A Hybrid Intensive ESL Course: Affordances and Reality of Technology

This presentation is centered on findings from a summer intensive ESL course involving Japanese college students from Shimane and Yamanashi Prefectures. This hybrid course contained both online and in-class sessions. Throughout the course, the students were required to use smartphones and online tools (e.g., Tumblr and Google Docs) to reflect on their service learning experience in Monterey, California and other day-to-day cultural experiences in the U.S. To examine the effects of the smartphones and online tools on the students’ learning experience, both qualitative and quantitative responses from the students were gathered. The qualitative data include students’ Tumblr posts, responses to each other’s entries, and their feedback on the use of the online tools and smartphones. With regard to quantitative data, surveys were given to the students at the beginning and at the end of the course. Based on the results, the presenter will discuss several affordances of using smartphones and online tools as well as potential challenges.

Spoke at “A Hybrid Intensive ESL Course: Affordances and Reality of Technology. Presentation for CATESOL Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, November 12–15, 2015.” 

Developmental Patterns of Interlanguage Pragmatics in Taiwanese EFL Learners: Compliments and Compliment Responses

This presentation is centered on the study of Wu and Takahashi (in press) investigating Taiwanese EFL learners’ developmental patterns of pragmatic transfer in the speech acts of giving and responding to compliments. By so doing, the study examined the validity of the well-known “bell curve” hypothesis by Takahashi and Beebe (1987). The study involved 249 participants: 132 Taiwanese learners of English in Taiwan (TET), 85 Taiwanese native speakers of Chinese in Taiwan (TCT), and 32 American native speakers of English in the U.S. (AEA). A Discourse Completion Test was used to collect the TET’s interlanguage pragmatics data and the TCT’s and AEA’s normative data. The results supported the bell curve hypothesis—the intermediate-level TET learners tended to transfer their L1 into the TL more frequently than low-level learners, but advanced learners tended to do so less than the intermediate leaners. Furthermore, in addition to L2 proficiency levels, the types (e.g., culture-specific vs. structure-based) of semantic formulas also affect the developmental patterns of pragmatic transfer. Based on the research findings, the presenter will discuss several pedagogical implications regarding ways to incorporate online tools (e.g., blogs and Tumblr) for teaching intercultural pragmatics in the ESL classroom.

Spoke at “Developmental Patterns of Interlanguage Pragmatics in Taiwanese EFL Learners: Compliments and Compliment Responses. Presentation for CATESOL Northern Regional Conference, Stockton, CA, May 9, 2015.” 

“Developmental Patterns of Interlanguage Pragmatics in Taiwanese EFL Learners: Compliments and Compliment Responses. Presentation for Monterey Bay Foreign Language Education Symposium (FLEDS) at MIIS, April 2015.”

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