Vance Stevens

Vance StevensChaos in learning and how to engage learners in resolving that chaos through networking with one another

Vance Stevens is teacher and teacher-trainer in educational technology for Higher Colleges of Technology, CERT, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Vance has over 20 years experience teaching ESOL. Doubling as CALL specialist and coordinator, he worked 2 years in ESL software development in California, then returned to the Middle East as educational technology consultant and CALL coordinator for Amideast, before working 8 years as a lecturer in computing at The Petroleum Institute. Meanwhile, he founded the online community Webheads, whose current instantiation is There’s more about Vance here and at his blog.


6 Responses to Vance Stevens

  1. Pingback: Vance Stevens: Chaos in Learning and Resolving that Chaos through Networking | Learning2gether

  2. Re-posted by Dennis from IATEFL’s GISIG list

    On 26 January 2014 20:34, wrote:

    Whether you followed Vance’s presentation, I find the jargon of **rhizomatic learning** ( ) and similar currents a bit confusing, obfuscating. Whether it has any relevance for the greater majority of ordinary students remains open to discussion.
    There is no need to reinvent the wheel in EFL pedagogy, and indeed the axle as well. Technology is bizarre trump and our vision is often blurred by the dazzle. Chaos theory in our own backyards seems a bit misplaced. The core relevant question is about students networking and not our colleagues on the Gulf and elsewhere.


  3. Re-posted from GISIG list.

    🙂 The smiley means of course I sympathize with Bill’s comment. On the other hand Vance may well be controversial, but he is completely serious and is definitely capable of giving one’s thinking a jolt..

    I actually find my understanding of chaos theory centrally relevant to learners of foreign languages everywhere., but with reference to Vance’s talk: I’d say some of the things I took away from it are:

    1. The priority given to autonomous learning, as opposed to teaching and instruction.

    2. A fascinating, if unavoidably slightly blurred vision of how networks of joint investigations and connections may be illustrating one of the ways that people can learn – an alternative to traditional formats.

    3. As a person trained in the 50s – 60s – patterns, structures, word frequency counts …….. I appreciate Vance bearing witness to the fact that intuitions about learning foreign languages, for example, has moved far away from preoccupation with the linear study of language – an object to be analysed, its descriptive rules dug out and highlighted as the implied stuff for teachers to teach and learners to learn (note the order there) .

    4. In much of what Vance had to say I found support for the view that lanaguage is behaviour, a performance in a setting, a social act not, just not the implementation of basic lexical items and key structures to be learned.


  4. Here is a link to Vance’s Learng2gether.. It contains a link to .an mp3 recpording of
    Vance’s YLTSIGEVO 2014 talk.


    ALWAYS REMEMER TO TICK: Notify me of follow-up emails. – blottom left-hand corner when you Post Comment.


  5. Mumi Mu says:

    As controversial as it may be. I do not see why not trying out these ideas of learning together and connecting students in courses that may help them develop skills for life rather than just learning or study skills. After all, what was once considered one student cheating to get the correct answer to a question in an exam situation is now considered collaborative learning!.

  6. Mumi Mu says:

    I forgot to mention that I joined Webheads in 2012 and 2013 and that has certainly changed my way of seeing my students´ learning environment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s