Thursday “Brown Bag” Lecture Series

Location: Ag Science Bldg, Room 204
Time:  Noon–1:15 p.m.

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.

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: 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.