The University of Hawaii hosted two conferences in early October, the Second Cultura Conference on October 10 & 11 and the Language Learning in Computer Mediated Communities between October 11-13. Additional information on these conferences can be found on the National Foreign Language Resource Center website. The Second Cultura Conference brought together language educators from different areas of the country and abroad. The Language Learning in Computer Mediated Communities examined recent developments in distance education and technology-mediated instruction.
Under the direction of Dr. Kimi Kondo-Brown, the NRCEA testing project began initial data collection and testing in three areas, oral, listening, and reading proficiencies.
In March 2007, a total of eight Japanese teachers (four full time instructors, two lecturers, and two GAs) and two graduate students participated in a four day intensive ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) workshop. All except one completed the required OPIs for the practice round and are in the process of certification. Once certified as OPI testers, the group will be able to conduct departmental oral assessment activities. Plans for Summer/Fall 2008 include randomly selecting students from four sections of JPN 202/212 to have OPIs. All OPIs will be conducted by the in-house certified testers.
Thanks to excellent coordination and teacher cooperation, a total of 164 students from all JPN 100/101/111 classes (approximately 95% of the students enrolled in these courses) took the listening pretest and language learning survey in Spring 2007. Detailed background information on these students was also collected and the students will be tracked for the next two years to assess program impact in terms of their listening ability. Those students still enrolled at the end of their fourth semester will then be asked to take the same test and survey again. The survey and background data will be used to interpret their score gains.
In Fall 2007, the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) reading test was administered to 175 first-semester students (101 and 100 students). Detailed background and language learning information from the student participants were also collected to properly interpret data. The test will then be administered again to all fourth-semester Japanese language students in Spring 2009 to examine how the reading skills of the students progressed over the two years. Already, considerable differences in reading ability exist among the students.
The 17th International Conference on Pragmatics & Language Learning (PLL) was held on March 26-28, 2007, at the Imin International Conference Center adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (UHM) campus. The three-day conference was sponsored by the UH National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC), the UH National Resource Center East Asia (NRCEA), the UH College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature (LLL), and the UH Department of Second Language Studies (SLS).
The International Conference drew 279 participants from the U.S. mainland, Japan, a number of other countries from Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and Hawai‘i, with nearly 60% of attendees being faculty, staff, and/or researchers.
The gathering featured two plenary addresses, two invited colloquia, two invited workshops, nearly 100 paper presentations, and 23 poster presentations. The conference addressed a broad range of topics in prag-matics, discourse, interaction, and sociolinguistics in relation to second and foreign language learning, education, and use, approached from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. The conference also focused on how research into sociolinguistics and pragmatics (the way language is used when interacting with others) can be applied to the language learning classroom. The languages of East Asia were especially well-represented.
Conference highlights included plenary talks by Dr. Junko Mori, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Dr. Steven Talmy, University of British Columbia; invited colloquia convened by Dr. Haruko Cook, UHM, and Dr. Christina Higgins ,UHM; invited workshops by Dr. Kenneth Rose, City University of Hong Kong, and Dr. Julie Belz, Monterey Institute of International Studies; paper/poster presentations, and a variety of planned social events.
The Conference was organized by Program Chairs Gabriele Kasper, Second Language Studies, UHM, Hanh Thi Nguyen, International Studies, Hawai‘i Pacific University, and Dina Yoshimi, East Asian Languages & Literatures, UHM & Organizing Chair Jim Yoshioka, Pro-gram Coordinator, National Foreign Language Resource Center, UHM.
See the following URL for more details: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/prodev/pll/