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Speaking of Language

Speaking of Language: the LRC podcast

Welcome to the homepage for the Language Resource Center's podcast, Speaking of Language. Our intent is to share interesting and helpful information about language learning and pedagogy, while also spreading the word about the work that we do at the Language Center. 

A typical episode is hosted by either Dan Gaibel or Dick Feldman, combining talk of various language learning topics in layman's terms, along with more conversational, in-depth discussion between Dick and various members of the language learning community, locally and otherwise.Look for new episodes with every semester at Cornell University. We will maintain an archive of every show on this page.


New episode!

S1E13 - Dick Feldman - Language, Technology, and the Future

Dick Feldman is director of the Language Resource Center at Cornell University, and has been so for nineteen years. Dick is retiring in a couple of months, so in this episode of Speaking of Language, we discuss some bigger-picture ideas, such as the importance of having a unit dedicated to technology support in language learning. We talk about teachers' attitudes towards technology, and what the future might look like for language teaching at Cornell.



S1E12 – Meejeong Song – The Korean Language Program at Cornell

In this episode, we sit down with Meejeong Song, senior lecturer and coordinator for the Korean language program at Cornell University. We talk about the wide set of teaching schools that she utilizes for her classes, from facilitating teacher/student interaction via web-based audio, to coordinating travel abroad programs in which students are learning Korean while immersed in the rich culture of South Korea.

Ms. Song received her M.A. in Korean Studies (Teaching Korean as a Second Language) in 1998 and her B.A. in Korean Language and Literature (Major) and English Language and Literature (Minor) in 1995 from Ewha Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea.  Her M.A. Thesis Title: A Study on Using Small-Group Work to Teach Korean as a Foreign Language to Beginners.

Ms. Song has experience teaching all levels of Korean at Cornell. Her research interests include Second Language Acquisition, web-based teaching material development, interactive student group project development, and technology-aided teaching methodology, etc. She is an active member of AATK (American Association of Teachers of Korean), ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and MLA (Modern Language Association). She has been conducting various summer projects supported by a grant from the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning, and creating the course project websites with students.

Ms. Song is actively attending various workshops and talks related to language teaching. She loves teaching Korean and also learning other languages. She speaks Japanese at the intermediate level and is hoping to learn Chinese in the near future.

On October 13, 2014 Ms. Song was featured on Daily Edventures by Microsoft, which highlights global heroes in education. Please follow the link to see the interview with Ms. Song.

https://www.facebook.com/KoreanLanguageProgramAtCornellUniversity/




S1E11 – María Luisa Parra – Art, Language, and Culture

What is the connection between art and language classes? Dick Feldman from the Cornell Language Resource Center talks to María Luisa Parra, Senior Preceptor in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. They discuss how visual art can function as a link to culture that can build a deeper connection to, and fluency in, language.

“Considered as “windows” into other cultures’ perspectives and world views, visual arts allow for the use of languages to describe, retell, analyze and think critically about cultures. Students benefit from these pedagogical exercises as they build their translingual and transcultural competencies, along with a deeper understanding of the ‘Other’.”

For further information, view Dr. Parra’s paper, “Expanding Language and Cultural Competence In Advanced Heritage- and Foreign-Language Learners through Community Engagement and Work with the Arts” from the Heritage Language Journal, or watch her talk “Designing Magic Portals,” delivered at the Cornell Language Resource Center following the recording of this episode.




S1E10 – Alice Wu – Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids

Where do you call home? In this episode, we speak to Alice Wu, an intercultural consultant at Cornell University. Alice is the creator of a series of films about Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids: people who have spent their developmental years living in multiple countries, building relationships to many cultures “while not having full ownership in any” (David Pollock). Alice discusses the challenges and benefits of growing up this way, and what people of transcultural backgrounds have to offer our increasingly interconnected world.

Alice’s films are available at https://sales.lrc.cornell.edu/collections/intercultural-materials

“Global Nomads in the Age of Technology is a fascinating series of interviews with today’s university students who come from a wide range of internationally mobile childhood experiences. It not only showcases the increasing cultural complexity of those called Global Nomads/Third Culture Kids, but also helps us answer the question: “Has technology changed the GN/TCK experience?” It is intriguing to hear fresh insights into how they perceive and use the wealth of their individual stories.
I highly recommend this for all who want to know more about how it is for today’s youth who are growing up among many different cultures.”
– Ruth E Van Reken, co-author, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, 3rd edition




S1E9 - Michael Fontaine - Reviving a Dead Language

We all know there are two types of human languages: “dead” ones and “living” ones.  But what would happen if a dead language came back to life, if contemporary people started speaking it, and teaching it?  In today’s episode we interview Professor Michael Fontaine, professor of Classics and Associate Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education at Cornell.  He himself is a Latin speaker and teacher.  How does that work?

This episode also references the work of Christophe Rico, of the Polis Institute in Jerusalem.




S1E8 – Adeolu Ademoyo – Storytelling Across Sites

Last week, Dick Feldman and Chris Kaiser talked about the benefits of a distance-learning program that can unite learners of a less-commonly taught language across locations. Today, Dick speaks with Adeolu Ademoyo, who is approaching fifteen years of teaching Yoruba at Cornell University, as well as to students at Columbia and Brown via videoconference. An experienced and adventurous instructor in the distance-learning environment, Adeolu discusses his creative methods for unifying his multi-site classes, as well as his philosophy on using storytelling and narrative to teach language.

Adeolu Ademoyo is a senior lecturer in Yoruba language and culture at Cornell. His research interests include: African Philosophy: Ethics, Epistemology and Aesthetics, the locus of African Languages in delineating met-ethical concepts in African moral discourse, gender issues, and family and social structures.




S1E7 – Christopher Kaiser – Distance Learning for Less Commonly Taught Languages

In this episode, Cornell LRC director Dick Feldman speaks with Christopher Kaiser of Columbia University. Chris is the Program Manager of the Shared Course Initiative, which connects less commonly taught language classrooms at Columbia, Cornell, and Yale using high-definition videoconferencing. The two discuss the challenges and advantages of offering these classes, and reflect on lessons learned over more than half a decade of building a collaborative distance-learning program for less-commonly taught languages.

The Shared Course Initiative (SCI) was established through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The SCI is a collaborative framework that uses innovative technology to share academic resources across institutional boundaries, enabling strategic partners to enrich existing curricula while respecting local institutional cultures.

Chris Kaiser’s areas of interest include second language pedagogy, distance learning, presence in the distance environment, inter-institutional collaboration, and language-learning advocacy.

For more information on Chris and the SCI, visit sharedcourseinitiative.org.




S1E6 – Error Correction in Second Language Acquisition

In a perfect world, we would be corrected all the time, and our output would be completely accurate. Unfortunately, our ability to process correction and produce language at the same time is limited. Certainly, our ego and other factors may get in the way. On this episode of Speaking of Language, Dick Feldman, director of the Language Resource Center at Cornell University, tackles the complex issue of error correction in second language acquisition.

This episode references the work of Natsuko Shintani, particularly her talk Examining the effects of corrective feedback: How, when and on which errors?

Natsuko Shintani obtained her PhD from the University of Auckland in 2011. She has worked as a language teacher in Japan and New Zealand, including in her own private language school for children. Her research interests include task-based language instruction, the role of interaction in second language acquisition and written corrective feedback. She has also worked on several meta-analysis studies of form-focused instruction. She has published widely in leading journals and is currently working on a single-authored book, The Role of Input-Based Tasks in Foreign Language Instruction for Young Learners, published by John Benjamins.

Twitter: @natsukonz




S1E5 – What is Intercultural Competence?

Dick Feldman explores the concept of intercultural competence. What is it, and what does it have to do with language learning? Why is it important to require students to study a language?



S1E4 – Susan Gass – Learning through Conversation

In today’s episode, LRC director Dick Feldman speaks with Susan Gass, Distinguished Professor from Michigan State University department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages. The two discuss pair work and how students acquire and build language skills when conversing with each other, regardless of any mistakes their partners make.

Susan Gass is a senior researcher in the field of second-language acquisition who has published extensively on language pedagogy-related topics. Among other areas, she has been especially central to the development of the importance of interaction in language learning.



S1E3 – Are There Good and Bad Language Learners?

On this episode, we take a step back and ask the question: are there good and band language students? Do some people have a knack for languages that gives them some sort of advantage? We chat once again with the director of the Language Resource Center at Cornell University, Dick Feldman.



S1E2 – English in the World

Today we talk about a familiar language, English, and its place in the world. Dick Feldman, director of the Language Resource Center, discusses how non-native English speakers deal with some of the complexities of the language.



S1E1 – Audiolingual Method and Reel-to-Reel Tape

One recent project at the Language Resource Center has been to archive a substantial number of vintage, language-related tapes, many of which were recorded at Cornell. Dick Feldman, director of the Language Resource Center, talks about the process of dealing with this rare material.