Accents Asia Journal of the Teachers College Columbia University Japan Alumni Association
Accents AsiaJournal of the Teachers College Columbia University Japan Alumni Association

Current Issue: Volume 10 Issue 2, December 2018

What Language-Learning Strategies L2 English Learners Use at a U.S. University Library: An Observational Study

Jiun-Iung Lei, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C.
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ABSTRACT
Recently, more and more researchers are aware of the need to use qualitative methods for a richer description of the employment of language learning strategies (Griffiths & Oxford, 2014). However, merely a dearth of studies investigated L2 English learners’ strategy use through the qualitative mode—observation. Filling this niche, this study aimed to examine the process of L2 English learners’ strategy use based on an observation. The setting of this study was at the main library of the Indiana University of Pennsylvanian (IUP), which was not only a place for the L2 English learners to study, but also a site where social flows were active. In this productive setting for observation, I took the role of an unobtrusive observer. In order to observe and identify the learners’ strategies, I utilized the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (Oxford, R. L., 1990) as the observation scheme. Eight emergent themes were coded to describe the learners’ behaviors. Five of them could be categorized with SILL taxonomies, while the other three couldn’t. The integration of the themes led to the argument that the L2 English learners at the library are not just regular patrons, but also active language learning strategy users.   

 


Inroads to Student Motivation in the Language Classroom: J-Pop

Adrianne Verla Uchida, Nihon University, Japan
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ABSTRACT
As English is taught as a foreign language in Japan, the issue of whose English should be taught, how it should be taught and by whom are just a few of the questions that educators must decide when implementing a foreign language program. The answers to those questions then often have a direct influence on the learner and how their identity is shaped through learning English. Additionally, integrating pop culture materials that students are familiar with into the EFL classroom is useful as a means of addressing the concept of “cool” and globalization. This paper will review and draw on the ideas of globalization, identity, code switching and performativity - the way in which we perform acts of identity through cultural and social interactions or performance (Pennycook, 2003, p. 528), previously used to research about hip-hop culture in Japanese language and culture while broadening the focus to include Japanese pop (J-pop) and rock music. It will also examine the recent increase of English used in popular Japanese music and attempt to draw conclusions about the reasons why that is, the effects that it has on Japanese culture, especially in determining what is cool, and how it can be utilized in the EFL classroom

 

 

Contrasting Pragmatic Elements of L2 Japanese and L2 English Learning: A Closer Look at Refusals and Indirect Opinions

Tarin Christopher Griswold, United States Air Force Academy, USA
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ABSTRACT
This paper examines the acquisition of pragmatically correct refusal and indirect opinion strategies by first language (L1) English learners of Japanese, and mirror image pragmatic acquisition of L1 Japanese learners of English. The scholarly evidence seemingly indicates that both L2 learners of English and Japanese can acquire and adopt pragmatically correct refusal and indirect opinion utterances and strategies, either through explicit instruction, or incidentally through target language (TL) immersion environments. Nevertheless, advanced levels of general TL language proficiency do not always appear to correlate to corresponding levels of pragmatic aptitude in the specific areas examined. In fact, pragmatically appropriate speech patterns may often be inconsistently adopted due to a variety of factors, which may point to a greater need for explicit pragmatics instruction in TL classroom environments. 

 

 

The Complexity of Knowing and Serving Japanese Returnees: Issues of Language Maintenance or Attrition

Gota Hayashi, Tokyo Keizai University, Gakushuin University
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ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on how psycholinguistic, educational, and social factors can influence Japanese returnees’ levels of language attrition or maintenance. First, varieties of Japanese returnees from psycholinguistic, educational, and social perspectives are discussed. Second, each factor and its bearing on the attrition/maintenance of their second language is covered. Japanese returnees are diverse in terms of their psycholinguistic profile, making the profiles too diverse to come up with generalizable solutions that work for any returnee. As with the social perspective, the degree of dissonance felt by the returnees differs case by case, and any given event that a returnee may feel discomforted by, may promote a returnee to strive towards maintenance or improvement and another returnee to act in ways that may cause attrition. Provided this complex situation, it is argued that the only possible educational solution to maintenance and attrition is for each returnee to think long term.

 

 

Project-Based EFL Speaking Activity: The English Funfair

Yustinus Calvin Gai Mali, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (Salatiga, Indonesia)
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ABSTRACT

This paper explicates and justifies activities of the Student English Funfair (SEF) project, a campus event that is used to assess students English as a Foreign Language (EFL) speaking performances in an authentic setting outside the classroom. The paper details pedagogical practices and learning resources deployed in speaking classes. The interactions indicate that the SEF project coupled with Project Based Learning (PBL) provides opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in the classrooms and speak English in an authentic setting. Moreover, the project is a way to make the students practice communication, critical thinking, and creative and collaborative skills. The paper hopes to provide EFL teachers with materials that they can modify and implement in their EFL speaking classes. Further, the paper benefits teachers who need authentic speaking activities that provide opportunities for their students to practice speaking English beyond their classroom walls.

JALT Yokohama Special Issue: “Tech@Tamagawa” 

Forward to the Special Issue

Brett Milliner, Tamagawa University, Japan

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Building Sentences with Web 2.0 and the Tatoeba Database
Paul Raine, J. F. Oberlin University
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ABSTRACT
Sentence translation activities have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with a number of hugely successful language learning websites adopting translation as their pedagogical basis. This paper introduces Sentence Builder, a web-based tool that utilizes the Tatoeba sentence database and Web 2.0 technologies to generate effective and engaging sentence translation tasks. Pedagogical justifications for this tool include the argument that translation itself should be regarded as the fifth macro skill; that translation is highly amenable to gamification; and that the process of contrastive analysis and translation offer numerous benefits to language learners. The paper concludes by arguing that CALL-powered translation-based activities could be effectively exploited by both English language teachers and learners.

 


Facilitating Cooperative Vocabulary Study with Google Sheets & Quizlet Live
Paul McKenna, Tamagawa Gakuen University
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ABSTRACT
The approach outlined promotes efficient and enjoyable vocabulary study through teamwork and competitive play. A team reading activity is described. Then, students collaborate to identify new vocabulary for further study. Along with definitions and translations, the new vocabulary is recorded on Google Sheets, an online spreadsheet that allows multiple users to edit the same document. Vocabulary flashcards can quickly be created from the spreadsheet using the online application Quizlet, and reviewed immediately via Quizlet Live, a mobile-based team quiz game. Students report high levels of enjoyment, which motivates them to identify new vocabulary for the next iteration of this activity.

 


A Teacher’s Model of Self-Directed Learning
Gota Hayashi, Tokyo Keizai University, Gakushuin University
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ABSTRACT
This paper shows how one teacher used technology as a tool to model self-directed learning for his students. This was done so that other teachers can gain ideas and flexibly apply them to their own teaching contexts to motivate students or apply ideas to their own self-directed learning to motivate themselves. Three key points are discussed following an introduction to a shortcoming and the benefits of self-directed learning. They include: (1) constructing a personal self-directed learning plan using PowerPoint, (2) sharing self-directed learning plans as well as progress on self-directed learning on Moodle, and (3) sharing the teacher’s personally selected online resources. 

 


MOOCs for In and Out of EFL Classroom
Tokiko Hori, Soka University
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ABSTRACT
The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been a buzzword ever since Coursera, edX and Udacity launched their services consecutively in 2012. An increasing number of courses are opening every day, and students are enrolling from everywhere around the globe. In this short article, the author introduces practical examples of the application of MOOCs to EFL teaching in and out of the classroom, as well as utilizing MOOCs for her professional development as a language teacher.

 


Introducing Generic Staging through Music Videos 
Brett Laybutt, College of Business and Communication, Kawasaki, Japan
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ABSTRACT 
This short paper will describe an activity presented at Yokohama JALT Tech Myshare on January 22, 2017, on using music videos in order to introduce the concept of 'staging' in written genres to low-level EFL classes. Specifically, the video "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim (<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCDIYvFmgW8>) featuring the actor Christopher Walken was used to introduce the four stages of a ‘recount’ genre and then to scaffold writing activities.

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