While research and writing are always locally situated practices, no academic text or publishing activity can be considered in isolation from the many complex global(izing) practices and systems which influence academic text production in powerful ways, not least the ways in which texts are evaluated and disseminated. (p. 1) (1)
No man is an island (Donne, J., British Poet, 1572-1631). This idea comes to our mind when reflecting upon the words of Lillis and Curry (2010). Whether we are thinking of human beings, trees or books, we cannot ignore the fact that we move or are moved by the sometimes open, sometimes understood conditions and forces of our environment, denominated as market tendencies and demands in our editorial world. Editors need to follow a line of action in accordance with prescriptions modeled by markets; the "glocal" tendencies set the scenario for local and/or regional publications. These must adapt themselves in order to fit into the international concert: the struggle to be part of indexes and percentiles, and if possible of the highest ranks. Editors have to manage in different areas to be able to fulfil the criteria coming from outside: periodicity, number of articles, little or no endogamy, the deadlines, the hunt for internationally and nationally known academicians to be part of the scientific committees, the evaluators and, internally, the allocation of budget for things such as print editions, snail mail, assistants, and proofreaders. The work must be uninterrupted, on time, and making constant communication among evaluators and writers possible so that the submitted articles go through a conscientious process leading to the publication of works characterized by their quality and relevance to the academic world.
The profile staff does all the previous and more in order to assure the presence of local, regional, and international writers in our publication. The interest is in spreading the knowledge gained by practitioners in their communities, situations that happen here and there but that can be applicable in any academic context disregarding the geographical area of occurrence.
With this edition profile celebrates fifteen years of existence. Fifteen years of daily battles and gains. The Colombian community in the first place and international contributors in a second but not less important position have found an interlocutor through which their ideas can be known and spread. The voices of teachers of English, teacher educators, researchers, and future teachers have a natural channel of interlocution with us. Our hope is to continue being here for you and the future generation of practitioners and researchers. We invite you to continue heeding our call in benefit of our ELT field.
The Issues from Teacher Researchers section begins with an article regarding teacher researchers as writers. It stems from the interest to delve into the experiences and perceptions of some authors who published their articles in the profile journal. In particular, we can get acquainted with the reasons why authors submitted their manuscripts, the experiences they recall most regarding the process of publication, and the meaning they assign to the fact of having published in our journal. Next, we gather three articles concerning teacher education in Latin American contexts. First, Nestor Ricardo Fajardo Mora shares with us the findings of a study that sought to uncover the ideologies discovered by Colombian pre-service social studies teachers when they construct the meaning of texts through text-based tasks in an English class. Interestingly, we can learn about three main themes emerging from the data gathered at a Colombian public university: Shattering the Establishment, Perspectives From a Counter-Hegemonic Position, and Resisting the Mainstream. As the author pinpoints, those themes explain the core category, Habitus, in a system of fixed dispositions.
We continue with the work by Nancy Keranen and Fatima Encinas Prudencio who address the issue of micropolitics of teacher collaboration from an intrapersonal perspective within a Mexican context. The authors report on issues of conflict, borders, teachers' ideologies, intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts and their connection to collaboration and growth. Then, Alberto Fajardo Castanedas article informs us on a study regarding a group of Colombian pre-service teachers and the construction of their professional identities from the interplay between participation in a teacher community and their systems of knowledge and beliefs. As part of the main findings, the author also draws our attention towards particularities concerning how the process of learning to teach is constructed.
Next we gather three articles around reading, writing and discourse analysis. In the first one we have an action research project conducted by Alexander Izquierdo Castillo and Sonia Jimenez Bonilla who monitored the implementation of skimming, scanning, and making predictions as reading strategies with adolescents from a rural public school in Colombia when they read materials around topics they had selected. The results confirm that those strategies contribute to the development of learners' autonomy. After that, we include an article by Troy Crawford Lewis, Martha Lengeling, Irasema Mora Pablo, and Rocio Heredia Ocampo. It deals with the construction of identity in an academic learning environment in Central Mexico, and displays how identity may be linked to non-language factors such as emotions or family. As the authors point out, these issues are associated with elements of hybrid identity. Next, we present an article containing a report on a case study intended to note the activities, methodological and textual aspects that were causing difficulties for a group of Colombian pre-service teachers when analyzing critically written information used in a reading strategies course. The authors, Paula Andrea Garcia Montes, Ana Maria Sagre Barboza, and Alba Isabel Lacharme Olascoaga, took into account issues in discourse analysis and systemic functional linguistics and subsequently provide ideas for further actions in reading processes in the English class.
Afterwards, we gather two articles that address cultural issues. To begin with, we have Colombian authors Sandra Ximena Bonilla and Ferney Cruz-Arcila's article on an issue that has received little attention up to now: Critical socio-cultural elements of the intercultural endeavour of English teaching in Colombian rural areas. They present a study carried out with five English language teachers and highlight, among several relevant aspects, that teachers have to mediate between local and global tensions and also deal with socio-cultural matches and mismatches in their teaching settings. In the other article, Edith Hernandez Mendez and Maria del Rosario Reyes Cruz focus on the aspect of the research culture in higher education. Specifically, they look at and categorize, through the lenses of organizational theory and a current model of research culture in an academic setting, the features of the research culture in a public university in Mexico. I am sure this work can shed light on the tendencies and models that prevail in higher education as well as provide a reflection on the market culture that seems to be the main motive to foster research at university level.
The second section, Issues from Novice Teacher Researchers, contains a collaborative project by Ana Cristina Tlazalo Tejeda and her advisor, Nora M. Basurto Santos, who conducted a study at a Mexican university regarding pronunciation instruction and students' practice to develop their oral skills' confidence. Data analysis shows the relevance of teacher pronunciation instruction and student practice to increase learners' proficiency and commitment to further improvement. In connection to this article, I wish to draw attention towards the fact that novice researchers can be encouraged to report on classroom research by joining efforts with advisors so that we can contribute to the generation of a culture of researchers and writers in the ELT field.
The last section, Issues Based on Reflections and Innovations, is composed of three papers. In the first one we can learn about the experiences of Paula Andrea Echeverri Sucerquia and Sebastian Perez Restrepo in the process and challenges of meaning making around critical pedagogy within an English teachers' study group which was created at a Colombian public university for the purpose of learning how to teach language from a critical perspective. Following narrative inquiry, the authors were able to gather different perspectives which demonstrate the necessity of having spaces and situations of personal confrontation with theory and support in collaborative learning through dialogue to attempt such goal in initial teacher education. Afterwards, Chilean teachers Mabel Ortiz Navarrete and Anita Ferreira Cabrera describe their proposal for a technique in order to engage students in collaborative argumentative essay writing in a wiki environment. The authors describe the way they followed a systematic work assignment, the tasks used and the students' individual and collaborative roles. They also explain how equal participation and collaboration among group members were enhanced.
We close this edition with an article co-authored by Dario Luis Banegas and Aurelia Velazquez, who gather their views concerning the participation of teachers and learners in the learner-centred curriculum in English language teaching. Their reflections are based on their analysis of the Argentinian context as well as on their experiences as teachers of English in secondary education with a people-centred approach in the classroom. It is hoped that the recommendations for policy makers included in this work can contribute to the study of curricular issues in similar contexts.
Immersed as we are in the search for participation coming from diverse sources and settings, we invite you to read and contribute with knowledge produced in local settings but applicable in other academic communities. It is our intention to not only comply with the complex global publication trends, but to keep in mind the reasons that inspired the creation of profile fifteen years ago: to be a space for novice and experienced teachers and researchers, a forum where works dealing with local and global issues have the opportunity to be heard or read.
Maria Claudia Nieto Cruz
Melba Libia Cardenas
(1) Lillis, T., & Curry, M. J. (2010). Academic writing in a global context: The politics and practices of publishing in English. London, UK: Routledge.
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|Author:||Cruz, Maria Claudia Nieto; Cardenas, Melba Libia|
|Publication:||Revista PROFILE: Issues in Teachers' Professional Development|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2014|
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