Scott Sommers’ Taiwan Blog

National Chengchi University’s College English Conference

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Sommers on April 2, 2009


Dr. Simon Smith at National Cheng Chi University asked me to remind readers about their forthcoming conference which will be held on Saturday, 11th April 2009. Registration is still open and can be done on-line at

http://flc.nccu.edu.tw/Conference/3rd/.

Please note the conference program can also be viewed there.

The conference is being organized in collaboration with the Language Teaching and Research Center, National Chiao-tung University, and features ESL writing scholar Professor Paul Kei Matsuda, of Arizona State, as keynote speaker.

You will also be able to hear me and my colleague Joe Lavallee speak about the use of the Common European Framework in Taiwan college English programs.

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2 Responses

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  1. […] National Chengchi University’s College English Conference […]

  2. Johan said, on April 21, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Scott, I would enjoy reading a post on your view of CEF – since you mentioned it twice in recent posts.

    My“interest”in CEF comes from a colleague who recently transferred to our department and who was actively involved in the MOE officially adopting CEF in 2005. Listening to this person, one would believe that many of Taiwan’s language teaching/learning woes could be solved by adopting CEF. This person considers it to be as more than a mere“system”.

    You’ll be more familiar than me with the Language Portfolio (ELP) – that seemingly oh-so-important part of CEF. I believe it’s supposed to be a method for some kind of formal recognition of individual language learners. The CEF Student using this Language Portfolio should feel that they are capable of managing their“own”language learning.

    Isn’t this a huge problem for Taiwan? The bulk of our English L2 learners have a field-dependent learning style: they need to be given organization by the language teacher and have an (often weak) instrumental motivation in learning English. Most European students have a more pronounced field-independent learning style. CEF, in all its merit for other parts of the globe, requires motivated language students. Too many English L2 students in Taiwan do not boast such motivation. They are less interested in English and more interested in preparing proficiency tests (= low instrumental motivation, in linguistic SLA terms).

    So do we really need more systems? Isn’t what we need a decently thought-through pluralism of things that work for Taiwan’s students. And based on sound linguistic (=scientific) underpinnings, for a change?

    In the meantime, CEF might not have been devised as just another prescriptive system for language didactics by its founders. But seeing the gap we in Taiwan will have to bridge (i.e. adopting CEF which is made for field-independent learners to fit our own field-dependent L2 classroom audiences), isn’t there a fat chance it will turn out to be just another language testing system? A system we feel we must adopt in order to escape from other systems that have not proven “efficient” in raising our students’ linguistic performance?

    Hope to see post on your views pretty soon!
    Thanks.


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