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Vol 35 No 1, January - March 1997 Page 0 PREVIOUS ... CONTENTS ... SEARCH ... NEXT

Editorial: The Knowledge Revolution

Recent years have seen a knowledge revolution, which is heightened by the expanding resources of the Internet and the modern media. In the U.S. there are now more than 10,000 newspapers and 11,000 magazines, many with new on-line versions. The Forum in both its conventional and electronic format continues to try to both apprise the readers of developments in the knowledge revolution and to suggest ways teachers can take advantage of related innovations in their teaching.

For example, Tillyer's article tells teachers what resources they need to go on- line and, further, what they can do with the connection once it has been achieved. Sela's article shows one way teachers can use e-mail in the EFL class, while Mirescu's contribution provides suggestions for using the computer in the classroom.

While encouraging teachers to take advantage of the digital possibilities, we continue to believe that the Forum in its traditional print form is one of the better resources for keeping abreast of developments in the field of EFL, our contribution to the knowledge revolution. We encourage more readers to submit articles for publication so that they may become participants as well as consumers in the production of global knowledge. We continue to receive an increasing number of articles from countries in East Asia, and encourage teachers from other parts of the world to submit articles so as to achieve a balance. Regardless of origin, however, potential authors need to keep in mind that they are writing for a worldwide audience of more than 100,000 readers whose backgrounds and situations may diverge radically.

Our lead article argues that form serves function and that a focus on the discourse conventions of an academic article will help the writer communicate more effectively with our global reader. To exemplify our ideas, we have used portions of other Forum articles as models for academic writing. It is our hope that by asking the right questions and by trying to structure articles accordingly, we will not only become better writers and readers of academic articles, but will also help our students become better producers and consumers of knowledge as well. The theme of writing is continued by Lipp and Davis-Ockey, who demonstrate how teacher comments can mold student writing. The theme of using the Forum is picked up by Strzemeski, who shows how the Forum can be used in resource-poor environments.

Our teacher resource, idiom , and lighter side pages all deal with the theme of writing and editing. We have included tests and activities for teachers to practice their spelling and editing skills and have provided a list of the most commonly used proofreader marks.

We have also tried to introduce some elements of controversy into this issue. Obediat argues that literature receives short shrift in the teaching of English in the Arab world. The question and answer page has tried to show how unconventional, discourse-based strategies may help explain grammar problems resistant to sentence-based solutions. We welcome suggestions from readers who have other solutions to these language conundrums. In future issues we will increasingly encourage discussions on controversial issues.

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