This paper aims to highlight the problem of multiple significance testing with several dependent variables (i.e., items or tests). In many research. papers, researchers report the results of multiple significance testing without realizing they are committing Type I error, in which it can be erroneously concluded that there is a statistically significant difference, when in fact there is no statistical difference. In order to address this problem, a series of Monte Carlo simulation studies were carried out. Five artificial sets of dependent variables for two groups of subjects were generated in the simulation. Three types of data sets which varied in their degrees of intercorrelations (r=.00, r=.50, r=.95, respectively) were then compared. The results indicate that multiple significance testing, with several dependent variables, inflate Type I error, and thus caution should be exercised to control the experimentwise error rate. Implications for the strategies for controlling Type I error rate are then discussed.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of applying low-pass filters to computer-assisted pronunciation training of English. Electric low-pass digital filtering of speech has been used in a considerable number of experiments to highlight the prosodic features of speech. Some attempts to apply low-pass filters to language learning have been made but the effectiveness has not yet been empirically proved. If the application is found to be effective to acquire the prosody of the target language, we might develop the training software using low-pass filtered sound. The experiment, using a pretest-posttest design, provided 13 native Japanese-speaking learners of English with 10 time training sessions focused on prosody using a real-time computerized pitch display. Multiple exemplars produced by native speakers of English provided training feedback. A group of seven learners were trained with low-pass filtered models while another six students were given non-filtered examples. Learners' recorded pre- and posttest productions were analyzed by computer software. Acoustic analyses were used to determine how accurately the suprasegmentals were produced. In comparison of the low-pass group with the non-filtered group, a Regression ANOVA was used and it revealed a significant difference between the two. Questionnaire responses indicated a greater awareness of the various aspects of speech and increased confidence in producing the target language.
It has often been suggested that prosody, encompassing rhythm, accent and intonation, contributes greatly to the production of natural-sounding English and furthermore, that these suprasegmental elements play an important role in successful communication. Japanese EFL learners, influenced by the mora-timed rhythm of their mother tongue, tend to use Japanese rhythmic patterns when they speak English. This study attempts to demonstrate how the authors' original animated Web materials focusing on English rhythm enabled students to improve their English pronunciation. From our experiment, carried out once a week for five weeks in a CALL classroom, some positive effects of rhythmic pronunciation practice were found on the learners' pronunciation. Clear correlations among the speech duration, pitch ranges, and naturalness of the English produced by Japanese EFL learners were also found.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of repeated reading on performance, measured by the "SpeaK!" computer software. This study was composed of Study 1 and Study 2. Study 1 examined the reliability of the scores that "SpeaK!" measures, as to the correctness of the words learners read and recorded, and Study 2 examined the effects of a number of repeated readings by junior high school students and university students. In Study 1, 31 junior high school students read ten scripts and their reading was measured by "SpeaK!." In Study 2, 34 junior high school students and 36 university students read different scripts 20 times and their reading was also measured by "SpeaK!" five times. The results of Study 1 showed that the reliability analysis revealed Cronbach's α of the scores was sufficiently high. The results of Study 2 indicated that means of the score gradually increased after Repeated Reading (RR) practices. Significant gains of the mean score were observed between each score of the university students. On the other hand, no significant gains of the mean score were observed between each score of the junior high school students. But the rate of gain differed with each learner's decoding competence or proficiency. Some had no gains. This suggests that teachers should consider individual learner differences when they give RR practice to learners.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of reading aloud with support of metacognition. The subjects were 44 Japanese college students, who participated in 14 sessions of reading aloud training which took 30 minutes each. The participants were divided into two groups, a control group and an experimental group. Students in the control group read the text aloud normally, without additional support. Students in the experimental group read the text aloud while trying to make their voices unify with the model, underlining parts where they were not able to unify, then receiving phonological explanations by the teacher, before again reading aloud and aiming at perfect unison. Students' progress was monitored using TOEIC listening scores and dictation tests. They were also asked to complete a questionnaire and give comments. The analyzed data showed that reading aloud with the support of metacognition contributed to improved listening comprehension and phonological awareness. These results lead to the conclusion that reading aloud with support of meta-cognition is an effective training method for learners.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the effect on Japanese EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners' reading ability of interactive reading, enriching content schema and formal schema in comparison with grammar translation reading. The subjects were ninety-three first-year nursing students at a four-year college in Niigata. The number of subjects in the experimental group was forty-six and in the control group forty-seven. The experimental group first enriched their content schema and formal schema with regard to the nursing text through the Internet and the teacher's instruction, and then employed interactive reading of the text by concentrating on using bottom-up and top-down processing interactively. In contrast the control group read the text concentrating on using bottom-up processing with a dictionary, and then received instruction through word-for-word translation of each sentence and its grammatical explanation. The results of this study indicated that although both groups improved their reading ability, the experimental group statistically improved their reading ability more than the control group.
In this study, we measure the Broca's-area brain activity patterns of Japanese beginning and intermediate-level EFL learners during syntactic processing using optical functional brain imaging. We compare our observation with a previous optical brain imaging study on second language acquisition, i.e., Oishi (2006). In her work, Oishi measures the brain activity of students at all-levels, focusing on the patterns found in Wernicke area and adjacent gyri during listening and reading comprehension. Oishi's results indicate that brain function in beginning-level students is activated very little, whereas in intermediate-level students it is over-activated, specifically when it is compared with that of advanced-level learners and native speakers. Our study, on the other hand, examines the brain activity patterns within Broca's area that are caused by sentence processing, including reflexive anaphors, such as himself/herself. From the images obtained from our experiment, it is demonstrated that there does not seem much activity in Broca's area, not only in the case of beginning-level students, but also in the case of intermediate-level students. Our study suggests the possibility that, as far as Japanese beginning and intermediate-level EFL learners are concerned, the kind of grammatical competence that can be detected by brain activities within Broca's area during processing of reflexive anaphors does not develop in parallel with the other types of linguistic competence that can be found in brain activities within Wernicke area and adjacent gyri.
The present study is an attempt to clarify effective use of handheld electronic dictionaries (hereafter ED) for language learning in Japanese EFL context. For this purpose, we examined EFL learners' look-up behavior with ED through the think-aloud technique, and found some strategies for efficient use of ED, particularly by analyzing look-up behavior Five postgraduate students of a graduate school took part in the study as good language learners (hereafter GLLs). To compare their look-up behavior with that of false beginners (hereafter FBs), five college students also participated. The experiment was conducted with one participant at a time on an appointment basis. No time constraint and no limit on the number of target words to be looked up were set in the experiment. After transcribing their verbal descriptions, some strategies for effective ED use were extracted. The analysis of the qualitative data suggested the possibility that the ED's functions had provided not only GLLs but also FBs with scaffolding for EFL learning. Also, the results revealed that GLLs were good ED users.
This article investigates the relationships between classroom atmosphere, extraverted personality tendencies, perceived competence, motivation, willingness to communicate (WTC), and interest in foreign countries using structural equation modeling. The participants in this study are 383 public elementary school students aged between 8 and 12 years old. Structural Equation Modeling using Amos version 16.0 with good fitness to the data reveals that classroom atmosphere influences motivation, which in turn leads to interest in other countries. In addition, classroom atmosphere leads to stronger perceived competence that influences willingness to communicate. In a qualitative analysis of an open-ended question, students' comments are categorized by open-coding based on their grades. The upper graders appear to have somewhat different perspectives than the middle graders. Limitations of the study and some constructive suggestions for further studies are discussed.
This study investigated whether total English lesson hours and/or lessons with ALT would influence elementary school students' willingness to communicate (WTC). The participants in this study were the 3^<rd> to 6^<th> graders in 85 public elementary schools in Fukuoka city, who were given a questionnaire concerning their WTC in their English lessons at the schools. For the analysis, the data was grouped into 3 X 3 according to the total English lesson hours (1=over 30 hours per year, 2=15-29 hours per year, 3=less than 15 hours per year) and the ratio of lessons with ALT to toltal lesson hours (A=over 80%, B=33-79%, C=less than 33%). The result revealed that the students who experienced over 30 English lessons per year have high WTC towards not only ALT but also their peers and Japanese teachers. No significant influence of ALT lesson hours was found in this group. On the other hand, for the students who experience approximately 20 or less English lesson hours, high frequency of lessons with ALT seemed to have notable influence. Moreover, different tendencies between the middle and the upper graders were found. Based on the findings, pedagogical suggestions and improvement for further study were also discussed.
Drawing on the theoretical grounds that acknowledge the potential benefits of both intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation, this study tests three hypotheses: (1) The less autonomous the learners are, the more likely their "execution" of study activities is to reflect the "enjoyment" of the activities, (2) the more autonomous the learners are, the more likely their "execution" of study activities is to reflect the "importance" of the activities, and (3) the more autonomous the learners are, the more they tend to "execute" study activities that are "important" but are not "enjoyable." Correlational and multiple regression analyses of questionnaire results drawn from 545 college undergraduates supported these three hypotheses to varying degrees. Particularly, it was demonstrated that non-autonomous learners tend to "avoid" important activities while this tendency is less pronounced with autonomous learners. All the learners, on the other hand, tended to execute enjoyable activities. Further analysis revealed that the observed differences between autonomous and non-autonomous learners are most conspicuous in "practical use of English" activities, implying unique roles that such activities play in English-leaning motivation of college students.
The behavior of "patterns" in academic discourse results in variations in meaning, evaluation, and appropriateness by reflecting each disciplinary culture. Learners of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) are required to acquire such disciplinary preferences for specific patterns as well as knowledge of their appropriate use in the disciplinary context. This study aims to investigate disciplinary variations in the use of ADJ PREP N patterns in the written academic texts of two soft-applied disciplines-namely, applied linguistics and business studies. By applying correspondence analysis to the investigation of the patterns, the present study visualizes the association between the patterns and two disciplines in multi-dimensional spaces. I shall also illustrate how the use of patterns qualitatively differs between two disciplines. Finally, this paper concludes that the use of ADJ PREP N patterns reflects disciplinary variations.
An increasing number of language teachers has started to use moodle as their LMS because of its wide range of functions, profound and friendly user community, and its low initial costs. However, it is not so easy to make full use of its functions as it is supposed to for most of ordinary teachers. Even though you may be able to understand the functions when you consult with a book such as Rice (2007), which is one of the few practical guides for teachers, it is a completely different thing to make full use of moodle for your daily teaching. In this study, we will introduce the following three helpful tools to develop a moodle-based English test and show some examples how they can be used in an actual teaching environment. The tools are 1) Multiple Choice Maker to convert hundreds of multiple questions on an Excel spreadsheet to GIFT files at a once; 2) TDAP block to analyze the test result with Rasch model and construct an item bank, and 3) CAT module to conduct a test adaptively choosing appropriate items from the item bank.
Yubune, et al. (2007) shows that a computer-assisted dynamic display method of chunking may help lower-level EFL college students improve either reading speed or comprehension temporarily, as well as their motivation for reading activity. In response to the above results and observation, we carried out a classroom treatment in which learners used different display methods through CALL reading lessons, in order to examine which display method will eventually improve most the learners reading skills. For the treatment we used the customized version of the multimedia display program called Multimedia Player Mint, developed by Mint Applications, CO., LTD. We performed a statistical analysis for their reading comprehension, WPM (words per minute), reading efficiency, and the listening comprehension between the pre-test and the post test. The result shows a significant progress in reading comprehension, WPM, and reading efficiency for 'the next chunk will appear by clicking the mouse and then it will disappear after clicking the mouse' method, while the control group and 'the next chunk will appear by clicking the mouse' method had no significant progress. From the above results, we conclude that a faster reading training using a particular type of computer-assisted dynamic display method of chunking may help lower-level EFL college students improve their reading efficiency.
This study examined the effects of an EFL writing course aimed at developing critical self-awareness for successful character forming among Japanese college students. The research focused on how the learners struggled to acquire their self-attentive target language to better describe their self-identity through mediums such as personal beliefs and their sense of values. Along with learner-centered in-class activities and take-home assignments, various materials and tasks to promote critical self-awareness were employed for the study. The aim was to have the learners acknowledge the notion of English as a critical sociolinguistic, sociocognitive, and sociocultural tool for the maturity of spirit and self-identity in real life contexts. First-year college students (N=78) participated in the study for four months during the semester, working on their socially anticipated self-image while exemplifying their college life goals and imagining their professional life after graduation. An identical set of pre-and post-questionnaires utilizing a Likert scale was employed to examine the change of attitudes, strategies, and processes of language learning. Several questionnaires employing a multiple choice format were administered after the study in order to identify the peculiarities of this course and verify the establishment of personal beliefs and the sense of values of the participants. Significant results were yielded through quantitative analyses, which suggest the importance of developing critical self-awareness for the acquisition of self-focused and real world-concerned target language.