Abstracts are listed below in the same order as the conference schedule.


Writing Prompt Selection in the ESL Classroom: An Inquiry into Student Choice

Brent Smith

Time: 9:00 Room: Hum 121

Within various writing situations in academic university settings, non-native English speaking students (NNS) are often asked to choose a writing prompt upon which their writing performances will be evaluated. Based upon what criteria do these NNS select their essay choices? Although the presenter would like to believe that prior knowledge and interest are the primary impetuses in selecting a writing prompt, he was curious what other parameters (such as ease of topic and prolificacy of the prompt) might be coming into play. This presentation evaluates ESL students’ perceptions concerning the ability to choose their own writing prompts, examines how the selections are made and asks what implications might be drawn from the process.


ESL Students’ Spoken Stories: Creative Communication Outside The Classroom

Emily Zastrow

Time: 9:00 Room: Hum 122

Linguistically rich and engaging dialogue should not be limited to the classroom for English Language Learners. Technology provides a diverse and captivating resource for educators to explore authentic communicative opportunities that encourage students to collaborate and exchange ideas through a multimedia platform. This presentation will demonstrate how digital stories are being effectively integrated into an ESL listening and speaking curriculum, inspiring students to produce creative and visually stimulating interactive work.


Bridging the Gap between Ideal and Reality in Japanese English Classrooms

Nami Miyashita

Time: 9:35 Room: Hum 121

The Japanese government recognized the need to enhance students’ communicative competence, and has been promoting secondary school English teachers to use Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) for decades. Nevertheless, the grammar translation method is still dominant in Japanese high school classrooms. There seems to be a huge gap between ideal and reality in terms of implementation of CLT. The presenter will discuss various constraints which prevent teachers from implementing CLT in their classrooms. She will then provides practical suggestions to make English classes more communicative by outlining a unit of lesson plans suitable for the Japanese high school context.


Integrating English Education with Supportive Services: One Student’s Journey

Amber Wolak

Time: 9:35 Room: Hum 122

Many factors influence whether adult non-native English speakers decide to stay in school, and what type of improvements they make in English development and other areas of their lives while they are there.  This presentation describes a program at a local community college that integrates English education with supportive services offered through a one-stop model located on campus.  Through a lens of persistence, which revolves around students continuing the English learning process over a period of time, this presentation addresses how well this program is working for the students that it serves.  Through a series of detailed interviews with one of this program’s participants who is on track to achieve her educational and personal goals despite a variety of external hardships, this presentation aims to describe what about this model is working, and what areas could still be improved upon in the future.


A Collaborative Teacher Professional Development Program for Instructing Underachievers

Wani Choi

Time: 9:35 Room: 283

Traditional expert-led one-time in-service programs often fail to involve teachers in change and development. This presentation introduces an overview of the curriculum development for a 12-hour teacher professional development program for instructing underachievers, which will be delivered at Kyoungin National University of Education in Korea in August 2013. The presenter will share an alternative professional development structure that allows for program participants to engage in reflective and collaborative learning that is directly relevant to the teachers’ existing teaching contexts, focusing on customized teaching strategies for each type of English underachiever.


Implementation of a Vocabulary Card Strategy in ESL/EFL Classes

Jungmin Lee

Time: 10:20 Room: Hum 121

Regardless how much class time teachers spend on vocabulary instruction, learners still need to know a myriad of words. It is thus important to teach learners vocabulary learning strategies and encourage the learners to become increasingly independent in their second language learning. One of the effective vocabulary learning strategies that has been advocated by a great number of teachers and researchers is the use of vocabulary cards. Based on vocabulary learning principles, the presenter will provide a vocabulary learning program that incorporates vocabulary cards in ESL/EFL classes and report on the implementation of a vocabulary card strategy in a multi-level adult ESL class.


Survival Redefined: Curriculum Development for a Bay Area Refugee Resettlement Agency

Mark Buchsieb

Time: 10:20 Room: Hum 122

Familiarity with students and experience implementing courses make teachers ideal curriculum developers, yet many hesitate to embark on such projects. This presentation provides an overview of the curriculum development process and reflections on the design of a 16-week “survival English” class for adult refugees at the International Rescue Committee in Oakland, California. By sharing experiences and tips and initiating discussion, this presentation seeks to inspire, encourage, and support other TESOL teachers to take a more active role in curriculum development and to embrace their unique position to create powerful curricular improvements for learners.


From EFL to ESL: Chinese Students’ Perspectives on Group Work and Cooperative Learning

Aaron Brown

Time: 10:20 Room: Hum 283

Students from Confucian Heritage Cultures (CHC) have often learned English in a teacher-centered environment. A great deal of research exists on student attitudes regarding Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in an East Asian context, but few studies have examined these students’ perceptions of cooperative learning in an ESL environment. This small-scale qualitative survey studies Chinese students at an American Intensive English Program (IEP) to better understand their views of the communicative nature of ESL classrooms and the challenges they face.

Presentation Handout

Powerpoint Slides


Addressing Plagiarism by Developing ESL Writers’ Author Identities

Ashley Peters

Time: 10:55 Room: Hum 121

In academic ESL classes, students are expected to not only hone their skills in English composition, but also to develop habits of mind in accordance with American academic norms. Avoidance of plagiarism is one such expectation; however, understanding and adhering to this concept can be difficult for developing ESL student writers. This presentation seeks to address the American view of authorial individuality in a way that highlights the interaction between readers and writers, legitimizing students in these dual roles. The presenter will share methods created to teach the concept of plagiarism by empowering developing ESL writers through activities such as peer paraphrasing and critical discussion.


Where are you REALLY from?” – Can Immigrant Students Identify the Language of Discrimination? 

Elissa K. Ouchida

Time: 10:55 Room: Hum 122

The difference between being charged for a robbery or a hate crime can be as small as one word. In fact, an act of discrimination can be something as subtle as a change in intonation. If English Language Learners are not able to pick up the nuances in the language of discrimination, they cannot take the proper recourse actions. With a focus on discrimination against Asian and Pacific Islanders, this project investigates whether immigrant students can identify the language of discrimination.

Presentation Handout


Using the Native Language: Help or Indulgence?

Bryan Siwei Zhao

Time: 10:55 Room: Hum 283

Use of learners’ L1 in ESL class continues to be a controversial issue. While many teachers and scholars advocate the “English Only Policy”, others suggest that it is effective for teachers using L1 (first or native language), especially for lower level classes. After examining one teacher’s use of L1 and its effectiveness in a lower level adult immigrant class, and interviewing teachers who use L1 in their classes, the presenter will address the following questions: Does a teacher’s use of L1 facilitate students’ learning? What do students and teachers think about a teacher’s use of L1? How do students compare the “English Only” classroom and the classroom in which L1 is used by the teacher? The presentation will provide first-hand information collected from a real teaching context to discuss the issue of bilingual or multilingual teachers using L1 in ESL classes.


EAP Learners as Language Researchers with an Online Corpus

Misung Lee

Time: 11:30 Room: Hum 121

Acquiring formulaic sequences contributes to L2 writers’ fluency in academic discourse. The arbitrary nature and the huge amount of formulaic language requires learners to learn independently and continually. A corpus, which provides abundant contextual and linguistic information by showing concordance and frequency, could be an effective tool for prompting this autonomous learning. The presenter will share how she implemented this corpus-based learning with COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) through two one-hour workshops. The presentation will include the results of the action research in terms of students’ actual COCA searches and evaluations on corpus consultation for their writings.


Using Interactive Warm-Ups in a Test-Driven EFL Context

Yanmei Chu

Time: 11:30 Room: Hum 122

The warm-up, also known as the lesson opening, is a phase of preparation, motivation, and rapport building. Researchers suggest that warm-ups in the language class should be interactive, involve the participation of the whole class, and provide learners with extra opportunities to use the target language for communication. This, however, can be challenging for many EFL teachers due to the class size and the pressure of standardized tests. This project investigates the implementation of warm-ups in test-oriented EFL classes at a Chinese middle school. The presenter will report the findings from the study and share interactive warm-up activities that fit this particular teaching context.


Challenging Myths: Enhancing the Vocabulary Component of an Oral Skills Class

Leah Wolkovitz

Time: 11:30 Room: Hum 283

Vocabulary is recognized by students and scholars alike as a critical element contributing to fluency in academic English.  The instructor/presenter, using current research on most effective approaches, enhanced the vocabulary component of an intensive intermediate academic oral skills curriculum. The existing curriculum being full, one goal was to minimize the use of additional class time for vocabulary instruction. The instructor/presenter will share some of the myths about learning vocabulary that current research has debunked, the plan she developed to address vocabulary needs, a variety of activities, and lessons learned actually teaching the curriculum.


Forging Links between Personal Narratives and Expository Essays: In Academic ESL/EFL

Sanghee Park

Time: 1:30 Room: Hum 121

In academic ESL/EFL writing classes, many beginning writers experience hardships expressing themselves due to their unfamiliarity with the organizational structures of academic essays. Notwithstanding the importance of helping students learn to express their individual voice, the main goal in many academic writing courses lies in enlightening students about the expected rhetorical structures and moves within an essay. To address this language learning challenge, this presentation will introduce teaching strategies and materials that teachers can utilize to move from engaging beginning writers in personal narratives that use their own words and input to teaching the organizational structures of academic writing for constructing an expository essay.


“Edutainment” for Young Korean Learners Using Songs and Animated film

Minsun Ko

Time: 1:30 Room: Hum 111

For the past few decades, communicative language teaching has been emphasized in Korea.  However, this goal is often forgotten because of the overshadowing demand for an exam driven English education system.  Private English institutes dominate this field in Korea, attracting younger students each year.  This project draws attention away from exam driven English education and places the focus back on communicative teaching materials for young learners who attend private institutes in Korea.


How May I Help You? Polite Telephone Skills for Workplace Communication

Angela Generoso

Time: 1:30 Room: Hum 113

Very few jobs today don’t involve the daily use of the telephone, and as globalization is increasing, English has become the main language for business contexts.  Regardless of students’ proficiency in English, speaking on the telephone is, overall, difficult. As language educators, how can we strive to help students achieve a higher level of telephone competency? This curriculum project details different methods of teaching politeness with telephone communication skills for vocational ESL students. The curriculum includes different topics used for workplace communication on the telephone as well as communicative activities for practice.


Seeds to Trees: Using Low-Stakes Tasks to Cultivate High-Stakes Composition Skills

Cynthia Augsjoost

Time: 2:05 Room: Hum 121

How can journal writing contribute to academic writing success? Low-stakes writing tasks, such as journals, peer responses, and essay drafts, are seldom the focus of academic ESOL composition classes. Yet this kind of writing, when integrated into a scaffolded sequence of writing activities, can increase writing development and fluency as well as student confidence. This project will report on action research in an intermediate ESOL writing classroom at a Bay Area community college, explore qualitative research from students and teachers, and give suggestions on how teachers can employ low-stakes writing tasks to prepare their students for high stakes writing assignments.


The Missing Piece in Business English in Korea

Yunhye Ahn

Time: 2:05 Room: Hum 111

In response to globalization, the majority of Korean companies have begun to use standardized English exams to select promising candidates. While these tests are designed to measure one’s potential English ability in the business field, there certainly is a gap between what they measure and what is needed in today’s global workplace: intercultural communication. The presenter will share aspects of developing a business English curriculum, which focuses on intercultural communication. Specifically, the presentation will stress the importance of conducting a needs analysis for setting the course goals and objectives.


Autonomy and Motivation in Language Labs

Claudia Zimmermann

Time: 2:05 Room: Hum 113

Language labs in ESL/EFL learning have become a bridge for providing a more individualized approach for students who want to develop their skills in ESL/EFL. In particular, the speaking lab at a university in California offers students the opportunity to further develop their pronunciation, presentation, and conversational skills. As a result, students are able to excel in their ESL/EFL learning. The research I am doing takes a close look at the way the speaking lab is structured and how the courses it offers, such as pronunciation, increases student motivation and autonomy in ESL/EFL.


Are We on the Same Page?  Investigating Role Conflict in Team Teaching

Aaron Sponseller 

Time: 2:40 Room: Hum 111

In the Japanese EFL context, team teaching involves a Japanese teacher of English (JTE) teaching with an assistant language teacher (ALT) from a foreign country.  The process of team teaching consists of three phases: pre-instructional, instructional, and post-instructional.  A survey comprised of open and close-ended questions was administered in order to explore how JTEs and ALTs conceptualize their roles during these phases of the team teaching process.  Responses which indicate role confusion or potential areas of JTE/ALT conflict will be examined, and suggestions for improving practice will be made.


Teaching Adult Learners with Limited Schooling: Approaches that Work in the Multilevel ESL Classroom

Katherine (Corrie) McCluskey

Time: 2:40 Room: Hum 113

Adult learners in beginning level non-credit ESL classes who come with little previous formal education may struggle to learn English and improve their literacy skills. They often find textbook activities hard to follow, and need guidance in learning how to learn. Best practices for building confidence and learner capacity for this student population include LEA (Language Experience Approach), WPW (Whole-Part-Whole Approach), and activities that provide oral practice in deictic relationships using realia, gestures and visual cues. This presentation will provide examples of what has worked in a community-based multilevel ESL literacy class for adult learners with limited schooling.


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