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Programme of the Day:

8:00 : Reception & Registration 9:00 : Opening Ceremony 9:05 : Honor Guest Speaker: HMA Francis Guy- British Ambassador to Lebanon 9:10 : Mr. Michael Hajj ATEL President - Lebanon 9:15 : Mr. Fadi Yarak - General Director of the Ministry of Education - Lebanon 9:20 : Prof. Zalpha Ayoubi - Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Lebanese University 9:30 : Thank You Award Distribution 9:40 : Key Note Speaker 1: Martin Curtis Pearson 9:55 : Key Note Speaker 2: Prof. John McRae - British Council - Lebanon 10:30 : Coffee Break 11:00 - 14:00 : Parallel Presentations & Workshops

Presentations/Workshops Abstracts & PAPERS


11l:00-12:00 : Professor John McRae - University of Nottingham, UK British Council Lebanon Workshop: FIVE SKILLS ENGLISH Reading as empowerment in language learning

12:05-13:05 : Martin Curtis - Pearson Workshop: United Colours of Error Correction

13:10-13:40 : Dr. Mohammad Al-Zubi - Albalqa Applied University, Aman Presentation: Using Mobile-based Email for EFL Learners


11:00-12:00 : Sue Magee Teacher Training Coordinator British Council - Jordan Workshop: Music and Songs in the ELT Classroom

12:05-13:05 : James Goodman British Council - Lebanon Workshop Making reading more learner-centred

13:10-13:40 : Edward Russell- Member of ETAS (English Teachers Association of Switzerland) Mini-Workshop: Addressing the issue of discrimination and developing intercultural communicative competence ROOM 2

11:00-11:30 : William DeGenaro - American University of Beirut Presentation: Linking Beirut and Dearborn: Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Writing Classroom

11:35-12:05: Tharwat Dabaja- British Council - Lebanon Presentation: Incidental Vocabulary via Word Games

12:10-12:40 : Yvonne Stead Nasr - Director of Education, Hampshire Academy - Beirut Presentation: A Brief Introduction to the SAT Reasoning Test, Detailing Appropriate Reading and Writing Skills for Students who speak English with 2nd or 3rd Language Fluency

12:45-13:15 : Dr. Sahar Farouk Altikriti & Dr. Dima Alomari - Al Isra University - Jordan Presentation: Communication is a key: the role of teachers and students to achieve effective classroom communication


Professor John McRae - University of Nottingham, UK British Council Lebanon Workshop: FIVE SKILLS ENGLISH Reading as empowerment in language learning Abstract The four skills approach in language teaching and learning has been found wanting: integration of the skills has had only limited success, and both teachers and learners are looking for a way forward.

The fifth skill, developed through the use of representational language from the earliest stages of language learning, actively encourages the cognitive processing skills and use of imagination which the system has until now actively discouraged.

Critical reading, bringing together language awareness, text awareness and cultural awareness, encourages the empowerment of readers in both receptive skills and productive language skills, when the right enabling language is used.

Target audience: Secondary teachers & university/college professors


The four skills approach to communicative language teaching has been with us for a long time. It is not perfect, but in many ways it is seen as the best and most effective way of teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language.

Listening, speaking, reading and writing are taught as separate or integrated skills, and are tested in ways which allow for right and wrong answers, and grades which confirm a target level of achievement reached. It is usually possible to get 100% correct answers in most language tests.

This indicates that the testing system is predominantly closed, rather than open in its choices and variables. Progress in language learning is seen as measurable, quantifiable, in terms of language items, lexical items, structures etc. acquired, produced, recognised and manipulated.

As long ago as 1977 Jonathan Culler wrote: Our examinations are not designed merely to check whether (a student) has read and remembered certain books but to test his or her progress as a reader of literature.

This statement was made in the context of the teaching of literature with a small l, and uses highly debatable terminology with regard to the subject of testing and evaluation. However, its basic thrust is very significant and merits reflection on the question of progress as a learner of language, and the abilities and skills that are required of language learners after the so-called communicative language teaching "revolution."

There is a distinction to be drawn between testing and evaluation of learners' progress. Testing suggests a closed system of right/wrong, evaluation a more open system.

In large part, the language system that is taught in the four skills approach focuses on referential language. This is language which means exactly what it says, where one word has one meaning, and where grammar and syntax follow the accepted rules. It is a rule-based approach, and

usefully gives a basis for language use, a linguistic skeleton which learners can move on to fleshing out .

However, the four skills approach frequently ignores representational language. That is language which is open to interpretation, contains plurality of meaning potential rather than one single denotational meaning, and requires negotiation and judgement by its receiver in order to be fully understood.

No living language in the world can remain only at the referential level for very long. Every language in use is hugely representational, and perhaps no language more so than English.

Most communicative language teaching is based on an assumed idealised communicative situation where interlocutors say what they mean and mean what they say, and are received and understood as such. This is fine for communicative practice simulation. But, as the work of Deborah Tannen and others has shown this assumption is patently false in the world outside the classroom.

Recent work on corpora of spoken English goes a long way to confirming that language in use is rarely as prescriptive and definitive as the kind of language learned in a communicative methodology. English in use is hedged about with modality, with vague language, with hesitations and lack of commitment, whereas learners of English are encouraged to use definite verbs, assertion, affirmation.

It is this that leads to the necessity for a fifth skill to be incorporated into the currently widespread four skills communicative approach to language teaching and learning.

The fifth skill is the skill of processing and thinking. Any text spoken, written, or heard has to be processed and thought about in order that its implications be decoded, its frame of reference understood, its context and connotations assimilated, its ideological standpoints assessed, where it is coming from and who it is directed at, all being incorporated into the overall understanding.

Comprehension is widely perceived, especially by learners, as the ultimate aim, the point of arrival, the main target of learning achievement. This is a misapprehension both of how language works and of what language acquisition and proficiency are all about.

Where the four skills approach has tended to focus on comprehension as a testable aim, the five skills approach sees comprehension as a starting-point, the point zero in the processing of the text, whether it be spoken or written .

Five skills offers a process-based rather than a product-based approach. Experience of the language and how it works is frequently seen as more significant than information. Of course, information transfer on a purely referential level is vitally important in many fields of communication and language use. But it is limited in its applications to specialised areas of, particularly, professional language use.

Referential texts and representationality

Even a text which purports to be referential , such as a dictionary entry , lends itself to fruitful processing. The following text is, as the graphology shows, a dictionary entry:

Beans on toast is a popular snack, eaten at any time of the day. Heinz, the most popular brand of baked beans, originally canned beans in tomato sauce in 1895, and when they were imported into Britain a few years later they were sold as an expensive luxury. Everyone can afford their beans now and many companies sell them. Heinz alone sells approximately 2,500,000 cans every day.

See Snack.

What students can be invited to see in this text is some sort of ideological construct: who is writing and to whom becomes a highly useful question. The apparatus would concentrate on

where the text's frame of reference covers (it is wholly British- centred) , how much information is given for anyone who knows nothing about the subject (colour, size and type of beans are not mentioned, toast is never mentioned). Frequently, students read this as a veiled advertisement for Heinz, as it seems to stress the brand name more than might seem necessary. Questions such as "who is everyone?" also reveal something about the assumptions the text (and possibly its producer) make. The fact that at current supermarket prices in the UK Heinz beans cost three times the price of a supermarket's own economy brand might give another insight to the question . Contrasting that text with a genuine advertising slogan for the same company illuminates useful differences in graphology, syntax, semantics and function :


Students need encouragement to "see through language" in this way, but as soon as they realise that it is fruitful and indeed fun, they take to it rapidly and can be encouraged to read any text, from newspapers to text-books, from the non-literary text through any kind of literature (with a small l or a large L) with a healthy questioning attitude. With well-written texts this will of course lead to a greater appreciation of the text's qualities and the effects it achieves. The development of the fifth skill, and the acquisition of processing skills, involves a refining of three levels of awareness in cognitive terms:

language awareness text awareness cultural awareness

The fifth skill is in itself nothing new: it effectively embodies the three ways of learning language outlined by Halliday when he suggested that a three-part structure is needed for discussions of language learning:

learning language learning through language learning about language

The most innovative recent textbooks and the best practice over recent years have implicitly been incorporating materials which require interpretation skills. and which expand cultural awareness as well as developing the basic language skills. What is to be learned is twofold: the mechanisms of the syntax of the target language are a more or less closed system, with not too many variables, a system of syntax which has more or less clear rules of use and usage. Then there is the much more open system of lexis and register, which necessarily involves choice on the part of the producer of the language and a capacity to evaluate and respond to that series of choices on the part of the receiver . The factors which condition such choices are of course manifold: they are social, cultural, linguistic, ideological, historical, local, personal, affective, and can indeed be as idiosyncratic as the individual speaker. Communicative language teaching and learning have, almost by necessity, avoided too much consideration of these factors, in a justifiable attempt to streamline the learning to what is quantifiable, and can be standardised. At various times there have been debates on linguistic competence, fluency versus accuracy, the differences between written and spoken English. and the vexed question of standard and nonstandard English. These will no doubt continue. Their relevance to the present discussion is considerable. The new element which Five Skills English brings to bear on these debates is the concentration on how the language works rather than what it says: on how it means rather than simply on what it means.

Against reading comprehension

I once had a class tackle a First Certificate in English (FCE) Reading Comprehension, but made the mistake of omitting to give them the passage to read: they only had the questions. They all passed. Replicating this mistake deliberately for research purposes in several teaching contexts, I found that the results more or less replicated themselves: no-one got 100% correct answers. But with

the application of a little intelligence, a process of elimination and some guess-work it was easy for a pass level to be achieved. This suggested to me that Reading Comprehension in that particular form was effectively testing neither reading nor comprehension. What students had learned to do was apply some mechanical techniques to a testing situation in order to get a satisfactory result. Of course. this is anecdotal rather than scientific evidence and I use it only to describe a seminal classroom experience. But is often from our mistakes and failures that we gain our most useful insights. The question that arises is, simply, how valuable is comprehension in and of itself? How much is reading comprehension applicable to a text such as this one, a text which has been widely used in representational language teaching textbooks:


40 -middle couple ten when game and go the

love aged playing nis the ends they home net

will be tween

still be them

It is almost impossible to consider this text in the usual classroom context of comprehension. Rather, it requires processing. The "traditional" question "what is it about?" might not be as fatuous as it may seem. Answers could cover a range of ideas, from tennis to relationships, from marriage to graphology. The point would emerge, however, that the text is not only about one thing: it is as much about the themes that might arise from discussion as it is about the text itself, its layout and its form reflecting the nature of the subject-matter and content. It will be about different things for different people. A fifteen-year-old will react differently from a forty-yearold. As with most representational texts, it is difficult to be prescriptive about there being one correct answer.

The kind of apparatus used in working with a text like 40 - Love could involve questions as above, and such textual intervention strategies as rewriting: if the text is rewritten in sentence form it loses much of its impact, and indeed its meaning. This is a useful confirmation of the importance of how a text means going beyond what it means. Similarly the effect or function of the texts can be explored by inviting students to discuss appropriate adjectives to describe the text and it impact - the following might be suggested "sad, witty, clever, amusing, disconcerting, or, not really poetry." Of course readers may opt for others, for more than one of these, and may even dislike and react against the text . Another aspect of the text which might attract learner interest may be the etymology of the word "love" meaning zero in a tennis score: it comes from the French l 'oeuf since it would appear that tennis was originally scored with a kind of abacus with egg-shaped balls, one of which represented the score of zero. (Of course the reason might simply be that one of the balls was egg-shaped!) It is also worth asking students what lines appeal to them most: "be be" is often chosen, partly because of the surprise dividing of the word "between" ; "ten nis" is often chosen because of a similar verbal/visual effect.

Open texts The virtue of a text like this in the communicative language teaching context lies precisely in its openness, in the text's demand on its readers that it be processed on its own merits, with the reader bringing to the text shared knowledge, familiarity/unfamiliarity with culture, context, and subject-matter, language awareness, text awareness and cultural awareness. How the reader reacts depends on individual response rather than on the precise correctness of an expected answer. Even the word "love" is called into question, which is useful if the learner knows only one meaning of the word. The source of the meaning of "zero" as illustrated above might also be part of the learning aims of work with this text. Learning about language thus becomes part and parcel of learning the language itself. This particular poem is of course the kind of text which most easily exemplifies the teachability of representational texts, which is perhaps why it is so widely used in representational textbooks. But many students would find themselves in difficulty if asked to respond to such a text, because they have not been trained to produce such openness of response, and lack the confidence to respond . However, any text requires processing in not dissimilar ways. Most texts do not have one single meaning: they require some kind of processing, whether they be information or opinion, prescriptive or descriptive, fiction or fact, newspaper or recipe book. And learners have to be enabled to develop response strategies to the ever-expanding range of open texts the modern world presents them with: from advertisements to political speeches, from newspaper articles to song lyrics, from tourist brochures to comics, the representationality of the language used demands a capacity for processing, evaluating and responding to that language.

Enabling language
The enabling language which students require in order to be able to discuss the processing they carry out with texts is the language of modality, of "might" and "may", of opinion and possibility, rather than certainty and right/wrong answers. Of course it can be unsettling for learners to be deprived of the security blanket of there being a right or a wrong answer - but moving beyond that restricted referential level is a vital step forward in progress as a language learner. The analogy is of a driver learning to drive and never moving out of first gear .

Until recently the jump from referential language learning to an awareness of representationality in the language teaching context has been left to a late stage in the proceedings, if it has been faced at all. Teachers have to begin the awareness raising process as early as possible in the language learning career of the student: left too late, bridging that gap becomes progressively more difficult. If representational materials are introduced from the very earliest stages of language learning, the learner's imagination is called into play, there is an awareness that judgement and response are part of language development, and a confidence is built that the learner does have something worth saying, something to bring to the text, some personal contribution to offer, rather than simply being at the mercy of the materials and the teaching of an unknown subject. Around the world now, in the context of language-teaching textbook research and writing, several areas have already emerged where process-based methodology can be applied. These include: materials selection: where texts come from, when they were written; are they examples of current English? Spoken or written, or a mix of registers? are they British, American or another local English? techniques of reading such as the finding of binaries and opposites, following through of verb tenses to find the movement of the text, individual cohesive which create phoric flow, etc. features

if translation is used. how does the text translate into the learners own current language, or back from that language into current English? Contrastive language awareness of how both languages work is fundamental to process-based methodology. continuous variation of question-types is necessary: from lower-order to higher-order questions, and with as much variation in question-types as possible, according to the requirements of the individual text . formulation of questions for open response rather than pre-determined correct answers.

perceptions of interpretation, ideology and spin contained within the text implicatures and cultural assumptions evaluation of lexical choice, rather than an emphasis on vocabulary acquisition consideration of how frequently usable a new lexical item might be, for example.

learner awareness of teaching/learning outcomes

- the text-book as a starting-point rather than an end-point in the learning process the importance of graphology, layout and visual stimuli as part of the process of meaning creation and response the question of thoroughness versus flexibility, standardisation versus individuality the evaluation of appropriateness of response: best answers rather than single possible right answer the contextualisation of closed and open choices.

Clearly all these areas merit considerable reflection and research, and there will be many more which will emerge as work on Five Skills methodology expands. All four currently recognised skills will require separate work on process-based approaches, and a priority will be the testing and evaluation system. with its current inflexible approach to correctness of response.


The texts: the Beans on toast entry is from Nation 1991; 40-Love by Roger McGough is in McRae and Pantaleoni, 1990.

Andrews, Stephen, Teaching Language Awareness, CUP, 2007 Arnold, Jane, Affect in Language Teaching, Cambridge, CUP, 1999 Cameron, Lynne and Graham Low. Researching and Applying Metaphor, Cambridge, CUP, 1999 Carrell, Patricia, Devine Joanne, and David Eskey, Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading, Cambridge, CUP, 1988

Carter, Ronald, Language and Creativity, London, Routledge, 2004 Carter, Ronald, Investigating English Discourse, London, Routledge, 1997 Carter, Ronald, and Michael Long. Teaching Literature, Harlow, Longman, 1991 Carter, Ronald, and Michael McCarthy, Exploring Spoken English, Cambridge, CUP. 1997 Carter, Ronald, and John McRae, Language, Literature and the Learner, Harlow, Longman,1996 Carter, Ronald, and Walter Nash, Seeing Through Language, Oxford, Blackwell,1990 Crystal, David, English as a Global Language. Cambridge, CUP, 1997 Culler, Jonathan, Structuralism and Literature in Hilda Schiff, ed., Contemporary Approaches to English Studies, London, Heinemann, 1977, pages 59-76. Graddol, David, The Future of English?, London, The British Counci1,1997 Hall, Geoff, Literature in Language Education, London, Macmillan Palgrave, 2006 Halliday, Michael, Language as Social Semiotic, London, Edward Arnold, 1978 Hasan, Ruqaiya. Linguistics, language, and verbal art, Oxford: OUP, 1989 McRae, John, Literature with a small l, London: Macmillan/ Prentice Hall. 1991/1997 McRae, John, The Language of Poetry, London, Routledge, 1998 McRae, John and Luisa Pantaleoni. Chapter and Verse: an interactive approach to literature .Oxford, OUP, 1990 McRae, John and Malachi Edwin Vethamani. Now Read On : a course in multi-cultural reading, London, Routledge,1999 Nation, Michael, A Dictionary of Modern Britain, London, Penguin. 1991 Nattinger, James R., and Jeanette S. De Carrico, Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching, Oxford, OUP, 1992 Pope, Rob, Textual Intervention, London, Routledge, 1995 Simpson, Paul, Language, Ideology and Point of View, London, Routledge,1993 Simpson, Paul, Language through Literature: an introduction, London, Routledge,1997

Stockwell, Peter, Cognitive Poetics, London, Routledge, 2002 Tannen, Deborah. Talking Voices, Cambridge, CUP, 1989 Van Lier, Leo, Introducing Language Awareness, London, Penguin.1992

Martin Curtis - Pearson Workshop: United Colours of Error Correction Abstract Have you ever wondered how written errors affect a students development and motivation? How does teacher-led correction hinder their progress? How does this correcting on the part of the teacher affect a learners editing skills? How can you address learner errors in a positive and meaningful way and encourage class collaboration? How can teachers facilitate rather than merely lead this? This workshop will present a number of colourful methods in which errors can be identified and exploited to enhance a learners language development. Colour coded error highlighting can be much less negative & helps practice the skills of self-correction and peer-work. Just as importantly, it also gives the teacher clearly visible pointers on the language areas which need to be addressed by the individual learner and/or the group. In this highly interactive and engaging workshop, the teachers will take part in several activities which will reflect the usefulness of this approach: Correction agendas Kinaesthetic editing activities Competitions with corrections Writing up student reports and grades Workbook correction


Workshop: Dr. Mohammad Al-Zubi - Albalqa Applied University, Aman Presentation: Using Mobile-based Email for EFL Learners Abstract (Did NOT attend) This study aimed at investigating the role of using electronic mail and mobile phone in improving Ajloun College English Students' Achievement, It attempted to answer the following questions: 1. What is the role of mobile phone and electronic mail in improving English skills? 2. What is the role of electronic mail in improving English skills? 3. What is the effect of mobile phone and electronic mail on attitudes of the students towards English compared with conventional method? To answer the questions of the study, the researcher prepared a project based on mobile phone and electronic mail for the experimental groups. 120 female students in were purposefully chosen from Ajloun College- English Department in the first semester of the academic year 2011. The participants of the study consisted of three assigned sections. The experimental groups were taught according to mobile phone and electronic mail; while the control group was taught according to the conventional way. The three groups were found equivalent upon analyzing the data in the pre-achievement test. Two instruments were used in this study, namely, a test and a survey. Finding from survey and test revealed some positive responses and negative ones. On the basis of the results of the present study, the researcher proposed a number of recommendations and suggestions for future research. Target audience: Teachers of English & postgraduate students specialized in English methodology

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Sue Magee Teacher Training Coordinator British Council - Jordan Workshop: Music and Songs in the ELT Classroom Abstract Music can play a really important part in the language classroom but how and why do you use music in your classroom?

In this workshop we will discuss briefly why using music and songs is beneficial for learners of all ages and what we need to consider when choosing music and songs to use in the classroom.

Music in the classroom doesnt always mean listening to a song and using the lyrics in some way. It can be used in a multitude of ways. We will do some activities with music and songs other than the traditional gap fill and multiple choice ones; for example, as a springboard for speaking and writing activities.

Aims: By the end of the workshop, teachers will have Discussed briefly a) the positive (and possible negative) effects of using music in the language classroom and b) what factors to take into consideration when choosing which music to use Practised some classroom activities which use music in a variety of ways

Target audience: This workshop is aimed at teachers of teenagers and adults.


Outline & Paper

James Goodman British Council - Lebanon Workshop Making reading more learner-centred Abstract What is reading? How and why do we read? For those interested in promoting reading in their classrooms, these are important questions. In this workshop we will find some answers and consider how they might impact upon our teaching.

We will start by considering some 'traditional' approaches and methodologies and then evaluate them against our beliefs about reading as a skill. It is interesting to notice significant gaps between reading as it is sometimes done in the classroom and as it is done in 'real' situations.

We will finish by considering some ways in which materials can be adapted in order to be more learner-centred and to more closely resemble situations in which learners read outside of the classroom context.

Aims: By the end of the workshop, we will have: Considered reading as a process Evaluated the effectiveness of 'traditional' approaches to reading in ELT Thought about ways in which reading in the ELT classroom can be made to closer mirror the reading process

Target audience: This workshop is aimed at teachers of teenagers and adults.


Reading: Helping learners to use top-down and bottom-up strategies to understand texts


Two factors have informed my decision to focus on reading skills in this paper. Firstly, I have noticed that many learners find reading a particularly difficult skill, a result I feel, of an overemphasis on reading as the process of decoding individual words at the expense of overall

meaning. Secondly, the majority of English learners I have worked with in Lebanon aspire to complete academic studies in English in the future. Reading is critical to successful academic study and therefore for these learners, developing reading ability is a priority.

I will start by providing a brief summary of the reading process. I will then go on to discuss difficulties students have with the reading process and finally suggest some teaching strategies that can help overcome these.

Reading as a process

Current thinking in the field of English language teaching (ELT) suggests that reading is not simply extracting words from a page but rather an interactive process (e.g. Grabe 1991, Nuttall 2005). Readers are not simply sponges that absorb information from a page but rather are actively involved, evaluating, assessing and judging the information they are receiving. For example, as a teacher of ELT, I approach an article on teaching methodology with prior ideas about how language is effectively taught. Reading the article, I may find some of the ideas discussed are familiar to me, in which case I would likely read through these points quickly just to confirm my previous knowledge. However, when I come across a new idea I am likely to change different strategies, slowing down and taking the time to focus on words and structures to ensure I correctly understand what is being communicated.

These two strategies are commonly referred to as top-down and bottom-up strategies. I will now briefly discuss these two processes and illustrate how they operate.

Top-down processing

Top-down processing refers to the use of background knowledge in understanding the meaning of a message. (Richards 1990: 51) This knowledge comes from context or situation. For example, noticing an article on the front page of a newspaper entitled Clegg on the offensive over cuts, I activate schematic knowledge, or the mental frameworks we hold in our memories for certain topics. (Hedge 2000: 232)

Content schemata

Content schemata is prior knowledge of text-related information (Grabe 1991: 381). Sources range from: knowledge of the writer; knowledge of the world; cultural knowledge; word association.

Clegg on the offensive over cuts suggests:

Knowledge of the writer Knowledge of the world Cultural knowledge Word association

Content schema This source is usually fair. Clegg is a politician. The UK is democratic. Clegg / cuts

Assumption Unbiased. Political text Leaders are criticised and justify themselves. economy / budget / reduce

Schematic knowledge prepares the readers for typical content. The cognitive burden is reduced as the content is already known.

In other situations, we might have an even clearer idea of what to expect. When shutting down a computer, one expects the prompt:

What do you want the computer to do? Are you sure?

Repeated exposure to these prompts almost eliminates the need for reading.

Formal schemata

Cook explains, a schema is a mental representation of a typical instance (1997). In addition to content, readers approach text expecting conventions of organisation and language - a formal schemata.

The newspaper reader expect articles to adhere to newspaper conventions. Beginning with a summary of an event (a speech by Clegg) then recounting background information (the government's planned cuts), then story development (criticisms levelled at the cuts) and rebuke. The formal schema dictates this organisation and knowledge of it determines which parts a reader pays closer attention to. Thus, the formal schemata allows the reader to scan quickly and economically to access specific information.

Text structure, a component of formal schemata, aids recall. Readers mirror the structure of a text when recalling. Grabe points out that logical patterns of organization improve recall compared to texts organised loosely around a collection of facts. (1991: 381)

In summary, schematic knowledge:

removes need to process every word. reduces amount of information to be extracted helps select information to be extracted focuses on comparison between expectations and content rather than the entire content. makes up for gaps in the message caused by poor writing or lack of systems skills

Evaluation of information

Grabe (1991: 381) states that fluent readers not only seek to comprehend a text when they read, they also evaluate the text information and compare/synthesise it with other sources of information/knowledge. Schematic knowledge provides a basis from which to evaluate a text. It allows the reader to anticipate text development and to assess the strength of the piece.

For example, when I read the headline Jail for 150kph Killer in a newspaper, I use my schematic knowledge to inform these assumptions of the text: 1. Formal schematic knowledge informs expectations of the genre. As it is in a newspaper, the text should be informative, factual and free from bias. 2. Content schematic knowledge predicts likely content: Somebody driving too fast (150kph) has hit another person killing them. As a result, the driver is going to go to jail.' 3. The text is read and assessed in relation to these predictions. So did I accurately predict the content? Does the article provide the details that I expect it to (e.g. details of the killer, the victim, the crime, the length of the jail sentence)?

Evaluation of information allows the reader take a position vis--vis the authors intention and decide on the value of the information presented. In this way, the reader is an active participant in the reading process.

Bottom-up processing

Bottom-up processing requires readers to use information to try to comprehend the meaning.(Hedge 2000: 230) A reader relies on knowledge of language systems to extract meaning from a text.

Automatic recognition skills

Fluent readers read quickly and efficiently because they process vocabulary and grammatical structures automatically, without having to break either words or structures into individual components.

E.g. Dial 0 for an outside line.

Automatically, I access lexical meaning without analysis of letters, syllables, prefixes or suffixes and recognise the grammatical structure as typical of instruction.

Recognition of vocabulary and grammatical knowledge

Grabe (1991: 380) suggests that fluent readers recognise between 10,000 and 100,000 words. Readers have to make associations between the written word and concepts refered to. Fluent readers can ascertain meaning carried by grammatical structures.


The lion was eaten by the man.

Firstly, I associate the words (man, eat, lion) with their referents. Secondly, I recognise be + past participle + by as passive and therefore deduce subject and object.

Inferring meaning

Fluent readers decode meaning through knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

E.g. Language experts say Thompson's rant was an attack on teenspeak, which has developed through text messaging and social networking sites.

Readers deduce that 'teenspeak' is:

in the position of a noun

comprised of two parts: teen + speak develops through text messaging and social networking

Using this information, the reader guesses at a likely definition (e.g. language used by teenagers). This definition alters as the reader acquires further examples of the word and its uses.

Dealing with different text types

Different strategies are used when reading different types of text. Simply stated, reading involves both an array of lower-level rapid, automatic identification skills and an array of higherlevel comprehension/interpretation skills (Grabe 1991: 383). Contextual information (topdown) informs the readers expectations of text and dominates until prediction process fails. Here, perceptual information (bottom-up) extracted from the text adjusts expectations and informs the next stage of the prediction process.

So, there is a greater reliance on top-down techniques when the subject is familiar or the reader is interested primarily in the main idea of a text. For example, casually browsing a newspaper, a reader would rely on top-down skills, read quickly to extract main ideas rather than details. In contrast, when reading an article on the pros and cons of nuclear power, my schematic knowledge is limited so top-down strategies quickly fail and I resort to bottom-up techniques to understand the message.

Learner problems and solutions

In this section, I am going to highlight some common problems that I have found learners have with reading and suggest some possible ways to help learners overcome these difficulties.

Top-down strategies

Not predicting

A common problem I have found amongst learners is when given a reading, their first response is to go straight into the text without considering issues such as the purpose or the type of text they are reading. This suggests learners see reading as primarily about bottom-up skills. Raising learners awareness of the need to employ top-down strategies will improve their reading skills. Two ways in which I have done this with learners are:

a) Before giving learners the text, give them contextual clues (such as headlines, pictures or key words). Then, encourage learners in groups to discuss and predict likely content of the text. Following Harmer's suggestion (2007: 289), I selected five words or phrases that I considered key to the text (amputee, death, on top of the world, make history). Then I asked learners individually to consider likely content. Next they discussed their ideas in groups while I monitored and fed in vocabulary as required. Finally, I gave learners the text and asked them to read quickly to ascertain who had predicted most accurately. b) An alternative way is to first give learners a stimulus, for example a headline (Amputee makes history on top of the world) or first paragraph. Next, learners write a list of questions that they like the text to answer. Who was the amputee? How did he 'make history'? Was it on a mountain? Then, learners read the article to see if they can answer their questions.

These exercises: Arouse student interest Build content schemata and therefore increases reading efficiency Encourage learners to vocalise the process of predicting Encourage students to define their own purpose for reading, which mirrors real reading

Insufficient content schemata

I find for certain topics students lack background knowledge or vocabulary to understand a text. Recently I used a text about British pop history, my Lebanese learners found it particularly challenging as they weren't familiar with either artist or music genres. Consequently, most of the reading I had allocated for reading was spent asking about these concepts rather reading. As teachers, we can help learners in this area by working on schematic knowledge before asking them to read.

Some ways to develop students' content schemata:

In a lesson prior to the reading lessons, together with my learners we selected a topic that had been in the news recently they chose a particularly violent local crime. As homework, I asked the learners to research the topic in their own language. As a result, learners already had the necessary content schemata which freed up their cognitive resources and allowed a focus on reading skills. Another effective way is to assess what vocabulary and structures that are essential to a text and to pre-teach or revise these prior to asking learners to read. Finally, holding a mini-discussion on the topic before reading will enable the teacher to assess what learners already know and what they need to be taught before reading. So for example if the article is about David Beckham, learners can start by discussing the topic of football. The teacher can introduce vocabulary as is necessary.

Having used one of these techniques prior to reading, it is useful to ask learners how useful it was to do so. This will contribute to learners' awareness of the importance of content schemata and encourage them to bring their prior knowledge to further texts in the future.

These exercises: compensate for a lack of content knowledge, reducing the cognitive burden raises awareness of the usefulness of content schemata

Insufficient formal schemata

A lack of exposure to different text types (no reading habit) or differences in the way L1 organises text is problematic for learners. An academic essay in English often summarises the conclusion in the introduction, by contrast, academic French usually does not conclude until the end.

Difficulties learner's have as a result are: 1. scanning for information which is not where learners expect it 2. using text structure to organise information when recalling it

To raise students' awareness of formal schemata, it is necessary for them to examine many different text types and to be encouraged to consider how they are typically organised. I use the following procedure:

Learners are given examples of a text type (e.g. an academic essay supporting the use of nuclear weapons and another against their use). Following work on content and the ideas posited in the text, students look at the text in terms of organisation. I tell learners that the essays are organised according to function (e.g. stating a position; presenting an argument; giving evidence; concluding). I then ask them to find each of these functional parts in the two essays. Following this, a good way to consolidate the knowledge gained would be to give learners a similar essay and a task that requires them to scan for specific information. A strict time limit will encourage learners to making use of their new knowledge of text structure rather than reading the whole text in detail.

This exercise:

raises awareness of formal schemata encourages students to critic the written word (see issue: 'The status of text in L1') through presenting opposing views

Not considering text type and purpose

Learners who do not consider purpose, writer and audience have difficulty evaluating. Once again, I think this problem stems from the tendency to 'dive straight in' without employing topdown strategies.

Scott et al. (1984) suggest a set of general comprehension questions to focus on purpose. These are: 1) What is the text about? 2) Who was it written by? 3) Who was it written for? 4) What is the writers intention? 5) Do you like the text? By highlighting the purpose, these questions facilitate discussion about the relationship between author and reader and allows space for critical analysis. For example being aware that an article on the merits of different political parties was written by a party spin doctor encourages a critical approach.

This exercise:

focuses attention on general meaning encourages students to see reading as interaction between writer and reader encourages students to consider the role of the writer and critically evaluate it

The status of text in L1

Grabe states 'the social context of students' uses of reading in their first languages ... may have a profound effect on their abilities to develop academic reading skills in English. (Grabe 1991: 389) In many languages, formal writing is a complicated skill and something that not everyone is able to do well. When the written word is highly respected, the concept of evaluating or

questioning a written text might be alien to learners. Learners need to be encouraged to approach text critically.

In order to evaluate learners firstly need to consider schematic knowledge. They can then use content and formal schematic knowledge to prepare questions they expect the text to answer.

For example, in an essay addressing global warming:

Does it give causes of global warming? Does it give solutions? Are the solutions linked to the causes?

These questions should be used to evaluate the text. Learners read to find out if the text answers their questions. If the text does not address all of their questions, learners can either criticise the text as deficient or alternatively reassess their own schematic knowledge, which further develops formal schemata.

This exercise:

provides opportunities for learners to predict provides a learner-generated standard to evaluate a text by develops formal schemata


Deficiency of systems knowledge

I find learners often run up against the 'brick wall' of an unknown word. Encountering such a word, the easiest option for learners is to ask the teacher or revert to a dictionary. However to many interruptions can impede fluid reading and distracts from general comprehension.

Nuttall (2005: 72-76) suggests a three stage program to develop inferencing skills. 1. To highlight how inferencing works, the teacher display sentences and asks what can be inferred: 1. Turn the **** off. Inference: **** can be turned off 2. Put **** on silent. **** can be put on silent. 3. Answer the ****. **** can be answered. 2. To practise, students are given a longer text with some words blanked out, they have to choose the most suitable word from a series of options. E.g. I never go out without my **** in case someone needs to call me. a. cigarettes b. wallet c. mobile d. glasses

3. With longer texts, inference is an alternative to pre-teaching vocabulary. However, there must be enough evidence in the text to make inference possible. Importantly, both learners and teacher should vocalise thought processes throughout to develop inferencing skills.

Once the skill has been cultivated, students gain an invaluable tool for dealing with new vocabulary, speeding up reading, developing vocabulary and allowing focus on general comprehension.

Underdeveloped automaticity skills

Readers unable to quickly recognise large amounts of vocabulary in a text cannot read it quickly. If learners have to spend a lot of mental energy in order to extract meaning from individual vocabulary items, then general comprehension suffers.

A program of speed reading develops learners automaticity recognition ability. Nuttall (2005: 54) suggests students are assessed. They are timed reading a text, then complete some comprehension questions. The word per minute reading rate and comprehension score is recorded. This process should be repeated over the duration of a course. Nuttall suggests 'an average increase is about 50 per cent.' (2005: 56)

Development of automaticity requires repeat exposure. Readers need to read as much as possible. Nuttall suggests (2005: 128) extensive reading of text enjoyable to the student. The texts should be of a level that is relatively easily understood so as to promote speed and enjoyment. I encourage learners to read about topics of interests in English, a huge variety of material is available online.

Development of automaticity skills takes time. Plentiful exposure is the only solution. Extensive reading develops vocabulary and accustoms readers to the written word, speed reading pushes the reader to read faster.


In this essay I have suggested that good readers are those capable of employing both top-down and bottom-up strategies when approaching reading texts. As teachers, we should helping our learners to replicate these strategies in order to be better readers.


Cook G., 1997, Key concepts in ELT Schemas, ELT Journal 51/1

Grabe W., 1991, Current developments in second language reading research, TESOL Quarterly 25/3

Harmer J., 2007, The Practice of English Language Teaching, Longman

Hedge T., 2000, Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom, OUP

Nuttall C., 2005, Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language, Heinemann

Richards J. C., 1990, The language teaching matrix, CUP

Scott M., Carioni I., Zanatta M., Bayer E., and Quintilhanna T., 1984, Using a standard exercise in teaching reading comprehension, ELT Journal 38/2

Edward Russell- Member of ETAS (English Teachers Association of Switzerland) Mini-Workshop: Addressing the issue of discrimination and developing intercultural communicative competence Abstract

As part of a recently completed MA module Language Education as Intercultural Practice I wrote an assignment critiquing materials I had created in response to discrimination against Roma Bulgarians in a former context. The materials were written to complement a media and diversity video collection produced by the British Council.

The workshop looks to cover similar ground I covered over a 4 year period in my professional development, making moves from those of a well-intentioned novice,to those of a more informed and aware practitioner.

In this workshop I introduce the context and video before teachers come up with classroom solutions to a problem. After I have introduce Dr Milton Bennett's DMIS, teachers should be better informed and will review and improve their activity ideas and lesson plans. We will then debrief using participant ideas as the basis for a discussion on how I approached this puzzle. Finally, after the session we can keep in touch online sharing ideas, practice and suggestions.


In this paper I will evaluate a set of language learning materials I created to accompany a British Council Media and Diversity video on the topic of discrimination against Roma. This web page gives an overview of the project and the material can be found in the Appendices.

Media and Diversity Video Project - Critiquing Self-made Material Introduction In this paper I apply my understandings of language education as intercultural practice to a set of material I produced prior to my exploration of the relevant literature. The language learning lesson plan and activities link to a Media and Diversity video project produced by the British Council Bulgaria in 2008. In this paper I will critique the lesson materials using a variety of conceptual frameworks but focusing on Bennett's (1993) Developmental Model for Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS);I believe that this framework and the relevant literature may lead to insights into how to improve this material and its approach to such controversial issues in the future. Issue

Though I was a well-intentioned novice in the production of intercultural communication training (ICT) materials, the offence and shock caused to newly arrived teachers, like myself, seemed to warrant an attempt to enable my students to communicate in a manner, more becoming of 21st century EU citizens. In doing so, I also intended on improving the quality of their discourse with interlocutors from other EU states (including me). However, while trialling and training colleagues in using the material, I realised, from the mixed reaction of students and colleagues, that there was a certain amount of trepidation about covering such subject matter. For teachers, there was a sense that: (a) the material only dealt with surface level discrimination; (b) the material dealt with issues they were untrained for and unwilling to tackle; and (c) the material was patronizing to the students and possibly represented the British imposing superficial political correctness or worse, a way of thinking on Bulgarians. Students' early feedback suggested there was a sense that students had not expected this kind of topic to feature in a language course, despite understanding the organisation's remit.

Context Description From 2007-2010 I worked for the British Council Bulgaria, in the capital city Sofia, as a teacher of English in the teaching centre. The students I worked with were typically B2 (CEF level) or above, female, young, educated, professionals, 20-50, who were from the urban, upper-middle class. Classes were taught in groups of up to 15 students at a variety of difficulty levels and followed regular text books. Generally the teaching and learning was done within an EFL paradigm with English being studied as a foreign language based on a native speaker model. English was aspirational and linked to Bulgaria's recent membership of the European Union. However, a tension existed in some of my classes between the positivity with which the West was viewed and how members of their own society were viewed and treated. It was this tension I wished to explore. Media and Diversity Teaching Material pack The Media and Diversity Project was being implemented to improve media representations of minority groups and I volunteered to research, source and make some language learning material that could complement the project and enable the videos to be used in the language classroom. The pack was developed based on instinct, borrowing and limited input from colleagues and support from the teaching English website which featured Tomalin (2008) as a guest blogger. The lesson I developed was based around a socio-linguistic aim, hedging to soften the message, that was at the time familiar to my sense of plausibility as a language teacher. Focusing on hedging I hoped to encourage my learners to sound less direct when talking about the Roma minority in Bulgaria and potentially effect attitudes to Roma.

In part 1 (stages 1,2&3) of the lesson I sought to have students empathise by looking at things not from an ethnic but economic, perspective and a discussion of the poverty trap. With this I hoped to raise awareness of alternative attributions to the accepted racist ones explaining Roma's economic position. Secondly the focus was moved to make students acknowledge their lack of personal relationships with Bulgarian-Roma at school or work, and then on to the lack of positive Roma figures in the Bulgarian media. Here I was making the same point as Naydenova (2010): Why is it that when a Roma commits a crime he

is labelled only as a Roma but when he wins a European boxing championship, like Boris Georgiev, he is labelled as simply Bulgarian?. In stages 5 and 6 the focus moves to more traditional language teaching territory where hedging language is introduced and practised.

Decade of Roma inclusion 2005-2015 is the decade for Roma inclusion and the long history of persecution of Roma is well documented. However, to approach 'Roma' as my topic, a people so diverse, applying a large culture label seems wrong. They are 5-10% of the population of Bulgarian but more than 5-10 million people worldwide. As a cultural group Roma are far from homogeneous, there are many subgroups that make up the 'Roma' community who differentiate culturally and linguistically from each other.

It is a personal decision of how to self-refer, however, the terms gypsy, tzigane and Roma are all used within various parts of the large and diverse community for self-description. Using these terms, as a nonroma, needs to be done with caution. One can compare the potential use of these terms to the 'N-word', for black Americans, the 'Y-word' for British Jews, or the 'G-word' for homosexuals, and how groups who have suffered from discrimination take ownership of and re-brand the hateful language used against them diffusing its power as an insult.

As I mentioned, it is the decade of Roma inclusion, and I am not Roma. My being a white, heterosexual, British man and the fact that this project does not involve or have participation from Bulgarian Roma is a key weakness of this project. My approach is well intentioned but not participatory and thus weak in it's relationship to the Roma community and this weakens the potential impact on my students. There are echoes of the patronizing helping Holliday refers to: Underlying this deep and almost inevitable chauvinism within the western gaze and making it even harder to see the real problem is the embedded belief that the foreign Other is being helped. (Holliday, 2011:79)

In fact in my context and lesson, one could argue that it is I and other liberal-western Europeans that are the real beneficiaries of these activities and that it is our sensitivities and sensibilities that are being pandered too. This three way interplay between British teacher, Bulgarian students and Roma-Bulgarians is complex and one that needed a clear approach.

Creating a framework

Prior to this study I lacked the researcher qualities to look too far, not even within the same building, for information. I did not engage with pre-existing research on similar topics based on the Bulgarian context for example Fay (2005), Byram (2001) and British Council's Branching Out Cultural Studies Syllabus (1998). Nor did I source available examples of lesson plans (Byram, 2001), portfolio worksheets (Little, 2003) and specific ICC text books (Huber-Kriegler, 2003). I agree with the research Byram (1991, 1994), Risager (1991), Damen (1987) that 'cultural content' in mainstream course books has come a long way, yet there is still further to go

I hope that using the ideas and framework below gives some direction that can be used by language teachers who wish to embark on ICT or uncover similar sensitive subject matter in their classes.

Symposium In my lesson there is a suggestion of 'don't say that', 'say this', so I have used, perhaps unwisely, a prescriptive, top-down approach. Indeed the pre-determined language aims of hedging may reflect Holliday's (2007) perspective in the debates between him and Waters (2007a 2007b). Holliday suggests Waters may be correct: that superficial political correctness can suffer from the same sort of narrownesswhere it becomes de rigueur not only to protect the oppressed by not speaking about them in a certain manner, but to believe that a superficial linguistic regime is sufficient. We need, however, to distinguish superficial political correctness from the need to take action against chauvinistic perceptions which do have a serious, destructive impact. (Holliday, 2007:360)

However, I believe that the lesson attempts to go beyond 'a superficial linguistic regime' by challenging attitudes, and making students, for example, acknowledge their lack of experience with the Roma community. The value of experience brings to learning, and the development of skills, knowledge and understanding is well documented (Kolb 1984 & Bennett 1993).

I believe that we all have pluricultural identities. For me this means that I belong to and identify with any number of cultural groups including those of being: a male, a Tottenham Hotspurs fan, a teacher, a south Londoner and a man in his thirties. These identities and relationships are fluid, emergent and changing. The spaces where I live are multicultural; and in the spaces are people who have different cultural make up and alignments to my own. As people are not homogeneous, as many family units prove, there is potentially intercultural communication taking place when any two or more people interact.

DMIS Bennett's (1998) Development Model for Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) is a useful tool for assessing levels of ICC and can be used to help plan courses and lessons (Bennett, nd). Critiquing the DMIS The word sensitivity is itself culturally loaded. For some being more sensitive may not be a signifier of greater cultural competence, it may be a sign of weakness or inadequacy. It is notable that this term IDI (intercultural developmental inventory) is used instead of DMIS until 2003. However, restating what is meant by 'intercultural sensitivity' Hammer says: We will use the term intercultural sensitivity to refer to the ability to discriminate and experience relevant cultural differences, and we will use the term intercultural competence to mean the ability to think and act in interculturally appropriate ways. We argue that greater intercultural sensitivity is associated with greater potential for exercising intercultural competence. (Hammer et al, 2003:422)

This distinct link between experience and knowledge of a culture, and the skills and knowledge of how to behave and communicate appropriately in that context is made with this framework. However, the DMIS fails to considerthe sub-skills which make up intercultural communicative competence (ICC). These are:

externalisation skills: the ability to step outside usual perceptions

analytical skills: the ability to figure out what's going on in communication monitoring skills: the ability to keep an eye on how things are going in communication communication skills: the ability to avoid problems and repair problems anxiety management skills: the ability to resolve the emotional aspects of intercultural communication 8. tactical skills: the ability to know when to (and when not to) undertake appropriate action in intercultural communication. (O'Sullivan 1994: 135-6) 4. 5. 6. 7.

Where the DMIS is descriptive of states of mind O'Sullivan's skills are more to do with online, real-time, processing skills and resemble aspects of regular communicative competence. One feels that these skills can be informed by knowledge but would be better developed through practice and IC, particularly to develop affective aspects. However, the DMIS:


is not a descriptive model of changes in attitudes and behavior. Rather, it is a model of changes worldview structure, where the observable behavior and self-reported attitudes at each stage are indicative of the state of the underlying worldview (Hammer 2003 423).

Another issue with the DMIS is the meta-labeling of ethnocentric and ethnorelative stages. Taking a smallculture approach, where any group of people with a similar understanding of the world can be defined as a cultural group, ethnicity is not the only defining feature of difference, therefore I suggest cultural-relativism and centrism to be more appropriate terms. VanHook acknowledges this difference in his interpretation of the DMIS: The model defines culture as any group with a set of similar constructs. Therefore, the intent of the model is not limited to racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity. Rather, all forms of diversity and differences among individuals may be included in this definition. (VanHook, 2000:68)

The DMIS tracks the move from ethnocentric perspectives to ethnorelative ones. This echoes much of what ICT practitioners mention in their own models. Holliday talks about otherization, as: the reduction of the foreign other to less than what it actually is(Holliday 2004:24) and has strong parallels with DMIS ethnocentric stages.

Moreexperience Less experience Ethnocentric stages

Ethnorelative stages




Integration of difference

Adaptation of difference

Acceptance of difference

My learners in Bulgaria tended to be around the stages of Denial or Defence when it came to BulgarianRoma, though there was a tendency for a great degree of relativism towards western / northern cultures. I believe I exist through an ethnorelative standpoint, in general, though perhaps this was less so in 2008.

Application of the DMIS to my context and materials

When using the DMIS to critique my lesson plan, it becomes clear that my materials were flawed in these respects:

their was no formative testing of learners cultural sensitivity the difficulty of stages was not incremental and some of the activities required high levels of cultural reflexivity (the ability to quickly shift frames of reference, and communicate in a way that is appropriate to the context) the one off approach (there was no follow on in subsequent lessons) the lack of Roma participation /voice (potentially adding to otherization)

Level testing is a useful start in any context, in this lesson it may not have been necessary to use empathising activities or activities that foreignised the familiar (Elsen 2007) if the participants had been ethnorelative already and had needed theoretical frameworks and models to better develop their pluricultural identities.

As is the default for people who have had a monocultural primary socialisation my learners were ethnocentric. The poverty trap activity was generally manageable for these learners as it addresses common humanity and is symbolic in its nature, yet its implied focus on dominant group (theirs) privilege requires greater intercultural sensitivity, according to the DMIS, than that which learners at Defence have (Bennett, nd). This points to either inaccuracies in my assessment of my students' DMIS rating or issues with the linear nature of DMIS staging.

Focusing on the home culture first would have been a valuable activity in order to establish first what it means to be Bulgarian, before exploring any alternative culture or small, intra-cultural aspects of culture. After doing this I could have perhaps focused on objective aspects of Roma culture to pitch activities at learners current level of intercultural sensitivity (Bennett 1993).

Proposed framework The below is a logical bringing together of the key issues raised through this reflection on my practice.

It is a logical starting point to begin with some kind of evaluation that informs our approach. This could be a self-assessment or done via observations. As teachers it is also important that we also honestly appraise our own intercultural sensitivity. The DMIS is very useful in this respect.

Provided our students results are ethnorelative it makes sense to begin with the home culture. This fronting of the familiar (Elsen 2007) or what Damen (1987) refers to by saying that cultural awareness necessitates uncovering ones own culturally conditioning, as well as the patterns of others, is a necessary step that needs to be taken before engagement with 'other' cultures. Another equally useful point is the notion that we should begin with objective cultural artefacts, if students are in denial, and work towards subjective culture and complexities, such as values, later. This lowering of the cognitive burden may enable learners to make faster progress than if they are overly challenged.

plan activities / lessons / courses that have incrementally more challenging DMIS stages in them focus on the home culture before focusing on any other culture include cultural content (objective culture) before subjective cultural themes (values, beliefs, histories, privilege)

define key terms like 'race', 'ethnicity' (at minimization)

The below, are suggestions for activity that may be taken at the ethnorelative stages. The development of multiple frames of reference is seen as an indicator of integration and thus learners approaching this stage can practise shifting frames using externalisation activities (O'Sullivan 1994:99). Once integration of difference has been achieved. Learners can be enabled by using theories and models to help explain their emergent understanding of themselves as pluri-cultural beings in a multi-cultural world. At the next stage, adaptation to difference, study of more advanced, subjective, cultural topics, such as humour, may provide support as students attempt to engage as active participants across cultural boundaries. The final stage acceptance seems to suggest a reflexive, relativism, whereby students are able to participate fully and appropriately in ICC and understand the ideology of cultural relativism that they are employing.

Finally, from the literature and my experience I suggest the following for longer term opportunities that exist to explore 'culture' in, or around the language classroom: facilitate independent student research facilitate engagement with cultural mediators

encourage diary/portfolio keeping on key incidents where they experienced cultural difference (Little, 2003)

use open ended material to encourage all students to participate to their best ability in mixed (ICC) level groups work on a small, personal scale but with thick description (Holliday, 2011:28) acknowledge the complexity of culture incorporate (inter)cultural themes frequently acknowledge the ideological nature of intercultural communication

Target Language and level As foreign language teachers, if we take and emergent view of language system development, it is possible to approach lessons using the suggested framework and approach learner language issues as they arise. This entails dealing with learners interlanguage forms, extending these, and providing scaffolding. Even though we are language teachers we should also be aware of the opportunities that exist for us to raise important global citizenship topics or to demonstrate citizenship, through our own commitment to personal change .

Conclusions My production of a stand alone lesson integrated into a few general and business courses, is not adequate to develop my students ICC and I need to fully integrate ICT, just as I do with pronunciation or motivation, into my praxis. Using the framework my ICT can become more responsive, reflective and analytical. In the lesson where I have imposed a viewpoint on the students this top-down moment is conflictual and is potentially derailing. The use of symbols and the more subtle activities in the lesson are compromised and this may lead to the learners sensing the superficial. However, the opportunity to challenge was taken and it is one I am personally proud of.

It is troubling that static, large culture, reductionist, nationalist, ethnocentric viewpoints currently occupy much of the popular and political mindset in Europe (Evans, 2010). Yet, the actual situation in Europe is multicultural, and the identities of people both at national and continental levels are post-modern, pluricultural, imagined, diverse, fluid and complex. In my view intercultural communication is the norm and not the exception and certainly will be relevant to any learning situation I find myself in.

Language teachers have an opportunity to address reductionist ideas and chauvinistic language and can challenge learners to develop their ICC by using language that is culturally appropriate and considers their context and interlocutor. At the same time teachers need to be cautious of dealing with issues only from a linguistic point of view. Failure to explore deeper may create the wrong impression in students.

A further word of caution about otherizing through 'help' and of confusing their own judgements and needs with those of a target community in a top-down way that excludes the participation of the 'helped' group.

Challenging learners with this kind of work brings 'authenticity' to the classroom, which is likely to be motivating. These kinds of lessons may also develop interpersonal and cognitive skills, and move learners away from inhibiting constructs to becoming confident citizens in a world, that for most people, is growing more diverse. Word count 3,355. References

Bennett, M. (1993) Towards a Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity in R. Michael Paige, ed. Education for the Intercultural Experience. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 1993. Bennett, M. (1998) Basic Concepts of intercultural communication:Selected Readings Yarmouth, ME.,Intercultural Press Bennett, M. (nd) Developmental model of intercultural senstivity

British Council (1998). Branching out: a cultural studies syllabus Sofia: British Council Bulgaria . Byram, M. and Esarte-Sarries, V. (1991), Investigating Cultural Studies in Foreign Language Teaching: A Book for Teachers, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Byram, M., Morgan C., & Colleagues. (1994). Teaching and Learning Language and Culture. Clevendon: Multilingual Matters. Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Byram, M. Nichols, A. & Stevens, D. (eds.) (2001). Developing intercultural competence in practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Damen, L. (1987). Culture learning: The fifth dimension in the language classroom, Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.

Elsen, A. & St. John, O. (2007). Learner autonomy and intercultural competence. In Sercu, L. and M. Jimenez Raya (eds.), Challenges in Teacher Development: Learner Autonomy and Intercultural Competence. Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang. pp.15-38. Evans, S. (2010)Germans Wrestle with Multi-cultural identity retrived January 2011 Fay, R. and Davcheva, L. (2005). 'Interculturalizing education in Bulgaria: the contribution of the National Helpdesk for intercultural learning materials', Intercultural Education, 16(4), 331 350 Hammer M.R., Bennett,M,J Wiseman, R. (2003). Measuring intercultural sensitivity: The intercultural development inventory International Journal of Intercultural Relations 27, 42144, Hinkel, E. (1999). Culture in Second Language Teaching and Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Holliday, A. (2007). Response to ELT and 'the spirit of the times' ELT Journal Volume, 61(4), 360-366. Holliday, A. Kullman, J. & Hyde, M. (2004). Intercultural communication: an advanced resource book Oxford: Routeledge. Holliday, A. (2011). Intercultural Communication and Ideology. London:Sage. Huber-Kriegler, M., Lzr, I. & Strange, J. (2003). Mirrors and Windows. An intercultural communication textbook. European Centre for Modern Languages. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall Little, D. & Simpson, B. (2003). English language portfolio: The intercultural component and learning how to learn. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from Naydenova, V. (2010). Proud to be Bulgarian, European and Roma. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from O'Sullivan, K. (1994). Understanding ways: Communicating between cultures. Alexandria, NSW: Hale & Iremonger.

Risager, K. (1991), Cultural References in European Textbooks: An Evaluation of Recent Tendencies, in Buttjes, D. and Byram, M. (eds.), Mediating Languages and Cultures: Towards an Intercultural Theory of Foreign Language Education, Clevedon:Multilingual Matters, pp. 181-192. Tomalin, B. (2008). My teaching English blog. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from

Waters, A. (2007a). ELT and 'the Spirit of the Times' ELT Journal Volume, 61(4), 353-9. Waters, A. (2007b). Ideology, reality, and false consciousness in ELT ELT Journal Volume 61(4), 367-8. VanHook, C, W (2000) Preparing Teachers for the Diverse Classroom: A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. In: Issues in Early Childhood Education: Curriculum, Teacher Education, & Dissemination of Information. Proceedings of the Lilian Katz Symposium (Champaign, IL, November 5-7, 2000); Appendices All material referred to in this essay are available online via, by contacting the author or as google docs: c) worksheets: DA0NjgxOTYtNzcwZC00YjRjLTkzNmYtY2Q5ZmQ5YzU2ZTRm&hl=en_GB&authkey=CJDctkc

d) Lesson Plan. Y2EtYzZhZi00ZTE3LTkyYTItOTM1N2I0YmJmZTBl&hl=en_GB&authkey=CInglKAG

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William DeGenaro - American University of Beirut

Presentation: Linking Beirut and Dearborn: Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Writing Classroom Abstract Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A., contains the largest Arab diaspora community in the Western world and has become a bicultural and bilingual city, a cosmopolitan site in the midst of the otherwise mostly homogenous Midwest rust belt. Beirut, Lebanon has for centuries been a place where the east and west have intersected and coexisted. During the Fall, 2010, two writing courses at Universities in the two respective cities linked up via Skype, Facebook, and email, so that students in the courses could interview one another about literate practices and write literacy narratives about overseas peer-partners. Some students in Dearborn expressed surprise that their peer-partners in Beirut consumed western popular culture while students in Beirut were surprised to learn that so many Arab-Americans in Dearborn wore the hijab and spoke Arabic not only in their homes but in Dearborns public spheres as well. Students also learned about differences between higher education systems in the two respective cultures. Most importantly, though, the students explored issues like multilingualism, westernization of the Mideast, globalization, immigration, reading habits, technology uses, and academic writing conventions through a contrastive lens, conducting inquiry into cultural dimensions of literacy. In my presentation, I will report on this classroom project, share examples of student writing, and argue for the pedagogical value of cross-cultural inquiry in writing classes.

Target audience: mainly university teachers or teachers interested in contrastive cultural issues



Tharwat Dabaja- British Council - Lebanon Presentation: Incidental Vocabulary via Word Games Abstract It is generally accepted that a considerable percentage of the L2 vocabulary of a learner is acquired incidentally, i.e. as a by-product of word games (Nagy, Anderson& Hermann 1985, Nation & Coady 1988, Nation 2001). In EFL/ESL classes, activities such as games are often employed to encourage speaking, usually in a rather carefree atmosphere without the stresses of more academically oriented study, such as written translation exercises, and memorization of rules and lists.

Research has shown that games contribute to vocabulary learning if they give students a chance to learn, practice and review the English language in a fun and pleasant atmosphere (Nguyen & Khuat, 2003). Games have been shown to be effective in helping students develop incidental vocabulary in various ways. Firstly, the games being fun, non-threatening and non-demanding reduce the level of anxiety associated with learning and remembering new words. Students find it easier to retain the meanings of words they pick up in a relaxed manner (Nguyen & Khuat, 2003). Secondly, games usually involve a degree of friendly competition and this keeps the students interested. They are motivated to get involved in playing the games and in the process pick up new words. Lastly, games bring the real world context in to the classroom, and enhance the students use of English in a natural, flexible and interactive manner. In planning games to effect incidental vocabulary learning, the insightful teachers should consider the class size, its proficiency level, cultural context, timing, learning topics and classroom settings (Shaptoshvili, S. (2002).

Target audience: Middle & secondary teachers


Research has shown that games contribute to vocabulary learning if they give students a chance to learn, practice and review the English language in a fun and pleasant atmosphere (Nguyen & Khuat, 2003). Games have been shown to be effective in helping students develop incidental vocabulary in various ways. Firstly, the games being fun, non-threatening and non-demanding reduce the level of anxiety associated with learning and remembering new words. Students find it easier to retain the meanings of words they pick up in a relaxed manner (Nguyen & Khuat, 2003). Secondly, games usually involve a degree of friendly competition and this keeps the students interested. They are motivated to get involved in playing the games and in the process pick up new words. Lastly, games bring the real world context in to the classroom, and enhance the students use of English in a natural, flexible and interactive manner. In planning games to effect incidental vocabulary learning, the insightful teachers should consider the class size, its proficiency level, cultural context, timing, learning topics and classroom settings (Shaptoshvili, S. (2002). Knowledge of vocabulary not only refers to its size, but also its depth which includes: knowledge of pronunciation, spelling, multiple meanings, the contexts in which the word can be used, the frequency with which it is used, morphological and syntactical properties, and how the word combines with other words (Qian, 1999). Vocabulary can be learnt intentionally or acquired through incidental learning. Intentional vocabulary acquisition is memorizing word after word with their respective translations from a list. Intentional learning is quick, but superficial. Learners encounter vocabulary in an isolated, often infinitive form and are incapable of using it correctly in context. Incidental vocabulary is the vocabulary that second language learners develop or pick-up while they are engaged in a variety of communicative tasks and not focused on learning new words, therefore there is focus on meaning and not form. A lot of a students vocabulary will have to be learned in the course of doing things other than vocabulary memorization. Repetition, richness of context, and motivation may add to the efficacy of incidental learning of vocabulary. However, learners need to understand about 3,000 word families (e.g., the family of "think" includes think, thinks, thought, thoughtful, thoughtfully) in order to understand meaning from context (Laufer, 1997). There are three types of word games which may be used; physically active games, passive games, and worksheets. The physically active games proved to be most effective, followed by the passive games, worksheets were the least effective. Benefits of Incidental vocabulary via word games Repetition of terms Rich context Motivational for the learners Learners comprehend every term Word meanings are deeply and solidly embedded in mental lexicon Personalized vocabulary acquisition in authentic texts

Encounter term together with syntactic information which helps using accurate words in an idiomatic way Vocabulary in context appears repeatedly under different aspects and hence engrains in the learners mind

Benefits of games Practice content, whilst keeping the learner interested in repetitive tasks Motivating Attractive; interactive, fun and challenging Novel; different environment, change from normal class activity Atmosphere; relaxing and good for low achievers who avoid structures learning activities Low anxiety Defining activities: Learners invent true and false definitions of words and chunks to test other learners. Games like Pictionary (drawing what partner describes), taboo (verbal definition without keywords) etc Completing crosswords Board game with definitions on squares Bingo: Teacher gives definitions and learners cross off words. Password and concentration Matching Activities: Target word or chunk with a definition Target word or chunk with a synonym or antonym Target word or chunk with a picture Gap Fill Activities Sentences with target word or chunk omitted Story with several words or chunks omitted Creative Use:

Learners write true sentences about themselves using target words or chunks Learners write a story incorporating the target words or chunks Discussion or debates involving the use of target words or chunks

Word Games 1. Write sentences using only one vowel. e.g. Alans grandma always had asthma attacks Ellens seven nephews were seen everywhere. Johns got to go to Oxford tomorrow

2. Rearrange the nonsense compound nouns in each group below so that they make eight real compound nouns. FAN LAG FOLK TREE JUMBO ORGAN FLOWER LIFTER DOG JET FAMILY COLLAR FOLK TREE JUMBO ORGAN MOUTH STICK FLOWER LIFTER SHOP SONG FAMILY COLLAR LIP BED MOUTH STICK SHOP SONG LIP BED 3. Rearrange the letters of each nonsense word below to form a real word which has a similar meaning to the word in brackets. e.g. (strange) launuus Answer: unusual a) (funny) b) (child) c) (think) gainsum claimco houty sume greenate endrop omushuro rashiliou grenytous cotenadles droncise lampettonce


BLOCKBUSTER Using only the BLUE letters, fill in the spaces to find seven which read across from left to right. Remember, only the BLUE letters can be used and each must be used at least once for every word GRE ----- ------ A---------- ----- ----- ----- N ------ ------ ------ ------- ------ T ------- ------ ------- ------- ------ S S

------ ------- -------- -------- D I ------- ---------------- ------- -------- -------- N ------- A -------- ------------------- --------- --------- --------- N --------- ---------- A T ----------


Puzzle it out Change the word SHORE into CRASH in sixteen stages, changing one or two letters at a time. (The number in brackets after each clue tells how many letters of the preceding word need to be changed to form the new word.)

S 1) e.g. 2-0 (1) 2) to frighten (1) 3) to do with music (1) 4) a mammal (2) 5) a conjunction (1) 6) a sign or pleasure, happiness (2) 7) an odour (2) 8) foreigners often find it difficult to do this in English (1) 9) parents should try not to do this to their children (2) 10) a country (2) 11) a means of transport (2) 12) a.............of sand (1) 13) a fruit (2) 14) cows do this (1) 15) to rub out (2) C
1. 7. Answer Key: SCORE 2. SCARE SMELL 8. SPELL 14. GRAZE 3. SCALE 9. SPOIL 15. ERASE 4. WHALE 10. SPAIN




Add two letters Add two letters to each of the following words (in any place) to form a new word. A clue is given to help you. 1) SIT 2) SEE 3) WAY 4) LAY 5) CART 6) RAGE 7) WAR 8) DAY 9) EAT 10) OR 11) RIPE ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... Ordinal number Shop assistants do it Very tired Tall and very thin A vegetable A fruit Its good for the garden A short holdup It comes to everyone Part of an apple Helps you cook

12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25)


............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... ............................................... 3) WEARY 9) DEATH 15) CROWD 21) SWEDEN

Dull or boring Opposite or expenditure Most people would like to be this A lot of people Frequently You wear it Can be tiring to do this for a long time It tastes nice, especially with coffee Popular games in Wales A country You walk on it A piece of linen Used in an office Opposite of discourteous 5) CARROT 11) RECIPE 17) SHAWL 23) SHEET 6) GRAPES 12) DREARY 18) STAND 24) STAPLER

Answer Key: 1) SIXTH 2) SERVE 7) WATER 8) DELAY 13) INCOME 14) HAPPY 19) BRANDY 20) RUGBY 25) POLITE


Yvonne Stead Nasr - Director of Education, Hampshire Academy - Beirut Presentation: A Brief Introduction to the SAT Reasoning Test, Detailing Appropriate Reading and Writing Skills for Students who speak English with 2nd or 3rd Language Fluency Abstract The SAT Reasoning Test is administered by the College Board, United States, to Grade 11 and 12, US and international students. The SAT is required of undergraduate applicants seeking entry to most English language universities in Lebanon, the Middle East and North America. The SAT score also represents an important element of the equivalence certificate awarded by the Lebanese Government to qualified freshman candidates. The SAT Reasoning Test Score Report gives three scaled scores in Math, Critical Reasoning and Writing and an essay sub score within the range 200-800. There is no passing grade. Critical Reasoning comprises 67 multiple choice questions: one third sentence completion and two thirds text comprehension. Writing comprises one essay (no subject choice) and 49 multiple choice questions, requiring identification of errors, improving sentences and improving paragraphs. To uphold the interests of an ethnically and socially diverse student body, the College Board maintains that the SAT does not require preparation. However, many of our students in Lebanon do not have first language command of English, and consequently struggle to achieve competitive scores. It is thus essential we teach students appropriate test taking skills and techniques which will raise their SAT scores and facilitate entry to the college or university of their choice. English language teachers should be familiar with the SAT Reasoning Test and begin to prepare their students from Grade 8 by emphasizing: proactive reading, vocabulary, prefixes and roots, the eight relevant grammar rules and pertinent essay writing skills. In addition, familiarity with the test format will help to build student self confidence and overcome the issues of fatigue that generally arise when students are taking the test.

Target audience: Teachers of grades 8-12.


The SAT 1[1] Reasoning Test (SAT) is administered by the College Board, United States, to Grades 11 and 12, US and international students. The test is required of undergraduate applicants seeking entry to most English language universities in Lebanon, the Middle East and North America. In addition, the SAT score, together with the scores of three SAT subject tests, is required of qualified freshman candidates who wish to be awarded the equivalence certificate by the Lebanese Government.2[2] One of the factors universities will base their applicant acceptance on is the total SAT score. Most college web sites and catalogues will give an idea of the SAT score their admitted students generally achieve. Overseas universities will take the highest overall score taken in one edition as a students SAT score. By contrast in Lebanon, to compensate for the factor that many students are taking an exam in a language other than their native tongue, the best scaled score achieved in each edition of Math, Critical Reading and Writing is considered. The SAT is a paper based test composed of 10 sections that test Math, Critical Reading and Writing skills over 3 hours and 45 minutes. On the SAT Score Report are three scaled scores: Math, Critical Reading and Writing each reported in the 200 - 800 range and an essay sub-score. The corresponding SAT percentile scores, in which scores are compared to those of other students who took the same test edition, are also provided. SAT Tests are designed to give an average of 500 in each Section with a perfect score being 2400. For 2009 college-bound seniors:

Total # test-takers: 1,530,128 Scoring 800 M: 10,052 Scoring 800 CR: 8,833 Scoring 800 W: 4,946 Scoring 800 M + 800 CR: 1,192 Scoring 800 M + 800 CR + 800 W: 2973[3] A penalty system operates for all parts of the SAT Reasoning Test multiple choice sections (but does not operate for the math grid ins.) Each wrong answer results in a point off the total number of correct responses. An unanswered question is not penalized. The computed
1[1] SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board.

2[2] Total score: 2750 humanities equivalence and 2850 science equivalence. 3[3]

final score is called the raw score. The raw score is rounded to the nearest whole number ( point and point are rounded up, point is rounded down) and is then related to the SAT score on scales which are unique for that edition of the SAT. The College Board has recently introduced a Score Choice option whereby students can hold back reporting their SAT score until they feel it truly represents their abilities. Each university has its own score reporting requirements. (For example, students applying to Harvard are now free to use this option. This allows applicants multiple opportunities to crank up their score, whereas in previous years Harvard stressed the SAT should only be taken a maximum of two times.) Score Choice is available from the website.

Figure 1: Section and Question Distribution

For logistical reasons the Essay will always come first and a 10 minute Writing section last. Taking into consideration the fact that several booklets of the same test are distributed at

each test, the other sections can come in any order according to the booklet the student is given there may be three math sections one after the other, for example. One section is an Equating 25 minute section either in Math, Critical Reading or Writing, (but not the Essay) which will not represent part of the final scores. The Equating section is used to ensure compatibility with other editions of the SAT and to try out new question types. Students won't know which section is the Equating section, so they have to do their best on all sections. The Critical Reading raw score is computed from the number of correct and incorrect student responses to the multiple choice sentence completions and passage based reading questions. The SAT Reasoning Test Critical Reading scaled score is then computed from the raw score in a Critical Reading Conversion Table. The Writing raw score is computed from the number of correct and incorrect student responses to the identifying sentence errors, improving sentences, improving paragraphs questions and essay writing. Identifying sentence errors, improving sentences, improving paragraphs questions are all multiple choice questions. The essay is given a raw score from 1- 6 by two readers each; these two scores are then added to give a final score ranging from 2 -12. Blank pages and essays off topic will be given a 0. The essay raw score is recorded as a sub score on the final Score Report. The Writing scaled score is converted from a Writing Conversion Table that relates the multiple choice raw score and the essay raw score. The multiple choice raw score is worth approximately 70% and the essay raw score 30%. It should be noted also that the Essay is submitted to the colleges to which students have applied; the Essay therefore will represent an important part of student college applications.

The test is offered six times a year internationally in May, June, October, November, December, and January. AMIDEAST are the ETS, College Board, representatives in Lebanon and students can register to sit for the SAT with AMIDEAST or directly register on-line at

SAT Skills
The SAT requires a different set of test skills from those students use for school exams, and they need to learn how to approach the SAT most effectively. We will take a look at each type of question and ways of tracking down the correct answer.

Critical Reading: Sentence Completion.

Teachers from Grade 8 onwards should begin to give students lists of vocabulary words each week to learn and absorb. These words should be taken from texts that students are reading in class and so will have immediate relevance. Twenty new words each week will result in increasing the vocabulary bank by around 400 words in one school year. If two term tests plus a final that incorporates the whole years vocabulary are given, the words should become part of a

students everyday vocabulary. Moreover, the author has discovered students love the idea of learning 500 words and boast about their misery to their peers. To get a good idea of the type of vocabulary that is needed, Barrons textbooks (2010) have their own hit lists of SAT Vocabulary. However, if students are short of time, it might be impossible for them to learn effectively all the suggested words and a salvage operation needs to be mounted. The best thing for these students is to learn prefixes, grouped into positive, negative or neutral connotations; the next best thing is to add learning roots. Quite often, in sentence completion, students will only have to identify whether they need a positive or negative word the prefix will define whether the word is positive or negative and that may well be good enough for their purposes (even if they don't know what the whole word means.) Other clues to look out for are: punctuation, where a sub-clause introduced by a comma, a colon or a semi-colon gives the definition of the word; a series of words with the missing word defined by the other words in the list; trigger words such as although which change the connotation of the sentence from positive to negative or vice versa. Finally, words that are familiar in French or Spanish can be taken as having the same meaning in English; this is a very useful trick which French speakers need to learn. Summarizing, when students are solving sentence completion questions they need to look for:

There are 19 sentence completion questions (8 + 5 + 6 in three different sections, and in any order) which get more difficult moving through the section (i.e. Q 8 is harder than Q1). A word suggestion cannot be eliminated just because its unfamiliar. It is a possibility. If a student can eliminate at least one suggestion, and has absolutely no clue about any of the other words, then a guess should be made before moving on. However, if at least one suggestion can be eliminated, and the student knows something (no matter how vague) about one of the remaining suggestions that possibly could fit the answer, then that suggestion should be chosen. If nothing can be eliminated, guessing is not appropriate. Each sentence completion question should take no longer than a minute and a half, and an eight question section no more than five minutes. Very generally, in Sentence Completion, the first third of questions are easy, the second third medium hard and the final third, difficult. Generally, an easy question demands an easy answer; a difficult question demands an easy answer.

Using these techniques will give clues as to which word is the best answer (and it should be remembered that often more than one word will fit in but the best has to be selected.)

Critical Reading: Passage Based Questions.

The passages vary in length from 100 850 words, with approximately 10 words per line. The lines are numbered for easy identification. As a rough rule, 2 questions are set for every 10 - 15 lines. The passages are selected from the fields of literature, science, the humanities and social studies. In every edition of the SAT, each field will be represented by only one passage or paired passages. Some of the passages stand on their own - the questions set at the end of the passage will only relate to this one passage; others, known as paired passages, are related not only by subject matter but also by questions. Paired passages will support, oppose or complement one another (and whichever the case, this will be made clear by the blurb at the top.) Passages may be narrative, expository, persuasive or literary. There are 48 questions in three different sections and more than two-thirds of critical reading points come from comprehension questions. Unlike sentence completion, the questions do not get more difficult as students work through the passage - questions are posed according to the line number, not the level of difficulty. This means if students cant do one question, they should leave it and move on the next one may well be much easier. The time limit for answering any question should be around one minute and a half. Students should eliminate choices as they go through and cross them out and read all of the answer choices. For example, choices D and E cannot be ignored because they have long words in them. If students can only eliminate one choice, they should guess and move on promptly. Students must concentrate fully and read proactively. If necessary they must train themselves to read actively by reading 100 word passages and at the end immediately ask themselves what the passage is about. If they can't answer immediately, it means they weren't concentrating and should read the passage again. The method of reading will be determined by the reading fluency of the student: fast readers will have time to read the whole passage, while second and third language readers should read the first and last lines of every paragraph (and every tenth line in long paragraphs) where topic sentences are usually lying in wait for the alert reader. Very often in topic sentences, the same words will probably appear throughout the passage. These words are what the passage is all about: the main idea. An 850 word passage should take 3-4 minutes, with correspondingly shorter times for the shorter passages. (For a 100 word passage, allow a maximum of 45 seconds.) There are three main types of questions which are discussed in the next section.

Literal Comprehension.
After reading or scanning the passage, students should skim the question and answer choices very quickly. If the question refers to a line or lines, they should go back and read the lines again plus 1-2 lines above and below if more information is needed. Then they should

reread the question carefully and each one of the answer choices. The correct answer choice is a paraphrase of the words that appear in the passage. Sometimes it is better for a weak student to concentrate on eliminating wrong answer choices rather than identifying the correct one, although anything a student does not understand is still a possibility and cannot be eliminated.

Vocabulary in Context. Although these questions are in the passage based reading sections, vocabulary in context is none other than sentence completion. Students should read the question but not the answer choices, return to the passage and substitute "blank" for the given word. They now put a word of their choice into the blank within the context of the sentence. It doesn't have to be a fancy word something simple like 'happy' or 'bad', or even a little phrase such as 'more sad than sad,' is quite adequate. Now, within the answer choices there will be a synonym for the word they substituted for blank and the synonym is the answer. Extended Reasoning.
Extended reasoning questions ask students to select answers by making conclusions about information in the passage. These answers are not directly stated in the passage. Students can recognize these questions by the use of key phrases such as: The passage suggests that Both authors would both likely agree The author would most likely characterize The first paragraph implies that It can be inferred Probably Apparently

Some of these questions have no line reference and should be left until all or most of the other questions have been answered at which point students will have a greater comprehension of the passage. These questions can best be approached by a process of elimination: eliminate any answer choice that goes too far in explaining something, is too extreme, or politically incorrect. Very often if an answer choice sounds like rubbish, it is rubbish and can be eliminated.

Writing: Essay.

The essay is the first section of the SAT. In twenty five minutes the essay should proficiently develop a point of view on the given topic and demonstrate critical thinking, using appropriate examples, reasons and any other relevant evidence which supports the students point of view. It should be well organized and clearly focused. An outstanding essay would probably result from a template such as this:

A clear thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. Point 1 supporting the thesis statement, developed from a topic sentence. Point 2 supporting the thesis statement, developed from a topic sentence.

(Points 1 and 2 may be combined to produce a narrative that deals with a single topic.)

Point 3, which does not support the thesis statement, developed from a topic sentence.

A conclusion which reconfirms the thesis statement but includes a reference back to the essay contents. The essay must give the reader a better mental image of what is being described by using specific, everyday words. Appropriate vocabulary does not imply overuse of either esoteric SAT words thrown in to impress the reader or indefinite words such as somebody, one and persons. The SAT essay also unusually allows the writer to introduce the first person point of view in fact it is encouraged in the assignment details so as to allow personal experiences to be related. Grammatically, the essay should:

Demonstrate variety in sentence structure which ensures the writing becomes more interesting but remains unambiguous. Use of simple (one focus), compound (two simple sentences joined with a coordinating conjunction), and complex (two observations which are not of equal importance) structures is necessary to obtain a high grade.

Be free of most errors in grammar, usage and mechanics. Students are recommended to proof read and revise their compositions twice: once for content and organization and once for grammar, sentence structure, spelling and punctuation. Students should be trained a few times each year to write a timed essay under pressure. When first facing the essay task, many students panic or waste time by copying down the title and looking around the room waiting for inspiration to strike. Students need to practice writing a quick thesis statement and topic sentence for each paragraph, although it should be emphasized this is not a Brevet assignment where the organization of the essay outline is graded. Ideally the essay should be around 50 lines long because length is rewarded, although the College Board will probably deny this, and must have a conclusion. If students feel they are running out of time, they should stop their body paragraph with a complete sentence and write a

conclusion. (They will get more credit for adding a conclusion than adding another sentence to the body of the essay.) Students can also be encouraged to research the lives of noteworthy people who could be quoted as being examples of heroes, innovators, or outstanding members of the human race. This avoids over reliance on Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi.

Writing: Improving Sentences, Identifying Sentence Errors, Improving Paragraphs.

Improving Sentences.
These demand of students the ability to recognize and write accurate, clear sentences. The error has to be identified and the correct version given.

Sentence Errors.
These ask students to identify errors in grammar and usage: standard grammar questions are those that set questions on the conventional rules of writing a sentence. Standard usage questions are those which set questions on the language that people speak and write in formal situations. Improving Paragraphs. This exercise requires students to use their writing and revising skills practiced in 'identifying sentence errors', and 'improving sentences'. Note that this section does not require critical reading so the essay can be scanned very quickly.

Specific Grammar Requirements.

All questions have definite, unambiguous answers so students may well need to revise the following grammar areas to enable them to score high:

Verb subject agreement Verb forms and tenses Use of comparisons Pronoun choice

Adjective and adverb usage Parallel Construction Modifiers Punctuation Diction and Word choice English idioms

SAT Practice
Students should be encouraged to work methodically through previously administered tests if they want to score high. Practice makes perfect not only because various question types keep coming up but also because students will beat their fear factor. The question also arises as to whether or not commercial SAT prep courses help students improve their scores. In an ideal situation, English teachers would have time to implement the strategies outlined above in their classes, and would have the necessary experience to teach students valid and valuable skills and techniques. However, many teachers who are concerned about finishing their normal programs, without adding extra topics to the curriculum, find they are obliged to offer SAT tutoring as an extracurricular option. From the authors own experience, SAT tutoring does work students can raise their scores and be accepted in the faculties and universities of their choice. Nevertheless, it is essential that before recommending any commercial course to students, teachers should verify tutors are experienced and have achieved perfect scores for themselves.

References The College Board. (Eds.). (2009). The Official SAT Study Guide. New York, NY: The College Board.

Carnevale, L., & Teukolsky,R. (Eds.). (2010). Sat 2400, 3rd Ed: Aiming for the Perfect Score (Barron's SAT 2400) (3rd ed.). Hauppage, NY: Barron's Educational Series Inc.

Dr. Sahar Farouk Altikriti & Dr. Dima Alomari - Al Isra University - Jordan Presentation: Communication is a key: the role of teachers and students to achieve effective classroom communication Abstract Communication is a fundamental part of all of our lives. There are many different methods of communication and we are gaining more and more all the time. It is the process by which we exchange information among individuals and groups of people. Classroom interaction is the situation chosen in the present work to investigate the process of communication, shedding lights on the problems that cause miscommunication among students and teachers. In this presentation, 15 Jordanian English language teachers at Al_Isra University and 200 students agreed to answer the questionnaires, the aim of which is to look at some factors that enhance students academic performance and self development and explore ways in which we can make them more interesting and productive for both learner and teacher.

Target audience: University teachers


1- Communication models and communication cycle The process of communication takes place when the sender of the message transmits ideas to another person or group of people. Its effectiveness is measured by the similarity between the idea transmitted and the idea received. Effective communication, basically, depends on factors such as the attitudes of the people sending the messages, as well as other factors that affect the clarity of the process of communication.

Fig. (1) The Process of Communication One of the earliest definitions of communication came from the Greek philosopherteacher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.). Rhetoric is the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion (Rhetoric 1335b).

According to Aristotle, communication cycle is divided into the following stages: (1) Invention: in which the speaker discovers rational, emotional, and ethical proofs. (2) Arrangement: as the speaker arranges the proofs strategically. (3)Style: is the stage where the speaker clothes the ideas in clear and compelling words. (4) Delivery: is the final stage as the product is delivered appropriately.

Various models were developed, such as Shannon_Weaver 1948, Hall and Fagen, 1956, and Browns Holographic 1987 ( see Barnlund 1968) all depending basically on the same stages of communication process, namely: 1- Source: the stage at which one is supposed to be clear about what he/she wants to communicate and why, taking into consideration the fact that the communicated information is useful and accurate. 2- Message: is definitely the information that you want to convey. 3- Encoding: at this stage, one chooses the form in order to transfer the information that can be decoded correctly, avoiding confusion and possible misunderstanding.

4- Channel: the channels through which the message is conveyed could be either verbal (i.e., such as face to face meetings, telephone calls, etc) or written channels (i.e., such as e-mails, reports, etc). 5- Decoding: is the stage at which the decoder starts handling the message (i.e., receiving the message, trying to understanding it, and later on reacting).

2- Classroom Interaction

Classroom interaction is very essential in todays education system. It is a two way process consisting of transmission and feedback. Somasundaram (2006) argues that as a process of exchanging information usually via systems of symbols, communication occurs when there are two associated information producing processes, and the output from one process is the functional inverse of the others output. It is this what makes human communication interactive, transactive, verbal or non-verbal.

In the classroom context there are different elements that should work together for successful classroom interaction. There are two ways a teacher can communicate, verbally and nonverbally. Verbal communication includes the elements of the sender of the message, the receiver or listener, the message itself, the channels through which the message itself is sent and feedback. On the other hand, nonverbal messages are an essential component of classroom communication in the teaching process. According to Miller (1988) more feelings and intentions are sent and received using nonverbal communication rather than verbal communication. Some major areas of nonverbal barriers are eye contact, facial expression, gestures, postures, visual communication and body orientation.

3- Teacher_Student Effective Communication

A big part of teaching is not just a matter of imparting knowledge but it is also about effective communication in the classroom. This effective communication provides the spirit of understanding and co-operation between teacher and students; i.e., conveying a message clearly and unambiguously.

To communicate effectively is not an easy job for the teachers especially in classrooms that are growing in size and may contain students who come from varied backgrounds. This means, effective classroom communication faces several barriers / interferences. Some common barriers are those of listening, perception, oral, cultural, emotional, and gender. In order to remove such barriers of classroom interaction, teachers must be aware of the importance of the communication skills in teaching. In addition, they must also realize students different levels of strengths and weaknesses. Thus, a teacher can enhance the learning process through introducing creative and effective solutions to the problems of the students ( see Martin 1998).

Fig. (2) Barriers of Communication 4- Coaching Strategies The teacher plays an important role in effective communication. Through coaching, the teacher can provide students with feedback to enhance, maintain or improve their performance. There are several different teaching (coaching) strategies that can be used depending on the most appropriate situation. The strategies are those of instructing or retraining, directing or guiding, and prompting. These strategies will assist in creating a good relationship between the teacher and the students.

Possessing appropriate communication skills is one of the important qualifications that teachers must have to interact with the students. Following are some of the communication skills for teachers (c.f Hunt 1971, Rika 1996, and Claugh 1999).

4.1 Positive Motivation and Encouragement

The teacher observes performance, shares knowledge and expertise, and provides encouragement to assist students in reaching continuously higher levels of performance. The best way for teachers to encourage communication from all students is through classroom discussion or small group work. This creates enthusiasm and interest in the minds of the students.

4.2 Fostering Independent Thinking The teacher must enable students to develop their thinking and actions in response to differing situations. Depend thinkers uncritically accept whatever they are taught and rarely question or ask for information. On the other hand, independent thinkers strengthen a team because they understand that different backgrounds and perceptions bring different ideas and solutions. Although it is not an easy task to influence students thinking, yet, the teacher can use his techniques for such cases.

4.3 Effective Body Language A teacher must possess good presentation skills including a powerful body language supported by verbal skills. This can create a long lasting impression in the minds of the students.

4.4 Sense of Humor A good sense of humor keeps the students active and interested in the teachers class.

4.5 Team Formation The teacher can divide the classroom into small teams and ask them to solve different problems or complete assignments. This practice will increase not only the interaction among the students but also among the teacher and students.

4.6 Technical Skills It is also important that teachers should be up to date with all the latest teaching aids like computers, video conferencing and especially the use of internet. This will also help the students to keep up their interest in the learning process.

In respect to all these communication skills for teachers, communication is the key that unlock all the doors and enhance the teacher- student classroom interaction; it is the key to enrich and enhance the students abilities in learning the required course material. The relationship between the teacher and the student is dynamic and depends on the two-way flow of symbols. The teacher depends on feedback from the student to properly tailor the communication to the situation. The teacher also provides feedback to the student to reinforce the desired student responses.

5- Student-Centered and Teacher-Centered Approaches The concept of student-centered learning emerged in 1905 by Hayward and in 1956 by Dewey, and then expanded to a general theory of education by Carl Rogers. It has also been associated with the work of Piaget and recently with Malcolm Knowels. The interpretation of the term student-centered learning varies between authors as some equate it with active learning while others define it in relation to choice in learning, and the shift of power in the teachercentered relationship.(c.f. Rogers 1983, Burnard 1999, Rogoff 1999, OSullivan 2003).

McCombs (1997) explains that the essential factor for student-centered approach is placing the learning characteristics of all learners under the microscope with the specific emphasis on low-performing learners. This means that the focus in a student-centered approach is on individual learners heredity, experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, talents, interests, capacities, and needs. Due to these factors, student-centered education is thought to be intrinsically motivating and thus beneficial. According to Altan and Trombly (2001), studentcenteredness is put as a model for countering classroom challenges to meet diverse needs. This is shown in placing students at the center of classroom organization and respect their learning needs, strategies, and styles. In other words, in student-centered classrooms, students can work individually or in pairs and small groups on different tasks and projects. This can be contrasted to teacher-centered approach. Many teaching methods irrespective of discipline have moved over the years from teacher-centered approaches where the teacher is seen the source of all knowledge to approaches that are more than student-centered. The teacher- centered approach is basically associated with the transmission of knowledge. This concept was clarified by McDonald (2003) by saying that the work of teachers depends upon the abilities, skills and efforts of their students. In other

words, teachers in teacher-centered environment focus on making relationships with the students that are anchored in intellectual explanations of selected materials. This was clearly discussed by Wingrad (2002) in his evaluation to the works of Tom Caroll and Judy Powers about the effect of how teachers teach in the classroom. Their view towards the old hierarchical roles of university professor, classroom teacher, and pre-service teacher must be broken down to allow teachers to get together and do what they do best, i.e., explore, experiment, create, implement and assess what is required to achieve student success. Both approaches (student-centered and teacher-centered) recognize the student as a key factor in improving student achievement. Kember (1997) described a useful breakdown of these approaches by supporting many other views in relation to student-centered approach in that knowledge is constructed by students and that the lecturer is a facilitator of learning rather than a presenter of information:

a leader or person who is perceived as an authority figure in the situation, is sufficiently secure within herself (himself) and in her (his) relationship to others that she (he) experiences an essential trust in the capacity of others to think for themselves, to learn for themselves. (c.f. Rogers 1983)

Due to this view, the teacher uses his/ her expertise in content knowledge to help students make connections. This is shown in relation to the importance it places in activity, discovering and independent learning. The constructivist view of activity is related to physical activities, such as projects, practices, etc. Thus, whether by small groups or whole class discussion, teachers can do much to create an interactive classroom (c.f. Cobb 1999, Carlile and Jordan 2005). In brief, the value of student and teacher classroom interaction is best reflected in the words of Edwards (2001):

Placing learners at the heart of the learning process and meeting their needs, is taken to a progressive step in which learner-centred approaches mean that persons are able to learn what is relevant for them in ways that are appropriate. Waste in human and educational resources is reduced as it suggested learners no longer have to learn what they already know or can do, nor what they are uninterested in.

6- Data Analysis The sample of the study consisted of 200 students randomly selected at the college level, as well as 15 teachers, all from Jordan / Amman / Al Isra University / English Language Department and Translation Department. Tables of the questionnaire were analysed and interpreted using percentages.

6.1 Analysis of Students Questionnaire The results reflect that the highest percentage ( 56% ) of the students prefer Sometimes concrete, practical and procedural information, presented linearly and in an orderly manner. This percentage indicates that there is only one role played in the process of communication which is of the teacher, i.e., depending more on the teachers than the students efforts. In comparison, the data also shows that ( 28% ) of the students prefer Sometimes to think, analyse and come up with their own conclusions, i.e., depending more on the their own efforts rather than taking ready-made and well organized information. The analysis of the data also proves that whereas ( 32% ) of the students Often consider using graphs, pictures, diagrams, and videos significant material to enrich the process of communication, ( 28% ) of the students would prefer to depend Sometimes more on listening than on writing or other explanation facility. Moreover, ( 36% ) of the students insisted that depending Very Often on writing and documenting material by taking notes more than depending on their memories ( i.e., taking the teachers opinion into consideration as the only guide ) is the best way to support successful classroom interaction. On the other hand, according to the results in the present research, ( 36% ) of the students rely Often on their intuition and independent thinking, which supports the idea of communication to a great extent as it encourages both sides ( the teacher and the student ) in developing their ideas more and more. The data also shows that ( 32% ) of the students Often tend to ask for explanation in case they misunderstand certain points, in comparison to ( 32% ) who Rarely ask for explanation and tend to keep whatever they do not understand to themselves in order to figure it out later. Teamwork activities are one of the important activities that enrich the process of communication in classroom interaction. According to the data, it is Sometimes preferable by students with a percentage of ( 28% ).

6.2 Analysis of Teachers Questionnaire

Thorough examination and analysis of the questionnaire answered by the teachers proved that an almost high percentage of the teachers ( 83% ) Very Often tend to start their explanation of any topic with background information, in addition to helping students understand the underlying concepts behind the points under discussion. However, about (50%) of the teachers tend to give the students the chance to let them conclude the underlying concepts the material they discuss. With the same high percentage (i.e., 83% ) of the teachers share discussions with the students. This is all to make sure that the message they present is fully understood. Thinking about what students may need to know about any new topic, as well as following new communication methods as much as possible, (both Very Often), comes as the next high percentage according to the data in the present research: almost 67%, whereas ( 50% ) of the teachers show that they Rarely follow traditional communication methods to convey their messages to the students. About ( 50% ) of the teachers, as realized from the analysis of the data: 1- Sometimes get surprised to find that students do not understand what the teachers say. 2- Not at All stop worrying about how students perceive whatever the teacher mentions or explains; assuming that they can work it out later. 3- Often correct students mistakes whether grammatical, pronunciation, or vocabulary choice mistakes. 4- Very Often use all possible material such as diagrams, figures, charts, etc, to support explanations of various topics.

7- Conclusions

When we consider the complex task of teaching, effectiveness is an elusive concept especially when some researchers measure teacher effectiveness in terms of student achievement. Classroom interaction (communication) is successful only when both the teacher and the student understand the conveyed thoughts and objectives through communication skills. In the present study, analysis of the questionnaire answered by 200 students and 15 teachers in Al Isra University / English Language Department and Translation Department, shows that teachers full detailed information of the material under discussion in any of their

lectures represents an essential element in positive teaching performance and eventually has a great impact on gains in student learning process. On the other hand, it is concluded that the students highly prefer to depend on teachers presentation rather than on their independent thinking. Therefore, the present study reveals that emphasize is on the teachers role in transforming knowledge, information and skills in the classroom, i.e., the emphasis on methods, activities, and techniques where the teacher decides what is to be learned, tested and how the class is to be run. In sum, the teacher is the center of the classroom giving instruction with little input from the students and, hence, the classroom environment is teacher-centered.

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