Volume 16, Issue 4 : December 2014 Quarterly Journal
Jihyun Kwon. The Role of Proficiency in Pragmatic Transfer: A Study of Refusals by Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Korean EFL Learners
The study investigated the occurrences of pragmatic transfer of Korean EFL learners at three proficiency levels in their performance of refusals. Forty native speakers of Korean, 37 native speakers of English, and 22 beginning, 43 intermediate, and 46 advanced Korean EFL learners participated in this study. The subjects completed a written discourse completion test, which elicited refusals of requests, invitations, offers, and suggestions from interlocutors of different status (i.e., higher, equal, and lower status). The data were categorized according to the refusal taxonomy and were analyzed as consisting of a sequence of semantic formulas. The results of this study showed the effect of the native language pragmatic transfer to the target language at all three levels of proficiency, with an increase in transfer commensurate with an increase in proficiency.
Hsin-Yi Lien. EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Size in Relation to Their Choices of Extensive Reading Materials
Non-native speakers have been shown to need a certain amount of vocabulary knowledge as a means to comprehend texts with pleasure. The present study investigates the vocabulary size of Taiwanese EFL learners at tertiary level and to examine whether EFL learners’ vocabulary size affects their selection of books in terms of graded readers or authentic books. A test of vocabulary size was administered to 119 EFL college freshmen before implementation of extensive reading as a supplemental activity in a basic reading class and a questionnaire was given after their participation in the Extensive Reading for five months. The results indicate that the participants with a larger vocabulary size indeed prefer authentic books to graded readers. However, the findings also reveal that EFL learners’ vocabulary size might not be a crucial factor for their choosing ER materials and those with poor performance on the test of vocabulary size chose authentic books as well. This suggests that EFL adult learners might need authentic books instead of graded readers while implementing ER in reading classes.
Danielle Tracey, Alexander S. Yeung, A. Katrin Arens & Christina Ng. Young Second Language Learners’ Competence and Affective Self-concept
Recent research has distinguished between the competence and affective components of self-concept. Young learners of English as a second language (L2) in Hong Kong (N = 110) completed survey items on both the competence and affective components and their L2 skills. In support of the domain specificity of self-concept, both components were associated with L2-related variables but not with other academic areas. Analyses of variance found significant effects of both components on classwork and homework. The main effect of competence was significant for reading, writing and speaking whereas the main effect of affective was significant for writing, speaking, and listening. Results support the importance of both components of self-concept but also imply some subtly differential effects on young L2 learners.
Prior studies have shown that intensive English preparatory programs have a definite positive impact on students’ susceptibility to L2-English semantic and phonological masked priming effects, therefore indicating the formation of new, more efficient neural connections to lexical items, and bringing L2 lexical response more on-par with L1 performance. Building upon this evidence, this study documents the effects of an L2 English-speaking environment – without explicit English language skill instruction – on the continuing development of semantic and phonological priming susceptibility. The L2 environment effects are quantified and contrasted with the effects of explicit, intensive English language instruction.
In this study, students who had previously participated in a study to measure increases in word priming susceptibility via participating in an intensive English preparatory program are retested a year later while enrolled in general coursework at an English-medium undergraduate degree program in Japan. The relative facilitation effects are compared with the prior test results attained immediately following the intensive instructional period. The changes in reading behavior and relative prime susceptibility are attributed to an “environment effect” of L2 medium content instruction. The results indicate that, while reading speed remains near constant, the subjects’ susceptibility to phonological semantic masked priming effects diminished significantly, suggesting that environmental input from L2-medium content classes may be insufficient to maintain the lexical and non-lexical pathway development attained during intensive preparatory programs.
Yoo-Jean Lee. An Alternative Approach – Copying: Can it be as Effective as Summarizing to Improve EFL Learners’ Reading and Writing?
In ESL and EFL teaching, reading and writing are thought of as flip sides of the same coin (Tompkins, 1997), and the importance of teaching them in an integrated manner is emphasized. As a way to develop reading and writing skills in English, copying and summarizing are commonly used strategies in Korea. Although copying alludes to plagiarism in the West, the researcher wanted to know if it has certain linguistic benefits when used only as a tool for language learning. Since copying has usually been assigned for low proficiency level students, and summarizing for higher levels, the researcher sought to explore possible advantages of copying and summarizing for various proficiency levels. This study investigated the copying and summarizing processes of different proficiency level students, their awareness of their own learning and strategy use, and effective ways to improve their reading and writing abilities through copying and summarizing. Sixty EFL students in Korea were engaged in either a copying or summarizing task with high-interest texts. Thereafter, eight students participated in think-aloud interviews. This study revealed that copying and summarizing significantly contributed to both higher and lower level students in improving specific areas of reading and writing by raising their metacognitive consciousness.
Sachiko Yasuda. Issues in Teaching and Learning EFL Writing in East Asian Contexts: The Case of Japan
Amid growing demand for developing English communication skills in the rapidly globalizing world, the need to facilitate students’ acquisition of advanced literacy in English—the ability to accomplish communication by means of writing—has also been pressing even in English as a foreign language (EFL) environments. Accordingly, many EFL countries have implemented English language education reforms, and this is also the case in Japan’s Course of Study (COS) guidelines, which have been revised every ten years. The purpose of this study is, then, to gain an updated understanding of the current state of writing instruction in Japanese EFL contexts by exploring to what extent and in what ways writing is taught to and experienced by students in the classroom at both senior high school and university levels. The research team conducted a large scale questionnaire study of Japanese university students (N = 481) to ascertain their previous writing experience in instructional contexts. The findings indicated that goals for writing instruction consistently emphasized grammatical correctness at the expense of content, and teachers’ approaches were hardly geared toward helping students to become actual writers who convey meaning in a certain rhetorical context. Future directions for EFL writing instruction are discussed to help students develop their real-world communication skills. It is also emphasized that issues in teaching and learning writing are comparable across East Asian EFL contexts and that writing practitioners in East Asian countries need to cross the border to develop theories and pedagogies that accommodate the unique needs of EFL writers in East Asian contexts.
- Codeswitching in University English-Medium Classes: Asian Perspectives
Edited by Roger Barnard and James McLellan
Reviewed by Anna Husson Isozaki
- Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Connecting Theory and Practice
Aisha Walker and Goodith White
Reviewed by Darío Luis Banegas
Volume 16, Issue 3 : September 2014 Quarterly Journal
- Foreword by John Adamson
- Wang Yumin & Fiona Henderson. Teaching Content Through Moodle to Facilitate Students’ Critical Thinking in Academic Reading
- Zuhana Mohd Zin & Wong Bee Eng. Relationship Between Critical Thinking Dispositions and Critical Reading Skills of Malaysian ESL Learners
- Yi-Huey Guo. The Influence of Previous Education on College Freshmen’s English Descriptive Writing in Taiwan
- Jianzhong Luo & Nolan Weil. Language Learning Strategy Use in an American IEP: Implications for EFL
- Yan Zhao & Peter Brown. Building Agentive Identity Through Second Language (L2) Creative Writing: A Sociocultural Perspective on L2 Writers’ Cognitive Processes in Creative Composition
- Kaoru Kobayashi & Andrea Little. A Comparison of Vocabulary Learning through Listening and Vocabulary Enhancement Activities
- Hui-ju Liu. Questioning the Stability of Learner Anxiety in the Ability-Grouped Foreign Language Classroom
- The Strategy Factor in Successful Language Learning.
By Carol Griffiths (2013)
Reviewed by Eirene C. Katsarou
- The Companion to Language Assessment
Edited by Antony John Kunan (2013)
Reviewed by Kioumars Razavipour
Volume 16, Issue 2: June 2014 Quarterly Journal
- Foreword by Wen-Chi Vivian Wu
- Yihsiang Kuo & Tzu-Yu Chou. Effects of Text Shadowing on Taiwanese EFL Children’s Pronunciation
- Tun-Whei Isabel Chuo & Shu-chin Helen Yen. The Learning Journey of College At-Risk EFL Students in Taiwan: An Exploratory Study
- Hsiu Ju Lin, & Shu-Yun Yang. An Investigation of EFL Students’ Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Motivation Orientations—A Case Study
- Kyle Nuske. “It is very hard for teachers to make changes to policies that have become so solidified”: Teacher resistance at corporate eikaiwa franchises in Japan
- Abdur Rashid. The Frequency of use and Perceived effectiveness of Memorization Vocabulary Learning Strategies among university students of English Literature as a major in Pakistan
- Sean Sutherland. Team teaching: Four barriers to native English speaking assistant teachers’ ability to model native English in Japanese classrooms
- Sahail Asassfeh. Are Logical Connectors (LCs) Catalysts for EFL Students’ Reading Comprehension?
- Naoko Taguchi. Personality and Development of Second Language Pragmatic Competence
- Yi-hsuan Lin, Yu-Ching Tseng, & Tzu-yi Lee. From Reading to translation- the effects of L1/L2 supplementary reading on Taiwanese university students’ translation performance
- Learning to Read Across Languages: Cross-Linguistic Relationships in First- and Second-Language Development
Keiko Koda and Annette M. Zehler
Reviewed by Anna Husson Isozaki
- Teaching Grammar in Second Language Classrooms: Integrating Form-Focused Instruction in Communicative Context
Hossein Nassaji and Sandra Fotos
Reviewed by Karim Sadeghi, Mohammad Jokar, & Ali Soyoof
Volume 16 Issue 1: March 2014 Quarterly Journal
- Shaila Sultana. English as a Medium of Instruction in Bangladesh’s Higher Education Empowering or Disadvantaging Students?
- Yi-Huey Guo. Asian Undergraduate Students’ Apprenticeship in Research Paper Writing: Academic Interactions and Researchers’ Responsibilities
- Yumiko Yamaguchi and Satomi Kawaguchi. Acquisition of English Morphology by a Japanese School-aged Child: A Longitudinal Study
- Ying Zheng and Wei Wei. Knowing the Test Takers: Investigating Chinese and Indian EFL/ESL Students’ Performance on PTE Academic
- Lemei Zhang. A Structural Equation Modeling Approach to Investigating Test Takers’ Strategy Use and Reading Test Performance
- Barry Lee Reynolds. An Applied Phenomenological Interview Approach to the Exploration of Taiwanese EFL Teachers’ Perspectives on Language Labs
- Farzaneh Khodabandeh, Manochehre Jafarigohar, Hassan Soleimani, and Fatemah Hemmati. Investigating Iranian EFL Writing Problems and Examining Back Transfer
- Bin Li and Congchao Hua. An Effects of Visual Cues on Perception of Non-native Consonant Contrasts by Chinese EFL Learners
- Hui-Chuan Liao and Lina Hsu. Using an Analytical Rubric to Improve the Writing of EFL College Students
- Kusumi Vasantha Dhanapala and Jun Yamada. Oral Reading Rate, Reading Comprehension, and Listening Comprehension in Learners of EFL
- Dario Luis Banegas. Applied Linguistics and Materials Development
- Brian Wadman. The ELT Daily Journal: Learning to Teach ESL/EFL
- Sarab Yousif Al-Akraa. Grammar and Beyond 2
- Eirene C. Katsarou. English Through Climate Change