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Promoting Change in China's English Classrooms?
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject: Promoting Change in China's English Classrooms? Reply with quote

Is Gilman's Equation relevant to us Pedagogical Change Agents in China?
(Former astrophysicist, Robert Gilman, founder of In Context magazine)
N-O>CC

Perceived Value - Perceived Value of >Perceived Cost
of the Old Way of the New Way of the Change


In other words, for an innovation to be adopted and
change to occur, the difference in perceived value
between the old and the new way of doing things has to
seem greater than the perceived cost of the switch.

"Either something is cool--sexy, attractive, appealing
on multiple levels for reasons hard to describe--or
it's not. If an innovation is perceived as cool, that
particular factor can outweigh lots of others,including
monetary expense. But without 'coolness,' the new thing
will have a hard time sweeping the World, no matter how
cheap it is."
pp192-193

THREE BASIC STRATEGIES FOR MOTIVATING TRANSFORMATION

1. Promote the new. Or..."increase the perceived value
of the new idea." This is the principal work of the
Change Agents, but they certainly depend upon the work
of the Innovators, who make a 'cool' product initially.

2. Critique the old. Or..."decrease the perceived value
of the status quo by attacking it, either directly or
subtly, in short, making the old way of doing things
seem uncool. This is generally the work of the
Iconoclasts, though Change Agents also help.

3. Facilitate the switch. "This is the most important
and the least obvious strategy for making change happen.
It is also where many change efforts fail, because they
forget to reduce the perceived cost of making the
change."

Believing Cassandra
193-194
FIVE CRITICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF INNOVATIONS

1. (Perceived)Relative advantage.
2. Simplicity
3. Trial-ability
4. Observability.
5. Compatibility


Last edited by ChinaMovieMagic on Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:32 pm    Post subject: Formulatic Erratic Reply with quote

Perceived Value of the New Way- Perceived Value of Old Way>Perceived Cost of the Change

"The Gilman Equation"
N - O > CC

That is, the PERCEIVED Value of the New minus the PERCEIVED Value of the Old must be greater than the PERCEIVED Cost of the Change
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 7:26 pm    Post subject: RE: CHANGE AGENT STRATEGY (1)PROMOTE the NEW/FT Community Reply with quote

Check out my friends at
(1) www.ialearn.org
(2) http://www.njcu.edu/cill/journal-index.html
especially the articles BELOW.

RE: The power of whole-brained/whole-hearted COMMUNITY of English-teachers/Chinese-learners...I'm presently negotiating to be Teacher/Trainer/Materials Developer etc. as well as Summer Camp honcho (non-school/movie Role Play-based/rural as well as On-the-Road) for a VERY SPECIAL Children's Cultural Palace somewhere in a liveable smaller city in Sichuan. This city also has many-many hi-tech institutes, thus a large number of good schools for the kids of the techies, as well as universities--all needing FTs.
Many opportunities are here...to do some collective pedagogical entrepreneuring. More later...when it's firm, I'll have INFO on the WebPage of the Cultural Palace.

My particular interest--recruiting/developing community w/ folks who:
* have/want to have positive experiences in learning Chinese
* are interested in experiencing whole-brained Chinese learning
* are interested in being models of teaching/learning success--"Practice what you Preach."
===============================================
The JILL folks have asked me to write an article about my approach, but I want to base it more upon in-depth/long-range experience. The Cultural Palace offers this opportunity...as well as a TV show, and Franchising and Profit Sharing...all depending upon RESULTS.

http://www.njcu.edu/cill/journal-index.html

Autonomous Learning through Cinema:One Learner 's Memories

Connecting the Powers of Music to the Learning of Languages

The Creative Connection in Movies and TV: What '"Degrassi High" Teaches Teachers

Creating Theater in the ESL Classroom

The Deep Water Had Deeper Fishes: On Creating a Language of the Imagination with Children

Imagination and Memory: Friends or Enemies

Imagination in Second Language Acquisition

Imagination Really Means Freedom

The Imagination:Where Roles and Images Reside

The Influence of Affective Variables on EFL/ESL Learning and Teaching

L 2 Learning:Restructuring the Inner World

Language Learning through Lies and Fantasies

Mental Holography:The Power of Imagery in Communication

Multiple Intelligences and Second Language Acquisition

On Creating Theatrical Collages with ESL Students

Organic Learning:Crossing the Threshold from Conscious and Unconscious

The Role of Emotions in Language Teaching

Storytelling: A Way of Freeing the Imagination.

Teaching English Through Broadway Musicals

Telling Tales in School: Using Myths in the ESL Classroom

Who am I in English? Developmenting a Language Ego

Whole Brain Learning and Relaxation Techniques
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Old Dog



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 564
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:17 am    Post subject: Winner Reply with quote

Movie Magic, You're on a winner here. I think what you've got is long over due. China has been waiting for this innovative approach for a long time. I think you're going to generate a lot of interest. And don't be surprised if you are obliged to think on a national rather than a provincial scale. Get ready for the call from Beijing.
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cujobytes



Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 1031
Location: Zhuhai, (Sunny South) China.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:39 am    Post subject: > Reply with quote

All good and well but be careful how you go about introducing the idea of change. To suggest a new way of doing things means the old way of doing things is wrong. Which means someone (probably in the national education Dept.) is wrong. For them to accept a new way would mean a massive loss of face for someone. When you experience resistance, this is why. Never underestimate the power of 'face' in China.
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:39 am    Post subject: "Education Revolution" Best-Selling Book in China Reply with quote

The fatal drawback in Confucian education was its inflexibility and its commitment to the status quo...This dedication to an established order paralyzed the imagination of the people. Thus progress came to a halt.
(Cowles Encyclopedia,1967)

(1) PROMOTE the NEW China's official national policy states: "Encourage people to be creative and inventive." (Wang and Yu, pp. 98-99) Certainly Chinese learners of English see many movies as being “cool,” and they already use movies for learning English. China’s book/audio tape publishers (all government run) have responded to the market demand. Bookstores—both government-run and private--throughout China offer a wide range of movie-based English-learning materials, containing a bi-lingual film script with grammar/vocabulary/culture explanations, and an audio tape/CD of the movie dialogue. In my classes in China over the past 5 years I have used such materials with excellent results. In Chinese K--12 and university classes, experienced native-speaker English Conversation teachers are typically free to design their own courses, and movie-based role play/TPR can be easily used by them to promote whole-brained learning.
In the spirit of "promote the new" paradigm, an international non-profit movie-discussion project was recently launched, called Spiritual Cinema Communities (which, in China, I am discretely renaming "Movie Magic"). A movie review from the Website (www.mysticalmovies.com) demonstrates the project’s commitment to the power of the imagination: “When an old paradigm dies, a void in time is created and that twilight space becomes a magical opportunity for all those who have been born into it. The new paradigm is still but a ray of sun on a distant horizon and it is that light that sustains us in the unknown of that suspended moment in time." As a volunteer China Representative for this network, I shall be developing community activities for English learning by using movie-based Community Language Learning/TPR/role play/imagination/discussion activities for learners of (1)English and (2)Chinese.
The phrase “promote the new” resonates with unique dynamics in China, which has for millennia been a nation profoundly influenced by precedents, tradition and custom. One China researcher has noted: “no dictator ever ruled with greater power than ‘Precedent in China.’” (Lauer) This Movie Magic English Corner project is building upon two precedents in China—(1)English learning and (2)English Corners. Over the past 20 years they have been increasingly perceived as a valuable asset for China’s “Opening to the World” initiated by Deng Xiao Peng. The status of English in China has shifted from that of a scorned pariah (intensely so during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution) to one of high prestige today. Centuries ago, during the early days of the Canton settlements, only the despised 'linguists', social outcasts to a man, were permitted to learn the barbarians' tongue. In contrast, English is nowadays a prerequisite for both academic development and political advancement, as it would appear from the growing numbers of competent English speakers among top-ranking leaders in the Chinese Communist Party.

(2) CRITIQUE the OLD
China official policy states: “Eliminate ignorance and combat feudal and superstitious activities.” “Improve our ability to understand the world and change it.” (Wang and Yu, p.9Cool In China, criticizing the current English etc. pedagogy is so widespread that it is passé. From the early days of the People's Republic of China, policy makers spoke of a firm determination to break free from the process of feudal-Confucian education. As Mr. Lu Ting-Yi, Chief of the Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee indicated in 1960, the goal of education reforms was nothing less than the total overturn of "old traditions in educational work that have persisted for thousands of years." (Hu, 1974) The reform process involved large-scale experimentation on reducing the number of years spent in education, raising the standards, controlling the study hours, and increasing physical labor to a suitable extent in the full-time middle and elementary schools. (Hu, 1974)

Fast forward forty years to contemporary China. The traditional exam-oriented, pressure-cooker process of "Confucian education" seems to be far from overturned, and there is concern in the society as a whole---students, parents, teachers, school officials, government officials. A recent story from the official, government-owned China Daily News seems to verify the saying "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of the China Youth and Children Research Center, states in the article: "Though children nowadays enjoy a much better living and study environment than their parents did, they are overwhelmed by a kind of invisible pressure which can not allow them to feel the pleasures of life." Statistics support the concerns expressed:
*students with psychological problems make up 21 percent of primary schools and 32 percent of secondary schools nationwide
*the ratio at universities and colleges range from 16 to 25 percent
*according to a sample survey in Nanjing, "after-school training courses take up an average of 57 percent of a child's spare time, while children in some developed countries spend over 90 percent of their spare time on sports or activities of their own choosing."
Perhaps it is not appropriate or even necessary to critique the old in China at this time. In theory, students, teacher, parents, school administrators and government officials agree that English pedagogy reform is necessary. In terms of the actual process of reforming English teaching, however, the difficulty is that China’s education system is excessively exam-oriented, with intense competition for scores which can qualify students for places in China’s woefully low supply of universities. As English conversation ability is not tested on the national exams, the “teach for the test” syndrome can easily prevail. Lacking confidence in their own English conversation skills and untrained in the communicative approach pedagogy, Chinese teachers focus upon vocabulary and grammar. Students in English Conversation class often can be seen studying in class for a test in another subject. Students who have had many years of English classes typically lack the confidence or the ability to engage in a simple conversation in English. Certainly China's English Corners are a major improvement upon the typical overcrowded/stress-filled/boring English classroom in China. With the Beijing 2008 Olympics approaching, the Chinese national and local governments are increasingly focused upon the need to promote cost-effective mass English training. The context and content of English Corners can be expanded and deepened.


Yes...Change isn't ensured.
Myth of Sisyphus?
BUT...being part of a movement w/kindred folks...
...some are attracted the the process-in-itself
...an Archimedean Strategy...
...100th Monkey?
...linked w/others in day-to-day on-site creations...
...Aquarian Conspiracy&whole-brained"English Pedagogical Evolution"
China has the opportunity/necessity to develop an Alternative Model of development...
...A Sustainable Development alternative to the US-model of "Full speed ahead!" neo-Titanic course headed for eco-catastrophe
In the spirit of "retarded lead" China can/must develop Alternatives...
Of course, it's only "can/must"...not necessarily "will"
That's part of the process of Aquarian Conspiracy&100th Monkey
Promoting Sustainable China...thru our students we touch the future...
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:38 pm    Post subject: Movie Magic--Principles/Practices Reply with quote

BELOW are some principles/practices of Movie Magic. Of course, only some elements are practical in the classroom. What I aim for is an Intensive Language Learning Environment, with many activities going on at the same time. Here at Sichuan U's ILTC (www.iltcscu.org) it's NOT INTENSIVE...just a classroom environment. With luck, we may be able to do some sort of mini-branch experimental project w/them. Maybe not. But certainly the market is here for INTENSIVE. I've asked the folks to look for a place for Summer (and perhaps long-term)Camp at famed JiuZaiGou in N Sichuan.

==============================================

Key Principles

*Second language acquisition occurs when
comprehensible input is delivered in a low-anxiety
situation, when real messages of real interest are
transmitted and understood.
(Krashen)

*A very interesting hypothesis is that we learn best
only when the pressure is completely off, when anxiety
is zero, when the acquirer's focus is entirely on
communication; in short, when the interchange or input
is so interesting that the acquirer 'forgets" that it
is in a second language.
(Krashen)

*It has become evident to many teachers of ESL
students that most of the available texts and
materials are based on artificial sequencing of
grammatical structures and stilted, often irrelevant,
dialogues and topics.
(Rodriguez and White)


Key Elements

*high ratio of native/advanced English speakers to
English learners

*a bilingual Mandarin-English environment--bringing
together Chinese interested in improving their
English, as well as foreigners

*a variety of activities available for the
participants
(1)free conversation
(2)viewing/discussion of movie/movie segment
(3)discussion of movie reviews
(4)movie-based role plays
(5)a wide range of other activities--Theatre Games,
discussion topics, public speaking training, Karaoke
singing


One difficulty with English conversation
centers/corners is that the unstructured dynamic
frequently loses focus. The members and conversation
partners often experience the awkward feeling of a
first date--trying to think of things to say, having
uncomfortable periods of silence, wishing they were
somewhere else.

DVD movies will be an essential element for this project.
All members will share the experience of viewing the film, so conversation will have a common focus. In addition, we can offer:
*a wide range of movie reviews for each movie--promoting vocabulary development/critical thinking/active discussions
(available at www.imdb.com)
*movie scripts (available at www.script-o-rama.com)

Over the years, L2 teachers have developed a wide range of communicative techniques based upon the creative use of movie segments, such as:

VIEWING COMPREHENSION (with sound off)
DIALOGUE BUILDING (with sound off)
AURAL ONLY PREDICTION (with sound only)
PREDICTIVE VIEWING--What will happen?
REVERSE PREDICTION--What happened before the sequence seen?
JIGSAW VIEWING (Only half the viewers see the sequence, and they relate it to those who haven't. Replay it to compare.)

Such approaches can create an enhanced learning environment, in harmony with Krashen's principles:
*A RICH VARIETY OF COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT
*A LOW-ANXIETY SITUATION
*REAL MESSAGES OF REAL INTEREST

A short (1 to 3 minutes) close-captioned movie segment offers the learner a synergistic schemata of opportunities for comprehensible INPUT. The visual images themselves are comprehensible and are stored
in the students' memories as EXPERIENCES, rather than as a language lesson that must be "studied/learned" because the teacher will test the students for their ability to "remember" the lesson.
A schematic tapestry of English words becomes associated with the movie's images and emotions. Plot, character, emotion--these are the 'hooks' by which the language becomes comprehensible input and stored intake. This dynamic is quite different from the artificial approaches typically used--vocabulary lists, linear progressions in grammar complexity etc.)
To use another metaphor, the memories of the movie segment can be seen as gravitational schemata which can attract and retain words associated with the images. As the learner thinks of a scene, an
ever-expanding constellation of words and sentences can become linked in the memory with a pleasant (LOW-ANXIETY) experience, rich with REAL MESSAGES OF REAL INTEREST. As the learner thinks of one character,
a tremendous variety of adjectives and actions can become part of the schemata.
This is in harmony with the episode hypothesis, which states that "text (i.e. discourse in any form) will be easier to produce, understand, and recall to the extent that it is motivated and structured episodically...these ideas lead to the supposition that perhaps second language teaching would be more successful if it incorporated principles of good story
writing along with the benefits of sound linguistic analysis." (Oller)
In addition to discussion of the movies, Members and Dialogue Partners will also be active in role play based upon the movie segments. In Why Drama Works: A Psycholinguistic, Susan Stern at UCLA brings together
a wide range of research relating to the power of role play for creating an enjoyable and effective second language environment:

*MOTIVATION "The purposefulness of dramatic activity
can provide a strong instrumental motivation for
language learning...Moulding emphasized that drama
provides the context for a meaningful exchange in
which participants see a reason to communicate, and
focuses on 'how to do things' with the language rather
than on merely 'how to describe things.' Malley and
Duff explained that language teaching has tended to
kill motivation by divorcing the intellectual aspects
of language (vocabulary + structures) from its body
and emotions, limiting instruction to the former.
Dramatic techniques restore the body and emotions to
language learning, thereby restoring emotion."

*SELF-ESTEEM "An analogy between acting and martial
arts suggested by Via explains one way in which drama
helps self-confidence. Just as a yell accompanies the
strike in order to build the confidence and increase
the energy of the attacker, so a strong and clear
voice (necessary when performing) gives the language
learner confidence. Drama also raises self-esteem by
demonstrating to L2 learners that they are indeed
capable of expressing themselves in realistic
communicative settings."

*SENSITIVITY TO REJECTION "L2 learnwers who are afraid
of what others may think of their less-than-perfect
comand of the language will be inhibited in using it.
This is especially true of adults. Several educators
have found that drama creates a
non-threateningsituation which can reduce and even
eliminate sensitivity to rejection."

*EMPATHY 'Guiora explains that emphathic capacity is
dependent upon the ability to partially and
temporarily suspend the functions that maintain one's
separateness from others (usually called ego
boundaries)...Guiora et al. hypothesize that ability
to approximate native-like pronunciation in a second
language is related to the flexibility or permeability
of one;s ego boundaries.

*SPONTANEITY "Mann explains that persons in the
spontaneous state completely forget the existence of
the audience or cease to be completely about its
reactions,,,'In varying degrees the person in such a
state acts as though inspired. He draws on resources
which neith he nor his friends may have thought he had
at his disposal.' If this state can be induced in L2
learners via drama, the usual gap between thought and
statement which ceases to exist in the native
language might cease to exist in the second language
as well."
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millie



Joined: 29 Oct 2003
Posts: 413
Location: HK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChinaMovieMagic wrote
Quote:
That's part of the process of Aquarian Conspiracy&100th Monkey


It's looking good, very good.
M
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ChinaEFLteacher



Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Posts: 104
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

old dog , you may be an expert in your field and a professional gramarian, but how is your teaching? do you regularly use cynicism and sarcasm to elicit input from your students? when they try to tell their ideas with enthusiasm do you let them know they're only idealists and that 'the world' will never change? this guy might be 'out there' a bit, but let's here your teaching ideas as well so we can compare.
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:16 am    Post subject: Paradigm Paralysis? Reply with quote

Bertrand Russell:

>>To the sophisticated youth of the West all this ardour seems a trifle crude. He is firmly persuaded that having studied everything impartially, he has seen through everything and found that there is `nothing left remarkable beneath the visiting moon.'

...If this diagnosis is right, modern cynicism cannot be cured merely by preaching, or by putting better ideals before the young than those that their pastors and masters fish out from the rusty armory of outworn superstitions. The cure will only come when intellectuals can find a career that embodies their creative impulses.<<<
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millie



Joined: 29 Oct 2003
Posts: 413
Location: HK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:48 pm    Post subject: Cripeys! Reply with quote

Well Old Dog

The dawn has passed and I wonder can you answer the challenge?

Quite clearly, ChinaMovieMagic has laid down the gauntlet ...and you have to admit to some very strong points there.

Very, very strong points indeed.
mmmm.....
M


Last edited by millie on Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChinaMovieMagic



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 2102
Location: YangShuo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:07 pm    Post subject: [b]CRITIQUE THE OLD[/b] Reply with quote

2. Critique the old. Or..."decrease the perceived value
of the status quo by attacking it, either directly or
subtly, in short, making the old way of doing things
seem uncool. This is generally the work of the
Iconoclasts, though Change Agents also help.
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laodeng



Joined: 07 Feb 2004
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on, guys. This is the same whole brain (i.e., left brain, right brain) crappola that has been discussed literally for years. I wished it worked, but all the meta-analyses I have seen warn that "left- and right-brain differences tend to draw more attention that the research warrants . . ." * In short, the theory is glitzy, but the practical application leaves much to be desired.

* H. D. Brown, Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, Pearson Hall Regents, 1994.
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millie



Joined: 29 Oct 2003
Posts: 413
Location: HK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

However, Laodeng, it makes very interesting reading.

I like to take all the words which are in bold then re-assemble them in random order.
And do it again and again.
That makes for very, very interesting reading.

mmmmm….
M
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laodeng



Joined: 07 Feb 2004
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, Postmodernism. I shall re-read his logorrhea with renewed interest. Thanx, millie.
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