Next TNS seminar: ‘On Cultural Transnationalisms: The case of World(-)literatures in Portuguese’

TNS

Dr Emanuelle Santos from the University of Birmingham will be speaking at the next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar taking place on Wednesday 22nd November 2017 from 5-6:30pm in Room 1177, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled ‘On Cultural Transnationalisms: The case of World(-)literatures in Portuguese’. Here is the abstract:

The resurface and resignification of the concept of World Literature in the beginning of the current century has certainly infused some new blood to the field of Comparative Literature. As the strong colours of the postcolonial critical paradigm lose appeal and prestige among funding agencies and academics, the paradigm of World Literature/World-Literature rises with its comforting image of a literature of the world as one, albeit uneven. As such, World(-)literature dislocates Comparative Literature’s focus from coloniality and hegemony, drawing attention to circulation and border-crossing, enabling potentially problematic frames of comparison. Drawing from the case study of the circulation of the literatures of Portuguese-speaking Africa within and beyond the Portuguese-speaking world, this paper aims at questioning the potential of World(-)Literature as a productive critical paradigm from which to reconsider the world as one.

CGE Research Seminar on 8th November: English as a Lingua Franca and language assessment: Challenges and opportunities

CGE

The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 8th November 2017 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Dr Luke Harding from Lancaster University. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) communication represents one of the most significant challenges to language testing and assessment since the advent of the communicative revolution. On one hand, ELF destabilises the place of the native speaker, and the notion of assessing against a “stable variety” (Jenkins & Leung, 2014, p.4). At the same time, however, research emerging from ELF studies suggests opportunities for reconceptualising and expanding language constructs. In this talk I will discuss the challenges and opportunities afforded by an English as a Lingua Franca perspective on language assessment. In the first part of the talk, I will describe the two fundamental challenges ELF presents for language assessment, and connect these with broader debates around the nature of communicative competence. I will then discuss how the language testing and assessment community has addressed the ELF challenge thus far, with examples from both scholarship and testing practice. Third, I will sketch an ELF construct for assessment purposes, and present two cases of small-scale studies which have attempted to operationalise this construct. Finally, I will discuss some new directions for research at the interface of ELF and language assessment.

Next CLLEAR seminar: The effects of structured-input and structured-output tasks on the acquisition of English causative

CLLEAR

The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 16:00 in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “The effects of structured-input and structured-output tasks on the acquisition of English causative” and will be delivered by Alessandro Benati from the University of Portsmouth. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:

The experimental study presented in this paper (Benati and Batziou, 2017, 2018) considered the effects of structured-input and structured-output tasks when delivered in isolation and in combination. The effects of three different treatments (structured-input only; structured-output only; and a combination of structured-input and structured-output practice) were measured on the acquisition of English causative forms (feature affected by The First Noun Principle). Chinese adults and Greek school-age learners learning English participated in the study. Interpretation and production tests (sentence and discourse) were used as pre-test, immediate post-test, and delayed post-test. Results show that learners benefit from structured-input practice and maintain their ability to interpret and produce the target feature after that practice.

CGE Research Seminar today: Launching the Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

CGE

The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place today, Wednesday 11th October 2017 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar celebrates the launch of the Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca by Will Baker, Martin Dewey and Jennifer Jenkins. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Last month, Routledge published the first ever Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca. For our first research CGE seminar of this new year, we therefore decided that it would be appropriate to focus on the Handbook and its historic place in the development of ELF research. Jennifer Jenkins’s brief introduction will consider why such a Handbook was needed at this time in ELF’s trajectory and discuss the Handbook’s development. The three co-editors, Will Baker, Martin Dewey, and Jennifer Jenkins, will then each say a few words about their own Handbook chapter (respectively, ‘ELF and Intercultural Communication’, ‘ELF and Teacher Education’, and ‘The Future of ELF?’). This will be followed by a reception during which wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be served, and a copy of the Routledge Handbook of ELF will be raffled. For the purposes of the raffle, each member of the audience will be issued with a raffle ticket on arrival at the seminar.

Next TNS seminar: ‘Linguistics, Ethnography and Identities’

TNS

Professor Ben Rampton from King’s College London will be speaking at the next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar taking place on 21st June 2017 from 4-6pm in Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus. The seminar, entitled ‘Linguistics, Ethnography and Identities’, will begin with a 20-25 minute presentation which will be followed by an open discussion.

Professor Ben Rampton’s work involves ethnographic and interactional discourse analysis, cross-referring to work in anthropology, sociology, cultural and security studies. His publications focus on language in relation to urban multilingualism, youth, popular culture, ethnicities, class, (in)securitisation, education, second language learning, and research methodology.

For further details about this event, please visit the Modern Languages and Linguistics website.

Next CLLEAR seminar: “How the glottal stop starts: examining children’s use of a rapidly expanding variable”

CLLEAR

The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Thursday 25th May 2017 at 16:00 in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “How the glottal stop starts: examining children’s use of a rapidly expanding variable” and will be delivered by Jennifer Smith from the University of Glasgow and Sophie Holmes-Elliott the University of Southampton. All welcome for the seminar and discussion! Read more…

Next CLLEAR seminar: “The relative effects of isolated and combined structured input and structured output on the acquisition of the English causative forms” – SEMINAR CANCELLED

CLLEAR

The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 17th May 2017 from 4:00-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “The relative effects of isolated and combined structured input and structured output on the acquisition of the English causative forms” and will be delivered by Professor Alessandro Benati from the University of Greenwich. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The present study explores the effects of structured input and structured output when delivered in isolation or in combination on the acquisition of the English causative. Research investigating the effects of processing instruction and meaning output-based instruction has provided some interesting and sometimes conflicting results. Additionally, there are a number of issues (e.g., measuring a combination of structured input and structured output, measuring discourse-level effects) that have not been fully and clearly addressed. To provide answers to the questions formulated in this study, two classroom experiments were carried out. In the first study, fifty-four Chinese university students (age 18-20) participated. The participants were randomly assigned to four groups: structured input only group (n=13); structured output only group (n=15); combined structured input and structured output group (n=16); control group (n=10). In the second study, thirty school-age Greek learners (age 10-12) participated. The participants were randomly assigned to three groups: structured input only group (n=10); structured output only group (n=10); combined structured input and structured output group (n=10).

Only subjects who participated in all phases of each experiment and scored lower than 60% in the pre-tests were included in the final data collection. Instruction lasted for three hours. The control group received no instruction on the causative structure. Interpretation and production tasks were used in a pre-test and post-test design. The design included a delayed post-test battery (3 weeks after instruction) for both experiments. In the first study, the assessment tasks included an interpretation and production task at sentence-level, and an interpretation task at discourse-level. In the second study, an additional discourse-level production task was adopted along with the interpretation discourse-level task. The results indicated that learners who received structured input both in isolation and in combination benefitted more than learners receiving structured output only. These two groups were able to retain instructional gains three weeks later in all assessment measures.

Next CLLEAR seminar: “Heritage Language Reversal: The Production of Articles and Voice Onset Time (VOT) by Japanese Returnees”

CLLEAR

The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Friday 5th May 2017 from 4:00-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Heritage Language Reversal: The Production of Articles and Voice Onset Time (VOT) by Japanese Returnees” and will be delivered by Dr Neal Snape, Gunma Prefectural Women’s University and Chuo University in Japan. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Previous L2 studies by Shirahata (1995) and Tomiyama (2000) examined L1 Japanese L2 English child returnees suppliance of articles and a range of grammatical morphemes. Shirahata focused on age-related L2 acquisition while Tomiyama was concerned with L2 attrition. Both studies found omission in obligatory contexts, though little evidence of L2 attrition. We adopt a neutral position for our study as both acquisition and attrition are likely to be taking place in heritage language reversal cases. This study examines datasets from two L1 Japanese L2 English speakers. The sibling child returnees were born in Japan and lived 8 years in the U.S. before returning to Japan. The younger child (KS) was exposed to L2 English from 3 years of age and the older child (CS) was first exposed from 12 years of age. Background questionnaires revealed that they have high levels of proficiency in English, based on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) scores. ‘The Frog Story’ (Mayer, 1979) was administered and the returnees’ narrations were recorded and transcribed. The two participants were compared on their article suppliance to address the following two research questions:
RQ1: Does reduced input limit success in acquisition or lead to attrition over time?
RQ2: Are there any differences between the returnees given the difference in age of acquisition?

Voice Onset Time
This longitudinal study examines whether the decline in exposure to L2 input experienced by YS produces changes in voice onset time (VOT). YS met with researchers six times over the span of six years. Each meeting required YS to complete ‘The Frog Story’ and a picture description task (Goad & White, 2008) to elicit spoken production. Each time YS was recorded using a video camera and an iPod. The recordings of each session were subsequently analyzed in Praat for production of words beginning with voiceless consonants /p/, /t/ and /k/. Once located in the recordings, words were cut out of the original full-length recordings so that a more detailed analysis of VOT could be conducted. The results of the analyses for all recordings (across six years) shows that YS’s L1 Japanese VOT values and L2 English VOT values are different in length and that there is no evidence of change or attrition in her VOT values for /p/, /t/ and /k/ in L2 English.

Next TNS seminar: “A researcher’s tale: Revisiting research through the eyes of a camera and a diverse public”

TNS

The next Centre for Transnational Studies (TNS) seminar will take place on Wednesday 3rd May 2017 from 5:00-6:30pm, in Building 65, Room 1177, and is entitled “A researcher’s tale: Revisiting research through the eyes of a camera and a diverse public”. The seminar will be presented by Ulrike Hanna Meinhof. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:

My paper is based on my current experiences with an AHRC Follow-on-project: Madagascar in the world: the impact of music on global concerns. The project proposed to put the results of my previously AHRC-funded project TNMundi (2006-2010) into the popular and widely accessible form of a full-length music documentary, directed by Cesar Paes, an award-winning film director of the Parisian independent film company Laterit.

The film was completed in the autumn of 2016 and has so far been screened at various international film festivals and special screenings in the UK, Italy, and on La Reunion.

Each screening was accompanied by a questionnaire in the respective languages gauging audience reactions. Apart from wanting feed-back about the kind of audience the film attracted at each of these diverse sites in terms of age, gender, and origin and on how they responded to the artistic and musical quality of the film, there were some closed and some open questions on the themes and social concerns raised by the film and by the musicians in its centre.

My own previous narrative interviews and transnational field work with these Malagasy musicians had highlighted their transnational mobility, their attempt to challenge ethnic divisions by their music and to engage people worldwide in environmental and social causes. In my paper I will give a few examples of these and subsequently show a few key extracts of the film where the director in my view tried to raise these issues by the very indirect and subtle means of the film.

A brief assessment of some of the results of the questionnaires will lead to a discussion about some of the issues raised by replacing or complementing an academic top-down analysis in favour of a much more intuitive artistic format.

Next TNS seminar: “Family stories: the relationship between narrator and listener”

TNS

The next Centre for Transnational Studies (TNS) seminar will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 from 5:00-6:30pm, in Building 65, Room 1177, and is entitled “Family stories: the relationship between narrator and listener”. The seminar will be presented by Jenny Cuffe and Henrietta Nleya. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:

‘I believe that there is no more real or more realistic way of exploring communication in general than by focussing on the simultaneously practical and theoretical problems that emerge from the particular interaction between the investigator and the person being questioned.’ P. Bourdieu ‘The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society’ (1999, p.607)

The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu reminds us that, although the research relationship is different from other exchanges in everyday life because its objective is pure knowledge, it remains nevertheless a social relationship.

I have invited Henrietta Nleya, a key participant in my doctoral research on the impact of Zimbabwe’s migrant families, to have a conversation with me about our ‘particular interaction’ and the relationship we built.

The nature of transnational family research means that I relied on Henrietta not only to tell me her own life story, but also to introduce me to relatives living in Zimbabwe and South Africa. This presented us both with practical and ethical challenges for, although together in Southampton we had time to establish a shared history and ties of trust, I arrived at the homes of her parents and siblings as a prying stranger. And although I guaranteed anonymity in my thesis, I was conscious that family members would have no difficulty recognising each other – with the potential for hurt feelings and even resentment.

This conversation will be the start of an open discussion on relationship-building in the research process, in which you are invited to present questions and problems that have arisen in your own research.