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Vol 34 No 1, January - March 1996 Page 0 PREVIOUS ... CONTENTS ... SEARCH ... NEXT

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Editorial: Words And Images
Words walking without masters; walking altogether like harmony in a song.

Zora Neale Hurston

Many of us may have had the experience that Mu Fengying describes in her article featured in this issue. When she begins a new class each academic year, she asks her students what they hope to learn from her course. Invariably she hears them respond, "Vocabulary!"

This issue includes a number of articles that address the teaching and learning of L2 vocabulary. Joe, Nation, and Newton draw on recent research to show how vocabulary learning goals can be integrated into speaking activities. They make valuable suggestions to show how teachers can increase the opportunity for planned vocabulary learning without compromising the communicative nature of spoken activities. Fengying and South share innovative techniques to explain word meaning. By taking abstract concepts and making them concrete through simple schematic drawings, they show how teachers can help students visualize the meaning of new words or problematic grammatical structures like prepositions. Wilhoit and Cohen discuss learning strategies that students can use for taking control of their vocabulary acquisition process. Wilhoit uses a striking metaphor comparing new words to Chinese tea leaves that sink to the bottom of a jar of hot water if not periodically shaken; he describes a program that periodically "shakes up" new lexical items so that they remain accessible to the learner.

In this issue we also celebrate the centennial year of the motion picture. In 1895, the American inventor Thomas Edison produced the peephole movie, The Execution of Mary, Queen ofScots at the same time that the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere were completing the film Workers Leaving the LumiereFactory in France. First to successfully adapt photographed moving images to a projection device, these three individuals can be considered the founding fathers of the film industry.

Like no other art form, film captures the imagination of people everywhere. Massi and Merino capitalize upon this quality using feature films with students of English. Their article describes the different activities they have developed to go along with box office blockbusters like Forrest Gump as well as with thought-provoking films (of less general appeal) like Quiz Show or Philadelphia.

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park was enormously popular around the world, and its special effects, action, and suspense held audiences in rapt attention. But what may remain more vivid in the minds of moviegoers are films from Hollywood's Golden Age (1930-1959) and contemporary films like Dead Poets Society or Bridges of Madison County because of the charisma of the actors and the unforgettable lines they spoke. The words combined with the images on the screen speak to us about things that we know: hopes and disappointments, good guys and bad, the noble and the profane. They reinforce or contribute to our understanding of life and give us something to share and to talk about. -TJK

"My class, you will learn to think for yourselves again. You will learn to savor words and language. No matterwhat anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."Robin Williams as English Teacher John KeatingDead Poets Society, 1989.

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Vol 34 No 1, January - March 1996 Page 0 PREVIOUS ... CONTENTS ... SEARCH ... NEXT
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