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June 7, 2001 Academics In Brief



Education reception

Dr. Robert Slavin, chair of the Foundation, Dr. Bette Chambers, director of the Early Learning Program of the SFA Foundation and an adjunct professor here, and Dr. Philip Abrami, director of the CSLP

Photo by Christian Fleury

Success for all

A reception was held June 1 to celebrate a major grant to the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, based in Concordia’s Department of Education. The research undertaken here, which will develop technological tools to enhance a literacy program, is part of a $9-million project with the Baltimore-based Success For All Foundation.

In the photo are Dr. Robert Slavin, chair of the Foundation, Dr. Bette Chambers, director of the Early Learning Program of the SFA Foundation and an adjunct professor here, and Dr. Philip Abrami, director of the CSLP. The reception was followed by a piano recital by Anna Szpilberg, artist-in-residence of the Leonardo Project.

For more on the Success For All project, see our May 24 issue.









Sociological stories from Montreal

Sociology Professor Louise Gauthier, an urban ethnographer, was so impressed by the work of some of her students that she undertook to publish their findings in a highly readable book.
Stories from Montreal: Ethnographic Accounts of Life in North America’s Francophone Metropolis was edited by Gauthier and her students Tammy Saxton and Chana Cohen.

It features 11 accounts of research done by the students. Each student has applied sociological theory and methodology to a specific subject, usually an experience they have had or a people they have met.

For example, Mathieu Hypolite writes an absorbing and sympathetic account of taking a recruit course with Royal 22nd Regiment. Emilie Tittley writes about working in a low-end retail clothing store.

Victor Schinazi uses a sociologist’s lens to focus on the cultural and economic gap between two neighbouring districts of greater Montreal, Town of Mount Royal and Park Extension. Audrey Ottier interviews Latin-American immigrants about where they fit in in Quebec, and is frank about what she learned in the process of doing her first field work.

For information, contact Louise Gauthier at 848-2140 or Tammy Saxton at tammysaxton@netscape.net.

Workshop held for Asian scholars

Education Professor Dennis Dicks reports that in early May, the Joint Centre for Asia-Pacific Communications Research held its annual workshop for Asian scholars visiting their counterparts in Canada.

These visits are organized by the Association for Canadian Studies, with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa. Professor Dicks explained in an e-mail:

“The Joint Centre is responsible for a series of workshops ‘orienting’ the scholars to research practices in Canada, and helping them establish contact with experts in the field throughout the country, including several at Concordia.

“This year, we welcomed one Mongolian and 16 Chinese researchers representing a wide spectrum of disciplines, and all parts of the subcontinent. Concordia’s part in the orientation focuses on applications of communications technologies in research activities.

“Reflecting rapid change in China and Mongolia, in the last few years the workshops have migrated from basic e-mail skills to advanced Web search techniques.”

Le Zhong, a student in the MA in Educational Technology (and a graduate of Beijing’s Institute of Aerospace and Aeronautics herself), led the workshop, with the support of the Centre’s co-directors, Professor Dicks and Claude-Yves Charron, of UQAM.


Patsy Lightbown

Patsy Lightbown

Farewell to Patsy Lightbown

Friends and colleagues from the TESL Centre gathered on May 23 to celebrate the 27-year career of Dr. Patsy M. Lightbown.

She has been an outstanding teacher at Concordia and a leading researcher in the field of second-language acquisition (SLA). Over the years, she has been chair, graduate thesis supervisor, one of the principal investigators in the Centre for the Study of Learning Processes, and president of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL).

She was on the editorial board of numerous SLA journals, and was has been consulted by many educational organizations such as the Quebec Ministry of Education, school boards and parent-teacher groups. She also was often quoted in the media on language-learning issues.

This year, the Alumni Association presented Dr. Lightbown with the Award for Teaching Excellence.

Well-liked and respected by her colleagues and students, Patsy will be greatly missed. With the TESL Centre, we wish to wish her well in all her future projects.