Sirad Shirdon awarded Hancock scholarship

Posted onApril 11, 2014 
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My advisee Sirad Shirdon has been awarded a scholarship from the Dr. Charles R. Hancock Graduate Scholarship Fund in Urban Education. She will use the scholarship for her research on Kindergarten readiness among Somali children in Central Ohio. Sirad plans to take an ethnographically informed approach to the study of parent, school, and community understandings of Kindergarten readiness and how these understandings are enacted in practice. This study will build on Sirad’s work on my longitudinal study of language and literacy among Somali immigrant-refugee children in the early elementary grades.



Marianne Gullberg visits SLA/Multimodality working group

Posted onMarch 16, 2014 
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The pilot working group on Multimodality and/in Second Language Acquisition is bringing Marianne Gullberg (Lund University) to OSU to talk about her psycholinguistic research on gesture and language development. In her talk, ‘Why gestures are not (only) a compensatory device – evidence from language learners’, Prof Gullberg challenges the assumption that gestures are compensatory in nature and help speakers convey information they have difficulties expressing, facilitate lexical retrieval, and help speakers to solve cognitive problems. By looking at disfluencies and bimodal information structure in child and adult learner data, she shows that gestures are co-ordinated with fluent speech, not with disfluencies; that when gestures are recruited to compensate, different problems have different gestural solutions; and that children and adults generally express similar information bimodally. The working group is funded by the Humanities Institute and led by Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm and me. Prof Gullberg’s talk is Wednesday, April 2 from 4-6 at the Humanities Institute, 104 East 15th.


Posted onMarch 8, 2014 
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The Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs Endowment (BETHA) grant selection committee has awarded $59,985 to support ‘Engineering, Tech, Human Affairs and Social Justice: From Columbus to Colombia’. The project will build cross-cultural K-12 STEM outreach in Columbus and Bogotá and Pasto, Columbia. Kevin Passino (Electrical & Computer Engineering) is the PI, and the Co-investigators are Betty Lise Anderson (Electrical & Computer Engineering), John Clapp (Social Work), Melissa Wilson (Columbus Area Writing Project), and me.

DIscourse Symposium at OSU

Posted onMarch 5, 2014 
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Discourse symposium March 2014This 2-hour symposium examines the use and implementation of discourse across disciplinary and methodological boundaries. How does our understanding of ‘discourse’ influence our work and research? How might these differences help us to reach certain commonalities across disciplines? The symposium brings together OSU scholars to working in different disciplines (Conversation Analysis, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics and Folklore) to examine both how they understand the meaning of the ‘discourse’ as well as how they use ‘discourse’ in their own work. The featured speakers are Dr. Amy Shuman (English), Dr. Leslie C. Moore (Teaching and Learning), Dr. Scott Schwenter (Spanish and Portuguese), Dr. Lauren Squires (English), Dr. Pat Enciso (Teaching and Learning), Dr. David Bloome (Teaching and Learning), and Dr. Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm (Germanic Languages and Literatures). Monday, March 17th, 10 am to 12 pm in the Barbie Tootle Room, Ohio Union. For more information, contact Michael Furman

Celebration of OSU/COSI Partnership

Posted onFebruary 27, 2014 
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The OSU@COSI Symposium Series celebrates the breadth and depth of this unique and nationally-recognized partnership. The inaugural symposium on March 21 is an opportunity to learn how OSU researchers work with COSI to enhance their research programs by using COSI as a venue for data collection. We of the Buckeye Language Network Language Pod will be presenting, along with two other groups from the Labs in Life, OSU’s working research laboratories at COSI, as well as researchers working in other spaces at COSI. Hear from faculty and students who collect their research data at COSI and learn how COSI can help you recruit participants for your research. The event will take place from 3-5 pm at COSI, 333 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH, 43215. Register today.

Issues of Translation in Teaching

Posted onFebruary 26, 2014 
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Literacy in Translation continues its series on Monday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. at the Humanities Institute, 104 East 15th with a program organized and moderated by Professor Berman on Issues of Translation in Teaching. Mark Bender (East Asian Languages and Literatures) will discuss how he uses The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature. Richard Fletcher (Classics) will talk about using contemporary non-linguistic, visual media to explain and explore the translation of ideas and concepts. Julia Nelson Hawkins (Classics) will discuss how she teaches the ways in which classical Greek texts in translation influenced 20th century court cases such as Roe v. Wade and Evans v. Romer. LiteracyStudies@OSU initiated the Literacy in Translation series in 2013 as a way to foster cross-disciplinary conversation and cooperation.  If you anticipate attending, please send a note to

Issues of Translation in Research

Posted onFebruary 12, 2014 
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The Literacy in Translation working group (led by Nina Berman, Daniel Reff, and me) continues its series on Friday, February 21, from 2-4, at the Humanities Institute, 104 East 15th. Three OSU professors will discuss issues of translation in their research. Paul Reitter (Germanic Languages and Literatures) will discuss the challenges of translating the first complete English edition of The Autobiography of Salomon Maimon. Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm (Germanic Languages and Literatures) will discuss working with transcribed talk-in-interaction in languages other than English, and the challenges of translating speaker’s utterances and what their words mean in a particular interactional context. Richard Davis (Near East Languages and Cultures) will discuss the challenges of preserving alterity while making plain its continuity and intimacy with our own experiences of the world. Faculty, staff, and students with an interest in reading, writing, and translating across languages, domains, and media are invited to join the conversation. RSVP to Susan Hanson at

Suresh Canagarajah redefining literacy as translingual

Posted onFebruary 6, 2014 
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Suresh Canagarajah, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor in Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University, is visiting OSU for two days. He will give a public talk ‘Redefining Literacy as Translingual‘ on February 6, 2014, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm in Denney Hall 311. Friday he will join the Graduate Interdisciplinary Seminar in Literacy Studies to discuss the connections between literacy, translation, and global Englishes in the twenty-first century.

Summer Linguistics Institute for Youth Scholars 2014

Posted onFebruary 6, 2014 
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The Department of Linguistics is offering two sessions of the Summer Linguistics Institute for Youth Scholars, a week-long event designed for high school students interested in the study of language on OSU’s main campus from Sunday (7/6)-Friday (7/11) and Sunday (7/13)-Friday (7/18). The cost is $695, which covers instruction, materials, housing and meals. Commuter option is available. Apply by May 30. For more information, contact Julia McGory at

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant

Posted onJanuary 27, 2014 
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fulbrightI have been selected for a a 2014-2015 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to the Netherlands. My project is ‘Research and Teaching in/as Cultural-Linguistic Contact Zones’. I will be working with Professor Mariette de Haan, Endowed Chair in Intercultural Education at Universiteit Utrecht. We will collaborate on a research project on a parenting program for Moroccan immigrants that was developed by a Dutch Moroccan community organization. I will build on this project with a study that focuses on how program participants support their children’s school success and language and literacy development and learn new ways to do so. Professor de Haan and I will also co-teach a course on education, youth, and international aid.

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