An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©


Year 4                    Number 92               December 21st  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





Almost the end of the academic year. Omar had his last board yesterday and I had my  last one on Thursday. I still have to keep my office at school open (…and working!) till Monday 30th. These are the “fringe benefits” that come with a headship position: to keep on and on long after everybody else has vanished into thin air and to start work much before everybody else starts entertaining the idea that the holidays might finish some day. Omar has changed into his shorts and will remain in this blissful condition well into late February. Some people have all the luck! He´s reading this over my shoulder and he says he´s got a meeting on Monday. I know what all those “reuniones de cátedra” are all about : an opportunity for sandwiches, coffee, coke and gossip while I labour hard… How I envy him!!!

On top of all that he had a workaholic outburst this morning. Only that “he” is not working. He called dear old Bernieh and made him busy with a special edition of SHARE for the First Annual Conference of Applied Drama, he set Sebas to work on the design of our Christmas card which you will receive on Monday, he told Martin to try to solve the problem we have with uploading information to our Website and me to proofread this SHARE and to write this introduction. And you want to know what? He went off to the garden to read ( well that is “his” idea of rest!).

Wwe have a special party tonight. It is the graduation party (dancing and all !) of our dear “girls” from College in Adrogué. To them , the first promotion of English teachers from ISFD Nro 41 Omar and I would like to dedicate this issue of SHARE.   



Omar and Marina






1.-    A Journey into Constructivism – Part 2.

2.-    Can Learning and Language influence colour perception? 

3.-    Doctorado Universidad de Morón.  

4.-    The Ig Nobel Prizes.

5.-    Programa de Normativa Española para Traductores.

6.-    Overheard at GCSE Examinations.     

7.-    Web Portal for Teachers of English.        

8.-    Pancho Santa.      

9.-    APIBA SIGs Symposium.

10-    University Degree for Translators from Tertiary Education.

11-    Stop Press: First Annual Conference of Applied Drama.







Here is the second and last part of this very interesting article that our dear SHARER Maria José Insaurralde from San Miguel de Tucumán sent us. The first part was published in SHARE 91 lat week. 


A Journey into Constructivism

by Martin Dougiamas 


Cultural constructivism

Critical constructivism






Cultural constructivism

We wandered among the walls of the ancient palace buildings, admiring intricate Buddhist murals and statues next to signs in English telling us not to touch things, not to graffiti, not take photos, not to eat food, not to sit etc. It was hard to tell if they wanted tourists here or not. Did they think we wanted to destroy the place? Perhaps they did. Perhaps we already had. I thought about the amount of signs advertising western products I'd seen, I thought about those herds of motorcycles eroding the quiet temples with their exhaust.


Beyond the immediate social environment of a learning situation are the wider context of cultural influences, including custom, religion, biology, tools and language. For example, the format of books can affect learning, by promoting views about the organisation, accessibility and status of the information they contain.


"[What we need] is a new conception of the mind, not as an individual information processor, but as a biological, developing system that exists equally well within an individual brain and in the tools, artefacts, and symbolic systems used to facilitate social and cultural interaction." (Vosniadou, 1996)


The tools that we use affect the way we think (by tools, I am including language and other symbolic systems as well as physical tools). Salomon and Perkins, (1998) identify two effects of tools on the learning mind. Firstly, they redistribute the cognitive load of a task between people and the tool while being used. For example, a label can save long explanations, and using a telephone can change the nature of a conversation. Secondly, the use of a tool can affect the mind beyond actual use, by changing skills, perspectives and ways of representing the world. For example, computers carry an entire philosophy of knowledge construction, symbol manipulation, design and exploration, which, if used in schools, can subversively promote changes in curricula, assessment, and other changes in teaching and learning.


Higher mental functions are, by definition, culturally mediated. They involve not a direct action on the world but an indirect one, one that takes a bit of material matter used previously and incorporates it as an aspect of action. Insofar as that matter itself has been shaped by prior human practice (eg it is an artefact), current action incorporates the mental work that produced the particular form of that matter. (Cole and Wertsch, 1996, p252)


Cobern (1993) writes of the world of subject matter and the internal mental world of the student as competing conceptual "ecologies", an image which invokes pictures of competing constructs, adaptation and survival-of-the-fittest. This is a somewhat more complex picture than radical constructivism. It highlights the need to consider both contexts fully, that of the student and that of the knowledge to be learned.


Critical constructivism


Later, walking back to the hotel, I thought about the conference starting the next day. My paper about new technologies was starting to feel wrong, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. What right did I have coming to Thailand and telling them what they should do to be like us?


Critical constructivism looks at constructivism within a social and cultural environment, but adds a critical dimension aimed at reforming these environments in order to improve the success of constructivism applied as a referent.

Taylor (1996) describes critical constructivism as a social epistemology that addresses the socio-cultural context of knowledge construction and serves as a referent for cultural reform. It confirms the relativism of radical constructivism, and also identifies the learner as being suspended in semiotic systems similar to those earlier identified in social and cultural constructivism. To these, critical constructivism adds a greater emphasis on the actions for change of a learning teacher. It is a framework using the critical theory of Jurgen Habermas to help make potentially disempowering cultural myths more visible, and hence more open to question through conversation and critical self-reflection.

An important part of that framework is the promotion of communicative ethics, that is, conditions for establishing dialogue oriented towards achieving mutual understanding (Taylor, 1998). The conditions include: a primary concern for maintaining empathetic, caring and trusting relationships; a commitment to dialogue that aims to achieve reciprocal understanding of goals, interests and standards; and concern for and critical awareness of the often-invisible rules of the classroom, including social and cultural myths. This allows rational examination of the often implicit "claims to rightness" of the participants, especially those derived from social institutions and history (Taylor, 1996).

Cultural myths that are prevalent in today's education systems include (Taylor, 1996):

o The rationalist myth of cold reason - where knowledge is seen as discovery of an external truth. This can lead to the picture of the teacher in a central role as transmitter of objective truths to students. This philosophy does not promote clarifying relevance to the lives of students, but instead promotes a curriculum to be delivered.

o The myth of hard control - which renders the teacher's classroom role as controller, and "locks teachers and students into grossly asymmetrical power relationships designed to reproduce, rather than challenge, the established culture".

Together these myths produce a culture that portrays classroom teaching and learning as "a journey through a pre-constructed landscape".

Modification of such entrenched environments to reduce these myths and promote approaches based on constructivism is problematic, because of the self-reinforcing nature of administration, and the effects of wider culture. Taylor (1996) argues for an optimistic approach, and that teachers need to work collegially towards reconstructing education culture together rather than heroically on their own.




I got back to my room and read my paper again. No, it was all wrong. I spent an hour or so working on it, but still couldn't get it right. By the bed was a postcard I'd bought at the palace. I stared at the picture for a while, then turned it over and started writing to Sarah, telling her about my walk there that afternoon. Suddenly, I knew what I should do at the conference. I reached for my laptop and started jotting ideas.


Constructionism asserts that constructivism occurs especially well when the learner is engaged in constructing something for others to see:

"Constructionism shares constructivism's connotation of learning as `building knowledge structures' irrespective of the circumstances of the learning. It then adds that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it's a sandcastle on the beach or a theory of the universe... If one eschews pipeline models of transmitting knowledge in talking among ourselves as well as in theorizing about classrooms, then one must expect that I will not be able to tell you about my idea of constructionism. Doing so is bound to trivialize it. Instead, I must confine myself to engage you in experiences (including verbal ones) liable to encourage your own personal construction of something in some sense like it. Only in this way will there be something rich enough in your mind to be worth talking about." (Papert, 1990)



In studying constructivism through my recent course, it has become apparent that one of the most important processes in developing my knowledge has been by explaining and exploring my ideas in conversation with fellow students. I have noticed, on reflection, that a great deal of my own development was fostered by participating in ongoing dialogue and creating "texts" for others to answer back to, whether in conversation or as a class presentation. I feel also that the construction of web sites and computer sofware (Dougiamas, 1999) has a similar effect.

Gergen (1995) explores the use of the metaphor of dialogue to evaluate a number of educational practices. Particularly, he views knowledge as fragments of dialogue, "knowledgeable tellings" at a given time within an ongoing relationship. This relationship can be between learners, between a learner and a teacher, or between a learner and an environment experienced by the learner. Gergen describes a lecture as a conversation where, because the lecturer has already set the content, the student enters part-way through the dialogue and finds they have no voice within it.

Steier (1996) looks into this dialogue process in more detail. Unlike the communicative ethics of Taylor (1998) which also suggest ways to set up a discursive environment, Steier highlights the circularity of reflective thinking in social research, and presents a number of ways mirroring occurs between learners (like two mirrors facing each other) where each reciprocator affects the other. Awareness of such issues can help 'frame' the dialogue used to communicate more effectively.

I've found these constructionist metaphors powerful in thinking about Internet-based tools to support learning, and it will help inform me in research I'm just starting (Dougiamas, 1999). Particularly, the Internet's strengths as a resource and for communication support Gergen's advocation of problem-centred inter-disciplinary study, and the problems of representation are also crucial in a low-bandwidth environment.

For your own learning, this single essay is a very poor vehicle, no matter how clear I try and make it. Here I am, late at night, stringing together words about constructivism in my word processor, and there you are, reading these words using your own cognitive framework, developed via your own unique background and frameworks of language and meaning. I am translating a variety of texts, using them to build an understanding on my own background, then translating my new understandings into building my own text, which you are deconstructing to reconstruct your own understanding. Like Chinese whispers, all these translations are introducing unknowns. I don't know, and can never know if I am reaching you. In attempting to teach through this medium, all I can hope to do is to stimulate a curiosity in you to read further on these subjects, to write about them, to talk to people about them, and to apply them wherever possible in your own situations.





Constructivism has been said to be post-epistemological, meaning that it is not another epistemology, or a way of knowing. It can not replace objectivism. Rather, constructivism is a way of thinking about knowing, a referent for building models of teaching, learning and curriculum (Tobin and Tippin, 1993). In this sense it is a philosophy.

Constructivism also can be used to indicate a theory of communication. When you send a message by saying something or providing information, and you have no knowledge of the receiver, then you have no idea as to what message was received, and you can not unambiguously interpret the response.

Viewed in this way, teaching becomes the establishment and maintenance of a language and a means of communication between the teacher and students, as well as between students. Simply presenting material, giving out problems, and accepting answers back is not a refined enough process of communication for efficient learning.


Some of the tenets of constructivism in pedagogical terms:

* Students come to class with an established world-view, formed by years of prior experience and learning.

* Even as it evolves, a student's world-view filters all experiences and affects their interpretation of observations.

* For students to change their world-view requires work.

* Students learn from each other as well as the teacher.

* Students learn better by doing.

* Allowing and creating opportunities for all to have a voice promotes the construction of new ideas.

A constructivist perspective views learners as actively engaged in making meaning, and teaching with that approach looks for what students can analyse, investigate, collaborate, share, build and generate based on what they already know, rather than what facts, skills, and processes they can parrot. To do this effectively, a teacher needs to be a learner and a researcher, to strive for greater awareness of the environments and the participants in a given teaching situation in order to continually adjust their actions to engage students in learning, using constructivism as a referent.




I wrote about my experiences in Bangkok.

Looking back at my first impressions from the perspective of now I can see how much my "eyes" have changed over this relatively short time of four months.

I remember how difficult it was to make sense of my first few attempts to read constructivism literature. As I read the texts the words "slipped" through my mind, like trying to catch water in a net. The words made sense, the sentences made sense, I could parrot the phrases, but the meanings were threadbare. There were few connections to experiences and ideas that could be said to make a rich meaning. I had "intellectual knowing", but not "knowing".

Now, after much dialogue with texts and people, reflection, and by constructing representations of my understandings, I feel I have improved my knowing of constructivism. I have a greater sense of the richer 'cloud of baggage' I have developed around some of the concepts within constructivism, as indeed any concept I develop over a long period. This cloud has been enriched by multiple approaches to understanding - by listening, by reading, by speaking, by writing, by working in groups, pairs and alone, by applying it to various situations, and by having to write this essay. I find it easier to speak and write about constructivism using my own words, and to apply the ideas in situations I have not encountered before. I have a deeper understanding of perspective and context, and try to be more critical of texts in terms of the author's background, and social situations in terms of the environment and participants.

I feel I have an understanding of the effectiveness of approaching teaching by attempting to know more about the background of the learners, and attempting to stimulate multiple situations of communication between teacher and learner, between learners, and between learners and experience, in order to promote their own development of knowledge relevant to them and to their physical and social environment.

I can see the value of epistemological pluralism, and a variety of referents held in dialectic tension. The various faces of constructivism can be useful in their own right in various circumstances. In some cases, even methods derived from an objectivist framework still have value, as long as they are critically applied and their context is made clear.

From writing my journal and writing this essay, I also have a better feel for the value of a constructionist approach, as well as the value of a reflective account for qualitative assessment of learning. These aspects in particular I think will help me in developing Internet-based learning.

Despite the very fluid nature of constructivism and it's many faces, I now believe that attempting to understand it while simultaneously applying that understanding in a reflective manner promotes the development of influential mental constructs that are useful in the pursuit of more effective communications, teaching and learning.




Cobb, P. (1994) Where is the mind? Constructivist and Sociocultural Perspectives on Mathematical Development, Educational Researcher, 23(7), pp 13-20

Cobb, P. (1998) Analyzing the mathematical learning of the classroom community: the case of statistical data analysis, In: Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 1, pp 33-48, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Cobern, W (1993) Contextual Constructivism: The impact of culture on the learning and teaching of science. In: K. Tobin (Ed) The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education, pp 51-69, Lawrence-Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.

Cole, M. & Wertsch, J. V. (1996). Beyond the individual-social antimony in discussion of Piaget and Vygotsky. Human Development, 39, pp 250-256.

Costa, A. & Liebmann, R. (1995). Process is as important as content. Educational Leadership. 52(6), pp 23-24.

Dougiamas, M. (1999). Moodle - a web application for building quality online courses.

Ellis, C. (1996). Evocative Autoethnography: Writing Emotionally about our lives. In: W.G. Tierney and Y.S. Lincoln (Eds) Reframing the Narrative Voice.

Gergen, K.J. (1995) Social Construction and the Educational Process. In L.P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism in education (pp 17-39). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hardy and Taylor (1997), Von Glasersfeld's Radical Constructivism: A Critical Review, Science and Education, 6, pp 135-150, Kluwer

Papert, S (1991) Preface, In: I. Harel & S. Papert (Eds), Constructionism, Research reports and essays, 1985-1990 (p. 1), Norwood NJ.

Salomon, G. and Perkins, D. (1998) Individual and Social Aspects of Learning, In: P. Pearson and A. Iran-Nejad (Eds) Review of Research in Education 23, pp 1-24, American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC

Steier, F. (1995) From Universing to Conversing: An Ecological Constructionist Approach to Learning and Multiple Description. In L.P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism in education (pp 67-84). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Taylor, P. (1996) Mythmaking and mythbreaking in the mathematics classroom, In: Educational Studies in Mathematics 31, pp 151-173

Taylor, P. (1998) Constructivism: Value added, In: B. Fraser & K. Tobin (Eds), The International handbook of science education, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic

Tobin, K. & Tippins, D (1993) Constructivism as a Referent for Teaching and Learning. In: K. Tobin (Ed) The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education, pp 3-21, Lawrence-Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.

Von Glasersfeld, E. (1990) An exposition of constructivism: Why some like it radical. In R.B. Davis, C.A. Maher and N. Noddings (Eds), Constructivist views on the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp 19-29). Reston, Virginia: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Vosniadou, S. (1996). Towards a revised cognitive psychology for new advances in learning and instruction. Learning and Instruction 6, 95-109.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wood, T., Cobb, P. & Yackel, E. (1995). Reflections on learning and teaching mathematics in elementary school. In L. P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism in education (pp 401-422). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.



© 1998  by Martin Dougiamas






Our dear SHARER Rosa del Carmen Aguero de Fern from Corrientes wants to SHARE this article with all of us:


Different shades of perception

A new study shows how learning--and possibly language--can influence color perception.

By Etienne Benson

APA Monitor - Volume 33, No. 11 December 2002


Color categories make the world easier to live in. Granny Smith (green) and Red Delicious (red) apples belong in different bins; so do violets (blue) and roses (red).

To most of us, those categories seem natural, but in many other languages the categories differ. Some African languages have five primary color words or fewer; Russian has as many as English, plus an additional kind of blue. Often the boundaries between two colors shift as one moves from one language community to another.

Now, a new study by researchers at the University of Surrey suggests that the process of learning new color categories produces subtle but significant changes in how people actually perceive those colors.

The findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (Vol. 131, No. 4), support the linguistic relativity hypothesis--the idea that the language one speaks can affect the way one thinks about and perceives the world.

"The main conclusions of the study are basic: that color perception is not as rigid and inflexible as was thought before," says the study's lead author, Emre Ozgen, PhD. "This is the first time that it's been shown that a new perceptual color category boundary can actually be induced through laboratory training."

The experiment

Previous studies have shown that people find it easier to distinguish between similar hues that belong to different color categories than between hues that fall within a single color category. A bluish green and a greenish blue, for example, are easier to tell apart than a bluish green and a yellowish green.

The central question of the current study was whether these improvements in performance at the boundaries of color categories--an effect known as "categorical perception"--are fixed or changeable. Can training enhance the effect, making people more sensitive to color differences across boundaries? Can new boundaries be created, even ones that lie right in the middle of conventional color categories?

In their first experiment, Ozgen and Ian Davies, PhD, sought to answer the more basic question: whether training could improve participants' ability to distinguish between similar hues of a single color. The answer was yes: Participants became increasingly accurate over the course of three days of training.

Ozgen and Davies then moved to the second, critical question: whether novel categorical perception effects could be acquired in the laboratory. Participants were trained to divide a basic color category, blue or green, into two new categories. The boundaries of the new categories lay at the focal points of the old categories--the greenest greens, for example, now lay at the boundary between a category of yellowish greens and a category of bluish greens.

After three days of training, participants were better able to distinguish between hues that fell on either side of the novel color boundaries than between hues within a single category, even when the absolute difference between the two hues was the same--a classic categorical perception effect. At the same time, participants effectively unlearned their pre-existing color categories: They stopped showing categorical perception effects at "natural" boundaries that lay within the range of hues on which they had trained.

A follow-up experiment showed that the change in categorical perception could be produced after a single training session of 500 trials, though the improved performance was not evident until the next day--perhaps, the researchers speculate, because improvement at the end of the first session was masked by fatigue.

In their final experiment, Ozgen and Davies explored whether participants would learn new categories based on differences in lightness, just as participants in the previous experiments had learned categories based on differences in hue. They found that lightness training produced the same kinds of categorical perception effects that hue training did, but they also found an interesting asymmetry: Participants who trained on hue-based categories showed no new categorical perception effects when later tested on lightness, whereas participants trained on lightness-based categories showed categorical perception effects for hue. The results suggest that lightness can be ignored when it is irrelevant to a task, but hue is processed automatically.

"People have shown categorical perception effects for color before, but there's been a large number of people who've argued that these are innate color categories," says Robert Goldstone, PhD, a professor of psychology at Indiana University. "What the current study shows is that you can get acquired categorical perception."

Linguistic relativity

The study also offers a new spin on the work of University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Eleanor Rosch, PhD, who suggested in the 1970s that linguistic differences have little effect on how people actually perceive colors. She reported that speakers of a New Guinean language with only two color words--one for cold, dark colors and one for warm, light colors--learned and remembered colors more easily when they were prototypical examples of colors identified in English, such as red, green and blue, than when they were not. The results were a blow to the linguistic relativity hypothesis, also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which suggests that cognition is shaped by the languages people speak.

In recent years, however, University of Essex psychologist Debi Roberson, PhD, and others have tried to replicate Rosch's work among other tribes with few color words, and have found results that appear to contradict hers. Their findings suggest that there are differences--small but nonetheless significant--in the color perception of speakers of different languages.

"These kinds of categorical perception effects seem to be language-dependent," says Davies, who has collaborated with Roberson on some of those studies. "If an African language doesn't mark a blue-green boundary, then adult speakers don't seem to show categorical perception across that boundary, whereas English speakers do."

The current study is partly motivated by the cross-cultural research. But as MIT psychologist Lera Boroditsky, PhD, points out, unlike the cross-cultural studies, it does not directly address the linguistic relativity hypothesis. It does not, for instance, provide evidence that learning a new linguistic distinction can produce a new categorical perception effect.

What the study does provide, says Ozgen, is evidence that categorical perception can change quickly as well as a plausible mechanism for how it changes. It is a small leap from there to being able to show how a distinction that starts off as merely linguistic--this sort of color goes in category A; that sort goes in category B--can become deeply ingrained in perception.

"Linguistic relativity may work with similar principles, in that as a child grows up, he or she will have to continually learn a category boundary just as our subjects learn in the lab," says Ozgen. But he cautions, "neither the linguistic relativity nor the universal hypotheses would hold if we were to take an extreme position. To say that language completely shapes thought would be as extreme as saying that thought is entirely hardwired."


© APA Monitor






El Vicerrectorado de Posgrado y Extensión Universitaria de la Universidad de Morón anuncia que está abierta la inscripción para el Doctorado de la Universidad de Morón, con orientación en Ciencias Sociales, Humanidades y Ciencias Aplicadas. El Doctorado cuenta con un programa personalizado de estructura modular, con el objeto de que cada doctorando cuente con una formación disciplinar específica. También se brinda la posibilidad de ingreso al programa de Doctorado en forma continua, así como también la utilización del sistema de créditos por seminarios cursados en la Universidad de Morón y en otras universidades. Aranceles especiales para docentes y graduados de la Universidad de Morón. Informes e inscripción: oficina de Posgrados, Cabildo 134, Morón, teléfono 5627-2000, interno 282, e-mail, o visitando nuestra página de Internet,







Our dear SHARER Joyce Spencer from North Carolina has sent us this article about the Ignoble Prizes. Marina insists she heard about them once on the TV and attests to their existence.

Today we are giving you a round-up of the 2002 winners only. In future issues we will publish the names (and deeds!) of the lucky 2001 and 2000 recepients.


What are the Ig Nobel Prizes?


WHAT: Every Ig Nobel Prize winner has done something that first makes people LAUGH, then makes them THINK. Technically speaking, the Igs honor people whose achievements "cannot or should not be reproduced."

WHO: Here is a list of all the winners.

WHY: The Igs are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology. Here are three discussions of what the Ig is and is not , and perhaps what it could mean.

THE CEREMONY: The Prizes are awarded at a gala ceremony in Harvard's Sanders Theatre. 1200 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the winners step forward to accept their Prizes. The Prizes are physically handed to the winners by genuinely bemused genuine Nobel Laureates. You are invited to attend the ceremony in person, or via broadcast.

WHENCE: The Igs are inflicted on you by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR),

and co-sponsored by:

* the Harvard Computer Society;

* the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association;

* the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students;

* the new book Ig Nobel Prizes, published by Orion, London, ISBN 0752851500.


The 2002 Ig Nobel Prize Winners



Norma E. Bubier, Charles G.M. Paxton, Phil Bowers, and D. Charles Deeming of the United Kingdom, for their report "Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain." [REFERENCE: "Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches (Struthio camelus) Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain," Norma E. Bubier, Charles G.M. Paxton, P. Bowers, D.C. Deeming, British Poultry Science, vol. 39, no. 4, September 1998, pp. 477-481.]



Arnd Leike of the University of Munich, for demonstrating that beer froth obeys the mathematical Law of Exponential Decay. [REFERENCE: "Demonstration of the Exponential Decay Law Using Beer Froth," Arnd Leike, European Journal of Physics, vol. 23, January 2002, pp. 21-26.]



Karl Kruszelnicki of The University of Sydney, for performing a comprehensive survey of human belly button lint -- who gets it, when, what color, and how much.



Theodore Gray of Wolfram Research, in Champaign, Illinois, for gathering many elements of the periodic table, and assembling them into the form of a four-legged periodic table table.



K.P. Sreekumar and the late G. Nirmalan of Kerala Agricultural University, India, for their analytical report "Estimation of the Total Surface Area in Indian Elephants." [REFERENCE: "Estimation of the Total Surface Area in Indian Elephants (Elephas maximus indicus)," K.P. Sreekumar and G. Nirmalan, Veterinary Research Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 1990, pp. 5-17.]



Vicki L. Silvers of the University of Nevada-Reno and David S. Kreiner of Central Missouri State University, for their colorful report "The Effects of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension." [ PUBLISHED IN: Reading Research and Instruction, vol. 36, no. 3, 1997, pp. 217-23.]



Keita Sato, President of Takara Co., Dr. Matsumi Suzuki, President of Japan Acoustic Lab, and Dr. Norio Kogure, Executive Director, Kogure Veterinary Hospital, for promoting peace and harmony between the species by inventing Bow-Lingual, a computer-based automatic dog-to-human language translation device.



Eduardo Segura, of Lavakan de Aste, in Tarragona, Spain, for inventing a washing machine for cats and dogs.



The executives, corporate directors, and auditors of Enron, Lernaut & Hauspie [Belgium], Adelphia, Bank of Commerce and Credit International [Pakistan], Cendant, CMS Energy, Duke Energy, Dynegy, Gazprom [Russia], Global Crossing, HIH Insurance [Australia], Informix, Kmart, Maxwell Communications [UK], McKessonHBOC, Merrill Lynch, Merck, Peregrine Systems, Qwest Communications, Reliant Resources, Rent-Way, Rite Aid, Sunbeam, Tyco, Waste Management, WorldCom, Xerox, and Arthur Andersen, for adapting the mathematical concept of imaginary numbers for use in the business world. [NOTE: all companies are U.S.-based unless otherwise noted.]



Chris McManus of University College London, for his excruciatingly balanced report, "Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture." [PUBLISHED IN: Nature, vol. 259, February 5, 1976, p. 426.]






Our dear SHARER Silvana García Calabria from Círculo de Traductores de la Zona Norte sends this announcement of special interest to translators:






Disertante: Dra. Alicia María Zorrilla


Destinatarios: traductores de todas las especialidades y alumnos del último año de la carrera de Traductor; correctores; profesores; periodistas, etc.


La Normativa: concepto.

La oración. El orden de las palabras en español.  Ambigüedad o anfibología.

La puntuación: su concepto. Uso correcto de los  signos de puntuación. Los signos auxiliares de  puntuación.

Diptongos y triptongos. Silabeo ortográfico. Unión  y separación de palabras.

La acentuación. Distintas clases de acento (ortográfico, prosódico, diacrítico). Sílabas átonas y tónicas. Palabras agudas, graves, esdrújulas y sobresdrújulas. Otras reglas de acentuación.

Uso correcto de mayúsculas y de minúsculas.

Los barbarismos. Corrección de construcciones vulgares.

La preposición. Su uso correcto. Palabras que rigen preposición. Las locuciones prepositivas. Sinónimos, antónimos, parónimos (homónimos, homófonos, homógrafos).

El verbo. La correlación de tiempos y modos verbales.

Perífrasis verbales. El verbo "deber" y la frase verbal "deber de" más infinitivo. Los verbos "ser" y "estar".  Uso correcto de los verbos irregulares.  Clases de verbos (regulares, irregulares, transitivos, in-transitivos, copulativos, pronominales, defectivos, auxiliares, impersonales).  Paradigma de la conjugación regular. Derivados verbales. Uso correcto del gerundio. El artículo. Su uso correcto. Dificultades que presenta el uso del artículo con algunos sustantivos. El artículo ante los sustantivos que comienzan con "a" acentuada.

Uso correcto del sustantivo. Sustantivos masculinos y femeninos dudosos. Plurales dudosos. Uso correcto del adjetivo. La sustantivación del adjetivo.  Concordancia del artículo y del sustantivo con el adjetivo.      

El adjetivo en grado positivo, comparativo y superlativo. Uso correcto del pronombre. Casos de laísmo, leísmo y loísmo. Uso correcto del adverbio. El adverbio en grado superlativo.  Las abreviaturas y las siglas.


Lugar: Virrey Arredondo 2247 - 2.° "B" - 1426 Buenos Aires

Inscripción: durante todo el mes de marzo de 2003, en la Fundación de lunes a viernes, de 16.30 a 20.30, y en el CTPZN, Martín y Omar 339, San Isidro. 4732-0303, martes y viernes, de mañana. /

Fecha de inicio: miércoles 7 de mayo de 2003, de 9.30 a 11.30

Duración: 8 meses

Arancel: $120 por mes.  No se cobra matrícula. Consultas:






Our founding SHARER and fairy godmother Elida Messina has sent us this contribution with the subject line “priceless”. We totally agree. Let´s read what Elida has got to say:


You should stop laughing sometime next week! The following are quotes from British GCSE exam answers by 16 year-olds.Various answers have been collated together by subject (just in case you think the answers in each topic were from just one candidate), and they were compiled by the examiners themselves"


Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies.

The Egyptians wrote in hydraulics.

Gyptians lived in the Sarah Dessert and travelled by camelot.

The climate of the Sahara is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.


The Bible is full of interesting caricatures.  In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.  One of Adam and Eve's children, Cain, said "Am I my brother's son?"


Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread (which is bread made without any ingredients).

Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments.

Moses died before he ever reached Canada.


King Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.


The Greeks were a highly sculptured people.

Without the Greeks, we would not have had history.

The Greeks also had many myths.

Actually, Homer was not written by Homer, but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher, who went around giving people advice.

They killed him.  Socrates died from a large dose of wedlock.  After his death, Socrates' career suffered a dramatic decline.

In the Olympic games, the Greeks ran races, jumped, and hurled the biscuits. They also threw the java.


History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.

Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul.

Caesar was murdered by the Ides of March because they thought he was going to be made king.

Caesar's dying words were "Tee hee, Brutus".


Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.


Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak.

She was cannonized by Bernard Shaw.


Finally, Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offence.


The writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses,and also wrote literature.


Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.


Queen Elizabeth 1st was known as the Virgin Queen.  As a queen she was a great success.  When she exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted "hurrah !"


It was an age of great inventions and discoveries.  Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible.  Another important invention was the circulation of blood.


Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.


The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday.

Shakespeare never made much money and is famous only because of his plays.

Shakespeare wrote tragedies, comedies and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter.

Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet.

Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet.


Miguel Cervantes wrote at the same time as Shakespeare.  He wrote Donkey Hote.

The next great author was John Milton, who wrote Paradise Lost.  After his wife died, Milton wrote Paradise Regained.


During the Renaissance, America began.

Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing in the Atlantic.  His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Fe.


Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean.  This was called Pilgrim's Progress.

The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers.  Many died and many babies were born.  Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.


One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea.  Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps.  Finally, the colonists won the war and no longer had to pay taxis.

Delegates from the original states formed the Contented Congress.

Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence.

Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards.  He later declared "A horse divided against itself cannot stand".  Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

The Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility.

Under the Constitution, the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.


Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest precedent.  Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands.

Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation.

On the night of April 14th, Lincoln went to the theatre and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show.  They believed the assassinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor.  The incident ruined Booth's career.


Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time.  Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.


Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton.  It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.

Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions, and had a large number of children.  In between, he practiced on an old spinster which he kept in his attic.

Bach died from 1750 to the present.

Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. 

Handel  was half German, half Italian and half English.  He was a very large man.


 Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf.  This was why he wrote loud

 music.  He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for

 him.  Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.


The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon.  Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but Josephine was a baroness so she could not have children.


The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire was in the East and the sun sets in the West.


Queen Victoria was the longest queen.  She sat on the thorn for 63 years.

She was a moral woman who practiced virtue.  Queen Victoria's death was the final event which ended her reign.


The 19th Century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. 

People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine.


The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up.


In agriculture, Cyrus McCormack invented the McCormack Raper, which did the  work of a hundred men.


Louis Pasteur discovered the cure for rabbis.

Charles Darwin was a naturist who wrote the Organ of the Species.

Madman Curie discovered radio.

Karl Marx was one of the Marx Brothers.

The First World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by an anahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.





To:  Teachers of English and International Educators


We would like to recommend our updated English Forum website as a useful addition to your bank of educational resources for international students:

English Forum -

Comprehensive web portal with a wealth of resources for students and teachers of English (ESL/EFL). Interactive Exercises, Message Boards, ELT Book Catalogue, Good School Guide, Web Directory, World News, Learning and Teaching Links, Cool Tools, and more ...

Some recent comments about English Forum include:

"... a fabulous resource, with easy links to loads of interesting stuff for teachers and students alike. It's very comprehensive, varied and looks professional too." -- TEFL Farm

"... excellent website" -- Andrew Hardy, Scanbrit School of English, UK

"Last week out of the blue we received our first inquiry from 'The Good School Guide' at" ... "I decided to look into the website that referred the student and was immediately struck by the high level of professionalism and effort that has gone into the site." ... "These sites are very important to help students make the difficult decision of where to study abroad." -- Jackson Perry, Languages International, New Zealand

"I have looked at your Web site and am tremendously impressed by its content and overall professionalism." -- Terry Simon, President, American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP)

"Your site is terrific!" -- Anita Kuehnel, Marketing Manager, Pacific Language Institute (PLI), Canada

Best regards,

Mike Armont
Editorial Department - English Forum
San Francisco, CA - Serving the world of English language teaching since 1995



8.-       PANCHO CLAUS


Our dear SHARER Caroline Evans sends this  poem by Lalo Guerrero:


Lalo Guerrero (winner of the National Heritage Award and the National Medal for the Arts, and a native Tucsonense) wrote this song in the 1960s. He will be 86 this Christmas Eve, and is still adding and subtracting verses. This is the current version as I heard him sing it a couple of weeks ago.  It still ends, as it always has, with what might well be the worst rhyme in the

English language.


PANCHO CLAUS, by Lalo Guerrero (who told me I could use it as I saw fit.)


'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through the casa

Mama, she was busy preparing the masa

to make the tamales for the tamalada,

and all the ingredients for the enchiladas.


Papa in the shower was singing "Jalisco,"

my brothers and sisters were dancing to disco,

my Grandpa was snoozing, the neighbors were boozing

and getting their low riders ready for cruising.


When all of a sudden I heard such a racket,

I jumped out of bed the threw on my jacket.

I ran to the window and looked pout of the house;

t'was my old Uncle Pedro, as drunk as a louse!


He came into the house and grabbed a guitarra,

and he let out a yell -AHOOOAH! and sang:

Guadalajara, Guadalajara....


I started to wonder as I lay there alone

how old Santa Clause was to visit our home

with all of the noise that would scare him away,

When all of a sudden, I heard someone say:


"Hey, Pedro, Pablito, Chichito, Jose!

Get up there, you bums, or you don't get no hay!"

And what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but eight tiny burros, instead of reindeer.


They pulled a carreta that was full of toys

for all of us good little girls and boys.

The fat little driver waved his sombrero, and said:

"Merry Christmas, Feliz Año Nuevo!


"I am Santa's cousin from south of the border,

My name's Pancho Claus, and I brought what you ordered."

And I heard him exclaim as he drove past the porches,

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all, Buenos Noches!"







Our dear  SHARER and APIBA SIGs Co-Liaison Officer, Alejandra Jorge, announced that

the First Symposium of APIBA SIGs will be held on Saturday 14th of June 2003. It will consist of a number of concurrent presentations and an exhibition of ELT resources.

All members of APIBA SIGs and SIGs from other FAAPI Associations are kindly invited to present and participate.    


Further Information from APIBA SIGs Co-Liaison Officer







Our dear SHARER Prof. Lucrecia A. de Mulone, Head of “New Start”  sends us this announcement:


Instituto Superior New Start D-130

Ciclo de Complementación Curricular para Traductores de Inglés graduados en Institutos Terciarios


El Instituto Superior New Start D-130 de la Ciudad de Paraná informa que se encuentra abierta la preinscripción al Plan de Titulación Universitaria para traductores de inglés graduados en institutos terciarios por medio del cual el profesional podrá obtener el título de Traductor Universitario con validez nacional. Éste es el resultado de un convenio entre el Instituto Superior New Start de la ciudad de Paraná y la Universidad del Museo Social Argentino, tradicional universidad de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires.

El título será expedido por la UMSA y tiene validez nacional otorgada por Resolución Nº102/02 del Ministerio de Educación, Ciencia y Tecnología de la Nación. La duración será de dos cuatrimestres con una modalidad de cursado muy ventajosa para el profesional.


Para solicitar más información dirigirse a la sede de New Start, ubicada en Urquiza 1063, Paraná (ER), telefónicamente al (0343) 4318461 o por correo electrónico a:








Just a few words to say that The Bs As Players are organizing the

FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF APPLIED DRAMA -"Drama at the service of the teaching-learning process",  at Teatro Santamaría, Montevideo 842, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, on the following dates:

-February, Thursday 27 / Friday 28 -9 am to 5 pm

-March, Saturday 1 - 9 am to 1 pm


It is a great honour for Marina and I, in the name of all the SHARE community, to give our sponsorship to this unique event and we promise to send you full details in a separate edition of SHARE soon.




Today we will say goodbye with a joke a dear SHARER ( whose identity she asked us to  withhold) sent us. Says she: “ it may be a silly joke and we might think it the kind of thing only small kids appreciate …only if you cannot read between the lines” We fully agree.  


"Why didn't the lobster like to SHARE?"
"Because he was a little shellfish."



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.