TESOL/AL Roundtable’s Fall 2014 Research Forum, a Relaxed and Lively Event ☆

by Noriko Kato, A&H Staff Writer

TESOL/AL Roundtable participants.

How do you know whether someone is flirting with you or not?

Rongchan Lin, third year student in the Second Language Assessment doctoral program, proposed this as one of her research questions at the bi-annual TESOL and Applied Linguistics Roundtable on November 14. Her research was entitled, “Unravelling the Nature of Flirting: A Single Case Analysis.”

Ms. Lin studied an interaction between a couple on their first date and produced audio samples of key pointsduring the encounter. As she discussed her findings, fellow Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Applied Linguistics (AL), students leaned in not only to express their support of Ms. Lin, but because they were genuinely interested in her research.

“The couple kept getting lost, so they couldn’t make it for dinner… What a bad date, right?” Ms. Lin joked.

Guests in attendance laughed at every jocular remark Ms. Lin made throughout her presentation, setting the stage for a relaxed and familiar atmosphere for the remainder of the evening.

November 2014 marked the first research forum of the year for the student-led TESOL and AL Roundtable group. Each presenter had fifteen minutes to share their findings followed by a commentary section.

Fresh-faced Roundtable Co-chairs, Mariana Cruz and Stacy Hall, organized the function during the fall semester. “It’s a good chance for peers to present research in a relaxed setting,” Ms. Cruz said. She explained that it not only supports academic growth, but it provides networking and social opportunities.

Jeremy Lee, photo by Noriko Kato

Jeremy Lee, photo by Noriko Kato

For the thirty guests who had ever imagined what it would be like if a stand-up comedian were to present research, they had to look no further than Jeremy Lee.

Mr. Lee, a student in the Applied Linguistics program, continued Ms. Lin’s lighthearted theme with his presentation, “Joking Cultures: Affiliative Acts Across Different Levels of Intimacy.”

Given the nature of his subject matter, the guests’ reaction — bowled over in laughter– was fitting. He weaved in several anecdotes between his close friends, many of which may have proved unbecoming for an academic setting, but were suited to a study between comrades, and perhaps resonated aptly with the student-centric audience.

Other presenters included Jordan Van Horn with a presentation on “Language Use and Cognitive Flexibility” and Allie Hope King, with her research, “PGC: A Multimodal Floor-capturing Mechanism in Multi-party Social Interactions”.

Ms. Lin and Ms. King, presented their research at LANSI (Language and Social Interaction Working Group) prior to the roundtable, demonstrating their public speaking abilities with grace at the roundtable.

For others like Yuhan Lin, also matriculated in the Applied Linguistics doctoral program, it was treading on new territory. Ms. Yuhan closed the roundtable with a presentation entitled, “‘Teacher’ – Calling on the Teacher in the Second Language Classroom”.

Although presenting for the first time, she provoked interest guests as if she were a seasoned orator with real instances of communication in a bilingual classroom.

Ms. Lin, whose research is ongoing, explained that presenting her research in a supportive environment such as this one, was a valuable experience. “I can make myself clear,” she said. “It sharpens my presentation skills and it’s a great chance to meet new people.”

Both Rongchan Lin and Yuhan Lin agreed that they would participate again. “It would be a nice opportunity to always present because this is a wonderful platform,” Ms. Yuhan Lin said.

Indeed, the night proved to be one of camaraderie and new connections for this group of TESOL and AL enthusiasts.

TESOL/AL Roundtable’s next event is their “Welcome Back Social” on Friday, February 13 from 5:00-7:00pm at Bernheim and Schwartz, 2911 Broadway (between 113th &114th), New York, NY 10025. Click here to RSVP for the event.

For more information on TESOL/AL events, visit, https://www.facebook.com/events/553305801482355/