An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©


Year 4                    Number 88               November 22nd 2002


           4400 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






What was your week like? Ours was simply great. I mean Marina´s and mine. (Martin is still a bit concerned about a couple subjects at school and Sebas is working hard so that he does not have  be concerned at all). As for Marina and I, with the academic year drawing to an end, we have started our long chain of “institutional meetings” to evaluate what our teaching was like. These “institutional meetings” take place in the kitchen at home, normally while Marina cooks or after dinner (Marina wants to add: “when you do not go to sleep at the table!”). We are both quite happy with the results of the courses we taught this year ( I know we still have to wait for the final exams and all that but…) and we still feel there are a number of things we should be doing to improve the quality of our teaching next year. Money is a big concern : we (like everybody else) have to work long hours which reduces our lecture preparation time ( reading, revising, preparing a power point presentation or two) considerably (Research? Are you serious? We do what we can in our own spare time__ believe us: it´s not much). But all in all we are very happy about our jobs…to start with, we are two of the blessed few who can feel a great passion for what they do. And that is saying much, these days.




Omar and Marina






1.-    Promoting L2 Vocabulary Learning.

2.-    Our brain´s response to humour.    

3.-    News from the British Council: Literary Awards.    

4.-    My List. 

5.-    International Business, Language & Technology Conference.

6.-    Who´s Hu?  

7.-    NLP Newsletter for Teachers and Head teachers.       

8.-    Interpretación Simultánea.

9.-    Dedicación Exclusiva en la Universidad

10.-   >From a Dancer´s Heart.

11.-   Congresses in Spain.







Our dear SHARER Maria de los Ángeles Valdez from Asunción, Paraguay wants to SHARE this interesting article with all of us:


The Word Wall Approach:

Promoting L2 Vocabulary Learning


by Kevin Eyraud, Gillian Giles, Susan Koenig, and Fredericka L. Stoller   



Vocabulary is central to language and of critical importance to the typical language learner" (Zimmerman 1997:5). Our second language (L2) students would be the first ones to tell us that a curriculum-wide commitment to vocabulary enrichment assists them in developing their language abilities. Fortunately for students and instructors, most vocabulary growth takes place through incidental learning, that is, through exposure to comprehensible language in reading, listening, discussions, bulletin board displays, videos, and so forth. Reading has been singled out as the primary means, and the most reliable way, to promote incidental vocabulary learning (Stahl 1999). In fact, Nagy and Herman (1985, 1987) claim that teachers should promote reading because it leads to greater vocabulary growth than any program of explicit instruction.


The recognition of the importance of incidental learning does not preclude, however, the exploration of ways in which vocabulary learning can be enhanced through direct teaching (Carter 1998). L2 students, even if they are avid readers with many reading materials at their fingertips, appreciate and benefit from explicit vocabulary instruction. Through a range of instructional activities, language students can actively and consciously expand their vocabulary knowledge. Meaningful instruction should of course include the explicit teaching of word meanings and discussions about words and their prefixes, suffixes, and roots. But it should also include dictionary exercises, word family activities, semantic mapping, semantic feature analyses, word associations, synonym and antonym activities, cognate awareness exercises, practice with lexical sets, classification activities, and strategy instruction.1 Although classroom instruction of these types cannot account for all the words students need to learn, it is well documented that direct instruction promotes vocabulary development (Carter 1998, Nation 1990, Stahl 1999).

In this article, we outline three principles which can guide teachers in planning for explicit vocabulary instruction. We describe a vocabulary immersion approach, Green's (1993) Word Wall, which provides teachers with a versatile mechanism for promoting vocabulary growth in their classrooms. We then give an account of the adaptations that we made to Green's original approach to meet the needs of our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students. We conclude with a discussion of the initial problems encountered using the Word Wall and our solutions, presented as a set of teacher guidelines.


Principles for explicit vocabulary instruction


Research that has focused on vocabulary learning can guide teachers in planning explicit vocabulary instruction. For the purposes of this article, we focus on three research findings of particular relevance to language classroom settings. First, research has demonstrated that vocabulary learning requires multiple exposures to new lexical items in various discourse contexts. Multiple exposures, of varying intensities and in diverse contexts, are said to gradually lead to a large recognition vocabulary (see Grabe and Stoller 1997). Some researchers claim that a minimum of 10 to 12 exposures is needed for learners to begin to see the range of meanings and uses for new lexical items (Coady 1997; Paribakht and Wesche 1997). Duquette and Painchaud (1996:163) assert that "lexical competence is progressively constructed by the repeated occurrence of a word within a variety of new contexts." Claims such as these suggest that teachers should consider the ways in which they systematically recycle important vocabulary in the classroom.

Second, research has revealed that elaborated vocabulary learning occurs when students make meaningful connections between new and already familiar words. Instructional approaches that juxtapose new and known words (through, for example, semantic mapping and semantic feature analysis) allow students to use known words in new contexts, with new nuances, new meanings, and new collocations and to use new words with practical associations. This expanded sense of new and known words allows for faster processing of semantically related words.

Third, research has shown that context can be a powerful influence on students' vocabulary growth (Stahl 1999). But learning words from context is a long-term process during which word meanings are slowly accumulated through exposure and learning. By means of explicit instruction, language teachers can "compress that process so that students can learn more words in a shorter period of time" (Stahl 1999:14). Key here is the need to focus instructional attention on words that students have encountered in rich contexts (usually through reading), rather than from decontextualized word lists.

The Word Wall approach, expanded upon in the remainder of this article, easily accommodates the three principles of vocabulary learning that were just introduced. As will become evident, the Word Wall provides opportunities for multiple exposures to lexical items; it encourages students to make connections between new and known words; and it can be used in response to meaningful contexts or to build relevant context around new words. Equally important, the Word Wall promotes active student involvement, a key to effective learning in general.


The Word Wall approach


The Word Wall approach (Green 1993) was originally designed to challenge and motivate high-achieving as well as reluctant first language students (in elementary and secondary classrooms) to develop vocabulary learning skills and to internalize new vocabulary. Using a set of six word-filled wall panels, each with a different background color corresponding to a different curricular objective (e.g., phonic elements, word form classes, grammatical forms, or spelling patterns), Green literally surrounded his students with words. The ever-present "walls of words" became an integral part of his classroom. Each panel included lexical items selected from vocabulary lists corresponding to classroom readers and lists of high-frequency English words. The walls of words were not used as the only instructional tool for vocabulary development in his classroom, Green also integrated them into various classroom lessons, accommodating individual, pair, small group, and whole class instruction. Students consulted the Word Wall as a thesaurus and spell-check during writing assignments; they used it as a resource during language development lessons, and they often turned to the Word Wall for rainy-day lunch and recess activities. Specific lessons and competitive games were devised around the Word Wall to encourage the development of vocabulary learning strategies and to build students' vocabularies through explicit instruction, implicit learning, multiple exposures, and opportunities for making meaningful connections among words. The repetition and recycling made possible by using the Word Wall approach, and the possibility for students to see, touch, hear, say, and write the words, resulted in greater vocabulary retention and an enthusiasm for learning vocabulary.


Adapting Green's Word Wall for various instructional settings


Green's Word Wall approach can be adapted for a range of L2 instructional settings without sacrificing its commitment to vocabulary development. The flexibility of the approach makes it easily adaptable for settings where space considerations, curricular priorities, student motivation, and student needs may require changes in procedure.

Adaptations in five areas are worth pointing out. First, Green used multiple walls, devoting each one to a particular language objective. Limited classroom wall space may determine how the basic approach is realized in other instructional settings. In our intensive English program, we used one full wall of our classroom for the Word Wall, placing paper word strips on the carpeted wall with small pieces of self-adhesive Velcro. In other classrooms, an unused blackboard, the space above a chalkboard, a bulletin board, sheets of butcher paper, or portable poster boardmay be most useful for teachers who do not have exclusive use of a classroom. The poster board could serve as the background for lexical items. Regardless of how words are actually displayed, what is important is that words be added gradually and remain easily visible to all students (Moore, Moore, Cunningham, and Cunningham 1994).

Second, Green's use of colors to distinguish one Word Wall from another can also be adapted for diverse classroom settings. Each of Green's walls had a different background color, each color corresponding to a separate language goal; for example, words on the blue panel highlighted certain spelling conventions, and words on the orange panel depicted certain phonics rules. If only one wall is available, individual lexical items, rather than the wall itself, can be color coded. Depending on curricular goals and student needs, the colors used might correspond to specific word classes, such as green for nouns, blue for verbs, orange for adjectives, and yellow for adverbs. Colors could also correspond to different thematic units, for example, violet for words first encountered in a unit (or chapter) on pollution and red for words encountered in a unit on endangered species. Colors might also be used to identify the curricular component in which the new lexical item was first introduced, like tan for words encountered in a reading class and pink for words introduced in a listening class. We implemented the latter approach, using separate colors for lexical items first encountered in our core content-based course (pink), reading lab (green), video course (yellow), and TOEFL preparation course (blue). These color designations triggered associations in our students' minds about the place and time they first encountered the word, thereby facilitating word recognition and use.

A third adaptation to Green's approach relates to the types of exercises used with the Word Wall lexicon. The use of phonics and an emphasis on spelling patterns may not be appropriate for all instructional settings. Thus, teachers will need to devise activities that meet the vocabulary learning needs of their own students. For example, some teachers may want to focus on synonyms and antonyms, word order, collocations, and semantic groupings to reinforce vocabulary building and introduce students to vocabulary learning strategies. (More specific suggestions for Word Wall use are included in the next section of this article.)

The fourth adaptation deals with choice of lexical items for the Word Wall. Green selected words from formal word lists and then placed them on his various Word Wall panels. Lexical items can also be selected directly from the "texts" that students are exposed to in class, interpreted broadly to mean all sources of content information including readings, videos, charts and graphs, lectures, and so forth. In our opinion, lexical items that students have encountered (or are going to encounter) in real texts, for authentic communicative purposes, are the best candidates for the Word Wall. The contextualized exposure and realization that the word is important are likely to assist students in learning the vocabulary item and connecting it to other words encountered in other texts and on the Word Wall.

Furthermore, there is no need to restrict selection decisions to the teacher alone. In fact, involving students actively in lexical item selection (the fifth adaptation) has many benefits. When students are given the chance to select words for the Word Wall, they often develop a sense of ownership toward the Word Wall and its contents. The act of selecting a Word Wall entry often leads to multiple exposures to the word as a result of deliberate decision-making and negotiations with classmates.


Word Wall activities that promote vocabulary learning


Teachers can devise any number of explicit instructional activities and games to make use of the Word Wall itself and the lexical items placed on the Word Wall. Curricular priorities and student needs will determine, in large part, the nature of the activities integrated into the classroom. It can be assumed that students will make reference to the Word Wall at other times, on their own, when editing their written work, when engaged in problem-solving activities, when reading, and so forth. The incidental learning that takes place as a result of the ever-present Word Wall is likely to contribute to students' vocabulary learning.

We describe here a small sampling of Word Wall activities that can be integrated into L2 instruction to promote vocabulary learning and to support language skills development. Some of these activities require very little class time, whereas others can become part of more substantive lessons. What is important to remember is that each encounter with a word from the Word Wall and its meaning will contribute to students' growing understanding of a word and the many contexts in which it can be used. For ease of presentation, we have divided the sample activities below into three categories based on their primary focus: explicit vocabulary building, reading and writing, and speaking and listening.


Explicit vocabulary building activities


The Word Wall can be used for explicit vocabulary building in numerous ways. The activities described below represent a fraction of the options that teachers have to assist students in developing their vocabulary. Many traditional vocabulary-building activities can be adapted and used with the Word Wall.

Word clustering. The creative movement and reorganization of lexical items on the Word Wall will help students make connections between new and known items as well as semantically related words. Examples of creative groupings include clusters of topically related lexical items, pairs of logically linked adjectives and nouns, pairs of synonyms and antonyms, groups of words from the same word class, semantic groupings, and lexical linkages that are simply playful.

Multiple meaning awareness activities. Students can be asked to find Word Wall items with more than one meaning (e.g., spring refers to a season of the year, the action of moving quickly, a small body of water, and an object similar to a coil). In pairs or groups, students can be asked to write sentences that demonstrate the different meanings of the word or to write definitions.

Vocabulary expansion. The teacher identifies a useful word, which is likely to be unfamiliar to most students, that is repeated throughout a reading passage. The teacher defines the word and then puts it on the Word Wall. Students scan the reading passage for the word and highlight it throughout the passage. The class then discusses other contexts in which the word might appear.

Word part exercise. After teaching students about word parts (e.g., contra-, mis-, dec-, multi-, -tion, -ly), the teacher directs students to find words on the Word Wall that have identifiable word parts. The teacher asks questions to determine if students can define the words using their knowledge of word parts.

Matching. After distributing Word Wall entries to all students in class, students circulate to find classmates who have synonyms, antonyms, or words in the same word class. As a possible variation, half of the students can be given strips with definitions of Word Wall items, and the other half can be given the actual words. Students circulate to match words and definitions.

Finding synonyms or antonyms. The teacher generates a set of sentences with synonyms or antonyms of Word Wall entries underlined. Students must replace the underlined word with its counterpart from the Word Wall.

Crossword puzzles. Using lexical items from the Word Wall, the teacher creates a crossword puzzle. Definitions can be used as clues, or sentences with blanks can be used if context clues lead students to the solution. (Teacher preparation time is reduced if crossword puzzle software is available.)


Reading and writing activities


Vocabulary building is often associated with reading and writing instruction. The sample activities described below illustrate three ways in which teachers can integrate the Word Wall into reading and writing instruction.

Cloze passage. The teacher (or students) creates a cloze passage with blanks for Word Wall items. Students attempt to fill in the blanks with appropriate words from the Word Wall.

Free writes/speed writes. Students can be asked to write for a certain length of time, incorporating a designated number of lexical items from the Word Wall into their writing. The teacher may assign a topic or leave it open. As a variation, teachers can ask students to incorporate Word Wall items into poetry writing, class newspaper articles, or other written assignments.

Journal entry. Students pick a lexical item from the Word Wall and write a journal entry about it. For example, a student can pick the word compassion and write an entry about a compassionate acquaintance.


Speaking and listening activities


New vocabulary items can easily be integrated into speaking and listening activities to promote vocabulary growth through meaningful use and recycling. The Word Wall activities described below depict some of the options that teachers can choose from.

Descriptions. Students describe a classmate or classroom object by using Word Wall items. Students can play a game in which they use five words from the Word Wall to describe something or someone in the room while other students try to identify the person or item being described.

Guessing game. In pairs, one student describes a Word Wall entry (i.e., how it is used or its definition) and the student's partner tries to match the clue with a Word Wall item.

Story telling. The whole class tells a story. The teacher models the process by starting the story, including several Word Wall items in the introduction, and pointing to the words on the Word Wall when they are used. A student volunteer builds upon the story line until a designated number of Word Wall entries has been used, and then the story is continued by other students.

Twenty questions. The teacher chooses a word from the Word Wall, and the students guess it by asking the teacher up to 20 yes-or no-questions.

Word Wall Jeopardy. The teacher chooses various words from the Word Wall and places them in categories, such as nouns, adjectives, or content words. Then the teacher supplies definitions to students in "Jeopardy" game-show fashion. Teams of students try to identify the appropriate Word Wall match. The group with the highest number of points wins.


Suggested guidelines for Word Wall use


During our initial attempts at integrating a Word Wall into our EAP curriculum, we encountered some minor stumbling blocks. We list the most noteworthy problems and follow that with guidelines that can facilitate the integration of the Word Wall concept into other L2 classrooms.

1. Too many lexical items were placed on the Word Wall during our first semester using the Word Wall. There was simply not enough time to recycle all the Word Wall items into classroom activities so that the words could be retained. Consequently, many items placed on the Word Wall were never revisited or recycled. Thus, at the end of the first semester, many of the Word Wall items were still fairly unfamiliar to students.

2. When students began to select words for the Word Wall, they sometimes chose uncommon or infrequently used words, thereby placing words on the Wall that would have little value for them.

3. Words were placed on the Word Wall uncreatively, most often in orderly horizontal and vertical lines.

4. Initially we restricted Word Wall choices to single words rather than common phrases, idioms, phrasal verbs, or fixed expressions, severely limiting student exposure to other relevant and useful vocabulary.

In response to these problems, we generated a list of guidelines that assisted us in using the Word Wall more effectively during the second semester. We offer the following eight suggestions to help L2 teachers use the Word Wall with ease.

1. Whether lexical items are selected by teachers or students, three criteria need to be met before words are placed on the Wall: The Word Wall entries must be useful to the students, usable by the students, and frequently used by native speakers. Without establishing such criteria, students (and occasionally teachers) might select lexical items that are infrequently used or archaic. Teachers should be able to reject words that do not fall into these categories. To remind students of these criteria, teachers might want to place a small, but conspicuous flyer on the Word Wall.

2. Lexical items that stem from contextualized exposure, rather than a decontextualized word list, are the best candidates for the Word Wall. Posting words that students need to understand to comprehend a reading, a chart or graph, a video, a lecture, a bulletin board display, or a guest speaker is an effective Word Wall strategy.

3. Teachers should consider how many words that they want on the Word Wall at any given time and over the course of a term. At the beginning of any term, the Word Wall will be empty. Over time, as students encounter more new words as a result of exposure to new texts, new lexical items will be chosen for Word Wall placement. In some settings, teachers may choose to rotate words, dating all entries and keeping them on the Wall for a few weeks or for the duration of a specific instructional unit. In other settings, students can vote on the words they want to keep up or take down. Some sort of procedure needs to be established to maintain the flow of words on and off the Word Wall. What is critical, however, is the need to keep entries on the Wall long enough to ensure that students have multiple encounters with the words and opportunities to make connections between new and old entries.

4. Word Wall selections need not be confined to single words. Phrases, idioms, fixed expressions, and phrasal verbs should be included if deemed important for the students.

5. Word Wall items should be placed creatively (e.g., in semantic groupings) rather than in straight, orderly rows on the Word Wall. Teachers and students alike should be willing to move Word Wall entries around on the Wall. Fixed placements limit the usefulness and versatility of the Wall for instructional purposes. Activities that encourage students to move words about reinforce multiple usages and collocations.

6. As emphasized by Green (1993:10), the Word Wall is most effective when it is "a regular and predictable part of classroom activities." It should therefore become a physical presence in the classroom early in the term and a standard instructional tool shortly thereafter.

7. A variety of instructional activities that recycle and review Word Wall items should be devised for classroom use. The physical placement of lexical items on the Word Wall is just the beginning. The Word Wall entries should be incorporated into subsequent speaking, listening, reading, writing, and grammar activities.

8. Depending on student age, maturity, and language proficiency, teachers must decide how to introduce the Word Wall concept. Simply involving students with the ever-present Wall so they develop a noticeable degree of comfort with many lexical items on the Wall can serve as an adequate introduction in some settings. More explicit commentary on vocabulary learning strategies might be appropriate in other classrooms.




The importance of vocabulary for L2 students requires that teachers solidify their commitment to vocabulary building. Teachers can stimulate students' vocabulary growth and retention by rethinking instructional priorities and taking the following steps. First, teachers should make a point of immersing their students in a vocabulary-rich environment to promote the incidental learning of vocabulary. Second, they should increase the amount of reading assigned to their students, because reading is likely to have the greatest impact on students' vocabulary knowledge. Third, they should set aside time for explicit vocabulary instruction that not only teaches word meanings but also provides opportunities for (a) systematic recycling of lexical items in a range of meaningful contexts, (b) connections between new and known lexical items, and (c) active student involvement. The Word Wall approach, as originally conceived and in various adapted renditions, helps students build their vocabulary and vocabulary-learning strategies. The versatility of the approach makes it attractive for teachers in a range of instructional settings. In all cases, the Word Wall can assist students in building their vocabulary, thereby improving their language proficiency and ability to function in the target language.




Allen, V. 1983. Techniques in teaching vocabulary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Carter, R. 1998. Vocabulary: Applied linguistic perspectives (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Coady, J. 1997. L2 vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading. In Second language vocabulary acquisition, pp. 225-237. Eds. J. Coady and T. Huckin. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Duquette, L., and G. Painchaud. 1996. A comparison of vocabulary acquisition in audio and video contexts. The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue Canadienne des Langues Vivantes, 53, 1, pp. 143-171.

Gairns, R., and S. Redman. 1986. Working with words: A guide to teaching and learning vocabulary. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Grabe, W., and F. Stoller. 1997. Reading and vocabulary development in a second language: A case study. In Second language vocabulary acquisition, pp. 98-122. Eds. J. Coady and T. Huckin. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Green, J. 1993. The Word Wall: Teaching vocabulary through immersion. Ontario, Canada: Pippin Publishing Limited.

McCarthy, M. 1990. Vocabulary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Moore, D., S. Moore, P. Cunningham, and J. Cunningham. 1994. Developing readers and writers in the content areas: K-12 (2nd ed.). White Plains, New York: Longman.

Morgan, J., and M. Rinvolucri. 1986. Vocabulary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Nagy, W., and P. Herman. 1985. Incidental vs. instructional approaches to increasing reading vocabulary. Educational Perspectives, 23, pp. 16-21.

---. 1987. Breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge: Implications for acquisition and instruction. In The nature of vocabulary acquisition, pp. 19-35. Eds. M. McKeown and M. Curtis. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Nation, P. 1990. Teaching and learning vocabulary. New York: Newbury House.

---. 1994. New ways in teaching vocabulary. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Nation, P. and J. Newton. 1997. Teaching vocabulary. In Second language vocabulary acquisition, pp. 238-254. Eds. J. Coady and T. Huckin. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Paribakht, S., and M. Wesche. 1997. Vocabulary enrichment activities and reading for meaning in second language vocabulary acquisition. In Second language vocabulary acquisition, pp. 238-254. Eds. J. Coady and T. Huckin. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Stahl, S. A. 1999. Vocabulary development. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.

Taylor, L. 1990. Teaching and learning vocabulary. New York: Prentice Hall.

Zimmerman, C. B. 1997. Historical trends in second language vocabulary instruction. In Second language vocabulary acquisition, pp. 5-19. Eds. J. Coady and T. Huckin. New York: Cambridge University Press.


Kevin Eyraud is an instructor in the English Language Testing and Training Program (ELTTP) at American University, Cairo, Egypt.

Gillian Giles is an instructor at Komaki English Teaching Center, Komaki, Japan.

Susan Koenig teaches at South Callaway High School, Missouri, United States.

Fredricka L. Stoller is an associate professor in the MA-TESL and applied linguistics programs at Northern Arizona University, Arizona, United States.



© 2000, Forum – Vol 38 No 3, July - September







The following is a reproduction from an article published in "CyberCowGrrl" < last Monday, November 18, 2002


The Brain's Funny Bone: Seinfeld, The Simpsons spark same nerve circuits

by John Travis


Neuroscientists-normally a reserved group-were laughing at William M. Kelley's presentation. He wasn't upset, however. The researcher had just shown the scientists a clip from the sitcom Seinfeld to illustrate how his group investigates the brain's response to humor.


With the aid of Jerry Seinfeld and his friends, as well as the animated characters of the cartoon The Simpsons, Kelley and his colleagues have found that different brain regions spark with activity when a person gets a joke versus when he or she reacts to it.


"Humor is a significant part of what makes us unique as human beings," says Kelley, a neuroscientist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He presented his group's brain-imaging data last week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Orlando, Fla.


Despite humor's appeal, few researchers have studied its neural basis. Last year, a British group described the brain activity of people listening to real jokes and puns and to nonsense versions.


Seeking a more natural study of humor, Kelley's group initially had a dozen or so self-professed fans of Seinfeld watch an episode-the one in which George seeks a baldness remedy from China. Meanwhile, a magnetic resonance imaging machine continuously scanned their brains for nerve-cell activity.

Ultimately, the scientists analyzed the data for the few seconds before and after each joke, as indicated by the show's laugh track.


As a participant viewed something funny, regions of the brain's left hemisphere-the posterior temporal cortex and inferior frontal cortex-initially crackled with activity. Neuroscientists have previously associated these regions with resolving ambiguities, says Kelley.


A few seconds later, presumably as the person responded to the humor, brain regions called the insula and amygdala became active across both hemispheres of the brain. The insula plays a role in emotional sensations, while researchers usually link the amygdala to memory processing. "You tend to recall the funny bits" of a sitcom, notes Kelley.


Studying the brain's response to humor is a challenge, and Kelley's effort is innovative, says Ralph Adolphs of the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. "It seems that actually watching a full-length episode [of a sitcom] is going to elicit humor in a more realistic, intense fashion than if you just read or hear a punch line in a lab," says Adolphs.


Concerned that the laugh track on Seinfeld influenced study volunteers' reactions, Kelley and his colleagues repeated their experiment with an episode of The Simpsons, which doesn't use recorded laughs. "We observed a near-identical pattern of [brain] activation," says Kelley.





Kelley, W.M., et al. 2002. The neural funny bone: Dissociating cognitive and affective components of humor. Society for Neuroscience 32nd Annual Meeting. Nov. 2-7. Orlando, Fla.


Further Readings:


Goel, V., and R.J. Dolan. 2001. The functional anatomy of humor: Segregating cognitive and affective components. Nature Neuroscience 4 (March):237-238. Abstract.




Ralph Adolphs - University of Iowa College of Medicine - Department of Neurology

William M. Kelley - Dartmouth College - Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences


From Science News, Vol. 162, No. 20, Nov. 16, 2002, p. 308.


© CyberCowGrrl





Our dear SHARER Mary Godward, Information Services Manager - The British Council

sends us this information:


Man Booker prize for Fiction 2002


The shortlist for this prestigious literary prize was announced in September and included:


Life of Pi by Yann Martel - Canongate 1841952451 £12.99


Pi and his family, who own a zoo, decide to emigrate from India.  On the way, tragedy strikes and the ship is sunk.  Pi finds himself in a life boat with a hyena, a zebra, a tiger and an orangutan. He manages to keep his wits as the food chain establishes itself.


Family matters by Rohinton Mistry - Faber 0571194273 £16.99


This story centres on a 79-year-old Parsi widower named Nariman who lives with his stepson and stepdaughter.  Nariman's wife died many years before, leaving behind the two children from her first marriage and the daughter, Roxanna, they had together.


Unless by Carol Shields - Fourth Estate 0007137702 £16.99


All her life Reta Winters has enjoyed the useful monotony of happiness with a loving family and growing success as a writer.  Then her eldest daughter suddenly withdraws from the world to sit on a street corner, uncommunicative but for a sign around her neck bearing one word, "Goodness".


The story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor - Viking 0670913421 £16.99


Captain Gault has decided that his family must leave Lahardane.  They are, after all, Protestants living in the big house in rural Cork, and the country is in turmoil.  It is 1921.  But eight-year-old Lucy can't bear to leave the seashore, the old house, the woods - so she hatches a plan.


Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - Virago 1860498825 £12.99


Set in a den of thieves in 1860's London, this novel focuses on Susan, a pickpocket, who is persuaded by her cohorts to pose as a lady's maid and infiltrate the household of Maud, a young heiress in possession of a large inheritance.


Dirt music by Tim Winton - Picador 0330490249 £15.99


Georgie Jutland is a mess.  At 40, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded in White Point with a fisherman she doesn't love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace.  Then a dangerous element enters her life - Luther Fox.  Their unlikely alliance is set in Western Australia.


And the winner is...


Yann Martel, the 39-year-old Canadian novelist, shipwrecked the expectations of pundits and publishers to win the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. His eccentric and entrancing third novel, 'Life of Pi', beat fancied contenders such as Sarah Waters and William Trevor to secure a narrow victory.

For further information, please see,12350,777184,00.html


The Booker Prize and US writers


Booker Prize officials have decided against opening up the award to writers outside of Britain, the Commonwealth and Ireland. The announcement ends months of speculation that US writers might become eligible for Britain's most prestigious literary award. However, Booker dministrator Martyn Goff confirmed that organisers were considering setting up a separate lifetime achievement award open to all nationalities, provided the work was published in English.



Mary Godward

Information Services Manager - The British Council

Marcelo T de Alvear 590 - 4to - C1058AAF Buenos Aires

Tel: +54 (011) 43119814/7519 - Fax: Extension/Interno 141





4.-   MY LIST 


Our dear SHARER  Susan Hillyard sends us this message which she says is “something which should touch everybody and that they can share with lots of others”. Thank you for your contribution, Susan!



I have a list of folks I know......all written in a book,

and every now and then......I go and take a look.

That is when I realize these names......they are a part,

not of the book they're written in......but taken from the heart.

For each name stands for someone......who has crossed my path sometime,

and in that meeting they have become......the reason and the rhyme.

Although it sounds fantastic......for me to make this claim,

I really am composed......of each remembered name.

Although you're not aware......of any special link,

just knowing you, has shaped my life......more than you could think.

So please don't think my just a mere routine,

your name was not......forgotten in between.

For when I send a greeting......that is addressed to you,

it is because you're on the list......of folks I'm indebted to.

So whether I have known you......for many days or few,

in some ways you have a shaping things I do.

I am but a total......of many folks I've met,

you are a friend I would prefer......never to forget.






Our dear SHARER Alicia Barbitta  from Uruguay sends us this information:



CIBER 2003 Language Conference)

April 2 - 5, 2003   Miami, FL 



The 2003 CIBER Languages Conference will concentrate on 3 content  areas:


1) Language, Communication and Culture:  This area focuses on the use and teaching of language, communication, as well as culture for business and the professions. Topics are myriad, but include for example: new course design and development, different ways of teaching business

language, communication blunders, cross-cultural studies, case studies, interdisciplinary programs, study abroad programs, internships, grant writing, strategic partnerships, among others.


2) Technology as a Tool: In the last few years, technological tools have exploded on the learning scene, and have direct impact on all aspects of language delivery. Topics here are diverse, but might include the use of the Internet 2 (I2), e-business, distance learning, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and how these new technologies help or hinder learning.


(3) International Business and Emerging Issues: As the professions become more “international" in focus and borders disappear, new issues emerge. These include a resurgence of less commonly taught languages, the relationship of e-commerce and foreign languages, how 9/11 has altered our collective headsets regarding languages, the recruitment of students, partnerships with other institutions, among other topics.


Although Languages dominate the conference, technology as an enabling force will be highlighted, as will the focus on emerging issues in International Business and the professions.


Paper Presentations:  Each paper chosen for presentation should be a 15-20 minute presentation, distilled from the paper submission. Ideally the papers will not exceed 40 pages in length, and the Chairperson of  the session will inform each presenter in advance as to the session format. Audience interaction is stressed here. The format can be Power Point-driven, or with handouts.


Symposia or Panels: Each symposium or panel chosen will be either 90 or 120 minutes in duration. The final half hour should ideally be for audience interaction.  As you frame your symposium submission, please cast it for wide audience appeal, which might include speakers from

different institutions, and controversial topics.


Pre-Conference Workshops: Workshops lasting all day, or for a duration of several hours are welcome at the Pre-Conference. Here the focus is on intensive training on topics, skills and program development. For example, a day long session could be devoted to developing and

teaching a business language course, where the participants are given materials and through a very hands-on approach, deal with common start-up issues.


For more information please contact: Florida International University CIBER Phone: 305-348-1740 l   Fax: 305-348-1789E-mail: and

Visit us at

Hosted by Florida International University Center for International

Business Education and Research, and cosponsored by multiple CIBERs nationwide.




6.-       WHO´S HU?


One of our founding SHARERS and godmother Elida Messina sends this tongue-in-cheek contribution:


Playwright Jim Sherman wrote this today after Hu Jintao was named chief of the Communist Party in China.



By James Sherman


(We take you now to the Oval Office.)


George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?

Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George: Great. Lay it on me.

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I want to know.

Condi: That's what I'm telling you.

George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes.

George: I mean the fellow's name.

Condi: Hu.

George: The guy in China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The new leader of China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The Chinaman!

Condi: Hu is leading China.

George: Now whaddya' asking me for?

Condi: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.

George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?

Condi: That's the man's name.

George: That's who's name?

Condi: Yes.

George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.

Condi: That's correct.

George: Then who is in China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir is in China?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Then who is?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi: Kofi?

George: No, thanks.

Condi: You want Kofi?

George: No.

Condi: You don't want Kofi.

George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi?

George: Milk! Will you please make the call?

Condi: And call who?

George: Who is the guy at the U.N?

Condi: Hu is the guy in China.

George: Will you stay out of China?!

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi.

George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.

(Condi picks up the phone.)

Condi: Rice, here.

George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?






Our dear SHARER Iliana Grazziano writes to us:


Newsletter de PNL para Docentes, Directores y Rectores de Institutos y Asociaciones Afines


American Forum y C&C tienen el agrado de anunciar el inicio de la Newsletter de PNL (Programación Neurolingüística) especialmente dirigida a docentes, directores y rectores de institutos y asociaciones afines.


Resulta altamente eficaz en todo proceso de aprendizaje-enseñanza incluir las habilidades y herramientas que aporta la PNL para lograr objetivos tales como: 


generar rapport "naturalmente" con la mayor cantidad de alumnos posible

ponerse en el lugar del alumno, averiguando cuál es su proceso de pensamiento para el aprendizaje

ayudarlos a recordar vocabulario y/o fijar estructuras a través de Submodalidades y Accesos Oculares

desafiar creencias que nuestros alumnos puedan tener, por ejemplo: soy malo para los idiomas; no tengo tiempo para hacer la tarea; no sirvo para redactar en forma clara, etc.

estrategias para mantener y motivar la atención


El próximo mes, hablaremos sobre los Principios de la PNL, base para generar cambios en nosotros - en los pensamientos, acciones y emociones que intervienen en cada proceso - para la obtención de resultados distintos o nuevas experiencias.


Para suscribirse a este envío y/o obtener información acerca de nuestros cursos para docentes, contactarse con American Forum: o en los teléfonos 4326-2695 / 7955. Website:






Our dear SHARERS at McDonough announce:


Curso de Verano 2003 de Interpretación Simultánea


El programa de los cursos que McDonough ha diseñado apunta a que cada alumno desarrolle las técnicas y la práctica de la interpretación, trabajando en cabinas individuales con los más modernos equipos de interpretación simultánea disponibles en el mercado. Muchos graduados de universidades o de cursos de interpretación simultánea buscan nuestros cursos como un posgrado de actualización y exposición laboral.


McDonough brinda:

Práctica de interpretación simultánea de las últimas conferencias del mercado

Los temas más actuales del mercado: Telecomunicaciones, networking, electricidad, management, ingeniería, delitos cibernéticos, entre muchos otros.

Seguimiento individualizado del alumno

Carga horaria de 6 horas semanales

Práctica de relay

Grabación autónoma y centralizada

Laboratorio de 11 Cabinas de interpretación

Consolas de audio y micrófonos profesionales

Sistema de proyección de transparencias y Proyección de datos

Equipos de sonido infrarrojos para conferencias

Micrófonos inalámbricos UHF


Para todos los cursos se tomarán los exámenes de ingreso durante el mes de noviembre. Las vacantes son limitadas ya que hay sólo 11 cabinas por curso. Para mayor información:

El Centro de capacitación McDonough está ubicado en Sarmiento 983, piso 11, Capital.

Informes e inscripción 2003Tel/fax: 4325-3101 (Líneas Rotativas)






The following is a reproduction of an article published in TEKNE Digital - Edición Nº 9 - Octubre 2002



Como característica del Sistema de Educación Superior del País, solamente  el 14 % de los profesores argentinos tiene dedicación exclusiva en la Universidad


Un profesor que da sus clases, está disponible durante el día en la universidad y se dedica a investigar en su área es una rara avis en la educación superior Argentina. Aquí, la mayoría de los docentes universitarios completa un sueldo razonable sumando horas de clase aquí y allá y agregando trabajo en el ámbito privado.

Únicamente el 14% de los docentes de las universidades nacionales posee dedicación exclusiva, es decir que sólo 14.930 de los 113.408 profesores tienen la universidad como único trabajo y cumplen en ella 40 horas semanales de docencia e investigación, con la imposibilidad teórica de realizar tareas rentadas fuera de esa institución.

La gran mayoría, el 63%, tiene dedicación simple -10 horas semanales de clase- y el 22% restante, semiexclusiva -20 horas semanales de docencia con opción de investigación-.

Aunque se acepta que en toda carrera es saludable una proporción de docentes que provengan del mundo profesional, la escasez de académicos que promuevan la investigación y estén disponibles para seguir de cerca a los estudiantes termina resintiendo la calidad de la enseñanza.



Razones económicas


Las causas de la baja proporción de docentes full time son, en buena medida, económicas: sostener un cuerpo de académicos supone, aun con sueldos bajos, un gasto imposible de afrontar para las universidades más grandes, con una matrícula que se multiplica y fondos que se restringen.

En la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), por ejemplo, donde sólo el 11% de los docentes es full time, un profesor titular con máxima antigüedad y dedicación exclusiva puede aspirar a unos $ 1800 por mes, con un piso inicial de $ 600. Los que tienen dedicación semiexclusiva ven variar su sueldo entre $ 300 y $ 600, y la dedicación simple va de $ 60 a $ 200. Un 30% de los 22.370 profesores de la UBA, en tanto, da clases sin cobrar.

"Diez cargos simples equivalen a uno exclusivo, pero alcanzan a muchos más alumnos. Las universidades con muchos estudiantes optan por multiplicar las dedicaciones simples porque es más barato", resumió a LA NACIÓN Daniel Ricci, secretario general del gremio docente de la UBA.

"El modelo de dedicación exclusiva es deseable, pero hay que ser realista y ver hasta dónde nuestro sistema puede sostener su ampliación", dijo Ana García de Fanelli, investigadora del Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (Cedes). "En carreras que concentran la matrícula, como Contador Público, Derecho y Medicina, si se quiere tener una estructura de docentes exclusivos hay que pagar salarios de mercado, para que un contador, un abogado o un médico elija la universidad como única actividad", dijo.

Por eso, las ciencias básicas y biológicas tienen mayor cantidad de docentes full time. "En estas disciplinas el mundo académico es la inserción laboral más frecuente y atractiva, y son carreras donde el número de estudiantes no creció y en algunos casos disminuyó", dijo Fanelli.

Una mirada más cercana al sistema universitario revela heterogeneidad. Hay universidades públicas con una alta proporción de profesores full time, como las de Quilmes (80%), General Sarmiento (60%), San Luis (46%), Río Cuarto (42%), Tucumán (32%) y de la Patagonia Austral (28%).

Se trata, en general, de universidades de creación más reciente, con menos alumnos, mayor presupuesto por estudiante y que instalaron otro esquema docente casi desde su creación. En las universidades más grandes, reformar el esquema salarial -que desde 1992 elabora cada universidad en forma autónoma- es difícil, operativamente y por cuestiones políticas.

Así, la Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (UNQ) cuenta con 140 docentes investigadores con dedicación exclusiva, concursados, que ganan entre $ 1200 y $ 3000 mensuales, más plus por formación académica, actividades de gestión, antecedentes personales y los resultados de las evaluaciones que cada dos años deben pasar.

"El resto de los profesores son contratados para dar clases en cada semestre o año, en áreas más profesionales", dijo el vicerrector de Relaciones Institucionales, Mario Greco.


Casos en las privadas


En el ámbito privado, en tanto, se reproducen las variaciones. En la Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) hay un 15% de docentes con dedicación exclusiva (entre 25 a 45 horas por semana), de un total de 1700 profesores. Los planes son aumentar este número hasta llegar al 25% de dedicaciones exclusivas en 2006, dijo el vicerrector Ernesto Parselis.

Otras universidades privadas, sin pretensiones de masividad, basan su organización en los profesores full time. Una es la Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (UTDT), con 1200 alumnos y 49 profesores investigadores, muchos de ellos repatriados de universidades extranjeras y seleccionados rigurosamente por sus antecedentes académicos. El plantel docente se completa con 31 profesores visitantes que llegan del exterior durante una parte del año y 160 con dedicación parcial.

"La enseñanza universitaria de punta requiere que una parte de los docentes sean investigadores, para actualizar los contenidos y para que los estudiantes experimenten la ciencia como una actividad dinámica", dijo el vicerrector Horacio Spector, al sostener que "el profesor full time eleva la calidad de los docentes con dedicación parcial". Para los profesores hay atractivos innegables: los docentes full time de la UTDT cobran entre $ 55.000 y $ 80.000 por año y pueden hacer consultorías o trabajos profesionales.

Pero no basta con aumentar los docentes full time. "Hay ciertas condiciones que deben acompañar para lograr buenos resultados: los alumnos también deben ser full time, hay que ofrecerles becas para que puedan serlo y debe haber recursos para hacer investigación", concluyó Fanelli.

Extraído de La Nación (14/09/2002)


© TEKNE Digital – FRA UTN






Our dear SHARER Maria del Carmen Pibermus sens us all this poem she has written. Says she: “This poem can be improved...  what cannot be improved is the motive ... 'cause it has the RIGHT MOTIVE...

Hugs and butterflies, in  Jesus, The Christ



                    ". From a dancer's heart "

...for Him

I dance


because He gave me

the petition of my heart

... I was just 4

 and my Quest had began

so little... so sad ... so blind.


wrong doors 

dark paths

inner void

days and nights

where's the Light ?


Until I stopped

weary I was ...

cried out to Him

and He came in:

" I am Who I am,

Bread, Door, Life"


because only Him

completes me,

...I dance

because He loved me first

and He is my first love

...I dance

And dance, and dance and dance ...

With Him, now


I dance

because the sun shines ...

and the sun shines

because He shone first...


and will shine for ever...


(c) Maria del C. Pibernus






Two dear SHARERS send us information about forthcoming events in Spain:


From:  Eva Águila Martínez<>

Subject:  6th Symposium on Psycholinguistics, Barcelona Spain


Dear colleagues,

It is a pleasure for us to announce the 6th Symposium on Psycholinguistics,which will take place in Barcelona, 27th - 29th March.

Information is now available at: (pages in English will be available soon)


We want to remind you that the deadline for registering posters is the 30th Nov.

We hope see you in Barcelona.


The Organizing Committee




Dear colleagues,

This is to inform you of TESOL-SPAIN's forthcoming Conference to be held at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain).

More information can be found at :


Carmen Pinilla

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia




Today we will say goodbye with a quotation that our dear SHARER Damián Stenopoulos from Rosario sent us:


"Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; love by love."

Thomas Szasz





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.








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