Re: Talk of courses and discussions

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Tue Jun 07 2005 - 06:36:14 PDT

Hi Kevin,
I guess we could call this a teaser for main discussions that hopefully
will start once papers are assembled and available (I'm working on that
now). I fail to see how your issues could NOT come up once we've

I can't help but add that publishers and internationally oriented
ESL/EFL textbooks are a strong force in the mix of your issues.

On 06/06/2005, at 11:13 PM, Kevin Rocap wrote:

> Hey Phil,
> Thanks for sending your thoughts. I'm not sure I grasped all of it.
> I need to brush up my Bourdieu ;-) And I think I need to quickly
> ascend to the concrete.
> I'm thinking in a rather quotidian fashion about cross-racial and
> cross-cultural interactions among, say, English language learners and
> predominantly white, English-Only teachers, teaching either ESL or
> academic content in English (with or without English language
> development affordances for English language learners).
> White teachers, not to generalize, but I've seen this often enough,
> choose topics and content of relevance to them, rather than of
> interest or relevance to the learners before them, and with little
> attention to the range of students' prior knowledge (that is to say,
> at best, teachers seek rather narrow prior knowledge regarding the
> specific content or information they are seeking to "transfer" to
> students - not tapping into the range of experiences and/or cultural
> aspirations and meanings they might tap into). And even the moniker
> "English Language Learner" which is commonly used, sets out a purpose
> or "object" of primarily focusing on the labeled student's need to
> learn English, often to the exclusion of other cultural or academic
> purposes for interactions with the student, no? While that may not be
> the student's or his/her family's primary "object" for his/her
> learning (though an important one, doubtless). And, yes, it seems
> often possible to discern subtle and not-so-subtle hierarchies of skin
> color in how classes are organized, which students are put into
> leadership roles, who/what are visually present on the walls of the
> classroom and in the corridors. With social relations outside of
> school, replicated within school activities.
> The things I mention are all common types of things multiculturalists
> and/or critical pedagogists may take into consideration. So, then, I
> become interested in the force of CHAT concepts for designing more
> empowering learning environments and potentially for explicating or
> critiquing in different ways power relationships around race,
> ethnicity, gender, special needs, language status, etc.
> But don't want to force us to quickly in that direction. As I
> mentioned, I'm sure their are multiple "objects" for this discussion
> among us.
> Thaks for the spur to thought and conversation Phil.
> In Peace,
> K.

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