Individual differences in the acquisition of idiomatic competence in L2 French during a semester abroad

Klara Arvidsson (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Study abroad has often been considered a context providing optimal opportunities for L2 learners to develop interactional competence in the L2, whereof one component is the ability to combine words in a conventional way, here labelled “idiomatic competence”.  This aspect has shown to be difficult to acquire but some learners succeed better than others (e.g. Dörnyei et al., 2004). Previous research suggests that not only amount of interaction in the L2 and general proficiency level relate to this individual variation, but also psychosocial variables, such as personality and identity. However, most studies focus on L2 English pointing to the need to study other L2:s. In this contribution, the results from a spring 2016 pilot study will be presented.  A pre- and post-idiomatic competence gap test based on conversational material is administered to 21 university students in French spending a semester in France. Test results will be examined in relation to the learners’ general proficiency level, measured by LexTale FR (Brysbaert, 2013) and course grades, self-reported amount of L2 interaction, multicultural effectiveness assessed through The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire – Short Form (van der Zee et al., 2013) and self-reported identity experience in L2 (Dewaele & Pavlenko, 2001-2003).

References

Brysbaert, M. (2013). LEXTALE FR: A fast, free, and efficient test to measure language proficiency in French. Psychologica Belgica, 53, 23-37.

Dewaele, J.-M. & Pavlenko, A. (2001-2003). Webquestionnaire Bilingualism and Emotions. London: University of London.

Dörnyei, Z. Durow, V. & Zahran, K. (2004).  Individual differences and their effects on formulaic sequence acquisition.  In Schmitt, N. (ed.)  Formulaic Sequences (pp.  87-106).  Amsterdam:  John Benjamins.

van der Zee, K., van Oudenhoven, J. P., Ponterotto, J. G., & Fietzer, A. W. (2013).  Multicultural personality questionnaire: development of a short form. J Pers Assess, 95 (1), 118-124.


Multicultural effectiveness and self-perceived linguistic progress as a result of a study-abroad experience

Klara Arvidsson (Stockholm University, Sweden), Alexandra Rosiers (Ghent University, Belgium), Fanny Forsberg Lundell (Stockholm University, Sweden) & June Eyckmans (Ghent University, Belgium).

In recent times, study-abroad experiences have found their way into the curriculum of many students, foremost in that of language students.  The European Union in particular has gone to great lengths to promote these residences abroad.  Not only are study-abroad experiences expected to boost students’ language competences, they are also considered beneficial to students’ personal development and future employability (European Commission, 2014).  More specifically, exchange students are expected to gain emotional independence and maturity alongside enhanced social skills (European Commission, 2014).  However, few studies have tried to capture the changes prolonged exposure to a L2 community is supposed to have on learners’ multicultural effectiveness, i.e. the ability to effectively deal with intercultural differences (van der Zee, van Oudenhoven, Ponterotto, & Fietzer, 2013). In this contribution, we aim to explore how students perceive their linguistic progress after spending a term abroad.  Additionally, we investigate whether their level of multicultural effectiveness has changed. To this end, we administered the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire – Short Form (van der Zee et al., 2013) to a group of 22 Swedish and 42 Belgian university students before and after an Erasmus exchange experience of three to five months. In addition to filling in this measure, students were presented with a self-report questionnaire in which they assessed the linguistic progress they had made and estimated the intensity of their L2 interaction. In this presentation, we discuss the effect the study-abroad experience has had on students’ multicultural effectiveness and on their self-perceived linguistic progress.

European  Commission. (2014). The  Erasmus  Impact  Study. Effect  of  mobility  on  the skills  and  employability  of  students  and  the  internationalisation  of  higher  education  institutions. doi:10.2766/75468

van der Zee, K., van Oudenhoven, J. P., Ponterotto, J. G., & Fietzer, A. W. (2013).  Multicultural personality questionnaire: development of a short form. J Pers Assess, 95(1), 118-124.


Study abroad, stress, and hair cortisol: Highly individual variation

Kirk Belnap, Patrick Steffen, Linnea Belnap, Chantelle Fitting (Brigham Young University, USA)

Many language learners experience intense negative emotions during study abroad, resulting in challenges to their very identity (Pellegrino Aveni 2005). Recent research points to the need for interventions to assist students to better engage and thrive during their in-country experience (Trentman 2012; Vande Berg, Connor-Linton, and Paige 2009). Project Perseverance is about empowering students to become highly effective self-regulating language learners. After three years of coaching and observing students studying Arabic intensively in Jordan, we found that the level of stress experienced by some students indicated that we should investigate the effectiveness of including biofeedback training.  We will report on the experience of working with 46 American students who spent a semester of intensive Arabic study in Jordan in 2015. We will focus on oral proficiency gains; responses over time to the Foreign Language Enjoyment and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety survey employed by Dewaele and MacIntyre (2014), and hair cortisol from samples obtained at the beginning and end of the program,  in addition to qualitative data from their learning journals,  email correspondence and interviews.  Results suggest the need to pay close attention to each individual’s story to better understand the highly variable progress they made in acquiring proficiency in speaking Arabic.

References

Dewaele, Jean-Marc, and Peter D. MacIntyre.  2014.  The Two Faces of Janus?  Anxiety and Enjoyment in the Foreign Language Classroom. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 4 (2): 237–74.

Pellegrino Aveni, Valerie.  2005.  Study Abroad and Second Language Use:  Constructing the self. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Trentman, Emma G. 2012.  Study abroad in Egypt:  Identity, Access, and Arabic language learning. Michigan State University Dissertation.

Vande Berg, Michael, Jeffrey Connor-Linton, and R. Michael Paige. 2009. The Georgetown Consortium Project:  Interventions for student learning abroad.  Frontiers:  The Interdisciplinary Journal on Study Abroad 18: 1-75.


Parallel journeys – Conceptualising and creating learning in language counselling

Fergal Bradley, Leena Karlsson (University of Helsinki Language Centre, Finland)

In this paper, two language counsellors/advisors explore and share how learning is both conceptualised and created in counselling sessions.  Our work context is the Autonomous Learning Modules (ALMS) programme at Helsinki University Language Centre. In ALMS courses, learners reflect in order to plan and develop study programmes which fulfil their foreign-language degree requirement. This reflection partly happens in counselling sessions, with the learners conceptualising themselves and their learning in a discussion with their counsellor.  As the self and the learning are discussed, possibilities arise for new learning and learning selves to emerge. The counsellor’s experience is a parallel process: we create our counsellor selves through each counselling encounter.  Furthermore, in investigating this phenomenon we reconceptualise our counsellor selves through practitioner-research, that is, doing the reflective practice we ask of our learners in ALMS. We use free-writing after counselling sessions both as data collection and as a ’method of inquiry’ (Richardson 2000).  The free-writing is then critically examined and discussed through our theoretical understandings and interests – L2 images,  identities and selves (e.g.  Dörnyei 2005),  learning ecologies and complexity theory (e.g.  Jackson 2014), learning histories (e.g.  Karlsson 2008), and transformative reflective writing (e.g. Hunt 2013).

References

Dörnyei, Z. (2005).  The psychology of the language learner:  Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hunt,  C. (2013).   Transformative learning through creative life writing.   Exploring the self in the learning process. London & New York: Routledge.

Jackson,    N.   (2015). Exploring   Learning   Ecologies   (Draft   version). Retrieved   from http://www.normanjackson.co.uk/learning-ecology.html

Karlsson,  L.  (2008).    Turning  the  kaleidoscope  –  (E)FL  educational  experience  and  inquiry  as auto/biography.  Language Centre Publications 1.  Helsinki:  University of Helsinki Language Centre (online at https://oa.doria.fi/handle/10024/42707).

Richardson, L. (2000) Writing. A method of inquiry. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 923-943). (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


“In Iran I didn’t speak English any more”: The effects of contextual changes on the willingness to communicate in English of Iranian migrants to New Zealand.

Denise Cameron (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)

Since the development of the willingness to communicate (WTC) construct by MacIntyre et al.  in 1998, a variety of psychological factors which enhance or diminish an individual’s desire to speak in a second language have been investigated as to whether they are fixed or fluctuate according to contexts such as time, place, or social environment.  More recently the principles of dynamic systems theory, which provide ”an ecological theory” to describe ”a moving tapestry of interacting systems” (Larsen-Freeman, 2016, p. xi), have been seen as an appropriate way to analyse the WTC phenomenon (e.g., King, 2013; MacIntyre & Legatto, 2011). However, the dominant methodological approach of many WTC researchers is still quantitative and focuses on learners in a context where English is primarily the language of the classroom.  In this presentation I will report on a qualitative and longitudinal case study which investigated the WTC of Iranian migrants in their past Iranian English classrooms, in their present New Zealand pre-university classrooms, and in the community outside. By means of observations and multiple interviews with the learners and their teachers, I addressed the question as to whether past learning experiences affected their present WTC and which elements of classroom and community context facilitated or inhibited their readiness to speak.  In the process of this study, I explored the relevance of dynamic systems theory and the usefulness of an ecological framework to describe my findings as to the nature of their WTC, ranging from the micro context of the classroom to the macro context of the wider society of Iran and New Zealand. By revealing ”the learners’ own subjective interpretation” (Mercer,  2016,  p.17) of the meaning of contextual factors which affect their WTC, I hope to provide a more holistic picture of the interplay between learners and their pedagogical and community environment.


Analyzing three generations of Taiwanese EFL learners’ narratives: How localization and globalization meet?

Chin-chi Chao (National Chengchi University, Taiwan)

The beginning stages of English learning in the sociocultural context of Taiwan, perhaps similar to other EFL countries in Asia that are under the influence of Confucianism,  can be complex.  Such a foreign language in the local context’ learning experiences cannot be just a matter of individual endeavor but also, more importantly, a significant culturally organized practice that aims for globalization.  Through a theoretical framework that corroborates the Vygotskian sociocultural perspective and Eastern learning models, this study is interested in how three generations of English learners discuss the early stages of their English learning in their particular sociocultural contexts and how the similarities and differences among their experiences may be related to the persistent as well as changing cultural practice toward English learning in the particular socio and historical cultural context of Taiwan. Fifteen participants who are TESOL scholars/professors, graduate students, and undergraduate English majors were invited to provide oral narratives of their English learning journeys. Through thematic analysis, English learning is found to be an important part of the local culture, which, as discussed by Bakhurst (1991) and Cole (1996), has the characteristics of ”supra-individual” and ”rooted in the historical production of value and significance as realized in shared social practice”(Lantolf & Thorne, 2006, p. 1). Implications are discussed as an additional issue to the various existing conceptions of learning context in SLA (see Collentine & Freed, 2004):  How English, although a foreign language, is actually a culturally organized practice in this Chinese cultural context and an important part of these former and current EFL learners’ life experiences and identities.


Mediating effects of spaces, materials, and people: Lessons in developing places for self-access and autonomous learning

Curtis Edlin (Kanda University of International Studies, Japan)

Through the ecological lens, opportunities for action are referred to as affordances. Affordances in a particular environment may vary for different individuals dependent upon how they make sense of and interpret the semiotic budget or collection of ”signs” in an environment.  In terms of language learning, these signs are not only inherent in physical artifacts such as traditional language learning media, but also include what can be gleaned from the greater physical environment and social climate. Thus, possible actions in a particular place are mediated by the physical space, the media and tools, and social aspects (as well as a complex web of prior knowledge, experience, and beliefs that learners bring with themselves).  The collective actions in and beliefs about a space determine the place it will become. Given this knowledge, the presenter wants to more deeply understand the place that the Self-Access Learning Centre (SALC) at a university in Japan has become for its users and why, with the hope that there are lessons to be learned informing the design, development, and management of places for self-access learning and autonomous learners, and seeking to further align the centre’s reality with its goals and ideals. The presenter will analyze data collected from the first phase of an ongoing, longitudinal and comparative ethnographic study for the Research Institute of Languages Studies and Language Education. Phase one consists of a year of study to understand the strongest and most active mediators of learners’ actions in and beliefs about the current SALC. Key findings and insights will be highlighted in the presentation, as well as how they can be used to inform the institution’s design, development, and management of a new building primarily composing the new SALC, where the second phase of the study will then take place in the coming academic year.


Positive functioning for building a positive classroom environment

Julide Inozu (Cukurova University, Turkey, Turkey) & Sehnaz Sahinkarakas (Cag University, Turkey)

The extent and efficiency of student learning is perhaps most powerfully influenced by classroom environment.  Especially in foreign language learning classrooms, creating a non-threatening atmosphere where students feel psychologically, socially, and culturally secure is essential for students’ communicative risk-taking in the target language. Multiple factors contribute to creating a conducive learning environment. Besides teaching qualifications,  also important is a teacher’s positive functioning, specifically in terms of psychological and social well-being.  ”The focus of psychological well-being remains at the individual level whereas relations with others and the environment are the primary aims of social well-being” (Lopez and Snyder, 2003).  Review of relevant literature shows that dimensions of psychological and social well-being models contain constructs including environmental mastery, positive relations with others, and social integration.  Such constructs have impacts on creating a positive classroom environment,  and consequently,  students’ academic achievement. Therefore, this study aims at exploring whether and how psychological well-being and social well-being shape student teachers’ perceptions of positive classroom environment. Accordingly, data were collected  from  senior  students  of  English  Language  Teaching  departments  from  various  universities located in Turkey.  The data were obtained through three questionnaires and group interviews conducted after the initial data analysis. The questionnaires measured mainly three variables: Participants’ perceptions of positive classroom environment and their psychological and social well-being. These variables’ relationships were tested through Structural Equation Model (SEM) using AMOS (22.0).  Bearing in mind the statistical analysis, 20 participants participated in group interviews to shed insight on these relationships.  The results of the study indicate a link between a teacher’s psychological and social well-being and various aspects of classroom environment.  As such, the study provides valuable suggestions for consideration in teacher development programs.

References

Lopez, S. J. & Snyder, C. R. (2003). Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Beliefs and emotions in the L2 classroom: Confronting the past, questioning the present, and imagining the future

Priscila Leal (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA)

Critical Language Teaching (CLT), based on Critical Pedagogy, sees teaching as a cultural, moral, social and political practice.  Its goal is to engage students in questioning taken-for-granted world-views, becoming aware of their role in society, and of their potential as agents of change. CLT aims at teaching languages through questioning dominant ideologies, reflecting on these questions and on individual’s roles in society and potential action (Chun, 2016). However, the nexus between critical pedagogical theories and L2 classroom practices is under-researched (Crookes,  2013). Thus, this presentation hopes to be a space where critically oriented researchers and practitioners can dialogue and bridge theories and actual approaches. I share my experience teaching English to Japanese students in Hawai’i within a critically oriented curriculum, which included potentially controversial topics (i.e., the attack on Pearl Harbor).  Tasks were designed to prepare students to engage in and develop linguistic, cognitive, and socio-emotional skills.  Students were asked to take pictures during a fieldtrip to USS Arizona Memorial (aka Pearl Harbor); these student-generated pictures were used as springboard to explore students’ knowledge, beliefs, and emotions related to this event.  Classroom audio recordings and students’ journals indicated feelings of guilt for home country’s past actions, questioning of country’s current stance, and desire to never forget. Implications include using student-generated pictures to engage students in critical thinking, and to facilitate meaningful, authentic discussions. In addition, student-generated pictures can “help create dialogic spaces for students to explore and create newer ways to make meanings, enabling their agentive roles as knowledge producers in their own right.” (Chun, 2016, p. 3).

References

Chun, C. W. (2016), Addressing racialized multicultural discourses in an EAP textbook:  Working toward a critical pedagogies approach. TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 109–131. doi: 10.1002/tesq.216

Crookes, G. V. (2013). Critical ELT in action: Foundations, promises, praxis. New York, NY: Routledge.


Across space and time: Academic literacy socialization of EFL graduate students

Ya-Fen Lo (National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan)

Researchers’ interests in studying academic literacy socialization in the EAP arenas have been increasing.  However, a review of literature shows that the subjects in past studies are mainly L2 students studying in the English-speaking countries. Little is known about the process of EFL graduate students studying in their home country.  As more L2 students pursuit post-graduate degrees in their home countries,  there is a need to understand the academic literacy experiences of this particular group of students. Informed by the theories of language socialization and communities of practice, the purpose of the study is (1) to investigate the sociocultural and other contextual factors impacting on the students’ experiences in the process of academic socialization; (2) to examine students’ identities, social positioning and negotiations in academic written discourse; and (3) to examine the developmental differences in the process of academic socialization between the three cohorts of students who are at different developmental stages.  Three cohorts of graduate students (5-7 students in each cohort) and two of their instructors are recruited. The data include interview transcripts, participants’ written documents, and field notes. The findings highlight multi-layer academic practices in which the participants had to negotiate in the  socialization  process.   The  academic  practices  can  be  conceptualized  in  a  three-layer  circular model.  The central layer is the institutional practice which features the rules and regulations in the program.  The middle layer is the academic practices in Taiwan, while the outer layer–international academic standards– refer to the practices accepted by the global academic community. Through the meaning negotiation, the participants gain knowledge about culture, values and ideologies of both the local and international academic communities. The findings also suggest that social interactions with peers, such as peer discussion, peer support, and peer coaching is an effective approach to become legitimate members of the community.


Individualized categories of verbal reports in think-aloud classroom tasks

Anna Michonska-Stadnik (University of Wroclaw, Poland)

Introspection is one of the most popular qualitative research methods in psychology and it consists in asking participants to report verbally on their cognitive and/or emotional states while performing a specific task or activity (Brown & Rodgers, 2002, p.  53).  In second language acquisition studies introspection is frequently used to observe and analyse learners’ mental processes while being engaged in a language task. This type of research has an interdisciplinary character as it employs data gathering techniques used primarily in social sciences. Such verbal reports, either audio- or video-recorded, are often referred to as talk-alouds (Ericsson & Simon, 1993).  The collected data, often quite extensive, must be then analyzed and categorized in order to define learners’ mental and emotional states. Different sets of categories for coding talk-alouds have been proposed, e.g.  monitoring, signaling, elaborating, reasoning (Brown and Lytle, 1988). This paper presents an analysis of the recorded set of talk-alouds done by secondary-school students during a translation task from L2 (English) to L1 (Polish). Apart from categories suggested in different coding schemes for verbal protocols, some new categories emerged, e.g. abandoning the message, commenting on other students’ work, asking for help, planning for task, and many others.  They reveal a wide spectrum of learners’ emotional states which may contribute to a better understanding of task demands, classroom interaction patterns, and may allow to broaden the repertoire of coding categories in talk-alouds analysis.

References

Brown, C.S. & S.L. Lytle (1988). Merging assessment and instruction: protocols in the classroom. In Glazer, S.M. (ed.).  Reexamining Reading Diagnosis: New Trends and Procedures.  Newark, Del.: International Reading Association.

Brown, J. D. & T.S. Rodgers (2002). Doing Second Language Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ericsson, K.A.& H.A. Simon (1993). Protocol Analysis. Cambridge, Mass.: Bradford/MIT Press.


Language learning contexts and their effect on the self-concept of university students

Sofía Moratinos Johnston (Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain)

Following the introduction of Dörnyei’s (2009) L2 Motivational Self System, the self and its aspirations as a potential L2 user take centre stage and act as powerful motivating images.  The effect of learning experiences on these images is still a largely unexplored area. With the aim of demonstrating how particular language learning contexts (LLCs) -e.g. formal instruction (FI), content and language integrated learning (CLIL), and study abroad (SA)- influence the motivation of students to learn a foreign language, we designed the ’Language Learning Context and L2 Self Motivation Questionnaire’. The questionnaire was administered to 1,050 Spanish undergraduates selected using stratified random sampling.  On the Ought-to L2 Self scale, which measures the extent to which learning English is influenced by the opinion of others and their expectations, it is those students that have experienced all three learning contexts (3LLCs) who score higher than all the rest. As for the Ideal L2 self scale, there was no statistical difference between those 2LLC students that had experienced either FI+CLIL or FI +SA, while the score for the 3LLC students was the highest of all combinations and significantly higher than for FI-only students.  This suggests that the 3LLC students have a greater capability of picturing themselves as L2 speakers. These results endorse the idea that the three contexts combined are complementary and beneficial for the language learner (Pérez-Vidal, 2011).

References

Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 Motivational Self System. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 9–42). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Pérez-Vidal, C. (2011).  Language Acquisition in Three Different Contexts of Learning:  Formal Instruction, Study Abroad, and Semi-Immersion (CLIL). In Y. Ruiz de Zarobe, J. M. Sierra, F. Gallardo del Puerto (Eds.), Content and Foreign Language Integrated Learning (pp. 105 – 127). Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.


Mindfulness and self-determination in second language learning

Marina Mozzon-McPherson (University of Hull, UK)

Mindfulness and mindfulness training (Soloway et al.  2011) is becoming extremely popular in the UK as a positive solution to address teachers’ and students’ well-being (HEFCE Report, 2015; NUS Survey, 2015). Furthermore, recent articles published by The Guardian (January 2016) confirmed the widespread use of this practice in the workplace and expressed some caution about possible misuse of the principles and practice informing mindfulness.  Whilst research on mindfulness is still in its infancy (Deci et al.  2015), it offers the potential for further development and exploration in relation to self-determination in second language learning. Starting  from  its  definition  and  traditions,  I  shall  review  research  in  this  field  and  applications  in second language learning and teaching.  Subsequently, I shall discuss the theoretical framework and methodological parameters of a study I shall conduct with a group of language students in the autumn term.   It is hoped that this first speculative theoretical paper could lead to the creation of a larger pan-European, inter-disciplinary project on this theme.

References

Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Schultz, P. P., & Niemiec, C. P. (2015). Being aware and functioning fully: Mindfulness and interest-taking within self-determination theory.  In K. W. Brown, J. D. Creswell & R. M. Ryan, Handbook of mindfulness:  Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006).  Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 373–386

Soloway, G. B., Poulin, A., & Mackenzie, C. S. (2011). Preparing new teachers for the full catastrophe of the 21st century classroom: Integrating mindfulness training into initial teacher education. In A. Cohan & A. Honigsfeld (Eds.), Breaking the mold of pre-service and in-service teacher education (pp. 221–227). Lanham: R and L Education.


Immersion students’ individual and shared DLCs

Karita Mård-Miettinen, Siv Björklund (University of Vaasa, Finland)

Internationally, immersion programme is a learning context that aims at developing functional bilingualism among students.   Numerous studies have shown that immersion students successfully use two languages for learning and communication (e.g.  Tedick et al., 2011).  Swedish immersion programme in Finland is unique in introducing multiple languages within the programme, thus, aiming at functional multilingualism. Research that draws upon questionnaire and interview data has shown e.g.  that Finnish immersion students report to know several languages and perceive themselves as multilinguals (e.g. Björklund & Mård-Miettinen, 2011). The aim of this presentation is to better understand the multilinguality of immersion students.  The data consist of students’ self-reported visualizations of their linguistic environment (My language tree and photographs), individual photo-elicitation interviews, and ethnographic classroom observations. A Dominant Language Constellation (DLC) approach (Aronin & Ó Laoire, 2004) is applied in the analysis. Compared to linguistic repertoire (all languages and skills) the DLC approach enables us to identify the constellation of languages or skills the individual perceives being most important to meet his/her communication needs.  We seek to identify both individual and shared DLCs of the students and  factors  that  define  the  DLCs.   Initial  results  show  that  three  languages  are  most  expedient  in the students’ individual DLCs and that different languages appear in their school and out-of-school DLCs. This indicates that individual students have simultaneous context-specific DLCs. As to shared DLCs, the results suggest that certain indexicality is connected to DLCs in immersion context.

References

Aronin & Ó Laoire. 2004. ’Exploring multilingualism in cultural contexts: towards a notion of multilinguality’, 11-29.  In Hoffmann & Ytsma (eds.), Trilingualism in Family, School and Community. Multilingual Matters.

Björklund & Mård-Miettinen. 2011. lntegrating Multiple Languages in lmmersion: Swedish lmmersion in Finland, 13-35. In Tedick, Christian & Fortune (eds.).

Tedick et al. (eds.). 2011. lmmersion Education. Practices, Policies, Possibilities. Multilingual Matters.


Relational knowing as a ’tool’ in advising for mandated language learning in the workplace

Deirdre Ní Loingsigh (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Some contextual practices of advising for language learning in an organizational setting in Ireland are considered in this paper.  The focus is on language support for employees mandated by the Official Languages Act, 2003, to provide public services through Irish.  The research participants are adult second-language learners of Irish, a minority language.  They are the designated contacts to provide Irish-medium services on a university campus.  A Language Support Network, facilitated by the re-searcher in the role of language advisor,  was established to explore the issue of language anxiety arising from legislative obligations as well as individual and group support needs.  The conceptual framework merges the theoretical lens of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1991) and the Dialogue, Tools and Context Model for advising in language learning (Mynard, 2012).  ’Relational knowing’ (Taylor,  2000) was used as a theoretical ’tool’ which the language advisor drew on so as to work more productively and creatively with Network members.  A Participatory Action Research method-ology was chosen to bring about constructive change in learner attitudes and identities.  Educational interventions, which included group language advising sessions, are presented in the paper.  These facilitated worker-learners, to move from a situation of individual uncertainty to one of group confidence over the course of three action research cycles. A change in focus from legislative compliance to a culture of care and community is revealed in the data. The concepts ’Cultural Architect’ (Railo, 1986) and ’Shared Mental Model’ (Mohammed, Klimoski, & Rentsch, 2000) are borrowed from sport and organizational psychology to illuminate what happened.  It is argued that an innovative minority language support infrastructure led not only to capacity building in the workplace but to the development of a new social connectedness among learners of Irish and the association of the language with the vibrant social fabric of the organization itself.


Metapragmatic awareness in a third language learner’s game-related discourse

Åsa Palviainen & Arja Piirainen-Marsh (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Metalinguistic awareness and language learning experiences (e.g. through language contact) are widely understood as key factors influencing further language development. Departing from the traditional view of metalinguistic awareness as a cognitive ability, this study is concerned with a multlingual child’s situated metapragmatic discourse, i.e. metalevel signaling and language use that allow participants in interaction to position themselves vis a vis the communicative situation (see Silverstein 1993, Verschueren 1999, Overstreet 2015).  More specifically, it analyses emergent metapragmatic discourse that is related to using and learning English as a third language in the child’s interactions within and around a commercially available video game. The 8 year old boy was a bilingual Finnish/Swedish speaker from birth.   At the point of data collection he had not received any formal teaching of English at school, but had played English-based computer games in his spare time, been exposed to English through TV and Youtube, and had occasional real-life experiences of contact with English speakers.  The data includes video- and audio-recordings of him playing and talking about the game Growtopia.  This paper examines two types of situations:  the child’s interactions a) with peers (in Finnish and Swedish), and b) with English speaking adults.  The analysis focuses on concrete instances of discourse and features of language that are indicative of the child’s ability to notice, comment on and use English as a third language. The results show that metapragmatic awareness is manifested in different ways and on different levels of language use in the two contexts:  in peer interaction it is observable mainly at lexical level (vocabulary choice and explanations, morphological and phonological adaptations), whereas interactions with adults include metapragmatic commentary focusing on grammatical and discourse-level phenomena.


Empowering teacher agency in the Finnish CLIL context

Sotiria Pappa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

For 2016, the Finnish national core curriculum has recognized the importance of language innovation and integration in education and maintains that every teacher is a language teacher. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is not a new trend in teaching, yet it is one that has become considerably popular recently. CLIL is a teaching methodology that regards the acquisition of linguistic skills at the same time as content knowledge by integrating a foreign language (L2) into the teaching of a curricular subject.  Although CLIL offers Finnish teachers an opportunity for classroom-based professional development, teachers have experienced significant challenge when integrating content with  language  learning. The purpose of this Ph.D.-research is to support teacher development at pre-service and in-service levels by seeking better understanding of the professional, relational and pedagogical resources and constraints teachers encounter in content and foreign/English language integrated learning and teaching.  Teacher agency is conceived as the product of the dynamic interrelationship among types of agency experienced at the sociocultural, relational and classroom level. One kindergarten teacher and thirteen primary school CLIL teachers working in Finland were interviewed, and thematic analysis was used in data analysis. It is anticipated that this study will contribute to a more elaborate understanding of professional agency and how it is related to continuous learning at work.  Consequently, practical suggestions can be made to inform and develop teacher education and CLIL teaching practices at the level of the classroom, the school and the wider community. The aim of the presentation is to introduce a more encompassing understanding of professional agency as well as aspects that may enable or obstruct learning at work, particularly in light of the grass-roots approach teachers have taken to implementing CLIL in Finnish schools.


The process of change in secondary school students’ motivational factors within a project-based learning: A cluster analysis

Hyojin Park (International Graduate School of English, South Korea)

The aim of the study is to investigate the process of change in secondary school students’ language anxiety, self-efficacy, and ideal L2 within a project-based learning class in Korea. Since project-based learning focuses on not only language features but also project works, students practice and use target language while working on projects, thus allowing them to be motivated and engaged in learning. This study uniquely adopted a cluster analysis which is not commonly used in second language acquisition field.  Cluster analysis can be used to identify certain subgroups of participants who share similar characteristics and who are different from other groups of participants. In order to study research questions, what types of different motivational profiles of secondary school students exist were examined.  The survey on three different affective factors was conducted before the treatment which was a seven-week-course based on project-based learning.  The thirty eight participants who were middle school students in Korea were divided into three clusters depending on their distinct motivational profiles. After the course, the survey was administered again and the result of cluster analysis revealed a three-cluster-solution (the same number of clusters as before the treatment). However, the participants who belonged to each cluster had changed. This process of change was analyzed by qualitative data which are students’ reflective journals and interviews.


Former students’ experiences of CLIL education and its effect on their life courses

Anssi Roiha (University of Jyväskylä, Department of Languages, Finland)

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has been implemented in Finland since 1991 and it has gained a stable place in the Finnish education system. Previous CLIL studies have focused on its impact on students’ school attainment (e.g. Dalton-Puffer 2011; Pérez-Cañado 2012) leaving a research gap concerning the long-term effects of CLIL education on former students’ lives. In this presentation I talk about my ongoing Ph.D. project which examines former CLIL students’ life courses (e.g. Green 2010). That is, what kind of meanings students give to CLIL education and how it has, in their view, affected their lives both on a practical and an attitudinal level. The research consists of two parts: (1) a qualitative part, which has traces of narrative research, in which a class of former CLIL students are interviewed and (2) a quantitative part, in which a survey is sent to a larger number of former CLIL students. The research gives a voice to the students regarding their CLIL experiences and provides valuable implications that can be applicable at an education policy level. This presentation will focus on a pilot study of the qualitative part. Three former CLIL students participated in semi-structured interviews which were analyzed using content analysis. The results of this pilot will bring interesting insights to CLIL education through former students’ experiences. The implications derived from them are discussed in this presentation.

References

Dalton-Puffer, C. 2011. Content-and-Language Integrated Learning: From Practice to Principles? Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 30, 182–204.

Green, L. 2010. Understanding the life course: sociological and psychological perspectives. Cambridge: Polity press.

Pérez-Cañado, M. L. 2012. CLIL research in Europe: past, present, and future. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 15 (3), 315–341.


The importance of EFL self-concept for general EFL proficiency: A model-based evaluation of quantitative data from German secondary schools

Dominik Rumlich (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

In German secondary school contexts, academic self-concept (ASC) has often emerged as the most significant affective-motivational predictor of scholastic achievement across all subjects in general and  in  EFL  classes  in  particular  (Helmke  et  al.,  2008).   Still,  research  on  ASC  in  the  domain  of foreign language learning in Germany (and beyond) is scarce and its role among the multitude of factors influencing language proficiency has not been sufficiently clarified (Rumlich, exp. 2016). Questionnaire data from secondary year-six students at German Gymnasiums (N=1,000; M age=11.9 years) was evaluated on the basis of a predefined structural equation model (calculated in Mplus). In line with expectancy-value models (e.g., Eccles [Parsons], 1983), the results suggest that ASC constitutes a significant predictor of EFL interest (beta=.59, SE=.03, p<.001).  Furthermore, it exerts large influence on general EFL proficiency (beta=.32, SE=.04, p<.001) and was more relevant than EFL interest for EFL proficiency (beta=.00, SE=.05, p=.91; overall model fit:  X2(207)=453.99, p<.001; TLI=.95; RMSEA=.04, .04<90% CI<.05; SRMR=.04).  These results could be largely replicated for the same cohort of students in year eight. The findings underline the pivotal importance of EFL self-concept as it represents a major influence on cognitive as well as affective-motivational facets of language learning. They make a strong claim for the inclusion of ASC in studies on EFL learning and teaching.

References

Eccles [Parsons], J. S. (1983).  Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors.  In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motivation (pp. 75–146). San Francisco, CA: Freeman.

Helmke, A., Schrader, F.-W., Wagner, W., Nold, G., & Schröder, K. (2008).  Selbstkonzept, Motivation und Englischleistung.  In E. Klieme (Ed.), Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch. Ergebnisse der DESI-Studie (pp. 244–257). Weinheim, Germany: Beltz.

Rumlich, D. (exp. 2016). Evaluating bilingual education in Germany: CLIL students’ general English proficiency, EFL self-concept and interest. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Lang.


Military L2 immersion: Finnish-speaking conscripts in a Swedish language garrison

Laszlo Vincze (Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland) & Kimmo Vehkalahti (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland)

The  purpose  of  the  present  research  report  was  to  reveal  the  motivational  background,  and  some longitudinal consequences, of doing military service in Swedish as an L2 among Finnish-speaking conscripts in Finland.  Questionnaire data was collected in January and July 2015 in Finland’s only Swedish language garrison.   The cross-sectional results (N = 42) showed that promotional instrumentality enhanced participants’ L2 ideal selves,  but integrative orientation did not.  L2 ideal self predicted L2 learning efforts in the army, but only among those who had poor skills in the L2 at the beginning of the military service. The longitudinal results (N = 17) showed that participants reported higher levels of L2 proficiency, lower levels of L2 use anxiety and more positive attitudes towards L2 speakers after six months in the army than at the beginning of military service.