Plenary Speeches Given by Prof. Nick Ellis and Dr. Boping Yuan at the Inaugural Conference of the Teachers College, Columbia University Roundtable in Second Language Studies (TCCRISLS)

Adrienne Wai Man Lew

Abstract


Students from our doctoral seminar in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), guided by the vision from Prof. ZhaoHong Han, organized the world’s first conference on the acquisition of Chinese as a second or foreign language, which took place from September 30 to October 2, 2010. At the conference, Prof. Nick Ellis from the University of Michigan presented the audience with a concise yet encompassing overview of the most significant findings on L2 cognition over the past 20 years, which evoked enthusiastic rounds of questions from members of the audience later on. Likewise, Dr. Boping Yuan from the University of Cambridge demonstrated how SLA research methodology from the generative tradition could be applied to analyzing problematic structures for L2 learners of Chinese. His ultimate goal was to help practitioners arrive at a more cogent understanding of the learnability issue in the acquisition of Chinese.

 

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Fred Tsutagawa for his videographic and post-editing assistance, without which this report would not have been possible.


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