An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©


Year 3                                        Number 58                     November 24th  2001



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






“Why not dreaming our dream together again?” 

These were the words we used to resume our contact almost two months ago after a relatively long period of silence. At that time we thought that our technical problems were over and that we would be able to cope with the typical complications of making SHARE available to you on a weekly basis with a very rudimentary home-run communications system. We were wrong.

On the one hand we were really proud at the amount of SHARERS that had joined us but on the other hand the figure was too high to run an acceptable smooth scheme

that would reconcile our wish and our need to communicate with you and our own professional and family commitments.


With the publication of this issue of SHARE we start a new “era” . During the last month and a half we uploaded our data base of more than 4,000 subscribers to the electronic group. To this day we have exactly 4,274 subscribers and there are about 400 more to be uploaded in the next few days. You can find more details about the new shape of our group at  


Our issues will be shorter and in most likelihood more frequent. We hope to receive your contributions or your incredible pep-up messages. We need to feel the warmth and the pleasure of your company.


Can we repeat our invitation : Why not dreaming our dream together again? 

We know we will.






1..-   Things to do each day.

2..-  Planning Lessons and Courses.

3.-   Second International Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

4..-  News from the Schools of English Association

5..-  The Final Exam.

6..-  APIBA´s SIG Meeting and a special event.

7..-  A message from Uruguay






Can there be a better way to start this comeback issue than with a tiny poem our fairy godmother Elida Messina sent us? A recommendation for healthy life : a few things to do each day.


We ought to hear at least
one little song every day,
read a good poem,
see a first-rate painting,
and if possible speak
a few sensible words.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)





Our dear SHARERS from Cambridge University Press Argentina sent us this article by renowned teacher trainer Tessa Woodward. You can contact the CUP people at  or visit their site :


Planning Lessons and Courses

(taken from:


Tessa Woodward reviews her own book Planning Lessons and Courses


I've never been asked to write my own book review before and I must confess I feel a little shy about it. But I did work hard on this book and I do think it's a good one so I shall take a deep breath and try!

You may be surprised to learn that a book on planning contains so much material which you can actually use IN the language learning classroom. But the definition of planning at the start of this book is a VERY realistic and practical one, and allows for a constant feeling of moving from the classroom to the teachers' room to home and back to the classroom again.


So, what are the main messages of the book?


The first message is that planning encompasses many things: By 'planning', I mean what most working teachers do when they say they're planning their lessons and courses. Thus I take planning to include considering the students, thinking of the content, materials and activities that could go into a course or lesson, jotting these down, having a quiet ponder, cutting things out of magazines and anything else that you feel will help you to teach well and the students to learn a lot. I do NOT mean the writing of pages of notes with headings such as Aims and Anticipated problems to be given in to an observer before they watch you teach. I also take it as given that plans are just plans. They're not legally binding. We don't have to stick to them. They are there to help us shape the space, time and learning we share with students. We can depart from them or stick to them as we, the students and the circumstances seem to need.


The second message is about differing amounts of teaching experience: Inexperienced teachers often need help to establish sound working practices and routines that will shorten the time they spend planning lessons and courses. More experienced teachers, who can often plan quickly and painlessly, can nevertheless usually do with some new ideas and idea sequences to refresh their routines thus making their planning and teaching more interesting and enjoyable.

The third message is about language students: The students we work with are the real reason for the whole learning/teaching encounter. So, the most important thing we can do before, during and after classes is, in my view, to listen to students, watch them and read their work. This will help us to get to know them as individuals, and will give us invaluable information for choosing topics and types of materials and selecting activities and shaping lessons and courses. We can also involve students in these decisions.


Which bits of the book am I particularly proud of?


Two chapters were especially difficult to write and yet, once done, were the most rewarding for me. The chapter on what can go into a language lesson (Chapter 3) was hard, as so many things CAN! The number of possible components was huge, and I found it difficult to sort this unwieldy mass into satisfying categories illustrated with interesting examples without taking up the entire 250 pages! The discipline of doing it, however, was marvellous as, for the first time, I felt as if I had an overview of all the things I had been teaching for the last 25 years.


The second difficult stretch was (Chapter 4) thinking about how people actually learn and therefore how we can teach. I did lots of reading and thinking for this section, and am very pleased with the resulting model and the way it is applied to common instructional sequences such as Test, Teach, Test and PPP and TBL and others. This section is very useful for people who want to go beyond, behind or under the steps of a lesson or of a particular teaching model to see what it really contains and how it is the same and different from other lesson types.


Other people's favourite bits


My father-in-law, a retired teacher, said he liked the bit on 'hijacks'. This is in Chapter 8. A hijack, by the way, is a time in class when it is virtually impossible for you to do what you planned. Here's an example:

I was once in the middle of a grammar presentation in a tiny attic room when Camilo from South America spotted strange white stuff coming out of the sky. "Snow!" he cried. "Snow!". I looked at the utter absorption on his face as he stared delightedly and for the first time ever at the drifting flakes. We all went to the window.

Not all lesson surprises are as pleasant as the above. I've also known lessons disrupted by small children being sick, an ill-tempered janitor who regularly threw us all out on the street early, and the very occasional extremely unpleasant individual who upset everyone else immediately. And yes, I do offer some suggestions that may help in handling such hijacks!


Colleagues have mentioned other chapters they liked. One liked the idea of stimulus-based lessons (Chapters 2 and 5). Another liked the section where traditional language class activities were gradually 'morphed' or changed into more interesting ones (Chapter 6). A third found the nitty gritty section on 'Getting down to the preparation' (Chapter 7) very reassuring in its acceptance of so many different ways to plan and prepare.

I would go on, but I'm blushing!


This article was first published in the Humanising Language Teaching Webzine on the Pilgrim's website.





Our friend Professor Humberto J. San Pedro from Cuba sends this invitation


The Department of Foreign Languages of the Universidad de Oriente will hold
its biennial conference from Tuesday, June 25 to Thursday, June 27, 2002
at the Universidad de Oriente in  Cuba.
This year's theme is the teaching of Caribbean languages and the
language-culture interrelation in the process of foreign language teaching.

For more information contact Humberto San Pedro Soto, Executive secretary
 of the Organizing Committee, Department of Foreign Languages, Universidad de
Oriente Ave. de las  Americas  s/n, Santiago from Cuba 9, 90900, Cuba,

Humberto San Pedro Soto
Department of Foreign Languages
Universidad de Oriente, Stgo. de Cuba, Cuba





Our dear SHARER  Marcelo García, SEA´s Secretary sent us this information:


(a) A SEA sponsored event 




Disertantes: Prof. María Silvia Stagnaro y Prof. Corine Arguimbau

Día: sábado 24 de noviembre.

Horario: 09:00 a 17:00 

Lugar: Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA) - Av. Corrientes 1723, Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Inscripción : 4829-2312 / 4821-0968       Auspicia: SEA - Schools of English Association

Aranceles:  General $60 - Especial Socios SEA $45


(b) Members Assembly


Recordamos a todos los asociados que el próximo encuentro es la 4ta. Reunión de Asociados del 2001 el sábado 1 de diciembre del presente año de 15:00 a 17:00 en ESSARP, Esmeralda 672 Piso 8º, Ciudad de Buenos Aires.


(c ) Legal Counselling


Estudio Jurídico Dra. Fueyo, Asesoramiento legal gratuito a los asociados a SEA, ya sea personal, telefónicamente o por correo electrónico, sobre las distintas cuestiones que afectan a los centros.


SEA - Schools of English Association

Avda. Córdoba 435 Piso 3ro. "B"

(1054) Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Tel/Fax: (011) 4311-1033






Our dear friend and SHARER José Luís Laturu sent us this “unbelievable” (?) story:


This past fall semester, at University, two sophomores were taking
Organic Chemistry and did pretty well on all of the quizzes, midterms,
labs, etc. Going into the final exam, they had solid "A's."  These two
friends were so confident going into the final that the weekend before
finals week they spent partying with friends.

However, they ended up staying longer than they planned, and they didn't
make it back to University until early Monday morning. Rather than taking the
final then, they found their Professor and explained why they missed it.

They told him they went away for the weekend and had planned to return in time to study. But they had a flat tire on the way back, didn't have a spare and couldn't get help for a long time.  So, they were late getting back to campus.

Their Professor thought this over and agreed that they could make up the final on the following day. The two guys were elated and relieved. So, they studied that night and went in the next day on time.

He placed them in separate rooms, handed each of them a test booklet and told them to begin. They looked at the first problem, which was something simple about free radical formation and was worth 5 points. "Cool" they thought, "this is going to be easy."

They were unprepared, however, for what they saw on the next page. It said: (95 points) "Which tire?"





Our dear SHARERS from APIBA send us this information about their Special Interst Groups.


Grammar/ Linguistics SIG


Co-ordinators: Carolina Fraga - Sergio Rodriguez

Date: Friday, November 30, 2001 -- Time: 18.30 - 20.30
Venue: IES en Lenguas Vivas "J.R.Fernandez", Carlos Pellegrini 1515, Buenos Aires Agenda:

1. Wrapping this year up: Appraisal of our SIG this year.

2. Brainstorming topics and activities for next year.

3. Discussion: Are there truly intransitive verbs? If so, on what grounds?

4. Workshop: Analysis of problem sentences.




Date: Friday, December 7, 2001 -- Time: 18.30 - 20.30
Venue: IES en Lenguas Vivas "J.R.Fernandez", Carlos Pellegrini 1515, Buenos Aires


Guest Speaker: Daniel Reznik, M.A. 

Presentation: "English Teacher? No, I'm a Knowledge Manager!"

The presentation will include a brief introduction highlighting the need to evolve from language teacher to skills trainer and corporate resource. This will be followed by analysis and discussion of business materials as an illustration of possible lines of approach.



by phone at CAIT: 4311-8544/2583 or TALK BUSINESS: 4343-4041 –

Fees: APIBA member / teacher trainee: free of charge

APIBA non-member / SIG non-member: $ 15


For further information on APIBA SIGs visit (APIBA SIGs link) or contact Analia Kandel, APIBA SIGs Liaison Officer, at





Our dear SHARER from Uruguay, Roxana Falero, sends us this piece for reflection. She adds: “I think it´s true”. We too.



"The Mediocre Teacher tells,

The Good one explains,

The Superior one shows,

The Great one inspires"


From the "First Days of School"

by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary Tripi Wong




Time to say goodbye. It really feels great to be together again




Omar and Marina.


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