Center for Applied Linguistic Studies CASLS, University of Oregon

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3 thoughts on “Center for Applied Linguistic Studies CASLS, University of Oregon”

  1. I don’t understand what is meant by #6, “Pragmatic patterns related to the expression and interpretation of meaning are integrated throughout the curriculum.” Pragmatic patterns are…?

  2. Right, Diane. Me neither! Why does it have to be so complicated? Oceans of input before a trickle of output. Learning grammar rules and memorizing long vocabulary lists are useless for acquisition. It does get tiresome. And whose ten best practices? #10. Who doesn’t assess what they teach?

  3. These organizations (like CASLS) , including the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) & the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA), live in a parallel reality, one that hasn’t yet received Krashen’s & co’s memo on Second Language Acquisition.
    I received CARLA’s flyer in January and wrote the following email to Ben. It’s about as laughable as the PowerPoint presentation that CAL showed us when our admin invited them to our district.
    Hi Ben,
    I regularly receive pamphlets from CARLA, the Center for Advanced Rresearch on Language Acquisition, out of the University of Minnesota. Among other services they run summer institutes for language teachers. Elaine Tyrone is the director of CARLA and ‘is well known internationally for the research and teaching on the topic of SLA.’ (I’m not familiar w/ this name, are you?) They brag that they’re well funded by grants from the USDOE because they’re ‘nationally known for excellent leadership in the field of foreign language studies.’
    Anyway, this is what it says on page 6 under the bold caption, “How can teachers support the process of second language acquisition?”
    “Teachers can support their students’ second language acquisition by assigning engaging puzzle-solving communicative tasks in which learners use their second language in spontaneous and innovative ways, often surprising their teachers and themselves with what they can do with the language. Teachers also support their students’ language development by analyzing the developing structure of their learner language in order to shape ongoing instructional input, scaffolding, and corrective feedback.”
    Dang. I forgot to make my input more puzzle-like, and to follow up by analyzing the results of forced early (puzzling) output!
    This insightful and illuminating tract is followed by a brilliant attendee testimonial:
    “My understanding of how learners acquire language was challenged and now I see the difference between learning, which refers to that which is explicit, and acquiring, which is implicit. My experience at CARLA this summer really helped me to focus on the learner and get to know them first, so I can then know what they need to know to be more successful in the learning of languages.”
    Whut?
    What follows in the summer institute session descriptions is a lot of the usual gobbledygook: Technology and second-language learning, second language assessments at the virtual assessment center with a virtual item bank, web based resources for teachers and learners, blah blah blah. There’s even a session on Going Green: Bringing Sustainability and Environmental Themes Into the Language Classroom! Culture as Core, Content based Instruction….
    The only real pedagogical practices strand is all about something called SSBI- styles and strategies based instruction, where, for example, you can “gain a deeper awareness of your strengths both as a learner and as a teacher.” (I am not familiar with SSBI theory, are you?)
    Toward the end of the pamphlet there’s a session called Focusing on learner language: Second Language Acquisition basics for teachers (taught by the director/professor).
    I thought/ hoped that there would be some overlap with what we do here. But no, it’s about “how can we better understand grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation patterns of learner language, and how these develop? How can we use this understanding to fine-tune our pedagogy? ” It’s about error correction!!!
    I guess my question again is whether we try to engage with CARLA the way we did with ACTFL on the Herman-led march toward freedom because it’s a powerful, far-reaching and well-funded world language teachers’ training organization and it’s wasting teacher summers misrepresenting the language acquisition process, and then misguiding Ts practices in the sessions.
    It pisses me off.
    Here’s the website if you need a good blood boil or if you care to know abt SSBI (not really, thanks.):
    http://www.carla.umn.edu/index.html
    Best, Alisa
    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

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