March 2010 Foreword

We are happy to present another issue with a varied array of papers from a wide variety of settings and cultures. The longer I have been involved in AEJ editing, the more I have come to realize how broad the field is and how many different valid approaches can be applied even within one area of interest. The first five papers all investigate vocabulary acquisition, but from very different perspectives and using very different approaches.

Vocabulary papers
Use of bilingual dictionaries is common in many Asian contexts. In Type of Task and Type of Dictionary in Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition, Mojtaba Maghsodi investigates the effect of form-oriented comprehension and form-oriented production tasks on incidental vocabulary acquisition in relation to the use of either monolingual or bilingual dictionaries. The result indicated that subjects using monolingual dictionaries (English to English) retained vocabulary better irrespective of the gender or bilinguality of the subjects.

Azadeh Nemati (Active and Passive Vocabulary Knowledge: The Effect of Years of Instruction) investigates the relationship between two types of English vocabulary knowledge (passive and controlled active) after different periods of school instruction in an ESL environment. The results showed that although students progressed in active and passive vocabulary knowledge, this progress was not significant for controlled active after years of instruction, while it was significant for passive vocabularies at higher levels. Nemati concludes that there is a need to incorporate more active methods for teaching vocabulary and to use instruments that can better test and activate the active knowledge of students.

In The Effects of Collocation Instruction on the Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Learning of Taiwanese College English Majors, Jeng-yih Tim Hsu investigates the impact of explicit collocation instruction on general English proficiency, listening, speaking, writing, reading, and lexical fluency. The findings indicate that collocation instruction improves vocabulary learning and retention more than reading comprehension regardless of academic level.

Faith Brown (Vocabulary Knowledge and Comprehension in Second Language Text Processing: A Reciprocal Relationship?) considers the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension in the reading of expository texts. The findings reveal a reciprocal relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension in this context and underline a need for strategic reading instruction that emphasizes the exploitation of holistic aspects of language such as context to assist learning.

In a study that links culture and vocabulary, Colin McDonald and Scott McRae (A pre-trial collection and investigation of what perceptions and attitudes of Konglish exist amongst foreign and Korean English language teachers in terms of English education in Korea) discuss the perceptions that foreign and Korean English teachers have of Konglish in relation to English education in Korea. Konglish refer to English loan words commonly used in Korean. This phenomenon is not unique to Korea and raises interesting issues about teaching English as an international language. McDonald and McCrae help develop an understanding of both groups of teachers view of Konglish in relation to issues of identity and ownership and discuss the need to make informed judgments concerning the exploitation of Konglish in the classroom.

Other papers
Another important cultural issue is addressed by Indika Liyanage, Peter Grimbeek, & Fiona Bryer in Relative cultural contributions of religion and ethnicity to the language learning strategy choices of ESL students in Sri Lankan and Japanese high schools. They consider the relationship between ethnicity and religion on the use of metacognitive, cognitive, and social-affective strategies. In a composite sample of four ethnic groups: Sinhalese, Tamil, Sri Lankan Muslim, and Japanese which included Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus, they found that choices of learning strategies appeared to be associated with religious rather than ethnic identity. Naturally this is a very sensitive issue and the authors point out that care must be taken about drawing categorical conclusions about the extent to which language learning strategies might be cultural in nature and the need to allow for specific preferences associated with learners ethno-religious affiliations.

In Teacher Questions in Second Language Classrooms: An Investigation of Three Case Studies, Chi Cheung Ruby Yang investigates the effects of the types of questions teachers ask on students discourse. This study emphasizes that it is the students responses that are more important than the questions and that one cannot be studied without the other. In the teacher training context Yang underlines the need to develop the ability to follow up responses with moves that encourage students to expand and develop their responses.
Mansoor Tavakoli, in Investigating the relationship between self-assessment and teacher-assessment in academic contexts: A Case of Iranian university students, investigates the relationship between performance testing and alternative assessment. The findings appear to indicate that self-assessment can be conducted reliably and that authenticity is enhanced by using such alternative approaches.

Long Van Nguyen (Computer Mediated Collaborative Learning within a Communicative Language Teaching Approach: A Sociocultural Perspective) discusses the roles of computer mediated collaborative learning within a communicative language teaching approach. Nguyen concludes that CMCL is capable of resolving some issues related to the CLT approach in the Vietnamese language classroom. We feel that this study is of relevance in other Asian contexts.

Lisha Wang (An Investigation of the Current State of College Teachers Teaching Quality and Teacher Development) identifies mismatches between teachers practice and the theories underlying their practice in the current college English education process in China. Wang suggests the promotion of educational reform by encouraging reflective teaching and the combined use of teaching practice and research.

Roger Nunn,
Chief Editor