An Electronic Magazine by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac ©


Year 6                Number 137            December 18th 2004

6500 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 will, in all likelihood, be our last issue of 2004. With the school year coming to an end, with exams almost over and the nightmare of “planillas and libretas” luckily gone with the heat, we are all almost ready for what is, at least for many of us, one of the best times of the year: the Christmas celebrations and those long awaited and well-deserved (sorry for the clichés, but one cannot be original all the time) holidays which are just a couple of weeks away.

Professionally speaking, this year has been a great year for Marina and I. Apart from our usual academic duties, we helped organize two of the biggest events in our profession in our country: The Tenth National Congress of Teachers and Students of English in Bahía Blanca and the 30th Anniversary Conference of our alma mater Instituto Nacional Superior del Profesorado Técnico de la Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (for the gossip column: Marina and I met and got married while we were students there).


The coming year will not be without challenges (and surprises!). We will be honoured to sponsor Celia Zubiri´s Third Annual Conference on Applied Drama to be held in February and in our capacity as members of the Academic Commitee, we are collaborating with  Asociación de Profesores de Inglés de Rosario in the organization of the Eleventh National Congress of Teachers and Students of English to be held on July 8th and 9th in Rosario. This year with national and international top-notch speakers and more than 50 presentations (Do you want to read all about it? Just follow this link: ).


SHARE is getting older too (we are all getting older, anyway). We enter our sixth year of publication (Do not worry! We are not going to tell you the story of SHARE again this year) and we thought it was a good opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you, our faithful dear SHARERS. To all of you a big hug from the heart.


Omar and Marina




In SHARE 137


1.-    Promoting Self-directed Learning (Part 1).

2.-    The Teaching of Grammar: Revisiting PPP.

3.-    Using Songs for Effective Language Learning.

4.-    Política Educativa: El Fin de la  EGB 3 en la Provincia de Buenos Aires.

5.-    The Fifth San Luis English Teachers Conference.

6.-    Advice Summer Seminar.

7.-    Third Annual Conference on Applied Drama.

8.-    Creando Líderes en Valores.

9.-    Your cooperation required.

10.-   ALL Training in February.  
11.-   Electronic Village 2005.

12.-   XIX Foreign Language University Specialists Forum.
13.-   CASOC´s 30th Anniversary.

14.-   Educación, Lenguaje y Sociedad.





Our dear SHARER and friend Douglas Town has sent us this article together with his best wishes for a great 2005 for all SHARERS.


Promoting self-directed learning (1)





In the first of two articles based on my workshop “Promoting self-directed learning: A strategic approach”, presented at the Tenth National Congress of Teachers and Students of English in Bahía Blanca in July, I shall argue that teachers wishing to promote self-directed learning need to examine their beliefs about language, learning and management –particularly time management - in order to help students to set their own goals for learning within the constraints of the school curriculum. I shall also argue that students can learn to manage their time and make decisions about their learning through the use of a learning diary. The second article will deal with the interrelated issues of motivation, self-esteem and strategy training.



The management of learning


The management of learning is a complex affair. Whether we are concerned with course management in general or classroom management in particular, success will depend largely on our ability to see language, learning and management as a continuum. Teachers who believe, for example, that language is a social phenomenon and that learners develop communicative competence chiefly by negotiating meaning are unlikely to achieve their goals if their own style of classroom management is teacher-centred and authoritarian. However, as Everard and Morris (1990:4) have pointed out: “people sometimes do not behave in accordance with principles which should be obvious to them”.


There are many reasons why teachers may feel unsure about their role in the classroom. Firstly, ideas about the nature of language and learning have, in recent years, undergone several paradigmatic changes, leaving many confused about the nature and role of instruction in second-language acquisition. In the 1980´s Krashen (1981, 1982, 1985) argued that communicative competence could not be learned through formal study, only acquired through natural communication. In the 1990’s, the instructed acquisition view gained ground again (see Johnstone, 1992). Then came the Lexical Approach (Lewis, 1993, 1997), which downplayed the importance of grammar, followed by the Task-Based Approach, which placed instruction at the back end of the learning process. However, as Skehan (1994:190) warned "Requiring learners to engage in task-based learning, if not balanced by other activities...” may mean that “... short-term communicative gain assumes greater importance than longer-term grammatical development”, once again emphasising a focus on form.


Secondly, as regards management, Everard and Morris (1990:xi) remarked more than a decade ago that “the notion that teachers can and should be taught to manage is still quite young” and that many teachers were, indeed, reluctant to see themselves as managers at all. Little seems to have changed since then. But teachers that lack a solid theoretical framework for what they do in the classroom may, unwittingly, regress to a more traditional, text-book driven style of teaching – and this is particularly true of teachers who are overworked, under-resourced or forced to implement overambitious syllabuses with large classes of (often uncooperative) teenagers. In such conditions, the pressure to reduce the syllabus to ‘so many units of the course book per term plus songs on Friday afternoons’ is great indeed. However, as Harmer (1983:219) points out, “textbooks tend to concentrate on the introduction of new language and controlled work, both of which were features of the more traditional classroom.


Language, Learning and Management


Although writers such as Hutchinson and Waters (1987:52) claim that there is no link between language description and language learning, the truth is that certain views of language tend, in practice, to be associated, consciously or unconsciously, with certain methods of teaching. At one end of the continuum, theories of language can be classified in two broad categories: synthetic and analytical. Synthetic theories see language as a stock of discrete elements that stand for already existing phenomena in the “real” world. In this view, “people do not mean something by words, rather words themselves have meanings” (Moore and Carling 1982:150). This view corresponds closely to what Saussure called “langue” (language as an abstract, conventional system). In contrast, analytical theories stress the fact that each individual’s perception of “reality” is somewhat different (otherwise there would be no need for language at all) and that individuals negotiate meaning through what Saussure called “parole” (actual instances of communication involving motivation and thinking).


At the other end of the continuum lie theories of management. All managers have to plan, organise, direct and control at least one of the following resources: human, material and financial. Human resources are by far the most difficult to handle, so it essential for teachers to have clear ideas regarding the nature of work, motivation and leadership. Douglas McGregor (1960) identified two types of manager corresponding to two conflicting assumptions about the nature of work: “Theory X” and “Theory Y” (Everard and Morris, 1990). In the context of teaching, it is fair to say that “Theory X” teachers tend to prefer a focus on “langue” and an impersonal, strictly cognitive approach to learning (perhaps seasoned with a few “rewards” like Friday afternoon songs), whereas “Theory Y” teachers tend to emphasise the more personal and social aspects of language and a broader view of the term” cognitive” (see Table 1 below). Understandably, many “Theory X” teachers are so because, with classes of potentially disruptive adolescents, anything else feels “too risky”, as one teacher told me recently in a workshop.


The first point to emphasise about this continuum is that both views of language are complementary - there could be no actual instances of communication without a common code, and vice-versa – and the association of one or other of these views with a particular teaching methodology is something that every teacher should question. For example, traditional classroom activities such as dictation, summary and translation are common in business and nobody would claim that, in this context, they are not communicative or meaningful. Yet, I have met many company managers from so-called bilingual schools who can do none of these things very well. True bilinguals are a different matter: they nearly always act as informal interpreters from childhood (Harding and Riley, 1986).


Of course, I am not advocating a return to the grammar translation method. But there are ways to make these activities meaningful in the classroom. For example, a communicative variation on the traditional classroom dictation is to get students to do short dictations from part of a tapescript in pairs, underlining each other’s possible pronunciation and intonation mistakes and checking afterwards with the tape, rather than focusing exclusively on spelling. This is meaningful because, in real life, misunderstandings are often the speaker’s fault and, in this way, both students have something to correct. Similarly, evaluating alternative translations or summaries of a text in pairs or small groups can be a valuable awareness-raising and communicative activity. Such activities “[make] salient the less obvious aspects of the input, so that it is the learner who does the extraction and focusing, but as a function of how he or she has been prepared.” (Skehan 1998: 49)


Conversely, teachers should be aware that pairwork and groupwork do not automatically lead to “negotiation of meaning” and independent learning. All too often, adolescents only work with friends whose opinions they already know, making many ‘opinion gap’ activities about fashion, music, school discipline etc (the type often found in ELT textbooks) almost meaningless. In many cases, group dynamics actively discourage students – especially boys - from ‘trying too hard’.  Without the chance to set individual learning goals and reflect on their learning (for example, in a guided learning diary) and without the chance to show individual achievement (for example, in a learning portfolio), students may well find their individuality submerged in the group.


The second point to emphasise about this continuum is that although language description need not drive teaching methodology, the way that teachers – consciously or unconsciously - perceive their managerial role certainly will. This is why I have preferred to use the terms “ langue” and “ parole”  rather than the more widely used distinction between “ Syllabus A” and “Syllabus B”. “Theory X” teachers may not be able to change much towards a more student-centred approach; but “Theory Y” teachers should remember that accuracy has its place in the real world.




1. Emphasis on tradition:


Language as a finished product


Words have fixed– i.e. dictionary – meanings that reflect “reality”


2. Emphasis on form and accuracy:


Language is either right or wrong –

e.g. as in FCE Paper 3 (Use of English), Paper 4 (Listening)   


Grammar translation method; audio-lingual method; early Council of Europe functional-notional syllabus


3. Objective needs


Emphasis on “generally useful” language for academic, work or social purposes. Emphasis on institutional needs and conforming to these


4. Individual learning


Grammar translation method: learners expected to “think for themselves”.


Audio-lingual method: exposure to mistakes is “dangerous”


Early Council of Europe functional-notional syllabus: emphasis on stereotyped interactions.


5. Teaching and conscious learning – deductive approach


Emphasis on explanations, translation, models, exercises, drills...


6. Sequential learning


Mostly left-brain learning.


Favours students with Practical and Conceptual learning styles


Lockstep procedure; linear methods



7. Teachers as “Theory X” classroom managers


Authoritarian. Believe that most people are uncreative, irresponsible and need to be directed.


Motivation, activities, materials and evaluation are best left to the teacher


Impersonal, strictly “cognitive” approach to learning.



Fixed furniture and seating plan;


Teacher talking time is high.



8. Pre-packaged materials


The textbook and the publisher set the syllabus. The teacher “goes by the book”.



9. Norm-referenced assessment


 “Objective” tests – multiple choice, matching, true-false, etc. – with one correct answer.


Numerical scores; being “right”.


Head and teacher final reports - mainly for the school and other institutions and for parents




1. Emphasis on innovation:


Language as a creative, on-going process


People mean things by words and create their own reality through words -


2. Emphasis on content and fluency:


Language is more or less appropriate - e.g. as in FCE Paper 2 (Writing), Paper 5 (Speaking)    


Direct method; total immersion; process-based syllabuses; task-based syllabuses



3. Subjective needs


Emphasis on personal interests, experience and self-expression. Emphasis on people’s uniqueness.



4. Social learning


Pair and group work


Learning through “negotiation of meaning” – i.e. through making mistakes


Learner-initiated topics and activities that involve learners’ emotions




5. Unconscious acquisition – inductive approach


Emphasis on extended reading and listening, social interaction, tasks...


6. Holistic learning


Mostly right-brain learning.


Favours students with Adventurous and Social learning styles


Pairwork and small group work, recursive methods


7. Teachers as “Theory Y” classroom managers


Democratic. Believe that people can be self-directed if properly led.



Trust in their learners’ potential for independent learning and self-evaluation


Personal and social aspects of language and language learning. Broader view of “cognitive”


Flexible furniture and seating plan;


Student talking time is high.



8. Student-produced materials


Realia - not written for ELT classroom – plus student internet pages, class magazines, videos, wall posters. ....


9. Criterion ref’d assessment


Emphasis on motivation, process, cooperation, originality.



Criteria negotiated with the students.


Ongoing assessment. Peer and self-assessment. Emphasis on feedback.



Fig. 1 - A Language, Learning and Management Continuum



Self management and learning diaries


The first people that teachers must learn to manage are – of course - themselves. Rogers (1983) lists the personal qualities that a teacher needs to facilitate learning: ‘realness’ (entering into a relationship with the learner without a façade or a front), prizing, acceptance and trust, and empathetic understanding. These qualities can be developed partly through teacher education and development courses but, in my experience, failure by teachers to respond adequately to students’ needs and the resulting hostility, frustration or apathy that can build up on both sides have less to do with teachers’ personalities than with ineffective time-management both inside and outside the classroom.


Students, too, can learn to plan and manage their learning better by using a learning diary. However, if students are to keep a learning diary and write it up after each activity, time must be set aside in each class for doing this – at least until students can be trusted to do this outside the class (generally speaking, any new learning strategy takes seven to eight weeks to ‘sink in’ and should not be rushed). Similarly, the teacher must have enough time to check these diaries regularly and give students feedback. With a class of thirty students taking lessons four hours per week, this will mean seeing eight students in each lesson in order to give individual feedback to every student once a week. So, decisions will have to made about when to collect the diaries, when to see the students, what to prioritise in the short time available, etc.


Because of time pressure, I would suggest a structured approach to diary-keeping rather than the open-ended type of diary recommended by Wenden (1998:102). The diary could be written on photocopied sheets of A4. Each sheet would contain the following questions with spaces for answers, as well as the date, the student’s name and the teacher’s comments:


  1. What task did you complete?
  2. How long did you spend on the task?
  3. What strategies did you use on the task?
  4. What was the main thing you learned?
  5. How would you do the same task again?


Once completed, the diary page would be kept in the student’s folder for assessment together with any completed work and consulted the next time the student had to complete a similar task. The main point to remember is that enough time should be scheduled for these learner training activities before any decisions about specific lessons are taken.


Giving choices to students


In order to promote self-directed learning, it is obvious that students must –at least occasionally - have a choice of activities. Of course, this does not mean making radical changes overnight or giving students more responsibility than they (or the teacher) can comfortably handle. Learner training should be seen a process, like ‘democratic’ parenting, which respects the learners’ freedom within clearly defined and enforced limits and with high expectations of performance. Although there is no recipe or formula that can be applied to every class, teachers can begin to reflect on how to offer students more choices by (say) taking their class timetable for the last four weeks, noting down all the activities done with one particular class (including negotiations, assessment and homework) and coding the activities according to the following classification:





1.     Textbook / tapes with NO choice of activities

2.     Textbook / tapes with choice of activities




3. Teacher-driven (e.g. songs, games – if chosen by the teacher)

4. Student-driven - group / individual (e.g. self-access work, small-scale project work)

5. Student-driven - whole class (e.g. large-scale project work, school play, social evening)



Fig. 2 – A Continuum of Choice


The next step would be to decide how the timetable could be modified to include an optional syllabus (if there is none) and to give more responsibility to the students, e.g. by moving – at least sometimes - from 1 to 2 or, if this change has already been consolidated, from 3 to 4, remembering to allow time in this schedule for diary writing and individual feedback.




Everard, B and Morris, G. (1990). Effective School Management. Paul Chapman Publishing Company.

Haring, E. and Riley, P (1986). The Bilingual Family. CUP.

Harmer, J. (1983) The Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman.

Hutchinson, A. and Waters, T. (1987) English for Specific Purposes. CUP.

Lewis, M. (1993). The Lexical Approach, LTP.

Lewis, M. (1997). Implementing the Lexical Approach. LTP.

Moore T. and Carling C. (1982) Understanding language: towards a post-Chomskyan linguistics. MacMillan

Rogers, C. (1983). Freedom to Learn in the 80’s. Charles E.Merrill Publishing Company.

Saussure, F. de (1915, 1978). Course in General Linguistics. Fontana Collins.

Skehan, P. (1994). "Second Language Acquisition Strategies, Interlanguage Development and Task-based Learning" in Bygate et al.

Skehan, P. (1998). A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. OUP.

Wenden, A. (1998). Learner Strategies for Learner Autonomy. Prentice Hall.


© Douglas Andrew Town, 2004

Training materials may be used if source is cited.






Our dear SHARER and respected specialist Costas Gabrielatos wants to SHARE this article with all of us.



Minding our Ps

A framework for grammar teaching


The article was published in Current Issues 3, December 1994 and is uploaded with some minor corrections by its author.



1.  The aim of the article


In this article I take a critical look at the content and format of the grammar lesson as currently favoured by teachers and materials designers alike in the field of TEFL; namely the Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP) structure. In the discussion of the merits and shortcomings/limitations of this format I will draw on (a) current views on TEFL methodology, (b) relevant theoretical assumptions and empirical findings in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and (c) two theoretical models in cognitive psychology relevant to SLA.1


2. The content of the ‘grammar lesson’


While it is essential for learners to be able to manipulate grammatical form, it is not sufficient. Learners also need to understand the concept(s) expressed and the function(s) performed by a particular grammatical element (Harmer, 1987: 9-11 & 17; Littlewood, 1984: 1; Widdowson, 1990: 95, 97 & 166).2 Studies have also shown that a combination of formal instruction and meaning-focused treatment is more effective than mere “formal presentation of grammatical rules” (e.g. Doughty, 1991 in Fotos, 1993: 324).


3.  TEFL methodology


Current TEFL methodology seems to essentially advocate a two-stage grammar lesson: presentation and practice (Byrne, 1986: 2, Celce-Murcia & Hilles, 1988: 27-28, Ellis, 1992: 101).3


The content of the presentation stage is not clearly defined and views on it are not consistent. For example, Harmer (1987: 24-27 & 29) presents awareness tasks as an alternative to presentation and incorporates controlled practice (drills) in it;  Ellis (1992: 235) states that presentation “may involve an inductive or deductive treatment of the structure”, Celce-Murcia & Hilles (1988: 30) incorporate both in the presentation stage; Ur (1988: 7) treats “isolation and explanation” as a distinct stage following presentation.


The practice stage comprises a sequence of activities which can be seen as progressing on a control cline. At the controlled end the focus is solely on form; at the free end (the production stage) the focus is only on meaning (Harmer, 1987: 18-30; Littlewood, 1981: 8-15; Spratt, 1985: 6-16; Ur, 1988: 6-9). Ellis (1992: 102) makes a finer distinction between free practice, when learners are “concerned with learning”, and communicative use, when learners are “concerned with conveying a real message”. Nevertheless, he goes on to admit that learners can be engaged in both simultaneously, and coins the term unfocused performance to include both (see 5.3 for a different view regarding the focus of practice procedures). The production stage is also seen as providing the teacher with essential feedback regarding the outcome of instruction (Littlewood, 1981: 19; Spratt, 1985: 12-13) (see 5.4 for a caveat).


4. Relevant theory and research in SLA


4.1  Input - Intake


A distinction has been made between input, that is “potentially processible language data which are made available to the language learner”, and intake, that is “that part of input that has actually been processed ... and turned to knowledge of some kind” (Sharwood Smith, 1993: 167). Sharwood Smith (1986: 242 & 253) suggests that input should be “meaningful, interesting, and largely comprehensible”. What is meant by potentially processible and comprehensible is that learners should be able to interpret the input either “directly by means of [their] existing IL [interlanguage] knowledge”, or “by means of interfering procedures” (Haastrup, 1991: 25). Sharwood-Smith (1986: 242 & 253) argues for a “rich communicative environment, that is one which permits linguistic input to be analysed together with many other kinds of information”, but also recognises that input can be “selectively manipulated to facilitate acquisition”. He makes the distinction between “natural occurring salience” and “salience that has been deliberately engineered” for pedagogical purposes (Sharwood-Smith, 1991: 121).  The above are of great relevance to the nature and content of the presentation stage.


4.2  Practice, consciousness-raising and the role of meaning


The instructional procedures helping learners to turn input into intake have been the focus of much debate. Proponents of instruction focusing on the production of the newly introduced linguistic form (i.e. practice) claim that through the learners’ overcoming communication difficulties while producing “output that is precise, coherent, and situationally appropriate” the new grammatical features become salient and the learners’ grammatical competence is advanced (Long, 1983;  also Swain, 1985 in Fotos & Ellis, 1991: 609-610). Faerch & Kasper (1986: 270) present “occasions for rehearsal” as one of the factors promoting learning. Ellis (1992: 120) adds the caveat that “practice may only facilitate acquisition directly if it is communicative, i.e. meaning-focused in nature”.


The effectiveness of practice has been challenged, and procedures have been proposed which do not require any immediate learner L2 output, but direct “the learner's attention to specific aspects of the input” (Sharwood Smith, 1993: 175-176). Schmidt (1990: 139&149) argues that consciously noticing the form is critical for its subsequent processing. Similarly, Fotos (1993: 387) sees noticing as an interface between explicit and implicit knowledge. Sharwood-Smith (1991: 121) adds that merely noticing the form is not enough, but “what is desired is ... acting on it, that is, learning something from it”. Fotos (1993: 387), Sharwood Smith (1986: 242), Van Patten (1985, 1987 in Schmidt, 1990: 144), and Van Patten & Cadierno (1993: 227) suggest that noticing the form is facilitated when the input is meaningful to the learner. Still, tasks directing the learners’ attention to the form are needed since “they may have processed the utterance simply for meaning and not noticed and stored the ... structure manifest in the input” (Sharwood-Smith, 1993: 168).


Schmidt (1990: 143-144) argues that learners are constrained regarding what and when they notice. Relevant determinants are the frequency with which an item appears in the input (see 5.1 for a caveat), task demands, and the perceptual salience of the grammatical form (e.g. contracted forms are not easily perceived by children).


Regarding practice focusing only on meaning (i.e. production), Faerch & Kasper (1986: 270) state that it is unlikely that learners are able to attend to their interlocutor's message while at the same time “consciously perceiving formal characteristics of the input and comparing them to current IL [interlanguage] rules”, a view shared by Van Patten (1989, 1990 in Tomlin & Villa, 1994: 186). Lightbown & Spada (1994: 573) report research evidence that in “mostly meaning-based instructional environments [learners] seems to reach a plateau in the formal accuracy of their language use while their communicative effectiveness continues to grow”. That is, when focus on form is of secondary consideration the learners’ development to more advanced levels may be impeded  (see also Lightbown & Spada 1993: 91-92).


4.3 Combining practice and consciousness-raising


Since evidence for/against practice and consciousness-raising is inconclusive and contradictory (e.g. Ellis, 1992: 107-116 & 235-237; Fotos & Ellis, 1991; Nobuyoshi & Ellis, 1993; Van Patten & Cadierno, 1993; White et al., 1991) TEFL methodology would be wise to cater for both. Van Patten & Cadierno (1993: 239), and Fotos & Ellis (1991: 609) concluded that both consciousness-raising and communicative practice are essential to grammar teaching.


There are also two theoretical frameworks which seem to call for their combination:


4.3.1 Anderson: ACT* model

According to this model “language generation is similar in character to other cognitive activities and its structure is basically a problem-solving one” (Anderson, 1983: 267). ACT* distinguishes between “declarative” (what) and “procedural” (how) knowledge (op. cit.: 19-23).


Declarative knowledge is available to consciousness and can be used “as a set of instructions” to “guide behaviour” through “interpretative”, “problem-solving”, or “analogy-forming” procedures (op. cit.: 216-218).  Procedural knowledge is not conscious and only comes about by repeated use of declarative knowledge in “productions”. 


According to ACT*, knowledge starts as declarative (in our case, rule-formation following exposure to a language sample) (op. cit. 275-276), and gradually becomes procedural through “strengthening” and “tuning” processes while using combined units of declarative knowledge in “productions” (op. cit.: 215-217). It can be argued that noticing/consciousness-raising will bring about declarative knowledge, whereas practice will lead to, or enhance procedural knowledge.


4.3.2 Bialystok: Analysis-Control model


According to this model (Bialystok, 1990: 118), there are two aspects of language processing: “analysis of linguistic knowledge” and “control of linguistic processing”. They are independent (“specialised for a different aspect of processing”), and interdependent. Furthermore, their development is “responsive to different kinds of experience”.


At the level of analysis, the model distinguishes between implicit and explicit knowledge - lower and higher levels of analysis respectively (op. cit.: 119). Implicit knowledge can guide performance, but cannot be inspected; it also identifies the limits of such performance (op. cit.: 120). On the other hand, explicit (or “symbolic representation” of) knowledge “is independent of meaning and accessible to inspection” (op. cit.: 121). One aspect of the development of language proficiency is making the implicit knowledge which governs performance explicit (i.e. analysing it). Analysed representation of knowledge “permit[s] the relationships between the forms and the meanings and among the language forms themselves to be examined separately and manipulated for various purposes” (Bialystok & Bouchard Ryan, 1985: 211).


Control refers to the ability to intentionally direct “attention to relevant and appropriate information and to integrate these forms in real time” (Bialystok, 1990: 125). Its development proceeds separately and responds to different experiences from that of analysis (Bialystok & Bouchard Ryan, 1985: 216).  Control applies to both explicit and implicit knowledge (loc. cit.).


Consciousness-raising tasks are expected to facilitate the development of explicit knowledge at the level of analysis, whereas practice tasks are expected to lead learners to higher levels of control.


5. A framework for the grammar lesson


The framework proposed here consists of the following main stages (not necessarily in that order): presentation, consciousness-raising, and (controlled to free) practice. I will now briefly outline the nature and content of each stage.


5.1  Presentation


In this stage the learners receive input concerning a certain language phenomenon. Through various presentation techniques the teacher leads the learners to notice the language form in focus. Given the multi-dimensional relationship between form, concept and function, as well as the time constraints and the limitations of human memory, processing capacity and attention span (see Tomlin & Villa, 1994: 188) the aim of a grammar lesson should be limited to dealing with a single form-concept-function combination (see Harmer, 1987: 9-11 & 17), or, if appropriate, tackle contextually related functions. This combination should be demonstrated clearly through an appropriate context (Garrod, 1986: 236; Sharwood-Smith, 1993: 167; Widdowson, 1990: 95). Spratt (1985: 6-7) distinguishes between situational and linguistic context. She argues that the former should be relevant to the learners’ experience, whereas the latter should be “free from unnecessary language items”. As I see it, ‘unnecessary’ should be understood as relating more to the level of difficulty of the language used, and less to the amount of it. The issue is not only to help learners notice the target structure, but also to do so within a rich, realistic context. To that purpose, I would suggest that when a reading/listening text is used as a vehicle for the presentation of the target structure, a skills development stage can precede presentation per se.4  Focusing learner attention on meaning before shifting their attention to form achieves three goals. First, the concept becomes clear; second, noticing is facilitated as learners have familiarised themselves with the co-text; third, noticing is achieved within a “rich communicative environment” (Sharwood-Smith, 1986: 242, 251). Nevertheless, Spratt’s second point advises the use of non-linguistic clues to context (e.g. pictures, drawings) even for more advanced learners.


The arguments for selective manipulation and engineered salience discussed in 4.1 can be regarded as advising against the use of specially created presentation texts in which the target structure occurs in unnatural frequency (compared to corresponding authentic texts). Issues of authenticity aside, what is needed, it is argued, is not quantity but quality (i.e. salience). That is, appropriate teaching techniques which will help learners to notice (i.e. focus their attention on) a particular language item.


Care should be taken on the part of the teacher to tackle alternative concepts/functions related to the same form, or alternative forms related to the same concept/function in subsequent lessons. This is because “a learner assumes each meaning to be encoded by a single morphological form or structure, unless the language provides evidence to the contrary” (Pinker, 1984 in Yip, 1994: 132). The teacher should, therefore, make certain to provide such ‘language evidence’. Furthermore, such treatment of structural elements will help learners “to see a particular feature ... not merely as an isolated item but as part of an evolving system of interrelationships which should become increasingly differentiated as it grows” (Stern, 1992: 145).


5.2  Consciousness-raising


We will be concerned here with what Ellis (1992: 239) terms inductive awareness-raising tasks5. Learners carry out tasks which guide them to focus on the form (as opposed to meaning). Such tasks enable learners to formulate a rule regarding the concept-form combination within the restrictions of the particular context, through “hypothesis testing and inferencing” (Rutherford & Sharwood-Smith, 1988 in Loschky & Bley-Vroman, 1993: 123). Such restrictions are necessary since devising a comprehensive pedagogical generalisation (i.e. one that incorporates all possible concept-form combinations in different contexts) is a demanding enterprise even for grammarians, let alone learners (see Westney, 1994: 76-83).


Learners are not expected to produce the target structure at this stage (Ellis, 1992: 235; Fotos, 1994: 326). Since the aim is primarily “to call learner attention to grammatical features, raising their consciousness of them” (Fotos, loc. cit.) non-linguistic responses, or use of L1 (particularly for lower levels) should be acceptable. Higher-level learners can be presented with “grammatical problems to solve interactively” (Fotos, 1994: 325); that is, they focus on form, while at the same time “they are also engaged in meaning-focused use of the target language” (loc. cit.). Poor performance in such tasks will have to lead to more input, either as “further data” or as “description/explanation” (Ellis, 1992: 234) - the latter will, of course, invalidate the aims of this stage. Guidance and feedback on the part of the teacher regarding salient features of the form will facilitate the effectiveness of consciousness-raising tasks.


Consciousness-raising tasks are at an advantage compared to practice ones in the case of beginners, as such tasks require either L1, non-verbal, or minimal L2 responses. Teachers who feel that their learners’ low level would make free practice a risky enterprise (as failure and long silences are very probable, and may lead to frustration) can focus more on awareness-raising tasks.6 They can use their learners’ performance during less controlled activities as an indicator of the success of the lesson, and as feedback on which to base the planning of subsequent lessons (but see 5.4 for reservations).


5.3  From controlled to free practice


At the controlled end of the practice cline the focus is only on form. The teacher has full control over which structure(s) will be used by the learners in oral drills and exercises.7


Activities situated around the middle of the practice cline retain focus on correct production, but also ensure that learner production “sounds more communicatively authentic” (Littlewood, 1981: 10-11). Here learners are led to “recognise the communicative function” of the linguistic form (op. cit.). Harmer (1987: 17) adds that such tasks should be personalised (i.e. relevant to the learners’ experience).  Here again the teacher exercises considerable control, that is he/she leads learners “along a predetermined path and towards a predetermined goal” (Kumaravadivelu, 1993: 80). Nevertheless, there is some (albeit limited) room for learner ‘improvisation’.


At the production end of the cline learners are expected to communicate; that is, the focus is (or appears to be) only on meaning.8 This is when learners are given the opportunity to experiment with the new form and incorporate it in their own production (Cook, 1989: 82-83, Littlewood, 1981: 87-88). To ensure this, tasks have to provide a context-purpose environment which will optimise the chances of the particular form arising ‘naturally’. That is learners are led “along an open-ended path, but towards a predetermined goal” (Kumaravadivelu, 1993: 80). Byrne (1986: 2) offers a further merit of this stage, namely student motivation through awareness “that they have learned something useful to them personally”.


5.4 Learner and teacher feedback


During controlled practice on-the-spot correction is advisable. Although the facilitative effect of corrective feedback on the development of language proficiency has not been positively substantiated (e.g. Ellis, 1994: 583-586 & 639-641; Schwartz, 1993: 160; White, 1991: 158; White et al, 1991: 418) there is a psychological reason for its use, namely promotion of learner confidence. That is, learners will feel that they receive helpful guidance and support, provided, of course, that non-threatening correction techniques are employed, and the teacher restricts correction to the structure in focus. For less controlled activities and production tasks, corrective feedback should be delayed so as not to impede communication between learners. It can either be given in the form of consciousness-raising tasks (i.e. learners are presented with their own inaccurate utterances and asked to comment and improve on them), or be the focus of remedial lessons.


As regards teacher feedback, learner output does not constitute concrete evidence of the learners’ (un)successful internalisation of a particular linguistic phenomenon (Sharwood Smith, 1986: 249). What is more, expecting learners to internalise the new form within a single lesson, or even a series of lessons, seems rather too optimistic (to say the least). I would not go so far as to suggest that teachers do not take learner output into consideration when planning subsequent lessons; what I would suggest is that teachers keep in mind that language learning does not follow a straight line of development. As a result, learner output may not show evidence of learning, or may even suggest regression of some sort. It cannot be stressed too emphatically that EFL teachers should afford time for gradual development to take place.





1.   1.     We will be concerned here with the question of ‘how’ grammar can be taught more effectively. Therefore, SLA theories and TEFL methodologies which do not advocate explicit grammar instruction will not be discussed.

2.   2.     Grammar lessons lend themselves to integrating matters of pronucniation; nevertheless, pronunciation instruction relevant to grammatical forms will not be tackled here since it falls outside the scope of this article.

3.   3.     Altering the sequence of stages, as in a deep end type of lesson, i.e. production è identification of weak areas è presentation è practice (Byrne, 1986: 3; Johnson, 1981: 192-193) has no relevance to our discussion since the only difference between a rigid and flexible sequencing lies in the procedures for determining the structure(s) to be presented. What is more, in both sequences presentation precedes practice.

4.   4.     Such staging is, in fact, preferable when the time available is longer than the usual 50-60 minutes. It is particularly advisable for grammar consolidation and extension lessons at intermediate and advanced levels.

5.   5.     Good examples of consciousness-raising tasks can be found in Bolitho & Tomlinson (1980). Although the book is intended for language development of EFL teachers and advanced students, the tasks can be adapted for learners of all levels.

6.   6.     Teachers should, of course, at the same time proceed with gradually familiarising their students with production tasks.

7.   7.     I will adopt the classification of classroom procedures presented in Kumaravadivelou (1993: 80), namely “structural exercises”, “communicative activities” and “pedagogical tasks”. These procedures correspond to the activities employed in the controlled, semi-controlled and free practice stages respectively.

8.   8.     The teacher will be monitoring for correctness of form, as well as for other aspects of (un)successful communication. Feedback will ideally be on both aspects as well.





Anderson, J. R. 1983. The Architecture of Cognition. Harvard University Press.

Bolitho, R. & Tomlinson, B. 1980. Discover English. Heinemann.

Byrne, D. 1986 (new ed.) Teaching Oral English. Longman.

Celce-Murcia, M. & Hilles, S. 1988. Techniques and Resources in Teaching Grammar. Oxford University Press.

Cook, G. 1989. Discourse. Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. 1992. Second Language Acquisition and Language Pedagogy. Multilingual Matters.

Faerch, C. & Kasper, G. 1986. ‘The Role of Comprehension in Second-Language Learning.' Applied Linguistics 7/3.

Fotos, S. 1993. ‘Consciousness Raising and Noticing through Focus on Form: Grammar Task Performance versus Formal Instruction.' Applied Linguistics 14/4.

Fotos, S. 1994. ‘Integrating Grammar Instruction and Communicative Language Use Through Grammar Consciousness-Raising Tasks.' TESOL Quarterly 28/2.

Fotos, S. & Ellis, R. 1991. ‘Communicating About Grammar: A Task-Based Approach.’ TESOL Quarterly 25/4.

Garrod, S. 1986.  ‘Language Comprehension in Context: a Psychological Perspective.' Applied Linguistics 7/3.

Harmer, J. 1987. Teaching and Learning Grammar. Longman.

Johnson, K. 1981. Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology. Pergamon Press.

Kumaravadivelu, B. 1993. ‘The name of the task and the task of naming: Methodological aspects of task-based pedagogy.’ In Crookes, G. and Gass, S. (eds) Tasks in a Pedagogical Context: Integrating Theory and Practice. Multilingual Matters.

Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. 1993. How Languages are Learned. Oxford University Press.

Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. 1994.  ‘An innovative program for primary ESL in Quebec.’  TESOL Quarterly, 28/3.

Littlewood, W. 1981.  Communicative Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.

Long, M. 1983. ‘Does second language instruction make a difference? A review of the research.’ TESOL Quarterly 17. 

Loschky, L. & Bley-Vroman, R. 1993. ‘Grammar and Task-Based Methodology.' In Crookes, G. & Gass, S.M. (eds.) Tasks and Language Learning. Multilingual Matters.

Nobuyoshi, J. & Ellis, R. 1993. ‘Focused communication tasks and second language acquisition.' ELT Journal 47/3.

Schmidt, R. W. 1990.  ‘The Role of Consciousness in Second Language Learning.' Applied Linguistics 11/2.

Schwarz, B. 1993. ‘On explicit and negative data effecting and affecting competence and linguistic behavior’. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 15.

Sharwood Smith, M. 1986. ‘Comprehension versus Acquisition: Two Ways of Processing Input.' Applied Linguistics 7/3.

Sharwood Smith, M. 1991. ‘Speaking to many Minds.' Second Language Research 7/2.

Sharwood Smith, M. 1993. ‘Input Enhancement and Instructed Second Language Acquisition.' Studies in Second Language Acquisition 15/2.

Spratt, M. 1985. ‘Presentation', 'Practice', Production'. In Matthews, S. A.,  Spratt, M. & Dangerfield, L. (eds.) At the Chalkface. Edward Arnold.

Stern, H. H. 1992. Issues and Options in Language Teaching. Oxford University Press.

Tomlin, R. S. & Villa, V. 1994. ‘Attention in Cognitive Science and Language Acquisition.' Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16/2.

Ur, P. 1988.  Grammar Practice Activities. Cambridge University Press.

Van Patten, B. & Cadierno, T. 1993. ‘Explicit Instruction and Input Processing.' Studies in Second Language Acquisition 15/2.

Westney, P 1994. ‘Rules and Pedagogical Grammar', in Odlin, T. (ed.) Perspectives on Pedagogical Grammar. Cambridge University Press.

White, L. 1991. ‘Adverb placement in second language acquisition: Some effects of positive and negative evidence in the classroom.’ Second Language Research 7.

White, L., Spada, N., Lightbown, P. M., Ranta, L. 1991.  ‘Input Enhancement and L2 Question Formation.' Applied Linguistics 12/4.

Widdowson, H. G. 1990. Aspects of Language Teaching. Oxford University Press.

Yip, V. 1994. ‘Grammatical Consciousness-Raising and Learnability.' In Odlin, T. ed.) Perspectives on Pedagogical Grammar. Cambridge University Press.




Copyright © 1994 by Costas Gabielatos









Our dear SHARER María del Pilar Martínez wants to SHARE her experience with music in ELT with all of us.



Singing along the road to effective learning


“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…”


 [ Music ] allows us to enter alternative worlds in which alternative schemata, including alternative language and text schemata, are used in processing. This is so because we relate to music in ways which are unique to us for [music] compensates for the illogicality, lack of connection and disorder of the real world.  (de Beaugrande, 1981).


This article, based on research on Psychoacoustics (the study of the perception of sound and of our psychological responses) has as its main aim to prove that song lyrics and acoustic images are a magic blend for teachers to foster interaction and compromised opinion making.


These are times that call for more than just teaching the essentials of grammar;  these are times that call for more than just teaching that there are unique answers for pre-set questions; these are times that call for a real acceptance of meaningful answers that may, most of the times, be outside the paradigms of what teachers rank as the right expected answers. A language is not a scientific fact, it is a heartfelt system and, as such, it is alive.


Psychoacoustics is the study of the perception of sound, how we listen, our psychological responses, and the psychological impact of music and sound on the nervous system.

This work is mainly based on Psychoacoustics and has as its main aim to prove that song lyrics and acoustic images are the magic blend teacher should try for they do certainly make the trick in classrooms, they intensify the sense of self at the same time that they foster interaction between and among people. Our eyes are blind to the rear half of the world, our ears have no such limitations.

The music awakes in us a feeling of identification, a sense of belonging to a community, hence its social value. A “listening community” shares likes for singers and tunes  which are unique to them; the truth is that its members feel empowered by a sense of membership that equals to reaching out togetherness. However, this social identification, at some moments, turns into individual appropriacy, the listeners dive in songs, take to them and from them and in this voyage from the outside to the inside they get into the “beyondside”. That is the site where they construe meaning, the place where they fill in the gaps of the song with their own memories, experiences, with their own knowledge of the world. The beyondside could be pictured with an image, that of you taking a picture of yourself in front of a mirror, you want to see yourself but you can’t, all you get is you behind a camera, what you want is to see the you, you won’t get the picture of your world inside other worlds, of your reflections, all that you get is held by a frame which is real. The aim of teachers should be to get to the unreal frames and make them happen. The beyondside is then the dimension where learning takes place for. The listeners feel authorship over the music, over the lyrics, they wish they had composed themselves for the tunes and the words take them to imaginary realms in which they play the leading roles. These places are the ones we teachers have to conquer if we really crave for effective learning to take place. While listening to music, we can always fill in the unknown by means of our stories/histories, we relate to music/lyrics in ways which are unique to us. Thanks to our memories and through music we can get to recall and foresee our whole life.

I believe that the key to effective learning lies in making students feel that their personal contributions, namely expressing opinions and voicing their feelings, worries, and uncertainties, are the core of the class. The “how” is mainly related with awakening in them the need to voice the way they view the world.


The hypotheses underlying my assumptions are:


  • Music does lower the affective filter and,  thus, facilitates learning.
  • Music is consciousness raising as it has to do with linguistic and cultural awareness.
  • Music relates to sameness or separateness either of the two becomes highly beneficial when debating or becomes the core of the class.
  • Music equals estrangement looking at the usual as if it were something new.
  • Music leads to mood changes which will prove to be effective tools if we exploit them to get individual responses.
  • Music is emotion-specific. 
  • Music uncovers hidden meanings.
  • Music activates the need to hold a truth by means of filling in gaps of indeterminacy.
  • Music is representational language.
  • ”Music smooths differences, one does become tolerant by understanding diversity”, (Claudia Ferradas Moi).




“Singing along the road to effective learning”

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…


Activity 1


Listen to the Sound Track of the movie Back to the Future and answer the questions:


  • While Listening:


  1. You are entering a place:
    1. How do you enter? -Ways of walking

Vocabulary bank:

make your entrance – burst in – breeze in – barge in – sneak in – force your way in – break in – troop in -

    1. Where are you?
    2. Who are you with?
    3. What are you doing?
    4. How do you feel? Write 3 words that describe the way you feel.

Vocabulary bank:

embarrassed – passionate – emotional – uncomfortable – awkward – sentimental – matter-of-fact – desolate – dynamic – energetic – bright and breezy – vivacious – lively – engrossed – enthusiastic – sad - miserable – downcast – wistful


Over to you è

How do you feel when you enter a classroom for the first time?

How do you enter? Do you strut in? Do you shuffle in?




Activity 2


Listen to the song The Miracle by Queen:


  1. Make a list of miracles from the song.
  2. If you were to order 3 as regards their importance, how would you rank them?

        1. - ………………………………………………………………..

        2. - ………………………………………………………………..

        3. - ………………………………………………………………..

  1. Where is your most cherished miracle that you’d like to become true?
  2. In your own words, what is a miracle?


Your definition goes here:









Over to you è

Have you ever thought that teaching is a miracle?

We teachers are bound to make miracles every time we open a classroom door.

Activity 3


Listen to the song What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong and answer the  following questions:


  1. How do you feel while listening?


My emotions: 



  1. Why is this a wonderful world?


Because of:



Over to you è               

Is your classroom a wonderful world?

If it isn’t, what can you do to better it?

Have you thought that there are thousands of worlds waiting for you

 behind each classroom door?




Activity 4


Listen to the song Igual que vos by Ignacio Copani and complete:



Though /





I stay in Argentina




Argentina is wonderful because:







“Music is emotion specific, it awakes in us the need to respond to what we hear in different ways. If you awake this need in students you no longer have passive learners but highly compromised human beings eager to have their say in class”.


Appendix: Lyrics


What a Wonderful World

as performed by Louis Armstrong


I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself

What a wonderful world!

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day,

the dark sacred night
And I think to myself

What a wonderful world!

The colours of the rainbow

so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying

How do you do!
They're really saying I love you!

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than

I'll ever know
And I think to myself

What a wonderful world!
Yes I think to myself

What a wonderful world!



The Miracle 

by Queen


Every drop of rain that falls in Sahara Desert says it all

It's a miracle

All God's creations great and small, the Golden Gate  and the Taj Mahal

That's a miracle

Test tube babies being born, mothers, fathers dead and gone

It's a miracle

We're having a miracle on earth, mother nature does it all for us

The wonders of this world go on, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Captain Cook and Cain and Abel,  Jimmy Hendrix to the Tower of Babel

It's a miracle, it's a miracle, it's a miracle, it's a miracle

The one thing we're all waiting for, is peace on Earth – an end to war

It's a miracle we need - the miracle The miracle we're all waiting for today

If every leaf on every tree, could tell a story that would be a miracle

If every child on every street, had clothes to wear and food to eat

That's a miracle

If all God's people could be free, to live in perfect harmony

It's a miracle, we're having a miracle on Earth

Mother nature does it all for us the wonders of this world go on

Open hearts and surgery, Sunday mornings with a cup of tea

Superpowers always fighting But Mona Lisa just keeps on smiling

It's a miracle, it's a miracle, it's a miracle


The wonders of this world go on

Well it's a miracle, it's a miracle, it's a miracle,  it's a miracle

The one thing we're all waiting for Is peace on Earth  and an end to war

It's a miracle we need, the miracle, the miracle

Peace on Earth and end to war today

That time will come one day you'll see when we can all be friends.


Igual que vos

Ignacio Copani


Yo vivo acá, conozco bien cada detalle

del barrio, de esta calle, igual que vos.

Me enamoré, pasé con diez, zafé con cuatro

 y soy feliz de a ratos, igual que vos.

Y me han pegado en las costillas y en el alma

y me han robado la cartera y la ilusión

los mismos monstruos que devoran

tu esperanza y te roban a vos.

Yo vivo acá, bailando al ritmo de este tango

Y el veinte sin un mango, igual que vos.

Un ganador sólo el Domingo si hay fortuna

Y festeja mi tribuna, igual que vos.

Y aunque el color de camiseta es diferente

Y no lo cambie ni aunque me lo pida Dios

Y en el partido estés en el tablón de enfrente

Yo soy igual que vos.

Sufro a tu lado, reís conmigo,

Sos mi adversario, mi rival, no mi enemigo.

 Yo vivo acá, más bien diría: sobrevivo,

me empujan pero sigo, igual que vos.

La misma luz, el mismo barro en las rodillas,

las mismas pesadillas, igual que vos.

Los mismos sueños de creer que nuestros hijos

serán un día dueños de un país mejor,

como el que vi, o por lo menos  parecido

al que viviste vos.

Yo vivo acá, con una flor, con cien espinas,

me quedo en la Argentina, igual que vos.

Y por noventa minutitos de alegría

 me aguanto siete días, igual que vos.

Y aunque los Lunes cuando pierdo me hagan burla

Y aunque tu ídolo algún día me amargó

Y aunque no entiendo cómo hinchás por esa murga

Yo soy igual que vos.

Sufro a tu lado, reís conmigo,

Sos mi adversario, mi rival, no mi enemigo.


© 2003 by H. María del Pilar Martínez


H. María del Pilar Martínez is a teacher trainer at I.S.F.D N°5 in Pergamino.

She has been a presenter at FAAPI Annual Conference, Buenos Aires 2001, FAAPI Annual Conference, Salta 2003,IX Congreso Nacional de Profesores y Estudiantes de Inglés, Buenos Aires 2003 and at X Congreso Nacional de Profesores y Estudiantes de Inglés, Bahía Blanca 2004.     








Del artículo publicado en La Nación del  12-12-04

Título: Cambian la EGB, habrá una presecundaria en sus últimos tres años

A diez años de la reforma educativa en la provincia de Buenos Aires, el gobierno de Felipe Solá impulsa una profunda modificación en la enseñanza básica. El objetivo es que desde el año próximo el tercer ciclo de la educación general básica (EGB), que reúne a unos 800.000 alumnos, se convierta en una especie de presecundaria, con matrícula, unidad curricular y autoridades propias.
Así lo adelantó el director general de Cultura y Educación bonaerense, Mario Oporto. “La idea es darle una identidad gradual al tercer ciclo de la EGB (7°, 8° y 9° grados) para transformarlo en una especie de presecundaria”, dijo el funcionario.[…]

El cambio en la EGB que impulsa el gobierno de Felipe Solá pone en evidencia las severas fallas de la reforma educativa que en la provincia fue desarrollada por la actual vicegobernadora, Graciela Giannettasio.
Por ese motivo, el propio Oporto inició este año una rueda de consultas entre investigadores, docentes, alumnos y políticos, que coincidieron en la necesidad urgente de introducir cambios en el sistema educacional bonaerense.
Precisamente, los cambios se concentrarán en la creación de las direcciones del tercer ciclo. Es decir, a partir del año próximo cada escuela tendrá su director de EGB 3. Además, este nivel escolar y el polimodal compartirán una misma unidad curricular con el mismo tipo de evaluación, de promoción y de asistencia escolar.
"Vamos a discutir el diseño curricular durante todo el 2005 para aplicarlo en el 2006. Esto generará cambios en la formación de los maestros, afianzando la enseñanza por disciplina y no por áreas", dijo Oporto.
Otros cambios que pretenden introducir las autoridades educacionales de la provincia es que los alumnos que cursen el tercer ciclo, lo hagan en el mismo edificio. Y es que hoy muchos de los chicos que asisten a 7°, 8° y 9° grados lo hacen en distintos edificios. Incluso muchos adolescentes de 15 años conviven en una misma escuela con niños de 6 y 7 años.
"Los alumnos de un colegio que cursan la EGB 3 tiene que estar juntos en el mismo edificio y tener una autoridad propia reconocida; ser una unidad y separarse un poco del resto, pues el último nivel de la enseñanza básica es donde ocurre el pasaje de la niñez a la adolescencia", indicó el director de Escuelas.
El plan también incluye cambios en la supervisión de las escuelas y en la estructura central del sistema, que serán anunciados en el transcurso de esta semana.
"Cuando se revise esta etapa de la historia de la educación nadie podrá negar que gracias al tercer ciclo instalado en todas las escuelas de todos los barrios se alargó en dos años la escolaridad de los chicos. Pero ahora es tiempo de cambios que mejoren la calidad de la educación y que surgieron a raíz de la rueda de consulta que se realizó este año. Mi objetivo es que todos los chicos extender la escolaridad hasta el último año del polimodal", comentó Oporto.
Los cambios en la enseñanza básica también incluirán a las escuelas técnica y agrarias, que en la provincia suman unas 5000, y que ahora deberán incluir en su oferta educacional el tercer ciclo de la EGB.
"Queremos formar un técnico tanto para la industria como para el agro. Para eso es indispensable contar con un mínimo de seis años de formación. Vamos a rescatar viejos oficios que hoy vuelven a ser requeridos por un modelo económico de país que comienza a producir más y a incorporar nuevos oficios vinculados a la innovación tecnológica que requiere el mundo empresarial", dijo Oporto.
Según el responsable de Educación bonaerense, hace dos años, con fondos de un crédito internacional, la provincia destinó un promedio de 30.000 dólares para reequipar y modernizar los talleres de las escuelas técnicas y agrarias.
"Hoy el problema que tienen esos colegios, como tantos otros, es la falta de insumos y de material didáctico. Por eso el año que viene vamos a crear una Dirección de Material Didáctico. Este año invertimos ocho millones de pesos en materiales didáctico y para el próximo año se le destinarán otros 70 millones, que serán invertidos de acuerdo a las exigencias de esta nueva dirección", dijo el funcionario.[…]

Despacho informativo lunes 13 de diciembre de 2004

Secretaría de Extensión Universitaria Cultura y Comunicación Social
Rectorado - Universidad Tecnológica Nacional







Our dear SHARER Laurie Sullivan Invites all SHARERS to his Fifth Teachers´Conference


Date: 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th February

Place: Merlo, San Luis. Argentina.


Organising Institutions:Sullivan and Associates Teaching Resources (Villa de Merlo), The William Shakespeare Institute (San Luis), Instituto Cultural Argentino, (Villa Mercedes).


Organising Committee:Laurie Sullivan, Alicia Carapí, Liliana Cuello, Cecilia Sabattini, Clara Muñiz, Melisa Almirón y Priscila Fuertes


Plenary Speakers:

Omar Villarreal – Universidad Tecnológica Nacional

“Educating Robustiana” Teaching English in Argentina: The Tragedy and the Glory.  

Jamie Duncan – Universidad Tecnológica Nacional

“Juicing up our Lessons”

Caroline Gwatkin – “The Place”

“Colour your Vocabulary”


Workshop Leaders:

Fernando Armesto - Universidad Tecnológica Nacional

“Theatre Games”

Laurie Sullivan – Sullivan & Associates

“Big Teacher is watching you”

Marta Baduy – Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

“The Teaching of English to Young Learners”

Julieta de Zavalía

“Peace Education”

H.Maria del Pliar Martinez – Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Nro 5.

“Singing the way to Effective Learning”


Registration Fees

                                             Before January 15           After January 15


1 person.........................................$60 ........................... $70

2 people enrolling together (each one)........$56 ........................... $62

6 people enrolling together (each one) .......$47 ........................... $56

8 people enrolling together (each one) .......$40 ........................... $43


For further information and registration, contact: telephone: (02656) 476380,








Our dear SHARERS from Advice Bookshop invite all SHARERS to the 12th edition of their Summer Seminar:


Advice 12th Summer Seminar

17-18 February, 2005

Under the auspices of ASPI- Asociación Santafecina de Profesores de Inglés

Resolución Ministerial en trámite

Venue: ADE – Urquiza 3108   Santa Fé


Nick Beare  

The Methodology Maze

Omar Villarreal

Teaching Pre-Teens and Teens: Planning for effective learning.

Efrain Davis

New Roles, New Challenges: The Teacher of XXI Century

Patricia Gomez 

Bring Stories to Life! Reading, Telling and Acting out Stories

Gustavo Gonzalez

Songs to Learn… Lessons to Enjoy!

Making “Friends”… in American and British English

Caroline Gwatkin

Teaching English to Adults


Previews of The Performers’ 2005 Productions:

“Excalibur” “Tool Story” and “Romeo and Juliet” at Teatro Luz y Fuerza



Advice Bookshop- San Martín 3031 Santa Fé

T.E. 0342-4533392 - 0800-2226657 - Fax: 0342-4532194

E-mail: /

Fee: ASPI members $35  - Non members $40 - The registration fee is non-refundable 


Vacancies are limited - Handouts of all lectures are included in the fee





Our dear SHARER Celia Zubiri has an important announcement to make:


Dear colleagues and friends,

I am very much pleased to invite you to the 3RD. ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON APPLIED DRAMA that will take place at our headquarters, Teatro Santamaría in the city of Buenos Aires, on February 21, 22 and 23, 2005.

My first objective in this event is to make it innovating, useful, practical, stimulating and enjoyable. It might sound too ambitious but I am truly convinced that through drama you and your students may develop skills and attitudes that are useful in learning and life. Thus, this conference is for Coordinators, teachers and teachers-to-be who are willing to improve not only their day-to-day teaching but their general knowledge about this "new trend" that paradoxically is as old as Aristotle. It is not a question of speaking about drama but learning more about it in order to know how to apply it.

Some topics and top quality professionals have already been selected .I have added some more sessions due to teachers’ demand and there is still more to come .

I look forward to seeing you at this Conference.

Celia Zubiri

Managing Director

The Bs As Players


Registration form, fees, discounts and deadlines for enrolment, please visit our web site:


This event is organized by The Bs. As. Players and sponsored by: Kel Ediciones,

Share e-Magazine, AACI, APIBA, Buenos Aires Herald







Our dear SHARER and friend Laura Szmuch has sent us this invitation:


Taller gratuito:   Creando líderes en valores, con Pilar Quera

Cuando se cuida al otro, éste responde en forma positiva. El liderazgo es una actitud; es la energía intangible que compartimos con otros. La forma más común en que un líder sabotea sus capacidades es no tomar responsabilidad por sí mismo de sus pensamientos, sentimientos y actitudes. Si un lider culpa a su equipo, pierde autoridad.

Pilar Quera nos enseñara en un taller de tres horas, como alcanzar un liderazgo productivo en valores, de forma que seamos capaces de guiar a través de nuestro propio ejemplo.

Martes 21 de diciembre  de 9 a 12 hs.
Taller gratuito-  Para más informes e inscripción comunicarse con Laura Szmuch o con 4641-1824,  Dr Mario Cavaco

Pilar Quera
Educadora española, Formadora de Formadores, diplomada en magisterio, especialidad en filología. Coordinadora para España e Ibero América del Programa Educativo "Valores para Vivir" coordinado conjuntamente por el Comité Español del UNICEF-Madrid y la Organización Brahma Kumaris, apoyado mundialmente por UNESCO, que actualmente forma parte del movimiento global a favor de una cultura de la paz en el marco de la Década Internacional para una Cultura de la Paz y la No Violencia para los niños y niñas del mundo. Ha dictado cursos de formación para educadores, directivos de escuelas en España, Reino Unido, Brasil, Perú, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica y ha cooperado en diferentes  Ministerios de Educación sobre la construcción del Currículum en Valores. Escritora, directora de la colección de libros "Micro-Macro Referencias"  relacionados con la educación, y en particular una de las autoras de dos manuales sobre la Educación en Valores que dan soporte al programa Valores para Vivir, usado por educadores de habla hispana en todo el mundo.
By the way, have you already got a copy of Laura´s excellent book “Aprendiendo Inglés y disfrutando el proceso”? If you haven´t, contact Laura at






Our dear SHARER and friend Susan Hillyard has submitted us the following questionnaire with a note from Alan Maley, OUP editor.


What IS an Advanced Learner?


Questionnaire please return to:


I am conducting a small research project designed to find out more about the needs of ‘advanced’ learners of English.  I would be most grateful if you could spend a few moments answering the questions below.  I shall be happy to acknowledge your help if I publish the results.  In this case, please add your name to the bottom of the questionnaire.  I shall also respect your wishes if you prefer to remain anonymous.  I leave the choice to you.  Thank you for your help.


Alan Maley.



1.      Background information:

What is your first language?

What is your country of residence?

How and where did you learn English? 

For how many years?

What qualifications do you hold in English?

How often do you use English, and for what purposes?


2        How would you characterize an advanced learner of English? What are the key characteristics for you? 

3.     Do you consider yourself to be an advanced learner?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

4.     In which area(s) of language use (in English) do you feel you are most competent?  (Vocabulary, syntax, phonology, reading, writing, listening, oral expression, etc)

5.     Is there any one area where you less confident of your competence?  Is there any special reason for this?

6.     Is there any area of language use where you feel you have ‘fossilised’ or ‘plateaued’?

7.     If you were to decide to make a conscious effort to improve your level of English, which learning mode would you be most comfortable with?  (Self-study?  One-to-one with a ‘native speaker’?  One-to-one with someone from your own language group?  In a small language class?)

8.     What kinds of learning activities would you prefer to engage in?  For example: making oral presentations, writing academic papers, conducting simulated meetings, interviews etc., doing personal research into items of grammar or vocabulary, doing projects, doing creative writing, working on reading speed, etc.  Please feel free to add to this list. 

9.     If you were to decide consciously to improve your level of English, what would be the main reason for doing so?  Personal satisfaction?  Professional added-value? Some other reason?

10. Please add any ideas about advanced language learning which may have occurred to you while responding to the above questions.  (For example, any ideas based on anecdotes from your own language learning history; views about the importance of ‘sounding like a native speaker’; etc.)

11. If you are (or have been) a teacher of English as a Foreign or Other Language, please answer these additional questions:

·         What makes Advanced Learners especially difficult to teach?

·         What particular learning problems do they have?

·         What techniques / activities have you found most successful in teaching them?

·         As a teacher, do you still regard yourself as an Advanced Learner?

·         What kinds of published materials do you think would best address the needs of Advanced Learners? (For example: coursebooks, reference material, accessible reading material, Internet resources,  self-study guides, etc.)



Name: (optional)






Our dear SHARER Maria Marta Suarez announces:



Upgrade your teaching and your income!

Offer your Customers  Innovative Holistic Programmes in  2005


Dear Colleague,


If you would like to join the international network of holistic schools and teachers and...

  • start a new and rewarding profession by teaching babies, 
  • give a magic holistic turn to the teaching of pre-schoolers and kids,
  • offer your adolescent and adult learners what they want: accelerative brain-friendly courses that speed up their learning processes while having the time of their lives and...
  • learn how to create a vibrant space with positive energy for yourself, your workmates and your customers,
  • us NOW  to take advantage of the END OF THE YEAR DISCOUNTS and find out about our pedagogic and commercial proposals which offers your institute or school exclusive representation in your area.  


Looking forward to hearing from you,

María Marta Suárez 


Summer 2005 Teacher Trainings Courses

ALL English for kids® & ALL English for pre-school® - February 16 -17 & 18 - Buenos Aires

ALL English for Juniors® & ALL English for Seniors® -  February 21-22 & 23 - Buenos Aires

ALL English for babies® - February 21 & 22 - Buenos Aires

DISCOUNTS: Enrol by December 30th and get a 20% discount on the total franchising fee!
If you stock material, you and your school staff can be trained for free! 


ALL Alternative Language Learning®

Billinghurst 1741 - C1425DTI Buenos Aires, Argentina

Phone: (0054) (11) 4821 – 0280 - Fax: (0054) (11) 4827 - 1396 - 






Our dear SHARERS from ARGENTINA TESOL have written to us:


ARTESOL would like to announce the up-coming pre-TESOL online sessions. For further information, visit :

The Electronic Village Online 2005

Filming and Editing for the ESL/EFL Classroom
Nicolas Gromik, Japan
Video and Digital Media Interest Section (IS)

Becoming a Webhead: A Hands-on Workshop on How to use Web
Communication Tools for Language Teaching and Learning
Teresa Almedia d'Éça, Portugal, and Dafne González, Venezuela
Computer-Assisted Language Learning IS

Effective Techniques for Teaching English Through Drama
Gary Carkin and Judy Trupin, USA
Drama E-group

Using Weblogs in ESL/EFL Classes: New Developments, Uses, and Challenges
Bee Dieu, Brazil, Aaron Campell, Japan
Graham Stanley, Spain, Sean Smith, Korea
Teacher Education IS

English (EFL) Across the Curriculum
Michael Morrissey, Germany, and María Jordano del Torre, Spain
Higher Education IS

Combining Cooperative Learning and Global Education
George Jacobs, Singapore
TESOLers for Social Reponsibility Caucus

Creating Online Language Games
Marmo Soemaro, USA and Japan
Computer-Assisted Language Learning IS

Using Online Templates to Create Classroom Activities
JoAnn Miller, Mexico
Computer-Assisted Language Learning IS

Involving Senior Citizen Volunteers in ITA Programs
Caroline Rosen, Minnesota, USA
International Teaching Assistants IS

Teaching with VOAnews
Patricia Orsi, Argentina, and Liliana Orsi, USA
English for Special Purposes IS

Using Moodle with Diverse Populations
Jaime Lineham Smith, and Sarah McGregor, USA
Intensive English Programs IS

Strengthening ITA programs in the Face of Budget Cuts and Falling Enrollment
Barbara Schroeder, USA
International Teaching Assistants IS

Making the Transition from ESL to ESP
Christine Parkhurst, USA, and Buthaina Al Othman, Kuwait
English for Special Purposes IS

Establishing and Maintaining 'Web Presence'
Vance Stevens, UAE
Computer-Assisted Language Learning IS





Our dear SHARERS from Universidad de Colima, Mexico announce:


XIX Foreign Language University Specialists Forum (FEULE)
"Professionalization in Language Teaching”


The University of Colima, through the Faculty of Foreign Languages invites specialists, researchers and teachers of languages in Mexico and the world to participate in the XIX Feule Conference that will be held in Colima, Mexico on March 7, 8, 9 y 10 2005

The following topics will be discussed:

  • Linguistic policies
  • Curriculum development in languages.
  • Translation and interpretation.
  • Discourse analysis.
  • Compared literature.
  • Educational Technology in language teaching


The forum is open to all languages from an academic perspective. There is no official language. Although this call for papers is presented in three languages (English, Spanish and French), proposals are welcome in any other language as well. More information at
Contact (52) 312 316 1179


Send your proposals in Word, Arial 12 font. Don’t forget to include all contact information, such as name, institution, address, email, telephones, fax, city, state, zip code and country. Deadline: 30th January 2005.

In your proposal, include the full name of speakers as they should appear in the program. The title of your intervention, which should not exceed 9 words and an abstract of 100 to 200 words. Biodata of speaker or speakers should also accompany your proposal, and it should be no more than 100 words in length. If your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to submit a longer version of your work for publication in the conference memoirs. This should be between 1000 and 4000 words in length.

Make sure to indicate whether your presentation is a lecture, workshop, roundtable, etc. and how much time you need. Normally presentations do not exceed 60 minutes and workshops 120 minutes.








CASOC Clara Muñiz y Asociados is pleased to announce its 30 years of uninterrupted work in the business setting.

Our professionalism and ethical profile has enabled us to stay for so long in the market.

We greatly thank all those who have helped us make it possible.

We are also grateful to all our colleagues and clients who attended the cocktail party held at the Círculo Italiano on October 29th.

We would also like to invite all teachers to embrace the concept of continuous improvement in our professional life.  Check our Web page: for upcoming professional training workshops.


On behalf of all SHARERS: Our heartfelt congratulations!





La revista Educación, Lenguaje y Sociedad (ISSN 1668-4753) convoca a investigadores y docentes interesados en publicar artículos  y reseñas. Educación, Lenguaje y Sociedad es una publicación anual que edita trabajos de investigación originales y acepta contribuciones sin otra restricción que la evaluación positiva de sus evaluadores externos. 

Los artículos no pueden exceder las 25 páginas a doble espacio y deben presentarse en versión impresa (papel A4) junto con su archivo informático (por correo electrónico o diskette). En la página inicial debe constar el título del artículo, nombre/s del/a/s autor/a/s, afiliación institucional, dirección postal, teléfono, fax y dirección electrónica. En el cuerpo del artículo no debe consignarse ningún nombre o referencia de los cuales pudiere inferirse la autoría del trabajo, ya que será sometido a referato anónimo externo. El estilo de citas y documentación seguirá las  pautas del APA Manual of Style

Plazos: el plazo para la entrega de los originales vence el 30 de marzo de 2005

Informes: Instituto para el Estudio de la Educación, el Lenguaje y la Sociedad. Facultad de Ciencias Humanas. Universidad Nacional de La Pampa. Centro Universitario. Calles 9 y 110

 (6360) General Pico, Argentina TE/FAX 54-2303-421041 E-mail:




Today we would like to finish this issue of SHARE with a message that our dear SHARER
Betina Miretti from Saint Paul´s Institute in Goya sent us:



I said a prayer for you today

And know God must have heard -

I felt the answer in my heart

Although He spoke no word.


I didn´t ask for wealth or fame,

I knew you wouldn´t mind,

I asked Him to send treasures

Of a far more lasting kind

I asked that He´d be near you

At the start of each new day

To grant you health and blessings

And friends to share your way.


I asked for happiness for you

In all things great and small

But it was for His loving care

I prayed the most of all .




Omar and Marina.



SHARE is distributed free of charge. All announcements in this electronic magazine are also absolutely free of charge. We do not endorse any of the services announced or the views expressed by the contributors.  For more information about the characteristics and readership of SHARE visit:
VISIT OUR WEBSITE : There you can read all past  issues of SHARE in the section SHARE ARCHIVES.