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Presentation Abstracts (2012)

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Keynote Address: Green Grammar

Leo van Lier
Professor of Applied Linguistics
Monterey Institute of International Studies

Dr. Leo van Lier joined the TESOL/TFL program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1986. He obtained his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Linguistics and Language Teaching from the University of Lancaster, England. He has taught in a number of different universities in Britain, the USA, Austria, New Zealand, Taiwan and Hong Kong, among many others. Van Lier has authored a number of essential books and articles in the field of second language acquisition and applied linguistics. Some titles include: The Ecology and Semiotics of Language Learning (2004), Interaction in the Language Curriculum (1996), and Introducing Language Awareness (1995). He has been the Editor-in-Chief for the Modern Language Journal since 2007 and is on the board of numerous other journals.

Dr. van Lier will open the Celebrating Foreign Language Education Symposium with one of his most significant contributions to our field, namely green grammar. He will expose the important outcomes of an ecological view of language by challenging the monolingual bias that is common in applied linguistics and second language acquisition. In addition, van Lier will examine and illustrate recently proposed notions such as languaging and translanguaging. Finally, he will illustrate the ecological principles with practical classroom examples drawn from observations in different countries, and will propose some implications for designing, implementing, and researching ecology-inspired instructional settings and practices.

Using Dialogue Journals to Promote Interaction in EFL Contexts
Kathleen Bailey
Professor of Applied Linguistics
Monterey Institute of International Studies

Ryan Damerow
Administrative Assistant
The International Research Foundation (TIRF) for English Language Education

Dave Chiesa
English Language Fellow
US Department of State
Hangzhou Normal University

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Dialogue journals are ongoing, two-way, written communications exchanged between teachers and learners, which focus on expression of ideas rather than accuracy of form. Over time, dialogue journals generate scaffolded input and interaction and create much-needed opportunities for input and interaction in foreign language teaching and learning contexts. At this session, participants will gain an understanding of how dialogue journals promote learning through scaffolded interaction based on an analysis of dialogue journals written by two university English teachers and their EFL students in China and Hong Kong.

*The Difference Between Teaching Foreign Language and Teaching Translation and Interpretation
Chuanyun Bao
Professor of Chinese Translation and Interpretation
Monterey Institute of International Studies

Economic reform in China has led to rapid economic growth, which greatly increased the demand for translation and interpretation services. This presentation will discuss the development of training in translation and interpretation in China in a short span of 10 years from a single skill course in foreign language programs to full-fledged Master's degree programs taught in more than 100 major universities.  The speaker will focus the presentation on his involvement in China’s training of trainers program for translation and interpretation, which was designed to provide short-term training to thousands of instructors now teaching translation and interpretation courses in universities at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  The speaker will also discuss some of the challenges in translation and interpretation education in China and possible solutions to some of the issues.

Discovery Learning: Examples from French and ASL Classrooms
Becky Bierman
MA Teaching Foreign Language (French) Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

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When students are encouraged to discover a language for themselves, they cannot be afraid to get their hands dirty, digging deep into the exciting intricacies of language. Treating texts like puzzles, they learn to recognize patterns, ask questions, and make connections. The presenter will discuss the ways in which she has used this type of discovery learning in teaching French and American Sign Language (ASL). Sample activities will be shared, and audience members will be encouraged to consider how to apply such ideas to their own classrooms.

Incorporating L2 Learning into the Pre-K and Elementary Environment
Kasey Carmichael
MA Teaching Foreign Language (French) Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

I began my "study" of Language Acquisition as well as Second Language Acquisition in a unique setting as a mixed age Montessori preschool teacher.  Many of my students were from diverse multicultural and often bilingual families. This abetted me to observe and implement many techniques aimed at raising young students' cultural and language awareness. Some methods proved successful whereas others unfortunately faltered in various ways. Ultimately, a culturally aware monolingual three year old attempting to learn a second language is a fascinating feat to witness. I would like to open this topic with a discussion on theoretical ideas pertaining to Second Language Acquisition for the very young child. Next, I will delve into specific methods I used to promote cultural and language awareness in a preschool setting. In closing I will open the floor for discussion on this riveting topic.

Teaching Language Through Theater and Acting
Sigrid Daffner
Instructor of German
Monterey Peninsula College

This method was originally created by the French for guestworkers.  Later it was developed for other languages in the 1970s. It has been extremely popular and successful with my high school and college students. In the first month no books are used. Using power point, dialogues are flashed on the screen with students becoming the characters. All is taught in the target language without the use of English. From there the students are led through several phases using the dialogue as a basis and ending with creating skits using all of the dialogue material in their own creative manner.  In the workshop I will demonstrate using the participants as students so they can experience at least the initial phases of teaching the material in the target language, which will be German.  A group discussion and sharing of other methods and their strengths and weaknesses will follow the presentation.

L1 Use in the Foreign Language Classroom
Patrick Gaebler
MA TESOL Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

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This presentation will set the scene, describe the process, and discuss the findings that the presenter discovered during a research project. The findings will explore the views that both professors and students in graduate level foreign language classrooms have on the use of the first language (L1). The researcher triangulated the data collected to better understand how the participants felt about L1 use and if their views were reflected in their actual classroom practices. The participants’ perceptions of L1 in the foreign language (FL) classroom varied to a great degree. Some students found comfort in L1 use and used it to augment their FL communication skills, while other students felt threatened by the L1 and viewed it as interference to their second or FL acquisition. The professors, therefore, respected their students’ needs and wants, and thus attempted to use L1 accordingly. Rather than relying on L1 as the only means to facilitate understanding, the professors and students alike added the L1 to their numerous other learning and teaching strategies. In other words, the participants understood the value of the L1 in the classroom, but realized that the L1 is not the only tool available. The presentation will end with some pedagogical implications and suggestion about the use of L1 in the language classroom.

Second Language versus Foreign Language: Teaching English in Different Contexts
Panel Moderator: Patrick Gaebler
MA TESOL Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

The ESL/EFL Panel Discussion hopes to address the dichotomy of teaching English as a second language and teaching English as a foreign language. The panel moderator has had both ESL and EFL teaching experience and thus hopes to illuminate some of the challenges related to the different teaching environments. The panelists will be asked to reflect on their strategies for incorporating culture into their teaching practice, embracing a linguistically rich environment outside the classroom (or a lack there of), motivating students, and keeping their teaching materials relevant to the students’ needs. Furthermore, the panelists who have taught in both the ESL and EFL environments will be asked to discuss the various advantages and disadvantages of each situation. Finally, panelists will have a chance to provide advice for teachers who are considering entering the world of English as a second or foreign language.

Chinese Learner Language: A Linguistic Phenomenon?
Sara Graham
MA Teaching Foreign Language (Chinese) Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

This presentation will share a research study exploring a language created by U.S. students studying Chinese as a second or foreign language.  Chinese Learner Language (CLL) is a playful and creative language created by students, particularly studying in intensive language programs, which combines Chinese and English words and sentences in different ways. The research study consisted of interviews with four students of Chinese who studied at three different intensive Chinese programs. These students all organically began using similar lexical and grammatically mixed structures that some may refer to as code-mixing or translanguaging.  First, the presenter will discuss the linguistic nature of CLL and how it is used.   Second, she will present the findings of the study in light of the three research questions and the collected data.  Finally, the presenter open the floor for discussion and questions.  

Dual Immersion Education on the Monterey Peninsula
Katie Stubbendick Hayden
Dual Language Program, Marshall Elementary School

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This presentation will profile a young and growing Spanish-English dual immersion K-5 program, located at Marshall Elementary School in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD). Emphasis will be on program history, instructional design and rationale, challenges and successes, and language teaching within a public education context.

The Nature of Errors: Crosslinguistic Analyses of Learners' Errors
Rod Hinn
English Teacher
American Language Program
California State University, Fullerton

How errors are conceptualized by a teacher can have a tremendous effect on learners in all types of language classrooms. It can affect how linguistic content is treated in the construction of a course, how feedback is given to learners' language production, and what sort of activities are employed by the teacher. While many descriptions of errors exist, a basic definition of error that can be utilized for pedagogical purposes is not well-developed. This presentation discusses the nature of the error by examining linguistic differences across several languages, and exploring what sort of language use is considered "inappropriate" in these languages. Moreover, pedagogical applications of this new understanding of errors will be discussed, especially in regards to error feedback.

The EFL Teacher as the Main Source of Target Input
John Jordan
MA TESOL Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

Foreign language teachers sometimes find themselves as the students' main or even only source of spoken linguistic input. Students may never hear other native speakers, and the only bits of authentic material from outside the instructor may still be chosen by the teacher. What does this mean for instructors working in these situations, and what can EFL teachers do to get the best out of the situation as sole provider/editor of available input to their learners? The presenter will draw from his experience teaching EFL in Madagascar, Bangladesh and Tunisia as well as literature from outside sources. The presentation will feature both an examination of the topic and some practical applications for FL teachers.

*Positive Emotions and Learning
Vita Kogan
Assistant Professor of Russian
Defense Language Institute

There is a strong connection between emotions and learning. Our emotions influence the way we learn new things, react to them, and store them in our memory for the future use. Based on the extensive research, learning, thinking and feelings involve the same parts of the brain (limbic system and cortex). We all know that moderate stress multiplies our learning abilities by many times, but what is the influence of positive emotions? Does being positive help us to acquire new information and remember it? And if so, what are the most successful techniques to promote optimism in a classroom?

In this context collaborative learning is worth of mentioning not only because it is a sure way to boost positive feelings (Hwong, Caswell, Johnson, & Johnson, 1993; Johnson, Johnson, Ortiz, & Starme, 1991; Johnson, Johnson, Stanne, & Garibaldi, 1990; Low, Mesch, Johnson, & Johnson, 1986a, 1986b; Mesch, Johnson, & Johnson, 1988; Mesch, Lew, Johnson, & Johnson, 1986), but also because language learning is impossible in a monologue. Fortunately, at the age of technology collaborative learning becomes easy, entertaining, and productive than ever before. One of the collaborative learning tools, highly implemented in my practice, is Microsoft OneNote. During the 15 minutes workshop at the end of this presentation you will get a clear idea of how to create exercises and tasks using OneNote. You will see that even a boring grammar drilling might be a wonderful positive experience your students appreciate and remember.

Language and Identity in a Post-Soviet World: Language of Education and Linguistic Identity among Azerbaijani Students
Lisa Donohoe Luscombe
Education Program Associate Project Manager
English Language and Nonproliferation Program
James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Monterey Institute of International Studies

Is there a significant correlation between the language of instruction in Azerbaijani schools on what students perceive to be their first, second and third languages, as well as their identity with those languages? Based on surveys and focus groups with 330 students ages 14-25 in three regions of Azerbaijan: Baku, Sumgayit, and Nakchivan, the presenter explores the relationship between the language of instruction and students’ feelings of identity with Azerbaijani, Russian, English and Turkish, including identity with the language speaker, affiliations with social groups, perceptions of socioeconomic capital, feelings of pride, and constructed or imagined identities.

Web-Based Foreign Language Assessment: Introducing Spanish ODA

Trina Philpot Montano
Associate Professor and Online Diagnostic Assessment Specialist
Curriculum Development Division
Defense Language Institute

Online Diagnostic Assessment (ODA) is a web-based foreign language assessment tool that offers learners a self-directed and autonomous environment for evaluating and managing their language learning progress. The ODA system provides individualized feedback in the form of a Diagnostic Profile that highlights performance strengths and weaknesses in Reading and Listening Comprehension. ODA has an automated tracking system that is capable of storing learner results over time as well as providing researchers, practitioners, and Diagnostic Assessment Specialists with the tools to evaluate the reliability and validity of each item within the system.

This 30-minute presentation will focus on the structural components of the ODA system, which include item writing for Reading and Listening Comprehension at various levels of proficiency, answer key writing for automated scoring, Online Diagnostic Profiles of Actual Test-Takers, Spanish language specific feedback on Structure and Discourse items, and technological advances to improve item performance.

Technology and Textbooks in the Classroom
Anne O’Dowd
French Teacher
Santa Catalina School

Can technology lighten the load in a student's backpack and improve language learning? Is the iPad ready for languages? This roundtable discussion stems from the idea of confronting rising textbook costs, weight and other inefficiencies. Participants will discuss relative advantages and disadvantages of ebooks, Apps, websites, and consider teaching methodologies for the improvement of language learning. Participants are invited to bring their laptops, iPads, tablets, etc, to exchange ideas with other teachers about incorporating technology in the classroom.

Systemic Inequities in Bilingual Education
Juan Sanchez
California State University, Monterey Bay

Many Bilingual students in California schools suffer from overt discriminatory policies and educational inequities that seriously jeopardize their academic achievement, professional projection and even their personal self-worth. This presentation will present specific examples of those policies, and their implications, as well as research-based alternatives for our public schools.

Life After Your Master’s: Voices of MIIS Alumni
Panel Moderator: Sarah Springer
Monterey Institute of International Studies

This panel includes alumni from the TESOL and TFL programs at the Monterey Institute. The panel is designed with current MIIS students in mind, and will address issues that alumni face when they enter the workplace. How did these alumni find their first job after MIIS? What challenges did they face? How do they see their degree from MIIS affecting their current professional lives? There will also be ample time at the end of the discussion for audience members to ask questions of the panelists.

Language Learning for Translation and Interpretation
Panel Moderator: Daniel Tamayo
MA Translation Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

This panel will discuss the panelists’ various experiences in both learning language and learning translation and interpretation. What are the similarities in these two learning experiences? What are the differences? Panelists will discuss their own language learning histories, their expectations in coming to the Monterey Institute, and how those expectations changed during their time in the program. Lastly, they will consider how they expect to maintain their working languages and the skills they have acquired.

The Unique Experience of One-on-One Teaching
Panel Moderator: Eliz Tchakarian
MA Teaching Foreign Language (Spanish) Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

This panel includes teachers who have extensive experience teaching in a one-on-one setting and will address the issues they regularly face in this environment. Panelists will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a learning environment, as well as the challenges they themselves have faced during their experiences. They will also touch on practical techniques that they use in their one-on-one lessons, and how these techniques compare to classroom teaching.

*An Investigation on Chinese Tone Learning Strategies
Sisi Wu
MA Teaching Foreign Language (Chinese) Candidate
Monterey Institute of International Studies

This study aims at examining the existing tone learning strategies in some of the Chinese textbooks that are available in the States and it also investigates the approaches of tone teaching and learning from both seasoned Chinese instructors and advanced CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) learners. Additionally, the author is interested in exploring CFL learners’ familiarities and perceptions of those tone-learning strategies. Data were collected through different methods. First, sixteen Chinese textbooks were collected and analyzed to examine the existing tone teaching strategies. Next interviews were conducted with three Chinese instructors and three CFL learners about their tone teaching and learning strategies. At last, a questionnaire was designed based on the findings from the textbook analysis and interviews and delivered to students with the purpose of examining CFL leaners’ familiarities and perceptions in terms of the strategies that this study had collected. The results of this study have implications on Chinese teaching and learning, and some of the results  might be able to assist Chinese teachers in designing learner training sessions and can also be used for further tone related studies.

Asterisk (*) indicates presentation will be given in a language other than English. Simultaneous interpretation will be available, provided by students from the Monterey Institute Master's in Translation and Interpretation program.