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Past CAL Presentations

American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2010 Conference

Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
March 6-9, 2010
Atlanta, GA

Visit the 2010 AAAL Conference Web Site.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The TOEFL Internet-based Test: User Beliefs About Academic Tasks
Test-user beliefs inform test validity. This paper presents the results of a large-scale online survey on users' beliefs (N= 1250 students, three countries; N=500 U.S. instructors and university administrators) about the TOFEL Internet-based test. Analysis informs users' beliefs about the relevance of iBT tasks to real-world academic language use.

Presenters include Margaret E. Malone, Chengbin Yin
Time: 10:10– 10:40 am
Room: Georgia 12

Students Beliefs about Academic Tasks on the TOEFL Internet-based Test
Test tasks on the TOEFL Internet-based test are designed to reflect real-world academic language use. In-depth data about how students perceive these tasks can provide insight into the construct of academic language. This paper presents the results of twelve stimulated recall interviews conducted with students who completed TOEFL iBT tasks.

Presenters include Margaret E. Malone
Time: 10:45 – 11:15 am
Room: Georgia 12

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Poster: Investigating the Efficacy of an Oral Assessment Protocol and Rating Rubric for the English for Heritage Language Speakers Program
This presentation investigates the efficacy of a telephone interview protocol used in the English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program. We demonstrate how the telephone interview protocol fulfills its screening function and analyze the effects of some key variables on the subsequent OPI scores.

Presenters: Genesis Ingersoll, Anne Donovan, Natalia Jacobsen
Time: 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: Georgia Prefunction

Poster: Promoting Assessment Literacy in Language Educators and Learners: Approaches and Practices
This poster presents three approaches to promoting assessment literacy in foreign language educators and learners via three projects. Web-based training modules, a tutorial and a blended learning approach are used to showcase the approaches and practices. Preliminary data on the results of implementing these approaches are also shared.

Presenters: Chengbin Yin, Victoria C. Nier
Time: 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: Georgia Prefunction

Poster: Developing a Framework for Beginning-level Assessment
This poster presents a framework for the development of proficiency-oriented beginning-level assessments. Issues include those of proficiency and achievement testing, characteristics of beginning-level language learning and tasks, and multiple approaches to assessment.

Presenters: Anne Donovan, Victoria C. Nier
Time: 2:00 -5:00 pm
Room: Georgia Prefunction

Monday, March 8, 2010

Classroom Research on Content-based Instruction in School Settings
Research conducted in school settings ranging from North America to Europe and Asia will address some of the complexities inherent in teaching and learning language through content-based instruction, homing in on patterns of classroom discourse, engagement with language and content, peer support, and professional development issues.

Presenters include Deborah Short, Donna Christian
Time: 8:15 - 11:30 amm
Room: Ballroom South

Applied Linguistics for a Changing World: What Difference Does It Make?
According to Charles Ferguson, CAL's founder, CAL was established to cover anything that had to do with solving practical language problems. In this presentation, I will reflect on that agenda over time and the contributions of CAL in the changing world around us. I will argue that individuals and groups who have the knowledge, skills, and disposition to tackle these language-related problems can and DO make a difference.

Presenter: Donna Christian
Time: 3:45 – 4:45 pm
Room: See program guide for location

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Academic Language of the Content Areas and General Academic Language
The WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards describe developing academic English language proficiency in five areas: Social and Instructional language, and the language of four content areas: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Language proficiency is described in terms of increasing linguistic complexity, vocabulary usage, and language control. This raises the question of the extent to which the language of content areas is separable from a more general academic English language proficiency that cuts across the content areas. In this paper we discuss some implications of schema theory on this question, especially in regards to academic vocabulary. Schema theory suggests that the schema needed to acquire the vocabulary of a content area are likely to be more detailed and specific as the vocabulary becomes more technical, and therefore less separable from content area knowledge. We discuss some theoretical rationales and empirical evidence from a study using a confirmatory factor analysis approach to model English language skill related and academic content-area related variance in a latent factor model that suggests that at higher levels of language proficiency the language of at least some of the content areas differentiates itself from more general academic language proficiency. We then look at the relationship of academic vocabulary specific to a content area versus academic vocabulary that cuts across content areas, and present hypotheses on which might be more difficult to acquire. Finally, we discuss some of the implications this has for the understanding the construct of academic English as well as for its teaching and assessment.

Presenters: David MacGregor, Dorry Kenyon
Time: 8:50 - 11:50 am
Room: Ballroom Center

English Language Learners’ Self-construction of a ‘Good Learner’ Identity: The Role of Prior Socializations
This paper investigates how English language learners in a high school newcomers' program draw on ethnic categories and prior educational experiences to construct themselves in research interviews as good learners. Findings suggest that prior socialization can play a role in shaping classroom behaviors associated with achieving a good learner identity.

Presenters include Natalia Jacobsen
Time: 10:10– 11:40 am
Room: Savannah 1

U.S. Foreign Language Policies and Federal Funding Patterns
Current analysis of US foreign language policy indicates that more US residents need to attain proficiency in languages other than English in order to allow the US to succeed diplomatically and economically, as well as to enhance security; foreign language learning is also essential to a solid educational base and an understanding of other cultures.

In view of the need for a new emphasis on and new directions in foreign language learning in the United States, a 2008 study reviewed the impact of 50 years of federal funding by the U.S. Department of Education for foreign language materials and research projects. Over an 18-month period, research specialists gathered quantitative and qualitative data on over 2400 funded projects, using telephonic interviews, surveys, and archival and periodical research. Data for each project were compiled into a searchable database. Researchers then analyzed the data to identify major trends in research and funding over several decades. Researchers also conducted interviews with project directors and experts in the field to evaluate the impact of a number of key projects. Results not only illuminate past movements in foreign language education but highlight directions for future research. This presentation will explore the trends emerging from the research, including the evolution from grammar translation language instruction to communicative language teaching, the shift from a focus on achievement in a language to a focus on proficiency, and the growing importance of education in less-commonly-taught languages.

In light of this impact report, we examine ten recommendations for improved support of language education in the United States. Specifically, we examine how federal funding could be re-structured to better develop a language-proficient U.S. population.

Presenters include Victoria C. Nier
Time: 2:35 -3:05 pm
Room: Augusta

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