CGE Research Seminar on Wednesday 7th November: English Medium Instruction in Japan: Macro-level policies and micro-level practices at the nexus of language and content learning

CGEThe next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 7th November 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Heath Rose from the University of Oxford and is entitled “English Medium Instruction in Japan: Macro-level policies and micro-level practices at the nexus of language and content learning”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Internationalisation and English in the twenty-first century are inextricably intertwined, as universities turn to Englishisation in order to internationalise (Kirkpatrick, 2011). A side effect of internationalisation is the rapid emergence of English medium instruction (EMI) in higher education around the world, defined as ‘the use of the English language to teach academic subjects (other than English itself) in countries or jurisdictions where the first language (L1) of the majority of the population is not English’ (Macaro, 2018, p. 19). Wilkinson (2013, p. 3) notes that EMI programmes have become ‘commonplace in many institutes of higher education’, and Japan is noted to be an area of recent significant growth (see Galloway et al., 2017). This talk explores the language-related implications associated with policy and practice in EMI in Japan. It first takes a macro-level policy-perspective to explore the English-language implications of recent trends in Japanese HE (see Rose & McKinley, 2018). This is then followed by a micro-level practice-perspective exploring the relationships between proficiency, language-related challenges, motivation, and content learning outcomes, which are drawn from questionnaire, interviews, proficiency test, and content score datasets of more than 500 students in EMI contexts in Japan. Controlling for motivation, results revealed a strong interaction between proficiency and language-related challenges, as well as proficiency and success measures in EMI (in terms of course grades). An exploration of lexical range in EMI lectures also suggests a vocabulary threshold needed for students to understand some content subjects, and also points to the importance of subject-specific ESP courses. The study, therefore, equips English teachers with targeted areas of focus in order to best support students in EMI contexts, so they can be successful in their studies.

Heath Rose is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. His research interests are in EMI, Global Englishes and TESOL. His books include Global Englishes for Language Teaching (Rose & Galloway, 2019), Doing Research in Applied Linguistics (McKinley & Rose, 2017), The Japanese Writing System (Rose, 2017), and Introducing Global Englishes (Galloway & Rose, 2015).

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar: A transnational feminist perspective: Recognising difference, building solidarity

TNSThe Centre for Transnational Studies, in collaboration with the Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies, is hosting its first event of the academic year on Wednesday 31st October from 3-4:30pm in room 1173 at Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled ‘A transnational feminist perspective: Recognising difference, building solidarity’. All staff and students are welcome!

The event is a postgraduate and early career masterclass run by Dr Maria Tomlinson, a postdoctoral research associate on the project ‘FemmepowermentNiger’ based in the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. The idea with these masterclasses is for students (PGT and PGR) and interested staff to get an introduction to potential new ways of approaching their work, and for students to have a chance to talk to someone a few years further on in the postgrad and academic career journey. Dr Tomlinson was one of the first cohort of AHRC SWW DTP students, and completed her PhD in French between the Universities of Bristol and Reading earlier this year. She also set up one of the first SWW DTP research clusters on gender and sexuality.

Further details, including an abstract, can be found on the poster for the event.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Grammatical innovations in Multicultural London English

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 24th October 2018 at 4:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Grammatical innovations in Multicultural London English” and will be delivered by David Thomas Hall from Queen Mary, University of London. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Recent years have seen growing interest in interdisciplinary research at the intersection of sociolinguistics and formal linguistic theory, sometimes called Sociosyntax (see e.g., Cornips and Corrigan 2005; Lingua special issue on formalising syntactic variation (2010), vol 120.5). Recent research into urban multiethnolects in the UK (e.g., Cheshire et al 2011) has revealed unexpected syntactic properties in emerging varieties of English, particularly Multicultural London English (MLE). Research on MLE has so far been carried out in a variationist sociolinguistic framework (Cheshire et al 2011 a.o), but here I report on my research into grammatical innovations in MLE in a broadly generative framework. I focus on the new pronoun man and preposition+definite article drop (P-D-drop). I will present analyses for the two phenomena, and discuss how the study of grammatical variation picked up through sociolinguistic research can inform our understanding of the limits of the language faculty from a minimalist perspective.

CGE Research Seminar on Wednesday 17th October: ‘Attitudes’ and English as a Lingua Franca

CGEThe first Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar of the academic year will take place on Wednesday 17th October 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Mariko Baird from International Baccalaureate and Rob Baird from the University of Southampton and is entitled “‘Attitudes’ and English as a Lingua Franca”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Although we are most famous for having the first Centre for Global Englishes wedding, in this talk we will address a more difficult relationship, namely between the English as a lingua franca (ELF) field of enquiry and language attitude research. Based on our recent chapter ‘English as a Lingua Franca: Changing Attitudes’ in the Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca, we will draw on theoretical frameworks and empirical data, based on our fieldwork in East and South East Asia, to illustrate problems that accompany traditional language-attitude frameworks when applied to speakers who experience dynamic communicative contexts and associated constructs. Our talk will outline important considerations for researching people’s perceptions of language in ELF scenarios, and we will conclude by discussing implications for the empirical treatment of language in wider sociolinguistic research.

Both Mariko and Rob Baird are among the founding members of the Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) here in Southampton. Mariko researched ideas of language and the sociolinguistic realities of university students and business people in East Asia, and now is a Subject Manager for Language and Literature at International Baccalaureate (IB). Rob researched perceptions and communicative practices of English users in English-as-a-medium-of-instruction settings in East and South East Asia. He is now a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Academic Centre for International Students (ACIS) at the University of Southampton.

Next TNS seminar: Transnational Religion: Textual Trails (Or how to domesticate the transnational)

TNSAnne O’Connor from NUI Galway will be speaking at the next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar, taking place on Wednesday 16th May 2018 from 5-6:30pm in Room 1177, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled ‘Transnational Religion: Textual Trails (Or how to domesticate the transnational)’. All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
This talk will look at the transnationality of religion and how the spread of religion is supported by the printed word. It will use the example of global Catholicism and devotional reading to question how orthodoxies emanating from the Vatican reach the lives of Catholics in the Anglophone world. It will look at the intersection of translation, book history and religion to examine how each can work together and provide momentum for transnational influence. By focusing on the materiality of the transmitted words, the talk will discuss how popular printing allowed for the transnational to enter the domestic sphere.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Thinking ahead in a second language: On the role of prediction in L2 processing

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 4pm in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Thinking ahead in a second language: On the role of prediction in L2 processing” and will be delivered by Theres Gruter from Hawaii. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The role of prediction in native language (L1) processing has been investigated, and debated, extensively over the past couple of decades. Yet it is only in the last few years that prediction/anticipation in second language (L2) processing has become a topic of interest. In this talk, I will discuss how the investigation of prediction in L2 processing may help us move beyond the common but rather unsatisfying description of differences between L1 and L2 speakers as L2 learners having “a processing problem”. In recent and on-going research in our lab, we have used online (visual-world eye-tracking) and offline methods to probe to what extent L2 listeners engage in proactive ‘thinking ahead’ during sentence and discourse processing. Drawing on findings from studies targeting various linguistic cues that can give rise to anticipatory processing – including classifiers in Mandarin Chinese and grammatical aspect in English – I will argue that L2 speakers do not necessarily differ from L1 speakers in whether or not they engage in prediction, but in how and when they engage in prediction, and what information they use to generate expectations about upcoming information. Taken together, these findings suggest that prediction is a universal mechanism of human language processing (and behaviour more generally), and that L1 and L2 speakers make adaptive use of this mechanism depending on its utility given their knowledge and processing goals.

CGE Research Seminar on 9th May: Tutor-student interaction in one-to-one academic writing tutorials

CGE

The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 9th May 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Professor Jane Setter from the University of Reading and is entitled “Suprasegmentals in South-East Asian Englishes”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Intonation is one of the earliest acquired aspects of human speech, and is now thought to be acquired pre-birth in a child’s first language (L1). L1-specific patterns of speech rhythm emerge shortly before a child is school-age. This presentation looks at some suprasegmental aspects of speakers who have English as a second (L2) or additional language, focusing on research on the emergent variety, Hong Kong English (HKE), and L2 English learners from Malaysia, China and Vietnam. We will consider patterns in the different speaker varieties, and also issues of teaching and learning.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Theoretical linguistics and the scientific method in the language classroom

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 at 4pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Theoretical linguistics and the scientific method in the language classroom” and will be delivered by Julio Villa-García from the University of Manchester. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
In this talk, I pursue the view defended in recent work (Bosque 2018, i.a.) that the way we teach language has traditionally been based on labelling (“this is a noun”; “this is a predicate…”), rather than on actual analysis. This contrasts starkly with what happens in scientific disciplines, where students look at evidence, glean generalisations, formulate hypotheses/theories and then make predictions about what will happen. I contend that such a pattern-enchanted approach can be beneficial in the language classroom when it comes to the teaching of grammar, as in addition to finding generalisations about how the grammatical system works, students also develop a number of lifelong transferable skills.

In the second part of the talk, I argue that the findings of theoretical research can aid language teaching, since the quality of the input that we expose our learners to can improve significantly. This is because research on theoretical linguistics has come up with more precise generalisations than those typically found in pedagogical grammars (Rothman 2010, i.a.). In fact, there is no need for teachers or students to be trained in linguistics (i.e., there is no real need to overload students with metalanguage or with too many technicalities). To this end, I provide a number of practical examples suggesting that the gap between theoretical research and pedagogical practice in the language classroom can actually be bridged.

Next CLLEAR seminar: ‘I’ll have a burg[ə] and a fant[ʌ]’: acquiring variation in a new language

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 25th April 2018 at 4pm in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “‘I’ll have a burg[ə] and a fant[ʌ]’: acquiring variation in a new language” and will be delivered by Dr Gerry Howley from the University of Sheffield. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
In this paper, I present results from a mixed methods study that combines quantitative analysis with ethnography. I examine the acquisition of vernacular dialect variation by Roma migrants in Manchester, England. While it is now widely recognised that migrants can acquire local dialect features in a new language, it is still unclear why some speakers acquire more features than others. I analyse variation across a range of vocalic variables to establish what social factors impact upon Roma migrants acquiring (or not) local patterns of variation. Results indicate that speakers with more open friendship networks produce more vernacular patterns of variation, providing further, fine-grained understanding of why some migrants may acquire more dialect features than others. Increasing (super)diversity in Europe’s cities brings issues of migration and integration to the top of political agendas. When a migrant acquires a dialect in a new language, this can be seen as an indicator of the way he is positioning himself within the local culture.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Methodological considerations in measuring ambiguous relative clause attachment strategies in bilinguals

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Monday 16th April 2018 at 15:30 in Room 1011, Building 67, Highfield Campus. The talk is entitled “Methodological considerations in measuring ambiguous relative clause attachment strategies in bilinguals” and will be delivered by Elena Valenzuela from the University of Ottawa. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
It has been argued that monolinguals and bilinguals differ in how they resolve ambiguities in relative clause attachment. Cuetos and Mitchell (1988) first noted that sentences as in (1) and (2), which contain a complex NP of the type “NP of NP” followed by a relative clause (RC), are parsed differently depending on the language:
(1) She kissed the brother(NP1) of the poet(NP2) that was on the balcony.
(2) Elle a embrassé le frère(NP1) du poète(NP2) qui était sur la balcon.
In English (1), the poet is on the balcony whereas in the same sentence in French (2), it is the brother who is on the balcony. Languages can be grouped according to the parsing strategy for monolinguals: high attachment (Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, etc.) and low attachment (English, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, etc.).

Dussias and Sagarra (2007) found that language dominance was the Spanish-dominant bilinguals with limited exposure to English preferred high attachment in both languages, while bilinguals with extensive exposure to English preferred low attachment in both English and Spanish. Valenzuela et al. (2015) examined the parsing strategies of bilinguals in code-switched sentences and also found that language dominance and exposure played the greatest role for parsing. However, in these previous studies, participants were all living in an English environment at the time of testing which may have influenced so-called language dominance. In our study we test French/English bilinguals living their dominant language environment.
This research examines parsing strategies in monolingual and code-switched sentences to address the following research questions:
i. Does language dominance play a role in parsing strategies?
ii. Does direction of the language code-switch affect processing?
iii. Does the direction of the language code-switch affect processing differently based on individual’s language dominance?

Two groups of bilinguals: French/English living in English dominant environment (n=15) and French/English living in French dominant environment (n=14) were tested on their parsing strategies of French, English, and French/English code-switched ambiguous relative clauses. Participants were given two experimental tasks: Sentence Judgment Task and Sentence Completion Task. Results show that across the board low attachment was preferred regardless of the language environment and language dominance of the participant. This may suggest that, as in Dussias and Sagarra (2007), language exposure plays an important role. However, this may also be due to the prolonged language contact situation in Canada resulting in an emerging dialect. Results will be discussed in terms of language dominance, frequency of language usage, and appropriateness of the methodology used.