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Re: On second thought...

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  • Karenne Sylvester
    Hmm... yes, to all. I guess perhaps the question could be instead: Do teachers believe themselves to be credible regarding the process of instructing students
    Message 1 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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      Hmm... yes, to all.

      I guess perhaps the question could be instead:

      Do teachers believe themselves to be credible regarding the process of
      instructing students on language learning techniques if they
      themselves haven't learned a language?

      When I lived in Hong Kong, no one ever asked me nor cared, in fact
      they simply assumed that I couldn't speak Chinese (and they were
      right, I learned only enough to get myself on a ferry late at night,
      negotiate taxi fares and do my shopping)

      but

      it wasn't until I lived in Ecuador that I realized that "make flash
      cards" didn't have much value until I had 3 boxes full of words that I
      never ever looked at.

      I guess this is probably when I began being interested in multiple
      intelligences and learning styles - chiefly because all the advice I'd
      been dishing out previously was leading me to fall flat on my face ;-).

      It's also when I began being very interested in the value of using
      conversation (dogme, dogme) to learn and also how situational
      circumstances, contextual learning, forced me, encouraged me,
      motivated me.

      Cheers,
      Karenne
      www.kalinago-english.com
      http://kalinago.blogspot.com

      p.s. Chris, I published your comment on the blog -I'd been at the
      BESIG and the comments function is set to screen spammers so always
      takes a while before appearing on the page. Ta muchly though! xK

      --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, Robert Haines <hainesrm@...> wrote:
      >
      > But, echoing what Karenne and Marianne said, if you
      > have someone stood up there (or sat alongside you) recommending ways
      > that you can remember words, chunk language, go about improving your
      > fluency, prepare for exams, engage in self-directed study etc. etc.
      > don't you want to know that they've been either capable of or
      > passionate enough to follow this advice themselves - and that it's
      > worked for them?"
      >
      > Yes, *I* might want to know that Mr. Newson has successfully employed
      > the strategies he recommends to me, but, upon reflection, the students
      > I've come across are, again, usually not very critical when it comes
      > to following instructions or taking advice about how best to do
      > things. To be more specific, students I've met tend to fall into one
      > of two broad camps: the first group does what Teacher says because
      > they view him/her as an authoritative voice on learning; the second
      > group does what they believe in either because old habits (and
      > beliefs) die hard, or they're skeptical --- usually it's the first
      > reason though.
      >
      > So I add that extra bit to say that what I/we might want as a group of
      > language teachers is not necessarily what our learners would want.
      > Someone on the list has made this point before, perhaps quite recently.
      >
      > Rob
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • diarmuid_fogarty
      I don t see the value in teachers asking themselves whether or not they are credible. It seems to me that the people who are best fit to judge are their
      Message 2 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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        I don't see the value in teachers asking themselves whether or not they
        are credible. It seems to me that the people who are best fit to judge
        are their students. A worthwhile question might be, "How can teachers
        seek to build on whatever credibility they might have?"
      • Marianne Dorléac
        I do see the value in asking oneself all types of questions. This is very important to be able to question oneself. Teaching is interacting, interacting and
        Message 3 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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          I do see the value in asking oneself all types of questions. This is very important to be able to question oneself. Teaching is interacting, interacting and stimulating interaction. You cannot avoid to realised to are evaluated as a teacher, so the question of credibility is to be asked. Communication goes both ways : how on earth can I be credible in the eyes of others if I am not credible to myself ?

          --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@...> a écrit :

          De: diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@...>
          Objet: [dogme] Re: On second thought...
          À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 10h49







          I don't see the value in teachers asking themselves whether or not they
          are credible. It seems to me that the people who are best fit to judge
          are their students. A worthwhile question might be, "How can teachers
          seek to build on whatever credibility they might have?"


















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Marianne Dorléac
          sorry, please read : you cannot avoid to realise that you are evaluated as a teacher instead of the messy sentence I wrote. ... De: Marianne Dorléac
          Message 4 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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            sorry, please read : "you cannot avoid to realise that you are evaluated as a teacher"instead of the messy sentence I wrote.

            --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@...> a écrit :

            De: Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@...>
            Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: On second thought...
            À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 11h52






            I do see the value in asking oneself all types of questions. This is very important to be able to question oneself. Teaching is interacting, interacting and stimulating interaction. You cannot avoid to realised to are evaluated as a teacher, so the question of credibility is to be asked. Communication goes both ways : how on earth can I be credible in the eyes of others if I am not credible to myself ?

            --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@ virgin.net> a écrit :

            De: diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@ virgin.net>
            Objet: [dogme] Re: On second thought...
            À: dogme@yahoogroups. com
            Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 10h49

            I don't see the value in teachers asking themselves whether or not they
            are credible. It seems to me that the people who are best fit to judge
            are their students. A worthwhile question might be, "How can teachers
            seek to build on whatever credibility they might have?"

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















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          • cg.roland
            Marianne Very tasty. That s interesting. Especially the two-way direction of credibility you mention. At some point, especially when we start thinking about
            Message 5 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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              Marianne

              Very tasty.

              That's interesting. Especially the two-way direction of credibility
              you mention. At some point, especially when we start thinking about
              being credible to ourselves, does this blur into integrity?

              ...trying to dig a little deeper and see not just whether the
              students are happy with us or what we're doing on the face of things
              but whether what we're doing has any real worth pedagogically,
              whether we're happy with it.

              Reply: Who's to judge the worth? if not the students?
              Counter: Probably the teacher. I tell my students that the
              advice I give them is based on watching the 2000 or more
              individuals sat in front of me trying to improve their
              English. It's possible for students to be
              perfectly 'happy' but for the teacher to know, by
              referring to that information bank that has unfolded
              before his/her eyes that a strategy could/should/might
              be better. That's one of the reasons my students come
              to me, and the fact that I regularly question my
              own credibility is something that they too value. So yes
              Marianne, I'm all in with you there.

              Chris
            • Karenne Sylvester
              Marianne, That s the trouble with the internet, one quick click and then oh crap did I really write that?! Yikes! Happens to me all the time! ;-)Karenne ...
              Message 6 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                Marianne,

                That's the trouble with the internet, one quick click and then "oh
                crap did I really write that?!" Yikes!

                Happens to me all the time!

                ;-)Karenne



                --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > sorry, please read : "you cannot avoid to realise that you are
                evaluated as a teacher"instead of the messy sentence I wrote.
                >
                > --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, Marianne Dorléac
                <marianne_dorleac@...> a écrit :
                >
                > De: Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@...>
                > Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                > À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 11h52
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > I do see the value in asking oneself all types of questions. This is
                very important to be able to question oneself. Teaching is
                interacting, interacting and stimulating interaction. You cannot avoid
                to realised to are evaluated as a teacher, so the question of
                credibility is to be asked. Communication goes both ways : how on
                earth can I be credible in the eyes of others if I am not credible to
                myself ?
                >
                > --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@
                virgin.net> a écrit :
                >
                > De: diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@ virgin.net>
                > Objet: [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                > À: dogme@yahoogroups. com
                > Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 10h49
                >
                > I don't see the value in teachers asking themselves whether or not they
                > are credible. It seems to me that the people who are best fit to judge
                > are their students. A worthwhile question might be, "How can teachers
                > seek to build on whatever credibility they might have?"
                >
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              • Dennis Newson
                Karenne, For what it is worth I d think that it is not essential that foreign language teachers have learned a language, though it is clearly a great
                Message 7 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                  Karenne,

                  For what it is worth I'd think that it is not essential that foreign
                  language teachers have learned a language, though it is clearly a great
                  advantage. On the other hand interest in, sympathy for the learners and the
                  ability to motivate them, interest them - such qualities I'd put higher than
                  the fact that a teacher had learned a foreign language.

                  Dennis


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Marianne Dorléac
                  Yes Karenne ! and this time it was all the more enfuriating as the post was about just this : how can you teach a language if you haven t successfully learnt
                  Message 8 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                    Yes Karenne ! and this time it was all the more enfuriating as the post was about just this : how can you teach a language if you haven't successfully learnt one yourself! oh là là so much for my grasp of the English language! yikes indeed! thanks for your support,
                     
                     
                    Marianne

                    --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, Karenne Sylvester <kalinagoenglish@...> a écrit :

                    De: Karenne Sylvester <kalinagoenglish@...>
                    Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                    À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 13h38






                    Marianne,

                    That's the trouble with the internet, one quick click and then "oh
                    crap did I really write that?!" Yikes!

                    Happens to me all the time!

                    ;-)Karenne

                    --- In dogme@yahoogroups. com, Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@ ...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > sorry, please read : "you cannot avoid to realise that you are
                    evaluated as a teacher"instead of the messy sentence I wrote.
                    >
                    > --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, Marianne Dorléac
                    <marianne_dorleac@ ...> a écrit :
                    >
                    > De: Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@ ...>
                    > Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                    > À: dogme@yahoogroups. com
                    > Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 11h52
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I do see the value in asking oneself all types of questions. This is
                    very important to be able to question oneself. Teaching is
                    interacting, interacting and stimulating interaction. You cannot avoid
                    to realised to are evaluated as a teacher, so the question of
                    credibility is to be asked. Communication goes both ways : how on
                    earth can I be credible in the eyes of others if I am not credible to
                    myself ?
                    >
                    > --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@
                    virgin.net> a écrit :
                    >
                    > De: diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@ virgin.net>
                    > Objet: [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                    > À: dogme@yahoogroups. com
                    > Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 10h49
                    >
                    > I don't see the value in teachers asking themselves whether or not they
                    > are credible. It seems to me that the people who are best fit to judge
                    > are their students. A worthwhile question might be, "How can teachers
                    > seek to build on whatever credibility they might have?"
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
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                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Marianne Dorléac
                    I agree about the qualities mentioned by Dennis but I don t agree about putting one higher that another. They are all great essential qualities to me, they all
                    Message 9 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                      I agree about the qualities mentioned by Dennis but I don't agree about putting one higher that another. They are all great essential qualities to me, they all go together.
                       
                      By the way everyone should have a look at Karenne's site : it is a gold mine!
                       
                       
                      Marianne

                      --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, Dennis Newson <djn@...> a écrit :

                      De: Dennis Newson <djn@...>
                      Objet: Re: [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                      À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 14h41






                      Karenne,

                      For what it is worth I'd think that it is not essential that foreign
                      language teachers have learned a language, though it is clearly a great
                      advantage. On the other hand interest in, sympathy for the learners and the
                      ability to motivate them, interest them - such qualities I'd put higher than
                      the fact that a teacher had learned a foreign language.

                      Dennis

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Marianne Dorléac
                      Chris,   First I would like to say that I thanked Paul for an activity (the writing/discussing /reformulating activity) you created yourself! my mistake!  
                      Message 10 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                        Chris,
                         
                        First I would like to say that I thanked Paul for an activity (the writing/discussing /reformulating activity) you created yourself! my mistake!
                         
                        Then about self reflecting credibility and integrity: yes they go together hand in hand (not sure the image works in English?). I would nonetheless add a nuance to what you said about your experience helping you know more than the students in front of you: experience is greatly valued by the students if they trust you straightaway (you are the teacher) or can actually foresee you are right and why, or if they stay long enough in your classes to actually experience how right you were in advising then this or that, but in case they don't, well, my experience is to not insist. Although I know my experience and knowledge is pedagogically valuable, I also know it's useless with someone who does not buy it. His/her resistance to it will block any learning process. So he wishes to learn long lists of disconnected words with the translation next to them ? well if he cannot see it's pointless, so be it. Listing words are often a way to reassure oneself in
                        front of the unknown (the strange foreign language) so this reassurance can be part of the learning process *for this particular student*.
                         
                         
                        Marianne

                        --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, cg.roland <cg.roland@...> a écrit :

                        De: cg.roland <cg.roland@...>
                        Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                        À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 12h58






                        Marianne

                        Very tasty.

                        That's interesting. Especially the two-way direction of credibility
                        you mention. At some point, especially when we start thinking about
                        being credible to ourselves, does this blur into integrity?

                        ...trying to dig a little deeper and see not just whether the
                        students are happy with us or what we're doing on the face of things
                        but whether what we're doing has any real worth pedagogically,
                        whether we're happy with it.

                        Reply: Who's to judge the worth? if not the students?
                        Counter: Probably the teacher. I tell my students that the
                        advice I give them is based on watching the 2000 or more
                        individuals sat in front of me trying to improve their
                        English. It's possible for students to be
                        perfectly 'happy' but for the teacher to know, by
                        referring to that information bank that has unfolded
                        before his/her eyes that a strategy could/should/ might
                        be better. That's one of the reasons my students come
                        to me, and the fact that I regularly question my
                        own credibility is something that they too value. So yes
                        Marianne, I'm all in with you there.

                        Chris


















                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • cg.roland
                        Marianne, Paul, pleased you chaps liked that. Can t really claim credit for that though - sort of gleaned it from the Ih Barcelona teacher trainer crew (Neil,
                        Message 11 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                          Marianne, Paul, pleased you chaps liked that. Can't really claim
                          credit for that though - sort of gleaned it from the Ih Barcelona
                          teacher trainer crew (Neil, Vicki, Gerard, David - and Scott through
                          his writing) as a dip student myself. I did actually do it on the
                          course and it worked really well.

                          ***

                          Marianne

                          I completely agree with your points and those made by everyone else in
                          the discussion.

                          Recently I've been feeling the desire to formalise my Spanish, put a
                          bit of discipline in it and take it that last mile to the sort of
                          place I'm trying to get my CAE learners to in English. On some level
                          it's fuelled by professional curiosity/motives. I could get by for the
                          rest of my life speaking as I do - my in-laws understand me perfectly
                          and my listening's fine but I'd like to experience the finer points of
                          studying at a high level myself. That's what prompted me to pose the
                          question in the first place.

                          ***

                          Best wishes

                          Chris
                        • Marianne Dorléac
                          Chris,   The whole process you are going through, perfecting your Spanish, must be so valuable to you as a language teacher! You will be attentive to
                          Message 12 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                            Chris,
                             
                            The whole process you are going through, perfecting your Spanish, must be so valuable to you as a language teacher! You will be attentive to yourself, your reactions, your own learning process, and this will surely reflect later on the way you teach. This is a great experience. I am a beginner in Japanese, because I wanted to experience how it feels to be a beginner, to listen to a flow of unknown words without having a clue... then the clues can be so many!! the teacher's face, where he looks, his hands, his tone of voice, the time (the words he says at the beginnning or at the end of the class), the space (where in the class he pronounces particular words and why), the groups of words (which words seem to always go together) and I could carry on! such a fascinating experience.
                             
                            Marianne

                            --- En date de : Mar 2.12.08, cg.roland <cg.roland@...> a écrit :

                            De: cg.roland <cg.roland@...>
                            Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: credibility
                            À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Mardi 2 Décembre 2008, 19h26






                            Marianne, Paul, pleased you chaps liked that. Can't really claim
                            credit for that though - sort of gleaned it from the Ih Barcelona
                            teacher trainer crew (Neil, Vicki, Gerard, David - and Scott through
                            his writing) as a dip student myself. I did actually do it on the
                            course and it worked really well.

                            ***

                            Marianne

                            I completely agree with your points and those made by everyone else in
                            the discussion.

                            Recently I've been feeling the desire to formalise my Spanish, put a
                            bit of discipline in it and take it that last mile to the sort of
                            place I'm trying to get my CAE learners to in English. On some level
                            it's fuelled by professional curiosity/motives. I could get by for the
                            rest of my life speaking as I do - my in-laws understand me perfectly
                            and my listening's fine but I'd like to experience the finer points of
                            studying at a high level myself. That's what prompted me to pose the
                            question in the first place.

                            ***

                            Best wishes

                            Chris


















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                          • Adrian Tennant
                            Hi all, Diarmuid said about students being the only people who can decide if the teacher is credible! I just can t agree with this. Take this situation, for
                            Message 13 of 26 , Dec 2, 2008
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                              Hi all,

                              Diarmuid said about students being the only people who can decide if the teacher is credible!

                              I just can't agree with this. Take this situation, for example. You have a group of 14 students from a variety of backgrounds, but with two nationalities dominating. Many of these students have been taught using a transference methodology and where the focus has been on grammatical accuracy (nothing else). This has happened, in part, because grammar is often seen in black and white terms i.e. the answer is either right or wrong (although even grammar can't be this cut and dried).
                              Now in a class where the focus is on 'language' and in actually being able to do things with it and they start crying out for 'Grammar' (don't wince too much Dennis!) Why? Because they want to take IELTS and go to a university. When you point out that the 4 papers are Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking and there is no 'only' grammar focus they start to complain. You point out that what you've been doing is preparing them with the type of language they might need but they are not at a sufficiently good level to cope with the IELTS exam tasks. They still go ahead, take IELTS and get poor scores. What do they do? Blame the teacher!!!!
                              Is the teacher credible or not? What about students expectations?

                              Dr E


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • diarmuid_fogarty
                              Actua;;y, I said students were the BEST people to judge whether a teacher was credible or not; not the ONLY people. In the example given by Adrian, the teacher
                              Message 14 of 26 , Dec 3, 2008
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                                Actua;;y, I said students were the BEST people to judge whether a teacher was credible or
                                not; not the ONLY people. In the example given by Adrian, the teacher quite clearly wasn't
                                credible to the students, with the outset being that they took an exam they weren't prepared
                                for and performed unsatisfactorily.

                                Is the teacher credible to other teachers? Possibly/possibly not. How much time did the
                                teacher spend winning the students over to his/her interpretation of what SLA is all about?
                                Did the teacher begin in a place that the students were familiar with or did s/he just throw
                                them in the deep end and tell them, "It's my way or the highway?" How much time did the
                                teacher give to thinking about whether or not their theory of SLA deserved to be prized over
                                the students'? Or was it just a given?Why, at the end of a course, do students still think that
                                they needed nothing but grammar to pass their IELTS? Wasn't the teacher doing their job in
                                socialising them into an alternative view of education?

                                In short, it seems to me that whilst I find the teacher's opinions more than credible, I remain
                                unconvinced that the teacher themself is credible. Based on the eivdence put before us by
                                Adrian, it would be hard to conclude anything other than that they were clearly not credible.

                                Diarmuid
                              • diarmuid_fogarty
                                Marianne Your view of interaction is correct, but too shallow. Interaction is also situated - that is, it has a context. In this context we were asked to
                                Message 15 of 26 , Dec 3, 2008
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                                  Marianne
                                  Your view of interaction is correct, but too shallow. Interaction is also situated - that is, it has
                                  a context. In this context we were asked to consider whether or not a teacher should
                                  consider themselves credible based on whether or not they had learnt another language. My
                                  point, in context, was that I didn't think it a useful question to ask themselves. It was a
                                  question best left to the students. I suggested another question that teachers could ask
                                  themselves. This is the reflection that you seem to elude to.

                                  You ask, "how on earth can I be credible in the eyes of others if I am not credible to myself ?"
                                  Very easily. Other people's perceptions of how we are does not rest entirely (and in many
                                  cases AT ALL) on how we see ourselves. Which, in my case, is very fortunate!

                                  Diarmuid
                                • diarmuid_fogarty
                                  ... Once again, the rephrasing of my point does little justice to it! My point might be better rephrased, Who better to judge the worth if not the students.
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Dec 3, 2008
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                                    --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, "cg.roland" <cg.roland@...> wrote:

                                    > Reply: Who's to judge the worth? if not the students?
                                    > Counter: Probably the teacher. I tell my students that the
                                    > advice I give them is based on watching the 2000 or more
                                    > individuals sat in front of me trying to improve their
                                    > English. It's possible for students to be
                                    > perfectly 'happy' but for the teacher to know, by
                                    > referring to that information bank that has unfolded
                                    > before his/her eyes that a strategy could/should/might
                                    > be better. That's one of the reasons my students come
                                    > to me, and the fact that I regularly question my
                                    > own credibility is something that they too value. So yes
                                    > Marianne, I'm all in with you there.

                                    Once again, the rephrasing of my point does little justice to it! My point might be better
                                    rephrased, "Who better to judge the worth if not the students." I'm afraid that the
                                    suggested answer (the teacher) puts me too much in mind of how, in England, the police
                                    force were asked to investigate allegations of their own misdoings!

                                    I'm tempted by, but not entirely convinced by, Chris's idea that the teacher's heightened
                                    awareness of what is good for language learning is what makes the difference. Because of
                                    we change the situation somewhat, we would get the following:

                                    It's possible for students to be
                                    > perfectly 'UNHAPPY' but for the teacher to know, by
                                    > referring to that information bank that has unfolded
                                    > before his/her eyes that a strategy could/should/might
                                    > be better. That's one of the reasons my students come
                                    > to me, and the fact that I regularly question my
                                    > own credibility is something that they too value.

                                    Does this sound believable? The students are unhappy with their teacher, unhappy about
                                    learning English, unhappy about how the teacher's style is going completely against
                                    everything that they knew and valued, but they recognise the teacher's vast experience;
                                    they appreciate that the teacher is always thinking about whether or not s/he is achieving,
                                    and so they continue to come despite their unhapiness.Sounds fake to me. In which case,
                                    the teacher can do all the questioning of themsevles that they wish to, but if the learners
                                    fail to see the teacher as credible, say I, then the teacher is doomed; doomed, I tell you.

                                    Presumptuous though it is, I would suggest that Chris's students come precisely because
                                    they deem his experience to be credible. But also in part because they have been
                                    socialised into the assumption that a teacher is a person who knows; that teachers are
                                    experts; that experts are to be trusted. I am not sure what to think of this - because if
                                    people do what they are told because they are told to do it by an authority, it doesn't
                                    necessarily follow that they are learning anything.
                                  • Marianne Dorléac
                                    Diarmuid,   You have the right to find my perception shallow, I don t find yours shallow. You say : Other people s perceptions of how we are does not rest
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Dec 3, 2008
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                                      Diarmuid,
                                       
                                      You have the right to find my perception shallow, I don't find yours shallow.
                                      You say :"Other people's perceptions of how we are does not rest entirely (and in many
                                      cases AT ALL) on how we see ourselves" It does not rest *entirely* on how we see ourselves, but perception of other people goes both ways. The way we see ourselves has an impact on how people see us, this is obvious to me. And, since, you write about interaction being situated in a context, I would say perception of ourselves is all the more important in a teaching situation : confidence, credibility, being at ease with oneself and with others, humour, enthusiasm, energy, all this is connected to the way you see yourself and all this flows over, goes through, impregnates the whole"context", and goes to the learner together with any language he is learning.
                                       
                                      Marianne

                                      --- En date de : Jeu 4.12.08, diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@...> a écrit :

                                      De: diarmuid_fogarty <zpd.english@...>
                                      Objet: Re : [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                                      À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Jeudi 4 Décembre 2008, 7h09






                                      Marianne
                                      Your view of interaction is correct, but too shallow. Interaction is also situated - that is, it has
                                      a context. In this context we were asked to consider whether or not a teacher should
                                      consider themselves credible based on whether or not they had learnt another language. My
                                      point, in context, was that I didn't think it a useful question to ask themselves. It was a
                                      question best left to the students. I suggested another question that teachers could ask
                                      themselves. This is the reflection that you seem to elude to.

                                      You ask, "how on earth can I be credible in the eyes of others if I am not credible to myself ?"
                                      Very easily. Other people's perceptions of how we are does not rest entirely (and in many
                                      cases AT ALL) on how we see ourselves. Which, in my case, is very fortunate!

                                      Diarmuid


















                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Adrian Tennant
                                      Diarmuid, Who said the teacher had anything to do with the students taking the exam? In the college where I do some teaching students often arrive having
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                        Diarmuid,

                                        Who said the teacher had anything to do with the students taking the exam? In the college where I do some teaching students often arrive having already enrolled for an exam, when the teacher advises them that they are not ready they simply ignore the teacher. Then, when they don't do very well they still blame the teacher, or say the exam is silly (and they may well have a point there). I think you're being rather simplistic when you assume that credibility can only be based on the perceptions of the students. Another example of where you're being rather simplistic in your statements is when you ask whether the teacher started from a place the students were familiar with. Do you have mixed nationality classes where you teach? Ever had classes with Arabic students, Asian students, a couple of Spaniards and a Swede, for example? The common starting point ...? Familiarity in educational background and teaching methods???? If only teachers controlled everything! But unfortunately administrators often make decisions that can make the teacher's job all but impossible. There needs to be credibility in the system before you can decide whether a teacher is credible or not, and there often isn't.

                                        Dr E


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • diarmuid_fogarty
                                        Adrian, you are arguing against your PERCEPTION of what I said, rather than against what I said. The simplicity you refer to is not in my reply. As I have
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                          Adrian, you are arguing against your PERCEPTION of what I said,
                                          rather than against what I said. The simplicity you refer to is not
                                          in my reply. As I have repeated, I didn't say that credibility "can
                                          only be based on the perceptions of the students." Neither did I say
                                          that there was a "common starting point".

                                          In answer to your question, I am currently teaching Saudis, Emiratis,
                                          Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Angolans and Cameroonians. The common
                                          starting point (to run with it) is that for all of them it is their
                                          first experience of studying English outside of their familiar
                                          learning environments.

                                          My credibility depends wholly on my being able to convince them that
                                          the activities that I do in class are beneficial towards their
                                          achievement of their individual learning plans. So far, I'm having
                                          varying degrees of success!

                                          (I have been accepted for a session at IATEFL, so will buy you the
                                          pint I owe you there!)
                                          Diarmuid
                                        • Adrian Tennant
                                          Hi Diarmuid, You might not have said there is/was a common starting point, but you did say you needed to find one. I think that stating that for your students
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                            Hi Diarmuid,

                                            You might not have said there is/was a common starting point, but you did say you needed to find one. I think that stating that for your students it's the first time they have studied outside their familiar learning environments is simply playing games. Firstly, if their learning environments were different from each others it still leaves you looking for a commonality. Secondly, what if two or three have already studied in the UK but in a different college?

                                            I notice you ignored the stuff about the teacher's lack of control as to what exams students are entered for or the promises made to them by other people.
                                            I have recently been told by people at the college where I teach that I must allow all students who want to enter IELTS to enter. This includes students who are at Elementary level. The reason for this is that if I don't allow them to enter then they will go to a different college which will allow them to enter!!! Unfortunately, the short-sightedness of such policies does not seem to register!!!

                                            Adrian




                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Marianne Dorléac
                                            Hello Adrian,     I know what you mean. I read an article in the Guardian : a teacher was *asked* to raise her marks in order to foreign student go back home
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                              Hello Adrian,
                                               
                                               
                                              I know what you mean. I read an article in the Guardian : a teacher was *asked* to raise her marks in order to foreign student go back home at the end of the course with a good feeling, being thus living advertisements for other students to go to this same school . Here, the students are clearly viewed only as "clients". I agree that if the system is not credible first, the teacher's job is made to be squaring the circle (la quadrature du cercle).
                                               
                                              Marianne
                                              Ps : Darmuid, I assure you I only speak French in my classes (many Japanese students don't speak any English anyway), but it does not seem extraordinary at all, and it works... but you seem to doubt this, as you seem to doubt Chris's words, thinking he describes a "fake" situation. Well, my take is we are both sincere, I would not see the point of writing here if we were not.

                                              --- En date de : Jeu 4.12.08, Adrian Tennant <adrian.tennant@...> a écrit :

                                              De: Adrian Tennant <adrian.tennant@...>
                                              Objet: Re: [dogme] Re: On second thought...
                                              À: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                                              Date: Jeudi 4 Décembre 2008, 11h01






                                              Hi Diarmuid,

                                              You might not have said there is/was a common starting point, but you did say you needed to find one. I think that stating that for your students it's the first time they have studied outside their familiar learning environments is simply playing games. Firstly, if their learning environments were different from each others it still leaves you looking for a commonality. Secondly, what if two or three have already studied in the UK but in a different college?

                                              I notice you ignored the stuff about the teacher's lack of control as to what exams students are entered for or the promises made to them by other people.
                                              I have recently been told by people at the college where I teach that I must allow all students who want to enter IELTS to enter. This includes students who are at Elementary level. The reason for this is that if I don't allow them to enter then they will go to a different college which will allow them to enter!!! Unfortunately, the short-sightedness of such policies does not seem to register!!!

                                              Adrian

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • diarmuid_fogarty
                                              ... you did say you needed to find one. Actually, I don t think I did. I ve gone back and tried to find something that could be interpeted in this way, but
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                                --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, "Adrian Tennant" <adrian.tennant@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                > You might not have said there is/was a common starting point, but
                                                you did say you needed to find one.
                                                Actually, I don't think I did. I've gone back and tried to find
                                                something that could be interpeted in this way, but without any
                                                success. I'm not being arsey...this is communication very much online
                                                and so it could be possible that something was said that I can't
                                                remember having said. Or it could be that you're picking up something
                                                that I DIDN'T say from something that I DID. I think the latter.

                                                >>I think that stating that for your students it's the first time
                                                they have studied outside their familiar learning environments is
                                                simply playing games.

                                                Well, if you are going to respond to my argument by saying that it is
                                                irrelevant because it's playing games, there's not a lot I can do, is
                                                there? IF we need to find a commonality of experience, then I think
                                                it's a perfectly valid one and not at all ludic/ludicrous. It
                                                indicates that in order to gain credibility, the teacher needs to
                                                factor in explanations and rationales for the activities they are
                                                doing.

                                                >>Firstly, if their learning environments were different from each
                                                others it still leaves you looking for a commonality. Secondly, what
                                                if two or three have already studied in the UK but in a different
                                                college?

                                                All of these scenarios can be dealt with by either getting students
                                                to discuss the rationale behind an activity or by
                                                soliciting/eliciting the rationale behind an activity.

                                                > I notice you ignored the stuff about the teacher's lack of control
                                                as to what exams students are entered for or the promises made to
                                                them by other people.

                                                I didn't ignore it, as such. I didn't know where it had come from.
                                                You wrote, "Who said the teacher had anything to do with the students
                                                taking the exam?" which I took as being an implication that I had
                                                written something along those lines...which I hadn't. So, not knowing
                                                where it came from, I assumed it was a rhetorical question.

                                                > I have recently been told by people at the college where I teach
                                                that I must allow all students who want to enter IELTS to enter. This
                                                includes students who are at Elementary level. The reason for this is
                                                that if I don't allow them to enter then they will go to a different
                                                college which will allow them to enter!!! Unfortunately, the short-
                                                sightedness of such policies does not seem to register!!!

                                                I sympathise entirely! The situation is not dissimilar here. But my
                                                original point remains: the teacher's credibility was obviously
                                                lacking. If it hadn't been, then presumably the students would have
                                                deferred to the teacher's advice.

                                                This is not a reflection on how credible the teacher is in the eyes
                                                of other teachers - but what use is that credibility when it comes
                                                down to the actual job of teaching? Then, the people who are best
                                                placed to comment upon a teacher's credibility are the students.

                                                It may be that the best people to comment upon the credibility of the
                                                students' evaluations are other teachers or academics, but we weren't
                                                discussing this. We were discussing whether a teacher can feel
                                                credible if they have never (been able to) learn another language. My
                                                initial reaction was that we should not be looking to label a teacher
                                                as credible or not based on this. My original point might have been
                                                more honestly glossed as, "I don't think teachers should be labelling
                                                each other as credible or not. Leave that to the students who might
                                                not care whether their teacher can speak any language other than
                                                English." To be entirely honest, the idea that we would use a
                                                colleague's lack of L2 proficiency as a marker of how credible they
                                                were sounded as if it could develop into a form of elitism that made
                                                me feel a bit uncomfortable.
                                              • diarmuid_fogarty
                                                ... Japanese students don t speak any English anyway), but it does not seem extraordinary at all, and it works... but you seem to doubt this, as you seem to
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                                  --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, Marianne Dorléac <marianne_dorleac@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  > Ps : Darmuid, I assure you I only speak French in my classes (many
                                                  Japanese students don't speak any English anyway), but it does not
                                                  seem extraordinary at all, and it works... but you seem to doubt
                                                  this, as you seem to doubt Chris's words, thinking he describes
                                                  a "fake" situation. Well, my take is we are both sincere, I would not
                                                  see the point of writing here if we were not.

                                                  You have misunderstood me, Marianne. I meant that AS A STUDENT, I
                                                  would find it surprising if you didn't use translation. Far be it
                                                  from me to say what you do in your classroom as a teacher! Similarly,
                                                  I didn't use the word "fake" to describe Chris's words. If you go
                                                  back and re-read the message, I used the word "fake" to describe my
                                                  own scenario where students would be UNHAPPY in class, but still let
                                                  themselves be governed by the teacher's experience.

                                                  Chris had said that the teacher was best placed to judge their own
                                                  credibility. He gave the example of students who were "happy" with
                                                  the teacher (i.e. believed their teacher to be credibl), yet the
                                                  teacher might want to employ a different strategy that the students
                                                  might not be happy with. Chris suggested that one of the reasons that
                                                  his students came to class was because they knew that his sense of
                                                  his own credibility would allow him to do this. He concluded that
                                                  this was why the teacher might be best placed to pass judgement on
                                                  teacher credibility.

                                                  I tested this proposition by isolating one variable (student
                                                  happiness), changing it and asking if the same outcome would be
                                                  achieved (students coming to class and learning). I suggested that a
                                                  situation that imagined an unchanged outcome would be fake. That is,
                                                  if students were unhappy with the teacher/style of
                                                  teaching/activities in class etc, they would NOT come to class and
                                                  would NOT learn effectively. Therefore, my conclusion was that the
                                                  students'perception of the teacher's credibility is the more
                                                  important.
                                                • diarmuid_fogarty
                                                  Marianne I hope you weren t put off by my use of the word shallow . I didn t mean it in any particularly negative sense - just in the sense of missing an
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                                    Marianne
                                                    I hope you weren't put off by my use of the word "shallow". I didn't mean it in any particularly
                                                    negative sense - just in the sense of "missing an important quality" (in this case, context).

                                                    I take your point about the need for teachers to feel confident etc, but I would also point out
                                                    that I have been beating myself up for years about my teaching and, dare I say it, my
                                                    students seem quite assured by my work! Your self-image does not always influence how
                                                    others see you, in my opinion. You seem to be saying that it obviously does - I am not
                                                    convinced. I do think that your self-image shapes how you react to other people and it may
                                                    be this that unsettles/reassures learners.

                                                    In other words, it is not your perception of yourself that dictates how other people see you,
                                                    but the way you behave with other people.

                                                    Diarmuid
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