East Carolina University. Tomorrow starts here.®
 
Department of English
TESOL/Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference


Bate Building


 


 
2004 Conference

February 21,2004
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

 
Keynote Speaker

Dr. Chambers is a professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. His research interests include language variation and Canadian English. He is the author of Sociolinguistic Theory: Linguistic Variation and Its Social Significance (2nd ed, Blackwell: 2003)which describes the implications of language variation on different aspects of society. He is also the author of Dialectology (CUP, 1998) and The Handbook of Language Variation and Change (1st ed, Blackwell 2002) which is now in paperback. Dr. Chambers has also been publishing in the field of Jazz since 1963. He has a new jazz biography which is presently going into production. The title of Dr. Chambers' presentation is "Sociolinguistics and Second-Language Speakers" which will address a bouquet of sociolinguistic issues that impinge upon immigration and ESL competence including the Literacy Gap, ethnolects, and the Ethan Experience.



Discussion Forum

Workshops
Ofelia Oronoz (Browne Academy)

Summer Reading : A project manual to increase students´ reading level

This workshop presents a manual for foreign language/TESOL teachers willing to incorporate a summer project to increase the students´ reading level. By using a pilot project tested during the summer of 2003 in Northern Virginia the manual will provide foreign language/TESOL teachers tools for implementing a summer project in their classrooms. A reading summer project is only beneficial for the students, because in fact, it assists them in being overall successful readers and writers, by making them invest time into reading and writing (Mallow & Patterson, 1999).




Papers
Kara VanDam (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

English Prestige and the Black Death: A Historical Sociolinguistic Perspective

The Early Middle English period is well-known for its paucity of texts. It ended in the 14th century with a rapid upturn in English documents. Many scholars have pointed to a combination of influential causes for
this, but have downplayed the role of any one event. This paper argues, however, that the use of English in texts rose because the prestige of English in society rose, and that this rising prestige was
a direct effect of the Black Death. Focusing on medical, educational, and linguistic evidence, this paper points to a cross-societal attitudinal shift towards the English language.

Gena Bennett (Georgia State University)

Teaching English Past Tense to Korean EFL Students

This paper concludes that English simple past tense is among the first grammatical structures taught to second language students, and should be taught at the level of discourse in relation to other tenses in the
English tense-aspect system. In addition, the teaching of English simple past tense can be conducted through the three phases of learning--noticing, restructuring, and proceduralization--in conjunction with form, meaning, and use. This paper also provides a specific look at what this means to Korean high school students with ambitions to study in an English speaking country.

Josh Iorio (East Carolina University)

ESL Students in the Mainstream Composition Classroom: An Analysis of Instructor Attitudes

Research on international students freshman English classes (ISFECs) is underrepresented in the field of TESOL. Many universities assume that international students have the skills necessary to be successful in freshman composition classes based on the student passing the minimum requirements of the TOEFL. However, research shows that passing TOEFL scores do not necessarily correlate with success in the composition classroom. ISFECs have unique needs within the mainstream classroom that must be addressed by the instructor in order for the student to be successful both at developing as a competent writer, and in becoming comfortable within their new environment. Without a positive attitude about the inclusion of IESFCC students in the classroom, freshman composition instructors limit their effectiveness in preparing ISFECs for the writing demands of subsequent university classes. This presentation attempts to show how the attitudes of ISFEC instructors are represented in two universities where international students are not supported with any independent ESL programs. The study is based on a survey and questionire presented to freshman composition instructors who have ISFECs represented in their classes. It asks them to comment on different aspects of their attitudes, concerns, observations, and insights into the inclusion of ISFECs in their mainstream classes. The responses collected vary considerably concerning how the instructors perceive the inclusion of the ISFECs in their classes.

Courtney George (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Transitioning Through Life With Grace: Learning From and With the "Other"

This paper is based on a five-month qualitative inquiry that focused on the educational transition of two Mexican-immigrant, pre-adolescent girls as they moved from elementary to middle school. During this transition, other issues such as language use, ethnic identity, the onset of adolescence, racial tensions, economic struggles, general educational beliefs, family, and friendship surfaced. The paper's three main purposes are: 1) to show how a common cultural group does not necessarily signify a common experience or common knowledge, 2) to show the graceful way the girls and their families moved through educational transitions and the larger obstacles of life, and 3) to show the researcher's own growth as she moved from the role of a white, middle-class teacher to a new role as a woman in relation learning from and with the "other" and the importance of such a role shift in today's diverse schools.

Danielle Melvin (East Carolina University)

The Influence of Preaching Styles upon the Resiliency of AAVE in African American Communities

This presentation will demonstrate the resiliency of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in predominantly African American communities as fostered by cultural ties, specifically with the African American church. Because the African American church plays a vital and integral role in the lives of African Americans, the dominant language style of the African American preacher directly affects the dominant language style of the parishioners. AAVE has often been considered sub-standard English, and I believe this title is unfair, and more speculative than factual. AAVE more than anything, preserves African American history, and maintains effectiveness of communication within African American communities. This presentation will look at the preaching styles of one particular female pastor, and will discuss various linguistic devices that are displayed in her methods of preaching. By assessing her background with the backgrounds of her parishioners, I hope to show the relationship that is developed between pastor and parishioners, I will show the relationship that is developed between pastor and parishioners, and the effects that AAVE may have upon this relationship. I will also provide background on the African American church and church experience, as well as reconsider other linguistic studies and ideas about style maintenance and speech accommodation.

Kathleen Rands (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Linguistic Restrictionism: Interactions Among Race, Class, and Language

As the many "Official English" bills that have passed in states across the United States indicate, the United States is experiencing a wave of linguistic restrictionism. However, this is not the first wave of linguistic restrictionsim that the U.S. has experienced. Another wave of linguistic restrictionism began in the late nineteenth century and lasted into the 1950's.This paper traces the history of linguistic restrictionism in the United States. It is argued that hierarchies related to race, class, and language have played essential roles in linguistic restrictionism throughout the history of the United States. The paper emphasizes the impact that linguistic restrictionism has had on education

.

Ryan Anderson (East Carolina University)

Using Blackboard to Promote Writing and Discussion for ESL Students

This presentation will examine the uses of the Blackboard discussion board as a means to encourage writing for the ESL student in the college composition class. The application of technology in the classroom has expanded participation and discussion outside of the class environment. Blackboard, a course management tool for college classes, offers a discussion board for an instructor to use to bring up course-related discussion questions for students to respond to and/or generate ideas and questions about the material presented in class. For some students, this may be a way for them to observe peer writing and response, and to promote suggestions on how writing may be improved. The emphasis of this paper to demonstrate how ESL students may benefit from informal responses to a variety of discussion topics, questions about up-coming papers, and pre-writing draft examples.

 

Paul Lyddon (University of Arizona)

A Discriminating Look at Focus on Form

With the failure of traditional accuracy-based second language (L2) teaching methods (e.g., Grammar Translation, Audiolingualism) to produce highly proficient L2 users, mainstream practice over the past two decades has largely shifted to "communicative" approaches, where the focus is almost exclusively on meaning. However, some researchers have shown that even L2 learners who now attain near-native receptive skills still often produce distinctively non-target-like output. Consequently, they advocate a renewed "focus on form," which has become popularized in the literature in recent years. This paper examines various theoretical and practical aspects of this novel approach and addresses the following questions: 1) What makes "focus on form" different from traditional form-focused methods? 2) What are some of the theoretical and empirical arguments for and against this approach? 3) What are some practical considerations in adopting it? Finally, new questions will be raised and avenues for future research suggested.

Courtney George (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Connecting Schools and Mexican-Immigrant Communities: Challenging and Redefining Parental Involvement

As educators begin to address the issues surrounding Latino student achievement, special attention has to be given to connecting schools with the communities they serve. While educators have good intentions in trying to increase the parental support of their Mexican-immigrant students, issues surrounding parental involvement are complex and many approaches educators have adopted are problematic. This paper attempts to challenge and redefine the subtractive nature of many parental involvement programs. It is only from this position that schools can begin to build the trusting relationships needed to effectively welcome parents and communities into their schools and reap the benefits of such relationships. From this redefined notion of parental involvement, the author proposes five possible ways to achieve stronger connections between schools and the families they serve.

 

Subarna Banerjee (Temple University)

Argumentation and the Academic Discourse Socialization of ESL Students.

The argumentative form of writing with a thesis statement, specific support to back up a claim and taking a stance towards a specific issue is typical in American academic writing. Writing tasks in composition classes presuppose a knowledge of American culture and rhetoric, which ESL students may not have because they do not share the same cultural repertoire. Hence, international students who have
no exposure to this form of writing find it extremely difficult to comply with it. This paper questions the unilateral focus on the teaching of persuasive form of writing in the academic discourse socialization of ESL students. In order to understand the role of argumentation in the literacy trajectories and academic discourse socialization of international students it is important to critically examine how arguments are commonly framed in writing assignments in ESL composition classes.

 

Robert B. Griffin (Indiana University)

Tracking the Language-Related Episode: A Case Study in L2 Writing

In their research on the Comprehensible Output Hypothesis, Swain and Lapkin (1995, 1998) introduced the concept of language-related episodes (LREs) as a construct encompassing metatalk, questions or corrections produced when a learner notices a gap in his/her written or spoken L2 knowledge. Studies involving LREs have indicated a high correlation between the role of learner output and second language learning, although the literature on the Output Hypothesis has remained inconclusive about the effect of production on L2 acquisition. Responding to calls by Izumi and Bigelow (2000) and Shehadeh (2002) for an agenda that makes acquisitional research central to the study of comprehensible output, this case study examines language-related episodes in the verbal protocols of one ESL writer and their effect on writing development. Preliminary results show that the language-related episode is a juncture for output and development regardless of the learner's L2 proficiency. The study proposes that the language-related episode motivates the learner to make discrete lexical and syntactic hypotheses, leading to metadiscursive questions and statements, which focus on the broader context of his L2 writing. Discussion will address the features of language-related episodes in one learner's L2 writing development and suggest its importance as a research tool for studies on the output paradigm.

 

Andrea McKee (East Carolina University)

English Dialect Speakers and Academic Writing

This presentation discusses teaching composition to English dialect speakers, focusing on how dialect influences academic writing and how an instructor’s knowledge of language varieties influences evaluation of student texts. This research seeks to gain insight into the actual practices of teaching writing and assessing student language, as well as the beliefs and theory that guide these practices. In addition to presenting the salient features of dialect that influence writing, I will overview the three major approaches to evaluating dialect-influenced writing and suggest effective ways to address student needs.

 

Katherine V. Hill and Caroline E. Darrow (East Carolina University)

What Do You Mean?: Ambiguity and ESL Learners

This is a partial replication of Peng’s 1990 study: “Ambiguity and ESL students: A pilot experiment,” which appeared in the International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (28). Informants were given a test consisting of 20 sentence pairs. One sentence in each pair contained a kind of ambiguity: lexical, derived-structure, or underlying-structure. The experiment tries to answer the question: which of these types of ambiguity is most difficult for ESL learners to recognize?