Wednesday, March 31, 2010


these are pictures from Nina

This is a restaurant where an old fish market used to be....where we ate on Sat.!

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TESOL Presentations

Leverett, T. (2010, March). Making sure they know from Wikipedia. Teaching Tip, Writing IS, TESOL Convention 2010, Boston MA. Presentation homepage:

Leverett, T. (2010, March). Grammar technology for better or worse. Internet Fair Classics, and Internet Fair, Electronic Village, TESOL Convention 2010, Boston MA. Homepage for presentation:

For the Wikipedia presentation, I'm really feeling like I have to get more organized than I am; I have done a number of things (which you can access by clicking on Wikipedia below), but since it was mostly directed at this exercise, the wider base of resources I have threatens to be scattered and not focused here. Two things happened that brought home how important Wikipedia is to the ESL education business. One: I met a guy from Tajikistan who had written, himself, thousands of entries translating Wikipedia into Tajik, and representing Tajikistan on the Wikipedia base. Wikipedia had been careful to cultivate him as a resource and translator, web designer and template manager for the Tajik version. Second, people's comments indicated that Wikipedia played a crucial role in places where its translations and "watered-down English" version of things were the only resource available to ESL teachers trying to communicate with, for example, Bengali children in US schools.

The grammar presentation featured me fumbling a little to set up ESL Assistant, which requires software loaded onto a computer, and also saying quite frankly that I don't recommend that teachers put all their students on this technology, particularly if they are at a lower level, but that, as someone said, it's quite clear that they will be on it anyway. The research is quite frankly scaring me; the stuff they are told by the machines is in some cases quite odd. But in a sense I'm on my own home turf here; I've been studying how to explain grammar to ESL students for over 30 years, and I'm not surprised that a Microsoft computer geek can't quite meet my standard. If we were to work together, then, you never know. But that hasn't happened yet.

I'll have pictures soon, promise.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Documenting Wikipedia

Martin, N. (2007, Sept.) Wikipedia clamps down on 'unreliable' editors. Telegraph, UK. Accessed 3-10.

"Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia compiled by computer users, is to stop people from editing entries after a series of questionable updates cast a shadow over its accuracy and reliability." para. 1

"Employees of the CIA have been found altering the biographical information on former presidents including Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon." para. 7

Seven per cent of all internet users now visit the site every day. (para. 13)

“The changes could help transform the encyclopaedia from a rough guide into a trusted authority. But they might also erode the very freedoms that encourage people to contribute to the encyclopaedia in the first place,” said Jim Giles, from the New Scientist magazine. (para. 14)

The changes would also alter the ethos surrounding Wikipedia where everyone should be free to contribute to the creation of the encyclopedia. (para. 15)

Seelye, K. (2005, Dec. 4). Snared in the web of a Wikipedia liar. New York Times, Week in Review. Accessed 3-10.

Story of the false information posted about John Seigenthaler Sr.

Bryant, T. (2007, Aug. 21). Checking the reliability of Wikipedia. Academic Commons, blog.

Links to Wired article, others.

Meredith, L. (2010, Feb. 17). Information anarchy: Don't believe everything you read. LiveScience. Accessed 3-10.

Robertson, N. (2010, Mar. 3). Wikipedia's decline and the 7 types of human motivation. Enterprise irregulars.’s-decline-and-the-7-types-of-human-motivation/. Accessed 3-10.

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