Introducing the IAFOR Journal of Language Learning: Volume 3 – Issue 2

IAFOR Journal of Language Learning: Volume 3 – Issue 2
Editor: Dr Bernard Montoneri, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Published: January 19, 2018
ISSN: 2188-9554

Guest Editor’s Introduction

IAFOR Journal of Language Learning Volume 3 Issue 2 CoverIt is our great pleasure and honour to introduce our Winter 2017–2018 issue of the IAFOR Journal of Language Learning. This issue is a selection of papers submitted directly to our journal.

The first paper, entitled “Multilingualism in Action: A Conversation Analytic View on How Children are Re-Voicing a Story in a French Second Language Learning Lesson” examines the fine-grained detail of children’s second language learning practices in a multilingual classroom setting. A moment-by-moment video based analysis allows researchers to visualise how the children’s learning practices are interrelated with the sequential structure of multilingual talk-in-interaction. Moreover, the conversation analytic approach gives access to the fundamentally social nature of second language classroom talk.

The second paper, entitled “Written Corrective Feedback: Student Preferences and Teacher Feedback Practices” is authored by Bradley Irwin, an Assistant Professor at Nihon University College of International Relations. This detailed case study carefully examines the intricacies of how learning contexts affect both student preferences for written corrective feedback and teacher practices. Samples of actual teacher feedback were extensively analysed to explore the methods and practice employed in a current academic writing course. The author concludes by offering practical ideas for improving written corrective feedback. This paper also highlights the need for careful consideration when teachers form feedback policies in their classrooms.

The third paper, entitled “The Importance of CoPs in Transforming New Learning Communities into Experienced Ones in EFL Classrooms” is authored by Akiko Nagao, a researcher working at Ryukoku University. It reports on a series of research studies that visualise the development of the concept of Communities of Practice (CoPs) in English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms. This study supports the supposition that understanding CoP can help teachers clarify learners’ behaviours in classroom communities, which, as a result, can lead to major developments in learning. The participants comprised 58 undergraduate students at various proficiency levels from 3 different classrooms. To examine the developmental changes in the students and their communities, the study conducted pre-, mid-, and post-quantitative analyses of 10 CoP elements, including the following three key components: mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire. The three elements did not show similar developmental patterns, whereas two CoP components (mutual engagement and shared repertoire) demonstrated similar patterns in one classroom where, toward the end of the semester, the students’ activities gradually increased from an initial moderate level of awareness. Among the three classrooms, only one CoP component (shared repertoire) showed a similar developmental pattern.

The fourth paper, entitled “Investigating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Using Google Documents in Enhancing Writing” is co-authored by Regina Maria Ambrose and Shanthini Palpanathan, English teachers teaching in a Chinese Independent High School in Malaysia. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of CALL via Google Documents in improving the quality of writing among a selected group of students in their school. It is also to ascertain students’ perceptions in using Google Documents to write and to identify if Google Documents is able to motivate students to write. Data was collected using a qualitative research method with pre and post questionnaires, writing samples as well as face-to-face interviews. The research revealed that although the majority of the participating students favoured the use of computer technology in their writing, a balance of both Google Docs writing and classroom writing tasks would create variation and interest in their learning process and avoid boredom.

The fifth paper, entitled “How Effective is Interactive Learning? Investigating Japanese University Students’ Languaging Patterns in a Collaborative Writing Task” is written by Mitsuyo Sakamoto, an educator in English language and teacher training at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. She takes a sociocultural theoretical perspective in order to understand how Japanese college students come to language with others as a form of scaffolded, shared cognition. Specifically, this action research investigated for two months how students’ online written output affected each other’s writing. Each student was first tracked to see if his/her English language use reflected the output of others, then the linguistic developmental patterns were further investigated in a post-treatment interview. It was discovered that students lacking confidence in English learning are less likely to imitate and internalise from others. The study suggests that the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is closely related to affective domains that give rise to a particular identity formation which in turn impacts language learning.

The sixth paper entitled, “Exploring Challenges Encountering EFL Libyan Learners in Research Teaching and Writing” is authored by Safia Mujtaba and Noura Winis, researchers working as lecturers of English at the English Department of Sebha University, Sebha, Libya. The major challenges faced by Libyan students in research writing as well as Libyan teachers attitudes towards students’ work are investigated. The paper also discusses some pedagogical issues related to research and it presents the notion of research as well as comprehensive insight into the main obstacles encountered by Libyan students while conducting research. It was found that Libyan learners experienced great difficulties in writing research such as writing a literature review, selecting the sample of the study, lack of resources, lack of motivation and background knowledge for their research. The findings of this paper are very helpful and beneficial for teachers and students as it can help teachers develop their teaching methods and be more aware of difficulties that students experience in research. The paper also shares some implications and suggestions. It is suggested that more attention should be paid to investigating challenges of research writing and teaching in the Libyan context and priority should be given to the practice of research writing in the classroom. In addition, learners should be encouraged to do real empirical studies and more advanced research courses should be taught in Sebha University.

The seventh paper, entitled “Incorporating Intercultural Communication Activities in English Language Classes”, is written by Daniel Velasco. This article discusses the relevancy of Intercultural Communication in today’s classrooms, and how students may not even be aware of its importance to their education and future careers. Dr Velasco exposes two groups of English language learners to Intercultural Communication activities. Results revealed that most of the students felt the exercises helped them to self-reflect and critically evaluate their current biases and beliefs, supporting the need for incorporating more Intercultural Communication exercises and activities in all English language classes.

The eighth paper, entitled “Cognitive Learning Strategy of BIPA Students in Learning Indonesian Language”, is jointly authored by Imam Suyitno, Gatut Susanto, Musthofa Kamal, and Ary Fawzi. The article discusses the cognitive learning strategy used by foreign students in learning the Indonesian language. The study outline in this article was conducted at BIPA Universitas Negeri Malang (State University of Malang), specifically at Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. The participants of the study were foreign students that have differences in cultural backgrounds and major field of their studies. Data was collected by observing and recording students’ activities in the class and outside class when they were learning Indonesian language and interview. Based on the result of data analysis, the study found that in learning Indonesian language, BIPA students used the various cognitive learning strategies. The strategies stretch of mechanical level strategies up to strategies that need high-level thinking process. The selected strategies used by students in learning language depend on types of the learning tasks that students face. Besides that, self-factors of students and learning environment are also the factors influencing the students in selecting learning strategies they use. The findings are important for BIPA teachers and institutions for making policies in designing learning program, selecting learning materials, conducting learning process.

The ninth paper, entitled “Linguistic Error Analysis on Students’ Thesis Proposals”, is jointly authored by Mary Ann Pescante-Malimas and Sonrisa C. Samson, teaching at the Department of Communications, Linguistics and Literature at the University of San Carlos, Cebu, Philippines. The authors analyse the contents of the thesis proposals submitted by the Advertising Arts, Linguistics, and Literature students. This paper identifies the most prevalent linguistic errors namely: grammatical, syntactical, and mechanics.

The tenth paper, entitled “Bringing the Brain to Bear on Context and Policy in Primary Languages Practice in England” is written by Magdalen Phillips. It examines the current primary languages context in England through a literature review. Its problematisation of the essentially sociocultural PL learning environment recognises the interconnectedness of multiple contributory factors; amongst these are the effects of policy on primary class teachers’ languages skills and confidence, and on the choice of skills that pupils are likely to learn within timetabled sessions. Its overview of learning theories provides important distinctions between declarative and procedural skills and the conditions needed for them to be successful. Neurobiological insights of young language learners’ proclivities provide useful, and arguably irrefutable, guidelines as to the learning conditions required for such learning. The analysis of data drawn from the literature is schematised within an Activity Theory framework which indicates provisos for approaches suitable for pupils’ successful learning of languages. Results point to the dysfunctional connections between some contributory factors in the Activity system.

Please note that we welcome original research papers in the field of education submitted by teachers, scholars, and education professionals, who may submit their manuscripts even though they did not participate in one of the conferences held by IAFOR. We also welcome book reviews, reviews of the literature in the field, and contributions introducing key educational scholars.

The IAFOR Journal of Language Learning is an internationally reviewed and editorially independent interdisciplinary journal associated with IAFOR’s international conferences. Like all IAFOR publications, it is freely available to read online, and is free of publication fees for authors. The journal continues to publish two issues per year. The next issue, Volume 4 Issue 1 is scheduled for publication at the end of 2018; this issue may be a selection of papers submitted during some of conferences organised by IAFOR as well as papers submitted directly to our journal. IAFOR publications are freely accessible on the IAFOR website (Open Access).

Best regards,
Bernard Montoneri
Guest Editor
IAFOR Journal of Language Learning

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