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Volume 10 Number 2, Summer 2013, Pages 1-148   

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From the Editor-in-Chief

    Bernard Spolsky

In the first paper, Hsueh Chu Chen of the Hong Kong Institute of Education reports on a study, small in the number of participants but involving multiple measures, of the relationship between reading comprehension proficiency and various aspects of phonological knowledge. With the selected group of subjects, the ability to read nonsense words and to recognize word stress turned out to be significantly correlated with reading comprehension. This is a useful pilot study that will need to be expanded to include a wider range of subjects.
In the next paper, Kobra Jamshidi of Kharazmi University, Iran, compares two groups of Iranian immigrants to the USA, one first generation who will take seven to ten years to reach English proficiency, and the second who have been born in the USA. With about 75 high school children in each group, the study found moderately higher motivation in the immigrant group, but higher proficiency and acculturation in those born in the US. Those born in America were still far from developing academic language proficiency.
Mi-Lim Ryoo of Korea Maritime University, South Korea reports on a study of the use of phrasal verbs by 257 Korean students in their written work, and compared this with the pattern shown by native speakers in a published study. There was overlap in the most common cases.
In the fourth paper, W. L. Quint Oga-Baldwin of the Fukuoka University of Education, Japan and Yoshiyuki Nakata of the Hyogo University of Teacher Education, Japan investigated the controversial use of foreign native-speaking teachers and reported that in fact the homeroom teacher appeared to be a more influential role model at the elementary school level.
Finally, Wenxia Zhang and Meihua Liu of Tsinghua University, China studied the relationship between test anxiety, strategy choice and performance in a oral test: about 2500 university students reported that they thought anxiety helped while in fact greater anxiety was associated with poorer results; there were complex relationships between perception of anxiety and choice of strategies.
In the decade that this journal has been published, there has been a steady rise in the quality of published articles, so that while its studies still tend to be small (reflecting the lack of funding support for research in the field), they have now attained an international standard of excellence. This has been largely thanks to the contributions of the editors and the reviewers in winnowing out the best papers and helping shape them. Given this fact, I have realized that 35 years of journal editing (I started with Applied Linguistics, continued with Language Policy, and have been with this journal since it began) is enough, and I will be stepping down in October from the role of Editor-in-chief, confident that there will be others to carry on the task.

Jerusalem, June 2013
Bernard Spolsky,
Editor-in-chief and Asia TEFL Publications Executive Director