Michigan State University
Michigan State University
English Language Center
Learning Symposium

The World in Words: Teaching &
Learning Academic Vocabulary

April 12, 2014 | Michigan State University


Keynote Presentations


ngl-hartmann.jpgTeaching Strategies: A Moveable Feast

Pamela Hartmann | National Geographic Learning, ESL/EFL Textboook Author

By teaching both language and a “buffet” of strategies, teachers give students the tools to become lifelong learners and critical thinkers. These tools are a gift that students can take with them—one that contributes to their success in other classes and in their work life. But which strategies should we focus on in academic ESOL classes? With such limited class time, how can we prioritize? When evidence increasingly points to the importance of vocabulary, how can we implement new research from corpus linguistics? This practical presentation will discuss how teachers can incorporate strategies and go beyond the book, without having to sacrifice weekends to lesson planning.

Pamela Hartmann taught in Korea (through the Peace Corps) and then in Greece before returning to California, where she taught at UCLA, USC, Santa Monica College, West Los Angeles College, Pepperdine University, and for thirty years in the Intensive English Program at Evans Community Adult School, in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In recent years, her interest has focused on evolving methods in teaching ELT, on new research in the teaching of vocabulary, and on the benefits of using authentic content in ELT textbooks.


ngl_parcak.jpgArchaeology from Space

Sarah Parcak | National Geographic Explorer, Egyptologist

Sarah Parcak is taking archaeology to the next level: space. Employing cameras orbiting 400 miles above the earth’s surface, Parcak uses satellite photography and infrared imagery to locate, map, and unlock the secrets of structures invisible to the naked eye. Her fledgling field of satellite archaeology is inherently counterintuitive – using futuristic technology to dig up the ancient past; looking up to look down – but the results are exceptional. Join Sarah Parcak as she leads us on an adventure through computer algorithms and imagery, excavations and archaeology to expose a lost world of temples, tombs, and entire towns.



Vocabulary Panel Discussion



Matthew Rynbrandt  | Michigan State University

Featured Panelists:

Diane Erickson | Michigan Language Center
Richard Forest | Central Michigan University
Erica Sponberg | Valparaiso University
Teresa Valais | University of Dayton
Lawrence Zwier | Michigan State University


Concurrent Session Presentations


elts_thompson.jpgPronouncing Academic Vocabulary: A System That Works

Shirley Thompson | English Language Training Solutions

To succeed academically, our students need to be able to discuss academic topics comfortably and confidently. Providing them with a simple, effective system - consisting of a mnemonic tool and a graphic organizer - for noting how new vocabulary words are pronounced, can help prepare them to be active participants.


msu_zwier.jpgIdentifying and Teaching Multiword Vocabulary Units

Lawrence Zwier | Michigan State University

Multiword vocabulary units - such as "pay attention to" or "on averaqe" - are important tools in lexically efficient speech and writing. Native speakers depend on them, and learners need to acquire them. This presentation defines these multiword units, shows how to identify them, and discusses ways to build them into lessons.


isu_ech.jpgisu_ach.jpgLinguatorium: An Intelligent Vocabulary Tutoring System

Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen | Iowa State University
Ann Chukharev-Hudilainen | Iowa State University

Linguatorium is an intelligent vocabulary tutoring system that can be used with second and foreign language learners, as well as native speakers who want to extend their knowledge of vocabulary. The design of Linguatorium is grounded in psycholinguistic research and theories of language acquisition.


msu_kroesche.jpgmsu_gillette.jpgUsing Young Adult Literature to Teach Academic Vocabulary

Amy Kroesche | Michigan State University
Carmela A. Romano Gillette | Michigan State University

Hungry for The Hunger Games? Young adult literature offers appealing and authentic reading material for ESL learners and teachers, particularly for accessing and learning vocabulary. Participants will identify how and why young adult literature can be used as a tool in the ELT classroom to develop vocabulary and reading proficiency.


osu_capraro.jpgVocabulary Dialogue Quizzes

Fernanda Capraro | The Ohio State University

Are you looking for an alternative strategy to assess your students’ vocabulary knowledge and usage? Here is a recipe for preparing a vocabulary dialogue quiz.
Ingredients needed:
     New vocabulary
Preparation Instructions:
     Design dialogue situations and prepare vocabulary
     Have students select a situation and write dialogues


msu_cohen.jpgPushing Students Beyond Translation and Definition

Alissa Cohen | Michigan State University

Large gaps often exist between what students know about a given word and what they need to know for accurate production. This presentation focuses on activities that help students to recognize this gap and utilize resources such as dictionaries and online corpora to expand their productive knowledge of vocabulary.