Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

We are now accepting proposals for presentations for the 2021–2022 academic year. Please contact Dr. Nicole Ziegler (, Associate Professor in SLS.

*As of September 1st, 2021, all Brown Bag talks for Fall 2021 will be held online over Zoom. We will not be offering the H.O.T. format until further notice.

Quick link to this week’s talk

August 26

Starting off on the Right Foot: Advising Session for New MA and Newly Admitted BAMA Students*

Dr. Theres Grüter, 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.

*This will be offered in a H.O.T. format, with in-person attendees allowed to come to Moore 258.

September 2

Multiculturalism in Classrooms using Co-creation and Narrative Enquiry*

Dr. Kirti Kapur, Hawaii Pacific University

Co-creation is a philosophical framework that addresses gaps in socio-cultural engagement by creating interactive structures and discursive strategies that support diverse expressions with confidence and purpose. As a pedagogic strategy it promotes open discussions, debates, personal narratives, and shared reflection on learning and approaches to tasks undertaken. Co-creation is differentiated from participation in its eschewing of synthesis in favour of polyvocality. ‘Intercultural communicative competence’ (Byram, 1997) is a highly relevant and important skill in an increasingly globalized and multicultural world. In the 21st century, the classroom is moving towards a social model and our relationship with knowledge is undergoing a transformation. All classrooms, not just ELT classes, are spaces for questioning negative stereotypes and promoting dialogue (Dalal & Gulati, 2018). In this context, co-creation becomes a powerful and effective method to encourage peer-to-peer engagement as well as learner-teacher conversations. The opportunity for discourse becomes a hallmark of this approach. More than a platform for consensus, it is the creation of a safe space to challenge and disagree with normative structures. Instead, meanings are emergent from group deliberation and narrative inquiry which is like “…a quilt made out of pieces of personal and social stories.” (Kim, 2016). Learners’ anecdotes and stories provide scope to develop respect for alternate views. Known as ‘classroom talk’ learners’ discursive practices (among themselves and with the teacher) enrich the linguistic fabric as well as the pool of concepts and ideas available to the classroom as a whole. Neil Mercer (2008) writes that teachers’ “…attention should be given to the temporal dimension of classroom dialogue, both empirically and theoretically, if we are to appreciate how children gain an education from their classroom experience”. Adoption of social learning approaches is changing this. Personal meanings acquire significance and allow exploration of diverse points of view. This presentation will discuss how co-creation and narrative enquiry encourage learner involvement and stimulate multilingual discourse and multicultural consciousness.

*This will be offered in a H.O.T. format, with in-person attendees allowed to come to Moore 258.

September 9

There’s No Going Back Now: Updating Considerations for Fairness and Justice in High-Stakes Language Testing

Dr. Daniel Isbell, Assistant Professor, Second Language Studies, UH Mānoa

“In the wake of Covid-19, language testing finds itself rather suddenly in an era where computer-delivered and at-home test administration is commonplace rather than a peculiarity (Isbell & Kremmel, 2020). It is worth noting that at-home language testing predates Covid-19, and in that sense Covid is best seen as accelerating a trend. More importantly, it would seem there’s no going back now: the widespread adoption, commercial success, and test-taker benefits of at-home tests may have fundamentally altered the language testing landscape.

Matters of construct validity for high-stakes, computer-delivered language tests have been extensively investigated, with basic concerns like typing skill and computer familiarity accounted for and issues related to computerized delivery and scoring of test tasks increasingly well understood. Similarly, with respect to at-home administration, large-scale comparisons of score distributions across test-center and at-home language test administrations have already been hashed out by psychometricians (e.g., Zumbo, 2021).

We are less focused on and less prepared to grapple with issues of fairness and justice in at-home language testing. While we have good frameworks for thinking about fairness and justice in language testing (e.g., Kunnan, 2018), we must now contend with variations and possibilities in high-stakes testing that have only recently become ubiquitous enough to warrant broad concern. In this talk, I highlight what I see as key, (re)emerging concerns for fairness and justice of high-stakes language tests in the remote age, including construct and decision comparability, proctoring and privacy, public health, internet and communications infrastructure, and geographic/temporal/financial access to testing services.”

September 16

Rule-Based Scoring in Automated Essay Evaluation

Professor Yoshihito Sugita, Visiting Colleague from Meiji Gakuin University

Automated essay scoring (AES) allows to teachers to assign scores to students’ essays through computer analysis (Shermis & Burnstein, 2003; Dikli, 2006; Burnstein & Chodorow, 2010). This presentation focuses on the development of a rule-based system in AES that can be used for a task-based writing test (TBWT), which is comprised of the Accuracy and Communicability tasks. A study was conducted a) to investigate the relationship between the human ratings of each task in a previous study (Sugita, 2010) and the selected objective rating indices, b) to devise formulas to compute scores from the indices, and c) to examine the reliability and validity of the scores predicted by the formulas. 150 second-year high school students participated in the trial of the AES system for TBWT and the Accuracy and Communicability scores were calculated by using the resulting formulas. To estimate the degree to which the objective indices were collectively related to the prediction of the scores, correlation analyses were conducted. The results showed a moderately high correlation between the scores of the tasks and their indices. To validate the predictions of the system, the values were compared with the students’ scores of the Criterion developed at the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Correlations between the Accuracy and Communicability scores were significant. The composite scores of the two tasks were also significantly correlated. The results of the questionnaire, which was administered to assess the adequacy of the AES, demonstrated that the scores were acceptable and appropriate for the students. These findings were discussed for further improvement of the AES system.

September 23

No talk scheduled

September 30

No talk scheduled

October 7

Exploring motion event construal: How much attention do speakers of different languages and cultures pay to context?

Dr. Hae In Lauren Park, University at Albany – State University of New York

Cross-cultural psychology research has consistently shown that East Asians tend to display a holistic attentional bias and attend to the background context while Westerners show a tendency to attend to focal objects in relative isolation from their context. The present study sought to expand ongoing research on motion event construal by investigating how speakers of different languages and cultures (i.e., functionally monolingual speakers of English and Korean, and Korean-speaking learners of English) construe and describe motion events in relation to focal versus peripheral information. Our results demonstrated that American English monolinguals and Korean monolinguals differed in the amount of attention they give to focal versus peripheral information in their descriptions of motion events embedded in a story. Furthermore, Korean-speaking learners of English adhered to the Korean thinking style when describing events in English. Such findings appear to show that the scope of conceptual transfer extends beyond the encoding of manner, path, ongoingness, and endpoint reference to other types of motion event construal.

October 14

SLS Faculty Course Showcase

SLS Faculty

This brown bag will provide graduate students with more information on upcoming courses for Spring 2022 semester. Faculty members will discuss their course offerings and will answer questions from the audience, providing attendees with important information for making decisions regarding course selection. Please join us to see what we have in store for you next year!

October 21

Alt-Academic Careers

Dr. Kaitlyn Tagarelli

In this talk, I will discuss my career path from academia to industry, specifically as a Linguist and now Head of Research at Mango Languages. I’ll explain the varied roles and responsibilities of linguists at Mango, the kinds of projects we work on, and what it means to be a linguist at a small language learning company. We’ll dive into the skills that linguists from all education levels bring to the table when it comes to careers in educational technology, some of which may be more obvious than others. I welcome your questions about careers outside of academia!

Dr. Tagarelli would like to request questions ahead of the talk. If you have questions in mind, please submit your questions to us by next Wednesday (10/20) 4:30 pm

October 28


What gets transferred in L3 Mandarin?

Jing “Crystal” Zhong

In this talk, I will present my dissertation project that aims to test hypotheses about the source of transfer in third language (L3) acquisition. The L1 Status Factor (e.g., Leung, 2002) states that the source of transfer comes from the L1, while the L2 Status Factor (Bardel & Falk, 2007) states that the source of transfer comes from the L2, when the L2 proficiency is high. 34 L1Cantonese-L2English-L3Mandarin and 35 L1Korean-L2English-L3Mandarin learners completed L2-English and L3-Mandarin acceptability judgment tasks on the Double Object Construction, two types of Prepositional Dative Constructions and the Passivization of Double Object Construction, in addition to English and Mandarin proficiency tasks. I will present findings from their performance on the Double Object Construction and one type of Prepositional Dative Construction in this talk.

November 4

Investigating L2 Fluency Development in Languages other than English: A Focus on Japanese and Korean

Dr. Dustin Crowther, Hitoshi Nishizawa, Leeseul Park, Kristen Urada

Though variable in how second language (L2) fluency has been conceptualized among laypersons, language teachers, and scholars (Lennon, 1997; Segalowitz, 2016; Tavakoli & Hunter, 2018), one common focus of L2 fluency research is what Segalowitz (2010) referred to as utterance fluency, or the range of temporal, pause, hesitation, and repair features that characterize a given utterance. Such features have been shown to greatly influence listeners’ perception of L2 speech. However, such analyses have focused primarily on L2 English (with some consideration of L2 Dutch, French, and Spanish). To now, little focus has been given to the fluency of L2 Japanese and Korean speech at the utterance level. In our presentation, we report an exploratory analysis of the L2 fluency of upper division Japanese and Korean learners completing a pair of speaking tasks at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Our discussion will consider both the applicability of common measures of utterance fluency to non-English languages, as well as how such analyses can inform our understanding of language development in university-level foreign language programs.

November 11

No talk scheduled – Veteran’s Day (holiday)

November 18

No talk scheduled

November 25

No talk scheduled – Thanksgiving (holiday)

December 2

The psychology of pre-service language teacher noticing: Combining quantitative and qualitative insights

Dr. Daniel O. Jackson

Noticing, as described by Schmidt (1990), is a central topic in second language (L2) research, though few studies have examined noticing by L2 teachers (Jackson & Cho, 2018; Jackson & Shirakawa, 2020; Lengeling et al., 2020). The goal of this talk is to advance discussion of teacher noticing (Sherin & van Es, 2003) as an important feature of language teacher psychology. Based on a definition of language teacher noticing as a multi-faceted construct involving attention, interpretation, and decision-making during engagement, this mixed methods study focused on influences on noticing among pre-service English teachers (PSTs) in Japan. Using a repeated-measures design, PSTs (N=16) taught a series of four map tasks with a peer in the student role. After each task, the study participants immediately completed trained, video-based stimulated recalls, in their L1, to probe noticing. To address gaps in language teacher education research, the influence of two factors was examined: the tasks used (simple vs. complex) and the perspective afforded by the video stimuli (observer vs. field). Task-based interaction was transcribed using conventions from conversation analysis. PST recall comments were translated and reliably coded for noticing instances by two raters. Descriptive analyses uncovered large differences between PSTs in the percentage of their recall comments that constituted noticing, ranging from 30-67%. Quantitative analyses revealed that, as expected, complex tasks yielded more recall comments, p = 0.00, d = 0.73. However, neither factor influenced noticing instances. Qualitative analyses shed light on how PSTs noticed nonverbal (e.g., recipient nodding) and verbal (e.g., landmark descriptions) resources during tasks and used these resources to enhance overall task performance. In sum, these findings suggest that PST noticing is influenced by individual factors and they highlight the necessity of noticing an array of communicative resources. Implications for language teacher development in general will also be discussed.

December 9

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 2021;   Fall 2020Spring 2020;   Fall 2019;  Spring 2019;   Fall 2018;   Spring 2018;   Fall 2017;   Spring 2017;   Fall 2016;   Spring 2016;   Fall 2015;   Spring 2015;   Fall 2014  .