This article explains how research "on" practitioners can be turned into research "for and with" practitioners (Cameron, Frazer, Rampton, & Richardson, 1992, p. 22) by including these practitioners in the research teams. Methodologically, it draws on two decades of multimethod research and knowledge transformation at the interface of Applied Linguistics and transdisciplinary action research on professional communication (Perrin, 2013). Empirically, it is based on large corpora of data collected in multilingual and multicultural workplaces. First, the article outlines transdisciplinary action research as a theoretical framework that enables researchers and practitioners to collaboratively develop sustainable solutions to real-world problems in which language use in general and text production in particular play a substantial role. Then, progression analysis is explained as a multimethod approach to investigate text production practices in natural environments such as workplaces. Examples from three domains (education, finance, and translation) illustrate what value transdisciplinary collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners can add to knowledge generation in Applied Linguistics. The article concludes by suggesting empirically based measures for research that contribute to the development of both theory and practice in Applied Linguistics.
How can ELT research be further developed? This question is approached by examining the relationship between Team Learning, a new learning practice, and Exploratory Practice, an innovative form of practitioner research. The concept of Team Learning has emerged through a reinterpretation of a traditional Team Teaching practice by Soft Systems Methodology, a soft systems approach. The paper shows how Team Learning and Exploratory Practice support and develop each other through a shared set of common principles. The discussion about the commonalities of Team Learning and Exploratory Practice aims to illustrate how similar processes could be adapted to other approaches in ELT research and revitalize the field of Applied Linguistics with new dynamic practices.
This research explores how translanguaging (Garcí & Li, 2014) and trans-semiotizing, approaches can facilitate students' expansion of their communicative repertoires to gradually make new ways of speaking, writing, and unfamiliar registers their own (Lin, 2012, 2017, 2019; He, Lai & Lin, 2017). Drawing on the sociocultural and social-semiotic perspectives, the study investigates meaning making in a multilingual CLIL classroom through fine-grained analysis of a series of lesson observation videos, teaching materials and sample student works collected during a school-university collaborative project on building up the CLIL capacity of teachers and South Asian minoritized students in Hong Kong. The results of this study shed light on how teachers design spaces for translanguaging and trans-semiotizing (Lin, 2019; Lin, Wu & Lemke, 2020) and spaces for target language and register use in the different stages of a curriculum genre (Rothery, 1996). The Multimodalities-Extextualization Cycle (MEC) is proposed and discussed as a heuristic curriculum genre for CLIL education (Lin 2015b, 2016). The study concludes by discussing theoretical and pedagogical implications and providing implementation suggestions for CLIL curriculum and teacher professional development (He & Lin, 2018; Lo, 2020).
This study investigated how learner beliefs relating to self-regulated learning were characterized and whether these beliefs changed over time during English self-study. Self-regulated learning functions effectively when supported by motivational beliefs, and many studies have confirmed its role in classroom settings; however, self-study which is detached from teachers and grades has not been examined. Two university students (Kei and Takushi) participated in the research and were willing to learn extra English through self-study. Using online material, they began to learn English independently. Over seven months, they set and reflected on learning goals. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted, and excerpts regarding the participants' beliefs were extracted and categorized using qualitative thematic analysis. Five learner belief elements seemed to explain attitudes towards self-regulated learning during self-study. Kei displayed strong learner beliefs regarding the value of learning, the self, and learning management, which appeared to be the core ideas underpinning his self-regulated learning. Takushi also had a strong belief in language learning and its value, but sometimes these interfaced negatively, leading him to experience difficulty in conducting self-study based only on his own motivation.
This paper argues that the L2 language teaching field has struggled to implement communicative language teaching (CLT) as it was originally conceived because theorists and practitioners have not reflected on the concept of communication deeply enough. As a result, the term CLT has come to mean very different things to different people. In order to move the field forward, the authors recommend that practitioners adopt VanPatten's (2019) definition of communication. This paper first explains VanPatten's definition in detail and gives examples of what kinds of practices and materials are communicative and uncommunicative. Next, the paper reviews other scholars' criteria for judging communicativeness and discusses their relative merits in comparison to VanPatten's definition. Finally, the paper states why VanPatten's definition of communication, although it may appear narrow and constraining, is so necessary for current language teaching.
As part of the English-language curriculum for a new language program with non-English majors at a private university, we have adopted a computer test that emphasizes the development of speaking skills. It was not realistic to develop a localized speaking test because of the limited resources of our institute. Therefore, we decided to adopt a commercially available speaking test. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey of the students immediately after they took the speaking tests both at the beginning and at the end of the program to observe the validity of the test use from the learners' perspective. We briefly describe quantitative results for both the speaking test and the questionnaire. In addition, we present the results of text analysis of the post-questionnaire by using KH Coder (Higuchi, 2016, 2017). On the basis of the results we have obtained in this study, we conclude by noting the importance of the "alignment" between assessment and content in order to make the program successful and to provide visible results to the learners.
It has been criticized that English education in Japanese schools has been heavily loaded with language-focused learning. As a result, many college students are not even able to carry out basic conversation in English. Nation (2012) suggested a four-strand approach to language learning to balance our different types of learning and maximize their effects. These four strands are meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, fluency development, and language-focused learning. According to Nation, each strand should have approximately one fourth of learning time allocated. The present study applied this approach to university English conversation classes in order to examines its effectiveness. As a result, it has been found that Nation's four-strand approach is quite effective. First, many students improved their fluency significantly and also gained more confidence in speaking English. Secondly, it was found that fluency and accuracy related activities can often go hand in hand; in fact, these two sometimes intertwined and mutually help each other. Thirdly, meaning-focused activities highly motivated the leaners and made learning much more fun. Fourthly, the four-strand approach allowed the instructor to see what was lacking or what was excessive in the teaching plans. The four-strand approach is highly recommended for college English classes.
In recent years, peer assessment has become of particular interest in educational assessment with the increasing emphasis on active learning. Although a considerable number of studies have shown that peer assessment is a good pedagogical method for teaching language, there is little agreement as to if it can be used to supplement teacher assessment as a formal assessment; hence, this study explores one way to lead toward more sophisticated peer assessment. In two English classes, university students gave two presentations: the first presentation (FP) and the second presentation (SP). In the experimental group (EG), after FP, peer assessments were analyzed using the FACETS computer program, and each student received comments from their teacher about the quality of their peer assessment. Meanwhile, in the control group (CG), students did not obtain any comments between FP and SP. This study concerned how those comments affected peer assessments of SP. The results indicated that, in EG, unexpected responses dramatically decreased and the wider variety of score categories were utilized in SP. Moreover, the bias interactions between raters and items of the EG also significantly decreased. Overall, the study indicated the effectiveness of indicating how students had undertaken their previous peer assessment.