April 2019 Meeting

The meeting was attended by Adon Berwick, Nausica Marcos, Teppo Jakonen, Darren LaScotte, Zhan Li, and Cory Mathieu. We opened the meeting with a recap of AAAL, including the MUSE open meeting – which was attended by eleven people – and a colloquium on material mediation in the classroom in which Darren and Cory presented. We also discussed the possibility of submitting a proposal for a symposium on materials use research at AILA 2020, for which Anne Marie will take the lead. Our discussion then turned to Yumi Matsumoto’s recent MLJ article titled Material Moments: Teacher and Student Use of Materials in Multilingual Writing Classroom Interactions. The article prompted a dynamic discussion on a variety of topics including how we as researchers define materials, the potential agentivity of materials in the classroom (and the pushback some of us have received from other scholars on this topic), and how complexity theory relates to different methodologies (particularly short-term versus longitudinal research).

MUSE Members win Spencer Award

MUSE International is delighted to announce that members Anne Marie Guerrettaz (Washington State University, USA) and Nausica Marcos Miguel (Denison University, USA) have won a Spencer Foundation Research Award. The pair, in collaboration with Professor Nancy Bell (Washington State University), will conduct research on Spanish as a foreign language teaching materials. This study will include colleges and universities across three states in the USA during the 2019–2020 academic year.

The following is an excerpt from the winning proposal:

‘U.S. 4-year colleges commonly require intermediate-level foreign language coursework (Lusin, 2012). Therefore, this 16-month project will investigate 12 intermediate Spanish classes at diverse colleges in 3 states. We will observe, collect, and analyze classroom interactions involving instructional materials (144 hours), and conduct multimodal discourse analysis, interviews, and focus groups. This research lays critical groundwork for understanding how instructional materials affect U.S. foreign language classrooms, generates a typology regarding impacts of materials on classroom interaction, and has implications for improving foreign language education and materials design.’

MUSE membership has played a role in this research project. By having a presence at international conferences in countries such as the USA, Finland, Japan, Cambodia and the UK, members not only present their findings but reach out to like-minded researchers to forge relationships for future projects. ‘We [Guerrettaz and I] definitely connected through MUSE. We just met in person last year at the AAAL conference!’ says Marcos Miguel. Guerrettaz adds, ‘MUSE is doing wonderful things connecting researchers in these types of endeavors.  We, as an international research consortium, look forward to pursuing more of these types of grants in the coming year.’

We at MUSE are pleased and excited to wish Anne Marie, Nausica, and Nancy great success with their Spencer Foundation Research Award!

Feb 2019 Meeting

Our first meeting of 2019 set an attendance record. Here’s a warm welcome to  the new participants: Li Zhan (China), Sarah Han (UPenn), Mari Haneda (UPenn), Magda Madany (UPenn). The regular participants were: Cory Mathieu, Anne Marie Guerrettaz, Marcus Grandon, Yi-Ju Lai, Adon Berwick, Nausica Marcos, Nicole Pettit and Simthembile.

Some information that we discussed regarding some upcoming events and new ideas/initiatives are as follows:

  1. At AAAL, MUSE International will hold an open meeting for all MUSE members and other AAAL attendees on Tuesday, March 12 from 12:30-1:45 pm as advertised here: https://assets.noviams.com/novi-file-uploads/aaal/AAAL_Preliminary_SOE_updated_1_23_19.pdf
  2. AILA has Research Networks (ReNs) that we discussed plugging into as part of our existing MUSE International group. Here is additional information: https://aila.info/research/ We would need to apply and probably have 3 “convenors” (i.e., facilitators/organizers/leaders). Anne Marie will begin getting more information about this process, and Teppo and Mari have both expressed interest as well.  Please let Anne Marie know if anyone else is interested and in what capacity.
  3. Grants: We discussed a few months ago applying for one (or multiple?) collaborative grants as an organizational goal for 2019.  Anne Mariecreated a sign-up sheet here for all those who are interested and think that they will have time to work on such a project over the next year or more. Yesterday, we discussed creating a subgroup to work on this project outside of our regularly all-group meetings. Please add your name and consider the few short questions at this online survey link if you are interested: https://wsu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cvAWfYs0DdNvHVj Please complete this by Monday, Feb. 25.  Anne Marie will then send out a Doodle poll to schedule our first “exploratory” meeting to discuss ideas, options, and individual availability.
  4. Teppo will be attending  the 4th international conference Thinking, doing, learning 2019. The conference seeks to advance the understanding of usage-based approaches to the L2 environment.
  5. Lastly, a big congrats to Yumi Matsumoto for her MLJ publication that just came out recently online!

Many thanks to Anne Marie and Cory for contributing the notes above.

The reading for discussion was:  Harwood, N. (2017). What can we learn from mainstream education textbook research?. RELC Journal48(2), 264-277.

 

 

MUSE and MATSDA deepen ties

MUSE and MATSDA have now formed a stronger relationship in order to deepen knowledge about materials and  materials use. On the front page of their website, MATSDA have now posted a link to the MUSE open letter that was co-written by MUSE members and published in the journal Folio.

Here’s the link to the open letter Click for letter

This link will help promote MUSE and hopefully drive traffic to our website for people interested in materials use. Recent analytics show that our MUSE homepage has gotten approximately 2,000 views from people in dozens of countries around the world.

In addition, MUSE Co-founder, Anne Marie Guerrettaz, has accepted an invitation from the MATSDA team to be a plenary speaker at their 2019 annual conference. This year the conference will be held on June 15th and 16th at the University of Liverpool. MUSE members will be interested to know that the theme for the conference is ‘Using Language Learning Materials’. Such a theme suggests that there is widening interest in the field regarding the theme of materials use. MUSE is not only playing a pioneering role in this theme but also creating an impact in the field through publications and conference presentations. MATSDA 2019 Conference Link

I remind readers that MUSE members also co-wrote an entire article for Folio that was published recently and made available as open-access on the MATSDA website. MUSE Article

MATSDA have also linked our MUSE homepage to their front page. This link can be found in the blue box in the ‘News’ section of the MATSDA homepage.  MATSDA Homepage

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MUSE thanks MATSDA for this amazing level of support. We at MUSE are grateful to MATSDA for the opportunity to move forward together with our common interests, and look forward to a continuing and fruitful relationship.

 

 

December 2018 Meeting

After general greetings and announcements, we discussed officer roles. Consensus was that we add both moderator and treasurer roles. The Moderator would be a big picture role with an eye on furthering the progress of the group, communicating with the advisor board on a regular basis, look for funding, and lead meetings at times.  Anne Marie volunteered to be the Moderator, and Nausica volunteered to be treasurer.

We discussed future projects including the potential editing and writing for special issues of several journals.

Our primary group goal for 2019 is applying for large grants.

Then, we moved to discuss the reading of an article on the relationships between materials use, social media, and identity.

 

MUSE members publish journal pieces

MUSE, in cooperation with the Materials Development Association (MATSDA), is pleased to announce that we have published work in the September 2018 issue of the materials-based journal, Folio. The article has open access.  To download the MUSE article click here.

MUSE members jointly penned two pieces for Folio. First, we wrote an Open Letter to the MATSDA readership to introduce ourselves, explain what we do, and invite members of the academic community to join in our quest to better understand materials use.

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Second, our MUSE team wrote an article to explain what we view as a mutually beneficial relationship between our vision of Materials Use research and the field of Materials Development. MUSE writers offer a working definition of what we mean by materials use, detail current literature on the subject, share vignettes about work by our current members, and synthesize this work into a model for the direction for future research in the area of materials use.

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Click here for MUSE article

Additional Folio articles are available on materials as open access from the MATSDA website here.

Reference citation for MUSE article:

Guerrettaz, A., Grandon, M., Lee, S., Mathieu, C., Berwick, A., Murray, A., and Pourhaji, M. (2018). Materials use and development: Synergetic processes and research prospects. Folio, 18(2), 37–44.

Note: Both header images above were first published in the MATSDA journal Folio 18.2, September 2018 and are published here with permission.

October 2018 Meeting

The meeting was attended by Marcus, Siwon, Darren, Nausica, me, and our newest member, Simthembile. Simthembile is a PhD student in South Africa teaching and conducting research in teacher education. We are glad to have him join us! In the meeting, we discussed adding several rotating officer roles, and Siwon has taken on the position of reading chair, meaning that she will coordinate the articles that we read/discuss for our regular meetings. We postponed appointment of other positions because we are hoping to have even better attendance at the next meeting. We then had a lively and interesting discussion about the Li and Harfitt (2017) article. We discussed the distinction between the enactment perspective of curriculum research and researching the enactment of materials use. We also were challenged to think of how to successfully and purposefully include more student voice/perspective in materials use research.

One goal for our December meeting is to make some decisions about the structure of MUSE – rotating officer positions, etc. – so we hope to have many people in attendance.

August 2018 Meeting

We opened the August meeting by welcoming our new members, Teppo Jakonen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) and Nicole Pettitt (Youngstown State University, Ohio, USA). As a very brief introduction, Teppo has conducted research using conversational analysis to explore how students engage with materials during interaction in content and language integrated learning (CLIL) classrooms in Finland. Nicole’s research explores language learning experiences of refugees and immigrants, and she has written on ethical issues that can arise when working with these populations.  

Our writing groups gave brief updates on our progress to date on both the Folio article and the preliminary stages of the Language Teaching article. We then moved into a discussion on Dr. Suresh Canagarajah’s (2018) article entitled Materializing ‘Competence’: Perspectives from International STEM Scholars. We discussed the underlying theories and assumptions of New Materialism and how it relates to other understandings of cognition. We also tackled questions of how a material orientation would be operationalized in a language learning classroom versus a STEM classroom. It was a complex and informative conversation that left many of us with further questions to pursue. 

Next Meeting: We did not determine when our next meeting will be, particularly because we want to ensure that we are not excluding certain individuals by always meeting at the same time. Cory has developed a survey to hopefully get some feedback on scheduling, and we will then determine the best way to proceed. 

June 2018 Meeting

Members present: Cory, Anne Marie, Marcus, Darren, Yi-Ju, Nausica (welcome!) Siwon joined us for a moment as well. 

We began the meeting by talking briefly about re-organizing our group now that we are growing and becoming more publicly linked to other websites and organizations. We agreed on four main roles that would be rotated among group members. These include:

-webmaster (website maintenance)

-secretary (organizes meeting logistics and takes minutes)

-research reading chair (solicits suggestions for readings and makes choices for each meeting –> research consumption)

-research project chair (organizes and spearheads a current group research project or publication –> research production)

We decided that, for the time being, Marcus will take on the role of webmaster and Cory will take on the role of secretary. We will talk more about the two research-related roles in our next meeting. 

The second half of the meeting was a discussion of Hasegawa (2018). Much of the conversation revolved around the author’s use of Conversation Analysis as an analytic tool and the relative affordances and challenges with integrating CA with a multimodal perspective of data representation. We also discussed how this article took up material use in a less explicit manner and how material use research might sometimes be “hidden” within articles that have a different analytical focus. Finally, we discussed the author’s highlight of the importance of shared contextual knowledge in student use of materials and interaction analysis. We noted how students responded to cues that may have come from the materials but were mediated by their shared knowledge. It was a rich and critical conversation, and Yi-Ju’s perspective and knowledge of Conversation Analysis was particularly appreciated. 

Our next meeting will be Monday, July 2 from 3-5 p.m. U.S. CST. Anne Marie will be coordinating the next meeting as I will be traveling in the weeks prior, and she will send a reminder message closer to the date. 

September 2017: Dr. Brian Tomlinson joins MUSE

We are deeply honored to announce that Dr. Brian Tomlinson has accepted our invitation to join MUSE as an advisory board member. Advisory board members are distinguished leaders and scholars in the field who counsel the body of regular members, provide aspects of mentorship to the organization, and may give guest talks at meetings. Dr. Tomlinson’s enormous contributions to the field of materials writing include numerous publications in areas of expertise such as:

  • Materials and Curriculum Development and Evaluation
  • Programme Evaluation
  • Roles of Inner Speech and Visual Imaging in the Learning and Use of Languages
  • Language Teaching Methodology
  • Teaching Language Through Literature
  • Language Evaluation and Assessment
  • Reading Research and Teaching of Reading
  • Teacher Development
  • Language Acquisition and Development

In addition, Dr. Tomlinson is the founding member of The Materials Development Association (MATSDA), an organization that brings together teachers, researchers, writers and publishers from all over the world to help inform the field of materials development for language learning. MATSDA hosts annual conferences, conducts workshops, consults on textbook writing projects, and publishes the journal Folio. More information can be found on MATSDA at the MATSDA Website.

Currently, Dr. Tomlinson is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool, a TESOL Professor at Anaheim University and a Chair Professor at Shanghai International Studies University.

MUSE is delighted to have Dr. Tomlinson as an advisory board member, and we look forward to his invaluable guidance. Welcome to MUSE, Dr. Tomlinson.