Michigan State University

Dr. Joan Kelly Hall is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) at Pennsylvania State University.  Her research centers on documenting the specialized interactional practices and actions of teaching-and-learning found in instructional settings.  The aim is to enhance empirical understanding of the specialized semiotic repertoires by which instructional projects are accomplished at a level of articulation that allows researchers and teachers to see the work that is done in instructional settings in new and potentially transformative ways. 

Dr. Kelly Hall’s work appears in journals such as Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingualism, Journal of Pragmatics, Linguistics & Education, The Modern Language Journal, and Research on Language and Social Interaction.  Her recent works include: Essentials of SLA for L2 Teachers: A Transdisciplinary Framework (2018, Routledge), Teaching and Researching Language and Culture, 2nd ed (2011, Pearson) and L2 Interactional Competence and Development (2011, Multilingual Matters, edited vol, w. Hellerman, & Pekarek Doehler).

Plenary title: Designing L2 learning: The interdependent relationship between L2 teacher actions and L2 learners’ developing interactional repertoires

Plenary abstract:  A key insight of a transdisciplinary perspective on SLA is its usage-based understanding of language (Douglas Fir Group, 2016). Robust evidence from disciplines including child language development (e.g., Tomasello, 2006), psycholinguistics (e.g., MacWhinney, 2015), neurolinguistics (e.g., Lee et al., 2009), and various branches of cognitive, functional, and interactional linguistics (e.g., Bybee, 2006; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 2018; Ellis, 2016; Goldberg, 2006) reveal the fundamental role that social interactions, and specifically, the social actions comprising the interactions, play in shaping language knowledge. Keys aspects of interactions contributing to its development are their regular occurrence, and the frequency and distribution of the linguistic resources comprising their sequentially-related actions. What arises from individuals’ engagement in their interactions is not an abstract system of grammar but rather pragmatically-driven, variable repertoires of linguistic constructions that include “those usage patterns themselves, situated in the interaction itself” (Laury et al., 2014, p. 441).

These findings suggest that recurring instructional interactions in L2 classrooms are pivotal sources of L2 learners’ developing interactional repertoires. The linguistic choices teachers make in designing their instructional actions significantly shape both the linguistic resources that are available to learners and the ways in which learners orient to and use them.

Drawing on these understandings, and specifically on research from conversation analysis and interactional linguistics on information-seeking question action sequences, I will present data from an ongoing research project that examines the sequential and linguistic connections between two types of information-seeking questions and the student responses they engender. I will conclude with a discussion of the insights on SLA and L2 pedagogy such research affords, with a particular focus on the power of the concept of design for supporting the development of innovative research agendas and transformative pedagogical opportunities.

 

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