Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Location: St. John, Room 011 [unless otherwise noted]

Time: Noon–1:15 p.m.

October 19
ELI & HELP Teachers’ Action Research

Presenters: Betsy Gilliland, Assistant Professor, SLS; Carrie Bach, Kelly Bolen, Anna Mendoza, & Lin Zhou, SLS Graduate Students; UH-Mānoa

In Spring 2017, ELI writing teachers (and one HELP reading teacher) designed action research studies to investigate their students’ learning and their curricular practices. In this brown bag session, Dr. Betsy Gilliland will explain how she facilitated the teachers’ research and then the teachers will individually describe their studies and reflect on successes and challenges of doing teacher research while also being a full time SLS graduate student.

October 26
Visiting Colleague Research Presentations, Two Talks

Presenter 1: Junko Matsuzaki Carreira, Tokyo Keizai University, Japan

Motivational Model of English Learning Among Elementary School Students in Japan
This presentation will show a motivational model of English learning, based on self-determination theory (SDT), and explore how developmental differences would appear in the motivational model. Results support the notion that perceived teachers’ autonomy support positively predicts intrinsic motivation through students’ perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Regarding age differences, the path from students’ perceptions of competence to intrinsic motivation showed higher coefficients for students of higher grades than for students of middle grades; the path from perceived teachers’ autonomy support to intrinsic motivation showed higher coefficients for students of middle grades than for students of higher grades.

Presenter 2: Nattharmma Thong-Iam, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

EFL Students’ Use of their First Language (L1) in Performing Formative Assessment Activities
Students’ use of their first language in the classroom has long been a controversial issue in second/foreign language education. This study argues for the re-examination of the questionable compartmentalization of the first and target languages when planning, designing and administering English speaking tasks for formative language assessment. Situated in a pragmatism paradigm, the study aims at examining the use of L1 (Thai) by a class of 24 undergraduate students enrolled in a listening and speaking course in a university in Thailand. These students were required to complete “a street-survey project,” a six-phase culminating task geared towards assessing their English speaking performance. A set of questionnaires, stimulated recall interviews, and classroom observations were employed to elicit the extent to which the students used their L1 while they were performing the task in each phase. It was found that in negotiating the demands of task completion, the students used L1 for various reasons, with varying degrees of preference. Their deliberate use of L1 was also affected by their language proficiency and self-efficacy, as well as their socio-academic interactions with their peers and the course teacher. The findings of this study, augmented by those from other relevant studies, can therefore contribute to the potential establishment of a pedagogically principled approach to L1 and L2 use in performing formative assessment.

November 2

Ecologically Designed English Writing Course in China

Presenter: Lin Zhou, SLS PhD Student, UH-Mānoa

This is a design-based research project with an ecological, dialogical and distributed (EDD) (Linell, 2009; Newgarden & Zheng, 2016; van Lier, 2004; Thibault, 2011) theories-driven design of learning environment enriched by an online pedagogical drama game–Finding Jolin’s Way Home. The purpose of this research aims to uncover the relationships between the activity theory (Engestrom, 2000), the EDD framework, Internet pedagogical drama game-supported second language writing (English) curriculum, and the implementation of a seven-day curriculum. The curriculum was built on a flipped classroom setting in which participants (second-year high-school students in China) read teacher-chosen articles about a particular topic, such as technology and environment, before three-hour face-to-face sessions consisting of group discussion, a game session, and a timed-writing session. The first round of designing and implementation was completed in July 2017, and a parallel comparison between the computer pedagogical drama-game engendered group discussions and group discussions guided by discussion questions showed that the pedagogical computer drama-game engendered group interactions that demonstrated students’ languaging behavior (Thibault, 2011) in ways not found in group discussions. This presentation will showcase the first round of design-implementation of this design-based research and demonstrate how the pedagogical drama-game engendered group discussions are different from group discussions guided by discussion questions.


The SLS Thursday “Brown Bag” is a lecture series organized by the Department of Second Language Studies for enhancing students’ academic experience and professional future. Archived presentation descriptions can be found here: Fall 2017Spring 2017Fall 2016Spring 2016Fall 2015; Spring 2015; Fall 2014.

To propose a presentation topic for academic year 2017–2018, please contact SLS Assistant Professor Dr. Gilliland (egillila@hawaii.edu).