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Participation

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  • Nigel Caplan
    Anne, Thanks for your comments. I would be the last to deny your right to silence, and in fact that is not my point. You have made a conscious decision not to
    Message 1 of 11 , May 2, 2003
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      Anne,

      Thanks for your comments. I would be the last to deny your right to
      silence, and in fact that is not my point. You have made a conscious
      decision not to contribute frequently to this list due to other
      priorities. You're right, this is not a class, and that's your
      perrogative. Were I back in the UK paying for internet access, I would
      probably do the same.

      I really wanted to discuss the largely unsubstantiated claim that using
      CMC *inherently* makes participation more equal. I would suggest that
      this online group is essentially very similar to a f2f group of
      teachers, where several voices (the enthusiasts) would be the "loudest".
      This is by no means to criticise those who write the most -- we all
      appreciate and learn from their contributions. However, as a small
      sub-group forms tight-knit personal connections, what happens to everone
      else? (Back to the question of boundary members in a CoP.)

      However -- Anne's situation aside -- what are the other reasons for
      non-participation? Does anyone feel they can't get a word in edge-ways
      (like in a real discussion)? Or do people (outside the Big Eight) feel
      that they have more opportunity to speak than in traditional groups?

      I am not trying to compare classes with groups like this (although we
      are a distance learning group to some extent). I believe that we need to
      know what the pragmatics of "normal" native-like CMC conversation are in
      order to know what we can expect from classroom-like CMC.

      And finally, the "silent period" is a very convenient get-out clause
      when talking about non participation. However, like much of Krashen's
      theory, it remains vague, unproven and superceded by interactionist
      theories.

      Nigel
    • Maria Albers de Urriola
      Nigel, You ask for another reason for not contributing more to the group, and I think that probably it could be the fluency and/or knoledge of English. Any
      Message 2 of 11 , May 2, 2003
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        Nigel,
        You ask for another reason for not contributing more to the group, and I
        think that probably it could be the fluency and/or knoledge of English. Any
        suggestions about this?
        Have a nice weekend,
        María Irene
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Nigel Caplan" <nigel@...>
        To: <evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 7:57 AM
        Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Participation


        Anne,

        Thanks for your comments. I would be the last to deny your right to
        silence, and in fact that is not my point. You have made a conscious
        decision not to contribute frequently to this list due to other
        priorities. You're right, this is not a class, and that's your
        perrogative. Were I back in the UK paying for internet access, I would
        probably do the same.

        I really wanted to discuss the largely unsubstantiated claim that using
        CMC *inherently* makes participation more equal. I would suggest that
        this online group is essentially very similar to a f2f group of
        teachers, where several voices (the enthusiasts) would be the "loudest".
        This is by no means to criticise those who write the most -- we all
        appreciate and learn from their contributions. However, as a small
        sub-group forms tight-knit personal connections, what happens to everone
        else? (Back to the question of boundary members in a CoP.)

        However -- Anne's situation aside -- what are the other reasons for
        non-participation? Does anyone feel they can't get a word in edge-ways
        (like in a real discussion)? Or do people (outside the Big Eight) feel
        that they have more opportunity to speak than in traditional groups?

        I am not trying to compare classes with groups like this (although we
        are a distance learning group to some extent). I believe that we need to
        know what the pragmatics of "normal" native-like CMC conversation are in
        order to know what we can expect from classroom-like CMC.

        And finally, the "silent period" is a very convenient get-out clause
        when talking about non participation. However, like much of Krashen's
        theory, it remains vague, unproven and superceded by interactionist
        theories.

        Nigel


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      • Nigel Caplan
        Hallo again, In answer to Maria, I don t think language ability is a major factor: after all this is a group for (primarily) ESL/EFL teachers, and I have
        Message 3 of 11 , May 3, 2003
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          Hallo again,

          In answer to Maria, I don't think language ability is a major factor:
          after all this is a group for (primarily) ESL/EFL teachers, and I have
          generally found it virtually impossible to identify non-native speakers
          by the text of their postings.

          I understand everything that Elizabeth, Vance, Susanne and others have
          written to defend the type of participation in this list, but I still
          think that this is a valid question. Notwithstanding that this is a free
          listserv and not a class, and that people have real lives which preclude
          their active participation, I think this calls for a balanced discussion
          because:

          1. I still believe some (note *some* not all) people are likely to be
          discouraged from participating because of the nature of interactions in
          this group.

          2. If in a large group of English teachers, the discussion is dominated
          by a relatively small sub-group (we can play with statistics all we
          like, but reading the WIA messages certainly gives me that impression),
          what implications does this have for ESL/EFL students using asynchronous
          CMC (if participation is not forced by "requiring" one or two postings a
          week, say)?

          In answer to question 1, I would note the quantity of "me too" or "I
          can't read your page" (etc) messages which are tedious to all but the
          intended recipient; variable standards of 'netiquette' (deleting
          extraneous information, using clear subject lines, avoiding sending
          multiple messages where one would suffice, etc); and the number of
          personal messages, which although important for community building, can
          readily make anyone not in the "inner circle" feel excluded.

          Now before you all yell at me electronically, think back to the 8 week
          workshop, and work out how many people sent more than one message who
          were not amongst the myriad moderators of the workshop. And then ask
          why.

          Nigel <takes a deep breath>
        • Maria Jordano
          Hi all, I do agree with Maria. Sometimes, the L2 could be an obstacle for some people, even if they are teachers. But, apart from other people that simply do
          Message 4 of 11 , May 3, 2003
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            Hi all, I do agree with Maria. Sometimes, the L2 could be an obstacle for some people, even if they are teachers. But, apart from other people that simply do not want to participate more actively, there are many other which do not have time enogh. I would have look at the kind of membership that people have. If they have only receive a digest or they do not receive emails, it could be because they are not very interested... They are there just for being. After doing that, there could be teachers that don't have time not only for replying, but even for reading. This is time consuming, and I can do this because I don't hae to look after little children and I have Internet at home 24 hour a day with a good connection, but what about the peaple who are not in the same situation? I know the situation from a "passive webhead" and, although she reads everything we say, it is impossible for her to participate more actively because of time... The same with other forums... Of course there there are people who may take all our contributions in a rather selfish way, "to much taking" and "no giving", but there are others who actually do not have time. Even sometimes I go throgh the posts very quickly because of time... Kind regards, Mar�a


            Mar�a Jordano de la Torre
            Avda. Men�ndez Pidal, s/n
            14071 C�rdoba, Spain/ Tfno. +34 957 212 130/ +34 607 510 651-

            TI Office 1915 TI2 Office MariaJ_Ofc - www.mariajordano.com


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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • altunar@ibu.edu.tr
            Well, I have no idea why participation came out to be a hot topic to elaborate but, I thought I need to respond after Nigel s provocative statements. Although
            Message 5 of 11 , May 3, 2003
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              Well,
              I have no idea why participation came out to be a hot topic to elaborate
              but, I thought I need to respond after Nigel's provocative statements.

              Although I disgree with some of Nigel's statements, I find it valuable to
              discuss further on some points he raises. For example, when Nigel asserts
              that in a large group of English teachers, the discussion is dominated
              by a relatively small sub-group, we need to understand what implications
              this has for ESL/EFL students using asynchronous CMC. Nigel, that is one
              of the reasons we have Webheads. We are trying to understand. That s why
              there are people presenting at conferences and writing dissertations and
              masters thesis. we need data and sincere reflections to better understand
              the nature of CMC and online communities.

              > In answer to Maria, I don't think language ability is a major factor:
              > after all this is a group for (primarily) ESL/EFL teachers, and I have
              > generally found it virtually impossible to identify non-native speakers
              > by the text of their postings.

              I consider myself pretty comfortable with my English, however, discourse
              is something else. Sometimes, you really do not know how to enter the
              conversation or maintain the conversation. THis is something to do with
              living with the culture of language not the level of proficiency of
              language. I remember the times I occasionally misinterpret the
              conversations and refrained myself from participating (you know what I
              mean, Chris ?) So, the buttom line is practice and developng experience
              take time. Just bear with us!

              > Now before you all yell at me electronically, think back to the 8 week
              > workshop, and work out how many people sent more than one message who
              > were not amongst the myriad moderators of the workshop. And then ask
              > why.

              I do not think nobody yells at you electronically, at least I am not! When
              I turn back to the 8 week workshop, what I see is a new experience with a
              lot of experiences and successes. I remember you had sent another message
              asking why we need to count responses. I agree, numbers do not tell us the
              truth as Elizabeth also emphasized. This is a new experience with all err
              and benefits. If you really wonder the answer to the question "why", you
              need to do an in depth study with those who are involved with an
              appropriate research design. The results will come out eventually, i am
              sure.

              Peace,
              ArifA
            • sh3lby_b3ck
              Hello Webheads,I m new to this group and find it interesting that the topic of periferal participation has come up at this particular time. Since I know
              Message 6 of 11 , May 3, 2003
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                Hello Webheads,

                I'm new to this group and find it interesting that the topic of periferal
                participation has come up at this particular time. Since I know virtually n=
                o one
                (no pun intended), I obviously can't speak for anyone except myself, but I =

                would like to share a couple of thoughts.

                Joining this group mid-stream is, I imagine, much like joining any
                other group, virtual or not, after the work and development of relationship=
                s
                has alreadly commenced. As an outsider—one of which I feel I am for many
                reasons—it's preferable (for me) to ease into things so that I don't commit=

                some sort of social faux pas and end up feeling/looking like a fool. For
                example, in searching for answers to a particular problem, a person (me)
                could start rattling off questions to the first person he or she encounters=

                (Teresa-sorry!) before he or she has thoroughly perused and read all of the=

                resources.

                Another issue is not knowing if this is the right place for me to be
                asking questions and inserting myself because it seems to be mostly
                dedicated to the instruction of English as a second language whereas my
                focus is Spanish. So, for the moment, I'm looking around, reading the mater=
                ial
                to find answers to my questions, and trying not to be a pest.

                Lastly, I'm in Alaska as I write this. I saw the map (and posted my
                place!) The majority of you folks are so far from me physically that I very=

                rarely seem to catch anyone on-line, which I need to establish that human
                connection. It's not that people haven't been welcoming; they have. It just=

                takes time.

                In short, I feel that as a new member, my responsibility is to become
                familiar resources that you have all developed before I allow the questions=
                to
                flow because it's likely that somewhere out there, you've already answered
                them. Better to find it and read it than to bore the group with a question
                that's already been asked and answered. At this point, it's only questions =
                I
                have.

                Shelby
              • sh3lby_b3ck
                I swear it looked better when I previewed it without the Wrap message text selected. Is leaving that box checked the key to keeping the text flowing properly
                Message 7 of 11 , May 3, 2003
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                  I swear it looked better when I previewed it without the "Wrap message text"
                  selected. Is leaving that box checked the key to keeping the text flowing
                  properly when it's actually posted?
                • dafne Chavez
                  Hola Shelby, Bienvenida a Webheads! , and thanks for getting on the map. I was really thrilled when I saw your icon on it :-), as well as when I read in your
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 4, 2003
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                    Hola Shelby, Bienvenida a Webheads! , and thanks for getting on the map. I was really thrilled when I saw your icon on it :-), as well as when I read in your message to our TI2 WiA CoP. Regarding the "wrap text box", yes, it needs to be checked if you want your postings to look "normal" ;-) You can ask any question about teaching Spanish, I have taught Spanish as a FL in the past, and there are other Spanish speakers in WiA, too. :-) Your questions, comments, and experiences are always welcome and I am sure, having taught Spanish and English as a FL, that we can extrapolate what we know about one to the other. Espero seguir leyendo mensajes tuyos muy pronto. Cari�os, Daf
                    sh3lby_b3ck <marisol13@...> wrote:I swear it looked better when I previewed it without the "Wrap message text"
                    selected. Is leaving that box checked the key to keeping the text flowing
                    properly when it's actually posted?


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                  • Dafne
                    Dear Shelby, In a book edited by Mark Warschauer (Network-Based Language Teaching: Concepts and Practice), there is chapter with a research with Spanish
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 4, 2003
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                      Dear Shelby,

                      In a book edited by Mark Warschauer (Network-Based Language Teaching:
                      Concepts and Practice), there is chapter with a research with Spanish
                      learners which may be of interest to you, and other Webheads as well
                      (especially for those who still doubt there can be negotiation of
                      meaning through synchronous modes). I am copying a summary of the
                      chapter below, and the information about the book can be found at:
                      http://llt.msu.edu/vol7num2/review2/default.html


                      In the fourth chapter ("Negotiation in Cyberspace: The Role of
                      Chatting in the Development of Grammatical Competence"), Jill
                      Pellettieri reports on a study that investigated the potential of
                      network-based communication "to foster the negotiation of meaning and
                      form-focused interaction" (p. 64). Using Varonis and Gass' (1985)
                      model for nonnative-nonnative speaker negotiation, Pelletieri
                      presents a descriptive analysis of the discourse generated by second
                      language learners of Spanish while carrying tasks through network-
                      based synchronous written interaction. In line with studies that
                      examined oral interactions, Pelletieri found that lexical and content
                      negotiations predominated over morphosyntactic ones. Only those tasks
                      that included a more form-focused subcomponent (e.g., the composition
                      of an on-line note or narrative) tended to generate higher
                      percentages of morphosyntactic negotiations. Her study also indicated
                      that learners' output modifications in response to negotiations and
                      corrective feedback resulted in more target-like forms and in high
                      rates of incorporation of feedback into subsequent turns. The study
                      points to a number of interesting venues for future research relating
                      to how specific features of task design may have an impact on the
                      amount of negotiation or on learners' focus on grammatical form.

                      Saludos,

                      Daf

                      --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "sh3lby_b3ck"
                      <marisol13@h...> wrote:
                      > has alreadly commenced. As an outsider—one of which I feel I am for
                      many
                      > reasons—it's preferable (for me) to ease into things so that I
                      don't commit=
                      >
                      >> Another issue is not knowing if this is the right place for me to
                      be
                      > asking questions and inserting myself because it seems to be mostly
                      > dedicated to the instruction of English as a second language
                      whereas my
                      > focus is Spanish. So, for the moment, I'm looking around, reading
                      the mater=
                      > ial
                      > to find answers to my questions, and trying not to be a pest.
                      >
                      > Lastly, I'm in Alaska as I write this. I saw the map (and posted my
                      > place!) The majority of you folks are so far from me physically
                      that I very=
                      >
                      > rarely seem to catch anyone on-line, which I need to establish that
                      human
                      > connection. It's not that people haven't been welcoming; they have.
                      It just=
                      >
                      > takes time.
                      >
                      > In short, I feel that as a new member, my responsibility is to
                      become
                      > familiar resources that you have all developed before I allow the
                      questions=
                      > to
                      > flow because it's likely that somewhere out there, you've already
                      answered
                      > them. Better to find it and read it than to bore the group with a
                      question
                      > that's already been asked and answered. At this point, it's only
                      questions =
                      > I
                      > have.
                      >
                      > Shelby
                    • J. H. Steele
                      Shelby, Welcome to the group. I know that you will find a place here. As for being new,we have all gone through that, but then there are people like me, who
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 4, 2003
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                        Shelby,

                        Welcome to the group. I know that you will find a place here. As for being
                        new,we have all gone through that, but then there are people like me, who
                        have been around for a while and still seldom post. The reasons can be many
                        (in my case, I have recently been overworked), but even when I wasn't so
                        overwhelmed at my job, I still have not been one to post very often.
                        Sometimes I just don't have anything to say. Other times I feel that what I
                        have to say is better left unsaid. And then, there are times I feel the
                        message should be sent privately to the original sender. (This is, in fact,
                        the majority of my participation).

                        So don't feel you have to answer everything that is said. We have Spanish
                        teachers, Art teachers, ESL teachers, English as a Native Language teachers,
                        and many others. Hope to read more postings from you eventually.

                        Now, as for participation. I would like to include here a paragraph from
                        page 73 of my dissertation. and ask how this relates to the group
                        participation. All we are looking at is public postings, however,
                        Paccagnella (1997) points out another problem with virtual studies. The
                        membership of any virtual community always consists of both people who
                        actively participate and those (often the great majority) who merely read
                        the messages without actively participating in most discussions. Further, as
                        B. Mason (1996, 1999) points out, much of the communication that takes place
                        in an online community actually occurs via private email. If a researcher
                        merely observes what takes place in the public portions of the community,
                        he/she will miss much of the give-and-take that occurs.

                        I hope to be less of a non-participant now that school is almost over
                        (although I am a candidate for an administrative position, so who know what
                        will happen.

                        John (Dr. Cat)

                        Prof. John H. Steele, Ph.D.
                        English Department
                        University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
                        jhsteele@... http://www.eslpalace.com


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "sh3lby_b3ck" <marisol13@...>
                        To: <evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 9:23 PM
                        Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Participation and finding one's place


                        Hello Webheads,

                        I'm new to this group and find it interesting that the topic of periferal
                        participation has come up at this particular time. Since I know virtually n=
                        o one
                        (no pun intended), I obviously can't speak for anyone except myself, but I =

                        would like to share a couple of thoughts.

                        Joining this group mid-stream is, I imagine, much like joining any
                        other group, virtual or not, after the work and development of relationship=
                        s
                        has alreadly commenced. As an outsider-one of which I feel I am for many
                        reasons-it's preferable (for me) to ease into things so that I don't commit=

                        some sort of social faux pas and end up feeling/looking like a fool. For
                        example, in searching for answers to a particular problem, a person (me)
                        could start rattling off questions to the first person he or she encounters=

                        (Teresa-sorry!) before he or she has thoroughly perused and read all of the=

                        resources.

                        Another issue is not knowing if this is the right place for me to be
                        asking questions and inserting myself because it seems to be mostly
                        dedicated to the instruction of English as a second language whereas my
                        focus is Spanish. So, for the moment, I'm looking around, reading the mater=
                        ial
                        to find answers to my questions, and trying not to be a pest.

                        Lastly, I'm in Alaska as I write this. I saw the map (and posted my
                        place!) The majority of you folks are so far from me physically that I very=

                        rarely seem to catch anyone on-line, which I need to establish that human
                        connection. It's not that people haven't been welcoming; they have. It just=

                        takes time.

                        In short, I feel that as a new member, my responsibility is to become
                        familiar resources that you have all developed before I allow the questions=
                        to
                        flow because it's likely that somewhere out there, you've already answered
                        them. Better to find it and read it than to bore the group with a question
                        that's already been asked and answered. At this point, it's only questions =
                        I
                        have.

                        Shelby




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                        evonline2002_webheads-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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                        http://www.geocities.com/vance_stevens/papers/evonline2002/webheads.htm

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                      • J. H. Steele
                        Actually, I left out a paragraph break when I sent the following message. I have corrected the paragraph in question. John (Dr. Cat) Now, as for participation.
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 4, 2003
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                          Actually, I left out a paragraph break when I sent the following message. I
                          have corrected the paragraph in question.

                          John (Dr. Cat)

                          Now, as for participation. I would like to include here a paragraph from
                          page 73 of my dissertation. and ask how this relates to the group
                          participation. All we are looking at is public postings, however,

                          Paccagnella (1997) points out another problem with virtual studies. The
                          membership of any virtual community always consists of both people who
                          actively participate and those (often the great majority) who merely read
                          the messages without actively participating in most discussions. Further, as
                          B. Mason (1996, 1999) points out, much of the communication that takes place
                          in an online community actually occurs via private email. If a researcher
                          merely observes what takes place in the public portions of the community,
                          he/she will miss much of the give-and-take that occurs.

                          jhs

                          Prof. John H. Steele, Ph.D.
                          English Department
                          University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
                          jhsteele@... http://www.eslpalace.com


                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "J. H. Steele" <jhsteele@...>
                          To: <evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com>
                          Cc: <marisol13@...>
                          Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2003 11:16 AM
                          Subject: Re: [evonline2002_webheads] Participation and finding one's place


                          > Shelby,
                          >
                          > Welcome to the group. I know that you will find a place here. As for being
                          > new,we have all gone through that, but then there are people like me, who
                          > have been around for a while and still seldom post. The reasons can be
                          many
                          > (in my case, I have recently been overworked), but even when I wasn't so
                          > overwhelmed at my job, I still have not been one to post very often.
                          > Sometimes I just don't have anything to say. Other times I feel that what
                          I
                          > have to say is better left unsaid. And then, there are times I feel the
                          > message should be sent privately to the original sender. (This is, in
                          fact,
                          > the majority of my participation).
                          >
                          > So don't feel you have to answer everything that is said. We have Spanish
                          > teachers, Art teachers, ESL teachers, English as a Native Language
                          teachers,
                          > and many others. Hope to read more postings from you eventually.
                          >
                          > Now, as for participation. I would like to include here a paragraph from
                          > page 73 of my dissertation. and ask how this relates to the group
                          > participation. All we are looking at is public postings, however,
                          > Paccagnella (1997) points out another problem with virtual studies. The
                          > membership of any virtual community always consists of both people who
                          > actively participate and those (often the great majority) who merely read
                          > the messages without actively participating in most discussions. Further,
                          as
                          > B. Mason (1996, 1999) points out, much of the communication that takes
                          place
                          > in an online community actually occurs via private email. If a researcher
                          > merely observes what takes place in the public portions of the community,
                          > he/she will miss much of the give-and-take that occurs.
                          >
                          > I hope to be less of a non-participant now that school is almost over
                          > (although I am a candidate for an administrative position, so who know
                          what
                          > will happen.
                          >
                          > John (Dr. Cat)
                          >
                          > Prof. John H. Steele, Ph.D.
                          > English Department
                          > University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
                          > jhsteele@... http://www.eslpalace.com
                          >
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: "sh3lby_b3ck" <marisol13@...>
                          > To: <evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 9:23 PM
                          > Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Participation and finding one's place
                          >
                          >
                          > Hello Webheads,
                          >
                          > I'm new to this group and find it interesting that the topic of periferal
                          > participation has come up at this particular time. Since I know virtually
                          n=
                          > o one
                          > (no pun intended), I obviously can't speak for anyone except myself, but I
                          =
                          >
                          > would like to share a couple of thoughts.
                          >
                          > Joining this group mid-stream is, I imagine, much like joining any
                          > other group, virtual or not, after the work and development of
                          relationship=
                          > s
                          > has alreadly commenced. As an outsider-one of which I feel I am for many
                          > reasons-it's preferable (for me) to ease into things so that I don't
                          commit=
                          >
                          > some sort of social faux pas and end up feeling/looking like a fool. For
                          > example, in searching for answers to a particular problem, a person (me)
                          > could start rattling off questions to the first person he or she
                          encounters=
                          >
                          > (Teresa-sorry!) before he or she has thoroughly perused and read all of
                          the=
                          >
                          > resources.
                          >
                          > Another issue is not knowing if this is the right place for me to be
                          > asking questions and inserting myself because it seems to be mostly
                          > dedicated to the instruction of English as a second language whereas my
                          > focus is Spanish. So, for the moment, I'm looking around, reading the
                          mater=
                          > ial
                          > to find answers to my questions, and trying not to be a pest.
                          >
                          > Lastly, I'm in Alaska as I write this. I saw the map (and posted my
                          > place!) The majority of you folks are so far from me physically that I
                          very=
                          >
                          > rarely seem to catch anyone on-line, which I need to establish that human
                          > connection. It's not that people haven't been welcoming; they have. It
                          just=
                          >
                          > takes time.
                          >
                          > In short, I feel that as a new member, my responsibility is to become
                          > familiar resources that you have all developed before I allow the
                          questions=
                          > to
                          > flow because it's likely that somewhere out there, you've already answered
                          > them. Better to find it and read it than to bore the group with a question
                          > that's already been asked and answered. At this point, it's only questions
                          =
                          > I
                          > have.
                          >
                          > Shelby
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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