An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©


Year 7                Number 162                 April 14th  2006

10,040 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




This issue of SHARE marks a very special date: we have reached the 10,000 subscribers certified by Yahoo Groups (please follow this link for certification ). This makes us one of the biggest Yahoo Groups in the category: Teaching and Research. Only second to “One World”, an announcement e-mail group for the Arab World with more than 18,000 subscribers.


Reaching this figure makes us, needless to say, very proud as it shows that our effort has an increasingly  larger following and that, with still an awful lot to improve, we are basically on the right track. This fact, prompts us, at the same time, to renew our commitment to the ELT profession in our country and in the Latin American continent.


It is also a good opportunity to pay homage to pioneer Professor Aldo Blanco who with enormous effort and vision edited and published “The English Language Journal” in the 1970´s, to Mr.Martin Eayrs M.A. who published a very complete “ELT News and Views” magazine and ran a small electronic list in the 1990´s before going back to his home country and to Prof. Oriel Villagarcía M.A. that delighted us with his “Bridges” during his SBS days. To the three of them, go these humble words as a token of recognition.


To all of you, dear SHARERS, something we have said many times but that is born from the bottom of our hearts: our sincere gratitude for your unfaltering support.



Omar and Marina




In SHARE 162


1. A Pragmatic Approach to Conversation Analysis.
2. The Conversation Analysis approach to bilingual interaction.
3. Teacher Expertise Studies and Their Implications for Teacher Education.
4. Repeats of The Tools for Teachers Easter Course.
5. Terceras Jornadas Internacionales del NOA para Profesores de Inglés.
6. Hanif Kuresihi en Buenos Aires.
7. A Letter from ELT Events.
8. A Distinction for Celia Zubiri.
9. Anglia Examination Syndicate.
10. News from ISIP.
11. City & Guilds International Examinations
12. Postgraduate Courses on Translation and Interpreting.
13.- ELT Team Marathon 2006 in Mar del Plata
14. Phonology Course at UCA.
15. Forthcoming Events by Apple Consultancy.
16. A Course on Teaching Pronunciation.
17. 2nd Patagonian Congress for Teachers and students of English.
18. Paraguay TESOL.
19. News from Susan Hillyard.





Our dear SHARERS Adriana Podestá and Patricia Arbona have generously wanted to SHARE this article with all of us.


Magister Adriana Podestá will be lecturing on “The Exercise of Power through Language” at our XII Congress of Teachers and Students of English (July 14th & 15th 2006)


A Pragmatic Approach To Conversation Analysis

by Patricia Arbona and Adriana Podestá
Lecturers at Instituto Superior de Formación Docente 127- San Nicolás,Pcia Buenos Aires.




In  this work, we will refer to two concepts which we consider essential for the study of  language in communication. They are Speech Acts and Politeness, within the field of Pragmatics. First, we will describe their theoretical background and then, we will analyse a very simple and short conversation to show both theories in action.


Theoretical Background


Since we will apply the concepts above mentioned to a conversational text,  we will start by defining conversation. It is any spoken encounter or interaction between at least two participants: speaker and listener who exchange roles as the conversation develops. Speaker and listener have to be good processors  of the spoken word as they both share  the business of making sure  that the conversation works: in any interaction there are at least two addressees and two decision makers. Conversation is also  a reciprocal activity  for it is a condition of most talk that the reactions of the listener affect what is being said. With the help of these reactions, the message can be adjusted from moment to moment, understanding can be improved and the speaker's task is thus facilitated. Conversation is usually addressed directly to someone, and whoever  has the role of listener is expected to reply immediately. This requires the ability to adapt  what one says to what has just gone before, to produce and tailor language smoothly and readily. All  these aspects are important components which are always present in an interaction whose participants know  how to negotiate meanings. In other words, "conversation" refers to the activity that takes place  when two or more  people have the right to talk or listen without having to follow a fixed schedule, such as an agenda. In conversation everyone can have something to say and anyone can speak at any time. In  every day life we sometimes refer to conversation as "chat" and the focus of our work is on this type  of spoken interaction, rather than on more formal, planned occasions for speaking, such as interviews.

The purpose of conversation includes exchange of information, the creation and maintenance of social relationships such as friendship, the negotiation of status and social roles, as well as deciding on and carrying out joint actions. Conversation is such a natural part of our lives that many people are not conscious of what happens within it. However, conversation follows certain rules which can be described. For example, when we look at normal conversation we notice that:

( usually only one person speaks at a time;

(the speakers change;

(the length of any conversation varies;

( there are techniques for allowing the other party or parties to speak;

( neither the content nor the amount of what  we say is specified in advance.  

It is necessary to  emphasize the fact  that it is people who communicate and people who interpret. It is speakers/writers who have topics, presuppositions, who assign information structure and who make reference. It is hearers/readers who interpret and who draw inferences.

When we interpret pieces of language , we normally try to understand not only what the words mean, but what the speaker  or writer of those words  intended to convey. For instance, at a student cafeteria there is a notice that runs: " This is a self-cleaning cafeteria." One might expect the plates and cups to put themselves away, judging from other similar phrases in the language, such as self-cleaning oven, self-raising flour, self-righting lifeboat. Yet the majority of students interpret the phrase as meaning that they, the customers, are expected to clear away their plates. Why? The obvious answer is that they use  their common sense and knowledge of the world to come to the most plausible interpretation in the circumstances, which is not necessarily the one which is most consistent with the linguistic structures. This simple and  clear example leads us to the field of Pragmatics ,  the branch of Linguistics which studies those aspects  of meaning which cannot be captured by semantic theory. In brief, it deals with how speakers use language in ways which cannot be predicted from linguistic knowledge alone.  Pragmatics includes the study of: a) how the interpretation and use of utterances depend on  knowledge of  the real world; b) how speakers use and understand speech acts; c) how the structure of sentences is influenced by the relationship  between  the speaker and the listener.

When a speaker utters a sequence of words, he is often trying to achieve some effect with those words, an effect which might in some cases have been accomplished by an alternative action. This overall approach is known as speech act theory, which is another method of classifying the ways in which humans use language, in this case by treating it as parallel to other actions which humans perform.. Technically speaking, a speech act is an utterance as a functional unit in communication. The action  performed by producing an utterance consists of three related acts. A locutionary act, which is producing a meaningful linguistic _expression. For example, saying the sentence " Read this message" is a locutionary act if hearers understand  the words: read, this, message and can identify the  particular message referred to. An illocutionary act is using an utterance to perform a function. For example, "Read this message" may be intended as an order, a piece of advice or some other communicative purpose. This is also generally known as the illocutionary force of the utterance. A perlocutionary act  is the results or effects that are produced by means of saying something. In our example, performing the act of reading, would be the perlocutionary act. Of these three dimensions, the most discussed is the illocutionary force. Indeed, the term "speech act" is generally interpreted quite narrowly to mean only the illocutionary force of an utterance.

A different approach to distinguish types of speech acts can be made on the basis of structure. A fairly simple structural distinction between three general types of speech acts is provided by the three basic sentence types. For instance, in a) You come home early; b) Do you come home early?; c) Come home early!,  there is an easily recognized relationship between the three structural forms ( declarative, interrogative, imperative) and the three general communicative functions. (statement, question, command/request).

Whenever there is a  direct relationship between a structure and a function, we have a direct speech act. Whenever there is an indirect relationship between a structure and a function, we have an indirect speech act. Thus, a declarative used to make a statement is a direct speech act, but a declarative used to make a request is an indirect speech act. When it is used to make a statement, as in "It's cold outside", the speaker is just talking about the weather. When it is used to make a request, the speaker is asking you to close the window.

However, this type of indirect request does not consist of a single utterance. It is a social situation involving participants who necessarily have a social relationship of some kind, who on a specific occasion, may have particular goals. We can look at  the set of utterances produced in  this kind of situation as a speech event. A speech event is concerned with the set of circumstances present in an interaction which affect what is being communicated. Therefore, the speech event is closely connected with context. According to Dell Hymes (1976), the components of context are: its setting ( time and space); participants (the addressor and addressee ); message content (what is said); message form (how it is said); code (what language is being used); purpose ( the intent and effect of the communication); key (tone or manner in which the event is performed); channel (type of contact between participants) . 


     Any piece of conversation normally reveals one important fact about human speech: people tend to be polite to one another. So politeness  can radically affect the structure of conversations. This phenomenon can be defined as the means employed to show awareness of another person's face. The concept of face, on which politeness is based, was developed by Goffman in 1967. According to this author, face is something that is emotionally invested and that can be lost, maintained or enhanced and that must be constantly attended to in interaction. We have heard the common _expression "to lose face" when someone is embarrassed or humiliated. In general, people cooperate (and assume each other's cooperation) in maintaining face in interaction, such cooperation being based on the mutual vulnerability of face. Within our every day social interaction, we generally behave as if our expectations concerning our public image, or our self wants, will be respected.

Brown and Levinson, authors of the Theory of Politeness, assume that all competent adult members of a society have (and know each other to have):

I) face, the public self-image that every member wants to claim for himself, and

II) certain rational capacities, in particular consistent modes of reasoning from ends to the means to achieve those ends.

Face consists in two related aspects:

a) Negative face: the basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to non distraction -i.e. to freedom of action, freedom from imposition, need to be independent.

b) Positive face: the positive consistent self-image or "personality"(crucially including the desire that this self-image be appreciated and approved of) claimed by interactants.

If a speaker (S) says something that represents a threat to another, it is described as a Face Threatening Act (F.T.A). Alternatively, given the possibility that some action might be interpreted as a threat to another's face, the speaker can choose to lessen the possible threat. This is called a Face Saving Act (F.S.A.). Examples:


Tom addressing his neighbour who is playing his trumpet very loud.

(1) Stop that awful noise! F.T.A.

(2) Sorry, Mr Jones, but I think you are playing your trumpet a little loud... and I have to get up early tomorrow. F.S.A. (Indirect act in this case).


When two participants are interacting, there are four faces at stake: the Speaker's positive and negative faces, and the Hearer's positive and negative faces.

When we attempt to save another's face, we can pay attention to his negative face wants or to his positive face wants.

In (1), the speaker produced an act that threatened the negative face of the hearer: an order.

In (2), the speaker produced a F.S.A. that mitigated the order, so as to lessen the threat of the order. In this case, the speaker  attempted to save the hearer's negative face, that is, his need to be independent, to have freedom of action, freedom from imposition.

Let's consider these examples:

Tom addressing his neighbour who has asked Tom's opinion about his music.

(3) I don´t like the way you play the trumpet. F.T.A.

(4) I don't understand much about music, you know, but I would say you should need more practice. F.S.A.

In both cases Tom has given his opinion. He has produced speech acts of Criticism that threaten the hearer's positive face, that is, his need to be liked, to be accepted, to be approved of. In (3), the speaker produces a bald-on-record act, he expresses his opinion

in a straightforward way, he does not mind the hearer's feelings.

In (4), the threat is mitigated by hedges, cautious notes which the S uses to convey the meaning that what he is saying may not be true. And in this particular case, he also gives advice (Indirect act). He implies that his neighbour doesn't play the trumpet well.

In these examples, Tom has done Acts that threaten the hearer's positive face, his need to be approved of, to be liked.


Catherine Kerbrat Orecchioni (1996) objects to Brown and Levinson the fact that they focused their attention on F.T.A.s, disregarding other acts that enhance, flatter the faces.

Therefore, she makes a distinction between Negative Politeness and Positive Politeness. In the first case, F.S.A.s are produced, that is, acts that mitigate F.T.A.s, that lessen possible threats. In the second case, Face Flattering Acts (F.F.A.) are produced, that is, acts that praise, value, enhance the faces such as compliments, greetings, expressions of thanks, wishes to do well/feel better, expressions of admiration.

Tom addressing his neighbour.

(5) You play the trumpet wonderfully. / Your music is excellent.(F.F.A.)



* Acts that threaten the speaker's negative face are offers and promises. These acts predicate some future action of the S to the H, and in so doing, put some pressure on the H to accept or reject them.

* Acts that threaten the speaker's positive face include apologies, confessions, admission of guilt or responsibility, self-humiliation, acting stupid, self-contradiction, breakdown or physical control over body, bodily leakage, stumbling or falling down, non control of laughter or tears. These acts are damaging to the S's face because of his basic positive face wants of self-control or self-respect In evidencing failure to achieve these wants he makes it unlikely that H will approve of him, as well as threatening H's face (potentially) with embarrassment for S.

* Acts that threaten the hearer's negative face include orders and requests (S wants H to do or refrain from doing some act A), suggestions, advice (S indicates that he thinks H ought to (perhaps) do some act A), remindings (S indicates that H should remember to do some act A), threats, warnings, dares (S indicates that he -or someone or something- will instigate sanctions against H unless he does A).

* Acts that threaten the H's positive face include expressions of disapproval, criticism, contempt or ridicule, complaints, reprimands, accusations, insults, contradictions or disagreements, expressions of violent emotions, irreverence, mention of taboo topics. These acts indicate that S has a negative evaluation of some aspect of the H's positive face or that he doesn't care about the H's feelings or wants, that is, the S is indifferent to the H's positive face.


There are different politeness strategies that the speaker develops when he wants to mitigate possible threats:


* Violation of the maxims.

* Presupposition manipulations. Ex.  Negative questions that presume "yes" as an answer show that S knows H's wants, tastes, habits, values, etc.

* Use of diminutives or terms of endearment.

* Use of identity markers or address forms.

* Use of hedges (S chooses to be vague about his opinions).

*  Use of the inclusive "we".

* Use of jokes

* Use of indirect speech acts

* Begging forgiveness

* Impersonalizing S and H

* Replacing of the pronouns "I" and "you" by indefinites

* Use of jargon or slang

* Use of dialect


Theories In Action




Father: What sort of time do you call this? (1)

Girl: I'm sorry.(2)

Father: So you should be! It's two a.m.!(3)

Girl: Oh Dad, do stop nagging(4). I'm over seventeen. It's up to me what time I come in.(5)

Father: Not while you are living here, it isn't.(6) Anyway, what on earth were you doing until two o'clock in the morning?(7)

Girl: We weren't doing anything. We were just talking. (8)

Father: I was worried stiff about you.(9)

Girl: Honestly, Dad, I really am sorry(10), but you don't have to wait up for me, you know.(11)

Father: O.K., I know you think I'm fussing(12)  and I'm sorry (13), but next time just let me know if you're going to be late, O.K.? Give me a ring or something.(14)

Girl: Yes, O.K. (15)I'll let you know next time. (16) Sorry, Dad (17)

Father: That's O.K. (18)


Speech  event: the request. The first request made by the father is implicit. He reprimands the girl, which generates an argument. His second request is explicit and leads to an agreement. The girl also makes a request, by producing an indirect speech act as mitigator, and generates agreement.



Setting: home, 2 a.m.

Participants: father and daughter

Message content: argument (father reprimands the girl for her late arrival and demands an explanation).

Message form: conversation.

Code: the English language.

Purpose: father lets daughter know he is worried if she comes home late.

Key: Familiar but serious tone, especially at the beginning of the conversation, (father is very angry). As they reach an agreement, the tone becomes softer.

Channel: speech.


Speech acts and Politeness


(1) Reprimand (indirect act- shows that he is angry)- F.T.A. + H

(2) Apology- F.T.A. + S

(3) Reprimand- F.T.A.+H

(4) Order- F.T.A. -H (mitigated by use of address form Dad)

(5) Challenge- F.T.A. +H

(6) Disagreement- F.T.A. +H

(7) Request for personal information-F.T.A. +H

(8) Excuse- F.T.A. +S (mitigated by anything- inference: anything wrong)

(9) Confession- F.T.A. +S

10) Apology-F.T.A.+S- Hedges: Honestly, really- she wants her father to believe that what she is saying is true. Again, use of address form Dad, expressing affection.

11) Request (indirect act)- F.T.A. - H- Hedge: you know (mitigates the request)

12) Agreement - F.F.A. H- F.T.A. +S.

13) Apology-F.T.A. +S

14) Request F.T.A. -H

15) Agreement-F.F.A. H

16) Promise - F.T.A-S

17) Apology- F.T.A+S (use of address form Dad, expressing affection)

18) Acceptance of apology- F.F.A. H


F.T.A.+S : Act that threatens Speaker`s positive face.

F.T.A.-S: Act that threatens the speaker's negative face.

F.T.A. +H: Act that threatens the Hearer`s positive face.

F.T.A. -H: Act that threatens the Hearer`s negative face

F.F.A: Face flattering act.


Conflict and Negotiation:


In this conversation there is a conflict: girl arrives home late, her father is very angry, reprimands her.

Girl argues she is old enough to decide at what time to return home.

As the conversation proceeds, girl understands her father has been worried about her

and apologises. Father also apologises for having been fussy.

Then comes the solution: girl will let him know if she comes home late. The fact that she apologises three times during the conversation, shows that she recognises her father is right.


Final comment


   We hope to have given a general view of two theories applied in conversation analysis. This analysis is in no way exhausted. There are other features that have not been considered here and which surely would have enriched our analysis. They will probably be the subject of a future article.




* Brown, P., Levinson. S., Politeness- Some universals in language usage, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1987.

* Brown G., Yule, G., Discourse Analysis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983.

* Kerbrat-Orecchioni, C., La Conversación, Módulo correspondiente al Seminario Semántica y Pragmática perteneciente a la Maestría en Enseñanza de la Lengua y la Literatura, Facultad de Humanidades y Arte, U.N.R., 1997.

Yule, G., Pragmatics, Oxford university Press, 1998.








Our dear SHARER Wenceslao Mayor from Santiago de Chile has sent us this article to SHARE


'What do you want me to say? '

On the Conversation Analysis approach to bilingual interaction

Li Wei

Centre for Research in Linguistics

Department of Speech, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK



Is language simply a medium for the _expression of intentions, motives or interests, or is it also a site for uncovering the method through which ordered activity is generated? This question has wide-ranging implications for the study of bilingual interaction in particular and for sociolinguistics generally. This paper attempts to explicate the principles behind the CA approach to bilingual interaction. It addresses some of the criticisms that have been levelled against the CA approach, using both new data and new analyses of previously published examples. (Keywords:Conversation Analysis, bilingual interaction, code-switching) Running heads: CA approach to code-switching


CA Approach To Code-Switching




The last two decades of the 20th century witnessed an increasing diversity of analytic approaches to bilingual interaction, gradually moving away from an earlier dichotomy of grammatical analysis of code-switching on the one hand and sociopsychological analysis of language choice on the other. One of the new research paradigms is the application of Conversation Analysis (CA) to bilingual interaction,an example of which is Auer (1998). This work follows the tradition first developed by Gumperz (e.g. 1982) who described code-switching in bilingual conversation as socially orderly discourse strategies which index localised norms and values (see also Scotton, 1988). Particular attention is paid to the way in which individuals strategically use the codes in their bilingual repertoires to achieve specific interactional goals. Some advantages of the CA approach are that it facilitates analysis of fragmentary and unidealised data and gives primacy to interpretations which are demonstrably oriented to participant actions rather than to global social categories.

Nevertheless, the disciplinary heterogeneity of the researchers who use the CA approach to bilingual interaction, often with diverse agendas, has led to confusion and misreading of some key concepts and procedures of the approach. For example, the technical concept of 'preference' in CA has often been wrongly equated to the

attitudinal notion of liking, acts of compliance, or the grammatical construction of affirmatives (Burt, 1990, 1992; Wardhaugh, 1985. See Bilmes, 1988 for a discussion of the problems associated with the concept of 'preference') 1. In the meantime, the CA approach to bilingual interaction has been criticised for its apparent overemphasis on transcription techniques and minute details of conversational turn-taking, often without any attempt to offer an explanation of the speakers' motivations for their language choices (Myers-Scotton, 1999; Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai, 2001). CA has been described as atheoretical, empiricalistic,circumstantial, bordering on being trivial (see ten Have, 1990 for a discussion). At least part of the problem is the CA practitioners' own making: researchers who adopt the CA approach to bilingual interaction have rarely bothered to explain their rationale systematically and explicitly. For instance, I have not been able to find any article in international, academic journals explaining the CA approach to bilingual interaction, although there are plenty of published studies applying the CA

framework. Nor have conversation analysts contextualised their work within a broader sociolinguistic theoretical framework. Some researchers use CA largely as a transcription method, applying the transcription conventions and level of detail associated with CA but not drawing CA-like inferences. Nevertheless, the CA approach requires, in my view, nothing less than a radical change in the focus of social scientific enquiry. Its belief that language is not simply a medium for the _expression of intentions, motives or interests, but a site for uncovering the method

through which ordered activity is generated has wide-ranging implications for the study of bilingual interaction in particular and for sociolinguistics generally.

Whilst this paper continues with the CA tradition of focusing primarily on methodological issues, I shall attempt to explicate the principles behind the CA approach. I shall review some of the studies which aim to apply the CA principles to bilingual interaction and discuss the criticisms which have been levelled against the CA approach, using both new data and new analyses of previously published examples. In doing so, I wish to clarify some of the misconceptions of CA and highlight its contributions to the study of bilingual interaction.


The Intellectual Roots Of CA Approach To Code-Switching


In order to break the myth of CA as an atheoretical, purely descriptive approach, a brief outline of its intellectual history is necessary. CA of the kind that is practised by students of bilingual interaction originated in the work of a break-away group of sociologists in California in the 1960s, known as ethnomethodologists. The research agenda of ethnomethodology was developed by Harold Garfinkel whose point of departure was the theory of social action by his mentor Talcott Parsons.

Parsons' theory focused on a dialectic relationship between the teleological (i.e. I have an end in mind) and the rationalistic (i.e. I work out the means to achieve my end) aspects of social action. In working out the means, Parsons suggested that social factors had a 'normative orientation' which he regarded as the 'motor' of social action,i.e. a sensitivity to the rights and obligations in society which they then take account of in acting. Parsons argued,These normative rules both define what immediate ends should and should not be sought, and limit the choice of means to them in terms other than those of efficiency. Finally, they also define standards of socially acceptable effort. (Parsons in Hamilton: 1985: 62).

Garfinkel saw Parsons' theory as addressing primarily two questions, 'what'and 'why'. The former being what is said or done, which then receives an answer expressed in causal terms, often alluding to the notion of 'rationality'. However, what of the 'how'? The issue here is, in Garfinkel's view, one of a disjuncture between the 'concreteness' of people's activities in everyday life and their analytical representation in the Parsonian theory of social action. This results being that 'real society' becomes only 'specifiable as the achieved results of administering the policies and methods of formal, constructive analysis' (Garfinkel, 1991: 13). Given this, Parsons' social action theory does not render justice to the very phenomena which it sought to understand because it seeks to impose a rationality on human conduct which is separated from the practical concerns of situated everyday life



Garfinkel raised three specific questions regarding Parsons' theory of social action: first, what is the status of the actors' accounts of their own actions, especially when these accounts conflict with the analytic, causal accounts offered by sociologists? Second, what is the status of people's shared knowledge? Third, how do people make strategic choices which involve the manipulation of their environments? Garfinkel suggested that social action should be analysed in terms of 'senses', with a focus on 'common sense' without any particular recourse for this purpose to the notions of intentionality or motives. He argued that social phenomena are meaningful before an analyst appears on the social scene. Social scientific constructs therefore must satisfy the 'postulate of subjective interpretation'. In this way, they would then faithfully reflect these everyday meanings. This contrasts the approach whereby 'ideal types' of action were constructed which served as bridging mechanisms between

subjective meanings and relations of cause and effect. In Garfinkel's view, such an approach failed to address the nature of the relationship between social scientific analytic categories ('second order' constructs) and the lifeworld ('first order' constructs).

Garfinkel advocated an abandonment of epistemology in favour of methodology. For ethnomethodology, social order does not reside in the dictates of external rules as applied to situated activities. Instead, it emerges from within the practical circumstances of social life. Ethnomethodologists reject what they see as the reductionist (i.e. simplifying and generalising) nature of rationalistic explanations for complex data. Theirs is a sociology in which the problem of social order is reconceived as a practical problem of social action, as a members' activity, as methodic

and therefore analysable. Rather than motivations, functions, or distribution, reduced to conceptual schemes or numerical tables, ethnomethodologists are interested, first and foremost, in the procedural study of common-sense activities. To return to one of the problems in the Parsonian theory of action - the actor's rationality - the

illumination of social life through models of formal rationality in social science may be required for scientific theorising, but it is not required 'in theorising activities employed in coming to terms with the affairs of everyday life' (Garfinkel, 1967: 280).

Everyday rationalities are data to ethnomethodologists, not impediments to their enquiries: the activities whereby members produce and manage settings of everyday life are identical with members' procedures for making those settings 'accountable' ... When I speak of accountable ... I mean observable-andreportable,i.e. available to members as situated activities of looking and telling. I mean, too, that such practices consist of an endless, on-going,contingent, accomplishment; that they are carried on under the auspices of,and are made to happen as events in, the same ordinary affairs that in organising they describe. (Garfinkel, 1967: 1)

Thus, the proper object of sociological study is, in the ethnomethodologist's view, the set of techniques that members of a society themselves utilise to interpret and act within their own social worlds, hence the use of the term ethnomethodology, the study of 'ethnic' (i.e. the participants' own) methods of production and interpretation of social interaction.

Armed with these intellectual antecedents, Conversation Analysis focused upon a central problematic: how do social actors come to know, and know in common, what they are doing and the circumstances in which they are doing it.

Conversation analysts argue that the only way to address this question is by exposing the interpretive procedures which people routinely draw upon in face-to-face interaction and the data that can most effectively illuminate these procedures come from naturally-occurring conversation. From the very beginning, the ethos of CA

consisted of an unconventional but intense, and at the same time respectful, intellectual interest in the details of the actual practices of people in interaction (ten Have, 1999). The availability of the technology of audio recording in the 1960s made it possible to go beyond the existing practices of gathering data such as interviews and

field observation, which were all much more manipulative and researcher-oriented than the simple, mechanical recording of 'natural', that is, non-experimental, action.

CA characteristically takes shape as pieces of inductive reasoning structured around short extracts of transcripts of tape-recorded conversation. These extracts are repeatedly scanned for evidence of the participants' procedures whereby they accomplish an interactional task such as disagreeing or changing a topic. Little attention is paid to what traditionally sociolinguists might consider as key social variables such as the identity of the speaker (e.g. gender, age, occupation, etc.), his/her relations with the other participants in a conversation (e.g. whether they are friends or distant acquaintances), or formality of the context. It is not that the relevance of these factors is denied a priori, but simply that it is not assumed - if participants themselves can be rigorously shown to employ such categories in the production of conversation, then they would be of interest to conversation analysts

(Levinson, 1983: 295).


The basic principles of CA can therefore be summarised as follows: (i) social order resides within everyday social life, of which face-to-face interaction is a critical part; (ii) to 'know' what people are doing in their everyday life does not require any recourse to hidden motives or models of rationality, but to show how people actually do it; it then follows that (iii) every claim we as analysts make about what people do must be proven by evidence from everyday social life of people, which entails a focused, systematic analysis of their face-to-face interaction. In Garfinkel's words, 'know' consists really in a structure of activity. This is what the 'know' consists of. It is not that the member has it somewhere in the nervous traces or that he has it according to a theory of personal action, and that this will not permit someone to elicit what he has available to tell you. ... The 'know' resides in the ability to generate ... recognisable sentences. (Garfinkel:Untitled transcript of oral contribution, in Hill and Crittenden, 1968: 47)

While conversation analysts made it clear from the beginning that their problematic was a sociological one, their interest in language has been critical in distinguishing the CA approach from those of other sociological enquiries. At the heart of the difference between CA and other sociological perspectives is a tension between language as a medium for the _expression of intentions, motives or interests and language as a topic for uncovering the methods through which ordered activity is generated, the latter being the CA position.

Sacks and Schegloff, for example, devoted much of their time to the analysis of turn taking in conversation (e.g. Sacks, et al, 1974). Turn-taking is part of what Sacks and Schegloff call 'members' procedures' of achieving orderly and meaningful communication. The ways in which conversation participants design and modify their

utterances are 'naturally occurring statements' made by the social actors themselves of how they make sense of each other's contributions. This tacit, organised reasoning procedure is critical in our understanding of how social relationships are developed and higher-level social orders are achieved. The acquired knowledge of conversational organisation can then be applied to institutional organisation in order to show how these institutions were 'talked into being'.


There now exists a large number of studies which may be described as Conversation Analysis and within which two strands are identifiable. The first focuses on the institution of interaction as an entity in its own right, or 'pure' CA, and the second examines the management of social institutions in interaction, or applied CA (Heritage,1989). The latter tends to focus on specific interactional situations, its local,interactional requirements and especially the ways in which the interactants show their orientations to these situations and requirements 3. I now turn to the application of CA to the study of bilingual interaction.


Applications Of CA To Bilingual Interaction


The applications of CA to the study of bilingual interaction started against a background of quantitative analysis of grammatical patterns of bilingual data and macro-level sociolinguistic analysis of the external factors affecting language choice.

In particular, there was a tendency in the literature to explain meanings of codeswitching - the alternation of language choice in conversation - in terms of power relations within the speech community, symbolic values of different languages, and/or socio-psychological motivations of the speaker. Peter Auer, one of the first

researchers who used CA to examine bilingual interaction, questioned the way in which the meaning of code-switching was understood. Echoing Goffman, Auer (1984a) argued that participants of conversational interaction continuously produce frames for subsequent activities, which in turn create new frames. Every utterance,

every turn, therefore, change some features of the situation and maintain or reestablish others. In bilingual conversation, 'whatever language a participant chooses for the organisation of his/her turn, or for an utterance which is part of the turn, the choice exerts an influence on subsequent language choices by the same or other

speakers' (p. 5). It then follows that the meaning of code-switching must be interpreted with reference to the language choice in the preceding and following turns by the participants themselves, rather than by correlating language choice with some externally determined values. As Auer (1984b: 92) points out, 'the proper locus at

which semantic values may be assigned to the codes are the very same situations in which language juxtaposition is used for communicative purposes'. From a methodological perspective, what is required is an analytic procedure which focuses on the sequential development of interaction, because the meaning of code-switching is conveyed as part of the interactive process and cannot be discussed without referring to the conversational context. Such a procedure is provided by CA.

To those who are interested in the meaning of code-switching, the CA approach has at least two advantages. First, it gives priority to what Auer calls the 'sequential implicativeness of language choice in conversation', i.e. the effect of a participant's choice of language at a particular point in the conversation on subsequent language choices by the same and other participants. Second, it 'limits the external analyst's interpretational leeway because it relates his or her interpretation back to the members' mutual understanding of their utterances as manifest in their

behaviour' (Auer, 1984a: 6). Examples of the CA approach to bilingual interaction include Auer's study of Italian migrants in Germany (see especially 1984a, 1984b,1988, 1995), Sebba's study of young Caribbean Londoners (Sebba, 1993; Sebba and Wootton, 1998), and Stroud's study of various groups of multilingual speakers in

Papua New Guinea (Stroud, 1992, 1998; Kulick and Stroud, 1990). See also Auer,1998, for a more recent collection of studies of bilingual conversation.


The conceptual apparatus upon which Auer builds his analysis is Gumperz's notion of contextualisation. In general terms, contextualisation refers to the strategic activities of speakers in varying their communicative behaviour within a socially agreed matrix of conventions, which are used to alert participants in the course of the

on-going interaction to the social and situational context of the conversation (Gumperz 1982: 132-5; 1992: 42-3). Conversation participants appear to exploit variable spoken language elements at all linguistic levels (prosodic, phonological, morphological, syntactic; see, for example, Local 1986; Local et al. 1984; 1986) and at the non-verbal level (gestural, kinesic and proxemic; see for example Duncan 1969,1972; Kendon 1977) as procedures for signalling contextual presuppositions. In Gumperz's terms, these are contextualisation conventions or contextualisation cues,

their chief function being to signal participants' orientation to each other. Sometimes they are used primarily to contextualise imminent completion of a turn at talk or topic shifts, but at other times they have the capacity to signal meanings such as irony or seriousness, and social identities and attitudes of the participants. Auer (e.g. 1984a) argues that bilingual code-switching should be analysed as a contextualisation cue,because it works in many ways like other contextualisation cues. Nevertheless, codeswitching has some characteristics of its own in addition to those it shares with such elements as gestures, prosody and phonological variables. In particular, the sequential

organisation of alternative choices of language provides a frame of reference for the interpretation of functions or meanings of conversational code-switching. Following the CA procedure, Auer identified a number of sequential patterns of language choice and proposed a distinction between discourse-related and participant-related codeswitching.

Discourse-related code-switching contributes to the organisation of the ongoing interaction, while participant-related code-switching permits assessment by participants of the speaker's preference for and competence in one language or the other (see Shin and Milroy, 2000 for a recent application of the discourse- and participant-related distinction of code-switching).

Sebba took issue with the 'we code' versus 'they code' dichotomy, first introduced into the literature on code-switching by Gumperz (e.g. Gumperz, 1982).

For most researchers, 'we code' and 'they code' refer respectively to the ethnic language of a bilingual community and the language of the wider society within which that community forms a minority. The opposition of 'we-' versus 'they-' codes thus presupposes a particular relationships between communities and/or speaker groups, which in turn entails a semantic opposition of the languages symbolising different communities and groups. Although Gumperz warned explicitly that the association of 'we' and 'they' with particular codes 'does not directly predict actual

usage' (1982: 66) in a given instance, many users of the concepts use them as the basis for interpreting the meaning of code-switching in conversation; for example, a switch from 'we' to 'they' is said to be marked and symbolise social distance, authority, etc.Sebba and Wootton (1998) point out, the boundaries of the communities and languages are not always clear cut and the 'we-' and 'they-' codes are often hard to establish empirically. The British-born Caribbeans living in London whom Sebba studied, for example, use both London English and London Jamaican, a localised variety of Jamaican Creole (see also Sebba, 1993) as their 'we' codes. London 'Jamaican is a 'we code' because it excludes outsiders (particularly white people) and its province is the family and peer group, especially during information conversation.

But London English is also a 'we code': it is used among family and peers in the most intimate discussions and is the preferred code for use most of the time for most of the speakers in the study' (Sebba and Wootton, 1998: 264). In situations such as this,which is by no means rare, the 'we code' and 'they code' dichotomy is too gross and

too far away from the participants' situated, local practices and should not be used as an a priori schema to interpret the meaning of code-switching. Sebba argues for conversation-internal criteria of accounting for code-switching. Following the CA procedure, Sebba examines self-repairs, speaker-initiated insertion sequences,

quotations and other mid-turn or turn-final code-switches and, echoing Auer,demonstrates how code-switching 'contextualises' various speech activities (Sebba,1993; Sebba and Tate, 1986; Sebba and Wootton, 1998. See also Gafaranga, 2000 for a recent application of the CA approach to the analysis of bilingual interaction where

the identification of the base language is potentially problematic.).

In a similar vein, Stroud considers the 'we code' and 'they code' distinction, as usually used in the literature, to be 'at best a contextually specific one' (Stroud, 1998:335). Working with a particular speech genre known as kros in the linguistic repertoire of the speakers in Papua New Guinea, Stroud shows how code-switching between Tok Pisin and Taiap is used as a 'double-voicing' or 'polyphony' (Bakhtin,1984) technique, not only to show the speaker's sensitivity to the co-participant's language preferences but also their language ideology that fosters opaqueness in the sense that it is often unclear in the kros how much of what is said is the speaker's own

words and how much is an echo of others' speech. Using a sequential analysis as practised in CA, Stroud illustrates the complexity of the intertwining of the linguistic varieties in the kros and the difficulty in distinguishing what is the speaker's own words and what is an echo of others' speech, let alone distinguishing 'we' and 'they'

codes (see further Stroud, 1992, 1998; Kulick and Stroud, 1990).

As has been mentioned earlier, the CA approach to codeswitching was developed against the background of an overwhelming tendency in bilingualism research to explain code-switching behaviour by attributing specific meanings to the switches, and by assuming that speakers intend these meanings to be perceived by their listeners. As Stroud (1992) points out, such tendencies can misrepresent and obscure the complexity and dynamics of code-switching. In Stroud's words, 'the problem of intention and meaning in code-switching is the problem of knowing to what extent the intentions and meanings that we assign to switches can in fact be said to be intended by a speaker or apprehended by his or her interlocutors' (1992:131).

The CA approach to conversational code-switching avoids an imposition of analystoriented classificatory frameworks, attempting rather to reveal the underlying procedural apparatus by which conversation participants themselves arrive at local interpretations of language choice. In contrast to other exiting theories of bilingual code-switching, the CA approach dispenses with motivational speculation, in favour of an interpretative approach based on detailed, turn-by-turn analysis of language choices. It is not about what bilingual conversationalists may do, or what they usually

do, or even about what they see as the appropriate thing to do. Rather, it is about how the meaning of code-switching is constructed in interaction.

The CA approach to code-switching does not in any way deny that codeswitching as a contextualisation cue carries more social meaning in bilingual conversation than gestural or prosodic cues in monolingual conversation. Because of

the differences in historical development and political status of the languages,different speakers and speaker groups in the same community may acquire the languages for different reasons and at various rates. Consequently, their preference for and attitude to the languages co-available in the community may be different.

Nevertheless, we must be extremely careful about assigning meanings to individual instances of code-switching simply on the basis of our (analyst's) knowledge of the community's social history and of the individuals' language attitudes, especially when the analyst is an outsider to the community and individuals in question (The issue of

the outsider-analyst's effect on data analysis and interpretation has been discussed extensively in the sociolinguistics literature. See, for example, Briggs, 1984; Eades,982; Gumperz, 1982; Milroy, Li and Moffatt, 1991 and Li, 2000)

Accepting that the co-existing languages in the community repertoire have different social significance for different speakers, the methodological question then is how much of the meaning is 'brought along' and how much of it is 'brought about' in interaction (Auer 1992). Social motivation-based theories of code-switching

emphasise the 'brought along' meaning. The languages involved in code-switching have distinctive social, symbolic values, which merely have to be indexed in the interaction in order to become, or to remain, relevant. Consequently, the communicative act of code-switching itself is not seen to have any interactional meaning. In contrast, the CA approach to code-switching stresses the 'emergent' character of meaning. Meaning emerges as a consequence of bilingual participants' contextualisation work. It is 'brought about' by the speakers through the very act of code-switching.

We can illustrate this point further by re-examining two examples from our Cantonese-English code-switching corpus which has been gathered as part of a larger research project on language maintenance and language shift in the Chinese community in Tyneside. Details of the social and demographic structure of the community, and of the fieldwork methods, can be found in Li Wei (1994). Example 1 is taken from an exchange which took place in B's family dining room. A is a man in his late twenties, and B is a 40-year old woman. They are having dinner. Also present

is B's teenage daughter, C.



B Sik gai a.

eat chicken PA

'Have some chicken.'

A mm.


A Haven't seen XXX (name, three syllables) for a long time.


A Have you seen him recently?

B No.

A Have you seen XX (name, two syllables)?

B (2.0) (To C) Ning ngaw doei haai lai.

bring my those shoe ASP.

'Bring my shoes here.'

(To A) Koei hoei bindou a?

he go where PA

'Where was she going?'


The conversation up to the beginning of this example has been mainly in Cantonese. When B, the mother, offers A chicken, A gives a minimal response. The pause that follows indicates an end of the current interactional episode. After a fivesecond silence, A attempts to introduce a new topic (the whereabouts of a friend).

This topical change is accompanied by the choice of English, which contrasts B's choice in previous turns. B gives no response; so A reinitiates the topic, this time with an interrogative. The response from B is in English, but negative and minimal. A continues by asking about a different person, again in English. After a short pause, B

selects a different addressee (C) and switches from English to Cantonese, temporarily excluding A from the conversation, before she turns back to address him in Cantonese again.


In some of our earlier papers (e.g. Milroy, Li and Moffatt 1991; Milroy and Li,1995), we have suggested that the reason B in this exchange selects a different addressee and switches to Cantonese was that she did not like to be addressed in English by another adult, and the reason B did not like to be addressed in English by another adult was that she belonged to a generation whose language choice and language preference (in attitudinal terms) were both clearly Chinese-dominant. While we would maintain that such an interpretation is correct, we now believe that it told us little that we did not intuitively know already about bilingual speakers' language behaviour. What seems to be needed is not an analysis that depended on interactionexternal interpretation but a detailed, turn-by-turn analysis of the participants' conversational work, which can demonstrate how such issues as attitude, preference,

community norms have been 'brought about' in the actual contributions of the participants. For instance, the woman B in the above example did actually use English, albeit a single-syllable word, in responding to A's first question. It is only after A has asked the second question and after two seconds have elapsed that B has chosen to switch to Cantonese and a different addressee. At the local level, she has suspended the second pair part of an adjacency pair (i.e. her response to A's question) and inserted first pair part (i.e. request to C). In doing so, she has softened the impact of her language alternation. When she returns to A in the next turn, her choice of

Cantonese appears to be more legitimate as it follows from the immediately preceding turn. Nevertheless, her second pair part takes the form of a question, not a direct response to A's previous question. B's language alternation, together with her strategic use of the turn-taking mechanism as a way to shift topic and to change addressee,helps to 'bring about' her language attitude and preference.


Similarly, Example 2 demonstrates how the language preference of speakers of different generations and the authority structure of Chinese families have been'brought about' in the language choices of the participants.



A is an 8-year-old girl, and C is A's 15-year-old brother. B is their mother who is in

her forties.

A Cut it out for me (.) please.

B (2.5)

A Cut it out for me (.) mum.

C [Give us a look.

B [Mut-ye?


A Cut this out.

B Mut-ye?


C Give us a look.


B Nay m ying wa lei?

You NEG. answer me PA

'Why don't you answer me?'

A (To C) Get me a pen.


The exchange takes place in the family sitting-room. A is making a folder from pieces of cardboard; C, the brother, is looking on, while B, the mother, is knitting in a chair nearby. A's initial request for help to the mother receives a null response. A then repeats it, using a vocative on this occasion to specify her mother as the next speaker. B's subsequent question Mut-ye? ('What?') overlaps with C's turn as he self-selects. A then issues her request for the third time, but B repeats the same question as if she has not heard A's request properly or she has not understood it.

Again A fails to amend her request.The lack of co-operation between the speakers is salient, as is the lack of

alignment between the language choices of A and B. A's three repeated requests are in English and show no sign of change in form, while B's questions are in Chinese which could be described, in conversation-analysis terms, as repair initiators offering A opportunities to amend her utterances. A fails to repair her turns, which B apparently

expects, and changes little her form of request. At the end of exchange, we find something close to a communicative breakdown, in the sense that B offers no response at all to A's repeated requests. After a 2-second silence, B asks A why she does not respond to her. A then turns to C, abandoning the exchange between herself

and B.

As has been suggested earlier, Chinese adults in the Tyneside community in which our examples were collected generally preferred to speak and to be spoken to in Cantonese, whereas Chinese children in the community preferred English. In the meantime, the authority structure of the family in the Chinese culture expects children

to comply with their parents. They are expected to behave in a manner appropriate for their specific status in the family, which means that they should do as their parents (or adults generally) tell them to. These two aspects of the background context are of course relevant to our analysis of the sequence. Yet, the task of the analyst is not to be satisfied by the interaction-external explanation but to show how the two aspects of the wider context have been 'brought about' by the participants in the exchange in example 2 through their insistence on divergent language choices.

From the mother's point of view, she may believe she has the authority over her children, and when the daughter asks her to do something, she can decide whether the request is reasonable or not; if she thinks it is not, then she can either reject it or request an alternative. Her repeated use of the repair initiator Mut-ye ('What') is

therefore strategic. What B is doing here is to compete for turn control. She replaces a second pair part of an adjacency pair with a first pair part, or responds to a request with a request. Her use of Cantonese contradicts the daughter's language choice.

These two aspects of B's local management strategy - responding to a request with a request and choice of Cantonese - help to 'bring about' her role as the authority figure in the family. In the meantime, the daughter's insistence on her non-convergent language choice highlights the inter-generational differences in language attitude and preference. While it is not possible to predict on an 'if only' basis a possible alternative outcome of A's requests, we can note that A's failure to achieve the desired compliant response from B has contributed to the eventual communication breakdown


4. (See Gumperz 1982: 133 for a comparable case, where failure to read contextualisation cues by the interactants gives rise to a similarly unsatisfactory interactional outcome.)


Criticisms Of The CA Approach To Bilingual Interaction


The CA approach to bilingual interaction is of course not without its critics. Some

people who look at CA from the outside have been 'amazed by the number of

superficial features of CA's practice' (ten Have, 1999). It seems to them that CA

refuses to use available theories of human conduct to ground or organise its

arguments, or even to construct a theory of its own. Furthermore, it seems unwilling

to explain the phenomena it studies by invoking 'obvious' factors like identities, power

relations, rights and obligations of the participants, their motivations, or the

institutional context of the interaction. Specifically, the CA approach to bilingual

interaction has been criticised for neglecting aspects of the wider social context (e.g.

who participants are in demographic, social network, and even ethnographic terms),

the socio-psychological associations and therefore the social messages that one

linguistic choice rather than another carries, and the speaker's motivations. And

finally, CA seems to be obsessed with the details of its materials. These impressions

are not too far off the mark, but, as ten Have (1999: 28) points out, 'the issue is why

CA refuses to use or construct 'theories', why it refuses interaction-external

explanations, and why it is obsessed with details'. The short answer is that these

refusals and obsession are necessary in order to get a clear picture of CA's core

phenomenon, the in situ organisation of conduct, and especially talk-in-interaction. So

CA is not atheoretical but has a different conception of how to theorise about social

life and a different concept of the nature of evidence and how to validate hypotheses.

In general, conversation analysts believe that there is no independent social

reality which exists separately from the daily social interaction between people.

Society is viewed as the fitting together of joint actions between individuals (Bulmer,

1969: 76). The so-called individual motivations take a myriad of forms and are

therefore viewed as the 'formation of workable relations'. And joint actions fit

together through the acts of interpretation and definition in pragmatic mode. By

identifying the social acts which they are about to join, an individual is then able to

orientate him/herself. These acts of interpretation thereby guide actions, as well as

serve as orientating mechanisms towards the actions of others. The explanation for

action is therefore in its meaning for others in the same interactional process rather

than in interaction-external causal origins (Bulmer, 1969:76).

In its strictest form, conversation analysts would argue that social settings are not

of interest because people use conversational devices to account for what they do,

regardless of the situation in which it takes place. The talk itself will then reflect

methods of accounting which may even transcend cultural context. They may omit

reference to not only the purposes of conversations, but also the settings in which they

take place. What is or is not empirically admissible is then set according to such


For those who adopt the CA perspective, there are three fundamental points about

how one approaches conversational code-switching: (i) relevance, (ii) procedural

consequentiality and (iii) the balance between social structure and conversational


Given that code-switching can be, and indeed has been, described and

interpreted in so many ways, how does one show that one's (analyst's) description and

interpretation are relevant to the participants themselves in an on-going interaction?

As has been pointed out earlier, there is a tendency in code-switching research to

attribute macro-societal value to individual instances of switching and to assume that

speakers intend such meaning to be understood by their co-interactants. Analysts who

adopt the CA approach argue that while code-switching is indeed a socially

significant behaviour, their task is to try and show how the analyses are

demonstratively relevant to the participants.

The point of procedural consequentiality involves demonstrating whether and

how extra-linguistic context has determinate consequences for conversational

interaction. One cannot simply import our intuition about, say, the family- or worklike

character of the interaction; instead, one must demonstrate what gives a particular

piece of interaction its specific family or work character. This is what some

practitioners of CA call 'co-construction' (see a collection of studies in Jacoby and

Ochs, 1995).

This relates to the third point, the balance of social and conversational

structures. Those who adopt the CA approach to code-switching argue that one must

not assume that, in any given conversation, speakers switch languages in order to

'index' speaker identity, attitudes, power relations, formality, etc.; rather, one must be

able to demonstrate how such things as identity, attitude and relationship are

presented, understood, accepted or rejected and changed in the process of interaction.

These three points imply an important shift of analytic interest. It is suggested

that any interpretation of the meaning of code-switching, or what might be called the

broad why questions, must come after fully examining the ways in which the

participants are locally constituting the phenomena, i.e. the how questions. In Auer's

words, one needs to look for the procedures

used by participants in actual interaction, i.e. that they are supposed to be

interactionally relevant and 'real', not just a scientific construct designed to

'fit the data'. So there is an analytic interest in members' methods (or

procedures, as opposed to an interest in external procedures derived from a

scientific theory. In short, our purpose is to analyse members' procedures to

arrive at local interpretations of language alternation. (Auer, 1984a: 3;

original italics)

Let us look at one example. The following extract was originally published in

Li Wei 1994: 163, as an example of how code-switching can be used to contextualise

preference organisation in bilingual conversation. It has been re-analysed by Myers-

Scotton and Bolonyai (2000) in terms of Myers-Scotton's 'markedness' theory of

language choice, which has recently been recast in what has been called the Rational

Choice model.



Mother speaking to a 12 year old boy who is playing with the computer.

A: Finished homework?

B: (2.0)

A: Steven, yiu mo wan sue?

want NEG. PERF. review book

'Do you want to do your homework?'

B: (1.5) I've finished.


The starting point of Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai's analysis is the assumption

that mother (A) and son (B) have different preferences for unmarked languages in

mother-son interactions. The mother prefers to speak Cantonese and her son prefers

English. The mother's initial choice of English is therefore 'unexpected', or 'marked'.

Her motive, according to Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai, 'seems to be to suspend the

unmarked RO (rights and obligations) set in order to bring about a desired effect' (p.

20). When the mother does not get an adequate response to her question, she switches

to Cantonese. Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai suggest that the switch displays how the

mother weighs and prioritises her goals differently at this point: taking account of the

available evidence (lack of response to English) she makes her goal and her preferred

RO set (i.e. her desires and values) unambiguous for her son. The focus is now on her

desires and goals and not on accommodating to her son in any way. Presumably, her

main goal is to have her son pay attention and respond. The switch is from the

marked (and, in this case, ineffective) choice of English to her unmarked choice of

Cantonese. When she does not succeed in establishing her authority about school

matters through speaking some English, she satisfies her ultimate goal by switching to

Cantonese. Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai further argues that to assess available

evidence is one of the mechanisms guiding choices under an RC approach. Under an

RC interpretation, the mother's choice to switch to Cantonese is motivated by the

evidence that both mother and son know that she has some measure of authority in the

RO set that her use of Cantonese indexes. Her authority is recognised: the son replies,

albeit in English.


The point I want to make here is not whether such an interpretation is correct

(In fact, I believe Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai's interpretation is largely correct.), but

whether the meaning of the mother's code-switching could be interpreted without

invoking the interaction-external factors such as marked and unmarked choices and

the RO set which are not always consistently empirically definable. Using the CA

approach, we can demonstrate the 'responsive treatment' (Schegloff,1982) of the

mother and the son of each other's language choices and the procedures they

themselves have used in interpreting the meaning of code-switching in conversation -

when the mother asks the son in English if he has finished his homework, the son's

response is a 'noticeable silence', a typical dispreference marker. It is this

dispreference marker that has prompted the mother to switch to Cantonese to reiterate

her question. This reiteration is apparently understood by the son as an indirect

request to do his homework. A pause marks his turn as another dispreferred second

pair part and his choice of language contrasts with that of his mother in the

immediately preceding turn, reinforcing dispreference. Note here that we use

'dispreference' as a technical term of CA to refer to the various kinds of structural

complexity accompanying particular instances of second pair parts of adjacency pairs,

not as a social-psychological notion (see further Levinson, 1983: 307; Pomerantz,

1984; Sacks, 1987) 5. It is a general procedure whereby conversation participants

signal to each other their understanding. By focusing on such commonly-used

procedures, conversation analysts aim to reveal the evidence of social reality and

pinpoint the origin of social meaning, i.e. how meaning is generated from face-to-face

interaction. For those who adopt the CA approach to code-switching, the meaning is

not given through the inculcation of values and norms, or any structural forms which

pre-exist or underlie individual actions and utterances. Instead, it resides in conversational interaction itself.


Eviodence -based Analysis


Conversation analysts have a different concept of evidence which is not based on the analyst's own intuition (perhaps characteristic of some schools of generative linguistics) or quantitative information (typical of sociolinguistics of the variationist paradigm), but on members' (i.e. conversation participants') procedures of

interpretation and interaction. This has led to a preoccupation of transcription conventions for recordings of conversation which, in many people's view, has become an obsession. The preoccupation is based on the belief that such evidence is extremely rich and inexhaustible in the complexity of its details on the one hand, and the

scepticism regarding the authenticity of some of the data used to support existing theories and models of bilingual interaction on the other.

It has long been recognised that transcription is not only a technically complex process but also an ideologically-laden one in which the theoretical position of the transcriber is fully implicated (Ochs, 1979). All transcripts take sides, enabling certain interpretations and advancing certain theories. As Bucholtz (2000) points out in a

recent article, 'embedded in the details of transcription are indications of purpose,audience, and the position of the transcriber toward the text' (p. 143). Conversation analysts in the early days of the discipline sought to develop a complete convention which would faithfully represent relevant features of the actual interaction in the

original context. While they have succeeded in raising the awareness among researchers of the importance of the minute details of communication (e.g. silence,prosody, non-lexicalised discourse markers, non-verbal cues, etc.), they have come to realise that an ideology-free transcription is impossible (e.g. Schegloff, 1997).


Although most published studies of bilingual interaction give fairly clear accounts of the transcription methods used in the work being reported, we, as readers,do not often make the link between the transcriptive representation of the data and the researcher's ideology, identity, and preference. Let us now look at one specific transcript of an extract of a conversation between two Mandarin Chinese-English bilingual youths.



A: Tim rang and wanted to borrow me bike.

B: Oh yeah?

A: Again, you know?

B: (Silence)

5 A: You're seeing him tonight, aren't you?

B: Yup.

A: Oh don't know. I think I'm going to ask Susan to tell him.

B: Rang Susan shuo shenma?

let say what

'What do you want Susan to say?'

A: He broke the bloody gear you know? I mean...

10 B: mm

A: Ni gen ta shuo wo yao chuqu yitang.

you PREP. him say I want go-out once

'You tell him that I'm going out'.

B: Susan buhui guan de.

NEG. will bother PA.

'Susan won't bother (about that).'

A: (Silence)

B: What do you want me to say?


A transcription of this kind calls for an interaction-external motivation-based explanation. For the sake of argument, we can assign English as the preferred (in the non-CA sense) language of speaker A, as this is the language in which he initiated the exchange. His intention, one would assume, is to persuade speaker B to let Tim know that he does not want to lend him his bicycle. Upon realising B's reluctance, A switches to Mandarin Chinese in Line 11, which could be B's preferred language which he has used in his first full sentence in Line 8. What is interesting though is that B ignores A's request and tells A that Susan would not help him. But he clearly

understands A's intention. Perhaps in order to maintain his friendship with A, B finally switches to English and asks the obvious 'What do you want me to say?'. Of course there is no guarantee that English is in fact A's preferred language.

It may well be that he started off in what he assumed to be B's preferred language in order that his request would be accepted. One evidence in support of this assumption is B's eventual use of English in asking what A wants him to do. Such an interpretation would then trigger a rationality-based discussion of how the speakers evaluate the cost and benefit of their choices.

The fact of the matter is, however, that the two speakers in the conversation are 'routine' bilinguals, who code-switch frequently and regularly as part of their daily conversational routine. They are very rarely in a monolingual mode and their codeswitching is not triggered by the so-called rights-and-obligations set (e.g. Myers-Scotton, 1993a). A CA approach will not only give a rather different interpretation of the meaning of code-switching in this sequence of conversation, but also reveal the members' procedure of accomplishing an interactional task, which in this case is making and refusing a request. To undertake a conversation analysis, a more detailed transcription is required. Example 4b presents the same extract of conversation in CA conventions.



A: Tim rang [and (.) wanted to borrow me bike.

B: [oh yeah?


A: again you know?

5 B: (1.0)

A: You're seeing him tonight, aren't you.

B: Yup.

A: (1.0) ohhh dunno (.) I think I'm going to ask Susan to tell him.

B: (0.6) Rang Susan shuo shenma.

let say what

'What do you want Susan to say?'

10 A: He broke the bloody gear you know? (.) [I mean...

B: [mm

A: Ni gen ta shuo wo yao chuqu [yitang.

you PREP. him say I want go-out once

'You tell him that I'm going out'.

B: [Susan buhui guan de.won't bother PA.

'Susan won't bother (about that).'

A: (1.5)

15 B: What do you want me to say.


Transcription conventions relevant to this extract.

(0.0) number in parentheses indicate elapsed time in silence by tenth of seconds.

(.) A dot in parentheses indicates a tiny 'gap' within or between utterances.

word Underscoring indicates some form of stress, via pitch and/or amplitude

.? Punctuation marks are used to indicate characteristics of speech production, especially intonation; a period indicates a stopping fall in tone; a question mark indicates a rising intonation.

worddd Repeated letter in a word indicates lengthening of the syllable or sound.


The first thing to be noticed here is the amount of details that was missing in the previous transcript, especially overlaps, gaps and prosodic cues. It is exactly such details that provide the local management mechanism whereby conversation participants interpret each other's moves and achieve joint understanding.

In CA terms, A's initial utterance is a pre-sequence, introducing a new interactional episode and at the same time checking B's position. Following a sequential analysis, we can see that B's utterance in Line 2 comes in the middle of A's turn, although at an appropriate turn construction unit. Nevertheless, it results in a one-second gap, which cannot be attributed to either A or B. A then reinforces his invitation to B for comment and makes it more explicit using stress, discourse marker and rising intonation. The one-second gap that follows is attributable this time, to B,and in CA terms it constitutes 'significant silence', indicating a dispreferred response.

A does not give up at this point (If he did, he would have changed the topic completely) but pursues the topic by reiterating it with a tag question. B gives a 'preferred' response this time, but only in structural terms. He offers no clear evidence to A if he understands B's real intention for the time being. Realising he has failed to

convey his intention to B, A changes his tactic and says he is going to ask Susan to tell Tim. B's response is clearly marked as dispreferred with a 0.6-gap and a switch to Chinese. This forces A to make his request more explicitly in Lines 10 and 12.Noticeably, he switches from English to Chinese, the language B has chosen in the previous turn to make the request. B's decline to A's request comes in two parts - first in Chinese a remark that he does not think Susan would help, then, after a longerthan-usual silence by A (Normally, 1-second is the maximum tolerable silence in English conversation; Jefferson, 1989), he switches to English and asks what A wants him to say.

Here, it is not the choice of one language versus the other that is meaningful,but the switching between the languages, in sequential context, that triggers an interpretation first and foremost by the interactants themselves and secondarily by the analyst. The immediate task, as far as the interactants are concerned, is how to make

and refuse a request. A sequential analysis can show how code-switching is used to accomplish this task. Such an analysis can be done without alluding to interactionexternal norms and values, or to the psycholinguistic mode of the speaker (Grosjean,2001), but requires a much more careful transcription than the one for a motivation based analysis  


Summary and Conclusion


It is obvious that the CA approach to bilingual interaction is very different from the other sociolinguistic models hitherto proposed. Rather than attempting to describe structures of code-switching in quantitative terms and divorced from its natural site of occurrence (i.e. conversation), or to explain meanings of codeswitching by invoking interaction-external concepts such as speakers' rights and obligations, the CA approach focuses on collaborative achievements of the conversation participants, especially the methods and procedures they deploy in achieving understanding. The relevance of the sociological background of CA to sociolinguistics generally is the methodological preferences that derive from it. The belief that language not simply a medium for the _expression of intentions, motives or interests but a topic for uncovering the methods through which ordered activity is

generated has driven CA to focus on the observation of 'naturally occurring' statements made by participants of social activities at the expense of premature theorisation, epistemology and philosophical speculation. The CA approach will remain unattractive to those who still wish to 'predict' social behaviour. However, contrary to what some commentators have claimed, CA is by no means a purely descriptive technique. In fact, it requires nothing less than a radical shift in the focus of social scientific enquiries. As May (1996: 98) points out 'sociologists, for example,should no long assume Durkheim's notion of social reality as sui generis, or view human behaviour as following the impersonal and general rules of a role, or the covering laws of cause and effect. Instead, social order is a direct result of people's 'accomplishments' in their everyday lives. Psychologists should cease experiments

which are of no relevance to the practical activities of people as they go about their daily lives'. CA goes beyond a methodology; it is a theory of a different kind, an ideology and a worldview which cannot be overlooked, trivialised or dismissed.




1. To complicate the matter, leading practitioners of CA, such as Auer, talk about 'language preference' in Pomerantz's (1984) sense of 'preferred-action turn shape'. Schegloff (1988) calls it 'practice-based' use of the concept, as opposed to the 'structure-based' use which refers to the structural regularities that mark alternative

second pair parts. In this paper, language preference is used in a non-CA sense.


2. Similar comments could be made on the sociolinguistic work in the quantitativevariationist paradigm.


3. There has been considerable debate about the legitimate 'uses' of CA in different contexts. For example, Wetherell (1998) has tried to contextualise CA within a post-structuralist framework. See Schegloff (1997 and 1998) for comments.


4. In the strictest CA sense, it is the sequence failure, i.e. no party was willing to give the second pair part, that contributed to the breakdown.


5. The notion of preference in CA is very close to the linguistic concept of markedness especially as used in morphology, where there is an opposition between two members and one member is felt to be more usual, more normal, less specific and has less material than the other. As Levinson (1983: 333) points out, 'The parallel is therefore quite apt, because in a similar way preferred (and thus unmarked) seconds to different and unrelated adjacency pair first parts have less material than dispreferred (marked seconds), but beyond that have little in

common (cf. 'irregular'). In contrast, dispreferred seconds of quite different and unrelated first parts (e.g. questions, offers, requests, summonses, etc.) have much in common, notably components of delay and parallel kinds of complexity.'


6. In this paper, I have not discussed the notion of 'language' in bilingual interaction (and associated notions of 'matrix language' or 'base language'). Many researchers who apply the CA approach to code-switching argue that the information that there are two languages involved is potentially interaction-external. One of the tasks of the analyst is to demonstrate, through a sequential analysis, that the languages are oriented to as different by the participants (see, for example, Auer, 1999; Gafaranga, 2000, Alvarez-Caccamo, 1998).




The writing of the paper was prompted by an invitation to speak at the conference on Spoken Bilingual Databases: Transcription, analysis, exchange, at Lancaster University, UK, in September, 2000. The conference was organised by the LIPPS (Language Interaction in Plurilingual & Plurilectal Speakers) Group. I am particularly grateful to Mark Sebba, Roeland van Hout, Penelope Gardner-Chloros and Melissa Moyer for their invitation and for their comments on the presentation. I am also grateful to the participants of a research seminar at the University of York, UK, in

November, 2000, where the paper was presented, especially to John Local, Sali Tagliamonte and Mahandra Verma, for their feedback. Lesley Milroy, Margaret Deuchar and Joseph Gafaranga read and commented carefully and constructively on an earlier version of the paper. Comments from Jane Hill, editor of this journal, and two anonymous reviewers helped to clarify several key points both in the paper and in my understanding of the CA approach and reduce the number of errors and shortcomings that are entirely my own responsibility. As ever, my wife Zhu Hua read and commented on various versions of the paper and discussed the ideas that went into it. But more crucially this time, she has taken on full responsibility of looking after our new-born son, Andrew, while I revised the paper.




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© 2002 by Language in Society






Teacher Expertise Studies and Their Implications for Teacher Education: A Review of the Literature

By Nancy Keranen (*) 




For anyone not in areas involved in artificial intelligence or robotics, research into areas of expertise might be unknown or at least not well known. The purpose of this brief literature review is intended to provide an introduction to expertise studies in the area of teacher education.  As teacher educators, expertise studies can be useful or even essential to our understanding of the characteristics of novice and expert teachers.  Those characteristics have implications for both pre-service and in-service teacher education.

Before we talk about the implications, it would probably be useful to briefly discuss four main terms used in the studies:

Expert - Expertise literature from a variety of domains provides a fairly consistent definition of what an expert is.  There are certain qualities that can be accepted as characteristics of an expert.  Tsui defines being an expert as someone who is very knowledgeable of their particular area, one who can "engage in skillful practice, ... make accurate diagnoses, insightful analysis, and [can make] decisions" usually very quickly (2003, p. 1).

Experienced - Experience does not necessarily imply expertise.  We all know teachers with years of experience but whom we would be reluctant to label as experts.  Some people fail to develop into experts.  Bereiter and Scardamalia (1993) suggest that instead of looking for comparisons between experts and novices as most studies have done, research should look for factors or differences between the experienced non-expert and the expert and try to determine why some people become experts while some remain merely experienced non-experts.

Novice and beginner - These terms signify people lacking in experience or newcomers to a particular domain.  In teaching, novice and beginner refer to teachers who are in their first year or who are still in their student teaching phase (Tsui 2003).  Sometimes people from outside of teaching enter the field.  They have content knowledge but no pedagogical knowledge.  These people have also been referred to as novices or "postulants" (Berliner & Carter; Sabers, Cushing, and Berliner, studies cited in Tsui, 2003).


Implications for Teacher Development from Expertise Studies


One of the biggest contributions of expertise studies in teaching has been related to a sort of new teacher myth.  Berliner (1994) reminds us of the historical devaluing of pedagogical knowledge.  The bright, shiny, young, fresh out of training, new teacher is commonly favored when administrations consider hiring teachers.  As Berliner states, those qualities would not be considered as assets when, for example, one selects a surgeon or hires a commercial airline pilot.  In fact, there are very few professions that favor the raw novice over the experienced professional other than teaching.  Berliner gives several reasons for that.  One is that teaching is traditionally considered something like child care or as something that requires no specific abilities.  For example, many teachers in higher education have not been trained in pedagogy but are merely hired for their domain expertise (see for example: Roche and Marsh, 2002; Hattie and Marsh, 1996; Marsh, 1987).  Another reason for this devaluation, according to Berliner, is due to the fact that teaching (primarily K-12) is considered by many to be "women's work", and therefore, he says, not nearly as complicated as "physics problem solving, a male domain" (1994, para. 10).  However, as he concludes, and as most teachers know, teaching is a complicated process which includes mastery of "a complex social and political environment" ( Berliner 1994, para. 10).

After a discussion of the five stages from novice to expert as described by Dreyfus and Dreyfus, Berliner formulates 12 propositions regarding teaching expertise.  The propositions come from expert studies across a variety of domains as well as from teacher expertise studies.  Each one of the propositions has its pedagogical implications for teacher development.

To avoid repetition of the implications and in the interest of space limitations, I have presented below only propositions one, two, three, four and six.


Berliner's Proposition One

Berliner (1994) cites expertise studies from a variety of domains and their criteria for describing an expert.  From Chi, Glaser, and Farr (1988) comes the idea that experts are expert in mainly a single domain.  This is because of the amount of time required to become expert in a particular area.  Humans rarely have the time necessary to become expert in more than one area.  Studies that talk about time commitments to becoming an expert include Lesgold, Rubinson, Feltovich, Glaser, Klopfer, and Wang (1988), who found that expert radiologists have looked at at least 100,000 x-rays before developing an expertise in identifying irregularities in the pictures; de Groot (1965), found that chess have spent between 10,000 and 20,000 hours playing chess; in Berliner (1994) expert teachers have had at least five years of classroom practice before most researchers would begin to consider them expert. Berliner estimates that a teacher with 10 years of classroom practice will have about 10,000 hours in the classroom as well as about 15,000 hours before that as a student in an educational setting; however, he states that there is no evidence that experience as a student adds anything to teaching expertise.  The main point is that all expert teachers have years of classroom practice behind them. 

Implications:  The implication is that a certificate given at the end of teacher training does not signify that the teacher is a fully competent and prepared teacher since becoming a fully prepared teacher is the result of years of experience, among other factors (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1993).  Almost always new teachers are put into positions that assume that they have expertise or are fully competent teachers.  The studies show that new teachers should not be expected to perform at expert teacher levels.  Instead they should be mentored and supervised in their first years of practice.

The Chi, Glaser, and Farr study (cited in Berliner 1994) implies that expertise is highly contextualized.  It is not appropriate to assume that teachers can move their expertise to new contexts.  Because a teacher is an expert in one level does not automatically mean they will have equally expert performance in another grade level or in other subjects.  Also, because of this contextualization, Berliner (1994) says that teacher evaluations that use simulations in an artificial classroom environment are probably not valid because they take teachers out of their contexts and put them into a controlled laboratory environment.  For evaluation purposes, teachers should be observed in their own contexts, not always a practical way to accomplish evaluations, however.


Berliner's Proposition Two

Studies which Berliner (1994) cites, such as Glaser (1987), Leinhardt and Greeno (1986), Krabbe and Tullgren (1989), and Brooks and Hawke (1985), have shown that expert teachers rely on routinization and automaticity for handling repetitive classroom actions.  This, according to Berliner and the studies cited above, allows the teachers to allocate more of their cognitive processes to dealing with novel or spontaneous classroom situations.

Implications: Berliner notes that teacher training should perhaps focus more on establishing routine behavior such as handling homework; classroom management functions such as taking attendance, giving and turning in assignments; testing procedures; and opening, transition, and closing lesson routines.  If those functions can be well established in the novice teacher during initial training, then, like the expert, they could possibly attend to the more cognitive challenges of teaching.

Berliner's Proposition Three

In studies by Glaser and Housner and Griffey (cited in Berliner 1994), expert teachers were shown to be more aware of the demands and the social context of teaching situations.  In other words, when asked to plan a class or activities in a special context, expert teachers asked more questions about the situation and especially about the students involved in the task.  The conclusion is that expert teachers are more sensitive to the "social and physical environment in which instruction was to take place" (Berliner 1994, Proposition Three, para. 1).

Implications: Administrations often regard a newly-graduated university trained teacher to be completely ready to teach.  However, studies like those cited above show that novice teachers cannot perform like expert teachers when it comes to judging and reacting to situations associated with classroom practice.  New teachers should be closely supervised and mentored instead of being thrown into the classroom to "sink or swim" (Berliner 1994, Proposition Three, para. 6).


Berliner's Proposition Four

Expert teachers were found to be more creative, flexible, improvisational, opportunistic, and spontaneous to novel situations than novices (Glaser; Borko & Livingston; Westerman; Sharpe & Hawkins cited in Berliner 1994).  Other studies looking at planning strategies of expert teachers show that they focus their planning on students' abilities and interests, available materials, the educational setting, and lesson content rather than on the more structural planning which starts with lesson aims and objectives (Tsui, 2003).  In a study of university novice and award-winning teachers' concepts on teaching, Dunkin (2002) reports that novice teachers were not able to access alternative approaches in a classroom situation due to a lack of pedagogical strategies.  He says that even though a teacher has content knowledge, without the experience related to pedagogical knowledge, novice teachers are limited in their choice of classroom strategies. 

Implications:  Berliner (1994) reminds us that children need to crawl before they can walk.  Developmental stages are involved in all types of learning, including learning to become an expert teacher.  Many innovative curriculum revision programs that call for alternative student-centered approaches to teaching in education might just fail because novice teachers are unable to use such approaches at novice developmental levels.  As Berliner says, perhaps teachers must work through being highly structured before they can be expected to be creative, spontaneous, opportunistic, and unstructured.


Berliner's Proposition Six

Experts can quickly assess and act on situations based on highly developed pattern recognition abilities.  This ability allows expert teachers to make sense of a given situation.  Expert teachers are able to "read" a classroom like expert chess players are able to read the pieces on a chess board and accurately determine the next move.  Novice teachers are not able to do this because the ability is the result of years of classroom experience and the subsequent acquisition of content as well as pedagogical knowledge.  In their study of decision making processes of novice and expert teachers, Vanci Osam and Balby (2004) found similar characteristics of time spent in decision making as those identified by Berliner.

Implications: The studies cited in this proposition indicate that novices frequently cannot "make a lot of sense of what they experience" simply because they do not have the experience that allows this (Berliner, 1994, Proposition Six, para. 12).  Once again Berliner notes the practice of hiring new teachers fresh from their initial training as something desirable.  This practice indicates "a deep underestimation of the complexity of teaching" (Berliner, 1994, Proposition Six, para. 12).  People involved in teacher preparation and expert teachers need to inform decision-makers of the findings of expert studies that novice teachers are not yet fully prepared to take on the cognitive and performance loads of expert teachers.  Once again the findings indicate that mentoring and supervision programs should be in place to help novice teachers develop toward expertise.



The implications also have something to say about people entering teaching from alternative tracks rather than through traditional ones of university training in pedagogy.  While there is no evidence to date that teachers entering through the traditional tracks develop any better than those entering through alternative tracks, there is evidence that content knowledge or real-world work experience is not a replacement for pedagogical knowledge (Berliner, 1994; Dunkin, 2002; Shulman, 2000).

Berliner's propositions and the research cited in expertise studies clearly indicate that there are significant differences between novices and experts.  Novices are generally not prepared or ready to perform at an expert level.  In fact, their performance can be characterized as lacking in many ways.  Novice or beginning teachers should not be abandoned when they finish their initial training.  The educational work setting should have programs in place for their continuing growth and development.

The studies also show clearly the value of expertise in teaching, the value of expert teachers.  The devaluing of pedagogical knowledge favors novice teachers over expert teachers.  As Berliner (1994) says, this shows a complete misunderstanding of the complexity of teaching on the part of school administrations and decision makers, parents, and other interested parties.  Expert research can help reverse this misconception.

In her review of expertise literature, Tsui (2003) discusses three main areas: 1) the characteristics of expert performance; in other words, how have expertise researchers defined what makes up or what the qualities of an expert performance are, 2) the characteristics or features that define an expert and that define a novice, and 3) how people move from being novices to being experts and how they maintain their expertise.

Tsui (2003) notes that there is a great amount of agreement between studies showing that expert performance is characterized as a product of an extensive amount of time in the area of performance, i.e. experience and practice.  In what ways experts differ from novices is still not exactly clear.  Dreyfus and Dreyfus (1986) consider that through extensive experience in a domain, experts are able to develop automatic and routinized performances which free up their minds for dealing with spontaneous or novel performances or problem-solving.  Glaser and Chi (1988) also recognize the characteristic of automatic performance but add that experts act in a deliberate manner based on knowledge of the situation and reflection.  Eraut takes it one more step and dismisses automatic performance, saying that expert performance is characterized by "conscious deliberation" that can be seen in expert problem-solving.  Through reflection and self-monitoring, experts "maintain their superior performance" (Eraut cited in Tsui, 2003, p. 20).

Regarding the third area on expertise discussed by Tsui (2003), the issue of how experts become experts, Tsui notes that not many studies have looked at this.  She says that Bereiter and Scardamalia's expertise theory is one of the few.  They propose that studies comparing novices and experts may not be as useful in understanding expert performance as comparing experienced non-experts with experts. Scardamalia and Bereiter (1991) observe that most of the studies also do not show the process that an individual moves through to become an expert. The studies only attempt to define expertise.  They regard expertise as a process rather than a state that one achieves after years of practice.  Their theory takes into account the fact that there are plenty of people with a lot of experience but who would not be considered experts.  


Areas for Further Research

With Scardamali and Bereiter's theory in mind, research that shows the development of expertise would fill a gap in the research.  Tsui (2003) presents other gaps in the research.  Specifically related to teaching, she says that there are few studies of why "expert teachers become what they are while their peers remain experienced nonexperts" (p. 3).  Studies cited in Tsui that look at this are Bullough (1989) and Bullough and Baughman (1993, 1995).

Tsui (2003) says that with the exception of Leinhardt, Putnam, Stein, and Baxter; Leinhardt and Smith; Elbaz; and Grossman there have been few studies that attempt to understand expertise in specific knowledge contexts.  Most of the expertise studies have been in classroom management or in some general aspect of teaching (cited in Tsui, 2003).  Studies that look at expertise and content knowledge in a specific discipline would help fill this gap.           

Another area that needs further research is in expertise in English as a second language (ESL) teaching.  Tsui (2003) cites one study: Richards, Li, and Tang on expertise in second-language.  This study was a novice/expert comparison study.  Tsui says there is even less research in the area of development of expertise in ESL teaching. Her book begins to fill that gap by reporting on her case study research of four K-12 ESL teachers.  It is clear that this field is wide open for research.  Research on expertise in foreign language teaching in a non-English speaking setting would be particularly welcome as well as expertise studies in higher education in a non-English speaking setting.

Finally, Tsui (2003) suggests one more gap in the research.  Most novice/expert studies examine what happens in the minds of teachers as if they were divorced from the work context.  Ethnographic research on teachers' lives reveals that the context in which the teacher works and their "knowledge and skills" are almost inseparable (p. 2).  Expertise research that considers teachers and their responses to their contexts is needed.

Expertise research in teaching is an area that can provide exciting new theories about teachers and teaching.  It can enlighten how we educate the next generation of teachers as well as how we encourage teacher development of practicing teachers.  As seen above, there are still many gaps in the research that need to be filled.



Berliner, D.C.  (1994).  The wonder of exemplary performances.  In Mangieri, J. N. & C. Collins Block (Eds.), Creating powerful thinking in teachers and students.  Fort Worth, TX: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.  Retrieved May 7, 2005, from

Dunkin, M.J.  (2002).  Novice and award-winning teachers' concepts and beliefs about teaching in higher education.  In N. Hativa & P. Goodyear (Eds.), Teacher thinking, beliefs and knowledge in higher education (pp. 41-57).  London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Hattie, J., & Marsh, H.W.  (1996).  The relationship between research and teaching - a meta-analysis.  Review of Educational Research, 66, 507-542.

Marsh, H.W.  (1987).  Students' evaluations of university teaching: Research findings, methodological issues, and directions for future research.  International Journal of Educational Research, 11, 253-388.

Roche, L.A., & Marsh, H.W.  (2002).  Teaching self-concept in higher education.  In N. Hativa & P. Goodyear (Eds.), Teacher thinking, beliefs and knowledge in higher education (pp. 179-218).  London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Scardamalia, M. & Bereiter, C.  (1991).  Literate expertise.  In K. Anders Ericcson & J. Smith (Eds.), Toward a general theory of expertise: Prospects and limits (pp. 172-194).  Cambridge University Press.

Shulman, L.S.  (2000).  Teacher development: Roles of domain expertise and pedagogical knowledge.  Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21(1), 129-135.

Tsui, A.B.M.  (2003).  Understanding expertise in teaching: Case studies of EFL teachers.  Cambridge University Press.

Vanci Osam, U. & Balby, S.  (2004)  Investigating the decision making skills of cooperating teachers and student teachers of English in a Turkish context.  Teaching & Teacher Education, 20, 745-758.



(*) Nancy Keranen has an MA-TESOL from Seattle Pacific University.  She is a full-time associate professor at the Benemérita Universidad Autonóma de Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico.  She is also a first year PhD candidate at Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom.  Her research is on expertise and teacher professional development. 


© 2005 by NEXUS 







First of all, Tools for Teachers would like to express its gratitude to SHARE for the support in making the information available to its subscribers and is pleased to announce repeats of its Easter course:


Saturday 6th May - 10:00 to 13:00 - Vulgar English

Saturday 3rd June - 10:00 to 13:00 - Sixteen Ways to be a Teacher

Friday 9th June - 17:00 to 20:00 - Ideas that work

Thursday 22nd June - 17:00 to 20:00 - Simple Techniques for your well being


All sessions conducted by Oriel E. Villagarcía


Profesor en Inglés, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, M.A. in Linguistics for ELT from the University of Lancaster, England, graduate studies at the University of Texas, Fulbright and British Council Scholar, Master Practitioner of NLP, Certificate of Completion, NLP University, Santa Cruz, California, Certified Administrator of the Myer Briggs Type Indicator, CAPT, Florida, Certified Breema Practitioner, Certified Reflexologist, Certified Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner Certified Massage Practitioner, and Certified Instructor of Bodywork on Balance Balls (Esferodinamia Terapéutica) Oriel has also studied Thai Massage, Esalen Massage, Polarity, Shiatsu, yoga and Chi Kung among other mind body disciplines. He was Head of English Department at the Universidad Católica de Salta, taught Linguistics at the Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto, and NLP at the Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero. He is a co-founder of  what is  FAAPI (Federación Argentina de Asociaciones de Profesores de Inglés) today, and co-founder and first president of ASPI, Asociación Salteña de Profesores de Inglés.


Venue: SBS Palermo, Coronel Díaz 1745, Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Fee: $ 20 per session


Full information on the academic contents of these workshops, and details on how to register, can be obtained by sending an email to


For more information, visit:


Tools For Teachers would hereby like to  wish teachers throughout the country a very Happy Easter.


Oriel E. Villagarcia







Our dear SHARER Stella Caramutti has sent us this announcement:


Terceras Jornadas Internacionales del NOA para Profesores de Inglés

Instituto de Enseñanza Superior "Lola Mora"


Estimados colegas:

Les informamos que la Secretaría de Educación de la Nación ha declarado de "Interés Educativo" a estas Jornadas mediante resolución 43SE del 01 de febrero de 2006 y que mediante el expediente 021988/230-I-05 hemos solicitado la misma declaración a la Secretaría de Educación de la Provincia de Tucumán.-


Confirmaron su presencia los siguientes disertantes:

Lic. Omar Villarreal

Magíster Juan Ferretti

Prof. Alfredo Bilopolsky

Jamie Duncan

Susan Hillyard (Auspiciada Por OUP)


La primera fecha de inscripción se ha prorrogado hasta el 28 de abril próximo dados los numerosos pedidos. Para mayor información, contactar: Estela Maria Caramuti  or Instituto Lola Mora






Our dear SHARER Mary Godward writes to us:

El escritor británico Hanif Kureishi estará llegando a Buenos Aires la semana que viene. Se presentará en la Feria del Libro y en el Festival de Cine Independiente en Malba. Les envío una corta biografía y los detalles de los dos eventos públicos.

Novelista y guionista, Hanif Kureishi nació en un suburbio del sur de Londres, el 5 de diciembre de 1954, hijo de padre pakistaní y madre inglesa. Estudió filosofía en el King’s College de Londres. En 1981 ganó el premio George Devine por su ensayo Afueras (Outskirts) y en 1984 escribió Mi hermosa lavandería (My Beautiful Launderette), la cual fue llevada al cine el mismo año, bajo la dirección de Stephen Frears, recibiendo una nominación al Oscar de la Academia - mejor guión original. Su novela El Buda de los suburbios (The Buddha of Suburbio) (1990) recibió el premio Withbread como mejor novela además de haber sido traducida a 20 lenguas y emitida por la BBC. En su segunda novela, El álbum negro (Black Album) (1995), trata el tema del fundamentalismo islámico. En 1997 publicó su primera colección de historias cortas Amor en tiempos tristes (Love in a Blue Time)  y en 1998 Intimidad (Intimacy). En su ensayo, Algo dado (Something Given), comenta la historia de su padre, un emigrante pakistaní en Inglaterra. Sus escritos ponen de manifiesto su visión personal de la realidad de la sociedad británica. Junto a Kazuo Ishugiro y Salman Rushdie es una de las voces más destacadas de la nueva narrativa inglesa y representante de una importante generación de escritores.

Para una biografía más completa, ver:

La página y la pantalla - Viernes 21 de abril, 1800 hs
Conversación entre Hanif Kureishi y Edgardo Cozarinsky, moderada por Silvia Hopenhayn.
Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI)
MALBA- Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
Avda Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Buenos Aires
Ingreso: por orden de llegada

Dialogando con Hanif Kureishi
Sábado 22 de abril, 1630 hs
Entrevistado por Osvaldo Quiroga, Hanif Kureishi habla sobre su trayectoria literaria.
Feria Internacional del Libro - La Rural, Predio Ferial de Buenos Aires
Avda. Sarmiento 2704, Buenos Aires
Entradas: el British Council dispone de un número limitado de entradas para este evento así que si desea ir, le rogamos se contacte con nosotros.

Para más información comuníquese con el British Council al teléfono 4311 9814.
Agradecemos el apoyo brindado por Riverside SA (distribuidora de Anagrama en Argentina), Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI), Feria Internacional del Libro y Malba Colección Costantini

Mary Godward
Manager Knowledge and Learning- British Council
M T de Alvear 590 - 4th Floor - C1058AAF Buenos Aires – Argentina
+54 (0)11 4311 9814 - F +54 (0)11 4311 7747 -






It is with regret that we announce that the HLTC Tour with Mr. Mario Rinvolucri and guest speakers has had to be postponed. ELT Events, who was in charge of the local operations was very excited about this tour, but this decision was taken together with the developers of this event, Betty Wolf (Bewnetwork), due to organisational inconveniences that have cropped up these last days. We thought that the commitment to keeping the high standard we seek for is what you deserve. Thanks for your understanding.

Anyway, we have a number of conferences scheduled for later this year:

Spring Conference 2006, Western Conference 2006, 1ras Jornadas sobre Evaluación en Lenguas Modernas  among them. You will hear about them very soon.

We would like to thank you for all the events submisions this month, which have made the most comprehensive calendar for the ELT Community. We remind you that you need to send the info by completing the form and that you just have to click on the calendar to see the May & June events .
Thanks for your continuous support!







It is with great joy that we publish this note that our dear SHARER Fernando Armesto has sent us. Our heartfelt congratulations to our dear Celia for such a well deserved distinction!




It is my pleasure to share with you this important news that entails our ELT community. Our friend and colleague, Celia Zubiri, managing Director of the theatre company the Buenos Aires Players, was awarded the highest membership as a playwright in Argentores, Sociedad General de Autores de la Argentina, due to the number of plays written and performed, the number of performances for each play and the huge amount of audience. For your information, nowadays there are only around 200 TV, radio, films and theatre authors in our country that have achieved this membership. Last but not least, Celia is the first playwright in English in our country to get this distinction. I really want to congratule her for this achievement that marks a difference and opens a new dimension for the ELT Community. 


Prof. Fernando Armesto








Our dear SHARER Chris Kunz, Local Representative for Anglia Examination Syndicate in South America and Spain, is very proud to announce the following:


1. Chichester College receives Royal Seal of Approval -24th February 2006


The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have presented a prestigious award to Chichester College at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

On 25th November 2005 Chichester College was awarded The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its work with students from overseas through its International Department. The awards are the choice of Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. They represent glowing examples of the extraordinary excellence of work that is to be found in the Universities and Colleges of the United Kingdom. Other prizewinners in 2005 include the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and York. As part of the International Department, ANGLIA EXAMINATION SYNDICATE is recognised for its contribution towards this prestigious accolade. The steady growth in the number of Anglia candidates throughout the world has certainly made it possible for more and more students worldwide to have access to an internationally recognised qualification.


Chichester College won the award "for developing the College and its community through International student intake and integration". From a total of more than 300 entries, Chichester was the only college in the South to receive the award, in a list of 21 universities and colleges. Over the last decade, the number of international students at Chichester College has increased tenfold, from 234 to 2,400 in 2005, with students coming from over 85 countries.


2.      ANGLIA joins EALTA


European Association for Language Testing and Assessment - EALTA is a professional association for language testers in Europe. EALTA's interests are independent of those of any other organisation. EALTA is being set up with financial support from the European Community. The purpose of EALTA is to promote the understanding of theoretical principles of language testing and assessment, and the improvement and sharing of testing and assessment practices throughout Europe. Anglia Examination Syndicate has become an institutional member of EALTA.


3.        Second Anglia International Congress For ELT Professionals


After the great success our FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS FOR ELT PROFESSIONALS had last year, we're now more than happy to announce the second round to take place in Buenos Aires on 10 & 11 August 2006. National as well as international keynote speakers will delight all our delegates with updated and high-quality elt-related issues. More than 20 academic presentations to choose from and a handful of commercial presentations offering the latest materials/ services for ELT. Further information regarding The Congress will follow shortly.


To contact us, please drop us a line at  or

give us ring on +11 4246-3547.






10.-      NEWS FROM ISIP


Our dear SHARER Lic. Rith Lapidus from Instituto Superior de Investigaciones Psicológicas has sent us this message:


The English Lesson: how to teach and how to evaluate 

with Prof. Gladys Baya


2nd meeting: April 22 – 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m

Meetings take place once a month. Official credit for course attendants ("acredita puntaje"). You can still join!

Interested in getting more information, or a detailed syllabus? Visit  or email us to 

You can also phone ((011) 4373-0604; Tel/Fax (011)4374-0161) or visit us at our school (Viamonte 1716 - 2nd floor - Capital Federal) from 12:00 to 6:30 PM.






Our dear SHARER Silvina Requejo writes to us:


Dear Colleagues


We would like to inform you that as from 2006 City & Guilds - Pitman Qualifications will be completely migrated to City & Guilds. Following extensive research it was felt that we could bring greater benefits to candidates, both in the UK and internationally, by focusing on one single brand.

In Argentina, we continue offering the qualifications needed for today's job opportunities and for university entry requirements. As you all know, our qualifications are recognized by the following universities: UCA, UADE, Universidad de Belgrano and Universidad Austral. Our qualifications include 6 levels in General English and a wide range of qualifications for specific purposes, which can be sat for in any of our 5 dates throughout the academic year.

If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact us at:


37 Warren Road School of English

Representative in Argentina: Mrs. Silvina Requejo, Local Examinations Secretary

Rosario 531 Cap. (C1424CCK) - Tel/Fax: (011) 4901-0967/3381

E-mail: - Websites:



City & Guilds International Examinations

Training Session - April  21st 2006


Are you interested in offering your students international qualifications? Come and join us! On April  21st  at 6 p.m. you'll have the chance to become acquainted with City & Guilds ESOL Examinations. We will go through past papers and we will give you all the necessary tools to lead your students to success.


Admission free of charge

Enrolment essential either by phone or e-mail  (see contact details below)

Certificates of attendance will be issued

Venue: Rosario 531 Capital.

Contact: Tel/Fax: (011) 4901-0967/3381 - E-mail:







Facultad de Derecho

Universidad de Buenos Aires

Cursos de posgrado en traduccion e interpretacion


Estos seminarios forman parte del proyecto de la Carrera de Especialización y Maestría en Traducción e Interpretación aprobado por el H. Consejo Directivo de esta facultad el 5/9/05 mediante Res. Nro. 2848/05 y que a la fecha se encuentra a estudio y consideración por el  H. Consejo Superior de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.


“Traducción y Lingüística”

Profesor: Aldo Blanco

32 hs. - Sábados  de 8 a 12 hs.

Desde el 22/04/06 - Inscripción hasta 19/04/06



“Fonología del Inglés

Profesor: Norberto Ruiz Díaz.

32 hs. - Sábados: de 9 a 13 hs.

Desde 06/05/06 - Inscripción hasta 02/05/06



“Estudios Lingüísticos Comparativos”

Profesora: María Teresa Viñas Urquiza.

32 hs. - Sábados  de 9 a 13 hs. y de 14 a 18 hs.

Desde 06/05/06 - Inscripción hasta 02/05/06



“Actualización en Traducción Directa”

Profesora: Ada Franzoni de Moldavsky

32 hs. -Sábados de 9 a 12 hs. y de 13 a 16 hs.

Desde 06/05/06 - Inscripción hasta 02/05/06


“Introducción a la Interpretación”

Profesores:  Margarita Ana Moschetti y Laura Bertone

32 hs. - Sábados de 9 a 13 hs.

Desde 20/05/06 - Inscripción hasta 16/05/06


destinatarios (todos los cursos): Traductores Públicos, Técnicos, Científicos, Literarios, Profesores de Lengua Inglesa con Título Universitario o Terciario.

Informes Por Correo Electrónico:

Carrera De Traductor Publico  4809-5679.

Inscripcion: Departamento De Posgrado. Facultad De Derecho –  F. Alcorta 2263 2ª Piso  Ciudad De Buenos Aires, - Lunes A Viernes de 9 a 20 hs.- T.E. 4809-5606/5607/5609






Our dear SHARERS from ELTeam have got an invitation to make:


ELTeaMarathon 2006: The Hues of English


We invite you to this compelling event which places the teaching and learning of the English language on stage in different lights.


* The Backstage of Business English by Marcelo Vilches

 Discover the pros and cons of business English in the workplace, obtain a framework for business activities and tap into proposals with original materials.


* School Culture Across Cultures by Marcelo Vilches

      Marcelo reveals through his experience as an exchange student in the U.S.A, the  high school events that got the students involved in the "school culture".


* Emotional Intelligence at work by Marta García Lorea.

Educators know that learning implies making use of cognitive strategies but are we aware of the key emotional and social skills and competencies students need? Can our students handle anxiety and anger?  Can they empathize or keep themselves motivated? Learn effective ways of making these features in our implicit curriculum memorable.


* Effective Conflict Management by Marta Garcia Lorea

Conflict can also be regarded as positive. If we address it constructively we can sharpen our understanding of the root causes, conflict dynamics and look for opportunities of conflict transformation, thus enriching our role as teachers. 


* American  Expressions  in  Context for Teachers and Teaching by Liliana Michelotti

Invite yourselves into the alluring world of idioms as they pertain to situational learning and reveal the attitudes behind idioms. Discover that by putting idioms in context they can become both "learnable" and "teachable" in turn.


Marcelo Vilches: Economics student at U.N.L.P, Rotary International Exchange student in Penn.  U.S.A., FTBE Award (Business English) sponsored by the London Chamber of Commerce, English language teacher, Business English teacher and teacher of Spanish for foreigners.


Marta Garcia Lorea: Post graduate in e-learning UNED (Spain). Post graduate studies in Teaching of English  CAECE University. Currently ELT consultant and Project Liason Manager, ESP immersion courses and professional development seminars.Co author, Teacher's Guide for kinder ELT course Mac Graw Hill. Author of "What´s Up Doctor?" not published. Former Supervisor and Head at B. A.  Municipal Schools of Languages. Former ELT Consultant, Simon & Schuster and Pearson publishers. ARTESOL secretary. Thirty years teaching experience - all levels.


Liliana Michelotti: Carried out elementary and high school studies in New York City. Graduated with honors from both La Guardia Com College and Queens College (NY University) as a bilingual education major. Co -founder of  "Communicating Language Circle". Certified Teacher of Business English.


Date: April 22nd  9:00 - 18:00


Fee: $ 18 (On spot registration $20) - Ask about special discounts for ELTeam members

Venue:  Museo del Mar ( Av. Colon 1114 -  Mar del Plata)


Also includes: Raffles and  coffee break - Certificates of attendance.

For more info: or call  0223-475-8631






Our dear SHARER Martha Ortigueira has sent us this information:

Curso de Extensión organizado por el Departamento de Lenguas de la Facultad De Filosofía Y Letras de la Universidad Católica Argentina


"Los rasgos segmentales en la cadena del habla en la lengua inglesa"

A cargo del Dr. Héctor Valencia


Dirigido a : profesionales de Lenguas, alumnos avanzados del profesorado en Inglés

Días y Horarios de Cursada : miércoles, 5 de abril a 28 de Junio, 13 a 14.30

Aranecel: $30 por mes

Informes e inscripción:  - M. Julia San Martín Granel






Our dear SHARERS Valeria Goluza & Gabriela Diaz have sent us this invitatoion:


(1) First Apple Congress for Teachers of English

"Teaching Different Contexts, Facing Different Realities"


Sede del Congreso: Instituto Superior Grilli, Vicente Lopez 246, Monte Grande

Días 2 y 3 de junio de 2006


Los speakers que ya han confirmado su presencia para las sesiones plenarias son:

Susan Hylliard - Laura Szmuch y Jamie Duncan - Charlie López - Valeria Goluza y Gabriela Díaz


(2) ISFDT No. 43 – LOBOS  &  APPLE Consultancy

invite you to attend a one day long workshop:

"Teaching & Learning: Strategies that Work"



10.00 -13.00'Strategies for Skills Work'by Valeria Goluza and Gabriela Diaz

14.00 -14.45 Three concurrent sessions:

'Videos in the Classroom'                            by Diego Dominguez

'English through Music'                      by Cecilia Denis

'Readers at Use'                             by Silvia Videla

15.00 -16.00 - 'Games:Fun and much more'      by Valeria Goluza and Gabriela Diaz

16.00    Raffles!

Certificates of attendance will be issued.

Venue: Santa Marina - Day: May 6th

Fee$20- Please confirm attendance to: (02227) 430076 or by e-mail: or






Our dear SHARERS from Asociación de Ex-Alumnos del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas announce:


La Pedagogía de la Fonética


Curso en 3 módulos de 50 hs. totales y 24 hs. presenciales c/u., a cursarse sabado por medio.


Profesora: Clem Durán

Inicio del primer módulo: 8 de abril - Finalización: 17 de junio

Duración: 6 encuentros - Modalidad: semi-presencial

Horario: sábados de 9:00 a 13:00 hs

Sede: EP-Paraná: Paraná 145, 2do piso. Ciudad de Buenos Aires


El Ce.P.E.L. es un nuevo proyecto de la Escuela de Posgrado de la UNSAM, desarrollado en forma conjunta con la Asociación ex Alumnos en Lenguas Vivas y la Escuela de Humanidades de la

Para mayor información, escribir a  o comunicarse al 4580-7263.







Our dear SHARER Liliana Maiolo regrets to announce that the 2nd Patagonian Congress for Teachers and students of English that was to be held in Neuquén on April 28th.& 29th, 2006 with the participation of Daniel Fernandez, Patricia Gómez, Jamie Duncan, and Laura Szmuch, has now been cancelled.

Liliana Maiolo     (0299)477-0941 ELT Today






17th Paratesol Annual Conference
"Facing Diversity in a Globalized World"
July 13th  And 14th, 2006
Centro Cultural Paraguayo Americano

Deadline for Proposals May 31st

For information contact: Mr. Marcelo Olivieri  / Ms. Mirta Ucedo.
Telephone: 595-21-503-012/014 Ext. 136. / 595-961-636-599 / 595-981-
E-mail: - Web Page:





Our dear SHARER Susan Hillyard writes to us:


Susan Hillyard - Educational Consultant and Speaker  Tel: 45413010


Dear All,


I have decided to devote the rest of my teaching life to teachers and teenagers and have some new offers for 2006. I will continue, as in 2005, with

Workshops on Professional Development for Teachers, Coordinators and Heads, eg: Drama in ELT., Classroom Management, Are you a Manager or a Leader?

I have added some new Initiatives for teachers and teenagers:

Talks for Teens, eg  Let's Live Liverpool: Poetry, Plays and Songs from the City of the Beatles, A History of Rock n Roll: with live and recorded music (by Mick Hillyard and Ben Zuckerman)

Demonstration Classes, where a number of teachers can observe a class at work with me on: How to work with Games in ELT, How to facilitate Creative Writing, Working with Songs and Music, How to prepare for the Oral Component in International Exams.

Book Presentation: A workshop for teachers, trainee teachers or teenagers on  "Global Issues", a Resource Book for Teachers, written by Ric Sampedro and Susan Hillyard, Ed. Alan Maley Publisher: OUP  (This is free of charge, within the city of Buenos Aires)

For a complete list of any of these initiatives, please contact me.









We would like to finish this issue of SHARE with this moving poem “Only when women sing” that Carole Fontaine wrote and that our dear SHARER Marta Garay <> sent us:


Only When Women Sing


Do not show me tiny crowds of handpicked men;
do not regale me with films of gunfire in the air-
these mean nothing.


Show me instead the mothers,
pictures of long-dead sons at their breast;
show me their sisters, whose brothers
and husbands never came home;
let me see their joy, if they have it.

Show me battalions of little girls, if you can-
healthy and learned, with futures and names.
Show me their mothers, with homes all arrayed
in abundance and peace, with color and song.


Do not pronounce victories, missions accomplished,
when tyrants go skulking from palace to hole:
show me the women, show me the old,
wreathed now in hope, with a sense of 'it's over',
formerly broken, now a little more whole.


It will only be victory when women sing in the streets,
their veils firmly chosen and anchored in place,
or off and waving, if they have the taste,
but both equally safe-to choose, to live, to learn, to love.
It will only be victory when the women sing.


Carole R. Fontaine
December, 2003



Omar and Marina.



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