Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reflections on AAAL 2011 Chicago--Saturday morning

Saturday, March 26 (morning)

I woke up early feeling ready and excited for the first day of presentations. I had decided which presentations to attend to beforehand so I knew where I was going. After a good breakfast and smoking my cigarette I went to the colloquium entitled Exploring the Interactional Instinct. I have read and written about the book The Interactional Instinct and I was really looking forward to the colloquium. The colloquium certainly did not disappoint me. It was one of the best I attended. Below is the info from the program book about the presentations.

Joaquin, Anna Dina L. (University of California, Los Angeles,
Schumann, John H (University of California, Los Angeles,
Exploring the Interactional Instinct and Language Acquisition

In this colloquium, we explore several issues that are raised by the Interactional Instinct (II) theory: the relationship between first and second language acquisition, the manifestation of the II cross-culturally and in observed interaction, and its relation to other theoretical constructs (Pedagogical Stance, Willingness to Communicate, and Interactional Hypothesis).

Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 8:15 am - 11:15 am • Michigan B • SLA

Colloquium Papers

John H Schumann (University of California, Los Angeles,
A Unified Perspective of First and Second Language Acquisition
From the perspective of the Interactional Instinct theory, this paper argues that primary language acquisition (PLA) and second language acquisition (SLA) are both governed by motivation, ability, and opportunity. It maintains that in PLA these factors are biologically and socially guaranteed, but that
in SLA they are only available variably.

Gail Fox Adams (University of California, Los Angeles,
Infant Attachment and Language Exposure Across Cultures
Ethnographic studies from societies that practice polyadic childcare are reviewed in this paper and demonstrate the cross-cultural applicability of the Interactional Instinct theory (Lee et al, 2009).

Anna Dina L. Joaquin (University of California, Los Angeles,
The Interactional Instinct and Learning through Eavesdropping
Research suggests that children in some parts of the world learn language largely through “eavesdropping” as they participate in activities with members of their society. This presentation explores evidence for acquisition via eavesdropping with the Interactional Instinct as the motivation for
attending to and focusing on linguistic input when overheard.

Bahiyyih L. Hardacre (University of California, Los Angeles,
The Biological and Psychological Basis of Social Engagement Behaviors in Second Language Acquisition
This paper relates the psychological construct, Willingness to Communicate, to Porges’ (2007) Polyvagal theory, examining the role of brain-viscera communication in social engagement behaviors of speakers, and providing an account of influences on learners’ decision to communicate with others
in the target language.

Jessica Roehrig (University of California, Los Angeles,
The Interactional Instinct and the Pedagogical Stance
The Interactional Instinct and The Pedagogical Stance argue that social interaction is important in language and in cognitive development. The two perspectives are investigated in this paper through the case of phonetic acquisition to explore certain neurobiological processes as adaptations for development that span cultures, ontogenesis, and phylogenesis.

Emre Guvendir (Trakya University/University of California, Los Angeles,
The Interactional Instinct and the Interactional Hypothesis
The Interactional Instinct and The Interactional Hypothesis maintain that interaction is essential for language acquisition. In primary language acquisition, interaction and thus acquisition are guaranteed by the innate biology of attachment and reward, however, this biology is not categorically available to older second language learners.

I have to admit that I envy the presenters because first I think it must be wonderful to be part of something like this and to be working within the same paradigm with other people and second the quality of the presentations was excellent. The presentations were well prepared and stimulating. The audience was pretty big too. I hope I can be part of a colloquium one day. Anyway, I enjoyed the colloquium very much. I wish I could talk to the presenters after the colloquium but they seemed busy talking to other people :-(.
After the colloquium, I attended two presentations before lunch break.

Flowerdew, Lynne (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology,
Written Discourse Analysis: Opportunities and Drawbacks of Corpus-Based Approaches
This paper critically reviews recent corpus-based studies (including the presenter’s own research), which can be viewed as connecting to one of the two following approaches to written discourse analysis, textual or critical, although clearly there is overlap between these two approaches. Drawbacks of corpus methodologies will also be discussed.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 11:20 am - 11:50 am • Ontario • TXT

Yigitoglu, Nur (Georgia State University,, Belcher, Diane (Georgia State University,
Exploring second language writing teacher cognition
This study investigates second language writing teachers' beliefs about themselves as language learners and writers. It explores the extent to which ESL teachers' beliefs about and practice of teaching L2 writing are influenced by their first and second language writing experiences. Implications for teacher education programs will be discussed.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 11:55 am - 12:25 pm • Superior B • RWL
Unfortunately, Belcher was not at the presentation but it was a nice one.

Lesson 1--Determine which presentations to attend beforehand
Lesson 2--It is much enjoyable attending presentations that you've read about something before
Lesson 3--It's good to attend presentations on a variety of topics
Lesson 4--You meet people you already know at presentations. For example, I met people who graduated from Purdue, my former classmates. It's nice talking to them again. I think it would be even better if I had emailed them beforehand and made some plans together since I lost some of them in the crowd. Well, maybe next time.
Lesson 5--I like colloquia since they are more informative about theoretical frameworks people use compared to regular presentations.  It's easier to see patterns that way. So, conferences are good for finding out what you like, what you want to read more about, what you find interesting and not so interesting.
Lesson 6--You cannot always rely on your cellphone for finding people at conferences since it's hard to hear anything when the presentations are over. So it might be a better idea to make your lunch plans beforehand ^_^.

To be continued...

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