Esl faculty Seminar: Language Learning (Panel 2) Kim, Yoder, Fassihi

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ESL Faculty Seminar: Language Learning (Panel 2) Kim, Yoder, Fassihi

January 14, 2016

This is a 2-part activity that considers vague nouns and private/public verbs (Hinkel) and combines it with the kind of structured input and structured output suggestions (Guilloteau) from the studies that we read.

1. Students read the first page from a WR Journal essay and discuss their impressions. (

Questions to consider: What do you think about his language? How effectively and clearly does he communicate his ideas and what makes it effective? What contributes to the formality of the language?

2. Circle all of the verbs in the text. What are they? (Write on board, clarify meanings)
3. Choose one sentence that you particularly like and find effective. Discuss your selection with your neighbor.

Questions to consider: What lexical or syntactic features impact you and why? What is effective about this sentence?

4. Instructor: Identify and discuss key terms that are essential to understanding Lader’s argument. What terms are unavoidable for discussing this essay?

(Also helpful to acknowledge associated terms and alternative ways that Lader expresses the same idea in his essay so that students can see possibilities for avoiding repeated terms and structures in their writing.)

This “human heartbeat”—in other words, shared humanity—creates vulnerability, allowing for a more “personal and intimate” experience of the performance (Bogart 65).
Then, point out a sentence or two that uses both specific terms and key terms in purposeful ways. Ask if any students picked those same sentences and discuss.
Taking this into consideration, Abramovic stares at strangers for seven hours a day for three months, and the audience often participates for long periods at a time.
5. Give students a prompt that requires them to use the key terms and useful lexical items encountered in this exercise.
For example: “Consult your writer’s notebook [anywhere the student takes notes] and include at least five verbs and other useful, academic vocabulary from Ryan Lader’s essay. Make sure to boldface the words in your essay so that I can recognize them.”

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