Nexus: A Journal for Teachers in Development
November 2000 Issue
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Editor's Message

By Susan L. Schwartz

English, as we all know, is a vibrant language, continually evolving.  Words that did not exist five or ten years ago are now commonplace.  Words in common parlance only a few decades ago are now considered archaic and are rarely encountered.  Teaching the English language has also undergone a transformation, at least in some areas of the world, from an analysis of the written and grammatical forms of the language to an emphasis on teaching for communicative fluency.  This shift in teaching emphasis has created new ways of teaching the language.  This issue of "Nexus" highlights this evolution and these changes.

American English and British English may be the two most well-known varieties of English, but they are by no means the only ones.  In "Creating Awareness of Varieties of English," Stefanie S. Pillai discusses why it is important for teachers to be exposed to different varieties of the English language.  She presents a lesson used with her Malaysian students and explains that it helped them realize that Malaysian English differs from other varieties.

Before 1995, I think it is fair to say, there were few resources on CD-ROM aimed at teachers of English to speakers of other languages.  Certainly, many fewer people than today had access to the World Wide Web.  How things have changed in five short years!  Brad Baurain reviews a CD-ROM, "Teachers Understanding Teaching: A Multimedia Hypertext Tool."  He explains how its mix of practice and theory enables teacher trainers to use it with teachers in all stages of their professional development.  "The Internet Classroom Assistant" is a Website reviewed by Nicholas Peachey, which enables educators to use an online learning environment with their students.  After describing the features available and explaining the procedure for setting up the site for one's own use, he offers an example of how he utilized the website with his own trainees.

Lest we forget, however, in our rush to embrace new technologies and new approaches, where we started out from, Ruth Wajnryb reviews the updated second edition of Techniques and Principles of Language Teaching.  Why should we be aware of or even care about the history and development of English language teaching?  As she points out in her review, it expands our knowledge of teaching techniques and helps make us more effective in our jobs.

I am very pleased to announce that with this article, Ruth becomes a regular contributor to "Nexus."  I am sure we will all enjoy and benefit from her insights.

On a final note, I would like to request that if you change email addresses, please let me know so I can update my subscription list.  Each year when I email "Nexus" to subscribers, some bounce back because the addresses are no longer current.  To ensure continued receipt of the journal, I would appreciate it if you would inform me of any change in your email address.  And, as always, feedback about the journal is welcome and appreciated.  Just send your address changes or comments to <nexusjournal@earthlink.net>, with "Nexus" in the Subject line.

Thank you and enjoy the journal. 

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Table of Contents

1)  Creating Awareness of Varieties of English, by Stefanie S. Pillai

2)  Software Review:  "Teachers Understanding Teaching: A Multimedia Hypertext Tool," Reviewed by Brad Baurain

3)  Website Review:  "The Nicenet Internet Classroom Assistant," Reviewed by Nicholas Peachey

4)  Book Review:  Techniques and Principles of Language Teaching, 2nd edition, by Diane Larsen-Freeman; Reviewed by Ruth Wajnryb

Click here to read the articles

Volume 3, Issue 1, November 2000 

                                            NEXUS   ISSN 1521-1894
                                            Copyright 2007