InterCom, a customizable weekly newsletter for language professionals, is provided by the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon. InterCom is sponsored through a Title VI Language Resource Center grant.
Come join our team! The Center for Applied Second Language Studies is looking for a Pedagogical Experience Designer. This person will create, implement, and evaluate curricular materials for learners studying a second and/or foreign language in formal instructional contexts and out-of-classroom spaces. See the full position description at http://careers.uoregon.edu/cw/en-us/job/519975/pedagogical-experience-designer
By Julie Sykes, CASLS Director
For classroom purposes, it can be helpful to define pragmatics as “meaning as communicated by a speaker (or writer) and interpreted by a listener (or reader)" (Yuul, 1996, pp.3-4). This focus on meaning is critical for successful communication and can help learners move beyond a one-to-one association with words and structures towards a more comprehensive approach to the language they are learning. While often the source of funny anecdotes, pragmatic missteps can cause frustration for learners as they interact with expert speakers of their target language.
Explicit pragmatic instruction and attention to pragmatic behaviors in the language classroom can help learners avoid miscommunication, and, when missteps occur, analyze their implications. While complex approaches are possible, and in some cases, feasible, attention to pragmatic details in the everyday classroom is also possible.
Learning objectives: At the end of the lesson, students will be able to...
Modes: Interpersonal Communication
Notes (adaptations, etc.): A possible extension: in the next lesson, students examine some authentic texts of different styles of compliments exchanged on social media. Before class students can find and bring examples of compliments and responses in German on social media to class.
The U.S.-China Strong Foundation has recently selected a new president, Travis Trainer, and also a new Chief Operations Officer, Morgan Jones. As we mentioned in a previous spotlight, CASLS was named as one of the implementation partners for U.S.-China Strong Foundation’s 1 Million Strong initiative. CASLS is part of the technology platform, along with VIPKID and Mandarin Matrix, and will help by developing and using technology to improve and create greater access to Mandarin language classes. CASLS is working with the technology implementation partners and the U.S.-China Strong Foundation to identify funding opportunities that would allow the initiative to provide an integrated and sustainable suite of tools accessible to all Mandarin learners.
Dorie from the Global Classroom website describes several inspirational ideas that tie together wonderfully: a warmup activity in which students ask Siri in Spanish what the weather is in different cities in South America (and explore the cities in Google street view), and the creation of a trifold board and an infographic to display in a community event showing how language skills are part of 21st century literacy. Read the blog post at http://www.aglobalclassroom.com/21st-century-literacies/
In this post, Benny Lewis gives several reasons for watching the news in your target language to improve your proficiency, along with guidelines for getting the most out of it. He ends with links to good news resources in French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin.
Read the post at https://www.fluentin3months.com/watching-the-news/
High school Spanish teacher Heather Witten has been flipping her Spanish class for seven years. In this short blog post, read what she likes about a flipped classroom and how it has resulted in a student-centered classroom: http://blogs.transparent.com/language-news/2017/03/06/the-best-part-of-flipping-my-classroom/
Anthony Schmidt summarizes a 2017 study by E. Rassaei on the impact of three different post-reading writing activities on L2 vocabulary learning. In part, his discussion deals with the role of output activities in effective language learning (as opposed to an input-only approach). Read his summary here: http://www.eltresearchbites.com/201702-a-tale-of-three-writing-activities-and-their-effect-on-vocabulary-learning/
If you teach languages online, these tips for using Google Drive in your teaching will give you some good ideas. The post also includes references to other online tools that you can incorporate into your teaching, such as Memrise, Forbo, and Soundcloud.
In this recent article in Language Magazine, teacher trainer Carol Gaab describes how she teaches her students, who are professional baseball players, English and Spanish. She uses a yearlong theme to guide her selection of authentic resources and provides them with lots of comprehensible input, primarily through the TPRS (teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling) method.
Read the article at http://languagemagazine.com/2017/03/language-teacher-vs-acquisition-facilitator/
USA Learns is a free website for adults to learn English. The site’s beginning and intermediate English courses include hundreds of educational videos that teach American English. USA Learns also has thousands of English learning activities and quizzes with immediate feedback.
Explore this resource at http://www.usalearns.org/
Nearly ten years ago we wrote about Quizlet, an online study tool designed by a high school student (http://caslsintercom.uoregon.edu/content/6166). The latest tool in Quizlet is Quizlet Learn, which helps students plan ahead for studying for a test and adjusts the difficulty of practice questions to a student’s performance. Learn more about Quizlet Learn in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMHucmzjByE. Quizlet is available at https://quizlet.com/
Here are three different ways to put students into non-random groups; the grouping activity itself serves as an additional interpersonal activity: https://onthesamepageelt.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/avoid-randomness-three-other-ways-of-grouping-students/
Dual Language Immersion is an increasingly popular method to improve some students’ proficiency in their heritage language and English, while at the same time English-speaking students learn a second language. Here is a list of six questions that parents can ask about dual language immersion programs if they’re thinking about enrolling their children there, based on add.a.lingua’s suggestions for best practices: https://addalinguablog.com/2017/03/14/6-questions-parents-should-ask-before-enrolling-their-child-in-a-dual-language-immersion-program/
Margarita Calderón and Shawn Slakk write, “English learners (ELs) are no longer solely the responsibility of the ESL teacher. The entire school’s staff of educators—counselors, secretaries, and of course administrators included—should embrace the success of ELs along with all their peers. Leadership teams are deliberately deciding to focus the majority of their staff development days, professional learning communities (PLCs), teacher learning communities (TLCs), and coaching efforts on the success of English learners. To start, they reanalyze ELs’ placement and success trajectories, in order to chart changes in staffing, school schedules, and teacher and student support systems.”
Read their description of common factors and components of a successful whole-school approach here: http://languagemagazine.com/2017/03/taking-holistic-approach/
Gianfranco Conti describes two techniques that scaffold students’ repetition of a spoken presentation, improving their overall performance. The techniques, “4, 3, 2 technique” and “Market place,” are described in this post, along with a discussion of why they are effective.
ACTFL is seeking language professionals to serve as part-time language testers. The Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) is a nationally recognized method of assessing spoken language proficiency. The test assesses what a speaker can do with the language rather than focusing on the structures and abstract vocabulary that a speaker knows. The test is administered over the telephone by an ACTFL Certified Tester and rated (graded) by a second Certified Tester.
ACTFL has space available in upcoming training sessions for native speakers of the following languages: Afrikaans, Arabic-Libyan, Armenian, Assyrian, Baluchi, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Chechen, Danish, Dhivehi, Dutch, Finnish, Fon, Fula-Toucouleur, Greek, Hmong, Icelandic, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kuwaiti, Lingala, Luganda, Malayam, Mandingo-Bambara, Mossi, Norwegian, Pahari, Quechua, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Slovenian, Tamazight, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Turkmen, Uighur, and Zulu.
Learn about central aspects of multilingualism in today's globalized societies, such as cognition, policies and education in an upcoming free online course from Future Learn, “Multilingual Practices: Tackling Challenges and Creating Opportunities.”
The course begins on April 10. Learn more at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/multilingual-practices
The editors cordially invite you to publish your research in Journal of Second and Multiple Language Acquisition- JSMULA, a journal free of charge for both authors and readers since 2013.
JSMULA is a quarterly, double-blind peer reviewed journal which publishes original theoretical and applied research papers in second and multiple language acquisition. Publication language is English but research papers to be submitted may study the acquisition or learning of any language as a second, third or multiple language.
View the full call at http://linguistlist.org/issues/28/28-1209.html
Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell will be offering two different kinds of workshops this coming summer, Camp Musicuentos and the Brave Little Tailor.
Camp Musicuentos is an intensive, 2-day workshop intended to help you plan your units for the coming year as far as possible in the amount of time given. Participants will discuss and implement strategies for choosing and sequencing units, designing proficiency-based assessments, identifying what students need to be successful on those assessments, and determining how those fit into daily lesson plans.
(Base)Camp Musicuentos will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, June 15-16.
Camp Musicuentos Northeast will take place in Warwick, Rhode Island, July 10-11.
The Brave Little Tailor series of four workshops focuses on comprehensible input strategies, with a special focus on authentic resources. Each workshop will have only four participants. The workshops will take place July 29, August 26, September 23, and October 28 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Get full details about and register for any of these workshops at http://musicuentos.com/2017/03/cmbt17/
Our sister LRC the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research at The Pennsylvania State University has been offering professional development opportunities for language educators since 2003.
In 2017, CALPER will conduct four workshops:
L1 Use in the Language Classroom, June 19-20
Teaching Social Meaning in Language, June 21-22
L2 Vocabulary Teaching and Learning, June 23
Chinese Program and Curriculum Design, June 23-24
For more details about these workshops, go to http://sites.psu.edu/calperworkshops/
What Is Cultural Translation?
By Sarah Maitland
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
What Is Cultural Translation? In this book, Sarah Maitland uncovers processes of negotiation and adaptation closely associated with the translation of languages behind the cultural phenomena of everyday life. For globalized societies confronted increasingly with the presence of difference in all its forms, translation has become both a metaphor for thoughtful encounter and a touchstone act for what we see, do and say, and who we are.
Drawing on examples from across cultural domains (theatre, film, TV and literature) this work illuminates the elusive concept of 'cultural translation'. Focusing on the built environment, current affairs, international relations and online media, this book arrives at a view of translation in its broadest sense. It is a means for decoding how we shape the cultural realm and serves as a vehicle for new ways of seeing and being that question the received ideas that structure the communities in which we live.
Written in a clear and engaging style, this is the first book-length study of cultural translation. It builds a powerful case for expanding the remit of translation to cover the experience of living and working in a globalized, multicultural world, and is of interest to all involved in the academic study of representation and contestation in contemporary cultural practice.
Visit the publisher’s website at http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/what-is-cultural-translation-9781472526274/
Task-Based Language Learning in a Real-World Digital Environment: The European Digital Kitchen
Edited by Paul Seedhouse
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
How can you use the latest digital technology to create an environment in which people can learn European languages while performing a meaningful real-world task and experiencing the cultural aspect of learning to cook European dishes? This book explains how to do this from A to Z, covering how a real-world digital environment for language learning was designed, built and researched.
The project makes language learning motivational and fun by tapping into people's interest in both cooking and technology – you can learn a language while cooking and interacting with a speaking digital kitchen. The kitchens provide spoken instructions in the foreign language on how to prepare European cuisine. Digital sensors are inserted in or attached to all the kitchen equipment and ingredients, so the digital kitchen detects what learners are doing and gives them feedback. Learners are also able to communicate with the kitchens and can ask for help via photos and videos if they don't understand any foreign language words.
Based on two research grants, the book provides five research studies showing the learning experiences of users in five European countries. The book explains the principles and procedures involved in the project, enabling others to design and implement a real-world digital learning environment in the same way. It includes numerous photographs of the system in use and evidence of how and what 250 users actually learnt.
Visit the publisher’s website at http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/task-based-language-learning-in-a-real-world-digital-environment-9781474264075/
Entrenchment and the Psychology of Language Learning: How We Reorganize and Adapt Linguistic Knowledge
Edited by Hans-Jörg Schmid
Published by de Gruyter
In recent years, linguists have increasingly turned to the cognitive sciences to broaden their investigation into the roots and development of language. With the advent of cognitive-linguistic, usage-based and complex-adaptive models of language, linguists today are utilizing approaches and insights from cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, social psychology and other related fields.
A key result of this interdisciplinary approach is the concept of entrenchment—the ongoing reorganization and adaptation of communicative knowledge. Entrenchment posits that our linguistic knowledge is continuously refreshed and reorganized under the influence of social interactions. It is part of a larger, ongoing process of lifelong cognitive reorganization whose course and quality is conditioned by exposure to and use of language, and by the application of cognitive abilities and processes to language.
This volume enlists more than two dozen experts in the fields of linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurology, and cognitive psychology in providing a realistic picture of the psychological and linguistic foundations of language. Contributors examine the psychological foundations of linguistic entrenchment processes, and the role of entrenchment in first-language acquisition, second language learning, and language attrition. Critical views of entrenchment and some of its premises and implications are discussed from the perspective of dynamic complexity theory and radical embodied cognitive science.
Visit the publisher’s website at https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/246246?format=G
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