Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2011, vol. 1, no. 1

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    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011-04) Pawlak, Mirosław
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    Book review
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011-04) Killick, Steve
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    Notes on Contributors
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011-04)
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    Suppression of literal meanings in L2 idiom processing: Does context help?
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Cieślicka, Anna, B.
    Most current idiom processing models acknowledge, after Gernsbacher and Robertson (1999) that deriving an idiomatic meaning entails suppression of contextually inappropriate, literal meanings of idiom constituent words. While embedding idioms in the rich disambiguating context can promote earlier suppression of incompatible literal meanings, idioms embedded in the neutral context, favoring neither their literal nor figurative reading, are likely to become disambiguated much later in the course of their comprehension. The study reported in this paper investigates the role of context in suppressing irrelevant, literal meanings of idioms in the course of their processing by Polish proficient speakers of English. Ambiguous (literally plausible) English idioms were embedded in sentences which were either neutral (i.e., did not bias either the literal or figurative reading of the idiom, e.g., There was no need to add fuel to the fire) or figurative-biased (e.g., The chairman is in a bad mood so do not say anything, as this will only add fuel to the fire) and followed by targets related literally (e.g., HEAT) or figuratively (e.g., WORSE) to idiom meanings and displayed either immediately at idiom offset (0 ms) or after 300 ms. The self-paced reading paradigm was employed, in which participants first read the idiomatic sentences at their own pace and then made a lexical decision, i.e., decided if the displayed target string is a legitimate English word or not. Context was shown to play an important role in suppressing irrelevant meanings, but its effects were modulated by salience (prominence) of idioms’ literal meanings as well as the time that elapsed from the end of the sentence to the display of the target stimulus.
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    Understanding CLIL as an innovation
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Kiely, Richard
    Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) initiatives in schools have become widespread across Europe and beyond in the last decade or so. Drivers for this include the role of English as the language of international economic activity, media and culture, belief in the value of early start and meaning-focussed instruction in foreign language learning, and a policy posi-tion which promotes a multilingual Europe. In many contexts, CLIL initiatives are local: teachers and educational leaders with assistance from teacher ed-ucators and experts in universities establish programmes, which are then shaped by available resources, human and material. While the commitment, enthusiasm and energy for CLIL at classroom and school levels are essential requirements for educational innovation, they may not, in the longer term be enough for sustainability and ongoing development. This paper examines the implementation of CLIL as an innovation and identifies some issues where wider policy support and coordination may be useful. It draws on the findings of an evaluation study of a CLIL project implemented in four coun-tries, and identifies issues and ways forward for an effective strategy for CLIL in terms of foreign language learning, subject learning, and positive learning experiences for every child.
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    “They can achieve their aims without native skills in the field of work or studies”: Hungarian students’ views on English as a lingua franca
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Kontra, Edit H.; Csizér, Kata
    Despite the fact that there is a growing body of research on the characteris-tics and use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in Europe, there are relatively few studies aimed at investigating the ways in which language learners voice their opinions about ELF and how they see ELF impacting their own learning. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to find out what English language majors (and ELF users) think about ELF. In order to get an insiders’ perspec-tive on the issue, 250 one-paragraph argumentative essays on the necessity of learning to speak like a native or using ELF were analyzed for their con-tent. The main results show the investigated sample’s predictable though not unanimous preference for prestigious native varieties. More pertinent to this article is that in spite of this preference the students demonstrate a definite awareness of ELF expressed in a large number of statements ac-knowledging the worldwide importance of knowing English and that today English is used by far more non-native than native speakers of the language. Though not all our research participants favor the use of ELF, many of them see it as a necessity.
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    L2 willingness to communicate (WTC) and international posture in the Polish educational context
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Mystkowska-Wiertelak, Anna; Pietrzykowska, Agnieszka
    Speaking, the language skill whose mastering appears to be the ultimate aim of every attempt at learning a foreign language, constitutes a formidable challenge. Apart from involving the online interaction of complex processes of conceptualization, formulation, articulation and monitoring (Levelt, 1989), it appears prone to numerous psychological and social influences that, being difficult to control, may consistently hinder development. One of such factors, closely related to the concept of anxiety, is L2 willingness to communicate (WTC), called “the most immediate determinant of L2 use” (Clement, Baker, & MacIntyre, 2003, p. 191). Perceived as either a personality trait or/and a context-related feature, WTC seems capable of accounting for a person’s first and second language communication. Interestingly it can be related to the learner’s disposition towards the target language culture, general interest in international affairs, willingness to travel and sustain contacts with speakers of other languages, which, defined as international posture (Yashima, 2002), serves as a strong predictor of success in language learning. The present paper reports the results of a survey conducted among 111 students of English, in the majority prospect teachers of English. The aim was to establish the degree of correlation between their international posture and WTC. The results do not corroborate the outcomes of other studies performed in the field (cf. Yashima, 2002, 2009), which might point to the unique characteristics of the Polish educational context.
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    Second language writing anxiety, computer anxiety, and performance in a classroom versus a web-based environment
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej: Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Dracopoulos, Effie; Pichette, François
    This study examined the impact of writing anxiety and computer anxiety on language learning for 45 ESL adult learners enrolled in an English grammar and writing course. Two sections of the course were offered in a traditional classroom setting whereas two others were given in a hybrid form that in-volved distance learning. Contrary to previous research, writing anxiety showed no correlation with learning performance, whereas computer anxie-ty only yielded a positive correlation with performance in the case of class-room learners. There were no significant differences across learning envi-ronments on any measures. These observations are discussed in light of the role computer technologies now play in our society as well as the merging of socio-demographic profiles between classroom and distance learners. Our data suggest that comparisons of profiles between classroom and distance learners may not be an issue worth investigating anymore in language stud-ies, at least in developed countries.
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    Perceived teacher support and language anxiety in Polish secondary school EFL learners
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Piechurska-Kuciel, Ewa
    The teacher’s role is vital, both in respect to achieving academic goals, and with regard to the regulation of emotional and social processes. Positive per-ceptions of teacher support can endorse psychological wellness, and help maintain students’ academic interests, higher academic achievement and more positive peer relationships. The teacher who shows understanding, empathy and consistency in their behavior helps students start forming an identity, which will assist them in coping with stress and anxiety directly connected with the foreign language learning process (language anxiety). The main aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between teacher support and language anxiety levels. It is speculated that teacher support functions as a buffer from the effects of negative emotions, such as language anxiety experienced in the foreign language learning process. The participants of the study were 621 secondary grammar school students whose responses to a questionnaire were the main data source. The results of the study demonstrate that students with higher levels of teacher support experience lower language anxiety levels in comparison to their peers with lower levels of teacher support. Students who have a feeling that they can count on the instructor’s help, advice, assistance, or backing manage the learning process more successfully. They evaluate their language abilities highly and receive better final grades. Nevertheless, gender and residential location do not moderate teacher support and language anxiety due to the specificity of the sample consisting of novice secondary grammar school students.
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    The self as a complex dynamic system
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2011) Mercer, Sarah
    This article explores the potential offered by complexity theories for under-standing language learners’ sense of self and attempts to show how the self might usefully be conceived of as a complex dynamic system. Rather than presenting empirical findings, the article discusses existent research on the self and aims at outlining a conceptual perspective that may inform future studies into the self and possibly other individual learner differences. The article concludes by critically considering the merits of a complexity perspective but also reflecting on the challenges it poses for research.
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    Investigating L2 spoken English through the role play learner corpus
    (2011) Nava, Andrea; Pedrazzini, Luciana
    We describe an exploratory study carried out within the University of Milan, Department of English the aim of which was to analyse features of the spo-ken English of first-year Modern Languages undergraduates. We compiled a learner corpus, the “Role Play” corpus, which consisted of 69 role-play in-teractions in English carried out by first-year students at B1+-B2 levels ac-cording to the Common European Framework of Reference. The analysis fo-cused on the students’ use of two features of spoken English grammar, tails and the discourse markers ‘yes’ and ‘yeah’. Instances of these features from the data were compared with examples of British native speaker, learner and Italian native speaker usage. Preliminary findings pointed to the role of the students’ first language, L2 proficiency and specific task features in the range and frequency of these phenomena as well as in the functions they deployed in the spoken discourse of the informants.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego