Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

The Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series takes place on Thursdays from 12:00pm to 1:15pm.

Presentation slots for Spring 2024 are still available: those interested in presenting should contact Brown Bag Coordinator Daniel Isbell at disbell(at)hawaii(dot)edu.

Unless otherwise noted, all talks will be held in person in Moore 155A; a Zoom option is available for all in-person talks, with links sent to mailing lists the Monday of the week of the talk. Starred (*) talks are internal to SLS faculty, staff, and students.

The following dates and talks are tentative as of January 8, 2024.

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Thursday, January 11

Orientation for New MA Students*

Dr. Theres Grüter, Professor and Graduate Chair, 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.

*This talk is internal to new SLS MA students.

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Thursday, January 18

No talk scheduled

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Thursday, January 25

MA SP Showcase

Maggie Nakamura McGehee, MA Student, Second Language Studies; Sohyeon Lee, MA Student, Second Language Studies

Relationship between English Proficiency Test Scores and Academic Success at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Maggie Nakamura McGehee

This study compares the relationship between English language proficiency (ELP) test scores and academic success at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), and evaluates whether academic outcomes differ for students who entered on the basis of different tests. Locally, this represents one step in evaluating the validity of using the Duolingo English Test (DET) in admissions decisions. More broadly, it fills a gap in the literature by examining outcomes in a new context (a large, public, less selective university in the US), including a newer test (DET), and covering a wider range of ELP scores than is typically represented in such research. In addition to GPA as an indicator of student success, this study considers proportions of students on academic probation or withdrawing in relation to test submitted, and also makes comparisons to international students who were exempt from submitting an ELP score for admission. Further, it compares students admitted unconditionally with higher ELP scores, to those with lower ELP scores admitted contingent upon further English language instruction. Findings are relevant to discussing valid use of DET alongside IELTS and TOEFL in admissions at UHM, while incorporating academic outcomes indicators beyond score correlations with GPA.

Digital Divide in EFL Writing: A ‘Rich Get Richer’ Perspective on Online Linguistic Tools
Sohyeon Lee

Although second language (L2) writers have easy access to linguistic tools in the digital age, the use of such tools in L2 writing assessments remains a topic of debate. Some argue that students’ abilities to use these tools are construct irrelevant in writing assessment and the spelling and grammar checkers may shift writers’ focus from meaning to form, but little research has been conducted in this field. This research serves as a confirmatory study, conceptually replicating the work of Oh (2022), with the objective of investigating the influence of online linguistic tools on the writing processes and outcomes of adolescent students in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. I conducted the study with 113 high school students in Seoul, Korea, and analyzed essays from 42 students. 20 students had access to linguistic tools (the experimental group), while the other 22 students did not (the control group). Linear regression models revealed a statistically significant difference in total scores between the two groups. The analysis also showed that more proficient writers made better use of the tools when they had access, resulting in higher scores compared to the control group. Qualitative analysis of screen recordings corroborated Oh’s findings, indicating that students focus on the meanings of words as well as on their forms when errors are highlighted by the tool. The study’s implications extend to L2 English teaching, particularly in EFL contexts. Educators can utilize these insights to guide students in effectively leveraging linguistic tools in their writing processes and in assessment scenarios.

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Thursday, February 1

Language practices, ideologies and management of Polish-Australian families: Maintaining the heritage language

Dr. Piotr Romanowski, Associate Professor, University of Warsaw

This presentation delves into how Polish families maintain a heritage language in a diaspora community in Melbourne. It explores one of the well-established yet understudied groups that make up multicultural Australia. Based on the data collected through the online questionnaire supplemented with in-depth interviews, qualitative analyses have been conducted to obtain the sociolinguistic picture of the convoluted dependencies. The excerpts selected for analysis illustrate how critical have been the informants’ ideologies and practices concerning heritage language maintenance. As a result, a wide range of practices have been disclosed where certain discrepancies are observed between declarations and the actual language behaviours.

Dr. Piotr Romanowski is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, the University of Warsaw. His academic interests are at the intersection of multilingual education and sociolinguistics. His latest monograph Family Language Policy in the Polish Diaspora: A Focus on Australia was published by Routledge in 2021. His most recent work has appeared in International Journal of Bilingualism, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, International Journal of Multilingualism, New Media and Society. He is chief editor of Journal of Multilingual Theories and Practices and the book series Language Learning and Multilingualism. He is currently co-editing the Cambridge Handbook of Multilingual Education that will be published in 2024. In the academic year 2022/23 he was a Research Fellow at University College London.

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Thursday, February 8

Constructing a Scale of Interlanguage Pragmatic Competence for Chinese Tertiary EFL Learners

Dr. Weiying Huang, Associate Professor, East China University of Technology and current Visiting Colleague

Scales of language proficiency provide characteristic profiles of the kinds and levels of performance which can be expected of representative learners with different language proficiency. Although pragmatics plays an essential role in communicative competence (Bachman & Palmer 1996, 2010), descriptors of pragmatic competence in existing language proficiency scales (such as CEFR, ILB, ISLRP) are rare. To address this gap, in this talk I’ll introduce China’s Standards of English Language Ability (CSE) which features scales of pragmatic competence and then presents a study that developed a scale of interlanguage pragmatic (ILP) competence in the Chinese tertiary EFL context based on CSE focusing on realization of speech acts.

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Thursday, February 15

SLS Post-Degree Career Panel

Your SLS MA or PhD degree is a stepping stone to a range of fulfilling careers in language teaching, academia, and beyond. This panel discussion features four SLS alumni, including MA and PhD alumni, who have successful careers in different fields and parts of the world. A moderator will ask panelists to respond to a set of questions, and there will be an open Q&A period for audience members, too.

The panelists include:

Cade Christensen (MA SLS 2022), Coordinator of Gonzaga University’s Intensive English Program

Kelly Bolen (MA SLS 2019, MEd Elementary Education and Teaching, 2019), Global Teaching Fellow at Tokyo International University

Sena Sanjines (MA SLS, PhD Educational Psychology), Research and Evaluation Senior Manager, Liliʻuokalani Trust and Principal, S2D

Susanne DeVore (MA Chinese Language and Pedagogy 2014, PhD SLS 2022), Language Data Scientist at Amazon and Co-founder, GOALL, a task-based language learning app

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Wednesday, February 21

The Language Contact and the Spread and Evolution of Chinese on the Tea Horse Road

Dr. Baoya Chen, Peking University

Co-hosted with the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures

The Tea Horse Road is the life link of the expedition. Tea extends from Sichuan, Yunnan and other tea producing areas to Tibet, South Asia, Central Asia, North Asia and Europe. Due to a large number of horse caravan expeditions on the Tea Horse Road, Chinese language spread along the ancient road network, forming a different mode of ancient road network dissemination from language wave propagation. The main trunk of the Tea Horse Road has frequent economic and cultural exchanges along the way, and different ethnic languages have had profound contact in a tower like structure. Chinese has gradually replaced regional common languages to achieve the position of universal language in the entire region. During contact, ethnic languages and Chinese interfere with each other, and mother tongue conversion and basic language transposition often occur. Language type isomorphism is widely seen on ancient roads. This complex and rich contact mechanism provides an important window for understanding language evolution and cultural diffusion.

*This talk will take place in Moore 258 at 1:30pm.

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Thursday, February 22

Addressing linguistic discrimination in (English language-dominant) higher education

Dr. Mi Yung Park and Dr. Stephen May, University of Auckland

Linguistic racism and discrimination experienced by bi/multilingual staff and students in English-language dominant universities worldwide is a still largely unaddressed and under-researched topic of concern. In this presentation, we first trace the issues attendant upon linguistic discrimination, drawing on a range of related theoretical frameworks such as critical race theory (CRT), language ideologies, and raciolinguistics, to explore examples of linguistic discrimination and linguistic racism experienced in everyday interactions, particularly by bi/multilingual learners. We then situate this work in relation to university settings – particularly, those which are English-language dominant institutions. In these institutions, discriminatory monoglossic, English language policies and practices often specifically undermine bi/multilingual staff and students, negatively affecting their academic and personal wellbeing. There is thus an urgent need, as Wolfram and Dunstan (2021) note, to explore and document “issues of linguistic inequality in higher education, implicating both students and faculty in the practice of explicit and implicit linguistic bias” (p.157). Given this imperative, we conclude by outlining a major research project that we are launching at our own university which will explore the everyday linguistic discrimination faced by bi/multilingual staff and students, along with (any) institutional affordances for (their) bi/multilingual language use.

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Thursday, February 29

Introducing Global Englishes into US-based English Language Programs: Comparing Findings Across Two Action Research Projects

Dr. Dustin Crowther, Dr. Betsy Gilliland, Milang Shin, and Akiko Doyama; Department of Second Language Studies, UH: Mānoa

Increased global English use has promoted calls for a reconceptualization of English language teaching, with a prime example being Rose and Galloway’s (2019) Global Englishes for Language Teaching (GELT) framework. Rose et al. (2021) highlighted a scarcity of research into the effects of curriculum intervention and how such intervention varies across contexts. To address this gap, we present a comparative case study of two graduate-level English language teachers, who, through action research (Burns, 2010), reflect on their experiences implementing GELT values into their respective US-based university classrooms.

Both teachers, who completed a GELT course in fall 2022, applied their course learning to their respective courses: one English for academic purposes (EAP), the other English for specific purposes (ESP). Both instructors had prior experience teaching their classes and recognized that implementing GELT would pose different challenges to each. Following principles of action research, both teachers employed a reiterative and self-reflective approach to implementing GELT values, including planning, observing, analyzing, and reflecting. They documented their students’ reactions and learning, reflected on these outcomes, and revised their instruction to address perceived gaps. Following multiple action research cycles, the teachers’ analyses were compared. We additionally included pre- and post-course questionnaires that elicited students’ a) awareness of and attitudes towards GELT values, and b) general course perceptions and evaluations.

In this study, we analyzed teachers’ pedagogical reflections, as well as changes in students’ attitudes and perceptions. Initial analyses indicate the two teachers employed different approaches to implement GELT in their classrooms, with the ESP teacher facing greater challenges due to a strict existing curriculum. Further analyses will highlight the importance of context and teachers’ creativity and flexibility when implementing GELT into their classrooms. Implications suggest ways for language teacher educators to support teacher-learners in adapting and innovating curriculum to introduce GELT into pedagogy and practices.


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Wednesday, March 6

Global Literacies and Intercultural Learning: Exploring Relationality through Virtual Field Experiences

Dr. Jill Castek, Professor, University of Arizona, and Maile Chow, Language Arts Teacher, Kamehameha: Kapālama

This presentation examines language teachers’ learning and design processes across 12-hours of online professional learning that implemented a Create-to-Learn approach for designing immersive Virtual Field Experiences (VFE).

Analysis surfaced the important role of collaborative relationships and solidarity when learning digitally-enhanced language teaching approaches.

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Thursday, March 7

Learning through Researching

Dr. Stuart Webb, Professor, Western University Canada

Scholarship is a never-ending process; regardless of the degree to which we are successful in our research, there is always more to learn. There are various sources of learning. We learn from our research communities. We learn through our experiences conducting research. We also learn from reviewers and the review process. The aim of this talk is to discuss the sources of learning that help researchers to enhance their scholarship.

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Thursday, March 14

No Talk Scheduled

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Thursday, March 21

No Talk Scheduled (Spring Break)

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Thursday, March 28

Topic TBA (Open Spot)

Speaker TBA (Open Spot)

Abstract TBA (Open Spot)

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Thursday, April 4

LARC Practice Talks*

Comprehensibility in Aptis General Speaking: Investigating relationships among task demands, speaker performances, and listener understanding
Dustin Crowther, Dan Isbell, Yoonseo Kim, Jieun Kim

Aptis speaking performances from 50 test-takers (across A1-C levels) were assessed for comprehensibility (i.e., ease of understanding) by 500 native-English listeners, with 10 listeners evaluating each performance. Using regression analyses, we characterize the extent to which judgments of comprehensibility predict Aptis scores across tasks with varying speaking demands.

A Filipino Elicited Imitation Test: Development and Validation of a Filipino Oral Proficiency Measure for Research Purposes
Ces Jocson & Dan Isbell

This research summarizes the development and initial validation of a Filipino version of Ortega et al.’s (2002) standardized Elicited Imitation Test, following Ortega to assess oral proficiency for research purposes. We evaluated test item statistics, reliability of total scores, and correlations between total scores and non-test oral communication.

*This talk is internal to SLS faculty, students, and staff.

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Thursday, April 11

No Talk Scheduled

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Thursday, April 18

An interdisciplinary approach to Autonomous Language Learning and ADHD: Instrument development and preliminary findings

Robin Caselli, PhD Student, Second Language Studies

As the use of technology for language learning has increased, so has the ubiquity of Autonomous Language Learning (ALL). Studies show autonomous learning has positive associations with L2 learning outcomes (Lai, 2017), but also that this depends on effective self-regulation (SR) (Kormos & Csizér, 2013). SR, a construct driven by Executive Function (EF), is most observable as it pertains to study time, persistence, and pattern of use with specific apps (e.g., Rosell-Aguilar, 2018; Loewen et al., 2020). However, little research has explored the connection between EF and neurodivergent learners’ ALL experiences and outcomes, despite rapid advancements in clinical psychology on the EF disorder of ADHD which have deepened our understanding of how complex, diverse, and fundamentally impactful EF–and thus, SR–can be: from Barkley’s EF as an extended phenotype (2012), to creativity (White, 2020) and hyperfocus (Grotewiel et al., 2021).

The current study seeks to address calls on how best to develop research methods for ALL (see Kalyaniwala & Ciekanski, 2021; Godwin-Jones, 2019; 2021) by drawing on constructs from clinical and educational psychology and targeting the understudied population of adult language learners with ADHD. This paper reports on the design and development of research materials, specifically 1) the initial review of existing instruments, 2) the methodological challenges associated with materials development for participants with EF deficits, and 3) the preliminary results of a survey exploring ALL behaviors by adult learners at-risk for ADHD.

Findings from the questionnaire development process indicated numerous biases and issues in both L2 and psychology instruments. Preliminary results from the online survey indicate patterns of EF deficits manifesting across language learning perceptions, preferences, and behaviors, and support an EF-informed reconceptualization of key constructs such as motivation, self-regulation, and autonomy. Implications for L2 teaching, materials development, and research methods will be discussed.

Includes a short workshop on troubleshooting self-regulation for stressed-out and/or neurodivergent individuals, if time permits.

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Thursday, April 25

Native speakers and learners of Mandarin predict upcoming arguments in dative constructions based on categorical and gradient verb constraints

Alice Zhu, PhD Student, Second Language Studies

Some verbs can alternate between different dative constructions yet have a bias to occur more often in one construction over another. For instance, the verb “give” can alternate in the English PO and DO datives, as shown in (1) and (2), but is suggested to have a bias to DO. We call this gradient constraint of alternating dative verbs, also known as verb bias.

(1) The businessman will give the money to the nun.  (PO, prepositional dative)

(2) The businessman will give the nun the money. (DO, double object dative)

Some verbs such as “donate” can only occur in the PO in English, as indicated in (3) and (4). We call this categorical constraint of non-alternating dative verbs.

(3) The businessman will donate the money to the nun. (PO)

(4) *The businessman will donate the nun the money. (DO)

L1 and L2 English speakers can make use of both categorical and gradient constraints of dative verbs to predict which argument (the recipient, namely “the nun”, or the theme, namely “the money”, in examples above) is upcoming before they hear the argument (e.g., Scheepers et al., 2007; Tily et al., 2008; Şafak & Hopp, 2023). Few studies have looked at prediction based on dative verb constraints in other languages than English.

This study investigated predictive use of dative verb constraints in Mandarin among home-country raised native speakers and classroom learners (including both sequential L2 learners and heritage speakers). In a visual world eye-tracking experiment, participants made anticipatory looks to the upcoming argument (recipient vs. theme) following categorical restrictions of non-alternating verbs and gradient bias of alternating verbs before the acoustic onset of the disambiguating noun. Crucially, no delay or reduction in the prediction effects was observed among L2 learners and heritage speakers in comparison with home-country raised native speakers. Mandarin proficiency and dominant language (English vs. other) did not modulate prediction effects among classroom learners. 

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