Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE)

Research Studies

Presentations/Dissertations on ACE-In, PLaCE Curriculum and Students

Last updated: 8/5/2022                                                                                             

Resource 1

Alamyar, M., & Bush, H. (2018, March 27–30). Writing for broader digital audiences [Electronic Village Event]. 2018 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Convention, Chicago, IL.

Abstract:

     For this project, students work in pairs to take a position on one of the given broader topics and, then create a website to place their argument paper in it to showcase their writing to broader audiences. For demonstration, in 10 minutes, I will introduce the overall project along with criteria for both writing an argumentative paper and creating a website through a website called Weebly. Then, I will take 15 minutes to demonstrate how to create the website, place the content in it, and use some apps and websites to edit website, content, images, charts, graphs, etc.

 

Alamyar, M., & Bush, H. (2019, March 12–15). Kahoot: The ultimate engaging and power tool for ELs [Paper Presentation]. 2019 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Abstract:

     Integrating effective educational technology can be challenging and time-consuming for TESOL educators. This presentation demonstrates how educators can utilize Kahoot! for English language learning in higher education. The attendees learn how to use Kahoot! for assessment, review of materials, comprehension checks, warm-up activities, surveys, and class discussions.

 

Allen, M. (2016). Measuring silent and oral reading rates for adult L2 readers and developing ESL reading fluency through assisted repeated reading [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     The purpose of this study was to investigate whether assisted repeated reading is an effective way for adult second language (L2) learners of English to develop oral and silent reading fluency rates. Reading fluency is an underdeveloped construct in second language studies, both in research and practice. This study first lays out a framework of text difficulty levels and reading rate thresholds for intermediate and advanced L2 readers of English based upon a theoretical framework of automatization of the linguistic elements of reading through structured practice and skill development. This framework was then implemented through a single-case design (SCD), an experimental method that is appropriate for testing the effectiveness of behavior and educational interventions with individual participants. Data was collected for several measures related to fluency, including oral and silent reading rates, for a small group of L2 learners in a U.S. university setting. The focus of the analysis is participants’ fluency development as they used a computer-based assisted repeated reading program called Read Naturally. The analysis concentrates on the case of an adult L2 English learner from Chinese (pseudonym of Hong Lin), presenting a longitudinal analysis of her progress through six months of continual practice and assessment. Notable results for Hong Lin include increased rates of oral reading (from 94 to 123 wpm) and silent reading (from 148 to 189 wpm) on a variety of comparable passages of unpracticed, advanced level prose.

 

Allen, M. (2016, October 1). Measuring ESL reading fluency development with assisted repeated reading [Poster Presentation]. 18th Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, West Lafayette, IN.

Abstract:

     Much remains unknown about how to define, measure, and develop reading fluency for ESL students at different proficiency levels (Anderson,1999; Grabe, 2009; 2014; Lems, 2012; Taguchi & Gorsuch, 2012). These practical and theoretical issues are addressed in this presentation of findings from a single-case design (ABAB) study with a small number of participants (n=12 university students).  Two research questions are addressed: (1) What are participants’ silent and oral reading rates? (2) Does use of an audio-assisted repeated reading program contribute to increased reading rates? In this study, reading fluency is operationalized as the number of words per minute read by participants, and is supported by several other measures to indicate participants’ accuracy and comprehension.  Empirical data for selected participants will be displayed in graphs showing their (1) recognition vocabulary; (2) baseline measurements of silent and oral reading rates at multiple points in time; and (3) progress in the repeated reading intervention. The graphs will show how silent and oral reading rates compare within and across participants, and the extent to which the reading intervention (IV) increased participants’ reading fluency rates (i.e., led to a stable change in the DVs). The use of graphic displays to visualize quantitative data is a hallmark of single-case designs, and the method of careful visual analysis of data to identify trends translates well to a poster session. This study advances our understanding of L2 reading fluency, with implications for assessment, curriculum and instruction, and student motivation.

 

Allen, M. (2017, March 4–5). The ever-continuing evolution of a favorite intercultural exercise: Growing theoretical legs for the DAE framework and covering new ground [Paper Presentation]. Purdue Languages and Cultures Conference, West Lafayette, IN.

Abstract:

     This presentation maps a popular intercultural exercise onto established learning models to create a more robust pedagogical framework. Intercultural competence is an important part of many foreign and second language programs, and it is of particular importance for university students who are studying abroad or in institutions with large populations of international students. The point of departure of the current project is recent work by Nam and Condon (2010) to refine to a long-standing instructional model known as Describe-Interpret-Evaluate (or D.I.E), (Bennett, Bennett, & Stillings, 1977). Nam and Condon’s iteration—the DAE framework (Describe-Analyze-Evaluate)—offers several refinements to D.I.E. but stops short of providing a solid basis in learning theory. Here, I propose a way to push the DAE model forward by mapping it to several influential principles of learning theory, namely Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives (Krathwohl, 2002) and Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory. To help attendees visualize how this works in practice, I show the DAE in action, so to speak, through means of an original visual model and examples from student work. Use of this enhanced DAE framework can lead students to engage in what is perhaps the most important learning outcome—creation of knowledge—through teacher-facilitated cycles of experiential learning that include classroom instruction, independent practice, reflection, and assessment.

 

Allen, M. (2022, June 14–16). The “Just Right” Writing Protocol: Practicing Clear Communication with the Goldilocks Principle [Workshop]. 2022 Consortium on Graduate Communication (CGC) Summer Institute [Virtual].

Abstract:

     This workshop addresses a practical, pedagogical question: How can teachers help their graduate students to write more clearly, more of the time? This workshop proposes a structured way for students to practice their writing skills at the sentence and paragraph levels. The premise of the workshop is simple: graduate students should try to communicate their ideas in clear writing as much as possible. The workshop will start with a presentation of some principles of clear writing and common problems that academic writers face during their writing and revising processes related to producing reader-friendly prose. The facilitator will also describe the Goldilocks Principle as it relates to academic writing: It’s better to aim for sentences that are “just right” for your purpose and context, rather than trying to create the “right” sentences or “just writing” without worrying about clarity. The outcome of this workshop is that practitioners will gain a low-cost, high-return instructional tool that they can use with their graduate students. Participants will engage in the writing protocol themselves, not simply learn about it, and they will receive a slide deck with the protocol that they can use or adapt for their own contexts.

 

 

Allen, M., & Bush, H. (2018, August 24). Creativity and multilingual students: Towards a conceptual framework for creative thinking in EAP writing [Paper Presentation]. 2018 Symposium on Second Language Writing (SSLW), Vancouver, Canada. 

Abstract:

     Creative thinking is an invaluable but underexplored concept for multilingual writers in academic contexts. In this presentation, we define creative thinking from a developmental perspective and situate this concept in a pedagogy that engages students in a process of inquiry and discovery across multiple modes of learning and communication.

 

Allen, M., & Cheng, L. (2016, April 9–12). Measuring silent and oral reading rates for adult EAP students and developing ESL reading fluency through audio-assisted repeated reading [Poster Presentation]. 2016 American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference, Orlando, FL.

Abstract:

     Extensive research on reading fluency has been conducted with first language (L1) speakers of English, and fluency has come to be viewed as a crucial element in reading achievement (National Reading Panel, 2000; Samuels, 2002). By comparison, reading fluency has received limited attention in second language (L2) research (for this study, the L2 context is ESL). Much remains unknown about how to define, measure, and develop reading fluency for ESL students at different proficiency levels (Anderson,1999; Grabe, 2009; 2014; Lems, 2012; Taguchi & Gorsuch, 2012). These practical and theoretical issues are addressed in this presentation of findings from a single-case design (ABAB) study with a small number of participants (n=12 university students).

     Two research questions are addressed: (1) What are participants’ silent and oral reading rates? (2) Does use of an audio-assisted repeated reading program contribute to increased reading rates? In this study, reading fluency is operationalized as the number of words per minute read by participants, and is supported by several other measures to indicate participants’ accuracy and comprehension.

     Empirical data for selected participants will be displayed in graphs showing their (1) recognition vocabulary; (2) baseline measurements of silent and oral reading rates at multiple points in time; and (3) progress in the repeated reading intervention. The graphs will show how silent and oral reading rates compare within and across participants, and the extent to which the reading intervention (IV) increased participants’ reading fluency rates (i.e., led to a stable change in the DVs). The use of graphic displays to visualize quantitative data is a hallmark of single-case designs, and the method of careful visual analysis of data to identify trends translates well to a poster session.

This study advances our understanding of L2 reading fluency, with implications for assessment, curriculum and instruction, and student motivation.

 

Allen, M., Cheng, L., & Fehrman, S. (2015, September 18). Administration + Assessment + Curriculum Design + Teaching = Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange [Invited Program Presentation]. ESL Speaker Series for faculty and graduate students from Second Language Studies, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Abstract:

     Three staff members from PLaCE—the Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange program—will discuss their experience of developing an English language support program at the university. We will discuss our respective roles in administration, assessment, and teaching, with a focus on how these roles overlap and interact. Other topics to be addressed include curriculum design, research, professional development, and collaboration across campus, with various individuals, groups, and departments. After providing information about the PLaCE program to this point and some of our goals for the future, and we plan to leave ample time for discussion with audience members.

 

Allen, M., Ene, E. & McIntosh, K. (Eds.), (2022). Internationalization at home: Second language perspectives on developing language and cultural exchange programs in higher education. University of Michigan Press.

     This book provides case studies from several higher education contexts to represent the diverse ways that L2 specialists can build up programs and courses that contribute to their institutions' internationalization by promoting language and cultural exchange. This volume contributes to emerging interdisciplinary conversations in higher education about how to refine internationalization in terms of praxis and how to coordinate curricular and pedagogical efforts to achieve meaningful learning outcomes for all students. The chapters provide suggestions for how L2 specialists can reframe their work in their individual programs to help internationalize the entire university in ways that lead to improved learning outcomes for students at different points in their degree programs, including: 

  • Orientation programs (early arrival on campus, before classes start)
  • Language Center contexts (support during studies)
  • Volunteer programs for International Teaching Assistants (ITA) and undergraduate students
  • Graduate-level writing support structures
  • Instructional design (virtual learning spaces)
  • Virtual Partner programs (co-curricular) 
  • Intercultural composition (placement, interdisciplinary collaborations)

 

Allen, M., Fehrman, S., & Bush, H. (2016, October 2022). Using the DAE framework in a language and culture course for international students [Paper Presentation]. 2016 Symposium on Second Language Writing (SSLW), Tempe, AZ. 

Abstract:

     College writing is complex and challenging in a second language and new cultural context. Students and teachers need support. We show how we implement Nam and Condon’s (2010) DAE framework into EAP course activities, focusing on writing at different stages of the learning process.

 

Allen, M., Ginther, A., & Pimenova, N. (2018, March 27–30). Building a professional learning community in an ESL program [Conference Presentation]. 2018 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Convention, Chicago, IL.

Abstract:

     Most language programs strive to provide high-quality instruction with limited resources and competing demands. This presentation emphasizes individual team members as the most valuable resource for ESL programs and demonstrates why and how a professional learning community can help a program be much more than the sum of its parts.

 

Bras, H., & Bras, H. (2019, November 1–2). Benefits of journaling in L2 Composition. 2019 Indiana Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (INTESOL) Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract:

     This presentation discusses the potential benefits of incorporating reflective journals to promote critical thinking and writing skills in college ESL settings. How these journals might be assessed to measure progress in English language development will also be explored.

 

Bush, D. H., Allen, M., Farner, N. & Pimenova, N. (2022). Designing virtual learning spaces to promote language and cultural exchange. In M. Allen, E. Ene, & K. McIntosh (Eds.), Internationalization at home: Second language perspectives on developing language and cultural exchange programs in higher education (pp. 60–78). University of Michigan Press.

Abstract:

     This chapter addresses the issue of how EAP programs can design virtual learning spaces to support both EAP and IaH outcomes. Drawing from instructional design models and the development of our EAP program, we describe an approach to virtual learning spaces that engages learners in sustained, meaningful learning tasks to support the language and intercultural needs of EAP students and ultimately support IaH outcomes.

 

Bush, H., Farner, N., & Allen, M. (2017, November 11). Advocating the arts in EAP classes. 2017 Indiana Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (INTESOL) Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract:

     Postsecondary EAP programs typically focus on ESL students’ communicative language abilities for their academic work – often with a narrow interpretation of content that excludes the Arts. However, in order for students to engage and succeed in real-world intercultural and academic contexts, EAP instructors must provide engaging learning experiences so that students can develop both critical and creative thinking skills. Specifically, students must learn to identify the assumptions behind their thoughts and behaviors, and to view ideas and experiences from multiple perspectives.  

     This presentation advocates for the use of the Arts in EAP classes as an innovative and stimulating way to accomplish these outcomes with students. After giving a brief overview of the learning principles guiding their pedagogy, the presenters will guide participants through several Arts-based learning activities that they have used successfully with their students. The presenters will illustrate several ways to bring the Arts to students through technology and to take students to the Arts outside of the classroom. From this session, participants will learn to (1) design authentic learning experiences with the Arts for their students, and (2) develop communicative activities that combine critical thinking skills and creative thinking processes.  

 

Bush, H., & Pimenova, N. (2018, December 1). Engaging faculty in professional growth. 2018 Indiana Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (INTESOL) Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract:

     Intensive English language programs enable faculty from non-English speaking countries to work towards their professional goals. Attendees will learn about two models of professional development workshops designed to improve faculty participants’ English language skills and expand their knowledge of designing English as a medium of instruction courses to support ELLs.

 

Bush, H., & Pimenova, N. (2019, October 2125). Language, experience, and reflection: English language institute designed for academics in higher education from Colombia [Poster Presentation]. 2019 Association for Communications & Technology (AECT) Design and Development Showcase, Las Vegas, NV.

Abstract:

     The English Language Institute (ELI) provides extensive language training for Spanish-speaking academic professionals from universities in Colombia who are eager to join the global community of practice. The ELI’s innovative curriculum and design enable participants to (1) improve English language proficiency based on personalized goals, (2) apply theoretical and practical language knowledge in coursework and co-curricular activities, (3) expand knowledge of learner-centered pedagogy and educational technology, and (4) establish contacts with faculty members at the U.S. university for academic collaboration. Attendees of this session will learn about the curriculum design, educational technology for professional development, and lessons for future development.

 

Cheng, L. (2018, September 21–22). Extending the validity argument for an in-house ESL proficiency test through test score gains [Paper Presentation]. 20th Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, Madison, WI.

Abstract:

     Longitudinal tracking of ESL test performances not only contributes to program evaluation, but it also extends the validity argument for the language test used. A validity argument is supported when test scores reflect appropriate change as a function of construct-related teaching or learning (Cronbach, 1971; Messick, 1989).

     The Assessment of College English–International (ACE-In), a locally developed, computer-mediated, semi-direct English proficiency test has been used as embedded assessment in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at a large public university for purposes such as providing diagnostic information to language teachers, tracking students’ language development, and gathering information for program effectiveness. This EAP program provides language and culture support to matriculated international undergraduate students with relatively lower TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores.

     This study focused on a machine-scored cloze-elide section and a human-rated elicited imitation section on the ACE-In. Test items in both sections were developed based on well-defined test specifications and pilot-tested before operationalization. Cloze-elide assesses vocabulary, grammar, and silent reading whereas elicited imitation assesses listening comprehension, information retention, and grammatical accuracy in oral production. Both sections have high internal consistency estimates and small standard errors of measurement. The cloze-elide score has a significant, moderate correlation with the TOEFL iBT writing score (r = .42, p = .04) while the elicited imitation section score has a significant, strong correlation with the TOEFL iBT speaking score (r = .74, p < .0001).

     Test data gathered at the beginning of a two-semester sequence, at the end of Semester 1, and at the end of Semester 2 indicates that the international students in this EAP program made gains in each semester (Cloze-elide: χ2 = 217.07, p < .001; Elicited imitation: F = 41.28, p < .001, ηρ2 = .40). This evidence of score gains helps to extend the validity argument for ACE-In.

 

Cheng, L. (2019). Diagnostic assessments. In J. Liontas (Ed.), The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0493

Abstract:

     Diagnostic assessments are characteristic of providing detailed feedback about the strengths and weaknesses—especially weaknesses—in learner performances to monitor learning, guide the evaluation of learner progress, and direct the learner to resources for future practice, in addition to informing instructional design and revision. While tailored diagnostic assessments are rare due to their narrow focus on specific language elements, a few issues need to be considered when retrofitting a diagnostic function to an existing assessment developed for other purposes. In the recent surge of interest in diagnostic assessments, researchers are called on to investigate more into the transitions from diagnosis to intervention; language educators are encouraged to achieve a balance in assessment procedures both inside and outside of the classroom and to try to complement the weakness-based diagnostic information with the formative feedback on strengths provided by other assessments.

 

Cheng, L., & Allen, M. (2016, March 11–13). Timed oral reading: A useful method for L2 reading fluency assessment and intervention [Paper Presentation]. Georgetown University Round Table (GURT) on Languages and Linguistics 2016 Conference, Washington, DC. 

Abstract:

     Timed oral reading is a widely used method to assess reading fluency in L1 instructional contexts; fluency is typically operationalized as the ability to read aloud accurately with appropriate expression (prosody, phrasing), at a speed, such that the oral reading aligns with the meaning of the text (Rasinski, 2004). Fluency is the key because it provides evidence that the reader understands what is being read (National Reading Report). By contrast, in L2 instructional contexts, the development of reading fluency and the use of timed oral reading for assessment (or instruction) is almost nonexistent (Anderson, 1991; 1994; Grabe, 2014; Chang, 2010, 2012; Taguchi, Gorsuch, Takayasu-Maass & Snipp, 2012).

     This study investigates the efficacy of timed oral reading as both an assessment and intervention method for evaluating and improving L2 reading fluency. A pre- and post-test was given to 77 international graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at a large public Research I university in the Midwestern United States. Read Naturally®, a web-based program for improving L1 English reading fluency was used as the intervention tool with our ESL group; and eight texts at Grade 6 L1 English level were implemented as homework assignments and materials or topics for teacher-student conferences. At the end of the thirteen-week intervention, this group of ESL learners was found to have a statistically significant improvement, with a very large effect size, in reading speed: an increase from 131 words per minute (wpm) to 144 wpm.

     Our presentation will be devoted to a discussion of why we are interested in oral reading fluency and why we felt it would be a useful tool for assessing and providing intervention to matriculated EAP students.

 

Cheng, L., & Allen, M. (2016, May 19–21). Timed oral reading: A useful method for second-language reading fluency assessment and intervention [Paper Presentation]. 3rd Conference of Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA), Sanur, Bali, Indonesia.

Abstract:

     Timed oral reading is a widely used method to assess reading fluency in first-language (L1) instructional contexts. Reading fluency is typically operationalized as the ability to read aloud accurately, with appropriate expression (prosody, phrasing), and at a speed, such that the oral reading aligns with the meaning of the text (Rasinski, 2004). Fluency is the key because it provides evidence that the reader understands what is being read (National Reading Report). By contrast, in second-language (L2) instructional contexts, the development of reading fluency and the use of timed oral reading for assessment (or instruction) is almost nonexistent (Anderson, 1991; 1994; Grabe, 2014; Chang, 2010, 2012; Taguchi, Gorsuch, Takayasu-Maass & Snipp, 2012).

     This study investigated the efficacy of timed oral reading as a learning-oriented assessment method for evaluating and improving L2 reading fluency. A pre- and post-test was given to 77 international graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at a large public Research I university in the Midwestern United States. Read Naturally®, a web-based program for improving L1 English reading fluency was used as the intervention tool with our ESL group; and 8 texts at Grade 6 L1 English level were implemented as homework assignments and materials or topics for teacher-student conferences. At the end of the thirteen-week intervention, this group of English as a Second Language (ESL) learners was found to have a statistically significant improvement, with a very large effect size, in reading speed: an increase from 131 correct words per minute (cwpm) to 144 cwpm. When the study design was replicated the following semester with a different group of 92 adult ESL learners, using 8 texts at Grade 8 L1 English level, the average pre-test oral reading rate of 106 correct words per minute increased to a post-test of 121 cwpm, as compared to L1 adult speakers of English whose rates range from 150-200 words per minute.

     In addition to a report of this study and its replica over two semesters, this paper presentation will also be devoted to a discussion of why we are interested in oral reading fluency and why we felt it would be a useful, learning-oriented assessment tool for matriculated EAP students at this U.S. university.

 

Cheng, L., & Crouch, D. (2018, August 2–4). The relationship between text borrowing patterns and second language proficiency [Paper Presentation]. 2018 Symposium on Second Language Writing (SSLW), Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract:

     This study examined the relationship between text borrowing and second language proficiency, based on analysis of 50 L1 Chinese timed essays. Results showed a strong, positive correlation (r = 0.84, p = 0.019) between the extent of accurate, syntactic/morphological reformulation, and slight modification of text from the prompt and writers’ TOEFL iBT total score.

 

Cheng, L., Ginther, A., & Allen, M. (2015, October 4–5). The development of an essay rating scale for a post-entry English proficiency test [Paper Presentation]. 17th Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, Iowa City, IA.

Abstract:

     The dramatic increase in enrollment of international undergraduate students at U.S. universities not only reflects a national trend of shifting undergraduate demographics but also highlights the need for effective evaluation of newly admitted international students’ English language proficiency.  To better inform language instruction in an English for Academic Purposes program at a large public university, an internet-based post-entry English proficiency test, the Assessment of College English–International (ACE-In) was developed.  This presentation focuses on the development of an empirically derived rating scale for the writing assessment included in the ACE-In. 

     Drawing on the literature of L2 rating scale development (e.g., Fulcher, Davidson, & Kemp, 2011; Upshur & Turner, 1995), we began by analyzing a sample (n=42) of first-semester international students’ ACE-In essays to identify the categories and elements (i.e., constructs and variables) present and emerging levels of performance.  A series of rating and discussion sessions were iteratively conducted with 33 additional essay samples until agreed-upon descriptors were established and an acceptable level of inter-rater reliability reached.  These rater norming sessions not only served the purpose of developing and refining an essay rating scale, but also helped to build a community of practice by providing a venue for raters to share what they value as writing instructors (Kauper, 2013).

     This presentation provides a practical example of developing an empirically derived rating scale for a timed writing assessment.  With the emphasis on instructor values, we provide a model for creating effective communities of practice through rating scale development. 

 

Cheng, L., & Song, S. (2014, November 15). Student needs analysis for an EAP support program at a large Midwestern public university [Paper Presentation]. 2014 Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (INTESOL), Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract:

     This presentation focuses on the use of an early-semester student survey for needs analysis in an integrated-skills EAP course offered by a brand-new language bridge program. Survey responses suggest that specific language tasks were perceived as most difficult. Curricular and co-curricular components targeting at these areas will then be presented.

 

Climer, T. (2019, May 16–18). Sustainability and English learning: A future of sustainable learning [Workshop]. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Colombia III Conference, Chia, Colombia.

Abstract:

     Although many ESL textbooks have readings about environmental issues, the concept of sustainability and its three pillars (environmental, economic, and social) are not taught in many ESL classrooms. This is unfortunate because sustainability is a very important concept to our world. Sustainability not only deals with how to maintain resources and services for future generations, but it is also about improving and bettering the world. For example, sustainability includes the principal of equality and inclusiveness. The main outcomes of this presentation are for attendees to be able to understand why and how they can use the concept of sustainability in their own ESL classrooms. The objectives of the presentation are to show how teachers can use the frameworks of conceptual learning and critical thinking to teach a topic related to sustainability in a way that leads to students being able to make meaningful applications to their own learning and life. To this end, the presenter will share several lessons and activities that teachers can use in their own classrooms. The presenter’s main argument is that teaching sustainability in the adult ESL language classroom meets two important goals. First, it promotes the idea of global citizenship and awareness in students, and second it supports the development of students’ English language skills. To make this argument, the presenter will model and illustrate how he integrates sustainability into his ESL teaching and material design by using frameworks of conceptual learning and critical thinking. These frameworks emphasize the processes that students go through in discovering that learning goes well beyond memorizing facts and statistics, to making connections and transferring knowledge to understanding key concepts and values about a topic in diverse fields or disciplines. Finally, the presenter will show how this unit on sustainability strengthens students’ English ability by building vocabulary as well as speaking and listening skills.

 

Climer, T., & Baechle, J. (2014, November 15). Navigating cultural and academic differences: How international students find their place in university life [Paper Presentation]. 2014 Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (INTESOL) Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract:

     The goal of our presentation is to show what we are doing at PLaCE, a new program at Purdue University that aims to connect first year international students to the campus and community. In addition, we hope to provide practical teaching assignments that other programs can implement into their coursework.

 

Crouch, D. (2018, March 24–27). Longitudinal development of second language fluency in writing and speaking [Paper Presentation]. 2018 American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference, Chicago, IL.

Abstract:

     Little is known about how complexity and fluency develop together within individual L2 learners. This study analyzed the longitudinal development of oral fluency and global written syntactic complexity in the test responses of 60 first year L1-Chinese first year undergraduate students over two semesters. The author collected responses to a post-entry computer-administered language proficiency test required of all first year international students with TOEFL scores at 100 or below at a large university in the US. The students took the test at the beginning of the first semester and again at the end of the second semester of a required two course ESL sequence. For both the written and the spoken task, each student responded in support or opposition to a statement of opinion.

     The author analyzed the written responses automatically to calculate mean length of sentence using Lu's (2010) L2 Syntactic Complexity Analyzer and the oral responses for speech rate (syllables/second) and mean syllables per run (syllables/run) using a proprietary system specially designed to measure oral fluency.     

     Results showed that the test-takers increased their oral fluency significantly but not their global written syntactic complexity. When the mean syllables per run of the oral pre-tests (M=7.27, SD=2.24) was compared to that of the oral post-tests (M=7.88, SD=2.39), there was a statistically significant difference, t(59)=3.58, p=.001. In a paired sample t-test the speech rate of the oral pretests (M=2.90, SD=0.43) was compared to that of the oral post-tests (M=3.00, SD=0.51), and there was also a significant difference, t(59)=2.55, p=.014.   Finally, a paired sample t-test compared the mean length of sentence of the written pre-tests (M=19.44, SD=4.43) to that of the written post-tests (M=20.37, SD=4.80), showing no significant difference, t(59)=1.57, p=.123. The findings provide evidence that oral fluency and written syntactic complexity develop at different rates in college level L1 Chinese L2 learners.

 

Crouch, D. (2019, October 4–5). Pre-post change in L2 oral fluency: The lexico-syntax of large fluency gainers [Paper Presentation]. 21st Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, Bloomington, IN.

Abstract:

     The theory underlying L2 oral fluency has focused on cognitive processes, particularly proceduralization (Anderson, 1983; Levelt, 1989, 1999) and linguistic constructs, especially vocabulary and grammar (Segalowitz, 2010). Towell et al. (1996) argued that development of formulaic language enables automatic speech production. However, no research has studied the longitudinal development of L2 oral fluency concurrently with any of the following lexical variables: lexical frequency profile, formulaic language use, and MTLD (a measure of lexical diversity). The purpose of the present study is to clarify the process by which L2 oral fluency, syntax, and vocabulary develop concurrently.

     Data analysis involved three sequential phases: oral fluency analysis, lexico-syntactic analysis, and discourse analysis. Oral fluency measures were calculated using the transcribed oral test responses of 100 L1-Chinese EAP learners at the beginning and end of a required two-course EAP language and culture sequence at Purdue University. The task completed was a computer-administered, two-minute argumentative speaking task. This study included eight oral fluency measures: speech rate, mean length of speech run, articulation rate, phonation time ratio, mean length of silent pause, mean length of filled pause, silent pause frequency, and filled pause frequency. For the ten participants who made the largest percentage-wise oral fluency gains (in terms of the oral fluency variable associated with the largest effect size of gains), oral transcripts were analyzed to compute descriptive statistics for the three lexical variables mentioned above and three syntactic variables:  coordinate clause ratio, dependent clause ratio, and words per T-unit.

     Results indicated significant change in all oral fluency measures, except mean length of silent pause and mean length of filled pause. The largest gains were made in mean length of speech run. Of the linguistic variables, the largest longitudinal change was associated with coordinate clause ratio. Discourse analysis of the transcripts of large fluency gainers' pre-post responses suggested that large fluency gainers used coordinate clauses to build more sophisticated discourse models in the post-test response than they did in the pre-test response. Implications for L2 oral fluency theory, EAP pedagogy, and L2 oral assessment are discussed.

 

Crouch, D. (2020). Pre-post change in L2 oral fluency: The lexico-syntax of large fluency gainers. [Unpublished PhD dissertation]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     The theory underlying L2 oral fluency has focused on cognitive processes, particularly proceduralization (Anderson, 1983; Levelt, 1989, 1999) and linguistic constructs, especially vocabulary and grammar (Segalowitz, 2010). Towell et al. (1996) argued that development of formulaic language enables automatic speech production. However, no research has studied the longitudinal development of L2 oral fluency concurrently with any of the following lexical variables: lexical frequency profile, formulaic language use, and MTLD (a measure of lexical diversity). The purpose of the present study is to clarify the process by which L2 oral fluency, syntax, and vocabulary develop concurrently.

     Data analysis involved three sequential phases: oral fluency analysis, lexico-syntactic analysis, and discourse analysis. Oral fluency measures were calculated using the transcribed oral test responses of 100 L1-Chinese EAP learners at the beginning and end of a required two-course EAP language and culture sequence at Purdue University. The task completed was a computer-administered, two-minute argumentative speaking task. This study included eight oral fluency measures: speech rate, mean length of speech run, articulation rate, phonation time ratio, mean length of silent pause, mean length of filled pause, silent pause frequency, and filled pause frequency. For the ten participants who made the largest percentage-wise oral fluency gains (in terms of the oral fluency variable associated with the largest effect size of gains), oral transcripts were analyzed to compute descriptive statistics for the three lexical variables mentioned above and three syntactic variables:  coordinate clause ratio, dependent clause ratio, and words per T-unit.

     Results indicated significant change in all oral fluency measures, except mean length of silent pause and mean length of filled pause. The largest gains were made in mean length of speech run. Of the linguistic variables, the largest longitudinal change was associated with coordinate clause ratio. Discourse analysis of the transcripts of large fluency gainers' pre-post responses suggested that large fluency gainers used coordinate clauses to build more sophisticated discourse models in the post-test response than they did in the pre-test response. Implications for L2 oral fluency theory, EAP pedagogy, and L2 oral assessment are discussed.

 

Farner, N. (2018, October 5–7). Video blogs for the ESL student: A pragmatic language learning approach to develop fluency in classroom discourse [Poster Presentation*]. 1st International Conference on Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (ICLCLE) Conference, Bloomington, IN.

       *Note: Presentation was canceled due to presenter’s family emergency

Abstract:

     College students must be able to join classroom discourse. This can be difficult for many international students. Necessary conditions for participating in classroom discourse include fluent listening and reading skills, fluent speaking and listening skills, background knowledge, and confidence to contribute one’s perspective. The Video Blog learning approach provides structured fluency practice to help students develop reading fluency in a way that gets them more engaged in classroom discourse.

     Using Paul Nation’s four strands to language learning, the Video Blog provides a vehicle for ESL students to regularly practice their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills, which in turn, develops fluency. Additionally, it blends well with David Kolb’s experiential learning model, moving through the cycle from concrete experiences to reflective ideas, then moving to abstract ideas leading to new ones.

     The Video Blog approach is similar to an interactive journal where the students’ audience is their instructor and their classmates. One of the main goals of this activity is to give students a way to practice their fluent reading comprehension. The skills for fluent reading comprehension include background knowledge, vocabulary knowledge, listening comprehension, pronunciation, and word recognition. Video Blogs enable students to practice using all of these skills.

     This fluency practice approach aligns with course objectives and major projects, holds students accountable, measures proficiency and development, and provides students with ample chances to “find their voice.” 

 

Gao, J., Crouch, D., & Cheng, L.  (2019, October 4–5). Concept mapping for guiding rater training in an ESL elicited imitation assessment [Paper Presentation]. 21st annual Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, Bloomington, IN.

Abstract:

     Elicited Imitation (EI) has been integrated into second language (L2) assessments measuring examinees’ overall language proficiency (Tracy-Ventura et al., 2014) or examining L2 learners’ language development (Ellis et al., 2006). Our study focused on rater behavior when judging L2 learners’ EI performances on a local English proficiency test. Implementation of a 5-point holistic rating scale from 0 to 4, with rater training, has rendered high rater agreement (above .90 for R1/R2 correlation) at the section level. Raters, however, seem to operate with different priorities when making decisions at the lower end of the scale.

     We investigated 1/2 rater splits regarding the same item response. Two trained raters rated 56 examinee responses. Of the total 672 EI sentences, 125 1/2 splits were identified. Based on transcriptions and detailed error analyses, a Performance Decision Tree (PDT) was developed with the purpose of fine-tuning the decision-making process at the lower levels of the scale and helping raters align better with each other and with the rating scale. This PDT guides raters to make grammaticality judgements of each item response and then identify semantic deviations at the word level. While the grammaticality judgements cover grammatical accuracy, the semantic comparisons between the examinee’s version and the prompt include minor or major meaning deviations resulting from word substitution, addition, omission, or distortion (using a completely different word).

     Preliminary results show that 59 of the 125 sentences (47.2%) have grammatical errors. Semantic deviations appear in 98 sentences (78.4%), 50% of which result from word omission. Word addition, substitution, and complete distortion contribute 2%, 15.3%, and 21.4% respectively. The remaining 7% of semantic deviations result from combinations of the aforementioned categories. This study has contributed to our ongoing rater training, with the construction of this PDT to help raters navigate through the lower end of the rating scale.

 

Kim, M. (2020, June 18–21). Using case studies in the multilingual classroom as a teaching tool for academic integrity. [Paper presentation]. 2020 Symposium on Second Language Writing (SSLW). Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. (Accepted; Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

Abstract:

     This presentation examines the effectiveness of case studies as a classroom technique to promote multilingual student writers’ learning of academic integrity. As a teaching tool, case studies are stories that are fact-driven or context-driven using specific, real-world examples. Research shows that many students are more inductive than deductive in their reasoning. This represents that students better learn from examples than from abstract explorations of logic or principles. With case studies, instructors can encourage students to explore ways to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations. For this study, pre- and post-surveys will be used to examine student perception on the issue of academic integrity at the university level. The participants will be multilingual students enrolled in an American language and culture course at a Midwestern public school, most of whom are first-year students. These online surveys will ask a set of open-ended and multiple-choice questions about the academic integrity issue. To measure their attitudes toward and satisfaction level on the use of case studies in the classroom, the Likert scale will be also used in a five-point scale to allow individual students to express how much they agree or disagree with statements about case studies and how satisfactory they feel with its use as a teaching technique. Specific examples of case studies related to academic integrity including plagiarism and cheating in the writing classroom will be showcased in the presentation as well. Methods and principles to use case studies will be examined in the process including to be done individually or in teams or the goal of the case study analysis, key facts to be considered in the context of the problem solving in case studies, etc. Specific ways to promote case studies as a language learning tool will be discussed including having students role-play the part of the people involved in cases and promoting writing activities combined with cases.

 

Kim, M. (2020, July 16–18). Improving language skills through a social learning online platform, Flipgrid: Tips for video blogging for second language learners. [On-demand session]. 2020 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Convention. Virtual. https://www.tesol.org/conventiononline2020/schedule-at-a-glance/prerecorded-sessions  

Abstract:

     This presentation will discuss ways to incorporate video blogging to the classroom through Flipgrid. At this social learning online platform, students not only record their short videos but also view their classmates’ and leave recorded reply comments. Through these blog conversations, students will apply and develop their reading, speaking, and listening skills. A video blog is similar to an interactive journal where students practice their language skills outside of the classroom and have live interactions with classmates. Related technology, student samples, and topics for video blogging will be shared.

 

Kim, M. (2020, September). Three speech-related applications: Flipgrid, Improving language skills through a social online platform. On CALL: The Newsletter of Computer Assisted Language Learning. http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolcallis/issues/2020-09-14/4.html

Abstract:

     This article is based on a session from TESOL’s July 2020 Virtual Conference. It demonstrates ways to incorporate video blogging with Flipgrid and offers some pedagogical tips for its use.

 

Kim, M. (2021, March 24–27). Flipgrid: Video blogging for language learning and social interaction. [Electronic Village Technology Fairs Classics]. 2021 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Convention. Virtual. https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#tfc  

Abstract:

     This presentation will discuss ways to incorporate video blogging to asynchronous online instruction through Flipgrid. By watching this video, participants will be able to understand how to use blog conversations on the interactive platform to help students develop their language skills and create productive social interaction during online learning.

 

Kim, M. (2021, March 24–27). Microsoft Teams: Ways to create and maintain positive peer connections. [Electronic Village Technology Fairs-Tech Tips]. 2021 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Convention. Virtual. https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#tfc

Abstract:

     With the shift to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, students are often found to feel isolated and want to be connected with each other. This session will show how to use Microsoft Teams to create and maintain positive peer connections in an online language classroom. By watching this video, participants will be able to understand various features of the tool and see examples of learning activities to promote positive team collaboration during distance learning. On this platform, students can share their opinion with their team members in group chats and instantly switch group chats to video conferences with a single click of a button. They can also easily work together by locating, sharing, and editing files with familiar apps including Word, PowerPoint, etc.

 

Kim, M. (2022, March 22–25). Promoting student-to-student engagement through online peer review tools. [Electronic Village]. 2022 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Convention. Hybrid, Pittsburg, PA, United States. https://call-is.org/ev/2022/schedule.html#innoimp

Abstract:

     This presentation will demonstrate ways to incorporate peer review to asynchronous virtual instruction with online tools. It will introduce Circuit developed by Purdue University and examine other similar tools, PeerStudio and PeerMark by Turnitin. After attending this session, participants will be able to understand how to use these tools that allow students to peer review different types of documents and submissions in an online, anonymous, and/or asynchronous manner. The video will highlight how to create and manage peer feedback assignments with scores, rubrics, calibrations, or a combination. It will also demonstrate the integration of these tools into learning management systems.

 

Lee, D., Allen, M., Cheng, L., Watson, S., & Watson, W. (2020). Exploring the relationships between self-efficacy and self-regulated learning strategies of English language learners in a college setting. Journal of International Students, 11(3), 567–585. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i3.2145   

Abstract:

     This study investigated the relationships between self-efficacy and self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies of English language learners (ELLs) in a college setting from a social cognitive perspective in order to understand how to better support international. Participants in this study were 117 ELL college students who enrolled in an English language course at a Midwestern university. The results of simple linear regression analysis showed that ELL college students’ self-efficacy significantly predicted their use of SRL strategies. In addition, the results of a one-way ANOVA indicated a statistically significant difference in the use of SRL strategies between ELL college students who had high self-efficacy and those who had low self-efficacy. Based on study results, implications and future research directions are discussed.

 

Levy, M., & Rodriguez-Fuentes, R. (2015). Analysis of C-test items from the ACE-In Test: A preliminary study of a Colombian population at Purdue University [Unpublished English 618 course paper]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     Language placement tests are a common method to assess students upon arrival at American universities. ACE-In, a test developed at Purdue for incoming international undergraduate students, was administered in this study. Scores for C-items of this test (Module I) were analyzed for their reliability in measuring language performance in a population of 22 Colombian students at Purdue. Variation in item difficulty and item discrimination was also analyzed. A second instrument, a questionnaire regarding educational background information, including specific English language instruction details, was also applied to the test population.  Item difficulty index for the ACE-In ranged from 0.50 and 0.95, making this moderately difficult module a useful test to assess a wide range of proficiency levels while maintaining consistency and item interdependence. Analysis of the item discrimination index showed a range between -0.10 (poor) to 0.60 (excellent). Cronbach’s alpha values varied little when items were removed one at a time, suggesting that sections are reliably constructed in a cohesive manner. Both instruments appeared to be promising in detecting variability in proficiency levels across a diverse population of Colombian participants. Overall performance for the ACE-In was good, with 14 participants scoring above 80%. There was a moderate positive correlation between ACE-In module 1 scores and time spent at Purdue. The degree of correlation between self-assessed language abilities and the scores was also positive but weak. On average, participants perceived that their language instruction prepared them adequately for reading and for listening, marginally for writing and poorly for speaking.  Although more research is needed, this study provided a good foundation for refining the instruments used to characterize Colombian students interested in pursuing either advanced degrees or research visits at Purdue.  This research also served as a supporting element in the design of an intervention ESP course for this target audience.

 

Li, X. (2018, September 21–22). An evaluation of elicited imitation task: An item analysis using Classical Test Theory [Paper Presentation]. 20th Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, Madison, WI.

Abstract:

     Elicited imitation (EI) has been widely used to assess second language (L2) proficiency. In an EI task, examinees are provided with a series of sentence stimuli and are expected to repeat the sentences as accurately as possible (Larsen-Freeman, 1991). EI task design has been frequently investigated because the appropriate design of the task is essential to the validity of the instrument (Erlam, 2006). The present study analyzes the performance on the EI task of the Assessment of College English-International (ACE-In) by performing thorough item analysis on pre-test and post-test exams using Classical Test Theory (CTT). One hundred undergraduate students who speak English as a Second Language took a pre-test at the beginning of the semester and a post-test at the end of the semester. The present EI task has four forms, and each form comprises 12 items/sentence stimuli. The item analysis results indicate that all four forms have shown similar item difficulty levels. Although a few items in each form have close item difficulty, the overall item difficulty and the spread of item difficulty are suitable for the current assessment purpose. When comparing pre-test and post-test exams, the item difficulty of most items has decreased. As for item discrimination, a few items that have low discrimination index may need modification or deletion, but the majority of the items have discrimination index above 0.6. Item discrimination index has mostly remained stable in pre-test and post-test. This study offers insights into the features of well-designed EI items and suggestions of future modification of the current EI task. In addition, the comparison between pre-test and post-test item analysis provides information regarding items that are suitable for different stages of assessment.

 

Li, X. (2019, October 4–5). Providing reliability evidence for EI using G Theory [Paper Presentation] 21st Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) Conference, Bloomington, IN.

Abstract:

     Elicited imitation (EI) is a widely used approach to assess second language (L2) proficiency. In an EI task, examinees are provided with a series of sentence stimuli with target language structures embedded, and examinees are asked to repeat the sentences as accurately as possible (Larsen-Freeman, 1991). In the late 1970s, EI received a series of critiques regarding its validity (e.g. Hood & Lightbown, 1978; Hood & Schieffelin, 1978; McDade, Simpson & Lamb, 1982). The major criticism is that examinees may complete EI tasks using mere rote repetition instead of L2 knowledge. The aim of the present study is to provide reliability evidence for EI via using Generalizability Theory (GT) and offer suggestions for the future improvement of the test administration. The EI task used in the present study was developed locally at Purdue University as a part of the Assessment of College English-International (ACE-In) to screen the English language proficiency of undergraduate students whose first language (L1) is not English. The test scores of one hundred fifty-nine freshmen were analyzed in this study. The result from the Generalizability study (G study) shows that examinee effect is accounted for 71.41% of the EI score variability. As the majority of the variance is contributed by the examinee effect, the study result suggests that the current EI test is a reliable measure of L2 proficiency. Meanwhile, more rater training sessions is also desirable as the rater effect (12.52%) claims the second main source of score variability. Although there are four forms of the current EI task, the form effect as well as the form-by-rater interaction effect are very small. A Decision study (D study) with 3 raters and 2 forms is also performed to explore further options of test administration. The generalizability coefficient of the given D study is 0.96.

 

Li, X. (2020). The Analysis of Performance on the Elicited Imitation Task of the ACE-In [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     Elicited imitation (EI) was originally designed for first language (L1) development research, but since the 1970s, it also has been widely used in the SLA field. In the late 1970s, EI underwent a series of critiques regarding its reliability and validity. The major criticism is the possibility of mere rote repetition in the EI tasks. In recent years, a resurgent interest in EI has been witnessed along with an increasing number of empirical studies validating and refining the EI tasks. An item analysis using Classical Test Theory (CTT) was conducted in this project. By examining the item difficulty, item discrimination and score reliability, this study explores how the EI tasks function as a measure of general proficiency. This study analyzed 200 test samples of the Assessment of College English–International (ACE-In), which is a locally developed language test for post-entry international undergraduate students.

 

Li, Y. (2016). The validity and reliability of grammar quizzes for ESL undergraduate students [Unpublished English 674 course paper]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     This project is to conduct item analyses for the GS 100 quiz of PLaCE program in Purdue University. The researcher has conducted statistical analysis for three GS 100 quizzes which were taken by over 200 participants. The elicited data presents several statistic results of the test which includes the testing coefficient of reliability and items’ indices (difficulty and discrimination indices). From analyzing the data set, the researcher have uncovered two noticeable findings regarding differences in coefficient of reliability amongst different forms and parts of a form when they have the same testing construct. The result of the explanation of these findings in the data is related to the item writing and also the item analysis format which is the 0/1 format. In addition, the researcher will also explain the part that the statistic results of this project fails to shed light on.

 

Pimenova, N. (2019, June 13–15). Increasing your vocabulary size short course for international students [Work-in-progress Presentation]. 2019 Consortium on Graduate Communication (CGC) Summer Institute, George Mason University, Arlington, VA.

Abstract:

     This short 6-week noncredit course was developed to help international students to improve their academic English vocabulary knowledge. Though this course was open for all international students enrolled in a large university in the Midwest, graduate students were our target population. Since English language learners who took this class had different levels of English language proficiency, teaching them one list of academic words was not reasonable. To measure students’ vocabulary size, I used the Vocabulary Levels Test created in 1983 by Paul Nation. The test was later improved and validated by others (Beglar & Hunt, 1999, Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001). In this course students set personal goals for vocabulary development and created action plans to achieve their goals. By the end of the session, students were able to increase their vocabulary size by repeating and recycling new vocabulary; organizing new vocabulary in a meaningful way; making vocabulary learning personal; using strategic vocabulary in class; independently studying vocabulary in and out of class; keeping vocabulary notebooks; and using online dictionaries (McCarten, J., 2007). At the end of the course students taught new words they learned to their peers. In this work-in- progress presentation I will share what I learned as an instructor of Increasing Your Vocabulary Size course after piloting it in Fall 2018.

 

Pimenova, N. (2020). Reading jokes in English: How English language learners appreciate and comprehend humor. In J. Rucynski Jr., & C. Prichard (Eds.), Bridging the humor barrier: Humor competency training in English language teaching (pp. 135–161). Lexington Books.

Chapter Introduction:

     This chapter describes two studies which involved L2 learners reading American jokes and those from other cultures. The pedagogical objective of this activity was to build learners’ competence in comprehending and appreciating jokes and to improve their overall reading fluency. In order to make research-based recommendations for humor competency training and research, this chapter reviews the relevant scholarship related to joke comprehension to contextualize data collected by the author. The first study analyzes how Chinese and Saudi students comprehended and appreciated different cultural jokes that they read in English. The second study examines how English language learners from Peru, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia perceived and understood various cultural jokes. In both studies, participants rated jokes for funniness and ease of comprehension. Before sharing the results of the original studies, I will explain some theories of humor. I will also examine how culture and L2 proficiency affect humor comprehension and appreciation.

 

Pimenova, N., & Farner, N.  (2019, March 12–15). Using Flipgrid to assess students’ reading, listening and speaking skills [Electronic Village Event]. 2019 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Abstract:

     Challenged by finding a more engaging tool to give ESL university students a chance to practice their reading, listening and speaking skills, the instructors chose Flipgrid as a video platform. For each video blog, students select a section from the assigned reading they find interesting, meaningful, or surprising. Next, they record themselves reading a passage and explain the reason they chose it. Partners view, react, and respond to their buddy’s video. The attendees will learn how to use this free, easy to use app and how to provide formative feedback to their students using custom assessment rubrics and video feedback.

 

Rodriguez-Fuentes, R. (2018). Linguistic and cultural factors in graduate school admissions: An examination of Latin American students at Purdue University [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     While the number of graduate students from different parts of the world in the United States is decreasing, the trend in Latin American populations is the opposite. Nonetheless, the current lack of information regarding the reasons behind this tendency, in terms of English language proficiency and cultural aspects, affects all parts involved: graduate students do not know what type of opportunities they can make use of; American universities do not have enough information to provide Latin American students with a sheltering environment; and Latin American governments are unable to make policies that encourage the application and facilitate admission to graduate school in American universities.

     The aim of this study is to establish a starting point for understanding the linguistic and cultural complexities of the Latin American population in graduate school in the United States. To do so, surveys and interviews were carried out to explore academic experiences, cultural influences and socioeconomic patterns that influenced the admission of Latin American students to graduate school. Mixed methods were used to describe the patterns of the survey responses quantitatively while leaving room for confirmatory quantitative analysis using the information of the interviews. The participants of this study were graduate students from Purdue University, one of the American universities with the highest number of Latin American graduate students. The results of this study underscore the importance of effective English language instruction during college years for reaching the graduate school admission scores, especially in cases when English language training during school was not possible or had little impact on the functional proficiency of the learner. Also, there is a large body evidence indicating that undergraduate research internships could be one of the opportunities with the highest potential to recruit graduate Latin American students, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

 

Shin, J. (2021). Fluency, accuracy, and their relationships in second language development: Insights from cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of elicited imitation performance. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     Accuracy and oral fluency are important aspects of oral proficiency. Investigating objective features and scores of accuracy and fluency may provide diagnostic information on L2 proficiency and language development (Skehan, 2003). Elicited imitation (EI), an oral sentence repetition task, is a reliable and efficient test to measure accuracy and fluency (Van Moere, 2012), but less is known about using EI to diagnose fluency. My dissertation investigates the relationships among objective measures and human ratings of fluency and grammatical accuracy on the EI subsection of the Assessment of College English—International (ACE-In), a post-entry assessment of general English proficiency used in the Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE). Through the use of Python-based and R-programmed tools, acoustic fluency features and grammatical errors will be extracted and estimated; the relationships among objective features and corresponding holistic scores will be examined, in addition to changes in fluency and accuracy features in EI performance over 7 months of instruction in a sequence of two American language and culture courses, not covering EI, though. The findings from the cross-sectional and longitudinal observations will also shed insight on the roles of accuracy and fluency and dynamic trade-offs between fluency and accuracy in second language acquisition and development.

 

Shin, J., & Crouch, D. (2018, March 21–23). Fluencing: A reliable and simple tool to measure temporal measures of oral fluency [Paper Presentation]. Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC), Ames, IA.

Abstract:

     Temporal measures of oral fluency (TMOF) have been shown to be positively correlated with holistic scores of oral English proficiency (Ginther, Dimova, & Yang, 2010).

     This finding has positive implications for the use of measured variables in assessing oral English proficiency. However, the main obstacle to the use of TMOF in language assessment is the difficulty of computing such measures accurately, reliably, and efficiently. Solving these problems would provide language testers with more objective evidence of test-takers' language proficiency, thus improving the validity of interpretations that can be made from test results. To that end, the purpose of this demonstration is to introduce the use of a software application, Fluencing, as one solution.

     Fluencing is a software that automatically calculates TMOF based on audio-visual aided user annotation. Other speech analysis systems designed for acoustic analysis, for example Praat, can be used to compute TMOF, but they require more tedious and complicated calculation by hand. When using Praat, users have to count the number of syllables in each speech run, input the syllable count into the Praat syllable tier, and then manually calculate the TMOF. This process is time-consuming and prone to human error. Fluencing, a Python-based system developed by the Purdue Oral English Proficiency Program (Park, 2016), simplifies the process in a user-friendly way. It calculates speech rate, mean syllables per run, pause ratio, and expected pause ratio with the help of some basic user input or annotation.

     The automatic calculation of TMOF requires relatively simple user preprocessing. First, the user segments speech samples into pauses and speech runs and then annotates the speech runs using a built-in speech annotation function. The system then counts syllables using a customizable syllable dictionary to which the user adds all new words as they are encountered in speech samples.

     Our presentation will demonstrate this process of Fluencing using a response from an elicited imitation, also known as Listen and Repeat task. The responses were collected from a post-entry English language proficiency exam for college ESL speakers. The presentation includes a step-by-step demonstration of the graphical user interface and the annotation tools. In addition, we will report inter-annotator agreement on pre-test and post-test elicited imitation responses (n=72) The agreement between two annotators using Pearson correlation was .987 (p<.0001) for speech rate and .917 for mean syllables per run (p<.0001).

     The high reliability of this system will provide empirical support for studies examining the importance of fluency and thus, contribute to the understanding of the construct of fluent speech and human perception of it.

 

Sorell, C. J. (2020, May 2930). Integrating identity, vocation, and language instruction
through strategic text choices
[Paper Presentation]. 37th International Conference on English Teaching and Learning, Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Abstract:

     Universities seek to accomplish two disparate goals: 1) Leading students to meaningful contributions in a globally-connected society and 2) Accompanying students as they grow and understand themselves. Language instruction can play a pivotal role in helping to align these inward- and outward-looking goals. Language is a medium of communication, and the content of that communication is open to negotiation. Therefore, language instructors and course designers often have unparalleled flexibility in the choice of content that allows for the creation of student-centered courses that are also integrated into the broader curriculum of the university. This case study will demonstrate how strategic text choices can lead students to develop sophisticated language skills as they wrestle with important issues of identity while also making meaningful connections to other subject areas and global issues. This study will review the choice of Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor for a freshman English course for international students at a U.S. university. Through the use of response journals as well as individual and team projects, students… 

  • practice technical and creative writing and reading skills in English as a Lingua Franca.
  • explore identity issues related to personality, gender, and ethnicity.
  • develop skills in cross-cultural understanding and conflict resolution.
  • utilize English to explore STEM content ranging from fractal geometry to bio-engineering.

     This paper will present evidence of student engagement in each of these areas and how they are interrelated. Features will be reviewed that can be considered when choosing course texts in multiple instructional contexts. Recommendations will be made on how to make meaningful connections to this or other texts.

 

Thirakunkovit, S. (2016). An evaluation of a post-entry test: An item analysis using classical test theory (CTT) [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Purdue University. 

Abstract:

     This study is an analysis of test reliability of two screening tasks (C-test and cloze-elide) in the Assessment of College English-International test (ACE-In), a post-entry test developed at Purdue University. The study uses Classical Test Theory (CTT) to assess the reliability of these test items. CTT is selected because this theory is the standard comprehensive procedure for developing, evaluating, and scaling test items (DeVellis, 2006). This reliability analysis is important because it is a prerequisite to the test validation process. This study has three major research questions: 1. What is the item characteristics of C-test and cloze elide? 2. What are the average values of item difficulty and item discrimination of C-test and cloze elide items? 3. What are the internal consistency coefficients for and correlation coefficient between the C-tests and cloze elide tests? The results of the pilot study showed that the average score of C-test is 77.8 (SD = 9.98), and that of cloze-elide test is 36.59 (SD = 14.86). Considering the average values of item difficulty and item discrimination of both tasks, C-test items are generally considered easy (item difficulty > 0.7), while cloze-elide items are of medium difficulty (item difficulty ≈ 0.6). Even though C-test items have acceptable discrimination i.e., the average biserial correlation indices (rpb) are 0.3, cloze-elide items are shown to have much better discrimination values on average i.e., rpb indices are higher than 0.5. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficients, a measure of internal consistency, of C-test and cloze-elide are .88 and .96, respectively. The Pearson product-moment correlation analysis revealed that the correlation between the C-test and cloze-elide is high (r = .66), and it is significant with the p-value less than .01. These analyses of test reliability indicated that the test items were measuring the same underlying construct – generally language proficiency. Even though the key results of the item analyses showed that C-test did not meet the standard of item difficulty and discrimination, it does not necessarily mean that C-test cannot sufficiently serve its intended purpose as a preliminary screening tool. After examining the score distributions of both C-test and cloze-elide scores, the scores of both tasks range widely. With fairly wide standard deviations, there is a potential to combine the scores of these two screening tasks to identify the students who had a uniformly low performance across both tasks.

 

Tosun, T. E. (2020, March 5–8). How to create technologically diverse classrooms in the age of digital and interactive tools [Round-table discussion]. Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) Conference, Boston, MA.

Abstract:

     The excessive progress in technology and the increase in having more diverse classrooms have changed the rules of traditional classroom understanding in US higher education. Classrooms have become more diverse not only in student population but also in using different means of technology. This both ways emerging diversity in US higher education urges instructors and professors to use technology in their classrooms as well as urging students, who come from different socio-economic backgrounds, to do the same. To what extent are students able to use technology in the classrooms? Or to what extent are they ready to adapt their new classroom environment? This paper aims to answer the panel’s question: “Are today’s students prepared to shape their digital world or be shaped by it?” by analyzing some classroom examples from Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange Program (PLaCE). This paper explains the use of Flipgrid application in ENGL 110-American Language and Culture as the classroom curriculum is designed to answer the question.

 

Watson, W. R., Watson, S. L., Fehrman, S. E., Yu, J. H., & Janakiraman, S. (2020). Examining international students’ attitudinal learning in a higher education course on cultural and language learning. Journal of International Students, 10(3), 664–687. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i3.1083

Abstract:

     This study examined students’ perceptions of attitudinal learning outcomes and instructional activities within a language and cultural exchange (LACE) course at a midwestern U.S. university and explored whether perceptions differed based on students’ prior knowledge, major, and/or demographics. We utilized a mixed-methods approach to gather quantitative data from a survey sent out in Weeks 5 and 15 to 137 international students enrolled in multiple sections of a LACE course that gathered perceptions on attitudinal learning and the most impactful aspects of the course design. Follow-up structured interviews were conducted with 37 students. Results indicated students saw growth in their attitudinal learning, with the highest perceived gains regarding cognitive and then behavioral components. Data from student interviews provided specific examples of how student attitudes were changed in each of these four areas of learning. Limitations and future research are discussed.

 

Yan, X. (2015). The Processing of Formulaic Language on Elicited Imitation Tasks by Second Language Speakers [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Purdue University.

Abstract:

     The present study investigated the processing of formulaic language, in an effort to examine how the use of formulaic language may or may not contribute to second language (L2) fluency in speaking performance. To examine the effect of formulaic language on L2 fluency, this study utilized elicited imitation (EI) tasks designed to measure general English language proficiency in order to compare repetition of individual sentences containing formulaic sequences (FS) to repetition of sentences that do not. In addition to the presence of FS, the length of stimuli sentences was manipulated and compared to a second independent variable. Responses to EI tasks were automatically measured for articulation rate (AR) and number of silent pauses (NumSP), two important measures of L2 fluency. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to examine the main and interaction effects of FS and sentence length (SL) on AR and NumSP. Results of analyses of EI performances showed that both SL and FS had a significant effect on L2 fluency in speech production; however, these two variables had differential effects on AR and NumSP. SL had a strong effect on NumSP on EI performances: as the stimulus sentence becomes longer, NumSP on EI performances increases. The presence of FS had a larger effect on AR than on NumSP: higher proportion of formulaic sequences in language use contributes to faster articulation rate, while the processing advantage of formulaic sequences helps reduce the number of silent pauses when the processing load is large. Findings of this study suggest that the presence of formulaic sequences create a processing advantage for L2 speakers and that EI tasks prompt language comprehension and processing. Findings have important implications for language teaching and assessment, in particular with respect to the teaching of formulaic sequences and the use of EI as a measure of L2 proficiency. Recommendations for future research of formulaic sequences and development of EI tasks are discussed.

 

Yan, X. (2020). Unpacking the Relationship Between Formulaic Sequences and Speech Fluency on Elicited Imitation Tasks: Proficiency Level, Sentence Length, and Fluency Dimensions. TESOL Quarterly, 54(2), 460–487. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.556  

Abstract:

     Previous research has provided ample evidence for the processing advantage of formulaic sequences, leading researchers and teachers to argue for its facilitation of speech fluency. However, few studies have examined how the processing of formulaic sequences interacts with speaker proficiency and task difficulty; even fewer studies have investigated how formulaic sequences facilitate different dimensions of speech fluency. To address these gaps, this study examined the impact of formulaic sequences on speech fluency for both first and second language speakers (N = 269) across proficiency levels on elicited imitation tasks. Participants' speech fluency was measured on both rate and pausing features. Results from linear mixed-effects models reveal that formulaic sequences had a significant effect on the reduction of pauses, but not on speech rate. The effect on pausing was stronger in the processing of long sentences and on intermediate second language speakers. These results suggest that formulaic sequences have differential impacts on the rate and pausing dimensions of speech fluency, and the impacts are further conditioned by speaker proficiency and task difficulty. Findings of this study have both theoretical and pedagogical implications regarding the acquisition of formulaic sequences and the development of speech fluency.

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