17-18 OCTOBER 2024, VITORIA-GASTEIZ  |  Facultad de Letras UPV/EHU



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8:30 – 9:00


9:00 – 9:15


9:15 – 10:15

ROY LYSTER (McGill University)

Form-focused instruction (FFI) is designed to draw students’ attention to target features as they are experiencing a communicative need and thus differs considerably from decontextualized language instruction. Foreign language learners in meaning-oriented classrooms with exposure to and engagement with relevant themes and topics have been shown by research to benefit from FFI. But how can teachers effectively engage students with FFI in systematic ways in non-traditional ways during meaning-oriented tasks? This talk will draw on a program of classroom research to illustrate how teachers can do so by intertwining reactive and proactive approaches to FFI.
A reactive approach includes oral scaffolding techniques such as teacher questions and corrective feedback in response to students’ language production that serve to support student participation while ensuring that classroom interaction is a key source of language learning. A reactive approach includes in-the-moment strategies for drawing students’ attention to language or getting them to produce more extended discourse. A proactive approach involves pre-planned instruction designed intentionally to highlight form-meaning connections by means of activities planned in a progression to promote noticing, awareness, and opportunities for practice in meaningful contexts. An illustration of such an approach tried and tested by teachers is an instructional sequence comprising four phases—contextualization, awareness, practice, autonomy—and thus called the CAPA model. Implemented in tandem, these reactive and proactive approaches to FFI serve to hone students’ metalinguistic awareness while engaging them in purposeful use of the target language.

10:30 – 11:00

RAÚL AZPILICUETA-MARTÍNEZ (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
CLIL Overkill? The effect of different CLIL intensities on young learners’ oral grammar

11:00 – 11:30

Developing metalinguistic awareness and plurilingual competence in 12 year-olds: The use of an instructional grammar sequence in L2 French

11:30 – 12:00

Coffee break

12:00 – 13:00

KAREN ROEHR-BRACKIN (University of Essex)

Existing research into young learners’ metalinguistic awareness has led to definitions of the construct as well as to key findings about its role in children’s cognitive and linguistic development. I will briefly summarise this research before introducing two well-established theoretical models that can help us understand the concept of metalinguistic awareness more broadly, that is, E. Bialystok’s classic dichotomy of analysis of knowledge and control of processing, and R. Ellis’ notion of explicit (second language) knowledge. This will be followed by an overview of measures of metalinguistic awareness that have been used in empirical studies to date. Selected measures will be illustrated and then critiqued with reference to the two existing theoretical models. As a result of this critique, I will propose an updated model which combines features of the two previous frameworks by conceptualising knowledge representations in terms of (1) how implicit/explicit and (2) how specific/schematic they are. I will explain and exemplify this updated model to illustrate how it can serve as a useful thinking tool. In particular, I will argue that it not only allows us to theorise measures of metalinguistic awareness more clearly and more easily, but that it can also capture tasks aimed at assessing other linguistic and cognitive abilities. The presentation concludes with suggestions for future research into metalinguistic awareness.  

13:00 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:30

Explicit instruction and length of exposure in the teaching of English noun-noun compounds: Two good ‘ingredients’ for Spanish children in primary education

15:30 – 16:00

Metalinguistic awareness and language transfer in primary school children learning to express obligation in EFL

16:00 – 16:30

Language proficiency and language choice during child EFL interaction

16:30 – 17:00

Coffee break

17:00 – 18:00

MIROSLAW PAWLAK (Adam Mickiewicz University)
Despite numerous criticisms, research into language learning strategies (LLS) has remained robust ever since the construct emerged in good language learner studies (Rubin, 1975). In effect, a copious body of empirical evidence has been accumulated concerning patterns of LLS use in different contexts, also with respect to specific areas of the target language (TL), variables affecting such use as well as the effectiveness of instruction in this area (Griffiths, 2018; Oxford, 2017; Pawlak, 2021; Pawlak & Oxford, 2018). This said, some areas concerning LLS have remained blatantly neglected by researchers and one of them is the use of LLS employed for learning and using grammar structures, or grammar learning strategies (GLS). Even though the number of studies focusing on GLS is on the increase, mainly thanks to the work done in the Polish context (e.g., Hassanzadeh & Ranjbar, 2022; Pawlak & Csizér, 2022) and the development of the Grammar Learning Strategy Inventory (GLSI; Pawlak, 2018), the focus of these studies has been on university students, in particular English majors. At the same time, there has been no attempt so far to extend empirical investigation into GLS to children, the main reason being perhaps the somewhat controversial status of teaching and learning grammar in this age group. The talk aims to fill this gap by discussing key issues involved in investigating GLS among elementary school children as well as challenges that researchers are bound to encounter in the process. Additionally, an initial version of a research instrument for tapping the use of grammar learning strategies in this age group will be presented.


9:00 – 10:00

In this talk we discuss how individual differences in cognition, language aptitude, motivation, and family background are associated with foreign language (FL) skills in young learners. After a brief overview of how and why scholars in the past have been interested in testing the ability to learn additional languages, we present results from a recent study on language aptitude in German-speaking Swiss primary school children whose instructed FLs are English and French. We show the internal dimensionality of aptitude as it emerges from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. There are consistent patterns of association across the different cognitive, language-related, and affective variables measured in this project. Moreover, we discuss the association of the different dimensions with FL skills both in normally developing children and in children who were diagnosed with learning difficulties. Next, we focus on the affective-motivational dispositions underpinning FL learning. By means of network analysis, we provide insight into the relationship between children’s FL self-concepts and other motivational constructs (including enjoyment of FL learning and FL learning anxiety) across the two instructed FL languages. In the last part of our talk, we outline how social background variables relate to the various cognitive and motivational constructs in FL learning.

10:15 – 10:45

AZAR TAJABADI (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Young EFL learners’ collaborative dialogue and learning of grammatical features: The effect of timing of form-focused instruction

10:45 – 11:15

ELISABET PLADEVALL-BALLESTER (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) & ELOI PUIG-MAYENCO (King’s College London)
The effect of focused task-based peer interaction on young EFL learners’ knowledge and production of present continuous: An intervention study

11:15 – 11:45

Coffee break

11:45 – 12:15

Sensory chunking and brain efficiency

12:15 – 12:45

MARÍA PUY OBANOS GIL & IZASKUN VILLARREAL (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
Collaborative writing and written languaging: Effects on accuracy

12:45 – 13:45

MASATOSHI SATO (Universidad Andrés Bello)
Task-based language teaching (TBLT) has increasingly been implemented in language programs around the globe. The premise of this theoretical and pedagogical framework is that second language (L2) learners develop their desired skills when they are given a carefully-designed task. However, while TBLT research continues to show a task’s effectiveness on L2 learning, reports from real-world classrooms, especially in foreign language contexts such as EFL in Spain, have revealed that ways in which a task works is not that straightforward. In this talk, I will first problematize TBLT’s overarching assumptions. After discussing different L2 learning theories, which tend to be disassociated with each other, I will illustrate how L2 learners’ psychological, social, and cognitive aspects are intertwined and, ultimately, accountable for the impact of TBLT. Finally, I will share some pedagogical interventions designed to facilitate learner psychology (e.g., metacognitive instruction, vision intervention) that may help learners benefit from a task more. With examples from the Chilean EFL context, I will propose that teachers can: (1) assess their students’ psychology related to pair and group work; (2) raise the students’ awareness of their own psychology; and (3) devote adequate instructional time to developing learner psychology that facilitates the students’ engagement with the task and their classmates.