Sunday, May 29, 2011

Intro to Wendell Berry

He's very American and very rural. I don't know how much I agree with him, but he certainly offers as sober a challenge to scientifically managed curricula as any I've come across.

This is a commencement speech he recently gave. After a fairly long introduction, his talk starts at 3 minutes 40 seconds.

Critical Discourse Analysis Assignment

In hopes of clarifying the critical discourse analysis assignment, I have uploaded a short description below. I hope it helps. As always, feel free to contact me with questions. I'd like you to turn this in by the last week of class, but if you absolutely need a little more time, you may e-mail the assignment to me anytime before 9am on Tuesday, June 14.

Critical Pedagogies- critical discourse analysis assignment

Saturday, May 21, 2011


thanks to those who called me on a mistake in class tonight... i cited a miscitation of Graddol (2000) and mistakenly noted that there are an estimated 37 million speakers of English in the so-called "inner circle". As with some of you, that seemed strangely low when i looked at it in class and I've gone back and found that my source simply left off a zero (in 2000 Graddol estimated roughly 370 million speakers in the inner and outer circles respectively). i absent-mindedly copied the figure without giving it much thought. sorry for the oversight. it was a pretty off the wall mistake. so, apologies. according to the more recent numbers, we're around 380 million in the inner and 380 million in the outer circle. thanks for your patience... long day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Call for Papers

Hey all. Some colleagues and I are forming an online mini-journal and I encourage any and all of you to submit writings. We are not very specific about what we're after right now because we're waiting to see what sorts of voices are out there.
You can visit our website at for more info.

I've also tried to upload the general introduction and our call for papers.

call for papers

If indeed it did work... then you can also upload files to your blogs using
You'll have to sign up with an account with them, but other than that, it seems hassle free.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A re-reading

After a re-read of Sue Turnbull's "Dealing with Feeling: Why Girl Number Twenty Still Doesn't Answer" I felt the need to recommend this reading to anyone who is remotely interested in the Williamson reading we'll be covering in class this week. Turnbull directly responds to the Williamson chapter and she offers a relevant, creative, and thoughtful response to the issues under discussion. I know everyone's busy- and I know that we may not cover the reading in detail, but if you have the time and energy, I think the Turnbull chapter is well worth the effort.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Potentially Useful Link

Hey all,
I found this link yesterday. It reminded me of a conversation I had in class this week while discussing your lesson plans. It gives a nice description of everyday acts of resistance that changed the world. While 'individual hero' narratives can be a bit problematic, this seems to offer a nice starting point for teachers wishing to discuss social issues in their classes.

Here's another one that might be of use called 42 ways not to make trash

They're both articles from a fabulous magazine called YES!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

For your Lesson Plans (Due May 7)

Please post your lesson plans to your blogs AND turn in a hard copy to me on May 7. I'm not interested in seeing a timetable or a minute-by-minute description of what you plan to do in the class. Overmanaging lessons is one sure way of shutting down the possibility for critical reflection.

Please provide a description of:

The students (elementary, middle school, etc).
- The goal of the lesson/ any critical objectives you hope to achieve
- Any target language functions or structures
- All materials you will be using
(include photos, links to websites, brief descriptions of any multimedia)
- All planned activities
(detailed enought so another teacher could easily repeat the lesson)

Also include:
- Any discussion questions or classroom instructions you have planned
- Any handouts you will be using

Remember, you're writing these so other teachers can potentially read and adapt your ideas to their own teaching settings. So be clear, concise, and detailed in your descriptions.
Have a great week