Volume 26 Number 1, 2022

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    Integrating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Developing content for virtual exchanges
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-05-02) Lenkaitis, Chesla Ann
    The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet” (United Nations, 2020a). The SDGs, which include gender equality, quality education, and ending poverty, are those objectives that must be met by all countries “in a global partnership” (United Nations, 2020a). With the 2030 Agenda in mind, this Virtual Exchange (VE) study reveals learners in different geographical locations who are partnered with one another via technology can benefit from the embedding of SDG content into their VE (Dooly, 2017; Forward et al., 2020). This article focuses on two parallel, but separate, Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) six-week VEs. Teacher trainees from a university in the United States were partnered with other teacher trainees from a university in Poland and/or Colombia. In another cohort, second language (L2) learners of Spanish from a university in the United States were partnered with those from a university in Poland. In each of these groupings, participants completed SCMC sessions via Zoom and discussed the SDGs. Qualitative and quantitative data reveal that awareness of these universal objectives increased and afforded them new perspectives. By using a culturally sensitive lens, teacher trainees developed teaching strategies and L2 learners increased their intercultural competence. These results suggest that integrating SDG content into virtual exchange can support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and can make a contribution to the field of VE.
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    Investigating learner autonomy and vocabulary learning efficiency with MALL
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-04-18) Daly, Nigel P.
    The road to second language competence is a long and arduous one, and much of its effort involves learning to recognize and use vocabulary. Fortunately, anytime-anywhere learning with smart phones and smart apps offer a means to lessen the burden and make vocabulary learning more efficient. Accordingly, this study investigated 134 students across four months and evaluated the effectiveness of their individual vocabulary learning strategies (only flashcard app; paper-based notes and wordlists; both notes and flashcard app) in terms of three different vocabulary test scores. The Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test and pairwise comparisons revealed that the Only App Group had significantly higher test scores than both the Only Notes Group and the blended Notes/App Group with medium and small effect sizes (r = 0.49 and 0.27, respectively). A Fixed Effects model was run to determine the extent study strategies in addition to gender, (TOEIC) proficiency, time spent studying, time spent using the app, and frequency of studying, were correlated with test scores. In this moderator analysis, the Only App Group strategy was no longer statistically significant and was replaced by the factor “total time using the app” (p = .005) which was positively correlated with test scores.
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    Learners’ engagement on a social networking platform: An ecological analysis
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-04-04) Lyu, Boning ; Lai, Chun
    Language learners are actively engaging in language learning beyond the classroom. However, social networking sites, despite playing a major role in people’s lives, have been found to be rarely incorporated into language learners’ learning ecologies. An understanding of the factors that shape learners’ engagement on instruction-oriented social networking sites could inform platform design and enhance the likelihood of platforms being utilized. This study examined a group of language learners’ engagement on an instruction-oriented social networking site, Lang-8, over time. Using narrative data and learners’ behavioral data on the platform, the study revealed how various ecological resources on and outside the platform interacted with one another to shape the dynamic changes in different dimensions of learners’ engagement on the platform over time. The study also suggested that learners’ engagement on the platform further induced reconstruction of their language learning ecologies, providing additional learning opportunities both on and beyond the platform. The findings highlight the importance of supporting learner engagement on technological platforms in an informal learning context and provide insights into how such support could be achieved through system design.
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    Toward a flipped 5E model for teaching problem-solution writing in ESL courses: A two-year longitudinal experiment
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-03-28) Lam, Yau Wai ; Hew, Khe Foon ; Jia, Chengyuan
    Many English-as-Second-Language (ESL) learners find it highly challenging to write problem-solution essays. This difficulty is partly caused by the pedagogies commonly used in traditional classroom settings, which have two major in-vivo constraints: time limits and low student engagement. This study proposes an innovative theory-driven instructional model for teaching problem-solution writing, namely the flipped 5E PSW (problem-solution writing) model. The flipped 5E PSW model is built upon three theoretical or conceptual models: (a) Jonassen’s design theory for case/policy analysis problem-solving, (b) the flipped learning model, and (c) Bybee’s 5E learning model. Two groups of 23 ESL secondary school students, both taught by the same teacher, were assigned to either the flipped or non-flipped versions of the instructional model. The students were assessed individually over a two-year longitudinal experiment to measure the impact of the intervention. The results, as measured by mixed ANOVAs, indicated that the flipped 5E PSW model was more effective than the non-flipped version for improving students’ performance in problem- solution writing. This application of the flipped 5E PSWmodel in a two-year real-world school environment has demonstrated its capacity for overcoming traditional classroom constraints.
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    Training in machine translation post-editing for foreign language students
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-03-21) Zhang, Hong ; Torres-Hostench, Olga
    The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE) training for FL students. Our hypothesis was that with specific MTPE training, students will able to detect and correct machine translation mistakes in their FL. Training materials were developed to detect six typical mistakes from Machine Translation (MT) raw output: Accuracy, Word Order, Official Name, Preposition, Omission, and Formal Style. The training materials include three levels of difficulty: Initial - ability to spot a mistake, Intermediate - ability to classify the type of mistake, and Advanced - ability to correct the mistake. A pretest-posttest design with a control group and a trained experimental group was chosen to test the effectiveness of the training programme. In the posttest, the experimental group could identify and correct more mistakes successfully. and in less time than the control group, especially for omission, official name and preposition. Accuracy, formal style, and word order errors were more difficult to correct. Results suggest that specific MTPE training is not only useful to identify and correct MT mistakes but also a way to incorporate a critical view on machine translation in FL classes.