Tuesday, March 27, 2012


By: Jessica Bibiana Liberato R.

At the moment of thinking about a metaphor to stand for what a teacher is, the first image that came to my mind was a shepherd.

A “good” or “great” shepherd takes care of his sheep, he loves them, he projects them and he tries to give them everything. Similarly, a teacher must be concerned for his/her students, he should be the one who strives and does his best, not for his own glory but because of his deep affection towards his beloved students, his job and what ultimately becomes his life.

A bad shepherd or teacher does not look after those who need him because that person is only looking for money. It does not mind if the wolf comes and devours them all, or if they are going through a difficult situation that might hurt them.

Being any of both, a teacher or a shepherd requires love, patience, tenderness, friendship, kindness, altruism, benevolence, tolerance, compassion about others, since the way we give is the way we receive.

A teacher is a model to follow; he guides with his teachings, he empowers his students to try their best to learn, he encourages them to keep on and provides them with the best tools to succeed. Similarly, a good shepherd is the guide for the sheep; he takes his sheep to a secure place, he feeds them, keeps a vigilant eye on them for any danger and helps them grow healthfully.


By: Jessica Bibiana Liberato R.

After I watched the movie called Freedom Writers, I began asking myself the extent to which the role of the teachers in the classroom is and how accountable we are for making our students become and feel someone important. It was a very inspiring movie and it shows us that the only boundaries impossible to pass are the ones we establish. Sometimes, our own conceptions and beliefs make us think we cannot do anything better for our students and just continue reproducing the same old traditions that are now old-fashioned.

What I enjoyed the most about the movie was the way in which the teacher looked for ways to face a difficult situation that the students had at school. I believe that most of us have to deal with difficult situations in both our lives and our schools but in the latter, some people just keep distance and never worry about how students might feel and what they would do as a consequence of their desperation. In my point of view, the teacher shown in the movie is an example to follow and although our reality is a little different to the one displayed in the film, our challenge must always be to transform our students’ reality and environment and always look for their welfare.

What I think we must learn from this movie is that should never give up and just let things happen without any intervention from our part when we know it definitely involves our attention and care. Many people use a mask to cover all their fears and bad experiences because they do not want to repeat what they had already lived. However, it does not affect the person who wears it but also the others around and that is a selfish thing to do. Teachers must heed the call to be examples to follow and if we actually search for the best for our students, we should also give them the best when teaching, sharing time with them and being part of their lives.

Being a teacher can be similar to assuming a role of showing a topic for students to repeat but being a good teacher goes beyond because not only the cognitive processes are important but also our students’ feeling, emotions, likes, social worlds, experiences; then, the challenge for us has to do with the way in which we interact with what they know and have lived as a way of motivating them and help them become good people for our society.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Before we were born we knew our mission, but once here on earth it is our duty to find a way to fulfill our mission.


Butterfly has several changes in its body and each one is to improve.

1. AS AN EGG: is where this animal began his training to become a butterfly and knows what his mission is and for this reason only a few emerge.
Many people start to study B.A in English but only few follow this profession (few emerge). As a normal person I decided to follow the teaching profession.

2. AS A CATERPILLAR:  is where this animal is dislodged by land, living and experiencing their environment. During this phase they emerge from their skin 5 times and each change makes them stronger and smarter.
This is where I am moving by land all the time to see, observe and feel the experience becoming a teacher.
At this time I gather all the knowledge such as pedagogical, linguistic and practical as a teacher, and every time I learn something new I change and improve (changing my skin).

3. IN THE BUD: is where the metamorphosis takes place, and create his wings to fly in a future, showing new face to take flight as a butterfly.
In this cycle began a process of reflection where I think the things that I can be or things that may arise in the course of my life as a teacher. And this is the time where I create my wings (general knowledge) and completing my new attitude, not as a caterpillar (student), as a butterfly (teacher).

4. AS A BUTTERFLY: takes flight and begins to pollinate where it goes on the road is facing major winter storms, low temperatures, predation and depletion of its body, but he could not forget his mission because it is pollinating everything in their path and finally giving his life for a new one.
As a butterfly once I open my wings and start to feel my commitment with society and the world, and that is where I take flight and start to make my way. but this road is not easy, because I can face major winter storms (problems), high and low temperatures (different environments in class), predation (people who do not want to help the society and the world) and the exhaustion of my body, (will come a time where my body is exhausted from work but it does not matter, because I am willing to give my life only to improve the world.)

Each butterfly is on the road sharing, pollinating everything in its path trees, plants, flowers (children, adults, old people, etc.) and each time it passes it gives its knowledge to improve the environment as a demonstration of life.
During this trip I will meet with other butterfly (other teachers) and travel together to learn from one another so I learn from mistakes and share my experience with others.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This theory is related to the innate knowledge (the author claims) is inside us for acquiring the mother tongue. It is important to highlight that this theory was not thought for giving an explanation to the acquisition of the second language, but just to the understanding of the first language acquisition.

There is an endowment located in the broca area in the brain which is the responsible of permitting children acquire the language during a critical period. There are divided opinions when explaining this theory because some authors think this hypothesis can be used for explaining second language acquisition, while some others think it cannot.

“Others argue that, although it is a good framework for understanding first language acquisition, UG is no longer available to guide the acquisition of the second language in learners who have passed the critical period for language acquisition.”

When reflecting upon the critical period we see it cannot be used for acquiring a second language because that period has been overcome by the acquisition of the first language.

Posted by: Jessica B. Liberato


We were interested in talking about this theory because its insights have a pedagogical and psychological relationship with some of the other hypotheses (Output and Interaction hypotheses). We can conclude this, due to the importance offered to Vygotskian thoughts. From this author’s point of view, language is a socially mediated process. Language mediates social and psychological activities.

When applying this theory, it is necessary to group all the actors involved in the process of acquisition of language because Vygostki confers a high importance to the role of social interaction to the social being.

Leraners, observe and imitate others target language speakers models for having an example to follow.  Collaboration is really important in this theory, which promotes interaction among apprentices that can facilitate the movement from one stage to a more advanced one.

Scaffolding is a key word when discussing important concepts in the sociocultural theory. Scaffolding is related to the support offered from another person in order to solve a task.

4. Page 18 and 19. Intercultural Communicative Competence. Mychael Byram.

Posted  by: Jessica B. Liberato


Schumman holds there is a relationship between the social and psychological distances from the target language and the amount of acquisition from the learner; this is to say, the more degree of interaction and comfortable relationship with the language that the learner experience, the more the student acquire the target language.

Acculturation is the action generated from the learner when it is integrated with the target language. At this point when talking about acculturation, we could think about the worth study of the meaning of Intercultural Communicative Competence. 

For us as future teachers, culture must be an important issue when teaching a foreign language, but we have to be careful when administrating these kinds of information or competence to our students. Related to this topic about the necessary skills for an effective intercultural and cross-cultural management,  “Gudykunst, proposes “the need for a sense of a common shared world” The qualities of the “competent communicator“, which he identifies , are the psychological preconditions  for satisfying this need, but a common shared world has to be created in interaction with other people. It is not simply there, wanting to be discovered and accessed”3

It is essential for the teacher to have a clear concept about these terms because they will help her/him to distinguish which kind of competence is necessary for the students. As Gudykunst proposed, we need to be conscious that all of us are part of the same world; for that reason, we are a social group where all the people need to accept others and at the same time, be accepted by them.

Socialization is a process in which we accept and respect differences in behaviors, beliefs and meanings from different groups. Those differences are presented when negotiating meaning; by the time that the learner has a contact with one integrant from a different culture, he has to respect the other beliefs without forgetting his/her own costumes.

“FLT should not attempt to provide representations of other cultures, but should concentrate on equipping learners with the means of accessing and analyzing any cultural practices and meanings they encounter” 4. The Role of students must not be one of imitators of foreigners, but social actors in interaction.

3. Page 17. Intercultural Communicative Competence. Mychael Byram.

Posted by: Jessica B. Liberato


Previously, we were examining and looking at the most important issues in the INPUT HYPOTHESIS; now, we want to link these two hypotheses because it is important to think of the role of production in English. From our point of view, output is closely related to the process of production.

For Swain, constant practice facilitates the learner to be conscious of her/his production. Output makes to move the learner from the semantic processing to the complete grammatical processing for accurate production.

According to Merrill Swain, “The output hypothesis claims that the act of producing language (speaking or writing) constitutes under certain circumstances, part of the process of second language learning”1. As it can be noticed, there is a need for implementing and improving the use of these two skills  which are different from the Input Hypothesis and that could be grouped together, forming  a whole construct necessary for students to be able to convey meaning and communicate their ideas.

According to this author there are three specific functions of output; they are as follows:

1. The noticing/triggering function: It refers to the awareness or “noticing” students find when they cannot say or write exactly what they need for conveying meaning. With the use of this function, learners realize there are some linguistics problems they need to manage, so that, it pushes the student to look for the adequate knowledge they require for completing the new discovered gap.

“Learners may notice that they cannot say what they want to say in the target language” (Swain 1995) Noticing this “hole” (Doughty and Williams 1998) may be an important step to noticing the gap. 2

2. The hypothesis-testing function: This function suggests learners may use the method of “trial and error” for testing her /his production expecting to receive a feedback. This feedback can be applied in two ways: recasts and elicitations or clarifications requests. Example: 

3. The metalinguistic (reflective function): Language is seen as a tool conducive to reflection on the language used by the teacher, their partners and the student himself/herself. (Vigotsky´s sociocultural theory)
Stetsenko and Arievitch (1997:161) state: “Psychological processes emerge first in collective behavior in co-operation with other people, and only subsequently become internalized as the individual’s own possessions.”

When explaining this theory, it is necessary to highlight the importance of the negotiation of meaning, which is not simply related to understand the meaning of the message the transmitter sends to the receiver despite the problems in its structure, but a clear, precisely, coherently and appropriately message=Pushed output.  Pushed output example:

This theory has a great importance since thanks to it, we can move from the input data provided to the student from the environment to the capacity of the learner to produce a clear and coherent   language.

We considered it is important to make our students to produce language through writing exercises or activities and speaking interaction among students. If we are able to store information in our student’s brain, they will have the necessary background for conveying meaning and make their communication activities an efficient practice.

Comprehensible input + Comprehensible output = Effective Second language Acquisition.

Some important advantages applicable to the classrooms when reflecting upon this hypothesis are the collaboration and interaction necessary for students to feel comfortable and work together. Language in this case will serve as a mediating tool, which allows students to lead with the solving-problem process they encounter in the path of acquiring the second language.

It is something of great importance to be conscious of our role of individuals who have a more advanced conscious process in contrast to our students and consequently the ones able to provide correction for students applying new accurate and proper constructions when providing feedback. This feedback is important in our context, especially, because it is one of the few settings in which students have a contact to the target language and they need advices and corrections for improving their production. 

1,2 Power Point Presentation: The output hypothesis: Its history and its future. Merril Swain. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Posted by: Jessica B. Liberato