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Past CAL Presentations

Georgetown University Round Table (GURT) 2012

March 8 - 11, 2012
Washington, DC
View the conference website.


The Case for Connecting Foreign and Heritage Language Education
A comparison of foreign language public and private school data with census data indicates a mismatch between what is taught in schools and the heritage languages spoken in the U.S. This presentation analyzes this mismatch and addresses how federal and K-12 connections as well as innovative two-way immersion schools can overcome the challenge to advance language teaching in the U.S.

Presenters: Terry Wiley, Nancy Rhodes, Igone Arteagoitia
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pedagogical Applications of the Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of English Conditionals
The goal of this presentation is to report on results of the study on the effects of applying cognitive linguistic analysis to classroom instruction of English conditional constructions. Quantitative findings provide support for the benefits of using cognitive linguistic analysis of English conditional constructions in L2 learning contexts.

Presenter: Natalia Jacobsen
Friday, March 9, 2012, 9:00 am

Can Using Technology-based Tools Improve Tests of Academic English?
In this colloquium we explore the use of technology-based language analysis tools that may help test developers gauge the extent to which items and passages reflect the language of the construct being tested at a level appropriate for the age group being tested. The colloquium consists of the following papers:

  • Introduction (David MacGregor)
  • Textual analysis of proficiency-based differences in test reading passages (Megan Montee)
  • Predicting empirical item difficulty using linguistic features (Shu Jing Yen, David MacGregor, and Dorry M. Kenyon)
  • A Rubrics-Based Approach to Predicting Item Difficulty (David MacGregor, Shu Jing Yen, and Dorry M. Kenyon)

The discussion will center on a comparison of the results of the three studies, and on how the use of such tools can improve the item writing process and be used to gather data as evidence that can be incorporated into an assessment use argument. The discussant will be Carsten Wilmes.

Presenters include: David MacGregor, Shu Jing Yen, Meg Montee, Dorry Kenyon
Saturday, March 10, 2012, 9:00-11:45 am

The Rest of the... Identifying Academically Important Multiword Units in Adolescent Texts
Research on vocabulary knowledge indicates that an individual’s lexicon is not only comprised of individual words, but also multiword units (MWUs) (Biber, Conrad & Cortes, 2004; Simpson Vlach & Ellis, 2010). MWUs are two or more words that have a statistical tendency to occur frequently together. To date, MWU research has been based only on adult language. There is no list of MWUs relevant to adolescents, and yet, academic language is an increasingly important area of educational research. The Common Core standards emphasize the importance of “understanding words and phrases, their relationships… particularly general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.” If students are to learn academically important phrases, an empirical approach to identifying them is needed. This paper reports on the methods used for identifying academically useful MWUs in a 20 million word corpus, and compares adolescent MWUs to those previously identified using adult language corpora.

Presenter: Laura Wright
Saturday, March 10, 2012, 4:30 pm

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