Larita Hudson on Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition

As a Professor at Touro College I teach EDDN 639-  Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition – an Online Course at Touro College, TESOL/ Bilingual Advanced Certificate Programs, Graduate School of Education.  Students move as a cohort through the online course and produce weekly writings on complex questions.  Highlighting some of these excellent contribution of students is a privilege and honor as an instructor and guide.  Here the writing of Larita Hudson, who gave express written permission to use her contribution in my blog.

Larita Hudson:

I am currently in my 17th year of teaching at public schools in the Bronx, New York. I currently work at PS 140, as a 5th grade ELA/Social Studies teacher, in a departmentalized setting. I teach two single-gender classes, an all girls class and an all boys class, including several students from Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Gambia, and Senegal. I started in Touro’s TESOL program in the early 2000s, but took a long hiatus. I started again last semester and am on track to graduate next winter.

Online Book: Understanding Second Language Acquisition by Lourdes Ortega

Question:

Considering both Ortega’s discussion of types of conversational modifications, your own experience/observations as an L2 learner, what kinds of interaction moves, interlocutor type, and contextual conditions have been the most effective for making input comprehensible, and what kinds have been the least effective?

Larita Hudson:

From my experience, asking clarifying questions and confirming have been effective interaction moves for negotiating meaning in language.  I think it’s extremely important for both interlocutors to engage in these techniques to ensure that each speaker’s utterances are valued and understood.  It boils down to respect for each other’s thoughts, ideas, and efforts.  As far as interlocutors, I think the least effective is one who is  “prejudiced”, exhibiting pre-existing or negative attitudes (Ortega).  For input to be comprehensible, Krashen says it must be delivered in a clear and safe way (as stated in Hamza, 2016).  One who is prejudiced will not be encouraging and praise successes, creating a hostile learning environment, which will result in the learner having high anxiety and low self-esteem (an affective filter to language acquisition development).

Question:

As by Ortega, the five factors of the linguistic environment that assist in L2 learning are: (a) acculturated attitudes, (b) comprehensible input, (c) interaction and negotiation of meaning, (d) pushed or comprehensible output, and (e) noticing. Ortega states that “these five ingredients were likely present in a case like Julie (see Chapter 2, section 2.2), the first of several exceptionally successful learners discovered since the mid-1990s” (p. 79). Revisit that article and discuss the ways in which these factors are evident or not evident in her language learning situation, and how positive attitudes alone were not sufficient for L2 language learning. You may compare Julie’s situation to that of Alberto and Wes, if applicable.

Larita Hudson:

Unlike Wes, Julie’s acculturation into Egyptian society was strong.  She had a husband and children there and was more invested in building a permanent life in Egypt.  Therefore, it was important for her to pay closer attention to the form of the language.  Wes only moved to Hawaii for business and career reasons.  This might explain why his drive to pay attention was missing (Schmidt, as cited in Ortega, 2009).  In addition, although Wes was interested in communicating with others, he didn’t have interest in negotiating meaning.  Schmidt (as cited in Ortega) noted that Wes was unwilling or unable to revise.  He didn’t explore checks for understanding.  For example, Schmidt “never caught Wes using the kinds of strategy that would foster longer-term learning, such as consulting a dictionary or asking his interlocutors metalinguistic questions about subtle differences or idiomatic appropriacy” (Ortega, 2009, p. 58). On the other hand, as a teacher of English to Arabic students, effective communication (comprehensible output) was probably very important to Julie as her career and livelihood depended on it.

Question:

Name and define the five components of Krashen’s Monitor Model. As teachers and language learners, what makes these components appealing or logical? Krashen5Hypothesis.pdf Click for more options

Please watch this YouTube Video of Krashen on Language Acquisition and Input. https://youtu.be/fnUc_W3xE1w

Larita Hudson:

The five components of Krashen’s Monitor Model are the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis, the Natural Order Hypothesis, the Monitor Hypothesis, the Input Hypothesis, and the Affective Filter Hypothesis.  The Acquisition Learning Hypothesis explains the difference between acquisition (the “gist” of the language) and learning (more explicit and formal with explanations and lessons).  The Natural Order Hypothesis is a way of understanding that learners acquire grammar on their own at their own pace, in a predictable order.  The Monitor Hypothesis provides an explanation of how learners make conscious choices to edit and monitor their writing and/or speaking.  The Input Hypothesis pertains to how learners acquire language via the quality of the input (messages) they receive, which leads to understanding.  Finally, the Affective Filter Hypothesis stresses the importance of keeping anxiety low, and motivation and self-confidence high for language acquisition.  Krashen himself explained “We acquire language in one way, and only one way…when we get comprehensible input in a low-anxiety environment” (Hamza, 2016).

As teachers, it is critical to provide a safe learning environment, in which students are not afraid to take risks and feel free to make mistakes without ridicule or embarrassment.  It is only then that, according to Krashen, true learning can take place, which is the ultimate goal of education.

According to Krashen’s theory, learners should be able to take solace in the idea that language learning is not the same for every learner.  It is situational and happens in its own time, such as the Natural Order and Input hypotheses imply.

Question:

Ortega notes that while researchers have concluded that negative feedback is preferable to ignoring learner errors, “much less agreement has been reached as to when, how and why negative feedback works, when it does” (p. 80). Considering what you’ve read in the text and your own experiences teaching or learning language, what is negative feedback?  Give 2 examples.

Larita Hudson:

Based on the reading, negative feedback is simply providing cues to make the speaker aware of errors and prompting the speaker to make corrections.  For example, there is an entering ELL in my class this year.  Each day at dismissal, before I give her permission to leave I ask her to tell me the relation of the person picking her up.  Depending on the day, she responds, “My grandma”, “My uncle”, “My mother”, or “My aunt”.  For the first few months she used the words incorrectly, and I’d elicit the correct responses from her by asking her to try again.  Another example of negative feedback is recasting.  It’s when the interlocutor repeats what the learner has said, keeping the meaning intact, but providing a more suitable form of the utterance.  For example, Parker (2012) provides the example of a learner who says, “I want read”, and the facilitator responds, “Oh you want TO read.”

References:

Hamza, T. (2016, Jan. 28). Stephen Krashen: Language acquisition and comprehensible input [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnUc_W3xE1w&feature=youtu.be

Ortega, L. (2009). Second language acquisition. London. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Parker, R. (2012).  Recasting: A language facilitation strategy.  Retrieve from:http://praacticalaac.org/strategy/recasting-a-language-facilitation-strategy/

ALWC 2018 accepted Proposal: From Russia with Love

2018 Applied Linguistics Winter Conference (ALWC 2018) accepted Proposal Applied Linguistic Conference 2018 in New York City 2018

Prof. Dr. Jasmin Cowin Graduate School of Education – Touro College

Presentation Title:

From Russia with Love – Communicative TESOL Workshops at Plekhanov University

Presentation Abstract:

Plekhanov’s Winter University organized by the University’s Foreign Languages Department focused on “Current Global Trends in Teaching English.” Over the course of five days, the workshop attendees were challenged to incorporate new teaching approaches based on communicative, student-centered components and activities with a view towards culturally relevant pedagogy.

Presentation Summary:

This presentation is a report on the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Winter University 2018 conference of the University of Tomorrow: Innovative Pedagogy and Methodology. Thematically, Plekhanov’s Winter University focused on “Current Global Trends in Teaching English.” The overarching conference theme was on the urgency to adapt to a rapidly changing world while creating agile mindsets in students and facilitators. The workshops presented were: Current Global Trends in Teaching English; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English – Methodology in Teaching English; and E-Resources Discovery and Analysis. As a final project, participants submitted online learning modules for their EFL courses focused on content-based instruction while incorporating the flipped classroom model. While designing the workshops, it became clear that many of the communicative activities and teaching approaches would require participants to step outside their comfort zone. Over the course of five days, the workshop attendees were challenged to incorporate new teaching approaches based on communicative, student-centered components and activities. Through using Harkness method strategies which encourage open classroom dialogue, the workshops were transformed into “Think Tanks” emphasizing a nurturing environment. This anxiety-free, collaborative approach supported risk-taking, opening-up within the group, and personal initiation of hands-on activities and projects. Upon reflection, the four pedagogical C’s: communication, cooperation, creativity and critical thinking are culturally transferable and as relevant as ever in engaging teachers and students to become agile thinkers, leveraging learning for continuous improvement within a culturally relevant pedagogical approach.

Ethical, Legal, and Fair Use Issues in Copyright or Can I do this?

20160831_134638An overview of Copyright and Fair Use Issues for Students Preparing to enter College by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin

Copyright issues are nothing new under the sun.  The Statute of Anne; April 10, 1710, shows that fair use and copyright issues started almost simultaneously with the proliferation of printing presses: “Whereas printers, booksellers, and other persons have of late frequently taken the liberty of printing, reprinting, and publishing, or causing to be printed, reprinted, and published, books and other writings, without the consent of the authors or proprietors of such books and writings, to their very great detriment, and too often to the ruin of them and their families: for preventing, therefore, such practices for the future…” The Statute of Anne complete text.

I am fascinated with fair use issues which directly relate to linking to other sites.  The question is why CNN, or Time, or Ticketmaster, would object to a link to their page.

“Isn’t the whole point of having a web page to attract users? These hyperlinks are like referrals — and one rarely hears of one party suing another for sending customers to their store. What’s going on here? In a word — advertising (and advertising dollars). In both suits, plaintiffs are asserting that the way that defendants link to their page deprives the plaintiffs of advertising revenue that is properly theirs. TotalNews, for example, surrounds its web page with a “frame” — a border that appears on the screen that contains advertising sold by TotalNews (or other messages that TotalNews wants you to see). Things get interesting now: if, say, you click on the link to ABC’s web page, you will indeed see the ABC page — but the TotalNews border continues to sit there, showing you the advertising that TotalNews has sold (which squeezes any advertising that ABC may contain into a smaller area on your screen). Similarly, Ticketmaster asserts that Microsoft, by linking to the Ticketmaster website, “has gained revenue from advertising made a part of Microsoft’s website, depriving Ticketmaster of favorable advertising business” and that its actions constitute “electronic piracy.” An Introduction to Copyright Law 

Yet, a process can not copy written. So, is CPR a process? When IS something a process? But the questions go deeper.

Works for Hire

Let’s take a look at the idea and concept of  Work For Hire. In An Introduction to Copyright Law, it is stated, “copyrightable material created by an individual in the course of employment is considered to be a work for hire. Ownership of the copyright vests automatically in the employer.”

What does this mean? Who owns the lessons or any original works that were developed for classes?  Are these lessons and creative output the property of the school or district one was employed by? Or if one is a Masters student researching at a college, is that research now the universities property and if one changes programs does that research now becomes untouchable by its creator?  Is a student researcher who pays for the privilege to study not allowed to share or even quote their work? What happens if the student or teacher puts a Creative Commons license on their work?

Reading Understanding Copyright Law by Marshall A. Leaffer will help you to either become more confused or gain a better understanding of the complexities regarding copyright issues.

What is the Creative Commons?

“A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.” Creative Commons license – Wikipedia

This infographic is an excellent way to get an overview of the traditional copyright process and the Creative Common Process.

The Creative Commons gives everybody the power to select their own license and tag their materials. 

The Creative Commons feature various ways one can legally control one’s work without taking the “extreme” route of completely denying remix or reuse of their content.

Digital Rights Management

How does Digital Right Management work?

Digital rights management, or DRM, is the term to try and limit the copying of music and movies. With new technologies, especially the digitization of movies and music, it is almost effortless to copy and distribute music and movies. This is a major issue regarding copyright issues, and millions of dollars are being lost by companies or creators of music, films, etc. Companies have tried to restrict the copying of their materials by putting code onto their CDs to confuse copying software. Instead of trying to find people who have violated the law, companies are seeking to make it harder to copy materials. The problem, of course, is the consumer might want to make copies of the material just for his/her own use. It is relatively easy to restrict the number of copies of a song, but what if the owner buys a new iPod. That owner has the right to that song, after all, they bought it! Sometimes the file can only be copied from the computer it was originally downloaded on to, but what if the computer got infected, or died?

Copyright issues are laws within a country, but the copying and distribution of materials happen across borders. International treaties, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), try to address these complex issues.

Writing a paper and in need of public domain resources?

The  Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) offers plenty of resources and mimics some in-person museum experiences in a virtual setting.

The home page is divided into multiple components that help the viewer to get oriented to the site quickly and able to determine which option will get the viewer further into the website content. Drop down menus, and content links are well labeled and make choices clear and easily understood.

The central section on the HOME page in the top left is dedicated to advertising the newest exhibition which currently is the American Empire. It offers a scrolling slideshow of maps and other content that catch the viewer’s eye and encourage further exploration. Below it is a search box that boasts content of over 16,000,000 items. Currently, there are 32 different Exhibition topics to explore. The website states that:

“Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Exhibitions are designed to tell stories of national significance using source materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, including letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more.” The Home page also offers News and Twitter feeds and provides examples of Apps that others have created using the data collections on the website.”

When looking for non-copyright pictures the following short video will help guide you:

Steven Davis Video: Finding “Free-to-Use” Pictures

Open Educational Resources – for everybody!

“Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open and distance learning domain as a consequence of the openness movement.”
Open educational resources – Wikipedia

Erica Zimmer, a graduate student at Marlboro College for Professional and Graduate Studies explains OER’s in a short video.

Open Educational Resources Video by Erica Zimmer

Creative Commons – The more you know by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin

What does it all mean for Me? (The Student)

I believe everybody should make choices from Wikimedia and other CC sources. It is important to respect the work of others.   Taking the time and effort to use one’s own images whenever possible will add several layers of work.  Yet, the whole point of going to college is to create competency in writing, presentations, and knowledge. Copying others work is Plagiarism, not flattery!

Related image

 

 

 

 

Swiss-Russian import of Medical Products Policy Memo by International Affairs Student Eugene Kolesnikov

Here an excellent policy memo which grew out of my International Affairs Class at EF – Education First.

Policy Memo
To: Dr. Jasmin B. Cowin, International Affairs class
From: Eugene Kolesnikov
RE: Swiss-Russian import of medical products policy

Current situation in Russian-Swiss relations

The Russian-Swiss Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was established in January 1994. In July 2009, with the support of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a business council on cooperation with Switzerland was established.[3]
Nowadays, the state of Russian-Swiss relations is characterized by positive dynamics, having continuous support from political dialogue at the highest levels.[3]
Russia is a priority country of Swiss foreign policy. The two countries share many interests. As a member of the UN Security Council and the G-20, Russia is a major international player. Since the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2007, bilateral relations have developed significantly. The MoU defines the framework for systematic and closer cooperation in the areas of:
  • Foreign policy and security;
  • Justice, police, and migration;
  • Economics and science;
  • Education and cultural affairs.
Representatives of both foreign ministries meet regularly for consultations. There are close contacts at the parliamentary level too, with active parliamentary friendships groups in both countries. Since 2009, Switzerland has represented Russia’s interests in Georgia and Georgia’s interests in Russia, after the two countries broke off diplomatic relations.[2]
At the same time, the ties linking the business communities of both states are expanding and strengthening. It is quite evident from a large number of bilateral events such as meetings, forums, and conferences held at the trade mission level. Such events have already become traditional and are usually held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and desire to expand the frontiers of bilateral partnership.[3]
Russia’s exports to Switzerland primarily consist of minerals (50.5 percent), gemstones and precious metals (38.7 percent), chemical products (6.3 percent) and metals and metal products (2.5 percent). Imports from Switzerland include cars, equipment and vehicles (42.1 percent), chemicals (33.0 percent), food and agricultural raw materials (9.6 percent) and other products, mainly watches (9.0 percent), metals and metal goods (3.7 percent).[1]
Major Swiss investors in Russia include Nestlé (food industry), Asea Brown Boveri (high-voltage and low-voltage equipment for industrial production, construction, housing, and utilities) and Schindler (elevators and escalators). Over 600 companies with Swiss capital are registered in Russia. Some major Russian investors in Switzerland include the Renova Group, Rusal, and the SUAL Group.[1]
Currently, more than 600 companies with Swiss capital are operating in Russia, on the other hand, many Russian companies are working on the Swiss market. However, the volume of bilateral trade has been constantly growing, and this suggests that the potential for bilateral cooperation is far from exhausted. Russia and Switzerland are also brought together by a number of major investment projects, designed to be implemented in the years to come.[3]
First of all, we are talking about projects in such important spheres as science-intensive high-tech industries including energy, space, medicine, nuclear and IT-technology. In particular, the most well-known and highly advocated bilateral projects deal with innovation and nanotechnology issues.[3]
In the last several years experts observe increased imports to Russia of Swiss machinery and equipment, electronic goods, which is encouraged by the economic growth and stable demand on the Russian market.[3]
In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated due to the crisis in Ukraine. In late July, the EU and the US moved from targeted sanctions against specific individuals and companies toward measures against whole sectors of the Russian economy. Switzerland did not join the EU sanctions.[1]

Russian’s Ban on Medical Imports

Medvedev told Russian journalists a suggested bill to restrict imported medical devices and supplies would not be supported by his government unless treatment quality for patients could be maintained.[4]
The list of items suggested for the ban included everything from X-ray machines, defibrillators, incubators for newborns and prosthetic devices to crutches, bandages, and condoms.[4]
Russia’s medical community criticized the proposal for failing to first consult doctors and medical experts as Russian producers can not make the same quality of products or do not make them at all.[4]
Russia’s “import substitution” policy aims to encourage Russia’s domestic producers to develop supplies for markets now dependent on foreign imports. It was accelerated after western sanctions were put in place following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in neighboring Ukraine in 2014.[4]
Although the Ban on Medical Imports is not accepted yet, there is a positive dynamics in this direction, which indicates that it can happen in the nearest future. Before it happens, Russia has to be prepared for such a drastic change.

Proposal

Russia is a large market with great potential for Swiss companies. Switzerland is committed to creating optimal conditions for Swiss businesses and has an action plan on developing economic relations to achieve this. A bilateral mixed economic commission meets on an annual basis. The Swiss Business Hub, which is integrated within the Swiss embassy, advises Swiss companies intending to enter the Russian market and promotes Switzerland as a business location.[2]
According to Russian laws “Goods are considered to be of Russian origin if they are made or have been sufficiently processed in the country according to customs regulations that are applicable in Russia. A supplier is considered Russian if it is a legal entity registered in Russia (which can be fully foreign-owned, except in cases of specifically regulated sectors, such as media) or a Russian citizen.”[5]
Taking into consideration these two facts and the necessity of developing the Russian sector of medicine, I propose such Swiss companies like Novartis (Sandoz), Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea Pharmaceutica, Actelion and Straumann to create assembly factories on the territory of Russia and, therefore, to gain a foothold in the Russian market.
Both Switzerland and Russia will benefit from it, which means that it is a win-win proposal:
  • Switzerland: Swiss pharmaceutical industry will be expanded to Russian territory and, therefore, bring more profit and improve international relations between countries;
  • Russia: not mentioning the increase in the number of workplaces, Russia will improve the quality of the medical product which will allow Russia to finally accept the Ban on Medical Imports and not to depend on other countries in the field of medicine. Moreover, the Russian government will increase its budget with the taxes from new pharmaceutical companies.

REFERENCES 

[1]  Sputnik, “Russian-Swiss Relations: Facts and Details”, 8 Dec 2014,
[2] FDFA,“BilateralrelationsSwitzerland–Russia”, 8 Apr 2016,
[3]  MiroshnichenkoV., “Russian-Swisstraderelations”, Business Mir #22, Aug 2012,
[4]  VoaNews, “Russia’s PM Halts Ban on Medical Imports”, 3 Sep 2015,
 http://www.voanews.com/a/ russia-pm-halts-ban-on-medical-imports/2944103.html.
[5]  GoncharoffP., “AsTrumpPushes’MadeinUSA’, PutinPromotes Products ’Made 
in Russia’”, 16 Jan 2017, http://russia-insider.com/en/business/ri18556.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 
 
CC BY-NC-ND
Posted 28th March by

Educational Technology meets Virtual Reality Fiction

The Independent School and College Virtual Reality Interview App Jasmin B. Cowin

Jasmin B. Cowin, Ed.D.

THIS IS FICTITIOUS INVENTION SOLEY FOR MY EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CLASS

Interviews for Independent Private Schools, Boarding Schools, and colleges are a source of anxiety for applicant students. The primary goals  of this App are diminishing interview anxiety and creating a Virtual World Interview Camp.

All independent schools/colleges feature one universal, critical requirement – the admissions interview, be it by Skype or in person.
Students who apply to an independent school or college for admission are required to meet with an admissions officer in a one-on-one and/or small group setting. Admissions officers view their interactions with prospective students and their families as their number one priority. Schools place extreme value on personal interactions with new families. This Virtual Reality Educational Software program would prepare students for the interviews with Independent schools or colleges.

The function of the App would be Digital Data transformation by “slurping up” public data from around the web, run it through “proprietary school personality detection technology,” and spit out a detailed report on the school’s preferred style of communicating, standard questions, highly desirable student profile, style of teaching, school mottos etc. This app features part oppo research and part algorithmic astrology with the App not only creating a database of personalized standard and complex questions but also building a four-dimensional school/college VR personality profile. Applicants can then enter this four-dimensional world for touch-enable exploration. The App would feature VR sessions which “model” admissions interviews. The VR counselor will create vocabulary matrix for students to practice “Admission vocabulary.” The App would track progress, multi-dimensional and students would receive a Virtual Reality merit badge for every level of completed admission practice. The program will be able to screen/parse school websites and content for proprietary school coaching with personalized answer generation taking into consideration the student’s age and language ability (native-non-native speaker).
The App is designed to work with Oculus’ Touch to deliver the perfect multidimensional gestural and vocal interface simulating an admissions interview