Archive for May 5, 2009

“Don’t Let the Song Go Out of Your Life”

lilacs-in-courtyardYesterday it was very revealing to listen to talks by six individuals, some of whom are my teaching colleagues at the Language Center. They are also in different stages of working on their MA degree in a TESOL program. Understandably some were very nervous about how it would be received by those of us in the audience who are native speakers of English. I thought most did very well for starting out on their research after doing some basic review of the literature and pilot studies. Some have invested much heart into their projects already and will continue to give even more sweat equity into their research in order to be eventually awarded their masters degree in TESOL. The six women I heard last night were pitching their research ideas of what they propose to do. Some are a bit rough around the edges with their research question. However, once that is honed in, it will be exciting to see their results in what they write it up in their final paper.

The first talked about attitudes among the young people concerning Kazakh language learning. Next up was a focus on vocabulary by examining collocations (Michael Lewis’ Lexical Approach). After that we had the next speaker explain her ethnographic study in a near by university. She hopes to sit in and observe classroom interaction between Kazakh teachers and students for her qualitative research. After a break, we heard about classroom anxiety in an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) setting with a focus on speaking. Then the second to last speaker intends to research reciprocal teaching in the area of reading. (a very important topic for English teachers if we want to encourage good writing!!!) Finally, our last presenter spoke about learning styles and how to reach visual and auditory learners and how she was going to go about isolating her data. Some projects seemed overly ambitious and may take longer than a semester or two to accomplish. Some of these teachers-researchers will no doubt get discouraged in the process but they should not “let the song go out of their lives…”

“Don’t let the song go out of your life
Though it chance sometimes to flow
In a minor strain; it will blend again
With the major tone you know.

What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,
And hide for a time the sun,
The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,
If you let the melody run.

Don’t let the song go out of your life;
Though the voice may have lost its trill,
Though the tremulous note may die in your throat,
Let it sing in your spirit still.

Don’t let the song go out of your life;
Let it ring in the soul while here;
And when you go hence, ‘twill follow you thence,
And live on in another sphere.”

Check out this KZ blog with the screen name of : – it has interesting Kazakh music!!!

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