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2018 TESOL Research Mini-Grant Recipients

Multilingual Meaning-Making during Reading: Collaborative Inquiry into Translanguaging Possibilities and Practices for Elementary Emergent Multilinguals
Leah Shepard-Carey
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Across institutions and policies relating to literacy development, young emergent multilinguals have often been framed in deficit, binary terms, with little attention to the diversity of skills and experiences they bring to their understanding of texts (Helman & Stai, 2017). As culturally- and linguistically-sustaining strategies have been proposed to address this systemic issue, there continues to be a dearth of research that examines how implementation of specific strategies influences young emergent multilinguals’ meaning-making and interactions surrounding texts. As such, this study draws on dialogic theories of meaning-making and translanguaging pedagogies to explore the implementation of multilingual strategies and the surrounding classroom discourse that emerge from a teacher and researcher collaboration during reading time. Implications of this work include practical considerations for employing translanguaging strategies in primary-grades elementary classrooms as well as methodological considerations for researchers and teacher educators who engage in this work with their communities.  

1rLeah Shepard-Carey is PhD student and instructor in Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. Leah spent several years teaching elementary emergent multilinguals in Minnesota. Her research interests include literacy learning of emergent multilinguals, particularly how teachers can draw on students’ multilingual and multimodal repertoires during students’ textual sense-making.

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Demystifying Undergraduate Writing: Assignment Types and Linguistic Characteristics of Student Writing

David Gasbarro Tasker
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

Producing successful academic writing is one of the more perplexing challenges that language learners may face. Two factors contribute to the difficulty of this task: 1) late-stage, linguistic development continues at the university level, even for first-language students (Staples, Egbert, Biber, & Gray, 2016); 2) written coursework demands diverge into increasingly complex and specialized disciplinary registers. This project investigates: 1) the types of writing that students produce in different university situations, and 2) the linguistic characteristics of these types. A taxonomy assignment types found across different levels and departments is developed through investigation of curricular documents and interviews with expert informants. Linguistic characteristics of assignment types are examined by building and investigating a representative corpus of authentic student writing. Findings are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively to reveal the influences of communicative demands, disciplinary variation, and linguistic development on patterns in student-writer language with important practical applications for language teaching..

2rDavid Gasbarro Tasker is a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University. He has taught English in the U.S. and Armenia. His primary research investigates the intersection of disciplinary variation and the development of university language in the registers of undergraduate writing using situational and corpus-linguistic analyses.

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Translanguaging Design: Leveraging Student Multilingualism in a TESOL Classroom

Zhongfeng Tian
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, United States 

English-only immersion approach has been the norm indisputably for intensive English programs (IEP) in the United States. However, the underlying monolingual ideology contradicts and devalues the cultural and linguistic diversity that students bring to the classroom. To counteract this trend, translanguaging pedagogies represent an emerging attempt to value and leverage students’ full language repertoires in meeting academic challenges. To shed light on the opportunities and challenges of implementing translanguaging, this study takes the form of design-based research in which I collaborate with a senior TESOL lecturer and we co-design and co-apply translanguaging pedagogies in a university IEP classroom. By studying unfolding enactments, we progressively document, reflect upon, and refine our translanguaging design and instructional practices. Through iterative analysis of class videos, field notes, student coursework and interviews, this study aims to offer promising teaching suggestions for TESOL educators and instructors regarding how to leverage student multilingualism in classrooms.

3rZhongfeng Tian is a PhD student at Boston College majoring in Language, Literacy & Culture. He has taught EFL, ESL and Mandarin to students of different age groups, cultural and linguistic backgrounds in China, Cambodia, and the United States. His current research primarily focuses on bilingualism, TESOL, and translanguaging.

Culturally Responsive Evaluation: Are We Doing It? 

Mariam M. Abdelaziz
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

Abstract Social, behavioral, and educational research have begun to examine the evaluation of diverse individuals and programs using culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) theoretical framework. A national survey was conducted to examine how SLPs assess English learners in the context of CRE theory. Findings indicate that SLPs are not using culturally responsive assessment procedures consistently with English learners.

4rMariam M. Abdelaziz, M.A. CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with the Guilford County School System and doctoral student at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her areas of interest include language and literacy development and culturally responsive approaches to assessment and intervention of culturally and linguistically diverse students.