Right now I’m at a stage of going over the projects that I’ve been working on for the past thirty years and putting them together in a way that will hopefully allow me to aritculate better for colleagues what I have been trying to share. Call it eccentric, impratical, speculative, disorganized, original or what you will, no-one can accuse my work of being bound by convention. However you choose to see it, it has taken time for me to understand clearly myself what my instincts have been driving me to do, and to be able to express the gestating vision in such a way that it can be recognized as a serious and legitimate presence in Professional and Academic Language Teaching (PALT) .
Collectively, we have been for half a century exhaling a breath of specialization, and our lungs are now empty. It is time now to converge back toward the centre, to take a deep breath. The professional momentum is now inexorably with the forces of integration. I sense that many PALT practitioners are either unconsciously gravitating towards or consciously groping towards a comprehensivist or convergent, integrative way of looking at their work. In other words, the needs and interests of the majority in the profession are less well served than those of the academic specialists. The majority are alienated from the dominant and diffusive force of specialization in PALT that has radiated into the profession a confused mindset that does not know how to make use of convergent or holistic thinking.
While sorting through the huge number of files I have stored on multiple drives and clouds, I recently revisited a poster presentation that I gave in Australia in 2007 (a conference that had nothing directly to do with PALT). I am pleased to see that the poster does quite a good job (for me) of sketching out at least some of the elements of a multi-dimemnsional approach to PALT — here with a multimedia emphasis — and how they can be synergistically conceived. I hope that the poster will be reasonably self-explanatory, and I expect to use it as a springboard for further elaboration of the ideas it encapsulates.