Thursday, February 28, 2008

webheads chat 12-16-07

ThomasLev joined the room.

DennisOl: Yes--and "in slang" and jargon and "elitist language"

DennisOl: Hey, Tom!

ThomasLev: hello!

DennisOl: Don't get what, Michael?

EBobB: Hi Thomas.

VanceS: Hi Tom

SvetlanaM: Hi Thomas

EBobB: I think science fiction writers uniquely understand things like ebonics and leet.

MichaelAC: OK - Leet - something to follow up as homework!

DennisOl: I think you're right, EB.

EBobB: They often create languages and terminology, that is not common, but perfectly describes what they are talking about.

DennisOl: For sure.

RitaZ apologizes for having to leave..., family awaiting, great sunny Sunday morn outside :-( and :-)

DennisOl: Years and years ago, someone I knew started a religion based on the writings of Robert Heinlein ("Stranger in a Strange Land").

EBobB: I think I see the beginning of unique language in SL.

DennisOl: The entire basis of the religion was "chering."

JeffC groks Heinlein.

EBobB: In fact, the idea that you know what SL is, makes my point.

MichaelAC: ok - nice to see you Rita

VanceS waves to Rita

SvetlanaM: bye Rita

RitaZ hugs all friends

EBobB: I am still trying to "grok"

DennisOl: a single concept that Heinleinians grokked, but that wasn't really translatable into English.

RitaZ left the room (signed off).

JeffC: Babelfish hasn't caught up to leet, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, here's a leet speak translator:

ThomasLev: wow

DennisOl: LUVIT, Jeff!

EBobB: I read SnowCrash not too long ago. Seems the author had a pretty good handle on Babel and how we communicate.

EBobB: Lots of grand thoughts in that book.

JeffC: well... on the flip side... Heinlein was considered fascistic by many.

DennisOl: Snow Crash: An Overview:


VanceS: I put PWN3D into the translator and didn't get 'owned'

JeffC: there's a book called "The Forever War" by Haldeman that was an answer to his militaristic "Starship Troopers."

VanceS: what am i doing wrong?

MichaelAC: Svetalana - to go back to our original discussion - what we are doing here is what we would want outr students to do - right?

JeffC: probably nothing Vance... perhaps it's a bad translator! all of them have problems ya know!

SvetlanaM: help = h3|p in Leetspeak

MichaelAC: teaching each other

SvetlanaM: yes, Michael

DennisOl: _The Forever War_ (Wikipedia):


DennisOl: Yes, Michael.

MichaelAC: we could learn to speak Leet!?

DennisOl: From my point of view, that's what this is all about.

DennisOl: Or AAVE.

DennisOl: Or Suthrun.

EBobB: So much to read, to listen to, to view....and so little time.....back to youtube.

DennisOl: Or Strine.

MichaelAC: roit

DennisOl: Or Papiamentu.

SvetlanaM: Michael - with one essential difference: this is our free time and we're not earning a living. I agree with you, Michael. But this discussion is one removed from the real-world!

DennisOl: Or Volapük.

SvetlanaM: Michael, we are learning here, from each other. A community of practice.

MichaelAC: but need it be Svetlana? (I'm not being paid for being here)

DennisOl waits for Sveta's response

SvetlanaM: Right- but we have paying jobs in the real world. This is a luxury. Oh, I'm getting into hot water here - but I'll persevere.

MichaelAC: but being here has benefits for my paid work

EBobB: Maybe teachers should give teaching away for free, and be paid to learn.

SvetlanaM: Yes,

DennisOl: Sure. Why not, EB?

EBobB: It would certainly be an interesting change.

DennisOl: But how would society at large deal with such a subversive and revolutionary stance?

EBobB: What would happen if we paid kids to learn.

MichaelAC: ha hah ha ha

SvetlanaM: Getting back to the original discussion, I just question what's really been achieved. I agree that we're learning and that this is 'real' learning.

DennisOl: Why they would learn . . . in spades.

EBobB: Oh, no doubt they would lock us all away.

DennisOl: And play "dummy" games for fun.

ClaireB joined the room.

ThomasLev: or, make people administration on the way in, and let them teach only if they survive it

EBobB: and then Che Guevere would free us and we would be given Cuba, as home base.

MichaelAC: listening to Svetlana..

ThomasLev: Hi Claire!

DennisOl: And of course they would lock us all away--either literally or figuratively.

MichaelAC: Hi Claire

SvetlanaM: But will they learn the English for their university degrees and qualifications?

JeffC: spades? dummy games? are there other bridge players here besides me?

DennisOl: Hey, Claire.

ClaireB left the room (signed off).

DennisOl: I was speaking figuratively, Jeff, not in terms of bridge.

ClaireB joined the room.

MichaelAC: S - if it was seen to be effective yes they would

SvetlanaM: They have to pass the exams, get the grades. They need the f2f classrooms for that, in my opinion.

DennisOl: Hi again, Claire!

ClaireB: hi guys

ThomasLev: wb

DennisOl: "They has to pay they dues."

EBobB: What is a f2f classroom....does that only occur in a educational setting.

JeffC: I know Dennis, but as resident wiseguy and tapped in's class clown, i couldn't resist.

MichaelAC: really Svetlana? Do they really need classrooms?

DennisOl: hee hee hee

EBobB: I think we need to really think what f2f means.

EBobB: SL is going to blur f2f to the point that it is pretty much a mute term.

DennisOl: I think F2F is a construct favored by bean counters.

SvetlanaM: *still* need the f2f classrooms. Michael. It's just a question that's been bugging me for years now. Yes, I think they do need f2f classrooms, or online equivalents.

EBobB: Then we will start talking about t2t....

EBobB: Touch 2 touch.

DennisOl: mind to mind

EBobB: Knee 2 knee.

DennisOl: thought to thought

EBobB: m2m.....I really like that.

DennisOl: neuron-firing to neuron-firing

JeffC: I'm always amazed by teachers and students who argue that they need "personal contact" in disparaging online learning... whereas with virtual you really get more interaction between students, and with instructors than in standard f2f courses.

MichaelAC: i agree Jeff - we know that

DennisOl: Agreed, Jeff.

VanceS on phone

DennisOl: BUT you have to work much harder--at least initially--to keep the interpersonal interactions going online.

EBobB: is vance p2p?

DennisOl: hee hee hee

EBobB: phone 2 phone.

DennisOl: I'll be back in a few minutes . . .

EBobB: Ok, then.....I guess this would be a good time to go make some coffee....

EBobB: brb....

ClaireB: what are we talking about?

ClaireB: coffee is always good

JeffC: vernacular

JeffC: i think

MichaelAC: so many things Claire! Who can summarise?

ClaireB: I don't see why people feel that they have to compare f2f with computer interaction. it's not better or worse - just different

ClaireB: IMHO

SvetlanaM agrees with Claire

MichaelAC: Thanks for a great discussion everyone. It's getting late here so I might depart...

MichaelAC: Good night from Australia!

ThomasLev: good night!

VanceS: night, still on phone

SvetlanaM: See ya, Michael

MichaelAC: Bye all!

MichaelAC left the room (signed off).

DennisOl: Re the earlier discussion, I remember when--during the seventies, I think--there was a blizzard of ESL/EFL methods.

DennisOl: I've just started to make them, Nina.

NinaTL: That's when I was getting my master's

NinaTL: suggestopedia and CLL and all that

ThomasLev: silent way

DennisOl: When I started teaching, I was REQUIRED to do audiolingual drills for an hour a day in each of my classes.

NinaTL: yep

NinaTL: I started with the AL method also, over in France

ClaireB: me too

NinaTL: The funny thing was that we had tapes and little tape players

ThomasLev: most teachers today are AL survivors

DennisOl: Yes--and the Lozanov Method and the Situational Approach and later the Direct Method and later still strict-constructionist Collaborative Learning.

NinaTL: but they had no reverse function

DennisOl: and much more.

ClaireB: I'm older than you; I had reel-to=reel players

VanceS remembers the dear old AL approach

NinaTL: oh my Claire you are old (just kidding)

DennisOl: I remember those, Claire. I had them, too.

ClaireB: yes indeed i am

ThomasLev: r2r?

NinaTL: So I couldn't let the students listen more than once! haha. It was absurd.

ClaireB: lol tom

DennisOl: And what happened was that this one or that one would say 'The ABC Method is the only one that makes sense."

EBobB: Im back.

ThomasLev: wb

NinaTL: Hi, EBob

ClaireB: there is a great article in tesol quarterly called "the tyranny of methods"

EBobB: Went to make coffee and had to change lightbulbs.

NinaTL: Actually, I myself learned French via the AL method

ClaireB: early 80s, by Mark Clarke

DennisOl: But later, people would say, in response, "Maybe. But I follow the Eclectic Approach."

NinaTL: I think it worked pretty well!

ChristenZ joined the room.

DennisOl: They ALL worked pretty well.

NinaTL: Of course I supplemented it with trips and later 3 years in France

DennisOl: Because there are many ways to learn.

ThomasLev: Hi Christen

ClaireB: but krashen said that if one says that one is an eclectic, it just means unprincipled

EBobB: I supposedly learned German the AL way, but I really learned German in a bar and from a German girlfriend....immersive?

VanceS: my wife can say Quel est le date de la fete nacionale de France?

DennisOl: All those methodological breakthroughs offered insights into learning, but they weren't the ONLY WAY to learn . . . or teach.

NinaTL: The thing that amazes me is that we have completely thrown out oral drilling. I wonder if that is really a good idea--to eliminate it entirely.

VanceS: we joke about it a lot

ThomasLev: utililtarian is a principle

DennisOl: No, I don't think so, Nina. It's actually very effective--but it's not the only way.

ClaireB: they all have advantages as well as drawbacks

DennisOl: And "backwards build-up" is a terrific way to work with pronunciation and intonation.

DennisOl: Hear, hear, Claire.

ClaireB: i teach the cute little freshman about methods

ClaireB: freshmen

NinaTL: We are presently engaged in a self-study at my institute and they want to know what methods we use. I found this question extremely difficult to answer.

DennisOl: Yes, the immersion approach definitely works . . . but it isn't quick.

NinaTL: I don't even know what methods I use!

NinaTL: I like backwards buildup also

ClaireB: nina, just tell them communicative because it is now the gospel of the land

ChristenZ left the room.

EBobB: Dennis, is immersion really any slower than other types.

DennisOl: A book editor friend of mine always says, "You can have it good, you can have it quick, or you can have it cheap. Pick two."

NinaTL: Well when I looked up communicative it had some characteristics that don't describe what I do--like not teaching grammar explicitly, I think

DennisOl: Yes, EB, it's definitely slower--because true immersion is unstructured.

ClaireB: but does that apply to language learning?

ThomasLev: Direct. You present stuff, you get them to use it, then ya test it

DennisOl: Yes, I think so, Claire.

EBobB: But doesn't structured close a lot of doors to communication?

EBobB: and does it really teach communication or structure of the language.

DennisOl: Yes, but it imposes artificial order into what is essentially a chaotic process.

NinaTL: The problem with imemrsion is that accuracy gets ignored in the haste to function

VanceS: that's a problem only if you're testing accuracy

NinaTL: I am a big stickler for correct

DennisOl: In true immersion, it doesn't, but communication and accuracy are not presumed to happen at the same time.

ThomasLev: if that's happening, then it's more communicative

EBobB: it almost sounds like adherence to the rules is of more value than gaining real understanding of others.

ThomasLev: there

NinaTL: Well, I know lots of immigrants who've been here for years and their English is fossilized and wrong

DennisOl: And that's precisely why education gets so straight-jackety.

EBobB: I am not a language teacher so I can ask these questions.

DennisOl: Yes, of course.

ThomasLev: a necessity of fitting into a classroom dynamic

DennisOl: (to both Nina and EB)

NinaTL: Like my brother- and sister-in-law, who always say things like " a couple two..."

EBobB: Nina, can the immigrants get along?

VanceS: if you want to communicate or correct a fossilizaton problem

ThomasLev: students need grades, teachers need a paycheck, etc.

ClaireB: but is just getting along the real goal?

VanceS: the remedy is lots of real language modeling

DennisOl: Hear, hear, Tom and Vance.

DennisOl: No, of course it isn't.

ThomasLev: but communication requires a certain amount of accuracy also

EBobB: Back to teachers getting paid for something, I am not sure they can do.

DennisOl: (getting along isn't the real goal)

NinaTL: Yes and no, EBob. When they need anything done in writing, they come to me.

ClaireB: in some situtations, just getting along **is** the main goal,

DennisOl: The fly in the ointment, Claire and Tom, is that there are different kinds of communication.

VanceS: but communication and feedback loops will correct language if the student is receptive

ClaireB: like for tourists

DennisOl: Different levels of communication.

NinaTL: This is also true of my dear husband, who learned the same way. But he reads competently, which they can't

VanceS: if the student is not receptive then you're probably doing damage affectively by forcing accuracy

NinaTL: There was a difference in education level though; he attended university and is a voracious reader in both Greek and English, whereas his sister and her husband just finished elementary school in Greece.

ClaireB: in some languages, i am thrilled if I can just get along

DennisOl: Using English for Academic Purposes is NOT the same as using English as a tourist. (And of course, we could be referring to Urdu or Papiamentu as well as English.)

NinaTL: Yes, of course

EBobB: Heck, I am just glad to be able to distinguish between the bathroom and the banjo.

DennisOl: And that's my point, too, Claire. There are different types and degrees of "just getting along."

NinaTL: And I think we would all agree that accuracy counts for nothing if the student cannot communicate

EBobB: Took me forever to find out what the WC was.

ThomasLev: thank you for distinguishing those two, Bob

DennisOl: Hear, hear, Nina.

EBobB: YW.

VanceS: benjo is bathroom in japanese so I can see teh mixup eBob

NinaTL: On the other hand, communication is necessarily affected by inaccuracy

ClaireB: otherwise, pity the poor banjo

EBobB: Banjo in toilet.

ThomasLev: no wonder it sounded twangy for a while

DennisOl: LUVIT, Claire!

DennisOl: No, it's baño, EB.

EBobB: Actually it is spelled different, but I dont think thats on my keyboard.

EBobB: Right Dennis.

ThomasLev: had some trouble tuning the g-string

NinaTL: And native speakers' impression of NNSs can also be adversely affected

DennisOl: The "j" and the "ñ" are two entirely different sounds.

VanceS: so it's L2 interference that's causing people to use eBob's banjo?

DennisOl: ROTFL, Vance!

NinaTL: haha

EBobB: Thats the reason, I leave my banjo in the case.

DennisOl: The question is, what KIND of interference?

VanceS: could be why people sing in bathrooms too

EBobB: especially if there are a lot of poor spanish speakers in the audience/

DennisOl: hee hee hee

NinaTL: jiji

DennisOl: kha kha kha

EBobB: eeeehahhh.

ThomasLev: take your pick, so to speak

ClaireB: lololol

DennisOl: hö hö hö

NinaTL: very good, Tom

EBobB: hohoho.

NinaTL: Who laughs like that, Dennis?

EBobB: Santa.

NinaTL: heu heu?

DennisOl: I don't know. Maybe certain Scandihoovians.

ClaireB: it must be the silly season

NinaTL: I think so

DennisOl: heu heu: LUVIT!

EBobB: Unless, Santa is in New Zealand, where he says " Ha ha ha."

DennisOl: Now whatever would you have THAT idea, Clairinha?

DennisOl: I don't think Santa would laugh with "hai hai hai" in Japan, though.

NinaTL: I have to announce that my proposal for TESOL was turned down yesterday. :-(

DennisOl: Or with "hao hao hao" in China.

NinaTL: I hope to resubmit to the EV

DennisOl: The EVO is better anyway, Nina.

ClaireB: yes, just do it in one of the fairs

NinaTL: Yes, I am sure that's true

NinaTL: Actually I had a TESOL dream last night, I just remembered

DennisOl: Oops: "Now whatever would give you THAT idea, Clairinha?"

ClaireB: there isn't much rhyme or reason as to what gets accepted at tesol, in my opinion

NinaTL: I went to TESOL in NY and somehow did not attend any sessions and even did not go to the EV at all

NinaTL: God knows what I was doing there

ClaireB: hanging out with us

ThomasLev: that happened to me one TESOL

NinaTL: Then it was over and I realized

NinaTL: Truly, Tom? Mine was just a stress dream!

DennisOl: You were probably doing what a lot of convention-goers do: networking and seeing the sites.

DennisOl: sights

ThomasLev: it's like a classroom dream, first day of teaching

NinaTL: haha Claire, probably right

DennisOl: Oh, yeah, Tom.

EBobB: I went to TESOL in San Antonio and met all the great instructors and all the important people.

ThomasLev: maybe it was the year i lost my wallet

NinaTL: I have never seen sights

DennisOl: And that, to my mind, is what's really important at conventions like TESOL, EB.

NinaTL: Well I have only been to a couple of TESOL conventions

NinaTL: Seattle was the first one where I had never been to the city before

ClaireB: i don't know if I'm going to tesol this year, and I may not know for months

NinaTL: I really wanted to do a tour but didn't

NinaTL: There was no time I wanted to be away from the convention!

DennisOl: I've been to lots of them, Nina, and the first several years I wore myself out going to as many presentations and plenaries and events as I could work in.

EBobB: Well, you can probably tour the same city in second life anyway.

DennisOl: Later, I realized that networking was actually more beneficial--both in the short run and in the long run.

NinaTL: Last year I attended almost no sessions but hung around the EV, which was very educational for me, since I am still such a newbie

DennisOl: I can understand that, Nina.

ClaireB: the ev is where it's all happening

NinaTL :-)

DennisOl: Definitely, Claire.

NinaTL: Maybe not all but what is of interest to us

ClaireB: but for me, call-is = tesol

DennisOl: I remember doing an EV session years and years ago with Rong-Chang Li.

NinaTL: Actually I never cracked my program book at all last year

ClaireB: oh, was there a program book???

NinaTL: That is how I managed to miss Daf and Tere's presentation on BaW

DennisOl: It was about CU-See Me. Does anyone remember CU-See Me?

VanceS: I think the networking is the most important part of conventions

ClaireB: yes, i definitely remember cuseeme

NinaTL: It was certainly the most fun!

DennisOl: Hear, hear, Vance. My point exactly.

VanceS: I remember cu-see-me

ClaireB: it evolved into ivisit

DennisOl: Yep.

NinaTL: late rotfl claire

DennisOl: I still have two or three rudimentary webcams that I used with Cu-SeeMe.

NinaTL: I don't remember cu see me - somebody pls explain

EBobB: well, it is time for me to move on....I have a list of chores to complete today.

ClaireB: video teleconferencing with webcams, nina

NinaTL: Well have a good day EBob

EBobB: Happy Holidays to all of you,, my friends....

ClaireB: but in those days, it wasn't called that

ThomasLev: i also have to go

ClaireB: happy holidays!

EBobB: I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

DennisOl: To you, too, EB!

NinaTL: okay, I am still clueless about that--no webcam

ThomasLev: thanks!

ClaireB: bye guys

NinaTL: maybe I should buy myself one for Xmas

ClaireB: yes you should

DennisOl: Are you leaving, Claire?

NinaTL: Bye Tom

DennisOl: Yes, do, Nina.

EBobB: I am hosting the Knowplace 2nd annual (s)Knowfest this weekend at

VanceS: you're going scarce till after new years eBob?

ClaireB: no, but some people are

ThomasLev left the room (signed off).

2007.12.16 06:10:44 Signoff


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