2015 Symposium‎ > ‎

Keynote Speaker


Dr. Dongping Zheng

Affiliation

Associate Professor, Department of Second Language StudiesUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa , USA

 

Plenary Title:

 Ecological, Dialogical and Distributed Approaches to Design and Learning with Technologies


Abstract:

This talk addresses the confluence of design in relation to space-time, sociocultural places, activity and artifacts that have shown an impact on second language learners’ being and becoming in diverse linguistic environments. Congruent with ecological and dialogical perspectives in which sense-making is contingent on the relational dynamic meshwork, this talk will be situated in two design-based research projects that focused on designing problem-solving spaces encouraging sense-making in situ, manipulation of virtual and real world objects, and coordination among players. The talk will be organized in 4 parts: 1. A review of current research on game-based and game-enhanced learning; 2. A review of theoretical stances; 3. A demonstration of concrete examples from the 2 projects; 4. Conclusions on new research agenda and pedagogy informed by the current research.

The first project investigates how learners of Chinese and English coordinated on a project in which they collaboratively decorated a virtual space. The findings suggest that socioculturally bounded places afford different kinds of learning: 1) referential learning in relatively static places; and 2) transformative learning through coordination between verbal instruction and object manipulation in relatively more open-ended places. The second project looked at how we can design situated mobile apps to support place-based language learning. I will demonstrate: 1) how we can design mobile games to encourage distributed language learning; 2) how this immersion experience in physical places affects linguistic and cultural acquisition and communication in situ; and  3) how (trans)languaging is dynamically executed in the wild with virtual content present.




Dr. Laurence Anthony

Affiliation

Center for English Language Education, Waseda University, Japan

Honorary Research Fellow, Lancaster University, UK.


Long Biography:

Laurence Anthony is Professor of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Japan. He has a BSc degree (Mathematical Physics) from the University of Manchester, UK, and MA (TESL/TEFL) and PhD (Applied Linguistics) degrees from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is a former Director and current Technical English Program Coordinator at the Center for English Language Education (CELESE), Waseda University. His main interests are in corpus linguistics tools development and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) program design and teaching methodologies. He received the National Prize of the Japan Association for English Corpus Studies (JAECS) in 2012 for his work in corpus software tools design. He is the developer of several corpus tools including AntConcAntWordProfilerEncodeAnt, and TagAnt.


Plenary Title:

Selecting Prototypical Texts for Close Reading with Applications in Professional Communication and English for Specific Purposes Research and Teaching

 

Abstract:

Research on pr fessional communication and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) often requires the analysis of a large number of texts in the form of a corpus. To date, researchers have tended to analyze corpora using concordances, collocations, n-grams, word frequency lists and keyword lists. These approaches provide both macro and micro views of the corpus, but they are decontextualized. At some point, the researcher needs to conduct a contextualized close reading of the texts, but deciding which texts to read is a challenging problem. An arbitrary selection of individual texts can lead to the criticism of 'cherry picking'. On the other hand, a random selection of texts leads to the question of how many texts to include in the sample.

In this presentation, I will introduce a novel, principled way of selecting texts for close reading based on the concept of prototypicality. Then, I will then show how researchers and teachers can easily apply this selection procedure using a custom-built multiplatform, freeware software tool called ProtAnt. Next, I will describe several experiments that validate the selection procedure and show how it can be used to identify 'outlier' or atypical samples. Then, I will introduction several novel ways to visualize the results produced by the ProtAnt tool. I will finish the presentation by suggesting possible applications of the ProtAnt analysis in various professional communication and ESP research and teaching contexts.

 

 


Dr. Wen-Li, Tsou

Affiliation:

National Cheng Kung University


Abstract:

In the age of globalization, preparing globally competent students is one of the main goals in higher education. Ability indices for global competence generally include professional skills, language and communicative abilities, global vision, cross-cultural understanding, and participation in international affairs. In Taiwan, English language education in the past decade has been narrowly viewed as synonymous to internationalizing higher education, while English benchmarking required for obtaining a college degree is exclusively determined by proficiency test scores. This approach has limited the perceptions of college learners towards global competency, and narrowed the scope of college English education. This speech discusses how college English education should respond to globalization, and proposes a new paradigm which aims to develop globally competent students equipped with lifelong learning skills. This speech argues that approaches such as English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English Medium Instruction (EMI) should be the foci of the new paradigm. International universities should design discipline-specific English curriculum based on students’ academic studies and career needs. Similarly, EMI courses should be introduced and promoted in order to create an environment in which professional English is learned and used, and where local and international students can interact. It is suggested that English benchmarking should be redefined by ability indicators of global competency. Instead of using the current “one-size-fits-all” proficiency testing approach, each academic department will prescribe its own matrix of indicators in a new paradigm for graduation.




Dr. Yea-Ru Tsai

Affiliation:

Applied English Department, I-Shou University


Abstract:

While new technology has changed the modes of transmission, organizations still have to rely on exchange of letters because face-to-face communication is not always possible. The new dynamic nature of the international community requires business communications to be more pragmatic in nature. To effectively achieve communicative goals, members of the business discourse community need to govern associated rules and conventions that are specifically practiced in commerce settings. Previous research has recognized the potential of direct corpus use by learners of second language (L2) writing, but there is a call for more empirical studies on the effectiveness of applying corpus in L2 classrooms. This study attempts to fill the gap in the research by exploring how a writing instruction combing corpus consultation and genre analysis affects student performance in writing business letters (BLs) and how students perceive the usage of a corpus in a the classroom. The findings provide empirical support for the application of corpus consultation and genre analysis in BL writing instruction. In light of our data, we found that student writing has been improved quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of lexical and syntactic complexity. Overall, the students perceived corpus use to be very beneficial for BL writing, particularly for learning specific word usage and sentence structures in BLs.
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