Our native language and emotions are closely woven together. Being bilingual offers an emotional detachment that can be useful for reasoning, but which also makes it easier to swear, says David Miller in a new post for The Conversation.
A taxi driver recently cut me up on the motorway. Without hesitation, I machine-gunned a string of vulgarity at the poor man. What struck me was that every word that came out of my mouth was in Spanish. As a native speaker of English, having learned Spanish as an adult, English should have been the more readily accessible language. Yet there I was, cussing out this stranger in Mexican-accented Spanish alongside an assortment of inappropriate hand gestures.
Native languages are typically acquired in emotionally neutral academic environments. As a consequence of this difference, it has been suggested that bilinguals’ emotional reactivity in foreign language contexts is reduced as compared to native language contexts. In this talk I will present different studies that demonstrate how pervasive foreign language effects can be and how they can alter seemingly automatic responses that are of clear importance in our daily life. I will also discuss some of the limits of these effects and I’ll provide some ideas to counteract these effects by adopting new educational approaches in foreign language teaching.Griswlod, A. (2016). http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/for-children-with-autism-multiple-languages-may-be-a-boon/
This free event organised by the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) will bring together researchers and practitioners from France, the UK, and the USA who work with bilingual children with language impairment. The workshop will address the challenge of identifying language impairment in bilingual children. It will illustrate assessment material for bilingual children, explore the use of parent and teacher interviews, standardized tests, and narrative language sampling to support clinical decision making regarding diagnosis and intervention processes. Attendees will interpret standardized test data and use assessment protocols for making decisions based on language sampling that can be employed in everyday practice with bilingual children.
This free event will look into contemporary suggestions about the neuroprotective effects of bi-/multilingualism against brain decline in healthy and patient populations. It will bring together early career and established researchers in the fields of second language acquisition and cognitive/clinical neuroscience, and will comprise a state-of-the-art snapshot in the field, as well as discuss potential future directions for research.
Professor Rhona Stainthorp will be giving a public lecture about multilingual literacy development. The event, hosted by the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM), aims to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities multilingual children face when they learn how to read and write in more than one language.
Successful reading and writing involves coordinating word reading and spelling processes with language comprehension processes including vocabulary knowledge. Multilingual literacy involves coordinating these processes in at least two languages and two writing systems. We need to understand how the writing systems work to appreciate the challenges and opportunities faced by young literacy learners.
Linking Formal Instruction with Second Language Processing:
A Meta-analysis of Processing Instruction Research (1993-2016)
Michael J. Leeser, Florida State University (USA)
Almost 25 years ago, VanPatten and Cadierno (1993) argued that most language instruction was product oriented and did not take into account the underlying processes involved in second language acquisition. Since the publication of that seminal paper, nearly 80 published studies have appeared investigating the effects of processing instruction (PI), which is a type of instructional intervention that seeks to alter or to improve second language learners’ non-optimal input processing strategies so that learners are more likely to make correct form-meaning connections during comprehension. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of PI, discuss the ways in which PI differs from other types of form-focused instruction, and present the findings of a research synthesis and meta-analysis of the almost 80 quantitative PI studies that have been conducted between 1993 and 2016. In addition to evaluating the overall effectiveness of PI, the meta-analysis considers the ways in which processing problems associated with morpho-syntactic structures (and other variables) may mediate the effectiveness of PI. Finally, I explore avenues of future research for relating formal instruction to processing issues in second language acquisition.
Discussions on issues related to language teaching and learning with the aim to bring together language practitioners at ISLI and CeLM members who do research on language acquisition, identify research agendas from the language teaching and learning perspective, link theory to practice and foster collaboration within CeLM.
Development of a vocabulary screener for young children speaking multiple languages
by Dr Claudine Bowyer-Crane, Dept of Education, University of York
The number of children in UK primary schools learning English as an additional language is growing. A consistent achievement gap is found in national assessments of language and literacy between children learning EAL and their monolingual peers at the early stages of schooling. Support for these pupils is vital. However, in order to provide the right support it is important to identify those children who have a language impairment from those who may simply need more exposure to English. This paper will highlight some of the issues around the assessment children learning English as an Additional Language with a particular focus on vocabulary. Drawing on recent research, the paper will discuss the importance of assessing children in both their first and second languages and the challenge this poses for practitioners. The paper will demonstrate a newly developed task for assessing receptive vocabulary in a child’s home language which is designed to be used by practitioners and researchers working with children learning EAL.