Archive Fall 2019 Brown Bags

August 29
Starting off on the Right Foot: Advising Session for New MA Students

Presenter: Christina Higgins, Professor & Graduate Chair, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

1. Navigating your MA progress
We will examine the MA advising form together and talk about optional tracks, core courses, seminar courses, and electives. Students will better understand what it takes to complete their degrees in a timely manner.
2. The relationship between language teaching and research
New students sometimes struggle to see connections between their interest in classroom teaching and research projects that they design and analyze in their courses; we will explore this and look at examples of research that are connected to teaching, as well as research on other topics in SLS that are not directly linked to classrooms.
3. Resources for academic and personal support
We will discuss the resources on campus that offer academic support (such as The Writing Center) as well as offices that offer counseling and other forms of support to students.

September 5

L2 Motivation Research: Recent Trends and How My SLS Dissertation Developed into Further Studies

Presenter: Chika Takahashi, Associate Professor, Ehime University, Japan

L2 motivation research has seen some developments as to its focus on individual learners and their dynamic changes that are often captured in longitudinal studies, including those examining learning languages other than English (LOTE). In this presentation, I will first discuss these trends in L2 motivation research. Then I will introduce two longitudinal studies that I conducted on the topic and discuss how those studies reflect the aforementioned developments of the field. The two participants were two of the high school students that took part in my dissertation, which I turned in to the Department of SLS in 2013. They are now very academically-oriented students at one of the top-tiered universities in Japan at the graduate level. They showed distinct patterns regarding the development of their English/LOTE motivation during the six years that I interviewed them, and these developments contrast with those reported in studies in the European contexts, where multilingualism is more highly valued than in Japan. This points to the importance of examining contextual factors when discussing English/LOTE motivation.

September 12

The importance of production for the acquisition of L2 grammatical structures

Presenter: Carrie Jackson, Professor of German and Linguistics, The Pennsylvania State University

An important question in instructed second language (L2) acquisition regards the relative effectiveness of comprehension-based instruction and production-based instruction for learning L2 grammatical forms. While recent meta-analyses (Shintani, 2015; Shintani, et al., 2013) show an immediate advantage of comprehension-based instruction for receptive knowledge and a long-term advantage of production-based instruction for productive knowledge, many questions remain regarding how these different instructional methods affect the underlying mechanisms that support L2 acquisition and use. In this talk I will present results from two recent studies investigating whether overt production promotes the acquisition and use of two different grammatical structures among L2 learners of German. In Study 1, 3rd semester German learners completed a structural priming task targeting the production of sentence-initial adverbial phrases (e.g., Auf dem Berg trägt der Junge eine Jacke “On the mountain the boy wears a jacket” vs. Der Junge trägt eine Jacke auf dem Berg “The boy wears a jacket on the mountain”). After listening to prime sentences that contained sentence-initial adverbial phrases, participants who were required to repeat the prime aloud before describing a new picture produced significantly more sentences containing a sentence-initial adverbial phrases than participants who simply listened to the prime sentences before describing subsequent pictures. In Study 2, 1st semester German learners completed a comprehension-based or production-based training unit targeting grammatical gender marking (e.g., ein blauer Becher “a.MASC blue.MASC cup.MASC” vs. eine blaue Schüssel “a.FEM red.FEM bowl.FEM”). The participants in the production-based training group outperformed the comprehension-based training group on all posttest measures. Together these studies highlight the importance of overtly producing target L2 grammatical forms during learning. I attribute this benefit for production to the cognitive mechanisms underlying language production, including utterance planning and lexical retrieval, and the need to maintain lexical and grammatical information in working memory while producing a sentence.

September 19

Collaboration between Forestry and Language Sciences for Building a Translanguaging Mixed Reality

Presenter: Dongping Zheng, Associate Professor, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Team Members:
Dong, Jin, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, United States of America
Liu, Yang, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
Melik Tangiyev, Denis, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu
Nokes, James, Independent Researcher, Wildwood, United States of America
Dr. Zhang, Huaiqing, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China

This project is an intercultural, interdisciplinary, and transnational collaboration between language scientists in the United States and forestry scientists in China. Through our shared concern for ecological crises as well as the limitations placed on learners by object-based or synchronic systems (Cowley, 2017; van Love, 2017), we strive to help language learners establish harmonious and eco-mindful participation within multilingual societies that co-constitutively shape their multimodal languaging and translanguaging skills (Newgarden, Zheng, and Liu, 2015; Li, 2018).

Our team employed a mixed VR design to help realize these values in learners by establishing Bizhuwangshang, an emerging village meant to give learners the opportunity to explore the effects that humans have on their ecosystem while also discovering how mindful stewardship could be implemented. The VR space allows users to embody the world predicament both emotionally and relationally and then receive feedback by traveling into the future to see the impact of their choices (based upon forestry science impact models and projections). In the process of finding solutions to their environmental challenges, users will engage not only with members of their team but also with real-world artifacts such as National Geographic articles and other scientific pieces—all of which will provide ample opportunity for languaging and translanguaging.

In this informal Brown Bag Round Table, I will share how my previous research on designing and studying multi-user role-playing spaces and games lead to this project.

This project is funded by VISLAB, Chinese Academy of Forestry and UHM and Peking University Exchange Program.

October 3

Summer of 2019: Collaboratively building a Virtual reality Environment in Beijing

Presenter: Denis Melik Tangiyev, MA Student, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

In this talk, I will be discussing a recent Virtual Reality (VR) project that I began during my time in Beijing, China, thanks to the UHM-Peking exchange program. I was able to work closely with programmers in VISLAB. During my time, we began to build the foundations of what is now known as Bizhuwanshang, a fictional panda reserve set in South-West China. This virtual environment was developed to help show users the effects of climate change on the natural environment, as well as show how much of an impact humans could have on surrounding territories when expanding their influence. This project is meant to bridge a connection between the natural sciences and language sciences; allowing us to background the natural sciences while allowing users to experience ecolinguistics. VISLAB’s expertise allows us to demonstrate the effects of forest growth and animal habitation, which provides a rich scientific context for users. I will be discussing why language learners should broaden their sense of knowledge about the ecosystem and ecolinguistics. Our virtual world allows for users to experience these global changes, as well as attempt to make a difference; allowing them to collaborate in their target language.

October 10

Teaching and Living in Chile

Presenters: Betsy Gilliland, Associate Professor; & Amy Marquardt, SLS MA Graduate; Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Chile is a country of diverse terrain, located on the Pacific Coast of South America. SLS Associate Professor Betsy Gilliland and SLS MA graduate Amy Marquardt share stories of their recent experiences living and teaching here (Amy will join us via Zoom direct from Chile!). Come learn about life in the southern hemisphere, where people dance the cueca, eat asado and pastel de choclo, and study English as a foreign language.

Wednesday, October 16 – Special Presentation

Kialo Public Discussion Demo

Presenter: Jonathan McKinney, Kialo Education Consultant, University of Cincinnati, Departments of Philosophy and Psychology Center for Cognition, Action & Perception

Learn about Kialo, described by Common Sense Media as “a troll-free zone for student discussion and debate.”

Kialo is a public discussion platform designed to facilitate reasoned online debates about complex topics. Since 2017, it has grown to host thousands of debates and millions of user contributions.

While Kialo is a debate platform, Kialo Edu is focused on providing resources for educators and creating an online space for students to work through and visualize complex subjects together.

This demo will introduce the basic features of kialo.com plus sample lesson plans and assignments drafted for Kialo Edu. Please join us with your feedback and questions about the Kialo educational platform.

This event is co-organized by the Center for Language & Technology and the Department of Second Language Studies.

October 17

Multi-ʻōlelo: A multilingual platform for language-related research dissemination

Presenters: The Multi-ʻōleloTeam: Huy Phung, Mery Diez-Ortega, Masaki Eguchi, Anna Mendoza, Thu Ha Nguyen, Ann Choi & Raquel Reinagel; Past and current students, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Academic research is important, but the findings are usually limited to small circles of scholars and experts. Traditional forms of scholarship, such as journal articles, are generally not easy for non-specialist readers. Hence, alternative forms of scholarship are needed if that knowledge is meant to be shared outside academia. Moreover, due to the widespread and hegemonic nature of English, impactful research works are often mainly published in English, which not only limits the access opportunities for many non-English-using people, but also devalues the significance of local languages and other ways of sharing research findings. Thus, accessible research findings published in multiple languages are also necessary. Multi-ʻōlelo is an online platform that facilitates the interaction among various stakeholders, including graduate students, researchers, practitioners and teachers, policy-makers, administrators, and other people invested in language-related matters. These people can contribute to Multi-ʻōlelo by submitting their own content, which will be peer-reviewed and posted on Multi-ʻōlelo. Later, the content can be disseminated to the community and all practitioners more easily than traditional journals or other academic texts. Content can include original research findings, reviews or reactions to research, infographics, videos, podcasts, slides, and other media that centers around language learning, language teaching, and use. Although started in the Department of Second Language Studies, the project hopes to recruit content creators from other departments and eventually other institutions.

October 24

The Advancement of Open Science in SLA: Current Trends

Presenter: Dustin Crowther, Assistant Professor, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Recent years have seen an increased emphasis on open science within SLA (and applied linguistics more generally), a movement which is aimed “at enhancing transparency in research methods, observation, data collection, data access, and communication of findings” which in turn “provides important mechanisms for enhancing the validity, credibility, and reliability of scientific endeavors” (Marsden, Morgan-Short, Trofimovich, & Ellis, 2018, p. 310).
For those looking to publish in major field journals such as Language Learning, Modern Language Journal, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and TESOL Quarterly, it is unlikely that you will avoid reference to open science initiatives, including

• making datasets and materials publicly available, such as through the IRIS Digital Repository or the Open Science Framework;
• providing accessible summaries, such as those published through OASIS;
• pursuing preregistered reports, which ensures transparency throughout the research process; and
• implementation of open science badges as a means to promote continued open science practices.

I will provide a brief review of the benefits of pursuing open science, where we are today with regards to the aforementioned open science practices, and how we can begin/continue to contribute with our own scholarly work.

October 31

(via video-teleconference)

Presenter: Susan Bobb, Associate Professor of Psychology, Gordon College, Wenham, MA
Co-Presenter: Kathrin Rothermich, Associate Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders, East Carolina University

Immigrants and non-native speakers in the US face communicative challenges when interacting with native speakers in everyday life, for example at the workplace, in a healthcare setting, and in educational environments. One strategy frequently employed by native speakers to ensure smooth communication is speech accommodation in the form of foreigner-directed speech. According to sociolinguistic frameworks such as Communication Accommodation Theory, English native speakers modify their speech to meet the communicative needs of non-native speakers (Beebe & Giles, 1984). However, when foreigner-directed speech is used inappropriately, it may lead to overaccommodation, which in turn can act counterproductively towards communicative goals and learning and may be perceived as disrespectful, condescending, or patronizing.

To date, much of the research on foreigner directed speech toward non-native speakers has focused on its acoustic parameters, but few studies have examined how second language learners interpret it emotionally and pragmatically. In this talk, we present data from a series of experiments with adult English language learners, examining: 1) the communicative needs of non-native speakers, 2) the emergence of speech accommodation in natural interactions, as well as 3) the perception of speech accommodation by non-native speakers. We also consider the role of language proficiency and personality profiles as predictors for the effects of speech accommodation.