Abstracts

9:00-9:25

Heidi Fridriksson

Low Stakes Writing as a Teaching Tool for Academic ESL

How can we as teachers help scaffold our students’ acquisition of academic discourse? This presentation will argue that low stakes writing (ungraded, meaning-focused writing tasks) can provide students with engaging, low anxiety opportunities to begin trying on academic discourse. The presenter will address common teacher concerns, provide low stakes writing tools, and demonstrate ideas for classroom practice, including how these assignments can function as bridges to high stakes assignments rather than alternatives to them.  HUM 202

Joshua Reed

What is Art?: Using Pragmatics to Design a Flexible Curriculum.

The presenter will discuss the results of piloting a unit that uses art to teach students how to state their opinion, agree and disagree with each other, and use facts to support their ideas. The pilot unit was based on an existing curriculum and was designed to show how teachers can make small changes in existing materials to better target students’ needs. HUM 203

Minghao (Rainie) Zhang

The Real Words from the Real World

Vocabulary is one of the eternal topics in EFL context. Students are encouraged to learn more vocabulary words and teachers keep emphasizing how a large vocabulary size could possibly benefit them in the tests. This research aims to compare the vocabulary teaching practice in China to the findings revealed in the literature of vocabulary teaching, locate the gaps between the two, and provide suggestions of teaching techniques taking into consideration the specifications of the context. HUM 582

Edie Williams

Before the Big One Hits: Strategies for Creating and Sustaining an ESL Disaster Preparedness Curriculum

Disaster preparedness increases survival and decreases suffering, but immigrants with limited English skills may not get the training they need. The presenter will discuss the process of developing a disaster preparedness curriculum for adult learners that emphasizes pragmatics in communication to enhance skill development and civic engagement. The development process examines attitudes towards disaster preparedness, the value of short-term and long-term goals, and the power of community capacity-building by connecting ESL classes with experienced content experts.  HUM 587

9:30-9:55

Kenichi Seo

Learners, Be Actors!: Teaching Pragmatics though Drama Activities

Prosody is the vital component of pragmatics for having successful conversations; however, it is often neglected in ESL and EFL classroom. Drama provides students opportunity to practice prosody as they experience social interactions in class. This presentation will discuss the impact of drama activities on students’ pragmatics learning, motivation, and confidence level in public speech, and suggest practical techniques for lessons. Audience will be invited to participate drama activities during the presentation. Let’s be actors!  HUM 202

Connie McCoy

Overcoming Adversity in Speaking English: From Imagined Worlds to Attained Reality

“You’re stupid! You don’t know English!” Most such affronts told by immigrant English learners are not so blatant, yet are routinely encountered in the tacit attitude of many target L2 speakers.. Examining unequal power relations affecting learners’ desire to participate and practice English with L2 speakers, the presenter cites research that recommends structuring the classroom to welcome spontaneous interchanges which prepare learners to better negotiate the outside world, moving beyond present circumstances to attaining imagined futures.  HUM 203

Chris Ott

“I know the best ramen shop! Let me tell you about it!”

Creating motivation for Japanese students learning English in Japan is a challenge for those who teach in Japan. This presentation will present a web-based writing project that gives students a real audience and a genuine communicative goal, and provide insights into how it can increase student motivation. The project: a student created on-line guidebook.  HUM 582

9:30-10:25

Fawnee Evnochides, Sarah Murrmann, Patricia Sanchez & Audrey Wallace

Making it Personal: Maximizing Learning through Personal Narrative

This panel on narrative is inspired by and dedicated to the vision and spirit of Dr. Gail Weinstein. Through various lenses, presenters will explore the use of narrative for pedagogical purposes, touching on how narrative facilitates learner motivation, identity construction,and academic achievement and provides a catalyst for community building. Presenters will give a multi-disciplinary overview of the rationale, general principles, and practical guidelines for integrating narrative based activities into various ESL contexts.  HUM 587

10:00-10:25

Will DeVault

Using the Given and New Contract to Improve Compositional Cohesion

Cohesion in academic composition is a crucial building block for L2 writers to achieve focus and coherence in their writing.  However, cohesion is an under-addressed topic in ESL textbooks and curriculum.  In response to this instructional gap, this presentation will address using the Given and New Contract, a relatively simple tool for teaching cohesion. The presenter will discuss a pedagogically useful set of activities which teachers can use to address the tricky issue of focus in Intermediate/Advanced academic ESL composition.  HUM 202

Sayaka Amano

The policy on high school English education in Japan

In 2009, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology issued the new English education policy on senior high school in Japan which will be implemented in 2013. In Japan, it is common sense that English teachers teach English in Japanese, but one of the biggest changes in the policy is that basically, teachers should teach English in English in 2013.  Are Japanese teachers of English ready for the new policy?  HUM 203

10:00-10:45

Jae Yeon Han (Jenny) & Hye In Kim (Kelly)

Using Blogs for English Learners in Korea

Since students in Korea face the limitations of studying and using English outside of the classroom, blogs can be one of the tools to supplement students’ English learning. Blogs are good for giving students an opportunity to practice not only reading and writing but also speaking and listening anytime and anywhere since blogs require only basic access to the internet. The presenters will introduce how teachers can use blogs according to the purpose of teaching. HUM 582

10:30-11:15

Rafiq Kamal, Erin McGrath

Challenges for American Teachers in the EFL Classroom

What challenges do American teachers of English face in the EFL classroom? In a world where native speakers of English are frequently recruited to teach abroad, American teachers may find themselves in situations for which they are inadequately prepared, either due to lack of pedagogical training or limited knowledge of the foreign culture. Using firsthand accounts from teachers who have taught in Japanese and Arab classrooms, the presenters will discuss the importance of teacher preparation in both second language acquisition and culturally responsive teaching.  HUM 202

Miran Hyun & Ji Eun Lee

High Building or Tall Building?: The Way of Learning from Context

Since online corpora allow us to find meaning of words in context and words that are frequently used together, they can be useful sources for English learners and instructors, especially in an EFL context. This is why we created a website that introduces corpus linguistics. The website will serve as a learning toolkit that provides information about corpus linguistics as well as instructions to use actual corpus websites. It also provides sample searches done with color words along with their definitions and collocations.  HUM 203

1:30-1:55

Tim Murphy

Reader Response and Critical Literacy: A Reading/Writing Unit

This presentation focuses on two related methods of teaching reading to second language learners: Reader Response Theory and Critical Literacy.  Reader Response Theory suggests that reading is a transaction, or interaction, between the reader and the printed text. Critical Literacy takes this premise a step further, challenging readers to question and challenge the author’s perspective. The presenter will discuss research behind the theories and outline a four-lesson reading and writing unit based on them.  HUM 202

Erica Cheung

Using Drama in a Low-Level Adult ESL Classroom

The paper presents a case study on the use of drama in a very low-level adult ESL classroom at City College of San Francisco, describing the class activities and procedures. The data was collected through interviews, response sheets and teaching journals. The findings showed that the learners considered drama useful in lowering their anxiety, increasing their imagination and encouraging greater risk-taking. Almost all of the learners showed their enjoyment of the lessons.  HUM 217

SoHee Kim

Raising Self-Confidence for Oral Proficiency Using Social Media

Social Media provides a variety of ways to facilitate language learning and can promote learners’ autonomy. This presentation will focus on developing knowledge about classroom practice and assessment for oral proficiency using VoiceThread which enables students to create digital stories with movie clips. The presenter will show how the teacher might help ESL students develop oral proficiency through the use of voice recording programs and a pronunciation practice website.  HUM 580

Christina Lorimer

English for Professional Purposes: Capacity-building Curricula for Latina Immigrant Leaders

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) is a successful Bay Area non-profit devoted to organizing for immigrant, workers’ and women’s rights. In a presentation inspired by the MUA double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power, the presenter will discuss the struggles, successes and rationale behind developing an English for Professional Purposes curriculum tailored to the language learning needs and goals of eight of the MUA staff members.  HUM 211

2:00-2:25

Yu-Sih Chen

Teachers’ Perception of Students’ L1 Use During In-class Group Work

The long-held anti-L1 attitude in FL teaching has caused many EFL teachers’ reluctance in using in-class group work. With a specific English department that has an English-only teaching policy in Taiwan as the target context, the present study investigates the faculty’s perceptions toward L1 use during in-class group work. The results show that L1 serves some positive functions in L2 cooperative learning and thus most of the teachers do not really mind. The presenter will share the salient points mentioned by the teachers and discuss some common myths about the L1 use in FL learning.

Fanny Law

Pragmatics of Teacher Talk in Writing Conferences

Writing conferences are opportunities for reciprocal oral feedback between a teacher and a student. What is a successful writing conference? What kinds of questions can make the conference student-centered?  How can the teacher’s comments about a student’s writing be delivered so that rather than feeling intimidated or defensive, students will be motivated to revise their writing?  This presentation will present some practical tips of promoting student participation and reflective thinking during writing conferences.  HUM 217

Xuan-Vu Nguyen

So Many Words, So Little Time

Vocabulary knowledge is essential to the academic success of ELLs in content-area courses, yet little support is given to learning vocabulary in these courses. How can ESOL teachers prepare learners to meet the linguistic demands of content courses? This demonstration provides key concepts and research-informed activities that lead to successful vocabulary acquisition. Participants will learn about corpus-based tools to help them make principled decisions about what vocabulary to teach and how to teach them.  HUM 580

Tov Fisher-Kirshner

Is CLT Feasible in East Asia?

Despite a governmental push toward communicative English language classes in many East Asian countries, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is often resisted at the classroom level.  This presentation will discuss the reasons it is resisted by various teachers, students, and administrators. The presenter will explore cultural challenges, issues of teacher and student perceptions, and other commonly noted obstacles, concluding with some suggestions for teachers considering using CLT in East Asia.  HUM 211

2:30-2:55

Raymond Purdy

The Benefits and Challenges of Designing and Teaching a Pragmatics-based Course to Academically Bound ESL Students

This presenter will describe the creation and implementation of a pragmatics based curriculum designed for a local pre-academic Intensive English Program, as well as the positive impact on the L2 learning of several groups of international students. The presenter will also examine the challenges of designing and teaching culturally sensitive materials that required students to frequently engage in meta-linguistic analysis. Based on this classroom research, the presenter will offer insight on teaching pragmatics to ESL learners.  HUM 202

Teresa Newson

Adapting the European Language Portfolio for Non-credit Adult ESL

The presenter adapted elements of the European Language Portfolio (ELP) for a non-credit beginning-low adult ESL class at City College of San Francisco. The ELP is a powerful tool for fostering confidence and autonomous learning, providing scaffolding and tasks based on the real life learning goals of students. The adaptation is an attempt to provide a workable model for use within CCSF’s non-credit ESL courses.  HUM 217

Ohkyun Kwon

Vocabulary Learning and Teaching Strategies: Principles and Activities

Vocabulary is vital in second language learning; learners’ mastery of L2 vocabulary can powerfully contribute to proficiency in the target language. Unfortunately however, many L2 teachers and learners assume that L2 vocabulary can be largely learned incidentally with little deliberate effort. In response to the neglect of vocabulary instruction in EFL/ESL contexts, this presentation will explore various strategies and provide key principles of vocabulary learning and teaching, including some activities.  HUM 580

2:30-3:15

Kate Frei, Sherri Martin, & Beth Wadell

Speaking the Unspeakable: Sexual Identity in the ESL Classroom

Most ESL classrooms have lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) members—students, teachers or both—yet LGBT identities often remain hidden. Although LGBT-related themes often come up in ESL classes, many teachers struggle to address these topics in a way that is respectful and conducive to language learning. After giving an overview of the issues involved, presenters will open the floor for participants to share their experiences and questions, and work together toward possible solutions.

Melissa Jaquish

Moving On: A Curricular Framework for ESL Students Transitioning to Mainstream Freshman Composition Courses.

What skills and strategies do students need to move from an EFL context to composition courses designed for proficient English speakers? How do academic expectations shift as students transition into freshman composition classes at a community college or even a four-year university? How can we design curriculum to aid students to make this move successfully?  This presentation will describe a curriculum that can be used as a framework for students about to make this transition.  HUM 217

Jack Yan

Piloting a Health Literacy Curriculum

There is a strong link between an individual’s literacy and their health. This does not bode well for immigrants with low literacy, but the ESL classroom could be an attractive setting to help solve this problem. The presenter personally invites you to listen to his experience developing and piloting a health literacy-based curriculum in a community based organization. HUM 582

3:00-3:45

Cherry Ngai & Tiffany Pippin

Learners as Teachers in the Community: Integrating Service-learning into ESL

This presentation explores the benefits of connecting international ESL students with the community. The presenters will give an overview of a case study of three students from the American Language Institute (ALI) who participated in Project S.H.I.N.E. (a service-learning program for SFSU students to give teaching support in ESL, Citizenship & Literacy non-credit classes) this semester. The presenters take a linguistic and critical pedagogy approach to explore the benefits of service-learning and provide implications for future research.  HUM 202

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