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Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

TESOL 2023 Experience by Nataliia Brown

16 Jun 2023 6:59 AM | ORTESOL Communications (Administrator)

TESOL 2023 Experience by Nataliia Brown

TESOL 2023 conference was the first TESOL conference I ever attended. As a current TESOL graduate student, I was very excited to spend a day at a Graduate Student Research Forum. I wanted to meet other graduate students, learn about their research interests, teaching methodologies and, possibly, find ideas for my own thesis. I focused on presenters that talked about teaching techniques, bilingualism and translanguaging, as those are the main areas I am interested in.

Aram Ahmed, a doctoral student from University of Massachusetts in Boston, presented his research about teachers’ perception of teacher talk in the classroom. He analyzed the data collected from interviews with teachers, who provided their views on the reasons and purposes for teacher talk. The main conclusions of this presentation were the following: the common use for teacher talk for the teachers from the study was to provide clarifications, feedback and instruction to students; high percentage of teacher talk versus student talk in the classroom is not always a negative factor in the learning process, in the lower-level classrooms teacher talk can be necessary to provide additional explanation on the learning material.

Another presentation I really enjoyed was done by Woongsik Choi from Purdue University. He talked about translanguaging practices in the high school English as a New Language (ENL) classroom. He studied one classroom for several weeks by observing the lessons, conducting interviews and collecting learning material samples. The classroom from his research had a shared language besides English. Most of the people in the class, including a teacher, spoke and understood Spanish, but not all students did. In their interactions, students and the teacher switched between English and Spanish regularly. Some of those Spanish exchanges were interpreted into English while others were not, therefore excluding from classroom communication students who did not speak Spanish. The presenter concluded that translanguaging can be a valuable resource in language learning, but more attention needs to be given to all languages in the classroom.

Overall, The Graduate Student Research Forum at TESOL 2023 was a fantastic way for me to connect with other TESOL graduate students and learn about their research topics. I was especially excited to hear about the translanguaging practices in the classrooms, their challenges and potential solutions, as I include translanguaging into my teaching methodology as well and planning on my thesis being related to this subject.


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