Presentation on theme: "Participating in a change process Problems and solutions for implementing corpus linguistics data & methods into ESL/EFL writing courses and programs."— Presentation transcript:
Participating in a change process Problems and solutions for implementing corpus linguistics data & methods into ESL/EFL writing courses and programs
Problems that will slow or prevent the changes we seek The approach to linguistics in U.S. MA programs The approach to language in SLA publications and MA courses Classroom teacher background and job characteristics Teacher suspicion about "the latest theory All those files of handouts Our un-tempered enthusiasm for corpus linguistics
Problem #1: The approach to linguistics in U.S. MA programs Drawing trees Made up sentences Little connection to discourse Little connection to learner language development The concept of linguistic creativity The missing concept of the routine
Problem #2: SLA & Language Data Language data and description dont really matter Because you wont be teaching grammar anyway So, just draw those trees and finish up with that requirement and forget about it See the results in Doughty, C., & Varela, E. (1998). Communicative focus on form. In C. Doughty & J. Williams (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp ). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Where a researcher has to work hard to convince a skeptical classroom teacher that direct teaching of grammar will not be harmful.
Problem #3: Classroom teacher background and job characteristics Lots of part-time teachers who might not have degrees in TESOL or who might have studied quite a long time ago Programs that do not encourage professional development so many teachers find it hard to make connections to changes in the field Teaching courses with not-very-clearly articulated purposes Curriculum-free programs
Problem #4: All those files of handouts Lots of classes Lots of students Materials that have been developed over time and that are familiar and comfortable Making a change in a textbook in that context is an emotional as well as intellectual decision about use of time and energy
Problem #5: Our sometimes Un- tempered enthusiasm for corpus linguistics Language data is only part of the total package of an ESL writing course Teacher suspicion about "the latest theory
Solutions: Ways to encourage change Solution #1: Work for Knowledge Base Changes Solution #2: Be Practical & Savvy About the Change Process Process Solution #3: Develop & Share Tools for Change
Solution #1:Work for Knowledge Base Changes Make the powerful connection of corpus linguistics to sociolinguistics and "language in use Emphasize the empirical nature of the data discovered through corpus linguistics methods and resources Discuss and come to an understanding of the various meanings of creativity and the role of the routine Clarify the various meanings of intuition and native speaker intuition and the relationship between making educated guesses based on experience and making educated guesses based on empirical data
Solution #2: Be Practical & Savvy About the Change Process Local as well as national and international presentations and workshops and training courses Identify classroom teachers who are experimenting with corpus linguistics content and/or methods and work with them to create teaching materials and to demonstrate those materials at local as well as national meetings and perhaps in publications Be cool. Include caveats in discussions. Deal with suspicions about first adopters and our willingness to undergo all kinds of pain and problems to make a new technology or tool or idea work
Solution #3: Develop & Share Tools for Change Publications Websites Software Some of these are listed on my handout. If you did not get a copy, please me at And Ill send you a set.
In sum A Practical Plan Implemented with Persistence Patience Guile