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ARCHIVE Fall 2014 Brown Bags

September 4: Employment Opportunities While You Are a Student

Presenters: Dr. Ray Allen, ISS Advisor; Priscilla Faucette, ELI Associate Director & SLS BA Advisor; Emily Lee, SLS Program Specialist & Job Officer

What are the employment opportunities within SLS and outside of the department? What are the visa requirements for on- and off-campus work for international students? Which language schools on O‘ahu require a BA or an MA for their instructors? What is the difference between PPT and PTT in the Hawai‘i Department of Education? Which languages are taught in which private K–12 schools? Find out the answers to these questions, and consider how to find your best “fit” for connecting practice with research and coursework.

September 11: Submitting Your SLS Research to the IRB: Helpful Tips to Getting It Right the First Time

Presenter: Denise Lin-DeShetler, Director, UHM Human Studies Program

Getting an IRB approval before conducting your research can be a daunting task, arising with questions like what is “human subjects research” and what types of research need IRB approval? What are the elements of a good IRB application? How do I conduct my research responsibly? This presentation will cover questions about how to complete and submit an application to the Human Studies Program efficiently so you can get going with your research.

September 18: Extensive Reading for Japanese Language Learning

Presenter: Eri Banno, Professor, Okayama University

This talk is about extensive reading for Japanese as a second or foreign language learning. In the first part, overviews of Japanese graded readers and studies on extensive reading for JSL/JFL learners are presented. In the second part, the extensive reading class at Okayama University is introduced and the effects of extensive reading for JSL/JFL learning are then discussed.

October 3: Teaching and Researching English for Academic Purposes in Thailand (1 of 2) [FRIDAY]

Presenters: Aran Choi, Alex Kasula, Changho Kwon, and Jill Nishida, Second Language Studies, UHM

The two sessions address teaching and researching in EFL classrooms in Thailand. The presenters, all SLS graduate students, participated in a two-month teaching practicum (SLS 690) at Ubon Ratchathani University in northeastern Thailand during the summer of 2014. They conducted action research projects in their individual classrooms, collecting a range of data from student work to audio and video recordings. Each presenter shares his or her experiences of being a teacher researcher in a classroom setting.

October 9: Teaching and Researching English for Academic Purposes in Thailand (2 of 2)

Presenters: Hyunjung An, Yukari Komizo, Orn Patharakorn, and Eric Young, Second Language Studies, UHM

The two sessions address teaching and researching in EFL classrooms in Thailand. The presenters, all SLS graduate students, participated in a two-month teaching practicum (SLS 690) at Ubon Ratchathani University in northeastern Thailand during the summer of 2014. They conducted action research projects in their individual classrooms, collecting a range of data from student work to audio and video recordings. Each presenter shares his or her experiences of being a teacher researcher in a classroom setting.

November 13: Audiovisual Materials and Foreign Language (FL) Learning and Teaching

Presenter: Maria Bravo, Professor, University of the Algarve, Portugal

Audiovisual materials are a popular resource in the FL classroom. I will illustrate how such materials can focus on difficult areas of FL language learning and how they can enhance FL learners’ proficiency. This will be supported by looking at the results of some studies on the use of AV materials in EFL settings in Portugal. I will also describe a recent European Union-funded project—ClipFlair—designing a gallery of activities and developing exercises in revoicing and subtitling of videos and audio clips. These interactive exercises help to overcome students’ passive viewing and enable FL learners to practice all four skills in motivating and creative ways.

November 20: Exploring L2 Learners’ Viewing Behavior During the Video-based L2 Listening Assessment: Evidence from Eye Tracking

Presenter: Ruslan Suvorov, Center for Language and Technology, UHM

This presentation will introduce an eye-tracking study that explored second language (L2) learners’ viewing behavior during the video-based assessment of their L2 listening skills and the effect of two types of visuals on their test performance. The findings revealed that the viewing behavior was different for different types of visuals used in the listening test, but did not affect the test scores.

December 11: Fall 2014 Awardees of the Harry Whitten Prize for Scholarly Excellence

Moving from “she just sits here” to “she’s opened my eyes”: Evolution of Writing Tutor Roles in Conferences with L1 and L2 Student-Athletes

Presenter: Pamela Stacey, Second Language Studies, UHM

This study took place in a university athletics tutoring facility that provides writing support to ‘underprepared’ freshman student-athletes. Many students who are classified as underprepared students (often ethnic or linguistic minorities, international students, or first-generation college students) would not have the chance to attend a four-year university without their athletic ability and scholarships, making athletics writing support programs unique compared to campus-wide tutoring services. Athletics writing tutors are also subject to stricter National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) restrictions, making writing conferences in this setting a site of conflicting expectations and struggle. Since access to specialized tutoring services is an important factor in underprepared students’ college success, it is necessary to better understand the nature of these writing tutorials. In particular, it is essential to investigate whether and to what degree writing tutors who work with underprepared student-athletes are knowledgeable about the backgrounds, identities, and needs of this population, and how they navigate the NCAA restrictions on writing conferences. This case study charts the evolution of writing tutoring practices over a two-year span in one Division 1 state university’s athletic tutoring center. Through identifying needs and struggles of both underprepared students and writing tutors, I developed and implemented training modules that provided tutors with training in student-athlete identities, language varieties, and tutoring strategies for the process of American English academic writing. Post-training observations of writing conferences show qualitative differences in the ways that writing tutors approach students and their writing. In this scholarly paper, key data from observations, interviews, questionnaires, and training materials is utilized to explain how this evolution of tutoring practices took place.

A Dialectical Approach to Critical Thinking in EAP Writing

Presenter: Jay Tanaka, Second Language Studies, UHM

Few would disagree that high quality thinking is a necessary condition for high quality writing. Yet, writing courses in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) often focus only marginally on principled and rigorous development of dialogical thinking and idea generation in preparation for written work. This study examines the effect of a model of critical thinking instruction (CTI) in a university level EAP writing course. Recent studies on CTI in EAP (Alnofaie, 2013; Hashemi & Ghanizadeh, 2012; Liaw, 2007; Shirkhani & Fahim, 2011; Yang & Gamble, 2013) have utilized models of CTI that, while reflecting varying degrees of attention to social context, inevitably center on the more traditional concepts of logicality and rational thinking skills. In contrast, this study’s distinct model of CTI is based on Paul’s (1995) concept of dialogical and dialectical thinking and guides students to consider and understand social issues and controversy through the analysis and evaluation of the differing belief systems behind opposing viewpoints. After the course, student interviews were conducted and analyzed through grounded theory and narrative analysis. Interview data revealed that CTI was found to be a practice that was typically unavailable in the students’ home countries and previous L2 English education, and was perceived as a challenging yet valuable addition to this EAP course curriculum. To varying degrees, students found the activity of critical thinking to align with their personal values and expressed a perceived need for critical thinking in order to succeed in future studies at the university level. The data contained frequent reports of students using critical thinking in their personal lives as a result of CTI. In addition, findings revealed a need to carefully position critical thinking as a tool with specific domains of use and limitations. These findings raise important questions about the inclusion of CTI in EAP and what forms are appropriate.