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Department of English
TESOL/Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference


Bate Building


 


 
2006 Conference

February 18, 2006
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

 
Keynote Speaker


Dr. Melisa Cahnmann (University of Georgia)

Rehearsing the Revolution: Using "Theater of the Oppressed" to Address Identity, and Power in Language Education

This workshop and talk will demonstrate theater games created by Brazilian activist/director, Augusto Boal, as means to identify issues of language, identity and power. Dr. Cahnmann will guide participants through some of these theater exercises, and discuss how these games can be used with diverse groups of students and teachers. Dr. Cahnmann will share how she has used these games as part of her research and practice with pre-service bilingual teachers and the on-going results from the TELL (Teachers for English Language Learners) Project. For more information about TELL go to: http://www.coe.uga.edu/tell/.



Discussion Forum
Dr. Marjorie Ringler (ECU/Educational Leadership)

Taking Action: Differentiating Instruction Using Classroom Action Research

his discussion forum will provide participants an overview of classroom action research that is intended to improve student learning by selecting instructional approaches to meet student needs. The discussion will highlight the benefits of action research and opportunities to share information on approaches to improve teaching as the teacher reflects on instruction and its effect on their students learning. The majority of the session will be an open discussion on this approach to improving instruction for ESL students.



Workshops

Papers
Sara Jalali (Tarbiat Modarres University, Iran)

The Relationship Between Modality of Listening Passages and the Presence of Visual Advance Organizers on Performance in Listening Comprehension Tests

Many factors affect the performance of EFL learners on listening comprehension tests, among them are the use of videos, visual advance organizers, and the types of listening passages (dialogues or monologues). Few studies have been carried out on the effects of these factors on improving the listening comprehension of EFL learners and controversial results have been obtained, and even fewer studies have concentrated on the effects of these factors on EFL learners’ performance on listening comprehension tests, which was the purpose of this study. For this purpose, 180 advanced EFL learners studying at Marefat Institute were randomly selected by giving them the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The subjects were randomly assigned to six groups each consisting of 30 students. The following results were obtained from the data analysis: 1) There was a significant difference between the audio vs. video group. 2) There was a significant difference between when visual advance organizers were used and when they were not. 3) There was a significant difference between the uses of short-interval vs. long-interval advance organizers. 4) There was a significant difference between the types of the listening passages (dialogues vs. monologues).

Adcharawan Buripakdi (Indiana University Pennsylvania)

ESL Students’ Reflective ‘Burning Experiences’ on the Writing Workshop

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an alternative way of teaching writing in ESL composition classrooms. This presentation explores how writing workshops can be used to empower and liberate students in ESL classrooms. The presenter begins with examining the role of writing workshops in composition classrooms. Then, the presenter explains ways that writing workshops can become the context for igniting a genuine passion for writing, a “burning experience” for ESL students. Next, the presenter shares the experiences and results of graduate writing workshops in which students learn to empower and liberate themselves as creative writers while writing a personal book. Students reflect upon positive experiences when writing their book in such workshops. Ideally, they feel empowered, free of constraints, and have their own voices. Finally, the presenter will provide a handout of the main points as well as engage the audience in a discussion of the issues involved.

Adcharawan Buripakdi (Indiana University Pennsylvania)

ESL Students’ Reflective ‘Burning Experiences’ on the Writing Workshop

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an alternative way of teaching writing in ESL composition classrooms. This presentation explores how writing workshops can be used to empower and liberate students in ESL classrooms. The presenter begins with examining the role of writing workshops in composition classrooms. Then, the presenter explains ways that writing workshops can become the context for igniting a genuine passion for writing, a “burning experience” for ESL students. Next, the presenter shares the experiences and results of graduate writing workshops in which students learn to empower and liberate themselves as creative writers while writing a personal book. Students reflect upon positive experiences when writing their book in such workshops. Ideally, they feel empowered, free of constraints, and have their own voices. Finally, the presenter will provide a handout of the main points as well as engage the audience in a discussion of the issues involved.

Eric A Glicker (Indiana University Pennsylvania)

Literacy in Community: Service Learning in a Multicultural Context

Success in higher education requires a functional proficiency in academic literacy and the concomitant motivation to further develop one’s linguistic abilities. For underserved populations, service learning may provide a conduit for increasing the matriculation of diverse communities at the college as well as university level. Studies of community literacy practices have traditionally focused on monolingual populations. Moreover, the notion of literacy as a tool for creating positive social change is certainly not a novel idea; however, as the higher education population becomes increasingly diverse, there is a pressing need for increased research on the interactions between the first and second languages in higher educational settings. Research supports the notion that literacy development can occur among a wide range of learners when community support and skills development reinforce linguistic proficiency. This presentation will offer the results of a successful service-learning program that promotes student leadership and the development of academic literacy at the adult education/community college level.

Mahdi Dehghan, Akbar Mirhassani, Ramin Akbari (Tarbiat Modarres University,Iran)

The Relationship between EFL Learners' Goal-oriented and Self-regulated Learning and Language Proficiency

This study was an attempt to investigate the relationship between Iranian EFL learners' goal-oriented and self-regulated learning and their language proficiency. In this study, the Persian versions of the "Goal Orientation Scale" developed by Midgley et al (1998) and the "Self-regulation Trait Questionnaire" developed by O'Neil and Herl (1998) were piloted on 199 and 189 participants respectively. When the researcher was assured that these two instruments enjoyed satisfactory reliability and construct validity, the Persian versions of the "Goal Orientation Scale" and "Self-regulation Trait Questionnaire" along with a TOEFL test (1995) were administered to 127 participants.

Results showed that there was a significant relationship between goal-oriented learning and language proficiency. Also, there was a significant relationship between task goal orientation and language proficiency. However, no significant relationship was found between the ability-approach and ability-avoid goal orientation and language proficiency. In addition, there was a significant relationship between self-regulated learning and language proficiency. Also, all four subscales of self-regulated learning (Planning, Self-checking, Effort, and Self-efficacy) were positively related to language proficiency.

Diane Griffin (Yon Sei University, Seoul Korea)

Rexamining the case for African American Vernacular English (Ebonics)

The African American community has often been referred to as the Third World of the US because of its disproportionately high rates of poverty. To change this situation, there is a vast policy debate centering on the education of African American students. Since the 1960s, African American Vernacular English (AAVE) has existed as a controversial public policy issue. The policy aspect of AAVE was made prominent in the heated 1996 debate over the proposed teaching of Ebonics in the Oakland, California, public schools. What makes the Standard English Only approach so problematic is that it ignores the reality that there are several significant factors that sustain a distinct African American Vernacular. Given the acceptance that AAVE is a vital part of the cultural framework of African Americans, Ebonics is an issue of extreme relevance in education. This paper examines the reasons why this is true.

Christine Russell (East Carolina University)

Using Discourse Analysis & Psycholinguistics in Criminal Profiling

This paper presents a case study using the Jon Benet Ramsey ransom note as a practical application of the usefulness of content analysis, using discourse analysis and psycholinguists, when developing a criminal profile for law enforcement. The paper seeks to explore the linguistic properties of the ransom note to identify likely personality characteristics of the writer. Additionally, the paper seeks to identify any indications of deception based on the linguistic properties of the writing. Criminal profiling has long relied on behavioral psychology to predict behavior and identifying traits of the perpetrator. This paper seeks to add to those profiles in cases where the perpetrator leaves written evidence as crime scene evidence.

Jeanette W. Morris and Alexis Davis (East Carolina University)

Thinking Things Through: Approaches to Transcribing Speech of Elderly African-Americans

This presentation investigates issues associated with transcribing interviews of elderly African Americans who were part of the resettlement of Tillery, North Carolina, a community that is currently seeking to create and house an archive of oral histories as reported by its citizens. By analyzing the transcription conventions that were created and utilized for the transcription of selected interviews, the problems that emerged out of creating and using the conventions, and specific instances of speech that complicated process of creating sustainable transcription conventions, this talk will explore the theoretical and practical complexities of creating and using transcription conventions for documenting speech. Including video and audio clippings from selected interviews and actual samples of the transcriptions of those interviews, this presentation will conclude with suggestions about what should be considered when transcribing interviews from linguistic and discourse analysis perspectives.

Rebekah Goode (Landis Elementary School, NC)

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back: Dancing Around the Retention Shuffle. A Candid Discussion on the Effects of Retention on Non-English Speaking Students and Our Society

Interviews with parents, teachers and students have been compiled to offer insight into why many ESL (English as a Second Language) students repeat grades in elementary school. The problem of retention in elementary schools has created economic and social challenges. The presentation of this research project will help teachers to understand many factors which influence the academic achievement of ESL students and the ways to increase their academic performance in school.

Fei Wang (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Using positioning theory as a lens to explore ELLs' learning opportunities

The purpose of this ethnographic study was to understand how ESL students positioned themselves and others in group discussion in an ESL class and how the manner in which positioning occurred related to their literacy learning opportunities. Qualitative data including participant and teacher interviews, classroom observation, ESL curriculum documents, and students’ class notes, were collected. These data illustrated different and dynamic positions established by different students: tacitly positioning themselves as discussion leaders, attentive listeners, or teachers, and in some situations, being tacitly excluded from discussion. These positions associated with the rights, duties and obligations as a speaker were closely related to their literacy development because they affected the access to the learning resources, i.e., the opportunities of encountering others. Relating the repertoire of learning resources to Vygotsky’s appropriation and publication spaces, this study challenged the assumption that group discussion necessarily provides a democratic and equal learning environment for each student.

Eleanor A. Petrone (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

School Involvement of Mexican Parents: Crossing Borders, Changing Paradigms

This qualitative study explores the experiences of three families with parent involvement in Mexican and U.S. schools. This paper examines the following questions: How do Mexican parents exhibit concern and involvement in the education of their children in Mexican schools? What are their perceptions of parental involvement in US schools? Constraints and opportunities experienced by the families will help to frame recommendations for promoting more effective, culturally-relevant parent involvement of Mexican parents in U.S. schools.

Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh (University of Michigan)

Comprehension of the texts with different rhetorical structures

To understand how readers comprehend different texts, studying the differential contribution of different text-based characteristics, such as genre and rhetorical structure, is essential. This study investigates the comprehension of texts with different rhetorical structures by readers at different proficiency levels. Undergraduate university students read narrative, expository, and argumentative texts assumed to represent different rhetorical purposes. The results demonstrate significant differences between readers at different proficiency levels in the comprehension of different text types. The results also demonstrate that less proficient readers perform similarly on all the three text types, and thus fail to use the rhetorical structure of the text types and their related processing requirements to improve their performance on these texts. However, more proficient readers can use these features to their advantage in a more strategic manner. The results also confirm the developmental nature of the discourse type skills.

Kathleen Lee (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

The role of English in a Spanish dual language classroom

Despite the popularity of dual language immersion programs, researcher Guadalupe Valdes warns of possible negative effects that can occur due to the conflict of instructing two linguistically different groups in the same language. This study explores this claim in a 50/50 model dual language immersion program, where native Spanish-speaking students and native English-speaking students learn together, at an elementary school in Virginia. Through interpretative qualitative research, I examined the use of English in one first-grade Spanish classroom. According to the model proposed by the school, all instruction and participation in a Spanish classroom should occur in Spanish. During sixty hours of observation, I noted twelve situations where English was used consistently for classroom interaction. In this paper, I will examine the situations and offer reasons for the possible positive and negative effects of these behaviors on the students’ language and social development.

Guangyan Chen (Ohio State University)

Phonological Corrective Feedback Patterns and Repair Complexity

This presentation reviews research and theory in the area of Corrective Feedback (CF) in Second Language Acquisition and the field of Foreign Language Education. Issues examined include previous empirical CF studies using the observational methods and the theoretical rationale behind CF, which include the Input hypothesis, Output hypothesis, Interaction theory, and finally Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the study describes and analyzes CF patterns and repair complexity through transcription of nine sessions of three Mandarin teachers’ phonological CF to their first-year Chinese students at OSU. The goal of the study is to explore potential effects of CF, which is unclear in the current CF research. The study demonstrates that the teacher’s perception of the student’s Zone of Proximal Development is the key factor that decides CF patterns, and therefore provides the theoretical basis for establishing measurement of CF.