Report on Teleconference
December 9, 1998
Northern Arizona University
About the Specialist
Jean Zukowski/Faust is a professor of
applied linguistics at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.
She has been at that institution since 1984.
Having received her baccalaureate (1966)
from the University of Wisconsin, MA in TESL (1972) and doctorate
in applied linguistics and English education (1978) from the University
of Arizona, Professor Zukowski/Faust has also served in the Peace
Corps, both as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkey and as the director
of the education project of the Peace Corps program in Poland, where,
for her efforts in establishing fifty-six language teacher education
programs, she was decorated by the Polish National government (the
Medal Komisji Edukaci Narodowej).
Her work has been recognized through
AZ-TESOL's Educator of the Year and Distinguished Service awards and
an special award from TESOL for her three years of work as editor
of the TESOL Newsletter. She has traveled to Yemen, Turkey, Germany,
Poland, Lebanon, and Cyprus for USIS and other short-term educational
Professor Zukowski-Faust is a materials
writer, having published with Holt, Rinehart, and Winston; Harcourt
Brace; Heinle and Heinle; NAFSA, the Asian Communications Network,
and Alta Book Publishers. She has served on the AZ-TESOL Executive
Board continually since 1976, has been editor of the AZ-TESOL Newsletter
for six years, and sits on the editorial boards of two professional
journals. She organized and coordinated the first AZ-TESOL Professional
Development Institute for teachers in 1998. In addition, she is a
professional editor and a frequent presenter at conferences and symposia.
Areas of Specialization
ESL Methodology, materials writing, teaching
integrated skills (as well as teaching listening, speaking, reading,
writing, culture, and critical thinking skills), teaching cultural
aspects of language learning; adapting materials to specific needs,
teaching vocabulary, teaching the multilevel class, adult education,
The Telepress conference held on Wednesday,
December 9, 1998, with Cairo, Egypt, was on the topic of integrating
skills within the language teaching curriculum. For this presentation
-- which began with a lecture of about twenty minutes and then a question
and answer session with participants in Egypt, I prepared a one-page
handout, a distillation of what I believe skills in language learning
- Waves (the sound waves perceived
and the sound waves produced in listening and speaking a language);
- Ink (the intake and output of written
language, the acts of reading and writing); and
- Guts (the cognitive and cultural aspects
of internalizing the attitudes and standards of a new language).
Questions from two well-known English
language teacher educators professionals in Egypt (Professors Nadia
Touba and Amira Agameya) spurred the thinking of the conference participants
so that the conference can be considered a combination of the answers
to these questions:
Question 1. In activities where we
aim to integrate a number of skills, students are usually expected
to do several things. In other words, such activities are quite
demanding. Is there a chance that we may be overwhelming students
by integrating cultural issues in such activities?
Question 2: In ESP courses, the focus
is usually on developing certain skills within a specified academic
context. In such cases, are we expected to ignore cultural issues?
Can cultural issues be divorced from the linguistic content of such
courses. Is it our responsibility to ascertain sociolinguistic/cultural
features that may be essential to communicative interaction?
Question 3. This question addresses
an issue that relates to a applying language acquisition research
findings to classroom teaching. Background: research in instructed
L2 acquisition has emphasized the importance of teaching grammar
(focus on form) in enhancing the process of acquisition. This research
has proposed using communicative tasks that focus the learners'
attention on particular grammatical features in the INPUT, while
delaying production until "noticing" has taken place.
Question 4. Have those research findings
found their way to the ESL classroom? Have materials writers become
aware of such developments? If yes, how have the suggestions proposed
by SLA researchers been incorporated into classroom teaching?
Question 5. Quite often writing teachers
find themselves having to deal with grammatical problems. However,
the writing syllabus does not allow them enough space to address
adequately students' varying grammar weaknesses.
Question 6. Is it possible to integrate
a grammar course into a writing course so that the grammar component
meets the particular needs of a writing class? How can such a course
Questions 7 and 8: I teach in a program
that has cultural objectives, such as becoming more familiar with
and tolerant of other cultures. Do you think changes in cultural
attitudes in a language class can, or should be measured? If so,
Question 9: Does the teaching of culture
prompt the teaching of stereotypes? Specifically, do you think cultural
studies can lead to some unhealthy promotion of stereotype?
Question 10: How much and what kind
of culture should be taught in language lessons to children?
Question 11. Which is better for the
learner - to acquire the language in Arabic culture or the English
one? And why?
Question 12 .The problem of teaching
cultural issues in an EFL class is that sometimes it turns into
teaching of a set of cultural do's and don'ts. How do we avoid that?
Additional questions and answers have
been exchaged via electronic mail.