On Saturday, September 2, 2017, MUSE held a two hour long meeting attended by Adon Berwick, Marcus Grandon, Anne Marie Guerrettaz, Siwon Lee, and Corrine Mathieu. At the end of the meeting, Anne Marie met with Mostafa Pourhaji as well to provide an overview and discuss the topics discussed at the larger group meeting. Resources that the group is providing to the broader research community such as the list of key references on language classroom materials use as well as group business were the topics of the meeting.
Welcome to our newest member, Siwon Lee, from University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education! Also, welcome to Dr. Yumi Matsumoto, also from the Penn Graduate school in the Educational Linguistics Division, who has joined MUSE but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.
In attendance: Adam, Adon, Anne Marie, Cory, Siwon, Marcus.
Thanks to Adon for suggesting the reading for the meeting. This month we discussed: Littlejohn,A. (2012) “Language teaching materials and the (very) big picture.” Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 9.1: 283-297.
We held a one-hour discussion that concentrated upon the pros and cons of standardization of materials in various contexts.
This article is available for free here: http://e-flt.nus.edu.sg/v9s12012/littlejohn.pdf
In the second half of the meeting, we discussed ways in which MUSE could do group projects. Four main ways were identified: 1) a group panel at the AAAL 2018 conference in Chicago or possibly at another conference, 2) the writing and editing of a special issue of a journal, 3) the possible writing of a group article for a journal, and 4) the possible writing of an edited volume based on materials use.
We decided that numbers 1 and 2 above would be the best courses of action for now. Deadline for AAAL is approaching, so members who committed to being on the panel need to begin drafting a 300-word abstract on the theme of ‘Materials Use in Language Classrooms’, and it would be best if these drafts were completed by mid- to late July 2017.
Targets journals for the special issue include: Modern Language Journal, the Canadian Modern Language Review Journal, English Language Teaching among others.
Welcome to our newest member, Adon Berwick in Brisbane, Australia!
-Attended by Doreen, Anne Marie, Mostafa, Cory, Adon, and Marcus.
-Anne Marie put forth the idea that MUSE could do a group project together such as a special issue of a journal or a presentation at a conference.
-We discussed the reading paper co-authored by MUSE member Mostafa Pourhaji: Pourhaji, M., Alavi, S. M., & Karimpour, S. (2016). Built-In Learner Participation Potential of Locally-and Globally-Designed ELT Materials. Journal of Teaching Language Skills, 35(3), 119-156. Click here to read the article.
-MUSE member Cory Mathieu then presented her research on use of materials in language immersion classrooms in the USA entitled “Spanish immersion materials and the secondary classroom ecology”.
-Both Mostafa’s paper and Cory’s presentation sparked active and supportive discussions regarding the topics in the research.
-Deadline for submissions for TESOL 2018 in Chicago is June 1, 2017. Doreen suggested that perhaps a workshop is a good way to get a presentation slot at the conference. MUSE members may want to produce some sort of joint workshop presentation. We could also try again to put some panel together for AAAL.
-Next meeting is planned for May 2017.
-Attended by Anne Marie, Mostafa, Cory, Adam and Marcus.
-Our proposal for AAAL was rejected, but we feel that it is a good footing and we will try again next year by including a greater number of participants and more primary studies.
-We discussed possible attendance to the MATSDA conference on June 10-11, 2017 in Holland.
-We discussed grant funding in our respective locales, and the WSU can give us support by looking at our grant proposals and providing feedback.
-Discussion then shifted to methods of data collection, and also teaching techniques in our own classrooms.
-We moved to discuss the reading paper: Jakonen, T. (2015). Handling knowledge: Using classroom materials to construct and interpret information requests. Journal of Pragmatics, 89, 100-112. The discussion was engaging and lively about topics from the paper and how we could relate elements found in the paper to our own research.
-Anne Marie has co-authored a paper that was just published in TESOL quarterly. The topic then moved to multimodality and ecology.
For our October meeting, members from the USA and Japan attended. First, we welcomed a new member, Cory Mathieu, to the group. Then, we discussed the panel for the 2017 AAAL conference, conferences that members attended over the summer 2016, and an upcoming conference in November 2016.
For the reading group discussion, we read Miguel’s (2015) paper entitled Textbook consumption in the classroom: Analyzing a classroom corpus. This paper is one of the first to be released on the use of materials in classrooms, and focused on the teacher adaptation of materials. We had a lively discussion about the way Miguel applied a framework from McDonough, Shaw and Masaharu (2013) to analyze the teacher adaptation of materials. The use of this framework provides an innovative and solid way forward for the study of materials use from the standpoint of ways in which teachers use materials.
Finally, we discussed elements of current research projects in the works by members, and grant writing proposals.
McDonough, J., Shaw, C., & Masuhara, H. (2013). Materials and Methods in EFL.
Miguel, N. M. (2015). Textbook consumption in the classroom: Analyzing a classroom corpus. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 198, 309-319.
For our June 24, 2016 meeting, members joined via phone and videoconference from Iran, Japan, and Mexico. We had our first reading group discussion, which comprised the majority of the meeting time. Specifically, we discussed Sue Garton’s and Kathleen Graves’s 2014 article Identifying a research agenda for language teaching materials, which appeared in The Modern Language Journal. This article prompted a stimulating conversation about language teaching materials in relation to classroom interaction and participation, learning opportunities, the history of the field of second language acquisition, and much more.
We also discussed MUSE’s goals, logistical matters, and ongoing projects, including our plans for a conference panel in the United States for 2017. We talked about resources that we plan to make available to the public by posting them on our website, including influential articles on language classroom materials use and links to organizations whose goals and interests complement our own. Finally, Between the Keys—the teacher-focused journal of the Material Writers’ SIG of the Japanese Association for Language Teaching (JALT)—was mentioned.
MUSE members met in a regularly scheduled meeting on April 30th, 2016. With our newest member, Mostafa Pourhaji, our Skype meeting took place from three countries: Mexico, Japan and Iran. The meeting agenda included a report from Anne Marie on events at the recent AAAL conference in Florida, where she introduced MUSE to the research community. Anne Marie was able to recruit several people to join MUSE at the conference. We also discussed long and short-term goals for the group that included planning a panel for a conference presentation, building an online repository for research on materials use, and structuring future meetings along the lines of a reading group.