CeLCAR’s Bi-Annual Newsletter "The Steppe" | Issue 02 | Spring 2014

Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region

School of Global & International Studies College of Arts & Sciences

The mountains of Central Asia.
Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics (ConCALL)

This spring, CeLCAR will be hosting the first ever Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics (ConCALL) at Indiana University during the weekend of May 16 & 17.

This first annual ConCALL is being established as a professional development conference for linguists and language educators specializing in the languages of the Central Asian region, including both the Altaic and Eastern Indo-European languages  spoken in the region, as well as languages belonging to other language  families. The goal of the conference is to bring together professionals across the fields to focus on research into how these specific languages are represented formally, as well as acquired by second/foreign language learners and also to present research driven teaching methods.

ConCALL Advertisement Flyer, 2014

The theme of this first annual conference is “Building a Bond: Strengthening the Central Asian Language Community,” and we are pleased to have presenters and conference attendees coming from as far away as Sweden, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Australia to attend the conference. And of course, there will be plenty of representatives coming from the Central Eurasian region, such as Russia, Turkey, and Georgia, in addition to Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Nationally, attendees are traveling from Yale University, University of Kentucky, University of Arizona, San Diego State University, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, and the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, just to name a few.

We received over 70 paper abstracts, and accepted 30 oral presentations and 15 poster presentations on an assortment of research topics related to syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology, pedagogy, and more in an assortment of Turkic, Iranian, Mongolic, and even Tungusic and Uralic languages.

Additionally, we are pleased to announce our invited keynote speakers:

  • Jaklin Kornfilt, Professor, Department of Linguistics, Syracuse University – Specializes in syntax and morphology of Turkish and Turkic languages.
  • Jorge Hankamer, Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Cruz – Specializes in Turkic linguistics.
  • Simin Karimi, Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona – Specializes in Syntax of Iranian Languages.
  • Chris Beckwith, Professor, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University – Specializes in Tibeto-Burman linguistics.

If you want to be a part of this first ever conference, there is still space for registration! The early Registration ($50) Deadline ends Friday, April 11, 2014, but you can continue to register at full price ($100) up until the morning of the conference. Visit the conference website for more information.

Other IU departments and institutions supporting the conference include the Ostrom Program Grant, the College of Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI), the Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC), the College of Arts and Sciences, the Central Eurasian Studies Department (CEUS), and the Department of Linguistics (LING).

New Dari and Pashto Materials from CeLCAR

Looking for new ways to learn Uyghur, Dari or Pashto? Want an easier way to learn these three languages of Central Asia?

Three new titles from CeLCAR are now available for beginning Uyghur, beginning Dari and intermediate Pashto. The Uyghur is available now from Georgetown University Press, and both of the Afghan language textbooks will be available from GUP this Fall.

Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook is designed to make a difference in the classroom and provide instructors and learners with a wide array of activities to make their classes interactive. It uses a functional approach to grammar, an emphasis on integrated skills development, and a range of authentic materials, including videos filmed in various regions of Xinjiang, China. We believe that the large number of activities and supplementary materials provided in the textbook will help students to develop strong speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Books developed by CeLCAR in 2013

Dari: An Elementary Textbook is the first in a series on this Afghan language. It provides learners with a wide selection of full-color materials and task-oriented, communicative activities designed for classroom use. People have also used it as a self-study guide. The focus is on enabling learners to participate successfully in simple, everyday situations that focus on developing the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), without presuming any previous knowledge of Dari. The topics discussed in the book are of importance to people in academic, business, governmental or non-governmental organizations, with cultural notes and extra helps throughout. By the end of the course, the learner should perform at level of Novice High or Intermediate Low on the ACTFL scale (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) or at Level 1+ or 2 on the ILR scale (Interagency Language Roundtable).

Pashto: An Intermediate Textbook is the second in a series. It’s for learners who already have a high introductory level of speaking, listening, reading and writing Pashto. It is designed for the classroom use in a two-semester second-year course. The textbook provides plenty of exercises and tasks to help the learner to improve their language skills in order to be more comfortable communicating with native Pashto speakers on the topics included. It provides also a number of important cultural notes for learners to become more comfortable with many aspects of life in Afghanistan. Educational organizations may keep the entire order of the text and use all materials of the textbook as they are presented or may adapt the materials according to their needs, by more focusing on the topics of highest interest to their learners. The materials are designed to teach the standard Pashto used in official communications, the Media, and in the educational system of Afghanistan. By the end of the course, the learner is expected to perform all language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking, structural accuracy) at a level of high intermediate or low advanced.

Again, the Uyghur textbook is available now from Georgetown University Press (GUP) at http://press.georgetown.edu/book/languages/uyghur. Both of the Afghan language titles are available now directly from CeLCAR at our online shop and will be available from GUP this Fall. Incidentally, a third book, Dari: An Intermediate Textbook is also currently available directly from CeLCAR, which will lead learners to perform all language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking, structural accuracy) at a level of mid-intermediate to mid-advanced (or ILR scale of 2 or 3).

Presentations Delivered
by Faculty and Staff at 

This section summarizes CeLCAR's presence at international academic conferences.

Our Director, Dr. Öner Özçelik will present a paper in the biennial Altaic Linguistics conference to be held at MIT in Boston. Özçelik, Öner. 2014. ‘Stress’ or ‘Intonational prominence’? Word accent in Kazakh, Turkish, Uyghur and Uzbek. Paper presented at the 10th Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics (WAFL 10). MIT, Cambridge, MA, May 2014.

Dr. Öner Özçelik presented a paper on the second language acquisition  of prosody in Kazakh, Turkish and Uzbek at the 32nd Second Language Research Forum held at Brigham Young University, Utah. Özçelik, Öner. 2013. L1 effects on the acquisition of prosody in Kazakh, Turkish and Uzbek: evidence for Uyghur. Second Language Research Forum 32 (SLRF 32), Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. October, 2013.

Öner Özçelik Presenting

Prof Özçelik presented his research on second language acquisition of  stress at the biennial Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition  conference, which was held this year at the University of Oldenburg in 
Germany. Özçelik, Öner. 2013. L2 acquisition of word stress: towards a prosodic acquisition path. Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition 2013 (GALA 2013), University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany, September 2013.

Pedagogy Point: This Issue’s Q&A
Q: Everywhere I turn, I hear about the importance of incorporating technology into my language teaching. But there aren’t many non-technology resources for less commonly taught languages, let alone technology resources. And I just don’t have the time, money, or ability to develop my own. So how am I supposed to incorporate technology?
A: In most traditional learning classrooms, the emphasis on incorporating technology into the curriculum is really on using technology as just one supplementary tool to enhance language learning. In fact, remember that the term CALL (a popular term for the field of language learning using technology) is computer-assisted language learning. For some language learning, this assistance can be as complicated as virtual learning environments, or it can be as simple as signing up for social media accounts in the target language/culture. The important thing to remember when working the technology into the curriculum is that, just as with any teaching methodology choices you make, Form must follow Function. This means that you don’t start with “How do I incorporate tablets into my classroom teaching,” you start with a learning objective and then decide if there is a technological solution.

For example, in a second year course, you might have the following learning objective: Learners will research three possible tourist destinations, then compare and contrast the destinations and decide which one to visit. Then you might ask the students to use the tablets (or computers) to visit the websites provided (in the target language) for gathering their information. To make the activity more complicated, you can add an interlocutor by requiring the learner to send emails in the target language to each of the locations, asking for more specific information not available on the website. Finally, you could extend the task by asking the learners to create presentations for their official budget and travel itineraries based on the location they chose. Then, you could have the class vote on which of the trips they would most like to take. And then explain why.

You don’t have to have a crazy complicated software or fancy mobile learning app to incorporate technology well. You just need a clear idea of what language skills and/or learning objectives you need the students to learn, and then think creatively on how you might use typical everyday technology to try and achieve those goals.
Submit Your Question


Summary of CeLCAR’s most recently awarded grants.

In January 2014, CeLCAR’s Director Dr. Öner Özçelik applied for the 2013-2014 Ostrom Program Grant through IU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Ostrom Grant is offered in honor of late IU faculty Elinor and Vincent Ostrom and provides funding for creative scholarly and pedagogical activities that emphasize community and collaboration in academia.

In March, Dr. Özçelik was notified that his proposal was accepted, and he was awarded $5000 to support the first ever Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics to be hosted under CeLCAR.

The project has also been supported by a separate CAHI grant to Dr. Özçelik, as well as generous contributions from the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) and the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS). Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS) and Department of Linguistics (LING) have also kindly contributed funds.

Upcoming Events

• 2014 NCOLCTL 17th Annual Conference

CeLCAR will travel to Chicago, Illinois to exhibit our materials, network with other LRCs and language professionals, and learn more about new research and teaching methods in the conference presentations and workshops.

• The Indiana University Summer Language Workshop

This year Summer Language Workshop will start June 9 here at Indiana University-Bloomington. See http://www.indiana.edu/~swseel for a list of languages offered or to apply.

• Uyghur and Dari Grammar Reference Books

In addition to our instructional materials, CeLCAR is currently developing a new series of Grammar Reference books (beginning with Uyghur and Dari) to join our already published Tajiki Grammar Reference Handbook.

Mission Statement

CeLCAR is dedicated to promoting the teaching and learning of the languages and cultures of Central Asia through the development of language learning materials (textbooks, workbooks, and multimedia resources), teacher training, distance language courses, and intensive language summer institutes. The less commonly taught languages currently being focused on at CeLCAR are Dari, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Pashto, Tajiki, Turkmen, Uyghur, and Uzbek.

Online Program Development

Uyghur Alphabet App

In collaboration with The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and IU Online, CeLCAR initiated a new project that would focus on developing online learning courses on Central Asian Languages. We are in the process of performing a complete needs analysis to explore the requirements of potential learners and to provide the best possible online experience.

The CeLCAR online initiative will develop and offer courses to a general audience that includes adult learners in various academic, business, military, governmental or non-governmental organizations. The information will be developed for a college-level audience which will support self-paced learning opportunity.

The proposed programs will be designed utilizing existing CeLCAR resources. CeLCAR will start building on such materials as Afghan Languages and Cultures comprehensive course book for previous seminars on Pashto or Dari, as well as academic textbooks, workbooks, phrasebooks for Pashto, Dari, Tajiki, Uyghur, Uzbek, etc.

Feel free to provide your valuable feedback by completing this survey.

Standards for Curriculum Development Workshop
Oner Ozcelik Workshop Participants

On Thursday, December 11, 2013, the Indiana University Language Resource Centers (CeLCAR and NALRC) jointly hosted a four-hour professional development workshop on the Introduction to National Standards for Foreign Language Learning Part III: Implications for Curriculum Development. The workshop was attended by 21 language instructors from 8 different departments, servicing 17 different languages (Dari, Dutch, ESL, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian, Mongolian, Norwegian, Pashto, Russian, Tibetan, Turkish, Uyghur, Uzbek, and Wolof), and was led by Professor Antonia Schleicher, Executive Director of the IU LRCs.

This workshop was the third in a series of workshops on Standards being offered jointly by these two centers. The next workshops in the series, available in Spring 2014, will focus on Materials Development.

Workshop participants first learned about proficiency targets and the importance of establishing these before designing curriculum. Then, Professor Schleicher provided examples of ways to develop curricular pathways for achieving the established proficiency targets, including designing mode-specific instructional activities. As the workshop ended, instructors broke into small groups and practiced applying to their curricula the principles learned. Each group presented in front of their peers, and each presentation included peer feedback and discussion.

The post-workshop evaluation survey showed that overall the participants learned more about the importance of setting proficiency targets, developing curricular pathways for achieving established targets, and designing mode-specific instructional activities that target those proficiency levels.

Uzbek Converter
Uzbek Converter

Our ICT Specialist, Sukhrob Karimov, and Senior Specialist in Afghan Languages, Rakhmon Inomkhojaev, developed a new converter for Uzbek language users. It is designed to help Uzbek language material developers, professionals and students to convert their text from Cyrillic to Latin script and/or back. The applications for this program are limitless and can be useful for these who have a hard time reading in one of the two Uzbek scripts. Just insert your text and click "Convert".
Try it now!

ACTFL 2013
ACTFL 2014

ACTFL’s 2013 Annual Convention and World Language Expo

The CeLCAR director, Dr. Öner Özçelik, along with two staff members, 
Dave Baer and Sukhrob Karimov, traveled to Orlando, Florida, exhibited 
our materials, networked with other LRCs and language professionals, 
and attended conference talks and workshops on new language research 
and teaching methods.

Informational Pamphlets
DLI Logo

If you have visited the Informational Materials page on CeLCAR’s website recently, you probably have noticed the addition of a few more informational pamphlets. In addition to the seven languages added in Fall 2013 (Balochi, Bashkir, Buryat, Chuvash, Kurmanji, Sorani, and Turkish) and the revised and expanded versions (with sample phrases) of our original ten (Azerbaijani, Dari, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Pashto, Tajiki, Turkmen, Uyghur, and Uzbek), you can now find free downloads of our full-color informational pamphlets (with sample phrases) on Armenian, Farsi, Georgian, Sakha/Yakut, Tatar, and Tibetan.

CeLCAR's Signature
Limestone relief
What matters. Where it matters.
Post to Facebook Post to Twitter Post to Google+
Unsubscribe | Share this email with a friend | Subscribe
Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region
1900 E 10th Street | Eigenmann Hall 710 | Bloomington, Indiana 47406