Steinbeck’s ShareOut, Panel Plans

Dec 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Chapters, Steinbeck
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CATESOL Steinbeck Chapter Conference ShareOut a Great Success and Plans for Panel on Intercultural Communication in the Classroom

By NETTA AVINERI, ONDINE GAGE, BRANDON LAMBERT, and JENNIFER PECK

—The CATESOL Steinbeck Chapter organized and hosted a very successful CATESOL Conference ShareOut on November 5, 2014, at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). The event provided a forum for those who attended the conference to share what they presented and/or learned with those who had been unable to attend the conference. Approximately 35 people attended, primarily graduate TESOL/TFL students from MIIS and undergraduate students taking linguistics courses at CSU, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). There were four presentations—from Dr. Netta Avineri (TESOL/TFL visiting professor at MIIS, Steinbeck Chapter coordinator), Dr. Ondine Gage (College of Business and Liberal Studies lecturer at CSUMB, former Steinbeck Chapter coordinator), Brandon Lambert (TESOL student at MIIS), and Jennifer Peck (a lead instructor in the Intensive English Program at MIIS). Unfortunately, our dear Steinbeck Chapter Board member Joung Song became suddenly gravely ill just before the event and was not able to present as planned on metacognition. Our thoughts and prayers go to her family for her recovery. The presentations were varied, interactive, and dynamic, and provided those who attended with a great picture of the CATESOL Annual Conference and all it has to offer.

Brandon Lambert

Brandon Lambert

As a graduate student and first-time CATESOL conference attendee, I (Brandon Lambert) thought it might be useful to discuss how I planned my time, the connections I made to my course work, and how the sessions contributed to my career planning. I described briefly how I made decisions about which sessions to attend and noted that while I focused on sessions addressing two primary interests, teaching English in the workplace (TEW) and mobile-assisted language learning, I was sure to leave ample room in my schedule to explore. This planning, combined with the freedom I gave myself to discover the unexpected, resulted in a number of connections to course content, both validating and enriching my current classroom experiences. Listening to and talking with practicing language education professionals opened my eyes to a number of career possibilities I had not fully considered. In particular, the scope and nature of the demand for TEW was an eye-opener that even influenced what I chose to examine in a research project assigned the following week. Collecting and sharing this information at the ShareOut not only encouraged me to synthesize the experience for myself but also allowed me to participate in my new professional community of educators.

Jennifer Peck

Jennifer Peck

I (Jennifer Peck) shared information from a session I attended at the CATESOL conference. The session was titled “Phonological Awareness: What Your Brain Is Hiding From You” and was presented by Karen Taylor. Ms. Taylor co-created the Color Vowel chart and has developed a system for helping students improve their pronunciation. Her presentation at CATESOL, however, resonated with me because Ms. Taylor emphasized several sounds and aspects of pronunciation that instructors are often not aware of. She focused on the fact that through our lack of awareness we are not able to fully help our students improve their pronunciation. For example, she asked the attendees of the session to map out how many different, individual sounds exist in the word “situation.” Many of the attendees, myself included, were unaware of the “hidden” /w/ sound between the “u” and the “a.” This hidden sound allows English speakers to link two vowel sounds together, which native speakers do automatically. However, rarely do we teach our students about this “invisible sound,” as Ms. Taylor called it. When I explained this sound to my beginning-level speaking students, it resonated and their pronunciation improved dramatically. Ms. Taylor’s main goal for her presentation was to encourage the attendees to help educate and train other teachers, which is why I decided to share what she discovered from this session. By sharing this experience with the Steinbeck Chapter, I hoped to increase awareness of the absence in phonological awareness in ESL teacher education and to share some tools presented by Ms. Taylor that I have personally found to be useful in my own classrooms.

image of ondine gage

Ondine Gage

I (Ondine Gage) had the opportunity to present on my very recently completed dissertation work, providing a summary of the talk I gave at CATESOL 2014 titled “Making Connections With Language: Affordances for Language Awareness.” This presentation described one strand of my thesis that explored how multilingual middle school students make connections with academic language and content through affordances for language awareness, defined as “episodes of language exchange containing ideas contributing to awareness in the construction of meaning” (Gage-Serio, 2014, p. 75). As a participant-observer, I had documented the classroom talk of students defined as CELDT Levels 2 and 3 with their teacher constructing meaning around grade-appropriate text in a transitional English Language Arts middle school classroom. This study identified four categories of affordances for language awareness: One was metalinguistic awareness or talk related to polysemy, morphology, and crosslinguistic awareness; second was affordances for anaphoric awareness or co-constructed “flashbacks” connecting meaning to a prior experience; third was affordances for proleptic awareness or co-constructed opportunities for understanding inference by “stepping into” shared meaning space; and finally, affordances for awareness of register shift in which students shifted register to achieve different norms of language use for different audiences and purposes. The findings of this study were intriguing: First, students and teachers are resources for affordances for language awareness. Students contributed to co-constructing meaning for themselves and their peers. The instructor also contributed by listening to students’ understanding and using a variety of practices to aid students in constructing meaning. Students’ heritage languages were respected and heritage language knowledge was one vehicle around which students engaged in affordances for language awareness. Finally, in this middle school classroom narrative text was a resource in exploring meaning in context. Some areas of future research included how narrative text could be used as a bridge to expository genres, drawing on and extending affordances for language awareness.
Reference
Gage-Serio, O. (2014). Affordances for language awareness in a middle school transitional classroom: Multicompetent L1/L2 users under No Child Left Behind (Doctoral dissertation). University of California, Santa Cruz. (UMI No. 3630682)

image of netta avineri

Netta Avineri

I (Netta Avineri) had the opportunity to present a version of my CATESOL presentation titled “Developing Intercultural Competence Through Service-Learning,” which was part of a panel I co-organized called “Service-Learning: Creating Connections to Communities.” I discussed a course I offered in Spring 2014 called “Service-Learning: International and Domestic Community Partnerships.” The course included 16 students from the TESOL/TFL, International Education Management, MPA, and Translation and Interpretation MA Programs, and seven community partners (Big Sur Charter School, Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands, Impact Monterey County, International School of Monterey, Lyceum, National Steinbeck Center, and YMCA). Students worked in teams to create the following projects: website design, parent handbook and training development, educational video creation, leadership curriculum research, program development, grant writing, outreach, and training handbook creation. I discussed in detail how intercultural communication skills can increase through students’ engagement in diverse groups and with varied community partners. In particular, I shared the Intercultural Communication Toolkit for Service-Learning, which highlights sociolinguistic concepts, including community of practice, recipient design, and repair, which students can use in their service-learning interactions. Interestingly, many of the CSUMB students who have engaged in service-learning responded well to the presentation, as this framework/lens for understanding their past experiences resonated with them. The presentation allowed students to see the relationships between community-based work and the development of broader skills they can take with them into the future.

Please Save the Date:
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, February 7, 2015

Please save the date for our Intercultural Communication in the Language Classroom Panel, to be held in Morse B105 at MIIS (http://www.miis.edu/media/view/28835/original/campus-map-april-2013.pdf). It will feature the following panelists, discussing a range of topics related to intercultural communication across language-learning contexts:

Dr. Barbara Birch, CSU, Fresno professor of Linguistics
Rick Kappra, City College of San Francisco ESL instructor, noncredit ESL campus coordinator, Civic Center Campus
Dr. Carolina Serna, CSUMB associate professor of Education, Multiple Subjects Credential Program coordinator, PACT coordinator
Margaret Piper McNulty, De Anza College Intercultural International Studies Division instructor

For more information please contact Steinbeck Chapter Coordinator Dr. Netta Avineri (navineri@gmail.com).

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