2.1 Communication of achievements in teaching and learning

While all of my over 130 publications involve research that has pedagogical implications, ten of my articles specifically target pedagogical issues. Of these, two have been published at the Niveau 2 (top-ranked) level, and three have been published at Niveau 1. A list of these ten articles, with links to the articles themselves, is provided in Section A.2.

I have presented over 320 scientific talks at conferences and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Of these, 33 have specifically targeted pedagogical issues. Six of these have been invited talks, and three of those have been presented to audiences of 200-400+ participants. A list of these pedagogical presentations is provided in Section A.3.

Here I present a brief summary of some of the main points from my scholarly communications about pedagogy.

In Nesset & Janda 2014 we show how a new analytical method we have developed using corpus language data, called “linguistic profiling”, can be directly applied in the teaching of Russian and, by analogy, all languages.

In Janda 2010 I describe the cycle of how theoretical endeavors are translated into language teaching materials, which then provoke further theoretical inquiry. I show how the development of pedagogical applications can reveal further research opportunities, thus enhancing one’s scholarly profile. I present three illustrations of how this cycle has played itself out in the course of my career.

In Janda 2008 I describe an innovative paperless course in which the students select most of the content. The students are thus the main stakeholders of the course, which launches them with a complete skill set to continue learning language independently and indefinitely.

In Janda & Clancy 2008 we describe the theoretical and pedagogical motives that led to the publication of The Case Book for Czech (2006), which is a combination of a traditional textbook and interactive materials (audio recordings, authentic examples and exercises). We also describe our target audience as being students at all levels, both in university courses and non-matriculated individual learners.

In Janda & Korba 2008 we present an innovative cluster model for learning Russian verbs as members of aspectual clusters. The cluster model builds on rather than abolishes the familiar pair model, and thus can be integrated into existing Russian courses. The cluster model is not significantly harder to learn, and it a) enables a learner to recognize and use a greater range of verbs (including items not listed in dictionaries), b) seamlessly accounts for some difficult aspectual phenomena (such as motion verbs and bi-aspectual verbs), and c) makes it possible to guess the cluster structure of newly learned verbs based on their lexical meaning.

The goal of Janda 2007 is to show how learners of Russian can use the Russian National Corpus to achieve greater language proficiency, and that this is possible for learners at all levels of study. This article analyzes the inadequacies of currently available pedagogical materials for Russian and illustrates how students can be guided to become independent users of authentic corpus language material.

The point of departure of Janda 2003 is the fact that the choice of perfective vs. imperfective in Russian is anything but an automatic +/- selection of options. The rich texture of this distinction, so nimbly manipulated by speakers, confounds linguists and learners alike. I suggest that the complexity of aspect is motivated by universal experiences of matter, its properties, its interactions, and its impact on human beings. The conceptualization of Russian aspect is built upon the opposition of stiff solid objects and siftable fluid substances, a concept born in the hands of children in the sandbox. Students of Russian thus have a rich source of inferences about aspectual meaning and use right at their fingertips.

In Janda 1999 I describe the unique opportunity presented by the post-Cold War era to develop new programs of study in Russian and East European Studies and illustrate this with a new program that I designed at the University of North Carolina.

In Janda 1998 I describe the adventure into Czech grammar that ultimately led to the textbook that Charles Townsend and I published in 2000. When I first dove into this task, I thought it should be fairly straightforward since Czech is a well-documented language, so I thought this would be more a job of compiling than of actual researching and writing. However, on close analysis the explanations cited in standard grammars of Czech for many common phenomena are frequently incomplete, contradictory, or even just plain wrong. Presenting a truthful, concise grammar turned out to be no mean task.

In Janda 1994 I identified a set of phonological features of Czech that are particularly difficult for learners to master, along with exercises that I developed to overcome these challenges.


Full citations and links to these articles are provided in Section A.2.