February 18, 2012
western Carolina University
Dr. Randi Reppen
Northern Arizona University
Dr. Randi Reppen is Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESL at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Shehas extensive ESL and teacher training experience, including eleven years as the Director of NAU's Intensive English program.Randi's research interests include the use of corpora for language teaching and materials development.She is the author of Using Corpora in the Language Classroom and an author of the series Grammar and beyond, both published by Cambridge University Press.
plenary: Developing corpus materials and activities for the English Language classroom
This presentation will explore three ways to use corpus materials and activities to enhance English language instruction.irst, we will explore using information from corpus research and corpus-based reference works to inform syllabus design and also as a basis for creating language learning material.Second, we will explore developing materials from corpus resources and providing guidelines and examples of material that can be used in the classroom without computers.Finally, we will explore hands-on corpus activities that can be used in classrooms with computers.For each of the three parts, guidelines and example activities will be presented. By the end of the presentation, participants will have ideas and resources for activities that can be used in their classrooms to address the needs of learners across a range of language proficiencies.
Dr. Viviana Cortes
Georgia State University
Dr. Viviana Cortes is a Associate professor of Applied Linguistics program in College of Arts & Science, Georgia State University. She received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from Northern Arizona University in 2002 and she worked for the Program of Applied Linguistics and TESL at Iowa State University for six years before coming to Georgia State in the fall of 2008. At Iowa State she taught Descriptive Grammar, Discourse Analysis, English for Specific Purposes, and Advanced Academic Writing for international graduate Students. Before coming to the United States to pursue her graduate studies, she worked as an EFL teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina, her hometown in different elementary and high schools as well as in a teaching training program. Her research interests include the analysis of recurrent word combinations, such as lexical bundles, in different academic registers, and different types of corpus-based grammatical studies as well as the use of corpora in the teaching of academic writing. She has presented her research at numerous local conferences and in conferences and symposiums in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina. Her research articles can be found in journals such as English for Specific Purpose, Applied Linguistics, the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Linguistics and Education, and Corpora, and in several edited books.
Plenary: Fixed expressions in the language learning class
Formulaic language has been considered a key component of language proficiency and for that reason, it has been an important focus of attention for language researchers and practitioners for several decades. For many years, the identification of expressions that could become target formulas to be presented to language learners at different levels of their interlanguage development was based on perception: teachers and materials designers produce lists of expressions they thought could be useful for their students. The advancement of corpora and computers used in the study of such expressions has facilitated their identification and analysis, which can now be conducted empirically. We now know that fixed word combinations are extremely frequent and they convey very specific functions that language learners need to know. It is still under discussion, however, how to introduce these expressions to language learners. This presentation will include an introduction to the world of formulaic language, particularly to lexical bundles, which are groups of three or more words that frequently recur in specific registers, as well as an introduction to possible paths to present these expressions in the language learning class.
Kelly Buynitzky (Meredith College)
Creating a Successful English Language Learning Program from the Core: Integrating the Common Core/Essential Standards, WIDA, and SIOP
In order to be healthy and create longevity, we all need to develop a strong core. Building a strong English language learning program from the "Core/Essentials" is like building our bodies' cores. The English language learning core includes curricula standards like Common Core/Essential Standards and WIDA. These two curricula implementation protocols should use the pedagogy of SIOP informed by the inquiry processes of Bloom's Taxonomy. Drawing on second language acquisition research using the SIOP Model (e.g. Short, Vogt, & Echgevarria, 2011), the presenter suggests combining these four elements to create a successful English language learning program in the public schools. This workshop will provide teachers, mainly K-12, with a practical understanding of the Common Core/Essential State Standards, WIDA, SIOP, and inquiry based learning in conjunction with each other in the classroom. The workshop will introduce these curricula designs and teaching methodologies to the participants and provide activities for the teachers and students to take back to their classrooms. My intent in this workshop is to provide comprehensible input for better understanding of how inter-related these core concepts are for teaching ELLs.
Keri Matwick and Kelsi Matwick (University of Florida)
A Genre-Based Approach to Teaching Literacy to ESL students through Recipes
Instruction of an ESL genre-based classroom begins with consideration of how language has a specific purpose for each context and is culturally-dependent. A genre-based classroom goes beyond just teaching grammar by placing grammar in a real-world context. As the Halliday school of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) suggests, language has a particular function within the system with intentional meaning-making. The language choices that a speaker and writer make are context-dependent and oriented towards a particular audience. Recognizing the recurring linguistic patterns associated with each context is the goal of a genre-based classroom, and not just memorization in isolation. We propose to show a way to implement a genre-based classroom that teaches literacy through Recipes, a genre that features specific linguistic forms such as imperatives, conjunctions, long noun groups, embedded strategically within a recognizably distinct format. We have designed a sample 3-day instruction to an intermediate ESL classroom of how to teach Recipes, a lesson that calls attention to linguistic features used in a real context.
Leticia Trower (Gaston County Schools, NC)
What's the Point? Using Lesson Objectives to Enhance Language Learning
This workshop will describe the benefits of presenting lesson-level language-learning objectives to students in both language and content classes. Research has shown that learners must actively engage in cognitive processing in order for meaningful learning to take place (Wittrock 1989; Mayer 2011). Defining and presenting learning goals at the outset of a lesson assists learners in the cognitive process of selecting relevant information on which to focus. When objectives specifically target language-learning goals, the benefits of this cognitive processing can enhance language learning. Participants in this session will analyze and evaluate several lesson objectives (including WIDA's Model Performance Indicators), ultimately identifying the key features and components of effective objectives. The session will end with hands-on practice as participants draft lesson-level language-learning objectives for their own students.
Elisa Mattos(Authentic English Business Language Center, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Using Technology to Promote Learner Autonomy in English Language Teaching: Experiences from Brazil
This presentation reflects upon the use of technology to promote learner autonomy in English Language Teaching and presents an account of two experiments in which an e-learning service and the digital genres e-mail and microblog – also categorized as a social network (Orihuela, 2007) – were used with a total number of 25 students from two language schools in Brazil. Autonomy is hereby understood as a social process (Camilleri, 2008; Thanasoulas, 2000) in which students can exercise their pro-activeness and independence by setting their own goals and choosing tasks, among others (Holec, 1983). In the first experiment, the e-learning service gradually made the students take up on more responsibilities and make decisions regarding their learning process. In the second experiment, the use of e-mail and microblogs incited a more responsive attitude from learners, who engaged more frequently in communication using the target language. Through the exchange of emails, learners also became more aware of language use and appropriateness, and the use of microblogs provided them with the opportunity to actively take part in the world of digital communication, an issue that has been at the core of pedagogical planning in Brazil as defended in the Brazilian Educational Guidelines (Brasil, 2006).
Yu-Fen Mary Lee (National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan)
What do Ending Verbs End? A Corpus Analysis of the Semantic Ending Verbs, "End" and "Finish"
Near-synonymous set, end and finish is regarded as interchangeable to most English learners in Taiwan because of the identical translation in the textbooks. Adopting a corpus-analytical approach, this study examines the words and explores the differences between the two by examining their distributional patterns, including collocational, colligational, and semantic variations. After inspecting the collocational behaviors, a lexical profile for end and finish is built, and distributional differences are shown. The methodological tools are an English corpus (BNCweb), an analytical query tool (Sketch Engine), and two dictionaries. First, the collocational and colligational differences are revealed. Further, by analyzing the salient semantic features of the collocations, the subtle differences between the synonymous set are proposed. The findings of the semantic variation show that (a) "finish" tends to collocate with animate subject and concrete words, (b) end accompanies abstract nouns and nouns that take a period of time feature, such as month, in the subject position, (c) end contains the negative semantic prosody, and (d) unlike "end","finish" accompanies events in the object position that are more certain of the ending time ; while end does not. These findings suggest that the two words are not always interchangeable. Pedagogical implications to teaching near-synonyms for EFL learners are discussed.
Michelle Plaisance & Kristina Marino (University of North Carolina Charlotte)
A Collaborative Approach to Serving English Language Learners: Overcoming Perceived Obstacles to Co-Teaching in a K-5 Setting
Teaching young English Language Learners (ELLs) in a K-5 setting presents a wide-variety of options in terms of program models. ESL pull-out classes have been utilized as a means of providing the additional instruction necessary for ELLs to achieve English proficiency. However, increasing demands have been placed on instructional time in the content areas, rendering ESL pull-out classes undesirable.Additionally, research consistently describes pull-out programs as weak and ineffective (Collier & Thomas, 2002), giving professional educators good reason to reconsider traditional approaches. Co-teaching is a new trend in serving ELLs, as educators begin to examine ways in which ESL teachers can work in tandem with their mainstream counterparts to effectively serve their students (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2010). There are, however, perceived obstacles to this model, preventing many from even attempting to implement such a program.This presentation, given by two teachers who have experienced success with a co-teaching model, will address these obstacles, providing practical solutions for overcoming them as well as strategies to enhance collaboration among all teachers who share in the responsibility for educating ELLs.
Amanda Temples (Georgia State University)
Investment in Arabic Language Learners at a U.S. Middle School:Where National and Family Language Policy Intersect
Building the foreign language capacity of U.S. students to meet the needs of a 21st-century global society will involve increased attention to languages that are considered both critical languages, valuable for international security, diplomacy, and economic competitiveness (Jackson & Malone, 2009), and heritage languages, valuable to a community of speakers who want to pass on their language and culture to their children (Wiley, 2001, 2007).Arabic, which is taught in only about 1% of U.S. primary school FL programs but growing fast (Rhodes & Pufahl, 2010), is a key exemplar of both categories.Based on findings from ethnographic interviews, class observations, and surveys conducted with students at a U.S. public charter school and their parents, this paper describes the desire for multilingual competence that has attracted parents to this program and their children's perceptions of and participation in the learning process.By comparing investment (Norton, 2000) in language learning among Arabic-speaking and non-Arabic-speaking families and connecting their priorities to the alternate (and sometimes conflicting) views of Arabic as a critical and heritage language, this study points to implications for young students' learning and identity construction when family language policy (King & Fogle, 2006) and national language policy (Brecht, 2007) intersect.
Brian Graves (Western Carolina University)
"Manipulating Language in Meaningful Contexts": Reconsidering Grammar in Basic and First-Year Composition Instruction
Composition theorists have presented ample evidence to argue that "grammar" instruction does not improve students' writing, while scholars of TESOL have made convincing cases for the benefits of form-focused instruction in L2 composition courses. The disconnect here is more apparent than real, however. As composition specialists like Patrick Hartwell and James D. Williams have acknowledged in different ways, linguists mean by "grammar" something rather different than what most English teachers have traditionally understood. Students bring an internalized grammar with them to writing classes. The goal is not to "correct" their grammar, but to develop greater metalinguistic awareness. Instruction that focuses attention on the underlying structural logic of various "grammars"—the students' own plus that of various other registers, including academic prose—can, in short, help a great deal. This presentation will consider in practical ways what Hartwell's (1985) call for "active involvement with language" (p. 125) might look like in a college writing course that enrolls both L1 and L2.
Alisha Biler (University of South Carolina)
Improve Your Spoken English with Steve Jobs: Using Web 2.0 Tools to Improve Student Pronunciation
With the increasing presence of web 2.0 tools and technology, students and teachers have access to an overwhelming amount of language learning tools which utilize authentic English for listening and responding; however, there are few tools available addressing the pressing need of improving pronunciation. English Central, a partially free website, has thousands of videos of varying degrees of difficulty, all incorporating authentic English. From movie trailers to Steve Jobs' commencement speech, students can listen and record their speech for many genres of video. English Central is unique in that it allows students to have their pronunciation rated and compared to a native speaker. The free section of the website also enables teachers to enroll students in a group, select class videos, and then track and rank student pronunciation performance. The present, ongoing, study seeks to determine if using English Central in the classroom increases student motivation by helping students self-correct and aiding self-study. For this qualitative study, students use English Central for nine weeks and complete a questionnaire addressing the website's involvement in their motivation to improve pronunciation, likelihood of using such websites for self-study, and overall assistance in improving pronunciation.
Anne Mitchell & Chirstina Correnti (Ohio State University)
Interaction between Working Memory and Crosslinguistic Influence in Language Learning
The role of working memory in the language learning process is currently receiving increased attention from researchers in the fields of Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism.While crosslinguistic influence (CLI) has long been identified as a significant factor in L2 learning, little research has been devoted to exploring the specific relationship between CLI and working memory.A research project in the Ohio University department of Linguistics seeks to contribute to this area of research by examining how working memory, crosslinguistic influence, and L2 proficiency levels interact in L2 processing and production. Participants in the study include 50 Chinese-speaking learners of English in the Ohio Program of Intensive English with proficiency levels ranging from low intermediate to low advanced.Participants were administered a battery of working memory tasks, as well as L2 production and processing tasks in both their native Chinese and English.Results demonstrate significant influences and interactions among the three variables.We discuss the pedagogical implications of these results as they relate to Cognitive Load Theory and question whether working memory may be improved.
Greg Raver (Old Dominion University)
The Asian /r/ and /l/: Does an Alternative Articulation Offer a fix?
Native speakers of many Asian languages including Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, struggle to differentiate the /r/ from the/l/, and many have a hard time perceiving the difference. ESL teachers often instruct students to produce both phonemes in the alveolar position, but attempts to correct misarticulations often fail. Many native speakers of these languages go through life unable to produce clear differences between the phonemes. Numerous efforts to improve correct production of the /r/ and /l/ by increasing the ability of speakers to perceive the difference can require a large investment of time for relatively minimal results. Research by Raver-Lampman & Dossou (2010), however, found acceptable alternative articulation for the /l/, with the tongue touching the top teeth protruding slightly. In this position, it is impossible to make an /r/ sound.For this pilot study, we found that explicitly teaching this new articulation for the phoneme /l/ can improve the ability to differentiate the phonemes in one short teaching session. This presentation would both review the research and give ESL instructors a new tool to help their students conquer this notoriously frustrating phonemic problem.
Davina Kittrell (Marshall University)
Making Sense out of Tense: How First Language Influence Impedes Thai Learners' Acquisition of the English Present Perfect Tense
Thai language doesn't grammaticalize tense information in the same way as English. In Thai tense is expressed through time phrases, time markers, aspect markers, and special verbs (Burusphat, 1991), while in English morphological changes and syntactic changes are needed to mark the tenses.The different grammatical systems of tense and possible first language transfer might be a hurdle for Thai learners of English to correctly encode tense information in English. This paper analyzes sixteen writing samples from Thai high school students with varying English language proficiencies. Eighteen sentences were examined in detail which displayed general confusions by Thai learners in terms of the present perfect tense. The analysis indicates that those Thai students relied on first language transfer, primarily the use of adverbials, to indicate the present perfect tense. Based on this study, I will provides some pedagogical suggestion, such as the use of cognitive grammar techniques like sentence mapping, to help language learners bridge the gap between tense and tenseless languages.
Ken Knight (University of Georgia)
English Loanwords and Phonological Transfer in Japanese as a Second Language
Negative Transfer (interference) is a widely studied phenomenon in Second Language Acquisition. Although a great deal of research has been done on negative transfer in the acquisition of English phonology by native speakers of Japanese, little of such work has focused on phonological acquisition by learners of Japanese. The current study explores phonological transfer during oral production among adult learners of Japanese and asks: 1) Do recognizable English loanwords in Japanese cause L1 English speakers to apply English phonological rules to L2 Japanese?; 2) If so, is this phenomenon compounded by length of loanword or overall phrase?; and 3) Is there any correlation between speaker and learner gender and negative phonological transfer? In an elicited imitation (listener repetition) task, 22 English-speaking adult learners of Japanese (of various ability levels) and one Japanese NS were each aurally presented with 30 tokens containing loanwords (all of controlled lengths) in initial, medial or final
positions as well as 6 distractor tokens . Their responses were recorded and scored for naturalness on a six-point Likert scale by an additional Japanese NS. Learners were found to apply reduction, diphthongization, and deletion to loanword vowel segments. This reveals a tendency to transfer L1 rules of isochrony (e.g. stress-timing) and phonotactics in oral Japanese production
Randy Magdaluyo (University of Pennsylvania)
Organizational Structures and Features in Argumentative Writing: The Case of ESL Students in Multilingual Context
One pressing concern among ESL writers is the confusing differences that exist between the conventions of writing in their first language and target language. However, whether writing is done in first or target languages, one is expected to follow a basic structure of introduction, body and conclusion. In this study, samples of argumentative essays of thirty Filipino college ESL students from three distinct linguistic backgrounds (Cebuano, Chavacano and Tausug) were analyzed to explain the complex nature of ESL writing in a multilingual context. Anchored on Rhetorical Structure Theory, the writing samples were analyzed with respect to their organizational structures and features. Focus group discussions were also conducted to help clarify the possible influence of students' first language on the ways their essays were conceptualized and organized. Results suggest that while students' essays were written in varied length, the overall organizational structures and features did not differ significantly. First language was also revealed to have a facilitative role in the cognitive translation process of these students. As such, implications for the teaching of ESL writing based on organizational framework and students' linguistic resources will be discussed.
Forrest Caskey (Western Carolina University)
Corpus Linguistics and Gender:A Fabulous Little Research Study, Dude
For decades, linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, and gender scholars have studied and made assumptions about how and why women and men speak in the manner that they do. Robin Lakoff and Deborah Tannen's seminal scholarship created a dichotomy by which they and many other scholars believe men and women speak. Until recently this binary has generally been tested using anecdotal and qualitative research methods upon normative individuals.With Leap (1994) came a resounding push for the inclusion of queer representation in gender linguistics studies which, however, were likewise limited by the narrowness of the analytical nature of the studies' methodology.More contemporary gender linguistic literature is currently calling for a more quantitative approach to test this aforementioned dichotomy. Corpus linguistics and corpus analyses appear to be valid approaches to answering this call. The current study revolves around a corpus of 50+ hours of recorded spoken dialogue between groups of heterosexual men, heterosexual women, and queer men.The analysis of the corpus data has yielded some interesting results which challenge prevalent theories on gender and queer linguistics. This presentation discusses these results and builds a convincing case for using corpus linguistics as a tool in analyzing speech.
Jiang Xiangyu and Jackie Young (University of Georgia)
"Learning with Style": A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Learning Preferences
The field of second language teaching has witnessed a healthy and rapid growth of research on learning styles which has suggested that various learning style(s) characterized by an individual learner does(do) tell a correlationbetween an individual's learning style(s) and his/her performance on different linguistic elements (Gregorc, 1979; Keefe, 1979; Price, 1975; Reid, 1987; Wang 1992). Through VARK questionnaire, a learning-style questionnaire that informs learners of their learning preferences (Fleming & Mills, 1992), this research discuses (1) whether students' overall language performance can be enhanced by putting more consideration on individual/group learning styles when teaching; and (2) whether internal or/and external factors contribute to individual different learning preference(s) and how so. Participants are 36 Chinese students majoring in English and 36 American students majoring in Chinese or Japanese. If internal factors play a role here, we should be able to see positive outcomes when the student's learning preference(s) and the stimuli are a match. If external factors indeed are influential, different learning styles cross-culturally are expected. Some pedagogical applications as to how to create a balanced learning environment and maintain a positive teaching-learning dynamic from the perspective of learning styles are suggested.
Meredith Steward (East Carolina University)
Adult English Language Learners: Increasing Conversational Skills Using Unedited Texts
Conversational English can be a challenging task for adult English Language Learners (ELLs). According to literature, scripted texts, semi-scripted texts, and authentic texts can be useful when learning conversational English skills (McCarthy & O'Keeffe, 2004); however, using unedited texts can be beneficial when working with an ELL who can successfully read semi-scripted texts, but is not ready to participate in real conversations. To investigate whether the use of unedited texts enhances conversational English skills, I used a blog during tutoring sessions with an adult ELL from South Korea for nine weeks. An informal interview and several quizzes targeting grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure suggested that the learner was capable of reading and understanding scripted and edited texts, but needed to enhance his conversational skills. Therefore, unedited texts, i.e. blogs, were used as a mediator between semi-scripted and authentic texts to reinforce informal expressions, cultural topics/issues, and turn-taking skills. For each session, the student first read the blog and then we discussed what he read. A follow-up interview with the student at the end of the nine-week period showed an improvement in his conversational English skills. These findings suggest that unedited texts increase conversational English skills, reflecting a more natural language including unpredictability and dynamism.
Thor Sawin (University of South Carolina)
Narrating Imagined Proficiency: Language as the Open Door
Adult language learners must engage the imagined nation-state community (Anderson, 1991) affiliated with their target language. This is especially true for religious missionaries, for whom integration into their host culture IS their instrumental motivation, and whose "success" depends on being able to establish an identity as legitimate peripheral participants (Meadows, 2010) in the host culture.Uniquely, these transnational migrants have no economic stake in learning the language of their host country; their labor is to wholly devote their attention to becoming "one of the people."In this study, 6 pre-field missionaries' are asked to narrate imagined future interactions in their host community once they have acquired proficiency in their target language (several less-commonly taught Eastern European languages).These narratives reveal the struggle to construct a motivation which reflects their own beliefs and stands in contrast to neo-liberal economic assumptions.As they "try on" imagined target language proficiency in these narratives, these language learners strategically use pronouns and metaphors of "doors" to position themselves within the truly imagined community of their host culture in scenarios of acceptance and identification, rejection and suspicion.The trying daily grind of language acquisition is transformed through narration into loving service of their target languages' speakers.
Masaki Shibata and Leo Roehrich (Marshall University)
The Importance of Teaching Gender Pragmatics in the ESL/EFL Classroom
Gendered speech is an important part of discourse due to the fact that feminine or masculine linguistic features in certain genre can have adverse or positive effects on communication (Speer, 2005). Teachers should include and explain such features and the contexts in which to use them as an integral part of language instruction (Kubota, 2003). The presenters surveyed 20 ESL pre-service teachers and 30 ESL/EFL students, using texts with different levels of gendered features. The participants were asked to identify the gender of the speakers and the corresponding linguistic features.Data analysis indicates that student participants, especially EFL students, were generally unable to identify the feature markers of feminine and masculine discourse.Although those pre-service teachers were able to identify the genders of the speakers, they could not elucidate their judgment with specific linguistic features. This study pinpoints the significance of raising awareness of pre-service ESL/EFL Teachers regarding gendered discourse. Such heightened awareness and knowledge will enable them to incorporate the forms/functions and pragmatics of gendered language use into their teaching and help their students to engage in social interactions beyond the classroom.
Luke Trawick (Western Carolina University)
The Role of Human Contact in Second Language Learning: Implications for ESL Instruction in Online Environments
Recent studies led by Patricia Kuhl (2003, 2004) demonstrate that infants require physical human interaction to effectively acquire a second language. Current SLA theory suggests that a balanced exposure to comprehensible input and output, supplemented by meaningful interaction with other ESL students as well as native English speakers provides the best opportunity for students to acquire English. Perhaps researchers, and ultimately teachers and students, have balanced what humans lose as infants with empirically-based methodologies designed for the virtual classroom, but research has not sufficiently addressed the possibility that we, as online teachers and students, might be missing something in our virtual classrooms that is ultimately irreplaceable. The proposed study attempts to demonstrate the need for research capable of answering the question of when, if at all, we develop a cognitive ability that compensates entirely for the need of human social interaction in learning second languages.
Marta McCabe (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)
Heritage Language Loss among Second Generation Immigrants in the U.S.: Causes and Consequences.
Language shift has been described to happen across three generations (Fishman, 1991).Today researchers document an even faster transition, showing that most children of immigrants become significantly English dominant or even English monolingual (Fillmore, 2000; Kouritzin, 1999; Portes & Hao, 2002).The rapid language assimilation, resulting in subtractive bilingualism, negatively affects the children and their families. Heritage language loss affects cohesiveness of the family, parental authority, and a healthy development of the child (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001). Still, current language policies inspired by the English-only movement pay little attention to heritage language maintenance (Wiley & Lee, 2009).Instead, schools demand of immigrants to "speak only English as a prerequisite for social acceptance and integration" (Rumbaut, 2009, p.36). In this paper I explore the factors contributing to the rapid language shift, such as the social context of language learning in the U.S., the role of ethnic community in heritage language maintenance, and language practices at home. My case study of a Central European immigrant mother's parenting experience provides an insight into the challenges of heritage language maintenance in America.Above all, it highlights the battle between parental efforts to maintain a language other than English and the larger societal pressures; between the immigrants' goals and their daily reality.
Aubrey Philips-Dillard (University of South Carolina)
The Role of Context in Overcoming Lexical Access Interference
Although lexical access and form-meaning connections (FMCs) have been examined in the field of second language acquisition for many years, there is still a great deal that is not understood about the nature of the lexical processing network. While it is known that cognates can facilitate new L2 FMCs (Lotto & de Groot, 1998; Vidal, 2003) and that lexical activation can occur within two different languages at once (Schwartz & Kroll, 2006), less is known about the specific interference that may occur between similar L1 and L2 forms when the meanings of the forms differ. Certainly, observational evidence tells us that these false cognates cause difficulties for language learners, but what is the exact nature of this difficulty? Is the strength of the activation of the L1 FMC problematic regardless of contextual evidence? This pilot study explores these questions by providing L1 English-L2 French university students with false cognates in meaningful and non-meaningful contexts within a self-paced reading task in order to determine if meaningful contexts lessen the processing load of false cognates. This presentation outlines the results of the pilot study and discusses its limitations as well as directions for future study.
Jana Williams (Western Carolina University)
Identifying Learning Disabilities in Limited English Proficient Students: A Literature Review
The overrepresentation of English Language Learners (ELLs) in Special Education classes underscores the difficulties faced by schools in determining when a student's low academic performance is a result of limited English proficiency, a learning disability, or both. Many ELLs, wrongly diagnosed as learning disabled languish in EC classes, often regressing in both their L1 and L2; while undetected LD/ELLs may struggle in emersion classes with no access to services for the learning disabled. In response to the passing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), which requires schools to distinguish ELLs from LD/ELLs, schools have been employing a variety of assessment tools and procedures. This presentation examines the effectiveness of the following assessment tools in distinguishing LD/ELLs from ELLs without learning disabilities: general outcome measures (GOM); response to intervention (RTI); and dynamic assessment (DA).
Molly Exten (American University)
The Use of Prompts as Corrective Feedback
This paper reviews prompts - a corrective feedback (CF) type that withholds information and overtly demands learner uptake, such as elicitation, clarification requests, repetition, and metalinguistic clues.A brief history of researcher and teacher perspectives on prompts highlights the underlying influence of negative evidence and explicitness in prompts. More recent research indicates two factors that influence a teacher's use of prompts:
(1) Error type—Prompts aid in the correction of lexical and grammatical errors more than phonological errors (Lyster, 1998; Tsang, 2004).
(2) Learner type—Teachers prompt low-proficiency and young learners less frequently than other learners (Oliver, 2000; Panova & Lyster, 2002).
Other researchers, at odds with prompts as a distinctive category, have pointed out that CF under labels such as prompts cannot account for the great functional variation of CF in the actual language classroom.Criticism of prompts casts doubt on the significance of the above-mentioned research, but it also demonstrates the effectiveness of CF labels as a means of teasing out the factors influencing error correction in the classroom.Greater awareness of these notions and functions of prompts can help second language teachers apply a more informed approach toward CF in their classrooms.
Komori Ayaka (Marshall University)
Gendered Speech in ESL/EFL Textbooks?
Most current research on language teaching recognizes the need to study contextualized language that differs according to users and contexts (Hopper, 1998; Itakura, 2009; Sturtz & Sreetharan, 2006).Although gendered speech is a well-known sociolinguistic fact, this feature has not been accurately represented in language textbooks. The presenter compares 15 conversations, specifically 5 real speech and 10 textbook dialogues in Japanese and English, regarding the grammatical and discourse features of gendered speech. The result indicates a lack of gendered speech in textbooks in spite of clear indication of the gender of the speakers. Although English is not as gender-specific as Japanese, gender differences in natural speech are easily identified in topic selection, lexical, syntactic and/or intonation choice. Apart from an expected recommendation that textbooks should incorporate more specific linguistic features of gendered speech, the presenter provides some pedagogical suggestions for classroom practices, such as a focused attention activity, role-play, and appropriateness judgment activity to help classroom practitioners to attend to subtle differences in a speaker's linguistic choice regarding gender markers that have a social and cultural influence.