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The Deep Approach:
Second Languages for Community Buildingedited by François Tochon and Denise M. Hanson
Bilingualism is not merely a "nice" addition to curriculum, but community enhancement the authors and contributors to this volume insist. Tochon is a native of Switzerland, which has three official languages, and has taught extensively in Canada, which has two official languages. In these and other settings, Tochon has experienced and researched the impact of bilingualism on schools and communities. Hanson, who is the TEACH Wisconsin Project Coordinator for Madison Metropolitan School District has also anecdotally experienced the individual and community benefits of bilingualism, joins Tochon and others in a research project designed to study the language phenomenon that they, themselves, have observed and experienced.
In order to better understand the process involved, Tochon explains the idea of "deep approach":
Here are the principles underlying nonintrusive action, which characterize what I call the "deep approach" to language teaching: Second languages are taught with the contribution of bilingual communities, typically those cultures and languages that are represented in the school. Action is taken with the people involved; these people participate voluntarily and freely. The approach is thematic and bottom-up. It has an ecological dimension. It is based upon projects. One does not begin with the presupposition that any one environment is superior to any other: What is at issue is the relationship between people concerned with education. Participants are conducting reflective research on their own actions.Explore with the authors the very real possibilities for developing a language learning program the benefits the students and the community.
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Dr. Francois Victor Tochon is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he headed World Language Education for 6 years. He has a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction (Université Laval) and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Ottawa University), and received the equivalent of Honorary Doctorates from two universities in Argentina and Peru. Prof. Tochon worked on intercultural issues related to bilingualism in various countries and international language policies, looking for new ways to organize language teaching and learning. In 2009-2011, Prof. Tochon received an award from the U.S. Department of Education to create, research and evaluate a "deep approach" to foreign language curricula that would respect a pluralistic and federative view of language policies. It allowed him to format an interface between language policies and classroom curricula and practices. In 2007-2008, he was awarded grants from Spencer and Tubitak--National Science and Technology Foundation of Turkey--to study ways to internationalize Education through e-portfolios, world languages and an intercultural approach. With twenty-five books and more than hundred articles and book chapters to his credit, Prof. Tochon has also been Visiting Professor in several universities. He is currently published in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese, and forthcoming translations are planned for Chinese. Among his books are: "The Foreign Self: Truth Telling as Educational Inquiry" (Atwood); Tropics of Teaching: Productivity, Warfare, and Priesthood" at University of Toronto Press. His article "The Key To Global Understanding: World Languages Education. Why Schools Need to Adapt" published in the Review of Educational Research (79/2) received the 2010 Award of Best Review of Research from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
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