I'm About To Make Changes To My Blog's Design

For years this blog has been laid out the same way, in old Blogger format. A few months back Google upgraded the design possibilities for bloggers. Some of the changes are great--page menus look better for one, and I want better page menus.

The templates are cool, but they all offer less space than the template I have CSSed to death to make it look the way it does.  I have given blockquotes a blue background, I fiddled with border weights and colors, and added a label cloud--all that will go away when I switch to the new template.

The new template won't look very different, but it will look cleaner, and some of the newer social media buttons Google offers should be available to me in the new template.

So, maybe the next time you come here things will look slightly different. If you notice problems with functionality, links, or just the way it looks, please email me and let me know. I want the blog to be easy to read (those of you who have black backgrounds for your blogs, they're hard to read. White backgrounds are easier to read).

So, when I publish this post, I will then head to the design area and click "Apply to blog" and there will be no turning back (well, I could revert, but don't want to). Here we go...

Update: So, it looks like everything worked. I even got to post my label cloud and put a blue background in blockquotes. I hope this makes it easier to read and link to/from.


TFT Welcomes Dr. Stephen Krashen

On Wednesday, August 24th at 3:30 I will be interviewing Dr. Stephen Krashen on Blog Talk Radio! I have lifted the Wikipedia information about the good Doctor and placed it here so you can get an idea of who he is, and what he has done, as well as why he should be heard.

He is a research machine.

I think I will ask him about his 1978 Venice Beach Open Incline Press/Nonsensical 100 meter dash win.

Hope you'll listen!


Dr. Krashen has published more than 350 papers and books, contributing to the fields of second language acquisition, bilingual education, and reading. He is credited with introducing various influential concepts and terms in the study of second language acquisition, including the acquisition-learning hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the affective filter, and the natural order hypothesis. Most recently, Krashen promotes the use of  free voluntary reading during second language acquisition, which he says "is the most powerful tool we have in language education, first and second."


  • 1982 : winner of the Mildenberger Award, given for his book, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning (Prentice-Hall)
  • 1985 : co-winner of the Pimsleur Award, given by the American Council of Foreign Language Teachers for the best published article
  • 1986 : his paper "Lateralisation, language learning and the critical period" was selected as Citation Class by Current Contents
  • 1993 : the Distinguished Presentation related to School Library Media Centers, was awarded to by editors of the School Library Media Annual
  • 2005 : Krashen was inducted into the International Reading Association's Reading Hall of Fame.
  • 2005 : elected at the National Association for Bilingual Education Executive Board.


As education policy in Krashen’s home state of California became increasingly hostile to bilingualism, he responded with research critical of the new policies, public speaking engagements, and with letters written to newspaper editors. During the campaign to enact an anti-bilingual education law in California in 1998, known as Proposition 227, Krashen campaigned aggressively in public forums, media talk shows, and conducted numerous interviews with journalists writing on the subject. After other anti-bilingual education campaigns and attempts to enact regressive language education policies surfaced around the country, by 2006 it was estimated that Krashen had submitted well over 1,000 letters to editors.

In a front-page New Times Los Angeles article published just a week before the vote on Proposition 227, Jill Stewart penned an aggressive article titled 'Krashen Burn' in which she characterized Krashen as wedded to the monied interests of a "multi-million-dollar bilingual education industry." Stewart critically spoke of Krashen as the father of bilingual education. Krashen has been widely criticized in conservative and nativist political circles due to his influence on the field of language minority education, second language acquisition, and his efforts to educate the public on matters related to English language learners in schools.

Krashen has been an advocate for a more activist role by researchers in combating the public's misconceptions about bilingual education. Addressing the question of how to explain public opposition to bilingual education, Krashen queried, "Is it due to a stubborn disinformation campaign on the part of newspapers and other news media to deliberately destroy bilingual education? Or is it due to the failure of the profession to present its side of the story to reporters? There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence in support of the latter." Continuing, Krashen wrote, "Without a serious, dedicated and organized campaign to explain and defend bilingual education at the national level, in a very short time we will have nothing left to defend."


Dr. Krashen also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and was the winner of the 1978 Venice Beach Open Incline Press/Nonsensical 100 meter dash Championship. He spent two years in Ethiopia teaching English and science with the Peace Corps.
From Wikipedia


The Conservative (Oxy)Morons

The American "education reformers" tend to be on the right (DFER included). Maybe it's more accuarate to say the reform position is a conservative (little "c") position--accountability through testing, business model promotions, and so-on.

Another conservative American (both little and big "c") position is that poor people don't pay any taxes. You hear it all the time, though they always mention the word "income" when they say it, because the poor don't pay income taxes, just all the other taxes like sales, gas, higher interest rates on loans, and so-on. We all pay taxes in some form or another, making the Conservative claim that the poor pay no taxes silly. But they like to trot it out to remind us how powerful they are and how thankful we should all be that they pay their income taxes, or something.

The American education reformers like to say that our lowest performing students, those in urban and rural areas (who tend to be really poor), deserve a better education system. Why? The reformers will tell you that those poor "taxpayers" aren't getting their money's worth. Who are these taxpayers the reformers are referring to? The poor who pay no taxes, as they like to say.

So, Steven Brill (video: watch the confusion which starts at about 19:00), which is it? The poor pay no taxes, or those poor taxpayers (who pay no taxes) deserve to get what they pay for in taxes?

Such bullshit and spin.

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