Skip to main content
Language Resource Center

Events of 2014-2015

September 10
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Strengthening Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) Across Cornell

Wednesday, September 10, 2:30-4:30
Stimson 206
Reception following on the Uris Hall Terrace

FLAC has proven to be a successful means of supporting students' use and expansion of foreign language skills by adding a foreign language section to a regular course. This event explores ways to expand FLAC offerings at Cornell by identifying the goals and necessary supporting structures, and by encouraging faculty across campus to add a FLAC component to their courses. What are the goals, roles, and responsibilities? What are the benefits and resource requirements? This event of panels and group interchange promises an engaging discussion by bringing together faculty, outside experts, TAs, language teachers, students, and senior administrators. Laura Brown, Vice-Provost of Undergraduate Education, will moderate the final discussion.

Your attendance will show the importance of support for FLAC, in terms of TA stipends and organizational structures. For more information contact Dick Feldman at

Organized by Language Research Center and with support of Cornell's Language Education Council, Vice Provost for International Affairs, and the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

October 3 and 4
Friday, October 3 and Saturday October 4, 2014

Who Owns Content? Issues in Content-Based Instruction

Friday, October 3, keynote 4-5, followed by reception
Saturday, October 4, 9am to 3pm
Clark Hall 701
The Keynote address on Friday will be given by Jesus Rodriguez-Velasco, Chair of the Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University. On Saturday, there will be 3 panels, each with a researcher and two teachers. For more information, please see the event website.

This event is sponsored by the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning.
November 11
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pedagogical perspectives on error correction

Younghee Sheen
Research Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics
Department of World Languages and Cultures, American University

Tuesday, November 11, 4pm followed by reception
Noyes Lodge

The field of second language teaching and learning has seen a number of pendulum swings in how errors should be viewed. In the 1950s and 1960s, behaviorist theories of language learning that emphasized habit-formation deemed errors as damaging to learning and thus in need of immediate eradication. In the 1970s and 1980s, more nativist theories about language learning saw errors as a natural part of the learning process and thus correction was not needed. More recently, interactionist theories of language learning have reinforced the view that errors are natural and unavoidable, but also have considered errors to be 'treatable'.

What is undeniable is that language teachers have to deal with learner errors on a daily basis. How then are they to respond to learner errors given the mixed messages emanating from researchers and theoreticians? Error correction has been an intense object of inquiry in the Applied Linguistics field for at least two decades. Accordingly, a plethora of research has presented its robust findings on the efficacy of error correction and the extent to which this can be mediated by a host of individual learner factors, such as motivation, language analytic ability and working memory. Nevertheless, a disconnect remains between research and practice with regard to the utility of error correction because many teachers in the language classroom are still left with the question of what they should do about learner errors on a daily basis.

My talk will address the following questions from the pedagogical perspective: (a) What are errors?; (b) Should teachers aim to correct all errors or be selective?; (c) What criteria should teachers use to select errors for correction?; and (d) What specific ways can teachers correct oral and written errors. After providing my understanding of several key findings from the research on error correction, I will also consider each finding in terms of my own unique experience as a language learner, language teacher and teacher educator.

December 9
Tuesday, December 9, 2015

LRC Workshop

Tuesday, December 9, 9-12 followed by lunch
Noyes Lodge

  • Dick will report on the latest news about the move of the LRC to Stimson Hall.

  • France Mehta will discuss a mobile device program she has used for viewing and analyzing a Chinese video. She has student survey data on its effectiveness and students' attitudes about mobile devices generally.

  • Grit Matthias and Andreea Mascan will give a presentation titled "Reevaluating the 'us and them' Paradigm." This involves the description of a three-stage sequence of student activities. They will present the project and discuss examples of students' work, student feedback and their conclusions for future projects.

  • The LRC has long supported a range of online tools to present language teaching materials. We are now approaching the end of the lifetime of those materials, and we are proposing to offer support for recently developed features of Blackboard instead. In this workshop we will demonstrate how Blackboard supports many of the functions of LRC tools and beyond. We will concentrate on areas such as media handling, especially in threaded discussions, student upload of video, assigning privileges to groups of students, branching from one activity to another, and the grading of student work. After a demonstration of these affordances, attendees will have time for guided use of these tools.
    We will also be developing modules beyond BB, so BB experienced teachers are urged to think about what features are missing from BB that would be useful to language teachers.
    If you have media, practice tasks or test questions you would like to try incorporating in BB, please bring them along.
January 20
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Noyes Lodge, 3-4pm
Discussion of the RFP for Internationalization

This is an opportunity to discuss and ask questions about the Request for Proposals sent out by the Vice-Provost for International Relations for projects in internationalizing the curriculum. Marina Markot, the director of Study Abroad, will be present to explain the RFP and answer questions. All welcome, even if you are just curious to see what this is about.
The call for proposals was sent out to all faculty. Here is a copy also.
February 27
Friday, February 27, 2015

Principles and practices of a literacy-based approach to language teaching

Rick Kern
Professor of French and Director of the Berkeley Language Center
University of California, Berkeley

Friday, February 27, 4pm followed by reception
Noyes Lodge

What principles should guide language and literacy education in the current era of globalization and intense social and technological innovation? Rather than attempting to distinguish between "new" literacies and "old" literacies, I propose an approach that brings attention to relationships between current and past literacy practices in order to prepare learners for the future. This approach focuses on the development of functional reading and writing abilities, but within the broader context of an exploration of how material, social, and individual factors influence the ways we design meaning and how mediums influence our fundamental ideas about what writing and communication are. The presentation will develop a set of principles and goals for this educational approach, then propose ways to achieve those goals through a "relational pedagogy" that focuses on how meanings emerge from interactions among material, social, and individual resources.
March 7
Saturday, March 7, 2015

Relating FLAS Assessment to Proficiency Scales

Mary Jo Lubrano
Testing and Assessment Specialist
Yale Center for Language Study

Saturday, March 7, 9am to 2pm lunch provided
Noyes Lodge

The aim of this workshop is twofold: after reviewing the characteristics of the ILR, ACTFL and CEFR descriptors in order to report proficiency levels of FLAS students, participants will also practice some elicitation techniques and rate some samples of actual oral proficiency interviews.

There are some activities to be completed before the workshop, based on the ACTFL Guidelines. Here is a brief outline of the workshop.