Tag Archives: Critical Literacy

A Spiced Island

There is a very interesting discussion going on at the British Council Teaching English website on literature, assessment, critical thinking and so on. It was prompted by Fitch O’Connell’s post on his experiences with literature in Portugal with  Romesh Gunesekera. The title of the article is A Spiced Island and it generated a quite spiced discussion 🙂

Talking about Romesh, I realised that I hadn’t posted here any comment about the event at Somerset House last June. Romesh is the Reader in Residence and he organised an evening event called Translations & Transformations. I was really glad to be invited because it was a fascinating evening. Translation is not my area and it was a great learning opportunity to hear people addressing the issue from a number of different angles.

Where is it leading to?

This is one of the cliché questions in our Critical Literacy in ELT project. Now after almost 3 years I have stepped down from the coordination and Nella de la Fuente is the incoming coordinator and will reamin in office till the next Braz-Tesol Conference in July 2010.

I think I can say that we have achieved quite a lot since the Hornby Summer School 2006, when the project started, not only in terms of rising a greater awareness of Critical Literacy but also in terms of promoting teacher development and education. Perhaps the second aspect is the most important of all. On the whole, over 200 teachers from Brazil, Peru and Argentina have attended a CL event, being it a seminar or workshop in a TA conference. We have a forum on the BC ELT Community that has received more than 20,000 hits and we have people translating CL material in 28 languages.

I am now leaving the coordination but I’ll still be responsible for the materials and publications. My next step is to edit the CL materials to make them fit for publication on a major British Council website and also publish the first issue of the CL SIG online newsletter.

As for the other aspects involving the project, I am sure Nella and the other members of the committee will do a great job and I wish her and the team all the luck.

Down the coast, up the Andes

It was my second time in Peru and in a certain way it was much more enjoyable than the first because I could see people I had met before and I could also realise how my first visit had created some bonds between us and how CL and the project have been keeping us connected. It was great to see Leo, Arturo, Augusto adn people from Cajamarca again.

Besides that, this time Nella was with me all the time and also Sara. It was simply great to have Sara with us, we had great fun and I just wish I had all the enrgy she has to cover three different reagions of the country in six days!

Our marathon started in Lima with a bit of sightseeing – being a tourist is indeed an exhausting job – and then the seminar at Camelot. Next morning we woke up at 4 am to take the plane to Trujillo, also on the coast. Trujillo is the city to where Sara should have settled 40 years ago, but things went amiss and she ended up going to Brazil. Lucky us!!! Tujillo is a very interesting place and the beach neaby is also unique. the event at Fleming College was really good we had great feedback there and met really enthusiastic teachers. A very special hello to Teresa 🙂

Then up the Andes on a night bus for six hours till Cajamarca. I’m not really sure I *like* Cajamarca, but there is something there that makes you want to go back – something in the lack of exygen perhaps… thanks for all the support we received from participants there.

For more on the events, please go to the ELT community, as usual.