Varieties of Integrated-Skills Instruction
Gordon Myskow, Kanda University of International Studies
Aiko Minematsu, Sophia University
Taron Plaza, Komazawa Women’s University
Jonathan Andreano, Kaichi Nihonbashi Gakuen Junior and Senior High School
Like other ESL/EFL buzzwords such as Content-Based Instruction (CBI) and Task-based Learning (TBL), Integrated-skills Instruction is a popular catchphrase that encompasses a range of classroom practices. However, unlike these other terms that have much literature devoted to them, there has been far less discussion of the varieties of integrated-skills instruction. On the one hand, this is unsurprising. Skills-integration is probably best thought of not as an instructional approach in itself, but a corollary or byproduct of other approaches such as CBI and TBL that take principles other than the mastery of discrete skills as their instructional entry point (see Oxford, 2001). On the other hand, considering the ubiquity of the term and its use among practitioners, course designers, and textbook publishers, it is worthwhile digging deeper into the concept to gain a clearer understanding of its attributes and applications. This paper aims to bring greater clarity to the term by proposing the following distinctions: global/local and strong/weak skills integration. To illustrate them, the authors present syllabi and classroom activities from university, secondary, and elementary school contexts in Japan.
Facilitating Revision Skill in L2 Writing Instruction: The Roles of Teacher and Peer Feedback
Sachiko Igarashi, Koka Gakuen Junior and Senior High School for Girls, Tokyo
This paper seeks to investigate the roles of teacher and peer feedback that will facilitate revision in L2 writing instruction. Research suggests that revision is regarded as a vital stage of the entire process of writing and plays a key role to prompt L2 acquisition. Given this, writing teachers or researches have raised a growing concern about the use of teacher commentary and peer response for effective L2 learner revision. Although feedback differs in terms of types, approaches, effectiveness, goals or other aspects, it is extremely important that writing teachers make most use of teacher and peer feedback with a critical, analytical and evaluative view and sufficient understanding of the features for each feedback. The paper concludes that L2 learners will be able to foster self-revision skills and build their own autonomy in writing with the support of feedback during the interim phase of developing L2 writing skills.
Apology Strategies in English and Vietnamese
Thu M. Lau, Oklahoma State University
The paper examined the differences in apology strategies between native speakers of English and advanced Vietnamese ESL learners as well as the factors that might result in those differences through discourse completion tests (DCTs). The data were coded in terms of five apology strategies, and were analyzed according to four situational categories in relation to age, dominance, social distance, and weight of offence. The result indicated that the apologies of the Vietnamese ESL learners showed more politeness and respect for people from higher status, closeness to a friend, less courtesy to an equal and less respect (but greater intimacy) for their kid, a family member. By contrast, the degree of politeness, sincerity and respect of the apologies of the native speakers depended heavily on the weight of offence and the situation itself. The acts of apologizing of the Vietnamese group were significantly influenced by the hierarchical culture of Vietnam, and their restricted linguistic competence as well.