Speaker: Youjin Kim
Date: October 14, 2022
Location (virtual): https://psu.zoom.us/j/91866040478
To date, there has been a significant amount of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA) research highlighting pedagogical implications for teaching additional languages (Loewen, 2020). However, previous studies have rarely focused on broader curricular level issues, and research-informed language curriculum development has not been widely documented. In order to conduct meaningful ISLA research that addresses the concerns of teachers and researchers, collaboration among various stakeholders is essential. Researchers within the field of ISLA have emphasized the importance of increasing research-practice dialogues in second language teaching (Gurzynski-Weiss & Kim, in press; Sato & Loewen, in press), yet we still have much to learn about successfully navigating such collaborations. The goal of this presentation is to describe a research-informed university-level language program curriculum development project that I led in a Korean language program at a US university (Kim et al., 2021). This longitudinal project involved a four-year collaboration among an SLA researcher, a program director, classroom teachers, and students. The presentation will consist of three parts: (1) a review of previous literature highlighting the importance of research-practice dialogues; (2) a description of the curriculum and teacher development project, including examples of how classroom-based studies conducted during the project (Kim et al., 2019, 2020, in press) were used to inform the design of the curriculum; and (3) a discussion of the benefits and challenges of researchers and teachers working together to develop evidence-based language curricula.
Bio: YouJin Kim is Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL at Georgia State University. She specializes in second language acquisition, task-based language teaching and assessment, and classroom-based research, and is particularly interested in research-informed pedagogy development in classroom contexts. She has co-authored Pedagogical Grammar (2014) and also co-edited Task-Based Approaches to Teaching and Assessing Pragmatics (2018) and Instructed Second Language Acquisition Research Methods (2022). She recently published a Korean language textbook entitled Learning Korean through Tasks: High Beginner to Low Intermediate (2021) with her colleagues based on the four-year classroom-based research project. Her recent work can be found in journals such as Language Learning, Studies in Second Language Acquisition and Modern Language Journal. She is currently the associate editor of Journal of Second Language Writing.
Speaker: Francis Troyan
Date: September 16, 2022
Location: Foster Auditorium (In-person)
Abstract: Because of the dynamic relationship between linguistic identities, ideologies, and classroom practices, it is critical for language teachers to develop an understanding of the linguistic repertoires and practices that they and their students bring to the classroom. To this end, we engaged language teachers in a space to discuss and deconstruct the functions of the varieties of languages in their repertoires using systemic functional linguistics (SFL). This multiple case study illustrates how language teachers reflect on their understandings of their linguistic diversity through the analysis of their own language use in light of SFL concepts. Data included the teachers’ written reflections in which they applied SFL to analyze their language use, the visual representations that they created to illustrate their language use across contexts in their lives, and follow-up interviews about their identities as language users and about their conceptual understanding of linguistic diversity. The findings depict the distinct trajectories of each teacher, which were determined by their historical experiences, as well as their individual takes on the concepts taught in the course. This study illuminates the ways in which SFL can be used by language teacher educators to highlight and develop language teachers’ awareness of their own linguistic identities and repertoires as they learn to enact critically-oriented language teaching pedagogies. Additionally, we provide further evidence for the potential of SFL theory as a key component of the knowledge base for language teaching.
Bio: Francis John Troyan is Associate Professor of Language Teacher Education at The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus. A former classroom teacher of French, Spanish, and ESL, his teaching and research focus on world language teacher development, genre and functional linguistics in K-12 world language education, and teacher practices in dual language immersion education. His research has appeared in Teaching and Teacher Education, International Multilingual Research Journal, The Canadian Modern Language Review, Foreign Language Annals, and Language and Sociocultural Theory. His 2022 edited book Genre in World Language Education provides examples of genre-based pedagogy in languages including Arabic, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
Speaker: Ryuko Kubota
Date: Friday, April 15, 2022
Title: Critical Race Research and Teaching for Language Studies
Abstract: Antiracism and social justice have been illuminated in North American societies since a surge of Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and protests against anti-Asian racism in 2021. The field of language studies has also begun to pay increased attention to antiracism and social justice. However, the recent backlash against critical race theory requires us to have an informed understanding of critical race research and teaching. In this talk, I will first outline key concepts, including the concept of race, different kinds of racism, intersectionality, the relationship between race and language, and the need to decolonize antiracism. While the discussion on these ideas tends to take place in North America, the intersectionality of race and language is manifested abroad in varied ways. To illustrate this, I will present a study which analyzed video accounts of three African American female English teachers in South Korea who are also YouTubers. Their experiences of both linguistic privilege and racialized otherness demonstrate how these Black women’s intersectional subjectivities traveled and experienced differently as they physically traveled across the national/cultural border. This research indicates the global need to address antiracism and social justice within language education.
Bio: Ryuko Kubota is a Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at University of British Columbia, Canada, where she teaches applied linguistics and teacher education. Her research draws on critical approaches to language education, focusing on race, gender, culture, and language ideologies. Her work has been published in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Ethnicities, Journal of Second Language Writing, TESOL Quarterly, and World Englishes, and in many edited books. Additional publications include Race, culture, and identities in second language education: Exploring critically engaged practice (Routledge 2009).
Speaker: Julie Sykes
Date: Friday, September 3, 2021
Time: 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/95293164538
Abstract: The study of language in the 21st Century necessitates a global perspective that considers a multiplicity of contextual variables concurrent with frameworks capable of operationalizing various dimensions of human interaction. Adding to this necessity is an ongoing global pandemic which is accelerating the already continual emergence of digital technologies and digitally-mediated discourse. In response, language educators must prepare learners for possibilities of communication in ways never-before imagined (Thorne, Sauro, ＆ Smith, 2015; Sykes, 2019). Moreover, the patterns for communicating and interpreting meaning are increasingly difficult to define, isolate, and teach; however, they are, simultaneously, more accessible to learners.
This presentation will explore the what and how of interlanguage pragmatic teaching and learning in this ever-changing landscape. In doing so, it will first explore the what through a multidimensional, dynamic framework for addressing interlanguage pragmatics across learning contexts and through the inclusion of digital discourse(s) in learning models. Then, to consider the how, the presentation will use data from two implementation projects to synthesize instruction and assessment findings in four critical areas – (1) knowledge, (2) analysis, (3) subjectivity, and (4) awareness. The approach places skill development at the forefront of learning and, in combination with emerging digital tools, offers a means to overcome barriers to the learning and assessment of pragmatics in a multiplicity of language learning contexts. Implications for teaching and future research will be presented.
Bio: Julie M. Sykes earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She is the Director at the Center for Applied Second Language Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics. Her research focuses on applied linguistics and second language acquisition with an emphasis on technological and pedagogical innovation for interlanguage pragmatic development and intercultural competence. Julie’s experience includes the design, implementation, and evaluation of online immersive spaces and the creation of place-based, augmented-reality mobile games to engage language learners in a variety of non-institutional contexts. She has published various articles on computer-assisted language learning (CALL)-related topics, including synchronous computer-mediated communication and pragmatic development, gaming and CALL, and lexical acquisition in digitally mediated environments. Julie is the recipient of the 2018 University of Oregon Research Award for Impact and Innovation.
Speaker: Paul Toth
Date: Friday, October 1, 2021
Time: 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/99405731096
Title and abstract:
A multi-site study of L2 Spanish grammatical consciousness-raising tasks in three US high schools
This study compares L2 Spanish learning following inductive consciousness-raising tasks vs. deductive teacher explanations in three U.S. high schools. Participants came from eight intact, third-year classes, with two in each school experiencing three 90-minute lessons on the pronoun se containing either deductive teacher explanations (n = 48) or consciousness-raising tasks (n = 50). Two other classes in one school did unrelated work as a control group (n = 30). Deductive instruction provided ready-made rules for se, followed by sentence-level examples. Learners then identified tokens of se in narrative texts. Following Adair-Hauck and Donato (2016), the consciousness-raising tasks first had learners interpret the meaning of each text before having their attention drawn to the structure. Learners then proposed rules for se in small groups before being guided toward a consensus through a whole-class, dialogic “instructional conversation” (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). Identical communicative tasks followed in both groups for the remaining 45 minutes. At issue is the impact of explicit, inductive problem-solving over grammar on L2 learning, as advocated in both social and cognitive L2 theories (Leow, 2015; van Compernolle, 2015).
Quantitative assessments included written picture description and grammaticality judgment tasks administered as pre-, post-, and delayed posttests, while qualitative data was gathered by recording all whole-class interactions and 3-4 sets of volunteers during small-group work. The results indicate that although both groups improved significantly in uses of se after instruction, the deductive group made modestly stronger gains on their grammaticality judgments. Nonetheless, both groups overgeneralized se to contexts that shared some of its semantic properties, while also exhibiting L1 transfer errors. Excerpts from the qualitative data suggest that, in all three schools, the deductive format may have more efficiently resolved learners’ uncertainties over se within the available time. Implications for the accessibility of explicit grammatical knowledge for language use and the implementation of deductive and guided inductive instruction will be discussed.
Speaker: Naoko Taguchi
Date: Friday, April 9, 2021
Time: 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Title and abstract: LBLT, technology, and game-based pragmatics teaching
Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/99282637621
Abstract: With the recognition that pragmatics, like grammar and vocabulary, needs to be taught explicitly in the second language (L2) classroom, teachers and researchers have explored a variety of frameworks and approaches for teaching pragmatics (Taguchi & Roever, 2017). As part of this effort, there has been an emerging trend of applying the framework of task-based language teaching (TBLT) to instructional design and assessment in L2 pragmatics (Gonzalez- Lloret, 2019; Taguchi & Kim, 2018). In this presentation, I will discuss how TBLT can be profitably applied to pragmatics instruction and how technology can facilitate this application. TBLT offers useful insights into the design of goal-oriented tasks that reflect real-world language use. At the same time, the task design and implementation process in TBLT can be facilitated in technology- mediated environments. In the first part of my talk, I will articulate the connection between pragmatics and TBLT by highlighting the benefits of integrating theories, methods, and practices of these two fields. Then, I will present my on-going research in technology-mediated, task- based pragmatics instruction using digital games.
Bio: Naoko Taguchi is Professor in the Applied Linguistics Program at Northern Arizona University, where she teaches courses in TESOL methods, second language acquisition, and linguistics. Her research interests include pragmatics, intercultural competence, technology assisted learning, and English-medium education. Her recent books include The Routledge Handbook of SLA and Pragmatics (Routledge, 2019), Second Language Pragmatics: From Theory to Research (with Jonathan Culpeper and Alison Mackey; Routledge, 2018), Second Language Pragmatics (with Carsten Roever; Oxford University Press, 2017), and Developing Interactional Competence in a Japanese Study Abroad Context (2015, Multilingual Matters). She is the co-editor of a new journal, Applied Pragmatics (John Benjamins).
Speaker: Stefanie Wulff
Date: Friday, March 19, 2021
Time: 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Title and abstract: Usage matters: theoretical and methodological implications
Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/96423188444
Abstract: The notion of “usage” is traditionally associated with usage-based approaches to language acquisition, but more recently, theoretical frameworks across the board pay increasing attention to the role that usage plays in language acquisition. This development prompts us to look more closely at what usage really means, and what a definition of usage entails for how we should like to phrase research questions, what types of data we need, and the kinds of methods we should like to use. My talk is divided into three parts. In the first part, I outline the historical roots of “usage” in cognitive-functional linguistics before turning to a brief description of more recent work that suggest a place for usage across theoretical perspectives. I then discuss three key aspects of my understanding of usage and their implications for empirical research: (i) usage is contextualized use, with context here including language-internal and –external factors that jointly impact how a usage event is realized. This implies that we need complex, multifactorial models to measure usage adequately. (ii) Usage reflects individual variation, meaning that usage unfolds differentially for each individual learner over time. This implies that we cannot simply pool data across learners, but should care to (also) track individual learners’ usage. (iii) Usage not only means output, but also exposure to the second language. This implies that we should not only look at learner production, but must also take into consideration what kind of and how much input learners receive. I close with a discussion of further methodological and theoretical implications and desiderata for future research.
Bio: Stefanie Wulff is an Associate Professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Florida, and from 2019-2023, a Professor II at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Her research interests are in second language and heritage language acquisition, usage-based linguistics, quantitative corpus linguistics, and student writing development through data-driven learning. She is editor-in-chief of Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory (de Gruyter Mouton).
Speaker: Angel Lin
Date of Talk: February 17, 2020
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract:
Translanguaging as flows: The process turn in applied linguistics
Speaker: Peter de Costa
Date of Talk: September 23, 2019
Location: Willard Building
Title and abstract:
Multilingualism, Language Education, and Linguistic Entrepreneurship: Critical Perspectives
I examine the way in which multilingualism and language education is appropriated by the ideology of neoliberalism, using the perspective of linguistic entrepreneurship, which is defined as “the act of aligning with the moral imperative to strategically exploit language-related resources for enhancing one’s worth in the world” (De Costa, Park & Wee 2016, p. 696). By exploring how linguistic entrepreneurship is instantiated in a range of formal and informal educational contexts across the world, I offer a critical perspective on the processes by which language learning is reframed as a moral responsibility of neoliberal subjects. In particular, I investigate (1) the material conditions that have enabled and constrained the emergence By drawing on these country examples, I illustrate how linguistic entrepreneurship illuminates the concrete processes by which people come to align themselves with the ideal of neoliberalism, developing a particular sense of self as subjects, through a range of ideological, historical, and political economic conditions.
Speaker: Julia Menard-Warwick
Date of Talk: September 24, 2018
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract:
“Translating right on the spot: Bilingual paraprofessionals in a contact zone school”
The translingual practice framework (Canagarajah, 2013) theorizes the communicative strategies and dispositions of cosmopolitan individuals in contact zones (Pratt, 1991), spaces where diverse languages and cultures encounter and confront each other. Much of this work examines successful meaning-making through lingua franca English. However, little research on contact zone communication stems from contexts where potential interlocutors have no lingua franca, and where ideologies inhibit less-than-fully-proficient use of standardized languages. This presentation is based on ethnographic research at one such site, a california elementary school, which had both a bilingual and an English-only strand. In this context, although English and Spanish were languages of instruction, English remained the language of power, wihle approximately half of all parents were monolingual Spanish speakers. To deal with the resultant dilemmas, the school had hired bilingual paraprofessionals to handle communication between immigrant parents and monolingual-English-speaking teachers and administrators. These employees were almost entirely female, poorly-paid, and highly-dedicated: used to functioning in situations of vast responsibility and minimal authority, they were expected to perform miracles of translingual practice on behalf of the entire school. Based on interview data with bilingual paraprofessionals, as well as field-note and audio-recorded observation data of their work in public parent meetings, this presentation explores not only the extent to which linguistic norms at the school upheld monolingual ideologies, but also moments when these norms shifted, temporarily allowing wider participation across the school’s language boundaries. Within these contradictions, the presentation highlights the importance of bilingual employees’ mediation for establishing (limited) spaces where Spanish-speaking parents could claim a voice (Blommaert, 2005) in their children’s education. Having considered these theoretical paradoxes, the presentation concludes with practical recommendations for contact zone institutions that wish to promote translingual participation.
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.
Speaker: Carl Ratner
Date of Talk: April 2, 2019
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract:
“What Does An Emancipatory, Scientific Psychology Look Like? Cultural-historical Psychology”
This presentation endeavors to 1) conceptualize social and psychological emancipation, 2) explain how Psychological science can contribute to this emancipation, 3) explain how Vygotsky’s psychological theory, named cultural-historical psychology, makes this contribution to emancipation.
Specifically, I shall conceptualize genuine emancipation as solving social problems by eradicating their political-economic causes. Psychology contributes to emancipation by treating psychological issues as cultural issues having cultural causes. This role for Psychology alters its traditional orientation toward using individual processes to change individual behavior.
Vygotsky’s cultural-historical Psychology is the best, if not the only, psychological approach that fits this bill for social and psychological emancipation. Cultural-historical Psychology directs individuals to join psychological fulfillment with social emancipation.
Speaker: Richard Kern
Date of Talk: March 12, 2018
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract:
“Five Principles of a Relational Pedagogy: Building on the Social, Individual, and Material Foundations of Language Use”
This talk outlines an approach to language teaching that brings attention to relationships among material, social, and individual dimensions of language use, with particular emphasis on literacy practices. This approach involves reflection on how technologies and mediums influence the design of communication and embody values and fundamental ideas about what communication is. A critical semiotic awareness of how meanings are made, framed, and transformed in particular contexts of language use is essential to twenty-first century learners because they face a singularly pervasive mediascape that is potentially as exploitative as it is emancipatory.
Speaker: Ofelia Garcia
Date of Talk: Feb 15, 2018
Location: 62 Willard
Title and abstract:
“A Critical Review of the History of Bilingual Education in the US”
This critical review will look at the promises of the beginning of institutionalized bilingual education in the 20th century, as well as the pitfalls into which it has fallen. We begin with the struggles of the mostly Chicano, Puerto Rican and Native American communities to educate their own children bilingually, and we focus on the support they received from government and scholars outside of the community. We provide evidence from bilingual education programs in NYC run by Latinx educators and parents during the 1970s and early 1980s, where Latinx children were often relegated to basements, but were seen as normal capable children. We compare this early ideology on bilingual education with the one that has been produced as it has been professionalized, and especially as education success started to be measured through standardized tests in English only. From normal children, minoritized children in bilingual education programs today are pathologized. Labels and categories have proliferated: newcomers, long term English language learners, Students with Interrupted Education (SIFE), English language learners with disabilities, Former ELLs. Even though these labels are not helpful to students or teachers, it normalizes the quantification of academic success through standardized assessment instruments that have little validity for this population, taking away their humanity, their childhood, their ability to exist and learn bilingually. The professionalization of bilingual education seems to have worked for white middle class parents who clamor for the so called dual language programs. But it has diminished minoritized Latinx children even beyond the basements in which we found them originally.
Speaker: Terrance Deacon
Date of talk: Friday, Oct 6, 2017 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Title and abstract:
“Universal Grammar: Neither Nature nor Nurture”
Terrence W. Deacon will discuss some recent work that takes an unprecedented approach to universal grammar and the poverty of the stimulus argument. In his discussion, he will focus on symbolic reference and constraints by investigating four main categories: semiotic constraints, neural processing constraints, evolved sensorimotor schemas and cognitive biases, and pragmatic social communication constraints.
Speaker: Dr. Anna Stetsenko
Date of talk: Mar 29, 2017
Title of presentation: Agency and Commitment to a Sought-after Future: Reclaiming Activism in Research and Theorizing
Recent advances in research and theories at the intersection of psychology and education have focused on situated, dynamic and culturally mediated processes. However, these approaches rarely address the ethical and axiological dimensions of the dominant onto-epistemologies and, as a result, do not offer sufficient grounds on which to resist current marketization of science and education. This talk will discuss a broadly dialectical-transformative approach, in expanding upon Vygotsky’s project, to address this gap. This approach offers a unique worldview underwritten by an activist stance premised on ideology of equality and social justice. The focus will be on how agency and commitment to a sought-after future are indispensable constituents of theorizing, methodology, and onto-epistemology that always entail and demand activist stance.
Speaker: Dr. Peter Smagorinsky
Date of talk: Feb 22, 2017
Title of presentation: Towards a social understanding of Mental Health
Dr. Smagorinsky will discuss his most recent work in neurodiversity which takes a social perspective on “disability” and “disorder,” viewing them as relational and situational rather than fixed in pathology. This talk will center on “mental health” as both whole-body and environmental and challenge assumptions about how to construct satisfying life pathways for the neurodiverse population. (See attached flyer for full abstract.)
Speaker: Dr. Olga Esteve
Date of talk: Jan 30, 2017
Title of presentation: “Helping Teachers to Reconceptualize their Teaching Practice through the Barcelona CBI-based Formative Model”
In the field of language teacher education in Europe, over the past years an increasing number of researchers and language teacher educators have engaged in a process for reshaping language teacher education programs in order to bridge the gap between theory and practice and promote a more meaningful appropriation of the pedagogical principles underlying the new official curricula for additional language learning. If we focus exemplarily on the Spanish region where I am based, i.e. Barcelona, this reshaping process has already had a considerable effect on teacher education programs, following the introduction of a new formative model (Esteve et al, in press). This model is based on a sociocultural perspective of language teacher development (Johnson, 2009; Johnson and Golombek, 2016) and is carried out through an external dialogic mediation drawn both on the Vygotskian double stimulation principle, as applied by Engström (2011), and on the principles of Concept- based Instruction (CBI), as developed by Galperin (1992). During this process (student) teachers find their own pre-understandings about additional language teaching and learning when confronted with the scientific concepts related to the new pedagogical approach which also draws on Concept-based Instruction (Lantolf & Poehner, 2014; Negueruela 2008,2013): CBI for CBI. In my presentation I will discuss how the CBI-principles are integrated into the design of the teacher education programs I have developed in the Barcelona region to prepare teachers to implement effective language instruction in schools. Details of program design and how teachers transferred and transformed what they learned in the teacher education program will be presented and discussed.
Speaker: Dr. Dwight Atkinson
Date of talk: Oct 03, 2016
Title of presentation: Homo pedagogicus: The evolutionary nature of second language teaching
Second language teacher educators tirelessly teach others how to teach. But how often do we actually define teaching? Without explicit, focused definitional activity on this most fundamental second language teaching (SLT) concept, it remains implicit and intuitive–the opposite of clear, productive understanding.
I therefore explore the definitional question “What is teaching?” in this paper. First, I establish the claim that the SLT literature rarely defines teaching explicitly or in any detail, most likely because of its technical “how-to” focus, and that this is a problem. Second, I introduce the idea of teaching as evolutionarily adaptive behavior (TEAB)–as existing fundamentally because it enables individual and group adaptation to our extremely varied and complex natural and social environments. Perhaps surprisingly in this context, TEAB is not uniquely human; therefore, third, I briefly summarize research on animal teaching to sharpen the focus on what may be special in human teaching. Fourth, I describe teaching as studied by anthropologists–as it varies across the broad tapestry of human societies and cultures. It turns out that classroom teaching is just one form, and a relatively rare and recent one, in our evolutionary past. Fifth and finally, I employ the results of this definitional exercise to examine, in an exploratory way, what happens in SLT environments, at least as I know them.
Speaker: Dr. Ken Hyland (Gil Watz memorial Lecture)
Date of talk: Sep 21, 2016
Title of presentation: International Publishing and the Myth of Linguistic Disadvantage
English is now more than a choice of language for those following an academic career; with globalization and growing managerialism in Higher Education, it has come to designate research of a high quality worthy of a place in peer-reviewed journals. Accompanying this dominance of English, however, are questions of communicative inequality and the possible disadvantages or even prejudice inflicted on L2 English-speaking academics. In this paper I critically examine the evidence for linguistic disadvantage by a review of global publishing patterns, author attitudes, case studies and research into linguistic advantage together with my own interviews with EAL scholars in HK and analysis of journal peer reviews. I show that while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for disadvantage, framing this in terms of a coarse native/non-native distinction has serious problems and may serve to discourage non-Anglophone authors and perpetuate a deficit view of their writing. The disciplinary conventions of disciplinary writing in English make serious demands on all academic writers, but these are less important than a lack of resources and research writing expertise. So while a hindering factor in getting published, language is not a terminally decisive one.
Speaker: Marilia Ferreira
Title of presentation: Contributions of Cultural Historical Activity Theory to Academic Literacy
Academic literacy in English has become a high valued commodity due to the
internationalization of universities and the increasing pressure upon postgraduate students
and academics, specially from non-English speaking countries, to publish in well-ranked
international journals. There are several perspectives that study academic literacy: from more
textual approaches like corpus linguistics (Hyland, 2004, 2008) and English for Academic
Purposes (Swales & Feak,2004) to more sociological ones like Academic Literacies, based on
the New Literacies movement (Lea and Street, 1998; Lillis and Curry, 2010) and with a
geopolitical view (Canagarajah (2002). The aim of this talk is to discuss the contributions of the
cultural historical activity theory perspective to the topic and how it sheds light on several
issues like concept formation, mediation, dialectical thinking, and practice. These issues will be
discussed based on data from an academic writing course in English for Brazilian graduate
students which was implemented using Davydov’s pedagogical approach (Davydov,1988).
Speaker: Brian Paltridge
Date of talk: Apr 01, 2016
Title of presentation: Context and the Researching and Teaching of Academic Writing
Learning to write in the academy involves acquiring a repertoire of linguistic practices which are based on complex sets of discourses, identities, and values. These practices, however, vary according to context, culture and genre. This presentation discusses how these issues can be taken up in the researching and teaching of academic writing. It will do this, first, by examining how the notion of context is taken up theoretically in linguistics research more broadly and, then, how contextualised understandings of the use of language have been explored by academic writing researchers. It will then discuss ways in which the context in which students’ writing is produced impacts on the texts they are expected to produce and how students can be made aware of, and take account of this in their writing.
Speaker: Dr. Lourdes Ortega
Date of talk: Mar 21, 2016
Title of presentation: Multilingual Success: Continuous, Probabilistic, and Beyond Language
The phenomenon of bi/multilingualism is as old as humanity, but multilingualism has been catapulted to a new world order in the 21st century. In today’s globalized, transnational, technologized, highly mobile and wired world, increasingly numerous and more diverse populations of adults and youth live with two or more languages. Some do by choice, some by necessity, many for a complex mixture of reasons. How successful are they in their learning of new languages, ultimately? Traditionally, the field of second language acquisition (SLA) has answered this question rather pessimistically. But this may be a function of the willingness to directly compare the development of single-language competencies during early childhood to the development of multiple-language competencies later in life. This comparison is fundamentally invalid. Moreover, when multilingual success is directly compared to monolingual success, a late start will always lose out. I will explore an alternative view of multilingual success that is continuous and probabilistic, and that goes beyond language. It is continuous because the single phenomenon to be explained is the development of multiple-language competencies across the lifespan. Therefore, the same explanations can be investigated for early and late bilingualism: differential experience of language during usage events. It is probabilistic because we must make space for degrees of success, rather than categorical success or failure, for both early and late timings for multilingualism. Understandings of success must also go beyond language because strictly linguistic notions of multilingual competencies are insufficient to properly understanding the object of inquiry, since language mediates intersubjective thinking, feeling, and doing with others. A continuous, probabilistic view of multilingual success that is more than just linguistic in scope has transformative implications for SLA research and also for language teaching in educational contexts. It holds great potential to generate a research base that supports current innovative proposals for multilingual and transcultural approaches to language instruction.
Speaker: Dr. Wataru Suzuki
Date of talk: Mar 03, 2016
My talk consists of three main parts. In the first part, I will describe two theories that oriented research on the role of languaging in second language (L2) learning: sociocultural theory and cognitive psychology. The second part gives an overview of previous research findings about the effect of languaging on L2 learning. I also briefly review research regarding the role played by languaging in learning non-L2 knowledge (e.g., biology, physics, and mathematics). In the last part, I will consider implications for theory and research and then discuss L2 pedagogy.