Volume IV - 1997

Introduction
by Clyde Coreil

        We have never edited a proper book--only things like this somewhat improper Journal. Yet we suspect that we have become aware of a major difference between the two tasks. Editing a book is like farming on one side of a mountain and rarely seeing the people on the other side who consume your radishes and tomatoes. In putting out a journal, on the other hand, one is plowing away on one slope of the valley while waving to the good readers on the facing slope. Even in an annual publication like ours, there is a sense of more immediate communication, of a conversation--not only among readers and editors and authors, but between the readers themselves. To facilitate the latter, we are continuing to list the names, addresses (including E-Mail), and interests of persons who have indicated an eagerness to correspond about things related to the imagination. We hope that you will seize the day and get in touch with someone who is in a situation very similar to--or very different from yours.

Dedication of this Issue of the Journal
        
         The image of being in the valley brandishing semaphore shovels has certain other features that are interesting if sometimes troubling. For example: probably, no other group of people is more involved in promoting communication than are language teachers. That is the core of a deep and meaningful bond that surfaces when you set foot in the host building of a language conference and see strangers lose their strangeness in a matter of minutes if not seconds. Those of us who are linked through such encounters, as well as through faxes, E-mail, Internet sites and the like are blessed. But consider just how how many of our gifted colleagues have no access to budgets, no decent textbooks, no VCRs, no audio cassette recorders, no computers, no faxes, no copiers, no paper--in short, no nothing. They might be capable of making striking presentations at conferences, but do not even apply because of travel expenses and the impossible-to-get permission to be absent from classes. Often they have to generate from scratch everything many of us take for granted. For these teachers, their voice and their imagination are their primary resources. These two resources are the very stuff without which their students would starve. It is to these stalwart, dedicated and creative individuals that we dedicate this issue of our Journal.

         Despite the often praiseworthy attempts of administrators and supervisors, such formidable deficiencies are found in language programs in all countries--certainly including the USA. We would like to do something positive to help, something beyond uttering "Tsk, tsk" and a quickly passing sigh. I think that many of us have worked in at least analogous situations and know of the depth of gratitude that is elicited by the gift of items such as books, journals, magazines, VCRs, videos,audio recorders, tapes, computers, television sets, and radios. In our most recent Journal, we mentioned that we would use our pages and energy to assist by serving as a central listing point for programs that would welcome assistance. Although response was somewhat thin, it did include the following letter, which we have received permission to print.

         Greetings from North Africa. My name is Keith Brimmer and I am currently serving as a University English teacher in the Peace Corps here in Morocco. A friend of mine who read the last issue of your Journal told me that an upcoming edition will include a list of "resource poor" educational institutions seeking language materials. If it is not too late, I would like my faculty to be added to the compilation.

         Although my college is basically the hard sciences, (math, physics, mechanics, engineering, biology and chemistry), I would invite resources that cover the areas of social sciences and letters as well. And since I am the only English instructor who is coping with limited tools to create course curricula, any language reference books or pedagogical materials would be welcome too. Magazines, newspapers, reports, charts, statistical data, posters_anything is helpful. Thank you in advance for providing this valuable service..

The address to use is:

B. Keith Brimmer, professeur d'anglais
Universite Cade Ayyad
Faculte des sciences et techniques
B.P. 523--Principal
Dept. Des langues et communication
Beni Mellal--2300
Morocco

Unfortunately, we have received only one other address to "compile" in a general list:

Prof. Yang Zhi Zhong
Department of Applied Foreign Language Studies
22 Hankou Road
Nanjing University
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008
People's Republic of China.

         If, however, the addresses (with program descriptions, if possible) should begin to come in, we will keep them in a constantly updated list and gladly send them out at no charge. If you would like your program to be listed but not printed in our pages, we will gladly oblige. If you have things to donate, we would also be glad to put your name in a section of interested persons and/or programs who would like to communicate with those who might be able to use the items.

back to content page