Second Language Acquisition 

Reading Group

Columbia University Language Resource Center regularly hosts a reading group dedicated to exploration of theoretical dimensions of second and foreign language study. The group meets every other week to examine recent scholarship in the field, and discuss its applications in the world language classroom. Each semester features a different theme, informing the topics of each session. We welcome all members of Columbia language community.


Themes, Topics, and Materials

Listed below are the recent sessions of the LRC Reading Group arranged by the academic year.

Writing across genres, modalities, and technologies (2022 - 2023)

This academic year we focus on writing comprehension and its role across curricula, genres, modalities, and technologies.  The following events include reading group meetings and a series of invited guest talks and panels.

Fall 2022

10/14:  Writing with 21st Century Social Tools in the L2 Classroom [article]
11/03:  Multimodality Befriends Heritage Language and Second Language Writing [recording]
12/07: The Use of Dubbing in Advanced Italian Courses [recording]
12/08:  From Disrupted Classrooms to Human-Machine Collaboration? The Pocket Calculator, Google Translate, and the Future of Language Education [article]


Spring 2023

02/03: Machine Translation and the L2 Classroom [article]
03/24: Heritage Language Education: Issues and Challenges [recording]
03/31: Heritage Language Pedagogy Panel [recording]
04/28: The Pocket Calculator, Google Translate, and Chat-GPT: From Disruptive Technologies to Curricular Innovation [recording]

Listening Comprehension in the Language Classroom (2021 - 2022)

The purpose of this series of workshops is to reexamine the role of listening comprehension in today’s language classroom. In the course of the five planned workshops, we define listening comprehension and discuss some of the ways in which it can be productively incorporated in the language curriculum. At the end of this series we will consider a few ways in which listening comprehension can best be assessed.

Fall 2021

10/01:  What is listening comprehension and why is it important?
10/29:  Types of listening comprehension [slides]
11/12: Developing listening comprehension activities: Selecting the text
11/19:  Developing listening comprehension activities: Designing the activities 
12/03:  Assessing listening comprehension [self-evaluation checklist]


Spring 2022

The reading group was suspended in the spring semester.

Pedagogy and Technology in the Virtual Language Classroom (2020 - 2021)

Prompted by the global pandemic, the reading group has been moved into a virtual venue.  The format has been adjusted to more closely reflect the interests of the Columbia language community and to align the sessions with the LRC Invited Guest Lectures.  In that sense, the meetings have been designed to help prepare the audience participate in the guest talks, to contextualize these talks within applied linguistics scholarship, and to provide space for stimulating discussion.

Fall 2020

10/07:  Using Games to Build a Learning Community in the L2 Classroom [slides]
11/04:  Task-Based Language Teaching in the Distance Language Classroom [slides]
12/02:  Disruptive Technologies in the Language Classroom [slides] 

Spring 2021

The reading group was temporarily suspended in the spring semester and will return in the fall.

New Directions in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) (2019 - 2020)

This academic year we are focusing on Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and its numerous applications in the language classroom. The sessions are informed by recent scholarship and structured around the topics listed below.  Starting in the second half of March the all subsequent sessions were cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring 2020

02/10: Technology-Enhanced Listening [slides]
02/24: Targeting L2 Pronunciation with Technology [slides]
03/09: Writing Skills and Digital Literacies through Social Tools [cancelled]
03/30: CALL and L2 Reading [cancelled]
04/13: Culture and CALL [cancelled]
04/27: Future Directions in CALL [cancelled]

Fall 2019

09/18: Theories and Practices in CALL [slides]
10/09: Special Educational Needs in Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching (Part 1) [slides]
10/23: Special Educational Needs in Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching (Part 2) [slides]
11/07: Digital Literacies as Emergent Multifarious Repertoires [slides]
11/20: Exploring Digital Games and Social Networking [slides]
12/05: 2019 ACTFL Conference Debriefing

The Multiliteracies Framework in the World Language Classroom (2018 - 2019)

This year’s theme is dedicated to exploring multiliteracies in language teaching. The Fall semester explores the multiliteracies framework across various proficiency levels and institutional settings.  During the Spring semester we take a deeper look at how the multiliteracies framework is realized in practice.

Spring 2019

02/04: Instruction and Assessment in the Multiliteracies Framework [slides]
02/18: Developing Learner Literacy Based on Targeted Textual Features [slides]
03/04: Working with Grammar and Vocabulary in the Multiliteracies Framework [slides]
04/01: Literacy Development and Interpersonal Oral Language Use [slides]
04/15: Video-mediated listening and interpretive communication in the multiliteracies framework [slides]
04/29: Presentational writing practice with texts [slides]

Fall 2018

10/01: Approaches to Second Language Acquisition [slides]
10/15: A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures [slides]
10/31: Exploring the Feasibility of a Pedagogy of Multiliteracies in Introductory Foreign Language Courses [slides]
11/12: “Bridging Activities”, New Media Literacies, and Advanced Foreign Language Proficiency [slides]

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353 International Affairs Bldg

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9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday-Sunday: Closed