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Research Center for Language and Cognition (CLCG) CLCG colloquium

Schedule and speakers 2019

Dates 2019 Speaker & Title of Presentation Time & Location
January 10

Neil Cohn (Visual Language Lab, Tilburg)

'The grammar of visual narrative: The structure of sequential images'

12:00 - 13:00 H

Harmonie 1312.0018

February 7

Anja Goldschmidt, Martijn van der Klis, Bert Le Bruyn, Henriëtte de Swart & Jos Tellings

'Time in Translation: past, present and future'

Akademiegebouw A7
March 7

Leslie Piggott & Rick de Graaff (Universiteit Utrecht)

'Oral Proficiency in the EFL Classroom: Effects of Delaying and Reducing Explicit Form-Focused Instruction'

11:00 to 11:45

Harmonie 1313.0338

April 4

Sterre Leufkens (Universiteit Utrecht)

'Wetenschapscommunicatie. What could possibly go wrong?'

12:00 - 12:45

Academiegebouw A2

May 24

Ana Guerberof (Dublin City University)

'What is the impact of language on Microsoft Word users?'

12:00 - 12:45

Harmonie  1315.0316

October 9

Natxo Sorolla (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona)

'Social network effects on language choice'

12:00 - 12:45

Harmonie 1312.0013

December 5

Koen Sebregts (Utrecht University ) & Patrycja Strycharczuk

'Sociolinguistic and laboratory perspectives on rhotic allophony'

13:00 - 13:45

Harmonie 1313.0316

January 30

Helen de Hoop (Nijmegen University)

Title: TBA



'The grammar of visual narrative: The structure of sequential images'

Neil Cohn

Like language, visual narratives like comics and storybooks order information into meaningful sequences. Recent research has shown that the comprehension of visual narratives extends beyond the meaningful relations between images, and uses a “narrative grammar” that organizes this semantic information. I will show that, based on contemporary construction grammars from linguistics, this structure packages meaning into categorical roles into hierarchic constituents to account for phenomena like long distance dependencies and structural ambiguities. In addition, using measurements of brainwaves (EEG), I will show that this grammar is independent of meaning (e.g., N400), and engages similar neurocognitive processing as syntax in language (e.g., anterior negativities, P600). Finally, I will show that sequential image processing is modulated by a person’s fluency in the specific narrative grammars found in different “visual languages” of the world. Altogether, this work introduces emerging research from the linguistic and cognitive sciences that challenges conventional wisdom with a new paradigm of thinking about the connections between language and graphic communication.

'Wetenschapscommunicatie. What could possibly go wrong?'

Sterre Leufkens

Als je een onderzoek afrondt, hoop je op media-aandacht: fijn als het grote publiek te weten komt wat je ontdekt hebt! Maar helaas kan er op de weg van onderzoeker naar publiek van alles misgaan. In deze lezing vertel ik over de gebeurtenissen rondom de verschijning van mijn proefschrift in 2015 en de daaropvolgende berichtgeving in de media. Daarvan leer je over hoe je effectief over je onderzoek kunt communiceren, wat je vooral níet moet doen, en wat je niet kunt vermijden.

'Oral Proficiency in the EFL Classroom: Effects of Delaying and Reducing Explicit Form-Focused Instruction'

Leslie Piggott & Rick de Graaff

Several review studies and meta-analyses have indicated that explicit instruction within a meaning-based approach is more effective for L2 acquisition than implicit instruction (Norris & Ortega, 2000; Spada & Tomita, 2010). However, these findings may be biased as treatments tend to be brief; moreover, most of them have used “highly constrained discrete-focus linguistic tasks” that favor explicit instruction (Spada, 2011:  228). To address such flaws, DeKeyser (2003) suggests conducting more authentic classroom-based and longitudinal interventions.

In a two-year longitudinal study effects were observed of reducing and delaying the amount of explicit form-focused instruction involving meta-linguistic information in a secondary EFL education setting. One group (N = 214) received traditional explicit Form-Focused Instruction (FFI) with grammar practice, in which approximately 37% of the classroom time was spent on presenting and practicing grammar rules. The other group (N=191) received implicit FFI without any grammar practice. The students performed oral tasks during the first and second year. Their oral proficiency was holistically rated as well as analyzed with several measures of Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency. Additionally the students completed an explicit grammar pre-, post- and delayed post-test.  

Results show that in the first year the implicit group outperformed the explicit group on several measures. They used more words to complete the oral task, were lexically more diverse, made fewer errors and received higher holistic scores for vocabulary and grammar. Explicit FFI seemed to have a hindering effect on the accuracy measures as the explicit group made significantly more verb form and verb tense errors in the first year. In the second year, however, the initial advantage of the implicit group disappeared, as the explicit group showed a steeper development on several measures. Overall this longitudinal study shows that reducing and delaying the amount of explicit FFI in the language classroom can have positive effects on initial oral proficiency development.

In this presentation, parallels with the methods and findings of Audrey Rousse-Malpat’s PhD dissertation study will be discussed.

Bio note:

Leslie Piggott is an EFL teacher in secondary education. She is completing a PhD research project on the effect of implicit form-focused instruction on foreign language acquisition in classroom settings.

Rick de Graaff is professor in foreign language pedagogy at Utrecht University and the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. His research focuses on effective teaching interventions in foreign language education.

'Time in Translation: past, present and future'

Anja Goldschmidt, Martijn van der Klis, Bert Le Bruyn, Henriëtte de Swart & Jos Tellings

Linguists have always been at the forefront of the corpus revolution in the humanities. It still proves hard to bring together the interests of computationally oriented linguists with those of more theoretically oriented ones, though. We argue that progress can be made by applying quantitative corpus methods in the field of semantic micro-typology, in particular by exploiting the possibilities of translation corpora. To do so, we focus on one of the most challenging tense-aspect categories found across languages: the Perfect. Its use at the sentence and discourse level varies across languages, and it competes with past and present tenses. Instead of avoiding this variation, we embrace it to unveil the meaning of the Perfect, using a ‘smart’ integration of quantitative and qualitative methodology in a data intensive approach.

We present the Utrecht-based Time in Translation project: its first year, our current challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead. The latter include an extension of the Time in Translation methodology to different semantic domains and to the field of Second Language Acquisition.

Laatst gewijzigd:28 november 2019 14:22