The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of explicit instruction on the acquisition of infrequent formulaic sequences (FSs) by second language (L2) learners. To achieve this, I used pen-and-paper tests to measure the participants’ productive and receptive knowledge of the target FSs before and after the treatment. I also investigated the effect of explicit instruction on L2 learners’ use of FSs in their writing. The participants wrote an opinion essay before and after the treatment. The results of the pen-and-paper tests showed that the participants’ knowledge of the target items was enhanced both productively and receptively. The finding suggests that formulaic sequences can be learned explicitly before they are acquired through implicit cognitive
processes. A qualitative analysis of the essays revealed that L2 learners are able to use infrequent formulaic sequences in writing if taught explicitly, suggesting that not only forms, but also form-meaning relationships can be learned through explicit instruction.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects that an instructional method which combines
explicit grammar instruction and Focus on Form has on Japanese students’ learning of relative
pronouns. The method was designed by referring to the three-dimensional grammar framework
(Larsen-Freeman, 2001), which is composed of form, meaning, and use. Twenty-two Japanese university EFL students participated in the study. Japanese-English translation tests were conducted as pre- and post-tests to measure the effects of the new instructional method. In analyzing the result of the tests, relative pronouns were divided into twelve types depending on (1) whether they were used as subjects or objects of verbs and (2) whether antecedents were subjects, objects, or complements in sentences. Analysis of the results revealed that the students scored higher on the post-test regardless of the types of relative pronouns. The results also revealed, however, that it was difficult for the students to embed relative clauses in sentences when the antecedents were subjects. Therefore, it is necessary for teacher to spend more time providing the students with explicit instruction for this type of relative pronouns.
L2 learning motivation has received a lot of interest from language teachers and researchers in the field. It is unfortunate, however, that little attention has been paid to the dynamic fluctuation of language learning motivation. The aim of this study is to understand the fluctuation in the learning motivation of one Japanese learner of English through narratives of learning experiences. The data gathered through individual interviews was analyzed qualitatively by means of Personal Attitude Construct (PAC) Analysis and Trajectory Equifinality Approach (TEA). This study focused on the period of time when the learning motivation underwent a drastic change. The results of the study
revealed the particular social factors that had an effect on the learner's motivation and demotivation with regards to English language learning. What is more, this study shows that the learner’s beliefs and values about the purpose of English learning were affected by various perspective changing encounters with both influential role models, and with other learners in the same environment that
resulted in comparisons.
Leading theorists of extensive reading (ER) have emphasized the importance of students’ choosing books freely in ER. This method has proved to be effective, but one cannot conduct an ER course without a large collection of books. In this study we tried a different approach suggested by Professor Yasuhiro Shirai. In this method, called “L-S reading,” the students all listen to and then read the same book in the classroom. This paper reports an experiment where 17
university students in Japan took an ER course using this method while the control group was taught by the grammar-translation method. The results show that those in the treatment performed better in reading comprehension and had a sense of improvement, suggesting that L-S reading could be a serious alternative to conventional ER instruction for many teachers, particularly when they find difficulties in conducting a conventional ER course.