MLRG Seminar Series
2023-09-27 @ 2:00 pm ~ 4:00 pm
14:00: Norms in World Englishes: Three Misconceptions in Applied Linguistics
This presentation will briefly introduce the “three circles” model of world Englishes (WE) that has defined research in the field for nearly 40 years. Although Kachru (1986) argued that new English varieties (a.k.a. new Englishes, world Englishes, etc.) should be understood within their acquisitional, sociocultural, motivational and functional contexts, the full breadth of contexts have been frequently overlooked within many disciplines in applied linguistics. This paper will briefly introduce Kachru’s world Englishes model and illustrate three common misconceptions about the model in language teaching contexts: (1) the language proficiency fallacy, (2) the developmental cline fallacy, and (3) the variability fallacy. In response to these fallacies, the presentation will also explore the centrality of norms within the WE model and illustrate how norms function differently in media Englishes across the three circles according to concerns related to language authority and authenticity.
15:00: Unveiling Information Flow in the Brain During Oral Interpretation: A RealTime fMRI Study
Progress in neuroimaging has significantly contributed to the field of translation and interpretation research over the last two decades, providing unprecedented insights into brain activities. Oral interpreting, a complex process that transitions from speech perception to production, entails diverse overlapping cognitive operations. Yet, the intricacies of how these domain-general cognitive processes interact with language-specific systems during interpretation remain uncharted territory. This study harnesses the capabilities of real-time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of the brain during oral interpreting tasks. This in-depth exploration offers a holistic perspective of the cognitive mechanics involved. Contemporary neuroimaging techniques such as Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and fMRI only provide either millisecond or millimeter precision but not both, compromising their efficiency. Due to its lower temporal resolution and the technical challenges, including scanner noise and speaking induced-head motion artifacts, fMRI has been somewhat overlooked for studying naturalistic language processing involving overt speeches. Our research has successfully surmounted these difficulties by implementing a phase-encoded design. Leveraging real-time fMRI not only captures precise illustrations of brain activities but also reveals the complex processes unfolding during naturalistic oral interpreting tasks at a sentence level. This pioneering approach maps and visualizes paths of information flow across multiple brain layers, offering interpretations for various phenomena related to language perception and production. Furthermore, it aids in the construction of more explicit models of oral interpreting, advancing comprehension in the field.