Following are the lecturers and topics of past seminars of the Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Dr. Averil Coxhead (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

Measuring Productive Lexical Proficiency in Learner Corpora

The focus of lecture series is firstly on identifying and discussing issues in quantitative and qualitative research into vocabulary in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and secondly on connecting this research to practice. The session begins with an overview of vocabulary research in ESP and why vocabulary is important in this field. The focus then moves to research on the development of word lists and the evaluating them in ESP, because they are a key contribution to teaching, learning and research. The next session looks into research which uses word lists and what issues arise when we consider vocabulary in written and spoken language in ESP. Next, we will look at research that focuses on teachers and learners in vocabulary for ESP, and consider what this research adds to our understandings of the field and what issues arise from it. Finally, we will look for opportunities and challenges for connecting this research to classrooms and to future possible research. There will be plenty of time for questions.

Dr. Takumi Uchihara (Waseda University, Japan)

L2 Spoken Vocabulary Acquisition, Instruction, and Assessment

The past few decades have witnessed an upsurge in the number of second language (L2) vocabulary studies and provided several important implications for vocabulary teaching and learning. The vast majority of earlier studies however have largely focused on written input as a main source of learning (e.g., reading graded readers), engaging learners with word-focused activities in written format (e.g., writing sentences, gap-filling), and measuring the written forms of L2 words (e.g., Vocabulary Size Test). Not as much research attention has been directed towards the spoken forms of L2 words.

The goal of this seminar is to highlight existing L2 vocabulary studies focusing on spoken vocabulary acquisition, instruction, and assessment, and discuss how we as researchers and practitioners can undertake future studies in these areas. In this seminar, we will address a number of questions revolving around L2 spoken vocabulary, including “How is vocabulary learned through exposure to spoken input?” “How can we optimize the effect of spoken input on vocabulary learning?” “To what extent does spoken output promote vocabulary learning?” “To what extent is vocabulary knowledge associated with L2 oral proficiency?” and “How should we measure receptive and productive knowledge of spoken forms of L2 words?”

Dr. Michael Rost (Author, Editor, Teacher Trainer, Researcher, U.S.A.)

Teaching Listening

An understanding of listening processes and best practices to develop listening ability is essential in language teaching, inclusive of all types and ages of students, learning purposes, proficiency levels, and media of instruction. In this seminar we will explore the principles of listening, the differences between first language and second language listening, and the best practices for assisting learners in becoming better listeners.

The seminar will be divided into eight sessions, beginning with a listener-centered model of participation in communication and an outline of the range of methods that can be used to develop listening attitudes, skills, and strategies. We will then explore the psycholinguistic processes of listening, particularly bottom-up (language-based) processes and top-down (concept-based) processes, highlighting similarities and differences between first and second language listening. The focus of the seminar will be on articulating the principles of effective instructional practices for both, face-to-face and online teaching. In addition, we will be investigating ways of assessing listening and evaluating new technologies for teaching listening.

The course project will involve reading a number of recommended sources (provided in the course reading package, available for registered students), and designing a principled approach and a sequence of tasks for teaching your current or future students.

Dr. Janire Zalbidea (Temple University, U.S.A.)

Optimizing Task-based Language Teaching and Learning: Theory, Research, and Pedagogy

Over the past three decades, task-based language teaching (TBLT) has become an increasingly influential and widespread educational framework for the theory and pedagogy of second language teaching across the globe. TBLT seeks to prepare students to perform meaningful real-world tasks using their target language skills. Thus, in TBLT, tasks comprise the fundamental unit for planning language lessons, developing curricular programs, and assessing student performance. In contrast to traditional syllabuses that synthesize the target language into discrete linguistic units, task-based syllabuses are built around tasks that capitalize on authentic communication and individual learner needs.

After introducing the origins and theoretical basis of TBLT, this seminar will address key principles and issues in TBLT, including needs analysis, task-based curriculum development, and task selection, design, sequencing, and implementation. We will also review strategies to align task-based language assessment with task-based language pedagogy. Lastly, we will discuss how educators can address some of the challenges they may encounter in implementing TBLT in their own classrooms across different contexts, including technology-mediated environments. Throughout the seminar, we will draw on empirical findings from seminal and recent studies that have informed TBLT principles and practice./p>