Monday, September 30, 2013

38th FAAPI Conference - Buenos Aires

Roots & Routes in Language Education

How do language, cultures and identities interact in 21st-century classrooms?

FAAPI (Federación Argentina de Profesores de Inglés) organized its 38th conference in Buenos Aires from Sept 26 to Sept 28 at UCA (Universidad Católica Argentina). 

Opening ceremony

It was my 2nd FAAPI, as my 1st one was in 2010 when it was held in Cordoba. This FAAPI was much more modern and was seen by people from all over the world due to the online broadcast not only by APIBA members but also by all the delegates who posted all throughout the sessions.

I saw old friends, I met new people and of course, I bought books.

Mady Casco & Laura Szmuch

Myriam Met

The sessions were awesome; I attended 7 workshops, 1 academy presentation and 3 plenary sessions. 

I cannot say "I like this session much more than that one" cause it would be a lie. What I can say is "I learnt a lot from all the speakers and I took tons of ideas from them". 

It was a very good idea from the organization to provide a "Walking tour" around "Puerto Madero" neighbourhood - the newest and most expensive area in Buenos Aires. 

Walking tour around Puerto Madero area

What main ideas can I mention...? Good question!!! 

  • Self-esteem has 5 componets: Security, Purpose, Identity, Belonging and Competence; The brain loves movement (Grace Bertolinis session)
  • "Oppa"=daddy  "Gangnam"=trendy district in South Seoul  The "Oppa Gangnam Style" Song implies 2 cultural modes: a formative and an informative mode. Culture is a "know-what", a "know-of" and a "know-how" (Pablo Toledo's session) 
  • "Lean about technology on your own"; we need methodology to teach about technology (Michael Harris' academic presentation)

Michael Harris's Academy Presentation
  • Adults need patience; they need to control and lead their own learning. Learning a L2 is learning a 2nd identity. (Mady Casco's session)
  • "Stop blaming others and take responsibility for your own actions"; "Seek to elevate" (Laura Szmuch and Jamie Duncan's session)
Jamie and Laura's session
  • It's difficult to say "Who I am" cause we should say "I belong" (Gladys Baya's session)
  • Tons of free websites (Jennifer Verschoor, Rita Zeinstejer, Gladys Baya and Maria Marta Suarez' sessions)
Jennifer Verschoor and Rita Zeinstejer's session
  • "The contact zone"; we should reflect upon intercultural stuff (Claudia Ferradas' session)
  • "SAM": Smile, Acknowledge, Make eye contact (Myriam Met's session) 
These are brief ideas of these incredible days. 

Thanks a lot APIBA and FAAPI!! Hope to see you next year! 

As usual, I also have fun with "extra" speakers!! :)
Enjoy some extra pics and "tango" here! :)

FAAPI 2013 - Buenos Aires

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Engage Rotary, Change lives

Being part of a Rotary International 

Last May 24th, I became a Rotary International member at the Rotary Club Rio Tercero Asociacion Civil, district 4815. After 56 years, I had the honor and pleasure to be the 1st woman to enter the institution in my hometown.

Our President Eduardo Poletti putting the Rotary pin

I had been participating in RI as my parents were active members for some time, so I knew what Rotary was and meant in a person's life.

Service and friendship are two of the top words within Rotary world. Tons of projects are organized and fulfilled, being "End Polio Now" the most famous.

After having had my Rotary ID, I started participating actively in RI website and I've become of the the 1st "early adopters" of the new site. There, I began using the "group discussions" where I met other fellow Rotarians and started friendly conversations with people from around the globe.

Thanks to those interactions, I participated in an e-meeting and I've become member of lots of Facebook groups related to RI. What's most, I met wonderful people like Rachid, Lydia and Amelita.

Rotary Banner e-club District 9220 - Thanks Rachid and Lydia! :)

I have a lot to learn, I have a lot to give and I have a lot to share. I've opened my own group discussion in "My Rotary" page, I've represented my club in some hometown activities and I'll be attending a meeting in Buenos Aires.

I represented my Club when the journalist Fernando Colautti presented his book called "Rio Tercero tiene historia" at the local library Justo Jose de Urquiza

Thanks Rotary International for giving me the chance to open my life to new ideas and to new relations.

I can say that I'm a "Proud Member" of Rotary International. 

Thanks Dad for having showed me what Rotary is

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Around the world with just a click

#30 Goals - Goal # 13

It's been such a long time since the last time I wrote my last post. However, being part of the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators have made me review my blog.

Today, I just want to talk about Goal #13 "Make a Global Connection". I really loved this goal as I made one important connection not only for my professional career but also for my personal life. 

My first global connection was when I did my 1st EVO (Electronic Village Online) session some years ago. I met wonderful teachers from around the planet who helped me in my classes and shared tons of incredible ideas. After finishing "Becoming a Webhead", my entire world had changed! My mind was opened, my knowledge about technology had broadened and my life had a new friend and colleague: Miss Ayat Tawel from Egypt. We both became good friends and started sharing ideas and projects related to our students.

We both decided our students could interview us just by asking different kinds of questions. We were so enthusiastic that the interviews were a complete success. I have to thank Skype for this! Such a new tool for us... Our students were amazing not only with the questions but also with the interviews! My students even danced for Ayat when they interviewed her.
After these online sessions, we decided to create a Facebook group for the kids. They had to strengthen what they had started, they had to post in English and they had to share posts about their culture, their customs and anything they liked and loved. Our group was called "ArgentEgypt". It was such a great success that both Ayat and I didn't imagine it. 


Now, after 2 years, that experience is leading me to another "huge" global connection. As member of Rotary International, I have become part of the #ROSNF (Rotary on Social Network Fellowship) group. There are Rotarians from around the world ready to serve their communities and ready to keep social networks as part of the service Rotary International provides.

A group of Rotarians from Mauritius Island, Madagascar, Canada, the Caribbean and I from Argentina are in the process to create a project where all our students get connected. Lots of ideas are on the table (virtual, by the way) waiting to be fulfilled and ready to become true.

I strongly believe in "Global Connections"; I strongly believe that even if we have different languages, different culture and different customs, people get connected "with just a click"!