TSLL 2017: Poster Session Abstracts
Below are the abstracts of the posters to be presented at the TSLL 2017 Poster Session. Poster presenters are welcome to send a web ready pdf or image of their poster for inclusion on this page alongside their abstract.
Poster Fair: Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 10:30am- 11:25 am | Memorial Union- room TBA
Poster 1: Multimodal literary paradigm: A sine qua non in the 21st century Nigerian literary domain
Chibuzo Nwoko, Northwest University, Kano, Nigeria
“The 21st Century is a multimodal era and it is therefore beneficial to analyse multimodal artefacts from the period”( Peer, 1993, p.59) . Drawing on this scholarly premise, this presentation is an experimental attempt at making and justifying a departure from the primeval literary form extant in our nation to the trend that befits the 21st Century which is an era of change in all respects, hence the work makes a case for the literary practice of multimodal paradigm in the 21st Century Nigeria. Every literary text is aimed at communicating meaning, and meaning can be realized even outside printed materials. Therefore, in this paper, an argument is made in favour of a shift from emphasis on the traditional mode of literary writing to the utilization of technology in the form of audio, visual and audio -visual and other paralinguistic accompaniments so as to realize literary creativity. In justifying the relevance of this literary approach in the present Nigeria, a comparative methodology is adopted while the frame work is premised on Kress (2000, 2010). In conclusion, the presenters highlight that now that the Nigerian contemporary society, like others, embraces information technology, including social media, it is time special importance was attached to the nation’s literary tradition and practice. For this reason, it is suggested that a niche for multimodal form of literature in the Nigerian literary domain needs to be carved and seen as a sine qua non.
Poster 2: An iBook Project for International Students
Leyla Karatay, Iowa State University
Pragmatic aspect of the language is a hotly debated issue among researchers because a speaker of language needs pragmatic competence, as well as linguistic competence, to be able to communicate. Considering the fact that pragmatic competence is an important part of communication in an ESL environment, I created an iBook for international students to help them with socio-pragmatic and pragma-linguistic competence. Since they just arrived in the country to learn a second language, they might not know what to say in certain situations. Although it might be confusing and hard to know for international students to understand the pragmatic features of English, they should be aware that using the appropriate form in the certain situations is highly important to fit in the society in a completely different environment and culture. In this regard, this iBook project is intended to serve as a guide for the international students about the appropriate ways of requesting and apologizing from their friends and professors, responding compliments, and writing the correct form of email in their academic life. While creating the situations, it was taken into account that the audience of this project (the students) would take part in both formal and informal conversations. Based on this assumption, different situations were created as ‘formal conversations’ and ‘informal conversations. This iBook could provide students with necessary information regarding real-life situations, which can help them to overcome their fears and worries. In this poster presentation, the steps that I took to create the iBook will be illustrated.
Poster 3: ePortfolio Affordances: Innovative Technological Opportunities in the ESL Classroom
Kimberly Becker, Iowa State University; Ivana Lucic, Iowa State University
A web-based platform, such as ePortfolios, can be used effectively and efficiently in teaching, learning, and assessment as they are learner-centred. “They make students responsible for their learning by enabling them to organize and control the content of their e-portfolios, which helps them to personalize their e-portfolios. This responsibility requires students to reflect and assess their own learning” (Yastibas & Yastibas, 2015, p. 5). This presentation addresses the affordances of using ePortfolios as teaching, learning, assessment, and reflection tools. ePortfolios provide teachers and students with a flexible, learner-centered resource for housing and representing various types of artifacts and assignments, incorporating personal experiences, reflecting on learning, interacting with various audiences, and linking with other technologies. Research has shown that the use of ePortfolios enhances student metacognition by providing a tool to collect and display student work. Utilizing such technologies is motivational because it allows students to create, organize, control, and monitor their own work. Especially for second language students who are often studying multimodal (written, oral, visual, electronic) and multi-skilled (speaking, listening, reading, writing) forms of communication, ePortfolios can provide a platform for enhancing learning across these skills. Students can use them not only to display completed versions of projects, such as essays and presentations, but also to reflect on the potential of involving technology in learning processes. Beyond traditional skill development, studies have shown that — especially for Millennials — students do not always think critically about the technologies they use daily. ESL instructors who employ multimodal technologies, such as ePortfolios, have the potential to provide their students with firmer comprehension of how to successfully position themselves as creators of both visual and textual information. The practice of ePortfolio development is now a standard practice in Iowa State University’s foundation communication courses (i.e., English composition) and is optional across all departments. This is accomplished via a WordPress platform on a secure university server. In our presentation, we showcase student ePortfolio examples and share about an innovative tool for multi-modal second language teaching and learning. We will demonstrate sample activities that could be performed in and out of the ESL classroom to facilitate improvement of reading, writing, listening, speaking and pronunciation. We will also present ways to utilize this platform to share a multitude of media files to promote collaboration among students, motivate reflection, and encourage and self-assessment. The session will give ideas about how to combine ePortfolio features in order to enhance second language skills.
Poster 4: Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) Technology in Language Learning
Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi, Iowa State University
Using computer software for Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) in developing pronunciation proficiency is not new (see e.g., Derwing, Munro, & Carbonaro, 2000; Eskenazi, 1999). However, recent innovations in technology, such as “Google Home”, “Alexa”, and “Siri” provide new opportunities for learners to develop intelligibility, and learner autonomy. This paper will merge two different fields, namely, ASR technology and language pedagogy as it relates to development of language learner intelligibility. First, the presenter will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of selected ASR programs that ESL/EFL learners would have access to. Then, the presenter will report the results of an empirical study which specific tasks designed to exploit ASR capabilities in “everyday” technology. The participants of the study are four ESL learners with the same first language. They will complete different tasks over a period of 4 weeks, with three sessions per week. The researcher will selectively and unobtrusively observe the learners carrying out the tasks. A pre-test and post-test will also be conducted with three native speakers who will judge the intelligibility of the learners as they answer an open question and read aloud a short passage. This paper will thus attempt to ascertain the pedagogical strength and limitations of such technology by ESL learners. Such use, however, could be especially beneficial in an EFL setting, where learners have less access to feedback regarding intelligibility in authentic use.
Poster 5: Open That Door! Going Beyond and Outside the Classroom with Technology
Alessandra Saggin, Columbia University
This paper will discuss how technology—especially Web-2.0 tools like Voicethread, Wiki, and social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)—provides numerous opportunities for meaningful and authentic language use, offering innovative resources to support out-of-class learning. Thanks to these tools, students are enabled to “leave” the classroom, be it virtually or physically, create their own contents, exchange information, and make new connections. The use of technological tools empowers learners to transcend traditional concepts of the classroom and pushes them to take greater ownership of their learning. Moreover, students have the chance to become more independent, engaged, and longing for an enduring learning experience. I will focus my attention on experiences I had in Italian Elementary and Intermediate classes, where students were able to overcome some limitations that are typical of classroom-based learning, especially as concerns speaking. Voicethread, for example, greatly encouraged the extension of language practice beyond and outside the classroom’s walls. Students went “out” to look for topics to talk about: an event, a show, a personal experience in the city. They then extended their learning time beyond class time by adding comments to the presentations of their classmates and/or editing their own ones according to instructor’s input. The paper will end with general considerations about the role of teacher and peers in planning, and providing feedback about, Voicethread activities.
Poster 6: Making Use of Technological Affordances for Pragmatics Teaching
Ananda Muhammad, Iowa State University
Studies investigating pragmatics competence of non-native speakers (NNSs) of English have focused on several different areas of investigation, which includes analyzing NNSs pragmatic competence in certain situations and comparing their pragmatic competence to those of native speakers (NSs). Ultimately, the implication for such research is to find an approach to pragmatics teaching appropriate to the instructional context. With the rise of the use of technology for language teaching, an increase of interest in using technology to teach pragmatics can also be observed in the literature, with findings typically showing promising results. This work-in-progress study itself will attempt to highlight findings from pragmatics research—especially pragmatics instruction—and identify the technological affordances that are critical for pragmatics learning, which in turn could enhance the pragmatics learning process. In addition to identifying the technological affordances, potential challenges in implementing pragmatics instruction with technology will also be discussed. Furthermore, this study will also suggest some practical activities and tasks that involve the use of technology that could be used for pragmatics teaching.
Poster 7: The structure and effectiveness of online chats in ESL writing courses
Estela Ene, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Thomas Upton, IUPUI
Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) presents great potential for ESL writing instruction. It encourages learner interaction (Hines & Pearl, 2004), democratic classrooms (Blake & Zyik, 2003), and revisions (Liu & Sadler, 2003). However, most studies have focused on interaction among peers (Liu & Sadler, 2003) or learners and tutors (Chen, 2013). This corpus-based research investigates two questions: 1) What is the generic rhetorical structure of online chats between teachers and students of ESL composition?; and 3) Judging by uptake and student perception, how effective is the feedback provided during chats? We collected 10 teacher-student chats from 5 freshman ESL writing courses taught by 3 teachers, where 70 students (primarily Chinese and Arabic) interacted with their teachers in 15 minute-long chats. The chats occurred after a draft had been returned and preceded the submission of a revised draft. A move analysis (Upton & Cohen, 2009) was used to examine the chats, and the effectiveness of the feedback was evaluated based on uptake; the students’ perceptions were elicited through a survey. Findings show that the chats consist of social moves that establish rapport, management moves that structure the chat, and instructional moves with feedback. The feedback provided during the chats is usually repetitive of teacher comments provided on papers, and much interaction focuses on clarifying those comments. Much of the feedback provided is effective. The students’ perceptions confirm the usefulness of the chats for clarifying feedback. To improve usefulness, we suggest longer chats.
Poster 8: L2 Learning through The Sims: Activity Theory Perspective
Olesia Lyskovtseva, University of Iowa
Language learning through gaming is a relatively recent venue of second language acquisition research, which already proved efficient for several languages: ESL (Bytheway, 2015; Rankin et al., 2009; Reinders and Wattana, 2011, 2014), Japanese (deHaan, 2005), Chinese (Zheng, 2012), Spanish (Holden and Sykes, 2012; Sykes, 2009), French (Perry, 2015), German (Purushotma, 2005; Sykes and Reinhardt, 2016), among others. In this presentation, the results of a pilot study on the use of the simulation game The Sims in the Russian language classroom will be discussed. The findings in grammar, vocabulary, and non-linguistic factors pertaining to language learning will be examined through the prism of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, or CHAT (DeVane & Squire, 2012; Engeström, 1999, 2014; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Leont’ev, 1977, 1978). Students put in pairs and small groups engaged in target-language conversations as they played The Sims during several classroom periods. Recorded conversations were transcribed verbatim and analyzed with the focus on the Russian language use as co-constructed units aiming at fulfilling the shared goals (Daniels, 2008; Engeström, 2009; Lektorsky,1990; Piirainen-Marsh & Tainio, 2009, 2014). The qualitative nature of this study does not let us generalize the findings. Nevertheless, teaching implications will be addressed based on the small case study evidence.