[xmca] FW: alert for registered L1-members

From: Peter Smagorinsky <smago who-is-at uga.edu>
Date: Mon May 07 2007 - 04:22:05 PDT

of possible interest:

From: Rijlaarsdam, G.C.W. [mailto:G.C.W.Rijlaarsdam@uva.nl]
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 1:45 AM
To: IAIMTE maillist
Subject: alert for registered L1-members

Dear L1-researchers, registered in the L1-Journal database,
this alert is an extra service, next to the automatic alerts, to provide you
with on overview of the issue just launched. This issue, a special issue
edited by Wayne Sawyer (Australia) and Piet-Hein van de Ven (Netherlands) is
about competing definitions on paradigms in various countries on what
L1-education is/should be.
1. Note tat the jorunals website that three productive researchers joined
the editorial board: Debra Myhill (Exeter), Luisa Araujo (Lisboa) &
Margarida Pocinho (Madeira), and that Dana Colarusso (Toronto) joined the
team as editorial assistant.
2. The IAIMTE 6 conference (end of March 2007) in Exeter was quite a
success: nice cooperative atmosphere, intersting research and good practice.
Next conferen: 2009, Toronto. Exact dates wil be announced soon.


New issue in L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature.
With abstracts in English, French, Portuguese, Polish, German and Dutch

Paradigms of Mother tongue Education

Special issue,
2e%207%2c%20issue%201&cont=1X1y1oBk4Vo=> vol 7, issue 31,
L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature


Guest editor: Wayne Sawyer & Piet-Hein van de Ven

Authors: Wayne Sawyer, Piet-hein van de Van, Jean-Luc dufays, Rildo cosson,
Yinbing leung, Rui Vieira de castro, Karl Canvat



Sawyer, W., & Van de Ven, P.-H.(2007). Paradigms of Mother Tongue Education:
Introduction. L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 7 (1), p.
1 - 3.


Sawyer, W., & Van den Ven, P.-H. (2007). Starting points. Paradigms in
Mother tongue Education. L1 - Educational Studies in Language and
Literature, 7 (1), p. 5-20.


Dufays,J.-L.(2007). What place for literature in the education of
French-speaking countries? A comparison between Belgium, France, Quebec and
Switzerland. L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 7 (1), p.


Cosson, R. (2007). Mother Tongue Education in Brazil: A battle of two
worlds. L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 7 (1), p.


Leung,Y. (2007). Literature learning and task design in Hong Kong Chinese
language text-books. L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 7
(1), p. 53-70.


Sawyer, W. (2007). English as Mother tongue in Australia. L1 - Educational
Studies in Language and Literature, 7 (1), p. 71-90


Castro, R. V. de (2007). The Portuguese language area in secondary education
curriculum: Contemporary processes of reconfiguration. L1 - Educational
Studies in Language and Literature, 7 (1), p. 91-109


Canvat, K. (2007). The teaching of literature at the crossroads.; Means or
goal? L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 7 (1), p. 111-122





Taken from Wayne Sawyer's & Piet-Hein van de Ven's
Introduction (links lead to articles)


This edition of L1 is devoted to discussion of debates around paradigms of
mother tongue education. In this special issue we have sampled contributions
from Belgium, Brazil, Hong Kong and Australia that each take up the kinds of
arguments which we have tried to capture in our own chapter on paradigm
conflict. Each contribution deals with the polyparadigmatic character of
mother tongue education and answers the main question of this issue: MTE
paradigms - common? competing? coexisting? In editing this edition, what
struck us was the remarkable consistency of the debates across a range of
cultures, nationalities and languages.

We begin with our own discussion of paradigms of mother-tongue education.
Following this,
Jean-Louis Dufays (Belgium) analyses French as mother-tongue in a number of
Francophone regions: firstly France, then Quebec and then the Francophone
regions of Belgium and Switzerland. In all these regions literature
education as transmission of cultural heritage became threatened in the
1970s by a rationalist and communicative model. Whereas the first model
represents a traditional perspective on teaching and learning as knowledge
transmission, the second focuses attention on skills. Dufays explains how
the change from a cultural to a utilitarian model must be seen against the
background of a scientific mutation, consisting of the development of new
academic subjects like linguistics and the science of texts. Next to this
scientific mutation there is the sociological mutation of an exponential
growth of the school population. There is also a cultural mutation: the rise
of the leisure society, new audiovisual media, new ways of cultural
production and new values. He also refers to the industrial conception of
work in the business context influencing a task-based approach to both
mother tongue and foreign language teaching. Dufays shows a broad scope of
societal and other groups and forces which influence mother tongue's
paradigmatic debates.

Rildo Cosson analyses, against the background of the short history of
Brazilian mother tongue education, the 'crusade' between traditional mother
tongue education based on normative grammar, and a mother tongue education
based upon a conception of language as human interaction. He depicts the
debate between the grammar and the socio-interactionist paradigms as a
battle on several fronts: the academic front, the institutional front, the
instructional material front and the school front. Whereas most frontiers
show a victory for the socio-interactionist paradigm, the school front shows
how teachers under the pressure of everyday school life, including
measurement and control (and the arguments of parents), are hesitant to
accept the new paradigm. Cosson also illustrates how mother tongue education
at school shows different 'faces' around different areas of the subject,
such as writing, grammar and reading. The position of literature (as the
historical canon) appears as a 'casualty of war', rejected in favour of more
pragmatic kinds of texts. Interestingly, Cosson shows how a utilitarian
conception of the socio-interactionist paradigm gives room for resistance
from the point of view of traditional literature.

Unlike the other contributions,
Yinbing Leung does not present mother tongue education as a battlefield of
opposing paradigms. She describes how in Hong Kong education a functional
skills paradigm of mother tongue education has been replaced by a curriculum
in which literature education has returned in a context of reassessing
values such as cultural heritage and identity. She emphasises, as does
Cosson, the central role of textbooks. Her contribution analyses the most
used textbooks, showing how the different conceptions of teaching literature
are paid attention to differently in the different textbooks. Yinbing Leung
re-clarifies for us that 'literature education' is a phenomenon in which
different conceptions of literature and, above all, of didactics/pedagogy
are often unspoken.

Sawyer gives a brief history of mother-tongue education in Australia, with
special reference to his home state and shows that, at every stage in
history, the question of the place of grammar has been present. Current
Syllabuses, however, are subject to on-going criticism by a range of
neoliberal and neoconservative forces in Australia who are against 'critical
literacy', which is well developed in Australian Syllabuses. Just as
urgently, perhaps, the subject English-as-mother-tongue faces a challenge in
Australia, as in England, from 'literacy', usually defined in its most
functional forms. As well, there is a trend in Australia towards curriculum
frameworks that are cross-curricular and that might, at some future time,
marginalise English as a separate discipline in favour of communicative

In addition, this number of the journal contains two essays: by
Rui Vieira de Castro, who discusses contemporary processes of
reconfiguration of the Potuguese Language Area in secondary education; and
Karl Canvat, who discusses the contemporary place of literature in the
French curriculum


The contributions show how in all of these countries mother tongue education
is under discussion in terms of paradigms. They show how political,
academic, educational and other groups strive to win their definition of
mother tongue education. The discussions themselves show strong national
characteristics. The main debate is often between mother tongue education as
cultural knowledge - embodied in literature and grammar - and a more
communicative paradigm in which language abilities, language use and a broad
repertoire of texts are seen as the core of the mother tongue curriculum.
Cosson points to the history of this discussion.

The different contributions also show that we must be careful when talking
about concepts like literature or communication. There appear to be many
definitions of 'literature', and the concept of 'communication' is a
pendulum swinging between an interactionist perspective and a utilitarian
one. Overlaid onto this complexity is also Cosson's warning about
distinguishing between documents and plans and classroom practice.

The most important conclusion might be that the dominant forces behind the
paradigmatic debates are not academics or teachers, but political groups.
For us this raises a burning question: who owns mother tongue education?



Gert Rijlaarsdam




 <http://www.ilo.uva.nl/> Graduate School of Teaching and Learning (GSTL),
University of Amsterdam

Spinozastraat 55, 1018 HJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

T + 31 20 5251288

F + 31 20 5251290

E G.C.W.Rijlaarsdam@uva.nl;

W Company <http://www.ilo.uva.nl/> www.ilo.uva.nl.

W Personal <http://www.ilo.uva.nl/homepages/gert>


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