Editorial (pp. 3–4)
This study examined five instructional techniques for teaching complex grammar online and their effect on learners’ ability to notice and process the Spanish subjunctive when it appeared in authentic input post experimental exposure. All participants were online learners of Spanish in their second semester of language study. Computerized visual input enhancement (VIE), operationalized as word animation, was used to increase the visual salience of the targeted grammatical form for web-based delivery. Four experimental groups – processing instruction with visual input enhancement (+PI +VIE), processing instruction without visual input enhancement (+PI –VIE), structured input with visual input enhancement (+SI + VIE), and structured input without visual input enhancement (+SI -VIE) – were compared with a group that received traditional instruc-tion (+TI). The results indicated that the +PI +VIE group outperformed the +TI group and the two SI groups (+SI +VIE and +SI -VIE) on an awareness measure and both PI groups (+PI +VIE and +PI -VIE) outperformed the +SI -VIE group on an input processing measure.
The present study examines the extent to which Poetry Writing 2.0 can create an expressive and creative English language learning environment. Drawing on ethnographic online posting and interview data, qualitative findings show the following main benefits of blended poetry writing: (1) this blended instruction builds an engaging writer and reader community; (2) it allows for negotiating topics of poems; (3) pictures or photographs as visual artifacts bring poetry writing to life; (4) Poetry Writing 2.0 can provide further impetus for peer and teacher scaffolding as dialogic support for students; (5) Facebook is seen as a social networking site for enacting expressive and creative language instruction; and (6) students prefer having their poems assessed in a humanistic way in order to experience the joy of poem writing. The contribution of the study is to enhance a better understanding of how poetry as a creative writing genre could be a catalyst for expressive and meaningful language instruction. The ultimate goal of the instruction is to help students engage in poetry writing as a platform for learning to write creatively. Implications for EFL teacher education and the reinforcement of partnerships between universities and schools in prepar-ing EFL teachers are discussed.
This study examines the L2 selves of ten students studying upper-intermediate or advanced Japanese at an Australian university. Through analysis of interviews and students’ diary entries about Japanese-related experiences in their daily lives, the study examines the types of L2 selves the students construct, and how these constructions are influenced by the students’ responses to their L2 experiences. The findings reveal that the students were all successful at envisioning themselves as someone using Japanese for work and/or leisure in the future, although the ideal L2 self of each student differed considerably in its contents and elaborateness. The study further demonstrates that students’ L2 selves were often multi-faceted, and could change even within short periods of time. It also indicates that the students engaged with a wide range of Japanese-related activities and experiences in and beyond the classroom, and that their process of making meaning from such emerging L2 experiences significantly impacted the construction of their L2 selves.
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are a form of collaborative professional development through which educators gather to explore selected issues related to their teaching and learning philosophies, and classroom practices. This study focuses on one professional learning community formed with five world language faculty members at an American university. All five faculty members teach undergraduate level world language courses at the university, namely, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and French. This study describes how the participants worked together to build a sense of community and overcome challenges, both within and beyond the field of education. Data were gathered through field notes and transcripts. Upon analysis, the following positive findings were determined: PLCs help participants create collegial relationships. PLCs can change classroom practices. PLCs promote reflective dialogue among participants. PLCs provide professional learning opportunities. Among the challenges that confronted the group were time constraints, difficulty in maintaining focus, and the importance of the facilitator maintaining a proper balance of authority.
Increasing the knowledge of specialized English is often a demanding job for students at the tertiary level in Iran, for they have little exposure to English. The lack of textbooks for graduate students in many disciplines has intensified the dilemma. Due to this fact, this study aimed at designing ESAP (English for Specific Academic Purposes) materials for the graduate students of Islamic Jurisprudence. The theoretical framework for the materials development implemented in this study was one proposed by Jolly and Bolitho (2012). The secondary aim of this study was to improve the students’ reading skills by using the scaffolding literacy process proposed by Rose, Lui-Chivizhe, McKnight and Smith (2003). A preliminary draft of the new textbook was developed in collaboration between the researchers, as language teachers, and a subject specialist in Islamic Jurisprudence. The newly developed materials were team-taught to 32 graduate students of Islamic Jurisprudence for one semester. At the end of the semester, a 28-item questionnaire was administered to the students in order to explore the learners’ attitudes towards the textbook. The results obtained from students’ questionnaire responses, observations, informal conversations along with structured interviews conducted with 20 experts of Islamic Jurisprudence revealed the stakeholders’ satisfaction concerning the newly developed textbook.
The present study investigated the speaking skills problems faced by Iranian EFL freshmen and seniors from their own and their English instructors’ perspectives. To this end, 238 Iranian EFL students (138 freshmen and 100 seniors) and 30 English instructors from various universities participated in the study by completing a validated speaking skills problems questionnaire. To triangulate the data, 30 EFL students (15 freshmen and 15 seniors) and ten English instructors, selected randomly from among the participants of the study, also sat a semi-structured interview. The results of the study revealed that some socially-related and instructor-related problems, the lack of teaching facilities, and the curricula of the education system of the country were among the major problem-creating factors for the freshmen’s and seniors’ speaking skills. Furthermore, the t-test results showed that overall there was no significant difference between the freshmen’s and the seniors’ perceptions of their own speaking skills problems. The results of Chi-square analyses of the individual items of the questionnaire indicated that there was no significant difference between the freshmen’s and the seniors’ perceptions except for item 1 (I am afraid of making mistakes). In addition, the results of one-way ANOVA showed that overall there was no significant difference among the freshmen’s, the seniors’ and the instructors’ perceptions of speaking skills problems.
The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies has empowered language learners. Web 2.0 allows learners to prac-tice their target language with native speakers anytime and anywhere they wish, free of charge. Given the significant impact of Web 2.0 on language learning, it is imperative to examine learners’ uses of Web 2.0 inside and outside the classroom. Such an inquiry provides insights into the pedagogical actions required to promote the adoption of Web 2.0 to enhance language learning. Therefore, this study examined the extent to which Korean learners of Japanese adopted Web 2.0 to learn Japanese in formal and informal learning contexts. It also examined the factors inhibiting their use of Web 2.0 for language learning. The results identified the following factors inhibiting the adoption of technology in class: lecturers’ overestimated learners’ computer skills, there was an overreliance by lecturers on learners’ voluntary use of Web 2.0 outside the classroom, and there was a general lack of access to computer labs during class. The findings also suggested that learners’ insufficient knowledge of websites and applications, the absence of Japanese acquaintances offline, and low confidence to interact with Japanese native speakers inhibited the Korean language learners’ interactions with Japanese speakers online beyond the classroom.
List of External Reviewers 2015–2016 (pp. 159–160)
Contributors to this Issue (pp. 161–163)
Centre For Language Studies,
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences,
National University of Singapore,
9 Arts Link, AS4/02-05 Singapore 117570
Copyright © 2004–2016 by the Centre for Language Studies
Date of Publication: 22 June 2016
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