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Volume 14 Number 1, Spring 2017, Pages 1-210 PDF Download


    Antony John Kunnan

Dear Readers and Colleagues
In this first issue of 2017, there are 10 main articles along with a few book reviews and brief research reports. In the first article, Ren Oyama reports on the effects of focus-on-form (FonF) instruction on the development of the use of the past counterfactual conditional among Japanese EFL learners. The author used three groups of university students: (1) an Explicit FonF group (EFF), which received model texts and explicit grammar instruction after second language (L2) writing; (2) an Implicit FonF group (IFF), which received only model texts after L2 writing; and (3) a Focus on Meaning group (FonM), which engaged in L2 writing only. The results showed that EFF outperformed IFF and FonM, and that IFF outperformed FonM in the written sentence-completion test.
Chaochang Wang explores the relationship between learners' perceptions of classroom interaction and learners' communication motivation and communication apprehension. A total of 162 sophomore student participants majoring in applied English at a university in Taiwan took part in the study. The results showed statistically significant correlations between the learners' perceptions of classroom interaction and three variables: English-language classroom communication apprehension, intrinsic motivation, and years of English learning.
Bahareh Kamalian, Hassan Soleimani and Mahmud Safari report on an investigation on the effect of task-based reading activities such as text completion and student- generated questions on vocabulary learning and retention. Three intact classes of learners who had already finished Top Notch Fundamental A and B in previous semesters in an English language institute were selected as the study participants. A one-way ANOVA and repeated measure ANOVA indicated that using task-based reading activities such as text completion and pupil-generated questions has statistically significant and meaningful impact on learners' vocabulary learning and retention.
Jihyeon Jeon and Hyoshin Lee examines the key policies put into practice to improve the quality of English education in Korea. A total of 1039 secondary teachers working in Daegu participated in the survey administered twice in 2010 and in 2016. The study focused on secondary teachers' responses to those policies in attaining policy goals. The authors concluded that in the inception stage, all policies seem equally important. But, after some practice, relative importance and the priority became clearer. In addition, they added that when policy is being implemented differently from its purpose at the surface level, the performance of the policy can be difficult to evaluate.
Hideo Watanabe examines model writing texts in two types of English teaching and learning materials for high school students in Japan: public and commercial textbooks with a corpus of 73 texts. This article aims to identify what genres and schematic structures of the genres are provided as model texts to teach and learn English writing in these textbooks. It was found that in the commercial textbooks, only a limited range of genres was provided while, in the public textbooks, a variety of genres such as information reports, everyday procedures and sequential explanations was included.
Hye-Kyung Kim shows through a case study how the identity of a Korean nonnative English-speaking teacher was continuously negotiated and resituated according to how she positioned herself and how she perceived others positioned her in educational and social contexts. The data sources for the study included initial and follow-up individual interviews, group conversations, and artifacts. This study revealed that critical practices can help demystify the ideology of native speakerism and concluded that language teacher education programs should provide non-native English speaker teachers with frequent and consistent opportunities to raise their critical awareness of how language and ideology are structured by social and political practices.
Mitsuko Tanaka reports on motivation for short in-class extensive reading (ER) and examined factors affecting the motivations using self-determination theory (SDT). Japanese university learners of English as a foreign language responded to a questionnaire designed to measure four hypothesized predictors of ER motivation in the middle of an academic year, and five subtypes of SDT motivation for short in-class ER at the end of the academic year. The main results of a recursive path analysis showed that (1) perceived autonomy had a positive impact on motivation, leading to higher intrinsic motivation and identified regulation, and lower amotivation, introjected regulation, and external regulation; (2) positive peer influences had a positive impact on intrinsic motivation and identified regulation); and (3) perceived competence was neither associated with amotivation nor more self-determined types of motivation.
Azizullah Mirzaei, Leila Shakibei and Ali Akbar Jafarpour explores the effect of cumulative Group-Dynamic assessment on depth of vocabulary knowledge in an EFL context. A total of 50 EFL learners were selected from a junior high school in Iran after administering the Oxford Quick Placement Test were randomly assigned to two equal groups, namely, experimental Group-Dynamic assessment and control Non-Dynamic assessment. The Group-Dynamic assessment group was instructed through interactionist cumulative Group-Dynamic Assessment procedures while the control group was taught without providing any cumulative ZPD-sensitive feedback. The split-plot ANOVA results revealed that the implementation of interactionist cumulative Group-Dynamic assessment helped the learners outperform the Non-Dynamic assessment group on both immediate and delayed posttests.
Bakhtiar Naghdipour reports on his investigation of EFL language teachers' and learners' evaluation of classroom-based pair and group work activities during an intensive English language program. Data were collected from 26 teachers and 178 pre-intermediate students using surveys and semi-structured interviews at an international university in Cyprus. The data analysis revealed that despite acknowledging the benefits involved in using pair and group work tasks in their classes, more than half of the participants reported that students developed the feelings of boredom and demotivation toward participating in classroom-based collaborative activities.
Fan (Gabriel) Fang, Lanxi Hu and Jennifer Jenkins reports on an investigation of Chinese overseas students' perceptions of the influence of English on the Chinese language and culture. Adopting a series of qualitative interviews, this study investigated the attitudes of overseas Chinese students studying in the UK towards the influence of English on the Chinese language. The authors concluded that although the Chinese language is developing quite rapidly with both L1 and L2 speakers, English represents an important channel for people's personal development, and English as a lingua franca will continue to be used for a range of purposes in many Chinese people's lives.
As the new Editor-in-Chief, taking the reins after Bernard Spolsky and Andy Kirkpatrick is no small feat but I will give it my best effort. I would like all of you to join my effort by submitting manuscripts for consideration as well as by writing to me or the other editors with your ideas to strengthen the academic quality and readability of the articles, reviews and reports and other features.

Antony John Kunnan
Macao, March 2017