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Subjects-in-interaction version 3.0 : an intellectual system for modern language student teachers to.. Beers, Maggie 2001

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SUBJECTSININTERACTION VERSION 3.0: A N INTELLECTUAL SYSTEM FOR M O D E R N L A N G U A G E STUDENT T E A C H E R S T O A P P R O P R I A T E M U L T I L I T E R A C I E S AS DESIGNERS A N D INTERPRETERS O FMEDIA TEXTS  by M A G G I E BEERS B.A., The University of CaUfornia, Santa Barbara, 1987 M . A . , The University of California, Santa Barbara, 1 9 9 0 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREEOF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Language and Literacy Education, Modern Language Education) W e acceptrhis thesis as conforming tW required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A March 2 0 0 1 © Maggie Beers, 2 0 0 1  AUTHORIZATION  I n presenting this thesis i n partial fulfillment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree that the Library shah make it freely available for reference and study I further agree that permission for extensive copying o f this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head o f my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication o f this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without m y w r i t t e n permission.  Maggie Beers D e p a r t m e n t o f Language and Literacy E d u c a t i o n T h e University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Vancouver, Canada  D a t e . Sf2'?nf-  1-, Z-f#7  Abstract  ii  Abstract T h i s dissertation, w h i c h draws o n the fields o f critical theory, sociolinguistic theory, teacher education, and human-computer  interaction, examines issues o f culture and  intercultural understanding, critical multiliteracies, learning i n general and, specifically, the role o f new media i n the creation and interpretation o f (learning) cultures. C r i t i c a l modern language education theorists advocate engaging i n ethnographic studies o f one's o w n and the target language culture as a way to shed traditional, static, product-based notions o f culture for postmodern, dynamic, process-based interpretations o f culture(s). T o this end, h o w can teacher educators prepare student teachers to be reflexive about their o w n classroom practice? I n this approach, sixty secondary-level student teachers made short digital movies o n their cultural interpretations o f an object o f their choice, such as cars. T h e y filmed each other and were fdmed as they w o r k e d and reflected o n their movies and then used an o n line video analysis t o o l to share, annotate and critique the digital representations o f their processes and products i n relation to the course content. T h e participants assumed a variety o f research roles, such as research initiators, qualitative researchers, video ethnographers, reflective practitioners and beta-testers o f previously unreleased software M u l t i m e d i a profiles o f eight participants, presented o n an accompanying C D - R O M , illustrate learning experiences that occurred throughout the group. T h e y found it challenging to reconcile their prior schema and new concepts; confusing to develop a teaching approach while their basic assumptions were evolving; exciting to use state o f the art tools and take o n research roles; rewarding to participate i n forums for productive reflection and discover n e w capacities; effective for making abstract ideas concrete; and empowering to appropriate the technical and intellectual skills to carry out similar projects. T h i s study points to a need for a pedagogical shift i n preparing modern language student teachers w h i c h positions them to claim the classroom as their o w n . T h i s includes  Abstract  iii  claiming the right to: include culture i n a language driven classroom; choose their o w n media materials; determine  their o w n curriculum w i t h i n standardized curricular and  textbook guidelines; use non-traditional language teaching approaches;  and h o l d high  expectations for their students for critical t h i n k i n g and use o f the target language.  Table of Contents  iv  Table of Contents ABSTRACT  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iv  LIST OF MOVIE FILES  vii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  xii  DEDICATION  xiv  CHAPTER 1  1  OVERVIEW  1  READERS' GUIDE IMPORTANCE OF TOPIC A N D GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS EDUCATIONAL DILEMMA T H E M E D I A - B A S E D A P P R O A C H A N D P R O J E C T SPECIFICS T H E O R Y BASE FOR RESEARCH  i 2 2 4 7  7 8  Critical theory Constructionism Configurational validity Subjects-in-interaction  0 p 10  PRIOR RESEARCH O N THIS TOPIC  10 12 12  Cultural studies Cultural objectives Culture teaching  14  RESEARCH METHODOLOGY  Qualitative research Ethnographic studies Digital video ethnography Digital video ethnographic tools and method  14 14 IJ  , .'  M E T H O D FOR R E S E A R C H SITE D E V E L O P M E N T  Research site/system Human-computer interaction D A T A COLLECTION, ANALYSIS A N D INTERPRETATION  Research questions Data collection Data analysis and interpretation Studentprofiles  16 17  17 18 20  20 20 22 24  LIMITATIONS  27  INTERLUDE  29  CHAPTER 2  33  M O D E R N LANGUAGE CULTURE TEACHING IN/CON STRUCTION: SUBJECTIFYING T H E OBJECTIFIED  33  IDEAS O N I N T E G R A T I N G L A N G U A G E A N D C U L T U R E  Teaching culture or teaching meaning?  33  35  Table of Contents v 36  Teaching Subjects-in-interaction Subjects and objects in critical theory  39 41  T H E STATE OF C U L T U R E T E A C H I N G  41 43 46  Modern language education in British Columbia How do teachers "teach culture?". Subjects-in-interaction in the methods course 49  CRITICAL T H E O R Y IN M O D E R N L A N G U A G E EDUCATION  The human elements The non-human elements  JO $3 69  CONCLUDING REMARKS C H A P T E R 3  71  D E S I G N I N G S E L V E S , I N T E R P R E T I N G O T H E R S : D I G I T A L V I D E O E T H N O G R A P H Y A S A M E T H O D O L O G Y F O R A P P R E N T I C E S T O A P P R O P R I A T E M U L T I L I T E R A C I E S  71 71  THEORETICAL L I N E A G E OF EDUCATIONAL T H E O R Y A N D M E T H O D  Piaget to Papert Papert to Goldman-Segall Goldman-Segall to Beers  yi 72 74 76  APPLICATION OF EDUCATIONAL THEORY A N D METHOD  77 79 82  Multiliterate designers and interpreters of digital media texts Digital video ethnography as methodology to foster multiliteracies Digital video ethnographic scenario in modern language education 85  A D I G I T A L V I D E O E T H N O G R A P H Y OF SELF A N D O T H E R  86  Multiple identities: The study of selves and others 97  SUBJECT-IVE CONCLUSIONS C H A P T E R 4  ....100  S U B J E C T S - I N - I N T E R A C T I O N V E R S I O N 3.0: T H E I N T E G R A T E D I T E R A T I V E S Y S T E M S D E S I G N P R O C E S S T H E I N T E G R A T E D A N D I T E R A T I V E D E S I G N P R O C E S S F O R S Y S T E M S I I V . 3.0  A N D 100 102  102 103 107  A site for inter-active, inter-disciplinary research and development Human-computer interaction to study Subjects-in-interaction Iterative and integrated system design process S P E C S A N D C O N T E N T F O R S Y S T E M SII V E R S I O N 3.0  114  First cycle: Community building Second cycle: Active readings of texts Third cycle: Cultural artifact construction Fourth cycle: Evaluation up down and across C O N C L U S I O N S : SII  n$ 117 122 123  3.0 A S A S Y S T E M F O R E X P L O R I N G S U B J E C T S - I N - I N T E R A C T I O N  C H A P T E R 5 D E S I G N I N G P R O D U C T S , I N T E R P R E T A T I O N  126 128  I N T E R P R E T I N G P R O C E S S E S :  A P i A G E T I A N / H E R M E N E U T I C F R A M E W O R K FOR D A T A A N A L Y S I S  A N A L Y S I S A N D 128 128  130  Piaget's theories on cognitive development:. Hermeneutics Subjects-in-interaction  132 135  INDIVIDUAL STUDENT T E A C H E R PROFILES READERS' G U I D E FOR S T U D E N T T E A C H E R PROFILES  138 140  Anne  141  Table of Contents  :  Layla Paula Kevin Klara Murray Jessica Lesley C H A P T E R 6  A N D I M P L I C A T I O N S  SUMMARY OFPROJECT F I N D I N G S A N D RESULTS Research question #1 Research question #2 Implications Informingpractice Further research REFLECTIONS R E F E R E N C E S P P P P P P  P P P P P P  E E E E E E  N N N N N N  D D D D D D  I I I I I I  X X X X X X  153 162 174 183 192 202 212 2 2 7  C O N C L U S I O N S  A A A A A A  vi  A : 1999 M L E D 4 8 0 A C O U R S E S Y L L A B U S (SII v.3.0) B : 1999 E V A L U A T I O N C R I T E R I A : M L E D 4 8 0 A (SII v . 3 . 0 ) C : 1999 F o c u s G R O U P Q U E S T I O N S : M L E D 4 8 0 A (SII v.3.0) D : 1998 F A L L M E T H O D S C O U R S E S Y L L A B U S : M L E D 311-318 E: STUDENT SUMMARIES OFM L E D 480A COURSE READINGS F: I N F O R M E D C O N S E N T F O R M  2 2 7 227 231 231 235 230 240 242 244 2 4 7 261 269 271 281 286 295  List of Movie Files  vii  List of Movie Files T h e eight student teacher profiles located on pages 141-226 o f this dissertation are embedded w i t h Q u i c k T i m e ™ movies, w h i c h can be accessed o n the accompanying M a c i n t o s h and P C platform C D - R O M s . T h i s is a list o f the movies, identified by the caption w h i c h describes them i n the w r i t t e n text, their file names and the page o n w h i c h they are discussed. Readers are encouraged to consult the Readers' G u i d e o n page T40 for further information. ANNE'S MEDIA Anne's group movie: "Fine G r i n d " M o v i e File (8.7 M B ) :  finegrind.mov  ^r  A n n e shares her identity object. M o v i e File (13.5 M B ) : idobjanne.mov  r42  A n n e wonders whether she is qualified to teach G e r m a n language and culture. M o v i e File (18 M B ) : am_I_qualified.mov  r43  A n n e describes h o w her concept o f culture has changed. M o v i e File (10.4 M B ) : little_things.mov  .145  A n n e & A n j u decide i f Canada has a "national look." M o v i e File (ij.i M B ) : n a t i o n a L l o o k . m o v  r46  A n n e shares her practicum experiences using the textbook & authentic texts. M o v i e File (7.4 M B ) : can't_do_it.mov  147  A n n e & Layla discuss what makes constructionist projects meaningful. M o v i e File (5.6 M B ) : frustration_construction.mov  r49  A n n e & A n j u discuss whether constructionist projects are feasible. M o v i e File (9.2 M B ) : therapy.mov  149  Beta testers!: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (1.5 M B ) : betatest.mov  150  Confidence builder: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (312 K ) : nazlynn_confidence.mov  151  L o w e r your expectations!: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File ( 6 6 0 K ) : magexpectations.mov  151  LAYLA'S MEDIA Layla's group movie: "Fine G r i n d " M o v i e File (8.7 M B ) : finegrind.mov  153  List of Movie Files  via  Layla shares her experiences attempting to teach culture through authentic materials. M o v i e F i l e (24.9 M B ) : anthropologist.mov  158  C a p t u r i n g excitement: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F i l e (468 K ) : syrviecapture.mov  160  Layla discusses the importance o f seeing the process to understand the product. M o v i e F i l e (6.3 M B ) : product_end_result.mov  16  PAULA'S MEDIA Paula's group movie: "Cars ' R U s " M o v i e F i l e (11.5 M B ) : carsareus.mov  162  Paula shares the surprise she felt w h e n she learned her practicum students' associations w i t h Spanish M o v i e File (4.8 M B ) : paulatacobell.mov 163 T a c o B e l l D o g as "love sick R o m e o . " M o v i e File (756 K ) : quieroi.avi  164  T a c o B e l l D o g as a "revolucionario." M o v i e File (1.6 M B ) : quier05.avi  164  Maggie gives an overview o f h o w the class assignments can be used i n the student teachers future teaching to learn about self and other. M o v i e F i l e (25.3 M B ) : overview_mag.mov  166  Paula shares her cultural revelation regarding the concept o f self and other. M o v i e F i l e (9.7 M B ) : selflother.mov  167  T e x t b o o k culture: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F i l e (540 K ) : t e x t b o o k j c e v i n . m o v  167  T a c k y texts: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F i l e (2.3 M B ) : tackytexts.mov  168  Canadians love to dance!: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (1.5 M B ) : canadians_dance.mov  i6<  Identity objects-Jessica/Erin: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F i l e (264 K ) : idobj_jess_erin.mov  17'  Paula compares this constructionist approach to learning computers to other approaches. M o v i e F i l e (3.4 M B ) : paula_learning.mov  17  Paula describes negative and positive learning processes. M o v i e F i l e (15.3 M B ) : paula_computers.mov  17  Paula reflects back o n h o w the theory o f self and other has helped her learn. M o v i e F i l e (9.1 M B ) : paula_self.mov  17  List ofMovie Files  ix  KEVIN'S MEDIA K e v i n ' s group movie: "The C u l t u r a l Flower" M o v i e File (7.3 M B ) : culturalflower.mov  174  T e x t b o o k culture: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (4.4 M B ) : textbook_kevin.mov  175  M e d i a i n the practicum: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (504 K ) : julia_practicumad.mov  177  T r a v e l Julia: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (572 K ) : traveljulia.mov  179  K e v i n suggests we may learn more from these movies by asking questions about them, not making comments. M o v i e File (588 K ) : questions_not_comments.mov  180  K e v i n found himself questioning his t h i n k i n g w h i l e c o m m e n t i n g o n the movies via WebConstellations™.. M o v i e File (2.9 M B ) : is-that-right.mov  181  K e v i n applies tourist/explorer concept to W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ . M o v i e File (4.1 M B ) : process_explorer.mov  182  KLARA'S MEDIA Klara's group movie: "We've G o t M a i l " M o v i e File (10.1 M B ) : W e ' v e G o t M a i l  183  Life-long culture learning: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (264 K ) : anju_culture.mov  185  K l a r a discusses the globalization o f cultures. M o v i e File (8.7 M B ) : globaLshort.mov K l a r a discusses h o w her concept o f culture is changing. M o v i e File (5.4 M B ) : confused_klara.mov  185 187  K l a r a & Adele explain constructionist projects first intimidated them. M o v i e File (10.1 M B ) : intimidated_attached  188  K l a r a makes a relationship between symbols and interpretation. M o v i e File (3.3 M B ) : interpret_symbols.mov  190  Cars ' R U s : W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (744 K ) : carsareusfinal.mov  191  K l a r a makes shows her ethnographic skills. M o v i e File (7.8 M B ) : ethnographic_findings.mov  191  List ofMovie Files  M U R R A Y ' S  x  M E D I A  Murray's group movie: "The C u l t u r a l Flower" M o v i e File (7.3 M B ) : culturalflower.mov  192  Participants learn filming techniques from M E R L i n team. M o v i e File (27.9 M B ) : learn_filrn_jriontage.mov  193  Footage o f Murray's initial, t i m i d shooting perspective. M o v i e F d e (11.4 M B ) : pass_the_mike.mov  195  Heather & M u r r a y discuss technical aspects o f editing while V i c k y listens o n . M o v i e File (7.1 M B ) : stilLsequence.mov  196  Controversy i n class: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F d e (864 K ) : lesleycontro.mov  197  Andrea, C h r i s & M u r r a y debate the feasibility o f constructionist projects. M o v i e F d e (13.5 M B ) : beyond.mov  198  F i n e G r i n d : W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (624 K ) : finegrind.mov  199  W e s t Coast Coffee Culture: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (648 K ) : westcoastcoffee.mov  199  Cars ' R U s : W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e FUe (744 K ) : carsareusfinal.mov M u r r a y explains his t h i n k i n g process while using W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ . M o v i e File (7.9 M B ) : camera_perspectives.mov  J E S S I C A ' S  200 2or  M E D I A  Jessica's group movie: " W e s t Coast Coffee Culture" M o v i e File (10.8 M B ) : westcoastcoffee.mov  202  E r i n , Jessica & V i c k y lead the group i n a warm-up activity: " M u l t i c u l t u r a l Bingo." M o v i e File (14.3 M B ) : multicultural_bingo_montage.mov  204  Capturing excitement: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F i l e (468 K ) : sylviecapture.mov  206  G r o u p s o f students, w i t h the guidance o f M E R L i n team mates.learn technical skills. M o v i e File (8.1): carousels.mov  207  Jessica's design team learns to edit. M o v i e File (7 M B ) : capture_tools.mov  208  Jessica's design team is happy after making progress. M o v i e File (9.4 M B ) : coffee_happy.mov  209  Technological dinosaur  List ofMovie Files  M o v i e File ( 6 6 0 K ) : ty_feelstupid_web.mov  xi  210  L o w e r your expectations!: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File ( 6 6 0 K ) : magexpectations.mov  211  LESLEY'S MEDIA Lesley's group movie: " W e ' v e G o t M a i l " M o v i e File (10.1 M B ) : we'vegotmail.mov Culture is a web: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base Image File (52 K ) : culture_web.jpg  213  Lesley explains her frustration at having authentic materials used as "filler." M o v i e File (T0.5 M B ) : filler.mov  216  Lesley admits she may have thought language teachers just use the textbook, had she not taken this course. M o v i e File (r6.5 M B ) : what_teachers_do.mov  217  212  Lesley, E r i n & Peter see it fitting to learn computers i n this course o n language and culture. M o v i e File (3.2 M B ) : computer_culture.mov  217  W e ' v e G o t M a i l : W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e F d e (648 K ) : we'vegotmaiLweb.mov  2ro  Lesley tells the story o f a controversial incident that occurred o n her practicum. M o v i e File (8.6 M B ) : controversy.mov  223  Controversy i n class: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e File (856 K ) : lesleycontro.mov  224  Lesley describes her motivations for placing a clarifying descriptor o n her W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ star. M o v i e File (5.3 M B ) : lesley_clarify.mov  224  CONCLUSION MEDIA A great adventure!: W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ D a t a Base M o v i e FUe (9.1 M B ) : rickLadventure.mov  244  R i c k i Goldman-Segall gives a guest multimedia presentation to the S I I v. 3.0 participants and explains the great adventure we are all about to undergo! M o v i e File (9.1 M B ) : rickLadventure.mov  245  T e r r y shares his identity object. M o v i e File (39.7 M B ) : Terry_identity.mov  246  Acknowledgements x i i  Acknowledgements I a m grateful to the many individuals—more than I could possibly include i n this space—who have contributed to this undertaking. I want to thank m y doctoral committee, D r . R i c k i Goldman-Segall, D r . Stephen Carey and D r . J o e r g R o c h e , for your patience, support and valuable feedback o n the many, many versions o f this text. I n particular, I w o u l d like to thank m y advisor, D r . Goldman-Segall, for maintaining your high expectations for me and for reading every w o r d many times over w i t h the same enthusiasm as the first. T h a n k y o u D r . Carey for encouraging me to come to U B C i n the first place, for always asking the right questions at the right times over the years, and for helping me p u t it a l l together for the oral defense. T h a n k y o u D r . R o c h e for upholding your interest i n m y w o r k despite the geographical distance between V a n c o u v e r and M u n i c h . T o the members o f m y examining committee, thank y o u D r . Z e n a M o o r e and D r . C y n t h i a N i c h o l for your important thought p r o v o k i n g questions and comments and, above all, thank y o u D r . Patricia D u f f for your meticulous and knowledgeable recommendations w h i c h have proven to be invaluable to the integrity o f this work. T h a n k y o u D r . M o n i q u e Bournot-Trites for your friendship and c o m m i t m e n t to improving modern language teaching. T h a n k y o u to m y teammates and friends i n M E R L i n , especially A a r o n B o n d , for your valuable help during the last two years o f this study, and A n t o n i e t a Rivera, R i c a r d o Trujeque and Josephine Rosado. T h a n k y o u Brian K i l p a t r i c k and B o b H a p k e from C u r r i c u l u m Studies for all the technical help y o u have happily provided to m y students and me over the years. I also extend m y thanks to D r . R o n Baecker and his development team at the University o f T o r o n t o . I a m grateful to m y parents for teaching us to believe i n ourselves and follow a goal and also for every imaginable source o f support, encouragement and unconditional love y o u have offered along the way. T h a n k y o u to m y brothers D a v e and D a n and m y sister M a r y b e t h and your families for keeping me grounded and connected to what is really  Acknowledgements x i i i  important. T o m y sister-in-law, D r . D e i r d r e K e l l y , y o u have provided me w i t h invaluable counsel i n a l l areas from motherhood to academia and are p r o o f that a perfect  balance  between the two can be achieved. M o s t o f all, thank you, thank y o u to A n t o i n e for making this possible. T h a n k you for your love and empathy, your strength and generosity, your sense o f humor and amazing patience.  A n d thank y o u to R e m y for being the funny little toddler that y o u are.  Dedication  For Antoine & Remy  xiv  Chapter i: Overview  i  Chapter 1 Overview Readers' Guide T o acknowledge that each reader comes to this text w i t h different motivations, interests and energy levels, some navigational tips are offered: Readers interested i n a brief overview o f the dissertation and its conclusions may find  the first and last chapters sufficient. Chapter O n e briefly outlines the educational  dilemma and motivations for this study, the theory base w h i c h informs the research, and the research methodology and method used i n carrying out the study, including data collection techniques, analysis, interpretation and limitations. A l l o f these concepts, except the limitations, are reintroduced and developed w i t h more context and detail i n the subsequent chapters. Chapter Six presents the conclusions, findings and implications o f this study as w e l l as recommendations for further research. Readers w h o prefer to immerse themselves deeply i n the ideas o f this dissertation may want to pass over the first chapter altogether, or use it for reference purposes, and begin at the Interlude. Readers interested i n trends i n modern language education and teacher education are directed to Chapter T w o . T h o s e w h o are intrigued by innovative research methodologies as well as the  design and development  o f digital learning  environments w i l l want to read Chapters T h r e e and F o u r . Readers w h o want to explore the multi-modal representations o f the unique experiences o f eight participants are directed to Chapter Five and its accompanying C D - R O M . C r i t i c s , friends, family and m y examiners w i l l want to read everything.  1  The idea and some wording for this 'Readers' Guide' and the Interlude come from Sandra Gail Kouritzin's (1997) doctoral dissertation, Cast-away Cultures and Taboo Tongues: Face("t)s of First Language Loss. 1  Chapter i: Overview 2  Importance of Topic and Global Implications  T h i s dissertation deals w i t h the intersection o f a number o f areas i n w h i c h considerable research is currently taking place i n modern language education ( M L E D ) and 2  i n other areas o f the humanities and social sciences. These include issues o f culture and intercultural understanding, the development o f critical multiliteracies, learning i n general and specifically the role o f technology and new media i n learning and i n the creation and interpretation o f cultures. T h o u g h the project is described i n local terms, situated w i t h i n the context o f a modern language teacher education course at the University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , the dynamic view o f language, culture and learning that it presents, as w e l l as the collaborative research methodology used to investigate these areas, have wider implications for teaching, learning and research.  Educational Dilemma B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a modern language curriculum guidelines for grades 5-12 highlight the importance o f cultural understanding and positive attitudes for students' success i n their language learning endeavors as w e l l as i n their ability to assume their roles as international citizens (e.g. Spanish, 1996). T h e A m e r i c a n C o u n c i l o n the Teaching o f F o r e i g n Languages 3  ( A C T F L , 1993, 1996) has also developed new national standards w h i c h indicate students should demonstrate  an understanding o f the relationship between the practices and  In this dissertation, modern language education generally refers to the teaching of second languages other than English at the secondary level, as well as the preparation of student teachers to teach these languages. Though I often use Spanish as an example, since that is my particular language specialty, the following languages were represented in the study: French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Mandarin, Punjabi, Italian. These languages are listed in order of number of student teachers enrolled, with French being the most commonly chosen as specialization. The term "foreign" has traditionally been used to describe a minority language and culture of study. Though this is still used by many organizations, such as A C T F L , there is a movement to replace it with more inclusive terms which do not emphasize a "strangeness" or "otherness." Therefore, in this dissertation the terms: "modern language," "target language," and "target language culture" will be employed, rather than "foreign language" and "foreign culture,' unless the purpose or the term is to highlight the notion of "other" or "strange." For accuracy, the use of "foreign" will be retained in citations and mention of organizations which employ the term. 2  3  Chapter i: Overview 3  perspectives and the products and perspectives o f the culture, or culture(s) studied. I n 4  order to effectively integrate the n o t i o n o f culture into their curriculum, modern language teachers are encouraged to look beyond the fields o f linguistics and literature to those o f anthropology, sociology, psychology and education and to adopt a critical pedagogy o f intercultural discourse w h i c h speaks to the multiple voices that comprise an individual and her culture ( K r a m s c h & v o n H o e n e , ^ 9 5 ) . Despite encouragement to use emerging technologies to create innovative learning environments  that enable students to become  (Goldman-Segall,  1998b;  Fischer,  1996),  ethnographers,  rather  than  "tourists"  modern language teachers cite "textbook notes" and  "authentic texts" as their top resources for teaching culture ( M o o r e ,  1996).  However,  modern media, w i t h their capabilities to create "media r i c h texts" complete w i t h sound, images and video, create a new, unexplored predicament for the language teacher and learner i n this new role as "ethnographer." Whereas the anthropologist traditionally started from a context-and-experience-rich environment and imagined a "text," the  language  teacher and learner start w i t h a "text" and must imagine a context, drawing from previous experience, knowledge, or stereotypes about the target language culture (Teroaka,  1989).  I n modern language teacher education, the aim is to prepare student teachers to be experts i n the languages they teach, as well as i n creating a r i c h instructional environment, so they, at the sides o f their students, can begin a life-long exploration o f the target language culture and the texts it produces. E l l i o t Eisner  (1998)  explains that an expert i n any field is  able to draw from her experience to see certain qualities that other lay people do not 5  notice. C a r m e n L u k e  (2000)  argues the digital information age has forced educators to  reconsider the qualifications we use to paint our profile o f "expert." T h e expert is not only able to see, but also to seek the connection among related pieces o f information and to  I have pluralized the word "culture" to problematize the monolithic, singular notion of culture that is commonly-held by teachers, learners, materials developers and policy makers. Distinct varieties of the target language culture, as well as the local culture, are linked to variables of nationality, ethnicity, and other particular circumstances. These particularities are manifested in the different regions in which the language is spoken, as well as in the language of the individuals who speak it. 4  Chapter i: Overview 4  possess  a digital  electronic text  multiliteracy based  o n notions  o f hybridity and  intertextuality that transcends genres, media and cultural frames o f reference. A n effective way, therefore, for students t o become experts at seeing the multiple layers o f qualities present i n an artistic creation, such as an authentic text, is to undergo the process o f creating art. I n the study presented i n this dissertation, these modern language student teachers created art and, i n the process, began to develop the technical and intellectual skills to become multiliterate writers and readers o f digital texts.  The Media-BasedApproach and Project Specifics  Based o n communicative language teaching and constructionist learning models, the 6  researcher  7  implemented a media-based approach w h i c h encouraged pre-service and i n -  service modern language teachers t o use their personal experiences to create and interpret "media-rich texts." T h e students, w h o had little or n o experience w i t h digital media, received initial instruction i n filming techniques, video capturing, and scanning. N e x t , w o r k i n g i n design teams o f 5-6 individuals, each group created a 30-second C i n e K i t ™ (Baecker, Rosenthal, Friedlander, Smith, & C o h e n , 1996) movie based o n the cultural significance o f a particular object, or artifact, o f their choice such as coffee, cars, flowers, or shoes. These movies, along w i t h other video clips o f the participants going through and/or reflecting o n the movie-making process, were then posted on-line w i t h a software program called W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ (Goldman-Segall, 1997). I n this forum, participants were able to  Throughout this dissertation I, a female, use the feminine subject pronoun to represent a gender neutral individual. No disrespect to males is intended. According to Papert (1990, as cited in Goldman-Segall, 1998b), constructionists "understand "constructionism" as including, but going beyond, what Piaget would call "constructivism." The word with the v expresses the theory that knowledge is built by the learner, not supplied by the teacher. The word with the n expresses the further idea that this happens especially felicitously when the learner is engaged in the construction of something external or at least sharablc.a sand castle, a machine, a computer program, a book. This leads [constructionists] to a model of using a cycle of internalization of what is outside, then externalization of what is inside and so on (pp. 159-160). The researcher will henceforth be referred to as "I." 5  7  Chapter i: Overview 5  view and comment o n each other's creations and reflections, and make connections to their own experiences as w e l l as key concepts presented i n the course.  D i g i t a l tools Formerly k n o w n as M A D , CineKit™  is an interactive system that runs o n  inexpensive personal computers w h i c h allows individuals w i t h o u t specific computer, film, or video backgrounds to create digital video m o t i o n pictures and lecture-demonstrations w h i c h can be transmitted over the Internet. C i n e K i t ™ supports the process by enhancing the author's ability to structure and modify a presentation and to visualize the ultimate result. It does this by allowing b o t h top-down design and bottom-up creation w i t h a hierarchical multimedia document representation; by supporting the flexible inclusion and combination o f words, images, sounds, and video sequences; by providing a variety o f movie representations and editors for these representations; and by providing real-time playback o f the best approximation to the ultimate presentation that can be produced at any stage o f the design process. C i n e K i t ™ movies are stored i n digital formats that can be transmitted over the Internet and played back under typical W o r l d W i d e W e b browsers (Baecker et al.,  I99 )6  WebConstellations™ Goldman-Segall  is a digital annotation and analysis t o o l created b y R i c k i  i n her research  lab, M E R L i n  (Multimedia  Ethnographic Research  Laboratory), i n the Faculty o f E d u c a t i o n at the University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a and built w i t h Bitmovers C o m m u n i c a t i o n s , Inc. It is the first server-side, web-based database system designed to enable a c o m m u n i t y o f researchers to catalog, describe, and meaningfully organize  multimedia data  accessible  o n the W e b . T h e underlying metaphor  for  W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ , like i n Goldman-Segall's earlier tools, Learning C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ ^989)  and C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™  (1994),  is stars and constellations. Researchers i n dispersed  locations can use this tool to access the same database and collaboratively analyze that set o f data. Stars, w h i c h are individual pieces o f digital data, and constellations, w h i c h are  Chapter i: Overview  6  personally meaningful clusters o f these stars, can be tagged w i t h keywords. Users can engage i n dialog about particular stars and constellations using the annotation discussion system.  F u n d i n g and site A n initial pilot study to test this approach was funded by a 1998 University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a T e a c h i n g and Learning Enhancement  (TLE)  8  grant: Making Movies, Making  Theories: Digital Media Tools for Educating Educators to Connect Experiences to Curriculum (Goldman-Segall & Beers, 1997) and carried out in July/August o f 1998 i n a modern language teacher education course I designed and taught for this study Advanced Studies in Language Education: Integrating Language and Culture with Modern Media (MLED 480). T h e final phase o f this research was completed i n the same course i n May/June o f 1999. B o t h phases o f the project were carried out i n M E R L i n  and approved by the university ethical review  committee.  Participants T h e p i l o t study, i n 1998, i n w h i c h we were an alpha test site  9  for C i n e K i t ™  and  W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ , and the final study, i n 1999, i n w h i c h we were a beta test site for these two media tools, included two separate groups o f approximately 30 pre-service and i n service modern language teachers from 8 different language specialties. These students were enrolled i n the 3-credit M L E D 4 8 0 elective for credit towards the c o m p l e t i o n o f their teaching degrees or certificates. T h e students were aware that their participation i n the research study was entirely voluntary and that they could withdraw from the study or remove their data from the c o m m o n database at any time, w i t h o u t their class standing being adversely affected.  10  T h e y were also given the choice to use their real name or create a  These grant monies are provided from student fees and are awarded to projects that show promise for improving teaching and learning at the University of British Columbia. In alpha or beta test sites, groups of individuals agree to try out software programs that are not ready for release to the general public and provide the developers with useful feedback regarding system bugs, ease of use and suggestions for future versions of the software. See appendix F for a copy of the participant consent form.  8  9  10  Chapter i: Overview  j  pseudonym. A l l o f the students enrolled willingly agreed to participate and ah chose to use their real names. T h e participants were aware that the data collected was to be used for m y doctoral dissertation and might also be used i n various conference presentations or publications w h i c h described the project and its results.  Theory Base for Research  C r i t i c a l theory A c a d e m i c texts w h i c h focus o n critical theory and critical pedagogy, usually i n relation to the situatedness o f humans i n their worlds, frequently make a distinction between "Subject" and "object," though they also acknowledge neither are constants. I n Pedagogy o f the Oppressed  (1993/1970),  Freire introduces this n o t i o n and presents the term  "Subjects," w h i c h denotes those w h o k n o w and act, i n contrast to "objects," w h i c h are k n o w n and acted u p o n (p. 18). Freire's w o r k , w h i c h emerges from his experiences i n povertystricken areas o f Brazil, concentrates o n the human elements i n the power structures o f society, arguing that teachers are the instruments o f the oppressors, whose job i t is to indoctrinate their students into the oppressive power structures o f society by filling their heads w i t h facts and turning t h e m into unquestioning, passive objects. Pennycook  (1990)  and T e d i c k , W a l k e r , Lange, Paige and Jorstad  (1993)  have applied  the Subject / object distinction to language education, arguing that language has historically been viewed as "object," a perspective that has been reflected i n the positivist instructionist methods that have been used to teach it. T e d i c k et al.  (1993)  argue for a movement toward  viewing language as "Subject," stating this view emphasizes the power o f language along w i t h its communicative, dynamic, and social nature (p. 71). M o d e r n language teacher educators, along w i t h their student teachers and their future  students, can learn a great deal about themselves and their environment by  Chapter i: Overview 8  acknowledging they are all involved i n complicit and dialectical power structures w h i c h affect the way i n w h i c h they view and act i n the w o r l d . Freire identifies the human elements i n the pedagogical ecosystem, the teachers and students, and P e n n y c o o k and T e d i c k et al. expand u p o n this n o t i o n to include one seemingly non-human element, language. I suggest we extend the Subject / object metaphor to include the other perceived non-human elements (culture, curriculum, method and texts) as well. I n this way, we recognize that a l l these participants i n the ecosystem" o f the modern language classroom, w h i c h have traditionally been viewed as objects, have the potential to become Subjects, since they are, at the same time, the products and creators o f their social w o r l d , engaged i n a dynamic dialectical relationship. B y assigning the t e r m "Subject" to inanimate objects, I a m not trying to suggest they have any consciousness. I a m emphasizing the need to look b e h i n d the physical objects themselves to recognize the human faces w h i c h created t h e m and w h i c h interpret them to give them meaning.  Constructionism Based o n the theories o f his mentor, J e a n Piaget, Seymour Papert developed the theory and methodology o f constructionism, w h i c h assumes children are more actively engaged w h e n w o r k i n g o n a personally meaningful external artifact, whether i t be a sandcastle or a computer program, w h i c h he calls an "object-to-think-with"  (1980).  Papert  also used this approach w i t h his graduate students studying under h i m at M I T , including Goldman-Segall, as they developed their o w n objects-to-think-with to facilitate their theory-making about the ways children think.  van Lier (1996) uses a similar metaphor when he describes the ecology of the second language classroom. This is discussed further in Chapter Two. 11  Chapter i: Overview  9  Configurational validity W h i l e under Papert's mentorship, Goldman-Segall developed her object-to-thinkw i t h , Learning C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ 1.0, and her theory, configurational validity. Learning Constellations 1.0 is the first digital media ethnographic analysis t o o l w h i c h supports the analysis o f an entire body o f research data using ethnographic style video data (GoldmanSegall,  1990).  T h i s digital environment allows n o t only for the media writer's "thick  description" (Geertz, 1973) o f the event, but also the reader's "thick interpretation" (Goldman-Segall,  1998b).  Configurational validity says that a more robust interpretation o f a phenomenon can be achieved w h e n the human participants are given a forum i n w h i c h to view and discuss each other's representations and interpretations, o r readings, o f the event. F o r G o l d m a n Segall  (1998b),  this phenomenon to be interpreted is often a socio-cultural subject w h i c h  serves as a site for investigating the different viewpoints, such as those o f the inhabitants o f Clayoquot [ K l a k - w i t ] Sound (Goldman-Segall,  1998b),  one o f N o r t h A m e r i c a ' s largest  temperate rain forests w i t h intact watersheds. I n order to emphasize the human aspects o f this  socio-cultural phenomenon  (Goldman-Segall,  1998b),  Goldman-Segall  proposes  Clayoquot Sound be thought o f as a subject-to-think-with, rather than an object-to-thinkwith.  Subjects-in-interaction T h e theory I p u t forth, Subjects-in-interaction, builds upon Papert's n o t i o n o f objects-to-think-with i n that the authentic media texts can serve as catalysts for exploration and discovery o n the part o f the student and teacher, and it builds u p o n Goldman-Segall's n o t i o n o f subjects-to-think-with i n that it highlights the humanistic aspects inherent to the area o f study. H o w e v e r , I view Papert and Goldman-Segall's notions through a critical theory lens, i n w h i c h the object and subject take o n a n e w level o f agency. T h e Subject is,  Chapter i: Overview  10  therefore, p r o m o t e d to the status o f proper noun and assumes the role o f actor, rather than companion, as i n object-to-think-with, or site, as i n subject-to-think-with. Subjects-ininteraction extends Goldman-Segall's theory o f configurational validity. Subjects-in-interaction,  as  applied  to  modern  language  education  or,  more  specifically, the designing and interpreting o f authentic media texts from one's o w n and the target language culture, says that ah o f the human and seemingly non-human element w h i c h contribute to the pedagogical context are active agents i n the social construction o f the meaning-making event. Subjects-in-interaction is b o t h a theory and a methodology for the w r i t i n g and reading o f authentic media texts w h i c h looks at the process o f creation and inter-pretation o f the text as this event. In this dynamic meaning-making process, all Subjects, human and non-human, are agents i n an ever changing, dialectical inter-action.  Prior Research on This Topic  C u l t u r a l studies T h e E u r o - A m e r i c a n conservative concept o f culture as an essence to be captured, labeled and consumed is borne out o f the L a t i n root colere (cultivate, protect, worship). W i t h i n the European intellectual scenes i n the 18th century, culture was considered to be a c o n d i t i o n o f total perfection, attainable through education ( W h i t t a k e r , ^ 9 2 ) . Culture came to be defined by the writings and ideas o f a small group o f "men" o f letters, poets, philosophers, and academics and, though anthropologists have managed to separate culture from civilization, this general n o t i o n o f culture as a display o f accomplishment and perfection still persists today. It is this concept o f " C " culture, easily transmitted as facts since it manifests itself i n the canonized literature, music, art, and history o f the target culture, that modern language teachers are inclined to teach ( W e b e r & M i t c h e l l ,  1996).  Chapter i: Overview 11  Anthropologists hold a different view o f culture, seeing it as a process and as patterns o f beliefs, values and systems o f interpretation that guide the actions and interactions o f its members ( W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , Geertz  (1973),  1996).  O n e o f the most prominent anthropologists, Clifford  has been instrumental i n bringing about a redefining o f culture and, along  w i t h M a x W e b e r , believes  that m a n is an animal suspended i n webs o f significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis o f it to be therefore n o t an experimental science i n search o f law but an interpretive one i n search o f meaning (p. 5). M o r e recently, culture is believed to be characterized b y the diversity o f discourses w h i c h exist w i t h i n a society (Clifford, 1988; G e e , 1992; K r a m s c h & v o n H o e n e , 1995; K u b o t a , 1999).  Ironically, this recognition o f multiple discourses i n postmodern and feminist  ideology could also bring about a demise o f culture as w e k n o w it since the very recognition o f voice w i t h i n a society negates the imperialistic n o t i o n o f culture as an object to be studied. T h i s demise o f "culture" as a monolithic entity appears to be happening i n T E S O L (Teachers o f E n g l i s h to Speakers o f O t h e r Langauges), an institution w h i c h has produced extensive research i n the areas o f second language learning and teaching that informs modern language education. I n a recent review o f the articles published over the last ten years i n the T E S O L Quarterly, A t k i n s o n  (1999b)  notes that, i n addition to "discourses," other terms such as  "identity, hybridity, essentialism, power, difference, agency, resistance, and contestation are being used by second language theorists as a way to call into question the traditional monolithic n o t i o n o f 'culture'" (p. 626). A t k i n s o n attributes this shift i n terminology to a gradual  change  from  "more  traditional/received  to  more  postmodernist/critical  understandings o f culture" (p. 629, note 6). A s W h i t t a k e r notes, i n traditional terms "culture is the very epitome o f othering. It depends for its existence o n the subjective ordering o f a w o r l d full o f Others (...) the O t h e r is such essences as class, gender, race, ethnicity. T h e very act o f research makes an O t h e r out o f someone" (p. 113). A t k i n s o n encourages his colleagues  Chapter i: Overview 12 •>  i n T E S O L to develop a n o t i o n o f culture w h i c h takes into account "the cultural i n the individual and the individual i n the cultural" (p. 648) as a way to recognize the diversity o f discourses and contexts w h i c h exist i n one's own and the target language cultures.  C u l t u r a l objectives M o d e r n Language E d u c a t i o n is a subject area w i t h enormous potential for self discovery, though past instructionist approaches, w h i c h have focused more o n the teaching of language at the exclusion o f culture, have consistently sidelined attempts at this form o f exploration. O v e r the past decade, new research interest i n the areas o f acculturation, language socialization and the role o f identity i n language acquisition have highlighted the role culture plays i n learning to effectively communicate i n another language and influenced the direction o f modern language education (Byram, 1989; D u f f & U c h i d a , ^ 9 7 ; K r a m s c h , 1996; N o r t o n , 2 0 0 0 ; N o r t o n Peirce, 1995). C u r r i c u l u m guidelines for modern language teaching i n b o t h the U n i t e d States and Canada have reflected the overwhelming call from modern language pedagogues i n the areas o f global (Strasheim, 1981), multicultural (Carey, 1997; Heffernan, ^ 9 6 ; Roblyer, D o z i e r - H e m y & Burnette, 1996), and critical (Hellebrandt, 1996; Peck, 1992; Pennycook, 1990, 1999, 2 0 0 0 ; Reagan & O s b o r n , 1998) education to lead their students o n a systematic and in-depth study o f culture i n their language classes. B y doing so, students are expected to achieve a range o f objectives, including cultural sensitivity, multicultural literacy, a sense o f international citizenship, an understanding o f self and other and higher motivation i n their language learning endeavors.  Culture teaching Despite the ambiguous and contradicting definitions o f culture, as w e l l as differing objectives on h o w to "teach culture," the last thirty years o f literature o n culture teaching have left teachers w i t h no shortage o f ideas o n h o w to approach it. M o d e r n language  Chapter i: Overview 13  pedagogues have published a wide variety o f literature, providing inventories o f topics and themes for cultural instruction (Seelye, 1974, 1985, 1993), lists o f culturally-sensitive personality traits desired for our students (Byram & M o r g a n , 1994), suggestions o n the use o f authentic materials (Galloway, 1992; K r a m s c h , 1989; K r a m s c h , 1993a; K r a m s c h , 1993b; N o s t r a n d , 1989), guidelines for the process o f preparing and guiding the students through the process o f learning culture (Kramsch, 1993a; Mantle-Bromley, 1992), or statements o f recommended goals for cultural instruction ( A C T F L , 1993, 1996; Strasheim, 1981), to name but a few. Strasheim (1981) reports that twenty years ago, two studies ( M o s k o w i t z , 1976; N e r e n z , 1979) indicated that teachers spent approximately 10% o f their instructional time on culture. Since that time, no conclusive studies had been carried out u n t i l M o o r e (1996) surveyed more than two hundred secondary school modern language teachers i n upstate N e w Y o r k to determine how high-school teachers teach culture, h o w frequently they teach culture, w h i c h teaching techniques they judge to be more appropriate for achieving the cultural goals stated i n school syllabi, and what constraints, i f any, they experienced i n their efforts to teach culture. T h o u g h the individual teachers' personal objectives for teaching culture are not explicitly outlined, M o o r e gives a general inventory o f techniques used and makes some judgements as to their quality and effectiveness based o n whether or not they include the perspectives o f the members o f the target language society. I n her study, M o o r e (1996) found that training i n teaching culture corresponded to b o t h a higher frequency and better quality o f culture teaching, whereas teaching experience was related only to the frequency o f teaching culture and academic qualifications only to the selection o f techniques. T h e top five techniques teachers reported for teaching culture, w h i c h demonstrate these teachers' i m p l i c i t assumptions o f culture as object, were: students read notes i n the textbooks (54%), students got information from authentic material (48%), lectures were used to present information (46%), students were assigned projects o n specific topics (41%), students were  Chapter i: Overview  exposed to the food o f the culture, to songs, dances, and celebrations  (41%).  14  Teachers listed  constraints to teaching culture to be shortage o f time, materials and training.  Research Methodology  Qualitative research Subjects-in-interaction as a theory and methodology for developing multiliterate designers and interpreters o f digital texts is informed by the general assumptions that guide qualitative researchers i n their inquiry. Qualitative researchers believe there is no such ideal as a single objective reality. Instead, multiple realities o f any given phenomenon are socially constructed through individual and collective interpretations o f the situation ( M c M i l l a n & Schumacher, 1993, p. 14). E a c h individual constructs her own reading o f the event as directed by her sense o f self i n relation to the other—the self being the sum total o f the life experiences that have informed the paradigm i n w h i c h she operates and the other being the entity w h i c h either confirms or contradicts this paradigm. T h e qualitative researcher's aim is to understand the event from the perspective o f the participants, to uncover the qualities that contribute to re-constructing its meaning and significance.  Ethnographic studies Ethnographic studies are prototypical examples o f qualitative research i n that the ethnographer integrates herself into a localized group o f individuals, often taking o n a participatory role i n their activities. T h e ethnographer collects data i n the form o f field note observations, artifacts, interviews, conversations, and images and compiles t h e m into a descriptive and interpretive account. She recognizes she is an active element i n the dynamic and ever evolving cultural phenomenon o f inquiry w h o changes the social context. She also  Chapter i: Overview 15  acknowledges the subjective lens through w h i c h she views the events w i l l influence her findings and interpretations. C r i t i c a l ethnographic approaches to research i n second language learning and teaching (see A t k i n s o n & Ramanathan, 1995; Canagarajah, 1993; Duff, 1995; H o l l i d a y , 1996; Ramanathan & A t k i n s o n , 1999) have enabled researchers to treat formal learning and teaching contexts as cultural constructs and thereby situate t h e m w i t h i n the larger social realities i n w h i c h they operate. Early positivistic approaches to ethnographic research, however, tried to eliminate the subjective self from its equation, thinking that objectivity makes it possible to locate and isolate the reality o f the w o r l d out there. Subjectivity was seen to weaken the validity o f the findings, i n that they might say more about the beliefs o f the person carrying out the study than about the truth itself (Eisner, 1998). W e are the sum total o f our life experiences. O u r w i s d o m is created by our contact w i t h nature, its inhabitants and their artifacts. Qualitative inquiry acknowledges that the self is the instrument through w h i c h we experience the w o r l d around us. A s such, this inquiry "is not only directed towards those aspects o f the w o r l d "out there," it is also directed to objects and events that we are able to create" (Eisner, 1998, p. 21).  D i g i t a l video ethnography D i g i t a l video ethnography, a term coined by Goldman-Segall (1990, 1995a, 1996b, 1998b), is a qualitative research methodology w h i c h centers its processes o f interpretation on those very objects, and events we are able to create. It is a testimonial to G o l d m a n Segall's struggle w i t h the dilemma between subjectivity and validity i n the human sciences. It reconceptualizes and reinvents traditions o f qualitative research w i t h i n a post-modern framework, one i n w h i c h authorship and identity are transitive i n relation to the context o f the event. Goldman-Segall's theories on what constitutes robust research i n a socio-cultural site are inspired by the w o r k o f scholars from the areas o f visual and cultural anthropology  Chapter i: Overview 16 (see Clifford & Marcus, 1986; G e e r t z , 1973; M e a d , 1975), critical ethnography (see Lather, 1991; Tyler, 1986), semiotics (see Barthes, 1977), and filmmaking (see Davenport, Evans & Halliday, 1993; Leacock, 1973, 1986) and are embodied i n her digital ethnographic methods and data analysis tools (1990,1997, 1998b).  D i g i t a l video ethnographic tools and method I n her research method, Goldman-Segall encourages the participants i n the study to take o n new roles as digital ethnographers, thereby becoming b o t h the researchers and researched, while investigating their chosen subject o f inquiry. Together, they create a robust collective database o f qualitative digital data, open to interpretation and reinterpretation by its many users. These participants use digital ethnographic tools, such as video camcorders, movie making software and Goldman-Segall's digital video ethnographic analysis tools to build these robust collective data bases, or, as she also terms them, "platforms for multi-loguing" (1995a). Goldman-Segall's digital video ethnographic tools exploit digital video's descriptive capacities and on-line digital networks' potential for perspective sharing and trading. V i d e o is able to provide the "thick description" G e e r t z (1973) calls for i n ethnographic fieldwork because  it captures  the  subject  o f interest,  environment, tools and the others  along w i t h  her  interactions w i t h  the  (1998b). I n its digital format, the video can be  scrutinized, analyzed, and catalogued down to its most minute detail (Goldman-Segall, 1989). W i t h Goldman-Segall's data analysis tools, the digital video ethnographer can further contextualize her video w i t h text, documents, fieldnotes, and other data i n order to gain insights into what to shoot  and to provide other  users w i t h layer upon layer o f  interpretation and significance (Goldman-Segall, 1996). A s the data base grows, the digital video ethnographer can sort, annotate, and group this data into meaningful configurations based on her own interpretations while other users can simultaneously do the same. W i t h  Chapter i: Overview 17  Goldman-Segall's latest on-line tools, W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ and O r i o n ™ , these users need n o t operate w i t h i n local networks, they may w o r k from removed sites, assuming the role o f viewer or active participant, depending o n the access they desire or are granted.  Method for Research Site Development  Research site/system L i k e the two versions before it, the final research site for this project can, i n the broadest o f terms, be called a university course. Indeed, it had all the required specs: it was listed i n the U B C course schedule as M L E D 480A: Advanced Studies in Language Education: Integrating Language and Culture with Modern Media, it had an enrollment code (51162), a section number (921), and met regularly (Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 A M to 12:00 PM) for a p e r i o d o f 6 weeks, ( M a y r7 to June 21) i n the summer session. T h e r e was one teacher and enough students enrolled to make it economically viable, and even profitable, for the university (29). Students w h o successfully completed this course received 3 credits toward graduation and a mark o n their transcripts. Y e t this course was unique i n that students configured themselves i n unusual groupings, assumed u n c o m m o n roles, and used a variety o f new digital learning tools ( W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ , C i n e K i t ™ , P h o t o s h o p ™ , Q u i c k T i m e ™ , F u s i o n R e c o r d e r ™ ) , some never before released to the public, to carry out innovative projects. A better descriptor for this site, therefore, may be "digital learning environment," since this conjures up a mental image o f a stimulating place where students come to engage w i t h digital technologies to carry out meaningful tasks and learn. B u t this term is unsatisfactory, too. It does not allow me to tell the whole story o f h o w this place came to be; h o w it started from an idea, gained m o m e n t u m from student and administrative support, and evolved and transformed itself over a three year period. W h a t emerged was not a place that I, the teacher, created and to  Chapter i: Overview  18  w h i c h they, the students, came; but a place where teacher, students and tools converged to create an ever-evolving culture o f learning. A s we venture into more collaborative, interdisciplinary projects w h i c h incorporate multifaceted tools, and multi-skilled individuals, it is easy to see that previous individualistic models o f teaching, based on the ideal o f one teacher before a group o f students, do not lend themselves to innovative risk-taking i n education. It is therefore helpful to turn to established development models w h i c h have proven to be efficient and productive i n other cultures outside o f academia. I f we imagine a digital learning environment to be a smooth running system, rather than a course taught i n a school w i t h its traditional roles and expectations, we can free ourselves to step outside o f our firmly entrenched schemas we use to define the functions o f each component. W e can look to the m o d e l o f systems design teams i n the fields o f " H u m a n Factors" and " H u m a n - C o m p u t e r Interaction" to find such an organizational framework.  H u m a n - c o m p u t e r interaction H u m a n - c o m p u t e r interaction ( H C I ) is a field o f research w h i c h converges experts from a variety o f disciplines, including computer science, graphic design, kinesiology, applied linguistics, and experimental psychology. O n c e gathered o n a c o m m o n project, each contributes  her  individual  expertise  toward  developing a  computer  system  which  successfully interfaces w i t h its users. T h e terminology used to describe the various roles people play i n a system design team can easily be adapted to academia. T h i s is most appropriate i n academic courses and programs w h i c h integrate technology, since simultaneous and cyclical development o f curricular and technical aspects closely emulates the "iterative" and "integrated" systems design process popular i n industry for creating digital tools. A computer "system" is an architecture that is designed to help users perform their tasks. T h e "systems design team,"  Chapter i: Overview 19  or "development team," refers to those actively involved i n the systems development project and normally excludes contributions made by those i n management and support roles ( G r u d i n , 1991/1995, p. 294). T h e term "user" refers to the people directly engaged w i t h the system and generally is synonymous w i t h "end user," though as G r u d i n explains: "[o]f course, developers are also users o f the tools and the development system" (1991/1995, p. 294).  I n Chapter Four, I use the general term "system" to represent m y research site, MLED  480A, and refer to the three evolving versions o f this course as Subjects-in-  interaction (SII) version r.o (1997), S I I version 2.0 (1998) and SII version 3.0 (1999). E a c h version represents the iterations made to the course and corresponds to each time it was taught during three consecutive summer sessions at the University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . D u e to m y key role i n the conception, design and installation o f the system, I appropriated the title o f "principal developer." O t h e r members o f the systems design team included advisors and colleagues i n M L E D , M E R L i n , Bitmovers C o m m u n i c a t i o n s Inc. and the University o f T o r o n t o , as w e l l as the student teachers themselves. W i t h i n the general system, two digital tools, W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ and C i n e K i t ™ , were being developed simultaneously. R i c k i Goldman-Segall at the University o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a led the development team for W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ and R o n Baecker at the University o f T o r o n t o led the development team for C i n e K i t ™ . G i v e n the integral part these two tools played i n the smooth running o f the overall S I I system, they can be considered subsystems i n this context, though they are b o t h independent tools for a range o f purposes on their own. T h e term user, though problematic due to the passive role it connotes, refers to the pre-service and in-service teachers enrolled i n SII v. 3.0. T h e user "interface" o f a computer system is the part that handles the output to the display and the input from the person using the program (Myers, 1995, p. 323). Since we have established the user to be the student, we can then determine the interface, i n the general context o f S I I v. 3.0, refers to the medium o f  Chapter i: Overview 20  c o m m u n i c a t i o n the user interacts w i t h , whether it be technology, text, discussion or lecture.  Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation  Research questions T h e a i m o f this doctoral dissertation is to explore the interactions between the various human and seemingly non-human Subjects involved i n this study. It is also to see h o w the use o f digital media to create texts w i t h i n a constructionist learning model might inform these pre-service and in-service teachers' n o t i o n o f culture and its role i n their future teaching. T h e specific research questions guiding the analysis are: 1) W h a t is the nature o f the human and seemingly non-human interactions that occur w h e n modern language student teachers are: (a) users o f a system designed to promote multiliteracies and (b) digital video ethnographers o f their o w n learning processes? 2) H o w might the use o f digital media to create texts w i t h i n this constructionist learning m o d e l inform these student teachers' notions o f culture, or Subjects-ininteraction? H o w might this affect their future teaching? W o r k i n g w i t h i n a Piagetian / hermeneutic framework, this study aims to identify and examine moments o f equilibrium and disequilibrium these learners pass through as they assimilate and accommodate evolving concepts o f culture, method and text i n modern language education.  D a t a collection D a t a collection procedures during the installation phase o f S I I v. 3.0 incorporated a wide spectrum o f digital and traditional media. T h o u g h they may a l l be considered  Chapter v. Overview 21  "constructions" o f one type or another, for organizational purposes I subdivided the types o f data collected during SII v. 3.0 into the following categories: "printed data," "constructions," "digital data," "evaluative data" and "observational data." T h e printed data included fairly traditional forms o f content delivery and knowledge representation. These were embodied i n the course syllabus, course readings, students' reflective syntheses o f the readings and their "chunking" o f key and provocative ideas from the readings. A l s o collected were students' answers to an initial questionnaire  which  inquired into their professional background, familiarity w i t h teaching culture and using technology. Constructions included the three dimensional identity objects and 30-second digital movies the student teachers created and shared i n class. E a c h o f the identity objects was videotaped for future analysis and some were also accompanied by student explanations o f their  process  and  product.  Several  stills  of  these  objects  were  also  posted  on  W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ to invite further w r i t t e n comments. T h e 30-second movies were saved i n their original C i n e K i t ™ format, w h i c h explicitly shows the multiple layers o f text, sound, and image incorporated into each film, as well as an exported Q u i c k t i m e ™ version i n w h i c h the w o r k was flattened into one seamless entity. A smaller Q u i c k t i m e ™ version o f each movie was also posted o n W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ to invite comment and criterion peer evaluation. D i g i t a l data included the W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ database, approximately 8 hours o f filmed and transcribed  focus group sessions, and approximately 20 hours o f filmed  ethnographic observations o f the movie making process, student reflections, and classroom interactions. T h e W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ database included still images and video chunks from S I I versions 2.0 and 3.0, as w e l l as r50 pages o f w r i t t e n comments they elicited from S I I v. 3.0 users. D a t a from S I I v. 2.0 included the 5 digital movies created by design teams, still images o f various identity objects, as w e l l as several video chunks o f various students explaining their identity objects. D a t a from S I I v. 3.0 included still images o f various  Chapter i: Overview 22  identity objects, the five finished digital movies, and video chunks excerpted from focus group discussions and the movie making process. I n the focus groups, students discussed sets o f pre-determined questions designed to elicit reflection o n past teaching practice i n light o f current ideas presented i n the course through readings, discussion and hands-on digital activities. O n five separate class meetings, and o n a rotating basis, one individual from each design team met i n a focus group i n lieu o f the day's digital activities. T h e r e were several motivations for this arrangement. It gave students an opportunity to meet  w i t h members  from  other  design teams to  pool  experiences and strategies and reflect o n their learning; it freed up l i m i t e d digital resources for the remaining workers; and it provided the researchers w i t h documented insights into the evolving t h i n k i n g processes o f the project participants. I was not present at these focus group meetings, though I later watched the videotapes and periodically posted  on  W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ what I considered to be intriguing and representative video chunks from their discussions to invite further comment and reflection. Evaluative data reported on the process and product o f developer, student, peer and teacher. T h e students and teacher provided a running log o f user feedback to C i n e K i t ™ and W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ developers to evaluate the digital tool performance. T h e students assessed their creative processes  and products through criterion-based self and  peer  evaluations o f the movies and their group processes. I assessed the students' academic performance through criterion and comment-based procedures and submitted a final mark for each student to the university. T h e students completed the standard university criterion and comment-based teacher evaluation forms for the teacher and course.  D a t a analysis and interpretation I n this investigative learning environment, participants were provided w i t h different venues, such as focus groups, class interactions and on-line forums, i n w h i c h to openly  Chapter i: Overview 23  reflect o n their learning processes as they grappled w i t h evolving notions o f culture, method and text i n modern language education. M a n y o f these reflections were recorded o n film, others o n paper, and others in an on-line data base. D a t a analysis o f the learning processes o f eight student teachers, supported by on-line excerpts o f their movies and reflective process, was carried out w i t h i n a Piagetian / hermeneutic framework described i n Chapter Five, w h i c h examined moments o f equilibrium and disequilibrium these learners passed through as they assimilated, accommodated or rejected these different concepts o f culture, m e t h o d and text i n modern language education. I chose these eight student  teachers to represent  participated i n this study over a three-year  the more than ninety that  p e r i o d for two reasons. First, all were  participants i n version 3.0 o f the study, w h i c h was the most complex and s m o o t h running o f the three systems due to changes based o n lessons learned during the first two versions. V e r s i o n 3.0 also incorporated the most robust data collection techniques w i t h the addition o f focus group forums and W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ . T h i s additional data allowed me to form more complete profiles on their t h i n k i n g processes. Second, each o f these eight modern language student teachers chose to engage w i t h one particular issue, for example: "self and other" (Paula), "tourist versus explorer" (Kevin), "filming perspectives" (Murray) or "connection and interaction" (Lesley). E a c h  then  continued to approach his or her self-selected topic from many different angles, repeatedly articulating his or her t h i n k i n g processes in various forums and media for reflection and communication,  such as  i n the  focus  group  discussions, w r i t t e n  assignments  and  W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ comments. T h e fact that each o f these individuals connected w i t h one topic to such an extent was a surprising result o f this study. I d i d not encourage the students to choose one idea and follow it through, this was a spontaneous personal decision o n the part o f the individuals. It should be noted that these eight student teachers were not chosen based on ethnicity, language specialization nor academic performance, but rather on their level o f  Chapter i: Overview 24  focus o n their chosen theme and their capacity and willingness to provide a w i n d o w into their t h i n k i n g processes through clear and consistent articulation o f their ideas. T h r o u g h their stories we can begin to piece together the individual qualities o f the text that is this project. T h e i r interactions were many, their interpretations varied, but they all contributed to the creation and understanding o f what this project was and what lessons it provided. T h e individuals whose stories were explored are introduced i n the following section:  Student profdes Anne is a G e r m a n language specialist w h o , despite her multicultural multilingual background, initially questioned whether she was qualified to teach issues o f culture i n her language classes. A s a result o f actively participating i n the reflective forums  and  constructionist projects i n this study, however, A n n e ' s broad notions o f culture, teaching and learning evolved. Whereas she initially p r i z e d external, product-based, representations o f knowledge and culture, she eventually found the internal, process-based manifestations to be more meaningful and empowering. Layla is a Spanish language specialist, considered a cultural expert by her classmates due to her undergraduate degree i n anthropology and her bilingual, bicultural upbringing. Layla, however, often doubted her ability to guide her language students i n cultural exploration. L i k e many o f her classmates, Layla found it difficult to find time for cultural exploration i n a curriculum she perceived to be driven by the grammatical objectives o f the prescribed textbook. Layla's quandary can be attributed to the competing concepts she held o f culture i n each o f her fields o f study. I n anthropology she studied the process, i n modern languages she studied the product. Layla used this course as a means to explore, reassess and reconcile these conflicting concepts.  Chapter i: Overview 25  Paula is a French and Spanish specialist who wondered how she could encourage her students to construct understandings of the target language culture that went beyond the stereotypes presented in the media. She grappled with one incident that occurred on her practicum in which the first image her students were able to call up of the Spanish speaking culture(s) were stereotypical caricatures diffused on television. Paula experienced a cultural revelation when she began to examine the notion of "self and other" and the implications it had for her teaching practice. Kevin is a French language specialist who spoke for many of his classmates when he admitted in frank and honest terms that his only source of culture teaching had come from the "culture corners" in the textbook. Kevin was disturbed by the lack of critical cultural 12  reflection he had promoted in his students and himself and pursued this dilemma throughout the course. H e experienced a cultural revelation of his own when he considered the distinction between a cultural tourist and a cultural explorer in one of the readings. H e then applied this notion to all aspects of his learning and teaching and resolved to continue with this new perspective in his future practice. Klara is a French and Spanish language specialist who identified with the role of ethnographer—one who spends her life moving between cultures. Early in the study, Klara held a static, nationalistic notion of culture and believed that a person had a limited capacity for cultures, like rooms in a hotel. She feared that the more cultures she learned, the less she belonged to any of them. During the movie making process, however, Klara honed her technical and intellectual ethnographic skills. She began to look for and identify the many cultural patterns and symbols in her own and her classmate's texts and came to appreciate the dynamic, interactive forces of culture(s). Murray is a French language specialist who used the course to develop his filming techniques. Originally timid in his shooting, he became more bold and critical as he "Culture comers" are brief "snapshots" of cultural themes, such as parades and monuments which usually present a static, non-controversial vision of culture. They generally consist of a photograph accompanied by a short written text and are presented in the corner of the textbook page, isolated from the rest or the 12  Chapter i: Overview 26  appropriated this skill. Nonetheless, he devalued the technical skills he was learning i n an secondary-school educational environment  he perceived to be regulated by external  standardized assessment practices and the whims o f angry parents. I n his analysis o f his classmates' movies, however, it was apparent that the skills he had honed as a videographer contributed to his keen and insightful interpretations o f his classmates' products. H e readily l o o k e d for and identified the individual qualities o f the texts, and made  simultaneous  technical and intellectual critiques o n h o w their interactions contributed to his enjoyment o f the viewing event. Jessica is a F r e n c h and Spanish specialist w h o began the course from an antitechnology perspective w i t h strong reservations  about  her abilities to complete the  constructionist projects i n the course. W i t h the enjoyment o f making her first project, the three-dimensional  identity object,  and the success  she experienced  while  quickly  appropriating the technical skills to edit her group's movie, Jessica became highly motivated i n her learning. A competent  and natural teacher i n her o w n right, Jessica was soon  designated leader by her design team. Reluctant to jeopardize her status as equal at first, Jessica eventually lead the team to w o r k w i t h i n the physical and human constraints to produce a product o f w h i c h they were proud. She d i d this by delegating and teaching when possible, taking c o n t r o l w h e n needed, and showing empathy and encouragement i n their efforts and  frustrations.  Lesley is a Spanish and F r e n c h language specialist w h o actively connected her personal experiences to the perspectives o f those w i t h w h o m she interacted, whether they were embodied i n text, tool, or person. Enthusiastic about the prospect o f learning new methods for exploring culture w i t h digital media, Lesley was also apprehensive about h o w they may affect the face to face contact she so enjoyed. I n the process o f investigating strategies for addressing controversial topics i n the classroom, Lesley exploited all media available to advance her thinking. Ultimately, Lesley overcame her trepidation regarding  grammar, or "language" lesson.  Chapter i: Overview 27  this digital m e d i u m and appropriated W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ as a meanmgful social event. She accessed this tool from home and watched the movies w i t h family and friends. I n her comments,  she continued to make personally meanmgful connections between  her  intertextual and interpersonal experiences i n response to the posted comments and digital media texts, proving that i n Lesley's w o r l d there were no objects, only Subjects-ininteraction.  Limitations  T h i s dissertation aims to show examples i n w h i c h the theory and methodology o f Subjects-in-interaction i n the context o f a digital video ethnographic study informs teacher education practice. T h i s dissertation explores the human and non-human interactions that occured w h e n modern language student teachers were at the same time users o f a system designed to promote these multiliteracies as designers and interpreters o f digital texts and digital video ethnographers o f their o w n learning processes. T h i s study does not aim to make claims that this theory or methodology w i l l lead to better second language acquisition, nor that these teachers w h o used this system were better prepared to teach language than others w h o had not. It does a i m to investigate whether users o f this system found it to be engaging, enlightening, and empowering i n terms o f their o w n practice. However, research w h i c h notes the powerful role motivation (Tremblay & Gardner, 1995; Gardner & Lambert, 1972) plays i n language learning indicate that this study may have implications for better practice. T h o u g h data was collected over a three-year period, the data analysis was l i m i t e d to the data collected from the final installation phase o f S I I v. 3.0, w h i c h occurred i n the t h i r d year. T h e first two years o f data served to inform the iterative and integrated design process o f the system and were therefore reflected i n the final product. Lessons learned from versions 1.0 and 2.0 also led to more robust data collection techniques i n version 3.0, w h i c h  Chapter i: Overview 28  allowed for a "thick description" (Geertz, 1973) and "thick interpretation" (Goldman-Segall, 1998) o f the event. T h e a i m o f this dissertation is to study a local phenomenon as it occurred w i t h i n the SII v. 3.0 environment. D u e to the nature o f the intervention I performed, the claims I w i l l be making about the process w i l l not necessarily be applicable to other modern language teacher education courses. B y some standards o f ethnographic educational research, the data I have collected might be perceived as l i m i t e d since I chose to document and film only select and partial scenes, at times excluding the surrounding context i n order to focus o n the specific as I saw fit. A t other times I relinquished the power o f the camera to the participants so they could capture the scenes from their perspectives. H e n c e , I contend this was not an anthropological study, though it was anthropologically inspired and informed. T h e criteria I used to collect my digital video data was based o n an informed eye. It was an eye that had been immersed w i t h i n this S I I system for three years and had learned to look for and notice the qualities w h i c h comprised the creation process w i t h i n S I I version 3.0. I have attempted to write these qualities into this text, into this dissertation, for y o u to interpret.  Interlude 29  Interlude  Kiss me, I'm Irish. M y mother taught my three older siblings and me to wear this p i n w i t h pride. St. Patrick's D a y was the day we wore green knee-highs w i t h our Catholic school uniform to confirm what she had been promising us all our lives—that we belonged to a distant clan and we were connected to an exotic people that lived beyond the sameness that was our suburban culture. I was the Irish prototype; my freckles proved it, as d i d the red streaks that the hot California sun w o u l d pick up i n my otherwise jet-black hair. I even had an Irish first name. N e v e r m i n d that my last name was D u t c h , and m y ancestors came from a number o f places besides Ireland, including Luxembourg, Germany, Scotland, and Austria. T h e magical w o r l d o f m y Irish ancestors was blanketed by verdant fields, dense w i t h lucky four leaf clovers. It was inhabited by green leprechauns and elders whose eyes twinkled w i t h stories to tell those children w h o were ready to crawl into their stout laps and listen. Alas, it was disappointing to learn that my imagined "cultural heritage," as it were, was a sham. Nonetheless, I am grateful to my mother for having instilled i n me a sense o f simultaneous wonderment and connection w i t h regard to different cultures. W h a t I didn't realize at the time was that I was, i n fact, member o f a mysterious and emerging culture, w h i c h my oldest brother, D a v i d , later coined "Blue Sky T r i b e " (Beers, 1996). T h i s "tribe," sons and daughters o f aerospace engineers and university researchers, grew up during the c o l d war i n sunny middle class suburbs w h i c h had been financed by massive government spending. T h o u g h I was surrounded by technology, I was rarely encouraged to interact w i t h it. F o r me, technology had always been part o f a masculine culture, housed i n the sprawling compounds o f my father's place o f w o r k , into w h i c h I was never allowed due to security restrictions, and manifested i n the unfathomable instruments o f m y father's w o r k s h o p , into w h i c h I rarely ventured. Ambivalent to this culture, I sought out those that appealed to me.  Interlude 30  A s a c h i l d en route to m y tennis match, one o f the many rituals shared by other members o f m y tribe, I paused o n my bicycle under the freeway overpass one m o r n i n g to w a t c h the construction o f a new building. T o p p e d w i t h a m u l t i c o l o r e d logo o f a half-eaten apple, the building was a playful triangle, reminiscent o f those we pushed through the appropriate slot o n the P l a y s k o o l ™ bench w h e n developing our earliest o f cognition processes. H o w intriguing this sight was, not even half a mile from home, a new spirit i n what was later to become Silicon Valley. O n Christmas morning, n o w a senior i n high school, I stripped away the colorful wrapping paper to reveal m y gift, a S m i t h C o r o n a ™ self correcting electric typewriter. H a v i n g witnessed each o f my three older siblings unwrap a similar t o k e n w h e n at the same stage i n their  development,  I  understood  this  t o o l to  be  the  key to  my  next  culture—academia. M y studies have taken me to distant places, beyond the suburbia I knew, beyond what had come to be the first o f many cultures into w h i c h I w o u l d seek entry. Surely other adolescents, i n the same transition to adulthood, were unwrapping primitive computers o n that very morning, jumpstarting their immersion into the new culture that w o u l d shape our lives forever. T h e computer culture that was forming i n the t o w n I was leaving behind was not to b e c k o n me u n t i l more than a decade later. I have always been intrigued by the different customs and ways o f speaking o f other cultures. F o r years I dedicated myself to decoding their languages and rites, enjoying the increased acceptance that I gained through my efforts. I have learned two languages, Spanish and F r e n c h , i n addition to my mother tongue, English. I learned the first i n a relatively formal context as an adolescent and the second i n an informal, naturalistic context as an adult. I n b o t h processes, my periods o f success and failure i n relation to native speakers have led me to experience moments o f self-doubt and confidence, h u m i l i a t i o n and euphoria. M y native tongue and visible ethnicity have positioned me variously, as the object o f resentment, indifference or admiration.  Interlude 31  I am, therefore, keenly aware that the second language acquisition process is a complex one i n w h i c h culture(s) play a central role. I n the words o f Bialystok and H a k u t a 13  (1994), "mostly we learn second languages to gain access, through verbal interaction, to cultural dealings w i t h people w h o lay claim to that language" (p. 161). T h e satisfaction I have felt from learning a new language and my excitement i n using it to engage w i t h members o f the target language culture have made me want to encourage others to interact w i t h them and discover their secrets w h i c h are not so deeply hidden. I believe that technology, or digital media, is a highly effective t o o l for aiding the learner i n this process o f discovery. Y e t ironically technology is a culture unto itself, not without its own rites o f passage and codes w h i c h must be deciphered. W h e n first interacting w i t h this technology and the culture and language w h i c h surround it, I was forced to overcome the same issues, such as language, access, gender and ability, that often prevent educators from using this m e d i u m to its potential. W i t h this new culture comes a new language w h i c h is acquired through experience and repeated exposure to the rituals. Originally frustrated by the strangeness o f the language spoken i n the computer environment, I noticed that the process involved i n acquiring this new dialect o f English was m u c h like the acquisition o f other languages I had tackled. I n order to acquire this language, the learner must have repeated exposure to the vocabulary through readings, conversations and practice. Impatience that I felt at not being able to fully absorb the gist o f conversations being carried out in this other language eventually began to subside when my personal computer vocabulary expanded. It is inappropriate to assume that the language o f a culture w h i c h has developed over years or even generations can be acquired in the time span o f weeks. T h e fact that language learning is a long process  As noted in Chapter One, I have pluralized the word "culture" to problematize the monolithic, singular notion of culture that is commonly-held by teachers, learners, materials developers and policy makers. Distinct varieties of the target language culture, as well as the local culture, are linked to variables of nationality, ethnicity, and other particular circumstances. These particularities are manifested in the different regions in which the language is spoken, as well as in the language of the individuals who speak it. 13  Interlude 32  w h i c h requires a great deal o f individual cornmitrnent is often overlooked by educators and administrators. A n o t h e r seeming barrier to the acculturation into this computer culture was that o f gender. It has been widely expressed that females do not benefit from the  advantages  offered by technology and are less confident i n their use o f computers, due to  the  traditionally masculine image o f computers presented i n mass media (Colley, Gale, & Harris, 1994). T h i s is affirmed by movements i n education (see Bryson & de Castell, 1998; C h a n , Stafford, K l a w e & C h e n , 2000) and industry (e.g. www.wiredwoman.com) to encourage females to pursue careers i n technology. H a v i n g understood the advantages that technology offers i n helping to bridge the cultural gap between people from different languages and cultures, I have had to confront and overcome my computer anxiety that was inhibiting my g r o w t h i n this domain. A c c o r d i n g to C h a r l t o n and B i r k e t t (1995) i n their article on computer apathy and anxiety, computer anxiety is associated w i t h a lack o f computing experience and females are likely to be at an "experiential disadvantage" w h i c h stems from a relative lack o f parental and peer encouragement.  G i v e n that a large  p r o p o r t i o n o f language teachers are women, this issue is one that needs to be addressed i n teacher education programs and in-service courses i n order to encourage the use o f technology i n the classroom. A s a modern language teacher and teacher educator, I saw that m y challenge was to foster a learning environment to accommodate the various learning styles o f m y students, provide them w i t h quality language input from a variety o f authentic sources, and encourage them to actively participate i n the activities I had organized. Over time I have realized that one cannot develop communicative and cultural competence i n a target language by merely learning its grammatical rules and vocabulary. A s Madeleine G r u m e t (1988) so eloquently states: "Decentered, lost i n thought, locked into the courtesies and protocols o f our very formal operations, we forget that the symbolic systems o f language, number, art, and culture are part o f our lived worlds" (p. 131).  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the Objectified 33  Chapter 2 Modern Language Culture Teaching In/Con Struction:  14  Subjectifying the Objectified  Ideas on Integrating Language and Culture  A g o o d teacher makes an art form out o f something that is already an art form. She builds on what exists for her, through her eyes, and presents i t to us as a precious gift—something to learn about, to turn over i n our minds, and to reshape for new reconstructions (Goldman-Segall, 1998b, p. 215).  M o s t aspiring teachers are fortunate i n that they have at one time fallen under the spell o f a talented teacher's poetic ways and received the gift Goldman-Segall describes above. W h a t these individuals may not have recognized at the time, however, is that they were able to take this gift and create their o w n unique and personal interpretation o f this knowledge by drawing from their inner w i s d o m and resources. Indeed, the role o f a good teacher is not only to transmit information, but to involve herself and her students i n a process o f self discovery i n relation to the subject matter at hand. M o d e r n Language Education is a subject area w i t h enormous potential for self discovery, though past instructionist approaches, w h i c h have focused more o n the teaching o f "language" ' at the exclusion o f "culture," have often sidelined attempts at this form o f 1  16  exploration. O v e r the past decade, new research interest i n the areas o f acculturation, language socialization and the role o f identity i n language acquisition have highlighted the  This word-play is to draw attention to the transition from instructionist, or traditional, teaching approaches and constructionist, or non-traditional, ones. The shift is not an easy, or clear one to make, as demonstrated in the phrase: "In construction." In this context, "language" is understood to be the building blocks, e.g. syntax, grammar and lexicon. In this context, "culture" can take two meanings. The first is a traditional product-based interpretation which views culture in static, essentialistic terms. The second is a process-based interpretation which views 14  15  16  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 34  role culture plays i n learning to effectively communicate i n another language and this has influenced the focus o f modern language education (Byram, 1989; D u f f & U c h i d a , 1997; K r a m s c h , C a i n & Murphy-Lejeune, 1996; N o r t o n , 2000; N o r t o n Peirce, 1995). C u r r i c u l u m guidelines for modern language teaching i n the U n i t e d States, Australia and Canada have reflected the overwhelming call from modern language pedagogues i n the areas o f global (Strasheim, 1981), multicultural (Carey, 1997; Heffernan, 1996; Roblyer, D o z i e r - H e n r y , & Burnette, 1996), and critical (Hellebrandt, 1996; Peck, 1992; Pennycook, 1990, 1999, 2001; Reagan & O s b o r n , 1998) education to lead their students o n a systematic and in-depth study o f culture in their language classes. B y doing so, students are expected to achieve a range o f objectives, including cultural sensitivity, multicultural literacies, a sense o f international citizenship, an understanding o f self and other and higher motivation i n their language learning endeavors. Indisputably, these are w o r t h y goals that, i f met, w i l l prepare the students to become capable, concerned and compassionate members o f our global society. It is easy to visualize the fruits that we, as modern language educators, w o u l d like our teaching to bear, but it is more difficult to envision the approach that w i l l plant and nurture the seeds to maturity. I f students are to "learn" these desired skills and traits, what are we, as teachers, going to "teach?" T h e problem lies i n our t h i n k i n g that the student's task is to learn and the teacher's task is to teach, especially i n matters o f culture(s). Culture is an abstract n o t i o n , subject to differing interpretations according to the field o f study. I n the literature, hundreds o f definitions have been suggested, some o f w h i c h include: Culture as a process, as high art, as discourse or food, facts, fairs and folklore. It is intimidating and frustrating to new and experienced teachers alike to attempt to teach what no one person can ever  fully  understand.  culture as dynamic and constantly changing. This postmodern view of culture entertains notions of hybridity, difference, agency and intertextuality.  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 35  Teaching culture or teaching meaning? In a breakfast meeting with Claire Kramsch at the 2000 A A A L  1 7  conference, I  confided in her my dissatisfaction with the term "to teach culture" and asked i f we could imagine an alternative. Co-author of the convincing article entitled, "Why should language teachers teach culture?" (Kramsch et al., 1996), Kramsch tugged at her croissant, sipped her coffee, then leaned forward on her elbows and said, "It is true we don't teach culture, what we teach is meaning." I felt relief at hearing Kramsch admit the impossibility of it, but was not yet satisfied with this definition of the task. After all, the true essence of meaning is just as elusive as that of culture. As I reflected on my past teaching, the voices of E F L ' students came back to me as 8  they decoded the target language texts they were reading. "What does...mean}" The student's insistent inquiry was often reduced to a more urgent, albeit grammatically incorrect, "What means...?" 1 was transported back to my first A C T F L  1 9  conference in 1988  in Monterey, California, where I was excited to be surrounded by thousands of language teachers, whom I considered masters in the profession where I was only an apprentice. I attended a session where two teachers from Illinois were selling signs they wore around their necks as they taught. The French version read, "Je ne suis pas un dictionnaire!" (I am not a dictionary) and the Spanish one, "iNo soy un diccionario!" The other session attendants nodded their heads in conspiring unison—they wanted these signs. I was puzzled and wondered to myself i f this could be the level of meaning we, as language teachers, were destined to teach. To  most  language  students, meaning lies within  the  signifiers, the  lexical  representations of the signified. They want a quick and easy translation from the target American Association of Applied Linguistics My experience teaching Spanish, English and French has generally been in a "foreign" (e.g. English as a Foreign Language—EFL,), now referred to as "modern" language education (MLED), rather than "second" (e.g. English as a Second Language—ESL) language context. In the FL, or M L E D context, relatively homogeneous groups of students receive the bulk of their contact with the target language and its culture in the classroom environment. In the L2 context^ the assumption, though often erroneous because they tend to stay within their language groups outside of class time, is that diverse groups of students have extended contact with the target language and culture outside of the classroom. 17  18  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 36  language into their native tongue so, they believe, they w i l l be able to understand the true sense o f the target language text. T h e English question is absolute a n d promises mastery: " W h a t does...mean}" English grammar presents the possibility as an optimistic given, a promise o f mastery, a problem solved, devoid o f ambiguity. I n contrast, the F r e n c h and Spanish questions, "Que...veut dire?" ( W h a t does ... want to say?) and " Q u e quiere decir...?" ( W h a t does ... want to say?), do n o t give such a resolute promise. B y employing the verbs "vouloir" and "querer," w h i c h roughly translate into the English verb "to want," these languages communicate a more accurate representation o f meaning making. T h e English verb to want, coupled w i t h the verb "to say," does n o t convey a given outcome, i t shows a process, an ongoing attempt to convey meaning.  20 Teaching Subjects-in-interaction T o believe that a teacher can teach meaning is overly optimistic. N o signifier is ever perfect, i t never fully connotes the meaning o f the signified; i t never captures the complex, multilayered interpretation that one, m u c h less fifty, native speakers may give to i t at any given point i n history. The  F r e n c h and Spanish questions demonstrate  that meaning m a k i n g between  signifiers, the signified, authors and readers is a constant, imperfect process, continuously changing i n relation to the Subjects  21  that are involved and their interactions w i t h each  other. I n her book, Points o f V i e w i n g Children's T h i n k i n g (1998b), Goldman-Segall discusses i n d e p t h the interactive and multi-layered process that members o f cultures undergo while creating and interpreting meaning w i t h their [digital] artifacts. F o r G o l d m a n -  American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages I have created this term to signify the content matter and skills that we, as modern language teachers, aim to "teach" when we say that we are "teaching culture." Central to the understanding of the abstract concepts of language and culture is the ability to identify and interpret the different perspectives of the Subjects (student, teacher, language, culture, curriculum, method and text) in the modern language classroom and acknowledge that they interact to form a delicate and dynamic ecosystem of interdependence. 1 mark the difference in levels of agency between "Subject" and "object" by capitalizing the term Subject and leaving the term object in lower case. 19  2 0  21  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 37  Segall, " i n t e r a c t i o n consists o f conversing w i t h self, others, and the rest o f nature, whether i n their physical presence or absence (p. 5)." I n language, meaning is contextual. T h e sense that is connoted by a signifier depends a great deal o n its interaction w i t h the other elements surrounding it, whether they are visual, lexical, grammatical, or environmental. A good language learner, w h o has learned to speak the second language, w i l l be able to read the contextual clues i n any given text—or artifact— and infer their significance. T h e teacher's role, therefore, is to engage the student i n a meaning making process by drawing the student's attention to the individual but interconnected elements i n a text to see how they interact w i t h themselves, the others, and the rest o f nature. A talented teacher may reveal the roles o f the various voices, or Subjects, w i t h i n the text, but she alone cannot account for the subjective, situated readings from each o f her students. She cannot teach the meaning o f the text because the learner, the reader o f these texts, always brings one or more variables into the equation—the self. I have created this t e r m Subjects-in-interaction to represent a new vision toward the content matter and skills that we, as modern language teachers, can aim to "teach" w h e n we aspire to "teach culture." W h e r e a s previous concepts o f teaching culture reified productbased, essentialistic definitions o f culture, my concept o f teaching culture is process-based. It maintains that central to the understanding o f the abstract concepts o f language and culture is the ability to identify and interpret the different perspectives o f the Subjects (student, teacher, language, culture, curriculum, m e t h o d and text) i n the modern language classroom and acknowledge that they interact to form a delicate and dynamic ecosystem o f interdependence. B y calling the inanimate elements Subjects, I am not trying to infer that they have any sort o f consciousness. I am suggesting that we need to look beyond the physical objects to see the perspectives o f the humans that created t h e m as well as those w h o interpret them to give t h e m meaning. I n doing so, we remember that these artifacts, or tools, were created at a specific time and place, w i t h i n a specific context, as a representation o f the creator's thinking processes at that time. I n our modern language classes, we can  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 38  learn more by examining our interactions w i t h the perspectives behind the objects than w i t h the objects themselves. L e v Vygotsky's (1978) A c t i v i t y T h e o r y is a framework in w h i c h to study human activity. W i t h i n this theory, human activity is the focus o f study and has three basic characteristics. First, it is directed towards a material, or ideal object w h i c h distinguishes one activity from another. Second, this activity is mediated by artifacts such as tools and language. T h i r d , this activity is social and occurs w i t h i n a culture.. Vygotsky's w o r k is particularly useful to the field o f second language learning because he argues that t h i n k i n g and language, though separate, are intimately linked since it is only through the public act o f speaking that internal thoughts are completed (Lantolf, 2000, p. 7). H e highlights the critical role an individual's interaction—either w i t h other humans or w i t h artifacts and tools—plays i n permitting an individual to advance to higher levels o f thought. L i k e Vygotsky, L e o van L i e r (1996) believes that m u c h o f learning resides i n the interaction between the "intrapersonal," or mental, and "interpersonal," or social interactive sides o f an individual (p. 36). A s a means to include b o t h o f these sides, van L i e r applies an ecological perspective to his conceptualization o f the second language classroom. H e states: "applied to language education, the ecological perspective emphasizes social interaction, w h i c h makes linguistic affordances available to the developing child, and the cultural context i n w h i c h language learning takes place" (p. 36). T o describe the elements available to the learner i n the classroom, van L i e r prefers Gibson's (1979, as cited i n van L i e r , 1996, p. 36) t e r m affordances, defined as that w h i c h is "offered by the linguistic environment and perceived by the learner" (p. 12), to the "mechanistic information-processing term input" (p. 12). T h e concept o f affordances, according to van L i e r , emphasizes complimentarity and promises a resolution o f the object/ subject dichotomy. Feminist theorists have developed standpoint theory to describe the phenomena that "we can only see the w o r l d from our own position, our own standpoint, i n terms o f race, culture, and gender" (Goldman-Segall, 1998b, p. 261). Goldman-Segall takes issue w i t h the  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 39  permanence o f one's position i n standpoint theory that implies "we can only view the w o r l d and be viewed from that static lens" (p. 261). I n describing how visual representation o f Subjects have evolved over time, she provides us w i t h a fitting metaphor to show h o w our readings o f texts change according to the varying interactions amongst its Subjects: O n c e we took pictures w i t h standing cameras o f people seated, posing for the camera. People were positioned i n time and space, captive i n their clothing and fake settings. A video camera can n o w provide moving images to the videographer. T h o s e who are being filmed are i n some sense directing the filmmaker through their movements. T h e camera follows the movements. Backgrounds change. Positions change. T h e camera is passed around and those w h o were being filmed can film. Positions change when we have opportunities to see and understand other positions (p. 261).  I n our attempts to teach culture(s), or meaning, we as modern language teachers can only invite ourselves and our learners to identify and explore the multiple points o f v i e w i n g  22  that live w i t h i n a text and attempt to p o s i t i o n ourselves w i t h i n . T h e teacher can present her p o i n t o f viewing as a gift, and educate the learner to identify and participate i n the various conversations, or discourses, w h i c h are occurring between all o f the Subjects involved, most notably the reader and the text. I n the end, we cannot aspire to teach culture, or to teach meaning, because these aims are beyond the resources o f any single individual. W h a t we can aim to teach, rather, is the situated activities o f the various Subjects-in-interaction.  Subjects and objects i n critical theory A c a d e m i c texts that focus on critical theory and critical pedagogy, usually i n relation to the situatedness o f humans i n their worlds, frequently make a distinction between "Subject" and "object." I n Pedagogy o f the Oppressed (1970/1993), Freire introduces this  According to Goldman-Segall (1998b), "(t]he notion of points of viewing encompasses where we are located in time and space, as well as now our combination of gender identities, classes, races, and cultures situates our understanding of what we see and validate. But the notion of points of viewing is not limited to the various positions we occupy. Indeed, the purpose of understanding points of viewing is to enable us to broaden our scope—to enable us to learn,from one another" (pp. 3-4). 22  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 4 o  n o t i o n and presents the term "Subjects," w h i c h denotes those w h o k n o w and act, i n contrast to "objects," w h i c h are k n o w n and acted u p o n (p. 18). F o r Freire, man's ontological vocation (as he calls it) is to be a Subject w h o acts u p o n and transforms his world, and i n so doing moves toward ever new possibilities o f fuller and richer life individually and collectively. T h i s world to w h i c h he relates is not a static and closed order, a given reality w h i c h man must accept and to w h i c h he must adjust; rather, it is a p r o b l e m to be w o r k e d o n and solved (Shaull, 1970/1993, p. 14). Freire's w o r k concentrates on the human elements i n the power structures o f society, arguing that teachers are the instruments o f the oppressors, whose job it is to indoctrinate their students into the oppressive power structures o f society by filling their heads w i t h facts and turning them into unquestioning, passive objects. Pennycook (1990) and T e d i c k et al. (1993) have applied the Subject / object distinction to language education, arguing that language has historically been viewed as "object," a perspective that has been reflected i n the positivist instructionist methods that have been used to teach it. T h e y argue for a movement toward viewing language as "Subject," stating this view emphasizes the power o f language along w i t h its communicative, dynamic, and social nature. M o d e r n language teacher educators, their student teachers, and their future language students, can learn a great deal about themselves and their environment b y acknowledging they are all involved i n complicit and dialectical power structures w h i c h affect the way i n w h i c h they view and act i n the w o r l d . Freire identifies the human elements i n the pedagogical ecosystem, the teachers and students, and P e n n y c o o k and T e d i c k et al. expand upon this n o t i o n to include one non-human element, language. I suggest we extend the Subject / object metaphor to include the other non-human elements (language, culture, curriculum, method, and texts) as well. I n this way, we recognize that all these participants i n the ecosystem o f the modern language classroom, w h i c h have traditionally been viewed as objects, have the potential to become Subjects, since they are, at the same time, the products and creators o f their social w o r l d , engaged i n a dynamic dialectical relationship.  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 41  I n the following pages, I w i l l , first, review the current situation o f culture teaching i n modern language education i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , second, propose a critical methods course for preparing modern language teachers to implement a framework for teaching Subjects-ininteraction i n w h i c h all o f its participants are actively involved i n a dynamic, dialectic relationship, and, third, discuss the evolving role each o f the participants can claim as they evolve from objects into Subjects.  The State of Culture Teaching  M o d e r n language education i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a I n response to the changing demographics o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , where Chinese was the most c o m m o n l y spoken minority language, followed by Punjabi, Vietnamese, Spanish, H i n d i , K o r e a n , Tagalog and, finally, F r e n c h (Carey, 1997, p. 212) the new B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Language E d u c a t i o n Policy, enacted i n September o f 1996, requires that each student study a second language between grades 5-8, w i t h prior or continued study o f that language up to grade 12 being optional. T h i s language may be F r e n c h , M a n d a r i n , Spanish, Japanese, or Punjabi, and other languages w i l l be considered i f the demand is expressed (Carey, 1997, p. 213). T h i s language policy, w h i c h "puts Asian-Pacific languages on an equal footing w i t h F r e n c h as a mandatory second language" (Carey, 1997, p. 213), states that learning a new language:  • • • • • • •  broadens the social and cultural horizons o f students promotes the continued vitality o f all cultures enhances mutual understanding and respect by p r o m o t i n g interaction among students from a variety o f language communities and backgrounds is essential to the intellectual development and socialization o f all students contributes to personal g r o w t h and cultural enrichment provides opportunities to link w i t h the past, our multicultural heritage, and our diversity serves to prepare our students for the future (Spanish, 1996)  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 42  I n this rationale, the cultural and social implications o f learning a second language are explicitly mentioned i n all but one o f these statements. A l o n g w i t h the new language policy, the B C M i n i s t r y o f E d u c a t i o n released a curriculum, i n the form o f a series o f language specific Integrated Resource Packages (IRP's) w h i c h have helped define the direction o f m i n o r i t y language instruction i n the B C schools from grades 5-12 . T h o u g h the language I R P ' s are divided into 4 syllabi, or goal areas—Using Language for: C o m m u n i c a t i n g , A c q u i r i n g Information, Experiencing Creative "Works, and Understanding Culture and Society—the overriding objective i n the I R P is the development o f a deeper understanding o f one's o w n self and culture, as well as that o f the target culture. Ideally, this new knowledge w o u l d lead to greater cultural sensitivity, as illustrated i n the introduction o f the Spanish I R P (1996):  T h e study o f Spanish language and cultures is intended to enable learners to communicate and acquire information i n Spanish. It also provides opportunities for students to gain insights into their o w n cultures and encourages the development o f  interculturaTsensitivity (p. r). T h i s assumption is immediately followed by the rationale for the study o f Spanish, and other m i n o r i t y languages:  Because o f B r i t i s h Columbia's diversity and ever changing societal landscape, students also need to acquire understanding and positive attitudes toward cultures that may vary from their o w n (p. 1)  It is further explained that students w i l l explore the individual differences that exist w i t h i n a culture that affect communication, such as societal position, gender, family and age, w i l l gain a deeper understanding o f their own and other cultures and i n the process gain selfconfidence and develop their risk-taking, interpersonal and critical t h i n k i n g skills. T h e same year the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a M i n i s t r y o f E d u c a t i o n published its prescribed learning outcomes i n the form o f language-specific I R P ' s , the A m e r i c a n C o u n c i l o n the Teaching o f Foreign Languages ( A C T F L , 1996) developed N a t i o n a l Standards for teaching modern languages, w h i c h included the following cultural objectives:  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 43  2.1 Students should demonstrate an understanding o f the relationship between the practices and perspectives o f the culture studied. 2.2 Students should demonstrate an understanding o f the relationship between the products and perspectives o f the culture studied {emphasis added). Similarities between the two curricular guidelines highlight the importance o f studying not only the practices and products o f the people, but also their perspectives. I n a pessimistic interpretation o f these guidelines, they suggest product-based notions o f culture w i t h the addition  of a  static,  homogeneous  set  o f "other"  perspectives.  In  an optimistic  interpretation, however, these guidelines are calling for a postmodern, critical teaching o f culture w h i c h I have described as Subjects-in-interaction. T h i s new approach, w h i c h validates the interaction and points o f viewing o f all the participating elements, promotes positive feelings towards diverse individuals, their practices, and their perspectives, though it does not condone those w h i c h are not politically correct. It varies significantly from previous models, i n w h i c h culture studies have been l i m i t e d to either h i g h art or folkloric facts (Kramsch, 1993b; W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , 1996).  H o w do teachers "teach culture?" Despite the ambiguous and contradictory definitions o f culture, as well as differing objectives o n h o w to teach culture, the last thirty years o f literature o n culture teaching have left teachers w i t h no shortage o f ideas on h o w to approach it. M o d e r n language pedagogues have published a wide variety o f literature, providing inventories o f topics and themes for cultural instruction (Seelye 1974, 1985, 1993), lists o f culturally-sensitive personality traits desired for our students (Byram & M o r g a n , 1994), suggestions o n the use o f authentic materials (Galloway, 1992; K r a m s c h , 1989; K r a m s c h , 1993a; K r a m s c h , 1993b; N o s t r a n d , 1989), guidelines for the process o f preparing and guiding the students through the process o f learning about culture(s) (Kramsch, 1993a; M a n t l e - B r o m l e y , 1992), or  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 44  statements o f recommended goals for cultural instruction ( A C T F L , 1993; A C T F L , 1996; Strasheim, 1981), to name but a few. Ultimately, the decision whether to include cultural instruction, regardless o f what this may entail, i n the crowded time-tables o f her language classes rests w i t h the teacher. A l t h o u g h there exists a wealth o f literature p r o m o t i n g and prescribing approaches, techniques and goals for teaching culture i n the K-12 setting, there has been little documented w o r k indicating whether teachers are prepared or willing to integrate critical interpretations o f culture into their modern language classes, or what type o f culture teaching and learning is happening i n the schools. Strasheim, (r98r) reports that twenty years ago, two studies ( M o s k o w i t z , 1976; N e r e n z , 1979, as c i t e d i n Strasheim, 1981) indicated that teachers spent approximately r o % o f their instructional time on culture. Since that time, no conclusive studies had been carried out u n t i l M o o r e (1996) surveyed more than two hundred secondary school modern language teachers i n upstate N e w Y o r k to determine how high-school teachers teach culture, how frequently they teach culture, w h i c h teaching techniques they judge to be more appropriate for achieving the cultural goals stated i n school syllabi, and what constraints, i f any, they experienced i n their efforts to teach culture. T h o u g h the individual teachers' personal objectives for teaching culture are not explicitly outlined, M o o r e gives a general inventory o f techniques used and makes some judgements as to their quality and effectiveness based o n whether or n o t they include the perspectives o f the members o f the target language society. I n her study, M o o r e (1996) found that training i n teaching culture corresponded to b o t h a higher frequency and better quality o f culture teaching, whereas teaching experience was related only to the frequency o f teaching culture and academic qualifications only to the selection o f techniques. T h e top five techniques teachers reported for teaching culture, w h i c h demonstrate these teachers' i m p l i c i t assumptions o f culture as object, were: students read notes i n the textbooks (54%), students got information from authentic material (48%), lectures were used to present  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 45  information (46%), students were assigned projects o n specific topics (41%), students were exposed to the food o f the culture, to songs, dances, and celebrations (41%). Most  teachers,  M o o r e found,  use  techniques  which  provide  students  with  opportunities to gain factual knowledge about the products and practices o f the target culture, such as by lecturing o n cultural topics or using cultural notes from textbooks. A n overwhelming majority o f teachers who indicated that they had had training in teaching culture, (79%, as opposed to 35% o f their counterparts), however, selected techniques w h i c h "reportedly have the potential for allowing discussion o f the products as w e l l as the values, and attitudes o f the people, namely the perspectives" (p. 277). These activities included culture capsules, culture clusters, culture assimilators, ethnographic studies, and m i n i dramas. T h o s e teachers w h o signaled constraints o n their abilities to teach culture cited insufficient time (40%), lack o f adequate instructional material (25%), lack o f training (23%), and absence o f culture tests (10%). T h e results o f this study lead M o o r e to w a r n that "we need not confine teaching culture merely to the level o f sampling the products. N o t only are we likely to perpetuate stereotypes i n so doing, but we do our students little service by l i m i t i n g their learning experiences  to  the  primary level" (p. 283). She  signals two  important  pedagogical  recommendations for modern language teacher education programs i n the U n i t e d States, w h i c h prepare their graduates to meet the culture based curricular objectives established by A C T F L (1996). These recommendations can also be applied to teacher education programs i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a w h i c h , as noted above, prepare their graduates to meet similar curricular objectives prescribed by the M i n i s t r y o f E d u c a t i o n (Spanish, 1996). M o o r e calls, first, for a more experiential curriculum, and, second, to increase teacher education courses on the teaching o f culture, by including the teaching o f culture i n existing courses and creating other courses specifically o n the use o f authentic materials. M o o r e has carried out some important research that sheds light on the current situation o f culture teaching i n the schools. H e r recommendation to place the bulk o f the  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 46  responsibility i n the hands o f the methods instructors, however, needs to consider the confining power structures w h i c h exist i n modern language education due to a long tradition o f instructionist teaching paradigms w h i c h objectify, rather than Subjectify, the individual elements i n its ecosystem. A s D u f f and U c h i d a (1997) found, second language teachers often teach their own implicit understandings o f culture w i t h o u t being aware o f that they are teaching culture at ah. Therefore, new methods courses created around cultural themes or the addition o f cultural topics to existing courses may not change the nature o f culture teaching, as shown i n the history o f attempts at modern language teaching reform w h i c h have experienced marginal success.  Subjects-in-interaction i n the methods course L i k e those before her, M o o r e identifies the methods course as the place i n w h i c h student teachers should learn approaches and techniques for effectively integrating the critical teaching o f culture, or Subjects-in-interaction, into their practice. Y e t , i n the past two decades o f teacher education reform, the true value o f the methods course has come under question time and again. It has either been criticized for being too idealistic and not practical enough, or too simplistic and without rigor (Adler & G o o d m a n , 1986, p. 4). Indeed, a methods course i n a specialization area such as modern language education is not allocated enough contact hours to meet the enormous array o f expectations that all student teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and policy makers may h o l d for it. Student teachers, generally concerned w i t h classroom management  issues, may  expect to develop those skills that have traditionally formed the base o f methods courses, such as planning lessons, managing basal programs, and disciplining children. Teacher educators may strive to use these methods courses to prepare a new generation o f educators w h o w i l l be able to effect pedagogical and intellectual change i n the schools. Administrators and policy makers may hope the methods courses prepare the student teachers to carry o n  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 4J  w i t h pre-established curriculum goals and teaching practices that are already functioning i n the schools. W i t h so many conflicting expectations, it is no wonder the methods courses generally leave student teachers frustrated at the l i m i t e d opportunities to apply the theories presented to practical teaching situations. A t the same time, teacher educators are troubled by the  lack o f intellectual g r o w t h and maturity reflected i n their students,  while  administrators may simply complete the task o f indoctrinating the beginning teachers into the culture o f the schools while o n practicum or once they are free from their teacher education programs. T o ensure that our student teachers are able to foster i n their future students a deeper understanding o f not only the practices and products o f the target language's culture(s), but also the perspectives o f its people(s), M o o r e proposes more hours be spent o n cultural teaching i n methods courses or more m e t h o d courses on cultural topics. L i n d a v o n H o e n e (1995), i n her w o r k preparing modern language graduate teaching assistants at the University o f California, Berkeley, calls for a more critical approach to the methods course, w h i c h she constructs through psychoanalytic, feminist and postcolonial theoretical lenses. She draws heavily u p o n the w o r k o f J u l i a K r i s t e v a (1991), widely regarded as a critical feminist, w h o uses the maternal body w i t h its two-in-one, or other w i t h i n , as a model for all subjective relations. L i k e the maternal body, we are all what K r i s t e v a calls subjects-inprocess, i n that we are always negotiating the other w i t h i n , that is to say, the return to the pre-linguistic, pre-subject position where all vestiges o f difference are erased. F o r v o n H o e n e , the modern language learner is a subject-in-process w h e n she undergoes an internal transformation o f self w h e n confronted w i t h the external other o f the target language. I n the modern language classroom, according to v o n H o e n e , the learner generally takes o n one culture and discards another, an encounter w i t h difference that "can be perceived more as a challenge to one's identity than as a desired locus o f identification" (1995, p. 49). T o counteract this negative subject relation, v o n Hoerie encourages modern language university departments to become centers o f cross-cultural studies, or better, cross-cultural  Chapter 2: Subjectifyingthe objectified 48  travel. She proposes  a curriculum i n w h i c h students reflect o n their own personal  transformation, as subjects-in-process, i n light o f those o f others as presented i n their theoretical and literary works. Suggestions include reading A l i c e Kaplan's F r e n c h Lessons (1993), based o n her language learning experiences, G l o r i a Anzaldua's Borderlands/La Frontera: T h e N e w M e s t i z a (1987), inspired by her experiences living i n the M e x i c a n A m e r i c a n cultural "borderlands," and Kristeva's Strangers to Ourselves (1991) rooted i n issues o f nationalism. V o n H o e n e has expressed her dissatisfaction w i t h the state o f teacher education at the university level, w h i c h she attributes to the l o w status it occupies i n comparison to literary studies, yet the curriculum she proposes relies almost exclusively o n theoretical, intellectual texts. H e r psychoanalytic, feminist and postcolonial contributions to the curriculum clearly inform the discussion o n self and other as it pertains to language learning and teaching at an abstract level, yet this approach attempts to raise the status o f teacher education by making it more like literary studies. T o prepare student teachers to teach more than superficial ideals o f culture, modern language methods courses, for secondary or university level language teaching, should go beyond assigning heavy doses o f theoretical and intellectual texts on critical issues, or lists o f cultural topics to be covered and techniques and strategies to carry them out. T h e y should also give student teachers enough guidance to make the leap from theoretical to practical. A s A d l e r & G o o d m a n (1986) affirm, "the methods course provides an opportunity to go beyond an examination o f the theoretical; such courses can seek to develop ways i n w h i c h theory and practice may be unified" (p. 4). T o learn to teach Subjects-in-interaction, I propose a critical—or analytical— methods course i n w h i c h modern language student teachers are critically engaged i n handso n constructionist approaches to teaching and learning about various interpretations o f culture i n w h i c h the different human and non-human participants are viewed as socially constructed Subjects, w i t h their o w n voices that reflect their particular situations i n the w o r l d . T h i s critical methods course w o u l d strive to prepare teachers w h o w o u l d be  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 49  thoughtful and reflective about their w o r k and w h o would be able to prepare original curricula that w o u l d engage their students i n thoughtful action. Such teachers could undertake the task o f helping students rethink the democratic possibilities w i t h i n schools and w i t h i n the wider society o f w h i c h they are a part" (Adler & G o o d m a n , 1986, p. 4).  T h i s process may ultimately lead to a better understanding o f the interactions between the practices, products and perspectives o f their o w n and the target culture.  Critical Theory in Modern Language Education  M o r e than ten years ago, Pennycook (1990) argued that second "language teaching has remained strangely isolated from educational theory and the sociopolitical questions that better educational theorists have been more inclined to raise" (p. 304). Previous attempts to relate  modern  language  education  to  educational theory, according to  Pennycook, had been misguided and lacked a true understanding o f the empirical models used. Since that time, however, a new field o f research,  critical applied linguistics  (Pennycook, 1999, 2001), has emerged to address these concerns. C r i t i c a l applied linguistics, according to Pennycook (2001): is more than just a critical dimension added o n to applied linguistics: It involves a constant skepticism, a constant questioning o f the normative assumptions o f applied linguistics. It demands a restive problematization o f the givens o f applied linguistics and presents a way o f doing applied linguistics that seeks to connect it to questions o f gender, class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, culture, identity, politics, ideology, and discourse. W i t h i n the various domains o f critical applied linguistics are those particularly applicable to this study: critical approaches to language teaching (see Bartolome, 1994; Canagarajah, 1993; D u f f & U c h i d a , 1997; G r a m a n , 1988), critical discourse analysis (see K u b o t a , 1999) and critical literacy (see L u k e , 2000). O t h e r areas include critical approaches to translation, language  testing, language  planning and language  workplace settings (Pennycook, 2001, p. 10).  rights, and language,  literacy and  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 5 o  Peter M c L a r e n (1999), immersed i n the ideas o f his mentor, G i r o u x , defines the broad n o t i o n o f critical pedagogy as, "a way o f t h i n k i n g about, negotiating, and transforming the relationship among classroom teaching, the p r o d u c t i o n o f knowledge, the institutional structures o f the school, and the social and material relations o f the wider community, society, and nation-state" (p. 51). T h o u g h critical theorists share a c o m m i t m e n t to liberating the individual voices i n a society from the oppressive structures that may silence them, critical theorists differ i n their view o f the power o f dominant institutions and beliefs. I n one view: the dominant message is that things as they are must be as they are. T h u s institutions and ideology become reified and objectified - they are "out there," having lives o f their own, not open to challenge. T h e meanings and explanations conveyed by particular social arrangements are taken-for-granted and unquestioned (Adler & G o o d m a n , 1986, p. 3). T h e other view sees the power structure as more dialectical, less one-sided. "There is b o t h individual and collective resistance to dominant culture and practices. People are b o t h the products and the creators o f their social w o r l d (Adler & G o o d m a n , 1986, p. 3). It is i n this second view o f the power structures, one w h i c h depends on dialectical action, that the various voices i n the modern language classroom can be liberated and productive learning and understanding o f Subjects-in-interaction can take place.  T h e human elements T o understand the complexity o f the power structures in the modern language classroom, we must recognize that people, along w i t h their cultural products, practices and perspectives, are not static objects, but rather Subjects w h i c h are, at the same time, b o t h the products and creators o f their social w o r l d . T r a d i t i o n a l instructionist views have treated the  human  elements—students and  teachers—as w e l l  as  the  seemingly  non-human  elements—language, culture, method, curriculum and texts—as "object." C r i t i c a l theory has largely concerned itself w i t h only the human elements i n the pedagogical ecosystem. It has  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 51  urged them to abandon their traditional roles that perpetuate the complicit Subject-object relationship of domination and subordination in the classroom and stifle their intellectual inquiry about the world.  Teachers and students in a Subject-object relationship Freire (1970/1993) denounces the narrative, teacher-student relationship, accusing education to be suffering from "narration sickness": This relationship involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient, listening objects (the students). The contents, whether values or empirical dimensions of reality, tend in the process of being narrated to become lifeless and petrified (p. 52). In this "banking" concept of education, students are viewed as "containers" or "receptacles" and the teacher's duty is to fill those receptacles with motionless, static visions of reality and topics that are alien and removed from the students' experience. "The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are" (1970/1993, p. 52). Traditional interpretations of culture teaching in modern language education, which asks students to fill themselves with decontextualized and disassociated facts about the target culture, also suffers from narration sickness. Student teachers, long treated as receptacles in their language classes, are anxious to eventually take on the role of narrator and view the methods course as an opportunity to be filled with the tricks and techniques to best fill their future students. The goal of the critical methods course, then, should be to engage the student teachers in a reflective process (Schon, 1988) which challenges them to rethink not only their position in relationship to the teacher educator in their methods course, but also their position in relation to their students in their future language classes. This reflective and dialogic process is the one Freire calls for in his rethinking of the teacher-student relationship. "Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction,  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 52  by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students" (Freire, 1970/1993, p. 53). Through communication, human life holds meaning and new constructions of reality about the world outside the classroom are formed: [T}he teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist (...)• The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow (Freire, 1970/1993, p. 61). Future teachers are former students who have been influenced to some degree or another  by their past personal experiences with teachers who taught them from  kindergarten to university. Granted, these student teachers have also influenced thenteachers along the way. By the time they arrive at the university, these students have spent thirteen thousand hours observing teachers, grown up around popular culture images and stereotypes of teaching, and have already formed a teaching schema which reflects the model of what an individual believes teaching is supposed to be (Weber & Mitchell, ^96). This schema includes expectations about students and the student role, about parents and the nature of schooling, and about how languages are best learned and best taught. As Weber and Mitchell state, "[sjcherhas are an integral part of culture. Because they organize beliefs and provide a structure for interpreting experience, schemas have the power to reflect, replicate, or even modify the culture in which they are developed or acquired" (Weber & Mitchell, 1996, p. 306). A critical perspective towards the teaching of a methods course, would draw on the student teachers' past schemas in order "foster a questioning attitude toward teaching, learning, knowledge, and curriculum, and toward the role of schools in society" (Adler & Goodman, 1986, p. 4). Teacher educators often approach their task as though each student teacher were a tabula rasa, void of the knowledge of what would make her a good teacher and waiting to be told what to do (Weber & Mitchell, 1996). In this banking concept of education, "knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing" (Freire, 1970/1993, p. 52). Other teacher educators,  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 53  however, "no longer view future teachers as fresh clay to be molded, but rather as people already brain-washed w i t h firmly entrenched stereotypes and misinformed ideas about teaching" ( W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , 1996, p. 304). Some student teachers also share this view, as illustrated w h e n one o f m y modern language student teachers asked to be "deprogrammed" i n a summer methods course from the undesirable habits he thinks he "picked up" from his sponsor teacher and colleagues while o n practicum. Based on m y observations o f h i m i n the classroom, however, I would conclude his teaching approach varied little from the one he demonstrated i n micro teaching exercises i n his fall methods course and is most likely the result o f a lifetime o f schooling. Clearly a "deprogramming," or "liberation" o f that nature w o u l d involve a long, reflective process that would examine and redefine the dynamic and dialectic relationships between the human and non-human elements i n modern language education. Freire has illuminated the transformative power that comes from turning students and teachers into Subjects, thus liberating them from their previously objectified state. N o w let us imagine what can happen w h e n their tools become Subjects as well.  T h e non-human elements Language, culture, curriculum, method and texts are the seemingly non-human elements that are i n constant conversation w i t h the learners and teachers i n the modern language classroom. C r e a t e d by humans, they are b o t h the products and makers o f their social world. T h e y have the potential to either unlock the inner creativity and expression o f the participants or stifle them d o w n i n a state o f defeat.  Language as object T h e language class is unique, i n that language is b o t h the content and the m e d i u m o f the class, "a relationship w h i c h has perhaps led language teaching theory to look i n on itself  Chapter 2: Subjectifyingthe objectified 54  and become overly concerned w i t h the inner workings o f language and language learning at the expense o f other issues" (Pennycook, 1990, p. 304). Rather than drawing from the fields o f sociology, psychology, anthropology and education for r i c h insights into approaches for studying the cultural aspects o f a second language, as recent modern language pedagogues (Kramsch, 1993a; T e d i c k et al. 1993; W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , 1996) have encouraged, second language education has l i m i t e d itself to the fields o f linguistics for a theory o f language, psycholinguistics for a theory o f learning, and sociolinguistics for a theory o f language use. T h i s has resulted i n an instrumentalist and positivist orientation towards language and teaching. "In this view, language becomes an objective system that can more or less be described by the theorists and transmitted by the practitioners, and teaching becomes a technical process prescribed by the experts and implemented by the teachers" (Pennycook,  i99°> P- 3°4>I n their article outlining the problems that plague modern language education, T e d i c k et al. (1993) argue that the view o f language as "object", " — that w h i c h is acted upon, an entity to be scrutinized, analyzed, and b r o k e n d o w n into its smallest components—" (p. 305) is pervasive i n modern language teacher education programs and is, i n turn, perpetuated i n modern language classrooms. A s a result, language educators have denied the social nature o f learning and language acquisition, and defined it as a topic to be studied, a content area. " A s such, this focus nullifies the essence o f language as intercultural communication, as key to profound consciousness" (p. 305). I n response, socio-cultural theory, a new movement i n second language acquisition research w h i c h studies the social aspects i n second language acquisition, is quickly gaining m o m e n t u m (see Lantolf, 2000). T h e frustration and isolation language teachers experience as a result o f being seen as technicians rather than professionals and, therefore, marginalized i n the schools, is well documented (Bernhardt & H a m m a d o u , 1987; H a m m a d o u & Bernhardt, 1987; Saito, 1996; W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , 1996). These feelings have led language teachers to make efforts to legitimize their place i n N o r t h A m e r i c a n schools. M o d e r n language teachers, i n particular,  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 55  have traditionally needed to justify their content area as more than a "frill" and, i n so doing, they have defined a body o f knowledge or content for their discipline and developed a scope and sequence for delivering that body o f knowledge. T h e y have defined the content as the lexicon, syntax, morphology, and phonology o f language—or as the notions and functions (Tedick et al., 1993, p. 305). T h o u g h these efforts have allowed some modern language educators to establish a precarious foothold for themselves in their academic institutions, they have done little to set modern language education apart as unique from  other  disciplines. T h e overuse o f the students' native language i n far too many modern language classes is further evidence that the target language is a content area w h i c h should be talked about, rather than used as a vehicle for the class participants to share and analyze the different perspectives o f the human and non-human course Subjects. E v e n w h e n teachers are very competent i n their second language, they tend to use English as the major vehicle for actual instruction, thus devaluing the second language as a legitimate means o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n (Tedick et al., 1993). Students may be made to feel small by the lack o f confidence their teachers place i n their ability to comprehend the target language, further reinforcing their unequal power relationship. M o d e r n language teachers can look to E S L and immersion programs as models that c o m m u n i c a t i o n can be carried out entirely i n the target language. L o w expectations for the capabilities o f the language learner limits language examples to objectified utterances that illustrate the aims o f the teacher, publisher or administrator, but not the student. T h e challenge for the critical m o d e r n language teacher is to ensure that discussion allows for meaningful exchanges o f perspectives based o n the experiences and realities o f the students, rather than detached and objectified examples o f linguistic structures. Culture as object M a n y teachers and student teachers w o u l d eagerly teach their interpretations o f cultural studies, but are held back by the traditional view o f language as object. T h i s  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 56 sentiment is voiced b y one m y secondary student teachers o n p r a c t i c u m w h e n she sighs, " I haven't really gone over it much, about culture, per se, there's just so m u c h language." Culture, i n the modern language classroom, as w e l l as i n their adopted textbooks, is treated as an add-on, always secondary to the more important linguistic content. A m o n g the European intellectual scene i n the 18th century, "culture" was considered to be a c o n d i t i o n o f total perfection, attainable through education. C u l t u r e came to be defined by the writings and ideas o f a small group o f "men" o f letters, poets, philosophers, and academics and, though anthropologists have managed  to separate culture  from  civilization, this general n o t i o n o f culture as a display o f accomplishment and perfection still persists today ( W h i t t a k e r , 1992). It is this objectified concept o f " C " culture, easily transmitted as facts since it manifests itself i n the canonized literature, music, art, and history o f the target culture, that modern language teachers are inclined to teach ( W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , r996). Anthropologists hold a different view o f culture, seeing it as a process, patterns o f beliefs, and systems o f interpretation that guide the actions and interactions o f its members ( W e b e r & M i t c h e l l , ^ 9 6 ) . O n e o f the most prominent anthropologists, Clifford G e e r t z (1973), has been instrumental i n bringing about a redefining o f culture and  reasons,  "believing, w i t h M a x W e b e r , that man is an animal suspended i n webs o f significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis o f it to be therefore not an experimental science i n search o f law but an interpretive one i n search o f meaning" (p. 5). M o r e recently, culture is believed to be characterized by the diversity o f discourses w h i c h exist w i t h i n a society (Clifford, 1988; Gee, 1992; K r a m s c h & v o n H o e n e , 1995; Kubota,  1999).  Ironically,  this  recognition o f multiple discourses  in  postmodern,  poststructuralist, and feminist ideology could also bring about a demise o f "culture" as we k n o w it since the very recognition o f voice w i t h i n a society negates the imperialistic n o t i o n o f culture as an object to be studied. T h i s demise o f "culture" appears to be happening i n T E S O L (Teachers o f English to Speakers o f O t h e r Langauges), an institution whose  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 57  extensive research in the areas of second language learning and teaching informs modern language education. In a recent review of the articles published over the last ten years in the T E S O L Quarterly, Atkinson (1999b) notes that, in addition to "discourses," other terms such as "identity, hybridity, essentialism, power, difference, agency, resistance, and contestation are being used by second language theorists as a way to call into question the traditional monolithic notion of 'culture'" (p. 626). Atkinson attributes this shift in terminology to a gradual  change  from  "more  traditional/received  to  more  postmodernist/critical  understandings of culture" (p. 629, note 6). Though he acknowledges some critical perspectives have begun to infiltrate the field, he believes that culture is still very much an understudied notion in T E S O L and one which needs to be substantially revised and updated. T o facilitate this advancement, he proposes the following six ideas, or principles, to be used as "sociocognitive thinking tools" (p. 649), not as a specific theory or definition of culture: First, "all humans are individuals" (p. 641). Second, "individuality is also cultural" (p. 642). Individuals do not exist separately from their social world and are therefore, "individuals-in-context" (p. 642). Third, "social group membership and identity are multiple, contradictory, and dynamic" (p. 643). Individuals are entwined in multiple discourses, or social practices, social tools, and social products, which identify them as members of social groups. Fourth, "social group membership is consequential" (p. 645) in that one's membership or exclusion from different groups will have a negative, positive or neutral effect on their daily lives and opportunities. Fifth, "methods of studying cultural knowledge and behavior are unlikely to fit a positivist paradigm" (p. 646). In critical approaches to culture, qualitative and ethnographic approaches lend themselves better than quantitative ones because their flexibility accounts for cultural knowledge and behavior. However, in this paradigm, Atkinson proposes quantitative ideals such as "validity," "reliability," and "generalizability" be replaced with other justificatory concepts such as "particularizability"  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 5 8  (Ramanathan & Atkinson, 1999, pp. 55-59), "understanding" (Maxwell, 1992) and "thick description" (Geertz, 1973). Sixth, "language (learning and teaching) and culture are mutually implicated but culture is multiple and complex" (p. 647). Understanding of the sociocultural context within which language is used and also for what action it exists it critical to the knowledge of language. What's more, each circumstance is unique and explanations which rely on simplified and stereotypical representations  therefore  of cultural  phenomena do not do justice to the target language's many unique and interconnected cultures. T o conclude, Atkinson encourages his colleagues to develop a notion of culture which takes into account "the cultural in the individual and the individual in the cultural" (p. 648).  Pennycook ^999) also outlines an alternative to traditional interpretations of culture, based on critical pedagogy, which is in line with Atkinson's above mentioned principles:  In critical pedagogy (...) culture takes on a fundamental role in the way we make sense of the world and is taken to be a productive rather than merely a reflective system. It reflects the personal ways in which an individual makes sense of and lives out her situation in the world. From this point, critical pedagogy is then able to outline a project of cultural politics, a project which makes problematic the way in which teachers and students "sustain, resist or accommodate those languages, ideologies, social processes, and myths that position them within existing relations of power and dependency" (Giroux, 1988, p. 136). This, then, starts to address questions of student voice, popular culture and difference (p. 309). . Curriculum as object In  opposition to  traditional positivist positions regarding second  language  instruction and research, Pennycook (1989) makes two basic claims: that all education is political, since it "is constantly involved in the (reproduction of social and cultural inequalities (both within and between nations), and of particular forms of culture and knowledge" (p. 590); and that all knowledge is "interested" since "it is produced within a particular configuration of social, cultural, economic, political, and historical circumstances and therefore always both reflects and helps to (re)produce those conditions" (p. 595). These  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 59  assertions are especially relevant to modern language education since, first, language is forever  tied  to  the  controversial issues of bilingualism, minority education, and  internationalism, and, second, curricular guidelines are generally developed by researchers within the fields of linguistics and applied linguistics where there is a "dominance on one particular type of knowledge (rational-purposive or scientific-technological)" which makes "claims to universality, objectivity, and truth, and the belief in inherent progress" (p. 595). This underlying ideological framework has led to an environment in which scientific . objectivity is prized over subjectivity, and curricular models are designed in the interest of dispensing unquestioned truths. This curricular approach is an example of Freire's banking concept of education in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But (...) it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, ana knowledge in this (at best) misguided system (Freire, 1970/1993, p. 52). The study of modern languages as sets of compartmentalized linguistic and cultural facts has lead to a curriculum that is largely decontextualized and unrelated to students' real life within their school, community, family, and peer groups (Moore, 1996; Pennycook, 1989, p. 305). W h e n human elements are included in the curriculum, they are invariably incarnated in the practices and products of the "Other," which makes the content area even more "foreign," or strange, and further alienates the students from the target language and culture(s). Indeed, some students suffer from "culture panic" at the thought of having to take on the "cultural baggage" that accompanies the learning of a second language (Kramsch, 1995, p. xviii). Reagan & Osborn (1998) assert that these power plays in the modern language curriculum doom the students to failure from the outset due to the limited number of contact hours, an overemphasis on the strange and alienating nature of the "Other," and complete disregard for the personal realities of the students, among other reasons. So  Chapter2: Subjectifyingthe objectified 60  indoctrinated into the educational system that gives credit for hours seated i n a classroom and  all but discourages the learning o f a second language, students see the  requirement  as a necessary  hoop  for entrance  course  into university, c o m p l e t i o n o f  the  undergraduate requirements or the research requirement i n graduate studies. G i v e n the choice, they w o u l d rather complete this step w i t h i n the instructionist curriculum w h i c h requires the least emotional investment and to w h i c h they are already accustomed. T h i s instructionist curriculum, w h i c h consists o f easily assessable goals o f proficiency and mastery o f linguistic and cultural facts, inevitably leads to a means-end view o f language and culture pedagogy. W i t h i n this framework, more emphasis is placed o n the sequencing o f linguistic structures i n the syllabus than o n developing a keen understanding o f one's o w n and the target culture's products, practices and perspectives. It also assumes that there is a "dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the w o r l d or w i t h others; the individual is spectator, not re-creator" (Freire, 1970/1993, p. 56). Y e t  language is not a w o r l d o f its own. It is not even a world. B u t because we are i n the world, because we are affected by situations, and because we orient ourselves comprehensively i n those situations, we have something to say, we have experience to bring to language (Ricoeur, as cited i n G r u m e t , 1988).  T o invert the oppressive power structures w h i c h have constricted students' learning and self expression, we can reconsider the role o f the curriculum and imagine ways to liberate it from its objectified state. A d l e r & G o o d m a n (1986) r e m i n d us o f our ability to effect change by recognizing we all have potential to be Subjects i n this dynamic relationship: "The curriculum, the "public" knowledge presented i n schools, like social institutions themselves, has become reified and objectified; but, like institutions, it is socially constructed and therefore open to change" (p. 3). Steps to effect change w o u l d include a process oriented curricula w h i c h encourages student  exploration (Fischer,  1996; Goldman-Segall, 1998b; Hellebrandt,  1996),  an  experiential curricula w h i c h focuses on the personal lives and experiences o f the students  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 61  (Grumet, 1988; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Moore, 1996), and a curriculum based on generative themes which would promote multiple critical literacies to prepare the students to (pro)actively participate in the restructuring of their social environments (Freire, 1970/1993; Graman, 1988).  Method as object The  dominance  on  rational-purposive  and  scientific-technological types  of  knowledge in the fields of linguistics and applied linguistics have left modern language education with a legacy of positivist method-dependent teaching practices which leave little room for new exploratory and experiential approaches to meaningful learning of language and Subjects-in-interaction. Despite the fact that most modern language teaching practices in use today are basically reconfigurations of strategies which have existed for the past 2,000 years, applied linguists' blind faith in inherent progress has inspired academics in elite  institutions of higher education to create—and recreate—a myriad of methods for second language teaching, each one purporting to be better than the one before, and each promising a new and improved version in the next published edition. A n examination of their inherent qualities, however, would not show a linear progression towards excellence in teaching, but rather a reactive change due to shifts in the social, cultural, political and philosophical climate (Pennycook, 1989, p. 608). The Grammar Translation Method, widely used in academic institutions of higher learning until the 19th century (though one could argue is still alive and well today), comes from methods used in teaching Latin. This method requires little language or culture proficiency from the instructor, is easily assessed, and, because it extracts the language structures from all social context, is highly abstract and cognitive in nature. These characteristics may explain its popularity in a time when education was viewed as an activity for the elite, far removed from the realities of the social world. The Audiolingual, or "Army," Method, popular in the 1950's, was a direct result of technological advances  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 62  originated in W o r l d W a r II. This method, which left little room for the expression of individual differences, was ideal at a moment in history when rapid assimilation of immigrants and the functionality of US Army personnel overseas was a social priority. It relied on the use of tapes, language labs, and prefabricated dialogues spoken by a monolithic, usually male, voice. "Designer" methods of the 1970's directly reflected the public's radical ideological shift in the r96o's, a period of experimentation, self-expression, and political uncertainty. Methods such as Community Language Learning, Suggestopia, The Silent Way, and Total Physical Response, placed an emphasis on group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, discovery learning, and physical responses. These seemingly different methods, which can be identified by their accompanying textbooks and accoutrements, all constitute "interested knowledge." Though they have been instrumental in advancing the academic and professional careers of academics and publishers alike, they have not been proven to reflect the realities of the classroom and have done little to advance the teaching and learning of modern languages and their cultures. Pennycook (1989) asserts: Method is a prescriptive concept that articulates a positivist, progressivist, and patriarchal understanding of teaching and plays an important role in maintaining inequities between, on the one hand, predominantly male academics and, on the other, female teachers and language classrooms on the international power periphery (p. 589)A new anti-method movement, initiated by critical theorists, has resulted in attempts to replace the oppressive term, "Method," with more teacher friendly alternatives, all of which have caused some initial, and perhaps continued, discomfort in the modern language community. In the post-method condition, prescriptive method terminology of the past is recoded with broader terms, such as principles (Brown, 1994), approaches (Duquette, r995; Littlewood, 1981; Nunan, 1989; Penfield, 1987; Ramirez, 1995; Richard-Amato, 1988; Savignon, 1983; Yalden, 1981), or macrostrategies (Kumaravadivelu, 1994), that are open to the  Chapter 2: Subjectifyingthe objectified 63  interpretation, based on their situational realities, of the different participants in the modern language classroom. Theories of language as a hierarchically arranged system of rule-governed structures have been replaced by theories of language as a system of meaning whose primary function is interaction and communication. Dialogues and drills, repetition and memorization, and pattern  practice  have  been  substituted  with  processes  that  engage  learners  in  communication such as information sharing, interaction, and negotiation of meaning. Syllabi based on a contrastive analysis of phonology, morphology and syntax have become more flexible; their ordering is guided by the learners' needs and include either structures, notions, themes, and/or tasks. What is a modern language teaching methods teacher to do at a time in which, on the one hand, critical theorists claim the very concept of method is in complete ideological contradiction with their aims, and, on the other, many modern language researchers, educators, and materials developers still cling to it as their life-line and meal ticket? Adler & Goodman (1986) reveal the tensions that are inherent in the development of critical methods courses, which traditionally exist within a very different paradigm from ones that come from critical theory: [Djominant assumptions about teaching and learning in the twentieth century have emphasized efficiency, measurable outcomes, and objectivity. The teacher within this dominant tradition, is not seen as one who designs curriculum or reflects upon alternatives, but rather, as one who is to master techniques of effective instruction in order to implement a predetermined curriculum (p. 6). Simply advising student teachers to develop an "eclectic approach," as was popular in the past, does not allow them to develop confidence in an effective teaching approach. Without this, they risk falling back on the outdated, yet trusty methods they were exposed to as language students themselves. A t the University of British Columbia, the adopted approach for preparing modern language student teachers is to ground them in the fundamental concepts (i.e. the role of  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 64  the student, teacher, materials, activities, language etc.) of a highly adapted version of the communicative approach. A critical methods course that involves student teachers in an experiential, exploratory, process-oriented curricula would also incorporate constructionist teaching phdosophies that empowers them to understand difficult course concepts by engaging in hand-on activities in which they connect personal experiences to course content. These student teachers involve themselves in an active conversation with themselves and the other Subject elements in the ecosystem of teaching.  23  Originally introduced in the early 1980's, the communicative approach has evolved from a thinly veiled reincarnation of previous paternalistic language teaching methods, which prized information sharing over meaningful interaction, to a new educational philosophy which aims to create experiential learning environments which draw on the personal experiences of the participants and encourage a reflective and enlightening exchange of perspectives. Though the philosophy of teaching within the communicative approach has changed over the past 20 years, the terminology, unfortunately, has not. Student teachers entering modern language methods courses are familiar with terms such as "communicative competence" and "authentic materials." Their teaching paradigms, nonetheless, often reflect the prescriptive environment in which they learned the language they will be teaching; one in which the curriculum was determined by the "communicative," yet grammar driven textbook, and in which the materials, though "authentic", were used for superficial exercises for language proficiency. A critical methods course would integrate guiding philosophies of a modern communicative approach and constructionism, in order to engage the participants in hands-on activities in which they construct and reconstruct the various realities of the participants, whether they be the students, the teacher, the language, or the materials. For, "knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through  For a model, see the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Grant Making Movies, Making Theories: Digital Media Tools for Educating Educators to Connect Experiences to Curriculum (Goldman-Segall/Beers, 1998).  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 65  the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other" (Freire, 1970/1993, p. 52).  Constructionism and the communicative approach Constructionism, an educational philosophy and method developed by Seymour Papert, builds on the "constructivist" theories of Jean Piaget, arguing that knowledge is not transmitted from teacher to student but constructed in the mind of the learner. In the process of constructing a personally meaningful object, learners construct and reconstruct knowledge out of their experiences with the world. This knowledge arises from the relationship that exists between the content, the artifact and the process binding them together. Constructionism is a wholly appropriate and applicable learning model for enabling learners to experience the relationship between the products, practices and perspectives of the students' own and the target cultures, because of the emphasis it places on affect, personal experience, diversity, and relationship forming. It creates an environment in which to experience the dynamic nature of Subjects-in-interaction. First, constructionism, like communicative language learning theories, recognizes that learners are most likely to become intellectually engaged when they are working on personally meaningful activities and projects. Second, constructionism emphasizes diversity by setting up learning environments which encourage multiple learning styles and multiple representations of knowledge and, third, constructionism asserts forming new relationships with knowledge is as important as forming new representations of knowledge (Kafai & Resnick, 1996, p. 1).  Materials as object Language teachers have to teach the language of kitchen recipes and the language of poems, language as a means of communication and as a mode of representation, they have to focus on the message and on the form of utterances. But most of all, behind someone's words, they have to teach their students how to recognise both the cultural voice of a socially dominant group and the unique voice of a particular person (Kramsch et al., 1996, p. 105).  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 66  N e w teaching approaches that v i e w language as discourse and advocate the inclusion o f multiple perspectives i n order to represent the many voices present i n one individual, not to m e n t i o n her culture(s), call for a shift i n the focus o f instruction. Whereas the a i m o f teaching methods o f the 1980's was to place the learner at the center o f instruction, the goal o f the 1990's is to situate the Subject at the center o f learning ( K r a m s c h et al., 1996; Lave & W e n g e r , 1991), i n an attempt to validate the subjective perspective w i t h its multiple points o f viewing (Goldman-Segall, 1998b). I n this framework, the enunciating Subject, whether it be the text, the student, or the teacher, becomes the focus o f inquiry, i n w h i c h a critical analysis o f its situated perspective provides insight into its cultural reference points and history, ultimately leading to a keener understanding of, and empathy for, its Subject position. M o d e r n language education has long been dependent on the textbook as the m a i n source o f pedagogical, linguistic, and cultural content and guidance. Indeed, the textbook, often referred to as simply, "the text," has been synonymous w i t h various instructionist methods over the years and teachers still cite it as the number one source for culture teaching ( M o o r e , 1996). Administrators are attracted  by its potential to  standardize  instruction and content across different sections o f language courses and, i n response, publishers have even tried to create "teacher-proof  instructional materials. Recently,  however, the textbook has been the focus o f several studies (see B r o s h , 1997; H e i l e n m a n , 1991; K r a m s c h , 1989) w h i c h have criticized its cultural biases and representation o f the target culture realities. A s a result, many modern language teachers have turned to new forms o f materials, most notably authentic texts, i n the hopes o f introducing the cultural perspectives o f the target culture into their isolated classrooms. "Authentic," a term used "as a reaction against the prefabricated artificial language o f textbooks and instructional dialogues (...), refers to the way language is used i n non-pedagogic, natural communication. (...) A n authentic text, [therefore], is a text that was created to fulfill some social purpose in the  language  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 67  community in which it was produced. " (Kramsch, 1993a, p. 177). Though they are most commonly manifested in various limited genres of printed communication, such as menus, timetables, and advertisements, teachers are adopting a broader interpretation of text— as anything that can be read or interpreted— and have included songs, television programs, films, and, more recently, multimedia texts from the Internet. So popular are these authentic texts for teaching culture that teachers rank them as their number two source for culture teaching (Moore, 1996). But what do we really know about how these texts are used in the classrooms and what, i f any, culture learning takes place? Despite their popularity and persistence in the modern language teacher's repertoire, surprisingly little research has been carried out on how they are selected, used, and read in the classroom. Are these texts used to explore the practices, products and Subjective perspectives of the target culture or do they serve as a colorful repackaging of the linguistic content already available in their textbooks? Those few researchers who have considered this topic in any depth (see Fischer, 1996; Hellebrandt, 1996; Kramsch, 1989; Moore, 1996) suspect readings of these authentic texts stay within a proficiency based methodology and rarely move beyond a superficial understanding. The reality in the classroom, it would seem, is that Text is forever equivalent to Method, whether it be in the form of a prefabricated textbook with accoutrements or authentic materials collected from the target culture. T o enable our texts to move from their role as object of linguistic or folkloric study to that of Subject in which the historical, ideological and political voice of the author becomes the focus of critical inquiry, students and teachers need to develop multiple, active literacies. In a Freirian sense, literacy involves a good deal more than reading and writing: It is a form of social practice, interwoven into larger social practices, and developed through apprenticeship. Moreover, it is not just a receptive process of socialization into certain conventions of language use—it is an active process of critically evaluating those practices into which one is being socialized (Kern, 1995, p. 68).  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 6 8  M o d e r n language students are frequently called u p o n to analyze and decipher the texts o f the "Other," yet they are rarely asked to become the authors o f their o w n , multilayered texts.  24  B y creating their o w n cultural texts, i n w h i c h the content and genre are drawn from  their o w n subjective, political and historical perspectives, they, and their texts, w o u l d become the Subject o f exploration, ultimately leading to a greater sensitivity for the perspectives and points of viewing o f their fellow authors. W h a t ' s more, this activity builds o n van Lier's (1996) three principles that guide meaningful interaction i n the language curriculum: Awareness, autonomy and authenticity. T h e first principle follows the belief that for students to learn something new, they must first notice it. O n c e they are aware, they are able to focus their consciousness on that concept and process it by linking their perceptions o f the outside w o r l d to the patterns o f connections that exist i n the m i n d (p. ir). T h e second principle, autonomy, stems from the knowledge that the impetus for learning must  come  from the  learner.  I f the  students feel a sense o f choice and  responsibility towards the activity this w i l l have a direct influence o n the degree o f positive affect, stemming from feelings o f control, ownership and competence, they experience (p. 12) . T h e t h i r d principle, authenticity, moves beyond the  c o m m o n interpretation  of  authentic as applied to classroom texts and tasks. T o formulate his n o t i o n o f authentic, van L i e r draws from the existentialist definition w h i c h deems an action to be authentic "when it realizes free choice and is an expression o f what a person genuinely feels and believes" (p. 13) . I n the language class, therefore, authentic should also be l o o k e d at as" a process o f engagement i n the learning situation, and as a characteristic o f the persons engaged i n learning. A s such, authenticity relates to w h o teachers and learners are and what they do as they interact w i t h one another for the purposes o f learning" (p. 125). T h e reflexive process o f creating and interpreting one's o w n texts raises the students' awareness o f their underlying cultural assumptions and builds a bridge between their own  2 4  For discussions on the multiple layers of representation and interpretation of student generated [digital]  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 6 9  and the target language cultures. I n the process, these studentss are involved i n an authentic activity as they interact w i t h their fellow learners while w o r k i n g o n their personally meaningful texts.  Concluding Remarks M o d e r n language educators, curriculum designers and policy makers agree that the teaching o f culture as process, not product, needs to take a higher p r i o r i t y i n the classroom i f we are to succeed i n preparing our students to take their place as respectful and enlightened cosmopolitan citizens. I n intellectual circles, a great deal o f debate has followed about w h i c h concept o f culture should be promoted, ranging from anthropological views o n cultural processes to feminist and multicultural views o f difference. Ultimately, this has led to a c o m m o n understanding that culture consists o f the many perspectives and voices that are represented by its members and manifested i n their socially constructed multi-layered artifacts, whether i n the form o f texts or institutions. T o decipher these artifacts and understand the situated p o s i t i o n o f the Subject, teachers and students require critical literacies that enable t h e m to recognize their o w n position, and that o f the voice, or author, w h o speaks. T o develop this critical literacy, teachers and students may need to re-conceptualize not only their relationship w i t h each other, but also w i t h the educational and social tools and instruments—manifested i n language, culture, curriculum, method and texts—they have created. "[B]y helping students to decode the ideological dimensions o f texts, institutions, social practices and cultural forms, critical literacy aims to develop a critical citizenry capable o f analyzing and challenging the oppressive characteristics o f the society" (Pennycook, 1990, p. 309) I n constructionist and communicative learning environments and ecologies, modern language teacher educators and student teachers have the exciting opportunity to call u p o n texts, see Goldman-Segall 1995b, 1998b.  Chapter 2: Subjectifying the objectified 7 0  their life experiences to share and read the many situated points o f viewing o f the various Subjects-in-interaction. T o move beyond, student teachers can then use the multiple, active literacies learned i n their methods courses to construct not only new interpretations o f the cultural artifacts created by individuals w i t h i n their o w n and the target culture, but to create their o w n texts, i n a variety o f media, that reflect their newly discovered awareness o f their Subject position i n relation to the socially constructed artifacts o f the cultures o f study.  Chapter y. Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 71  Chapter 3  Designing Selves, Interpreting Others: Digital Video Ethnography as a Methodology for Apprentices to Appropriate Multiliteracies  Theoretical Lineage of Educational Theory and Method Piaget to Papert In 1964, Seymour Papert left behind the Alpine villages near Geneva, Switzerland, where he had spent the previous five years immersed in the constructivist child development theories of his mentor, Jean Piaget, to enter the "urban world of cybernetics and computers" (Papert, 1980) at M I T in Boston, Massachussetts. There he carried inside himself Piaget's theories and began a life long inquiry into how children think and how computers just might think one day. In the process, he developed constructionism, a teaching method which assumes that children are more actively engaged when working on a personally meaningful external artifact, which he calls an "object-to-think-with" (Papert, r98o).  Papert remembers his bicycle gears as his very first object-to-think-with and the joy  he derived from thinking about them, tinkering with them, and using them ultimately fueled his passion for mathematics. H e created the computer language L O G O to encourage children to invent their own objects-to-think-with. One such object is Turtle, a computer controlled cybernetic animal which exists within the cognitive minicultures of the L O G O environment. Turtle is a successful object because it embodies "an intersection of cultural presence, embedded knowledge, and the possibility for personal identification" (Papert, r98o,  p. n). Papert has spent most of his professional life advancing the constructivist ideas  of Piaget by developing his own theories of constructionist teaching practices. Graduate  Chaptery. Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 72  students who have passed through Papert's M I T Media Lab have immersed themselves in the Piagetian/Papertian theories that guide their research within its walls and those of the inner-city classrooms in which they conduct research. Graduate students over the past fifteen years have constructed their own objects-to-think-with and emerged with their own theories which take these scholars' research to new levels of understanding and practice.  Papert to Goldman-Segall In 1990, one of these doctoral students, Ricki Goldman-Segall, left behind the cyber labs of M I T and the urban classrooms of Boston for the lush and rainy forests of British Columbia, Canada. W i t h her she brought her object-to-think-with, Learning Constellations 1.0, and her theory, configurational validity. Learning Constellations 1.0 is the digital media ethnographic analysis tool Goldman-Segall created and used to analyze six video discs of data she collected of children using L O G O to design cyber objects-to-think-with at the Hennigan School in Boston. This tool is the first video annotation system built which supports the analysis of an entire body of research data using ethnographic style video data (Goldman-Segall, 1990). It employs the metaphor of stars and constellations to build upon the ethnographic research methods of Clifford Geertz within a constructionist framework. Users select, label and annotate individual data chunks, stars, and then group them into meaningful knowledge clusters, constellations. This digital environment allows not only for the media designer's "thick description" (Geertz, 1973) of the event, but also the interpreter's "thick interpretation" (Goldman-Segall, 1998b). Goldman-Segall's theory of configurational validity argues that distributed communities of inquiry can build more robust analyses of multimedia stories. Stories of multiple "authors" can be layered in clusters, or "constellations," in such a way that larger, more robust theories emerge (Goldman-Segall, 1995a, p. 1).  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  73  Since coming to the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Goldman-Segall has gone on to develop other digital media tools— Constellations™, Points of Viewing™, WebConstellations™ and, most recently, Orion™—to further the digital data analysis methods in the field of research she has pioneered, digital video ethnography. In her Multimedia Ethnographic Research Lab, M E R L i n , Goldman-Segall has carried on in the Piagetian/Papertian model, working with graduate students to extend and further the methods and theories of her mentors as well as her own. Many of Goldman-Segall's recent digital tools and theories have emerged from a three-year digital video ethnographic study she carried out with middle-school children who studied Clayoquot Sound, one of N o r t h America's largest temperate rain forests with intact watersheds, as a community of inquiry. In this socio-scientific study, the students assumed the role of video ethnographers who researched the various points of viewing (Goldman-Segall, from  loggers  to  environmentalists,  tourists  to  1998b)  of its members, ranging  local shopkeepers.  These  student-  ethnographers collected data in various media forms and used Constellations to build artifacts and theories. They didn't try to find a solution to the problem, they tried to use it as an object-to-think-with. Eventually, however, Goldman-Segall found it necessary to rearticulate Papert's notion of objects as catalysts for learning. In wanting to emphasize the importance of the humanistic elements in the Clayoquot Sound project, she puts forth the notion of subjects-to-think-with. She shares her theory-making process in this digital video ethnography when she writes, "what we found was that it was our relationship with it, how we turned an object into a subject of interest for us all, that kept our interest levels high" 01996b, p. 106 ). Goldman-Segall refers to this phenomenon in her earlier research in the late 1980's, when she observes that Mindy, a student at the Hennigan school in Boston, has an affinity for programming make-believe girls in L O G O . Goldman-Segall ponders:  Is the object a transitional obsession, as Freud would have us believe—a fetish around which to gather our images? O r can the object provide a sociocultural window into a thinking process, a way to think about thought and about the lives we  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  live? Maybe the girls that girls make are indeed epistemological inventions, subjects rather than objects-to-think-with, as Mindy suggests (1998b, p. 186) In her subsequent articles, Goldman-Segall uses the term subject in the same context as when she describes Mindy's girl object as a socio-cultural subject. For Goldman-Segall, subject is field of study to be explored, whether it be academic, such as mathematics or science, or socio-cultural such as the political, social and environmental tensions in Clayoquot Sound. W i t h i n these various subjects exists a multitude of perspectives and stories to be learned. The digital video ethnographic tools that Goldman-Segall develops provide the platform for these voices to be heard, a forum for what she terms "a multilogue" (1995a).  Goldman-Segall to Beers In 1996 I left behind the Flemish belfroi towers and flat countryside of Lille, France, for the streamlined skyscrapers and snow-capped mountains of Vancouver, Canada. A native of California, I had been in Lille on a three-year English language teaching assignment at the National Centre for Scientific Research and the Institute of Political Sciences. I came to Vancouver to begin a Ph.D. program in modern language education at the University of British Columbia and brought with me my experience and expertise as a Spanish and English language teacher, teacher educator and materials developer (see Ascarrunz Gilman, Zwerling Sugano, & Beers, 1993; Beers, 1997; G i l & Beers, 1993). In my 9 years teaching prior to my arrival, I had consistently centered my lesson plans and textbook materials on authentic media documents, such as newspaper, television and music, taken from the target language culture. I witnessed with enthusiasm the growing popularity of the Internet, which houses a myriad of multilingual multimedia texts, and sensed this would be the direction language teaching and materials development would take.  74  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 75  Over the years I had become dissatisfied with the level of sense making that my students and I were able to achieve with traditional media texts. I predicted these new digital texts would require an even more sophisticated literacy, one that would call upon the intellectual and technical skills needed to decipher their inherent cultural, linguistic and design elements. M y role as teacher and author assumed I was an expert of sorts in my ability to lead my students to understand the meaning behind these texts, yet I was sure that I, and my colleagues, had much to learn. M y search to develop a method to promote an authentic media text literacy in teachers and their students ultimately transpired within the walls of M E R L i n , working closely with Goldman-Segall. Here in M E R L i n we are immersed in the Piagetian/Papertian theories of educational development and design, submerged in the artistic and seductive filming techniques of Richard Leacock (1973, 1986) and Glorianna Davenport (1993), and, in short, mentored by its maker in the art of digital video ethnography. Whereas Goldman-Segall's object-to think-with was her digital media ethnographic analysis tool, Learning Constellations™ 1.0, my object-to-think-with is the modern language methodology course I designed and taught over a three year period, Advanced Studies in Language Education: Integrating Language and Culture with Modern Media. T o improve upon  each new version of the course, I adopted the iterative and integrated design process used by systems design teams in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) interface usability studies which allowed me to alter and improve aspects of the course in response to student feedback and instructor observations. While Goldman-Segall's jw^Vrt-to-thirik-with is her recent research is Clayoquot Sound, my subject-to-think-with is the course content of versions 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 of the modern language teacher education course. The theory I put forth in this dissertation, Subjects-in-interaction, comes as a result of designing and re-designing my object-to-think-with and analyzing the data collected during the digital video ethnography carried out in versions 2.0 and 3.0. It builds upon Papert's notion of objects-to-think-with in that the authentic media texts can serve as  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  catalysts for exploration and discovery o n the part o f the student and teacher, and it builds upon Goldman-Segall's n o t i o n o f subjects-to-think-with i n that it highlights the humanistic aspects inherent to the area o f study. However, I view Papert and Goldman-Segall's notions w i t h a critical theory lens, i n w h i c h the object and subject take o n a new level o f agency. T h e Subject is, therefore, p r o m o t e d to the status o f proper noun and assumes the role o f actor, rather than companion, as i n object-to-think-with, o r site, as i n subject-to-think-with. Subjects-in-interaction extends Goldman-Segall's theory o f configurational validity. Configurational validity, as applied to a socio-cultural subject such as Clayoquot Sound (Goldman-Segall, 1996b, 1998b), says that a more robust interpretation o f the phenomenon can be achieved w h e n the human participants are given a forum to view and discuss each other's representations and interpretations, or readings, o f an event. Subjectsin-interaction, as applied to modern language education or, more specifically, the designing and interpreting o f authentic media texts from one's o w n and the target language culture, says that all o f the textual elements, human and non-human, are active agents i n the social construction o f the event. Subjects-in-interaction is b o t h a theory and a methodology for the w r i t i n g and reading o f authentic media texts w h i c h looks at the process o f creation and inter-pretation o f the text as the event. I n this dynamic meaning-making process, all Subjects, human and non-human, are agents i n an ever changing, dialectical inter-action.  Application of Educational Theory and Method  I n this section, I w i l l examine how the theory and methodology o f Subjects-ininteraction can inform our practice as we encourage modern language teachers and students to become expert designers and interpreters o f digital media texts. First I w i l l discuss h o w the methodology o f digital video ethnography informs our teacher education practice as we strive to prepare certain modern language student teachers to become expert designers and  76  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 77  interpreters of digital media texts. Second, I will explore how the notion of self and other, in the context of a digital video ethnography, informs our practice as critical, multiliterate modern language designers and interpreters of media texts.  Multiliterate designers and interpreters of digital media texts In modern language teacher education, the aim is to prepare student teachers to be experts in the languages they teach, so they, at the sides of their students, can begin a lifelong exploration of the target language culture and the texts it produces. These teachers will encourage their language students to eventually become critical interpreters of the target language texts; to draw from their own interactions with the world to comprehend and even delight in the interactions of the other. Carmen Luke (2000), a language and literacy pedagogue, outlines the three components inherent to critical literacy. It includes a metaknowledge of diverse meaning systems and the socio-cultural contexts in which they are produced and embedded in everyday life; the mastery of the technical and analytic skills with which to negotiate those systems in diverse contexts; and, finally, the capacity to understand how these systems and skills operate in relations and interests of power within and across social institutions. In my approach within the modern language classroom, we are active participants in our sense making as we constantly call upon our life experiences and interactions to decipher the codes of the texts we read and the discussions we hear. Traditional authentic texts from the target language culture have always been multilayered and enigmatic. Their pages incorporate cultural references nuanced in color, type set, and image. Their language is encoded with register, style and mood. Their voices capture accent, rhythm and intonation. More and more, digital media is changing the ways in which we communicate. The messages we are able to transmit across language communities are taking on new representational forms; they are increasingly more complex, incorporating sound, video,  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 78  image and text. These new multilayered electronic texts, despite their life-like qualities and increasing depth of detail, are no truer than older, simpler versions. After all, they are still artistic re-presentations of one author's experience presented through a medium. As Elliot Eisner notes: One feature of a medium is that it mediates and anything that mediates changes what it conveys; the map is not the territory and the text is not the event. W e learn to write and to draw, to dance and to sing, in order to re-present the world as we know it (1998, p. 27). Cultures throughout history have created formulas and genres to facilitate the representation of an event, but they are only effective when mutually understood by the designer and the interpreter. Language teachers and learners who are versed in the myriad of genres of communication are best able to decipher these texts. Eisner's (1998) notion of connoisseurship and criticism help identify some of the skills student teachers and their students can use to call upon their life stories to become active interpreters of the target culture's texts: "The word connoisseurship comes from the Latin cognoscere, to know. In the visual arts, to know depends upon the abUity to see, not merely to look" (p. 6). Eisner explains that an expert in any field, whether a radiologist studying an x-ray or a conductor directing an orchestra, is able to draw from her experience to see certain qualities that other lay people do not notice. Only when these qualities are seen can they be appreciated; for when they are invisible they go unnoticed and no further reflection can take place. Luke (2000) argues the digital information environment has forced us to reconsider the qualifications we use to paint our profile of an expert. These days, an "understanding of the relations among ideas is as if not more important than mastery of the ideas themselves" (p. 73). The expert is no longer the one with the decontextualized facts, Luke says, she is the one who "sees and seeks the connection among related pieces of information" (p. 73). In this sense, the expert interpreter of the target language's authentic media texts not only sees the inherent qualities of the text, as Eisner explains, but also seeks how they, the interpreter included, inter-act to co-create meaning.  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  Luke's digital age expert possesses a digital electronic text multiliteracy, based on 25  notions of hybridity and intertextuality, that "transcends genres, media and cultural frames of reference"  (2000,  p. 73). In this context,  [m]eaning making from the multiple linguistic, audio, and symbolic visual graphics of hypertext means that the cyberspace navigator must draw on a range of knowledges about traditional and newly blended genres or representational conventions, cultural and symbolic codes, as well as linguistically coded and software driven meanings (p. 73)-  The technological multiliteracy which Luke defines is difficult to develop even when reading the texts of one's own culture, in which one is versed in the common protocols of daily life and language. Presented with the texts of the target language culture, the task's difficulty is compounded. As tourists, we may only see the superficial qualities in the target language culture: W e hear the rhythm of the language, we see the icons of its civilization, we see the color of its people and feel the fabric of its dressings. W e remain at our novice understanding of its potential. As experts, we are able to penetrate deeper into the multilayered text, to see those qualities that a lay person may overlook. W e can enjoy the difference, understand the reasons, and grow personally from this interaction. The qualities of the text, their intertextuality and inter-action, become the Subject in research, not the Object.  Digital video ethnography as methodology to foster multiliteracies Subjects-in-interaction as a theory and methodology for developing multiliteracies for writing and reading digital texts is informed by the general assumptions that guide qualitative researchers in their inquiry. Qualitative researchers believe there is no such ideal as a single objective reality. Instead, multiple realities of any given phenomenon are socially constructed through individual and collective interpretations of the situation (McMillan &  Ricki Goldman-Segall ( 7 9 9 8 a ) notes that, as a result of being involved in the Clayoquot Sound project, some of the Bayside middle school children showed signs that they had "become more fluent in the use or media and the role of media when thinking about complex socio-scientific issues(...) They had shown that they could converse, write about, and build representations that showed their deep understanding of the issues" (p. 11).  25  79  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 80  Schumacher, 1993, 14). Each individual constructs her own reading of the event as directed by her sense of self in relation to the other. The self is the sum total of the life experiences that have informed the paradigm in which she operates and the other is the entity which either confirms or contradicts this paradigm. The qualitative researcher's aim is to understand the event from the perspective of the participants, to uncover the qualities that contribute to re-constructing its meaning and significance. Ethnographic studies are prototypical examples of qualitative research in that the ethnographer integrates herself into a localized group of individuals, often taking on a participatory role in their activities. Critical ethnographic approaches to research in second language learning and teaching (see Atkinson & Ramanathan, 1995; Canagarajah, 1993; Holliday, ^ 9 6 ; Ramanathan & Atkinson, 1999) have enabled researchers to treat formal learning and teaching contexts as cultural constructs and thereby situate them within the larger social realities in which they operate. The ethnographer collects data in the form of field note observations, artifacts, interviews, conversations, and images and compiles them into a descriptive and interpretive account. She recognizes she is an active element in the dynamic and ever evolving cultural phenomenon of inquiry who changes the social context. She also acknowledges the subjective lens through which she views the events will influence her findings and interpretations. Early positivistic approaches to ethnographic research, however, tried to eliminate the subjective self from its equation, thinking that objectivity makes it possible to locate and isolate the reality of the world out there. Subjectivity was seen to weaken the validity of the findings, in that they might say more about the beliefs of the person carrying out the study than about the truth itself. W e are the sum total of our life experiences. Our wisdom is created by our contact with nature, its inhabitants and their artifacts. Qualitative inquiry acknowledges that the self is the instrument through which we experience the world around us. As such, this inquiry "is not only directed towards those aspects of the world 'out there,' it is also directed to objects and events that we are able to create" (Eisner, 1998, p. 21).  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  Digital video ethnography is a qualitative research methodology which centers its processes of interpretation on those very objects and events we are able to create (GoldmanSegall, rooo, 1995a, 1996b, 1998b). It is a testimonial to Goldman-Segall's struggle with the dilemma between subjectivity and validity in the human sciences. It reconceptualizes and reinvents traditions of qualitative research within a post-modern framework, one in which authorship and identity are transitive in relation to the context of the event. GoldmanSegall's theories on what constitutes robust research in a socio-cultural site are inspired by the work of scholars from the areas of visual and cultural anthropology (see Clifford, 1986; Geertz, 1973; Mead, 1975), critical ethnography (see Lather,i99i; Tyler, 1986) semiotics (see Barthes, 1977), and filmmaking (see Davenport, 1993; Leacock, 1973, 1986) and are embodied in her digital ethnographic methods and data analysis tools (1990, 1997, 1998b). In her method, Goldman-Segall encourages the participants in the study to take on new roles as digital ethnographers, thereby becoming both the researchers and researched, while investigating their chosen subject of inquiry. Together, they create a robust collective database of qualitative digital data, open to interpretation and re-interpretation by its many users. These participants use digital ethnographic tools, such as video camcorders, movie making software and Goldman-Segall's digital video ethnographic analysis tools to build these robust collective data bases, or, as she also terms them, "platforms for multi-loguing" (1995a).  The use of these visual forms of data for cultural analysis and interpretation is not  new since anthropologists have long incorporated a wide variety of media representations, in the form of photographs, films, novels and cultural artifacts into their field notes. What is different is the interaction that this new media provides for the sharing of the different perspectives as they relate to these media objects. These tools support rich interactions between the different human and non-human elements, enabling them all to take on a more active role of Subject, rather than object, in research. Goldman-Segall's digital video ethnographic tools exploit digital video's descriptive capacities and the potential of on-line digital networks for perspective sharing and trading.  81  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 82  Video is able to provide the "thick description" Geertz (1973) calls for in ethnographic fieldwork because it captures the subject of interest, along with her interactions with the environment, tools and the others (1998b). In its digital format, the video can be scrutinized, analyzed, and catalogued down to its most minute detail (Goldman-Segall, 1989).  W i t h Goldman-Segall's data analysis tools, the digital video ethnographer can further  contextualize her video with text, documents, fieldnotes, and other data in order to gain insights into what to shoot and to provide other users with layer upon layer of meaning, interpretation and significance (Goldman-Segall, 1993). As the data base grows, the digital video ethnographer can sort, annotate, and group this data into meaningful configurations based on her own interpretations while other users can simultaneously do the same. W i t h Goldman-Segall's most recent on-line tools, WebConstellations™ and Orion™, these users need not operate within local networks, they may work from removed sites, assuming the role of viewer or active participant, depending on the access they desire or are granted.  Digital video ethnographic scenario in modern language education In the body of literature on multimedia and digital video ethnography GoldmanSegall has written over the last ten years, she has invited the interpreter to partake in her methods and use her tools by sharing her experiences and presenting scenarios that can serve as models of practice. She has chosen not to outline specific procedures to follow and techniques to implement, acknowledging the individuality each video ethnographer brings to the relations between her subject of study and fellow researchers. In this tradition, this dissertation presents an example of a digital video ethnography carried out within a university modern language education methodology course. In the model presented in this dissertation, 29 modern language student teachers took on the role of digital video ethnographer in the summer of 1999 as they developed theories about how personal life  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  experience, representation and interpretations of culture affect one's writing and reading of digital media texts. Digital media, with their capabilities to create media rich texts complete with sound, images and video, create a new unexplored predicament for the language teacher and learner in this new role as ethnographer. Whereas the anthropologist traditionally starts from a context-and-experience-rich environment and imagines a text, the language teacher and learner start with a text and must imagine a context (Teroaka, 1989), drawing from previous experience, knowledge, or stereotypes about the target language culture. T o explore this quandary with my student teachers, I implemented a media-based approach based on communicative language teaching and constructionist learning models which encourages pre-service and in-service modern language teachers to use their personal experiences to create and interpret multi-layered media rich texts. By, in effect, reversing the contextual void these modern language teachers and learners often confront when interpreting the texts from the target language culture, I hoped to raise our awareness to the many subtle and dynamic inter-relations between the human and non-human textual Subjects that lead to the process of creation and inter-pretation. In this digital video ethnography, participants used a digital movie authoring and design tool, CineKit™, to make 30-second digital movies on their cultural interpretation of an object of their choice. Topics they chose included coffee, cars, flowers, and letters. The purpose of centering their movie around a physical object, was to heighten their awareness to the many human faces, or perspectives, that give it meaning. Students were encouraged to choose their own topics to ensure they felt a sense of ownership and personal attachment to their project, thereby encouaging autonomy and authenticity in the activity (van Lier, 1996).  Throughout the project, the participants filmed each other and were filmed as they  worked and reflected on their digital artifacts. They then used WebConstellations™ to share, annotate and critique the digital representations of their process and product in  83  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 84  relation to the content, the integration of language and culture with modern media, being studied in the course. Multiliterate designers and interpreters of digital texts, like ethnographers involved in qualitative research, try to unearth the various Subjects in a social artifact to study the way their inter-actions contribute to the designer and interpreter's sense-making process. They acknowledge there is no single reading of a text, just as there is no single account of an event. The text is the visual artifact of a social process involving one or more authors' representation and inter-pretation of an event as viewed through each interpreter's cultural filter. Digital video ethnography enables the researcher and the researched to become experts in seeing the qualities in the target language culture as manifested in its artifacts. It does this by providing a tangible medium in which to step outside of one's self to view the data from multiple perspectives (Goldman-Segall, 1998b), each perspective building upon the former, to approximate a whole. In the process of working toward capturing the entirety of an event, one discovers the impossibility of it. As Eisner affirmed earlier, "[t]he text is not the event" (1998, p. 27). Digital video ethnography reminds us that interpretation is a cyclical, infinite process. W h e n the digital video ethnographer sets out to create a text in the form of a short digital movie, she is obliged to make a series of decisions based on her understanding of the event. In a 30-second movie, real estate is coveted. In other words, there is only enough visual and audio "space" for a fraction of the images, sounds and words she may like to include. She must assess the role each Subject plays in the whole and work within the constraints of the medium to best represent this interaction: Being a digital ethnographer combines groping through [a] myriad [of] video-taped conversations and finding connections between and among them, fumbling through data, catching the nuance in a smile, and finally producing a work that seems whole, even though, as author or co-author, one always has a feeling of partiality (GoldmanSegall, 1998b, 87).  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 85  After striving, yet failing, to capture the entirety of the event, the digital video ethnographer no longer believes that a reality does exist out there, which can be captured and documented. Terms such as validity and authenticity are no longer prized, as they only reflect degrees of proximity to this unattainable ideal. The language learner's interpretation of the target culture's authentic media text, therefore, is but one of many possible readings; often an inexperienced reading at that. The Subject position digital text designers and interpreters occupy becomes even more apparent when the ethnographer's digital creations, along with data chunks capturing moments in her creative process, are posted in a visible, open forum. A t this point, the digital video ethnographer has no alternative but to reposition (...) [her]self as a member of a community of inquiry—one voice among many. The ethnographer, the video technology, and the total environment within which the researcher and the [Subjects] interact are inseparable (Goldman-Segall, 1998, p. 88). 26  Confronted with multiple interpretations that sometimes differ, sometimes confer with her own, the digital video ethnographer is acutely aware that her self is but one Subject-ininteraction with the others.  A Digital Video Ethnography of Self and Other  The notion of self and other, explored in the context a digital video ethnography, can inform our practice as multiliterate modern language designers and interpreters of digital texts. W i t h practice, a digital video ethnographer learns to seek different data and her ability to see the important qualities of a text heighten: As one's ability to take different perspectives grows, what is considered relevant shifts. The data one seeks change. The interpretation that is appropriate alters (...) It  Goldman-Segall uses "children" in the original citation, a reference to her digital video ethnographic research with middle school children in Boston and Vancouver Island. I have replaced "children" with "Subjects" to apply her observation to my situation. 2 6  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  86  is a matter of being able to handle several ways of seeing as a series of differing views rather than reducing all views to a single correct one (Eisner, 1998, p. 49). This awareness of self and other as gained in the research process is a significant step toward becoming multiliterate digital text designers and interpreters in one's own and the target language. The constant role reversal that digital video ethnographers undergo, as they move between viewer and viewed, teacher and learner, Subject and object, develops a certain flexibility of perspective which facilitates the study of self and other. This skill is valued in the second language learning process, as it can lead to communicative and cultural competence (Byram, 1994) and, ultimately, greater intercultural understanding (Byram, 1994;  Christie, 1990; Rorty, 1995).  Multiple identities: The study of selves and others Before my student-teachers and I set off exploring what it might look like to begin to understand and teach the nuances in the products, practices and perspectives of those who speak the target language, I lead them through a simple, yet revealing, activity of self discovery. I ask them to draw a graphic representation of their many selves, or identities and social roles, to share with their classmates. " Most often my words are met with cocked 2  heads and quizzical looks. Many are wondering what relevance this exercise has for the course content and others are fretting the personal probes that are bound to come their way. I begin with myself because, over the years, I have developed a policy to never ask my students to engage in activities in which I would not feel comfortable participating. I am  a teacher, a student, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a friend. I am an American, a nativ  English speaker, a near-native Spanish-speaker, and a reluctant French-speaker. M y graphic  representation of self may take the form of gradually expanding circles, or a series of boxes with interconnected arrows, or perhaps a tree with hanging branches and penetrating roots.  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 87  After I have shared my graphic self-representation with my students, I ask each one to extend this metaphor further by creating an identity object, a 3-dimensional representation of her self. This assignment, inspired by Papert's constructionist notion of objects-to-think-with (1980),  is designed as a rapport building activity that can promote sharing and contribute to  building participant identity and group awareness of the various countries, cultures, and values represented in the class. Its aim is to encourage the participants to go beyond the traditional forms of representation and provide the first tangible bit of data for discussion on the relation between identity and language learning. In any of my imaginings, or in those of my students, the same is always true: W e , as individuals, are invariably defined by our relationship with the other. Indeed, the "root word of self—se, or seu, (...) [is] the pronoun of the third person. Most of the descendant words, except self itself, were constructed to allude to "other," to connected people" (Heshusius, 1994, p. 17). I am a daughter because I was born to a mother and father. I am a teacher because I share my knowledge and experience with my students and try to create an environment which fosters learning. Modifiers can be attached. I am a reluctant French speaker because I am ashamed of my accent and syntax, yet I am a French speaker nonetheless because I have at one point in my life formed a deep and intimate relationship with the French language and those who speak it. These multifaceted physical objects make obvious the fact we are not a singular self but multi-identitied selves. Likewise, our classmates are not each an other, but others, increasing exponentially with the size of the class. Culture teaching in modern language education has typically concentrated on the lives and artifacts of the target language native speakers, with little regard for the personal stories of its learners. As a result, the perceived social distance between the two has made language and culture learning appear to be a daunting, i f not impossible, task (Reagan & This activity was first inspired by the "Identity Posters" module in Talking Culture (MacNiel & Wilmann,  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 88  Osborn, 1998). This dilemma finds its origin and, fortunately, its possible alternative in the field of anthropology. The problem, as Elvi Whittaker, an anthropologist, explains, is that Anthropology has invented the notion of culture as a means of promoting the self worth of the colonial, white male by drawing clear distinctions—and distances—between  the  researchers and their objects of study: [Cjulture is the very epitome of othering. It depends for its existence on the subjective ordering of a world full of Others (...) the Other is such essences as class, gender, race, ethnicity. The very act of research makes an Other out of someone" (p. 113).  In this passage, the Other, not the Subject, is promoted to the status of proper noun, thereby emphasizing the grandiose position it has occupied in anthropological research. Lingering implications from this ethnocentric attitude towards cultural diversity are manifested in contemporary society in the form of multicultural government policy and educational practices. For example, Peter MacLaren (1995, p. 122), a critical theorist, argues that conservative approaches to multiculturalism in the schools do not treat whiteness as a form of ethnicity and therefore posits whiteness as an invisible norm by which other ethnicities are judged. In this way, ethnic cultures are treated merely as add-ons and are judged in relation to the inflated culture capital of the Anglo middle class. Target languages and their cultures are often the objects of study in modern language classrooms, but are rarely the Subjects. Several modern language and other critical pedagogues have suggested approaches to classroom exploration which aim to include and validate the conversant voices in a culture. For Claire Kramsch and Linda von Hoene (1995), the metaphor that speaks to the difference of gender, class, age, region, and ethnicity is the metaphor of culture as discourse; discourse being the process by which people create, relate, organize, and realize meaning (p. 337). As a framework in which to treat culture as discourse in the modern language classroom, they propose a critical feminist modern language  1996).  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 89  pedagogy which they define as, "the dialogic emergence of differences in an attempt to promote a critical social consciousness through self-reflexivity and self-revision" (p. 331). Ryuko Kubota (1999, as cited in Pennycook, 2001), in her analysis of Japanese culture constructed by discourses in English language teaching, is also critical of the ways that Japanese culture(s) and other cultures are constructed in the language classroom. She argues that discussions on difference [hjave tended to dichotomize Western culture and Eastern culture and to draw rigid cultural boundaries between them. They have given labels such as individualism, selfexpression, critical and analytical thinking and extending knowledge to Western cultures on the one hand, and collectivism, harmony, indirection, memorization, andconserving  knowledge to Asian cultures on the other (p. 146).  Poststructuralist feminists point to the multiplicity of Self which strives to break down the dichotomies of native/"foreign," self/other, Subject/object to which Kubota refers. In the same vein, other modern language pedagogues (Fisher, 1996; Hellebrandt, 1996; Moore, 1996) have stressed the need to critically study and assess a linguistic or cultural concept and phenomenon from multiple perspectives. These scholars would agree that what is needed of both the teacher and of the students is a metalinguistic and metadiscursive awareness that can explore the enactment of difference and encourage critical reflection and revision of one's own subject position (Kramsch & von Hoene, ^95, p. 339). The modern language classroom has been dominated by a single voiced discourse that restricts the students from seeing themselves as they may be perceived from the perspective of another culture, or even through the eyes of their classmates. A double voiced discourse, however, could incorporate more of the many identities that compose each member. In his description of an ethnographic study carried out in his modern language class, Fischer (1996) has outlined the advantages of using technology to enable students to become cultural explorers, rather than tourists. H e develops his position in the context of an email exchange between American and German language students and demonstrates that students need not remain at a superficial "touristic" level of discussion despite their limited language abilities. H e urges them to probe deeper, to explore the target cultures' beliefs and value  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 90  systems. Although the study focuses on the other, at the exclusion of self, in that the target language learners are not asked to explicitly reflect on what their own answers may be in their native culture, many of my student teachers have been inspired by the distinction he makes between these two approaches to cultural travel. These student teachers are eager to accompany their future students on an exploratory adventure of this nature since it is only an electronic variation to a familiar approach to research in the language classroom; for most, culture is out there, it is embodied in the other. Let us imagine the possibilities, however, when these same student teachers are immersed within a digital learning environment that encourages them to re-search and rethink their interactions with the Subjects that surround them, both in their own worlds and in the worlds of the target language speakers. W h a t might these student teachers learn about themselves as learners, teachers, language speakers, and active members of local and global communities? What skills might they learn in the process that will allow them to carry out similar investigations with their future students and what impact might this have on their students' lives and the lives of those with whom they interact? A n alternative to developing still more approaches to anthropological research which essentially evaluate the worth of the target culture from an ethnocentric Anglo perspective, therefore, is to lead the student teachers in a reflective (Schon, 1988; Wallace, 1991) and reflexive (Prell, 1989) process in which they are both the Subjects and objects of study. These students no longer limit their investigations to the other, but also explore themselves and others. This exercise is useful to develop skills in the second language as well as intercultural sensitivity. Digital media, when used within a constructionist discourse based pedagogy, can empower students to carry out their own critical ethnographic research in which the students are able to become both researcher and researched in a "mutually enlightening relationship" (Prell, 1989). Though the United States and Canada are pluralistic democratic societies which pride themselves on their liberal multicultural ideals, the integration of "culture" and  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 91  "diversity" into their modern language curriculum has usually taken the isolated and superficial form of an occasional "cultural day" in which students are treated to folkloric spectacles and a sampling of the target culture's products. Rather than fostering tolerance, intercultural sensitivity, and a higher motivation for learning, these approaches can, in fact, do more harm than good in that they increase the social distance between the learner and the target culture, perpetuate stereotypes, and give only a static, and often archaic, snapshot of what is really an evolving and dynamic cultural discourse within a people who speak the target language. If, as Mendus (1995) states, "we should see education as, quite generally, a means of enabling all students to understand themselves" (p. 181), and, as Prell (1989) observes, "one must know oneself through and in light of the other" (p. 252), it is clear that the study of self and other should be central to any meaningful curriculum. The process of reflecting on self and other plays a key role in critical multicultural education and modern language education can learn a great deal by following this lead. "Inter-cultural" education, which is the basis for multicultural and anti-racism programs, and modern language education share the common concern which is to prepare students to take their place as cosmopolitan citizens. In her argument for including crosscultural and modern language education in the democratic curriculum, Rorty (1995) states, "we cannot hope to understand ourselves-and still less make wise political decisions-without understanding the values, the politics and economics that mark our global neighbors" (p. 62). This exploration of self and other, to which Rorty alludes, is a critical step in the process of constructing one's identity and finding one's place in a modern democratic society. It is also one that is critical to one's success in second language learning. The contemplation of self and other in the modern language classroom attaches the contextual meaning to the linguistic structures the students are learning, fosters the positive psychological traits adolescents need to live in a pluralistic society and continue in their language learning endeavors, and promotes a favorable classroom  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 92  environment conducive to learning. Furthermore, this reflective process guides students to develop critical thinking skills as they contemplate larger issues of native and "foreign" languages and speakers, which can ultimately be applied to the notions of in-group and outgroup. Critical thinking as described by Pennycook (2001), "is used to describe a way of bringing more rigorous analysis to problem solving or textual understanding, a way of developing more critical distance" (p. 4). T o establish what skills are necessary to become an international citizen, we can look to the aims of both "inter-cultural" education, which is the basis for multicultural and antiracism programs, and modern language education. Byram and Morgan (1994), modern language specialists, note that these two fields share the common concern which is "to encourage  the acquisition of psychological characteristics susceptible of generating  harmonious relationships: lack of ethnocentrism, cognitive flexibility, behavioral flexibility, cultural knowledge, interpersonal sensitivity, {and] communication skills" (p. 181). Speaking from the perspective of multicultural Britain, though these ideals are applicable to any pluralistic society, he argues, "it is thus feasible to see language and culture learning as a significant - perhaps the significant - locus for education for international citizenship" (p. 181). In light of the strength of his conviction, I believe these characteristics warrant a deeper discussion of their meaning and implications for developing digital media text multiliteracies. W i t h i n the first of Byram's characteristics, a lack of ethnocentrism, lies the assumption that ethnocentrism is an undesirable quality. Indeed, in examining the characteristics included in Sumner's (1940) definition of ethnocentrism, one can see the threat this attitude can pose to harmony in a pluralistic society:  Ethnocentrism is the technical name for this view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it...Each group nourishes its own pride and vanity, boasts itself superior, exalts its own divinities, and looks with contempt on outsiders (as cited in Damen, 1987, p. 214).  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 93  However, Damen (1987) argues that ethnocentrism - an "adherence to a given set of cultural options adjudged right" (pp. 213-214) - is, in fact, a necessary and natural human attitude which is the very foundation of human identity, given that humans find safely and strength in groups. It is only in modern pluralistic societies, when different ethnic groups come into closer contact and become more accessible to one another, that ethnocentrism can become a threat. In this context, ethnocentrism becomes negative when it is used to "shut others out, provide the basis for derogatory evaluations, and rebuff change" (Damen, 1987, p. 214). A  parallel can be drawn between  Byram's ideal of possessing a "lack of  ethnocentrism" and Richards' (as cited in Mendus, 1995) ideal of "humility." Richards explains that if we understand humility not as "holding oneself in low esteem," but rather as "having oneself in proper perspective," then humility can be a valuable trait in Western society (p. 40). Mendus (1995) concludes, "the humble person is not someone who puts a low value on his own talents. Rather, he is someone who makes a proper assessment of those talents" (p. 40). In a similar vein, we can further benefit from adopting Appiah's (1997) sentiment of "cosmopolitanism" as an ideal to counter ethnocentrism. For Appiah, the cosmopolitan patriot can entertain the possibility of a world in which everyone is a rooted cosmopolitan, attached to a home of her own, with its own cultural particularities, but taking pleasure from the presence of other, different, places that are home to other, different, people (p. 2). In order to learn a second, or third, language and enjoy interactions with its speakers and the texts they produce, it is important to be able to first imagine the possibility of a culture beyond one's own; one worthy of the investment it takes to learn the linguistic components of its language and cultural practices of its people. One must also keep in mind that we are, in effect, members of " 'imagined communities' of modernity we call 'nations'" (Appiah, 1997, p. 10), and that these differences and particularities we reject from the other groups are really endemic to our own as well. This ability to emotionally shift from one world to another reflects a higher level of thinking, one Rand Spiro (see Spiro, Feltovich, Jacobson &  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  Coulson, 1991) describes as cognitive flexibility in his work with the effects of digital hypermedia with learners. Byram (1989) is not alone when he speculates as to "the [cognitive] effects on the individual of being exposed to two languages and cultures, particularly two which are fundamentally distant and distinct from each other; in other words, of having the linguistic and cultural potential realized simultaneously in two ways rather than one" (p. 105). Byram's mention of the positive trait of cognitive flexibility arises from Lambert's early studies on the cognitive process of bilingual students in French immersion schools in Canada. Lambert (1977)  concluded that bilinguals are psychologically different from monolinguals. More  recently, Lambert et al. (1993) have made the claim that bilingual schooling leads to higher cognitive processes in the students which improves their performance across the curriculum (p. 18). These findings have been contested since they can just as well be attributed to such variables as the high socio-economic class of its learners and the high status and cultural capital of the French language and culture in the Canadian society in which they live. These factors lead Carey (1997) to speculate: (...) students in bilingual programs at all ages spend much time contemplating differences in expression between the two languages and playing with the similarities and differences in the languages with their peers (...) However, to argue that explicit awareness of a second language, as opposed to enrichment in the first language, is more beneficial to cognitive functioning has not been demonstrated (p. 216). Nonetheless, I believe it is fair to assume that knowing two languages is much more than simply knowing two ways of speaking. The mind of a speaker who has in some way attached two sets of linguistic details to a conceptual representation has contemplated possibilities and alternatives that the monolingual speaker has had no need to consider. It is in keeping with this opinion that Stern (1982), in his plea to reform French core programs across Canada, proposes a general language education syllabus as an integral component of the curriculum. In this syllabus, one would attempt to "think about language and languages in general, about language learning, about cultures and societies" (p. 41). H e justifies this progressive change in the modern language curriculum by stating that this  94  Chapter y Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 95  syllabus would deal with general linguistic and cultural phenomena, make learners alert to the process of language learning (...) and might even include discussions of a philosophical nature about the relations between language and thought, language and society, or language and reality" (p. 42). The teaching strategy he proposes would be a "highly cognitive one that involves students in making "crosslingual" and "crosscultural" observations and comparisons and that will encourage them to think about their own language learning" (p. 42). The larger goal would be for learners to be able to transfer their insights into language and culture gained in their core French, or other modern language, classes to other languages and cultures in their own society. Some of the recommendations Stern (1982) has made have only just recently been embodied in the new British Columbia modern language curriculum, manifested in the curriculum guidelines (IRP's) for each modern language taught in grades 5-12.  A commonly held assumption in modern language education is that i f an individual is familiar with the social norms and shared beliefs of a culture, this knowledge will then inform her to model her behavior accordingly (Byram, 1989; Seelye, ^93). However, it has been established that neither the mere banking of cultural facts nor the close physical proximity of the minority and majority members leads to intercultural appreciation or tolerance (Byram, 1989; Christie, 1990; Kramsch, 1993). A consistent analysis of the underlying motivations of the actions performed by members of the students' own and the target culture is critical to developing an understanding of what contexts lead to what actions by members of both groups, as well as a sensitivity and willingness to alter one's performance accordingly. The two ideals of cultural knowledge and behavioral flexibility that Byram identifies can be clarified by contrasting the two multicultural models of cultural competence and cultural understanding Feinberg (1995) presents. H e defines cultural competence as "what we have when we are able to recognize and participate in the routines of another way of life and thereby guide a part of our own development by its conceptions of performance and  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others 96  excellence" (p. 54). Cultural understanding, however, means "we understand its core set of beliefs about self and other and we are able to translate these into particular patterns of behavior" (p. 56). In other words, "to say that a person understands a culture is to say that she has access to that set of beliefs and is able to reconstruct them when required" (p. 55). Having engaged in the reflective process of creating and sharing one's interpretation of one's own culture, as well as reading the texts of the target culture, one becomes conscious of the difference between the accepted and expected behavior of one's own culture and that of the other. This insight is the result of a multitude of nuanced decisions taken from cues in the context, in the form of qualities, in which the interpreter finds herself. Language is a social construction, invented by humans to transmit the codes and meanings of a culture. T o communicate, one must be able to read the other person, like a text, and intuitively grasp the meaning and emotion she is trying to convey. Communication skills, which are needed to carry on a dialogue with another person, therefore involve a sensitivity to the other speaker. Communicative competence involves "knowing what to say, when to say it, how, and to whom in any given speech act" (Damen, 1989, p. 368). These skills require not only linguistic and lexical knowledge about the target language but also intercultural and interpersonal sensitivity and critical language awareness. Because individuals are members of many communities, cultures and subcultures, it is useless to learn only the labels, or signifiers, without also experiencing those codes and artifacts, or signifieds, to which the signifiers are attached. Geertz (1973) believes that reading culture is like reading a text. Systems of meaning, or webs of significance as he calls them, are sets of arbitrary relationships between variables— such as words, behaviors, and physical symbols— in a culture and the meanings that are attached to them. T o read the culture and its texts, then, it is crucial to learn what it is about these signifieds that gives them importance to the community that refers to them. The modern language student teachers involved in version 3.0 of this university course and research project created their movies with the intent to unearth the webs of  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  significance in which the object of choice in their movie is entangled. They made the implicit systems of meaning surrounding the object explicit when they meticulously chose and layered the qualities they wanted to include into their textual representation of this object. These systems of meaning grew as each participant used WebConstellations™ to spin their interpretations and re-interpretations of the digital media texts into this web.  Subject-ive Conclusions In light of the new B C Language Policy, implemented at the dawn of the Pacific century, in which we will see a shifting in the status and cultural capital of minority languages and cultures (Carey, 1997), I believe it is timely to re-evaluate the state of modern language education. Innovative methods we use to educate our student teachers, by nature of their design, can have a dramatic effect on our future success in preparing young learners to take their place in a pluralistic society. W e can shake up conventional power relations between traditional Subjects and objects of research by inviting the participants to undergo a systematic and multidimensional exploration of not only the other, but selves and others as Subjects-in-interaction within the context of a digital video ethnography. In this way, we can model positive investigative methods to be used by all Subjects of the research project— ranging from text to classroom student to student teacher to teacher educator and university professor. A focus on ones' own textual representations, along with those of the others, is an important first step in balancing the unequal power plays in which the dominant language group scrutinizes the other culture from the superior position of their generally shared interpretation of what is normal. Naturally, when one is member of a seemingly homogeneous group of language learners involved in a one-way study of the other, it is easy to evaluate those other customs, products and perspectives as strange, rather than viewing them as different, but valid. In these situations, without an in-depth and systematic  97  Chapter y. Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  inclusion of selves, intercultural sensitivity goes out the window and we are left with target culture consumption. The study of selves and others in modern language education can, indeed, be a catalyst in fostering in its learners those positive psychological traits that facilitate successful language learning and a cosmopolitan inspired approach to global citizenship. But let us not end the argument here. Lous Heshusius (1994) cautions against becoming overly concerned with the self in the research process— or the other, for that matter—lest our preoccupation with the still-dominant discourse of Cartesian dualism cloud our abilities to interpret and know. Heshusius calls for a new approach to ethnographic research, one she terms participatory consciousness, in which there exists an "awareness of a deeper level of kinship between the knower and the known" (p. 16). For this to occur, "an inner desire to let go of perceived boundaries that constitute "self—and that construct the perception of distance between self and other—must be present" (p. 16). Language learning requires a certain generosity of spirit and reckless abandon in that the learner adopts new ways of looking at the world and communicating. T o achieve this level of competence, she alters herself and grows in light of the others. It is not enough to acknowledge that there are two or more ways of operating in the world, she internalizes the two systems and remains open to more. Ideally, the learner, or ethnographer, is able to step outside of herself to achieve "an attitude of profound openness and receptivity" (p. 16). Heshusius adopts Berman's (1981, 335, as cited in Heshusius, 1994, p. 17) term selfother to signify participatory consciousness. Self and other do not exist, they are fused into a selfother (p. 17). This process involves a temporary eclipse of all perceiver's egocentric thoughts and strivings, of all preoccupations with self, and self-esteem. One is turned toward other (human or nonhuman) "without being in need of it" (Schachtel, 1959, p. 181) or wanting to appropriate it or achieve something (Heshusius, 1994, p. 16). Multiliterate designers of digital texts are keenly aware of their Subject position, as they have undergone a meticulous process of selection and refinement in their creative process, and they use this knowledge and experience to close the social distance between  98  Chaptery Designing Selves, Interpreting Others  designer and interpreter. They meet somewhere in the middle, in a place that is rich with perspective, not assumption.  99  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  100  Chapter 4  Subjects-in-interaction Version 3.0: The Integrated and Iterative Systems Design Process  The classroom culture, its course content and the tools it uses to create, connect and communicate meaning comprise an interactive learning environment which, when successful can enhance teaching and learning. Digital ethnographies and case studies which richly and thickly describe harmonious interactions between tools, learners and teachers outline innovative projects that would not have been attempted were it not for the capabilities of new media tools (see Goldman-Segall, 1998b; Hellebrandt, 1996; Tang, 1993). In Canada, an extensive network of educational researchers, practitioners, and industry partners exists under the name of TeleLearning, a term it defines as, "the use of networked computer environments and tools for education and training" (1998). This organization established an international network of Centres ofExcellence, in which each center has aimed 28  to become a model of innovative uses of technology to improve learning experiences, often the result of positive collaboration between industry and academia. These new partnerships are changing the inherent structure of academia, and models for the development of courses, or learning environments, need to evolve to support this trend. New approaches to learning call for new frameworks in which to develop these learning environments. Successftdly innovative learning environments which integrate digital tools are frequently on the cutting—or bleeding—edge of technology development. In  WebConstellations™ earned the First Prize in the Demonstration Category at the Annual Conference of Canada's National Centers of Excellence in Telelearning (TL-NCE), held in Vancouver, BC in 1998. In this demo, the MERLin team used WebConstellations™ to showcase data from Goldman-Segall's graduate seminar on Digital Video Ethnography and Version 2.0 of Beers' modern language teacher education course, described in this dissertation. 28  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  101  addition to the effort required to design and develop the digital tools themselves, there is an overwhelming amount of work involved in simultaneously modifying and adapting the curriculum, method and support materials. Given the complexity and volume of tasks required to design, test and implement the various interconnected components that make up a digital learning environment, projects of this nature may begin with one solitary teacher with a vision but certainly do not finish this way. The teacher often consults with a variety of experts in different domains and may enlist the help of colleagues or technical support for different phases of the project, even delegating some tasks completely. This is not a typical higher educational teaching model. Traditionally, an instructor is responsible for developing and carrying out all aspects of her course from beginning to end. It might be considered irresponsible to enlist the help of her colleagues, who are, after all, busy with their own teaching loads. The rare exception is the case of large lecture style courses where the instructor manages a team of teaching assistants who lead individual discussion sections and assist in such matters as marking. In this context, however, these persons are employed to assist the primary lecturer in carrying out the original course concept by managing its large numbers of students, not to provide creative support in the initial design stages. In this chapter, I will describe the method I followed in designing and teaching a university modern language teacher education methodology course that served as the site for my doctoral research. This course has been my object-to-think-with (Papert, 1980) and subject-to-think-with (Goldman-Segall, 1998b). I will describe its three-year integrated and iterative design process, the specs and content of each of the three versions that emerged and how it facilitates the exploration of Subjects-in-interaction.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v.3.0  102  The Integrated and Iterative Design Processfor System SII V. 3.0  A site for inter-active, inter-disciplinary research and development The research site for this project can, in the broadest of terms, be called a university course. Indeed, it had all the required specs: it was listed in the U B C course schedule as M L E D 480A: Advanced Studies in Language Education: Integrating Language and Culture with Modern Media, it had an enrollment code (51162), a section number (921), and met regularly  (Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM) for a period of 6 weeks, (May 17 to June 21) in the summer session. There was one teacher and enough students enrolled to make it economically viable, and even profitable, for the university (29). Students who successftdly completed this course received 3 credits toward graduation and a mark on their transcripts. Yet this course was unique in that students configured themselves in unusual groupings, assumed uncommon roles, and used a variety of new digital learning tools (WebConstellations™, CineKit™, Photoshop™, QuickTime™, FusionRecorder™), some never before released to the public, to carry out innovative projects. A better descriptor for this site, therefore, may be "digital learning environment," since this conjures up a mental image of a stimulating place where students come to engage with digital technologies to carry out meaningful tasks and learn. But this term is unsatisfactory, too. It does not allow me to tell the whole story of how this place came to be; how it started from a broad spectrum of ideas, gained momentum from student and administrative support, grew in scope with new partnerships and collaborations, and evolved and transformed itself over a three year period. What emerged was not a place that I, the teacher, created and to which they, the students, came; but a place where teacher, students and tools converged to create an ever evolving culture of learning. As we turn to more collaborative, interdisciplinary projects which incorporate multifaceted tools, and multi-skilled individuals, it is easy to see that previous individualistic  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  103  models of teaching, based on the ideal of one teacher before a group of students, do not lend themselves to innovative risk-taking in education. It is therefore helpful to turn to established development models which have proven to be efficient and productive in other cultures outside of academia. I f we imagine a digital learning environment to be a smooth running system, rather than a course taught in a school with its traditional roles and expectations, we can free ourselves to step outside of our firmly entrenched schemas we use to define the functions of each component. W e can look to the model of systems design teams in the fields of Human Factors and Human Computer Interaction to find such an organizational framework.  Human-computer interaction to study Subjects-in-interaction Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a field of research which converges experts from a variety of disciplines, including computer science, graphic design, kinesiology, applied linguistics, and experimental psychology. Once gathered on a common project, each contributes  her individual expertise  toward developing a computer  system which  successfully interfaces with its users. In an academic setting, like in industry, a systems design team can be more effective for developing a quality product than an individual, regardless of her area of specialty, since an effective team is more than a set of skills. It is also an appropriate combination of personalities, each making a contribution. Consider a favorite "team" in an adventure novel or movie. Very likely one member will be cerebral; a second, physical; and a third, aesthetically oriented. Different personality types are important in facing unknown challenges (Baecker, Grudin, Buxton, & Greenberg 1995, p. 277). Unknown challenges are a part of education. Students come to a classroom from a variety of backgrounds with different talents and motivations, each one affecting the emerging classroom dynamic. The availability of tools and resources, along with the teacher and students' skill at using them, can also contribute to the overall success of a project. A team-  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  104  like approach, which taps into the strengths of each member, can only benefit the group as a whole.  Terminology The terminology used to describe the various roles people play in a system design team can easily be adapted to academia. This is most appropriate in academic courses and programs which integrate technology, since simultaneous and cyclical development of curricular and technical aspects closely emulates the iterative and integrated systems design process popular in industry for creating digital tools. A computer system is an architecture that is designed to help users perform their tasks. The systems design team, or development team, refers to those actively involved in the systems development project and normally excludes contributions made by those in management and support roles (Grudin, 1991/1995, p. 294). The  term user refers to the people directly engaged with the system and generally is  synonymous with end user, though as Grudin explains, "[o]f course, developers are also users of the tools and the development system" (1991/1995, p. 294). For the purposes of this chapter, I will use the general term system, to represent my research site, M L E D 480A. Administrative reasons, unrelated to the course content, prompted the course number to change from 480B to 4 8 0 A after the second year. T o avoid further confusion and better reflect the three-year evolution of this system from 1997 to 1999,1 will refer to the three evolving versions of this course as Subjects-in-interaction (SII) version 1.0 (1997), SII version 2.0 (1998) and SII version 3.0 (1999). Each version corresponds to the course, or system, taught during three consecutive summer sessions at the University of British Columbia. Due to my key role in the conception, design and installation of the system, I have appropriated the title of principal developer. Other members of the systems design team include advisors and colleagues in the Modern Language Education program, M E R L i n , Bitmovers Communications Inc. and the University of Toronto, as well as the student  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  105  teachers themselves. W i t h i n the general system, two digital tools, WebConstellations™ and CineKit™,  were  being  developed  simultaneously.  The  development  team  for  WebConstellations™ was led by Ricki Goldman-Segall at the University of British Columbia and the development team for CineKit™ was led by R o n Baecker at the University of Toronto. Given the integral part these two tools played in the smooth running of this particular system, they can be considered subsystems in this context, though they are both independent tools for a range of purposes on their own. The term user, though problematic due to the passive role it connotes, refers to the pre-service and in-service modern language teachers who used the three versions of this system. The user interface of a computer system is the part that handles the output to the display and the input from the person using the program (Myers, 1995, p. 323). Since we have established the user to be the student, and the system to be this university course, we can then conclude the interface, in the general context of versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, refers to the medium of communication the user interacts with, whether it be technology, text, discussion or lecture.  Human factors and H C I for systems design H C I emerged as its own reputable field in the early 1980's after it distinguished itself from the earlier field of human factors, which was "dismissively referred to as 'knobs and dials' psychology" (Bannon, 1995, p. 209). Cognitive scientists agreed that what was "required was a better cognitive coupling between the human and the new universal machine, the computer, and not simply better designed surface characteristics of display" (Bannon, 1995, p. 209). Since its inception, the area of human-computer interaction has become widely respected both within academic research environments and corporate research laboratories, accounting for its tremendous increase in followers. Scholars from H C I , most notably in N o r t h America and Scandinavia, have developed different methodologies to aid systems design teams in developing and testing usable products.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  106  John D . Govald from the I B M Research Center, Hawthorne, has been instrumental in advancing the field of H C I and identifying the steps it takes to develop successful products (Bannon, 1995, p. 211; Grudin, 1991/1995, p. 293). T o put it simply, says Gould, the best systems, are "easy to learn, easy to use, contain the right functions, and are liked" (1988, p. 93). In his seminal article, "How to Design Usable Systems," Gould provides H C I researchers and systems design teams with a comprehensive set of objectives to follow during system development and installation, along with a chronological time line for achieving them. H e recommends adhering to four key principles during the usability design process: 1) early, continual focus on users; 2) early, continual user testing; 3) iterative design and 4) integrated design (p. 95). By doing so, Gould provides us a working framework in which to describe the system development of SII version 3.0. Where he falls short, however, is in his restricted conceptualization of the user.  Systems users as actors, not factors Several scholars have identified the unidimensional interpretation of the term user as problematic in H C I studies. Liam Bannon (1995) concedes that Gould's view of the user is a welcome departure from the Human Factor approach to systems design where the human is often reduced to being another system component with certain characteristics, such as limited attention span, faulty memory, etc., that need to be factored into the design equation for the overall human-machine system (p. 206). Nonetheless, Bannon critiques Gould's view on the role of the user, in which she is relegated to the sidelines of the design process, and offers a more inclusive perspective. Bannon thus provides us with a powerful link between systems design and Freire's concept of education when he contrasts the terms human factors and human actors, much like Freire contrasts objects and subjects. Bannon has chosen these terms because he believes it "highlights a difference in the perception of the person; the former connoting a passive, fragmented,  depersonalized, unmotivated individual, the latter connoting an active,  controlling one" (p. 206). Bannon states that "users are not simply passive objects that  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  107  others must study and design for, as some accounts would have it. People are, or can become, active agents" (1995, p. 207). This view not only makes for a healthier work environment, it's just good business. After all, "involvement of users in design is both a means for promoting democratization in the organizational change process and a way to ensure that the resulting computer system adequately meets the needs of the users" (1995, p211). As technology advances, it will become even more important to include the user in the design process and hold her perspective in high regard. Grudin cautions:  [tjhe generic term 'user' masks a tremendous diversity of computer users and contexts of use. This diversity will continue to increase—even if progress in hardware development stopped today, current technology would take decades to realize its potential. (...) The physical separation of developers from some or all users is often critical, as are barriers of class, culture, or language (1991/1995, p. 297). In both academic and work environments, the social distance between users and developers can be narrowed by encouraging users to participate actively in the design process. In this collaborative working relationship, each participant can discover and appreciate the human qualities of the other, and how this affects the way in which they operate in the world. After all, "[pjeople are more than a sum of parts; be they information-processing subsystems or physiological systems, they have a set of values, goals, and beliefs about life and work" (Bannon, 1995, p. 206).  Iterative and integrated system design process The  collaborative integrated and iterative systems design process, in which  individuals interact with each other and their creations, leads to iterations not only in the tools they are developing but also in their understandings of the system's function and potential. W e are constantly transformed by the interactions we have with the human and non-human Subjects that surround us, and are enriched by the ideas, partnerships and resources they bring to our being. The three-year iterative design process of this system  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v.3.0  108  corresponds precisely with the first three years of my doctoral work. The three resulting versions of this system are the embodiment of iterations in my thinking brought on by the intellectual ideas presented in the graduate courses I was enrolled in and new collaborations and partnerships within the university and extended community. In this section, I will present a chronological account of the iterative design process of this system by presenting the intellectual, collaborative and technical contexts that have shaped each version's transformation.  1997: Version 1.0 Gould (1995) describes the first phase of iterative design as the gearing up phase, which is "mainly a time of information gathering and conceptualization." This accurately describes the first year of my doctoral studies, in that I immersed myself in the theories of my professors and respected scholars in my fields of inquiry as well as the needs and interests of my modern language student teachers. The ideas presented in the graduate seminars I enrolled in, along with those that arose in my teaching, interacted to inform my evolving concepts of culture, language teaching and research.  29  During this time I was also learning more about curriculum design by working in close CoUaboration with Dr. Monique Bournot-Trites, an experienced instructor in the modern language education program, as we team-taught a modern language education methods course. This course provides an overview of second language acquisition theories, curriculum guidelines and policies, unit and lesson plan creation, and teaching strategies for the four language modalities—listening, speaking, reading and writing. A n important focus 30  of this methods course is to prepare the student teachers to meet the objectives outlined in the newly released curriculum guidelines, called Integrated Resource Packages. These guidelines  Graduate seminars included Patricia Duffs seminar The Application of'Theories ofSecondLanguage Acquisition to Curriculum and Instruction; Stephen Carey's seminars Multilingualism, Multiculturalism and Education in the AsiaPacific and Multilingualism, Multiculturalism and Education in the Pacific Century; Kogila Adam-Moodley's seminar Advanced Studies in Multicultural Education; and Riclti Goldman-Segall's seminars The Multimedia Classroom: Creating an Electronic Space for Learners and Digital Video Ethnography: Culture, Technology and Interpretation See Appendix D for course outline of the 1998 methods course I taught for the student teachers enrolled in 29  3 0  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  109  are based on objectives outlined in the new British Columbia language education policy (Spanish, 1996), the majority of which address intercultural and multicultural issues. I became curious to learn i f these student teachers are, indeed, prepared to address these issues and, i f not, what preparation they would need. In my graduate seminars, I began to investigate this area further. From the literature, I identified what I considered to be the desirable skills for meeting these cultural objectives, initial methods for acquiring them, and the current state of culture teaching at the secondary level in N o r t h America. A t this point, I began what Gould (1988) would call the "initial design phase" of this system. This began when Stephen Carey, coordinator of the U B C Modern Language Education program at the time, called a meeting for the summer session modern language education instructors to coordinate the course offerings for pre-service and in-service teachers. Several of these courses, which are aimed at preparing pre-service and in-service teachers to meet curricular objectives, are offered under generic titles such as "Advanced Studies in Language Education" to give the instructor the freedom to choose the course content and teaching approach most suited to his or her expertise and interest. In the past, for example, Stephen Carey had used electronic bulletin boards to facilitate discussion and interactivity in his courses (Carey, 1999; Carey & Crittenden, 1998). In this meeting we negotiated the areas of expertise each of the three offered courses would cover. It was decided that my course would focus on methods to integrate language and culture with modern media at the secondary level. A second course would concentrate on language policy and global issues as they relate to modern languages and a third course on interactive methods for teaching French at the elementary level. I proposed a title for my course, "Integrating Language and Culture with Modern Media," and a series of objectives it would meet. Once approved, I selected ten course readings, created a series of assignments and class activities, and determined the evaluation procedures. I then taught this course over a three week period, from July 7-25.  SII version 3.0.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  no  Though, using low tech, I had incorporated concepts into this system from Goldman-Segall's graduate seminars, such as the exploration of self and other through the creation and sharing of cultural artifacts, I had not yet established a formal collaboration with the M E R L i n laboratory at this point in the design process. N o r had I determined it to be the site of my doctoral research.  1998: Version 2.0 The second year of my doctoral studies, I continued to grapple with the challenge of how to prepare student teachers to address concepts of culture in their future teaching. By this time I was an active member of Goldman-Segall's team in M E R L i n and was apprenticing in digital video ethnographic research. This experience, along with ideas presented in the graduate seminars I was enrolled in, provoked further iterations in my thinking in regards to teacher education, cultural exploration and classroom tools.  31  A t the same time, Goldman-Segall had agreed to collaborate with a colleague, R o n Baecker from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, in the codevelopment  of their digital tools, CineKit™ (Baecker) and WebConstellations™  (Goldman-Segall). Their goal was to integrate these two tools, thereby increasing their functionality for a variety of users in different contexts.  Funding This set of circumstances provided an ideal environment for collaboration between developers, educators, researchers and students. It also created a rich context in which to carry out my doctoral work. Goldman-Segall and I conceived a learning scenario, described in a successful U B C Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TLE) grant application entitled: Making Movies, Making Theories: Digital Media Tools for Educating Educators to Connect Experiences to Curriculum (Goldman-Segall & Beers, 1997), in which participants use  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  111  CineKit™ to create representations of their learning experiences in the form of digital movies and then use WebConstellations™ to share, annotate and critique these movies in relation to the subject being studied in the university course. The project outlined in this grant consisted of three phases. The first was to develop the learning model and tool, the second was to refine them in Goldman-Segall's video ethnography graduate seminar in July of 1998, and the third was to implement them in my modern language teacher education course in August of 1998.  Subsystem usability studies During the development of the learning model and tool, I visited the University of Toronto to meet with Baecker and his CineKit™ development team to learn about the digital movie tool and foster possible research partnerships with M E R L i n . I returned to Vancouver with an alpha version of CineKit™ and, in collaboration with three classmates from my human computer interaction graduate seminar, performed a usability study on the tool. In this study, three different diads were asked to perform a similar task with CineKit™ after having received different treatments of instruction. Based on the Subjects' feedback, as well as our observations, we submitted a list of thirty recommendations to the Toronto development team—most of which were incorporated into subsequent versions of the tool. A t this stage, WebConstellations™ was also in its early developmental phases, though it had the advantage of emerging from two intellectually grounded and technically sound tools: Constellations™ (Goldman-Segall, 1995), a desktop digital data analysis tool, and Points of Viewing™ (Goldman-Segall, 1998b), an on-line digital data annotation tool. Students enrolled in the video ethnography course, phase two of the grant, conducted an informal usability study on WebConstellations™ when they used it to annotate their  Graduate seminars included: Gaalen Erickson and Anthony Clarke's Doctoral Seminar in Teacher Education and Kellogg Booth and John Dill's seminar Human-Computer Interaction.  31  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  112  movies, though students enrolled in version 2.0 of my course, phase three of the grant, used Constellations™.  System iterations Though the bulk of the course content remained the same, the integration of these two digital tools, or subsystems, prompted a structural overhaul for version 2.0 of this modern language system. Outside funding and new partnerships with M E R L i n and the University of Toronto made it possible to attempt new projects in version 2.0 that were impossible to imagine in the earlier version. First, these modern language student teachers now had access to the M E R L i n and M U S E S computer labs, previously unavailable to them, to carry out their digital creations. Second, it provided a salary for a fellow graduate student in M E R L i n , Aaron Bond, to work along side me in managing the 30 students as they learned to use and debug the movie making software. Bond was an excellent resource, as he offered not only a great deal of emotional and physical support in carrying out the daily tasks of conducting a digital video ethnography of this scale but also insightful observations and feedback that informed the creation of the final version of this system. The methodological changes to version 2.0 attempted to eliminate the lingering influences from the instructionist teaching models into which I had been enculturated as a student. I replaced these with constructionist approaches, as manifested in assignment descriptions, course readings, and evaluation procedures. For example, assessment methods in version 1.0 placed a disproportionate weight on traditional genres of knowledge representation, such as written lesso'n plans and formal group presentations on readings. In version 2.0, I tried to stay more loyal to constructionist teaching methods, central to which was the creation and sharing of the students' own objects-to-think-with (Papert, 1980) in the form of three-dimensional identity objects and 30-second digital movies. The few substitutions I made to the readings reflected the evolving intellectual classroom culture. I eliminated the article which detailed the elements of a whole language  Chapter^.: Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  113  lesson plan, noting that it was redundant since the fall methods course had already prepared the student teachers in lesson plan creation. In its place, I inserted the introduction from Goldman-Segall's (1998b) book, Points of Viewing Children's Thinking, which provides a discussion on constructionism and the digital classroom culture and a excerpt from Tedick et al.'s article (1993), "Developing Language Teachers for a Changing World," which discusses the notion of language as object. The evaluation procedures in all versions of this system are based on pre-established criteria, but the responsibility for evaluating the assignments changed radically in version 2.0. In version 1.0 the students were only responsible for self-assessing 10% of their final mark, through self- evaluation of their participation. In version 2.0, the criteria descriptions were made more relevant to the students' experiences and peer and self evaluation constituted 6 0 % of the student's final mark.  1999: Version 3.0 Version 2.0 of this system served as a pilot study for the data collection for my doctoral dissertation, and as a beta test site for the systems and subsystems development. For my purposes, the installation of version 3.0 was the final phase in my data collection as well as the system and subsystems' iterative design process. Continued funding from a subsequent T L E grant, On-line Digital Data Documentation An Integrated Model for Teaching Media Arts and Sciences (Goldman-Segall & Grimm, 1998), made it possible to carry over  changes made to version 2.0 to version 3.0. Version 3.0 is the most robust of the three versions, in that it incorporates improved data collection techniques. First, it incorporates filmed focus group meetings, which, in addition to being useful to the students by providing a forum in which to reflect openly and exchange ideas, have provided a clear entry into their thinking processes. Second, it incorporates WebConstellations™ as a tool for sharing and documenting experiences and interpretations. These additions to version 3.0 greatly added to the students' individual  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  114  experiences as they engaged in the system, as well as in my interpretation and analysis of their processes. As Gould notes, the iterative nature of this design process acknowledges that, though final in the context of the project and the user, the latest version of the system can always be improved upon. In the following section, I will describe the specs and content for the system and subsytems as they were during the system installation phase.  Specs and Content for System SII Version 3.0  SII v. 3.0 aimed to promote in its users the development of a wider knowledge base and instructional techniques for language and culture teaching. Specifically, users were expected to become familiar with methods of teaching second languages and their cultures to develop an informed approach; become  familiar with constructionist learning  philosophies to create meaningful media projects; and learn the value of approaching a topic from multiple perspectives to gain insights into their own and other cultures and develop critical thinking skills. T o achieve these objectives, the system was set up to provide the users with four simultaneous cycles of exploration. The first cycle, Community Building, aimed to establish a trusting learning environment in which users felt safe to open up, take risks in their learning, and invite an exploration of selves and others. The second cycle, Active Readings of Texts, encouraged the users to make constant connections between their own life experiences and those ideas presented in the written, digital, and oral system texts. The third cycle, Cultural Artifact Construction, engaged the users in the hands-on creation of explicit public representations of their implicit cultural interpretations as informed by the ideas presented in SII v. 3.0. The fourth cycle, E-value-ation (Goldman-Segall, 1995) is a  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  shared process in which the users elicit the value up, down and across, of their own and each other's participation in the process and product of construction.  First cycle: Community building The first cycle, Community Building, aimed to establish a trusting learning environment in which users felt safe to open up, take risks in their learning, and invite an exploration of selves and others.  What is community? Successful learning communities are built by people who share an interest in a subject area, such as modern language education, but approach it from  different  perspectives and diverse experiences. Once gathered around a common goal, each member contributes to the overall enjoyment of the exchange by the manner in which she participates. Communication in itself does not lead to community, despite their shared linguistic lineage, and conscientious teachers play a pro-active role in establishing and maintaining a caring and supportive dynamic to ensure the benefits of this community are reaped by all its members. A successful group can lend support and maintenance, serve as a pool of resources and as an instrument to facilitate learning (Douglas, 1983, as cited in Hadfield, 1997, p. 11). Indeed, a positive dynamic, in the language classroom as in geographical spaces, is essential to the free exchange of ideas and personal resources:  A positive group atmosphere can have a beneficial effect on the morale, motivation, and self-image of its members, and thus significantly affect their learning, by developing in them a positive attitude to the language being learned, to the learning process, and to themselves as learners (Hadfield, 1997, p. 11). T o promote active participation, sharing and community building in SII v. 3.0, users were expected to present and/or participate in various activities. These included daily warm-up  115  Chapter^: Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  116  activities, the sharing of snacks and the application of ideas presented in the lectures and readings in the form of practical group activities.  Creating a positive classroom dynamic Warm-ups: In groups, students took turns leading the class in a daily warm up activity aimed at building trust and a better understanding of each other as individuals. I led the students in a model activity on the first day, and then each group was responsible for finding and orquestrating a ten minute activity that corresponded, in sequence, to one of the three themes. The first phase, Breaking the Ice and Building Trust, emphasized the affective side aimed at introducing group members to each other and creating a relaxed and supportive atmosphere in which to learn. Examples included leading a blindfolded partner through the obstacles of the classroom and divulging secrets and unknown qualities of each other's personalities. The second phase, Exploring "Self and "Other" and Creating Culture, encouraged  students to develop an awareness o f the different perspectives that comprise a culture by exploring the views and backgrounds of the members of their own micro-culture of SII v. 3.0. Examples included an interactive multicultural bingo and "Find someone who..." scavenger hunt. Users determined that, in their multicultural group, they sometimes conferred and sometimes differed in point of view, much like what happens in the larger society. The third phase, Towards Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication, built upon the trust established at this point to further explore and bridge personal and cultural differences. Students learned that a positive classroom dynamic is a result of support, negotiation and compromise. Examples included role plays, skits and debates that explored heated expressions of difference and cultural misunderstandings. Group-work: Engaged in the dynamic interlockings of the system, the group often participated in collaborative hands-on activities to explore practical applications of the  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v.3.0  117  theories presented in other fields of the interface. For example, lectures on conservative and liberal multicultural frameworks in which to teach modern languages, coupled with readings that address cultural stereotypes as portrayed in authentic media texts from the target language, were followed by interactive group activities that invited students to explore their own stereotypes. One activity from Talking Culture (MacNiel, & Wilman, 1996) begins lightheartedly by first soliciting class stereotypes on the driving abilities of different groups of Canadians, and then explores the ways in which stereotypes are originated and perpetuated. As a result of participating in this activity, students acknowledge that family, friends and media play a key role in maintaining this cycle. T o address the media's influence, I replicate an activity which explores intercultural differences, as outlined in a course reading from Kramsch (1993b). In this case, groups view a Snapple™ drink commercial which makes many stereotypical cultural references to N o r t h American schools and then create their own target cultural equivalents. These interactive activities, which the student teachers can repeat with their future modern language students, provide a low-tech forum in which to explicitly explore the implicit cultural assumptions that guide the decisions they make in choosing and interpreting the authentic texts they use in their classrooms. Though these activities address larger, culturally loaded issues, the entertaining nature of these exchanges fosters a relaxed environment which contributes to the sharing of perspectives and experiences and a gradual heightening of awareness of their importance.  Second cycle: Active readings of texts The second cycle, Active Readings of Texts, encouraged the users to make constant connections between their own life experiences and those ideas presented in the written, digital, and oral system texts.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  118  The media text capitalizes on a myriad of culturally significant references to transmit a message as efficiently as possible within a short time span and assumes a certain shared literacy and knowledge base amongst its readers. Each reader draws from her personal experience and resources to best interpret the text. Riv-Ellen Prell (1989), a critical ethnographer, highlights the active role personal experience plays in the acquiring and interpretation  of ethnographic  data when she  explains the  relationship  between  ethnographer and Subject of study:  [o]ne must know oneself through and in light of the other. The subject-subject relationship is itself a reflexive event in which a self is presented with the full knowledge of reporting, or constructing itself. The recorder participates fully in a parallel i f submerged frame, (p. 254). In critical ethnography, this personal filter, or bias, that allows the ethnographer to learn about herself and the other is not to be considered a hindrance to a valid interpretation of the events, but, rather, a carefully honed skill that the ethnographer uses to actively write and read cultural accounts. It is a skill to be developed in multiliterate writers and readers o f digital texts so they, too, can learn about themselves and the others in light of the digital representations they and the target language culture produce. The new digital age is changing the way in which media is distributed, confronting the reader with an overwhelming amount of data to interpret. Douglas Rushkoff, a popculture media critic, warns: "If we are about to enter an age of information glut, those who can wade through it will be people with the ability to inspect, evaluate, and discard a screen of data immediately" (1996, p. 51). Rushkoff believes the M T V generation, with its ability to interpret non-linear texts that appear chaotic to the illiterate, has developed a higher form of literacy than the linear readers. In effect, these new viewers are able to ignore the textual qualities that are irrelevant to their own situation and summon their life experiences in their own sense making of the flashing images, sounds and words that appear on the screen.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  119  The digital video ethnographer is in a similar quandry. Faced with an exorbitant amount of data to describe and interpret, she must learn to "wade through" the task topdown, inspecting, evaluating and discarding the information that does not fit into her personally meaningful knowledge system. Rather than amass information, she must use herself as a fdter to construct knowledge from the data. While completing her doctoral dissertation, Goldman-Segall (1990) was obliged to make sense of the vast amounts of digital information she had collected on video disks during her digital video ethnography on children's thinking styles at a computer-rich Boston inner city elementary school. T o enable her to use her ethnographic eye to select "chunks" of data, such as text, image, sound and video slices she determined representative of the entire body of data, she and her design team developed a digital tool, Learning Constellations™. In this metaphor, carried over into her more recent tools such as Constellations™ and WebConstellations™, these chunks of personally selected data become individual stars which are later grouped into personally meaningful constellations. Originally conceived to aid Goldman-Segall and her participants in her middle school research projects (Goldman-Segall, 1994), chunking is an activity that eventually transferred to her teaching in a graduate research seminar, Video Ethnography: Culture, Technology and Interpretation, in which I was a participant during my first year of doctoral study. O n the first meeting of this seminar, Goldman-Segall introduced the notion of chunking in ethnographic research and suggested we begin to hone our research skills by selecting a few chunks from the assigned readings we found to be intriguing, enlightening, or worthy of criticism. The first few weeks of the course we sent our chunks to Goldman-Segall, who later compiled and photocopied our excerpts for the next class discussion. Later, however, one of the students suggested we use a listserv to post our chunks directly on-line so we could relieve Goldman-Segall of the organizational task and have more time to read each other's chunks and comments. As the course progressed, this chunking activity transformed the  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v.3.0  120  class dynamic as we actively engaged with not only the articles but also our classmates' interpretations of them. Anxious to meet in person after our on-line sharing, we often delighted in the uncanny similarities and revealing differences of our choices. Later that year, several of us (Goldman-Segall et al., 1997) shared our experiences at the annual meeting of the A E R A (American Association of Educational Research) in San Diego in a theatrical performance entitled: "Selecting 'Chunks' For On-Line Theory-Building: A Case Study of a Video Ethnography Course." Having experienced first hand how this chunking activity encourages active and personally meanmgful readings of academic texts, I introduced this activity in SII versions 2.0 and 3.0. Due to the large number of students in the class, I limited the exchanges of chunks to small group in-class discussions. As in Goldman-Segall's video ethnography course, students are asked to identify two or three chunks, or quotations, they find intriguing, enlightening, or worthy of criticism from each of the assigned readings. However, the student then pulls these chunks from their context and copies them onto a separate paper along with an additional sentence or two explaining why she has chosen that chunk. These chunks are shared in small groups the day of the assigned reading. The motivation of chunking is to encourage the reader to read for herself, rather than for the author's seeming intent or teacher's projected expectation, by calling attention to only those moments in the reading in which the words resonate with her own life experiences. By reconstructing a second text with these excerpts, the reader moves to the role of author. Chunking is a timely metaphor for this post-modern era in which we lament the death of the Subject and question the notion of authorship. In this "age of mechanical reproducibility (...) the self is dissolved into so many bytes of ephemeral messages" (Arnowitz, 1994, p. 9). The act of chunking and sharing these readings educates the system user in the practice of parceling out that data relevant to her personal knowledge system. It allows her to seek and see the filters through which she interprets the qualities in the traditional and digital texts she reads and creates.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  121  Reflective summaries Chunking is a shared activity that encourages the students to exchange their interpretations and experiences with the text. It is an initial dialogue with the text and their peers in which they probe for connection and meaning and try out new intellectual concepts. As an extension to this ongoing activity, each student individually writes three reflective summaries, each based on any one of the eleven assigned articles. Two pages in length and submitted at different dates throughout the course, this assignment is evaluated by the instructor based on three pre-established criteria. First, the ideas of the article are synthesized in no more than a half page; second, key ideas are given critical consideration; and, third, personal reflections and anecdotes illustrate an insightful understanding of these ideas and how they relate to one's own teaching situation. For the user, the goals of this assignment are to further explore personal reactions to the readings in the chunking experience and engage in a reflective (Schon, 1988) analysis of how the concepts presented in the readings may apply to their personal teaching experience. This assignment aims to make evident to the user that readings from areas outside of her particular language specialty can inform her practice, a position previous modern language students in the U B C teacher education program did not readily hold. Secondly, it provides valuable data into the users' thinking processes as they struggle to make connections between the concepts explored in all domains of the system interface.  Reading content The system readings were selected on a basis of thought-provoking ideas, readability and mention of a practical application for the issue discussed. They are organized into five subtopics, which form a general ideological framework in which to base lectures and discussions. The first unit, Student teachers: Their Cultures and Reflective Process, invites the learners  to call upon their recent experiences to situate themselves in the cultural context of the teacher education course and determine "where they are at." The second unit, What is  Chapter^: Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  122  Culture and Why Should We Teach it?, explores psycholinguistic, sociological, anthropological, and multicultural concepts of culture and its traditional and future role in language education. The third unit, How Can We Construct Meaningful Learning Environments in Which  to Study Culture? presents constructionist and communicative models for creating meaningful digital learning environments in which to actively investigate course concepts. The fourth unit, What Materials Can We Use to Teach Culture and How Should We Use Them? is  central to the system content in that it critically examines the ways in which we select and read authentic media texts and exploit them for cultural exploration. The final unit, What Is the Students Role in Understanding Culture and What is the Teacher's Role in Integrating Language  and Culture? encourages teachers and students to take active and collaborative research roles in setting up meaningful and adventurous digital media learning environments in which to explore one's own and the target language culture.  32  Third cycle: Cultural artifact construction The third cycle, Cultural Artifact Construction, engages the users in the hands-on creation of explicit public representations of their implicit cultural interpretations as informed by the ideas presented in SII v. 3.0. The first project asks students to individually construct a three-dimensional "identity object" which represents the multiple facets: social, professional, emotional, intellectual, cultural, etc., that form an individual's identity. This artifact can take any form the creator wishes as long as it can be brought to class. This assignment is designed as a rapport building activity to promote sharing and contribute to building participant identity and group awareness of the various countries, cultures, and values represented in the class. For the second, and central, project, participants used a digital movie authoring and design tool, CineKit™, to make 30-second digital movies on their cultural interpretation of an object of  32  See appendix E for student-generated summaries of the course readings.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  123  their choice. Both of these assignments encourage the participants to think beyond the traditional forms of representation and to provide "objects-to-think-with" (Papert, 1980), for discussion on the relation between identity and language learning.  Fourth cycle: Evaluation up down and across The fourth cycle, E-value-ation (Goldman-Segall, 1995a), is a shared process in which the users elicit the value up, down and across, in their own and each other's participation in the process and product of construction. Digital video ethnographers are faced with the challenge of managing large quantities of data objects and media forms and organizing them into useful personal knowledge systems that can be shared with others. One of Goldman-Segall's digital ethnographic tools, Constellations™, addresses this problem by enabling the users to use a significance scale to e-VALUE-ate, or assign values to attributes within the media objects, so that users can see what data are important to a given task (Goldman-Segall, 1995a). She explains, "We need to be able to attach weights to the qualities of the data as we see, hear, or read them. Assigning weights will assist our visualizing which data are significant" (1995a, p. 29). SII v. 3.0 incorporates a variety of significance scales which aim to elicit the value in the processes and products of its users and developers. The evaluation procedures evaluate up, down, and across as they involve evaluation of the process and product of student, peer, teacher and developer. Inspired by anthropological perspectives that see culture as a process, this system gives significant value to the process of creation and learning. These evalue-ation measures include self-assessed criterion evaluation of the users' participation and group collaboration; peer-assessed criterion evaluation of the final movies; teacher-assessed criterion evaluation of the students' written reflective summaries, identity objects and WebConstellations™ comments; student-assessed criterion based evaluation of the course  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  124  and teacher's performance; and electronic and comment based evaluation of the two digital subsystems, CineKit™ and WebConstellations™ . 33  Margaret Riel (1996) observes, "one of the most important partfs] of any community is the valuing of their work and knowledge. The ideas and product must be in a format that can be shared, and others with access to this work need to determine its value" (p. 1). Assessment practices for traditional representations of knowledge are not readily applicable to the media artifacts produced in new media learning environments. Creators and viewers of media objects, therefore, need to develop common understandings of what qualities contribute to the overall value of not only the product, but the process as well. The criteria used to elicit the value of the movies and group process created in versions 1.0 and 2.0 of SII have evolved from a series of co-constructions between various creators and viewers. First, Goldman-Segall proposed an initial series of criteria she had developed after reflecting on calls from the scholarly community to address this need. Next, graduate students enrolled in the first phase of the Making Movies, Making Theories grant carried out in Goldman-Segall's Video Ethnography and Multimedia Classroom courses proposed their own versions, which Goldman-Segall and I used to refine her original suggestions. For my course, SII v. 2.0, which followed shortly after, I began the process again by first adapting the most recent criteria to the context of SII v. 2.0, and then encouraging the students to make adjustments as they saw fit. A s such, users helped create the criteria used to e-valueate the process and products shared in various domains of the SII v. 3.0 interface. The final criteria used to assess the process and product of participants engaged in SII v. 3.0 were, therefore, developed over a period of several years by determining the attributes that lead to successful digital media design teams. Selfandpeer: Self-and peer assessments constitute 44% of the users' final marks, with ro% attributed to overall participation, 16% to group creative process and 18% to the movie product. Group process criteria ensures the group manages conflict, disagreements and See Appendix B for evaluation criteria of the students' process and products.  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  125  tensions in a constructive manner; makes full use of tools, time and human resources; modifies its ideas and adapted to each member's suggestions; validates each other's viewpoints as decisions are made; and shares the spotlight with each other in the storyboarding phase, shooting of video, chunking of video, and final editing. The product criteria ensures the movie accommodates and represents a variety of viewpoints; captures a notion of culture which is not limited to "Big C " or "small c"; is engaging and encourages the viewers to explore content issues; stands on its own without further explanation; and tells a story and communicates it in a unique and original way. Teacher-student: I have retained some aspects of my conventional role as teacher to bridge the university and digital media cultures and maintain accountability on the part of the students. I am responsible for assigning the remaining 56% of the marks of which 3 0 % is attributed to individual written reflective summaries, 10% to the creation of identity objects, and 16% to comments on the WebConstellations™ data base. The criteria for the reflective summaries have already been discusssed. The criteria for the identity objects ensures the object demonstrates creativity and incorporates resources in a non-traditional way; conveys a clear message without additional explanation; and represents and/or embodies the multiple layers that comprise one's identity. Originally, I had not planned on formally assessing the WebConstellations™ comments but later, based on my observations of the users' comment writing practices early on in SII version 3.0, I saw the need to intervene in order to ensure a productive level of engagement on the part of the users. As a group, we established the criteria I used to evaluate these written comments. Comments were to be constructive; show critical analysis; show a connection to one's own personal experience; and illustrate an insightful understanding of the key ideas presented in this course. Tools: Evaluation of digital tool performance includes a running log of user feedback to CineKit™ and WebConstellations™ developers. Questions generally address usability concerns, such as the general intuitive nature of the interface, ease of use and functionality  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  126  of its features, and technical soundness. CineKit™ also incorporates a bug report feature which allows the programmers to debug instabilities in their software. A t the moment of a crash, the user is prompted to write a brief message in which she anecdotally describes what function she was intending to do at the time of the problem. This, along with a computer generated bug report which describes the state of the computer operating system at the time of the crash, were emailed to developers in Toronto. Student-teacher: As per university regulations, students completed an anonymous standardized criterion and comment based evaluation of the course and the teacher. Feedback from the students over the three year development phase have been invaluable as they informed the iterative design process of the system and my practice as teacher. Criteria include aspects of my teaching style and perceived interest in the course, competence in the subject matter and classroom management, clarity of lectures and evaluation procedures, and respect for students. They also address the relevance of course materials and assignments and degree of intellectual challenge provided in the course, the results of which have confirmed the users' perceived success o f the system.  Conclusions: SII 3-0 as a Systemfor Exploring Subjects-in-interaction Digital media's potential for changing the ways in which we make sense of the world cannot be ignored. Culture itself is determined by the media messages that it proliferates and, invariably, the messages the readers learn are deeply and profoundly affected by the media in which they are represented (Eisner, 1998; Landow, 1992; Rushkoff, 1996). Currently, the global boundaries we use to define our neighbors and ourselves are narrowing. Culture is not static and the various Subjects that comprise a culture are in a constant state of flux. As their interactions change, they redefine themselves as well. Goldman-Segall (1998b) observes:  Chapter^ Subjects-in-interaction v. 3.0  127  our tools are continually working with us to recreate our cultures, and our cultures are being reshaped by this interaction, which, in turn, reshapes our tools. The relationship is not one of cause and effect but interactionist: cultures, tools, and artifacts orbit around each other in all kinds of unusual patterns (p. 11). SII v. 3.0 is a system that enables the study of Subjects-in-interaction. It is a malleable framework that incorporates a plethora of media, tools and perspectives in which users can focus on the process of textual creation and inter-pretation as the event. It is a system with multiple cycles of inter-action, whose actors are constantly informing each other as they cycle and spin, twist and turn. As they come into contact, these elements merge and e-merge, transformed by the experience. A s such, the users, developers, texts and tools are in an iterative process of inter-pretation, as they read, write and re-present each other's intentions in mutating forms of media.  Chapter J : Products and Processes  Chapter 5  Designing Products, Interpreting Processes: Analysis and Interpretation  A Piagetian/ Hermeneutic Frameworkfor Data Analysis  Jean Piaget (1896-1980), a Swiss psychologist and pioneer in the study of cognitive development, has had an enormous impact on modern psychology and education. Best known for his research on the development of cognitive functions in children, Piaget's learning theory of equilibrium also informs our understanding of how we, adults included, continue to construct knowledge as we interact with the world around us. These very ideas are the founding principles of the various tenets of the constructivist movement which maintain a strong and renewed influence at all levels of current education practice. "The constructivist mode of learning promotes the paradigms developed by Piaget - that knowledge is invented and reinvented. In other words, knowledge is constructed and reconstructed by the learner" (Alcyalcin, 1997). Hermeneutic interpretations of texts also acknowledge the cyclical nature of meaning making inherent in Piaget's theories. The reader is not a passive object in the relationship, but one who actively calls upon her prior knowledge to help her construct and re-construct meaning from what is present in the text. The theory and methodology of Subjects-in-interaction  is informed by the concepts  shared by constructivist and  hermeneutic philosophies which explain how we make internal meaning from our interactions with external objects— whether they be in the form of digital movies, course materials or classroom discussions. As such, Piaget's notion of equilibration (Piaget, 1975)  128  Chapter 5: Products and Processes 129  and an hermeneutic notion o f interpretation, which both highlight the interactive nature of knowledge construction, provide a useful framework in which to analyze the data collected during this study. Vygotsky's (1986) Activity Theory, as described earlier in Chapter Two, is also a useful framework in which to examine the effects that interactions have on the development of higher thinking levels and his emphasis on language and communication as mediator of these interactions make his theories popular in second language acquisition circles. However, James Lantolf (2000) has drawn a convincing correlation between Vygotsky's theory of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) and Piaget's theory of equilibration. T o make his case, Lantolf presents Newman, Griffin and Cole's (as cited in Lantolf, 2000) interpretation of Vygotsky's theory. They call the Z P D the "construction zone" (p. 191) because "when people with different goals, roles, and resources interact, the differences in interpretation provide occasions for the construction of new knowledge" (p. 191). Lantolf finds this interpretation to be similar to Piaget's theory of equilibration in which "fdjifferent perspectives, knowledge, and strategies create cognitive conflict in the participants, and in the resolution of such conflict, in the context of social interaction, new perspectives, knowledge, and strategies are created" (Lantolf, 2000, p. 191). For the purposes of this dissertation, which builds on a constructionist learning model inspired by the ideas of Piaget and aims to identify and address the interactions which affect these student teachers' learning processes, not necessarily their acquisition of a second language, I have chosen to analyze this data within a Piagetian framework. In this chapter, therefore, I will explore Piaget's theories on cognitive development and equilibration as well as hermeneutic approaches to text interpretation and how they inform the theory and methodology of Subjects-in-interaction. I will then identify and examine various states of equilibrium and disequilibrium eight modern language student teachers involved in this study go through as they learn to design and interpret their own  Chapter y. Products and Processes 130  digital media texts in relation to the course topic—integrating language and culture with modern media. These teachers pass through periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium as they learn to claim the language class for themselves, develop new concepts of culture, develop the technical and intellectual skills to design and interpret their own digital media texts, and develop new methods to teach these changing concepts of culture in their evolving concept of the modern language classrooms.  Piaget's theories on cognitive development Piaget  believed  that  development—sensorimotor,  children  evolve  preoperational,  through concrete  four  levels  operational,  of and  cognitive formal  operational—in which cognitive structures progressively become more complex. In the sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years), children develop their intelligence through sensory experiences and movement. The child is primarily concerned with gaining motor control and learning about concrete objects. Once the child progresses to the preoperational stage (ages 2-7), she becomes preoccupied with mastering symbols, such as pictures and words, to represent ideas and objects. She can name objects and reason intuitively. Cognitive development during the concrete operational stage (ages 7-12) includes logic but requires physical examples to which the logic can be applied. The child begins to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers and relationships. Children in the formal operational stage (age 12-15)  begin to reason logically and systematically about abstract concepts. This allows  analytical and logical thought without requiring references to concrete applications. Although Piaget believed that all children eventually achieve formal operational abilities, some recent studies have contested this assertion. These studies show that many adults, up to 5 0 % in some reports, never achieve this final developmental phase, and continue to carry out their adult functions in the concrete operational stage of reasoning.  Chapter y: Products and Processes 131  Equilibration Though Piaget's findings of when children learn new concepts have at times been contested, his theories on how children construct knowledge as they interact with the world around them are still widely respected. Constructivist movements in secondary and higher education show that this concept is applicable to all learners, regardless of age. T o explain this learning process, Piaget adds his notion of equilibration to the three classical factors traditionally believed to contribute to cognitive development, which include: influences from the physical environment, innateness, and social transmission (Piaget, 1977, p. 838). Piaget believes that individuals, regardless of the cognitive stage they are in, pass through states of equilibrium and disequilibrium as they construct  and re-construct  new  understandings of the external world. Equilibrium is a temporary state in which the learner has struck a balance between her internal schema and the external event. It is not a resting point but rather a transitional stage from which to embark upon new discoveries. As the learner comes into contact with a new external source, whether it be an idea or physical object, she enters a process of assimilation in which she attempts to fit the new information into her existing schema by making connections to her own background knowledge and prior conceptions. Invariably, differences prompt the learner to leave this period for one of accommodation, in which she alters existing schemas or creates new ones in response to this new information. As a result, a new state of equilibration is achieved, from which the learner can again depart to build new knowledge structures. In this continual process, knowledge is constructed as the learner alternates between states of equilibrium and disequilibrium, as she assimilates and adapts new knowledge structures in relation to her pre-existing schema. This assimilation and accommodation of an external object into the learner's internal schema is the first of three types of equilibration Piaget has identified in cognitive development. The second is an equilibrium among the subsystems of the subject's schemes. "In reality," Piaget explains, "the schemes of assimilation are coordinated into partial  Chapter 5: Products and Processes 132  systems, referred to as subsystems in relation to the totality of the subject's knowledge. These subsystems can present conflicts themselves" (1977, p. 839). The third kind of equilibrium must be established piece by piece as the parts of one's knowledge is reconciled with its totality. There must be an equilibrium between the differentiation and the integration because this eventually leads to "new actions upon the previous actions" or "new operations upon the previous operations" (p. 839). Piaget considers this final type of equilibrium to be the secret to cognitive development which prompts a transition from one developmental stage to the next. Piaget credits the distinguished biologist, Weiss, and the cognitive scientist, Presburger, for inspiring the notion of equilibrium. In biology, the totality of a cell structure remains stable despite, and because, its elements are active. Similarly, in cognitive science, a system remains coherent and closed despite, and because, its subsystems are open and dynamic. Indeed, the success of the totality of the cell and system remain dependent on the active negotiation between its parts and subsytems. Likewise, the learner's ability to construct new knowledge, and thus carry out informed action, relies on her capacity to maintain the integrity of her schema while assimilating and accommodating new concepts. "[Ejquilibration is the search for a better and better equilibrium in the sense of an extended field, in the sense of an increase in the number of possible compositions, and in the sense of a growth in coherence" (Piaget, 1977, p. 840).  Hermeneutics Hermeneutics in education Traditionally,  hermeneutics  has  been  regarded  as  the  art  and  science of  interpretation of historical literary texts. Recently, however, as scholars adopt a wider interpretation of "text," hermeneutics is gaining more ground in educational contexts as an approach to construct meaning from knowledge representations in a variety of media.  Chapter y. Products and Processes 133  Education  itself  is a human  enterprise,  to  which  linguistic  understanding  and  communication are essential, and is guided by the interpretation and creation of texts and commentary. Hermeneutics, which draws on these subject matters to form its theories, can aid in building a deeper understanding of the learning process (Gallagher, 1992, p. 24). Historical hermeneutics hold important implications for intercultural language learning and teaching in that it provides a framework in which the learner can situate and develop her historical and cultural understanding of self and the linguistic other through the interpretation of media rich texts (Roche, in press). Central to hermeneutic interpretation is a process known as the hermeneutic circle, in which individual features of a text become clear in terms of an entire context, and the entire context becomes clear through the individual features. "This interchange of interpretations is a dialectical give and take between one interpretation and another, and it characterizes precisely the process of learning" (Gallagher, 1992, p. 38). Parallels can be drawn between Piaget's concept of learning, in which the learner rocks between stages of equilibrium and disequilibrium as she assimilates and then accommodates new ideas into her pre-existing schema. The notion of the hermeneutical circle does not originate with modern day philosophers of hermeneutics, however, nor with Piaget. Indeed, it is one of the oldest and most influential philosophical concepts. Aristotle and Plato both make reference to the fact that we learn because we have the ability to place the unknown within an already known context which gives it sense (Gallagher, 1992, p. 68). Nonetheless, two German philosophers, Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer (as cited in Eagleton, 1996), have been instrumental in applying this concept specifically to the interpretation of literary texts and offer insight into how the reader can call upon her prior knowledge, or "preunderstandings," to better understand the text and, ultimately, herself.  Chapter J : Products andProcesses 134  Hermeneutics of Being Heidegger believed that we, human subjects, are in constant interaction with others and the material world (Eagleton, 1996). This world is a reality which we can never objectify, since we are as much the creators of this reality as we are participants in it. Human existence, or Being, is a dialogue with the world and, he advises, the more respectful activity is to listen rather than speak. Language is not merely a means to communicate, it is communication itself. As such it forms the basis for human existence, for it is only through participation that human beings come to be human at all. As a result of our being in the world, we carry with us certain pre-understandings, or assumptions, about how the world operates. It is from these pre-understandings that knowledge departs. Understanding is the structure of human existence, for life itself is always a question of fresh possibility, of perpetual advancement and reinvention of self.  Historical hermeneutics Gadamer's concept of historical hermeneutics recognizes the importance and constraints historical perspective places on the interpretation of texts, in that we understand the present through the past, yet view the past from within our narrow viewpoint, based in the present (Eagleton, 1996). It sees history as a living dialogue between the past, present and future, and seeks patiently to remove obstacles to this endless mutual communication. The event of understanding occurs when our own historical meanings and assumptions of the past merge with those embodied in the text. This area of interception is what, in Gadamer's hermeneutics, constitutes meaning. It is an understanding aided by our pre-conceptions which are based in an historical, literary tradition. Understanding involves advancing the meaning of a text with what we bring to it, finding in it new potential. In this sense, understanding is a "coming home," in that we better understand ourselves when the past and present, subject and object, alien and intimate are drawn into our own realities.  Chapter 5: Products and Processes 135  Subjects-in-interaction Subjects-in-interaction, as applied to  modern language  education or,  more  specifically, the designing and interpreting of authentic media texts from one's own and the target language culture, assumes that all textual elements, human and non-human, are active agents in the social construction of the event. In Piagetian terms, the event is the process of discovery, as in Columbus finding what already existed, or invention of new concepts, as in the creation of the first airplane. W e learn by being in active contact with the world, by continually putting ourselves in contexts where we are confronted with new human elements, such as ideas, and non-human elements, such as children's building blocks. These external elements are the catalysts for our learning, from which our schemas can deepen and expand. Hermeneutic theorists say that we are part of the human and material world, both past and present, and, as a result of our social involvement, have constructed assumptions as to how these worldly elements, human and non-human, operate. These assumptions guide our interpretations of the world, through its texts, and can only become further informed through continual interaction and dialogue with their elements. Our role as humans is to consider these elements as active agents, each with a voice, and defer the parole to them so they can penetrate our consciousness. Subjects-in-interaction is both a theory and methodology for the creation and interpretation of authentic media texts which looks at the process of creation and interpretation of the text as the event. The learning process, in which one alternates from states of equilibrium and disequilibrium, moving back and forth between the known and the unknown, reconciling discrepancies between external objects and one's schema, or rejecting them altogether if they are too foreign to be accommodated, constitutes the essence of our human existence. Learning, for Piaget, is always a productive process since the learner is constantly achieving better, or optimized, states of equilibration. The temporary state of equilibrium is not the goal, but rather a starting point from which to re-initiate this active  Chapter y: Products andProcesses 136  process. It is not the state of equilibration that is primordial to our cognitive and emotional growth, but rather the disequilibration. Interpretation in hermeneutics is also productive and focuses on this iterative process of perpetually optimizing our understanding of the textual event. The hermeneutic circle engages the interpreter in an active process in which she alternately centers her attention on the discrete qualities and the global picture of the text. W i t h each reinterpretation, she finds new potential in the text, and in herself, since she develops an increased understanding of how the interactions between the individual elements, and her connection to them, affects the meaning she makes from the text. This interpretation is based on a merging of the reader's historical world views and assumptions and those of the author. What comes of this fusion is perhaps not a better understanding of the author's intention, since one can never presume to embody the sentiments of an other, but rather a heightened awareness of the reader's association with the text, her interactions with its qualities and understanding of their inter-relatedness. The modern day digital environment, with its expanded authoring capabilities, calls on the reader to assume new roles in her textual interpretations, thus requiring a new set of multiliteracies. Often the interpreter finds herself in the simultaneous roles of creator and interpreter, transgressing notions of time, past and present, culture, native and "foreign," and medium, traditional and modern. These multihteracies describe the reader's ability to interpret the connections between the information, the meaning making events, rather than the information itself. The flexibility to move from author to interpreter, known to unknown, alien to intimate, other to self, are skills that can facilitate intercultural hermeneutics. Subjects-in-interaction notes that in this dynamic meaning-making process, all Subjects, human and non-human, are agents in an ever changing, dialectical inter-action. In modern language education, intercultural mediation occurs at many levels. Any exchange in which the parties are confronted with differences, or even commonalties, in world view  Chapter y. Products and Processes 137  based on age, gender, ethnicity, medium or power discrepancies constitutes an intercultural mediation. These exchanges, carried out between the human, teacher, student and cultural "other," or non-human, such as texts, methods, or curriculum, can be integral to an individual's intercultural development — or not. Indeed, Piagetian and hermeneutic theories agree that external objects and concepts are key to optimizing one's understanding, but also that they risk being rejected i f determined too distanced from one's internal structure. Joerg Roche (in press) notes that, to assist their learners in developing keen intercultural interpretation skills, modern language classes need to challenge the individual's "at-homeness," in which she perceives the world based on her existing knowledge and rejects the "foreign." Often times this calls for outside help to break through the sometimes deceiving hermeneutic circle, since the cyclical "nature of the processes inherent in understanding makes it difficult for an individual to escape the weight of the gravity field exerted by their own culture's world view" (p. 33). The constructionist learning environment detailed in this dissertation serves as an example of the "outside help" to which Roche refers. Modern language student teachers assume the role of digital video ethnographers as they design their own digital media texts and interpret those of each "other," reflecting on their process and products in relation to the course content. In this investigative learning environment, participants are provided with different venues, such as focus groups, class interactions and on-line forums, in which to openly reflect on their learning process as they grapple with alternative concepts of culture, method and text in modern language education. Many of these reflections are recorded on film, others on paper, and others in an on-line data base. Data analysis of the learning processes of eight student teachers from version 3.0, supported by on-line excerpts of their movies and reflective process, is carried out within the Piagetian / hermeneutic framework described above, which examines moments of equilibrium and disequilibrium as  Chapter <;: Products and Processes 138  these learners assimilate, accommodate or reject their evolving concepts of culture, method and text in modern language education.  Individual Student Teacher Profiles I chose these eight student teachers to represent the more than ninety that participated in this study over a three-year period for two reasons. First, all were participants in version 3.0 of the study, which was the most complex and smooth running of the three systems due to changes based on lessons learned during the first two versions. Version 3.0 also incorporated the most robust data collection techniques with the addition of focus group forums and WebConstellations™. This additional data allowed me to form more complete profiles on their thinking processes. Second, each of these eight modern language student teachers chose to engage with one particular issue, for example: "self and other" (Paula), "tourist versus explorer" (Kevin), "filming perspectives" (Murray) or "connection and interaction" (Lesley). Each then continued to approach his or her self-selected topic from many different angles, repeatedly articulating his or her thinking processes in various forums and media for reflection and communication, such as in the  focus group discussions, written assignments  and  WebConstellations™ comments. The fact that each of these individuals connected with one topic to such an extent was a surprising result of this study. I did not encourage the students to choose one idea and follow it through, this was a spontaneous personal decision on the part of the individuals. What's more, I do not recall being aware of each student's personal journey at the time of the study, they only became apparent to me upon analyzing the data. I do, however, recall that these themes were common topics for reflection throughout the course. It is interesting to explore these particular eight cases since many of the remaining students also engaged with these themes in the data I collected, though perhaps to a lesser extent because  Chapter $: Products and Processes 139  they chose to grapple with several issues rather than one. It should be noted that these eight student teachers were not chosen based on ethnicity nor academic performance, but rather on their level of focus on their chosen theme and their capacity and willingness to provide a window into their thinking processes through clear and consistent articulation of their ideas. Through their stories we can begin to piece together the individual qualities of the text that is this project. Their interactions were many, their interpretations varied, but they all contributed to the creation and understanding of what this project was and what lessons it brought. The research questions that guided my interpretation of their stories in this chapter, as well as my conclusions in the following chapter, are: 1) What is the nature of the human and seemingly non-human interactions that occur when modern language student teachers are: (a) users of a system designed to promote multiliteracies and (b) digital video ethnographers of their own learning processes? 2) H o w might the use of digital media to create texts within this constructionist learning model inform these student teachers' notions of culture, or Subjects-ininteraction? H o w might this affect their future teaching? The different types of data called upon to construct these profiles is color coded to aid the reader in understanding its source. The reader is encouraged to consult the following reader's guide for clarification.  Chapter y. Products and Processes  14  Readers 'guidefor student teacherprofiles Viewing the videos  Media: The reader has been provided with two different media versions of this dissertation. The first media is a pattern-coded printed paper version, and the other a multi-media C D R O M . One is compatible with P C computers and the other for Macintosh. O n the P C C D R O M , movies for each student profile are within the media folder with the student's name (i.e. Anne's__Media ). Movie file names are indicated in the text box below the embedded image in the printed text. O n the Mac version, the viewer has the choice to either select the individual movies from within each student's media folder, as in the P C version, or to view the movies from within the W o r d document (i.e. "Aime^Stoiy"). Unfortunately, at this time P C versions of W o r d do not support embedded movies. a  w  Software requirements: The text document is in W o r d '98, the movies are in Q u i c k T i m e ™ . Both software programs are compatible with either Macintosh or Windows. T o view the videos it is necessary to install Q u i c k T i m e ™ 3.0, which is included on the C D - R O M . A newer version is available, free of charge, from the Apple™ website: http:/Avww.apple.com/quicktime/download/  Pattern coding system for data Final movies created by the design teams.  Video captured during Focus Group Sessions. Each student oarticiDated in one of five focus erouo sessions. 3 Video taken from mass media. •7 -* - * - * - *  - * -\" - * - * -• - • - •^1  Video taken during classroom interactions in multimedia labs or classrooms in. or outside of. the Scarfe buildinc. Video taken during W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ Focus Sessions, carried out near the end of the course.  Group  Excerpts from the student's 'chunks' and responses, taken from an article. Excerpts from the student's written reflective syntheses of an article. \  e  " i  Excerpts from my field notes, written after the day's meeting.  Comments posted via W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ in response to the video 'star' also included. Video is active, see indicated movie file to play.  Cbaptery Products and Processes-Anne 141  Chapter}: Products and Processes-Anne 142  Anne's Story  Anne shares her identity object. Movie File: idobjanne.mov  Anne has chosen to weave the cultural threads of her identity into an interactive cloth book which beckons the reader to explore its many pockets and folds to discover the borders she has crossed on her journey to Canada. Each symbol has been carefuhy chosen, each artifact safely stored, each cloth meticulously stitched. T h e more intimate aspects are buttoned into pockets, zipped into cases and hidden under flaps. When Anne describes herself in nationalistic terms, she tucks away the legal documents proving her RussianGerman family heritage in a pocket, and places the seal of the farnhy crest of her new British husband under a flap. She reasons these are the aspects of herself that she carries deep inside her, that are not readily visible to the external eye. The internal and external spaces that Anne incorporates into her identity object are a fitting metaphor for the issues she grapples with in this study. As she engages in the reflective forums and constructionist projects in this course, Anne comes to realize that process-based, or internal, concepts of culture, teaching, and learning are imminently more rewarding than the product-based, or external, ones that guided her previous practice. This  Chapter*;:Productsand'Processes-Anne 143  transformation is evident in her self-assessment of her teaching qualifications and her opinion of constructionist teaching methods. Anne immigrated to Canada at a young age and spent her childhood co-constructing concepts of Canadian culture through her interactions with the children of fellow recent arrivals. She is unsettled by her perceived lack of knowledge of her heritage language and culture, German, which she will be teaching, as she explains in this focus group discussion:  As demonstrated in this exchange, Anne's misgivings about her ability to approach the topic of culture in her language classes is shared by many of her classmates. Other students, like Anne, often equate time physically spent in the target language culture with their qualifications to teach its culture. Interestingly, those students in this study who have spent time on student or work exchanges in the target language culture do not show greater confidence in their abilities to teach culture than those who have not. When Anne admits she would like to "know everything" but would settle for being "knowledgeable," she does not relieve the burden she has placed on herself in terms of professional preparedness. Indeed, there is little difference between the two levels of expertise she has proposed, as  Chapter*;: Products and Processes-Anne they both measure culture in terms of stored information, or products, and are never fully attainable. This attitude may be attributed to Anne's lingering concept of teacher as expert in the language classroom. In this role, the teacher embodies the level of mastery, in terms of language and cultural proficiency, which the students should aim to achieve.  In recent  approaches to language teaching and learning, however, many students find the acceptance of 'interlanguage' as a valid medium for expression and discovery to be a Hberating and motivating alternative. This term, first introduced by Selinker (1972), has been appropriated by other second language theorists and is used in a variety of contexts.  Ellis (1994)  determines interlanguage has come to be understood as the "system of implicit [second language] knowledge that the learner develops and systematically amends over time" (p. 354). In the context of the corrmiunicative second language classroom, students are encouraged to use the target language, regardless of their level of proficiency, to engage in meaningful interaction. They are no longer expected to postpone this level of engagement until native like mastery, an unattainable goal for most and distant one for all, is achieved. I propose such a philosophy towards the exploration of culture can be equally empowering for student and teacher alike. Students and teachers use their "interculture" to engage in meanmgful cultural exploration, regardless of their cultural background or time spent in the target language culture. In the process, a great deal can be learned about one's self and the target language other. Anne is already coming to accept this notion of interculture, as she begins to redefine her notion of culture to include process-based understandings. She explains in this excerpt from her focus group session that she is begirming to examine the more internal, everyday workings of a culture, rather than its external performances, such as "parades:"  Chapter*;: Products and Processes-Anne  145  Having redefined her approach towards culture, Anne begins to reflect back on her teaching practice during her practicum and worries that she may have given her students an overly external, and hence foreign and strange, view of the target language culture:  Near the end of my practicum, my sponsor teacher and I planned a German lunch with traditional and some not so traditional foods: breads, meats, cheeses, sauerkraut, sausage, salad, and dessert. In the classes which followed I discussed the various cultural differences associated with food (i.e. going to the bakery in the morning for fresh bread/rolls for breakfast). It seems I only succeeded in helping the students realize how different German culture is, and "strange" in their words. As a result, I can see the value and need of first discussing Canadian culture and also the cultures of our individual backgrounds. This was especially the case in my German classes, because my students all came from a variety of backgrounds, and had themselves immigrated to Canada at some point in their lives. In my German 11 class, no one had been born in Canada! I think it would have been really helpful for them to reflect on their birth cultures, Canadian culture and then learn about German culture. Then German culture would have been another culture, not a different, disconnected culture (Anne's Reflective Synthesis #1, on MantleBromley, 1992).  Cbaptery Products andProcesses-Anne 146  In this reflection, Anne begins to see the wealth of cultural resources in her students' multicultural backgrounds. She shares a great deal with them in that she, herself, is an immigrant and still continues to simultaneously learn about the target language and Canadian cultures, as shown in this focus group exchange:  Ililil Anne & Anju decide if Canada has a "national look." Focus Group # 1 , May 2 8 , 1 9 9 9 Movie FUe: national_look.mov  Though most outsiders would mistake her for a native-born Canadian anglophone, based on her  external physical appearance and language abilities, Anne's carries within her a  multilingual and multicultural identity.  Unfortunately, Anne believes this compromises,  rather than enhances, her inter-cultural teaching expertise. Despite her self critiques on her teaching effectiveness during the practicum, Anne has proven herself to be capable of overcoming more traditional concepts of method and materials in the language class. Like most of the students in this study, Anne had learned about recent communicative language teaching approaches in her Fall methods course and developed many teaching materials based on authentic texts. She was excited to use these new techniques on practicum, but, like many student teachers reported, was discouraged from doing so by her sponsor teacher. This is explained in this video except:  Chapter^: Products and Processes-Anne 147  As she reports, Anne is able to eventually incorporate almost all her teaching materials into her classes, despite what she perceived to be strong signals to the contrary. What is interesting in Anne's case is that she persevered in integrating her authentic texts, whereas other students reported giving up when faced with initial hesitation from their sponsor teachers. It is unclear whether the sponsor teachers were expressly adamant about their refusal to allow these materials into their classes or whether the student teachers allowed an initial hesitation on the part of the sponsor teacher to sway them back into performing like the traditional teachers of their educational experiences. Towards the end of the course, Anne is determined to claim the language class and curriculum for herself and looks forward to implementing her newly formed philosophies in her own teaching:  Chapter*;: Products and Processes-Anne  In my own personal experience on the practicum, the German course was very strongly driven by the textbook. Even though the textbook >was supposed to be communicative, it still presented artificial situations,"and consequently lacked authenticity. M y sponsor teacher insisted that I use and follow the textbook, therefore I found myself driven by the chapters in the textbook. There was little time to discuss German culture. I find the classroom which Tedick describes exciting. Once I have my own classes, I would like to set up language learning ana cultural learning side by side with authentic texts, 9 0 % target language usage, and lots and lots of authentic materials. Unfortunately, I don t have much of an idea of how to go about doing so, other than what I have learned at U B C . I know the basics of lesson planning, etc., but how do you put it all together and have it work?.' I guess 111 nave to find out for myself (...) However, all these changes seem so radical in comparison to the way I was taught in high school and from the way I endea up teaching on my practicum, that I question whether I would be able to create the second language classroom that Tedick advocates (Anne's Reflective Synthesis #3, on Tedick et aL, 1993).  Despite her will to apply these ideas to her own teaching, she still struggles to reconcile the discrepancies between these contemporary process based approaches she has deemed to be more effective and empowering, and the more traditional, product based ones she has housed within a schema formed over a life long study of language and culture. As she confirms, she is a beguining teacher who has not yet been able to claim the language class for herself. A new level of equilibration will only be possible when she does. This tension between Anne's prior and evolving concepts of culture in the language classroom also affect her view on knowledge representation, which originally prizes product over process. Anne struggles to fit her new appreciation for constructionist projects into a more traditional paradigm for language teaching. In one group classroom exchange, Anne and her classmate, Layla, try to uncover the aspect of constructionist projects that make them so meaningful. Layla argues that it is the frustration level involved but Anne suggests it is perhaps the amount of time spent with the actual object:  Chapter^: Products and Processes-Anne149  Anne & Layla discuss what makes constructionist projects meaningful. Group discussion on chunking in class Movie File: firustration_construction.mov  In another scene, however, it is this very element of time that makes Anne wonder if they are feasible in the language classroom:  Chaptery. Products and Processes-Anne In the previous conversation, Anne has concluded the amount of time invested in creating a project is what determines its value, yet this, irorucalry, is what devalues these projects in a system in which language learning is measured out in increments to be tallied up at the end of the day. Anne is a creative and meticulous artist, who clearly values and enjoys the process of constructing artifacts to share. She is proud of her identity object, widely regarded as the best "product" in the class. Yet Anne, herself, admits to her tendency to go for the "A," which may have affected her choice of medium in which to construct her object. She is already an accomplished seamstress, having sewn all the dresses for her wedding, and this may have given her the confidence to undertake this assignment.  It is only in the movie  making process, which obliges Anne to work with new and imperfect tools under various human and technological constraints, that Anne comes to have the most radical transformation in her trunking process. Anne enjoys being part of the software development process and finds it exciting to hold  an  insider's  perspective.  She  comments  on  this  more  than  once  via  W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ . In her first comment, she responds to a movie in which I explain to a design team the implications of the students' work for the C i n e K i t ™ developers:  WebConstellations^ Beta Testers! Asme Hickling on 6/26/99 at 5:18:18 P M ' . It-was interesting being part of a beta .test site. I never knew .such things, existed "before I took this class. It gave mean idea o f how computer programs are developed • < and it was pretty cool to be a part of that. Luckily my •: group didn t have too ^many problems -with-Cinekit; we Just weren't -able to polish our movie as much' as we ; .wanted to. I-think I would have been really frustrated if • - we had actually lost sections of it due to; the program ': .crashing. I must admit though, when Cinekit: did crash, r..-. we didn't know why and were pretty.frustrated so we "- didn't type in very many comments.  1  Chapter<>: Products and Processes-Anne In her second comment, Anne responds to her classmate Nazlynn's observation that she has gained a lot of confidence in herself by having experienced success in using media tools that previously mtimidated her:  WebConstellations ™ 1  confidence builder Aime Hicklingon 6/26/99 at 4:51:11 P M ,v 1 It; has been exciting to be-on the "bleeding,;edge^of • technology (as Maggie. calls it) but it certainly was . v . frustrating at times as I'm ^somewhat of a perfectionist. : • I can relate to Nazlynn uvthat it was great to see that . we could actually learn to use all the .equipment: quite easily That's pretty exciting and then you actually " construct somethmg with it as well. I .would definitehV like to learn more, and feel that I would need to in order to use this in the classroom. 1 :  Movie File: nazlynn_confideiicejnov  In both of these comments, Anne makes reference to her frustration at not being able to make her product as perfect as she would have liked due to the limitations of the beta-version of CineKit™, since system bugs limited the usability of its features and made it prone to crashing.  However, it is this very frustration that leads Anne to  discover aspects of herself that may have hindered her own learning. This is made clear in her comment on a scene in which I encourage the students to work within their constraints to finish their movies so we have time to follow up with meanmgful discussion on the process via W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ :  Chapter$: Products and Processes-Anne „ t  \  1 i *  WebConstellations™ 1 « J  Lower your Expectations!  V  Anne Hkkting on 6/26/99 at 5:40:15 PM  I think our group was going to ask for an extension as well, except that we d heard , i ./ that others had a u ^ d y been answered in the negative^ . ' I remember toe spent one day at Muses [multimedia laboratory in the Faculty of Education] until 6:30 and at the end of that day I felt braindead! I think we : -maybe wanted to accomplish too much, I guess weVe all been conditioned to strive for the "A." Sometimes I think we do ourselves a disservice by doingsoywe'd robably learn a lot moreif we just sloweddown a-;-, trie bit. I think:weVe:heen.brainwashed:into.valuing , the product more than the process.  E  t  In her transition from product to process based approaches to learning and teaching, it appears that Anne has learned some valuable lessons that will continue to inform her practice when she claims her language class for herself. Anne has learned that she can look to her multilingual, multicultural self as a valuable resource for the exploration of culture. She has also learned that cultural exploration is a long and difficult process which consumes a great deal of time and, as Anne has admitted herself, is all the more meaningful because of it.  1  Chaptery. Products and Processes Layla  Layla  Layla's Movie "Fine Grind"  Chapter^: Products and Processes-Layta Layla's story Layla is a bi-cultural and bi-lingual Spanish teacher whose family immigrated to Canada from Spain when she was a young child. Through relatives and frequent visits back to her "homeland," her study of the Spanish language and culture has been a life-long process. Layla's borderland identity has undoubtedly contributed to her interest in cultural studies, culminating in an undergraduate degree in anthropology. This degree makes Layla a cultural expert in the eyes of her classmates, who often look to her for guidance on the ideas and methods presented in the course as they pertain to language teaching. Layla, however, does not share this high opinion of her skills, as she still admits near the end of the course, as she has throughout, "I seem to have more questions than answers in regards to this idea of culture" (Layla's Reflective Synthesis  #3, on Fischer, 1996)).  Though she is versed in the theories of anthropology and envied by her peers for her language skills and cultural knowledge, she, too, is struggling to reconcile the dual concepts she holds of culture as they pertain to anthropology and language teaching.  Prior  conceptions of language teaching, reinforced in her practicum experience, have prevented Layla from readily applying process oriented anthropological notions of culture to her own teaching practice. In the course of this study, nonetheless, Layla eventually comes to reach new levels of equuibrium, and disequuibrium, as she appropriates new process oriented concepts of culture as they apply to the teaching of modern languages. Layla's parents have served as the main source for her linguistic and cultural education, speaking the target language at home and providing her with interpretations of its cultural symbols and meanings. Her family interactions carried out in a non-dominant language of the society in which she lives have, no doubt, made her associate culture with family and country of origin. This may explain why she chooses to "chunk" and respond to this quote which offers a different perspective on culture:  1  Cbapter$: Products and Processes Layla 155  Chunk from Goldman-Segall, 1998, p. 11: "Culture is not merely the sum total of what we inherit from our parents and social groups; it is what we create with others in the context of our lives, with or without various technologies." Response from Layla: This is a very interesting way of looking at culture. One that I've never thought about. Culture really isn't just what we've received from our parents. It also includes other things like the society in which you live and the people that surround you (not including your family). I've realized that culture is everything that surrounds a person and not just where they come from.  Further churikings and responses also concentrate on notions of culture, making evident her efforts to reach a deeper understanding of its role and implications for her teaching. Examples follow:  Cbaptery. Productsand' Prvcesses-Layla  Chunk from Kramsch, 1989, p. 327: "A coherent undemanding of another culture includes "the central a code of (that) culture plus an awareness of its socioeconomic and regional variations." Response from Layla: I agree with this idea as I feel that understanding another culture is not just knowing the language and a little history. Understanding culture includes all aspects of that society. Looking at the political, economic and sociaL They are all required to fully understand a culture.  Chunk from Kramsch, 1989, p. 341: "However, knowledge of cultural facts and events is of limited use, even in a pragmatic sense, i f it is not accompanied by an awareness of the larger ideological context." Response from Layla: I feel this is to the point. Just stadying culture on the surface is of no use to anyone unless they also understand the intricacies of that culture. Studying culture means moving beyond the artifacts and historical events and actually digging deeper into the ideological perspectives of the culture.  Chunk from Kramsch, 1993, p. 349: "The current emphasis on the relationship of language and culture in language teaching is prompting many educators to reassess their definitions of both language and culture, and to declare culture an indisassociable component of language teaching." Response from Layla: Once again, this statement just backs up the claim of many that language and culture cannot be separated. Without language, culture is missing something and vice versa. I agree with this because I feel that they are one in the same.  Chunk from Kramsch, 1993, p. 349: "Culture was a sightseeing curiosity or the stuff" that dairy life is made of." Response from Layla: This is just another way o f saying that culture is everything in society. T h e politics, economic, social aspects, language. Everything life is made of. Ibeli eve that to learn a culture you have to look at all its angles and perspectives.  1  Cbapter$: Products and Processes-Layla It is interesting to note that other students do not pursue the concept of culture to the extent that Layla does, even though it is the topic of the course. Others choose different themes, each meanmgful in terms of their own personal quest for understanding.  Despite  Layla's background in anthropology, she does not seem satisfied to rest with the definitions of culture she has encountered thus far. She continuously chunks and responds to the author's descriptions of culture, comparing them to her own ideas to either confirm or disconfirm them for her own use. Although she acknowledges that culture is "everything in society," which can not be understood by knowing "the language and a little history," Layla continues to hold the belief that a "real" culture does, indeed, exist and, given the skills and enough class time, it is possible to teach it in a language course. In her reflective synthesis on Tedick et al's, article on language as object, Layla laments:  As a Spanish teacher and anthropology major, I feel that the study of culture ."J is foremost in the study of a language. Without going into depth into the. "real" culture, the language being studied is decontextualized. I found this to be one of my greatest challenges during my practicum. H o w am I supposed to teach the "real" culture of Spanish speaking countries when there remains; • such a vast amount of grammatical learning to occur within a short thirteen week period? It is of paramount concern to me that although I retain a strong belief in the value of learning and teaching a cultural reality, I was onh/ able to integrate such an endeavour in merely one of my lessons. This leads me to question how strongly I believe in teaching culture. I thought that by using authentic material within my grammar lessons, the cultural significance would be obvious. However, when I read this article it increased an awareness in me that perhaps I had failed to teach "real" culture to my students. I realized I was guilty of teaching only the superficial, often stereotypical perspective of culture, and that cultural relevance was largely transparent. I was doing the exact thing I vowed never to do (Layla s Reflective Synthesis #1, on Tedick et al., 1993).  As Layla probes deeper in her journal writing, she discovers for herself that her inexperience as a teacher and prior conceptions regarding the nature of language class, in which the rules of grammar monopolize the curricula at the expense of even the most limited cultural exploration, are what present the greatest challenges for her:  1  Cbaptery Products and' Processes Layla 15 I^jring my practicum I was largely concerned with one thing...passing. T o do this I nad to do my best as a teacher and in so doing it was safer and more confidence bunding to use techniques that I was comfortable with. As a result of this, I realize that my failure to incorporate more cultural lessons was a result of my discomfort with the process of teaching cultural material congruent with the material necessary to effectively complete the grammatical component of language education. I was taught that in a language class you learn about grammar and how to use it orally and written. The whole idea of culture and teaching it as a part of language education was new to me, thus it could be said that I was reluctant in the attempt to teach it. However, by reading this article, my eyes have opened to the fact that the teaching of culture is as important, if not more so, than the teaching of grammar (Layla's Reflective Synthesis #1, on Tedick et ah, 1993).  Layla had received some instruction on culture teaching with authentic documents in the fall methods course and was enthusiastic about experimenting with this approach on her practicum.  However, like many, if not most, of her classmates reported, her sponsor  teacher was not eager to allot class time to this exploration if it usurped the place of grammar:  Chaptery Products and Processes Layla 159 It is interesting to note in this video excerpt that the other focus group participants, while ustening to Layla's story of her hijacked culture lesson, vacillate between empathy for her disappointment and self-motivated interest learning which grammar point she was able to extract from her documents. Though Layla explicitly points out that "the point of the lesson was not to do grammar,'' the conversation immediately turns to talk about what grammar point she presented and how she was able to adapt it to the various language levels of her students. If grammar talk is able to take over this focus group conversation, despite its explicit focus on the use of authentic texts for teaching culture, it is not surprising that student teachers are confronted with almost insurmountable obstacles to exploiting their authentic texts for cultural underetanding in more traditional classrooms. Layla soon begins to consolidate the process oriented concept of culture she holds for anthropology and the product centered one for modern language education during the making of her movie. She is excited about the potential of the media she is using and sees how it can espouse the previously divergent interpretations of culture for her new professional life. Fischer's (1996) urging to use available media to turn our modern language students into explorers, rather than tourists, as cited in Hellebrandt's article on humanistic approaches to the use of multimedia intrigues Layla. She observes:  Chunk from HeHebrandt, 1996, p. 252: "...without access to and use of modern technology student's cultural learning resembles that of a tourist." Response from Layla: I never thought about it this way but this is very true. Using modern technology can really open up many doors into other cultures that we never had before. This new technology can really push us into becoming explorers as opposed to tourists. New information and different perspectives can really help towards becoming an explorer.  Cbaptery Products and Processes-Layla Layla reveals that she enjoys the frustration involved in the debugging process inherent to constructionist media projects and believes that this level of engagement makes them personally meaningful and, hence, memorable. Via W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ , she shares in the excitement of a classmate who has overcome a challenge in the creation process:  WebConstellations™ capturing excitement Layla D'Emanuele on 6/16/99 at 10:50:32 A M ; i felt the exact same way that syb/ie felt when I first ^captured my video, this is an amazing technological v , - mnovation. when l think about the process l went i through to get my movie on web constellations l am . r,,.;:yery proud of myself.,before I took this class I '•^thought I was a technological idiot, but now all l-can >think about is my movie and I want to show •; -I everybody :what l accomplished; in this sense i: feel as v-iriexqited as syhae did when she first:captured a part-of: her movie > ;  :  1 1i  In an earUer comment Layla writes, "Studying culture means moving beyond the artifacts and historical events and actually digging deeper into the ideological perspectives of the culture." In the movie making and reflective processes Layla has learned a great deal about her own perspectives and those of her classmates, as revealed in this closing focus group session carried out at the end of the course in which the individual design teams discuss the lesson learned from making their movies and commenting on them and the process via W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n s ™ :  160  Chaptery. Products and Processes-Layla  Layla discusses the importance of seeing the process to understand the product. WebConstellations™ Focus Group, June 16,1999 Movie File: product_end_result.mov  Though she has yet to settle some issues regarding the integration and language and culture in her teaching, these may only be resolved through personal experience in her own modern language classroom.  Nonetheless, Layla has moved "beyond the artifacts and  historical events" of the culture in which she has been immersed and has learned, through looking at the process in which they are created, to uncover and give voice to the perspectives of its members.  Chapters: Products and Processes-Paula  Paula  Paula's Movie: "Cars 'R' Us"  Cbaptery Products and Processes-Paula Paula's Story The daughter of Portuguese immigrants, Paula's life story is similar to that of many of her classmates. She has maintained her mother tongue and cultural ties through community and family interactions and this experience has fueled her passion for discovery of other cultures. A French and Spanish specialist, Paula takes an equally enthusiastic approach to her language teaching and professional development. She greets new discoveries about herself and her field with sincere pleasure and a contagious laugh. Paula struggles with the dilemma of how to explore the target language culture without perpetuating the stereotypes found in media. O n the first day of her practicum in her home town of Kelowna, British Columbia, Paula asked her students to share with her the first thing that comes to their minds when they think of Spanish. She recounts this exchange and the students' surprising response with her focus group mates in this video clip:  16  Chapter^: Products and Processes-Paula  T h e "Taco B e l l D o g " to w h i c h the students referred, is a c o m i c a l chihuahua w h o speaks either i n E n g l i s h w i t h a M e x i c a n accent o r Spanish w i t h E n g l i s h subtitles.  H e is a  marketing construct, aimed to sell tacos and burritos, w h i c h taps i n t o the shared N o r t h A m e r i c a n concept o f L a t i n A m e r i c a n culture. These ads have been carefully constructed, their target audience  meticulously researched.  T a c o Bell™ is, after all, a $4.8 b i l l i o n company with  6,500  stores  serving  m i l l i o n customers a week. chihuahua's  success  1  has  approximately  55  N o t surprisingly, this been  phenomenal,  inspiring his o w n website , complete w i t h video 2  Taco Bell Dog as love sick Romeo. Movie File: quieroi.avi  clips o f commercials starring the T a c k B e l l D o g , as seen below, and a " T a c o D o g M a l l " i n w h i c h visitors can select from a line o f merchandise including  windchimes, tee-shirts, snack boxes  and talking plush toys. This  chihuahua  evokes  "endearing"  images o f gun-ready revolucionarios, all powerful dictators and love sick R o m e o s . Taco Bell Dog as a revolucionario. Movie File: quier05.avi  generations  watching  these  T o the older television  commercials, they revive fond  A s reported on: http:/Avww.nucrosoft.comAvindowsAvindowsmedia/en/archive/casesmdies/tacobeiydefault.a sp Accessed from the W o r l d W i d e W e b January 5, 2001. 1  These video clips o f commercials and the T a c o B e l l M a l l can be found at: http:/Avww.everwonder.com/david/tacobelldog.html Accessed from the W o r l d W i d e W e b January 3, 2001.  2  1  Chapter*;: ProductsandProcesses-Paula childhood memories of Saturday mornings spent watching cartoons of the gun  slinging  "Speedy Gonzales," which have since been removed from circulation due to the less than positive image they perpetuate of Mexicans in specific and Latin Americans in generaL For many of the younger generations, these ads present a seductive characterization of a distant culture. Kelowna is a city in the interior of British Columbia which does not have a large Hispanic community. As such, Paula was keenly aware that, for these students, she was the main, if not only, source of contact with the Spanish speaking world.  She was teaching  students who had never taken Spanish before and therefore felt it was her responsibility to present her students with other cultural viewpoints than the "Taco Bell Dog." She invited native Spanish speakers to her classes and created cultural Hstening lessons based on authentic texts such as songs and videos, as she had learned in her Fall methods course, but she is still not satisfied with her success when she begins this course in the summer. This problem continues to nag Paula, and she reflects on it in light of Kramsch's  (1989) article on  the use of media materials:  This article poses questions that I asked during my practicum and still do — how do we teach culture without continuing the biases and stereotypes inherent in the minds of the students. For instance, when I asked my students what the Spanish culture meant to them, they responded by saying "The Taco Bell D o g or burritos and tacos. These of course are fabrications and commercialization manipulated by media in order to capitalize on a stereotyped culture. W h e n you turn on the T V and observe a dog with a stereotyped Spanish accent selling burritos and tacos, it is no wonder that students attribute such images to the culture. In my opinion, the role of the teacher is to teach culture in such a way that dispels these myths and fabrications (Paula's Reflective Synthesis #2, on Kramsch, 1989).  Paula has identified the dilemma early on in the course and makes it the focus of her personal discovery and growth. As she completes her first constructionist assignment, the identity object, and engages in a series of course lectures on the notion of self and other and its potential for stimukting intercultural reflection and understanding, she continues to  1  Chapter<<j: Products and Processes Paula construct a personal undeistanding of how these ideas can inform her own teaching.  This  video excerpt is an example of a class lecture in which the notion of self and other is applied to the projects the participants are constructing and their implications for teaching:  Maggie gives an overview of how the class assignments can be used in the student teachers' future teaching to learn about self and other. Movie File: overview_mag.mov  Once Paula has assimilated the concept of self and other into her pre-existing schema, she undergoes what can only be described as a "cultural revelation" as can be witnessed in this excerpt from her focus group session:  167 Cbaptery. Products and Processes-Paula  Paula now grapples with this new found notion of self and other and applies it to all aspects of her learning, not releasing it until she has accommodated it completely. O n one level, Paula applies this notion to the use of classroom materials, such as textbooks and authentic texts, and on another to constructionist learning activities.  In response to the  video clip in which Kevin admits to using only the textbook for teaching culture, Paula agrees this practice is, indeed, common in the schools.  She offers a plea to her fellow  student teachers to break free from this cycle and suggests the notion of self and other as an alternative:  WebConstellations™ Textbook Culture  Paula Alves o n 6/16/99 at 11:16:10 A M I agree that in the majority of the schools culture is taught using cultural notes in a textbook. W e need to break free from the vicious circle of stereoypes and biases. I believe using the notion of self and; other is an effective method to combat these preconceptions.  Chapter^: Products and Processes-Paula  In another W e b C o n s t e l l a t i o n ™ star, Paula views a conversation between several focus group members who debate the quality of cultural materials in the textbooks they've been using on practicum. They go on to admit that, had it not been for their involvement in this course, they might not have questioned their practice with regard to selecting and using teaching materials. They would have assumed teaching primarily from the textbook was, "what teachers do." Now, however, they have developed the confidence to incorporate their own materials and demand more reflective tliinking from their students. Paula adds to this discussion with her written comment in which she confirms the points they make and suggests emphasizing the notion of self and other to aid them in reaching their goals:  Taclsy Texts*?::;::;:^ V. T " • * T 7 • * * ^ ? on 6/24/9? a^lli57:4lJi!M ."'v?: " f " " ^ !  i m a A l  e  V  ;  ;;  ,:S^ ° d  are  sruaents have, tbese, mcorrect notions that the v . F r e n c h forv example only eat baguettes or that the I " Spanish only eat tacos. I trunk it is acceptable: to  .  ;  \t !;!:f^ :f^ ^ :  r  t^,^'i.^;^i^1  "  - -•«-» - w ™ ^  ; ^ incorporate these texts, but not emphasize^ them as the only perspective. Teachers ... should i always • "^corporate more than one perspective i n the classroom and as well, emphasize the notion o f self and other. This will most certainly not abolish these misconceptions but it will certainly shed a fmore broader and multifaceted vision ofcrulture - - ^; • •  Textbooks are an integral part of the modern language curriculum and can be excellent guides to understanding various grammatical, lexical and even cultural points. Having authored various forms of textbook related materials (see Ascarrunz Gilman, Zwerling Sugano, & Beers,  1993; Beers, 1997; G i l  & Beers,  1993),  I am keenly aware of the  collaboration process between publisher and practitioner/author and how the cultural  1  Chapter^: Pro