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  • willmcculloch
    Hi, I m new here and very interested in how (i) changes in language learning opportunities (particularly the internet) affect appropriate teaching
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 7, 2004
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      Hi, I'm new here and very interested in how (i) changes in language
      learning opportunities (particularly the internet) affect
      appropriate teaching methodology ... and how (ii) the writing and
      organisational skills of L2 learners can be used most effectively
      within a motivating, flexible and individual “organised vocabulary
      notebook”.

      The quality of today's resources absolutely knocks the spots off
      what was available to learners only 50 years ago - and yet
      methodology seems to have made relatively few adjustments. My
      personal view is that the improvements in learning opportunities
      make it increasingly appropriate to place more early focus on
      vocabulary development, understanding and enjoyable interaction. I’m
      also convinced that the availability of better resources (and
      teachers) makes it far more sensible to explain grammar in the
      earlier stages predominantly through correct and graded example
      sentences. Appreciation of grammar structure can then (as with L1
      learners ) be tested and fine-tuned at a time when good
      understanding has already been achieved through a much more quickly
      expanding vocabulary base. This approach, I believe, not only has a
      lot of motivational plusses - it also avoids a lot of exposure to
      early errors ...(from over- testing).. which may then later become
      fossilized.

      The "Word Surfing" vocabulary development strategy is therefore an
      attempt to make the most of modern opportunities with the help of
      old-fashioned pen and paper. It’s about trying to encourage better
      quality output through more exposure to motivating and more
      interactive input. Full details are available from the website and
      discussion forums below… and, of course, I’m hoping that being on
      sites like this will encourage serious consideration/criticism of
      the concept from the academic community…( but often people have a
      lot of time pressure and I appreciate this )….Anyway, any feedback
      on WS would be more than welcome….as would any suggested links to
      improve the site….particularly at…

      http://www.wordsurfing.co.uk/7846.html

      …as the opportunity is now being made more available to learners of
      other languages. A few people from this list have already
      contributed â€" and I’m very grateful to them. Thanks.

      I’ll be following this site with interest, especially after having
      just read parts of Vance’s Cairo speech in which…among other things…
      he said something that strikes a big chord with me and WS . “There
      is no such thing as a language teacher. There are only language
      learners. That’s you”…It’s true…so true. “Teachers” can only=

      guide “students” so far up the language learning curve, and even
      then they can only point a way. Everything, at the end of the day,
      is down to the individual and their desire to co-operate with the
      possibilities in the outside world. And whether it’s amazing new
      internet resources….or a simple idea for helping people to use such
      resources to increase vocabulary(language)…or whatever….the only
      really useful, helpful thing that the “teacher” can do is raise
      awareness of those opportunities for the “students”. Yes, you can
      motivate them to do something…but, it’s only when they find what
      motivates themselves that things will really begin to happen.

      Learner independence and motivation are both central to the WS
      Concept, which is designed to appeal to those with a positive desire
      to improve their language skills. The modern world certainly offers
      plenty of opportunity to speakers of more than one language and the
      incentive to develop multi-lingual skills has probably never been
      greater. Until recently most people didn’t have the chance to travel
      much and the vast majority of conversations could only be with
      people who spoke “their language”. Opportunities to learn a new
      language â€" and work abroad - were very limited at that time when
      compared to today. There was a much smaller pool of available
      language teachers and a far smaller selection of good resources. The
      incentive to learn a foreign language at that time was
      understandably low for a lot of people.

      Language teachers, faced with such circumstances, might well have
      felt the need to follow highly structured courses that fed students
      with a large spoon - full of something that might not really appeal
      to their own individual taste buds. It’s also understandable that so
      much time has traditionally been devoted to early L1 explanations of
      L2 grammar structures. After all, the method of emphasising early
      teaching and testing of grammar usually produces (almost) acceptable
      and (reasonably) rapid results.

      However, most teachers and students are now presented with a far
      better set of circumstances. More and more language students, even
      the relatively poor, have real opportunities to travel and work in
      different parts of the world. Those who want to stay at home often
      have the chance to communicate with others in different languages on
      the internet. A much larger pool of capable teachers together with a
      huge number of excellent resources are available to them. Nowadays
      the incentive to learn a foreign language is understandably a lot
      higher for a lot of people.

      Under these circumstances, traditional methodology can develop into
      something more flexible, meaningful and motivating. Word Surfing is
      an additional resource that can complement expanding learning
      opportunities and help learners to improve more independently
      outside the classroom. By having such a resource available to
      develop vocabulary knowledge in their own time and at their own
      pace, they may just be able to “wordsurf” their way into one of the
      many multi-lingual opportunities out there.

      Times change … and in today’s world, yesterday’s methodology may no
      longer be the best way to take advantage of current possibilities. A
      more developed publishing industry, new technologies and the
      internet give easy access to huge quantities of language learning
      information. Students are generally able to use better quality
      resources and can increasingly begin to experience a similar
      exposure to L2 as they received from their parents, family and
      friends when learning L1.

      Amazingly though, despite all these advances in opportunity,
      learning a new language remains fundamentally the same for the
      individual learner. The process still only involves…

      a) being exposed to the sounds and symbols of new words.
      b) getting to understand their meaning(s).
      c) reproducing the words….and
      d) practicing them in a variety of ways until they are known
      and can be used fluently and correctly to communicate with others.

      This has always been â€" and probably always will be - the basic
      development process for all L1 and L2 learners. With no magic
      language pills in sight, flexibility in the approach to learning is
      needed if students are to be able to take full advantage of whatever
      new language learning possibilities become available. It’s only by
      moving with the times that we can help to keep the learning process
      as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

      Having said that, L2 learners will probably always be able to
      benefit from basics like pen and paper. There is simply something
      special about the writing process. The short time taken to write
      things down tends to save a lot more time in the long run -
      especially when things are organised in a practical manner.

      Writing down new (or unfamiliar) vocabulary has always been a
      natural part of L2 acquisition, but the manner in which this has
      traditionally been done can certainly be improved upon. “Word
      Surfing” aims to make this activity as productive as possible
      through the use of well-organised vocabulary notebooks. The
      framework provided allows learners to prioritise the importance of
      their new words, use them in a variety of ways as soon as possible
      and efficiently check real progress.

      If they want to.

      The dancing photos in the previous post were nice too…by the way

      Best wishes
      Will McCulloch
      Vocabulary Developer
      http://www.wordsurfing.co.uk
      http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/wordsurfing/
    • Vance Stevens
      Buth, So nice to hear from you. Your web pages are fantastic. It s great that Webheads are keeping up the traditions, Buth (like Teresa and Aiden, recording
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 7, 2004
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        Buth,

        So nice to hear from you. Your web pages are fantastic. It's great
        that Webheads are keeping up the traditions, Buth (like Teresa and
        Aiden, recording Webheads in various actions) and Dafne and company
        with the Becoming a Webhead session. Having set the cats in motion,
        this old cat herder is able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of so
        many efforts, and it is great to see the flowers bloom from the seeds
        sown over the past few years.

        It's time for a lesson though on `aspect'. Aspect is the
        relationship between width and height in pictures. Your pictures on
        your web pages look squashed, but this is easily fixable.

        Let's take this url for example: http://alothman-
        b.tripod.com/vance_workshop_jan2404.htm

        One of the pictures there is in the following table:
        <tr>
        <td><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg" width="300"
        height="270"></td>
        </tr>

        Now if you right click on the pic and select properties, you can see
        that the url for this pic is: http://alothman-
        b.tripod.com/vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg

        If you put that url in a browser and then right click on the picture
        (which displays in original size and aspect in the browser
        application) then you can right click on it, select properties, and
        see that its size is 640 x 480.

        There are two problems here.

        One, you are storing the BIG original at your website (lots of bytes)
        and displaying it small. It would save space to reduce the pictures
        to the size you want to display and store the reduced pictures at
        your website. It would also reduce download time when viewers of
        your pages could retrieve the smaller files off your server.

        The second problem is that by going from 640x480 to 300x270 you are
        changing aspect. 640 to 380 is a factor of 2.133 and 480 to 270 is a
        factor of 1.778. To preserve aspect, the factor should be the same
        in both dimensions. For example, you could reduce both dimensions by
        a factor of 2 and make all your pics 320x240. In that case you
        should change your syntax in the above table to

        <tr>
        <td><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg" width="320"
        height="240"></td>
        </tr>

        Of course you'd have to make similar changes to every picture
        displayed from each of your web pages. This would resolve the second
        problem mentioned above.

        To address the first problem, you'd have to get a photo editor that
        would reduce the size of your pictures and then replace the BIG files
        you have up at your site now with the small ones. These techniques
        were covered in our WIA2002 sessions, here:
        http://www.vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/syllabus.htm#wk6

        In this case you can give the above dimensions only if they are
        correct for the actual picture size OR simply give the syntax without
        setting width and height, like this:

        <tr>
        <td><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg"></td>
        </tr>

        Knowing Buth, I'm sure she appreciates this explanation, and knowing
        me, you know that I very much appreciate all the work that Buth and
        all the other Webheads in Action are doing. It is this work that I
        am honored present at the many venues at which I am invited to do so.

        I'm going to share these urls with all the people I can think of whom
        we met in Cairo.

        All the best,

        Vance

        PS - My Hot Metal gives me errors when I try to save my files without
        specifying an ALT parameter for my pictures. This happens only if I
        specify parameters WIDTH and HEIGHT. Hot Metal saves the files with
        the error and they display in browsers fine, as far as I can tell,
        but if annoyed by this problem, use this syntax:

        ><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg" width="320" height="240"
        alt="">

        V

        --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "Buthaina Al Othman"
        <buthaina_3@y...> wrote:

        > "It is Important to Have Fun"; so it was dancing while crusing the
        > Nile! Check it out here
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_dancing_cairo_jan2304.htm
        >
        > The following URLs are of some new and updated pages on Vance's
        > Program, in Cairo,Jan 19 - 24, 2004:
        >
        > 1. Vance's Orientation Session at the IELP-II, (Jan 23, 2004)
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_ielp2_cairojan2304.htm
        >
        > 2. Some Screen Shots of Vance's Demo session with Webheads,(Jan 23,
        > 2004)
        >
        http://www.geocities.com/esl_efl_ku/vance_demosession_webheads_jan230
        > 4.htm
        >
        > 3. Mini-Workshop at CDIT- lab, (Jan 24, 2004)
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_workshop_jan2404.htm
        >
        > 4. EgyptWebheads portal page:(underconstruction)
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/egyptwebheads_portal_jan2404.htm
        >
        > 5. Vance's Keynote Speech at the 9th EFL Skills Conference by the
        > CACE, AUC, (Jan 21, 2004), updated:
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_auc_jan2104.htm
        >
        > 6. More Pictures of day one, updated:
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_pictures_aucjan2104.htm
        >
        > 7. Some more pictures of day one (audience), updated:
        > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_pictures2_aucjan2104.htm
        >
        > I hope you like them, :-)
        > Cheers!
        > Buth
      • Fernanda Rodrigues
        On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:13:41 -0000 ... It s quite easy to resize images with PaintShoPro... you can choose to resize them as a percentage of the original, or
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 7, 2004
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          On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:13:41 -0000
          "Vance Stevens" <vstevens@...> wrote:


          > It's time for a lesson though on `aspect'. Aspect is the
          > relationship between width and height in pictures. Your pictures on
          > your web pages look squashed, but this is easily fixable.

          It's quite easy to resize images with PaintShoPro... you can choose to
          resize them as a percentage of the original, or decide about height and
          width (for example, you may need to have a series of images with the
          same height).. paint shop pro will automatically resize the image
          preserving the original aspect, without distorting it.

          If you need help resizing with PSP, please say... I use it quite often


          Fernanda
        • Buthaina Al Othman
          Hi Vance, Thanks so much for the instructions and tips.I managed to edit and resize the pics on some of the pages, using Firework. Actually,I didn t use any
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 7, 2004
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            Hi Vance,
            Thanks so much for the instructions and tips.I managed to edit and
            resize the pics on some of the pages, using Firework. Actually,I
            didn't use any photo editor this time, due to time pressure, as I
            started creating those page late and wanted to finish and post them
            to you all as soon as possible.For this reason,I had to used the
            image resizing feature available at my DreaWeaver.

            Usually, I use Firework or MS Photo Editor; they both works fine for
            me. But it's good that I learned not to rely on that feature
            included in DW for image resizing, next time.

            Thanks for the lesson and sorry about the squashed pictures. I will
            definitely fix the rest as soon as I can.

            Please have a look at the following pages with the the edited
            pictures:

            http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_workshop_jan2404.htm

            http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_auc_jan2104.htm

            http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_dancing_cairo_jan2304.htm

            Best regards,
            Buth
            PS Btw, did you have a good time at Dahab? I had a great time in
            Lebanon, but Cairo was different and more fun, :)
            And regarding the pictures in general, they're all saved on a CD. I
            can Fedex it to you or give it to you when we meet again in Long
            Beach. Let me which way do you prefer.


            --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "Vance Stevens"
            <vstevens@e...> wrote:
            > Buth,
            >
            > So nice to hear from you. Your web pages are fantastic. It's
            great
            > that Webheads are keeping up the traditions, Buth (like Teresa and
            > Aiden, recording Webheads in various actions) and Dafne and
            company
            > with the Becoming a Webhead session. Having set the cats in
            motion,
            > this old cat herder is able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of so
            > many efforts, and it is great to see the flowers bloom from the
            seeds
            > sown over the past few years.
            >
            > It's time for a lesson though on `aspect'. Aspect is the
            > relationship between width and height in pictures. Your pictures
            on
            > your web pages look squashed, but this is easily fixable.
            >
            > Let's take this url for example: http://alothman-
            > b.tripod.com/vance_workshop_jan2404.htm
            >
            > One of the pictures there is in the following table:
            > <tr>
            > <td><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg" width="300"
            > height="270"></td>
            > </tr>
            >
            > Now if you right click on the pic and select properties, you can
            see
            > that the url for this pic is: http://alothman-
            > b.tripod.com/vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg
            >
            > If you put that url in a browser and then right click on the
            picture
            > (which displays in original size and aspect in the browser
            > application) then you can right click on it, select properties,
            and
            > see that its size is 640 x 480.
            >
            > There are two problems here.
            >
            > One, you are storing the BIG original at your website (lots of
            bytes)
            > and displaying it small. It would save space to reduce the
            pictures
            > to the size you want to display and store the reduced pictures at
            > your website. It would also reduce download time when viewers of
            > your pages could retrieve the smaller files off your server.
            >
            > The second problem is that by going from 640x480 to 300x270 you
            are
            > changing aspect. 640 to 380 is a factor of 2.133 and 480 to 270
            is a
            > factor of 1.778. To preserve aspect, the factor should be the
            same
            > in both dimensions. For example, you could reduce both dimensions
            by
            > a factor of 2 and make all your pics 320x240. In that case you
            > should change your syntax in the above table to
            >
            > <tr>
            > <td><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg" width="320"
            > height="240"></td>
            > </tr>
            >
            > Of course you'd have to make similar changes to every picture
            > displayed from each of your web pages. This would resolve the
            second
            > problem mentioned above.
            >
            > To address the first problem, you'd have to get a photo editor
            that
            > would reduce the size of your pictures and then replace the BIG
            files
            > you have up at your site now with the small ones. These
            techniques
            > were covered in our WIA2002 sessions, here:
            > http://www.vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/syllabus.htm#wk6
            >
            > In this case you can give the above dimensions only if they are
            > correct for the actual picture size OR simply give the syntax
            without
            > setting width and height, like this:
            >
            > <tr>
            > <td><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg"></td>
            > </tr>
            >
            > Knowing Buth, I'm sure she appreciates this explanation, and
            knowing
            > me, you know that I very much appreciate all the work that Buth
            and
            > all the other Webheads in Action are doing. It is this work that
            I
            > am honored present at the many venues at which I am invited to do
            so.
            >
            > I'm going to share these urls with all the people I can think of
            whom
            > we met in Cairo.
            >
            > All the best,
            >
            > Vance
            >
            > PS - My Hot Metal gives me errors when I try to save my files
            without
            > specifying an ALT parameter for my pictures. This happens only if
            I
            > specify parameters WIDTH and HEIGHT. Hot Metal saves the files
            with
            > the error and they display in browsers fine, as far as I can tell,
            > but if annoyed by this problem, use this syntax:
            >
            > ><img src="vance_egyptwebheads_jan2404.jpg" width="320"
            height="240"
            > alt="">
            >
            > V
          • Buthaina Al Othman
            Dear Fernanda, Thank you for suggesting PSP; I have just found it via google.com, however, it s not a freeware! I usually use Firework, which is included in my
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 7, 2004
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              Dear Fernanda,
              Thank you for suggesting PSP; I have just found it via google.com,
              however, it's not a freeware! I usually use Firework, which is
              included in my DreamWeaver 4 package and soemtimes I use Microsoft
              photo editor. I would be appreciative if you could tell me what do
              you think of them.
              Appreciate your cooperation, :)
              Buth

              --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Fernanda Rodrigues
              <fernanda.rodrigues@n...> wrote:
              >
              > On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:13:41 -0000
              > "Vance Stevens" <vstevens@e...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > > It's time for a lesson though on `aspect'. Aspect is the
              > > relationship between width and height in pictures. Your
              pictures on
              > > your web pages look squashed, but this is easily fixable.
              >
              > It's quite easy to resize images with PaintShoPro... you can
              choose to
              > resize them as a percentage of the original, or decide about
              height and
              > width (for example, you may need to have a series of images with
              the
              > same height).. paint shop pro will automatically resize the image
              > preserving the original aspect, without distorting it.
              >
              > If you need help resizing with PSP, please say... I use it quite
              often
              >
              >
              > Fernanda
            • CJones
              Hi, Buth, How many hours did you spend on this? It s work well done. Seeing the crowd that Vance addressed at the plenary really helps others to see what an
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 8, 2004
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                Hi, Buth,

                How many hours did you spend on this? It's work well done. Seeing the
                crowd that Vance addressed at the plenary really helps others to see
                what an impact he must have made. (A picture is indeed worth 1000
                words!)

                Chris Jones

                P.S. I'm looking forward to meeting you at Long Beach in March.

                --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "Buthaina Al Othman"
                <buthaina_3@y...> wrote:
                > Hellow all,
                > At last, I am back in Kuwait, following a 2-week wonderful holiday
                > between Cairo and Beirut, where I extended my stay and arrived
                home,
                > early yesterday, instead of Feb 2nd.
                >
                > I spent the day composing and completing webpages on Vance's
                > program, in Cairo, I promised to finish, publish, and post as soon
                > as I'm back home.
                >
                > You are all welcome to view the pages on the program, including the
                > one, showing the "Frivolous Unanticipated Nonsense", in Cairo, as
                > Vance described it in an earlier message and in one of his
                > presentations when he said:
                > "It is Important to Have Fun"; so it was dancing while crusing the
                > Nile! Check it out here
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_dancing_cairo_jan2304.htm
                >
                > The following URLs are of some new and updated pages on Vance's
                > Program, in Cairo,Jan 19 - 24, 2004:
                >
                > 1. Vance's Orientation Session at the IELP-II, (Jan 23, 2004)
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_ielp2_cairojan2304.htm
                >
                > 2. Some Screen Shots of Vance's Demo session with Webheads,(Jan 23,
                > 2004)
                >
                http://www.geocities.com/esl_efl_ku/vance_demosession_webheads_jan230
                > 4.htm
                >
                > 3. Mini-Workshop at CDIT- lab, (Jan 24, 2004)
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_workshop_jan2404.htm
                >
                > 4. EgyptWebheads portal page:(underconstruction)
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/egyptwebheads_portal_jan2404.htm
                >
                > 5. Vance's Keynote Speech at the 9th EFL Skills Conference by the
                > CACE, AUC, (Jan 21, 2004), updated:
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_auc_jan2104.htm
                >
                > 6. More Pictures of day one, updated:
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_pictures_aucjan2104.htm
                >
                > 7. Some more pictures of day one (audience), updated:
                > http://alothman-b.tripod.com/vance_pictures2_aucjan2104.htm
                >
                > I hope you like them, :-)
                > Cheers!
                > Buth
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