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FD - 2 ZPD in teacher development

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  • Elka Todeva
    Hi, everybody: Happy New Year and all the best for 2006. I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and could pamper yourself a bit. I spent a week in New York,
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 4, 2006
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      Hi, everybody:
      Happy New Year and all the best for 2006. I hope you all enjoyed the
      holidays and could pamper yourself a bit. I spent a week in New York,
      always a great place to be in. The Santiago Calatrava exhibition at the
      Metropolitan was one of the high points of my mini-break.

      As promised, here is something to get the group buzzing again. This time
      I decided to offer as a point of departure just three quotes:

      “Teaching will not be reformed until schools are reformed … Most
      teachers continue to work alone, in splendid isolation. … Isolated
      teachers have limited opportunities for receiving assistance through
      modeling and feedback, two means of assistance crucial to acquisition of
      complex social repertoires.”
      Gallimore and Tharp, 1990:201

      The ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) is a level of development
      attained when we are engaged in social behavior. Full development of the
      ZPD depends upon full social interaction. The range of skills and
      knowledge that can be developed with some guidance or peer collaboration
      exceeds what can be attained alone, without any assistance.

      “… But the ZPD is not simply an individual space, but a social one.
      Thus, according to Henry Trueba (1989), if we accept Vygotsky’s theory
      of ZPD, then failure to learn cannot be defined as individual failure
      but rather as systemic failure, that is, as a failure of the social
      system to provide the learner with an opportunity for successful social
      interactions”.

      Nieto, 2002:17-18

      When Vygotsky introduced the concept of ZPD, he talked about learners
      and their interactions with teachers, care-providers and more
      knowledgeable peers. We are all learners of our trade. What are the
      social interactions that promote your learning? Do you feel at times
      that you are working in “splendid isolation”? What type of networking
      and interaction have been most instrumental for your professional
      development?


      References
      Nieto, S. “Language, Culture, and Teaching: critical perspectives for a
      new century”. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002
      Gallimore and Tharp, quoted in Moll, L. “Vygotsky and Education”.
      Cambridge University Press, 1990.
    • Gavin Dudeney
      ************************************************ 2006 International Symposium of Computer Assisted Language Learning June 2-4, 2006 Beijing, China Paper
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 5, 2006
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        ************************************************
        2006 International Symposium of
        Computer Assisted Language Learning
        June 2-4, 2006 Beijing, China

        Paper Proposal deadline: February 15, 2006 Early Registration: March15, 2006

        ***********************************************

        The 2006 International Symposium of Computer Assisted Language Learning is a
        joint event to be co-hosted by the Learning Technologies Special Interest
        Group, International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign
        Language (IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG) and the National Research Centre
        for Foreign Language Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University (NRCFLE,
        BSFU).

        Symposium theme:
        Digital and Networked Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

        Organizer:
        Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing Foreign Studies
        University (FLTRP, BFSU)

        Venue: FLTRP Conference Centre, Daxing, Beijing

        Plenary Speakers:
        Mike LEVY
        School of Languages & Linguistics at Griffith University, Australia
        Theme: CALL research paradigms

        Phil HUBBARD
        Linguistics Department & Language Center Stanford University, Stanford, CA,
        US
        Theme: CALL teacher education

        Gary MOTTERAM
        IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG
        School of Education at the University of Manchester, UK
        Theme: Social contexts of E-learning: an international perspective

        GU Yueguo
        Institute of Online Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University
        (BFSU)
        Contemporary Linguistic Section, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
        Theme: E-learning and online education

        WEN Qiufang
        National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education, Beijing Foreign
        Studies University (BFSU), China
        Theme: Learner corpora and interlanguage studies

        We cordially invite presentations or posters on topics relevant (but not
        limited) to the following:
        - CALL environment
        - CALL & L2 teacher education
        - CALL & online education
        - CALL courseware
        - CALL evaluation
        - CALL learners
        - Modality of learning
        - Web-based & resource-driven learning (RDL)
        - Corpus-based & date-driven learning (DDL)
        - Computer applications in second language acquisition (CASLA)
        - Computer applications in second language research (CASLR)

        Working language: English

        All abstracts (500-800 words, with 3-5 key words), as well as other
        conference-related queries, should be directed to:
        Mr. LIU Xiangdong
        Email: Email: celea@...
        Telephone: + 86 10-88819582

        Further details and updates of this conference can be found at the Symposium
        website: http://call2006.fltrp.com/

        The Organizing Committee of the 2006 International Symposium of Computer
        Assisted Language Learning

        Gavin Dudeney - Project Director
        The Consultants-E, S.L.L.

        Email: gavin.dudeney@...
        Website: http://www.theconsultants-e.com
        Skype: theconsultants-e
        MSN: gavindudeney@...

        Office (General Enquiries): +44 (0) 20 7193 0770

        Direct Line (Gavin): +34 93 350 5161
        Fax: +44 (0) 870 705 9464
        Mobile (Gavin): +34 669 267 444


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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TDSIG@yahoogroups.com] On
        > Behalf Of Elka Todeva
        > Sent: 05 January 2006 04:16
        > To: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [TDSIG] FD - 2 ZPD in teacher development
        >
        >
        >
        > Hi, everybody:
        > Happy New Year and all the best for 2006. I hope you all
        > enjoyed the holidays and could pamper yourself a bit. I spent
        > a week in New York, always a great place to be in. The
        > Santiago Calatrava exhibition at the Metropolitan was one of
        > the high points of my mini-break.
        >
        > As promised, here is something to get the group buzzing
        > again. This time I decided to offer as a point of departure
        > just three quotes:
        >
        > "Teaching will not be reformed until schools are reformed .
        > Most teachers continue to work alone, in splendid isolation.
        > . Isolated teachers have limited opportunities for receiving
        > assistance through modeling and feedback, two means of
        > assistance crucial to acquisition of complex social repertoires."
        > Gallimore and Tharp, 1990:201
        >
        > The ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) is a level of
        > development attained when we are engaged in social behavior.
        > Full development of the ZPD depends upon full social
        > interaction. The range of skills and knowledge that can be
        > developed with some guidance or peer collaboration exceeds
        > what can be attained alone, without any assistance.
        >
        > ". But the ZPD is not simply an individual space, but a social one.
        > Thus, according to Henry Trueba (1989), if we accept
        > Vygotsky's theory of ZPD, then failure to learn cannot be
        > defined as individual failure but rather as systemic failure,
        > that is, as a failure of the social system to provide the
        > learner with an opportunity for successful social interactions".
        >
        > Nieto, 2002:17-18
        >
        > When Vygotsky introduced the concept of ZPD, he talked about
        > learners and their interactions with teachers, care-providers
        > and more knowledgeable peers. We are all learners of our
        > trade. What are the social interactions that promote your
        > learning? Do you feel at times that you are working in
        > "splendid isolation"? What type of networking and interaction
        > have been most instrumental for your professional development?
        >
        >
        > References
        > Nieto, S. "Language, Culture, and Teaching: critical
        > perspectives for a new century". Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002
        > Gallimore and Tharp, quoted in Moll, L. "Vygotsky and Education".
        > Cambridge University Press, 1990.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Any views expressed on this list are of the person posting
        > them. They are not necessarily views held or shared by IATEFL
        > or the TDSIG.
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        > Date: 03/01/2006
        >
        >
      • Wilkinson B (LANGUAGES)
        Nice to kick of the new year with another discussion, Elka, and of course best wishes to everyone for the new year. The topic is closely related to earlier
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 6, 2006
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          Nice to kick of the new year with another discussion, Elka, and of
          course best wishes to everyone for the new year.

          The topic is closely related to earlier ones, with more emphasis on the
          social this time. However, I don't fully agree that failure to learn
          indicates systemic failure. I think it is very dependent on the
          individual and individual learning styles: some people will like
          learning in "isolation" (I don't know if it is always "splendid",
          though).

          In a constructivist framework, knowledge is held to be socially
          constructed, and if we accept this paradigm, then we acquire knowledge
          through our interactions with others. Probably few people would dispute
          the essence of this today. But I would still hold that we can also learn
          through introspection too.

          Regarding my development as a teacher, most of my learning has clearly
          come from contacts with others. A certain amount of
          learning-to-be-a-teacher comes from viewing role-models, i.e. teachers I
          have had, both positive and negative examples. A lot has probably
          evolved somewhat subconsciously through years of contacts with students
          themselves. Most learning in my case probably comes from interactions
          with other teachers - often not language teachers. But there is a close
          overlap between students and teachers: for instance, I am sometimes
          "teaching" expert educationalists, which may mean the whole course is
          devoted to discussing and reflecting on educational methods. I find this
          a very privileged position!

          Turning to the present, there have been some good examples of personal
          development already this year. Although rather mundane, they illustrate
          typical instances of little things that occur on an everyday level.

          1. We are shortly to get some new teaching rooms; these are currently
          being redecorated after the previous tenants. Yesterday, a colleague and
          I were discussing logistics for teaching, and he mentioned in passing
          whether anyone had thought about the placement of the whiteboards. Have
          you noticed, he said, how the whiteboard typically gets placed in the
          middle of the one clear wall? Now what happens when you or the students
          want to use a beamer? There is no wall that you can use as a screen.
          Things could be better planned in advance. The discussion made me think
          that as a teacher you need to be concerned with long-term possibilities
          as well as the short-term. A small minor point, but it made me think.

          2. Today, during a discussion with one of the teachers who will take
          over a course I had developed, I mentioned how I had handled the
          submission of student texts, which was effective and very timely but
          required me to work regularly every Sunday. The teacher, who is not
          full-time, wouldn't be able to do this, and of course his reaction
          prompted me to think, why? Why do I do it the way I do? Do I really need
          to? In the pre-electronic era, papers would be submitted one week and
          given back the next: in the electronic era, they are submitted at any
          time until Sunday morning (or even later), and given back the next
          morning. Am I just stupid working this way? Of course, I should admit
          that these thoughts are not new thoughts, but it's just an example of
          how little comments make me think.

          3. We actually received a questionnaire two days ago asking all of us
          about what sort of development we felt we needed that could be done at
          an institutional level, collaboratively. The questionnaire was a bit
          awkward to fill in, mainly because in the English section we hardly
          "teach" any English courses - at least in a traditional sense. So all
          sorts of things about language training and the Common European
          Framework, etc., were not very appropriate. Nevertheless, there is a lot
          to learn from talking with people who teach other languages and other
          things. I actually reacted very positively because I think merely
          discussing across the language departments may reveal all sorts of
          learning and teaching approaches that I wouldn't have thought of before.

          This was meant to be a short comment, but I've got carried away - away
          from the work I should be doing; so it's an example in itself of
          learning/reflecting through social (electronic) interaction. I look
          forward to more comments during the week.

          Bob Wilkinson
          Maastricht University Language Centre
          e-mail address: b.wilkinson@...
          homepage address: www.languages.unimaas.nl
          Conference: "Integrating Content & Language in Higher Education", 28
          June-1 July 2006. http://www.unimaas.nl/iclhe/
        • Elka Todeva
          A brief response to Bob’s and Juliet’s postings. Bob is right of course that we are not dealing with an either-or situation when looking at learning and
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 9, 2006
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            A brief response to Bob’s and Juliet’s postings.
            Bob is right of course that we are not dealing with an either-or
            situation when looking at learning and development. “Some people do like
            learning in "isolation", as he pointed out. The question teachers and
            researchers have been more intrigued about is not so much that of
            preference but of outcome. The same issue has been the object of
            exploration in SLA theory as well – some regard interaction as the key
            factor for successful language acquisition. Breen (2001) cites some
            interesting studies where Ss never participated in any interaction but
            were keenly interested in, and benefited substantially from, observing
            other people interact.


            With our FD-1 and FD-2 in a way we are focusing on the two ends of the
            continuum – knowledge as social co-construction and deepening of one’s
            insights through reflectivity and metanoia, which does not require
            necessarily input from others.

            Bob commented that we learn both from other teachers or from our
            students as well. In fact, in many languages learn and teach are
            represented by the same verb – a lovely manifestation of the intimate
            and mutually beneficial T- S relationship.

            I completely agree with him that it is particularly stimulating to
            interact with colleagues from different contexts, who have been
            socialized in different ways, and have been shaped by different life
            circumstances. Such contacts often jolt us out of our routines and
            established ways of thinking and acting. When there are no shared
            experiences or shared dominant theories and assumptions, we are forced
            to justify what we are doing, and as Juliet pointed out, particularly in
            written exchanges, this encourages clearer thinking.
            I have often found conversations with colleagues who cannot afford to go
            to major conferences very refreshing as in a way they are not pulled as
            strongly into the gravity fields of the profession or the orbit of
            various gurus.
          • Jenny de Sonneville
            Fascinating, Elka. That is what I had been thinking about these days and then you expressed it so clearly: we are focusing on the two ends of the continuum -
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 10, 2006
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              Fascinating, Elka. That is what I had been thinking about these days and then you expressed it so clearly:
               
              "we are focusing on the two ends of the continuum – knowledge as social co-construction and deepening of one’s insights through reflectivity and metanoia, which does not require necessarily input from others."
               
              What I wonder about is if certain types of learners respond better to different learning situations. For example, do learners with a strong intrapersonal learning style learn well when they have ample opportunities for reflection and learners with a strongly developed interpersonal learning style when they have increased opportunities for social interaction?
               
               
              Jenny

               

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