9 February 2013

Mastering the functions

En attendant ton compte rendu du congrès ICOT j'ai pensé que ce serait le bon moment pour maitriser un peu la fonctionalité de ce dispositif. Voici une image d'un prof avec laquelle j'ai grandi. Ce qui m'impressionne autant que le prof lui-même (visiblement impregné de pédagogie innovante!) est l'image sur le mur du 'Feasible Dog' et surtout la carte de Gosh. Ce point d'interrogation m'interroge! WHY, WHY, WHY??? That is the question.

 Attribution: The Glugs of Gosh, C.J. Dennis 1917
Illustration by Hal Gye


  1. I don't get it: the "Feasible Dog" "the Map of Gosh". Is this a prompt to inquiry?! Am I lost in intercultural translation??? Until you shed light, thanks for the cue but ICOT report is not a straight forward piece to come up with. It is more that a list of who I heard, it is how it is feeding in my Big Questions. It's happening though and it won't be one post. And the goodness will keep giving as putting "pen to paper" about ICOT is revealing many questions I will put to you when you are in the classroom. Going back to the image in your post, it makes me think of the revered conference speaker also: here is another format to revisit...

  2. No, there's nothing to get. Just me being random and teaching myself how to load an image. This old book was in our bookcase when I was a child and I always had a soft spot for the 'Feasible Dog' which the inhabitants of Gosh went in quest of although they weren't certain that it existed. The teacher always struck me as a bit scary. I don't think I ever even noticed that Gosh was a question-shaped country. My 'WHY WHY WHY, that is the question', is far from random though. In particular, this time it was prompted by my thinking about the standard neutral old topics that we traditionally dish up to students and wonder why they defect in droves. I wonder WHY do we continue to think that they are of any interest to the students (or to ourselves) and what justification we have in continuing to stick to them when our NZC curriculum frees us up to teach whatever we like, or whatever the students want to learn, so long as it is consistent with the very broad proficiency descriptors for each level and affords equal value to language and culture. I sometimes feel out on a limb when I question the suitability of the material. Who said we have to keep on teaching 'What's in my pencil case' etc? For me it's essential to involve students' emotions and I can't see that happening when they're asking each other for directions or talking about how they get to school. Who gives a ........??? But this is one of my topics for a future post so I won't ramble on here. Over to you.

  3. Defection reasons are multiple. Those few who stay on till year 13 are usually diligent, self motivated and have a plan. They know the topics dished out are only a means to an end: acquire some language and get some credits... This very comment makes me think of the reason why I am so interested in investigating which way to change practice: in fact I ll admit to be less interested in having more language learners overall than having more life long learners. For me it is what language learning contribute potentially to the overall picture.


Let's go Back to the Drawing Board!