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 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.

November 7

Laissez Faire Translanguaging in Two High School English Classes

Presenter: Anna Mendoza, PhD Candidate, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

This linguistic ethnography aims to investigate what multilingual practices arise in high school English classrooms where teachers freely permit the use of languages other than English but do not explicitly teach students to use these languages as learning resources—i.e., deliberate translanguaging pedagogy. Many K-12 teachers are convinced that students learn best when allowed to use their entire linguistic repertoires. However, they may not teach students to translanguage for various reasons, such as the belief that they will not be able to balance the needs of monolingual and multilingual students, classroom management issues when students speak languages apart from English, especially when the teacher doesn’t understand all of them, and monolingual curricula and assessments. Therefore, letting students draw on other languages in whatever ways they feel they need to—a laissez faire language policy—may seem an appealing middle ground between “English only” and deliberate translanguaging pedagogy.

The teachers in this study, a Filipino-American man in his 20s and a Japanese-American woman in her 40s, are similar to many English teachers in the U.S. They do not react negatively when they hear languages other than English in class and encourage students to talk things through in these languages. Since they are not teaching in bilingual programs, they do not require students to produce bi/multilingual artifacts showing that they are translanguaging to learn; however, an abundance of multilingual talk can be heard in their classrooms, because they do not wish to deprive students of the resource of their L1s, they value students’ funds of knowledge, and they are multilingual and multicultural themselves. In their classrooms, I investigated the following questions:

1. What are the different types of mixed language practices that emerge under a laissez faire language policy?
2. Why do some students reap the benefits of translanguaging more than others under such a policy?
3. What kinds of translanguaging practices appear to arise instinctively, and which do not seem to occur without deliberate pedagogical scaffolding?

In other words, my study aims to capture how a laissez faire language policy interacts with students’ beliefs about translanguaging, the classroom ecology, and larger societal discourses, impacting opportunities to learn.

November 14

Pathway into Graduate School: A discussion of the options

Presenters: Magdelena Petko and Victoria Lee, MA Students, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

The purpose of this session is to familiarize undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in the SLS department with the rich opportunities the SLS department provides for all its members. From our unique perspectives as the former and first cohort of the BA/MA pathway, we’d like to share our experiences and hear from the audience about their familiarity navigating these diverse programs, whether it’d be from the angle of the undergraduate, graduate, or faculty level. After a brief informational presentation about the pathway program and our experiences, we’d like to open up the floor for the audience to ask questions. In an interactive activity, we would like to draw on the audience to contribute to this session by connecting with each other to enable potential future MA and BA/MA pathway students to interconnect with MA students and faculty. Lastly, we hope that everyone will walk away from the session with a widened perspective of the different paths our department has to offer for our diverse student population.

November 21

Multimodal Practices of Resistance: Refusing to drink in a Residential Home

Presenter: Yu-Han Lin, PhD Student, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

When encountering institutional resistance from care recipients, caregivers may struggle between preserving the rights of the care recipients while accomplishing health and safety-related tasks under the institutional agenda (Finlay et al., 2008). This work-in-progress examines the interactional organization of drinking: How do caregivers manage resistance from care recipients in drinking or finishing water or nutritional drinks, which multimodal practices are involved as a consequence, and what is the role of language in multilingual interaction? The data consisted of 48-hour video recordings in a multifunctional room at a private Taiwanese residential home. Participants included elderly care recipients, Taiwanese and Vietnamese caregivers, nurses, interns, volunteers, and visitors. The languages included L1 and L2 Mandarin Chinese (Mandarin) and Taiwanese Southern Min (Taiwanese). Guided by multimodal conversation analysis (CA) (Mondada, 2014, 2018, 2019), preliminary findings suggest that caregivers persist in their requests by recycling requests through talk or embodiment (e.g., moving a mug towards the care recipient), embedding the drinking practice in a game, negotiating with the care recipients (e.g., “one more time” in Mandarin), or complying with them in a dispreferred way (e.g., silence and leaving). Specifically, despite their language fluency, caregivers deploy the preferred language of their care recipients to defuse resistance and construct affiliation. This study shows the significance of multimodal CA in scrutinizing elderly care interaction and has practical implications for training caregivers in managing resistance. Care recipients with cognitive or physical deficiencies manifest their interactional competence through various semiotic resources. Moreover, observing language use in a “larger theory of human interaction” (Wagner, 2018) among participants, this study delineates the fluidity of language use despite limited knowledge of co-participant’s language (Jansson et al., 2017; Lindholm, 2017). The larger goal lies in informing staff training in order to allow for better caregiving service quality, and ultimately the well-being of care recipients.

December 5

Teach in Thailand: Informational Meeting About the Summer 2020 Practicum

Presenter: Betsy Gilliland, Associate Professor, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Have you wanted to get more experience teaching English for academic purposes for university students? Are you curious about what it’s like to teach students with whom you don’t share an L1? Do you want to try doing action research in your own classroom? If you join us for the summer 2020 Thailand practicum, you can do all this and more! This brown bag session will explain what the practicum is and what opportunities you can have if you join us.  Dr. Gilliland will provide an overview of the graduate class that she will teach and how the program will be structured. Then several current and former SLS graduate students will tell stories and share pictures from their experiences.

Note: If you are interested in participating in the practicum but can’t make it to this session, please email Dr. Gilliland to let her know.

December 12

Demotivation in Second Language Acquisition: Insights from a Study on Spanish Vocabulary Acquisition

Presenters: Keita Kikuchi, Kanagawa University, Japan; &

María del Carmen Méndez Santos, Universitat d’ Alacant, Spain

Kikuchi (2005), in extensively discussing the topic of demotivation in Second Language Acquisition, points out the need to clarify the focus of demotivation research in our field and to distinguish three terms; demotivation, demotivators, and demotivated. At the beginning of the talk, we present developments in this research topic.

Next, we present a study of vocabulary acquisition in learning Spanish as a foreign language. There is an increasing attention to vocabulary learning due to the rise of lexical approaches (Lewis, 1993, 1997; Nation, 2001; Thornbury, 2002; Laufer, 2005; Barcroft, 2015, among others). It is important to know of any specific demotivators related to vocabulary learning. For instance, Hu (2011) confirmed that students from Taiwan found vocabulary learning demotivating in her study because they considered themselves to be “bad at memorizing.”

Along the same vein as Arefinezhad and Golaghaei (2014) in Iran on demotivation in learning vocabulary, one of the presenters has performed a pilot study regarding Spanish as a foreign language. The results are presented as well as pedagogical implications. To conclude the presentation, future directions for further study on the topic of demotivation are given.