TexFLEC 2013 Full Abstracts
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- Innovative Technologies and Language Learning: Friend or Foe?
- SLA for the 21st Century: Disciplinary Progress, Transdisciplinary Relevance, and the Bi/Multilingual Turn
- Common Errors in Students' Academic Writing: Setting Teaching Priorities
- Compliments on Facebook: Different Languages, Different Cultures, Different Communication Styles
- Examining Four Language Learning Social Networking Websites Through a Usability Testing
- Changing the Heritage Track Curriculum: Expanding the Perspective (and the Agenda)
Paper & Poster Presentations:
- Mobile Learning Potential: Investigating iPod Touch Use With English Language Learners
- I've never done this in class!: ESL Students' Experiences of Online Discussion in an Academic Writing Course
- Becoming a Better Language Learning in "Mixed" Spanish Classes
- Effects of Task Planning on the Fluency and Lexical Variety in EFL Learners' Descriptive Writing
- Using Web-based Instructional Design to Stimulate K-6 ESL Students' Motivation in Language Arts
- Self-Directed Learning in the Advanced FL Classroom: Exploring (German) Grammar Through "Exploratory" Practice
- The Viability of Virtual Worlds as a Language Learning Platform for ESL Learners
- The Effect of Syntactic Complexity on the Lexical Inferencing of the Higher-Intermediate English Learners of Arabic and Persian in the Process of Reading
- Examining Social Networking Websites from a Language Teaching Perspective
- Arabic Heritage Language Learning in Community-Based Schools in Texas: An Examination of Factors Impacting Parental Choice
- Improving Adult ESL Learners' Pronunciation and Writing Through Instructional Interventions
- The Examination of Pre-service Teachers' Bilingual/ESL Teachers' Linguistic Knowledge in Teaching ESL
- Using Movies to Teach French Language and Culture
- Cultural Learning through Music in the German Classroom
- Managing Competing Discourses through Stancetaking in Heritage Language Instruction
- Language Brokering Affects Bilingual Children Parents' Acculturation Processes in South Texas
- Investigating Korean Students' Attitudes toward L1 Use in the L2 Classroom
- A Framework for Enhancing Intercultural Competence
- Native Speaker Presence in the Foreign Language Classroom: The Commodification and Appropriation of (Absent) Others
- Koreal EFL Students' Reading Motivation and Achievement Across Languages
- A Winning Combination: Using Musical Theatre to Support English Acquisition
- A Biliterate Community: Language Negotiations in a Dual Language Classroom
- Factors Affecting Individualized Writing Instruction
- They said whaaat?!: Expression of Age and Identity through Social Media and Use of Non-conventional Spelling
- Bilingual Users of English in USA
- English as Lingua Franca Interaction in Higher Education: Pragmatic Strategies
Friday, February 22, 2013
Innovative Technologies and Language Learning: Friend or Foe?
Dr. Orlando R. Kelm, The University of Texas at Austin
In this presentation we review a number of recent applications and online programs that are designed and disseminated for foreign language learning. As we review them, we look at how they affect the role of a foreign language learner and a foreign language teacher. We also look at aspects of foreign language acquisition that are found (or not found) in the various sites, programs, and applications. The premise behind my argument is that when learners take a more active role in their own language learning, teachers take on a newer, broader role to guide students through the maze and mass of language learning materials. Teachers help add structure, direction, and realistic expectations for those who are learning a new language.
Mobile Learning Potential: Investigating iPod Touch Use With English Language Learners
Cesar C. Navarrete, Min Liu, Jennifer Wivagg, The University of Texas at Austin
We focus on a mobile learning initiative in a Texas school district that provide iPod touch devices to English Language Learners (ELL) students and present findings of this implementation from 2010 to 2012. Investigating the incorporation of iPod touch devices for teaching and learning, two elementary school teachers and two middle school teachers with their students offer insight into the potential for mobile learning. Gaining in-depth understanding of the potential benefits of mobile devices as a teaching and learning tool for the ELL students, these findings offer implications for educators interested in the affordances of mobile learning in language acquisition.
I've never done this in class!: ESL Students' Experiences of Online Discussion in an Academic Writing Course
Jeong-bin Hannah Park, The University of Texas at Austin
In current views of second and foreign language learning and teaching, the pedagogical benefits of online discussion (CMC) have proved to be increasingly substantial. Issues related to CMC include negotiation of meaning (Pellettieri, 2000; Smith, 2003; Tudini, 2003), interaction and participation patterns (Hosoda, 2006; Kasper, 1985; Markee, 2000; Mori, 2003; Seedhouse, 2005; Tudini, 2007), sociocultural aspects (Plough & Gass, 1993), visual saliency and readability (Pellettieri, 2000; Schmidt, 1995, 2001), etc. However, there is a lack of research that elicited students' perceived usefulness of online discussion and weekly timed writings that took place in a college level academic writing class. Three research questions guide this study:
1. How does the online discussion help students produce rhetorically effective academic discourse?
2. How does the formal writing of individuals compare to their contributions in online discussion?
3. How does online discussion help students produce subsequent timed writing?
Based upon a grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) approach, a theory, related to international students' perception on online discussion and timed writing, was built from an inductive, open, and axial coding process. Participants in this project were from Saudi Arabia, Japan, France, and Mongolia. Four interviews were conducted by Skype with 27 questions, and interview questions included both structural and contrast questions, along with the ones derived from literature on second language (L2) writing and computer-mediated discussion (CMD). Findings emerged from interview data include (a) a contrast between face-to-face (f2f) and online discussions, (b) perceived usage, (c) topic familiarity, (d) procedure, (e) collaboration experience, (f) peer influence, and (g) perceived improvement over the semester. The theory was established based upon the concepts of paradigm and process (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) in grounded theory.
Becoming a Better Language Learner in "Mixed" Spanish Classes
Michael Tallon, University of the Incarnate Word
"Mixed" Spanish classes, those classes that have both "true beginners" (those students who have no background or familiarity with the target language and culture) and "heritage students" (those students who have some background and familiarity with the target language and culture), are found all over the country. Research has shown that the two groups of students have different needs (Webb & Miller 2000; Campbell & Peyton 1998; González-Pino 2000; Peyton, Ranard & McGinnis 2001). For example, many heritage students have strong oral skills but lack literacy skills (Valdés 2001; Schwartz 2003; Potowski & Carreira 2004). True beginners, on the other hand, lack the oral skills and may experience "foreign language anxiety" (FLA) (Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope 1986) due to the presence of the heritage students in the class (Tallon 2003, 2006). The purpose of this Learner Training Project is to help the heritage students focus on their writing skills and to help the true beginners deal with their anxiety. The project involves four sessions during the semester called "Becoming a Better Language Learner." Each session will last approximately 30 minutes. The true beginners will work on reducing anxiety (Introduction to FLA; taking the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale; discussing the results; ways to reduce FLA - myths and realities of foreign language learning, foreign language learning strategies, the ideal language learner) and the heritage students will work on writing strategies, focusing on writing as a process (introduction to writing strategies, writing the composition, lessons learned, students share viewpoints). The ultimate goal of this Learner Training Project is that both groups of students will become better language learners.
Effects of Task Planning on the Fluency and Lexical Variety in EFL Learners' Descriptive Writing
Mahmoud Abdi Tabari, Texas A&M University
"Research to date lends general support to the claim that pre-task planning impacts positively on language production, especially where fluency and complexity are concerned. However, mixed results have been found for accurate language use (Crookes, 1989; Ellis, 2003). One reason for these variable results may be that studies have differed in whether the task conditions allowed time for or encouraged careful on-line planning (i.e. formulation and monitoring of speech plans). The present study investigates the effects of three types of planning conditions (pre-task planning, unpressured on-line planning, and no planning) on 108 Iranian EFL learners' descriptive writings elicited by means of a picture composition. The results show that pre-task planners outperformed other groups in terms of fluency in the descriptive task while no-planners outperformed pre-task planners and on-line planners regarding lexical variety in the descriptive task and on-line planners had the better performance than pre-task planners in terms of lexical variety in the task. In the present study, a trade-off effect is proposed between fluency and lexical variety. In other words, as fluency improves due to planning time in the pre-task planning condition, lexical variety decreases but as fluency declines in the on-line planning condition, lexical variety increases. This trade-off is different from the ones offered in previous studies due to the differences and distinctions between oral and written modes.
Key Words: pre-task planning, on-line planning, fluency, accuracy, complexity, lexical variety, modality.
Using Web-based Instructional Design to Stimulate K-6 ESL Students' Motivation in Language Arts
Liang-Chen Lin, Texas A&M University at Kingsville
An environment can strongly affect the motivation (Keller, 1999); therefore, a Language Arts lesson plan in the web-based setting empowers classroom activities to get students motivated in the classroom. More precisely, students' motivation and learning are positively associated with the active involvement in the web-based instructional design (Njenga, 2005). In addition, a learner's motivation is confirmed in a cyber-learning environment (Keller, 1999), which not only catches students' attention in the classroom and their interest for learning, also reduces the senses of low-motivation and low-achievement caused by the affective factors, such as "feelings, motives, needs, attitudes, and emotional states" according to Krashen's (1988) affective filter hypothesis (as cited in Lightbrown & Spada, 2006, p. 37).Simply put, this presentation aims to showcase how to design web-based instruction for stimulating K-6 ESL students' motivation and enhancing their literacy abilities. Overall, this presentation appropriately encourages teachers to navigate the endless network in an effort to integrate web-based technology into the curriculum for guiding K-6 ESL students to have fun in the language learning process.
Keywords: web-based instruction, ESL students, motivation, language arts
Self-Directed Learning in the Advanced FL Classroom: Exploring (German) Grammar Through "Exploratory" Practice
Dr. Cori Crane, The University of Texas at Austin
This practice-oriented presentation showcases a semester-long, individualized student project from an advanced-level German grammar course in which students worked with the reflective teaching-learning framework ‘Exploratory Practice' (Allwright, 2003) to explore different aspects of German grammar. For the portfolio, students were encouraged to develop "puzzles" about the German language and find local, sustainable means to investigate their questions. The Exploratory Practice framework and the reflective learning portfolio are presented, and a preliminary qualitative analysis of student work from the course is shared to show how advanced learners can grow in their understanding of language and language learning through the model.
Common Errors in Students' Academic Writing: Setting Teaching Priorities
Dr. Veronica Sardegna, Jeonghyun Lee, and Bokhee Na, The University of Texas at Austin
This study examines ESL students' common errors in academic writing, and discusses what types of errors ESL students find more difficult to detect in other students' writing. To identify the common errors, the researchers analyzed the participants' free-writing composing processes in response to a prompt. The researchers also investigated the participants' ability to correct other students' errors in twelve pre-selected paragraphs. Based on this analysis, the researchers recommend instructional priorities, and suggest writing strategies that can be taught in a short intervention. Finally, this presentation argues that teachers should consider these priorities and suggestions when giving error feedback.
Compliments on Facebook: Different Languages, Different Cultures, Different Communication Styles
Zohreh Eslami, Nasser Jabari, Geraldine Marquez-Santiago, Eunyoung Park, Hsin I Tuan, Shekha Bin Mahfouz, TingXuan chen, and Lu Yang, Texas A&M University
Facebook compliments from different language groups (Persian, American English, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish) were collected and analyzed based on the previous frameworks. Analysis of the corpora reveals the importance of distinguishing between compliments given online versus compliments given face to face as revealed by previous literature. The compliment data from some cultures such as Persian and Arabic participants show how females are using the digital space to resist the government's restrictions posed on women to cover themselves in public. This research fills the gap in the literature by providing an empirical approach on social media communication and examining culture and language-specific aspects of digital communication.
The Viability of Virtual Worlds as a Language Learning Platform for EFL Learners
Li-Tang Yu, Jayoung Song, Dr. Paul Resta, The University of Texas at Austin
The purpose of this study is to investigate the viability of virtual worlds specifically for foreign language learning. Ninety-four university students in Korean and Taiwanese students worked in small groups to carry out collaborative speaking activities in Second Life in Fall 2012 semester. Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety and Motivation questionnaire were used as research instrument. The findings from this research will provide pedagogical implications for language practitioners who would like to incorporate virtual worlds in their language curriculum and contribute to future studies regarding the use of virtual worlds and its effect on foreign language learning.
The Effect of Syntactic Complexity on the Lexical Inferencing of the Higher-Intermediate English Learners of Arabic and Persian in the Process of Reading
Javad Abedifirouzjaie, The University of Texas at Austin
This paper studies the effect of grammatical complexity on the word-meaning inferencing of the Higher-Intermediate English learners of Arabic and Persian in reading. The results of the study indicate that the participants provided with syntactically simple texts make more accurate guesses than those provided with syntactically complex ones. Sentence length is also shown to have more bearing on the participants' lexical inferencing than the other two factors in both language groups. The present study also reports that certain complexity factors (sentence length and relativization) seem to interact with the language of the text (Arabic) to lead to less accurate inferencing.
Examining Social Networking Websites from a Language Teaching Perspective
Jeong-bin Hannah Park, Claire Meadows Parrish, Duygu Uslu, Sa Liu, Kana Abe, Mengwen Cao, Min Liu, The University of Texas at Austin
This study will present the analysis of four social networking language learning websites, examining their usefulness for second language acquisition. The presentation will focus on pedagogical strategies and benefits for using such websites from teachers' perspectives. The potential suggestions include how language teachers could use these websites to encourage learner autonomy as well as to facilitate collaborative learning, including potential tasks for language classrooms. Based on eight features of social networking websites, findings of this study will discuss how SNSLL can be used as teaching and learning tools and the extent to which they can be incorporated into language curriculums.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Arabic Heritage Language Learning in Community-Based Schools in Texas: An Examination of Factors Impacting Parental Choice
Hamsa Aburumuh, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Weaving together principles of sociocultural theory and sociopsychological theory into heritage language (HL) education, a fundamental branch of applied linguistics, this poster presentation provides an overview of a quantitative study that examined a set of sociocultural (e.g., ethnicity) and sociopsychological factors (e.g., attitudes and motivation) that are believed to have impact of the choice of parents of Arabic HL learners regarding the type of schooling for their children to learn Arabic, either in public schools or community-based schools in Texas. Handouts will be provided.
Improving Adult ESL Learners' Pronunciation and Writing Through Instructional Interventions
Fu-Hao William Chiang and Anna Matis, The University of Texas at Austin
Two master's students will share their experiences of tutoring adult ESL learners in English pronunciation and business writing. The student teachers designed lessons for ESL learners that included a combination of instructional interventions coupled with pronunciation and writing strategy development to empower the students to take their learning into their own hands and improve their own language output. The discussion and sharing of the identified errors, interventions, and resources for practice will enable ESL instructors to utilize similar strategies and resources for guiding their students' efficient and increasingly autonomous learning.
The Examination of Pre-service Teachers' Bilingual/ESL Teachers' Linguistic Knowledge in Teaching ESL
Hsiao-ping Wu, Texas A&M University at San Antonio
Linguistics is a required college course for many students in the bilingual/ESL teacher preparation programs. Typically, these students come to the first class session feeling both apprehensive and resentful. They are nervous about having to take the class, and, at the same time, they suspect it will be of no use for a perspective ESL teacher. Also, many students, native or non-native English speakers never think about language linguistically. Participants were perspective generalist teachers with ESL endorsement, and students were required to take linguistics in the degree plan. This research study surveyed 146 bilingual/ESL teachers' linguistics concepts and its need for ESL teaching. This study also analyzed classroom assignments to examine their linguistic knowledge. This study will suggest whether native or non-native English speaker are needed need to be trained from linguistic perspective to work with diverse English language learners.
Using Movies to Teach French Language and Culture
Florence Lemoine, Texas State University
This presentation will show how the judicious use of authentic multimedia can be used to teach French. Films, video and graphic novels provide plenty of contextual information to teach the language as well as the culture. We discuss issues such as cognitive overload and how to avoid them with visual material. We will look at specific examples of courses I developed for beginning, intermediate and advanced French proficiency levels using French comics and movie/video extract (e.g. the famous French bandes dessinées Tintin). We will conclude how this pedagogical approach can support practical intercultural skills and lifelong learning.
Cultural Learning through Music in the German Classroom
Alexander Kuuskoski, The University of Texas at Austin
The 2007 MLA report drew attention to the separation of cultural content from language instruction in high education. This music-based approach works towards bridging this gap by building off previous research in vein of music-based language pedagogy (Schmidt, 2003), multimodal learning (McGinnis, 2007), and addresses culture as an abstract concept (Chavez, 2002). I will provide concrete examples of how to implement a such an approach and connect individual songs to grammatical topics and cultural themes. This provides a memorable learning experience, helps retain linguistic structures, and provides students with a basis for understanding culture as an abstract concept.
Managing Competing Discourses through Stancetaking in Heritage Language Instruction
Rachel Showstack, The University of Texas at Austin
Using sociolinguistic approaches to stance (Jaffe 2009, Ochs 1993), this study examines how one heritage language instructor navigates between two competing discourses in an intermediate HL classroom: on the one hand, a resolution to teach her students ‘Standard Spanish' to help them achieve professional success, and a desire to legitimize their home linguistic practices on the other. Results suggest that, in addition to expressing both perspectives directly through overt language, she also represented them indirectly by displaying positive and negative affective stances toward features of local varieties of Spanish, by constructing stances of authority based on different kinds of knowledge, and by representing social positions in the classroom.
Language Brokering Affects Bilingual Children Parents' Acculturation Processes in South Texas
Julien Ekiaka-Oblazamengo, Mónica Rosalina Medina Jiménez, & Valentin Ekiaka-Nzai, Texas A&M University at Kingsville
Many bilingual children translate for their parents or relatives in a wide range of contexts (Baker, 2006; Corona et al, 2012; De Jong, 2011). However, this practice has been negatively viewed by advocates of fractional perspective of bilingualism (De Jong, 2011). Most studies (De Jong, 2011 & Orellana, 2009) have focused on the child-broker forgetting to target bilingual children's parents (Kam, 2011). This narrative research aims to explore how language brokering practices affect bilingual children parents' acculturation processes through the following research question: To what extent language brokering practices impact bilingual children parents' acculturation processes in a subtractive bilingualism setting?
Investigating Korean Students' Attitudes toward L1 Use in the L2 Classroom
Young Ae Choi, Texas A&M University
Despite the controversy among researchers regarding using L1 in the L2 classroom, researchers, like Skinner and Kern, appreciate the additive and positive function of L1. This study explores Korean student attitudes about L1 use in order to improve their input and the correlation between students' attitudes and their L2 learning. This research presents the results of a questionnaire study on identifying Korean student perceptions about L1 use in U.S. classrooms. The participants were 26 Korean students who were in K-12 public schools in Texas, U.S. The main findings of this study showed that Korean students who were more fluent in English increased their understanding of difficult subjects more by using Korean than less fluent students of English.
A Framework for Enhancing Intercultural Competence
Shilpa Parnami, Dr. Veronica Sardegna, The University of Texas at Austin
This presentation proposes a theoretically and empirically driven instructional model that employs videos to develop intercultural competence. The model provides learners opportunities to: (1) reflect on their own culture (C1), (2) talk about the target culture (C2), (3) articulate cultural differences between the C1 and C2, (4) understand the C2, and (5) reflect on the process of culture learning. The presenters argue that the steps in this model enhance students' intercultural awareness and sensitivity, encourage students to adopt a critical stance regarding C1-C2 differences, and promote C2 learning. The presenters will illustrate this critical approach to teaching culture using a video-based lesson plan targeted at intermediate level ESL/EFL learners.
SLA for the 21st Century: Disciplinary Progress, Transdisciplinary Relevance, and the Bi/Multilingual Turn
Dr. Lourdes Ortega, Georgetown University
In this presentation I appraise recent disciplinary progress witnessed in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) and reflect on transdisciplinary relevance as SLA moves forward into the 21st century. I first identify four trends that demonstrate vibrant disciplinary progress in SLA. I then turn to the notion of transdisciplinarity, or the proclivity to pursue and generate SLA knowledge that can be of use outside the confines of the field and contribute to overall knowledge about the human capacity for language. I propose an understanding of transdisciplinary relevance for SLA that results from the ability: (a) to place one's field in a wider landscape of disciplines that share an overarching common goal and (b) to develop critical awareness of one's disciplinary framings of object of inquiry and goals and others' likely reception of them. Finally, I argue that it is by reframing SLA as the study of late bi/multilingualism that the remarkable progress witnessed in recent years will help the field reach new levels of transdisciplinary relevance as a contributor to the study of the ontogeny of human language and a source of knowledge in support of language education in the 21st century.
Examining Four Language Learning Social Networking Websites Through a Usability Testing
Kana Abe, Mengwen Cao, Sa Liu, Claire. M. Parrish, Jeong-bin Hannah Park, Duygu Uslu, and Min Liu, The University of Texas at Austin
There is much excitement about Web 2.0 technologies such as social networking technology. Are current social networking language learning websites well designed? In what way can they meet the needs of language learners? We propose to conduct a usability testing of four social network sites for language learning (SNSLL) from the perspectives of information, interface, and interaction designs. The findings of this study will help designer better understand how SNSLL can be used as learning tools, as well as help designers of these sites to improve their design.
Changing the Heritage Track Curriculum: Expanding the Perspective (and the Agenda)
M. Rafael Salaberry (The University of Texas at Austin), Sarah Beaudrie (The University of Arizona), Lydia Huerta (The University of Texas at Austin), Glenn Martínez (The University of Texas Pan American)
Arguably, Spanish heritage track courses can be regarded as a remedial model of instruction with a focus on conventions and uses of the written standard. In the present symposium, we describe options to provide an inclusive focus on both the oral and written standards, and more importantly, to guide students towards a more encompassing understanding of why language changes, why there are different varieties of language, why language prestige can be as much about political perceptions rather than linguistic-internal processes, and other areas of knowledge that are central to become a fully functional bilingual heritage speaker in our modern society.
Native Speaker Presence in the Foreign Language Classroom: The Commodification and Appropriation of (Absent) Others
Sarah Jey Whitehead, The University of Texas at Austin
Foreign language education necessitates that learners are dialogically connected to native speakers (NSs). NSs are thus present in contemporary FL classrooms both symbolically (in the ways they are imagined or referred to) and concretely (as teachers, visitors, etc.). This presentation will explore qualitative data that indicates how NSs are invoked, invited, and imported into two Spanish FL classrooms. While one classroom conjures NSs through culturally authentic artifacts, the other draws from students' experiences with NSs in their community. The presentation will place particular focus on how NSs are made use of for purposes exclusive to FL classrooms.
Korean EFL Students' Reading Motivation and Achievement Across Languages
JuHee Lee, Dr. Diane L. Schallert, The University of Texas at Austin
Despite the significant role of motivation in learning, the research on reading motivation and its association with achievement is still sparse. The few studies have only focused on identifying L2 reading motivation constructs (Mori, 2002) or investigating motivation and achievement in L2 for adults, neglecting the different contributions of L1 and L2 reading motivation to achievement (Kim, 2011; Kondo-Brown, 2006). This study investigated association among L1 and L2 reading motivation, its contribution to achievement, and differences in motivation at different levels of L2 proficiency, focusing on EFL adolescents. We will also discuss contributing factors to reading motivation and pedagogical implications.
A Winning Combination: Using Musical Theatre to Support English Acquisition
Janet Hammer, Pat Wiese, Sunni Sonnenburg and Rachel Wiese, Texas A&M University
Using musical theatre as a supplement to English instruction provides a meaningful context for developing reading, listening, and speaking skills. Equally important, musical theatre makes language acquisition fun and supports students at any stage of language acquisition. As students learn their lines and words of the songs, even the shyest language learner becomes more confident. In this presentation, the process of developing a musical theater performance will be shared including: locating a script based upon well-known musical theater production, designing the script to be performed in two languages, and adapting the production for various ages and levels of language learners.
A Biliterate Community: Language Negotiations in a Dual Language Classroom
Armando Garza, The University of Texas at San Antonio
This paper explores how a bilingual teacher and her bilingual students, as members of a fifth-grade dual language classroom, utilize the Spanish language in science class when science-instruction is mandated by the school district to be in English only. Following the same path, this study also examines how English is used in social studies class-which is taught in Spanish only. Drawing from sociocultural theories of learning as theoretical frameworks and applying the community of practice (COP) approach, different linguistic instances presented in science and social studies units were analyzed. Some implications for teaching purposes are discussed.
Factors Affecting Individualized Writing Instruction
Veronica Sardegna, Duygu Uslu Ok, Hilal Peker, The University of Texas at Austin
This study explores the effectiveness of a six-week tutoring program for improving tutee's ability to self-correct their writing errors. The tutees completed a pre- and post-test, and a final tutoring questionnaire. Later, data were triangulated with tutors' weekly tutoring reports and reflections, and researchers' field observation notes. Preliminary findings indicate that a number of factors seemed to contribute to improvement of tutees' writing skills, and their views of the effectiveness of the tutoring program. The presenters will discuss what factors contributed to such effectiveness and tutees' perceptions of the tutoring programs, and recommend ways of enhancing individualized writing instruction.
They said whaaat?!: Expression of Age and Identity through Social Media and Use of Non-conventional Spelling
Jennifer Gilardi Swoyer, Ying Li, Yeng Yang, The University of Texas at San Antonio
The authors report the results of study of language use on the social media platform Twitter. The study analyzed whether there was a correlation between age and use of non-conventional spellings in the tweets of 27 pop-culture icons, ranging in age from 18 to 54. Data analysis suggested surprising results between the age of the tweeter and her/his orthographic style. They discuss other possible relationships of identity and language use in emerging digital speech communities and identity also emerged. Potential implications for instructors of ESL/EFL interested in incorporating authentic language and social media in classroom instruction will also be addressed.
Bilingual Users of English in USA
Yongfeng Liu, Texas A&M University
This paper focuses on Chinese immigrants who live in US and have access to, or need to use two languages at home and in public. It does not mean that they have fluency in both language or they are competent and literate in both languages. Through analyzing some survey data, this paper detailed describes distinctions of English using, English proficiency, attitudes towards the two languages, identity recognition and English developing stages between first & second generation Chinese immigrants. Moreover, this paper reveals the relationship between language proficiency and identity. On the other hand, this paper also implies some questions to world Englishes, such as the definition of "native" & "non-native" speakers.
English as Lingua Franca Interaction in Higher Education: Pragmatic Strategies
Zohreh Eslami, Mahmoud Abdi Tabari, Lauren Given, Woochung Ahn, Yongend Liu, Texas A&M University
English as a Lingua Franca is used as a contact language among speakers from different first languages. Achieving intelligibility has been a concern in ELF interactions. The strategies ELF speakers use to reach a level of mutual understanding when they come from such diverse cultural, linguistic, and proficiency levels has become an important area of research. This presentation focuses on communications of students in group-work in a higher education setting where English is used as a medium of instruction and examines the pragmatic strategies that students use to have successful interaction.
Language and Culture: Forging an Identity in a Globalized World
Dr. Orlando R. Kelm, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Juliet Langman, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Dr. Lourdes Ortega, Georgetown University
Dr. Veronica Sardegna, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Diane Schallert, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Elaine Horwitz (moderator), The University of Texas at Austin
This panel of five language professors explores the relationship between language, culture, and identity in the context of a globalized classroom community. Panel experts will answer attendees' questions regarding the impact of language and culture on an individual's educational experiences, including the challenges and opportunities resulting from identity construction, maintenance, and change. The panel will address issues such as linguistic and cultural shifts in transnational spaces, the changing nature of language education in a global economy, and the role that language, culture, and identity play in academic and social environments. The hour-long session includes time for additional questions and answers.
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