Fall Orientation Pedagogy Workshop


“Your Attention Please! Do Captions Increase Language Learning.”

Friday, 16 September 2016 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm (Breakfast will be served in G22) | Annenberg Hall G15

Speaker: Susan Gass, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages (Michigan State University)
Presentation:Your Attention Please! Do Captions Increase Language Learning?.“

Morning Session
This presentation will focus on the classroom use of listening-based videos with a particular focus on the use of captions for language teaching/learning in foreign language classrooms. Dr. Gass will present results from studies in which the focus was on differences in how captions are used and their relative usefulness depending on language, proficiency, and order of presentation (with and without captions). This research includings an examination of  eye-tracking data from English learners of Spanish and Chinese and Arabic learners of English. The eye-tracking data, coupled with working memory data, provides insight into the attentional focus of captions and the potentially resultant split-attention effect. The presentation will end with a discussion of pedagogical implications.

Workshop Session
Building on the idea of attention,  the focus will be on speaking activities and the Interactionist Approach. Speaking activities are often used to reinforce what has been learned. However, in this workshop, the focus will be on speaking activities that are used to promote language learning. We will see particular examples of how we can use speaking as a way of learning with constructs such as attention, interaction, and feedback being primary in the discussion.

Susan Gass has published widely in the field of second language acquisition with more than 100 articles and more than 40 books (including translations of her articles and books into Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Russian). Her most recent publications include: Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (with Jennifer Behney and Luke Plonsky, 2013) and Second Language Research: Methodology and Design (with Alison Mackey, 2016), both published by Routledge. She is the winner of numerous rewards within Michigan State University as well as national and international awards. She is an honorary member of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and the International Association of Applied Linguistics. She serves on numerous editorial boards and is the current co-editor of Studies in Second Language Acquisition. She co-edits (with Alison Mackey) the Second Language Acquisition Research series, published by Routledge.