Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2015, vol. 5, no. 1


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    Book Reviews
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Krajka, Jarosław; Pawlak, Mirosław
    Online Communication in a Second Language: Social Interaction, Language Use and Learning Japanese Author: Sarah E. Pasfield-Neofitou Publisher:Multilingual Matters, 2012 ISBN:978-1847698247 Multiple perspectives on the self in SLA Editors: Sarah Mercer and Marion Williams Publisher:Multilingual Matters, 2014 ISBN:978-1-78309-134-8
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    The handling of missing binary data in language research
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Pichette, François; Béland, Sébastien; Jolani, Shahab; Leśniewska, Justyna
    Researchers are frequently confronted with unanswered questions or items on their questionnaires and tests, due to factors such as item difficulty, lack of testing time, or participant distraction. This paper first presents results from a poll confirming previous claims (Rietveld & van Hout, 2006; Schafer & Gra- ham, 2002) that data replacement and deletion methods are common in research. Language researchers declared that when faced with missing answers of the yes/no type (that translate into zero or one in data tables), the three most common solutions they adopt are to exclude the participant’s data from the analyses, to leave the square empty, or to fill in with zero, as for an incorrect answer. This study then examines the impact on Cronbach’s α of five types of data insertion, using simulated and actual data with various numbers of participants and missing percentages. Our analyses indicate that the three most common methods we identified among language researchers are the ones with the greatest impact on Cronbach's α coefficients; in other words, they are the least desirable solutions to the missing data problem. On the basis of our results, we make recommendations for language researchers concerning the best way to deal with missing data. Given that none of the most common simple methods works properly, we suggest that the missing data be replaced either by the item’s mean or by the participants’ overall mean to provide a better, more accurate image of the instrument’s internal consistency
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    Analyzing randomized controlled interventions: Three notes for applied linguists
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Vanhove, Jan
    I discuss three common practices that obfuscate or invalidate the statistical analysis of randomized controlled interventions in applied linguistics. These are (a) checking whether randomization produced groups that are balanced on a number of possibly relevant covariates, (b) using repeated measures ANOVA to analyze pretest-posttest designs, and (c) using traditional significance tests to analyze interventions in which whole groups were assigned to the conditions (cluster randomization). The first practice is labeled superfluous, and taking full advantage of important covariates regardless of balance is recommended. The second is needlessly complicated, and analysis of covariance is recommended as a more powerful alternative. The third produces dramatic inferential errors, which are largely, though not entirely, avoided when mixed-effects modeling is used. This discussion is geared towards applied linguists who need to design, analyze, or assess intervention studies or other randomized controlled trials. Statistical formalism is kept to a minimum throughout.
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    MSL in the digital ages: Effects and effectiveness of computer-mediated intervention for FL learners with dyslexia
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Pfenninger, Simone E.
    The longitudinal intervention study reported here is the first to investigate the efficiency of computer learning software specifically designed for dyslexic Swiss German learners of Standard German as a second language (L2) and English as a third language (L3). A total of 40 subjects (20 of them dyslexics and 20 of them nondyslexics; 10 students from each group participated in in- terventions and the other 10 from each group served as control groups) were assessed with a battery of verbal and written pre- and posttests involving pho- nological/orthographic and semantic measures of their L2 and L3 before and after three months of daily intervention with the software. The results show that computer-based training in the L3 is potentially an important tool of intervention for dyslexic students as it has a positive effect on the components of L3 as well as L2 learning. As a consequence of their progress in acquiring the relationships between L3 graphemes and phonemes, the experimental groups, but not the control groups, made significant gains on L2 naming accuracy and speed, L2 and L3 word reading, L2 and L3 phonological awareness, and L2 and L3 receptive and productive vocabulary and comprehension tasks.
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    Promoting international posture through history as content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in the Japanese context
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Lockley, Thomas
    This article uses the conceptual framework of second language willingness to communicate (L2 WTC), and in particular the contributory construct of international posture (IP; Yashima, 2002), to report on a content and language integrated learning (CLIL) course taught in the Japanese university context. The research follows up an exploratory, small-scale study with a focused qualitative investigation. Due to space restrictions the current paper reports only on the key qualitative findings and attempts to build a picture of how the theme of the course, Japanese international history, affected learners’ IP, a construct that has been shown to be key to Japanese learners of English’s L2 WTC (Yashima, 2002). It is shown that after completing the course, learners felt more connected to the wider world, and as a result IP developed in varied and meaningful ways, seemingly increasing L2 WTC and stimulating critical thinking facilities both within and without the classroom
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    An investigation of Chinese university EFL learner’s foreign language reading anxiety, reading strategy use and reading comprehension performance
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Lu, Zhongshe; Liu, Meihua
    The present study explored the interrelations between foreign language (FL) reading anxiety, FL reading strategy use and their interactive effect on FL reading comprehension performance at the tertiary level in China. Analyses of the survey data collected from 1702 university students yielded the following results: (a) Both Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS) and Foreign Language Reading Strategy Use Scale (FLRSUS) had important subcomponents, (b) more than half of the students generally did not feel anxious when reading English, and were confident in and satisfied with their English reading proficiency. Meanwhile, (c) more than half of them moderately used different types of reading strategies such as planning, checking and confirming, predicting and assessing, when reading English, (d) compared with their female peers, male students felt significantly more anxious when facing reading activities, less satisfied with their English reading proficiency, and used specific analyzing and planning strategies significantly less often during a reading activity, (e) FLRAS was significantly inversely related to FLRSUS, and both were significantly correlated with the students’ FL reading comprehension performance, and (f) FLRAS (overall FL reading anxiety), FLRAS1 (general anxiety about FL reading), and FLRSUS2 (predicting strategies) were good predictors of FL reading comprehension performance. Based on the findings, some implications are discussed.
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    The anxiety-proficiency relationship and the stability of anxiety: The case of Chinese university learners of English and Japanese
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Jin, Yinxing; de Bot, Kees; Keijzer, Merel
    Adopting a longitudinal design, this study investigates the effects of foreign language anxiety on foreign language proficiency over time within English and Japanese learning contexts. It also explores the stability of anxiety in English and Japanese over time and the stability of anxiety across English and Japanese. Chinese university students (N=146), who were simultaneously learning Japanese and English, participated in this study. Data were collected twice over a 2-month interval, using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, the English Proficiency Scale, and the Japanese Proficiency Scale. Results showed that anxiety changes had a significantly negative, but weak, correlation with the development of overall proficiency and the proficiency in sub- skills such as reading or speaking, for both English and Japanese, suggesting the interference of anxiety with proficiency levels. Anxiety in Japanese tended to decrease significantly over time, but no significant change was found for English. Furthermore, no significant difference between anxiety in Japanese and English was found at either testing time.
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    Neurology of foreign language aptitude
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Biedroń, Adriana
    This state-of-the art paper focuses on the poorly explored issue of foreign language aptitude, attempting to present the latest developments in this field and reconceptualizations of the construct from the perspective of neuroscience. In accordance with this goal, it first discusses general directions in neurolinguistic research on foreign language aptitude, starting with the earliest attempts to define the neurological substrate for talent, sources of difficulties in the neurolinguistic research on foreign language aptitude and modern research methods. This is followed by the discussion of the research on the phonology of foreign language aptitude with emphasis on functional and structural studies as well as their consequences for the knowledge of the concept. The subsequent section presents the studies which focus on lexical and morphosyntactic aspects of foreign language aptitude. The paper ends with a discussion of the limitations of contemporary research, the future directions of such research and selected methodological issues
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    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2015-03) Pawlak, Mirosław
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego