area of ELT Pedagogy at INSPT –Universidad Tecnológica Nacional. He was the Head of English and Director of Studies of Colegio “Los Molinos”, Colegio “Modelo Lomas” and Instituto Modelo Banfield. He was also Regente of Instituto Superior del Profesorado Modelo and Director of the School of English at Universidad Austral.
This event has been conceived of as a cozy meeting with friends in which personal interaction is of outmost importance, that is why, ONLY 20 vacancies will be strictly allotted. Proof of status as Head of Department will be required upon enrolment.
The event will be hosted by our dear SHARER Susan Cantera of WAYS Institute who will offer tea, sandwiches and cakes and her warm hospitality to this most exclusive audience.
Enrolment: Ways Institute- 0221-4845194 or email@example.com
7.- APIBA´S END-OF-YEAR ACTIVITIES
Our dear SHARERS Alejandra Jorge and Silvia Rettarolli send us this information on behalf of APIBA
Saturday, November 29th – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Venue IES en Lenguas Vivas “J. R. Fernández”
2.00 to 3.30 pm. Classrooms 4th floor: Individual SIG meetings, attended by members (both regular and members-to-be!) and coordinators of the following study groups: Applied Linguistics SIG, Cultural Studies SIG, Language SIG, Phonology SIG, Professional Development SIG (Pilar), SLT (Second Language Teaching) SIG (Lomas de Zamora / Bernal), Professional Development SIG (Olavarría).
3.30 to 4.00 pm, Auditorium Hall 4th floor: Coffee-break / Commercial exhibition
to 4.50 pm, Auditorium 4th floor: General Meeting of SIG members and
4.50 to 5.10 pm, Auditorio Hall 4th floor: Commercial exhibition.
5.10 pm APIBA´s End-of-the-Year Toast
All APIBA Members and their friends are invited to the End-of-Year party to be held at Primera Plana (Posadas 1011, La Recova de Posadas) on Saturday, November 29 at 5.10 pm. We're looking forward to seeing you there!!!
We hope to see you all there!
Alejandra Jorge and Silvia Rettarolli, -APIBA SIGs Liaison Officers firstname.lastname@example.org
8- YES! THE TV PROGRAMME FOR TEACHERS OF ENGLISH
Our dear SHARER Charlie Lopez has sent us this advance information about his well-known television programme:
Leonor Corradi - 'Teaching young learners'
Emisión: Lunes 10 de noviembre a las 19.30 Hs, martes 11 a las 11 y 17.30 Hs, miércoles 12 a las 7 Hs y viernes 14 a las 7 Hs.
Estari - Exhibición de material de MM
Emisión: Lunes 17 de noviembre a las 19.30 Hs, martes 18 a las 11 y 17.30 Hs, miércoles 19 a las 7 Hs y viernes 21 a las 7 Hs.
Analía Kandel - 'Homework'
Emisión: Lunes 24 de noviembre a las 19.30 Hs, martes 25 a las 11 y 17.30 Hs, miércoles 26 a las 7 Hs y viernes 28 a las 7 Hs.
YeS is broadcast by satellite across Argentina and Latin America five times a week by MAGAZINE (MULTICANAL AND DIRECT TV) - Mondays 19:30 - Tuesdays 11:00 and 17:30 - Wednesdays 7.00 and Fridays 7.00
YeS is hosted by Charlie López - M.A. in Teaching English as a foreign language – University of Reading U.K.
9.- MOVING HOUSE
Both Macmillan and CUP are moving house, our dear friends and SHARERS Mary Anne Warburton and Andy Paz , manager of Macmillan and Cambridge University Press respectively have sent us these notes:
Macmillan on the move!
On 7th November Macmillan Publishers S.A. is moving to a new office/distribution warehouse. As form 10th November you can find them at:
Emilio Frers 2154 - B1640DYB Martínez – Pcia de Buenos Aires
CUP´s new office
Cambridge would like to announce the move of its office to Martínez. Please, jot down our new address:
Cambridge University Press
Emilio Frers 2228 - 1640 – Martínez - Pcia de Buenos Aires
10.- “A SPA FOR THE SOUL” IN RAFAELA
Our dear SHARER Susana Pfafen has an invitation to make:
“A Spa for your Soul” a 3-day NLP course with Laura Szmuch in Rafaela on 16,17 & 18 February 2004.-
We are eagerly looking forward to this “retreat” which, to put it in Laura’s words, will undoubtly be an “uplifting experience”.
“This course is for you, the person inside the teacher. 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 live.”
“Our soul is what inspires us, what keeps us on the move, what fills us with passion for what we are and do. When we live a soulful life, absolutely all the rest takes care of itself.”
“A Spa for your Soul” will be three days to stop and reflect, gain insights, energy and inspiration, in a wonderful atmosphere of trust and self-discovery.”
“If you have ever felt
that there is more to life than what you can perceive now,
stop, breathe and do something about it. Change your level of awareness. Open your perspective. Smile an inner smile. Learn to shine. Change the idea of surviving for the amazingly beautiful notion of thriving.
Enjoy life. Share. Meditate. Express your love. Flow. Connect. Radiate.
Shine. Stretch. Look up.Give your soul a Spa."
“A Spa for your Soul” is a NLP course designed to
provide participants with:
* Ideas to organise their time and activities in a functional way
* Close examination of their beliefs and values in connection with their personal and professional life
* Special techniques for goal setting
* How to deal with stress (their own stress and their students')
* Visualisation and relaxation techniques
* Small changes in behaviour that foster good communication
* Suggestions on how to capitalise from the positive aspects of their experience.
Enrolment started in October, so that you can pay in 3 instalments. ( different prices if you enrol in November or December). Vacancies are limited
Please contact us for further details. Looking forward to hearing from you!
11.- NEWS FROM PITMAN QUALIFICATIONS- CITY & GUILDS
Our dear SHARER Silvia Requejo wants to SHARE this information with all of us:
We are very glad to announce that Universidad Austral has recognised Pitman Qualifications-City & Guilds ESOL and Spoken ESOL Intermediate, Higher Intermediate and Advanced. As from October 17th 2003 students who hold both certificates of any of these three levels are exempted from having to do the General English Course and can sit for the final General English examination directly if the course of studies they are doing requires it. Likewise, we would like to remind you that the same applies to Universidad de Belgrano since 2001.
This is a very important step towards achieving local recognition and providing students who have taken international examinations with a good chance to have their efforts rewarded not only abroad but also in our country.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon. All your queries are welcome and will be kindly answered by all members of staff.
Local Examinations Secretary
37 Warren Road School of English
Sole Representative of Pitman Qualifications-City & Guilds, UK
Rosario 531 - Buenos Aires (C1424CCK) - Tel/Fax: (011) 4901-0967/3381
12- THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF E-TEACHING ONLINE
Our dear SHARER Alicia Lopez from e-teaching online writes to us:
13- “A DAY OF LANGUAGE” IN BUENOS AIRES
Thank you for the scores of messages we received over these last few days congratulating us on our 5th Anniversary. All, absolutely all of them were special not because of an original turn of phrase or a creative pun (though there were quite a bit of these!) but because each one of you SHARERS is special to us. We chose this mail from
Brazil to close this issue because our Brazilian SHARERS are always in our mind and most importantly very close our hearts. Thank you again to ALL of you.
Dear Omar and Marina,
First of all, I'd like to congratulate you
for the excellence of SHARE and the SHARERS over these 5 years, and say I wish
it carries on for many more years yet to come.
Secondly, I'd like to see Brazil included in your readers list, as I know of a number of people who have subscribed to your e-zine.
Last, but definitely not least, I'd like to thank for the wonderful opportunity of sharing knowledge and throwing light on the language teaching field in such pleasant way.
ELT Consultant - Brazil
Ruth Rapaport <email@example.com>
Brasil, - Monday, November 03, 2003 at 13:04:55 (ART)
Omar and Marina.
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VISIT OUR WEBSITE : http://www.ShareEducation.com.ar There you can read all past issues of SHARE in the section SHARE ARCHIVES.