Donald Freeman

DONALD FREEMAN, School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont.

( There is a faint sound of music in the background throughout the whole interview, but it is very faint.)

Well, I think that it used to be thought of that the skills of language teacher education in the schools of language, and the knowledge base of teacher education and the knowledge base of language teaching were one and the same.  And that essentially if you just understood what was involved in good language teaching, then what would be involved in good language teacher education would follow from that.  But Karen Johnson and I have ar-been making an argument for about five years now that it, in fact we need a broader idea of what’s involved in the la-in the knowledge base of teacher education.  And we took about three things: we talk about knowledge of learners and learning, by which we don’t mean children in classrooms for learning language, we mean teachers who are learning to teach children in classrooms.  So, knowledge of teacher learners and how they learn, knowledge of schools and schooling, and knowledge of teaching, and within teaching we include subject matter and content and teaching processes.

I think to be at a place where we’re beginning to articulate what the knowledge base is of language teacher education, is: it’s both exciting and it can also be a bit myopic.  The exciting part is that it’s really very much of a, almost of a guild situation.  There’re, as you say, maybe five people that are really five or seven people that are, have been very active.  The numbers expanding constantly which is exciting. The myopicness is that unfortunately, because there are very few people, we have to, I think, be very careful not to be entirely self-referential.  And that’s why, es-constantly relating ideas to fields that are outside of language teaching and language teacher education, I think, is very important.  One of the real downfalls for a long time, I think, in language teacher education, was that we didn’t reference general teacher education literature at all.  And so we sort of reinvented the wheel all the time.  And, I think, we’ve sort of outgrown that and there is-us a new crop of people coming in who have done their doctoral work, have begun their careers coming out of a, a much more of an education base, which is good.  I think it’s brought in a lot of, of knowledge.  And the other thing is that it, it goes the other way, it is beginning to inform general teacher education much more about second language learning and second language learner and those issues.  And all you have to do is look at the dynamics, or sort of the demographics of where things are going to know that that’s absolutely critical.

I think one of the issues about our history as um, as an area of activity, I won’t even call this necessarily a field, because I think there are a lot of issues around that, is that we, we began as language teachers really with a---two disciplinary sets of parents.  One that came from applied linguistics and before that; linguistics, a, as an effort to define subject matter, and there’s sort of an offshoot of that family which is---which the literature tradition.  Because for a long time language teaching was about learning to read literature, so therefore, you learned a second language in order to read that language’s literature.  And that applied linguistics, linguistics and literature formed sort of one branch, if you will.  The other branch of our parentage was around learning and learners, and that came from psychology, and from a lesser degree, sociology. Whe-in the field of our i-the parentage of our ler-our, our background in learning we then have second language acquisition which is sort of grown up as the field that has supported a the way that information from se-psychology has entered into the field of, of second language learning and teaching.  In the area of applied linguistics and of literature we don’t yet have the same level of um, how should I put it, of um, a, a mediating sense of what the knowledge is as it moves into the classroom and it starts to get worked on by teachers and learners.  So that’s led us to the idea that, for example, the way that we make somebody a language teacher is by having them a: learn the language, but if they already know the language, if it’s a mother tongue, then they need to learn about the linguistic systems of the language.  And it they know that, then we say they’ve learned the content of their teaching.  In fact what’s absent from that is what we are actually knowing about how people learn and use second languages, which is that it, it, they don’t use them as linguistic systems, they use them as interactive and interpersonal and social systems.  So, in fact, I think we really have to move our knowledge base much more to one that is founded in the present of teaching and learning and the interaction of teachers and learners. And I think that will happen over time, and it’s sort of an evolutionary kind of um, unfolding.

Well, I mean, a couple of things.  I agree with the---it is true that I think foreign language education broadly a, rit-ritlarge (?) in the United States has been a, more an issue of monolinguals moving into another culture and therefore it has often been more of a class and uh---e---socially it’s been e---it’s been associated with people who were more in an upper class setting.  Tied to that is the fact that we’ve been demonstrably a, unsuccessful at teaching people second languages, and so that we’re really a, that group has really not benefited from, from much of, of, of, the work of teaching and learning about second languages.  Um, against that backdrop then you have the changing demographic of schools and who kids are, and the fact that um, sort of, as the west moves east, um, we, we have more, and more schools where, where um, kids whose mother tongue is English, or not English, outnumber those whose mother tongue is English.  Um, and I think where that’s all heading is the fact that we are needing t---we’re gonna need to move increasingly to focusing on how language works in education.  And so, if I were to guess, I th-I would say in fifty years what’s gonna be really central in any teacher education, whether it’s to learn to be a secondary school science teacher, or to be an elementary school teacher, or even a, you know, college or junior college a, professor, is some depth of knowledge on how language functions in education.  And that leads you immediately into whose language and issues of ownership, of power, of access, and so on.  So I think we’re gonna move from sort of language a---for languages sake, to language as, as a medium or of, of a vehicle, and then that opens up a whole other set of a, questions and issues.

Well, I think, I think a number of things, I think teachers need to know a---the language is social before it’s individual, which um, if, if you look at your experience as a human you see that very quickly. But most of what we’re taught about how language functions, even when we’re taught, for example, to learn to write in our mother tongue, a, the emphasis is so much on individual practice and, while it is increasingly on social practice, it still is not fully there.  I think the issue of really emphasizing the social dimension of language, language learning and language use, is, is one thing.  I think the uh- another thing that, that teachers need to understand is that um, language can appear to function before it is actually functioning.  And so, in the sense that uh, when you look at children using language they can sound like they know what they’re doing even before the concepts are fully formed and in an interior a, you know, internalize.  So it’s, it’s the, the Godskin (?) notion that it is, you know, interpersonal before it’s intrapersonal. And that has a whole lot to do with the way you organize your class as a teacher, what kinds of things you do. It has all sorts of implications for assessment, how do you judge whether people have actually leaned something.  It has all sorts of implications for how you use students experience and prior knowledge in classrooms.  I think just taking those two points about the way language functions and learning, open up a wide range of possibilities for teachers, not just of second languages, but teachers of, of any subject matter.

Well, I think the issue of, sort of, who is the---who is primarily responsible for English language learners in a public setting a, is one that is handled well or badly depending on where you look.  When it’s handled well, the short answer is everybody, all teachers, and in fact, everyone in the system does.  And it’s handled well, I think, in systems that have embraced the fact that second language learners don’t come in with a deficit, but come, come in with a wide variety of skills and, and a background knowledge that can be woven in to teaching and learning in classrooms and benefit everybody.  A, it, it, it is handled well in systems which have the support and the understanding of how to work successfully with diverse learners, so the teachers don’t feel they’re constantly behind the eight ball and failing at that task.  When it’s handled badly, I think it is-a-English language learners are seen as, essentially, the responsibility and the domain of ESL teachers, and essentially, ESL teachers jobs are to preparing English language learners and then sort of let them go, push them out of the nest into the real world of, of, of, of the mainstream classroom.  All sorts of reasons why that doesn’t work, take one is: a, social relationships in classrooms.  You’re an average third grader, you’re in your homeroom, you’ve got friends, you play with them on the playground, you may not communicate with them particularly well because English isn’t your mother tongue, but still they’re your buddies and you, you, you have some sort of social relationships.  Out of that you may get pulled, if it’s a pullout ESL design, to spend an hour or two a day with a teacher, who, yes, is more conversant with your issues as a language learner, but still it’s a wholly other social structure.  So you’re, on the one hand, isolated from your friends, on the other hand the learning that you should be doing in that classroom doesn’t stop when you’re pulled out.  And so, in fact, this notion of, I think, in, in models that I would say are operating not well, a, are models in which e-the English language learner is the responsibility of the ESL teacher and not of, of everyone else, so the instruction is very, very um, vulcanized, it’s very separated.  And in fact, kids sense that set of a----isolation and disconnection I think.

Well, uh, I uh, I think I’m not alone in saying that we’ve been unsuccessful, I think iii---it’s sort of widely recognized in, in you sort of, you have the, the most people’s comments, let me start again.

Most people’s comments when you ask them about their language learning experience, if they’re a monolingual a, English speaker in the U.S. a, who basically encountered language learning (cough) second language learning through school, is: yes I studied French, Spanish, fill in the gap, German, whatever, a, usually a northern European or romance language um, and I can’t do anything with it, I can’t say anything with it.  I think the reason that we’ve been unsuccessful, there, there are basically um, two of them that I, I, I, I think I would point to.  The first is that we’ve misconceptualized the curriculum, and that is now changed largely through the uh work of the American Council on Teachers of Foreign Languages, the, the new ACTFL  foreign language standards that were developed and disseminated about three or four years ago, that move solidly toward proficiency based teaching and defining the various a areas that, that learners need to become competent in um, really move us completely out of the old box of grammar a and into a different, a different way of looking and the-and what language is.  So that’s one reason we’ve been unsuccessful.  The other, I think, has a lot to do with the way in which um, race and ethnicity and socialization have functioned in our schools.  And so in e-ii I can remember in high school studying French a, and having a student teacher who came into our school who had been a Peace Corp. volunteer in Senegal. And I can remember a discussion between her and the French teacher over whether or not her French, meaning the Senegalese French that we were being exposed to, was going to somehow corrupt the French that we were learning.  Now, there are more French speakers outside of France then there are in France, so arguably the, the, the version of French that we were learning was a minority version if we, if, if, if we stuck to, sort of, the, the, the French version of French.  Um, so one could only really construe that conversation as really being about social relationships, about ethnicity, and, and, and, and race in the world.  And I think we-that happens all the time, you have the Spanish class going on in one part of school and you’ve got Latino kids who are learning ESL in another part of sc-a of the same school and those two events are very rarely put together.  You know, simply look at the way jobs are posted.  The number of times that an ESL Spanish job is posted or an ESL French job is posted, are minimal because ESL is seen as one set of things and foreign language expertise, maybe you don’t have to be able to teach French and Spanish, but that’s a different set of expertise’s.  So I think those two things, the fact that we have really needed to shift our notion of what language is in order to  learn it in a school setting, and that we have to really broaden our view of what language is for.  Those two things I think have been probably principally responsible for our lack of success. 

I think what, what the, what, what a good language teacher knows about language teaching and learning that will help her a, to be effective and what could help a mainstream teacher working with English language learners to be effective is essentially that language e-a is social, it’s imbedded in sets of social relationships before it’s an individual undertaking.  And that language is primarily a meaning making activity; it’s not a form-based activity.  And so therefore activity ee-ways of working in the classroom that emphasize meaning are going to be more engaging and more lastingly successful than those that focus on form alone.  And that also language learning is developmental, and that, in fact a, people develop through language learning in normative ways, but at their own paces.  And so to make statements like, for example, a, you know after two years any English language learner has to be able to function in the mainstream, is a political statement, it’s not a research based statement, and it’s also a, certainly not a pedagogical one. 

Well, you know, I th-I think language teaching and learning, English language teaching and learning for English language learners, in U.S. public education, falls victim to the, th-to, to, to, to a pattern which is widely prevalent which is that people with very little um, research based knowledge make decisions about how teaching and learning ought to operate in schools.  Um, and you know, we’re not, certainly, alone as recipients of that.  I think the thing tha-th-th a, perhaps makes it more pernicious in the case of a, of English language teaching, a, is th-a are two things.  One: the fact that um, often these policy a----like, for example, two years and out, a, the Unce initiative in California, are manifestly operating out of a, I think, racial and socioeconomic assumptions, and are, are not at all geared to the best interests of ang-a of language learners, according to the situations.  I think the second thing that make it pernicious it that a, because people function successfully in English without having been through formal schooling, those in policy making positions who want to argue that English language instruction is not necessary, can point to a wide variety of situations where people have been successful without, without instruction.  A, and that’s a little bit like saying a, well so-and-so got, you know, got over a serious disease so therefore medical intervention is not necessary.  I mean there are always a, cases that, that, that are um, beyond the norm.  A, and even large numbers of cases that are beyond the norm, um, but I don’t think that that justifies um, poor policy.

Um, I’ve, I’ve argued that there are basically three of th-e-the practitioner knowledge is characterized by three things.  First: that it’s contingent, by which a, I mean, e-e-it-a doesn’t exist in sort of absolute prepositional forms, but a, tends to exist in, in forms that are very much linked to mult-multiple factors.  And those forms are often stories or narratives, ‘I did this because of this, this, and this,’ for example, if you ask a teacher why she did something.  Let me back up; let me start that one again.

Um, I’ve said that practitioner knowledge has basically three characteristics that it is contingent, that it is contextual, and that it’s developmental.  Um, taking each of those in turn, by contingent I meant that it, it, it, practitioner knowledge functions in relation to lots of other things.  So, for example, when you ask a teacher why she does something, as a researcher, you often are greeted with a narrative account of why things have happened the way they did.  That narrative or storied nature of langu-of-of-of teacher’s knowledge or practitioner knowledge is, I think, evidence of the fact that it is contingent on multiple things.  The second thing is; by talking about it being contextual, e-the knowledge always sits within a set of circumstances, social, geographical, physical, and so on, and also context over time, which is perhaps another way of talking about the third characteristic that’s developmental.  That essentially what new teachers know and what experienced teachers know are very different things, and that we tend, in teacher education, not to pay attention to any of those things.  We treat practitioner knowledge, in teacher education; we address practitioner knowledge as propositional, in other words, the one size fits all, here’s how you do it, here’s a principle you have to operate off of.  We teach it-we-we treat it as a-contextual, which we tend to call as theoretical, here’s the way we do it in theory, and we treat it as, essentially the same set of understandings will suit, suit someone who’s beginning a career, mid-point in a career, or basically coming to the end of a, a, a perhaps a brilliant classroom career.  And, n-no other profession, I think, make the assumption that knowledge is serving earth, and stays in the same form throughout a-a life.

If we-if we take practitioner knowledge as being conte-e-contextual, contingent, developmental, then the characteristics of effective teacher educationer, or teacher education that addresses those aspects of practitioner knowledge would mean a couple of things.  The first would mean that it needs e-th-the teach-good teacher education needs to always make reference to the context in which the teaching and learning will happen. And that’s not the context of the university classroom, that’s not the context of the inservice seminar.  That’s the context of the classroom where, as th-our British colleagues like to call it, the chalk phase, you know, it-it’s a where the teaching and learning is actually happening.  Um, the second think is that, I think, a, good teaching in-goo-good teacher education will take into account the fact that in presenting ways of thinking about teaching, those ways of thinking always need to be linked to multiple issues and factors.  Put it simply that there isn’t one simple way of doing it, isn’t one right answer. A, and the third issue that I think affective teacher education would, would, would want to take on board, is the fact that preservice teacher education and inservice teacher education, in fact, need to be dramatically different.  In fact, we’ve functioned, according to a concept of what I’ve called in some of the stuff I’ve written, front-loading.  That we can give a teacher the knowledge and skills she’ll need for a career in her preservice training.  Um, that makes no sense if, in fact, practitioners knowledge develops in context, in social relationships with learners, and with colleagues and peers.  So, I think it’s high time that we really look at teacher knowledge a-as differentiating itself throughout a career, which means that the interventions of teacher education need to be equally differentiated to address the different characteristics of, of, of where learners, teacheral learners, are in their careers.

A, the idea of teacheral learners is actually, is actually a term that comes form Mary Kennedy who directed the Michigan State University study in the mid ‘80’s called a, Teacher Education in Learning To Teach, which was a very large scale study that looked at the efficacy of different, what we would call mainstream or general education teacher educational designs, and that th-that study was one of the studies that really helped to establish the notion of teacheral learning as a central thrust a, in teacher education. Now you might say it’s awfully ironic, how could teacher education, how could teacher education have functioned for so long without the notion that teacheral learning was the basis, the basic process on which it was, it was a based. Um, the fact is that in fact teacher education was, has been, and continues to be in many settings, far more about labeling people as competent to do things, then about helping them learn how to do those things.  And, for that reason, you didn’t need to think about a learning process because that really wasn’t what you were about.

Uh, the notion of articulation is one that, that I think is actually, maybe the central function of teacher education.  uh, and I mean articulation in a couple of ways.  Um, one is the notion of being able to explain what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re doing it.  So that means that you need t-concepts and terms and a discourse, if you will, of professional language that will allow you to parse up activity and talk about it.  That’s one thing you need.  Simultaneously, the other thing you need is you need a group of people to whom that makes sense.  If you’re a preservice teacher, and you’ve learned that professional language, in the setting of a university, away from classrooms, you are naturally going to have learned a language to articulate your practice that makes sense to people in that setting, the university, your perservice colleagues, your professors, but may not make sense to people who work in schools.  So you have the experience of going into a school as a preservice teacher, talking about what you’re doing, and having a lot of people going: ‘yeah, yeah right.’  I mean, ‘but let us, let us tell you how you really need to do it here, make sense, I’m sure you learned that in, in  your classes over at the ‘U’ but, you know, the way things really need to happen, or the way things do happen here is thus and so.’  So the notion that, that articulation is both a social and a cognitive process simultaneously is why I think it’s so sensi-sens-central to affective teacher education.  Um, it means that you need a set of social relationships through which to articulate and you need a common language through which to articulate.  And both of those are, if you will, sort of design constraints on what good inservice teacher education needs t-to be.

That’s another level, yeah, sor---one, one argument is that teachers need to ar-be able to articulate what they do in order to create communities amongst themselves that understand and can explore and probe and broaden practice.  Uh, the other argument is that teachers need to do that articulation because in fact, it contributes to a knowledge base that accurately represents the activity as it is understood and participated in by those who do it.  Basically we have a colonial set of relationships in most education where the curricula of, that teacher use, the concepts that they are expected to draw on in their professional knowledge, the research that is supposed to animate their work, all of these things are produced for them and outside of classrooms.  And they are in se-essentially the implementers of other people’s ideas about what ought to happen.  Of articulation taken to it’s natural life, or natural extension, means that essentially teachers reclaim that territory and start to talk about a, in more than words, but in activity and publication and representation of what’s important.  Um, that’s, I think, absolutely central to transforming a, effective e-teaching, and making iiiii-to make teaching more effective.

The value-----the place of community in learning to teach is important because it has been so much overlooked in the way most teacher education is structured.  Most teacher education is structured as essentially in individual undertaking in which the person who’s learning to teach needs to acquire a certain knowledge base, a certain set of skills, needs to be able to demonstrate those things, carry those things out in an individual classroom behind closed doors with a set of learners.  So the individuation of teacher education has been a central assumption in the way in operates.  Um, if, in fact, practitioner knowledge depends on a contingent understanding of circumstances, depends on contextual understanding of all the elements that are present, both a, interpersonally and socially in, in settings, and if it develops over time.  Then what we’re talking about is knowledge that is very much imbedded in social circumstances.  That knowledge can’t be developed individually and then plugged into social circumstances; it has to be developed through social interaction.  Uh, and through a the emerging set of making sense to people who are interested in the same kinds of issues.  That’s one reason why community is important.  The second thing is that essentially, teacher’s work has been, ever since Dan Lourdey kind of a cla-coi-coined the phrase ‘the egg carton profession’, you know each teacher is an egg in her own cell in the in, in, in, in, in, the egg carton.  A very isolated and autonomous undertaking and while that has had it’s advantages, it has also, I think, contributed to the lack of-relative lack of power professionally you teachers hold in defining what the knowledge is from which they do their work.  So communities become important in a broader sense because they become both the producers and the recipients of knowledge that matters to, to the people who are in them.  A, if we don’t think of ourselves as a professional in the community then we don’t produce knowledge that matters to us.

I guess the way I would------when we talk about realistic expectations I think it’s very important to always put them in context.  A, we have always gotten into trouble by making statements a, about teaching and learning that are abstracted from context.  So, if you look, for example, at the Teasel Standards which talk about a, what, what English language learners can be expected to know and be able to do, those standards make really clear statements about both the intellectual and cognitive work that, that the kids can be expected to do, and also the kind of social relationships that you want them to develop and maintain.  I think that is critical in defining----that, that’s a critical contribution that ESLA has brought to thinking about language and education.  Up until these arguments were really put forward forcefully and, and taken on board in schools, I think then-the-then the thinking had been in, and it continues to be in many settings, that essentially the issue is get kids up to speed with the second language and then start giving them the content and they’ll, they’ll, they’ll proceed from there.  In fact, that’s a holding pattern, that’s a massive holding pattern, so ESL programs ha-have run the risk of being sort of the O’Hare airport of aaa-of the schooling system with, with kids just sort of in-in a holding pattern for two or three years, while theoretically they’re learning English, while the rest of their classmates are going on their merry way ii-in content, and eventually will be plugged in.  The things that are being interrupted there are two things: one is the social relationships a-you kids need to form bonds with the other kids they’re learning with and if they’re constantly being pulled for whatever reason those bonds can’t be formed.  The second thing is that they are being, in a sense, gypped of the subject matter that they’re missing because no one’s going to go back and teach a sixty grader third math because he was pulled out of class in order to learn English.  So I think what’s fundamentally important, from the point of view SLA, is the content and language people use as inter-related and the teaching of content and the teaching of language had to be scaffolded and inter-related, and further more that social relationships are viewed as the milieu in which all of that happens.

I th-----to me the critical issue in making education more effective for language, English language learners, is tied to an equally critical issue in making education work for lots of kids.  And it’s an issue that yo-we might say is so self evident that it doesn’t even bear mentioning, but I, it does bear mentioning because it is so critically a, omitted in what we do in teaching.  And that’s the fact that good teaching depends on and centers on learning.  Now, we constructed a set of relationships in this country and we’re not alone, other countries in the world have done the same thing, in which teaching is seen as causing learning.  So, good teachers are those who cause their students to learn more, better, deeper, what have you, and bad teachers are those that don’t make, cause their students to learn as much.  Think about that formulation, if you’re a teacher who has been relatively successful, felt yourself successful, worked well in a classroom of third graders who are primarily mother-tongue English speakers.  And then, little by little, you start getting kids who are mother-tongue English speakers.  So you’re faced with a bunch of learners who you cannot make learn. Which means that essentially you’re a failure as a teacher, there is no place to go to talk about that, because that is viewed as professional ineptitude.  So what is absolutely critical in making education work for English language learners, is that we recognize that teaching does not cause learning.  Teaching has a lot to do with what happens in learning, but it is not a causal relationship.  In the work that we’re doing in a, a major professional development project, the teacher knowledge project ii-a in Vermont, we’re finding that when, when teachers engage in the proposition that teaching doesn’t cause learning,  and they move to the place of looking at how their teaching relates to learning, there-there’s an enormous liberation, in the sense of, of, of a failed accomplishment goes away, but in it’s place comes a constant engagement in what learners are doing.  So, my a, commitment would be that teachers who are faced with a more diverse set of learners in classrooms have significant support, which means support that helps them really make sense of what’s going on, doesn’t tell them how to do it, but helps them sort out what the issues are, that they have sustained support, not the one shot workshop that says: OK, here’s how you do it, you’re English language learners now lets just go back to what we’re doing, but support that keeps them engaged and offers them sustained engagement in that issue, and they have social support, which means that they connect with other teachers who are doing the same work.  Because teaching is lonely and it’s isolated and it’s even more so when you feel things aren’t going well. And there isn’t a whole lot of benefit in talking to the staff from- about what’s not working.  As a matter of fact, you do too much of that and somebody gets wind of it and they’re beginni-beginning to wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing.  So, I think, if we look at professional development that is significant, that it engages serious issues, that does that in a sustained way and does it in a way that created communities practice social foundations for examining the issues of learning in classrooms, then we will really create education that works, not just for English language learners, but works better for all kids.  But it’s ii-ti-ii it continues to amaze me how we can put together an educational system that doesn’t have learning at the center.  And learning is not at the center, performance, achievement, grades, standardized test results, all of these very product oriented measures are at the center, but not the actual learning that is going to make a difference in kids lives.

How’s that for an Al Gore, George Bush kind of statement?

I think it’s important to talk a little bit about why it is that um, often in schools, ESL teachers and mainstream teachers find that they have very little in common, and very little in common to talk about.  And ther-there are a number of analysis that, that we could put on the situation. There is, for example, the analysis that in many systems ESL teachers are itinerant, they’re part-time, they don’t have a basis in a building, so they’re like the specials who come and go.  So it is not surprising that they’re not linked to the culture of a particular building and are iiii-in teaching and learning culture in a particular building.  There is the analysis that um, ESL teachers are associated with marginalized learners, the learners that are on the outside of the system trying to get in, and as teachers they often take on board that set of issues and represent themselves in that way.  So it’s not uncommon for the ESL teacher to be the advocate for kids.  Well, that’s all well and good, the bottom line is, all teachers should be advocating for those kids, not just ESL teachers, and you create a division in the school community if you have one set of teachers that is championing e-ESL kids, and the other set of te-teachers who don’t, for whatever reason, feel engaged in that set of issues.  so I think fo-fo-for really a to press to really make a difference, we’re going to have to put on the table the issue of why ESL teachers are marginalized and marginalize themselves within schools, and really look at how to create conversations about teaching and learning that bring all teachers to the same place.  And I think that will happen when learning is made the center focus, and not the successful performance and achievement of students, because when the successful performance and achievement of students is what we’re measuring, then we have this issue of one set of teachers who work with the students who have deficits and those deficits are in language, and once they get their language up to speed then they’ll be able to function.  We have another community of teachers who work with the st-the-the students who are able to function at the level that they are viewed as needing to function in the school.  So it’s really sort of a transformation in where the school takes learners for who they are and what they can do, and all teachers engage in that set of a, a issues rather than a, a-------a a breaking up of expertise a, which allows certain teachers to be responsible for certain kids and other teachers to a eschew responsibility for those kids.