Conference Program

Please find the most current full program here: Full program – Overview

Before printing, download the SLRF 2017 App and create your individual schedule for the conference on your mobile device! Read abstracts and summaries, and connect to presenters directly through the app.

Poster Presentations

Dear presenters, please read the following information on your poster presentation.

  • Poster dimensions should not exceed 4′ in length and 4′ in height. We don’t have the means to support electronic poster presentations. Print only, please.
  • Please bring and set up your poster in the designated area prior to your scheduled presentation time.
  • Please remove your poster after your scheduled presentation time.
  • You’re expected to stay with your poster for questions during your scheduled presentation time.

We’re excited to announce that we have found a sponsor (languages) to offer a poster presentation award. Details to follow.

Please consider signing up for and participating in one of the following workshops on Thursday, October 12th:

Please note that the workshops are free of charge and we’d like you to be considerate of all participants and only reserve a spot if you are able to be there. Thank you!

You will be able to register for the workshops by using our registration system.

L2 Interactional Competence: What it is and how to teach and research it?

Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm, The Ohio State University

2:30 – 4:00 pm, Hagerty Hall 160 

In recent years, the concept and development of L2 interactional competence (IC) have gained much attention among researchers in SLA, and L2 teaching and use (e.g., Hall, Hellermann, & Pekarek Doehler, 2011; Hellermann, 2008; Pallotti & Wagner, 2011; Pekarek Doehler & Pochon-Berger, 2015; and Taleghani-Nikazm, 2016). These studies have empirically documented evidence of how L2 learners make use of linguistic and non-linguistic resources at their disposal when engaged in oral communicative interaction in instructional and non-instructional settings. However, there are very few documented examples of pedagogical practices that focus on IC in L2 instruction (see Barraja-Rohan, 2011; Huth, 2006; Huth & Taleghani-Nikazm, 2006).

The goal of this workshop is to discuss the recent research and their findings on L2 IC, and ways of designing instructional units to effectively promote the teaching of L2 interactional competence. The first part of the workshop focuses on understanding interaction and spoken language as understood within a conversation analytical (CA) framework by examining a collection of documented naturally occurring episodes of interaction among L1 speakers in selected languages. For example, we examine how certain linguistic formats are understood as complaints, complimenting, or requests and what different response formats (e.g., “oh”, “yes yes”, “really?”) achieve in interaction.

The second part of the workshop concentrates on how to effectively translate interaction research into pedagogical practice. We look at concrete examples of how to integrate authentic excerpts from everyday interactions into the language curriculum and how to create pedagogical spaces that promote interaction among learners and L2 speakers in the target language. The goal here is to provide workshop participants with the necessary tools for meaningful work with IC materials to supplement their current teaching. We will end the workshop with a discussion of the benefits and challenges of integrating authentic patterns of everyday interaction into L2 instruction.


Working across methodological paradigms: Mixed methods research in second language research


The workshop has been planned by Alison Mackey, Luke Plonsky, and Nic Subtirelu together, and will be delivered by Nic Subtirelu.

Nic Subtirelu; Georgetown University

4:15 – 5:45 pm, Hagerty Hall (room 062)

Like researchers in many other disciplines, second language (L2) researchers often find themselves divided over methodology. The theoretical underpinnings of quantitative and qualitative methods can seem incommensurable. Indeed, there are profound differences in the ways that different researchers approach the task of producing and evaluating knowledge claims. Nonetheless, we believe that apparent divides can be bridged to yield research that can further the goals of–and perhaps improve upon–quantitative as well as qualitative paradigms.

In this workshop, we review epistemologies common to qualitative and quantitative approaches to L2 research. We suggest that each paradigm’s priorities, for example thick description versus generalization, are valuable to any research program and that all researchers should be prepared to engage pragmatically with both paradigms. This workshop is designed to prepare researchers to confront the challenges of working across methodological paradigms, such as planning research studies and/or programs that incorporate both paradigms or understanding and working with collaborators from different backgrounds.

After a brief overview of key issues, including examples of how quantitative and qualitative methods can be effectively incorporated into a research program, we will engage with hands-on activities to interrogate our own epistemological standpoints and understand others as well as practice designing and planning a mixed methods approach to an example research topic.


Connecting Classrooms and Communities with Technology

David Malinowski, Center for Language Study, Yale University

6:00 – 7:30 pm, Hagerty Hall 160

Among the five ACTFL World-Readiness Standards, the Communities Standard (“Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting”) has been called “the forgotten C’”—difficult to relate to common instructional and assessment practices and, as a consequence, deprioritized (Magnan et al., 2012). At the same time, the traditional face-to-face classroom where instruction and assessment have most often taken place has itself come under increasing criticism: as Cope and Kalantzis (2009) argue, the older information architecture and hierarchical interpersonal roles of the brick-and-mortar classroom are ill-suited for the kind of student-driven, inquiry-based, ubiquitous learning made easier by digital media and mobile devices. Together, these two dilemmas may be seen as complementary, in that they each point to the changing relationship between language pedagogy and place.

In this workshop, participants will explore ways to judiciously employ readily available communications and learning technologies to address both challenges at once, connecting classrooms with communities in order to create new spaces of learning. After unpacking assumptions about the term “community” as it pertains to dramatically different paradigms for out-of-school learning—including community-based learning, service learning, place-based language learning, virtual exchange, and study abroad—participants will engage in a series of short experiments with technologies including:

  • Mobile tools for capturing, geo-referencing, discussing and sharing multimodal data (on field trips, in community interviews, etc.)
  • Place-based augmented reality tools and games
  • Applications and techniques for contextualizing telecollaborative exchanges and geo-historically situating classroom activities in real time

Throughout the workshop, participants will be asked to relate issues raised to their own pedagogical settings and challenges. An online forum will be made available for continued experimentation, reflection, and dialog.

We’re proud to announce the following confirmed plenary speakers for SLRF 2017:

  • Patricia Duff
  • Brian MacWhinney
  • Kara Morgan-Short
  • Lourdes Ortega

We’re excited to be hosting the following colloquia during SLRF 2017:

Growing Connections for Transdisciplinarity in SLA after The Douglas Fir Group (2016)

Co-organizers: Joan Kelly Hall & Eduardo Negueruela Azarola

Presenters: Joan Kelly Hall; John H. Schumann; Eduardo Negueruela Azarola; Diane Larsen-Freeman

Discussants: Patsy Duff & Lourdes Ortega

What connections might the field of SLA grow in order to attain the ideals of transdisciplinarity in a multilingual world (Douglas Fir Group, 2016)? The Douglas Fir Group identified the need to investigate mental and neurobiological processes, pattern-categorization, moment-to-moment language action, and socioemotional, sociocultural, sociopolitical, and ideological forces. In this colloquium, we grow connections in four of these directions. Presenter 1 addresses the moment-to-moment use of language as the site for learning, highlighting the benefits of investigating interactional and semiotic (rather than form and rule) learning and repertoires (instead of competencies). Presenter 2 turns the lens onto mental and neurobiological processes and examines the connections between brain and mind, arguing that SLA must account for the fact that they are both physical and nonmaterial, cognitive and emotional. Presenter 3 shifts to higher-order cognition, spelling out the consequences of a commitment to mediation as a key sociocultural and historical process in language learning. Presenter 4 queries productive tensions among agency, context, and language development, guided by a systems perspective that demands particularization in order to best capture second language development as it unfolds over time. Two discussants will offer their remarks and there will be ample time remaining for audience interaction.


Bringing interdisciplinary research findings to the language classroom: Enhancing language acquisition

Organizer: William Justin Morgan


This colloquium will present research from three distinct yet connected projects that unite Second Language Acquisition with other disciplines. These projects show how to use innovative technologies, ancient practices, and a psychological approach to SLA research. The objective of the colloquia is to disseminate interdisciplinary approaches to enhancing language acquisition in university language programs. The three presenters use a mixed methods approach to determine the validity and impact of various interventions that have shown success in other academic fields. This colloquium highlights how interdisciplinary, pedagogical interventions can catalyze more efficient language acquisition in the foreign language classroom.


Challenges and Opportunities in Teaching Spanish as a Professional Language

Moderator: Glenn Martinez

Panelists: Diana Ruggiero, Carmen King de Ramirez, Ann R. Abbott, Holly J. Nibert and Megan Lobert

Spanish for the professions has grown substantially as an instructed SL practice over the past two decades. Declining overall enrollments in the humanities disciplines more recently, furthermore, have driven many Spanish departments to place renewed emphasis on these approaches to attract and retain new student constituencies. This colloquium explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching Spanish as a professional language by exploring key pedagogical and administrative questions. Our line of questioning will focus on the role of flexible curricular structures, social media, and technology in the teaching of Spanish as a professional language in the 21st century. Do more flexible administrative structures such as certificates make Spanish for the professions more attractive? What is the impact of digital badging techniques in teaching Spanish for the Professions? What opportunities are available in the realm of bilingual social media to encourage development of professionally focused SL skills? How can digital media storytelling techniques enhance mindfulness in professionally focused community service learning?


The Role of Socio-Economic Status in the Development of English as a Foreign Language in Young Learners

Organizers: Becky Huang, Yuko Goto Butler

Presenters: Peter Sayer, Becky Huang, Yuko Goto Butler, Hye Won Shin & Youngsoon So

The colloquium aims to examine the critical roles that socioeconomic status (SES) plays in the development of English as a foreign language (FL) in young learners between the ages of 6 to 16. Although substantial research has been conducted on the effect of SES in first language acquisition, research on the topic of SES and second language acquisition (SLA) is relatively limited, particularly SLA in a FL instructional context. The lack of explicit attention to SES in SLA research is unfortunate, given the transformative potential the impact of English FL learning can have in providing young learners access to powerful linguistic capital. The colloquium addresses this gap by bringing different disciplinary and methodological perspectives on the effect of SES in SLA in a variety of FL settings. Specifically, this colloquium examines three major elements in SLA, i.e., input, motivation and learning strategy, through the lens of SES. It clarifies the interactions between SES and these three elements as well as explores the mechanism through which SES influences FL learning. The colloquium is one of the first to explore the role of SES in SLA research focusing on young learners.


Academic Acculturation in Various Academic and Professional Contexts

Organizers and Presenters: Yanan Zhao, Eunjeong Park, Wenli Zhang

This colloquium explores relevant issues regarding second language (L2) learners’ academic acculturation in various academic and professional contexts, including secondary education, higher education and early career stage. The first presentation explores Chinese international students’ learning experiences in a private American high school. It discusses how they socialize into a new educational system and school culture while developing L2 literacy skills. The second presentation examines L2 graduate students’ academic writing adaptation via survey and qualitative research approach. It discusses how they are academically acculturated in the U.S. college setting. The third presentation focuses on an early-career L2 writing teacher. The single case study investigated how conversations functioned effectively in raising awareness of the focal teacher’s application of theories to practice, indicating that the focal teacher’s understanding of theories is reflected through and affected by a variety of concrete activities and actions. The colloquium facilitates better understanding of L2 learners in different stages of academic and p


Constructing Pedagogically Effective Presentations of Syntactic Information: A Case Study of the Disposal Construction in Mandarin Chinese

Organizer: Bing Mu

Presenter: Bing Mu, Crista Cornelius, Yawei Li, Galal Walker

To present and explain syntactic information in an effective and yet engaging way has long been a challenge in foreign language teaching. Using the Mandarin disposal construction as an example, this colloquium re-conceptualizes how to present new syntactic information in a way that enables learners to understand and use it more effectively. The disposal construction is a frequent and highly useful syntactic structure in Mandarin, yet it is considered one of the more challenging constructions to present and explain effectively. Taking the Mandarin disposal construction as a case in point, this colloquium demonstrates how pedagogically-oriented syntactic explanations can better meet the needs of learners by activating their prior knowledge and situating syntactic information within authentic contexts. This colloquium also proposes a pedagogically-driven explanation of the interaction between the key elements in the disposal construction. This explanation helps learners understand how the disposal construction gains its sense of disposal and what syntactic problems it solves. Finally, this colloquium examines the dynamics between the disposal pattern and similar structures to help learners understand when and how to use the disposal pattern in an appropriate way. The approach to creating pedagogically-oriented syntactic explanations presented in this colloquium is applicable to any foreign language.


Connecting Appraisal & Technology in Second Language Writing Research

Organizer: Kelly J Cunningham

Presenters: Kelly J Cunningham; Kim Becker and Sarah Huffman

As technology has become an integral component of academic writing, the search to understand how it impacts students, instructors, and pedagogy has grown. This colloquium considers three technological tools– e-portfolios, AWE, and screencast feedback — through studies of evaluation found in written reflections, student interviews, and instructor comments. Research in computer-assisted language learning contexts has often centered on evaluation. These evaluations are often about a technology (e.g., opinions in interviews) or through a technology (e.g., technology-mediated feedback). One way to understand nuances in such evaluation is through an investigation of the language resources employed. This is achieved through application of the appraisal framework (Martin & White, 2005) situated in Systemic Functional Linguistics. This colloquium connects three studies employing appraisal analysis to better understand technology in second language writing research. These studies reveal how students evaluate specific technological interventions through interviews and reflective writing and how technology choices may shape instructor feedback. The papers in this colloquium connect SFL, technology, and second language writing research through applications of the appraisal framework. Reference Martin, J. & White, P. (2005). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


More details are coming soon!