LINGUIST List 31.369

Mon Jan 27 2020

Confs: English; Applied Linguistics/United Kingdom

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 20-Jan-2020
From: Jeanine Treffers-Daller <>
Subject: Can motion event construal be taught? Pedagogical and experimental approaches to restructuring event cognition patterns
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Can motion event construal be taught? Pedagogical and experimental approaches to restructuring event cognition patterns

Date: 23-Apr-2020 - 24-Apr-2020
Location: University of Reading, United Kingdom
Contact: Jeanine Treffers-Daller
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English

Meeting Description:

This workshops focuses on how we can teach L2 learners how to express motion through space. The workshop will bring together researchers who have studied how motion event construal is expressed by second language learners or bilinguals either in naturalistic or experimental settings. It is well known that there are differences in the ways in which motion is expressed in different languages. In English, as in Germanic languages, manner of motion is often expressed in the main verb (Angela ran into the shop) whereas in French, and other Romance languages, the main verb generally contains the path of motion and the manner is optionally expressed in a satellite (Angela entre le magasin (en courant) “Angela entered the shop running”). Restructuring these patterns in the process of acquisition of another language with a different set of patterns is known to be very difficult (Cadierno & Ruiz, 2006; Navarro & Nicoladis, 2005). Further evidence for the complexities involved in restructuring can be found in the bidirectional crosslinguistic influence in learners’ and bilinguals’ motion event construals, among children as well as adults (Aveledo & Athanasopoulos 2015).
Although the learning difficulties for L2 learners and bilinguals are well attested, there is little research which focuses on how a new way to talk about movement through space can be taught. Pedagogical strategies to teach motion events are virtually non-existent as this aspect of grammar is generally neglected in the L2 syllabus. Solutions proposed by the research community include Bylund and Athanasopoulos’ (2015) suggestion that multimodal input (film clips with action scenes) helps to restructure motion, while Laws, Attwood and Treffers-Daller (under review) show that an Input Processing approach (VanPatten & Cadierno, 1993) has a positive effect. We hope that the workshop will inspire more researchers to develop new studies with innovative pedagogical approaches towards the teachability of motion and that findings from these studies can shed new light on the difficulties involved in restructuring this domain in the process of L2 learning.

Keynote speakers:

Panos Athanasopoulos (University of Lancaster): Thinking in multiple languages: The case of goal-oriented motion events

Teresa Cadierno (University of Southern Denmark): Motion event construal in second language learners: From research findings to pedagogical implications and implementations

Alim Tusun (University of Cambridge): Uyghur-Chinese early successive bilinguals’ acquisition of caused motion expressions

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