Paul Kei Matsuda

Mark A. James on Learning Transfer

Mark Andrew James, a colleague of mine at ASU, just published yet another study of learning transfer. The article, "'Far' transfer of learning outcomes from an ESL writing course: Can the gap be bridged?" appears in the most recent issue of the Journal of Second Language Writing.

Mark is also serving as the Associate Chair of the 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing to be held in November at ASU.

Congratulations, Mark!

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15th Annual Graduate Linguistics/TESOL Symposium

15th Annual Graduate Linguistics/TESOL Symposium
March 6th 2009

Featuring Keynote Speaker Carol A. Chapelle

Carol Chapelle is Professor of TESL/Applied Linguistics and Chair of the Cross-disciplinary Linguistics Program at Iowa State University. She has served as President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Editor of TESOL Quarterly, and Chair of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners. She is current Co-Editor of the Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series of Cambridge University Press. She is widely recognized as the pre-eminent scholar in the field of CALL. See Carol Chapelle’s webpage:

Twin Palms Hotel
225 E. Apache Blvd
Tempe, AZ 85281
For venue information and directions:

This symposium is brought to you by:
Interdisciplinary Committee on Linguistics, Department of English, and
Graduate Scholars of English Association

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My Video Self

So far, I haven't met anyone who isn't disturbed by their own recorded voice. It's understandable because it just doesn't match our self-image--it's not what we are used to hearing. After giving many talks using microphones, I came to accept my own physical "voice" as it is heard by others.

I can ignore the microphone pretty well. When Dwight Atkinson and I decided to record our usual conversation, we just carried our conversation as usual, and it came out pretty good and coherent when we had it transcried (by Steve Simpson--thanks, Steve!) verbatim with very little edits (Matsuda & Atkinson, 2008).

But I still can't get used to my own video voice. (Here, I'm using a slightly modified version of my own definition of voice as "the amalgamative effect of the use of discursive and nondiscursive features that language users [appropriate], deliberately or otherwise, from socially available yet ever-changing repertoires" [Matsuda, 2001, p. 40].)

When I give a lecture at other universities, some people ask if it would be OK to video-record my lecture. I usually say yes on two conditions. The first condition is that I get a copy of the video. (I usually don't watch it, but I want to have it for archival purposes.) The second is that they have to promise that they don't circulate it outside the institutional circle. This is partly to protect my intellectual property, but it also has a lot to do with the uncomfortable feeling of my "video-recorded voice" being circulated beyond my control. I know it's probably much closer than I think to what people are actually experiencing when I give a live talk. But still....

I don't like being video-recorded because I get too self conscious. I don't really get nervous when I give a talk--even when it's impromptu. But being video-recorded is an entirely different story. (I feel their pain when I ask my teaching mentees to have their own teaching video-recorded.)

But I'm not the kind of person to let these feelings hold me back when there is an exciting new opportunity. I have agreed to be video recorded several times to share my experties.

The first one I remember is when I had a video interview with a BYU production crew at TESOL. It was for a grant-funded project on second language instruction. I haven't seen the outcome, but if my clips weren't used, I wouldn't be surprised.

The second was a series on foreign language teaching, directed by Rick Donato at the University of Pittsburgh. I remember driving down to Boston to partipate in the production at the WGBH studio. (The person who did my make-up told me that she was the make-up artist for the famous Antique Roadshow.) I remember being really self-conscious, but I managed to get through it--thanks to the help of Rick and the great WGBH crew.

I guess this one is being widely circulated--there have been a number of sighting reports. Cindy Gannett told me once that she saw it on TV in Baltimore. More recently, a graduate student from IUP mentioned on Facebook that he watched it online. It's available at:

Another video-recorded project is Take 20, produced by Todd Taylor for Bedford/St. Martin's Press. It was a compilation of a series of interviews, organized around 20 questions about the teaching of writing. It features 22 writing teachers, including:

  • Linda Adler-Kassner
  • Cheryl E. Ball
  • Dave Bartholomae
  • Patricia Bizzell
  • Bill Condon
  • Ellen Cushman
  • Cheryl Glenn
  • Brian Huot
  • Erika Lindemann
  • Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Paul Kei Matsuda
  • Don McQuade
  • Christine McQuade
  • Mike Palmquist
  • Malea Powell
  • Nedra Reynolds
  • Mike Rose
  • Jacqueline Jones Royster
  • Raul Sanchez
  • John Schilb
  • Nancy Sommers
  • Howard Tinberg
I thought it was a great idea, and I was happy to be part of this project. But because it was filmed during CCCC convention, I was sleep-deprived as usual. When I got to the hotel where Todd was filming the piece, I looked really tired--I was pale and my skin was dry as desert. I felt horrible, but my schedule for the rest of the conference was jam packed, so I wasn't even able to ask to be rescheduled. I was somewhat releaved when I saw the CD the following year--Todd had decided to go black-and-white. (Maybe everyone looked tired.)

I thought it was a great resource for teachers--to hear established writing teachers talk about their own experiences. But I just had to laugh everytime I came on the screen with a series of one-liners. I remember describing it as a "fortune-cookie" discourse. The transcripts read like this:

Matsuda: I tried to be very structured.
Matsuda: It's much more complex than it seems at first.
Matsuda: Janice Lauer.
Matsuda: Every student is different.


None of my substantive comments were included, it seemed. Of course not. I was tired--I thought I was going to fall asleep during the interview--and when I get tired, my cheeks get stiff. The chilly and rainy weather didn't help, either. And I didn't give straight foward answers to questions like "If you had to pick only one book for a writing teacher to read, what would it be?" I just don't believe in one book that's important for everyone--or even for me. Different books offer insights that we need at different times. Blah, blah, blah....

But the last question rescued me: "How do you approach difference?"

Matsuda: "In the next few years, writing teachers need to learn a lot more about language differences, and I'm not talking about just language differences in terms of language and gender, or language and social class. Those are important issues as well, but I think writing teachers need to expand their notion of language and spend some time seriously thinking about the issues of speakers of different varieties of English and speakers of different languages altogether. And I think in the past, because composition and ESL, for example, have been developing as separate disciplines, many people seem to think that it's okay for writing teachers not to know about language issues or students who come from different language backgrounds. And because the student population is becoming more and more complex, that's becoming less and less the case."

That was my favorite question, of course. I was also finally warming up. I even thought maybe I was asked to participate in this project just to answer this question.

As I left the room, I remember telling Todd that, if he needed to retake my interview, I'd be happy to drive down to the Bedford/St. Martin's Office in Boston or even to Chapel Hill. (I was still in New Hampshire at that time.)

OK. Enough rambling for tonight. If anyone is interested in my fortune-cookie discourse--I mean, if anyone is interested in this great resource, it's available at:


Matsuda, P. K. (2001). Voice in Japanese written discourse: Implications for second language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 10(1-2), 35-53.

Matsuda, P. K., & Atkinson, D. (2008). A conversation on contrastive rhetoric: Dwight Atkinson and Paul Kei Matsuda talk about issues, conceptualizations, and the future of contrastive rhetoric. In U. Connor, E. Nagelhout, & W. Rozycki (Eds.), Contrastive rhetoric: Reaching to intercultural rhetoric (pp. 277-298). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Taylor, T. (Ed.). (2008). Take 20: Teaching writing. [CD-ROM] Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press.

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The Problem of Multiple Identities, Part II

The problem of multiple identity is also multifaceted. If it's hard for people to imagine belonging to more than one discipline, it also seems hard for some people to understand that a researcher doesn’t have to be bound to a single mode of inquiry or a methodology.

In the last few months, I have had conversations with a few graduate students (who haven't taken my research methods course, of course) who made remarks that seemed to imply that I didn’t specialize in empirical research.

Well, yes, if it means that I don't do empirical research exclusively. But if that means I don't do empirical research, I don't know what to say. Perhaps I'm better known for my historical and philosophical inquiry, but I have published a fair share of empirical studies as well (e.g., Matsuda, 1999, 2001, 2002, Matsuda & Matsuda, 2001; Matsuda & Tardy, 2008; Tardy & Matsuda, 2009), using a range of methodological tools—from interviews and surveys as well as discourse analysis.

As a student of Janice Lauer who has always insisted that her students be proficient in multiple modes of inquiry--including philosophical, historical, empirical (qualitative and quantitative), and rhetorical (and to this list I would add narrative)--I'm not comfortable with the assumption that it's OK for people to stick to a single mode of inquiry.

Like Tony Silva, I firmly believe that all researchers in my fields should familiarize themselves with various theoretical and methodological tools and incorporate those that would best address the research question at hand. I thought I made that clear in the introduction to Second Language Writing Research (Matsuda & Silva, 2005) but I guess not everyone reads everything—sigh.

I do realize that many people have their favorite modes of inquiry and methodological tools that they rely on. It's also natural that people are drawn to certain research questions that lend themselves to the mode of inquiry one is most familiar with.

But as researchers, we need to develop a rich repertoire of theoretical and methodological tools if not to use them all then to understand and, if necessary, critique contributions by other researchers.

As Dwight Atkinson says in his chapter in Second Language Writing Research, “do try.”

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The Problem of Multiple Identities

The problem of multiple identities in academia has been an important driving force behind my work. (It all boils down to the issue of identity and power, it seems.)

Over the last 15 years, I have been fighting the pervasive perception in some of my fields (i.e., applied linguistics, composition and rhetoric) about multidisciplinarity--that it's not possible to be a full-fledged member of more than one discipline. Back when I was in graduate school, if I said I was specializing in second language writing, people in rhetoric and composition often thought I was really a second language specialist who happens to be coming to CCCC; some people in applied linguistics also thought that I was an "L1" compositionist who happens to be coming to applied linguistics conferences. (This has not been much of an issue in TESOL for some reason—perhaps because L2 writing was already well-established there?)

It didn't seem to occur to many of them that I was actually starting out in both fields at the same time.

This is one of those tacit cultural assumptions in academia that is hard to challenge because people don't seem to realize that they have those assumptions nor are they able to articulate what their own assumptions are or why they came to those conclusions. It may be because some people in those fields are not used to working in multiple disciplines that the notion of being multidisciplinary was unimaginable. (People who cross those disciplinary boundaries often seem to keep quiet about their other disciplinary identities). It may also be related to the institutional practices that require people to identify their "tenure home" and to align their professional activities with the job description when they got hired. Whatever the case may be, challenging unarticulated assumptions is one of the hardest things to do intellectually.

This was one of the most intriguing and disturbing dissonances that I decided to make fighting monodisciplinarity one of my professional missions. How did I do that?

  • I went to all the major conferences—AAAL, CCCC and TESOL—on a regular basis. I have tried not to miss any except when the schedule overlapped or when there was a family situation that required my attention.
  • I got myself elected or appointed to various committees, such as the Executive Committee and Nominating Committee, and to other leadership positions.
  • I published my work in journals in multiple fields and subfields. My goal was to establish a tenurable record in each discipline so I didn’t have to worry about tenure requirements—I didn’t want to shift my attention away from what I considered to be the most important research issue or problem.
  • I articulated the unarticulated assumption. I explicitly pointed out the problem of monodisciplinarity through my research and placed them in high profile journals to change the perception in both fields.
  • I helped make L2 writing an integral part of composition studies by institutionalizing the cause.
  • I took positions in departments where my multidisciplinary expertise would be valued.
  • I refused to choose one discipline or another as my primary discipline and insisted that I belonged to both.

After more than a decade of hard work, the world seems to be a better place—at least to people who specialize in second language writing. But sometimes I still get remarks—even from close friends who know my work well—that seem to imply that I’m more X than Y or that I should choose one over the other.

Old habits die hard, I guess.

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College English Conference, 11th April. Abstracts due soon

From: [] On Behalf Of simon smith
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009 8:53 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: To all English teachers: College English Conference, 11th April. Abstracts due soon

Dear Colleagues

I am writing to you, on behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, about National Chengchi University's College English Conference, to be held on 11th April 2009. The deadline for abstract submissions, 2nd February, is coming up quite soon.

Information about the conference, including CFP, may be found at The conference is being organized in collaboration with the Language Teaching and Research Center, National Chiao-tung University, and features ESL writing scholar Professor Paul Kei Matsuda, of Arizona State, as keynote speaker.

We'd be most grateful if you could pass on the details of the conference to colleagues and friends who might be interested.

We have tried to think of suggested topics which are stimulating, and in many cases original. Contributions within the broad compass of our theme College English: Opportunities and Challenges for Teaching and Learning are however all welcome.

The conference aims to provide a stimulating and rewarding academic forum for presentation and discussion of English teaching in colleges and universities, including Freshman English programs.

We look forward to receiving your abstract in the next few days.

Best wishes
Simon Smith

(for Organizing Committee)



Simon Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor
Foreign Language Center
National Chengchi University

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Brock Brady is the new TESOL President Elect

Congratulations, Brock! I look forward to your leadership as TESOL moves toward a new era.

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Congratulations to Tanita Saenkhum!

Tanita Saenkhum, one of my doctoral advisees specializing in second language writing at ASU, has received the Albert H. Marckwardt Travel Grant to attend TESOL 2009 in Denver, Colorado.

Congratulations, Tanita. Well done!

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SSLW 2009 Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals for the 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing, to be held at Arizona State University on November 5-7, 2009, is now available in PDF format.

Please distribute widely!


Paul Kei Matsuda, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Director of Writing Programs

Arizona State University
Department of English
Box 870302
Tempe, AZ 85287-0302 USA

Founding Chair, Symposium on Second Language Writing

Editor, Parlor Press Series on Second Language Writing

Web Administrator, Journal of Second Language Writing

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CFP: TESOL 2009 CALL IS Electronic Village sessions‏

TESOL 2009: "Uncharted Mountains, Forging New Pathways"
March 26-28, 2009, - Denver, Colorado, USA

*DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Friday, December 12, 2008*

You are invited to submit a proposal for participation in one or more
of these TESOL 2009 CALL Interest Section Spe c ial Events. You are
welcome to submit proposals to more than one event, and it is possible
to have more than one proposal accepted (depending on space
availability and quality of the submission). Windows and Macintosh
equipment will be available at no charge, along with CD ROM Drives,
Internet connections, and (for the Showcase, EV Hardware Fair and EV
Mini-Workshops) projection equipment. Plan to bring a minimum of 100
handouts per Fair/Showcase acceptance slot since these are very popular

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE EV FAIRS: Presenters have approximately 20-30
minutes to demonstrate their material on 1-2 computer(s) without
projection equipment in a presentation format similar to a "poster
session." Participants walk around the EV, dropping in and out of
demonstrations, thus precluding highly structured presentations. A
demonstration may be repeated a second time (an additional 20 to 30
minutes), if interest warrants and sp a ce allows.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE HARDWARE FAIRS: A Hardware Fair is a variant of the
regular fairs, where presenters will demonstrate their material for
20-30 minute intervals, so people can go around the room and see the
event multiple times. The variation is that presentations will be on
devices which may or may not include computers, but may also interact
with them in some way (see description below for suggested items).

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MINI-WORKSHOPS: One or two presenters introduce a
topic to a small group of workshop participants. The workshop is
"hands-on" in a computer lab setting. Each workshop - with instruction
and "hands-on" practice - lasts 90 minutes.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE SHOWCASE: A selected group of presenters will
demonstrate their software or application for 8 to 12 minutes each. A
brief question and answer session follows each presentation.

_____EV FAIR_____
Coordinator: Roger Drury (roger.drury@ esl.gatech. edu
<mailto:roger.drury@ esl.gatech. edu> <mailto:roger.drury@ esl.gatech. edu
<mailto:roger.drury@ esl.gatech. edu> >)
In the EV Fairs, teachers or teachers-developers sh a re their use of
computer-based and/or internet-based resources. These resources can be
software (PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Excel, Focus on Grammar, Word
Attack, Skype, etc.) or websites (presenter-made or public like, Yahoo! Groups, an online concordancer, etc.). Demonstrations
may highlight student projects, activities or curriculum created for
students or educators. Examples:

* Email projects
* Lesson plan archives for teachers
* Vocabulary worksheets using an online thesaurus
* Skimming/scanning activities using a local newspaper webpage
* Research/writing exercises for investigating Internet hoaxes
* A descriptive writing activity combined with HyperStudio
* Web 2.0 activities, using social networking or SecondLife

Please submit your proposal(s) for the EV Fairs online at
http://www.langconc ev2009.html
<http://www.langconc ev2009.html>

Coordinator: Randall Davis (eslrandall@yahoo. com
<mailto:eslrandall@yahoo. com> <mailto:eslrandall@yahoo. com
<mailto:eslrandall@yahoo. com> >)
Do you have an innovative, effective or otherwise interesting
instructional activity that utilizes hardware other than a conventional
computer? Do your students use hardware in an interesting way? If so,
why not share it with others in the EV Hardware Fair? Presenters will
be located at stations around the Electronic Village demonstrating use
of specific kinds of hardware like:

* handheld devices
* cameras
* po r table technologies
* smartboards
* clickers
* MP3 players
* cell phones

It is suggested that you bring your own small hardware (as in hand-held
device, camera or cell phone) or ask the company (like Smart) to send
you a loaner for the larger equipment (like interactive whiteboards) to
demonstrate at the workshop (they are usually good about this). Some
responsibility for hardware by the presenter will be needed.

Please submit your proposal(s) for the Hardware Fairs online at
http://www.langconc ev2009.html
<http://www.langconc ev2009.html >

Coordinator: Laurie Moody (LMoody@pccc. edu <mailto:LMoody@pccc. edu>
<mailto:LMoody@pccc. edu <mailto:LMoody@pccc. edu> >)
The EV Mini-workshops are limited-seating ticketed events that provide
hands-on experience. Participants gain experience in adaptation of
software and/or hardware for CALL purposes and create products for
teaching and learning. Examples:

* Social networking
* Working with multiple media
* Creating Internet teaching and learning resources
* Developing online collaborative environments
* Students creating content

Please submit your proposal(s) for the EV Mini-workshops online at
http://www.langconc ev2009.html
<http://www.langconc ev2009.html>

Coordinator: Andrew Bowman (ielc.lab@wichi t a. edu
<mailto:ielc.lab@wichita. edu> <mailto:ielc.lab@wichita. edu
<mailto:ielc.lab@wichita. edu> >)
The Developers' Showcase is one of several ways in which the CALL-IS
disseminates information about computers and computer-assisted
instruction to the ESL/EFL professional community. The Showcase
provides an opportunity for t h e designers of ESL/EFL software to
display their work, and for potential users, software developers, and
marketers to examine and react to it. We especially welcome projects
produced by teachers for their own students or projects produced under
development grants.

This Showcase includes materials in the following two categories:
1. disk-based software, including floppy-disk, hard disk, and
2. web-based software, including both programs that can be accessed
from the web and those that can be downloaded.

The Showcase is not a commercial venue. Only work that is not yet on
the market will be considered. The following types of software are not
acceptable for the Showcase:

*Software that is already contracted with a publisher
*Software that has been offered for sale independently, or which the
presenter plans to
sell independently, including by subscr i ption or as shareware
*Software given away free to promote a commercial interest

Please submit your proposal(s) for the Developers' Showcase online
at http://www.langconc ev2009.html
<http://www.langconc ev2009.html>


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Job Ad: Lecturer in Rhetoric and Composition with expertise in ESL Writing

Lecturer in Rhetoric and Composition with expertise in ESL Writing

Lecturer in Rhetoric and Composition. Beginning August 16, 2009. Required: Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition or in a related discipline with appropriate relevant coursework; experience in teaching college-level first-year ESL writing courses; evidence of effective teaching. Desired: Theoretical grounding, expertise, and teaching experience in second language writing; evidence of participation in professional conferences in applied linguistics, composition, rhetoric or TESOL.

Teaching load is 4 composition courses each semester. Appropriate professional university service responsibilities. Three-year renewable appointment.

Applicants must submit: Letter of application; vita; teaching philosophy; unofficial graduate transcripts; three letters of recommendation; and copies of recent teaching evaluations to D. Baker, Rhet/Comp ESL Writing Lecturer Search Committee, Department of English, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 870302, Tempe AZ 85287-0302, postmarked by January 2, 2009; if not filled, the 15th of every month until search is closed. We do not accept incomplete applications. E-mailed materials will not be accepted. A background check is required for employment. AA/EOE.

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CFP: TESOL 2009 Graduate Student Forum

Call for Proposals
The 2009 Graduate Student Forum
at the 43rd Annual TESOL Convention
Denver, Colorado, USA
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eligibility to Submit a Proposal

Full-time and part-time students enrolled in graduate programs leading to the master's degree in TESOL (or related fields) at any institution of higher learning can take part in the Graduate Student Forum, either as presenters or as participants. (Please note that there is a similar but separate forum for doctoral students).

Types of Proposals

Proposals for three types of presentations are being solicited: papers, demonstrations, and poster sessions.

A paper (15 minutes) is an oral summary, with occasional reference to notes or a text, which describes or discusses something that the presenter is doing or has done in relation to theory or practice. Handouts and audiovisual aids may be used.

A demonstration (15 minutes) shows, rather than discusses, a technique for teaching or testing. No more than 5 minutes is spent explaining the theory underlying the technique. The presenter provides handouts and may use audiovisual aids.

A poster session (1 hour) allows for short, informal discussions with other participants during the 1-hour time period that a self-explanatory exhibit is on display. The exhibit is presented on a large (4' x 8') display board that includes a title; the name and institutional affiliation of the presenter(s); and a brief text with clearly labeled photos, drawings, graphs, or charts. No other audiovisual equipment is allowed. Exhibits are set up during the lunch hour before the session and dismantled immediately after the session.

Deadline for Submitting a Proposal

All proposals must be submitted by December 1, 2008. Proposals may be submitted via email using the Proposal Form. If you do not have access to a computer, send your proposal to the following:

TESOL Gradute Forum
Brigham Young University University
4064 JFSB
Provo, UT 84602 USA

Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard with the title of the proposal on it for acknowledgment of proposal receipt. Please do NOT submit duplicate proposals.

Adjudication of Proposals

Submitted proposals will be refereed by graduate students at the host universities (Brigham Young University, Eastern Michigan University, Seattle Pacific University, Southeast Missouri State University). If you have any questions about the 2009 Graduate Student Forum, please contact the TESOL Graduate Student Forum at

Factors Affecting Selection

The Graduate Student Forum is intended to bring together individuals from a variety of institutions and backgrounds; therefore, an important factor in proposal selection is program balance. In adjudicating proposals, the Forum Program Committee will seek such balance in (a) range of topics, (b) level of expertise, (c) interests covered, (d) professional and geographic distribution of the participants, and (e) relevance of the proposal to the needs of graduate students in TESOL.

Another important factor is how well the proposal summary is written. Summaries should possess (a) clarity of purpose, (b) succinctness, (c) appropriateness, (d) significance for the intended audience, (e) an indication of the research quality (if relevant), and (f) evidence that the presentation will be well prepared.

Because institutional travel funding for many graduate students is contingent upon their presenting a session at the convention, the Forum Program Committee will accept only one primary presentation per presenter. Otherwise, if a presenter takes up more than one spot on the forum program, others may be prevented from attending the TESOL convention.

Factors Disqualifying a Proposal

Proposals will be disqualified if they promote commercial interests are not completed according to the guidelines outlined in this Call for Participation (e.g., the summary exceeds one page) are not received by the deadline of December 1, 2008.

Responsibilities of the Presenter

Notify all co-presenters about the status of the proposal. When two or more people are presenting, the first presenter is responsible for notifying the others. Register for the forum and the TESOL convention. TESOL is unable to reimburse program participants for expenses.
Do not change the conceptual content of your session once it has been accepted. Bring enough handouts for your room size, which will be indicated in the proposal acceptance message. Participate in all the activities of the entire Graduate Student Forum from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Steps in Submitting a Proposal

Proposals that do not follow these steps are automatically disqualified.

1. If the proposal is accepted, the proposal must include an abstract that will appear in the Program Book. Participants in the forum will use the abstract to decide which presentations to attend. Make sure the abstract has the following information in the upper left corner: (a) title, (b) presenter’s full name, (c) institutional affiliation, (d) city, (e) state/province, and (f) country.

Title Guidelines:

(a) accurately reflects the content
(b) is clear to the intended audience
(c) has no colon in the title
(d) is limited to seven words. Each part of a slashed or hyphenated word counts as one word. Do not use quotation marks. Capitalize all major words. Examples: (1)Participants' Perspectives on In-Service Teacher Training (seven words), (2) Web Sites for Teaching U.S. Popular Culture (seven words).

Abstract Guidelines:

(a) does not exceed 50 words
(b) is written in the third-person present tense (e.g., "The presenter begins by ... and she/he ...”)
(c) avoids all references to published works
(d) is carefully edited and proofread
(e) is written to draw the most appropriate audience to the presentation
(f) spells out any acronym(s) used in the title

Sample Abstract: This paper reports on research conducted to determine how to best develop language learning strategies. The participants were EFL learners in a Southeast Asian nation. This research compared the natural development of strategies among students in traditional classrooms with the effects of specific instruction in strategies and their use.

2. Prepare a one-page summary of the presentation content. Only the referees will see the proposal summary; it will not appear in the Program Book. Make sure your proposal summary has the following information in the upper left corner: (a) title, (b) type of presentation (i.e., paper, demonstration, poster session), (c) designated interest area, (d) content area, and (e) audiovisual equipment needs.

Proposal Summary Guidelines:

(a) is limited to one 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5 x 28 cm) page. Longer summaries are disqualified.
(b) is typed: double-spaced, dark, and readable
(c) does not include names of the presenter(s) or institution(s)
(d) presents a clearly stated purpose and point of view
(e) includes supporting details and examples
(f) contains evidence of current practices and/or research
(g) uses appropriate format (e.g., paper, demonstration)
(h) uses a variety of techniques (e.g., activities, visuals)
(i) indicates that a presenter can cover the material in the allotted time
(j) is carefully edited and proofread

Proposal Summary Content:

(a) paper: synopsis that includes central idea and supporting evidence
(b) demonstration: central purpose and description of what will be demonstrated
(c) poster session: main ideas to be presented and description of the visual display

Registering to Attend or Present at the Forum

To attend the 2009 Graduate Student Forum, you must register for the TESOL 2009 Graduate Student Forum. Registration for the 2009 Graduate Student Forum is a separate process. Although there is no extra forum registration fee for students registered for the TESOL convention, registration is still required for the Graduate Student Forum because space limits attendance to 160 participants. To register, fill out the registration form and send it to the address below. Registrations must be received by February 25, 2009.

TESOL Graduate Student Forum
4064 JFSB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602 USA

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You Are What Conferences You Attend

An academic's identity is shaped in part by what conferences she or he attends. This is true especially for graduate students and junior scholars who are just beginning to discover and construct their own disciplinary alignments.

When I was a graduate student, I attended AAAL, CCCC and TESOL on a regular basis. I also attended local affiliates and special topic conferences being held in the area. But how can a graduate student afford to attend all these conferences? Attending multiple conferences can be especially hard for graduate students who are working in interdisciplinary fields. Well, I wasn't particularly rich--my spouse and I were both on TA stipends--but I was able to find ways to finance my trips.

Here are some strategies:

  • Apply for internal travel funding. Check with the graduate student organization and the graduate program in your department to see if they have any travel funding for graduate students who are presenting a paper. The graduate school at your institution may also have some travel funding.
  • Apply for external travel funding. Some professional organizations (e.g., AAAL, CCCC, TESOL) have travel grants and awards for graduate students. Many local TESOL affiliates also offer travel grants for attending the international TESOL conference.
  • Apply for graduate student awards. I applied for many awards for graduate students that provided some additional funding. It also helped enhance my profile and boost my confidence.
  • Look for volunteer opportunities. Some conferences, such as AAAL, provide graduate students with opportunities to volunteer for a few hours in exchange for registration discount or waiver. The volunteer work itself is a good way of getting to know the organization and other members.
  • Split the cost with someone else. Share a hotel room with other graduate students from your program or other programs. Plan to arrive at the airport at the same time with other people you know so you can share a cab. Making these arrangements becomes easier as you develop your professional network by attending more conferences.
  • Find inexpensive hotels in the area. Many cities have public transportation options that make commuting to the conference realistic. I personally didn't use this strategy too much, though, because I wanted to be in the middle of action. I tended to stay at the headqarter hotel (or ones that were close to them), which tends to be more expensive. I go to conferences to meet people, not just to attend sessions.
  • Find a grocery or convenience store and get water, cookies, energy bars, and other inexpensive and quick breakfast and lunch items. At conferences, it's usually more important to be able to go to dinners with people you meet, but sometimes you end up going to really expensive restaurants (depending on who you hang out with), so it's important to find ways to reduce the cost for breakfast and lunch.
  • Go to publisher's exhibits where coffee and snacks may be available.
  • Go to events and receptions where food is served. For example, CCCC invites first-time attendees to a breakfast where pastries and coffee are served.
  • Forget expensive vacation plans. You get to travel to a lot of different cities by attending conferences. Plan your vacations around them, if necessary.
  • Attend local and regional conferences. Attending small conferences could be more rewarding than people may realize because it provides opportunities to meet people in the field in a more relaxed and intimate setting.

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Ph.D. Program in Applied Linguistics at ASU

Here is the poster for the Ph.D. Program in Applied Linguistics at ASU. If anyone would like a hard-copy version to post on their bulletinboards for their undergraduate or master's students who might be interested, please let me know.

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Christopher Brumfit PhD/Ed.D. Thesis Award 2008

Christopher Brumfit PhD/Ed.D. Thesis Award 2008

Sponsored by Cambridge University Press and promoted by Language Teaching


To recognize doctoral thesis research that makes a significant and original contribution to the field of SLA and/or FL teaching and learning.


Cambridge University Press books to the value of £500


To be considered for the award:

-The candidate's institution must have accepted the thesis for PhD/Ed.D. defence within two years before the date of the award application.
-The research must have been completed as part of the requirements for a doctoral degree or its equivalent at a university.
-Although the thesis under consideration must be in English, the research may be related to work concerning any second language.

Application Process

In the first instance, applicants must submit the following:

-A summary of the thesis, not to exceed 15 double-spaced pages, excluding references, and a 150-word abstract of the thesis. The summary should include a brief description of the theoretical background of and the rationale for the research, research methods (including data analyses), results, and implications of the results.

-Proof of acceptance of the thesis as a PhD/Ed.D. defence by the candidate's university. Only electronic applications are accepted. Evaluation


-Scholarly or professional significance to the field of second or foreign language

-Originality and creativity

-Quality of presentation


30th November 2008 - Deadline for receipt of summary and abstract and official proof of thesis acceptance

1st February 2009 - Call for electronic submission of theses of finalists

15th March 2009 - Deadline for receipt of theses

1st August 2009 - Announcement of award winner by the Editorial Board of Language Teaching

Contact details for application and further information

Dr Graeme Porte, Editor
Language Teaching

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New TESOL Quarterly Editors

TESOL just announced that Diane Belcher and Alan Hirvela will be co-editors of TESOL Quarterly. Congratulations, Diane and Alan!

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Second Language Writing IS at TESOL 2009

Here is a really useful message from Gigi Taylor, current chair of the Second Language Writing Interest Section at TESOL:

Dear IS Members,

As the deadline draws near (this Monday, June 2nd, 11:59 p.m. EST), I urge you to put the finishing touches on your TESOL proposals and to submit them under the Second Language Writing Interest Section.

Very simply, each interest section is represented proportionally--if SLW-IS proposals represent 20% of all TESOL proposals received, then we are assigned 20% of the adjudicated program slots.

If you have more than one brilliant idea, submit them all! You can only be the primary presenter on one of the accepted proposals, but the reviewers will select the one that will be of greatest interest and value to a balanced program. Please, give us plenty to choose from!

Also, please note that Discussion Groups are adjudicated this year, so even if you've got more questions than answers and would like to hear others' ideas, propose a discussion group this year.

Listed below are the topics brainstormed at this year's planning meeting--quite a varied list. Please know that your colleagues are interested in what you're doing and eager to learn from you.

All of us together are making the SLW-IS the vibrant, rapidly growing interest section that it is. Thank you for your participation and your proposals!

Best regards,

Gigi Taylor
SLW-IS Chair, 2008-2009

Brainstorming List from Planning Portion of Meeting: Suggested Proposal Topics

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Intercultural rhetoric (analysis through student interviews)
  • Acquisition of academic language (native & non-native; academic language as a second language)
  • Overlap with L1 academic language development
  • Case studies from K-12 to Postsecondary
  • What happens after ESL classes when students enter mainstream (thinking, pattering, prep in EAP)?
  • Mainstreaming too early
  • Higher Ed mainstreamed – longitudinal tracking across 4 years (post-ESL)
  • Program administration – realistic expectations, institutional context, resources, funding sources
  • “How to” advocacy for second language writers and SLW programs (successful program models for advocacy and for collaborating across contexts)
  • All of the above in EFL (strategies, challenges, plagiarism, successes, environment)
  • Assessing instructional needs
  • Linked courses
  • Materials development
  • Assignment design
  • Writing Across the Curriculum issues
  • Graduate research writing (comparisons across ranches/disciplines)
  • Teacher education/professional development for mainstream teachers
  • Teacher training for graduate students for working with second language writers
  • Programs that offer composition training and offer ESL
  • Balancing ESL teachers’ expertise with need for all teachers to develop some expertise
  • Professional placement of ESL writing professionals (rank? Track?)
  • Writing Centers – L2 writing/inter-cultural sensitivity
  • Writing strategies in EFL
  • Plagiarism in EFL
  • Formative feedback, effect
  • Writing for accuracy versus writing for content
  • Reading/writing connection
  • Grammar
  • Writing assessment (machine assessment/scoring, context, teacher education, placement, outsourcing)
  • Rising [x] exam (i.e., rising junior)
  • No Child Left Behind
  • “Teaching despite the standards” (Meeting the standards and still using best practices)
  • High school exit writing exams
  • Continental/cultural differences: Dialogue about context (ESL vs. EFL, K-12 vs. HE)
  • Conversation among people from different contexts
  • Populations of L2 writers (voice, pedagogy)

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Symposium on Second Language Writing

The 2008 Symposium is just around the corner. I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with many of the colleagues from around the world as we explore the issue of foreign language writing.

In the meantime, I'm already working on the next one--to be held at Arizona State University on November 5-7, 2009.

The theme of the 2009 Symposium will be "The Future of Second Language Writing," and the call for proposals will be available sometime this fall.

I hope you will join us in exploring the future directions for this young and vibrant field.

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SLW-IS: Election Results

Dear friends,

Please join me in congratulating our newly elected interest section leaders, whose terms officially will begin at the close of the 2008 TESOL Convention in New York City:

  • Christine Tardy, 2008-2009 Chair-Elect
  • Cate Crosby, 2008-2010 Secretary
  • Allison Petro, 2008-2011 Steering Committee Member

Congratulations, Chris, Cate, and Allison, and thank you for your service to the SLW-IS! Thank you to everyone who voted in the election.

All the best,


Jessie L. Moore
Assistant Professor of English
Elon University, Past Chair

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Last update: January 6, 2008