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Language Resource Center

Events of 2016-2017

September 20

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Epistemics in interaction: Implications for world language peer tutoring programs

Michele Back, Assistant Professor
Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

Tuesday, September 20, 4pm, Noyes Lodge

Reception before and after the talk
Peer tutoring is viewed as a valuable component of additional language learning due to the presence of a more knowledgeable interlocutor. Yet researchers and language program directors alike often ignore the linguistic and cultural differences that peer tutors possess, instead categorizing them homogeneously as 'experts' or 'native speakers.' In this presentation I use video data of peer tutoring sessions in Spanish to analyze several LREs (language-related episodes) in which claims to knowledge are negotiated, contested and rejected. Findings indicate that peer tutors use a variety of symbolic, multimodal and artifactual tools to negotiate or mitigate their ascribed epistemic stances of expert. I demonstrate how essentialist ideologies and classroom-based hierarchies often help construct tutors as language "experts," even when conflicting information regarding that expertise is available. I discuss how these findings question the ways knowledge and expertise are traditionally perceived in peer tutoring and other additional language learning contexts; emphasize the need for training peer tutors in cooperative learning methods and articulating their knowledge with that from the classroom setting; and highlight the complex ideologies that surround the 'right to know' a target language. Additionally, I will explore the implications of this analysis for developing and maintaining an effective world language peer tutoring program.

Here is an article of close relevance to Professor Back's talk. Here is a copy of her presentation file.
October 13

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Let's listen and talk about listening: Theories and practice on listening for the language teacher

Paula Winke
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Michigan State University

Thursday, October 13, 4pm, Noyes Lodge

Reception before and after the talk
In this presentation, I first briefly overview the concepts and constructs of foreign and second language listening and how (and why) they have changed since the early 1950s. I end this first part by reviewing integrated listening skills and how the teaching and testing of listening is moving away from audio-only approaches and becoming more intertwined with learners' physical, contextual, and social surroundings. Then, with your input, we will draft a working definition of listening, and we will theorize how, exactly, listening should be taught and assessed in today's modern classroom. Second, I will dive into listening test data. I will present ACTFL-based Language Proficiency Flagship data (from college learners of Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish), and I will review Tschirner's (2016) work to illustrate current statistical trends in listening proficiency across diverse language programs. We will discuss what current listening-test results mean in light of the evolving theoretical construct of listening. With this in mind, we will end by discussing options for the assessment of listening in modern second and foreign language classrooms, and we will consider how the options fit into your language programs' current curricular objectives and assessment plans.


Cublio, J., & Winke, P. (2013). Redefining the L2 listening construct within an integrated writing task: Considering the impacts of visual-cue interpretation and note-taking. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10(4), 371-397.
Tschirner, E. (2016). Listening and reading proficiency levels of college students. Foreign Language Annals, 49(2), 201-223.
Winke, P., Gass, S., & Sydorenko, T. (2013). Factors influencing the use of captions by foreign language learners: An eye-tracking study. The Modern Language Journal, 97(1), 254-275.

Paula Winke is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University, where she teaches language testing and language teaching methods. Her current research interests include second and foreign language assessment and task-based language teaching and testing. She is the immediate past President of the Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) and is currently a member of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners, a standing committee of the TOEFL Board. She co-directs the Second Language Studies Eye-tracking Lab and is co-directing (with Susan Gass) an 800K grant from the Department of Defense on language proficiency testing at Michigan State University. She is the 2012 recipient of the "TESOL Award for Distinguished Research" and a 2008 recipient (with Senta Goertler) of the CALICO Journal's "Outstanding Article Award." div class="subsection"> November 1

Tuesday, November 1, 4pm, Noyes Lodge

Designing Engaging Language Learning Experiences: A Computer Science Perspective

Erik Andersen, Department of Computer Science
Fields of Information Science and Cognitive Science
Cornell University

Reception before and after the talk
One of biggest challenges in teaching language is staying engaged for long enough to reach proficiency. In this talk, I will describe three recent projects intended to tackle this problem. First, I will discuss the challenges of "gamifying" language learning, and present Crystallize, our immersive 3D game that simulates immersion in a foreign language environment. Then, I will discuss new tools for crowdsourcing the collection, classification, and augmentation of language learning materials. Finally, We have been analyzing the rates that students can effectively learn new language material and how those rates are represented in textbooks. We have some surprising findings showing a consistent rate in two different Japanese textbooks. I'll discuss this research and its significance for text and material development.
This is joint work with Gabriel Culbertson, Shuhan Wang, Solace Shen, Malte Jung, Walker White, and others.
November 8 and 9

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 3:30pm
Wednesday, November 9 at 4:30pm

Panopto Mini-Workshop

These two dates are the same event: a mini-workshop about Panopto. Panopto is a CIT supported service that manages class or desktop video and audio recording. It also synchronizes desktop/Powerpoint actions with the video and audio. To see an example of this in action, see our recording of the last LRC speaker, Paula Winke.

So you can come to either of these days and do the same thing. We will introduce the tool, show you how to embed it in Blackboard and give you a chance to make your own recording.

A Panopto recording could have several uses. If you now do some lecturing, you could replace it with a Panopto recording you make of yourself. In the example, you will see how it synchronizes playback with your Powerpoint or other program, and lets students control the playback in various ways. Even if a question comes up in class you didn't want to take time to explain, you can do a quick demonstration/lecture and post it to BB using Panopto.
December 6

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
9am-12pm followed by lunch

LRC Workshop

This semester's workshop will have three distinct parts. Part 1, from 9 - 10am, will feature a discussion of the challenges of teaching a non-Roman script. Part 2, from 10 - 11am, will be a discussion of Web Audio Lab changes and new features. Part 3, from 11 - 12, will be a discussion and demonstration of Playposit, the video scaffolding program supported by the LRC, taking the place of Zaption.
Web Audio Lab (WAL) was originally developed at Cornell more than 10 years ago, programmed by Slava Paperno in collaboration with the Language Resource Center. It is a uniquely Cornell platform, as the need for it arose from the special tradition of language teaching at Cornell starting in the 1950s. Programs of study developed from then through the 1970s emphasized focused, intensive and extensive out-of-class practice by students, followed by in-class oral drill and conversation. These courses, especially in Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog and Indonesian needed a platform to enable this student work when tape recorder/players faded from the scene. WAL has become that platform, and it has been embraced by teachers of a dozen languages at Cornell. These teachers have found that students doing this out-of-class oral practice prepares them to perform better in class, in the wide range of activities modern classrooms afford. Over this summer, with support from the Mellon Foundation through the Shared Course Initiative, we have vastly expanded WAL in some original and creative ways to support extensive listening, student generation of WAL material and interaction among class members. We have prepared some demonstration courses in English and other languages of these features. Come see how you can use WAL in your own class.

Find useful resources from this workshop at our Teacher's Resources page.
March 3, 4 and 5

Friday, March 3-Sunday, March 5, 2017

Muhlenberg College, Allentown PA

NEALLT Conference

This is the popular regional conference of the Northeast Association of Language Learning and Technology. Here is the site to propose a talk. Proposals are being received now. The conference will be held at Cornell in spring 2018.
March 17

Friday, March 17, 2017
Noyes Lodge

Coffee/Tea with Yuka Kawasaki

Yuka Kawasaki taught Japanese at Cornell for some years until about 10 years ago. Since then she has received an advanced degree and is now an associate professor at the Hyogo University of Teacher Education. This coffee hour will be a time to meet her, refresh old friendships and hear about her teaching and research work in language learning and memory. We expect to have more informal professional discussions like this after we move to Stimson Hall this summer.
Here is an abstract of her recent work

Educational Effects of Computer-based Language Learning Materials: Evaluation of Memory Retention in Long-term Intervals

We examined the educational effectiveness of computer-based learning materials. We conducted an experiment, and compared the results between computer-based materials and paper materials. In the experiment, the participants, Japanese college students, studied English words by using computer-based materials and paper materials, and took tests on those words. The study conditions and testing conditions were counterbalanced to reduce intra-material effects, and the tests were carried out three times, at three-week, four-week and seven-week intervals. The participants also took a test on words that they did not study. The differences were statistically significant between 1) computer-based materials and paper materials in three-week intervals and 2) computer-based materials and non-study words in all intervals. The results of this experiment verified that learners retain their memories for seven weeks when learning English words with computer-based materials.
March 23

Thursday, March 23, 2017
4pm followed by reception

TBLT and Foreign Language Writing

Andrea Revesz, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
Department of Culture, Communication, and Media UCL Institute of Education, University College London

With the growing popularity of task-based approaches to language teaching, the field of instructed second language (L2) acquisition has seen a growing interest in task design features as a means to facilitate L2 performance and development. However, the vast majority of task-related studies have focused on the oral modality, and research into the effects of task features on L2 writing is limited. In addition, previous studies have primarily examined the product of writing (e.g., linguistic complexity and accuracy); little attention has been paid to writing processes such as fluency, pausing and revision during writing. In this talk, drawing on my own and colleagues' work, I will introduce recent empirical research that has begun to address these gaps. I will discuss and demonstrate how manipulating the design features of communicative tasks and the conditions under which they are performed may help facilitate L2 writing performance and development. In particular, I will show the extent to which providing support with content and task repetition can influence writing behaviors and text quality. I will also highlight the methodological advantages of triangulating product- and process-based measures. Finally, I will consider the pedagogical implications of the research discussed.
April 17

Monday, April 17, 2017
4pm followed by reception

Language learning through Viewing Television: In and Out of the Classroom

Michael Rodgers, Assistant Professor
School of Linguistics and Language Studies Carleton University

The language learning that goes on outside the classroom is an area that has recently begun to receive increased attention. One approach to language learning that is well suited to taking place outside the classroom is viewing second-language television. Although there is a large amount of research that has investigated learning through written materials, there is a considerably smaller, but growing, amount of research that has focused on learning through television programs. This is surprising because L2 television programs have great potential as a resource for language learning. People tend to spend a great deal of time watching L1 television programs. In the North American context, Americans and Canadians watch television five times more than they read in their L1. This suggests that in our L1, we encounter a greater amount of input through viewing television than we encounter through reading. This may be why research has shown that language learners are highly motivated to learn through viewing L2 television programs. There is a role for television viewing both inside and outside of the classroom. Extensive viewing, a natural companion to extensive reading, should begin in the classroom to provide the support that learners initially need to understand L2 discourse designed for L1 viewers. Through a program of regular instructor-supported viewing, students may find that they are able to understand a program to the point that they enjoy it and then move on to viewing autonomously at home. This presentation will look at research findings that language instructors can utilise to guide learners to make use of L2 television for language learning. Topics that will be explored include: choosing programs for learners, comprehension gains from successive viewing, vocabulary gains from television viewing, support for vocabulary learning from imagery, the use of captions, learner attitudes towards extensive viewing, and pedagogical considerations of these topics.

Suggested Reading: Webb, S. (2014). Extensive viewing: Language learning through watching television. In D. Nunan & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Language Learning Beyond the Classroom (pp. 159-168). London: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315883472
April 21

Friday, April 21, 2017

Johnson Art Museum, 4 - 8pm

Multilingual Poetry Reading and International Dessert Reception

Johnson Museum of Art, Hirsch Lecture Room and Lobby

Cornell's Language Resource Center invites you to attend a mulitlingual poetry reading and international dessert reception at the Johnson Museum of Art. The objective of this event is to raise awareness of the Shared Course Initiative (SCI), Cornell's collaboration with Yale and Columbia to share instruction in the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) via videoconference. Several teachers will be joining us from Columbia and all the poems will be read by students. The event will also be a celebration of National Poetry Month in April. Click here for more information about the SCI, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation.


4:00 - 4:15 Opening Comments, Dick Feldman, Director, Language Resource Center; Lisa Sansoucy, Course Coordinator

4:15 - 5:15 Multilingual Poetry Reading by students studying in shared courses

5:15 - 5:30 Intermission with light refreshments

5:30 - 6:30 Multilingual Poetry Reading - open to all languages

7:00 - 7:30 Music: TBA

6:30 - 8:00 Reception with international desserts, food, drink, etc.

The event is free and open to the public. All welcome.
May 11

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Noyes Lodge 9am-12pm, followed by lunch at Noyes Lodge

LRC Workshop

The workshop will feature a range of topics, from a speaker about using iBooks for students to create multimedia assignments; to updates on Playposit, WAL and the LRC move; a talk by the Language House Director followed by discussion; other information about translation services contracted by Cornell; services for student-student language exchange.
  • 9-9:15 announcements
    MOVE, FLAC, Jumpstart, VOD, Sam, Ji Hye, Lizz Huntley, Wayles
  • 9:15-10:15
    Angelina Craig Florez: iBook
    Session evaluation
  • 10:25-10:50
    Tom Pepinsky College Curriculum
  • 10:50-11:20
    Derron Borders, Director, Language House
  • 11:20-11:30
    Language weLink and Talk Abroad
  • 11:30-11:45
  • 11:45-12
    Naomi Larson Seiyu - Seiyu