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Learn more about the special event occurring at the 2009 AAAL Conference to commemorate CAL's 50th Anniversary.

Visit the AAAL 2009 Conference Web site.

Presentation Archive

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View our list of past presentations.


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Past CAL Presentations

American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2009 Conference

Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 21 – 24, 2009 Denver, CO
Visit the 2009 AAAL Conference Web Site

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Structural Equation Model of the Effects of Motivational Orientations and Beliefs on Learners' Strategy Use
This paper presented a structural equation model of the effects of motivational orientations and beliefs on learners' strategy use built on a large sample of English as foreign language (EFL) learners drawn from China. It highlighted the differentially significant roles that learner beliefs and motivation play in learners' strategy use.

Presenter: Chengbin Yin
Time: 2:00 - 2:30 pm
Room: Maroon Peak

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Accountability and Assessment in Adult ESL Education
Federal mandates regarding accountability in adult education through the National Reporting System (NRS) have affected the assessment and teaching of adult English language learners (ELLs) in federally funded programs in the United States. This presentation provided background on the requirements of the NRS, documented some of the effects of the NRS on language assessments designed for adult ELLs, and explored the implications at state and program levels for the language education of this population.

Presenters include Dorry Kenyon
Time: 8:15 – 11:50 AM
Room: Rocky Mountain


Invited Colloquium
Applied Linguistics for a Changing World: Connecting Research and Practice
Presenters include:
Donna Christian, Center for Applied Linguistics
Kenji Hakuta, Stanford University
Shirley Brice Heath, Brown University & Stanford University
Catherine Snow, Harvard University
G. Richard Tucker, Carnegie Mellon University
Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University

Time: 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: Rocky Mountain

Learn more about this colloquium. (32 KB, PDF) Adobe PDF Icon


Developing an oral assessment protocol and rating rubric for applicants to the English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program

This poster presentation described the development of a telephone interview protocol used in the English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program. The EHLS program gives native speakers of languages other than English the opportunity to achieve professional proficiency in English and thus increase their marketability with the U.S. government. To complete the program successfully, participants must have advanced proficiency in English at entry.

Previously, each program applicant submitted a detailed written application, selected applicants then participated in English language testing, and then final selections were made for the program. For the 2009 application process, a 15-minute telephone interview of each applicant was added to the procedure in order to increase the information available to inform the selection of provisionally accepted candidates. An interview protocol and corresponding rating rubric were developed to elicit and assess a candidates language.

This poster session described how the protocol and rubric were developed; discussed issues that were identified; and provided an informal evaluation of the efficacy of such an assessment tool. The research questions asked concerned the relationship between the phone interview ratings and the fact of being selected for further testing (through formal OPIs), the subsequent OPI scores, and the fact of final selection into the program. It was hypothesized that the ratings of the phone protocol would generally predict applicants further success in the selection process. The research findings seemed to support the initial hypothesis; however, data analysis also uncovered additional considerations to be taken into account for future uses of the protocol and rubric.

Presenters include Genesis Ingersoll, Natalia Jacobson, and Anne Donovan
Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
Room: Atrium


The discourse of assessments: Identifying grammatical features of standardized science tests that influence accessibility for linguistically diverse learners

Presenters include Laura Wright, Jim Bauman, David MacGregor
Time: 3:00 – 5:45 PM
Room: Iris

Monday, March 23, 2009

Distinctive Forms of Information-gap Tasks to Develop and Assess Academic Mathematics Language Among L2 Learners in High School Trigonometry (Poster Session)
Information-gap tasks are a subset of tasks that together reflect and constitute significant task structures in communicative language teaching and SLA research. Prabhu's Bangalore Project (Beretta and Davies, 1985; Prabhu, 1987) developed information, reasoning, and opinion gap tasks through a variety of cleverly constructed formats that drew upon the affective and intellectual sides of the L2 learner. Long (1981) identified the extraordinary usefulness of information-gap tasks for research as he began refocusing the study of SLA onto the interactional structures produced by NS-NNS and NNS-NNS dyads. Analyzing interaction through the lens of these task, he subsequently developed the Interaction Hypothesis (Long, 1983, 1996).

While much of the work on information-gap tasks utilizes Spot-the-Difference, Story Picture Sequencing, and Picture Placement tasks among others both in SLA research and in communicative language teaching, Pica (2005) has begun to address the linguistic needs of L2 learners in content-based language learning settings in more integrative ways. To do this, Pica and her team have developed text-based information-gap tasks.

In this poster, we took a next logical step by developing mathematically-based information-gap tasks. They involve trigonometry problems that each have at least two very different methods to reach a solution. The task is concluded when each learner has written down an interlocutor's method and their agreed reasoning for each step. The assessment has two parts. The first is a constructed response task in which learners fill in the missing words of a description of each of the two methods; the second assessment is either short answer questions about the steps in each method or a prompt to write a summary of each method.

Presenters include David Gabel and Arieh (Ari) Sherris
Time: 8:50 – 11:50 AM
Room: Atrium


Test User Beliefs About the Internet-Based TOEFL
This presentation discussed a research study about the internet-based TOEFL. The study's purpose is to delineate users' beliefs about the test as a measure of academic language ability. Focus group and survey data include findings from participants in Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

Presenters: Margaret E. Malone and Megan Montee
Time: 10:10 – 10:40 AM
Room: Conifer 1


Language Education Research and Development in Ghana
Throughout its post-colonial history, language policy for Ghana's schools has fluctuated between instruction in English only and instruction in a local Ghanaian language for the first three years of schooling (Dakubu, 2006). Current policy endorses the use of Ghanaian languages where possible. Although this policy is controversial, even at the highest levels of government, it opens the door to updating language and literacy curriculum and instruction, which has been shown to be generally ineffective. Like other sub-Saharan countries, Ghana has a low literacy rate, which is tied to complex problems (Paris, 2005), many of them involving language concerns, such as a very limited supply of teaching and learning materials, including books, especially books in Ghanaian languages; and the persistence of teacher-centered instruction and rote learning in a language that teachers and students may not know very well.

This colloquium addressed the opportunities for change in schools that the current language policy seems to offer, but always in the context of persistent educational problems. Four presenters detailed research and development efforts in Ghana that apply linguistic theory and research. Three papers related to a development effort aimed at teaching literacy in Ghanaian languages. One described the challenges of developing comparable reading assessments in 11 Ghanaian languages and English, and administering them in schools. Another reported survey findings on teachers' proficiency in the Ghanaian language of the school to which they are assigned. The third outlined political and practical challenges encountered during development of a language and literacy curriculum for teaching literacy in Ghanaian languages and teaching ESL. The fourth paper was an account of research on the efficacy of task-based interaction as a effective alternative to the entrenched rote language learning.

Presenters include: Arieh (Ari) Sherris, Carolyn Temple Adger, Jim Bauman,
and Donna Christian (Discussant)
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Room: Evergreen E

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Improving the Literacy Skills of Bilingual Students: Findings from a Research-Based Vocabulary Intervention
Students in dual language programs are expected to develop literacy in two languages by the end of 5th grade. Yet, findings from a national study of literacy development (Acquiring Literacy in English) show that in grades 3 through 5 students performed considerably below native speaker norms on Spanish vocabulary measures. Given that L1 and L2 vocabulary skills have been found to relate strongly to English reading and writing outcomes for bilingual students (August & Shanahan, 2006), these findings are of great concern.

Following a research-based approach to vocabulary instruction, such as Beck et al.s (2002), a Spanish vocabulary enrichment program designed to increase the literacy skills of dual language students was administered to Spanish and English native speakers in one school district in the U.S. over a six-month period. The program involved a combination of meaning-making activities that engage students in the exploration of different word meanings and associations between words and structural analyses activities in an effort to promote both depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge.

Findings from the 4th grade cohort showed that students in the vocabulary program made larger gains in standardized measures of Spanish vocabulary and reading comprehension than those in the control group. Moreover, when scores were further disaggregated by participants native language, findings revealed that effect sizes were moderate for the native Spanish speakers in the program and the students in the control group regardless of their native language (around 0.35 for both vocabulary and reading comprehension), but large for the native English speakers who participated in the program (0.86 for vocabulary and 0.67 for reading comprehension). Taken together, these findings suggest that the intervention was effective in improving the Spanish literacy skills of participating students. However, enhancements may be necessary to make it as effective for Spanish speakers as for English speakers.

Presenters: Igone Arteagoitia and Marleny Perdomo
Time: 9:25 – 9:55 AM
Room: TBD

Return to CAL's list of past presentations.