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Volume 13 Number 2, Summer 2016, Pages 72-161 PDF Download


    Andy Kirkpatrick

Dear Readers and Colleagues

Welcome to the latest edition of The Journal of Asia TEFL, which is now fully on-line. In this issue we publish five articles.

In the first article, Yuko Goto Butler and Kyungsook Yeum describe and evaluate a method of peer coaching. They implemented an on-line peer coaching method involving Korean primary school English teachers. They discovered that teachers need to engage in two distinct types of dialogue: 'intradialoges' which are inner dialogues that teachers conduct when reflecting on the intentions and actions of their peers; and 'interdialogues', which are dialogues teachers engage in with their peers. They call the ability to engage in both these types of dialogues 'dialogic competence' and argue that the acquisition of dialogic competence is extremely important for teachers' professional development.

The second article also has teachers' professional development as its theme. In this reflective, thoughtful and thought-provoking article Mehrshad Ahmadian and Parviz Maftoon argue that, for language teacher education to be successful, it must develop critical awareness among language teachers. To develop critical awareness, the authors propose and discuss a range of activities which include collaborative discussion circles, language
teachers' diaries and seeking advice from peers. The authors also acknowledge that the development of critical awareness among language teachers can take time and requires effort and determination.

The focus of the third article remains on teachers. Justin Harris investigates English teachers' beliefs about task-based language teaching in Japan. The author conducted an online survey involving 78 respondents, all of whom were members of a special interest group concerning task-based language teaching. Four main themes were identified from the responses to the survey namely: issues related to task design; the need to actively involve students; the need for teachers to be aware of students as individuals; and problems related to the overall education environment in Japan. The author then provides practical activities and suggestions for addressing these themes. He concludes, 'through careful attention to such areas, the challenge of bringing TBLT into classrooms in Japan and other Asian EFL countries may be less arduous than many think it to be'.

In the fourth article, the author, Ayako Kobayashi, examines and evaluates a model of metacognitive instruction used with students of English. Using a range of rigorous tools, including structural equation modeling (SEM), the author investigated the impact of metacognitive instruction on students' metacognition, self-efficacy, interaction strategies and oral communication skills. The author concludes that the model 'supports the assertion that metacognitive knowledge (e.g., their awareness of why interactional competence is important, how they can improve such competence in their learning contexts, and strategy knowledge) can be enhanced through intervention' and that this leads to more appropriate interaction strategies and higher oral communication skills.

In this issue's fifth and final article, the authors, Tae-Young Kim and Yoon-Kyoung Kim, explored the changes in attitudes and motivation among Korean high school students of English over the period between 2002-2010. Three different sets of students completed the same questionnaire in 2002, 2006 and 2010. A total of some 1500 students were surveyed in this way. Nine motivational factors were identified: instrumental, extrinsic, intrinsic, cultural-exchange, heuristic, international posture, self-development, competitive, and amusement motivation. The authors noted interesting changes in motivation across the three groups of students. Perhaps worryingly, they showed a significant increase in competitive motivation with students' desire to better their peers becoming an increasingly important factor over the period.

The book review section, edited by Michelle Gu of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, reviews three books and we hope these will be both informative and useful to our readers.

Andy Kirkpatrick
London, May 2016