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 Vygotskys 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
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
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.
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,
Digital and Networked Foreign Language Learning and Teaching
Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing Foreign Studies
University (FLTRP, BFSU)
Venue: FLTRP Conference Centre, Daxing, Beijing
School of Languages & Linguistics at Griffith University, Australia
Theme: CALL research paradigms
Linguistics Department & Language Center Stanford University, Stanford, CA,
Theme: CALL teacher education
IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG
School of Education at the University of Manchester, UK
Theme: Social contexts of E-learning: an international perspective
Institute of Online Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University
Contemporary Linguistic Section, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Theme: E-learning and online education
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
The Organizing Committee of the 2006 International Symposium of Computer
Assisted Language Learning
Gavin Dudeney - Project Director
The Consultants-E, S.L.L.
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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?
> 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
- 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",
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.
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/
- A brief response to Bobs and Juliets 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 ones
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
MessageFascinating, 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-----