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: Ryuko Kubota
Date: Friday, April 15, 2022
Time: 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Title and abstract: TBD
Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/94002870506