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The International Language Learning Roundtable on
“Memory and Second Language Acquisition”
Venue: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
We are pleased to announce that an International Roundtable Seminar on “Memory and Second Language Acquisition” will be held at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) from 11 to 12 June, 2012. The roundtable is organized by the Language Center of HKUST and is jointly sponsored by a Language Learning Roundtable Conference Grant and Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil).
The International Roundtable Seminar aims to provide an interactive forum for a group of cognitive-oriented SLA researchers to gather together and discuss (with cognitive neuroscientists) the roles of key human memory systems (in particular, working memory) in various aspects of SLA. Towards this end, the symposium consists of one pre-seminar workshop and three keynote speeches as well as eight other invited speeches that are addressing the relationships between WM and various aspects of SLA (such as reading, speaking, interpreting etc.).
Though we will not accept abstracts for presentation, we still warmly welcome interested SLA researchers, language teachers and postgraduate students working on (or aspiring to pursue) psycholinguistic and cognitive approaches to SLA studies to attend our workshop and seminar and to participate in the lively discussion with our speakers.
Dr. Zhisheng Wen (Edward), Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Dr. Arthur McNeill, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Prof. Mailce Mota, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Prof. Michael Ullman, Georgetown University, USA
(Topic: Learning and Memory in the Human Brain)
Prof. Michael Ullman, Georgetown University, USA
(Topic: A Multidisciplinary Investigation of the Neurocognition of Second Language)
Prof. Peter Skehan, University of Auckland, New Zealand
(Topic: Working Memory and Second Language Speech Performance)
Prof. Cem Alptekin, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
(Topic: How Different Reading Span Tasks Affect the Relationship between WM and L2 Reading: A DP-based Perspective)
Invited Feature Speakers:
Prof. Yanping Dong, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China
(Topic: Working Memory and Interpreting)
Prof. Mailce Mota, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil
(Topic: Working Memory and L2 Task-based Performance)
Dr. Alan Juffs, University of Pittsburg, USA
(Topic: Working Memory and L2 Sentence Processing)
Dr. Michael Harrington, Queensland University, Australia
(Topic: Working Memory and L2 Discourse Processing)
Dr. Mohammad Javad Ahmadian, University of Isfahan, Iran
(Topic: Working Memory, Online Planning and L2 Self-Behavior)
Dr. Gulcan Ercetin, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
(Topic: The Interactions among Explicit/Implicit Knowledge Resources, WMC and L2 Reading)
Dr. Shaofeng Li, University of Auckland, New Zealand
(Topic: Working Memory, Language Analytical Ability and L2 Corrective Feedback)
Dr. Zhisheng Wen, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, China
(Topic: Working Memory & SLA—Towards an Integrated Account)
Registration (Please send the completed Registration Form attached below to):
Ms. Candice Poon (firstname.lastname@example.org), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Registration Fee: 600HKD or 80USD
Deadline for registration to the seminar is: 15 May, 2012
ABSTRACTS for Workshop & Plenary Speeches:
Professor of Departments of Neuroscience, Linguistics, Psychology and Neurology
Director of Brain and Language Lab
Co-Director of Center for the Brain Basis of Cognition;
Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA
Learning and Memory in the Human Brain
This tutorial provides an overview to all the major learning and memory systems in the human brain, including very short term memory (iconic and echoic memory), working memory, and the various longer term memory systems (declarative memory, procedural memory, associative learning, priming, etc.). I will discuss each memory system’s functional characteristics, neuroanatomical substrates, biological (e.g., genetic) underpinnings, and clinical correlates (which disorders affect which memory systems with what consequences). Audience participation and discussion is encouraged.
A Multidisciplinary Investigation of the Neurocognition of Second Language
I will present a brief overview and some particular examples of a broad ongoing multidisciplinary investigation of the biological and computational bases of second language (L2). This highly collaborative investigation is multidisciplinary in various respects. It attempts to integrate various disciplines (e.g., neuroscience, psychology, SLA, linguistics, endocrinology, genetics), brings together studies of human and animals, and crosses language and non-language domains. It examines the acquisition, retention and processing of L2, and compares these to normal and disordered first language, in both developmental and adult-onset disorders. The investigation uses a variety of behavioural and neuroimaging techniques, with a number of different experimental paradigms, in both natural and artificial languages.
This wide-ranging approach is used specifically to examine the dependence of language on two long-term memory brain systems, declarative memory and procedural memory. Crucially, because the behavioral, anatomical, physiological, molecular and genetic correlates of these two systems are quite well-studied in animals and humans, they lead to specific predictions about language that would not likely be made in the more circumscribed study of language alone. The approach is thus very powerful in being able to generate a wide range of novel predictions for language. I will first give background on the two memory systems, and then discuss the manner in which both first and second language are predicted to depend on them. One of the key concepts is that to some extent both systems can subserve the same functions (e.g., for navigation, grammar, etc.), and thus they play at least partly redundant roles for these functions. This has a variety of important consequences for first and second language, in normal and disordered populations. I will then present evidence that basic aspects of language do indeed depend on the two memory systems, though in different ways across different populations. I will discuss normal first and second language, individual and group differences (sex and handedness differences), and a variety of developmental disorders (e.g., Specific Language Impairment, autism and Tourette syndrome), although the focus of the talk will be on second language.
Altogether, I will suggest that such a multidisciplinary approach is quite helpful, and perhaps even necessary, for understanding the nature of second language in the mind and brain.
Professor of Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics
University of Auckland, New Zealand/
Honorary Professor of Birkbeck College, University of London, UK
Working Memory and Second Language Speech Performance
Research into second language task based performance has been an active area in recent years, with a range of findings, and emerging theoretical accounts. In addition, links are increasingly being made to models of first language speech production, such as Levelt's. We have some idea of how working memory might function in such first language models, linked as they are to models of the mental lexicon, and also controlled and automatic stages in speech production. However, we know less about how working memory contributes to second language performance. To address this gap, this presentation will consider the relevance of working memory models, and explore how attentional functioning depends upon the structure of WM and to limitations in its size. Such attentional functioning is related to real-time performance by second language speakers with limited second language mental lexicons. It will be argued that working memory limitations play a key role in relation to the interplay between the Conceptualiser and Formulator stages in speech production; and that second language mental lexicon limitations spill over, in their consequences, to all aspects of speech performance. In particular, such limitations make second language speech production a serial rather than a parallel process. As a result, it is task characteristics and task conditions which impact upon attentional functioning, and the ways that the tendency towards serial processes is overcome, as far as is possible. It will be argued that if serial processes are inevitable, at least some of the time, the key then becomes, for the second language speaker, of how parallel processing can be enhanced through task design, especially in relation to task structure. The analysis also has relevance to theories of second language performance, such as the Tradeoff and Cognition Hypotheses.
Professor of Applied Linguistics,
Faculty of Education, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
How Different Reading Span Tasks Affect the Relationship between
Working Memory and L2 Reading: A DP-based Perspective
The paper focuses on the relationships between working memory, measured by reading span tasks, and second language reading by probing the effects of differences in secondary task design (semantic vs. syntactic) and the language of the task (first vs. second), with adult learners of English with a relatively advanced proficiency level. Exploratory factor analysis results suggest that storage is task-and language-independent. However, processing is affected by the linguistic nature of the secondary task and the language in which the task is presented. The findings are discussed in relation to the DP model of second language acquisition.
The International Language Learning
“Memory and Second Language Acquisition”
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|2012 Conference Committee
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology