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Language Resource Center

Events of 2016-2017

This year's events are co-sponsored by the Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Institute for European Studies, the East Asia Program, the South Asia Program, the Southeast Asia Program and the Departments of Romance Studies, Near Eastern Studies, German Studies and Asian Studies.

November 1

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Designing Engaging Language Learning Experiences: A Computer Science Perspective

Erik Andersen, Department of Computer Science
Fields of Information Science and Cognitive Science
Cornell University

Tuesday, November 1, 4pm, Noyes Lodge

Reception before and after the talk
One of biggest challenges in teaching language is staying engaged for long enough to reach proficiency. In this talk, I will describe three recent projects intended to tackle this problem. First, I will discuss the challenges of "gamifying" language learning, and present Crystallize, our immersive 3D game that simulates immersion in a foreign language environment. Then, I will discuss new tools for crowdsourcing the collection, classification, and augmentation of language learning materials. Finally, We have been analyzing the rates that students can effectively learn new language material and how those rates are represented in textbooks. We have some surprising findings showing a consistent rate in two different Japanese textbooks. I'll discuss this research and its significance for text and material development.
November 16

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 4pm, Noyes Lodge

Web Audio Lab: An online platform for extensive and intensive speaking and now,

Reception before and after the talk
Web Audio Lab (WAL) was originally developed at Cornell more than 10 years ago, programmed by Slava Paperno in collaboration with the Language Resource Center. It is a uniquely Cornell platform, as the need for it arose from the special tradition of language teaching at Cornell starting in the 1950s. Programs of study developed from then through the 1970s emphasized focused, intensive and extensive out-of-class practice by students, followed by in-class oral drill and conversation. These courses, especially in Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog and Indonesian needed a platform to enable this student work when tape recorder/players faded from the scene. WAL has become that platform, and it has been embraced by teachers of a dozen languages at Cornell. These teachers have found that students doing this out-of-class oral practice prepares them to perform better in class, in the wide range of activities modern classrooms afford.
Over this summer, with support from the Mellon Foundation through the Shared Course Initiative, we have vastly expanded WAL in some original and creative ways to support extensive listening, student generation of WAL material and interaction among class members. We have prepared some demonstration courses in English and other languages of these features. Come see how you can use WAL in your own class.
December 6

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
9am-12pm followed by lunch

LRC Workshop

March 23

Thursday, March 23, 2017
4pm followed by reception

TBLT and Foreign Language Writing

Andrea Revesz, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
Department of CUlture, Communication, and Media UCL Institute of Education, University College London

With the growing popularity of task-based approaches to language teaching, the field of instructed second language (L2) acquisition has seen a growing interest in task design features as a means to facilitate L2 performance and development. However, the vast majority of task-related studies have focused on the oral modality, research into the effects of task features on L2 writing is limited. In addition, previous studies have primarily examined the product of writing (e.g., linguistic complexity and accuracy), little attention has been paid to writing processes such as fluency, pausing and revision during writing. In this talk, drawing on my own and colleagues' work, I will introduce recent empirical research that has begun to address these gaps. I will discuss and demonstrate how manipulating the design features of communicative tasks and the conditions under which they are performed may help facilitate L2 writing performance and development. In particular, I will show the extent to which providing support with content and task repetition can influence writing behaviors and text quality. I will also highlight the methodological advantages of triangulating product- and process-based measures. Finally, I will consider the pedagogical implications of the research discussed.