TESOL Language and Linguistics Speakers Series
Language and Linguistics Speakers Series is a university-wide forum organized and sponsored by the TESOL Program. The series features lectures by internationally renowned scholars and young rising stars who do ground-breaking work on a variety of aspects of language learning, teaching, attrition, and use of two or more languages. Past speakers include Rod Ellis (University of Auckland, New Zealand), Michael McCarthy (University of Nottingham, UK), Bonny Norton (University of British Columbia, Canada), Elana Shohamy (Tel Aviv University, Israel), Monika Schmid (Rijksuniversiteit, the Netherlands), Ronald Schmidt Sr. (California State University, Long Beach), and Richard Young (University of Wisconsin, Madison). The series is funded by Temple's CIBER and by the generous financial contribution of Dr. Koji Shimada.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 3:30, Kiva Auditorium
Dr. Diane Larsen-Freeman, University of Michigan
Title: Transforming conceptions of language and its development: What is on offer from complexity theory
Abstract: Alton Becker has written that our understanding of language is the single-most important influence on how we go about teaching one. Recently, atomistic views of language, our legacy from structuralism, have been replaced by more emic, socially situated, and dynamic views. If Becker is right, such a shift has significant consequences for how a language is learned and how it is taught. In this talk, I will draw on complexity theory to propose that language is a complex adaptive system. I will show how this view of language contrasts not only with traditional views of language, but also with mainstream views of language acquisition. I will conclude by suggesting ways that teaching language must shift, too.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 3:30, Kiva Auditorium
Dr. William Labov, University of Pennsylvania
Title: The role of emotions in reading intervention
Abstract: In the course of this presentation, I will focus on the approach of our Penn Reading Initiative (pri.sas.upenn.edu) to the task of engaging the interest of alienated and discouraged readers. This involves not only the graphic novels that spearhead our program, but a number of strategies like the Language Experience method that generate interest by engaging the social and emotional concerns of struggling readers.
Monday, March 19, 2012, 3:30 pm, Kiva Auditorium
Dr. Alex Housen, University of Brussels, Belgium
Title: Were they taught or did they learn? A framework for investigating the role and effect(iveness) of instruction in Second Language Learning
Abstract: Instruction has always been a key component of the language learning experience of most L2 learners but its role in the acquisition of a second or foreign language (L2) has been controversial ever since antiquity. Language teachers are often puzzled about the apparent discrepancy between what their students are taught, what they learn and (seem to) know, and what they can actually do in their L2. But whatever their allegiance to a particular language teaching method, all language teachers will probably agree that some kind of instruction is necessary for successful L2 learning. The research community, however, is more divided. There are researchers who believe that instruction is futile as second language acquisition (SLA) is essentially an intuitive process guided by innate mechanisms which cannot be influenced by pedagogical intervention. On the other hand, there are those who believe that instruction is effective in its own right, that it can make a difference in how (well) learners learn an L2, and that in some cases instruction will even be necessary for successful SLA. Fuelled by this debate, the past two decades have seen an explosion of research on the effects of instruction in L2 learning, producing an abundance of mixed and sometimes even contradictory findings. The aim of this presentation is twofold: (a) to propose a taxonomic framework that identifies major dimensions along which the roles and effects of instruction on L2 learning can be fruitfully investigated and (b) to synthesize general research findings in terms of this framework. This proposed framework considers both (1) the nature of the role(s) and effect(s) of instruction on L2 learning and (2) the factors that moderate these effects and, hence, the effectiveness of instruction for L2 learning and teaching (part 2). In the first part of this talk I will thus propose that the variegated roles and effects of instruction should be envisaged in terms of (1) the different components of the SLA process, (2) the different dimensions of the SLA process, (3) the cognitive mechanisms of SLA, (4) the different types of L2 knowledge that L2 learners develop, and (5) the majordimensions of L2 performance and L2 proficiency. In a second part I will argue that whatever the exact nature of the effects of instruction on L2 learning, these effects will be moderated by at least the following factors: (1) the type of learner, (2) the type of instruction, and (3) the type of L2 feature targeted by the instruction. Each of the components of this framework will be discussed in turn and illustrated with findings from key studies.
Thursday, March 29, 2012, 5:30 pm, Kiva Auditorium
Dr. Janette Klingner
Title: Response to Intervention (RTI) for English Language Learners
In this talk, the presenter will discuss common challenges faced by educators as they implement RTI in culturally and linguistically diverse schools with English language learners, and offer suggestions for addressing these challenges. She will show actual examples of literacy instruction for English language learners from a school implementing an RTI model for the first time. Finally, she will offer a culturally and linguistically responsive RTI model and suggest how to implement RTI in feasible, effective ways.
Janette Klingner is Professor of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity program area. She was a bilingual special education teacher for ten years before earning a PhD in reading and learning disabilities from the University of Miami. To date she has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles, books, and book chapters, and presented at numerous national and international conferences, frequently as a keynote speaker. Her principal areas of research focus on reading comprehension strategy instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students and Response to Intervention for English Language Learners. Currently, she is the principal investigator on an i3 validation grant in partnership with Denver Public Schools and Padres Unidos, Collaborative Strategic Reading-Colorado (CSR-CO), the principal investigator on a demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, RTI Effectiveness Model for English Language Learners (REME), and a co-principal investigator on a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES),CSR for Struggling Adolescent Readers. Until recently, she was a co-principal investigator for NCCRESt, the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems, a U.S. Department of Education funded project to address the disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education. Janette currently is President-Elect for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Learning Disabilities and a Vice-President for the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities. In 2004 she was honored with the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award.
Fall 2011Friday, September 16, 4:00, Anderson Hall 008
Dr. Bill Van Patten
Title: Back to Basics: Five Fundamentals for Communicative Language Teaching
Abstract: In this day and age when teachers are overloaded with a barrage of concepts and ideas from research and theory, institutional mandates, and other sources, it may do well to step back and remind ourselves of the fundamentals of language teaching. In this talk, I will review five such fundamentals:
- Underlying (implicit) knowledge of language is distinct from skill.
- There is no language acquisition without second language input.
- Focus on form (grammar) should be tied to meaning (and input).
- All learner production (speaking) should be meaning-based and communicative.
- There are severe constraints on explicit teaching and learning.
With these fundamentals in mind, teachers can reflect and evaluate their own practices, materials, curricula, and testing. They can use them to inform students, administrators, colleagues, and others. Everything beyond these fundamentals is icing on the cake.
Bio: Professor VanPatten is an internationally-recognized, award-winning scholar in second language acquisition. His greatest contributions to the field of second language education lie in his research and design proposals for “processing instruction,” where teachers tailor communicative activities to address comprehension errors that learners make with particular structures in the second language. He is a full professor and director of instruction in Romance Languages at Michigan State University. He has previously held faculty positions at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Texas Tech University.
Thursday, October 20, 2011, 3:30, Kiva Auditorium
Dr. Zhaohong Han
Title: From ‘Julie’ to ‘Wes’ to ‘Alberto’: The Selective Fossilization Hypothesis
Abstract: Since its inception in the late 1960s, the field of second language acquisition (SLA) has been facing an explanatory challenge vis-à-vis two robust phenomena in adult SLA, inter-learner differential success/failure and intra-learner differential success/failure, as manifested in and across such well-known case subjects as Julie (Ioup et al, 1994), Wes (Schmidt, 1983), and Alberto (Schumann, 1978). Success in this context loosely denotes target-like attainment (or simply, learning) and failure lack thereof (or lack of learning). While current research has brought abundant theories to bear on learning (e.g., VanPatten & Williams, 2007), most of them outsourced from other fields and disciplines, within-field systematic attempts at explaining both learning and lack thereof have remained sparse and scattered. Moreover, theoretical attempts have been few and far between to account for inter-learner differential success/failure and are almost non-existent when it comes to intra-learner differential success/failure. The Selective Fossilization Hypothesis (Han, 2009) potentially helps fill these gaps. In this talk, after a brief discussion of its epistemological and phenomenological motivation, I will describe and explicate the hypothesis, focusing on its two key constructs of input robustness and L1 markedness, and, subsequently, employ empirical data from the SLA literature to illustrate its explanatory and predictive potential. I will conclude with a few remarks on the implications for second language instruction.
Ioup, G., Boustagui, E., El Tigi, M., & Moselle, M. (1994). Reexamining the critical period hypothesis: A case study of successful adult SLA in a naturalistic environment. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16(1), 73-98.
Schmidt, R. W. (1983). Interaction, acculturation, and the acquisition of communicative competence: A case study of an adult. In N. Wolfson & E. Judd (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and Language Acquisition (pp. 137-174). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Schumann, J. (1978). The Pidginization Process: A Model for Second Language Acquisition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
VanPatten, B., & Williams, J. (Eds.). (2007). Theories in Second Language Acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Bio: Professor ZhaoHong Han (http://www.tc.columbia.edu/faculty/han) teaches in the Applied Linguistics and TESOL Programs at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests lie broadly in second language learnability and teachability. She is the author of Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition (2004) and co-editor (with Terence Odlin) of Studies in Second Language Fossilization (2006).
Monday, November 21, 2011, 3:30, Kiva Auditorium
Dr. Alexandre Duchene, Institute for Multilingualism, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Title: The dark side of linguistic diversity?: towards a critical understanding of contemporary forms of political and economic exploitation of multilingual speakers
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to question the emergence of multilingualism as a central working tool within the new globalised economy and to highlight the consequences of increased multilingual language-based work activities on language ideologies and the hierarchization of speakers of different languages. Drawing on an ethnographic study of workplaces and enterprises of the new economy in Switzerland, I’ll focus on two specific issues that correlate with the transformation of the very nature of work itself and of the correlated economicization of linguistic diversity. First, I will draw attention to how multilingualism becomes a central instrument for the economic rationalization and management of work, especially in the growing service sector, and a key criterion in recruitement processes. Second, I will illustrate how entreprises capitalize on the linguistic resources of their workers as a means of productivity. Both analyses lead us to the argument that, instead of being vilified, quite on the contrary, multilingualism becomes commodified for the sake of the enterprise rather than its workers. In fact, the economic exploitation of multilingualism and the taylorization of work processes reify existing social inequalities and language ideologies. Language competencies are thus constructed as a natural instrument of work, hence, purely utilitarian and banalized. This rationalization tends to exclude the producers of language resources of any added value (e.g. salary increases). At the same time, language competencies become a central qualification for such employment, often lowly paid, and as such a clear instrument of selection. Concluding, I argue that contemporary studies on multilingualism should take more critically into account the emerging investment in language from certain (dominant) economic sectors, in order to contribute to the understanding of the ways in which monolingualism AND multilingualism are terrains on which social inequalities are produced and reproduced nowadays.
Bio: Alexandre Duchêne is Professor of Sociology of Language and Director of the Institute of Multilingualism of the University and HEP Fribourg (Switzerland). His research focuses on language and social inequalities, language and political economy and on linguistic minorities and international rights. Recent publications include Ideologies across nations (2008 Mouton de Gruyter), Discourses of Endangerment (with Monica Heller, 2007, Continuum), Langage, genre et sexualité (with Claudine Moïse, 2011, Nota Bene) and Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit (with Monica Heller, 2011, Routledge)
Wednesday, December 7, 5:30
Dr. Paul Toth, Temple University, Ritter Hall 302
Title: The Relevance of Instruction for Second Language Development: Bridging the Socio-Cognitive Divide in Theory and Practice
Abstract: In this talk I will present a theoretical and practical framework for understanding how classroom instruction comes to affect second language (L2) linguistic development. Given the current opposition in L2 acquisition theory between social and cognitive perspectives, I will review their complementary and competing explanations for development and outline implications for classroom practice. The discussion will center on how each theoretical paradigm views the relationship between linguistic form, speaker intention, and communicative meaning to create a picture of how changes in learner language and behavior are envisioned. I will then argue that concepts from Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson, 1995; Wilson & Sperber, 2004), such as inferencing, cohesion, and cooperation, are aptly suited to bridge the socio-cognitive divide by providing a framework for synthesizing research findings in language processing, interaction, and discourse to better inform L2 instructional design. Proposals for a multi-faceted understanding of the impact of instruction on L2 development will be supported with quantitative and qualitative data from Spanish L2 classrooms.
Spring 2011 Series Calendar
Thursday, Feb. 10, 3:30 Tuttleman 300AB
Dr. James E. Purpura, Teachers College, Columbia University
Title: Making classroom-based language assessments learning-oriented
Abstract: Over the years many second language (L2) assessment researchers (e.g., Alderson, 2005; Bachman & Cohen, 1998; Genesee & Upshur, 1996; Lantoff & Poehner, 2008; Leung, 2005; McNamara, 2001; Purpura, 2004; Rea-Dickins, 2003, 2008; Shohamy 1994, 1998) have acknowledged the importance that assessment plays in instructional contexts and have recognized the need to relate assessment principles and practices to L2 teaching and learning in classroom contexts. While classroom-based language research has been insightful in many ways, research and theory are still lacking in how assessments embedded in L2 classroom instruction can be designed with a learning orientation and rooted to a theory of learning. In other words, how can the information obtained from assessments be used to determine the extent to which learners have processed the learning points and the extent to which performance represents gaps in knowledge, ability, or skill? In other words, how can assessment information be used to promote processing and further development?
In this talk I will examine how assessment fits into the broader notion of learning. I will first describe how learners process new learning targets and how assessment can play a role in this process. I will then describe how this model could be extended when learning occurs in contexts where two or more learners are involved. Finally, I will show how assessments can be constructed (and researched) from a learning orientation. Recommended reading for the talk: Purpura, J. (2004). Assessing Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Chapters 4 & 8.
Bio: Dr. James E. Purpura is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education and Director of the TESOL and Applied Linguistics Programs at Teachers College, Columbia University. He teaches courses primarily in L2 assessment and research methods. He has articles on L2 assessment in refereed journals and chapters in edited volumes. In addition to co-authoring EFL textbooks (On Target and In Charge), he has published Strategy use and second L2 performance (CUP) and Assessing grammar (CUP). His research interests include the assessment of grammar and pragmatics, learning-oriented assessment in classrooms, and L2 test validation. Dr. Purpura has been instrumental in the development and validation of the Oxford Online Placement Exam. He is currently an expert member of EALTA (European Association of Language Testing and Assessment), and a member of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners and the TOEFL Junior Subcommittee. He is the Past President of ILTA (the International Language Testing Association), and serves on the Defense Language Testing Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.
Watch this presentation: Video of Dr. James E. Purpura
Wednesday, February 23, 3:30 Alter Hall 607
Dr. George Bunch, University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Language Minority Students and “Open Access” Community Colleges
Abstract: Community colleges represent the first point of access to higher education for many US high school students from immigrant backgrounds. Yet while admission is open to almost all students at community colleges, access to courses that bear credit toward degrees, professional certificates, or transfer to four-year institutions is regulated through placement tests, prerequisites, ESL or remedial English course sequences, and other gate-keeping measures. Focusing on California, the state with the largest number of language minority (LM) students and the most extensive network of community colleges, I will present findings from recent research exploring statewide and local college testing and placement policies and practices, and how information about these high stakes procedures is (or is not) made available to students. I will discuss how policies and practices vary based on contrasting orientations toward bilingualism, academic language and literacy, the linguistic and experiential resources brought by LM students, the role of ESL and remedial English instruction, the kinds of information students should have access to, and the decisions that students should be able to make. I will conclude by offering a framework for improving community college policy and practice for LM students and sharing examples of innovative approaches being implemented in California and elsewhere.
Bio: Dr. George C. Bunch is assistant professor of education at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He holds a PhD in educational linguistics from Stanford University and an MA in bilingual education and TESOL from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research explores how conceptions of academic language and literacy impact the education of language minority students, both in K-12 schools and higher education. He focuses on policies and practices impacting language minority students in community colleges, language demands and opportunities associated with K-12 and community college curricula and assessment, and the preparation of mainstream teachers for linguistically diverse students. His work has appeared in Linguistics and Education, Language and Education, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, and the Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE). He has recently been awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Watch this presentation: Video of Dr. George Bunch
Wednesday, April 14, 3:30 Kiva Auditorium
Dr. Margarita Calderon, Johns Hopkins University
Title: What is quality instruction for ELLs? Fifth year results from bilingual and sheltered instruction programs
Abstract: This talk will discuss results from a study of reading and language outcomes for ELLs in TB and SEI programs. I will highlight eight features that enabled equal success in reading and language: whole-school implementation & strong leadership; comprehensive language, literacy and content instruction; extensive professional development; teacher support through coaching and learning communities; parent/family support teams; tutoring; and, benchmark assessments and monitoring of implementation of all of these components.
Bio: Dr. Margarita Calderón is a professor and senior research scientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Born in Juárez, Mexico, Dr. Calderón was educated in Mexico and the U.S., receiving her B.A. in English and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at El Paso, followed by a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School in Pomona, CA. She has worked as an ESL high school teacher, a professional development coordinator for San Diego State University, and a bilingual director for the University of California at Santa Barbara. Since 2004, she has been conducting research studies funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Since 2006, she has been working with New York City's Department of Education on the training of middle and high school teachers who have low-performing English-language learners in their classrooms. The author of more than 100 articles, chapters, books, and teacher training manuals, Dr. Calderón's most recent professional book is Teaching Reading to English Language Learners, Grades 6–12. She also recently developed RIGOR (Reading Instructional Goals for Older Readers), a series of intervention resources for older students reading at preliterate–Grade 3 levels. RIGOR is being used in New York City, Boston, Houston, Louisville, Salt Lake City, and other major cities. Dr. Calderón is a popular speaker who presents frequently at the conferences of major education organizations, including the International Reading Association, Teachers of English as a Second Language, and National Association of Bilingual Educators. She also provides her project ExC-ELL™ (Expediting Comprehension for English Language Learners) professional development in school districts across America. In addition, Dr. Calderón has been a member of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth, and has served on committees working with the National Research Council, Carnegie Foundation, ETS, and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.