An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©
Year 6 Number 154 October 27th 2005
9107 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
Esta ha sido una triste semana para nuestra profesión, por lo menos en lo que a la ciudad de Buenos Aires se refiere. Ya desde la semana pasada habíamos registrado los más variados rumores y certidumbres acerca del muy bajo nivel de concurrencia de público al Evento Anual de APIBA y el fracaso de la Asamblea Anual de dicha Asociación que debía proceder a la renovación parcial de la Comisión Directiva. El escaso número de socios presentes en la Asamblea y el hecho de que ningún socio se postulase para el cargo de presidente hizo necesario que se pasase a un cuarto intermedio hasta el 11 de Noviembre a las 19:00 horas donde en el Instituto Superior del Profesorado “Joaquín V. González”, consabido escenario de muchas de las glorias pasadas de la querida asociación, confiamos pueda llegar a buen puerto la renovación de autoridades. Entendemos que es ese el único camino que se puede recorrer ya que la disolución de la asociación, como lo advierten algunos cuantos mails que han circulado, es simplemente inconcebible.
Esta semana ha mostrado con toda claridad el compromiso y la preocupación legítima de muchos socios por preservar una asociación que fuera orgullo de nuestro medio y que hoy se ve reducida a una institución con sólo 70 miembros activos. Esta semana también ha desnudado también el oportunismo, la tilinguería, la soberbia y la pedantería con la que algunos pocos (que muchas veces causan tanto mal) han respondido a los mensajes de solidaridad de algunos tantos otros.
Marina y yo, que dejamos de pertenecer a APIBA desde hace ya muchos años pero que siempre hemos apoyado desde estas páginas cada uno de sus emprendimientos, hemos decidido mantenernos al margen del intercambio indiscriminado de mails pero una vez más nos ofrecemos para ayudar en todo aquello que sea necesario y concurriremos a la Asamblea del 11 de Noviembre como simples observadores para apoyar y para festejar junto a nuestros colegas el lanzamiento de una nueva y promisoria etapa de APIBA donde será necesario revisar los errores del pasado y gestionar con gran energía superando inútiles antinomias y enemistades y mirando a los nuevos tiempos y a la nueva cara de la profesión que da razón de ser a la asociación.
Que Dios acompañe a los miembros de APIBA en sus decisiones y nos ilumine a todos para poder obrar siempre el bien para beneficio de todos.
Omar and Marina
In SHARE 154
1.- A Tribute to the Father of Discourse.
2.- Constructivism: The Case for the Prosecution.
3.- Theories of Online Learning.
4.- 100 Million Corpus.
5.- Quinta Jornada de Actualización Profesional en Traducción e Interpretación.
6.- Seminario “Semiótica del Mensaje Encubierto: de la Palabra a la Imagen"
7.- Seminar on Creative Activities at UTN.
8.- Becas del Gobierno Canadiense.
9.- Tenth Latin American ESP Colloquium in Rio Cuarto in 2006
10.- Congreso de Lenguas Extranjeras en la Educación Superior 2006
11.- Maratón de Lectura.
12.- Write for ICANEWS!
13.- News from The Hopkins Creative Lab.
14.- Desafíos de la Educación Superior en Escenarios Inciertos
1.- A TRIBUTE TO THE FATHER OF DISCOURSE
Our dear SHARER Adriana Podestá wants to SHARE this article with all of us:
Comment on the article “The Problem of Speech Genres” 1– Links with other theories
If Ferdinand de Saussure is considered the Father of Linguistics, Mikhail Bakhtin should be regarded as the Father of Discourse.
At a time when Language was conceived as an abstract system (of linguistic signs), Bakhtin highlighted the communicative function of language, and drew his attention to language in use, that is, discourse. Although we now know that both aspects (system and discourse) are essential for the study of Language and that neither of them excludes the other, in Bakhtin’ s times only the view of language as a system, was widely accepted. Bakhtin did not ignore this notion but argued that it was not enough for the definition of language.
In his article “The Problem of Speech Genres”- written between 1952-1953 and translated in the 70s like most of his production- Bakhtin presents his views on language anticipating other theories and the works of other authors, which would focus on specific aspects of language.
Bakhtin defines the utterance as the unit of discourse. When he makes a distinction between the sentence as a unit of the system of language and the utterance as a unit of discourse, we find a similar distinction in Austin2. Austin, a philosopher of language whose contributions were applied to Pragmatics, expresses that a sentence is a grammar entity, abstract and not realised whereas the utterance is the actual manifestation of language produced by a speaker under definite circumstances. Austin explains that the sentence is contained in an utterance. This distinction is also made by linguist Oswald Ducrot 3, who refers to the sentence as a phrase. Ducrot defines the utterance as a fragment of discourse and he adds that it is the study of the utterance which will lead to a full understanding of the units of language as a system, that is, the word and the sentence.
Bakhtin explains that unlike the utterance, the sentence is not related to the extraverbal context, its boundaries are not established by the different speaking subjects, it does not expect a response and it is not destined to anyone. As regards the word, it has a neutral meaning. The word acquires signification within the utterance. When we choose the words we are going to use in an utterance, we take them from other utterances similar to ours (in subject, structure, style) according to their generic specificity; rarely do we resort to the dictionary. Bakhtin claims that the author is not the biblical Adam, dealing only with virgin and still unnamed objects, giving them names for the first time. He says that any word exists for a speaker in its three aspects: a) as a neutral word of the language, b) as the other’ s word full of echoes and c) as “my word”, since I use it in a certain situation, with a particular intention.
When Bakhtin expresses that all utterances have an origin (an author) and a destination (the addressee) and that they expect a response, a relationship can be established with the Theory of Enunciation. To Benveniste4, author of the Theory of Enunciation, discourse means enunciation, which involves the participation of an addressor (locuteur) and an addressee (allocuteur), the former trying to influence the other. Benveniste (1971) defines Enunciation as the individual act of appropriation of the language as a system, with a communicative intention.
According to Bakhtin, language as a system possesses a repertoire of resources (lexical, morphological and syntactic) from which the speaker (or writer) chooses the ones he needs to express his intentions or emotive posture. These resources remain neutral until the speaker or writer takes possession of them in his utterances. The intention, which is the subjective moment of the utterance attributes meaning to it, linking it to a definite situation, to all the individual circumstances, to the participants and to previous utterances, that is, to context. The concept of linguistic choice is crucial in Halliday’s theory of language. Halliday5 explains that a language consists of a set of systems, each of which offers the speaker (or writer) the choice of ways of expressing meanings. For this reason, he calls his Grammar systemic, adding it to functional Grammar, that is, concerned with language in use.
When Bakhtin refers to the individual style of the utterance, which reflects its author’s individuality, we immediately remember the concept of subjectivity developed by Benveniste6: Language offers man the possibility of expressing his subjectivity through discourse, that is, the actual use of language. In this respect, Benveniste highlights the role played by personal, possessive and demonstrative pronouns.
When Bakhtin makes reference to the speaker’s intentions and to the importance of context, we can establish a link with Pragmatics. From a Pragmatic point of view, language means action. When we speak, we are doing things with words-let’s remember the title of Austin’s work How to do things with words. That is, we produce speech acts: we ask questions, give orders, make statements and we expect a response from our addressees: an answer to a question, the fulfilment of an order, total or partial agreement. And our use of language will be conditioned by the context.
Bakhtin claims that each separate utterance is individual, but each sphere in which language is used develops its own relatively stable types of utterances, which he calls speech genres. He adds that there are as many speech genres as there are spheres in the human activities that demand the use of language. He makes a distinction between primary or simple speech genres and secondary or complex. The first ones bear a direct relationship with reality and occur in the immediate discourse communication. They include rejoinders in every day dialogues, as well as every day narratives, letters and military commands. The secondary speech genres absorb the primary and lose their direct contact with reality. They arise in more complex and comparatively highly developed and organised cultural communication and include novels, plays, scientific papers and journalistic texts, among others. Bakhtin’s classification of speech genres introduces a number of works on text typology. Although his concept of genre has been reformulated by different authors, most linguists hold the view that genre is an activity type, a schematic structure made up of stages, either obligatory or some obligatory or some optional which occur in a fixed or partly fixed order.
Bakhtin attributes as much importance to the speaker (or writer) as to the hearer (or reader). Bakhtin will say that the hearer (or reader) actively participates in the communicative act. Once he has understood the linguistic meaning of the utterance, he will take a position about it: he will agree with it, he will object to it, he will apply it. And this responsive attitude starts from the very moment the speaker utters the first words and the hearer becomes engaged in the process of understanding, in which the posture of response is embedded. In this way, the hearer becomes a speaker. And the speaker, who is himself a respondent to a greater or lesser degree, through his utterance, demands a response (agreement, fulfilment of an action, participation). And this active participation of the hearer (or reader) links Bakhtin to Cognitive Linguistics and to literary Reception Theory, which highlight the role of the hearer (or reader) in the dialogic relationship he maintains with the speaker (or writer).
Within the theoretical framework of Cognitive Linguistics, Bernárdez7 expresses that coherence in a text is constructed by both the speaker and the hearer; it is not an inherent property of the text. In the production of the text, its author considers the linguistic knowledge of his addressee, his communicative strategies, his knowledge of the world and his ability to cope with distortions produced by the context; that is, he has in mind and addressee who will be able to receive his message as identical as possible to the message he intended to give. In the reception process, the addressee will make the same considerations regarding the producer. Textual coherence then, will be achieved as a result of the processes in which both participants are involved.
According to Reception Theory, literary texts persist throughout the times thanks to the readers’ response. “The literary work itself exists merely as a “set of schemata” (Ingarden) or general directions that the reader must actualise. To do this, the reader will bring to work certain “pre-understandings”, a context of beliefs and expectations within which the work’s various features will be assessed. As the reading proceeds, however, the reader will modify his expectations, will shed his assumptions, will revise his beliefs and will make more inferences.” (Eagleton, 1996).8
Semiotitian Umberto Eco9 in Reader in fabula will say that a text is a lazy machine, which requires a hard, cooperative work from the reader to fill the spaces of the unsaid and of the already said. Therefore, the author will have to foresee a model reader who will be able to cooperate with him in the textual actualisation process and in the interpretative movements, according to his own (the author’s) generative movements. In these theories, we can see how the reader’s role is highlighted.
Bakhtin holds that an utterance is a link in the chain of discourse communication. It expects a response and it responds to other utterances. An author’s work is in this respect, an utterance: it has been influenced by previous works and it will influence others. Our discourse is shaped and develops through the interaction between our utterances and those of other speaking subjects. Our utterances are full of echoes that do not belong to us, which Bakhtin calls dialogic nuances. He says that even a scientific work, which seems to be monologic, is to a certain extent, the response to previous utterances concentrated on the same theme. The theme of discourse has already been talked about, discussed, perceived and assessed in different ways before the speaker refers to it. In this respect, Foucault10 will say that there can be no statement that in one way or another does not reactualise others (ritual elements in a narrative, propositions admitted in a demonstration, conventional phrases in a conversation). He adds that each utterance allows for the possibility of being followed, retaken or responded.
Critics have pointed out that Bakhtin`s origins of his ideas about “dialogics” are found in Western philosophy, which he voraciously read while still quite young. However, they agree that it is Bakhtin’s merit to have developed and refined the concept and to have applied it to the fields of language and literature for the first time. The presence of other voices in our utterances leads us to the concept of Polyphony, which Bakhtin used in Problems of Dostoievsky’s art and which other authors like Oswald Ducrot, studied in depth, based on Bakhtin’s work.
In his Polyphonic Theory, Oswald Ducrot reacts against Benveniste’s idea that only one voice is heard in an utterance, that of the locuteur. Ducrot proceeds to demonstrate that in an utterance there is an interaction of voices talking simultaneously. In order to do so, Ducrot examines the cases of double enunciation (Direct Speech and Imitative echoes), utterances with “but”, ironic utterances, negative utterances, presuppositions and nominalizations. He highlights the presence of the locuteur, the enunciator and the empiric subject, to whom the utterance is attributed, depending on their different functions.
Another concept derived from Bakhtin’s dialogics is that of Intertextuality, which is defined as the presence of other texts –the intertexts- in a given text, that is, no text is the absolute creation of only one individual, it is the result of its relations with previous works. As Bakhtin said in Discourse in the novel, “any text is part repetition, part creation.” Julia Kristeva11 expresses that Bakhtin was the first one to introduce into literary theory the notion that a text is built like a mosaic of quotations, that a text absorbs another text and is transformed into a new one. Following Kristeva, Genette12 defines intertextuality as a relationship of co-presence between two or more texts and frequently as the presence of one text within another. Quoted by Genette, Rifaterre (p.11) expresses that the reader perceives the intertext when he can establish a relationship between a literary work and another that has preceded or followed the former. Halliday13 states that part of the environment for any text is a set of previous texts, texts that are taken for granted as shared among those taking part. Likewise, Graciela Reyes 14 expresses that the environment of any text consists of linguistic elements - all the texts evoked, alluded or transcribed- and extralinguistic elements organised around the “here” and “there” of the Enunciation. To Norman Fairclough15, an intertextual analysis aims to unravel the various genres and discourses which are articulated together in a text. Intertextuality has become a very important feature in the modern studies of discourse.
It should be noted that some of the authors mentioned in this article were not influenced by Bakhtin. They arrived at similar conclusions using different conceptual frameworks and departing from different philosophical positions. However, it is undeniable that Bakhtin was the first one to set his eyes on the different phenomena of language and that he paved the way for the consideration of language as a means of communication. Those who are involved in discourse research, like myself, have been able to verify that all the directions in discourse studies have their point of departure in Bakhtin, who emerges as the central figure.
In this paper, I have tried to pay tribute to Bakhtin for having shed light on my way to the full understanding of the essence of language.
1. BAJTÍN, Mijail in Estética de la creación verbal, (pp. 248-290), Siglo XXI Editores, México, 1995
2. AUSTIN, John.Cómo hacer cosas con palabras, (p.p. 41-47), Ed. Paidós, Barcelona, 1990.
3. DUCROTt, Oswald, “Esbozo de una teoría polifónica” (pp.175-238) en El decir y lo dicho, Paidós Comunicación, Barcelona, 1986.
4. BENVENISTE, Emile, “El aparato formal de la Enunciación” (pp. 89-91) in Problemas de Lingüística General II, siglo XXI Editores, España, 1987
5. HALLIDAY, Michael, An Introduction to Functional Grammar, Arnold, New York, 1989
6. BENVENISTE, E. “De la subjetividad en el lenguaje” in Problemas de Lingüística General II, op.cit. Chapter XV.
7. BERNÁRDEZ, Enrique “EL texto como auto-regulación” (Chapter IX) in Teoría y Epistemología del Texto, Cátedra, Madrid, 1995.
8. EAGLETON, Tony “Phenomenology, Hermeneutic, Reception Theory” (P. 67) in Literary Theory, The University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1996
9. ECO, Umberto, “El lector modelo” in Lector in fabula, (pp.76-77), Editorial Lumen, Barcelona, 1981.
10. FOUCAULT, Michel ,La Arqueología del saber, (pp.164-165), Siglo XXI Editores, Madrid, 1997.
11. KRISTEVA, Julia, Semiótica 1, (P.190), Espiral, Madrid, 1981.
12. GENETTE, Gerard, Palimsestos, (P.10), Taurus, Madrid, 1982.
13. HALLIDAY, M., HASAN, R. Language, context and text: aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective (P.47), O.U.P., Oxford, 1985
14. REYES, Graciela, Polifonía textual, (P.59), Gredos, Madrid, 1984.
15. FAIRCLOUGH, Norman, Media discourse, (P.70), Arnold, London, 1995.
© 2001 by Adriana Podestá
About Adriana Podestá
Profesora de Castellano, Literatura e Inglés - Escuela Nacional Normal Superior de Profesorado de San Nicolás. Magíster en Enseñanza de la Lengua y la Literatura. Egresada de la Facultad de Humanidades y Arte, Universidad Nacional de Rosario.
Profesora de Lengua y Expresión escrita (Profesorado de Inglés) y de Lingüística y Gramática (Profesorado de Lengua y Literatura) Instituto Superior de Formación Docente 127 de la Provincia de Buenos Aires.
2.- CONSTRUCTIVISM: THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION
Our dear SHARER Ximena Baraldi has sent us this controversial article for publication.
Professor Plum has been asked many hundreds (!) of times by complete strangers (well, maybe twice, by close relatives), "What's with constructivism? It sounds so demented."
Well, that leads to a bigger, but no less frightening question; namely, what's the social function of ANY of the many (clever rhyme scheme. Simple, but effective) "isms" in education?
Perhaps a metaphor will do, if that's the word I want.
Imagine a large,
empty, circular white room filled with ed perfessers talking excitedly,
seriously [and idiotically] about rubrics, matrices, standards, evidences,
conceptual frameworks, mission statements, products, artifacts, proposals,
programs, collaborations, initiatives, and documents. It's all about
sustaining, increasing, and celebrating the organization by putting up a front
(1) pseudo-morality--champions of
social justice, child-centered.
(2) pseudo-intellectuality--higher-order cognition, lifelong learning.
(3) pseudo-busyness. and
As with other cults, the ed school needs a core set of beliefs (dogma), holy writ, and founders/saints/gurus. For the past hundred years, the core has been one or another version of progressivism.
Imagine that the large, empty, circular white room has ten doors leading to a hallway. The hallway, too, is circular. There's NO way out of the building. All doors open back into the same white room.
Every ten years or so, the inmates head for a door.
"Let's get outa here."
"Yeah, time for a change."
"I think we've said everything that CAN be said."
"Written everything that CAN be written."
"Gotten all the grants that COULD be gotten from the money cow."
[Harmed as many kids as the public will allow.]
"Innovation. That's the key."
"Forward and Upward with Competence and Knowledge!"
"Yes, time for a new initiative." [In contrast to time for an old initiative]
And so they race out into the hall and race back in through another door.
"Okay, we're back."
"I don't know."
"A new initiative."
"To prepare students for responsible and productive citizenship in a global society."
"What's that mean?"
"I have no idea."
"A new way of knowing!"
"For a new world!!"
"A postindustrial world."
"A postmodern world."
"I think you're onto something, Dr. Mumblemore!"
"Yes. Yes. New courses. New programs. New paradigms."
"What's a paradigm?"
"I don't know. Possibly something."
"A Bachelors Degree in Relativity."
"A Master of Sensitive Narratives."
"A Doctor of Deconstruction."
"We''ll have to revise our mission statement."
"And our matices and rubrics."
"What about how to teach?"
"You're new here, aren't you?"
That, Dear Readers, is EXACTLY how it's
A play written by the Three Stooges and performed by the Marx Brothers.
"How come it's always one or another version of progressivism?", you ask.
There are two reasons, at least.
One. The fundamental beliefs are the same-Romantic Modernism- Hyper-individuality; hostility towards western values and social institutions; resentment of external authority--governmental, religious, knowledge systems, rules for right reasoning.
Two. Educationists are not smart enough for anything else. There is no intellectual core, no orientation towards big ideas in world literature, history, math, and science; the logic of verification; the ability to analyze and to synthesize (to see what's useful in one approach and add it to what's useful in another).
So, progressivism--a pastiche of treacly platitudes and asinine assertions ranging from dramatically stupid to desperately deranged--is the "pedagogy" of choice for the mentally negligible majority of the education professoriate.
The current version of progressivism is constructivism.
This missive, or screed, answers two or three questions.
1. What is constructivism?
2. How stupid is it?
that a clear naming of what they do will reveal how little it needs doing, and
they will find themselves on
the streets selling wind-up toys. [Richard Mitchell. The underground grammarian, 1, January, 1977.]
For of the last
stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: "Specialists
without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has
attained a level of civilization never before achieved." [Max Weber. The
Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. 1904-5.]
opinion about this doctrine is that it is a typically scholastic view,
attributable, first, to an obsession with a few particular words, the uses of
which are over-simplified, not really understood or carefully studied or
correctly described; and second, to an obsession with a few (and nearly always
same) half-studied 'facts'. [J.L. Austin. Sense and sensibilia. 1962. Built on lectures given in 1947.]
of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
[Goethe. Wisdom and experience.]
...we of this age have discovered a shorter and more prudent method to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking. [Jonathan Swift. A tale of a tub. 1704.]
Constructivism is big word that makes education perfessers think they are intelligent.
Constructivism is an invention that makes education perfessers think they know something that everyone else doesn't.
Constructivism is a set of statements about learning that are quite simpleminded and generally false.
"Knowledge can't be transmitted from one person to another. 'Learners' have to construct knowledge." [This very statement shows that constructivists don't believe what they say. Isn't the statement an effort to transmit knowledge?]
"Therefore, teachers should not teach directly by telling or showing (e.g., how to solve math problems). Instead, they should guide students as STUDENTS figure out concepts (what granite is) and strategies (how to sound out words, how to solve math problems)." [Constructing knowledge means NOTHING more than comparing and contrasting, identifying sameness and difference, making inductions and deductions. This is all OLD news. There is NO reason why teachers can't teach in a direct and focused fashion. In fact, students "construct knowledge" (figure things out) better--faster and with fewer errors--when they ARE taught directly, rather than expected to "discover" knowledge--which makes no sense, anyway. If knowledge is constructed, what IS there to discover?]
"How each person constructs knowledge is unique. Therefore, teachers should not arrange instruction in sequences. Instead, students should select learning tasks. Don't worry. They will select what they are ready for." [Unique in the DETAILS but not in the general logical operations by which human beings learn. If each person is unique, I guess physicians should not take their blood pressure.]
"Drill (distributed practice) is bad. It is boring. It is not needed." [Baloney!]
"Tasks should be 'authentic.' Wholistic. Teach the fundamentals of chemistry in the CONTEXT of chemistry experiments. Teach phonics skills in the context of reading." [This is the prescription for keeping kids ignorant and unskilled and for leaving them demoralized.]
"Since each student's learning is unique and INTERNAL, you cannot use quantitative and standardized methods of assessment. It should be qualitative--how students feel and think about what they are learning." [This makes no sense. Body temperature is also "internal," but you can measure it quantitatively and with a standard instrument. LIkewise, you can easily count how many math problems kids do correctly. This is a cop-out to protect constructivists from data that would ruin them.]
And from this set of sophomoric beliefs, you get whole language, fuzziest math, inquiry science, literature without literacy, and history without moral and political lessons.
Now let's look at constructivism in more detail.
How Stupid IS Constructivism?
Constructivist writing typically begins with an intellectually dishonest and shallow critique of the "instructivist" (Finn & Ravitch, 1996) approach. This critique is a thinly-disguised rhetorical device by which the constructivist writer stakes an undeserved claim to the moral high ground and tries to convince readers that constructivists have anything worth saying. For example:
Constructivism challenges the assumptions and practices of reductionism that have pervaded our educational practices for generations. In a deficit-driven reductionist framework, effective learning takes place in a rigid, hierarchical progression... Learning, then, is an accumulation of isolated facts. (Udvari-Solner & Thousand, 1995)
framework challenges teachers to create environments in which they and their
students are encouraged to think and explore. This is a formidable challenge.
But to do otherwise is to perpetuate the ever-present behavioral approach to
teaching and learning. (Brooks &
Even a survey-level understanding of the instructivist approach (traditional values, mastery of knowledge systems is the aim, the teacher teaches) and its history enables one to see the constructivist critique as an inept caricature that reveals constructivists' stunning ignorance of the approach whose alleged failings constructivists claim to remedy, or outright manipulation of naive consumers by withholding information.
For example, despite overwhelming evidence of the beneficial outcomes (in basic skills, cognitive-conceptual skills, and self-esteem) for students taught math and reading via Direct Instruction and Applied Behavior Analysis--in stark contrast to the poor outcomes for students taught math and reading by constructivist methods --constructivists belabor readers with a compulsive litany of alleged offenses committed by "behaviorists." These offenses include the following.
1. Thorndike's law of effect. The notion that persons learn from the effects of their actions is supposed to be damning. One does not see how.
2. Drill on basic skills. Apparently, constructivists believe that over 100 years of experimental research (and the creative, skillful and durable repertoires of dancers, martial artists, painters, writers, musicians, and athletes) showing the necessity of practice, practice, and more practice for accuracy, fluency, endurance, generalization, retention and creativity, can be invalidated by chanting the vapid (but seemingly catchy) phrase "drill and kill."
3. The criticism that "behaviorism" reduces human behavior to stimulus-response relationships--but without enough knowledge to realize that "stimulus-response" is a formulation from the respondent (classical conditioning) learning literature, having little to do with the complex activities (e.g., communication, math) that instructivist educators study.
4. The allegation that American education has been dominated by the behavioral "model"--despite the enormous amount of evidence that American education has been dominated--to the detriment of at least five generations of children--by "developmentalist," "child-centered, self-anointed "progresssive" (mis)educators.
Even a cursory reading of Ernst von Glasersfeld, Brian Cambourne, Jacqueline Brookes, Catherine Fosnot and other 25 watt constructivist illuminaries reveals their ignorance and/or misrepresentation of their created foe.
Constructivist "philosophy," research, and pedagogy rest almost entirely on fanciful (and occasionally hallucinatory) presumptions about learning. Most of the core concepts ("meaning," "knowledge") are vague and equivocal. Indeed, definitions shift within the same paragraph. One moment "meaning" is an outcome of meaning construction; the next moment it is an adjective (meaningful).
In addition, one searches constructivist literature in vain for serious examinations of essential distinctions--for example: 1) between knowing that, knowing how, knowing how to, and knowing why; 2) between propositional ("If-then") knowledge and practical (tacit) knowledge; 3) between "knowing" (presuming, assuming, concluding, believing) that something is the case, and knowing the grounds (evidence, rules of inference) for assessing what and how one believes; and 4) between rule-following ("First do X; then do Y.") and merely rule-describable action (Nola, 1997; Ogborn, 1997).
The failure to distinguish these important forms of behavior or knowledge yields the torrent of new-age hash typical of constructivist writing.
Constructivist "theory" is a mishmash of
overlapping platitudes and absurdities--"empty words and poetic
metaphors" (Aristotle, Metaphysics). Taken
separately, constructivist "propositions" are merely simpleminded. Taken
together, they are indistinguishable from the verbal behavior of a person
suffering from chronic schizophrenia.
"Reality is a construction."
"Knowledge is a construction."
"Experience is a construction."
"Experience is constructed with constructs."
"Constructs are constructed out of experience."
"Reality is knowledge."
"Knowledge is reality."
"Experience is reality."
"There is no knowable reality external to the knowing subject (the constructor)."
"Individuals and groups construct meaning as they interact with environments."
"Therefore, no statement can be more than relatively true."
"A current body of knowledge ('reality') is a context that shapes the construction of knowledge."
"Therefore, environment, knowledge, experience, meaning and reality are the same thing."
and combinations of words are repeated like mantras, and while this
procedure may well eventually produce in some what chanting is often designed to
do, namely, produce a certain feeling of enlightenment without the tiresome
business of intellectual effort,
this feeling nearly always disappears with the immersion of the head in the cold water of critical interrogation. (Suchting, 1992, p. 247)
But of course constructivists do not submit constructivism to critical interrogation. Perhaps they do not know how.
Oddly, despite a century of anthropological, social psychological and sociological studies of the co-production of individuals and the social order, the only thing that constructivists do not see as a construction is the individual. How the individual somehow remains for constructivists an irredicible entity, or an uncaused first cause, is a mystery we do not expect constructivists to solve--or notice.
Even if one wished to investigate the above trite propositions (or, more importantly, investigate how constructivists use them to construct constructivism) one could not do so; one does not know what counts as knowledge, construction, experience or meaning. For example, what processes are signified by the word "construct"? When does this constructing occur? Before we think? Before we act? Afterwards? And does this not lead to an infinite regression? That is, when do we construct the tools by which we construct knowledge? And how could we possibly do so? Such constructing would require an even more primitive tool-tool constructing process. But if it is claimed that we are somehow taught the tools for constructing knowledge, or that we come equipped with them (Kant. Critique of pure reason) then that invalidates the major premiss that we construct knowledge--for surely, the tools for constructing knowledge would have to count as knowledge.
One is also puzzled by some constructivists' claim that truth is relative (except, of course, constructivist truth-claims)--this at the same time that constructivists cite Plato and Socrates (e.g., in the Meno) as early constructivists. For Plato, opinion (formed from living in the world of becoming, or appearance, and shaped by social position) was relative. However, the Ideas or Forms, of which the apparent world is a mere copy, were not at all relative. (See Plato's Republic.)
Of course, the
claim that truth is relative ought to put an end to constructivism as a serious
contender for anyone's attention. For, if all propositions asserted to be true
(or reasonable) are merely relative (to speakers, hearers and situations), then
every constructivist proposition is in the category of opinion; is relative to
the speaker; and is neither true nor false.
Therefore, why would anyone believe (let alone reform education on the basis of) constructivists' mere opinions? In other words, the fundamental propositions of constructivism disqualify constructivists as authorities on how children learn and how teachers ought to teach (Suchting, 1992).
Confronted with the ambiguities, tautologies and pure absurdities in constructivist writing, naive readers must rely on faith or are persuaded by the hip writing style of constructivists. This (rather than reason and data) is the sort of connection between" authorities" and subjects that (at the macro level) often leads to some form of fascism or at least foolishness. Surely, this is not the sort of authority that we wish our students--or anyone in a democratic society--to respect. Moreover, a case can be made that constructivists' inability to be concrete, means that constructivists literally do not know what (behavior, learning, meaning, knowledge, construction) they are talking about.
Constructivists' empty talk about knowledge construction is easily revealed. One merely asks for a narrative recording of a student's ongoing "construction of knowledge or meaning" (e.g., during a science experiment) that is not identical to a narrative recording of the student's actions. It cannot be done; the constructivist invariably resorts to a running set of inferences about the student's mental life (e.g., schemata). In other words, constructivists read minds. This enables them to validate their theories without having to provide "objective" data.
Constructivist writing is laced with informal fallacies identified by logicians--ad hominem, ad populum, begging the question, ad ignorantium, and false cause. The first three are basically all that constructivists offer as polemic. The latter two define constructivist "research," which rarely surpasses the level of anecdotes; testimonials; field notes (valorized by the term"ethnography"); or one-group, pre-test/post-test "experiments."
Constructivists generally begin their case with appeals to authority. As though it were a secular liturgy, they cite philosophers (Zeno, Gorgias, Heraclitus), Piaget, and of course Vygotsky. Again, constructivists reveal either astounding weaknesses in their understanding of their own totemic ancestors or simply choose to cut and paste whichever passages suit their bias.
For example, Heraclitus asserted that the world is in continuous flux (You cannot step into the same river twice; the waters are ever flowing on), but he also said this is true only in the world of appearance. Behind and woven through it all is The Law governing all things. A constructivist might reply (now arguing against Heraclitus, who is often cited in support of constructivism), "But we cannot know of any such Law. All we can know is the world of appearance." This may be. But the point is that constructivists quote only what serves their bias. A cynic would wonder if constructivists' (mis)citing of classical writers is another rhetorical device--as though one could transform Dadaist writing into sublime poetry by inserting a few lines from Shakespeare.
And the pre-Socratic philosopher Gorgias's argument (that nothing exists; that we cannot know anything about what exists if anything does exist; and that we cannot communicate what we know, anyway) is understood by students of these philosophers as a demonstration that if an argument is well crafted, you can get naive individuals to believe anything. That is why Plato and Socrates could not stand the sophists.
Again, a close reading of the alleged "founders" of constructivism reveals that these founders would not support constructivism. Indeed, and in what must be one of the greater ironies, Charles Peirce's pragmatic theory of truth, which constructivists apparently believe supports their notion that we cannot know the truth, is actually a behavioral account of what we take to be true. Beliefs that lead to effective actions tend to be repeated. One can only sigh, "Big news."
Constructivists' invoking of Piaget (who apparently cannot be allowed to rest in peace) at the beginning of almost every bit of writing, is one of constructivists' more predictable behaviors. Piaget's construction of his children's construction of knowledge is used, variously, as evidence of the oversimplicity of "behavioral analysis," a foundation for constructivism, and an example of how children "really" learn. But how well does Piaget actually serve constructivist interests? The answer is, Not well.
First, Piaget examined children interacting (largely alone) with the physical environment. Naturally, this very small sample of human interaction with the world that humans are trying to "know" could easily be used to support the constructivist position that humans construct knowledge. But when one observes a child interacting with another human being, it is clear that much that the child takes to be "how the world works and can be understood" is gotten from that other human. "We call this an apple" and "Watch how the rolling ball makes the block tower fall over." The child's future actions then confirm these propositions; they do not create them.
Constructivists might claim that by acting to confirm or disconfirm what she has "gotten" from other persons, the child is "constructing" knowledge. However, it is empirically and grammatically more correct to say that the child is refining propositions that she received. This discrepancy reveals another major failing of constructivism. The definition of knowledge construction is so broad that it covers virtually everything that human beings get out of interaction with the world. As with every other theory or therapy that has tried to establish hegemony (e.g., psychoanalysis), constructivists' propositions are neither numerous enough nor robust enough to handle everything that they call knowledge. And, the moment that they retreat from hegemonic intentions, and make room for other accounts, the alleged superiority of constructivism is shown to be mere hyperbole, and falls on the sword of its own proposition regarding the relativity of accounts.
One also wonders why constructivists: 1) persistently examine only those aspects of human interaction with "the world" that support their propositions; and 2) give only one interpretation of events. Surely, for example, Piaget's narrative recordings of his children's behavior could be rendered with common behavioral concepts. To insist on a constructivist "way of rendering" is an example of astounding arrogance and hypocricy. Of course the co-occurrence of these two traits is not new in the history of fads.
Constructivists' frequent disinterment of Vygotsky, whose Collected Works contain both an extensive critique of Piaget's work and an argument that personality rests on the conditioned reflex, is yet another irony, which lack of interest does not permit us to elaborate.
Constructivism is perhaps best seen as the anarchical utopianism of a socially privileged class (academics) fueled by fake neo-Romantic sentimentality. (See Irving Louis Horowitz, Radicalism and the revolt against reason.) Apparently not embarrassed by their astonishing ignorance of history, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, experimental psychology of learning, and totalitarian societies, constructivists regard American society, bodies of knowledge, "behaviorism," "authority," and "external," "socially-contrived" methods of reasoning, as repressive forms of control over the "naturally-reasonable inner child" in all persons (Rice, 1996, 1998). The primary mission of constructivists, therefore, is to help students "find their inner voices" (in a quasi-religious deification of "the real self"), rather than help students share in the bodies of knowledge (math, science, literature) that constitute our species's effort to understand itself and the world. This has four interrelated consequences.
1. Constructivists feel obligated not to require students to test their "knowledge constructions" using explicitly taught, culturally-shared rules of evidence and logic--for such testing would subordinate the individual to external authority.
2. What many constructivists valorize with the word "knowledge" includes students' mere opinion, speculation, and plain error.
3. The "hidden curriculum" in constructivism teaches two extremes. These are:
a. Radical constructivism, which asserts, "There are no truths. Everything is relative." ("anomie") "The individual constructs his or her reality." ("egoism") (See Durkheim's Suicide for a discussion of the societal and personal consequences of anomie and egoism.) Radical constructivism ignores the larger socio-political context in which knowledge (e.g., of math and science) is certainly distributed unequally. By making knowledge an individual achievement, radical constructivists distract attention from the social maldistribution of knowledge, and therefore help to perpetuate class inequality (Zevenbergen, 1996).
b. Social constructivism, which, in practice, leads to group think (Zolkower, 1995). The following lines are rather chilling.
for children to construct mathematical knowledge arise as they interact with
both the teacher and their peers. As a consequence, their mathematic
constructions are not purely arbitrary--anything does not go in the classroom.
Instead, their constructions are constrained by an obligation to develop
interpretations that fit those of other members of the classroom community.
(Cobb, Wood, & Yackel, 1990)
students do not discover truths or verify propositions; they develop
interpretations. And these interpretations are constrained by the group's
interpretation. With an astonishing show of naivete, the writers fail to address
the questions that Introductory Sociology students would ask
immediately--namely, "How do relations of power emerge in these groups such that
'voices' shape the interpretations ('voices') of other members? How does conformity to the interpretations of some members, or to the emerging consensus, come to be felt as a moral obligation? Does the consensus reflect the culture, sex, or class interests and values of the more powerful 'voices' in the 'community'?" (See Bianchini, 1997, on the reproduction of social inequality during "inquiry learning" projects.)
The quotation above reveals the true face and fatal hypocrisy in constructivism--namely, pie-eyed neo-Marxist rhetoric about liberating individuals from the alleged repressive force of traditional bodies of knowledge and methods of reasoning, but in practice molding the individual's mind and morality within and by the constructivist led "community. No doubt, well-meaning constructivist teachers would be shocked at the suggestion that they are unwittingly instituting a "tyranny of the majority" masked by quasi-therapeutic jargon, in which "insight" means "agreement" and "truth" means "conformity." (See Phillip Rieff, "The triumph of the therapeutic.)
4. This helps to explain why student-teacher interaction in constructivist classrooms bears a striking resemblance to "values clarification" and "sensitivity training" of the 1970's ("I respect your feelings.") and Rogerian psychotherapy ("How do you see it?").
Constructivists are at least consistent in one regard. They do not "evaluate," "judge," and reject their own "theory (interpretation) of learning" and constructivist pedagogy on the basis of hard data, experimentation, and logic, any more than they expect students to submit their interpretations to verification by traditional methods.
Constructivist "philosophy" argues against any effort to use methods of measurement, evidence and inference found in the serious sciences--to see if constructivist instruction actually works. Issues such as "how well it works," "correct answers," "evaluation," and "judging students' knowledge" are unacceptable to constructivists, as are standardized tests. These are said to depersonalize students and trivialize their struggle.
Constructivists try to delegitimize evaluation of constructivist teaching by outside persons and/or according to "external" criteria. This is done by:
1) Arguing an epistemology that negates the possibility of any "objective account." "There are no right answers."
2) Privileging the "process" of learning (the "struggle") over the outcomes of the struggle. "How students learn is more important than what they learn."
3) Claiming that they alone really "know" what their students have learned. This self-legitimation and self-bestowing of special powers is identical to the rhetoric of sorcery, witch-finding, new age healing, Stalinism, and delusional psychosis. However, judging by book sales, speaker engagements, and teacher training programs, constructivists have turned skillful duplicity and smarmy pseudo-liberationist cant into a thriving industry accountable to no one.
Finally, if one were interested in cogent, well-written, intellectually rigorous and illuminating works on how human beings collaboratively produce knowledge (and folly), one would not pay much attention to the watery soup served up by constructivists in education and psychology, but to: (1) Emile Durkheim--The elementary forms of the religious life (1912); (2) David Hume--A treatise of human nature (1738); (3) Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann--The social construction of reality (1966); (4) George Herbert Mead--On social psychology (1934); (5) Harold Garfinkel--Ethnomethodology (1966); (6) Karl Mannheim--Ideology and utopia (1955); (7) Alfred Schutz--Collected works (1962, 1964) and The phenomenology of the social world (1967); (8) Charles MacKay--Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds (1931); and (9) Kenneth Burke--A grammar of motives (1969) and A rhetoric of motives (1969).
(1997). "Where knowledge construction, equity, and context intersect: Student
learning of science in small groups." Journal of Research in Science
& Brooks, M.G. (1993). In search of understanding: The case for
constructivist classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
Cobb, C., Wood, T., & Yackel, E. (1990). "Chapter 9. Classrooms as learning environments for teachers and researchers. In R.B. Davis, C.A. Maher, & N. Noddings (Eds.), Constructivist views on the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 125-146). Reston, VA: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc.
Durkheim, E. (1951). Suicide. New York: Free Press.
Finn, C.E., & Ravitch, D. (1996). Educational reform 1995-1996. A report from the Educational Excellence Network. http://www.edexcellence.net/library/epciv.html
Nola, R. (1997).
"Constructivism in science and science education: A philosophical
critique." Science and Education, 6, 55-83.
Ogborn, J. (1997). Constructivist metaphors of learning science. Science and Education, 6, 121-133.
Reiff, P. (1966). The triumph of the therapeutic. New York: Harper & Row.
Rice, J.S. (1996). A disease of one's own. Transaction Publishers. New Brunswick, NJ.
Rice, J.S. (1998). "The triumph of Romantic Modernism." Forthcoming.
Suchting, W. (1992). Constructivism deconstructed. Science and Education, 1, 223-254.
A., & Thousand, J.S. (1995). "Promising practices that foster inclusive
education. In R.A. Villa & J.S. Thousand (Eds.), Creating inclusive
schools (pp. 87-109).
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Zevenbergen, R. (1996). Constructivism as a liberal bourgeois discourse. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 31, 95-113.
Zolkower, B. (1995). Math fictions: What really solves the problem. Social Text, 43, 133-162.
Back in the white room, the ed perfessoriate is becoming bored with constructivism. Soon, they will leave the room, run around in the halls awhile, come back in and think of a new "pedagogy" that will rob another generation of students.
Copyright © 2004 by Permalink
3.- THEORIES OF ONLINE LEARNING
Our dear SHARER Gabriela Durieu has sent us this paper to SHARE:
Teacher reflection and theories of learning online
School of Health and Environment,La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia
Many universities have pursued the development of online offering of their subjects with enthusiasm, with a perception that ultimately such offerings will increase the availability of the subject and be a cost-effective enterprise.
As yet, little attention has been paid to the potential for online subjects to encourage deep learning in students who undertake them. This paper considers some current understandings of students’ approaches to learning and examines the potential for online subjects to provide a positive teaching/learning environment. It concludes that, as in the lecture theatre or tutorial room, the virtual classroom can succeed through reflective teaching underpinned by the solid application of theories of learning.
The proliferation of online subjects offered by universities seems to have come with a rush. The promise of offering services to students far removed geographically from the physical university is attractive and in line with government policy that encourages flexible learning strategies for improved access to education (Anderson et al 2000). Added to this is the intuitive impression that such offerings will cost less than face-to-face teaching, thus meeting the institutional need for competitiveness and economy (Edwards & Nicoll 2000; Press & Washburn 2001). Unfortunately, the indications so far are that this optimism is mistaken, with estimates of time taken to produce one hour of online teaching rising to as much as 200 hours (Roach 2001a).Nevertheless, university departments and schools have embraced the new technology with something like evangelical fervour, although its cost effectiveness and pedagogic integrity are still uncertain (Ng 2000).
Many issues have arisen for those involved, regarding management of the technology, provision of sufficient staff and resources, the day-to-day running of the subjects and the prevention of cheating (Arnold 1999; Roach 2001b). One area that has received little attention from researchers is the effect of this type of subject presentation on student learning.
This paper is a consideration of the relationship of online teaching with student learning. Firstly I discuss the current understanding of student learning by examining some learning theories. I then examine a selection from the rapidly burgeoning field of literature about online education to consider how it relates to the previously discussed theories of learning. Discussion then proceeds to some thoughts about presentation of online subjects to achieve ‘best practice’ results in learning. I conclude that, if developed and carried out with well-considered and applied theory, online education has real potential for assisting students to achieve high quality learning.
Early approaches to understanding learning have leaned heavily to the psychological and have been notably unsuccessful. Biggs (1999, p 10) puts this failure to achieve results down to a preoccupation with developing the ‘one grand theory of learning’. For example, behaviourists developed theories about learning by conditioning, rewarding behaviour conducive to learning and using negative reinforcement to discourage behaviours not conducive to learning. Phenomenography is a perspective that sees learning as a relationship between the learner and the learning experience (Prosser & Trigwell 1999). On the other hand, another basic theory of learning – the constructivist approach – commonly uses an information-processing model of learning, which involves encoding information to the unit (student), storage and retrieval. From this perspective, the emphasis is on the construction of knowledge by the student (Chalmers & Fuller 1996). According to Biggs (1999), phenomenography and constructivism share the basic proposition that knowledge will not be constructed in a meaningful way unless it is created by fruitful approaches to learning on the part of the students.
Several different types of learning have been identified and categorised:
• cognitive – acquisition of knowledge;
• affective – analysis of feeling, values and emotions;
• content – learning of the syllabus; and
• process – approach and action of a student’s thinking processes.
Thus, education should aim to give students knowledge (cognition) and appropriate social values (affect), with the ability to retain these (content) and to think about and analyse them (process) (Biggs & Telfer 1987).
Teachers generally perceive learning as being a function of one of three variables (Biggs 1999). Firstly, they may believe that learning is a function of what the student is; the more intelligent, able and motivated the student, the more they will learn. A recent model in American education gives this kind of learning the name of ‘student as product’.
Under this model, the instructor may be likened to a factory worker on an assembly line. As the student passes by, each instructor uses expository and demonstration methods to inject a certain body of knowledge into the student. (Williams 2001, p 5)
Secondly, learning may be perceived as a function of what the teacher does.
A good teacher will provide variety and interest and is likely to rate well with the students and feel satisfied with a class that is well organised and well controlled
The student-as-consumer model is also teacher-centred and, along with similar approaches, does not make allowance for individuality in learning or uses of learning.
… the student visits the university supermarket, selects a box of history and a quart of
philosophy from the shelf, proceeds to the checkout stand, pays the bill and leaves
with education in hand. The faculty member’s job becomes that of packaging
knowledge so attractively that the student will be drawn to select that package, open
the package, and consume some of its contents. (Williams 2001, p 6)
Thirdly, the focus shifts to the student’s learning. This links closely with the ‘student-as-worker’ model (Williams 2001), in which the teacher uses many cooperative and interesting strategies to encourage the student to learn, treating the classroom with similar control to that found in the workplace. Teaching is done to make learning possible (Ramsden 1992).
Attempts to characterise students through various theories as types of learners have produced several ideas with related jargon that polarises students at one or another end of a spectrum. Thus, a learner may be ‘syllabus-bound’ or syllabusfree’; be a ‘cue seeker’ or ‘cue deaf’; have a ‘need for achievement’ or a ‘need for affiliation’; be a ‘neurotic introvert’ or a ‘neurotic extravert’; or be a ‘surface atomistic’ or ‘deep holistic’ (Ramsden 1992; Wilson 1981). Such labels have their uses, but must be treated with caution. There is a well-recognised danger in categorising students, which can result in teaching becoming ‘a source of diminished self-efficacy, convincing learners that they are not cut out to succeed, or not inclined to learn’ (T’Kenye 1988, p 151). Effective teaching, on the other hand, can ‘facilitate a meaningful engagement between a learner and content’ (T’Kenye 1988,p 151).
Effective learning, then, is related to the level of engagement of the student.
Students with a high level of engagement are active participants in the process of education; students with a low level of engagement depend on activities such as notetaking and memorising, rather than on reflection or application of theory (Biggs 1999). It is easy to blame the students’ motivation or, in the current climate, the marks achieved in their final pre-university year, but educators in higher education continually tell us that it is possible to encourage students into learning through reflective teaching.
What, then, is reflective teaching? Arseneau and Rodenburg (2000, p 139) give a pithy description of what it is not, when they say: 'ten years of experience without reflection is just one year's experience repeated nine times'. Ramsden (1992, p 15) uses a fictionalised case study about Kevin, a teacher who has 'developed an ability to step back from the immediate events of the lecture room and practical class and see what is happening to the quality of students' engagement with the content'. Reflective teaching requires this skill. This kind of teaching goes further than that engaged in by the teacher who - as in another of Ramsden's case studies - structures the class to make it interesting and fun, and evaluates successful learning in terms of student participation and the positive response on the Quality Assurance Student Evaluation of Subject forms distributed at the end of semester.
Reflective teachers ask questions like:
What worked? Why?
What didn't work? Why?
Was the sequencing of material appropriate and helpful?
Was the pace appropriate?
What would you do the same next time?
What would you do differently next time?
(Arseneau & Rodenburg 2000, p 139)
Kurt Lewin is quoted as saying, 'There is nothing so practical as a good theory'. Educational theory as previously discussed is only practical if it can underpin action taken by reflective teachers, who can use it along with their observations to reflect on and improve the classroom experience. From the theory, it is clear that transmission of knowledge is only one part of the learning process. This knowledge requires encoding by the student and the ability to draw relationships and understanding and meanings from it.
To do this requires the teaching/learning process to be a cooperative process between teacher and student. The speculative and reflective teacher will continually consider the students' learning in order to identify lack of understanding or other barriers to earning, and use strategies and methods to rectify them. Thus, the role of the teacher shifts from transmitter of knowledge to facilitator of the students' encoding processes; a shift which requires close attention to the voices of the students and other teachers to achieve the best teaching practice (Ramsden 1992).
Biggs and Telfer (1987) put forward a model of learning involving presage (factors brought to the learning situation by the student and actual situation factors); process (which is determined by students' approaches to learning); and product (or outcomes). An adaptation of this model was used by Prosser and Trigwell (1999) to more fully explain variations in student learning. Often little can be done about the factors tertiary-level students bring to the classroom: many years of previous knowledge, varying abilities and levels of motivation, and so on. The situational factors, on the other hand, can be manipulated to encourage learning - but to do that effectively, it is essential that the teacher understands how students learn.
In recent years, teachers' understandings of learning have crystallised into definitions of approaches to learning as 'deep' or 'surface'. Deep learning will occur when students approach a task with the goal of understanding it as well as possible. Learning will be surface when students approach a task with a goal of completing it as quickly as possible, often for little other reason than to meet assessment requirements (Evans & Abbot 1998). Using this understanding requires the consideration not so much of the way teachers teach, but of the way learners learn.
Biggs (1999, p 22) says, 'Surface and deep approaches to learning are not personality traits, as is sometimes thought, but reactions to the teaching environment'. Thus, manipulation of the teaching environment is often required for successful learning. Many critics feel that this is extremely difficult in the typical climate and culture of the university which, through the lecture/tutorial format and the assessments requiring regurgitated facts, rewards students for surface learning (Ramsden 1992). Part of deep learning is the ability to ask useful questions about the material being presented (Cowan 1998), and the lecture format of university life tends not to allow much opportunity for this.
Perceived roles of online teachers can fall into the same categories as for classroom
teachers, in spite of the fact that online teaching moves traditional teaching skills
from the physical classroom to the virtual one. Research carried out through email
interviews by Smith et al (2001, p 18) found that:
some instructors feel as if a lifetime of teaching skills goes by the wayside. They
cannot use their presence and their classroom skills to get their point across. Nor can
they use their oral skills to improvise on the spot to deal with behaviour problems or
Teaching online might be seen to produce learning through what the teacher does; it can simply be transmission of knowledge where the formal, spoken lecture becomes transformed into a written presentation of online text. It is still the case that some online subjects are simply poorly revamped distance education packages, containing a text full of information and references for further reading and some questions for
assessment. Using a computer to teach does not necessarily change the way lecturers understand learning. Use of computer technology can encourage surface learning in the same way that poorly considered lectures, tutorials and assessments (no matter how well presented) can encourage it.
The teacher-focused approach can be well ornamented online; the online teacher can provide the equivalent approach and control, and fun, interesting activities to keep students busy. The online text can be supplemented with interactive games and quizzes, animations and links to websites. Whilst such activities can encourage deep learning, they will not provide an automatic guarantee of it. They should be an outcome of teacher reflection, not a substitute for it.
Let us, then, go back to the beginning. The transmission of knowledge is a first basic step in learning by the student. It is usually fair to presume that lecturers faced with convening an online subject do have the knowledge, but the facility with which they transmit it is variable. Nonetheless, teaching for learning presupposes knowledge of content and the skills in presenting it with well-structured student activity and additional techniques - ie the cooperation between teacher and learner previously discussed (Ramsden 1992).
University lecturers are not necessarily employed for, or even with, formal teaching education and training. More often, they gain their positions because they have other academic qualifications, research skills, publications or expertise in particular disciplines. It could be argued that these academic pursuits are often associated with the introversion of the scholar rather than the extraversion that may be accompanied by an ability to hold an audience, or the possession of a warm, friendly personality that will effectively engage and motivate students.
In the classroom, the lecturer is required to transmit knowledge to a variety of learners.
Some students ... are happy to sit in obscurity at the back of the lecture hall or seminar room, keeping their heads down, listening to what others are saying, recording what they consider to be useful. Others wish they could find the courage to participate actively, but find themselves unable to do so, and experience low selfesteem as a result of their perceived inadequacy. Others relish the opportunities which small-group teaching sessions offer for voicing their opinions and debating issues with tutors and fellow students. (Evans & Abbot 1998, p 64)
What a challenge this presents for the classroom teacher! The formal lecture in the physical classroom remains the safest mode of teaching here. At least all participants have the same information transmitted to them. There is no demand on the lecturer to differentiate between the back row student who has no wish to participate, and the one who wants to but is too timid. There is no pressure to 'think on one's feet' or to make opportunities for students to ask questions. Crowd control might be the major issue, but if the lecturer's job is simply to transmit knowledge - without thought for its reception and processing - then this is probably not too onerous.
However, neither students nor lecturers like this form of teaching/learning (Sander et al 2000). Introverted scholars who are required to teach want to do it well, and whilst they can fulfil the content requirements of lectures to large groups, they get no pleasure from student evaluations that might call the classes 'useful but boring'.
Teaching online can remove some of the pressure here. The lecturer can transmit knowledge through interesting media and has time to consider answers to questions without being committed until she/he has clicked on the 'send' button.
The pedagogy that required lecturers to present a lot of words to be processed by students gathered in the same physical space is no longer relevant in online teaching (Tilson et al 2001). This is seen as a very minor problem (or indeed, a major improvement) to many critics who have considered for a long time that such methods have limited value, in spite of being the most commonly used. Tilson et al (2001, p 488) contend that:
Cognitive learning on the Internet tends to be better than learning in person if the strengths of the Internet are used. Cognitive learning includes facts, data, knowledge and mental skills such as analysis and synthesis. Students learn more quickly online.
This is true in part because they don't have to spend as much time reading and commuting to class. Also, once they are in a learning activity, there are fewer
distractions such as people talking in class or irrelevant (to a particular learner) discussions that "use up" available time. It appears that cognitive learning on the Internet may take only about half the time of classroom learning.
Students have identified some basic principles about the usefulness of lectures and tutorials (Evans & Abbot 1998). Lectures should have recordability; that is, students should finish the session with useful notes. Well-structured handouts of lecture notes are even better. Lectures should be comprehensible; the information imparted should be useful for assessment of the subject and the vocation with which it is associated; content and delivery should be interesting; and tutorials and practicals should clarify the information given in lectures through discourse in small groups.
There is nothing here that cannot be as well fulfilled online as in the classroom. Better than handwritten notes taken in a lecture - which probably miss important points - is content which can be partially or fully downloaded, reproduced in hard copy or simply brought up on the screen as required. The comprehensibility and relevance of the material is dependent on the knowledge, understanding and skills of the person presenting it, and this is no less achievable online than otherwise.
In the virtual classroom, the interest value of the content and delivery also depends on the creativity of the teachers and their ability to inspire and motivate.
The same principles of teaching for learning apply in the virtual classroom as in the physical classroom. The same understandings of the role of the lecturer also apply.
I have personally seen examples of computer-assisted learning (CAL) programs in
higher education which do no more than present the information to be found in a book
and test whether the student has memorised it; the computer becomes an electronic
page-turner that rewards a surface approach to learning (Ramsden 1992, p 160).
This is not a competition between teacher and computer, but effective online
teaching will see the lecturer's role broaden from purely 'information deliverer' to
'mentor and manager' as well (Robson 2000).
As described by White and Weight (2000), the goals for online learning are for students to comprehend the world and go on learning, see relationships and make more meaningful integrations, and be exposed to deeper and widening interests.
These fit well with Ramsden's (1992) description of the deep learner, who has the
ability to focus on the significant and relate knowledge gained in the subject with
previous knowledge - knowledge from different courses and other life experiences -
and can relate theory to practice and so on. The goals for online learning are the same as the goals for learning in general.
Many critics express doubt about whether online subjects are capable of meeting these goals. Watts (1999) discusses the Information model (IT), which is teacher-oriented, relies on textbooks, memory tests and precise definitions, and emphasises questions with right or wrong answers, rather than allowing critique or reflexivity. He compares this with the Action Reflection Theory model (ART),which requires 'skilful interpretation, translation and critique - or reflexivity ...essential and central skills that constitute all human activities understood as relational and social' (Watts 1999, p 10).
His description of these two models has factors that link closely with deep and surface learning. Watts argues that there is a danger of naturally leaning towards the IT model for online learning, and that there is a need to incorporate Action Reflection into the curriculum if pedagogical integrity is to be maintained. Ling & Ling (1998, p 33) are more optimistic, embedding themselves in what Watts (1999,p 2) calls the 'Aint Modernity Great' tradition. The Lings propose a scenario in which:
... the university could be reduced to an under-privileged provider of information
with no greater identity than an icon on a Web-page, and the academics reduced to
employed authors of directories of information peddled by an electronic kiosk,
serviced by technicians and the occasional graphic artist ...
They conclude that 'the features of the current era can be seen as presenting a
challenge rather than a threat' (Ling & Ling 1998, p 39). They do not deny the
potential that online teaching has for mass-produced transmission of knowledge -
becoming subject to the supermarket view of education - but claim that it has just as
much potential for being empowering, as long as the human element is maintained
and universities use the technology 'in a manner which asserts human, intellectual,
moral and pedagogical credibility' (Ling & Ling 1998, p 39).
One threat posed by online subjects is the loss of the 'humanness' necessary
to teacher-student interaction if deep learning is to be encouraged. In order for a
teacher to carry out the 'reflexive and speculative' observation required for teaching
for learning, he or she must be in an interactive relationship with the students. An
apparent disadvantage of online subjects must be the absence of a 'warm body'.
Many online subjects overcome this by using an initial and/or occasional 'real'
classroom session to meet the lecturer and to assist in mastering the software, but
this is not always possible.
Compensation for the physical absence of a teacher can be best achieved with
care in the use of language in presentations and communications - outcomes
generated by a reflective teacher. Quinn (2000) also emphasises the importance of a
supportive environment through language for maximising learning. In the same way that the reflective teacher will set the tone and direction of the class through various forms of communication, so the online facilitator can use 'control talk' to do the same thing.
Online messages can be as friendly, personal and responsive to student needs as the facilitator wishes to make them. Students should be encouraged to introduce themselves to the group and the facilitator should endeavour to personalise their responses, eg: 'Hi Fred. I see you are from Flossville. I was there for a conference a
couple of years ago. I must say the Secondary College looked an impressive building. Did you attend there?' Students who feel confident and have a sense of belonging to an online group will congratulate each other on postings, share anecdotes, express concern if a member is 'missing', and generally contribute thoughtfully to discussion.
A sense of belonging is not achieved automatically but presents an important challenge for the online teacher, who must devise ways through which the students can get to know each other - the online equivalent of the 'getting to know you'games employed by many teachers in the initial tutorials in face-to-face teaching.
These can be simply online adaptations of typical introductory games (eg introduce yourself and tell us who is your greatest hero or heroine and why?), or lecturers can employ strategies such as encourage students to email each other, participate in a threaded discussion or a chat group, or post relevant photos to the discussion.
Having established a supportive environment, the online lecturer must maintain it through constant and regular communication and monitoring - not be seduced into allowing 'the technology to be the teacher, disabling the traditional dialectical relationship between teachers and learners' (Ling & Ling 1998, p 39).
Good organisation and reliability is essential. Small groups (about ten students) work the most effectively. Where subjects have large enrolments, it is possible to arrange the students into several small groups, each of which function as a tutorial group, and then feed their discussion into the larger group at regular intervals.
However, be warned! Organising a class in this way requires greatly increased monitoring, organisation and involvement on the part of the teacher - it is more than the equivalent of running a similar number of face-to-face tutorial groups.
Not having to be present in a classroom at a particular time does not excuse the teacher from regular and punctual communication. Lecturers should make material clear and available at the specified pre-arranged times, respond to emails within one or two days, and comment on postings. The online teacher should be as visible to the class as the classroom teacher. Dividing the class into small groups multiplies these obligations, but there is a sound pedagogical gain in having only a few students per group, with greater group cohesion, increased student participation, and more
opportunities to explore issues in depth (Lublin 1987, p 1).
Reflective teachers also know when to stand back and allow students to work through their own issues and tensions in the group situation, and when they need to intervene. It is sometimes surprising what students will post online - comments and opinions that you would rarely hear in a classroom situation. Such frankness can lead to 'flaming' - angry exchanges within a group - and may require speedy intervention, perhaps in the form of a private email to the offender and/or the offended, which is sometimes sent by the facilitator, who thus involves him/herself in the discussion (White & Weight 2000, pp 142-143). More often, however, the facilitator logs on to find that students have already dealt with offenders themselves, often more effectively than could have been achieved with censure from the top -and only a final smoothing of the troubled waters is necessary.
The use of humour can deflect tensions or simply make interactions more enjoyable. Even the more serious-minded lecturers can be funny online, because they have time to work on the appropriate response or 'try out' jokes before posting them. One fun way to encourage students to communicate is through emoticons -symbols made up of combined typographical characters, such as smilies :-) or winkies ;-). Students are often amazingly creative in expressing themselves through their own original emoticons (White & Weight 2000, p 31).
Online teaching requires far more than simply setting up a subject, then sitting back and watching from a distance as it rolls along. The human, intellectual,communication and information technology resources required to sustain it are enormous and must be recognised by universities, with appropriate allocation of funding, time and support (Ling & Ling 1998).
I would argue that reflective online teaching is just as likely to stimulate deep learning as face-to-face teaching - maybe more so. Students who log in are initiating a classroom encounter in their own time and at their own convenience. This flexibility would logically improve motivation and enthusiasm for 'turning up' to classes. Students in a study described by Smith et al (2001, p 18) also made the observation that the 'emphasis on the written word encourages a deeper level of thinking'. Online discussions are protracted and students have the opportunity to
consider their views for a long time before offering them in interaction with the lecturer and other students. They are likely to engage in discussion more assertively than they would in face-to-face interaction - sometimes even aggressively. A study by Goldsmith (2001) produced similar results to the findings here; students expressed appreciation of the fact that they have time to think about responses to questions, saying that they are more honest in online discussion where there is a feeling of some anonymity, even though names are used.
Many of the concerns about online teaching can, I believe, be addressed through consideration of theories of learning and reflective teaching. In order to be successful, online teachers must do as the reflective face-to-face teachers do; that is,understand how their students learn, and adapt the teaching environment accordingly. The media is different, the mode of transmission is different ... but the principles of reflective teaching, students' approaches to learning and their responses to the educational environment remain the same.
Anderson D, Johnson R & Milligan B (2000) Access to postgraduate courses: opportunities and obstacles. Commissioned report no 64. Canberra: National Board of Employment, Education and Training.
Arnold M (1999) Mainstreaming the digital revolution. Higher Education Quarterly, vol 53, pp 49–64.
Arseneau R & Rodenburg D (2000) The developmental perspective. In Pratt D & Associates (eds) Five perspectives in adult and higher education. Florida: Krieger Publishing Company.
Biggs J (1999) Teaching for quality learning at university. Philadelphia: SHRE and Open University Press.
Biggs J & Telfer R (1987) The process of learning. Sydney, Australia: Prentice Hall.
Chalmers D & Fuller R (1996) Teaching for learning at university. London: Kogan Page.
Cowan J (1998) On becoming an innovative university teacher. Philadelphia: SHRE and Open University Press.
Edwards R & Nicoll K (2000) Flexible learning for adults. In G Foley (ed) Understanding adult education and training. St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen and Unwin.
Evans L & Abbot I (1998) Teaching and learning in higher education. London: Cassell.
Goldsmith D (2001) Communication, humour and personality: students’ attitudes to
learning online. Academic Exchange Quarterly, vol 5, p 108.
Ling L & Ling P (1998) The virtual university: to be or not to be. Melbourne Studies
in Education, vol 39, pp 27–43.
Lublin J (1987) Conducting tutorials. Sydney, Australia: Higher Education Research
and Development Society of Australasia.
Ng K (2000) Costs and effectiveness of online courses in distance education. Open
Learning, vol 15, pp 301–308.
Press E & Washburn J (2001) Digital diplomas. Mother Jones, vol 26, p 34.
Prosser M & Trigwell K (1999) Understanding learning and teaching. Philadelphia:
SHRE and Open University Press.
Quinn P (2000) Towards maximising learning through online environments. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, vol 40, pp 34–48.
Ramsden P (1992) Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge.
Roach J (2001a) E-learning: is it the end of medical schools? Student BMJ, p 174.
Roach R (2001b) Safeguarding against online cheating. Black Issues in Higher
Education, vol 18, p 92.
Robson J (2000) Evaluating online teaching. Open Learning, vol 15, pp 151–172.
Sander P, Stevenson K, King M & Coates D (2000) University students’ expectations of teaching. Studies in Higher Education, vol 25, pp 309–323.
Smith G, Ferguson D & Caris M (2001) Online vs face-to-face. Technological Horizons in Education Journal, vol 28, p 18.
Tilson E, Strickland G, DeMarco M & Gibson S (2001) Online teaching: design and
techniques. Radiologic Technology, vol 72, p 488.
T’Kenye C (2000) The nurturing perspective: facilitating self-efficacy. In Pratt D &
Associates (eds) Five perspectives in adult and higher education. Florida: Krieger Publishing Company.
Watts R (1999) Towards the virtual university? From IT to art. Melbourne Studies in
Education, vol 40, no 1, pp 1–22.
White K & Weight B (2000) The online teaching guide: a handbook of attitudes,
strategies and techniques for the virtual classroom. London: Allen and Unwin.
Williams D (2001) The virtual classroom in relation to educational models. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, vol 7, p 23.
Wilson J (1981) Student learning in higher education. London: Croom Helm.
Published in The Journal of Educational Enquiry, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003
© 2003 by Sandra Kippen
4.- 100 MILLION CORPUS
The following message is reproduced from the
LINGUIST List: Vol-16-1436
Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 11:26:00
From: Mark Davies < email@example.com >
Subject: 100 Million Corpus: registers, WordNet, synonyms
There is a free resource that may be of interest - "Variation in English Words and Phrases" found at: http://view.byu.edu
This is a new interface to the 100 million word British National Corpus,probably the most well-known corpus of English. One can carry out the following types of searches -- most of which are not possible with any other interface:
1. Quickly find the frequency of words and phrases in any combination of more than 70 registers that you define (spoken, academic, poetry, medical,tabloids, email, etc); e.g.:
-- the most common nouns in natural sciences texts, adjectives in engineering texts, or verbs in medical texts -- which collocates (co-occurring words) occur more in one register than another; e.g. the collocates of [chair] in fiction vs. academic texts
-- variation in grammatical constructions across registers; e.g. the relative frequency of the passive in academic vs spoken, the relative frequency of [whom] in all 70 registers, etc.
between synonyms and other semantically-related words. One simple search,
for example, shows the most frequent nouns that appear with [sheer], [complete],
or [utter] (sheer nonsense, complete account, utter dismay), but not with the
others. Another simple search, for example, would look for adjectives that occur
with [woman] but not [man] or [child].
3. You can also input information from WordNet (a semantically-organized lexicon of English) directly into the search form. This allows you to find the frequency and distribution of words with similar, more general, or more specific meanings (e.g. the frequency of synonyms of [world], or the frequency of more specific words for [jump]).
4. Search for words and phrases by exact word or phrase, wildcard or part of speech, or combinations of these (e.g. *ly good/bad [n*]: really good time, extremely bad idea).
5. Use anchors and targets for fuzzy matches (e.g. all nouns somewhere near [paper], all adjectives near [woman], or all nouns near [spin]).
Please feel free to email me with any questions that you might have.
Dept. Linguistics, Brigham Young University
5.- QUINTA JORNADA DE ACTUALIZACIÓN PROFESIONAL EN TRADUCCIÓN E INTERPRETACIÓN
Our dear SHARER Alejandra Cacciabue de Pingitore from Colegio de Traductores Públicos de Catamarca has got an invitation to make:
V Jornada de Actualización Profesional en Traducción e Interpretación. " Colegiación: Ejercicio Profesional en un marco de legalidad"
Organizadas por la Federación Argentina de Traductores (F.A.T.)
Sábado 29 de octubre de 2005
De 8.30 a 12.30 y de 15.00 a 19.00
Sede: UDOMER. Facultad de Humanidades, Artes y Ciencias Sociales, UADER.
Gualeguaychú 322. Paraná. E.R.
Colegiación, Ejercicio Profesional, Labor Pericial, Honorarios, Ética Profesional.
Traducción Especializada: Economía y Finanzas, Traducción Científica, Traducción Literaria.
Herramientas de Traducción.
Arancel: Estudiantes $20
Profesionales matriculados en Colegios miembros: $30
Profesionales y Público en general: $40
Facultad de Humanidades, Educación y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Adventista del Plata.
Facultad de Humanidades, Artes y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos.
Instituto Superior New Start.
Corporación del Desarrollo de Gualeguaychú, Parque Industrial Gualeguaychú.
Declarado de Interés Cultural por la Subsecretaría de Cultura de la Provincia de Entre Ríos y por la Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos. Declarado de Interés Municipal por la Municipalidad de Paraná
Inscripción en el Colegio de Traductores de Santa Fé 1era circ. San Martín 2819 of.6 tel: 0342 4565922 - Santa Fée- , o enviando nombre completo, dirección, teléfono, e-mail y numero de documento a firstname.lastname@example.org
Importante: los datos deben enviarse dentro del cuerpo del mensaje y no en un archivo adjunto. Especificar si se es estudiante o profesional.
Colegio de Traductores Públicos de Catamarca
Colegio de Traductores Públicos de Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Colegio de Traductores Públicos de Córdoba
Colegio de Traductores Públicos de La Rioja
Colegio de Traductores de Santa Fe - 1º Circunscripción. Cdad de Santa Fe
Colegio de Traductores de Santa Fe - 2º Circunscripción. Cdad de Rosario.
6.- SEMINARIO “SEMIÓTICA DEL MENSAJE ENCUBIERTO: DE LA PALABRA A LA IMAGEN"
Our dear SHARER Martha Ortigueira has sent us this announcement:
Seminario de Posgrado
acreditable para el Doctorado
"Semiótica del mensaje encubierto: de la palabra a la imagen"
Organizado por el Departamento de Letras - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras - Universidad Católica Argentina
A cargo de la Dra. Amalia Michea . Universidad de Pisa
Dirigido a : Licenciados en Letras, en Ciencias de la Comunicación y en Carreras relacionadas con el Análisis del Discurso
Días y Horarios de Cursada : Viernes 21/10, Viernes 4 y 18/11 y Viernes 2/12, de 14 a 18 horas.
1) Herramientas para la construcción del análisis automático.
2) Rastreo de significados encubiertos.
3) Códigos ocultos de la comunicación.
El curso se propone dar a los alumnos herramientas aptas para desocultar los mensajes encubiertos que existen en todas las formas de la comunicación.
Tales formas pueden ser escritas, orales o construidas a través de las imágenes.
El curso se articula en seis encuentros durante los cuales serán organizados grupos de trabajo donde los participantes podrán poner en práctica lo que previamente se haya explicado en teoría.
El programa desarrollará las siguientes unidades:
_ Función específica de la semiótica como herramienta para el análisis de textos complejos.
_ La importancia del estudio de la sociedad: el aporte de la Nouvelle Histoire.
_ La importancia de la antropología social: el modelo de Claude Levy-Strauss y el determinismo antropológico.
-La semiótica y la fotografía: el descubrimiento de una nueva forma de expresión.
-El texto y su estructura como mensaje complejo: los niveles de análisis. El sistema lógico-deductivo.
-Modelos de análisis automático para el descubrimiento de los mensajes encubiertos: el cuadrado de significantes de Greimas y la "teoría de la Cenicienta".
-El futuro de la semiótica y su posible desarrollo en la publicidad y marketing.
U. Eco, Tratado de semiótica general, Lumen, Barcelona, 1995.
J.M. Floch, Semiótica, marketing y comunicación, Paidos, Barcelona, 1996.
A.J. Greimas, La semiótica del texto, Paidos, Barcelona, 1995.
N. Chomsky, La nueva sintaxis, Paidos, Barcelona, 1994.
R. Barthes, Análisis estructural del relato, Paidos, Barcelona, 1998.
R. Barthes, La cámara lucida, Paidos, Barcelona, 2005
R. Barthes, El susurro del lenguaje, Paidos, Barcelona, 1995
Graduados en Letras UCA: Inscripción gratuita
Graduados de otras Carreras de la UCA: 50 pesos
Graduados de otras Universidades: 100 pesos
Informes e inscripción: M. Julia San Martín Granel - 4338-0789
7.- SEMINAR ON CREATIVE ACTIVITIES AT UTN
Oxford University Press and Licenciatura en Lengua Inglesa de la Universidad Tecnológica Nacional announce this academic talk followed by a book presentation:
Being creative is a given gift: you have it or you don’t. How many times have you heard this statement?
In OUP, we believe creativity in the English language classroom can be developed. It only takes a resourceful teacher, willing to let his imagination flow to produce new challenging tasks.In this session, we will share a variety of activities which will allow your students to increase their vocabulary, to make good use of dictionaries, to exploit songs, and to have fun while developing language and study skills.
OALD 7th: The Wonder of the World
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the world’s bestselling learner’s dictionary, is now in its 7th Edition and comes with the ultimate in language –learning software: the COMPASS CD-ROM. OALD 7th brings you a unique blend of learner support, authority and up-to-date content that no other dictionary at this level can offer. Come to this session and find out how you will do wonders with it.
Maria Florencia Raña is an English teacher with experience both in primary and secondary levels. She has also taught General English and ESP in companies. She joined OUP in 2003 and is now working as Sales Coordinator and delivering talks and workshops throughout the country.
Rosario Brondolo is an English Language teacher. She
attended the TESOL Programme at the University of California, Riverside.
She worked as a teacher in several bilingual schools in Ciudad de Buenos Aires, and as Director of Studies in a private language school in Palermo. In 2000, she joined Oxford University Press, where she has assumed different responsibilities: Educational Consultant, Events Coordinator and Teacher Trainer, writing and delivering workshops and seminars throughout the country.
Tuesday 1st November – 9:30 a.m. – Avda Triunvirato 3174 esq. Tronador (Estación Tronador Subterráneo Línea “B”) – Auditorium 2nd floor.
For enrolment please contact our offices at: 4302-8000 ext.222.
8.- BECAS DEL GOBIERNO CANADIENSE
El Consejo Internacional de Estudios Canadienses, con el apoyo del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Comercio Internacional de Canadá ofrece dos tipos de becas: el Programa de Perfeccionamiento Académico en Estudios Canadienses (FEP) y el Programa de Investigación sobre Estudios Canadienses (FRP).
El programa de Perfeccionamiento Académico en Estudios Canadienses
(FEP) está destinado a incrementar el conocimiento y la comprensión de
Canadá en el exterior asistiendo a los académicos a elaborar y dictar cursos sobre Canadá en su área de especialización, cursos que serán integrados a su currículum normal de enseñanza. Este programa permite a los becarios visitar Canadá con el fin de efectuar las investigaciones documentarias necesarias para la preparación de un nuevo curso o la modificación de un curso existente.
El Programa de Investigación sobre Estudios Canadienses (FRP) está destinado a promover el conocimiento y la comprensión de Canadá por medio de la publicación en la prensa académica extranjera de artículos, monografías y libros pertinentes a Canadá, asistiendo a los universitarios de esta manera en la realización de investigaciones a corto plazo sobre Canadá.
Denominación de la beca : Becas en Canadá para académicos e investigadores
Destinatarios : Doctores e Investigadores .
Tipo/Finalidad : Proyectos de investigación.
Requisitos de la beca
Las disciplinas que se prestan más fácilmente para el desarrollo de cursos
sobre Estudios Canadienses son las Ciencias Sociales y las Humanidades, tales como la economía, la administración de empresas, el derecho, las relaciones internacionales, la historia, la política, la sociología, la geografía, las artes, la lingüística, la literatura francesa o inglesa, las comunicaciones y los medios, la educación y la administración pública y social, la arquitectura, la planificación habitacional, el medio ambiente, las políticas científicas así como los campos relacionados.
Los temas puramente científicos, tales como la física, la química, la medicina, ingeniería, etc., que no conducirían a un mejor conocimiento y comprensión del Canadá por sí mismos, no serán considerados para esta beca si el proyecto no parte de una visión social e identificatoria, de la misma manera que las propuestas basadas en cuestiones metodológicas o tecnológicas.
Plazos: Final Plazo Solicitud: 30/11/2005
Información de contacto: E-mail : email@example.com
Teléfono : (54-11) 4328-7384
Dirección Postal : Av. Corrientes 745 Piso 1 Of. "12", C1043AAH - Buenos Aires
Convocante : Asociación Argentina de Estudios Canadienses
9.- TENTH LATIN AMERICAN ESP COLLOQUIUM IN RIO CUARTO IN 2006
Our dear SHARER Alma Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org has sent us this announcement
(only excerpts of her message are published):
The 9th Latin American ESP Colloquium, took place September 19 to 21, 2005 at the Foreign Language Center (CELE) of the National Autonomous University of
Mexico (UNAM). The Colloquia’s tradition helped me contact specialists in different
Latin American countries: Maria Horsella from Chile,Beatriz Aguilar, Alba Loyo y Graciela Saravia from Argentina, Francoise Salager-Meyer from Venezuela,Antonieta Celani from Brazil, Fernando Castanos and Marilyn Chasan from Mexico.
20 papers were presented, they covered different ESP teaching aspects at university level, from materials design, traditional and on line, specific skills: reading and writing in areas like Accounting,Agronomy, Chemistry, Law; problems related to text readability, syntactic collocation, disciplinary areas and its relationship with performance; other papers were more theoretical dealing with attitudes, learning preferences and others dealt with ESP and globalization.
came from different countries:
9 Various universities from Argentina.
1 University of Chile.
8 Autonomous University of Chapingo, National
Autonomous University of Mexico.
1 University of Middlesex, United Kingdom.
1 University of Valencia.
During the closing event, two propositions to organize the following Colloquium were discussed.
offered Rio Cuarto, Argentina to host the 2007 Colloquium.
The participants voted for this next site and applauded the future organizers.
It was a pleasure organizing the Colloquium, see you
in Rio Cuarto.
10.- CONGRESO DE LENGUAS EXTRANJERAS EN LA EDUCACIÓN SUPERIOR 2006
La próxima sede de las XIas Jornadas de Enseñanza de Lenguas Extranjeras en el Nivel Superior se realizarán en Santa Fe en el 2007, y la persona encargada de su organización es el Prof. Daniel Fernández cuya labor para dar el brillo que estas Jornadas se merecen ya comenzó, y que damos por descontado contará con la colaboración y la presencia de todos Ustedes.
Su dirección de correo electrónico para que se pongan en contacto es email@example.com , y a través de este mail queda la base de datos de las comisión organizadora de las Xas Jornadas abierta y a entera disposición del Prof. Fernández.
Cordiales saludos y una vez más muchas gracias a todos aquellos que nos han honrado con su presencia en nuestra querida Jujuy , perdón por todos los errores que pudimos haber cometido involuntariamente, pero podemos decir con satisfacción DEBER CUMPLIDO, y pasar la antorcha para que este espacio de encuentro de alto nivel académico siga iluminando los caminos de tantos docentes-investigadores de todas las Universidades e Institutos de Formación Docente de nuestro país.
Nos encontramos en Santa Fe
Comisión Organizadora de Xas Jornadas de Enseñanza
de Lenguas Extranjeras en el Nivel Superior Edición Jujuy 2005
11.- MARATÓN DE LECTURA
Our dear SHARER Martita García Lorea has sent us this invitation:
Fundación Leer invita a todas las instituciones del país que trabajan con niños y adolescentes a participar en la Maratón Nacional de Lectura 2005, para fomentar el hábito lector de manera simultánea en todo el país.
Entre las instituciones participantes se sortearán Rincones de Lectura con 200 libros nuevos cada uno, que se habilitarán con el asesoramiento técnico de la fundación.
El 11 de noviembre, las instituciones participantes destinarán al menos 90 minutos para compartir actividades motivadoras de la lectura con niños, jóvenes y adultos, fomentando el gusto por los libros y contribuyendo a estrechar los lazos comunitarios.
Para ello, Fundación Leer convoca a las escuelas, bibliotecas, jardines de infantes, centros de salud, correccionales, hogares de menores e instituciones de todo el país, que trabajen con niños y jóvenes y puedan conseguir libros para compartir ese día.
Ayudanos a que más instituciones se inscriban de manera gratuita en www.leer.org.ar . Allí, Fundación Leer deja a disposición la Guía para organizar la Maratón Nacional de Lectura localmente, que incluye actividades sugeridas para incentivar la lectura antes y durante la Maratón.
Después de la Maratón, Fundación Leer sorteará Rincones de Lectura con 200 libros nuevos de literatura infantil y juvenil, cada uno, entre las instituciones participantes. Los Rincones de Lectura se habilitarán con asistencia técnica de Fundación Leer.
Para más información, no dude en comunicarse con Celina Kaseta o Pamela Sioya del Departamento de Comunicaciones y Voluntariado de Fundación Leer. Tel: (54+11) 4777-1111. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org o email@example.com
12.- WRITE FOR ICANEWS!
ICANEWS te invita a escribir!!!
El Instituto Cultural Americano te invita a publicar tus notas/artículos/cuentos, etc., en el primer periódico Inglés/Español de la ciudad de Mar del Plata. La variedad de secciones del diario te brinda la oportunidad de incluirte con el tema que mas te guste.
ICA celebró su 40 aniversario poniendo en circulación un periódico fresco, original e interesante: ICANEWS. Esta iniciativa nace como una contribución a todos aquellos que durante 40 años acompañaron y aún acompañan a nuestra Institución y se propone llegar a todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad.
ICANEWS se proyecta como una herramienta útil para promover la lectura entre jóvenes y adultos. El pasado mes de diciembre cumplió su primer año y estamos felices con la aceptación que hemos logrado y de que cada día estamos creciendo un poco más. Hemos alcanzado los objetivos que nos propusimos y todos los días nos proponemos nuevas metas por conseguir. Queremos hacerlos parte de este emprendimiento invitándolos a participar con sus notas de interés.
María Alejandra Rosas
Editora de ICANEWS
Puede enviar sus artículos a : firstname.lastname@example.org
Visíte nuestra página web: www.icanews.com
13- NEWS FROM THE HOPKINS CREATIVE LAB
Good breathing technique is essential for teachers, actors, singers and anyone who uses their voice as a work tool. Poor breathing habits--often due to stress--impair the quality of the sounds we produce. But more important: breathing drills can help us deal with many physical, mental and emotional problems.
In an interview that has just been posted in "The Buenos Aires Voz Journal" http://www.aglat.com/voz Nancy Zi, a singer who has lived in both East and West, talks about how she brought together the best of both in her "Art of Breathing." The interview includes web links to Nancy's books on breathing.
The Hopkins Creative Language Lab would also like to invite all those interested in theatre or applied drama to stop by our workshop on soap operas any Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bolívar 898, San Telmo, or write us at email@example.com http://www.a-hopkins.com
14.- DESAFÍOS DE LA EDUCACIÓN SUPERIOR EN ESCENARIOS INCIERTOS
Facultad Regional Avellaneda de la Universidad Tecnológica Nacional announces:
Jueves 10 de noviembre (18Hs.) EPISTEMOLOGÍA, GESTIÓN DEL CONOCIMIENTO Y SOCIEDAD
Dr. Juan Samaja
Director de la Maestría en Epistemología y Metodología de la Cs. de la Facultad de Psicología - UBA
Director del Doctorado en Cs. Cognitivas de la UNNE
Dr. Augusto Pérez Lindo
Director de la Maestría en Docencia Universitaria de la FRA
Director de la Maestría en Gestión y Políticas Universitarias en el MERCOSUR - UNLZ
Lugar: Av. Mitre 750 - 1er. Piso - Avellaneda
Informes: firstname.lastname@example.org - 4201-4133 int. 112 - Lunes - Martes y Jueves de 17 a 20 Hs. - Sábados de 8 a 17 Hs.
"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the
other helps you make a life."
"Knowledge without education is but armed injustice."
"The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance."
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK
Omar and Marina.
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