SHARE

 

An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©

 

Year 4                    Number 99               March 8th 2003

 

           47500 SHARERS are reading this issue of SHARE this week

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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

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Dear SHARERS,

 

This is a very sad moment in our lives. A tragedy in our own time is ensuing and there seems to be no stopping it. Some blood and money greedy men who defend old privileges which cannot be confessed are getting ready to go to war and the whole world is looking on in astonishment. Against the repudiation, in some cases, of their own allies and of the same international bodies which they themselves have helped to create and to grow to perpetuate their own interests, these men are getting ready to wage war.

What can we do from a small and impoverished country like ours? Let us get together with all the other countries to repudiate the cowards who can only promise bombs and death and pray to the only true superpower on the earth and in Heaven that He brings a light of wisdom to their deranged minds and save us all from this tragedy.

 

 

Our dear SHARER Carina Lubatti sent us this song that we have chosen to open this issue of SHARE as a prayer for Peace on Earth.

 

"From a Distance" by Bette Midler

 

From a distance the world looks blue and green,

And the snow-capped mountains white

From a distance the ocean meets the stream,

And the eagle takes to flight

From a distance, there is harmony,

And it echoes through the land

It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,

It's the voice of every man

 

From a distance we all have enough,

And no one is in need

And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,

No hungry mouths to feed

From a distance we are instruments

Marching in a common band

Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace

They're the songs of every man

 

God is watching us, God is watching us

God is watching us from a distance

From a distance you look like my friend,

Even though we are at war

From a distance I just cannot comprehend

what all this fighting is for

From a distance there is harmony,

And it echoes through the land

And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,

it's the heart of every man

It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves

This is the song of every man

And God is watching us, God is watching us,

God is watching us from a distance

Oh, God is watching us, God is watching

God is watching us from a distance

 

Love

 

Omar and Marina

 

 

 

In SHARE 99

 

1.-    Internet Reading-based Material in the Classroom (part 1).      

2.-    How the brain works: One Intelligence or More?

3.-    Good News from APRIR.

4.-    An Invitation to Write On!

5.-    An Argentinian at the Hornby Summer School.

6.-    A Message from Stephen Krashen. 

7.-    To throw in the towel and other boxing idioms.       

8.-    The Bs As. Players Previews.       

9.-    London Exams.       

10.-   Rhymes and Fingerplays.

11.-   On the Road Again!

12.-   Courses at Resourceful Teaching.

13.-   Job Opportunity.

14.-   What women think.

 

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1.-   INTERNET-BASED READING MATERIALS IN THE CLASSROOM (PART 1)

 

A dear friend and SHARER from Ontario, Canada, Professor Rosalyn Mundani sent me this article for a Tesina I am writing about Educational Technology. I thought it was very good to SHARE it with all of you.

 

Integrating Internet-based reading materials into the foreign language curriculum: From teacher –to student-centered approaches.

 

Klaus Brandl - University of Washington

 

Abstract

 

Whereas many educators enthusiastically embrace the use of Internet-based reading materials, little theoretical and empirical research exists that demonstrates how to make use of such practices in a sound pedagogical way. This article provides guidance to teachers and curriculum developers by describing three approaches to integrating Internet-based reading materials into a foreign language curriculum. The design of an Internet-based lesson is largely determined by a teacher's pedagogical approach, her/his technological expertise, and the students' language proficiency. In light of these factors, the approach to the pedagogical design of successful lessons falls along a continuum from being teacher-determined or teacher-facilitated to student-determined. In more detail, lesson designs may distinguish themselves in the following areas:

 

* the learning resources, that is, the topics and content, text type

* the scope of the learning environment, that is, the number of different sources (sites or links) to be integrated

* the learning tasks, that is, the ways in which the learners explore the reading materials, synthesize and assimilate what they have learned.

* the degree of teacher and learner involvement in determining the areas mentioned above

Based on concrete sample lessons, this article describes the strengths and challenges of each approach from a pedagogical, technological and designer's point of view.

 

Introduction

 

In recent years, the use of the World Wide Web (WWW) as a resource for language learning materials has gained increasing popularity among language teachers. As the Internet keeps expanding, listserves, newsletters, and even journal articles keep listing and pointing out potential Web sites that can be used in language learning. Furthermore, the literature on Web-based instruction reveals numerous personal accounts, informally collected student surveys, or occasionally some pilot studies on students' experiences using Internet-based resources (Brandl, 2002; Lee 1998; Osuna & Meskill, 1998; Warshauer, 2000). What still remain rare, however, are models and guidelines that are based on theoretical or empirical research findings to guide teachers and teacher trainers towards pedagogically sound practices. As Chun and Plass (2000) point out, "the use of networked environment for learning in general, and for second language acquisition in particular, raises many questions regarding the design of these environments that differ from the traditional design of text-based and stand-alone systems" (p. 152).

 

This article focuses on the exploration of authentic materials as available on the WWW in primary visual and verbal/textual modes. I will concentrate on the interpretive mode of communication, or reading skills, as this is, besides writing, currently one of the two best suited to the Web.1 In particular, I will present three different approaches to using Internet-based resources, discuss the rationale for each design based on empirical and theoretical research, and furthermore include a short description of technological skills involved. The article concludes with a list of guidelines to provide further guidance in the implementation of Internet-based lessons.

 

Developing Internet-based reading lessons: Towards a sound Pedagogical Rationale and design mso-ansi-language: ES-AR">http://usuarios.interar.com.ar/leedslondonrep

 

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10.-  RHYMES AND FINGERPLAYS

 

Our dear SHARER and old classmate Patricia Gomez has just published her first book: “Rhymes and Fingerplays: Ideas and Suggestions for Teachers”. It is a compilation of those rhymes and fingerplays that children through the ages have always gone for plus a guide with teaching tips in  Pat´s unmistakable style. We send Pat our heartfelt congratulations and wish her every success in this new endeavour.

 

Pat´s book will be presented at the following events. You are kindly invited to come:

 

Saturday, March 22 - 2:00 p.m.

 at T.E.L. Center - Thames 511, Capital

4856-0020 - telcenter@infovia.com.ar

Thursday, March 27 -  5:30 p.m. at Zeal - Av. del Libertador 15880, San Isidro

4747-3037 - zeal@sinectis.com.ar

 

Saturday, April 12 - 10:00 a.m.

 at English Matters - Mitre 1044  p.3º of.302,

San Miguel - 5264-5255 - englishmatters@terra.com.ar

The presentation plus the workshop to show the book “in action” are free of charge, but registration is essential.

 

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11.-  ON THE ROAD AGAIN!

 

Our dear SHARER Ximena Faralla wants to invite all SHARERS to the previews of her plays:

 

 

Stageplays & Storytelling Sessions for all ages.

 

We bring the magic to you!

 

On the Road Theatre Company provides lively and appealing stage plays and storytelling sessions in English for entertainment on an easy-going educational basis. Originally written on a multi-target level, our shows assert that through a whole use of the senses any child can understand and enjoy any story. Each show is tailor-made to suit the needs and adapt to the facilities of each school, from a professional theatre stage to the very classroom.

 

Tickets for plays cost $5-(consult us on special prices for group booking).

 

All shows are written and directed by Ximena Faralla. Ms Faralla has been a teacher of English for over 13 years and an actress for nearly twenty. A Kindergarten Coordinator and Literature Teacher, Ximena has run Drama Workshops for kids since 1994 writing and directing her own plays customised to the groups interests and needs.

 

OUR PLAYS

 

Dracula?- the famous tale with a twist in the tail-

On the Road brings the all time favourite villain from the crypt onto the stage in this chilling  comedy with unexpected turns.

Preview: March 21st, 8:30 PM. “The Playhouse”, Moreno 80, San Isidro.

 

Snow White 2003

Fairy tale characters are brought back to life in this modern cocktail of stories where

the Wicked Witch tries her last attempt to become the fairest of them all.

Preview: March 25th, 8:30 PM. “The Playhouse”, Moreno 80, San Isidro.

 

New in 2003!

 

Beauty and the Beast – the play.

A new version of the classic, based on the original folk tale. Beauty meets her Beast and a myriad questions about values and the humanity hidden within arise.

Preview: April 1st, “The Playhouse”, Moreno 80, San Isidro. 8:30 PM

 

The Edgar Allan Poe Collection

On the Road brings Edgar Allan Poe´s classic short stories down to a one hour show in which the main characters have become narrators of their tragic and fatal stories. The Fall of the House of Usher and The Barrel of Amontillado, plus: a special version of The Red Death.

Preview: April 22nd, “The Playhouse”, Moreno 80, San Isidro. 8:30 PM

 

OUR STORYTELLING SESSIONS

Kindergarten : Beauty and the Beast

The classic tale in a 25 minute enacted session. Six characters played by two actors. Music, songs and a lively scenery provide youngsters with an easy to follow storytelling session which leaves a moral to work on as well as triggering interest in book reading.

 

Primary School :

Red Riding Hood & her Robin - The Story of Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood

A twist which joins two classic tales such as these ones, arousing children´s interest in classics and triggering their imagination to any other possible combination. 25 minutes of an active enacted storytelling session.

 

The Haunted House - A Halloween Story

When Nick & Veronica decide to enter the Haunted House several revolting surprises are awaiting them. A 25 minute long enacted story with simple vocabularies and spooky realia.

 

Secondary School : The Fall of the House of Usher

"On the Road" brings Edgar Allan Poe´s short story down to a 30 minute session in which the main characters have become narrators of their tragic and fatal story.

 

Previews to these four storytelling sessions: March 27th,8:30 PM. “The Playhouse”, Moreno 80, San Isidro. Booking to all previews is essential. Limited seats! Please, make sure you contact us well in advance before all previews. - 4568-7125 - info@ontheroadonline.com

www.ontheroadonline.com

 

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12.-  COURSES AT RESOURCEFUL TEACHING

 

Our dear friend and SHARER Jamie Duncan has sent us some information about his 2003 Courses

 

Resourceful Teaching - Jamie Duncan and Laura Szmuch announce their courses for 2003.

Free talk on NLP - Saturday March 15 at 10 am 

There will be a free talk on NLP as applied to education for those who would like to know more.  You will also get more details on the training courses we give such as the Practitioner Certificate and Master Practitioner Certificate.

Enrolment essential. Contact:  lauraszmuch@aol.com or jamie@abaconet.com.ar  or phone (005411) 4641-9068 - Website: http://rt.dyndns.dk

Certificate Courses for 2003

Practitioner Certificate

We will begin a new course on Saturday April 5 for those who want the full Practitioner Course training with international certificate.  This course is of 130 hours and will run on Saturdays once a month during 2003 and 2004. 

Master Practitioner Certificate

We will open a new course to start on April 12.  This 13 module course also offers international certification.  You need to have completed the Practitioner Certificate or some similar training to be accepted on the course.  Please note that we do not offer this course every year and the next starting date will be 2005! 

Details of these course syllabuses can be found on the website, Website: http://rt.dyndns.dk or can be sent to you by e-mail upon request. e-mail: jamie@abaconet.com.ar  lauraszmuch@aol.com

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13.-  JOB OPPORTUNITY

 

Teacher required for Primary School substitution April-September 2003 – 5th grade.

City of Buenos Aires. Please e-mail : gabarain@ciudad.com.ar for an interview.

 

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14.-  WHAT WOMEN THINK

 

 

We thought a good way to pay homage to all women on their day was to reflect in the very few lines of a quotation the way different women thought at different times in history.

As a further homage to them let it be said that all of these quotations show these women´s concern for love, life and well-being of self and others. Can we expect more wisdom from an ordinary human being? Because after all that´s what they are, even when they insist on masquerading themselves as Super Moms, Super Wives, Super Daughters, Super Sisters, Super Friends or Super Teachers!  

 

 

How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak? Isabel Allende (writer)

 

Art is not necessary at all. All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live in is to love—to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved. Isadora Duncan (dancer)

 

 

Almsgiving tends to perpetuate poverty; social aid does away with it once and for all. Almsgiving leaves a man just where he was before. Social Aid restores him to society as an individual worthy of all respect and not as a man with a grievance. Charity is the generosity of the rich; social aid levels up social inequalities. Eva Perón (politician) 

 

If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter. Margaret Mead (anthropologist)

 

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can decide how you're going to live now. Joan Baez (songwriter and singer)

 

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. Virginia Woolf

(writer)

 

I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them. Jane Austen

(writer)

 

Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. Doris Lessing (writer)

 

Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. Marilyn Monroe (actress)

 

At work, you think of the children you've left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself, your heart is rent. Golda Meir (politician)

 

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. Marie Curie

(scientist)

 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt (civil rights fighter)

 

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist." Maria Montessori (educator)

 

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! Maya Angelou

(writer)

 

I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing. Katherine Mansfield (writer)

 

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This week we want to say goodbye with a message and a little story that our dear SHARER and great collaborator Bethina Viale has sent to us. We take advantage of this opportunity to thank Bethina for her almost weekly contributions to SHARE and her unfailing faith in us. Bethina was one of our first SHARER and contributed the quotation about the candle with which we open every issue.

Queridos Marina y Omar:

Como seguramente van a recibir re-muchos e-mails para los 100 números de Share, yo los felicito por los 98, que son re-útiles. Más que nada les agradezco el permitirme conocerlos. Son personas tan generosas que dan ganas de imitarlos.

Muchas gracias por todo lo que hacen por nosotros.

Muchos besotes y, of course, feliz 99 y felices 100 también.

Besotes,

Bethina

 

Las 3 rejas

El joven discípulo de un filósofo sabio llega a su casa y le dice:
- Maestro, un amigo estuvo hablando de ti con malevolencia.
- Espera! - lo interrumpe el filósofo - ¿Hiciste pasar por las tres rejas lo que vas a contarme?
- ¿Las tres rejas?
- Sí. La primera es la VERDAD. ¿Estás seguro de que lo que quieres decirme es absolutamente cierto?
- No. Lo oí comentar a unos vecinos.
- Al menos lo habrás hecho pasar por la segunda reja, que es la BONDAD ¿Eso que deseas decirme es bueno para alguien?
- No, en realidad, no. Al contrario.
- ¡Ah, vaya! La última reja es la NECESIDAD. ¿Es necesario hacerme saber eso que tanto te inquieta?
- A decir verdad, no.
Entonces dijo el sabio sonriendo:
- Si no es verdad, ni bueno, ni necesario, sepultémoslo en el olvido.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!

 

Omar and Marina.

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SHARE is distributed free of charge. All announcements in this electronic magazine are also absolutely free of charge. We do not endorse any of the services announced or the views expressed by the contributors.  For more information about the characteristics and readership of SHARE visit: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/ShareMagazine

VISIT OUR WEBSITE : http://www.ShareEducation.com.ar There you can read all past  issues of SHARE in the section SHARE ARCHIVES.

 

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The Internet as a resource can enrich and expand language instruction. There are numerous reasons in favor of integrating the Internet into a language curriculum.

Chun and Plass (2000, p. 161) mention general capabilities of features of the WWW that have the potential to enhance language learning. These are a) the universal availability of authentic materials, b) the communication capabilities through networking, c) the multimedia capabilities, and d) the nonlinear (hypermedia) structure of the information. The most compelling reason is definitely the convenience in accessing and obtaining an endless supply of authentic materials in target languages. The WWW has brought the world to the fingertips of each learner. Applying the WWW to foreign language teaching also provides the opportunity to meet the Standards in several ways (Walz, 1998): "Competence in more than one language and culture enables people to gain access to additional bodies of knowledge; … all students learn in a variety of ways and settings; … language and culture education incorporate effective technologies; and using the Web is consistent with learning theories about learning to read authentic materials" (p. 104).

As pointed out by the rationale above, there are numerous convincing arguments in favor of integrating Internet-based materials into a foreign language curriculum. At the same time, several arguments can be made that ask for a more cautious approach when using the Internet.

 

The Internet is not an ideal way of delivering instruction, and there are numerous challenges to overcome.

First, there are still many limitations on interactivity and bandwidth. Second, the hyper-linked structure and presentation of information on the Internet may easily cause students to get lost. Third, we have no control over the quality and accuracy of the contents of the information. In other words, the use of the Internet resources completely depends on reader judgment, which presupposes solid language proficiency and critical reading skills. Fourth, little theoretical and empirical research actually exists that demonstrates how to make use of Internet-based materials or how to design tasks that allow the learners to explore these materials and yield expected learning outcomes. In the same vein, little is known about students' attitudes towards the integration of Web-based readings in the foreign language curriculum.

 

From teacher to student-centered approaches

 

An important principle of communicative language teaching is the use of authentic materials. A great deal of research has been conducted on how to integrate such materials along with pedagogically well-designed reading tasks into the foreign language curriculum (for a review of selected readings on design of reading lessons see Grellet, 1981; Lee & VanPatten, 1995; Omaggio-Hadley, 2001). As Omaggio-Hadley points out, the design of appropriate comprehension tasks for written discourse becomes a function of text type, the purpose for which the comprehender is reading, and the background information and language proficiency skills the reader brings to the text. In general, instructional strategies that have been suggested constitute a combination of bottom-up, top-down, and interactive approaches that guide the learner to approach the processing and decoding of a text from different perspectives (for a review see Omaggio-Hadley, 2001; Grellet, 1981). Such instructional practices by-and-large can be applied most successfully in a text-specific approach, in which the instructor guides the learners through a text, matching text and reading tasks with the proficiency level and needs of the students. Undoubtedly, there are many pedagogical justifications for this approach.

In principal, the approach to task and lesson design of Internet-based reading materials should follow the same guidelines suggested in the literature on reading methodology. Needless to say, the open-ended structure of the Internet limits the possibility of a text-specific and interactive teacher-student approach. Furthermore, the use of the Internet as a learning environment requires some technological skills and knowledge. This raises the question on how to take full advantage of the vast amount of Internet resources. In particular, what technological skills are necessary and how can learning tasks be designed that make Internet-based resources accessible to the learners.

 

By-and-large, little empirical Internet-based research exists that provides us with clear guidelines. Furstenberg (1997) suggests student tasks should "exploit the associative nature of hypertext or hypermedia so that students can collaboratively discover and construct new connections, which they combine in a coherent whole" (p. 24). She sees the role of the instructor or Web designer as that of designing "tasks that enable students to tell us what they have seen, learned, or understood and that enable students to work collaboratively to create valid arguments, contexts, and stories that they can support, illustrate, and justify" (p. 24). An effective way to engage foreign language (FL) students in an active-interactive reading process is also to have them write about what they read. Writing about one's reading experience seems to facilitate reading comprehension and leads to the discovery of the different factors that intervene in the reading process (Martínez-Lage, 1995; Zamel, 1992). Warshauer (1997) recommends that computer-mediated communication activities be experiential and goal-oriented, and that tasks be consistent with principles of situated learning (i.e., that learners engage in meaningful tasks and solve meaningful problems that are of interest to the learners and can also be applied in multiple contexts). Such principles in activity design also need to apply to the use and exploration of Internet-based resources.

 

The findings of a recent study by Osuna and Meskill (1998) provide support for Warshauer's recommendations. Their research involved the piloting of five Spanish language activities for which they used the Internet. The activities consisted of planning a family trip to Madrid, describing photos from Argentina, comparing the Universidad Autónoma de México to the students' own college, finding places for leisure activities in Chile, and creating an authentic Mexican meal. They assessed 13 learners' perceptions of their experiences in terms of both language and cultural learning, as well as their attitudes towards the medium. Based on the results, their subjects enjoyed theses activities and believed that their language and cultural knowledge increased quite a bit. An interpretation of their data suggests that the subjects assessed those tasks that engaged them in real-world activities highest, as it was in particular the case with the creation of an authentic Mexican meal, and least so with the description of photos from Argentina.

 

Considering the variety of factors (e.g., curricular goals, pedagogical issues, learner needs, student proficiency levels, the hypertext-based structure of the Internet, technological and design issues) that influence the decision whether and how to use the Internet, I propose three different types of lesson designs that lend themselves well to integrate Internet-based resources into a foreign language learning curriculum. The three lesson designs are based on the degree of teacher and student involvement in determining the content (choice and selection of topics and Internet-based materials), the scope of the learning environment (number of different sources: sites or links), and the learning processes and tasks (ways of exploring the reading materials). In other words, the design of such lessons may distinguish themselves ranging from being very teacher-centered, where teachers take a central role in controlling content and learning tasks (see Appendix A), to being very student-centered. In the latter, the teacher' roles vary from being a facilitator, designer, and guide (see Appendix B) to a resource person (see Appendix C). Moving from a teacher-centered to a student-centered approach assigns the learners an increasing role in taking charge of their own learning. It promotes the development of learner independence and autonomy, and thus follows principles of communicative language learning (Omaggio, 2001).

 

When shifting from teacher-centered to student-centered designs, the students' levels of proficiency play an increasing pivotal role that also need to be taken into account. The learners need to have a minimal functional proficiency that allows them to explore an open-ended environment as the Internet without the intervention of an instructor. Nevertheless, the degree of teacher and student involvement in making decisions regarding the choice of resources, the scope of learning environment, and comprehension tasks closely correspond to the learner's level of language expertise.

 

In the following section, I will present three different approaches to lesson design, two of which are teacher-centered, and the third taking a student-centered approach. I will demonstrate how lessons can be configured varying in their degree of teacher guidance and involvement, learner autonomy, and authentic exploration of Internet-based materials. For each approach, I will discuss its strengths and challenges from a pedagogical, designer, and technological point of view.

 

(to be continued in our next issue)

 

About the Author

Klaus Brandl, PhD, University of Texas, Austin, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington where he teaches courses in language teaching methodology. His main research areas are second language acquisition, language teaching methods, teacher training, and computer-assisted language learning.

E-mail: brandl@u.washington.edu

 

 

(c) Copyright Klaus Brandl

Language Learning & Technology
Vol. 6, No.3, September 2002, pp. 87-107

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2.-   HOW THE BRAIN WORKS: ONE INTELLIGENCE OR MORE?

 

Our dear SHARER Mariana Graciano from Tucumán, Argentina sent us this article about one of the latest developments in the study of the brain.


Brain Scans Reflect Problem-Solving Skill
By Erica Goode
New York Times
February 17, 2003

 

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
Washington University in St. Louis. The paper, in the March issue of the journal Nature Neurosciences, will be published tomorrow on the journal's Web site. The other researchers were Christopher F. Chabris of Harvard and Todd S. Braver of Washington University.
 
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."

 

© Copyright 2003, New York Times.

 

View the whole article at: http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Teachers/standards.html

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3.-   GOOD NEWS FROM APRIR 

 

Our very dear friend and SHARER, Nora Séculi, president of APRIR (Asociación de Profesores de Inglés de Rosario) sends us these announcements.

 

                                              

APrIR  SIGs 2003 : GENERAL MEETING

 

All teachers who would like to share in these active sessions are invited to come to this General Meeting: What for?

 

* To talk about the different SIGs: those already at work and those to be newly organized.

* To discuss the type of work to be done.

* To agree about the timetable.

 

Date:          Saturday, March  15th  -  Time:  9 to 11 a.m.

Venue:         APrIR, Buenos Aires 1127  P.B."A"

 

APrIR SIGs starting their sessions in the month of April:

 

Date & Time: to be decided at the March 15th General Meeting except in the case of the Teacher Development SIG.

Venue for all SIGS : APrIR, Buenos Aires 1127  P.B."A" except for the C.A.L.L. SIG

 

 

CAMBRIDGE ESOL EXAMS SIG:    

Coordinator:  Magdalena P. de Botto.

 

TEACHER DEVELOPMENT SIG :    

Coordinators: Graciela Castelli & Giselle Carné.

Date: April 12th, Saturday  (10 to 12 am).

 

ERROR  CORRECTION SIG:

Coordinator:  Beatriz Lilia Solina.

 

BUSINESS ENGLISH SIG:

Coordinator:  Elina Tobler.

 

C.A.L.L. (Computer Assisted Language Learning)  SIG:

Coordinator: Rita Zeinstejer  -

Venue: To be informed at the March 15th  General Meeting.         

 

To join the group of your choice, please  contact  APrIR.

Tel-Fax: (O341) 447-5636  -  E-mail : aprir@hotmail.com  

 

Fees:                  Participation in the APrIR SIGs  is FREE for paid-up APrIR members.

                        The fee for non-members is  $4  (four pesos) per session.

Expense fund:        Everybody attending a session will be expected to contribute 2 pesos.

 

 

 

MORE ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED BY APrIR

 

Drama Workshop                              Coordinator: Patricia  Zorio -

 

* Would you like to "play" with drama techniques? * How can drama techniques be applied in the classroom and in everyday life? Are teachers born actors/actresses ? What do you think?

Join the group and display (or discover ?!) your inborn abilities !!

Timetable to be confirmed – (contact APrIR to find out )

Fee:  $ 4 (per session). Enrol by phone, fax or e-mail –

                                          

Chatting Teas                                 Coordinator:  Martha Puiggari de Gaspar  -

 

A fine opportunity to chat – in English of course ! – with a small group of your peers while having tea in a friendly, informal atmosphere.

First Meeting:  April 24th, Thursday - Time:  at 4 pm -

From May onwards, meetings on the third Thursday of the month. Contribution:  $ 4. When you decide to come, please, let us know!

 

Workshop:  "Books & Films”                 Coordinator:    Nora Lilián Séculi  -

 

Monthly meetings, and in every one of them a film and the corresponding book (novel or play) presented and then commented, discussed, compared and/or contrasted (as the case may be) -- all in an informal, thoroughly relaxed manner.

First Meeting:  May 30th, Friday  -  from 5 to 7 pm  -

Subsequent meetings: last Friday of the month.

Fee:  $ 4.- (per session) - Enrol by phone, fax or e-mail –

* Contact APrIR to find out about  the book & film to be discussed next.

 

 

Workshop: “Reading for Pleasure           Coordinator:    Nora Lilián Séculi  -

 

Monthly meetings, in which to read, analyze and discuss short stories, poems or plays, according to the preferences of the group.

First Meeting:  April 2nd, Wednesday - Time: 10 to 12 a.m.

Subsequent meetings:  on the first Wednesday of the month  - 

Fee:  $ 4.- (per session) - Enrol by phone, fax or e-mail –

* Contact APrIR to find out about the reading material to be discussed.

 

Venue for all the activities above: APrIR - Buenos Aires  1127  P.B. "A" -  Tel/Fax: (0341) 447-5636  - E-mail: aprir@hotmail.com

Office Timetable:  Mondays & Wednesdays  from 5 to 7 pm - Fridays from 3 to 5 pm -

 

 

 

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4.-   AN INVITATION TO WRITE ON!

 

Our dear SHARER Pablo Toledo has sent us this message to SHARE with all of you.

 

Dear teacher,

As a new school year starts, we are very pleased to get in touch with you again in order to let you know the latest news about Write On!

This message is also to introduce myself, Pablo Toledo, as Write On!´s new editor. I was Write On!´s Creative Writing Consultant, writing the Workshop columns, and am also the editor of the Education section which comes out every Tuesday with the Herald. Elina Marino will continue as Managing Editor. We hope to keep up the great work the magazine has been doing so far, and also look forward to working with (and for) you and your students.

Write On! will continue to come out during 2003,  in a more "classroom-friendly" format. The number of words in our submission contest articles will be reduced so as to allow for students with an upper-intermediate level upwards to participate. There are more opportunities for submitting material in our Random section, which we are including on this email, and we will feature a new "extension" section where your students will find glossaries, activities and recommended material for further reading (websites, books, etc).

Our first issue of this year will be Write On!  War & Peace, and it will come out on Tuesday, April 15th. The deadline for submissions is APRIL 1.

The topics and rules for submissions are as follows:

WRITE ON!  WAR & PEACE 

Subjects for articles:

Guiding questions: 

 If all countries had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world, would everybody refrain from attacking each other for fear of a counterstrike (think of India and Pakistan)? Should countries be made to disarm? Or should they be allowed to arm themselves to protect their territory and citizens? Was the arms race during the Cold War an effective way of maintaining peace? Is fear of a powerful enemy the only effective deterrent to armed conflicts? Should all nuclear weapons be banned? Is it fair that some countries are allowed to have them whereas others are not?

Guiding questions: 

   Millions of individuals worldwide are marching for peace. What is the meaning of peace in today's world? Is it the absence of war? Or does it envolve some deeper change? Is it feasible or just a utopia? How can you balance pacifism with self-defense, and still uphold your values? What is the role of youths in antiwar movements?  

Rules:

-Student contributors must be between 14 and 20 years old. -Every article must include the following information: (i) the student's name, DNI and age (ii) the name of the school or English institute the student attends (iii) a contact e-mail address or phone number.

 

-Contributions should be individual: only one student per piece.
-Only one submission per student is accepted.
-Only submissions about one of the two topics suggested above will be considered for our Submissions Contest.
-Contributions must be written in prose and be within the 250-300 word limit.
-We suggest that articles are proof-read by an English teacher before submission.
-Contributions must be sent to:
By mail:       (on a diskette, with a printed copy)

 

Write On!  War & Peace Issue
        The Buenos Aires Herald
        Azopardo 455 – (1107) Capital Federal

 

By e-mail: (contributions should be sent as a Word file attachment)
writeon@buenosairesherald.com

 

-All contributions, no exception, should arrive at the Herald offices by April 1.
-The
Buenos Aires Herald reserves the right to edit the articles received through this contest.

Only those submissions which comply with all the rules explained in this section will be considered for this contest 

 

Send in your submissions for Random's "In Your Write"  and "Travel" section! 

 

Send us your submission before April 1 to: writeon@buenosairesherald.com . Any further questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact us at writeon@buenosairesherald.com

 

Warm regards,

 

Pablo Toledo 

Write On! Editor

 

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5-    AN ARGENTINIAN AT THE HORNBY SUMMER SCHOOL

 

Our dear SHARER Mabel Quiroga has sent us this report about her participation in the Third

Hornby Latin American School. Mabel leads the events Committee of SEA, an Association for Foreign Language Schools in Argentina with more than 120 affiliate centres.

 

“Last November the British Council offered a grant for one school director member of SEA to attend the third edition of the Hornby Latin American summer school. I applied, I was finally selected and I am now ready to tell you about this wonderful experience.

 

The 15 day course  on MANAGING INNOVATION IN ELT took place at the Bogotá Royal Hotel, Bogotá, Colombia. The course attracted 21 participants from: Argentina (1), Colombia ( 9), Cuba (1), Ecuador (6), Perú (2), and Venezuela (2). The course was delivered by George Pickering and a team of six tutors: Magali de Moraes Menti (Brazil), Raul Marchena (Cuba), Rita Ponce (Ecuador), Laura Renart  (Argentina), Deborah Singh (Colombia)   and Nelly Esperanza Torres (Colombia)

 

This year´s course had a stronger focus on professional and organizational development. It was aimed at professionals who are responsible for designing, implementing and monitoring institutional projects in Latin American countries and bring about innovation for their organizations. Fourteen very interesting projects saw the light during the summer school.

 

The projects and programs are intended to develop:

1.     English for deaf children (Venezuela)

  1. teacher training (Colombia)
  2. English language proficiency of teachers (Ecuador)
  3. peer observation scheme (Colombia)
  4. a Discussion List for ELT managers/ 2 seminars: change management and teacher development (Argentina)
  5. a university business English programme  (Ecuador)
  6. cross-cultural competence for future EFL teachers (Colombia)
  7. a writing course (Ecuador)
  8. conference organization (Peru)
  9. a self access centre (Cuba)
  10. IT resources (Peru)
  11. learner autonomy (Colombia)
  12. action research among school teachers (Ecuador)
  13. ELT and social responsibility in Latin America. (Colombia)

 

Personally, the Hornby Latin American Summer school has already become a landmark in my  personal and professional life. The course has been an incredibly enriching professional event as well as an extremely important opportunity for personal development  in as much as I had the chance  to learn about other countries’ professional and human realities, to cope with cultural differences and to leverage on other  colleagues’ expertise.

All of the presentations made by tutors and participants were underpinned by the philosophy “people first” and helped us to remember that we can achieve a lot even when resources are scarce and the contexts have turned complex, if we are willing to give assistance and share our  problems with those near us.

Many of the talks centred around ELT human resources management and teacher development topics so I’m back in my country with lots of fresh, stimulating ideas to innovate and eventually achieve best practice in our sector

The two weeks flew by, and I ended up exhausted but I haven´t had time to dwell on that as I´m thrilled to carry out my projects and try out all the frameworks I´ve been acquainted with.

After a rough year in Argentina, the summer school gave me a very nice boost. I came home full of ideas that I´m looking forward to passing on. This is my first regional networking experience and I´ve been able to enjoy every single moment thanks to the excellent blend in professionalism, human feel and generosity that course director, tutors, organizers and participants brought in to the experience. I now hope I and other colleagues from Argentina can go on participating and contributing to strengthening the human and professional bonds with many more Latin American English teachers.”

 

Mabel Quiroga - Contemporary Studies

SEA - Asociación Centros de idiomas - eventos@seaweb.org.ar - www.seaweb.org.ar

 

In related news, our dear SHARER Mónica Graciano informs us that SEA are moving house: their new address is Viamonte 371 Capital Federal. Their telephone number remains the same 4516-0427

 

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6.-   A MESSAGE FROM STEPHEN KRASHEN

 

Our dear SHARER and admired SLA guru Stephen Krashen sent us this message which we

are very pleased to publish:

 

My book Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, originally published by Pergamon Press in 1981, is now available on the internet at www.skrashen.com  

It can be viewed free of charge. It can also be downloaded free of charge for all reasonable, non-commercial purposes, provided no alterations in the text are made. It can be shared with colleagues, students, put on CD, etc.

My thanks to computer guru Keith Freiheit.

 

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7.-   TO THROW IN THE TOWEL & OTHER BOXING IDIOMS.

 

 

Q. What is the derivation of the term "to throw in the towel", meaning to give up after a long struggle?

 

A. It's from boxing. Or rather, from prize-fighting, which preceded it. When a fighter in a "mill" (a pugilistic encounter) was doing badly and was obviously going to lose, his seconds would throw something into the ring to indicate they were conceding defeat on his behalf. At the time, the most readily available item was the sponge for wiping the blood and sweat off their man's face.

 

So the earliest form of the expression was "to throw up the sponge" (occasionally "to throw in the sponge"), which dates from sometime before the middle of the nineteenth century. A good example is in that Australian classic Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood, dated 1888: "But it's no use giving in, Jim. We must stand up to our fight now, or throw up the sponge". The form you give is rather more recent, dating from just after the beginning of the twentieth

century. An early instance is in Jack London's story The Mexican,published in the collection called The Night-Born in 1913: "Danny,battered and heroic, still kept coming up. Kelly and others near to the ring began to cry out to the police to stop it, though Danny's corner refused to throw in the towel". People sometimes advise somebody to "chuck it in" or "throw it in" as shortened forms, as ways of advising that some activity should cease.

 

The boxing ring is rich in such metaphors. "Up to scratch" refers to the line drawn on the ground to which boxers were brought for the encounter, "to hit below the belt" is an illegal act in general life as much as in that sport, while "to throw one's hat into the ring" is to accept the challenge of a contest. Politicians (notoriously prone to "in-fighting") who are "lightweight" or

"heavyweight" acquire those descriptions from the sport, as do those who feel their country can "punch above its weight" in international affairs.

 

World Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2002.  All rights reserved. The Words Web site is at http://www.worldwidewords.org

 

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8.-   THE BS AS PLAYERS PREVIEWS

 

After the astounding success of her First National Conference of Applied Drama, our

dear SHARER and friend, Celia Zubiri announces the previews of the company for this

season:

 

PLAYS 2003 -All teachers are invited to the following performances at Teatro Santamaría -Montevideo 842-

 

CHEERS FOR GOOGIE!!! -A 50-minute musical comedy for children aged 4-7.

Mr Rabbit challenges Candice, the tortoise, to run a race. Googie tries to help her by playing tricks. When the exciting race starts many funny and unexpected situations lead the young audience to interact with the characters in order to help Candice win without cheating.

March, Saturday 15 -10 AM

QUASIMODO, THE HUNCHBACK  - A 60-minute musical comedy for children aged 8-11 Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer in Notre-Dame, led by the beautiful and lively gipsy Esmeralda, finds himself outdoors for the first time in his life. Join them to discover the way to freedom and share their exciting adventures through Paris. March, Saturday 15 -12 PM

SCHOOL TIES - A 60-minute comedy for adolescents and adults (Intermediate level).

When Mr. Thomas, a brand new drama teacher, started working he never imagined he would have to deal not only with a bunch of restless students but also with a good number of controversial colleagues. School time seen through the glass of hilarious and entangled school ties. March, Saturday 22 -10 AM

 

DOCTOR IN SPITE OF MYSELF -Based on Molliere's "A Physician in spite

of Himself" in a free version by Celia Zubiri.  A 75-minute comedy for advanced students.

A rough and smart husband and an ill-treated wife, who looks for revenge,

build up this rapid-fire pace comedy. Aclose and profound descrption of the complexity of human nature shown through ironical humour.  March, Saturday 22 -12 PM

 

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM -Back Again following popular demand.

A 75-minute comedy for advanced students.A happy comedy embodying innocence, poetic beauty and universal love based on W. Shakespeare's play in a free version by Celia Zubiri.

 

Quienes lo deseen pueden colaborar junto a The Bs. As. Players con alimentos no perecederos que se donarán a comedores infantiles.

Les aclaramos que no se realizará pre-estreno de "A midsummer Night's Dream", debido a que estuvo en cartel en 2002. Recuerden comunicarse para realizar sus reservas: 4812-5307 / 4814-5455 - thebap@arnet.com.ar

 

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9.-   LONDON EXAMS

 

 

Our dear SHARER Paola Danessi from London Exams has got an announcement to make:

 

Now that the summer holidays are over, we - the London Examinations team at the Leeds School of English - would like to wish you all a very happy and fruitful 2003!

To welcome you back, we have important news for you and your students:

 

New Level

The Certificate of Attainment now offers a new level to the existing suite of 5. This level is known as A1 Foundation Level (starter level) and has been aligned to the A1 level of the Council of Europe Framework (check out this framework in our webpage).

This new level is particularly motivating for the beginner student. If you would like further details about this level, please contact us for an emailable syllabus and test format.  We can also provide you with a sample test and CD.

 

New Names

Many teachers have pointed out that they are using "pre-intermediate" coursebooks to prepare students for the Certificate of Attainment Tests Level 2. Edexcel Foundation has decided to call Level 2 Pre-Intermediate Communication and Level 3 Upper Intermediate Communication but the level of difficulty of both tests will remain strictly the same.

 

New Certs

In order to provide the best possible services, Edexcel Foundation has designed new certs for the Certificate of Attainment suite. These new certs are harder to forge and look more dynamic. They contain several special features such as built-in holograms and invisible writing! As usual the certs will be arriving in May.

 

New Grade

As from this year, the oral component of the Certificate of Attainment Tests will be graded at PASS and PASS WITH DISTINCTION. This will also be stated in the students´certs.

 

New Material

As from March, you will be able to download the 2002 December tests from our webpage www.leeds-school.com.ar/londontests

Contact us for the corresponding recorded material.

 

 

Paola Danesi  - Asesora Pedagógica - Exámenes Internacionales - LONDON EXAMINATIONS

Leeds School of English - Zabala 1686 - (1486) Cap.Fed. - Tel/Fax: 4788 5052 // 4783 4414
Email:
leedslondonrep@interar.com.ar
Website: