Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2013, vol. 3, no. 3

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    The role of teacher imagination in conceptualising the child as a second language learner
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2013-10) Guz, Ewa; Tetiurka, Małgorzata
    In order to initiate and maintain meaningful interaction in a young learner L2 class- room, an adult teacher needs to approach children in ways consistent with their developmental profile and adjust teaching methodology so as to accommodate young learners’ current skills. This requires the ability to predict the child’s possible responses to classroom events by imagining what s/he might think and how s/he might behave when presented with specific instructions. Bearing in mind that the teacher’s perception of the world is purely and completely adult in nature, in order to be effective, educators need to create a mental image or a concept of a young learner by gathering knowledge about his or her developmental characteristics and fully grasping the pedagogical implications of this knowledge. In this paper, we aim to explore the role of imagination in the conceptualisation of a child as a se- cond language learner amongst university level pre-service teachers involved in an early primary EFL education programme. We report on qualitative research based on data obtained in the course of a two semester teacher training course of 35 BA and 30 MA students majoring in English. In the study, we focused on the working image of the child’s developmental characteristics created by the participants and their ability to employ this in their teaching. Our data show a substantial discrep- ancy between the participants’ theoretical conceptions concerning the business of teaching and the actual actions undertaken during lessons with young learners. Although participants were able to successfully identify the most distinctive developmental characteristics of primary-level learners, they experienced difficulty with integrating them into actual classroom practice. Keywords: young learners, cognitive development, teacher beliefs, teacher cognition, imagination
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    Facets of imagery in academic and professional achievements: A study of three doctoral students
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2013-10) Chan, Letty
    Since the inception of the L2 motivational self system (Dörnyei, 2005), which operationalises motivation as a function of learners’ future identities, the field of L2 motivation has seen a growing interest in mental imagery. Numerous studies have examined the role of a future self-guide, that is, the ideal L2 self, and have confirmed it to be powerful for explaining learner motivation (e.g., Csizér & Lukács, 2010; Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009); however, few studies have explored how mental imagery, a key dimension of the ideal L2 self (Dörnyei & Chan, 2013), can manifest itself in actual motivated behaviour. Using in-depth interviews, the present study aims to explore the motivational capacity of the natural use of mental imagery in three doctoral candidates studying at a Brit- ish university. The main research focuses on examining how imagery was em- ployed to stimulate the participants’ L2 learning and their doctoral research as well as career choice. This paper proposes a conceptual framework of types, functions, and conditions of imagery in academic and professional achieve- ments based on the data obtained. It reveals an intriguing array of imagery types, functions, and conditions, which shape the achievement of the individ- uals’ desired goals. Recommendations and implications for future research on imagery use in SLA are also discussed.
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    Pedagogy of the possible: Imagination, autonomy, and space
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2013-10) Murray, Garold
    This paper explores pedagogical practices which can support the role of imag- ination in foreign language learning. Over the past decade, work on self and identity in motivation research—most notably Norton’s (2001) imagined communities and Dörnyei’s (2009) L2 motivational self system—has suggested that teachers might foster students’ motivation by helping them imagine themselves as L2 speakers and envisage contexts or communities in which they might use the target language. If teachers are to help students create and sustain visions of L2 identities, they need to employ a pedagogy which incor- porates and facilitates the work of the imagination. In order to provide guide- lines for pedagogical practice, this paper examines the experiences of Japa- nese university students studying English as a foreign language in a self- directed learning course. Prior analysis of the data revealed several affordanc- es which supported the participants’ metacognitive development and the role of imagination in their learning. Using these affordances as a conceptual framework, this paper builds on previous work by identifying elements in the learning environment which appear to support the role of imagination in the students’ language learning. The paper concludes by suggesting guidelines for pedagogical practice and considering the implications for further inquiry.
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    Directed Motivational Currents: Using vision to create effective motivational pathways
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2013-10) Muir, Christine; Dörnyei, Zoltán
    Vision, that is, the mental representation of the sensory experience of a future goal state (involving imagination and imagery), is currently at the forefront of motivational innovation, and in recent years it has been seen increasingly more often in the motivational tool kit of practicing language teachers. Theories such as Dörnyei’s L2 motivational self system have explored the power that creating effective visions can harness (see, e.g., Dörnyei & Kubanyiova, 2014) and when viewed in conjunction with other current research avenues, such as future time perspective and dynamic systems theory, vision offers exciting potential. A Di- rected Motivational Current is a new motivational construct that we suggest is capable of integrating many current theoretical strands with vision: It can be de- scribed as a motivational drive which energises long-term, sustained behaviour (such as language learning), and through placing vision and goals as critical cen- tral components within this construct, it offers real and practical motivational potential. In this conceptual paper, we first discuss current understandings of vi- sion and of Directed Motivational Currents, and then analyse how they may be optimally integrated and employed to create effective motivational pathways in language learning environments.
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    Engaging students’ imaginations in second language learning
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2013-10) Judson, Gillian; Egan, Kieran
    Imagination is rarely acknowledged as one of the main workhorses of learn- ing. Unfortunately, disregarding the imagination has some clearly negative pedagogical impacts: Learning is more ineffective than it should be and much schooling is more tedious than it need be. In this paper, we outline a somewhat new way of thinking about the process of students’ language ed- ucation. We focus on the kinds of “cognitive tools” or learning “toolkits” human beings develop as they grow up, which connect emotion and imagi- nation with knowledge in the learning process. We show how employing these tools—indeed, how their central employment in all aspects of plan- ning—can make learning other languages engaging and meaningful.