Welcome to Volume 11 – Issue 1 – IAFOR Journal of Education: Language Learning in Education

Greetings readers!

In the months that have passed since the last issue of the IAFOR Journal of Education: Language Learning in Education (IAFOR JOE: LLiE), the movement of peoples and the need for learning an additional language continues to grow. Earthquakes and other domestic tragedies as well as civil unrest and war have led to a massive uprooting of multitudes of people. There exist positive reasons for embarking on the language learning journey as well. Individuals may decide to add an additional language to their linguistic repertoire in order to advance in the fields of business, education, law or medicine. The reasons for learning another language notwithstanding, the process is complex, invigorating, enlightening about peoples, languages, and cultures, and sometimes frustrating.

Though the authors of the articles in this issue explore a wide variety of aspects within second language acquisition and second language teaching and come from a vast array of nations, they are united by the common language of researching, exploring, and discovering what is essential in the pursuit of effectual second language acquisition. The language of those engaged in the study of language learning appears to unify each person involved in that pursuit.

The articles included within address several timely topics, such as the role of Global Englishes, native speakerism, and whether the main goal of second language acquisition is to be able to imitate a native speaker of a certain language. One author investigated whether approved models of a language being learned should always be a native speaker. Another researcher explored the perspectives of teachers who were impacted by the politics of national language policy. Additional themes that were explored consisted of affective matters in second language acquisition such as intercultural sensitivity and linguistic matters including rhetorical knowledge needed by IT personnel to convey their ideas unambiguously and successfully. One author compared the relative success of a cognitive linguistic approach and a metaphor-based approach in teaching Japanese EFL students the three levels of confidence that something might happen. Even Lego Serious Play was studied as a possible method for helping language learners in the business world to engage in creative problem solving.

To help you get oriented, here is a brief summary of each article in the issue.

Article 1

In the first article, “An Analysis of Undergraduate EFL Students’ Perceptions of Intercultural Sensitivity”, Huyen-Thanh Nguyen conducted a qualitative study to discover what undergraduate English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students in Vietnam comprehended about intercultural sensitivity. The findings of the study revealed a lack of knowledge about understanding other cultures and people and support the recommendation that educators work to incorporate instruction about intercultural sensitivity in EFL classes.


Article 2

Dr Alruwaili and Dr Altalib, authors of “Changing the ‘Mindset’ of Saudi MA Students: From Native-Speakerism to Global Englishes”, implemented a qualitative study to investigate the impact of including Global English materials within a graduate class offered to Saudi graduate students. They wanted to know if embracing the assortment of English dialects in the world would also heighten the graduate students’ awareness and acceptance of their own variety of English. The findings are enlightening and may change many minds about what criteria should guide the selection of appropriate language role models for language learners.


Article 3

In “Language and Conflict in East Jerusalem: Arab Teachers’ Perspectives on Learning Hebrew”, Abed Al-Rahman Mar'i and Nurit Buchweitz completed a study that explored a sampling of East Jerusalem teachers’ sensitivities of and mindsets about being required to acquire and communicate in Hebrew as a second language in order to teach. The backdrop of the research project was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and national identity. The framework of the enquiry was a multifaceted education system that held different requirements for diverse teachers. The findings of the research signal important concepts for the teachers in East Jerusalem and beyond in diverse teaching situations with similar issues.


Article 4

Charles Allen Brown, author of, “Imagined Communities of English Use in JET Programme Teaching Materials” writes about the findings from a study he conducted to analyze more than 5000 materials that have been developed and used in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. Specifically, Dr Brown wanted to know to what extent the materials helped the language students to sense a connection between the language group and related social group because the integration of language and social groups would be the most motivational for the learner. A surprising finding was that most of the materials involved only language practice and hinted at no social connection. Yet, if a language learner also sensed a connection to a group with whom there would be the opportunity to communicate meaningfully in the new language, that same learner would probably be able to self-concept or imagine oneself being successful at both types of group participation.


Article 5

In “The Relationship between a Cognitive Linguistic Approach and the Right-Hemisphere”, author Masahiro Takimoto considered the possible association between a metaphor-based approach to teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) and a connection to the right hemisphere of the brain. Specifically, Dr Takimoto examined learners’ grasp of three levels of certainty associated with different expressions in English – those that are certain, probable, and possible items, selected because of their frequent use by native English speakers, but problematic for Japanese EFL students. The details of the study are significant in demonstrating why Japanese EFL students encounter difficulties with the three levels of sureness and further illustrate potential language learner assistance that can be designed.


Article 6

Haniva Yunita Leo, author of “A Corpus-Driven Approach on Learning Near Synonyms of Pain in Indonesian”, conducted a study that examined individuals’ understanding of terms for pain in Indonesian. While pain is universal and human, the manner in which one communicates about pain is often culturally defined, and people may experience pain differently. The researcher offers a cross-cultural comparison of the study of the emotion of pain in Indonesian by scrutinizing the usage of two near-synonyms: sakit and nyeri. The study was intended to impart new insights for L2 learners of Indonesian regarding the study of sensitivities and how pain may be impacted by feelings and influenced by cultural expectations. A byproduct is that educators will have a new understanding of how different peoples express and comprehend something as simple as pain.


Article 7

In “Rhetorical Strategies Used by Information Technology Students in In-Class Presentations”, Eva Ellederová explored the significant role of rhetoric in assiting IT professionals to communicate effectively about their ideas and products. Dr Ellederová conducted research to understand how IT students who were also English language learners could build and cultivate persuasive arguments. Specifically, her study involved analysis of the IT students’ use of rhetorical strategies in selected persuasive presentations provided in the course ‘English for IT’. Two types of analysis were used to identify different sorts of rhetorical strategies students employed to influence their audiences’ attitudes. The reader will finish this article with new knowledge about the importance of rhetorical strategies as well as IT tactics for persuasion.


Article 8

Eleni Meletiadou, author of “Transforming Multilingual Students’ Learning Experience Through the use of Lego Serious Play”, conducted a case study with 50 multilingual business students who were asked to participate in a Lego Serious Play (LSP) intervention for one academic semester. The goal was for students to use LSP to have a better understanding of the assessment criteria and the theories they had to use to prepare a group paper and a group oral presentation about a module on intercultural management. The findings were multifaceted and could be useful in other areas of higher education where language learners are involved.


Multilingualism, second language acquisition, second language learning, and national language policy persist in being significant considerations for every nation. The movement of individuals from country to country and within nations has intensified. As the world of second language learners increases in size, educators, scholars, and researchers who research the multidimensional nature of second language acquisition and language learning are vital to the improvement of second language teaching and enhanced learning. Readers of the articles in this issue of the IAFOR JOE: LLiE will see commonalities that exist across nations and cross culturally where language learning is concerned.

The topics researched and discussed in the 2023 issue of the IAFOR Journal of Education: Language Learning in Education will enlighten and encourage the reader about the critical thinking and innovative research that is ongoing in the field of second language acquisition and second language learning.

Happy reading!

Melinda Cowart
Professor Emerita
Texas Woman’s University, USA
Editor, IAFOR Journal of Education: Language Learning in Education

IAFOR Journal of Education: Volume 11 – Issue 1 – Language Learning in Education
Published: May 31, 2023
ISSN: 2187-0594