Archive for May 13, 2009

CALL and 50 year old Soviet postcards

relay runnersYesterday at a workshop I conducted about the upcoming TESOL 2010 in Boston, I had the 20 or more Kazakhstani teachers guess the answers to the following questions.  Winners of the guessing game and writing exercise will get their prizes this afternoon.  I found the seventh question with the teachers’ answers quite interesting.  I believe we have our work cut out for us among those teachers who have not quite caught up to the Computer Age we are living in.  According to CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) it has been in existence for 25 years which means that computers and the functions they serve have been around for well over 30 years.  I’m also showing some more of the Soviet postcards from 50 years ago that I scanned this past weekend. 

 1. Educators who are involved with TESOL worldwide (includes affiliates). @60,000 (Luba guessed 100,000)

2. Individual paying members in TESOL – 14,000 (Zaira guessed 10,000)

3. People attended TESOL-Denver – @ 6,000 (Vera had the winning guess of 5,000)

4. TESOL affiliate associations – 100 (Svetlana guessed 125, let’s add Kazakhstan as an affiliate TESOL which would make it 101)

5. TESOL membership cost? $25 or ($50 for TQ) (about four people wrote $20, but I think the global electronic rate is now $25, much better than the usual $95 that I have paid annually since 1990)

6. TESOL began in 1966 (43-44 years ago) (Irina Krzhechkovskaya guessed 1970, but Kamiya said in the 1960s – both are winners)

7. CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) has existed since 1984. 25 years ago

This question had the most interesting results concerning knowledge of computers and the impact they have had on language learning.

5 years ago – 1

6 years ago – 1

7 years ago – 1

10 years ago – 3

14 years ago – 1

15 years ago – 1

19 years ago – 1

20 years ago – 3

25 years ago – winner Luba who guessed closest at 1985 or did she know?

30 years ago – 2

30-40 years ago – 1

40 years ago – 1

50 years ago – 2

That means that half a dozen teachers who said that CALL was around 10 years or less are behind the computer revolution that took place over 25 years ago.  Those who guessed that computers were around 40-50 years ago, just made an exaggerated guess.  Did it have anything to do with the 50 year old Soviet postcards that I showed during my powerpoint presentation?May 1 children

jester and samovar

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