Archive for January, 2006

Blogging from Scotland

Interspersing and sharing some of my own findings while surfing.

MFLE is the online service from Learning and Teaching Scotland and Scottish CILT which supports anyone working with modern languages in Scotland, from foreign language assistants and trainee teachers to teachers and principal teachers.

They have published a good introduction to blogging in education.

You may also want to check out Ewan McIntosh’s edu.blogs, where he shows how blogs and podcasts aren’t just a gimmick: they can be used to provide powerful learning in Scottish schools.

An interesting article in the Guardian: “How blogs make the link”


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After the party in Sao Paulo, I slipped to touchbase with the family so I missed the sessions on Saturday. Andrea Calvozo, from SP and Nahir Aparicio from Venezuela posted their conversation about what happened on the ELT forum. You can also listen or download podcast of the interviews Sara and Mike did with various participants.

When I arrived on Sunday noon, Julian Wing had given a talk on how important it is to keep up the network through the ELT community. Rafael reports on his own blog and Julian describes in more detail how the day went on the ELT spotlight.

I tried to invite people to join the Worldbridges event being broadcast, however, it was difficult to make anyone stay in the conference room  as this competed with an exceptionally sunny Sunday. pool

People were longing to lizard in the sun, splash in the swimming pool before joining others for an informal chat, caipirinhas and barbecue at the restaurant.

 Santos2006-01-09_004.JPGlunchby the pool

The nice thing about podcasts is that if you missed the live event, you can download and listen to the 45 min. recording of the EVO Kickoff Teleconference when you have a little time to spare.

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Evo 2006 Opening Session

The Evo 2006 6-week free workshops online are about to start. If you have not yet signed up, please do so until tomorrow (deadline). The session announcement briefly describes each session. By clicking on the link of the session, you are given the schedule and you can sign up at the bottom of each  (blue button Join this Group). All sessions start in a Yahoo Group, so you need a Yahoo account to be able to sign in.

On behalf of the EVO Coordination Team, I would also like to invite you to participate in the Evo 2006 Grand Opening Session this Sunday (January 15th) from 13:00 to 14:00 local time. The session will be broadcast live at Worldbridges.

Moderators will chat, talk a little about each of the sessions, and invite people to join them. So you can listen to the session and if you have Skype, you can log into the live session at Worldbridges to ask questions.
Skype: ‘worldbridges’ 
Phone: 1-402-756-9000, access code #537267 [works fine with a cellphone]
There is also a text chat if you aren’t quite ready for voice.

Do not miss this opportunity to witness and learn how technology can be used interactively!


If you missed the event, you can listen to the 45 min. recording of the EVO Kickoff Teleconference at WorldBridges. 


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David Graddol’s conference

Julian Wing “blogged” David Graddol’s video-conference on the BC ELT Forum while Shaun has posted his impressions on his own blog. I am looking forward to your comments.

Later in the evening, Mike and Barbara Thornton hosted a diner party at their beautiful house in Pinheiros to welcome the Hornby Summer School participants and tutors, who came to Sao Paulo for the Graddol’s conference and some shopping.  We spent a most enjoyable time weaving connections, drinking and being merry 🙂

Check Ines’ and Isa´s report on the day.

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Intercultural Competence

Margit introduced the Intercultural Competence strand this morning with 4 questions for reflection and organized a number of awarenes raising activities to illustrate these points.

  1. What is intercultural competence?
  2. How do we develop intercultural competence in our classrooms?
  3. How do we challenge stereotypes?
  4. How can we give our students a taste of different world English cultures?
    I’d like to share with you some of the projects I have conducted with my students in class 

    Europe in Brazil – 70 students 8th grade students introduce themselves for a classroom twinning activity and talk about their roots. At a first moment, in groups they write a paragraph in 3rd person about one of the colleagues in the group (discovering the other and writing about him) and on another occasion, they write about their own family origins.
    Personal narratives of this kind could also be done individually on Photo Story 3, using photographs, narration and music, like the one I prepared for this Summer School.

    You can have a look at this lesson plan on stereotypes and the result of a classroom twinning on stereotypes conducted on forums with students from countries all over the world.

    For Vanessa’s strand on Global Issues, there are links of how activities were developed in class on my project page under the This is Our Time category and also a reading comprehension exercise online on tolerance. As for critical reading, have a look at the Meaning Behind the Logo page.

    Check Nella’s and Chris Lima’s report on the BC site.

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Happy birthday

Today WordPress gave Sergio a birthday gift by sending him the long-awaited password so he was able to make his first post on the newly created blog. A date and an event to remember 🙂

Happy birthday, Sergio and wishes for a long blogging life!


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The role of language and critical literacy 2

Notes taken during Mario T. Menezes Souza presentation on the role of language and critical literacy.

Critical Literacy

  • Literacy as Social Practice and not as decodification of alphabetic script
  • Reading as social practice – texts are read in contexts
  • Each context is socially constructed and defined and has its own genres of texts and practices of writing and reading: academic, journalistic, advertising, scientific, entertainment, literary, legal, etc.
  • Each social context havs its own,iteracy (uses texts in particular ways)
  • Which literacies do we need to teach our classes?

Scholes, R (1985) Textual Power: literary theory and the teaching of English

Three stages of reading from reading to criticism:

1. Reading (primary, the most basic form of literacy) – as much as knowlege as it is a skill, skill of reading based on knowledge of linguistic and cultural codes used to compose of text and the historical situation in which the text is/was composed

Reading is unconscious activity, the reader shares author’s codes

Pedagogy for reading – reader produces text within text (retell, summarize, expand)

2. Interpretation

  • depends on failure of reading, feeling of incompletness activates the interpretative process (ex. words uknnown to reader, or non-obvious levels of meaning)
  • interpretation is active and conscious, occurs when reader does not share author´s codes, or when these codes are intentionally concealed by the author, to provoke interpretation (as in poetry), i.e. interpretation occurs when there is excess meaning of efficient knowledge

Pedagogy of interpretation – reader produces text upon text (read and discuss other texts about or on the “primary” text, and bring them to bear on the “primary” text)Interpretation is incomplete without the extension into criticism.

3. Criticism:

  • whereas interpretation may be individual, criticism is always collective or social, done in relation to as set of values, an ideology, of a group or collective to which an individual subscribes.
  • Pedagogy of Criticism – reader produces text against text (need to question the “naturalistic attitude”, neutrality or objectivity, need to understand how points of view are constructed and made to seem natural, and how our own points of view have been constructed by the groups to which we subscribe)

“Our job is not produce readings for our students, but to give them tools for producing their own…our job is not to intimidate students with our own superior textual production. It is to show them the codes upon which all textual production depends, and to encourgage their own textual practice (Scholes 1985, p. 24-25)

Need to see Language and Culture as always local and situated and not global and universal.

There is no whole picture

   Escher fish and birds

Sergio and Sara report on the BC site.

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