OSEA-CITE: Ethnography of the Future / Interdisciplinary Cultural Anthropology / Study Abroad. Experimental Ethnography, Quetzil Castaneda, Juan Castillo Cocom, Maya Culture, Mayan Civilization, Maya Riviera, Yucatan, Mexico, Community Action Research, Ethnographic Installation, Maya Calendar, Maya 2012, Chilam Balam, Ah Dzib, Second Language Studies, Second Language Learning, Bilingual Education, anthropology of Art, anthropology of Tourism, the Maya World, Cancun, Merida, Playa del Carmen, Tourism studies, Medical anthropology, Maya healing and ritual, Field Study Abroad, Latin American Studies, Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Ek Balam, Piste, Travel Mexico, Tourism Development, Ethics of tourism,

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SELT Project (1997-1999) School of Experimental Language Training

SELT was one of three projects designed and developed as a project in experimental ethnography. The US undergraduate students became teachers of English in a Maya language community and converted the classroom into a site of ethnographic fieldwork. Unlike the educational ethnographies that are routinely conducted in the established educational system, this ethnography focused on the transcultural dynamics and processes of teaching English with methodologies that sought to positively revalorize the Maya language which was typically the first or second language of the ESL classroom. The experimental component of this project consisted of precisely how to conceptualize and implement this objective of teaching English in a way that also valorized Maya in a context of long historical denigration of the Indigenous language and culture. As an overall program, the project was an experiment in conducting what later emerged in social science as a form of Community Action Research.

SELT is a Teaching English Service Learning Program and Community Action Research Project In the Maya community of Pisté, Yucatán, México, 1997-1999, 2010-present

Principal Project Design by Dr. Quetzil E. Castañeda
Directed by Quetzil E. Castañeda, Director of Field School in Experimental Ethnography 1997-1999 and Founding Director of OSEA, 2010-present

1997 Co-Director
Dr. Joy Logan, Latin American Literature & Cultures, University of Hawaii
1997 Assistant Director
Edith Flores, Masters student in Spanish, University of Houston

1998 Assistant Director
José Saul Mártinez, Masters student in Anthropology, University of Houston

2010 Program Coordinator
Megan Solon, Doctoral student in Hispanic Sociolinguistics, Indiana University

What it Means to be a Language Teacher, by Lisa


Key Readings on SELT Concepts, Design and Practices

Transculturation and Affect in the L2 Classroom: Teaching English And Ethnography in the Yucatán. Estudios de Lingüística Inglesa Aplicada, 2005 vol. 6 (6), pp. 41-62, by Joy Logan

"In Explanation of SELT (1997): English and Ethnography in Pisté" by Joy Logan

"Experimental Ethnography and Critical Pedagogy" by José Saúl Martínez

SELT History and Reflections on being a SELT Teacher (1997)

SELT Portfolio 1997, by Lisa Porotovski




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