Sirad Shirdon joins AERA Div G Grad Student Exec Committee

My advisee Sirad Shirdon has been selected to serve on the AERA Division G Graduate Student Executive Committee. Division G promotes cross-disciplinary studies and research on relationships between educational processes and the social, political, and economic contexts in which they occur. Sirad will work with the mentorship subcommittee, which connects graduate students with faculty members across the nation.

Student internship program in language science outreach

The BLN Language Sciences Research Lab at COSI (aka the Language Pod) is launching a student internship program that expands on the core instruction provided in LING/PSYC/EDUTL 5700 Training in Science Education Outreach course and gives students a more intensive hands-on learning experience that involves close one-on-one instruction with a faculty mentor. All students who have completed the 5700 course will be eligible to participate. Students with alternative relevant experiences may be invited to participate on a case by case basis. The program is funded by a Special Grant from Social and Behavior Sciences and matching funds from the departments of Linguistics, Psychology, Speech & Hearing Science, and Teaching & Learning, as well as the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Applied Developmental Sciences in Education.

Discourse Analysis Conference at OSU

OSU hosted the 2014 Discourse Analysis in Educational Research Conference this weekend. Four of the previous conferences have been held at The Ohio State University, four have been held at Indiana University, and University of Wisconsin. CVEDA reception small sharpThe heart of the conference are small group sessions devoted to sharing and discussing work-in-progress. To the right is a photo of friends+colleagues at the wine and cheese reception on Saturday evening, hosted by my new colleague Mileidis Gort (in black, standing behind me).

Sirad Shirdon awarded Hancock scholarship

My advisee Sirad Shirdon has been awarded a scholarship from the Dr. Charles R. Hancock Graduate Scholarship Fund in Urban Education. She will use the scholarship for her research on Kindergarten readiness among Somali children in Central Ohio. Sirad plans to take an ethnographically informed approach to the study of parent, school, and community understandings of Kindergarten readiness and how these understandings are enacted in practice. This study will build on Sirad’s work on my longitudinal study of language and literacy socialization and development among Somali immigrant-refugee children in the early elementary grades.

Marianne Gullberg visits SLA/Multimodality working group

The pilot working group on Multimodality and/in Second Language Acquisition is bringing Marianne Gullberg (Lund University) to OSU to talk about her psycholinguistic research on gesture and language development. In her talk, ‘Why gestures are not (only) a compensatory device – evidence from language learners’, Prof Gullberg challenges the assumption that gestures are compensatory in nature and help speakers convey information they have difficulties expressing, facilitate lexical retrieval, and help speakers to solve cognitive problems. By looking at disfluencies and bimodal information structure in child and adult learner data, she shows that gestures are co-ordinated with fluent speech, not with disfluencies; that when gestures are recruited to compensate, different problems have different gestural solutions; and that children and adults generally express similar information bimodally. The working group is funded by the Humanities Institute and led by Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm and me. Prof Gullberg’s talk is Wednesday, April 2 from 4-6 at the Humanities Institute, 104 East 15th.


The Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs Endowment (BETHA) grant selection committee has awarded $59,985 to support ‘Engineering, Tech, Human Affairs and Social Justice: From Columbus to Colombia’. The project will build cross-cultural K-12 STEM outreach in Columbus and Bogotá and Pasto, Columbia. Kevin Passino (Electrical & Computer Engineering) is the PI, and the Co-investigators are Betty Lise Anderson (Electrical & Computer Engineering), John Clapp (Social Work), Melissa Wilson (Columbus Area Writing Project), and me.

Discourse Symposium at OSU

Discourse symposium March 2014This 2-hour symposium examines the use and implementation of discourse across disciplinary and methodological boundaries. How does our understanding of ‘discourse’ influence our work and research? How might these differences help us to reach certain commonalities across disciplines? The symposium brings together OSU scholars to working in different disciplines (Conversation Analysis, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics and Folklore) to examine both how they understand the meaning of the ‘discourse’ as well as how they use ‘discourse’ in their own work. The featured speakers are Dr. Amy Shuman (English), Dr. Leslie C. Moore (Teaching and Learning), Dr. Scott Schwenter (Spanish and Portuguese), Dr. Lauren Squires (English), Dr. Pat Enciso (Teaching and Learning), Dr. David Bloome (Teaching and Learning), and Dr. Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm (Germanic Languages and Literatures). Monday, March 17th, 10 am to 12 pm in the Barbie Tootle Room, Ohio Union. For more information, contact Michael Furman

Celebration of OSU/COSI Partnership

The OSU@COSI Symposium Series celebrates the breadth and depth of this unique and nationally-recognized partnership. The inaugural symposium on March 21 is an opportunity to learn how OSU researchers work with COSI to enhance their research programs by using COSI as a venue for data collection. We of the Buckeye Language Network Language Pod will be presenting, along with two other groups from the Labs in Life, OSU’s working research laboratories at COSI, as well as researchers working in other spaces at COSI. Hear from faculty and students who collect their research data at COSI and learn how COSI can help you recruit participants for your research. The event will take place from 3-5 pm at COSI, 333 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH, 43215. Register today.

Issues of Translation in Teaching

Literacy in Translation continues its series on Monday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. at the Humanities Institute, 104 East 15th with a program organized and moderated by Professor Berman on Issues of Translation in Teaching. Mark Bender (East Asian Languages and Literatures) will discuss how he uses The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature. Richard Fletcher (Classics) will talk about using contemporary non-linguistic, visual media to explain and explore the translation of ideas and concepts. Julia Nelson Hawkins (Classics) will discuss how she teaches the ways in which classical Greek texts in translation influenced 20th century court cases such as Roe v. Wade and Evans v. Romer. LiteracyStudies@OSU initiated the Literacy in Translation series in 2013 as a way to foster cross-disciplinary conversation and cooperation.  If you anticipate attending, please send a note to

Issues of Translation in Research

The Literacy in Translation working group (led by Nina Berman, Daniel Reff, and me) continues its series on Friday, February 21, from 2-4, at the Humanities Institute, 104 East 15th. Three OSU professors will discuss issues of translation in their research. Paul Reitter (Germanic Languages and Literatures) will discuss the challenges of translating the first complete English edition of The Autobiography of Salomon Maimon. Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm (Germanic Languages and Literatures) will discuss working with transcribed talk-in-interaction in languages other than English, and the challenges of translating speaker’s utterances and what their words mean in a particular interactional context. Richard Davis (Near East Languages and Cultures) will discuss the challenges of preserving alterity while making plain its continuity and intimacy with our own experiences of the world. Faculty, staff, and students with an interest in reading, writing, and translating across languages, domains, and media are invited to join the conversation. RSVP to Susan Hanson at