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Abstract

This study investigates the online peer feedback practices of teacher trainees who are engaged in designing CALL materials. The participants are 111 pre-service English language teachers enrolled in a teacher education programme in Turkey, who post the materials they produce to an online course blog and then evaluate each other’s materials. The data come from the compilation of blog posts produced to provide online peer feedback, forming the Corpus of Online Peer Feedback in Teaching. The data are analysed using corpus linguistics, drawing on frequency, collocation, concordance, and keyword analyses. Our findings show that the participants highlight particular features of CALL materials such as student-centeredness, learner interest, and visual aspects by using constructive peer feedback with hedged evaluations, which brings data-based evidence for their knowledge on and beliefs about CALL materials. This research makes a methodological contribution to the study of online data in the field of language teacher education by employing the analytical lense of corpus linguistics. More importantly, the findings reveal that such an analytic approach can bring new insights into understanding the technological and pedagogical knowledge and beliefs of teachers in relation to language teaching materials design and development. The implications of the findings for research on CALL teacher education as well as on feedback and reflection practices are discussed.

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to examine the role of topic familiarity in the complexity, accuracy, and fluency of second language (L2) writing. Topic familiarity was operationalized as whether writers are writing about a common, everyday subject matter in relation to themselves (+ familiar) or to a group they are not familiar with (–familiar), and a learner survey was used to test the validity of the construct. A total of 123 Chinese EFL college students participated in the study, with 61 writing on a familiar topic and 62 writing on a less familiar topic. Their writing performance was analyzed for lexical complexity, syntactic complexity, accuracy, and fluency. Data analyses revealed that the students produced essays with significantly lower lexical complexity for the less familiar topic than for the familiar topic, while the performance areas of accuracy, fluency, and syntactic complexity were not affected by the degree of familiarity. The study findings are discussed in terms of their implications for task selection and sequencing for L2 teaching and assessment purposes.

Abstract

This paper considers individual differences in the Emotion Recognition Ability (ERA) of 1368 participants in different modalities. The sample consisted of 557 first language (L1) and 881 foreign language (LX) users of English from all over the world. This study investigates four independent variables, namely modality of communication, language status (L1 versus LX), proficiency, and cultural background. The dependent variable is a score reflecting ERA. Participants were asked to identify an emotion (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust) portrayed by a native English-speaking actress in six short recordings – either audiovisual or audio-only – embedded in an online questionnaire. English proficiency was measured through a lexical recognition test. Statistical analyses revealed that participants were better able to recognise emotions when visual cues are available. Overall, there was no difference between L1 and LX users’ ERA. However, L1 users outperformed LX users when visual cues were not available, which suggest that LX users are able to reach L1-like ERA when they can rely on a sufficient amount of cues. Participants with higher proficiency scores had significantly higher ERA scores, particularly in the audio-only condition. Asian LX users were found to score significantly lower than other LX users.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to outline how a practitioner puzzling over the appropriateness of grammar instruction for an English as a foreign language (EFL) class of 11 adults, aged 56 to 78, used the Exploratory Practice (EP) framework to try and enhance the quality of life for these learners learning English as a hobby in Japan. More specifically, this case study sought to come to an understanding of whether the quality of older learners’ lives could be positively influenced through grammar instruction via a meaning-order approach to pedagogical grammar (MAP Grammar). The results demonstrated that older learners benefited from grammar instruction, specifically, MAP Grammar instruction. Furthermore, the quality of their lives was enhanced because, after training in MAP Grammar, these lifelong learners developed stronger self-efficacy beliefs and became more motivated to study EFL. Therefore, teachers who teach older language learners should try incorporating MAP Grammar instruction as part of their pedagogies to see if their practices can also be positively affected.

Abstract

The present paper examines the effects of the monolingual and the bilingual approach in the second language (L2) classroom. The outcomes of two Likert type questionnaires and classroom observations have been employed to explore teachers’ and learners’ opinions and actions in order to evaluate how the use of the native language (L1) and the L2 is used by both learners and practitioners. Data analysis shows that there is a place for both languages and, when used in a balanced manner, they can comprise a positive cognitive effect due to the fact that the language learner actively draws in interlanguage development. The present study offers clear direction for further research as there is an evident lack of knowledge of principles of L1 use in similar EFL contexts.

Abstract

This article evaluates the use of reflective practice (RP) tools by focusing on the main critiques on RP. In the literature, RP has often been criticised for its design-related problems, RP’s being directed by problem identification purposes rather than empirical data, and RP practitioners’ loss of contact with their discourse communities due to the undue emphasis on practical knowledge. Therefore, this article suggests methodological and data triangulation of RP tools as well as highlighting the community of inquiry framework to overcome the aforementioned problems While doing this, the authors reflect on their own RPs, both of which were conducted at a refugee centre in Philadelphia, USA. In this examination, the critical role of reflective tools is highlighted.

Abstract

In globalized times, high mobility has complicated the meanings of allegiance to place, creating a need for a critical awareness of place identity. Although place identity has made important contributions to the social sciences, there is little empirical research on how it can be operationalized, or critically interrogated. In response to this need, we analyzed ways that Australian secondary school students responded to the question, “If someone asks you ‘Where are you from?’ how do you answer this question and why?”, and created a basic typology of place formulations to serve as a starting point for interpreting notions of place identity in research, professional and educational settings.