Volume 22 Number 3, October 2018

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
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    Pre-task planning in L2 text-chat: Examining learners’ process and performance
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Ziegler, Nicole
    Research suggests that pre-task planning time provides learners with opportunities to formulate, organize, and mentally store content, thereby freeing up attentional resources during tasks (Skehan, Xiaoyue, Qian, & Wang, 2012). However, relatively few studies to date have investigated pre-task planning in a synchronous computer-mediated communication setting (e.g., Lai, Fei, & Roots, 2008; Hsu, 2012, 2015). In addition to a scarcity of computer-assisted language learning research, relatively little is known about what learners do when they plan or how they use their plans during tasks. The goals of the current study were twofold: (a) to examine the relationship between pre-task planning and learners’ production and (b) to explore the affordances offered by computer-mediated contexts to further investigate how and what learners may (or may not) be planning during pre-task and within-task planning time. Results suggest that three minutes of planning time resulted in increases in lexical complexity (but not phrasal or syntactic), although no significant findings were identified for accuracy or fluency. In addition, findings indicate that technology offers researchers a number of unique methodological affordances, such as the ability to see what learners produce, regardless of whether they transmit this information to their interlocutor, thereby providing evidence of L2 knowledge that would otherwise be unobservable.
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    Child-to-child interaction and corrective feedback during eTandem ESL–FSL chat exchanges
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Giguère, Christine ; Parks, Susan
    This study examined the role of corrective feedback in the context of an English as a second language (ESL) and French as a second language (FSL) eTandem chat exchange involving Grade 6 students. The students were enrolled in intensive programs in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario and had an elementary to low- intermediate level of language proficiency. Tasks were completed on a weekly basis over a 9-week period. Six tasks completed by 13 pairs were retained for analysis. The analysis showed that the ESL and FSL students provided three types of feedback: explicit feedback, recasts, and negotiation of form. Unlike the study by Morris (2005), which involved Grade 5 second language (L2) Spanish students, the preference in this study was for explicit feedback. This difference was attributed to the tandem approach which emphasizes training in how to give feedback as well as school culture. Differences between the amount of feedback provided during the ESL and FSL exchanges were also observed. Here, too, the influence of school culture appears to have been a factor. The ESL students appeared to be more positively oriented to L2 learning, reflected in a higher appreciation of the tandem learning exchange. Implications for teaching and the need of future research are discussed.
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    Activate space rats! Fluency development in a mobile game-assisted environment
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Grimshaw, Jennica ; Cardoso, Walcir
    Activities that promote fluency development or the automatization of speech are often ignored in second language classes because they do not teach new things; instead, they focus on speeding up language use (Nation & Newton, 2008). Anxiety also decreases chances for fluency development, as learners are less willing to produce output (Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2014), consequently hindering language development (Swain, 2000). One way of minimizing the impact of these limitations is to motivate students to speak intelligibly and fluently, preferably beyond the constraints of the language classroom. In this study, we investigated the pedagogical use of Spaceteam ESL, a mobile game that requires intelligible and fluent computer-mediated oral exchanges among players. Participants (N = 20) were low-intermediate English as a second language (ESL) students divided into two groups: the treatment group, which played Spaceteam ESL as a 15-minute warm-up activity for six weeks, and the control group, which engaged in comparable non-gaming activities. Pre-tests, post-tests, and delayed post-tests measured changes in oral fluency (i.e., syllables produced per minute and judges’ ratings) and interviews addressed factors related to anxiety and willingness to communicate (WTC). Findings indicated that learners who played Spaceteam ESL outperformed the control group in judges’ ratings for oral fluency and that the gameplay might positively influence anxiety and WTC.
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    Exploring relationships between automated and human evaluations of L2 texts
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Matthews, Joshua ; Wijeyewardene, Ingrid
    Despite the current potential to use computers to automatically generate a large range of text-based indices, many issues remain unresolved about how to apply these data in established language teaching and assessment contexts. One way to resolve these issues is to explore the degree to which automatically generated indices, which are reflective of key measures of text quality, align with parallel measures derived from locally relevant, human evaluations of texts. This study describes the automated evaluation of 104 English as a second language texts through use of the computational tool Coh-Metrix, which was used to generate indices reflecting text cohesion, lexical characteristics, and syntactic complexity. The same texts were then independently evaluated by two experienced human assessors through use of an analytic scoring rubric. The interrelationships between the computer and human generated evaluations of the texts are presented in this paper with a particular focus on the automatically generated indices that were most strongly linked to the human generated measures. A synthesis of these findings is then used to discuss the role that such automated evaluation may have in the teaching and assessment of second language writing.
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    Vocabulary learning from watching YouTube videos and reading blog posts
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Arndt, Henriette L. ; Woore, Robert
    This study compared second language vocabulary acquisition from engagement with two different online media: written blog posts and video blogs. It also explored whether there were differences between which aspects of vocabulary knowledge (i.e., orthography, semantics, and grammatical function) were best learned from these media. The results showed that incidental vocabulary learning occurred in approximately equal amounts from reading blog posts and watching video blogs. There were some indications that different types of vocabulary knowledge were gained from the two types of media. The written blog entries promoted greater gains in orthographic knowledge than the videos. There was also tentative evidence that the videos promoted greater recall of the target words’ grammatical functions and greater recognition and recall of their meanings.
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    Using wiki-mediated collaboration to foster L2 writing performance
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Hsu, Hsiu-Chen ; Lo, Yun-Fang
    This study investigated the effect of wiki-mediated collaborative writing on the development of learners’ individual writing in a second language (L2). Participants were 52 learners of English as a foreign language enrolled in two intact junior writing classes at a Taiwanese university. One class was assigned to be a wiki-collaborative writing group (n = 26), and the other an individual writing group (n = 26). Both classes participated in an individual pre-test writing, a writing task, and an individual post-test writing over a 9-week period. Students in the wiki group worked in pairs via wikis to produce an expository essay; students in the individual group produced their essays alone. Learners’ written production on the pre-test and post-test was analyzed in terms of content and organization, and linguistic complexity and accuracy. Results indicated a significant effect for wiki-mediated collaborative writing on the content quality and linguistic accuracy of learners’ individual writing in L2. Its effect on the organization and linguistic complexity, however, was less evident.
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    Online informal language learning: Insights from a Korean learning community
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Isbell, Daniel R.
    Informal language learning in online communities represents a growing area of interest. In part, this interest is due to the potential for meaningful second language (L2) communication, rather than the “learning about language” argued to be prevalent in L2 classrooms (Thorne, Black, & Sykes, 2009, p. 804). This study reports on a netnographic investigation (Kozinets, 2010) of an online community for learning Korean. Data collection took place over seven weeks and included observation of a Reddit forum, observation of a chatroom, and an open-ended questionnaire. Activity theory (Engeström, 2001) informed the analysis of the community learning activity. Contrary to what has been reported about language learning in many online communities, findings revealed relatively little target-language use and a great deal of learning about language. English was used 93% of the time on the forum, and 81% of the time in the chatroom. Other findings include highly-participatory interactional patterns for learning about linguistic forms, community rules designed to promote learning on a democratically organized web platform, and a stark division of community labor between language learners and language experts.
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    Focus on form in task-based L2 oral computer-mediated communication
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Yanguas, Inigo ; Bergin, Tyler
    This study has a twofold goal: to investigate whether task type has an effect on the number, focus, and outcome of language-related episodes (LREs) and to determine whether that effect is the same for video SCMC (VidSCMC) and audio SCMC (AudSCMC) groups. Intermediate Spanish learners participated in this study involving two jigsaw tasks based on two different picture stories. Participants were randomly placed in dyads and assigned to VidSCMC and AudSCMC groups. The dyads then performed a jigsaw task and a dictogloss task consecutively in a counterbalanced design. Repeated-measures ANOVA analyses were carried out to measure any possible significant differences in the number and nature of LREs by task and by group. The results revealed no difference in the number of LREs per task or CMC mode. However, significant differences were found in LRE foci per task. Finally, significant differences were also found in the number of unresolved LREs per mode. Results are discussed in relation to the pertinent literature.
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    Can clicker use support learning in a dual-focused second language German course?
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Roussel, Stéphanie ; Galan, Jean-Philippe
    This study investigated clicker-use impact in a legal German lecture, given to 65 French students of Law in which the learning focus was both language and content. 36 participants who attended the entire course were tested. Upon their introductory session, students took a preliminary two-fold multiple-choice questionnaire involving 16 questions on legal terminology and 16 on course content. Throughout the 10- week semester, the lecturer administered all questions during regular courses. Each weekly session was conducted alternately with or without clickers. Students answered half of the questions about language and content using clickers, whereas the remaining half involved standard conditions with volunteers raising their hands to answer. At the end of their term, students took the same initial questionnaire as a post-test. A quantitative analysis was performed to assess (a) the enhancement of the acquisition of legal terminology and course content through clicker use and (b) the impact of learners’ pre-test scores on learning gains regarding terminology and content with or without clickers. The clicker group outperformed the non-clicker group with regard to a post-test concerning legal terminology. The findings demonstrate that clicker use alleviates the cognitive load induced by learning both new terminology and content.
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    Review of Exploring spoken English learner language using corpora: Learner talk
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2018-10-01) Yuan, Xinhua