Browsing Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2014, vol. 4, no. 4 by Issue Date
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ItemThe impact of gender on attainment in learning English as a foreign language(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Główka, DanutaThis study examined the impact of gender on students’ achievement in learning English as a foreign language in secondary and higher vocational schools in Poland, as well as teachers’ and stu-dents’ opinions concerning the importance of this influence. The collected data provided ample evidence that girls achieved significantly better results than boys. Such results support the socio-linguistic finding that female students outperform males as they are more open to new linguistic forms in the target language and eradicate interlanguage forms that deviate from target lan-guage norms more readily than their male counterparts (Ellis, 2012). However, these findings were not reflected in the opinions of the student and teacher participants. Both parties held a strong conviction that gender played no major role in learning English. The article concludes by outlining some implications for educational policy makers and foreign language teachers. ItemStudies in Second Language Learning and Teaching. Editorial(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Pawlak, Mirosław ItemAssessing instructional effects of proficiency-level EFL pronunciation teaching under a connected speech-based approach(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Euler, Sasha S.This article discusses the assessment of pronunciation instruction under a new approach to pronunciation teaching centered on the role of connected speech in the prosodic system of English. It also offers a detailed discussion of various em- pirical problems in teaching-oriented L2 pronunciation research and suggests ways of addressing them in intervention studies. A new explanatory sequential mixed-methods design was developed for this study, which was used to assess 10 advanced EFL learners in Germany before and after 13 weeks of instruction. The results revealed co-occurring developments in learners’ use of prosody and connected speech in line with the rationale of the approach. The findings lead to various implications for language teaching and assessment. For future research, ways are suggested to increase the validity and predictiveness of L2 pronunciation research from both empirical and pedagogical perspectives ItemKey Topics in Second Language Acquisition Editors: Vivian Cook and David Singleton Publisher:Multilingual Matters - book review(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Pawlak, MirosławKey Topics in Second Language Acquisition Editors: Vivian Cook and David Singleton Publisher:Multilingual Matters, 2014 ISBN:978-1-78309-179-9 Pages:150 ItemWhat we can learn about strategies, language learning, and life from two extreme cases: The role of well-being theory(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Oxford, RebeccaThis article presents two foreign or second language (L2) learner histories representing the extreme ends of the spectrum of learner well-being. One story reflects the very positive learning experiences of a highly strategic learner, while the other story focuses on a less strategic learner’s negative, long-lasting responses to a single traumatic episode. The theoretical framework comes from the concept of well-being in positive psychology (with significant adaptations). In addition to contrasting the two cases through the grounded theory approach, the study suggests that the adapted well-being framework is useful for understanding L2 learning experiences, even when the experiences are negative. ItemContextual factors, methodological principles and teacher cognition(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Walsh, Rupert; Wyatt, MarkTeachers in various contexts worldwide are sometimes unfairly criticized for not putting teaching methods developed for the well-resourced classrooms of Western countries into practice. Factors such as the teachers’ “misconceptualizations” of “imported” methods, including Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), are often blamed, though the challenges imposed by “contextual demands,” such as large class sizes, are sometimes recognised. Meanwhile, there is sometimes an assumption that in the West there is a happy congruence between policy supportive of CLT or Task-Based Language Teaching, teacher education and supervision, and curriculum design with teachers’ cognitions and their practices. Our case study of three EFL teachers at a UK adult education college is motivated by a wish to question this assumption. Findings from observational and interview data suggest the practices of two teachers were largely consistent with their methodological principles, relating to stronger and weaker forms of CLT respectively, as well as to more general educa- tional principles, such as a concern for learners; the supportive environment seemed to help. The third teacher appeared to put “difficult” contextual factors, for example, tests, ahead of methodological principles without, however, obviously benefiting. Implications highlight the important role of teacher cognition research in challenging cultural assumption ItemThe use of pragmatic markers across proficiency levels in second language speech(Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-12) Neary-Sundquist, ColleenThis study investigates the use of pragmatic markers (PMs) by learners of English at varying proficiency levels. The study analyzes data from a university-level oral proficiency exam that categorized Chinese and Korean English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers into four proficiency levels and compares data with those of native speakers taking the same test. Findings indicate that PM use generally rises with proficiency level. The rates of PM use showed a dramatic increase between the highest and second-highest proficiency group. The highest proficiency ESL group used PMs at the same rate as native speakers. The study also found that the variety of different PMs used goes up steadily with proficiency level. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding how second language learners’ use of PMs develops.