TESL/AL Brownbag Colloquium Series

 

TESL/AL Brown Bag Colloquium Series

Fall 2016 Semester Schedule

Other presentations can be found at the Archive of the TESL/AL Brown bag Colloquium Series.

Sessions may be video recorded based on requests from the lecturers and panelists. Recorded sessions will have a clickable “Video of the presentation” link.

Date & TimePresenter(s)Title
09/09/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
(1) Kim Becker
(2) Phuong Nguyen & YunDeok Choi
(1) A corpus-based study of reporting verbs in two disciplines: Graduate Level Engineering and Political Science Papers from MICUSP
(2) Relationship between lexical bundles and moves in applied linguistics research article introductions
09/30/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
Graduate Connections & Brown Bag panel series (1)
Panelists: Linda Shenk, Bethany Gray, Geoffrey Sauer, K. L. Cook, & Derek Hanson
The academic job search (Part 1): The search process and the job letter; establishing a web/digital presence
10/21/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
Carol ChapelleIssues in building a validity argument for a multimodal, content-based, learning-oriented language assessment
Video of the presentation
10/28/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
Graduate Connections & Brown Bag panel series (2)
Panelists: Brianna Burke, Sowmya Vajjala, Taylor Brorby, Sara Parks, Tina Coffelt, & Christa Tiernan
The academic job search (Part 2): Academic job documents (CVs, research statements, and teaching philosophies)
Video of the presentation
11/11/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
Graduate Connections & Brown Bag panel series (3)
Panelists: Volker Hegelheimer, Debra Marquart, Charlie Kostelnick, Justin Remes, Liberato Dos Santos, & Vince Robles
The academic job market (Part 3): Interviewing and negotiating
Video of the presentation
11/18/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
Joe Geluso & Rosalie HirchAnalyses of faculty publications in applied linguistics PhD programs: What 3 different methods can tell us
12/02/2016
Friday, 12-1pm
Sowmya VajjalaTowards grounding computational linguistic approaches to readability: Modeling reader-text interaction for easy and difficult texts
Link to the full article
Video of the presentation
12/09/2016Carolyn Penstein RoséText mining for assessment of writing and social positioning
Video of the presentation
Link to the slide presentation

Abstracts


A corpus-based study of reporting verbs in two disciplines: Graduate Level Engineering and Political Science Papers from MICUSP

Kimberly Pace Becker
(PhD Candidate, ALT)

Reporting verbs are an important feature of academic writing and have been the focus of many studies of writing at the professional level. However, few studies have examined reporting verbs in student writing. This study investigated reporting verbs used in graduate student engineering and political science writing in the Michigan Corpus of Upper Level Student Papers. Finite reporting verbs in that-clause complements were gathered via AntConc and coded according to tense, subject, voice, and semantic category. Results show that reporting verbs in these disciplines vary in both form and function. The analysis includes discussion of the verbs’ rhetorical purposes in various sections of the papers and sheds light on the complicated nature of reporting verbs.

[Date: Friday, September 9; Time: 12:00pm–1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


Relationship between lexical bundles and moves in applied linguistics research article introductions

Phuong Nguyen
(PhD Candidate, ALT)
YunDeok Choi
(PhD Candidate, ALT)

This study, adopting Biber, Conrad, and Cortes’ (2003, 2004) classification systems and Swales’ (1990, 2004) model, investigated most frequently occurring four-word lexical bundles in research article introductions in applied linguistics journals in terms of their structure, function, and the relationship between these bundles and the function of the moves where they occurred. We found that most lexical bundles, functioning as referential expressions, had noun and prepositional phrase-based structures. Additionally, our findings showed that a wider variety of bundles occurred in Moves 1 and 3 than in Move 2 and that more bundles occurred exclusively in Moves 1 and 3 than in Move 2. We believe that these findings have pedagogical implications in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) as well as for applied linguistics majors.

[Date: Friday, September 9; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


The academic job search: Job listings, cover letters, creation of a dossier, and one’s online presence

Linda Shenk
(Associate Professor, Lit)
K. L. Cook
(Associate Professor, CWE)
Bethany Gray
(Assistant Professor, ALT)
Geoffrey Sauer
(Associate Professor, RPC)
Derek Hanson
(PhD Candidate, RPC)

For Part I of a three-panel series on the academic job market, Grad Connections is partnering with the ALT Brown Bag series to offer a panel of faculty members, graduate students, and alumni who will talk about these topics related to the academic job search: finding job listings, writing the cover letter, assembling the dossier, and establishing a professional digital presence.

[Date: Friday, September 30; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


Issues in building a validity argument for a multimodal, content-based, learning-oriented language assessment

Carol Chapelle
(Distinguished Professor, ALT)

Classroom language assessments in English-medium schools need to reveal the language capabilities of English language learners as they pertain to learning in their content area classes. Such assessments are sometimes referred to as learning-oriented assessments (LOA) because they are integrated into the instructional process to provide information primarily to learners and teachers. The large majority of such assessments will be delivered through technologies that allow for greater efficiencies. However, beyond efficiency, assessment tasks need to be relevant to students’ actual language use, which appears increasingly mediated by mobile technology.

Any serious assessment development project needs to be undertaken in a way that will lead to the assessment’s validity arguments, which provides the rationale for the interpretations and uses of the test results. In doing so, it specifies what it means to say, “The test is valid.” This presentation describes a project that a team at Iowa State worked on with researchers at the Educational Testing Service to develop a prototype of an assessment of multimodal language capabilities of English language learners in their middle school science classes. The purpose of the project was to engage in a test development process using Evidence Centered Design (ECD) that would provide the basis for the validity argument. I will describe the project with an emphasis on how our findings in the ECD phase yielded the beginnings for the validity argument. The project demonstrates the multifaceted issues entailed in technology-based language test development and the essential role of the test development process in formulating the validity argument.

Video of the presentation

[Date: Friday, October 21; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


The academic job search: CVs, research statements, and teaching philosophies

Sowmya Vajjala
(Assistant Professor, ALT)
Brianna Burke
(Associate Professor, Lit)
Tina Coffelt
(Assistant Professor, RPC)
Christa Tiernan
(Director of the Writing and Multimedia Center)
Sara Parks
(PhD Candidate, RPC)
Taylor Brorby
(MFA Student, CWE)

For Part II of a three-panel series on the academic job market, Grad Connections is partnering with the ALT Brown Bag series to offer a panel of faculty members, graduate students, and alumni who will talk about how to generate these crucial job documents.

Video of the presentation

[Date: Friday, October 28; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


The academic job market (Part 3): Interviewing and negotiating

Volker Hegelheimer
(Assistant Professor, ALT)
Debra Marquart
(Professor, CWE)
Charlie Kostelnick
(Professor, RPC)
Justin Remes
(Assistant Professor, English)
Liberato Dos Santos
(PhD Candidate, ALT)
Vince Robles
(PhD Candidate, RPC)

Part III of a three-panel series on the academic job market, GC is partnering with the TESL Brown Bag series to offer a panel of faculty members and graduate students who will talk about what questions are typically asked at interviews; special strategies for Skype and telephone interviews (including setting up your own Skype studio); useful tips for answering questions; preparing a teaching demonstration and research talk; and negotiating the job offer. Coffee and snacks will be provided for this panel–please bring your own mug for coffee!

Video of the presentation

[Date: Friday, November 11; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


Analyses of faculty publications in applied linguistics PhD programs: What 3 different methods can tell us

Joe Geluso
(PhD Candidate, ALT)
Rosalie Hirch
(PhD Candidate, ALT)

In the spring semester of 2015, it occurred to us that we could use various corpus-based methods of text analysis to describe PhD programs in applied linguistics in North America. We could then use the findings of the analyses to create a resource (i.e., a website) with the aim of helping future PhD students find programs with faculty who have research interests that align with their own interests. This presentation is a summary of the work we have done so far, and our plans for future research. We will begin by describing the process of compiling the corpora we are using. We will then give a summary of the various methods we have used for analysis and the results obtained. The first corpus analysis method we tried was keyword and key n-gram analysis, done mainly in Wordsmith. Visualizations were word clouds created using online programs. Next, we did topic modeling using latent dirichlet allocation, calculated in Python. Visualizations were scalable vector graphics created in the web app Jupyter. Most recently, we used R to both conduct a hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis and produce an accompanying dendrogram. We are currently in the process of updating the corpus files and finding appropriate ways to incorporate the output of our analyses into the website we created. Once this is complete, we plan to try fuzzy clustering with our dataset as an alternative to the original cluster analysis as well as validating the output of all models we have run.

[Date: Friday, November 18; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


Towards grounding computational linguistic approaches to readability: Modeling reader-text interaction for easy and difficult texts

Sowmya Vajjala
(Assistant Professor, ALT)

Computational approaches to readability assessment are generally built and evaluated using gold standard corpora labeled by publishers or teachers rather than being grounded in observations about human performance. Considering that both the reading process and the outcome can be observed, there is an empirical wealth that could be used to ground computational analysis of text readability. This will also support explicit readability models connecting text complexity and the reader’s language proficiency to the reading process and outcomes.

This paper takes a step in this direction by reporting on an experiment to study the reader-text interaction during reading and the readers’ performance in answering questions after reading. We modeled online interaction using three eye-tracking variables: fixation count, average fixation count, and second pass reading duration. Our models for these variables explained 78.9%, 74%, and 67.4% variance respectively. Offline interaction was modeled for recall and comprehension questions, and these models explained 58.9% and 27.6% of the variance respectively. While the online interaction models give us a better understanding of the cognitive correlates of reading with text complexity and language proficiency, offline interaction models can be particularly relevant for incorporating user aspects into readability models.

Link to the full article

Video of the presentation

[Date: Friday, December 2; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


Text mining for assessment of writing and social positioning

Carolyn Penstein Rosé
(Associate Professor, Language Technologies Institute and HCI Institute, Carnegie Mellon University)

Computational models of discourse reveal evidence of cognitive and social processes and competencies that are valuable both for assessment and for triggering real time support for learning. In this talk, I will offer a brief overview of the field of text mining as it is represented in application areas such as assessment of writing and of social positioning in collaborative discourse. Then, I will zoom in on the topic of analysis of role taking behavior in collaborative groups where computational models of social interaction in textual form reveal layer upon layer of insight about student orientation towards one another as well as towards their joint endeavors. When we observe successful and unsuccessful teams, we see unexpected behavior profiles, ones that do not necessarily align with assigned roles as well as ones that do not necessarily align with expectations of effective role-taking. In this talk, I will introduce a novel role-based-behavior modeling approach that enables identification of behavior profiles that are associated with specific success measures. This enables dynamic support for student reflection on their team performance and guidance to opportunities for improved engagement.

Video of the presentation (Coming soon)

Link to the slide presentation

[Date: Friday, December 9; Time: 12:00pm1:00pm; Location: 212 Ross Hall]


Other presentations can be found at the Archive of the TESL/AL Brown bag Colloquium Series.