Keynote Speakers:

“Transformative Language Teaching Practices”

Stacey Margarita Johnson (Vanderbilt University)

At its best, language instruction connects students to multiple perspectives within the L2 community, helps students develop intercultural competence, and leads to truly transformative learning. The question many of us have is: what does that look like on a day-to-day level in our classrooms? With transformative learning theory as our framework, we will explore how transformation happens in the classroom as well as task- and lesson-level strategies for promoting the kind of deep, meaningful learning we want for our students.

“The Emotional Labor of Language Teaching: Experienced Teachers’ Accounts of Emotional Challenges, Rewards and Management Strategies”

Elizabeth R. Miller (UNC-Charlotte)

The work that language teachers undertake in order to manage the emotional aspects of their professional practice is often misunderstood and rarely acknowledged as a key component of that practice. For this presentation, I draw on interview accounts produced by fifty experienced language teachers  (mean number of years: 14) working in four national contexts (the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Norway) as they talk about the situations that they find most emotionally challenging and the emotional rewards that they experience when they successfully work through them. Working from these same accounts along with related research on teacher emotions, I will discuss emotion management strategies that language teachers report as most beneficial. In closing, we will critically reflect on the socio-culturally constituted nature of teacher emotions in order to consider ways that language teachers can reframe and reorient to difficult as well as desirable emotions.

Concurrent Presentations – Session 1 (10:00-10:30 a.m.)

“Working for Understanding: Productive Tensions in Doing Exploratory Practice” 

Laura Bilanceri, Laura Casa, Della Chambless, Cori Crane, Bethzaida Fernández, and Melissa Simmermeyer, Romance Studies and Germanic Languages and Literatures

Abstract: Exploratory Practice (EP) is a productive model for continuing professional development among language teachers.  In EP practitioners investigate ‘puzzles’ about learning and teaching to develop a deeper understanding of their classroom practice. What does working for understanding look like? What kinds of structures are needed to support this type of reflective practice? Presenters will discuss how to maintain perspective while focusing on individual vs. group puzzles; how to balance the pull to investigate multiple puzzles while recognizing the need to pursue a single topic; and how to create adequate structure and accountability that help maintain the reflective practice.

“Could Google Translate Become a Friend of the Language Classroom”

Eunyoung Kim, Yuseon Yun, and Eunjung Ji, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Abstract: The aim of this presentation is to promote an overall state of awareness in Korean writing through the process of post-editing documents translated by Google Translate (GT). For this research, English text translated into Korean by GT for post-editing was given to participants. The data included surveys and one-on-one interviews about students’ post-editing experiences pertaining to the usage of grammar, register, vocabulary, writing style, etc. This presentation explores students’ perceptions of GT post-editing and further investigates how it affects their linguistic competence beyond translation skills.

Concurrent Presentations – Session 2 (10:30-11:00 a.m.)

“Building Community: Applying Exploratory Practice to Collaborative Teaching and Learning Portfolios”

Laura Casa and Della Chambless, Romance Studies

Abstract: The focus of this presentation is the restructuring of learning portfolios in Elementary Italian within the framework of Exploratory Practice. Presenters discuss their shift from a structured goal-oriented approach to more open-ended reflective practice in which learning goals are de-emphasized and problems to be solved are reframed as “puzzles” to get curious about. Students and teachers select puzzles to follow throughout the semester, trying to better understand how they relate to their learning environment. Student and teacher reflections are integrated in shared platforms and in-class activities, contributing to the strengthening of a safe and stimulating learning community within the classroom.

Concurrent Presentations – Session 3 (11:15-11:45 a.m.)

“Making Meaning of Cultures: Perspectives and Practices through Projects”

Lisa Merschel, Joan Munné, and Liliana Paredes, Romance Studies

Abstract: In this presentation, we present ways for instructors to integrate cultural texts in the language class, mitigating the perceived need of a cultural authority in the classroom. As participants in cultural communities, instructors and students can work collaboratively to engage with cultural texts. Through this approach to culture, learners develop critical thinking skills as they use the target language to identify, investigate, interpret, compare, and reflect on the relationship between products, practices, and perspectives of the cultures studied. Presenters will show examples of activities (and students’ products) from elementary to advanced Spanish language classes to illustrate these shared meaning-making processes.

“Process-Oriented Assessment Tasks to Minimize Speaking Anxiety” 

Merve Yildirim, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Abstract: As foreign language educators, we often face the challenge of engaging students in speaking in the target language. The ability of learners in oral communication skills seems to be reduced when anxiety is a factor; therefore, it is quite unlikely that students would perform at their best in speaking exams. In order to provide a safer environment for students to display their communication skills, process-oriented tasks can be applied. In this session, I will talk about how process-oriented assessment tasks can be utilized in a curriculum to minimize the speaking anxiety of students.

“Promoting Student Agency and Reflection through Cover Notes”

Daniel McCarthy and Rebekah Callari-Kaczmarczyk, English for International Students

Abstract: This presentation will present how cover notes – a brief letter to the instructor that students include at the beginning of an assignment – can be used in the language learning classroom to promote student agency, self-reflection, and student-centered feedback. This presentation will include examples from current courses and suggestions for how cover notes could be utilized in a wide range of language course assignments. Ultimately, by attending our presentation, language instructors will be able to recognize the purpose, benefits, and applications of cover notes and will be able to apply similar methods in their own classrooms.

Concurrent Presentations – Session 4 (2:00-2:30 p.m.)

“Techniques for Teaching Students Language Prosody”

Carolyn Quarterman, English for International Students

Abstract: When learning pronunciation of a foreign language, students need to learn not only segmental language features (consonant and vowel sounds) but also suprasegmental features, or prosody. Prosody includes using volume, tempo, rhythm and pitch changes to convey a speaker’s message. While the prosody of various languages differs, this presentation introduces techniques used in teaching prosody to English learners that may be useful for teaching prosody of other languages. Techniques to raise students’ awareness of two features of English prosody will be introduced as well as activities providing opportunities for students to practice and evaluate their production of them.

“Weaving Oral History into Language and Culture Classes” 

Carolyn Lee and Maha Houssami, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Abstract: In this presentation, we will introduce a community-based and cross-program learning activity in exploring cross-cultural understanding of the diasporas from Chinese and Arabic speaking countries. We will highlight the peculiarities of the student-led first-hand audio interviews, the profiles of the students and faculty involved, and the composition of the participants from the community. This cross-program initiative is instrumental in terms of globalizing the classroom and preparing adult learners to be informed global citizens who can use their inter-cultural competence for a better understanding of the world. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of the activity and conclude with recommendations.

Concurrent Presentations – Session 5 (2:45-3:15 p.m.)

“Techniques for Enhancing Speaking Skills in L2 Classes with Podcasts”

Kusum Knapczyk, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Abstract: The proposed presentation reports on a project that models how to improve speaking skills in foreign language classes. The presentation will proceed in three stages. First, I will demonstrate a podcast and highlight the features that can be used in connection with guidelines and learning objectives. I will show step by step how my students reached the stage to create a high-quality podcast. Second, I will discuss the technology used in the creation of these materials and discuss alternative tools. Finally, I will provide suggestions for incorporating the podcasts in the lesson plan successfully and for publishing these on the Duke Web page.

“Developing Temporal-Spatial Meaning in Personal Recounts of Beginning L2 Learners of German”

Cori Crane and Michael Malloy, Germanic Languages and Literature

Abstract: Personal recounts represent a core narrative genre that novice second language (L2) learners encounter. A key feature of recounts are temporal-locational “circumstantial” meanings, often realized lexico-grammatically through adverbial and prepositional phrases, that give structure to the genre and guide movement through a sequence of habitual actions and reported happenings. This presentation reports on the literacy development of beginning L2 learners of German. Pre- and post-tests of learners’ comprehension of recounts on summer vacations and written recounts of their own vacation experiences provide information about learners’ developing facility with the genre and ability to recognize and express temporal-spatial ideational meaning.

Concurrent Presentations – Session 6 (3:15-3:45 p.m.)

“Brain, Language, and Culture: Understanding the Neural Correlates of Proficiency”

Edna Andrews, Slavic and Eurasian Studies and Linguistics

Abstract: This presentation will focus on the central research findings that are essential for understanding how languages are mapped in the brain and how these mappings are relevant to understanding the achievement of high levels of proficiency in second and third languages. Topics include important new discoveries in applications of electrophysiological and hemodynamic imaging technologies (focusing specifically on cortical stimulation mapping (CSM), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and longitudinal studies) with proficiency testing, why there is no language in the one and the role of collective consciousness in human languages, how lesion-deficit studies and healthy subject research can inform each other, sensory-motor interactive modeling of language and brain, understanding speech acts and the construction of meaning, and crucial next steps in improving  our methodologies to enhance student learning and higher levels of proficiency outcomes.

“Game-Based Learning and Gamification Experiences in My SFL Classroom”

Luis Navaro, Romance Studies

Abstract: This presentation will show the different activities designed, created or adapted for my Spanish as Foreign Language classes during the last semesters, as well as the professional development and training needed to acquire game-based learning and gamification tools. The decision to incorporate games and gamification respond to different needs perceived in the learning sequence of my teaching plans, sometimes related to the practice of vocabulary, grammar evaluation or communication simulation and practice. Actually, I can validate the positive effects of the game-based learning approach and gamification regarding to motivation and student engagement, memory and recalling words or structures, and real communication practice learned from the bibliography on this area.