Editorial (pp. 147–148)
Educational policy today advances the notion that effective teachers must be highly qualified. While teacher candidates must pass various exams and have strong content knowledge, today’s tool to measure teacher ef-fectiveness is clearly how K-12 students perform on various state and national assessments. While research shows that there are other qualities that effective teachers possess such as a strong sense of efficacy, this arti-cle reports on the relationship between Spanish teachers’ (N = 370) socio-communicative orientation and cognitive flexibility, and their students’ (N = 10,973) scores on the National Spanish Exams. This study is framed conceptually in the notions of clear teaching and communicative competence. Teachers’ data were divided into four different communicative types (Competent, Aggressive, Submissive, and Non-competent) for analysis and their students’ mean scores on the exams were compared across the groups. Multivariate analyses suggest that there is a positive relationship between Spanish teacher socio-communicative orienta-tion, cognitive flexibility, and students’ scores on the exams. This research has implications for multiple stakeholders, highlighting the importance of developing communicative competence and versatility in teach-ing Spanish.
The teaching practicum is an integral part of any pre-service teacher training programme. It is when trainee teachers move from university studies to actual school teaching practice under field supervision. However, the partnership between universities and schools in organising the practicum has been questioned. This paper reports on a study investigating the effectiveness of the teaching practicum for English as a foreign language (EFL) trainee teachers at three universities in Ho Chi Minh City as manifested in the training programme, the practicum arrangements and the mentoring practices. Data were collected by means of interviews with key practicum stakeholders including six university academic staff members, six university mentors, six school mentors and twelve EFL trainee teachers. Documents related to the teaching practicum from the three institu-tions also provided a rich source of qualitative data together with questionnaire data obtained from 141 final-year EFL trainee teachers. Some interesting differences were found in the way the individual universities worked with the host schools although a consistent theme emerged that showed a low level of university-school collaboration in supporting pre-service English language teachers during the practicum. Implications for EFL teacher education and the reinforcement of partnerships between universities and schools in prepar-ing EFL teachers are discussed.
This article reports on a research-oriented school-based language teacher education programme in Australia in which native speakers of Chinese were trained to be teacher-researchers while teaching in Australian schools. Qualitative meta-synthesis was employed to analyse, synthesise and interpret teacher research pro-duced by teacher-researchers so as to understand their learning in the programme. This meta-synthesis reveals that by acting, observing, listening and reflecting, the teacher-researchers developed further understanding about pedagogy as well as themselves. Findings of this meta-synthesis support the use of a school-based set-ting for developing contextualised understanding about pedagogy, and for teachers to construct a teaching self in the specific context.
This article details a study looking at learning outcomes in a foreign language course with a focus on intercul-tural learning. The main aim of this study is to examine the relationship between learners’ L2 performance and their higher-thinking skills. In advanced Japanese language classes at an Australian university, students read articles regarding global issues written in Japanese, and engaged in discussions with peers from various cultural backgrounds. They then created videos on contemporary issues, and uploaded them to YouTube, where they were commented on by students in Japanese universities. This paper describes in detail L2 per-formance of six students with different backgrounds (two international students, two local students with an Asian background, and two local students with a relatively monocultural background). The findings suggest that there is no clear relationship between learners’ L2 performance and the higher-order thinking skills ex-hibited in intercultural learning. The paper also discusses constructs of L2 performance required in intercul-tural communication.
The guided-autonomy syllabus (GAS) is a 15-week course designed for the EFL university classroom to fos-ter learner autonomy skills. Previous classroom research with GAS, based on a self-determination theory framework, revealed its potential to facilitate learner autonomy and enhance learning motivation of students in the EFL context. A previous study of GAS warranted the examination of the need to satisfy the basic psy-chological need of relatedness. The aim of this study was to measure the influence of a restructured GAS on students’ learning motivation and perceived autonomy which has been shown to satisfy the need for related-ness. The restructured GAS included the new components of (a) class journals to increase student-teacher communication and (b) in-class peer advising sessions. Pre- and post-survey responses from students who experienced GAS showed that the students perceived the course as more autonomy-supportive. There were also significant increases in intrinsic forms of motivation and significant decreases in amotivation. One con-trol group showed a significant increase in one form of intrinsic motivation, while the other control group displayed no significant increases or decreases. The results from this study suggest that adding components that aim to satisfy the basic psychological need for relatedness to the GAS enhances its potential to increase student learning motivation. These results are discussed based on the principles of self-determination theory.
This study employs the methodological framework of CA-for-SLA to identify developmental changes in second language learners’ competence in the use of the Korean sentence-ending suffix canh as an interaction-al resource by examining cross-sectional Korean classroom data. A microanalysis of 68 hours of video-recorded data from advanced- and intermediate-level Korean language classroom interaction focused on stu-dents’ varying degrees of competency in the production of utterances with canh to manage shared knowledge in the action of giving accounts. The analysis revealed that the two proficiency levels’ turn construction and design of canh usage are distinctive in terms of their presentation of different types of knowledge. Learners acquire the ability to use canh to manage first-hand, shared knowledge before they acquire the ability to man-age common sense knowledge and unshared knowledge using canh. This comparison of the two proficiency levels’ use of contingent methods of using the target suffix provides evidence for the development of L2 in-teractional competence by showing that learners develop the skill to use interactional devices to achieve deli-cate interactional outcomes.
This paper aimed to investigate whether pronunciation norms based on native speakers of English still domi-nate English language teaching in Thailand in an era when English has acquired the status of a global lingua franca. The study examined non-native English majors’ attitudes toward various pronunciation issues that relate to the notion of English as a lingua franca by means of indirect (verbal guise test) and direct (question-naire and semi-structured interview) attitudinal elicitation methods. Findings showed that the construct of the idealised native speaker is still anchored to the field of ELT and pronunciation teaching as it was nominated by the majority of participants as the end goal in pronunciation learning. However, to a certain extent, the participants’ perceptions were consistent with the notion of English as a lingua franca as they seemed to see non-native varieties as intelligible Englishes and consider them as important when classroom learning is in-volved. The paper ends by proposing pedagogical implications for pronunciation learning and teaching that are believed to be realistic, applicable and attainable for the English language classroom in Thailand and non-native contexts.
Learning styles, having the capacity to affect the learning process to a great extent, need to be taken into consideration, if efficient instruction is aimed for in ESL/EFL classrooms (Oxford & Ehrman, 1995). Bearing the importance of learning styles in mind in the process of language learning, the present study aimed to determine the learning styles of 132 prep-class EFL students and 15 English language teachers using the Grasha-Riechmann Learning Style Survey (Riechmann & Grasha, 1974) and the Grasha Teaching Style Survey (Grasha, 1994), respectively. Besides, the study was conducted with the aim of determining whether a mismatch occurs between students’ learning styles and teachers’ teaching styles through surveys and inter-views. The results showed that students favoured the collaborative, dependent and competitive learning styles, while their teachers favoured the personal model teaching style. The results of the survey and inter-views suggested that there was a match between the learning styles of students and the teaching styles of teachers to some extent and that teachers were of the view that they could balance their teaching in a way that would accommodate different learning styles.
Contributors to this Issue (pp. 297–299)
Centre For Language Studies,
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences,
National University of Singapore,
9 Arts Link, AS4/02-05 Singapore 117570
Copyright © 2004–2014 by the Centre for Language Studies
Date of Publication: 30 December 2015
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