Speaker: Jean-Marc Dewaele
Center: CLA (Gorski)
Date: November 4, 2022
Time (EST): 2:30-4:00 P.M.
Zoom Link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/94444373056
Emotions are at the heart of social interactions, and the ability to perceive and express them accurately is crucial for mental wellbeing. Multilingual language users face particular challenges in this respect because emotion words and concepts do not always overlap between languages and their emotional resonance differs in the mouth and ears of first and foreign language users (Dewaele, 2022; Dewaele et al. 2021). Declarations of love or swearwords in the foreign language may feel deceptively harmless or inauthentic (Dewaele, 2013; Dewaele & Salomidou, 2017). The detachment effect of the foreign language can be highly beneficial in psychotherapy, where discussing traumatic events in the foreign language can allow clients to distance themselves from the trauma (Cook & Dewaele, 2022).
Cook, S. R. & Dewaele, J.-M. (2022). ‘The English language enables me to visit my pain’. Exploring experiences of using a later-learned language in the healing journey of survivors of sexuality persecution. International Journal of Bilingualism, 26(2), 125-139.
Dewaele, J.-M. (2013). Emotions in Multiple Languages. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd ed.
Dewaele, J.-M. (2022). Dewaele, J.-M. Research into multilingualism and emotions. In G. L. Schiewer, J. Altarriba & B. Chin Ng (Eds.), Language and Emotion. An International Handbook. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, pp. 1217-1237.
Dewaele, J.-M., Lorette, P., Rolland, L. & Mavrou, E. (2021). Differences in emotional reactions of Greek, Hungarian and British users of English when watching television in English. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 31(3), 345-361.
Dewaele, J.-M. & Salomidou, L. (2017). Loving a partner in a foreign language. Journal of Pragmatics, 108, 116-130.
Jean-Marc Dewaele is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism. He has published widely on individual differences. He is former president of the International Association of Multilingualism and the European Second Language Association, and the current president of the International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning. He is General Editor of the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. He won the Equality and Diversity Research Award from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013), the Robert Gardner Award for Excellence in Second Language and Bilingualism Research (2016) from the International Association of Language and Social Psychology and the EUROSLA Distinguished Scholar Award (2022).
Speaker: Jeannette Littlemore
Date of Talk: February 18, 2022
Time: 2:30- 4:00 p.m.
Title: Metaphor as a lens through which to examine deep, personal, emotional experiences
Language is the most sophisticated tool humans have developed to communicate emotional experiences. However, due to their highly personal, idiosyncratic nature, such experiences can often be difficult to put into words. The dimensional aspects of emotional experiences, i.e., those involving valence, dominance and arousal can be expressed through literal language. However, once we go beyond these dimensional accounts and try to describe the subjective felt experiences of emotions it is necessary to employ metaphor. Metaphors provide information about the rich detail of human emotional experience in a way that literal language does not (Semino et al., 2017). Metaphorical skill and imagination are therefore important in communicating the nature of unshared experience and creating rapport (Reisfield & Wilson, 2004). For this reason, when talking about deep, personal emotional experiences that are difficult to describe, people often reach for metaphor, with more personal experiences leading to more creative uses of metaphor (Fainsilber & Ortony, 1987; Williams-Whitney et al., 1992). Possible reasons for this are the fact that metaphors allow us to describe ineffable experiences in more concrete, tangible, and often physical terms, and metaphors are sufficiently flexible to allow us to employ a finite set of linguistic resources to express precisely, an infinite range of experiences (Colston & Gibbs, 2021).
In this talk I present findings from four studies, which involved the analysis of metaphor in order to better understand people’s personal, emotional experiences. These experiences include: pregnancy loss; bereavement; the description of positive and negative workplace experiences; and older adults’ experiences of household isolation during COVID-19. Through these studies I reveal what metaphor analysis can tell us about: embodied grief; agency and identity; relationships with others, including the deceased; attitudes towards time, the extent to which experiences are shared by communities; and the ways in which these experiences change over time. I reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of the methods employed and discuss the ways in which findings from some of these studies have been incorporated into professional development materials that have been designed for those who support the bereaved.
Jeannette Littlemore is Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research focuses on metaphor and metonymy. She has published several books, including Metaphors in the Mind: Sources of Variation in Embodied Metaphor (Cambridge University Press).
Colston, H. L., & Gibbs, R. W. (2021). Figurative language communicates directly because it precisely demonstrates what we mean. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie Expérimentale.
Fainsilber, L., & Ortony, A. (1987). Metaphorical uses of language in the expression of emotions. Metaphor and Symbol, 2(4), 239–250.
Reisfield, G. M., & Wilson, G. R. (2004). Use of metaphor in the discourse on cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 22(19), 4024–4027.
Semino, E., Demjén, Z., Hardie, A., Payne, S., & Rayson, P. (2017). Metaphor, cancer and the end of life: A corpus-based study. Routledge.
Williams-Whitney, D., Mio, J. S., & Whitney, P. (1992). Metaphor production in creative writing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 21(6).
Luke Plonsky (2019)
Speaker: Luke Plonsky
Date of Talk: January 29, 2019
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract:
“Methodological reform as an ethical imperative in applied linguistics”
There is a methodological reform movement currently taking root in applied linguistics. Evidence of this movement can be found in a wide variety of outlets such as editorials (e.g., Trofimovich & Ellis, 2015), revised journal author guidelines (Mahboob et al., 2016), methodological syntheses (e.g., Plonsky, 2013), specialized symposia (Norris, Ross, & Schoonen, 2013), studies of methodological literacy and training (Gonulal et al., in press), the newly added Research Methods strand at AAAL, and the introduction of new analytical techniques (Larson-Hall & Herrington, 2010). Several years ago, in fact, Byrnes (2013) referred to what she saw as a “methodological turn” (p. 825) already underway. The concerns that led to and that are often backed empirically within this body of research are not merely fodder for technocrats or nit-picking for research methodologists. To me, arguments in favor of ensuring that we produce “good” research are perhaps best viewed through the lens of ethics. In this paper I will discuss some of the initiatives—ranging from empirical to organizational—currently underway that seek to examine and improve the state of our science. As part of this larger discussion, the paper will also present a study that seeks to complement the body of mostly synthetic evidence of research practices by asking applied linguists about the extent to which they have engaged in a range of questionable data handling and reporting practices including clearly fraudulent activities such as data falsification and fabrication. A survey of questionable research practices (QRPs) based on Fanelli (2009) was sent to 2,230 applied linguists; 364 sets of responses were collected. We calculated descriptive statistics for all item responses. We then compared and correlated responses across and with participant demographics (e.g., years since completion of PhD). The results reveal fairly widespread fraud in applied linguistics: Approximately 1 in 6 participants reported having falsified or fabricated data on at least one occasion. I will discuss this finding, as well as those for other QRPs, from several angles. For example, to provide a broader context, I compare our results to those from other fields and in light of the replicability crisis (see Open Science Collaboration, 2015) currently being discussed in psychology. In addition, I’ll propose a number of possible causes for the prevalence of such practices such as the pressure to publish, insufficient training, and the lack of accountability. I also address the apparently very serious need for methodological reform as a matter of theoretical, practical, and yes—of course—ethical urgency.
Leila Ranta (2019)
Speaker: Leila Ranta
Date of Talk: November 11, 2019
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract:
Can SLA make more of a difference? Grappling with the research-practice divide in relation to grammar instruction
Many would agree with the statement that grammar instruction is an important component of second language learning and teaching. It has been a core activity of language teaching over the centuries and, more recently, an active area of enquiry among second language acquisition researchers. But the question remains whether and how the findings from this growing body of theory and research can actually help teachers teach grammar more effectively. Indeed, the image that is commonly evoked of the relationship between research and theory, on the one hand, and on teaching practices, on the other, is that of a divide. In this presentation, I will discuss different issues relating to this relationship including a review of the findings from the form-focused instruction literature; examination of some evidence relating to whether research has influenced the teaching of grammar; and presentation of a pedagogical framework for grammar instruction that I use in my teacher education courses. In the last part of my talk, I will consider the question of what this all means for how researchers plan form-focused studies so that they may be more relevant to language educators. Bio: Dr. Leila Ranta is an Associate Professor in the TESL program in the department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta. She received her graduate training in applied linguistics at Concordia University in Montreal where she was involved in several large-scale research projects dealing with the effect of form-focused instruction. One of these, a study of corrective feedback in French immersion co-authored with Roy Lyster and published in Studies in Second Language Acquisition was awarded the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education in 1998. Her other research activities have dealt with the topics of L2 aptitude, fluency, and naturalistic language exposure. Leila Ranta is currently co-editor (with Xavier Gutiérrez) of the journal, Language Awareness and serves as a member of the executive of the Association for Language Awareness. She has also served as a board member of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics and of the Quebec and Alberta ESL teachers associations (SPEAQ and ATESL).