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


Bate Building


 


 
2005 Conference

February 19th
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

 
Keynote Speaker

Language Brokering in the Middle School Science Class

His presentation, part of a longitudinal study of English language acquisition and content learning in a predominantly Latino middle school science classroom in a major southwestern U.S. city, examines language brokering, or informal translation, from the viewpoint of the child who does not have a sufficient command of the language of instruction to function effectively without the aid of a translator.

Analysis of approximately 45 hours of audio- and video-taped data collected over a full school year indicates that the types of language brokering that go on in this classroom, and presumably others as well, do not provide a sufficient basis for non-English-speaking children to gain full access to the curriculum. In addition, what gets translated depends not only on the translation ability of the language broker but also, more importantly on the initiative and willingness of the language broker and the beneficiary to engage in interaction. Therefore, while the type of language brokering described here may be beneficial to non-English speaking students, it cannot substitute for other resources and development activities such as sheltered English, bilingual teachers or teachers' aides.



Discussion Forum
Josh Iorio (University of Texas at Austin) & Anna Mikhaylova (University of South Carolina)

The purpose of this forum is to give conference attendees the opportunity to voice their opinions/concerns/experiences about a range of topics that the group finds relevant and/or interesting. Moreover, the forum serves as an overt way of addressing the goal of the conference: to bring together teachers and junior researchers.

The forum will begin with a call by the moderators for issues of interest. These issues will be ranked by the moderators and then discussed as time permits. Please come to this forum with a few questions/concerns that have come up over your teaching/researching experiences.

This forum will also serve as a "closing ceremony" for the conference, so we invite everyone to stay and participate.



Workshops
Robert Fugate (Greenfield Elementary School, VA)

Sheltered Math Instruction and the Internet

Learning math presents great challenges for the ESL student as the language of math as well as the cultural variances in the concepts of math can make understanding the "American" way of doing math difficult. Scaffolding that bridges the learning of math concepts and the linguistic content of math instruction can be provided with the Internet. The Internet offers user friendly sites that present math concepts and topics in concise, organized, and entertaining manners.

No Child Left Behind requires all ESL students to test yearly in math, so ESL teachers in elementary schools find themselves including sheltered math instruction as well as ESL instruction. Four websites, www.aaamath.com, www.aplusmath.com, www.mathplayground.com, and education.jlab.org/solquiz/index.html offer ESL students learning opportunities that enhance their knowledge of math concepts, and their reading and technology skills.



Papers
Anna Mikhaylova (University of South Carolina)

Markers of Ethnic Identity and the Role of Language

This paper focuses on the experience of a multilingual young woman from a former Soviet republic in order to investigate the characteristics of ethnic identity and the role of language as an identity marker in a multicultural and multiethnic context. This case study looks at manifestations and negotiations of ethnic identity for a Lezgi Azeri woman who was born and grew up in the Soviet Union and was working in the United States at the time of research. The study also addresses the correlation between ethnic/national identity and linguistic domains of the speaker and shows how her identity crisis can be resolved when one of her identities is challenged or threatened.

Carrie Eunyoung Hong (SUNY Albany)

Learning Other Cultures' Ways of Knowing: Literacy and Subjectivity in an ESL Classroom

The purpose of the study is to examine the language and identity practices of Korean learners of English as a Second Language(ESL), who enroll in an American public elementary school. This study will explore how Korean ESL students make sense of who they are and how they are seen by others in the process of second language and literacy acquisition. The traditions of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research have mainly focused on individual language acquisition process, but there is increasing interest in identity construction of the students who speak other national languages. This research study will attempt to conceptualize the complex relationships among language learning, culture, and identity, in different contexts, using a theory of subjectivity, which is a crucial concept in postmodern discussions. The researcher will present the initial results of this work-in-progress.

Fu-An Lin (University of Texas at Austin)

Writing and Gender: The Case of Nonnative English Writers

Robin Lakoff's Language and Women's Place (1975) has inspired much research on language and gender, but nonnative speaking language users have received little attention. Guided by the issue of advanced English learners' conveyance of gender through their English writing, this study depicted how a foreign writer's gender was deciphered and how writing quality was perceived in relation to gender.

Five writers each provided three text types: 1) emails to a friend, 2) introductions to a paper, and 3) job inquiries. Native-speaking readers with extensive experience with English learners' writing were asked to guess the writers' genders, evaluate the writing samples, and group the samples according to what they perceived as written by the same writer. Patterns of matches and discrepancies between the readers' perceptions and the writers' actual genders emerged. Data triangulation was made possible through the readers' explanations and the grouping activity. The presentation will conclude with implications for sociolinguistics and language pedagogy.

Olena Yasynetska (Ohio University)

Headline Metaphors for the American and Ukrainian Presidential Elections 2004

The present research is developed in the framework of such disciplines as stylistics, foreign/second language studies, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, translation, and education. In the study, metaphors are researched from three perspectives: (1) conceptual semantics, (2) linguistic expression, and (3) translational equivalence. Lakoff and Johnson's theory of conceptual mapping (1980) is involved insofar as it allows observing systematic semantic patterns, rather than random expressions. The idea of researching conceptual metaphors in two languages simultaneously was developed by Charteris-Black and Ennis (2001). The present study, however, has proven that there are significant limitations of only comparing concepts. Therefore, the present research proposes lexico-grammatical and structural classifications to examine similarities and differences in linguistic expression of conceptual mappings. Moreover, comparing concepts and linguistic expressions is supported by studying preferred equivalence observed in the work of ten professional translators who were employed in our experiment. Thus, metaphoric equivalence is consistently researched in its conceptual, linguistic, and translational aspects.

Aysun Balkan (Ohio University)

The Cortical Representation of Native and Second Languages in Bilingual Brains

The question of how multiple languages are represented in the brain has led to a vast body of research in neurolinguistics during the last few decades. The studies in the literature so far have indicated that there is controversy more than agreement about the cerebral representation of languages in the bilingual brain. This literature review reflects both extremes of the spectrum with respect to the theories of shared and differential neural systems of the two languages. In the light of these studies a discussion follows as an explanation for possible factors that affect the converging and diverging body of evidence in the field.

Dawn Wilson (East Carolina University)

Not in Silence, Not in Sound: Who are 'Third Worlders'?

This is a term that is used to describe those who have become deaf later in life as the result of an accident, illness, or old age. This research paper outlines a case study of a 30-year-old woman who became deaf later in life as the result of an illness. As a "third worlder," she feels that she does not fit into either the deaf world or the hearing world. The presentation will outline characteristics that can be used to define who is a "third worlder" and what characteristics these people may have in common. The data centers around telephone use, musical conception and interpersonal relationships. Through the case study, the presentation explores how this "third worlder" faces communicative challenges and how "third worlders" can provide us with valuable information that can be used for teaching strategies for the pre-and post-lingually deaf.

Ivon Katz (Ohio University)

Teaching Taboo Language

Drawing on evidence from psycholinguists, psychologists and other researchers, the presenter will argue in favor of offering adult students the option of learning about taboo language in English. The presenter will offer ways to help students understand the problems associated with using and encountering taboo language in English, and will give concrete suggestions on how teachers can approach taboo language in a manner which is direct without being prurient.

Kristie Di Lascio (University of Florida)

From 'Seenk' to Think: Teaching English Pronunciation to Native Chinese Speakers

That communicative approaches, "have not known what to do with pronunciation" (Hammond, 1995) discourages many teachers from making pronunciation an integral part of classroom activities. However, with the influx of international students whose native language is Mandarin Chinese, teaching pronunciation has become a necessary component in the acquisition of basic and advanced language skills. My goal is to relate existing theories of second-language pronunciation pedagogy (Hammond, 1995; R. Wong, 1986) and sociolinguistic factors influencing native Mandarin-speakers' acquisition of English pronunciation (Chen, et al 1996) to my own observations and practices in teaching pronunciation to native Mandarin Chinese speakers. My research focuses on making students aware of minimal pair differences and target phonemes through contrastive analysis--contrasting target phonemes with closely-related Mandarin phonemes--and helping students to reproduce target phonemes through memorable communicative exercises, such as role play and games.

Caroline Brooks (East Carolina University)

Immersive Virtual Reality as a Language Learning Tool

In this presentation I explore the possibility of utilizing immersive virtual reality environments for language learning. I begin by defining diverse forms of virtual reality, such as web-delivered simulations, haptics, augmented reality and immersive reality. I then identify the ontological origins of each virtual technology, as well as the prior applications of virtual reality within the field of language learning. Finally, I argue for the selection of immersive reality as the most appropriate language learning tool, and define potential artifacts to incorporate within the virtual reality technology so as to optimize the learning experience of students.