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Department of English
TESOL/Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference

Bate Building


2013 Conference

February 16, 2013
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC


Dr. Charlene Polio   

Dr. Charlene Polio
Michigan State University

Dr. Charlene Polio is an associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian, & African Languages at Michigan State University, where she directed the MA Program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for many years. Her main area of research is second language (L2) writing. She is particularly interested in the various research methods and measures used in studying L2 writing as well as the interface between the fields of L2 writing and second language acquisition. She has also published and done research in the areas of second language acquisition, foreign language classroom discourse, and behavior differences in novice vs. experienced teachers. For a list of Charlene Polio's numerous publications, visit:

Dr. Polio conducts workshops for foreign language teachers through MSU's Center for Language Education and Research and the Center for Language Teaching Advancement, where she is in charge of professional development. She has been a visiting instructor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto and Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the current editor of the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, served on the editorial board of Journal of Second Language Writing for eight years, and completed a term on the board of TESOL Quarterly.

Plenary: The relevance of second language acquisition theory to the written error correction debate

The controversies surrounding written error correction can be traced to Truscott (1996) in his polemic against written error correction. He claimed that empirical studies showed that error correction was ineffective and that this was to be expected "given the nature of the correction process and the nature of language learning" (p. 328, emphasis added). Although many empirical studies have investigated the effectiveness of written error correction, few researchers have delved into the claim that written error correction is incompatible with theories of second language acquisition (SLA). This presentation discusses written error correction from the perspective of various approaches to SLA and what they might have to say about written error correction. In addition, studies that are conducted within the various approaches are described. I argue that despite differences in the various approaches, some conclusions can be drawn, most notably, that written error correction could be effective in certain conditions. I also argue that L2 writing studies done within certain approaches to SLA could move the field forward. Finally, I end with a research agenda that can help clarify the error correction controversy.

Workshop: How to give (and not to give) feedback on written language     

In this workshop, I will first review different methods for providing language feedback on student writing, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods.  In addition, I will present ways to help students pay attention to and use the feedback effectively.  Finally, I will argue that not all writing needs to be corrected and that teachers can structure assignments to provide opportunities for students to self-correct.  

Ji Yeon Kim (Indiana University, Bloomington)
The study of an English teacher training program in Korea

This paper aims to examine the teacher training program of the B University in South Korea to understand its characteristics, to identify whether the program achieves its goals for effective teacher professional development, and to suggest some ways of improving the program for enhancing English teacher professional development in Korea. Data were collected from the goals and principles, programs, and the curriculum on the homepage of the B university training program and analyzed through a content analysis method. The results of this study showed that the program was inappropriate for teacher professional development in that it focused on developing Korean English teachers' communicative competence on the basis of top-down approach to professional development. The program focused on transmitting knowledge and skills to teachers, rather than on promoting reflective teaching practices. The paper will offer some specific ways in which the B University could build a curriculum that promotes dialogic and collaborative inquiry. 
Burcu Gokgoz Kurt, Julie Medlin & Ashley Tessarolo (University of South Carolina)
The role of explicit intonation instruction in learner communicative competence in L2 classroom 

In L2 classrooms, the teaching of intonation receives relatively less attention when compared to other suprasegmental aspects of language teaching (Chun, 1988). The scarcity of studies in L2 intonation (Ritchie and Bhatia, 2009. p. 255) may be attributed to the lack of agreement on a common model for L1 acquisition of intonation in generative literature (see Ladd, 1996, cited in R & B, 2009, for a discussion). This is also evidenced by a lack of explicit teaching and Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) materials (Lewis 1999). The present study, therefore, aims to investigate the effects of explicit instruction on L2 English learners' perception of prosodically ambiguous intonation patterns, as well as the effects of reported musical familiarity on intonation acquisition. A control group and a treatment group of low-intermediate international English students were asked to judge the meaning of three types of sentence-final intonation patterns: declarative sentences, tag questions, and wh-questions. Overall, the group that received explicit instruction during the four-week treatment phase scored higher on the perception test than the control group. However, no significant improvement in students with reported musical familiarity was found. A discussion of limitations and implications of this study is also discussed.
Chloe Hammett (Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA) 
Show me the way to Boston: An Analysis of definite article usage with place names in English 
The definite article "the" is the most frequent word in the English language, yet it is one of the hardest to master for second language learners of English. One of the most vivid examples of this lies in the pairing of the definite article with several types of proper names of place. Why, for instance, would we say "I'm going to Boston and I hope to see the Atlantic while I'm there" in the same breath, yet find it so odd to hear "going to the Boston" and "see Atlantic?" This analysis will investigate the often varied distribution of the definite article as well as those instances when the so-called zero article is more appropriate. This will be accomplished through a look at corpora data such as that presented in the Corpus of Contemporary American English as well as feedback from current upper-intermediate English students in the classroom. The study will seek to provide pedagogical insights for instructors of English.  
Caroline Baker (Mississippi State University)
Perceptions of the use of online translators in English composition classes 

Given recent calls for university English composition policies to be informed by the actual practices and populations of students at a given institution (Tardy, 2011), this study investigates the composing practices of multilingual students in English composition classes and, more specifically, their perceptions of using online translators for class assignments.  The paper situates the use of online translators into a larger body of research on digital composing practices and provides important data for understanding university composition policies. Four international students and three native English-speaking Composition instructors participated in interviews about their attitudes toward the use of online translators in the composing process.  All interviews were transcribed and coded for major themes.  The analysis focuses on learners' conflicting views regarding the reputation and understood permissibility of the services and instructors' justification of their attitudes and policies regarding using online translators.  These findings suggest that instructors often lack the experience to make informed policies about online translators, and students often must negotiate teachers' expectations with their digital composing practices that are at odds with one another. Recommendations for policies will also be suggested in order to ensure that students are encouraged to learn writing skills that are useful outside of the classroom. 
M.ª Esther Mediero Durán (Madisonville North Hopkins High School, KY, USA)
Lexical errors in Acquisition of English as a Foreign language
This paper reports on one part of a study undertaken by the TREACLE research group in Spain, which explores the errors made by Spanish learners of English within a Spanish University context. Within the study, 304 student texts (110,000 words) were annotated, identifying lexical, grammatical, pragmatic and register errors. The presenter will report the results for lexical errors in the study and provide suggestions as to how these results may influence English teaching for Spanish L1 students. The study  made use of the WriCLE corpus (Rollinson & Mendikoetxea, 2010) and the UPV Learner Corpus (Andreu et al., 2010). Texts were annotated by 7 coders, using annotation software, UAM CorpusTool. 16,072 errors were identified, of which 3,375 errors were lexical. A study of these errors reveals which English words are problematic for Spanish learners, and what mechanisms lead to these errors. Errors have been classified into those resulting from transfer from Spanish (coinage and false friends) and non-transfer-induced errors, including simple misspellings and using words out of context. These results provide indications to vocabulary teachers of Spanish as to what vocabulary needs to be targeted to avoid common pitfalls that learners face.
Ahmed Rabee (Jerash University, Jordan)
The Role of educational administration in developing ESL Skills by undergraduate students at Jerash University 

Educational administration through its adherence to principles of educational philosophy can play a vital role in the process of teaching English to bachelor students at Jerash university in Jordan. Jerash students who are enrolled in a wide variety of disciplines which vary from scientific, social, agricultural, nursing, engineering and educational fields should submit English proficiency exam besides taking two obligatory English skills courses. This paper examines the role of educational administration in the improvement of English teaching methods at Jerash university. The researcher hopes through this study to highlight the appropriate guidelines based on the principles of the theory of educational administration which can lend a hand in improving the levels of English skills for bachelor students in the university.  
Narges Kazemi Zadeh Gol (The University of Toledo, Ohio) 
A contrastive study of the speech act of refusal: Iranian ESL learners and NES Americans 

The current research is a contrastive study of the speech act of refusal. Iranian ESL learners who have been in the US for at least one year and therefore are to some extent familiar with the target language culture are compared to native English speaking (NES) Americans. The data were gathered from 50 Iranian ESL learners and NES Americans using a role play scenario consisting of requests, suggestions, invitations, and offers. Data were then coded based on "The classification of illocutionary acts" by Searle (1976). Statistical analysis reveals that the responses are very similar in the speech act categories used. My finding contrasts with the results of other research such as Atashaneh & Izadi (2011) and Vaezi (2011) comparing native Persian speakers or Iranian EFL learners with NES Americans, based on the classification of refusals as a unit of analysis (Beebe, Takahashi, & Uliss-Weltz, 1990), which suggest a high level of differences in producing the speech act of refusal. Thus, the perception and production of refusals as dual face-threatening acts in a second language especially for EFL learners is a complex task which require acquisition of sociocultural values of the target language at a higher degree.  
Youssif Zaghwani Omar (University of Missouri, Columbia, MO) 
Grammar translation ethod and Libyan students' communicative competence 

Due to the urgent need for communicating with people from different countries, learning an international language, namely English, is a real must in Libya. Though English has been taught in Libya since 1997 in public schools, Libyan graduate students still fail to interact with English native speakers in reality. The main reason of this failure, as research shows, is attributed to the use of Grammar Translation Method (GTM) in teaching EFL in Libya.  The result of using GTM in teaching EFL in Libyan schools, universities, and English language centers is that most master and doctoral students, including English majors, fail to get academic admissions in overseas universities, as they fail to get the required scores on TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT. In this study, I interviewed twenty Libyan master and doctoral students studying in the USA. These students were teaching EFL in Libya before coming to the USA. The main objective of this study was to explore the participants' perceptions about the influence of GTM on Libyan students' English proficiency. Findings of this study show that Libyan students know English vocabulary and grammar, but they don't know how to use English in reality. Considering the study's implications, I will discuss possible ways of improving the situation of EFL teaching in Libya.  
Horace Andrews (the Robert F Kennedy Middle School, Charlotte, NC) 
Techniques of an ESL master teacher 

This paper examines teaching practices in the ESL middle school classroom with reference to the interaction of cognitive development and the stimulation of affective behaviors. One veteran middle school teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina regularly achieves reading EOG targets, with a 100 percent success rate in 2011-12. Her pedagogical system is analyzed using examples. Operating under the cognitive objectives given by the State's Standard Course of Study in the Language Arts, this teacher brings innovative writing assignments to her classroom featuring essays on cultural and personal identity and assigns poster presentations for more complex assignments.  This master teacher accelerates learning by not waiting for fluency in listening and speaking to challenge students with creative uses of writing and the reading of popular literature. Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in both the cognitive and affective domains provides a lens through which these practices can be examined. Her ESL model of instruction challenges Bloom's continuum of complexity in several ways. For the development of English reading skills in non-native speakers, acceptance of the classroom structure and discipline, and acclimation to the school culture come before Bloom's first stage on the affective side, receptivity, and the acquisition of the language code and the patterns of English discourse are viewed as barriers to reading comprehension of equal importance as cognitive development. SA 
Laura M. Frye (East Carolina University) 
The effect of morphological complexity on decoding among adults  

This study examined differences in decoding skills among adults as a function of morphological derivation. Thirty-one participants – 24 control and 7 experimental – completed a pre-experimental battery of standardized tests measuring receptive vocabulary, morphological knowledge (MK), and decoding skills. The experimental procedure evaluated decoding skills of morphologically complex words as a function of rate (ms) and accuracy (%). Stimuli were selected from two word types: nouns and adjectives; morphological complexity had two levels:  suffix shift or neutral suffix. Among the results, a significant interaction was found between suffix type and group as measured by response time. Significant main effects were found for suffix type as measured by response time and accuracy; a significant main effect was found for word type as measured by response time. Correlation analyses were significant between pre-experimental receptive vocabulary scores and experimental suffix-shift accuracy data as well as between pre-experimental decoding skill scores and experimental response time and accuracy data. No significant relationship was found between the experimental data and the pre-experimental test scores of MK. The results suggest that morphological complexity is a significant contributor to fluent decoding skills among adults. Current standardized assessments of decoding or MK are insufficient to measure this effect.     
Shahriar Mirshahidi & Hooman Saeli (Oklahoma State University) 
ESL vs. native speaker student writers' perception of form-focused feedback in the writing class: Does the source of feedback matter? 

The purpose of the present study was to survey the perceptions and preferences of native speaker vs. nonnative speaker student writers towards the form-focused feedback they received from three possible sources. These sources included teacher feedback, peer feedback, and outside sources that can provide students with grammar feedback, namely, writing centers, online writing labs, tutors, and grammar books. To this end, an 18-item questionnaire comprising 4-point and 6-point Likert scales and open-ended questions was utilized in one Freshman Composition including native speakers of English (N=16) and one International Composition class including ESL students (N=14) at a south-central university. The students reflected upon how they perceived the feedback from the above-mentioned sources, as well as their preferences concerning these sources. Overall, both groups indicated similar tendencies vis-à-vis feedback channels. The groups valued teacher feedback over other sources, differed in how they perceived the importance of peer feedback in that native speaker students tend to rely on their peers more, and both reported to use outside sources as well. Thus, teachers are encouraged to continue the role of feedback provider to both ESL and native English speaking students and depend on peer feedback and other contributory tools to better nurture students' textual-grammatical needs. 
Nazenin Gurel (East Carolina University) 
Predicting subjective grammaticality rating from six different sentence categories   

Perceptions of grammaticality vary between cultures (Schulz, 2002). In this study, 105 native and nonnative speaker participants were asked to judge sentence grammaticality; 52 of them were primed to describe grammaticality before viewing items. Being a native speaker, educational level, and age were thought to relate to differences in experiencing a culture. 59 sentences (grammatical, ungrammatical, garden path, regional vernacular, nonsensical, or items with made up words) were rated on a 5-point scale for grammaticalness, similar to previous research (Cleary & Langley, 2007). Previous research has looked for commonalities between items rated ungrammatical (Marks, 1967), and examined differences in recall between sentences (Cleary & Langley, 2007). We hypothesized that being a native speaker would influence judgments, and that primed participants would give lower ratings. Results indicate that age, gender, and status as a native speaker were significant predictors. Overall hypotheses concerning native speakers were supported, while priming hypotheses were not. Responses to sentence types other than ungrammatical are harder to predict (p>.05), suggesting ungrammatical stimuli are more recognizable in terms of their grammaticalness. 
Kimberlee Raper (Pitt Community College) 
The Benefits of a Face-to-Face support mathematics class for Project IDEAL PCC advanced-level adult ESL students enrolled in Skills Tutor online 

Pitt Community College participates in Project IDEAL, a DE program for adult learners.  Fall semester, 2012, PCC offered SkillsTutor On-line to Advanced ESL students. This  presentation highlights results of a SkillsTutor hybrid class, and offers instructional strategies, insights, and encouragement to ESOL mathematics instructors. The research was conducted primarily to determine the benefits of a pilot program offering a face-to-face support mathematics class for Project IDEAL PCC Advanced-level Adult ESL students enrolled in SkillsTutor and to answer the question: What is the potential for a F2F hybrid support mathematics class to benefit and facilitate learning for qualified students transitioning from ESL to GED?  Official TABE pre-test/mid-term-test scores provided the comparative data used to measure student achievement. SkillsTutor On-line participation, intended primarily as independent study, was rather low as the majority of students chose to learn concepts through the F2F classes. Based on teacher observation, quizzes, and TABE scores, our findings suggest that a SkillsTutor hybrid F2F support class, specifically targeting mathematics, has the potential to: (1) assist ESL students facing unique linguistic challenges and potential disadvantages in mathematics; (2) support, encourage, and motivate students transitioning from ESL to GED; (3) help identify mathematical weaknesses; and (4) provide regularly scheduled learner-centered instruction incorporating group work, peer tutoring, and student-teacher interaction.  
Yana Bardashevich, Alyson Eggleston & Rai d'Honore (East Carolina University) 
Setting the standard: A statistical analysis for an ESL entrance / exit exam 

Quantitative measures of student level and cumulative progress can be a valuable tool in identifying student-specific strengths and weaknesses, as well as curriculum efficacy. In the context of the East Carolina University Language Academy (ECULA), students are required to take a placement test in order to ascertain their ESL proficiency level. In order to assess their progress during their time with ECULA, an entry/exit exam that will set standards for L2 English assessments has been created to provide ECULA the opportunity to develop program-internal knowledge of student progress. The creation of the exam database, the resources that were used, as well as its reflection of ECULA outcomes and objectives and the implementation of the Entrance/Exit exam within the ECULA curriculum will be discussed. This assessment tool will quantifiably demonstrate improvement in student performance. Benefits of this project include the ability to statistically identify those demographic factors that may influence student performance. This presentation will provide an analysis of pilot data, which will focus on the process of assessment development, its impact with regard to the curriculum, as well as some possible factors that may be indicative of student success. 
Christina Bethel (East Carolina University) 
Considering Japanese EFL learner emotions through culturally appropriate pedagogy 

English has been compulsory in Japanese education for decades, so why can't the average Japanese person speak it? The Japanese Ministry of Education is aware of the gap and acknowledges the need for change. Aspinall (2006) describes steps taken to bridge the gap and reasons it persists in spite of governmental measures. The systemic problem stems in part from three factors:  (1) the abundance of Japanese English teachers (JETs) who lack English competence from being trained only in grammar-translation, (2) a continued emphasis on exam preparation over government-established curricular goals due to societal pressures, and (3) a lack of cultural awareness and confidence exhibited by both native English speaking teachers (NESTs) and JETs. In my presentation, I will explain how these factors contribute to negative emotions Japanese students connect to learning English. I will also argue that it is vital for teachers to develop intercultural communicative competence to make effective pedagogical choices for EFL learners. By examining several action research projects, empirical studies on Japanese emotions and emotions in Japanese EFL contexts, and results of a semi-structured ethnographic interview I have conducted, I will explore ways EFL teachers can incorporate more effective and more culturally appropriate learning activities in the Japanese classroom.  
Rai d'Honoré & William Mallett (East Carolina University) 
Aiding the process of acculturation for international students in the English-speaking community 

The infusion of new students attending East Carolina University's Language Academy (ECULA) posits challenges regarding cultural and linguistic differences making it important to examine appropriate ways in which to integrate these individuals into the classroom, institution, North Carolina and the United States.  To address these challenges, the leadership of ECULA has devised initiatives and implemented methodologies that increase the awareness of cultural and linguistic differences. In this presentation, Dr. Rai d'Honore, Director of ECULA, will discuss the implementation of an articulation and pronunciation laboratory in cooperation with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders which enhances English language learners' knowledge and production of Standard American English (SAE), whereby improving their fluency and enabling them to communicate more effectively within the English-speaking academic and social communities. Next, Dr. William Mallett, Assistant Director for International Student Advisement, will discuss initiatives such as new student orientation and the First Friends (peer mentoring) program allowing incoming students to better familiarize themselves with the multitude of sociocultural contexts in which they must learn to operate. (Invited Session)  
Melanie Sadur & Brittany Moore (North Carolina Migrant Education Program) 
Taking English to the fields: Challenges of creating an ESL program for migrant farmworkers 

The North Carolina Migrant Education Program created a small-scale volunteer-based ESL program in Pitt and Wayne counties in the fall of 2012. Community members and ECU students broke out from the traditional classroom and taught "survival English" to farmworkers at migrant camps. The presentation will give an overview of the Migrant Education Program and the educational barriers migrant farmworkers face in North Carolina and across the nation. We will analyze the strengths and challenges of volunteer English tutors who have little or no professional training, particularly within a nontraditional educational setting. There will be an overview of our particular method of ESL classes, including the details of setting up a volunteer-based program, recruitment and training of volunteers, and how we compiled our curriculum. In addition, we will discuss the challenges of teaching the migrant farmworker population, including student attendance issues as well as several cultural differences. Finally, we will review the strengths and weaknesses of our pilot classes, and discuss changes that will be made to ensure the bright future of this program. 
Matthew Herrmann (East Carolina University) 
Pedagogical considerations for ESL educators within the current Council on Writing Program Administrators' Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition 

Foreign-born residents constitute 12.5% of the United States' population.  64% of school age children born in America to parents within this demographic are identified as limited English proficiency speakers (NWP, 2011).  Due to the ever-changing nature of our society, educators need to readdress how we define literacies for students entering first-year composition (FYC) courses at the college-level. The "Symposium: On the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing" (FSPW) in College English further underscores why fostering this conversation is necessary.  The FSPW posits the teaching of composition as a universal activity of all K – 16 educators, an idea originating from the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) Outcomes Statement for FYC.  Learning goals found within CWPA's Outcomes Statement proffer valuable pedagogical strategies for guiding educators teaching native English speakers, but they fail to integrate the needs of English language learners (ELLs).  In this session, we will discuss taking EL learner abilities into consideration thereby helping us craft a more effective framework for FYC. Specifically, we will focus on (1) encouraging the ethical treatment of ELL learners by globalizing spaces such as a college writing center, and (2) problematizing discourses within CWPA scholarship that serve to reinforce a monolithic approach to writing studies.  
Cynthia Murphy & Jennifer Roberts (Georgia State University) 
Multidimensional needs-based literacy corpus (MNBLC) for LEP adult learners: A specialized corpus proposal 

This paper explains the design criteria and pilot analysis of a multidimensional needs-based literacy corpus (MNBLC) for limited English proficiency (LEP) adult learners with emergent print literacy. The MNBLC includes a representative sample of print documents immigrant LEP adult learners are likely to encounter in their daily life as parents, workers, and active citizens. The corpus is comprised of multiple dimensions which represent the various domains in which learners are likely to encounter said texts. Analysis of the proposed corpus – and of its discrete domains – would thus allow researchers and practitioners to better describe the specific needs of immigrant L2 literacy learners. Ideally, the MNBLC will also include a multimedia component which would link concordance results to the authentic documents from which the concordance entry has been extracted. The paper presentation will describe and justify the proposed corpus collection and provide preliminary analysis of one dimension of the corpus that has already been collected. Implications for LEP pedagogical practice, materials development, curriculum design, syllabus planning, and language policy will also be discussed. 
Paula Wilder (Guilford Technical Community College and Greensboro College) 
Coherence Challenges for EAP Learners:  Practical Tools to Help EAP Learners Write an American Academic Essay 

What are some of the challenges EAP learners face as they compose academic essays for American schools? How can teachers help students overcome these challenges? Although English grammar and mechanics do pose problems for EAP learners, one of the greatest challenges these learners face rests with the cultural differences in the organizational expectations of an academic essay, especially on the college level. Specific teaching strategies exist within pre-writing, revising, and teacher feedback, which will not invalidate other cultures but help students overcome cultural writing barriers. The workshop will explain cultural writing differences and provide tools for instructors to give EAP learners to help with the organizational components within American academic writing. 
Patti Burke, Emily Limbrunner & Sara Levin (Pitt County Schools) 
Strategies to increase English Language Learners'  classroom participation 

Statistics show that the dropout rate for Latinos is around 48% (Greene & Winters, 2005, in Himmele & Himmele, 2009). In order for students to learn, they must be engaged (Himmele & Himmele, 2010).  Teachers must use strategies to ensure that ELLs are not overlooked in the classroom.  This workshop will present participants with many strategies, including technology-based strategies, which promote active participation and cognitive engagement.  The workshop will also demonstrate how to incorporate higher-order thinking while using participation techniques. The presenters will share how they have used the techniques with ELLs across all levels of language proficiency and across grade levels.  The presenters will use participation techniques throughout the presentation to demonstrate their application.  Participants will be provided with many opportunities for discussion and interaction among themselves and with the presenters. The presenters will provide handouts describing the techniques and listing materials/resources to help the workshop participants begin to implement participation techniques in their own classrooms. 
Amanda Amante & Amanda Brewington (Pitt County Schools) 
Effectively Using Strategies that Target a Variety of Multiple Intelligences with ESL Students    

Each student is different and learns in a manner unlike his or her classmates.  Therefore, our goal as English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers has been to find strategies and activities that incorporate a variety of multiple intelligences in order to benefit and target every type of learner in our classroom.  We have created a PowerPoint presentation to discuss and explain each of the multiple intelligences, along with a variety of strategies to help ESL students be successful in the classroom.  We plan to discuss each multiple intelligence, as well as model examples of how we have incorporated each into our own teaching.  We will give participants specific activities which we know work well with the intelligences they are geared towards.  Our presentation will be very interactive and will provide participants with applicable information and resources they can use in their own classroom.    
M.ª Esther Mediero Durán (Madisonville North Hopkins High School, KY) & Inmaculada de Jesús Arboleda Guirao (University of Murcia, Spain) Learning communities to foster socio-cultural Contents in the  foreign language classroom 

This workshop focuses on an effective technique to foster socio-cultural learning (Kelley, 2006) and create a learning community (Lindbeg & Anders, 2010) in the context of teaching French as a foreign language in secondary education. We work with 15-18 year-old North American students from the Madisonville North Hopkins High School in the state of Kentucky during an academic year. As audiovisual materials, we use extracts from "Les Choristes" – "The Chorus" – by Christophe Barratier (2004). This Oscar-nominated movie, which highlights the positive impact of music in the context of a post-war boarding school, promotes critical thinking and raises awareness of another culture in a different historical moment. We foster the use of the target language through activities such as debates and presentations on aspects like life motivation and dreams, the meaning of success in society and positive qualities of leaders. Moreover, we encourage students to find examples in their own culture and research other landmarks of the history of music in France and America as well as work individually and cooperatively (cf. Castañeda & Soto, 2010). Wikis are used to share information, to publish students' projects and to facilitate assessment.  
Peggy Gooch (The Blanchard Educational Services)  

The Blanchard Educational Services session will feature materials for English language learners. Explorations Strategies for Comprehension is a flexible resource for the explicit teaching of essential comprehension strategies for informational texts. The grades 2 - 5+ program features high-interest, short nonfiction texts; vocabulary specific to each text; and formative assessment embedded in practice. Focus on STEM is a non-fiction classroom library that addresses math and science. This K-12, age-neutral program offers 6-packs of 60 titles for 360 books; 420 downloadable activities; audio recordings; vocabulary cards; and more.