ARTESOL Convention 2008

Building Communities of Inquiry, Practice and Creativity: Voices of the South

Resistencia, Chaco, Argentina

October 3-4, 2008

From the Convention Program Committee

Dear Colleagues,

This year, the ARTESOL theme echoes almost literally part of the theme of

TESOL2008, namely WORLDS OF TESOL: Building Communities of Inquiry,

Practice and Creativity. We are grateful to “Big TESOL” for the loan. It is

difficult to find a theme that can so efficiently trigger exploration of some of

the most important issues currently being discussed in our profession. In a few

words it unfolds a teaching/learning scenario where the roles of inquiry,

constant dedication and creative drive are displayed, analyzed and evaluated.

Drawing these concepts together helps us do away with old dichotomies of

Theory / Practice, Researcher/ Practitioner. It also leads into a number of

subthemes such as awareness, reflection, innovation, insightful observation,

evaluation, ( to name just a few), which consciously or unconsciously influence

our decision making in our daily professional practice.

In his preface to Kathleen Bailey, Andy Curtis and David Nunan’s book

Pursuing Professional Development, (2001) Donald Freeman says: “These

authors do what they write about and they write about what they do……. The

work that results is firmly anchored in the daily practicalities of classrooms

while examining larger issues of sense making in teaching.”

Drawing on Freeman’s suggestion let’s write our proposals to share what we

do, and let’s do what we write in our proposals.

Thank you for your valuable participation

Bailey, K., Curtis, A., Nunan, D. (2201) Pursuing professional development. Canada: Heinle & Heinle

Kathleen Graves

 

Kathleen Graves is professor of second language teacher

education at the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont,

USA. Dr. Graves started her career as an English teacher in Taiwan

and has also taught English in the US, Japan and Brazil. For more

than twenty years she has worked with language teachers and

teacher educators around the world on curriculum and materials

development and on developing a reflective practice. She is the

editor/author of two books on course design, Teachers as Course

Developers and Designing language courses: A guide for Teachers

and is the series editor of TESOL’s Language Curriculum

Development series. She has also co-authored two EFL series, East West and ICON.

She co-designed the SIT TESOL Certificate and is a past chair of the TESOL

Publications Committee.

 

The courage to reflect, the power of reflection

Reflection helps teachers to understand, critique and improve their practice. While old

models of teacher education viewed teachers as recipients and implementers of the

knowledge of experts, the notion that teachers are reflective is based on a view of

teachers as knowledgeable, critical, constructive and creative. Reflection is not simply a

matter of thinking about one’s teaching, it is a complex skill that is learned over time. As

with any skill, it needs to be practiced and the practice needs to be scaffolded.

Reflection is rooted in an attitude of inquiry about one’s practice—inquiry into the puzzles

and problems of the classroom and of schools. When we are faced with a problem, our

tendency is often to search for immediate solutions. This tendency prevents reflection.

The skill of reflection requires one to see the situation from which the problem arises as

fully as possible in order to allow for multiple ways to understand and interpret it. Multiple

interpretations allow for multiple ‘intelligent actions’, to use John Dewey’s words and thus

allow teachers to respond flexibly and creatively.

In this talk we will explore the process and skill of reflection. The experiences of teachers

learning to reflect will be used throughout to illustrate what it means to reflect, why it takes

courage, and how it empowers teachers.

Using theory as a tool to renew practice

Theories often seem remote from the reality of classroom practice and thus not useful to

teachers. However, theories can also be powerful tools to help teachers rethink and

renew their practice. In this workshop participants work with a text from a textbook from

three different theoretical viewpoints—interactive reading theory, critical discourse theory

and their own personal theory. The aim of the workshop is not to teach reading theory, but

to examine the ways in which theory can be a tool to help teachers understand, invigorate

and renew their practice.

 

Creating collaborative teacher communities**

Teaching is a learning profession in which each new group of learners and each lesson

provide the opportunity to continually renew one’s practice. Just as student-learning

becomes more powerful when students can learn with and from each other in a learning

community, so does teacher learning. However, teachers often experience isolation in

their work as they struggle to make sense of and improve their practice. Communities of

teachers-as-learners are not widespread. In this workshop we will explore one approach

to teacher communities, the inquiry approach. Participants will identify an area of their

practice they wish to explore. Together with others, they will work through a disciplined

process of description and interpretation to help each other gain a fuller picture of their

teaching so that they can identify a range of effective responses. We will also explore

ways to develop and continue the inquiry approach once participants return to their

workplace.

 

PAS Sección Informativa y Cultural

Embajada de Estados Unidos

Colombia 4300

(C1425GMN) Buenos Aires

Argentina

 

Martha Galloway

Dr. Martha Galloway is an English Language Fellow

sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and based at

the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and IICANA BNC

Córdoba. She graduated from Texas A&M University

with a Ph.D.in Educational Psychology (emphasis in

Bilingual/ESL). She has over 15 years experience in ESL

both at the university level and secondary education. She

has a broad teaching background including

undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs, community

college ESL, community based programs, and high school. Some of her research interests

include early biliteracy, dual language education, language teaching methods, content and

project based methods, student motivation, and ESL action research.

 

Building Creative Teacher Research Teams (TRT) through Classroom Action

Research

This hands-on workshop will provide a brief overview and model of Action Research

(AR) for English Language teachers. Attendees will receive materials and resources to

plan and develop their own research projects and to build local TRTs. AR has the potential

to be a powerful agent for educational improvement; with the goal of enhancing their own

teaching practice and the lives of their students, participants will engage with others,

based on interest or level, to begin to plan AR projects. Presenter offers to

continue dialogues with local TRTs beyond the conference.

 

Oriel E.Villagarcía

Profesor en Inglés, Univ. Nac. de Tucumán, Fulbright and British

Council Scholar, graduate studies, University of Texas, M.A.,

University of Lancaster. Has taught at the Universidad Católica de

Salta, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, and Universidad

Nacional de Santiago del Estero. Former Marketing Manager and

ELT Consultant for Longman. Founding member of what is FAAPI

today, and first president and co-founder of ASPI (Asoc. Salteña

de Profesores de Inglés). Free-lance teacher trainer.

 

Exploring Creativity in the Classroom

We will consider the use of some traditional exercises with a twist to allow students to

engage in language which has depth and which translates their individuality, their feelings

and emotions. We will explore resources such as visualization and poetry to encourage

expression of the Self and to turn the language lesson into something memorable and

enjoyable.

 

Norma Scagnoli

Norma Scagnoli works as eLearning Specialist for the

College of Business in the University of Illinois at U-C. She

has extensive experience in instructional design and

faculty development that she acquired in the last 10 years

of work and research in the area of educational

technologies. Norma has a Masters of Education and a

PhD in Human Resource Education from the University of

Illinois. Her previous work as Online Program Coordinator

and Instructional Designer, as well as her experience as

faculty and educational technology consultant in US and Latin America have enhanced her

knowledge on faculty needs and interests in technology, and have enriched her expertise

in the field. Her research work includes publications on blended learning, international

collaboration, collaborative learning and instructional design.

 

Learning Objects and language Teaching

New models of teaching and learning include the combination of traditional campus

teaching and online education with some emphasis on self-directed learning and

collaboration. Current technology development (such as Web 2.0 applications) enables

non-tech savvy instructors to develop Learning Objects (LO) or digital course materials

that can be used, shared and reused to create knowledge. Through the use of LOs

converted from current course materials, faculty can easily produce self-study modules

that can be incorporated to their courses as a way to enhance self-directed learning.

This presentation aims to help instructors get a deeper understanding on Learning Objects

and the development of self study materials. It will expand on instructional design

principles and the elements that make pedagogically sound learning objects. The audience

will receive step by step information on how to design and create modules from existing

course materials via Web 2.0 applications, and how to import the LOs into their current

Content Management Systems. Ideas for use and storage of the LOs will also be

suggested. The presentation includes the introduction of Web 2.0 applications that enable

the creation of materials and free software that allows the development of SCORMcompliant

LOs.