An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©


Year 3                                   Number 64                    February 6th    2002



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






Over the last few weeks we have received a large number of e-mails asking, and in some cases even demanding, that we used SHARE to invite our readers to participate in different assemblies  and demonstrations or to take part in various actions like e-mail chains or telephone boycotts or that we should air our views about the utterly difficult circumstances we all have to go through.

In the face of these demands we have invariably expressed our deep concern but respectfully refused to use SHARE for purposes other than those expressed in our mission statement.

Both Marina and I (and unfortunately our children) are immersed in this terrible crisis like everybody else in this country. And like everybody else, we have our own political ideas and have taken sides but we have decided that those ideas should be reserved to the knowledge of our family and inner circle of friends.

Politics with or without a capital “p” has no place in a publication like SHARE. We do not mean to offend anyone and hope that our standpoint is respected as we truly respect everybody else´s.


Let us finish this brief introduction with a Chinese  proverb that our dear SHARER Gabriela Dominguez sent us:


If there is righteousness in the heart,

there will be beauty in the character.

If there is beauty in the character,

there will be harmony at home.

If there is harmony in the home,

there will be order in the nation.

When there is order in the nation

There will be peace in the world.





Omar and Marina.






1.-      The Changing World of ELT in a Nutshell.

2.-         Phonetics and Phonology Course at Centum.

3.-         Pretentious Language Bores.

4.-     Curso de Postgrado en Educación a Distancia.

5.-     Three Tiny Drops of Humour

6.-     How to help a Dyslexic Student.

7.-     The Bs As Players 2002 Play Season.

8.-         Bernieh´s Corner : Children´s Literature.

9.-     A Back to School Course in Saavedra.

10-         February Courses at ABS International.






The following is a reflection that Dr M. Bland wrote for the  City University of New York TESL-List a few days ago. We thought we might all profit from reading what Dr Bland has got to say about the quest for a “perfect” method.


Subject: Ways to present a conversation exercise


“On the topic of presenting a conversation exercise, most contemporary language teacher trainers would  react with surprise.  What? Presenting conversation  exercises?  Why that is so démodé.
 It seems that language teaching methodologies keep changing.  In the inter-war period (1920-1950) it was  all grammar-translation.  Next, the fad was ALM -Audio-lingual Method -   (1950-1980), a reaction to grammar-translation.  The  focus of ALM was the internalization of "dialogues" or  conversations (I'm afraid your curriculum has retained  this focus). 

ALM followed a five-step program (CIRVS):


(1)               establish Comprehension,

(2)             provide a  model for imitation,

(3)             use Repetition to the point of memorization,

(4)             Variation, or the substitution of  different tenses, vocabulary, etc. into the original  dialogue, and

(5)             Selection, using the memorized  fragments to satisfy the user's own linguistic needs.


Unfortunately, it was the rare teacher who got to  steps 4 and 5.

The last couple of decades have see the rise in popularity of the communicative approach.  This seems  to focus more on the don'ts than the do's:


(1)               Don't  use the target language as an object of study; use it  as a vehicle of communication. 

(2)             Don't teach  vocabulary; work with concepts. 

(3)             Don't teach  grammar (never require the rote memorization of  rules), let the student acquire his own grammar. 

(4)             Don't teach pronunciation: the student's own  pronunciation is the best for him as long as it is  comprehensible to the greatest number of persons not  sharing that accent. 

(5)             Don't give tests, scaling is  preferred to testing. 

(6)             Don't use lesson plans,  teach students, not lesson plans. 

(7)             Don't use  textbooks, you know your own students' needs better
than any publisher. 

(8)             Don't teach the microskills as separate elements; it's a living language and one  only performs autopsies on the dead. 

(9)             Don't allow  any of the native language to creep into the  classroom. And  

(10)          Don't teach; empower your  students to take responsibility for their own learning.


This last may be the wave of the future: cooperative  learning, but who am I to say.

Dr. Merton L. Bland “






Our dear SHARER Professor Ana María Rozzi de Bergel sends us this piece of information:




Teacher Training Department


Announces its February 2002 Phonetics and Phonology course for Teacher-training College students, in two modules:


1.          February 4th and 7th: Vowels and Consonants

2.          February 11th and 14th: Intonation


From 5:30 to 8:30pm

Tutor: Leonor Architector

For information and enrolment, contact:

CENTUM - T. 4328-2385 -

Bartolomé Mitre 811 - 4th Floor - Buenos Aires







Our dear friend from Córdoba, Valeria Mapach wants to share this “unpretentious” article with all of us:



Fortuitous feedback identifies language bores

by Martin Wainwright

Guardian Unlimited (c) Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001


A guide to the favourite words of pretentious modern Britons was published yesterday by a linguistics professor.

The survey says the misuse of 20 keywords denotes an almost certain 21st century heir to Sheridan's Mrs Malaprop, with her portentous talk of allegories sunning themselves on the banks of the Nile.

Modern grandiloquence is much less battily inspired, though, says Larry Trask, who drew up the list as a sideline to editing Mind the Gaffe, a new Penguin compilation of common errors in English.

Drearily rehearsed politicians and PR spokesmen, he argues, have imposed a uniformity of error whose only advantage is making pretention-spotting a bit easier.

"Anyone using the phrase 'at this moment in time', for in stance, instead of 'now' or 'today', is instantly suspect," he said.

A similar jargon disease in the business world had meanwhile made words like 'interface', 'exponential' and - a relative newcomer - 'hegemonic' further sure signs of people uncertain of what they are saying.

Professor Trask, who is 57 and teaches at Sussex University's school of cognitive and computing sciences, said that his concern about errors in English had first been triggered by designed-to-impress misuses among his students.

Apart from simple error, he highlights pomposity's unerring ability to find a long, complicated word where a simple, short one would do.

"Communicate, for instance, is often used absurdly to mean nothing more than 'say', 'talk' or 'tell'," he observed. Essays by student mini-Malaprops gilded this particular lily by going to extreme lengths to avoid repeating a word like 'said', with 'added', 'enlarged', 'commented', 'animadverted' and indeed 'observed' among the telltale signs of excessive linguistic thought.

Prof Trask's own most hated pretentious keyword is "feedback" which he described as "now almost devoid of meaning". He said: "It is the number one pretentious word in the language today. No page of bureaucratic prose can be constructed without it, regardless of the content, and regardless of whether there is any content.

"This isn't a trivial problem," he added. "Even graduates with good degrees often find themselves with a command of standard English that is at best inadequate and at worst distressing."


Aforementioned should be banned outside legal use

Albeit use 'but' or 'though'

At this moment in time a puffed-up 'now'.

Communicate use 'say', 'tell' or 'talk'

Empowerment could mean something but in pretentiousese it never does

Epicentre only seismologists need the 'epi'

Exponential maths term, not 'fast' as pretentious think

Feedback usually used for no reason

Fortuitous use 'lucky'

Hegemonic seldom correctly used as unjust domination by one group

Input feedback's best friend

Interface even the pretentious now shun this

Ironically debased to cover even mildest quirks

Linear should be confined to mathematicians

Octopi bungled plural

Paradigm most often used by people who don't know what it means

Peruse means to study not to glance through

Privileged now slipping into use as an insult

Synergy challenge user on its meaning

Utilise use 'use'





La Dirección de Educación Continua de la Universidad Nacional del Comahue - Argentina informa que se encuentra abierta la inscripción para el Curso de Postgrado en Educación a Distancia que responde a las siguientes características:



Profesionales universitarios, docentes de nivel superior, coordinadores y miembros de equipos de producción de educación a distancia.


Docentes responsables: Lic. Carlos Duhourq y Lic. Ana M. Schmid

Tipo: Curso de Postgrado (Actualización) - Duración: 280 hs.

Inicio: Octubre de 2001 (la inscripción se reabre mensualmente, del 1 al 10 de cada mes)

Duración: Entre 6 y 12 meses. - Modalidad de cursada: Abierta y a distancia

Lenguas aceptadas: Español y portugués.

Certificación: Universidad Nacional del Comahue Resol. Nros. 381/00 y 040/01.


Unidades modulares:

* Educación a Distancia hoy.

* Diseño de un programa a distancia

* Relación pedagógica y aprendizaje

* Lenguaje y medios

* Organización y adminstración de sistemas a distancia

* Evaluación en educación a distancia


Metodología: Enfoque teórico-práctico que acompaña a cada cursante en el progresivo diseño y desarrollo de una propuesta propia con metodología a distancia, evaluada por los docentes responsables del curso.

Materiales: Tres CD Rom, sitios web en Internet.

Servicios de apoyo: Tutoría por e-mail, teléfono, fax, correo convencional. Una reunión presencial mensual y opcional en cada una de las sedes establecidas (Neuquén Capital - Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

Aranceles y formas de pago:

El precio total del curso es de $550 que pueden abonarse en uno o varios pagos.

Se prevén descuentos diferenciados a estudiantes de la UNCOMA, de la Asociación ORIÓN, estudiantes universitarios e instituciones que presenten a más de cuatro (4) cursantes.


Informes e inscripción:

* DEC: Dirección de Educación Continua - Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Buenos Aires 1400 (8300) Neuquén, Argentina.

TE: 0299-449-0301 al 0311. Fax: 0299-449-0309 - e-mail:

* CAPTELNET: Av. Medrano 233 - 2º '6' - (1178)  Ciudad de Buenos Aires - Telefax: 011-4983-3178 - e-mail:


Auspiciado por Asociación Orion:

Abo Akademie University (Finlandia) - Coimbra Group (Bélgica) - Universidad de Granada (España) - Université de Poitiers (Francia) - Scienter (Italia) - Universidad Nacional del Comahue (Argentina) - Universidad de Concepción (Chile) - Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Argentina) - Universidad Nacional de La Pampa (Argentina) - Universidad Nacional de Patagonia Austral (Argentina) - Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (Argentina) - Universidad de los Lagos (Chile) - Universidad de Santiago (Chile) - Universidad de Magallanes (Chile) - Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina) - Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (Argentina) - Universidad Autónoma "Juan Misael Saracho" (Bolivia) - Fundación Patagónica Austral (Argentina).






Our dear friend and SHARER Natalia Carbonell sends us  three short jokes. As we said three tiny drops of humour that will surely go a long way these days of twisted faces and few smiles.


One summer evening, during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"

The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't dear," she said. "I have to sleep in Daddy's room."

A long silence was broken at last by a shaken little voice saying, "The big





"How was your blind date?" a college student asked her roommate.

"Terrible!" the roommate answered. "He showed up in his 1932 Rolls Royce."

"Wow! That's a very expensive car. What's so bad about that?"

"He was the original owner."



It was the day of the big sale. Rumors of the sale (and some advertising in the local paper) were the main reason for the long line that formed in front of the store by 8:30, the store's opening time.

A small man pushed his way to the front of the line, only to be pushed back, amid loud and colorful curses. On the man's second attempt, he was punched square in the jaw, and  knocked around a bit, and then thrown to the end of the line again.

As he got up the second time, he said to the person at the end of the line, "That does it! If they hit me one more time, I'm not opening the store!"







Some months ago the subject of Dyslexia cropped up in one of my classes. It was a very pleasant surprise to find in my mailbox this article that a dear SHARER Maria José Garfinkel sent me:


Consulted on how to help a dyslexic EFL student, Myriam Risser from France advised: 


First of all: be patient with this student. For her, the best means to progress is overlearning. Another students will know a new word when he has encountered it, let say 10 times. She will need 50 times. She may learn her lesson in the evening but won't remember half of it in the morning. Or if she does , she doesn't understand it: just learned it by heart. Her short-term memory doesn't work like it should while the information are messed up in her long-term memory.

Else: try to avoid any situation where her difficulties are put forward, like reading aloud. She certainly knows or feels that somehow she's different from the others, that she's unable to do tasks that appear easy to her peers. You don't say how old she is, but you must be aware that she has certainly seen or felt the difference since her first year in school.

And then  after a few months, sometimes a few weeks, the dyslexic child is convinced that he must be very stupid, no doubt, the most stupid in the class, not to be able to perform as well as his classmates. Even later when he masters basics such as reading, his self-esteem will be very low . That's why you have to encourage your dyslexic student, even if it is for minor achievements. For example when you mark her work, try to put emphasis on her progress, instead of only underlining what is wrong. Add little remarks of encouragement.

She should be given more time to do the same exercise, because she's certainly very slow. Or she should only have half of the exercise to do while you mark her as if she had done the whole. Be sure that she understands what she has to do. Dyslexic people use different pathways in  their brain to carry out the same tasks: its their strengths once they have learned to compensate their disabilities. A hell of a time in school till they achieve this stage. Also she should write only what is strictly necessary in order not to lose time and energy: to copy out is already a tremendous effort.

Take time to observe her, you will find out what are her major difficulties and how to alleviate her every day struggles in the classroom.  What works for dyslexic children works also for the other children, but it's not the other way round. Traditional teaching doesn't help dyslexics. It has been acknowledged that multisensory methods are the best methods. With some imagination one is able to introduce little

exercises on various basis that will be of great benefice to the dyslexics.

I will send you ( privately) a conference I heard a few months ago on the subject, but it's too long to join here. If others are interested let me know.

There would be  much more to say about dyslexic students, how they learn and how to help them. They represent challenges for teachers, because they are of average or above average intelligence and on the other hand they are lost when they have to deal with written tasks.

The British Dyslexia Association has a good website . There's a leaflet concerning the learning of modern foreign languages.

Feel free to contact me if you have further questions. I have no specific training in dyslexia because it doesn't exist in France for teachers but it  isn't possible to summarize years of interest  and reading on the subject in a  brief and concise way.


Myriam Risser , France  -






Our dear SHARER and friend Celia Zubiri sends us some information about what the Bs As Players have in store for us this year. As every year of all these successful years of your company: Break a leg, Celia!



MOPPYLAND A 50-minute musical comedy for very young learners. Five successful                                         years on stage! (Back again following popular demand)


PETER PAN, the king of Neverland

A 60-minute musical comedy for E.G.B.1. Join Peter Pan's magic world full of                                       full of adventure, suspense and fun. Help him fight against Captain Hook's new plot.                                  


FRANKENSTEIN, a defrosted truth

A 60-minute musical comedy for E.G.B.2. Be Dr. Frankenstein's guest and feel at home in his mansion but beware of his thrilling Secret!


RADIO JAM A 60-minute comedy for adolescents. Have you ever been at an amateur

radio studio run by three adolescents eager to collect money for their  graduation trip? The most hilarious radio backstage full of unexpected conflicts.                                    



A 60-minute comedy for adolescents. To be what?... Not to be what?... Heavy irony and rapid-fire pace will trap the audience in this avant-  garde proposal on stage.



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



A 90-minute comedy by Leonard Gershe. A warm and touching play with a fine comic sense. The sixties... true love... goodbye to prejudice...freedom!



The Bs. As. Players Performing Arts branch presents

Abracadabra - Drama School for Children

Break Through - Drama School for Adolescents & Adults


The Bs. As. Players Spanish branch presenta : 

HORMIGUELA - Comedia musical para niños de 4 a 8 años.

Por favor, que comenten nuestro proyecto con sus pares de castellano.


Further information :   

Teatro Regina. Av.Santa Fé 1235 -5º piso of. 502-  C1059ABG- 4812-5307  814-5455







Our dear friend and SHARER Bernieh is back! This time with some sound advice on Children´s Literature.


Hello, dear SHARERS!


Martin Auer is a renowned author of children books from Austria. His books have won several Austrian and international awards and have been translated in many languages. Due to the sad events of September 11th 2001 the U.S., nineteen stories from Martin's book "The Strange War" have been put on the Internet and can be downloaded free of charge for educational purposes, at:


Language versions include English, Spanish and many others.

(Bernieh's note: besides this, each version comes in three "flavours": PDF, RTF, or

e-book. Download the three versions, or just the RTF; the latter allows you to open and manage the book in a regular word processor like Word).


About his book, Martin writes:  "Ever since I started writing books for children, I have considered it important to deal with the difficult subject of war and peace in a way that children can understand. It seems to me that it is not enough to tell children that war is terrible and that peace is much nicer. . . . But is peace possible? Or is war an unavoidable destiny that keeps befalling humankind? . . . . Doesn't our history class, as well as the evening news, teach us that war has always existed everywhere in the world and is still with us? A culture of peace, understanding of others, peaceful resolution of conflicts, all of that is well and good: but what if the

others do not want to go along?" [...]

“I try to show how our actions can be interconnected in such a way, that the ones who do not try their best to further their own interests must perish. But that on the other hand by each of us trying to further our own interests we may in fact unintentionally increase the loss or make worse the damage for all of us. And that we cannot escape this dilemma unless we communicate with each other and coordinate our actions. . . . the hard thing is to really see through the complex ways in which the actions of individuals, groups, nations, states on this planet are interconnected.

I am trying to teach children to begin to recognize that sort of social mechanism, and I think that this is a novel approach in children's literature."


Here's a brief sample of Martin's writing style:


*** Fear ***



         is that guy

         looking at me like that?

         Is he afraid of me?



         is that guy

         afraid of me?

         Does he think that I want to hurt him?



         does he think

         that I want to hurt him?

         I never hurt anyone!


         I never hurt anyone,

         unless he wants to hurt me!


         So if that guy thinks that I want to hurt him,

         then it's only because he knows:

         I hurt everybody

         who hurts me.


         So: he must want to hurt me!


         So I guess I'll go right over there and bash him in the mouth,

         so that he can't hurt me.



         His fist was quicker than mine!

         Now here I am on the ground.

         But didn't I tell you right away

         that he wanted to hurt me?



Bernieh -   Bernardo Humberto Banega (h)  ICQ# 102443771   /      





Our dear SHARERS from English and Fun write to us:


Instituto San Isidro Labrador and English and Fun invite you to the following event to be held on Tuesday, February 26th from 17:00 - 20:30 at ISIL Av. San Isidro 4640 (Saavedra) - Ciudad de Buenos Aires


Beginning the year with Creativity and Variety


“Chit Chat

The new topic-based course designed for young learners. A presentation by  Miriam D'Amico - Senior ELT Consultant OUP


Games : A Powerful Tool for Learning

Successful play requires involvement of all our faculties : intellect, emotions and motor skills. Use games as a powerful medium for learning and help students develop skills and attitudes through play.

by Ms Patricia Gómez - Lecturer in Language I and in Children's Literature at INSPT - UTN and IES en Lenguas Vivas.


Let's enjoy an outing with our students

Do we really get pleasure from the outing in English with our students, may be the only one in the whole term ? Let's learn how have a deserved enjoyable outing .

by The Buenos Aires Players Team directed by Celia Zubiri


Registration: 4957 - 5285  //  4863 - 3648  //

This event is free of charge  but vacancies are limited






Our dear SHARER , Laura Lewin sends us the schedule of activities of her Institute ABS International for the month of February: 


Management Courses: all courses 4 meetings . starting 5th February

Coordinating Successfully I (Tuesdays 10:00 am -12:00)

Coordinating Successfully II (Tuesdays 12:15 am -14:15)

Marketing for English Institutions (Tuesdays 14:30 am -16:30)

For detailed information on these courses, check the previous issue of SHARE.


Teacher Development:  Motivate   yourself!

A practical course designed to motivate teachers who want to gain new ideas which

will work in their classroom and broaden their range of options for the future.

Wednesdays 5-26  - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm - (4 meetings)


For further information, please contact ABS International

New address: Av Santa Fe 2818  3 E   Buenos Aires (011) 4829-0374      /




Time to say goodbye again. We will be leaving this time with two quotations: one by Martin Luther King that we received from Laura Lewin and the other from a message by Pope John Paul II that Bethina Viale sent us.



"The ultimate measure of a person is not where he/she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he/she stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


“There is no peace without justice and  there is no justice without forgiveness”

Pope John Paul II – 1st January 2002.




Omar and Marina.


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

VISIT OUR WEBSITE : . There you can read all past  issues of SHARE in the section SHARE ARCHIVES.