Friday Pre-Symposium Workshop

Engaging in effective reflection in post-observation meetings
Santoi Wagner, University of Pennsylvania
Kristina Lewis, University of Pennsylvania


3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the Collaborative Classroom, Van Pelt Library Room 113


This workshop will examine how mentors, supervisors, and language educators can engage in meaningful reflection during post-observation meetings. Using video-recorded data from actual post-observation meetings, participants will collaboratively explore how different interactional strategies can inform and support discussions of teaching practice. Mentors, supervisors, and language educators of all levels are welcome.


Santoi Wagner is Senior Lecturer in Educational Linguistics, and Associate Director of TESOL at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She has been an EFL secondary school teacher in Hong Kong, and has taught college and adult ESL in the United States. Her primary scholarly interests are conversation analysis, TESOL teacher education, and the development and use of authentic materials for language teaching.


Kristina Lewis is a PhD student in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds an MSEd in TESOL and has taught English for speakers of other languages to diverse student populations. Her research focuses on language teacher education, drawing on ethnographic, discourse analytic, and narrative methods.


Saturday Symposium Program



10:00 AM to 10:30 PM on the 6th Floor, Van Pelt Library


Check-in, pick up symposium materials, and enjoy some coffee.



10:30 AM to 10:45 AM in Class of 1978 Pavilion Room 602


Christina Frei and Santoi Wagner of the University of Pennsylvania will offer opening remarks.

Keynote: Conversation Analysis and Language Teaching: Specifying the What and How
Hansun Zhang Waring, Teachers College, Columbia University


10:45 AM to 11:45 AM in Class of 1978 Pavilion Room 602


This talk outlines two ways in which conversation analytic (CA) research has contributed to the field of language teaching. By describing the specifics of a range of interactional practices in turn-taking, sequencing, overall structuring, and repair, CA contributes significantly to delineating what to teach with regard to developing learners’ interactional competence. In addition, CA research has offered valuable insights into the interactions between teacher-students and students-students, for example, how turn-taking and participation are managed, explanations are given, corrections are conducted, understandings are developed, and multiple demands are attended to. These fine-grained portrayals of teacher and student practices provide productive answers to the question of how language teaching is done in actual classroom.


Hansun Zhang Waring is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and the founder of The Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI). As an applied linguist and a conversation analyst, Hansun has primarily been interested in understanding the discourse of teaching and learning. She is the author of Discourse Analysis: The Questions Discourse Analysts Ask and How they Answer them, Theorizing Pedagogical Interaction: Insights from Conversation Analysis, and Conversation Analysis and Second Language Pedagogy (with Jean Wong). Her forthcoming books are Communicating with the Public: Conversation Analytic Studies (with Elizabeth Reddington), Storytelling in Multilingual Interaction: A Conversation Analytic Perspective (with Jean Wong), and Micro-reflection on Classroom Communication: A FAB framework (with Sarah Creider).

Workshop: Conversation Analysis and Language Teaching Materials Design
Innhwa Park, West Chester University


12:00 PM to 1:15 PM in Class of 1955 Conference Room 241


This workshop introduces participants to the concept of Conversation Analysis and enables them to take a critical perspective in understanding how spoken language is presented and taught in their classrooms. Participants will 1) learn fundamental concepts in CA, 2) analyze language teaching materials such as textbook dialogues and classroom activities, and 3) adapt these materials, so that they serve as effective instructional tools for communication.


Innhwa Park (Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, UCLA) is Associate Professor of TESOL in the Department of Languages and Cultures at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her primary research interest is conversation analysis, together with its applications in the fields of education and applied linguistics. She has published her work in refereed journals such as Discourse Studies, Journal of Pragmatics, and Linguistics & Education.

Workshop: What don't we teach in the foreign language classroom?
Akiko Imamura, Swarthmore College


12:00 PM to 1:15 PM in Meyerson Conference Center Room 223


With reference to CA findings from Japanese everyday conversation, this workshop introduces several practices that are rarely taught in JFL/JSL classrooms. For example, how can a speaker convey fine nuances of opinion to her interlocutor in the flow of conversation? For instance, if a speaker observes that her interlocutor does not fully agree with her opinion, she may gradually add various sentential final elements, such as mitaina/yoona (to be like) to her utterance as a means of equivocation (Mori & Nakamura, 2008). In responding another person’s opinion, a causal connective, datte, can be used to indicate the speaker’s stance as a strong assertion (Mori, 1999). Through learning about these practices, the workshop aims to provide an opportunity to reevaluate the “content” we use in teaching conversation, and demonstrates the importance of enhancing our learners’ sensitivity to the details of the organizational features of interaction.


Akiko Imamura (PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese at Swarthmore College, where she teaches first year Japanese and Japanese linguistics courses. Her research interests include conversation analysis of ordinary and institutional interaction, and Japanese language teaching. Her dissertation explores the relationships among the form of Japanese compliments, their sequential contexts, and normative treatments.

Workshop: Teaching Beyond the Language Skills, or, What Does It Mean to “Speak a Language?” 
Catherine DiFelice Box, University of Pennsylvania


12:00 PM to 1:15 PM in the Collaborative Classroom Room 113


This exploratory, collaborative workshop asks a basic, yet complicated, question: what does it mean to “speak” a language? Research on language development rightly argues that “speaking a language” denotes the ability to communicate effectively in a language through meaningful interactions with other “speakers” of the language. Using real-life case studies (stories), this workshop briefly explores the notion of language as a dynamic system, in which speakers must draw on multiple resources over the course of an interaction in order to communicate effectively. These stories will help us to analyze what interactional competence entails. We will then devote the bulk of the session to creating and analyzing activities that aim to develop interactional competence with a robustness often not attained in current resources for teachers. Teachers of all modern languages are welcome; instructor examples will mostly come from French.


Catherine Box is a Lecturer in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research utilizes the conversation analytic framework to examine communication, particularly in multilingual educational spaces. A former high school English teacher, she has also taught ESL and French to adults in an urban community language program. She has led numerous professional development workshops for teachers in K-12 and higher education settings.

Workshop: Language Learning through Spanish Language Debates Online
Antonio Reyes, Washington and Lee University
Betsy Rymes, University of Pennsylvania


2:30 PM to 3:45 PM in Meyerson Conference Center Room 223


In this workshop, we will demonstrate how learners might develop meta-discursive awareness in a foreign language by reading and participating in online debates about language. Participants will 1) investigate how citizen sociolinguists (everyday people who notice and talk about language around them) negotiate meaning and authority online, 2) identify the content of these debates, and 3) how the online posts use formulaic language to convey perspectives. Participants will then formulate their own contributions to the debate, crafting both what they want to say and how they can most effectively say it. Finally, we examine how, even when two sides of a language debate seem diametrically opposed, they may share certain assumptions about language.


Antonio Reyes is an Associate Professor at Washington and Lee University. His research focuses on the relationship between language and society, and the way they intertwine and shape each other to create new contexts of meaning and new realities. Particularly, he is interested in developing interdisciplinary theoretical approaches in discourse studies to decode the relation between language and social processes of power and ideology. He has published in Language & Communication, Discourse & Society, Journal of Language and Politics, and a monograph, Voice in Political Discourse: Castro, Chavez, Bush and their Strategic Use of Language (Bloomsbury, London). 


brymesBetsy Rymes is Professor and Chair of Educational Linguistics at Penn/GSE.  Her research examines how everyday people talk about language and communication, and she blogs regularly about this at She has published her research in journals including Language in Society, Linguistics & Education, and Harvard Educational Review, and is the author of several books, including Communicating beyond language (Routledge, 2014), and Classroom discourse analysis (2nd Edition, Routledge, 2015).

Workshop: Focus on funny: What can an analysis of humorous talk tell us about language learners’ communicative competence?
Anne Pomerantz, University of Pennsylvania


2:30 PM to 3:45 PM in Class of 1955 Conference Room 241


Analysis of language classroom discourse shows that learners often engage in spontaneous humorous talk.  Is this talk merely “interactional fluff “or does it offer pedagogical insight into learners’ communicative competence? This session offers language educators an introduction to several discourse analytic tools for understanding and evaluating humorous talk and aims to raise language educators’ awareness of dimensions of learners’ communicative competence that may go unnoticed when the focus remains solely on instances of serious language use.  


Anne Pomerantz is Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, where she works closely with language educators and intercultural specialists. Her research focuses on the role of humor in classroom discourse, pedagogical interactions, and language teaching. She is the co-author (with Nancy Bell) of Humor in the Classroom: A Guide for Language Teachers and Educational Researchers.


Workshop: Teaching and Learning as Assisted Performance in Online Environments
Iryna Kozlova, University of Pennsylvania


2:30 PM to 3:30 PM in the Collaborative Classroom Room 113


In this workshop, we will explore the interactional practices of four online language educators teaching Arabic, Japanese, and Russian.  We will focus on how the educators’ interactional routines lead learners to solving linguistic problems and, consequently, using correct forms or expressing intended meaning.  By analyzing data from synchronous online lessons participants will discuss how and when educator’s assistance creates opportunities for language learning.


Iryna Kozlova, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in the TESOL Program, University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the use of second/foreign language spoken discourse in the classroom and in casual conversation, application of technology for second/foreign language teaching and learning, task-based learning, and teacher training. She has taught Applied Linguistics, ESL, and Russian in the United States and internationally.

Panel Discussion


4:00 PM to 5:00 PM in Class of 1978 Pavilion Room 602


The symposium will close with a panel discussion that brings all workshop leaders together with the participants and offers an opportunity to engage in a formal discussion.

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