Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series


All Thursday talks will be over Zoom from 12:00 to 1:15 pm.

To register for the 10/22 talk, please click here. You will receive an email confirmation with your personalized link and the password, which will be necessary to join the Zoom meeting on 10/22 at 12:00 pm. For any questions, please contact

August 27

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

Presenter: Dr. Theres Grüter, Associate 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 3

Writing for Publication and Managing Your Writing Process (click here for Zoom recording)

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

This workshop-format session is intended for both new and continuing graduate students. I will share ideas and help you develop a plan for managing your writing process, whether you are working on course papers, a dissertation, or a journal article. I will then provide an overview of the publication process and offer some tips for getting started with writing an article for publication and how to carry the project through to final published form. Spoiler alert: there’s no silver bullet, but anyone can succeed with some discipline!

September 10

No talk scheduled for 9/10/2020

September 17

An Applied Linguist in Tech: Expertise, Transfer, and New Learnings (Oh my!)

Presenter: Dr. Geoff LaFlair, Assessment Scientist, Duolingo

After ten years in academia (as a graduate student, a lecturer, and an assistant professor), I made the jump to what is often called an alt-ac position, or a career path outside of academia, in the field of educational technology. In this talk, I summarise the expertises of people at Duolingo who work in the language sciences (i.e., on projects related to the Duolingo learning app as well as the Duolingo English Test). I describe the various skills that people with graduate degrees in language sciences develop as part of their training that are directly and indirectly applicable in alt-ac careers in educational technology; and I discuss new learnings in the context of challenges, skills, and opportunities. Attendees will gain insight into what it is like to apply for and work as an applied linguist in tech.

September 24

Showing Adaptability: Data Collection in the Time of COVID (click here for Zoom recording)

Presenters: Dr. Dustin Crowther, Dr. Betsy Gilliland, Dr. Dan Isbell, and Dr. Dongping Zheng, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Recent years have seen a widening in the tools available for data collection in second language studies research. The need for more tools has only increased with the presence of COVID-19. In this presentation, Drs. Crowther, Gilliland, Isbell, and Zheng discuss some different tools available to collect data when face-to-face engagement with participants is not possible.

  • Dr. Crowther will review tools for online audio and video speech elicitation, such as Extempore and FlipGrid.
  • Dr. Gilliland will share some ideas for studying writing classes and learners online, including writing conferences and practices for responding to writing.
  • Dr. Isbell will discuss online surveys, including survey platforms and survey design considerations. He will also introduce language learning apps and websites as a topic of research.
  • Dr. Zheng will share how to use publicly available digital multimodal text data for asking timely research questions.

October 1

Validating the Interpretation of Korean Elicited Imitation Test Scores: An Integrated Data Analysis using Advanced Measurement Techniques

Presenters: Dr. Young-A Son, Center for Educational Effectiveness, UC Davis, & Dr. Dan Isbell, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

Characterizing the proficiency of participants is a long-standing methodological weakness in L2 research (Thomas, 1994, 2006). To address this weakness, researchers have developed practical yet reliable instruments for measuring L2 proficiency, such as a standardized Elicited Imitation Test (Ortega et al., 2002). Building on previous efforts to validate the Korean version of the EIT (Kim et al., 2016), we conducted a series of measurement analyses (Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Differential Item Functioning, and Explanatory Item Response Modeling) on an integrated data set composed of 318 Korean EIT tests administered in three different studies. Our findings provide new evidence supporting the interpretation of EIT scores across raters and relevant subpopulations of learners (i.e., foreign language, second language, and heritage learners) and an improved understanding of linguistic factors that contribute to the difficulty of EIT items.

October 8

Focus on Peer Review: Insights from Reviewers and Editors

Presenters: Second Language Studies faculty, UH-Mānoa

SLS faculty share their insider perspective on the peer review process for journal article publishing. We will provide an overview of the process and then offer suggestions for novice reviewers on how to review (as well as how to interpret reviews as an author).

October 15

SLRF Practice Talks (open to SLS department only)

Using NLP to explore characteristic grammatical features of registers and modalities in Mandarin

Presenter: Susanne DeVore, PhD Student, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

This study examines the syntactic features of different genres of Mandarin. Using a Mandarin corpus, this study applies natural language processing techniques to quantitatively identify the grammatical features that are characteristic of each genre. This information can then be used to inform instructional materials design and automated assessment.

Expressing Change of State with A Resultative Phrase: Native and Non-Native Grammars of English

Presenter: Rickey Larkin Jr., PhD Student, Second Language Studies, UH-Mānoa

In the literature, sentences like (1) to (5), but not (6), are usually accepted as grammatical (Goldberg, 1995) although they all have clear intended meanings and share the same syntactic pattern, namely S-V-O followed by an additional phrase.

1. Chris broke the vase to pieces.
2. Pat swept the floor very clean.
3. The angry man kicked a hole in the wall.
4. The veteran trainer stared the tiger into submission.
5. The audience laughed the poor singer into embarrassment.
6. A big earthquake occurred many people to sudden death.

Why is (6) unacceptable? Do nonnative speakers judge these sentences the same way as native speakers? If not, where do native and nonnative differences lie? Are there crosslinguistic differences attributable to speakers’ first languages? Or, for that matter, are the first 5 sentences really accepted to the same degree even by native speakers?

Adopting the theory of lexical conceptual structure and semantic predicate conflation (Kageyama, 1997), we hypothesized six conflation patterns like the above and predicted:

1. a declining scale of acceptability, which is shared by native and nonnative speakers
2. L1-specific judgments due to crosslinguistic differences concerning possible conflation patterns.

Native and proficient nonnative speakers of English (L1 Japanese, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese) took an acceptability judgment test made of 36 target sentences (with 6 verbs representing each conflation pattern above) and 14 fillers. A 4 x 6 mixed design ANOVA revealed significant effects of conflation pattern, first language, and interactions of the two. Follow-up analysis identified a judgment pattern common among all groups, a pattern significantly different between native and nonnative groups, and a pattern which separates Japanese from the other groups. The findings are highly important to theoretical analysis of resultative sentences (Boas, 2003) as well as to discussion of ultimate grammatical attainment of L2 learners of English.

October 22

Aligning Translanguaging with Language Reclamation Efforts

Presenter: Dr. Corinne Seals, Senior Lecturer of Applied Linguistics, Victoria University of Wellington

Is there common ground between research in translanguaging (fluid multilingualism) and in language reclamation/revitalisation?  

Translanguaging has become increasingly popular in research on language teaching and learning in recent years. However, almost immediately, concerns were rightly raised about translanguaging’s potential impact on languages that are part of ongoing language reclamation efforts. This began to be addressed by Cenoz and Gorter in 2017 through the concept of “sustainable translanguaging”. The current presentation builds further upon this by discussing “socially responsive translanguaging”, as informed by the school-based ethnographies carried out by the Wellington Translanguaging Project (and the recourse branch Translanguaging Aotearoa) with local Māori and Samoan communities 2017-2019.  

Socially responsive translanguaging brings together community responsive research (Heller, 2012; Cashman, 2018), culturally responsive pedagogies (Johnston, D’Andrea Montalbano, & Kirkland, 2017), sustainable translanguaging (Cenoz & Gorter, 2017), and recent work on language reclamation (Henne-Ochoa, Elliot-Groves, Meek, & Rogoff, 2020). In this talk, I will discuss the socially responsive translanguaging approach and the Translanguaging Aotearoa resources we are creating as part of this effort.

October 29

Title TBA

Presenter: Dr. Kara Moranski, Assistant Visiting Professor, University of Cincinnati

November 5

“I’ve never known a white person to live on Hill Street:” Racializing Gentrification through Framing and Erasure

Presenter: Dr. Jessi Grieser, Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Gentrification, the “production of urban space for progressively more affluent users” (Hackworth 2001) is quite possibly the most well-studied phenomenon in urban studies, urban geography, and allied fields which deal with urban culture. It has, however, been seriously under-theorized and under-explored by linguists, with its studies being limited mostly to studies of linguistic landscape. In this talk, I discuss data from an ongoing project in Anacostia, Washington, D.C., an historically-Black neighborhood which has undergone rapid change in the 2010s. Despite that during the time the data was collected, the neighborhood was experiencing an influx of affluent African Americans, the process of gentrification is still thought of as being primarily driven by whites, a la the “white offensive” documented by Mary Patillo (2010, 2013) in her work on Chicago’s northern suburbs. Using data from 34 sociolinguistic interviews, I trace three frames of how Black residents of the neighborhood evaluate white presence in the neighborhood: neutrally, as a novelty, negatively, as a takeover, and positively, as diversity. I argue that these three frames have the effect of erasing the existence of Black newcomers, which in turn reproduces Big-D discourses which see gentrification as a purely racial, rather than economic issue. This in turn, allows the community members to position the neighborhood’s Black residents—old and new, lower income and affluent,—as a single cohesive community staking a firm claim on Black urban space.

November 12

Title TBA

Presenter: Dr. Amelia Tseng, Assistant Professor, American University

November 19

December 3

Career Advice for Current Students from Graduates

Presenter: SLS Alumni

December 10

The SLS Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series is organized by the Department of Second Language Studies for enhancing students’ academic experience and professional future. Archived presentation descriptions can be found at the following links: Spring 2020;   Fall 2019;  Spring 2019;   Fall 2018;   Spring 2018;   Fall 2017;   Spring 2017;   Fall 2016;   Spring 2016;   Fall 2015;   Spring 2015;   Fall 2014  .

We are now accepting proposals for presentations for the 2019–2020 academic year. Please contact Dr. Dongping Zheng (, Associate Professor in SLS.