This research primarily aimed to investigate proficient and less proficient EFL readers' awareness and experiences about learning to read and reading in English. The secondary purpose was to explore the participants' reading strategies, and to discover how the genres of English texts influence their reading processing behaviors. The participants consisted of four college students in engineering aged 21-25 years. Three data sources were employed: questionnaires, interviews, and think-alouds. The findings revealed that: (1) the proficient EFL readers judged themselves to be good readers, while the less proficient EFL readers judged themselves to be fair readers; (2) unknown vocabulary was perceived to be the major impediment to reading comprehension; the think-aloud data, however, demonstrated that unknown vocabulary did not significantly interfere with their reading comprehension; (3) regardless of the genre of the text, the participants employed similar reading strategies; (4) the participants were more likely to tolerate ambiguity and predict the content when reading the narrative text than the expository text; (5) there was no set of strategies that distinguished proficient EFL readers from less proficient EFL readers; and (6) when identifying problems, the proficient EFL readers used fix-up strategies more effectively and were better able to provide satisfactory solutions than their counterparts. Pedagogical implications for EFL reading instruction are discussed.
The analysis on the use of lexical discovery and consolidation strategies that have been researched within the area of vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) have not sufficiently drawn the interest of EFL practitioners with regard to vocational high school learners. The results, however, are expected to have implications for the design of vocabulary tasks and instructional materials for EFL learners. The present study investigates EFL vocational high school learners' use of lexical discovery and consolidation strategies with questionnaires, where the use of the learners' lexical discovery strategies were further validated with the think-aloud methodology by asking samples of proficient and less proficient learners to report on their reading process while reading L2 texts that had not been exposed to the learners. The results indicated that there were significant differences between the two groups of learners in the employment of 11 of the strategies which were in the categories of determination, social, memory, and metacognitive strategies, but not for cognitive strategies. The pattern of strategies indicated that different lexical discovery and consolidation strategies were employed relatively more by one proficiency group than another. The study suggests some implications for how strategy-based instruction can be implemented in EFL classrooms.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the possibility of the use of reading aloud as a way of teaching English reading in a formal college-level English reading classroom. The study tried to examine the effects of reading aloud on the development of English reading ability in terms of comprehension and speed and the students' perceptions of the use of reading aloud in an English reading classroom. The participants of the study were 36 third year students at a college. The results of the cloze test and reading speed test showed that reading aloud had a positive effect on the improvement of English reading ability. The students received higher scores in the cloze test after the course and read a text faster than before the course. The analysis of the course evaluation questionnaire indicated that the students in the study showed positive attitudes toward the use of reading aloud in an English reading classroom. Most of the students reported that reading aloud was an effective way of improving their English reading comprehension and speed. However, the students were not fully satisfied with the reading materials used in the study. The results of the present study indicated that reading aloud may be incorporated into a formal English reading classroom effectively.
This study investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of incorporating oral corrective feedback into the content-based business English writing class. Two types of oral corrective feedback, recasts and metalinguistic feedback, were integrated into business English writing classes to help low intermediate-proficiency Korean university students improve the ability to use the simple past, present progressive, and present perfect tenses correctly in their written production. Prior to the treatments, the subjects had basic grammatical knowledge of the target verb tenses, but they had only limited control over them in their written production. Three groups were formed: recast group that received corrective recasting, metalinguistic group that received metalinguistic clues, and control group that received no oral corrective feedback. The study demonstrated that it was feasible to incorporate recasts and metalinguistic feedback into content-based business English writing classes and that metalinguistic feedback had greater and more endurable effects than recasts on promoting the correct use of the target verb tenses in written production. It can be concluded that oral corrective feedback, metalinguistic feedback in particular, can be used in the business English writing classroom to help students gain greater control over already partially acquired forms and therefore improve their writing accuracy.
Research on strategic Code-Switching (CS) of second language learners in teaching English in English (TEE) program provides an elaborate framework for analyzing how learners manage to express themselves in spite of their limited knowledge of the target language. This research presupposes that L2 learners' CS presents innovative solutions for communicative strategy, and that CS used as communicative strategy can promote L2 learners' language acquisition. The major questions of current research involve examining the significant patterns of different functions of CS in L2 learners' interaction and investigating L2 learners' CS styles according to the different functions of CS. The implication of CS utility is regarded as a teaching technique in the TEE program. Recorded transcript is analyzed to trace the same pattern and the categorization of CS as well as to recognize the functions of CS and their ratio. Hence, this leads to the conclusion that learners' negotiation between code selection and communication intention occurs in patterns. The learners' CS tends to be predictable, reproductive, and systematic, as one of the language acquisition phases. Therefore, the attention to the CS in the TEE program should be redirected in communication substantiality toward the principles of pragmatics. As an additional advantage of the CS analysis, this research elaborates on a conceptual acceptance of CS as a set of learners' strategies in the TEE program.
Free-talking in Korea has recently been emphasized as a way of improving students' speaking ability outside of the classroom. The purpose of this study is to examine perceptions of free-talking, to understand what type of roles were played by or allotted between Korean students and international professors (IPs) and to look for effective speaking strategies for utilizing free-talking. Participants of this study were 68 university students and 23 IPs. The data collected through a survey type of questionnaire were analyzed by this researcher and the main findings indicate that students and IPs have somewhat different viewpoints about their concepts of free-talking. Students expressed varying viewpoints depending on their experience and class (year). In terms of the benefits, usefulness, and satisfaction of free-talking, students and IPs seem to be in more agreement with each other although the two groups have conflicting perceptions in the particular operation of free-talking, especially in terms of preparation and feedback. Students stated that they feel anxious, nervous, and that they struggle with peer pressure while free-talking. However, they feel that through free-talking they build up confidence and increase their speaking ability. Regarding roles, most professors play a helpful role as a guide or facilitator while students want professors to provide more suitable materials and to tutor them by means of appropriate feedback and strategies as well-prepared teachers like a prompter, participant or tutor in the timely manner. Finally, this paper proffers a few practical suggestions for activating free-talking and a discussion of the pedagogical implications.
This study examined the effects of collocation-based instruction on L2 vocabulary acquisition and learners' interests in it. Fifty one students were randomly assigned to the experimental group (collocation-based instruction group) and to the control group. The participants' English vocabulary capacity was checked through pre and post tests, and two surveys were used to probe the learners' vocabulary learning behaviors and their interests in English vocabulary learning respectively. To better understand the participants' opinions and feelings on the collocation-based learning, follow-up interviews were also carried out. The results showed that second language (L2) learners' vocabulary capacity was significantly improved through collocation-based instruction. However, the participants' degree of interest in vocabulary learning did not reach our expectation partly because of external factors such as the Test for the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) and lack of familiarity of collocations. Such results indicate that the high school students' rooted perception of putting importance on test-based language learning could not be easily changed since it is closely related to their immediate needs. Based on the results, this study suggested how to implement collocations into L2 classrooms effectively.
This paper examines Korean EFL high school students' reader responses on an expository text and a narrative text with the same topic. The purpose of the study is to investigate whether they have different reading models depending on the two genres and whether there are any differences depending on the learners' proficiency levels. The analysis focuses on textual, critical, and aesthetic reading models in the reader responses written in English by science-gifted high school students (N=30). The results show that the participants have different reading models in reading an expository text and a narrative text. They tend to read the expository text in a more critical way while reading the narrative text in a more personal and emotional way. Moreover, regardless of the proficiency levels, they wrote longer responses on the narrative text than the expository text. However, the proficiency level of English does not support any significant differences in the types of reading models. The findings provide Korean EFL high school students' characteristics in L2 reading and suggest the pedagogical implication to pursue linguistic development as well as reading for pleasure.
This study examines the use of discourse markers in cross-cultural communication between EFL learners in an e-learning environment. The study analyzes the use of discourse markers in a corpus of an interactive web with a bulletin board system through which college students of English at Japanese and Korean universities interacted with each other discussing the topics of local and global issues. It compares the use of discourse markers in the learners' corpus to that of a native English speakers' corpus. The results indicate that discourse markers are useful interactional devices to structure and organize discourse. EFL learners are found to display more frequent use of referentially and cognitively functional discourse markers and a relatively rare use of other markers. Native speakers are found to use a wider variety of discourse markers for different functions. Suggestions are made for using computer corpora in understanding EFL learners' language difficulties and helping them become more interactionally competent speakers.
Research studies have shown that phonological awareness focused analogies and anagrams can be used as an effective game-based teaching instruction. However, previous studies used analogies and anagrams as separate instructional tools, especially in EFL-related situations. There has been no vocabulary learning in analogies/anagrams instruction provided, nor has there been usage of an integrated workbook for 'vocabulary learning and analogies/anagrams'. This study examined the effect on learners' vocabulary acquisition scores when a truly phonological awareness integrated 'analogies/anagrams and vocabulary learning' workbook was used as an instructional practice workbook. The results show that the phonological awareness integrated instruction significantly increased learners' vocabulary acquisition scores among 40 college students with minimal or basic level of English proficiency.
The aim of this study is to present preliminary results from an ongoing large-scale study of English-language future goal orientations held by Japanese university students. The work here involves an investigation of learners in multiple disciplines, from five universities, both public and private, in the Kanto-region of Japan, and their perspective on their future use of English. The results summarize written essays on L2-goal orientations. Preliminary results indicate Japanese learners (n = 629) as a whole have disparate L2-learning goals; however, these can be summarized into four broad categories: career, personal life, study, and general; and early findings indicate that most learners (63.56%) are oriented to career or personal goal orientations, while others are oriented to study and general. These early results help us to gain a better understanding of the future goals of Japanese university learners and their views of English usage in the future.
This study investigated Korean university students' perceptions of NESTs (Native English Speaking Teachers) and NNESTs (Non-native English Speaking Teachers) in TEE (Teaching English through English) courses to examine strengths and weaknesses of NESTs and NNESTs. 100 university students who had an experience in taking TEE courses with both NESTs and NNESTs answered the questionnaire in which they were asked to answer questions of general area, language skills, affective areas, and teaching behaviors. 20 students out of them were also interviewed to consolidate the data. The results revealed that except for speaking ability, students did not express a strong preference for NESTs and they did have a preference in learning some specific skills. In terms of affective areas, students had a preference for NNESTs. In addition, there were differences in teaching behaviors of NESTs and NNESTs. These findings have valuable implications for NNESTs to improve their speaking proficiency: analyzing and participating in discourses, and monitoring teaching practice through videotaping.
As the demand of English education is increasing, the demand for Native English speaking teachers (NEST) is rising, especially in Asian countries. However, due to the low number of NEST, the Korean government is suggesting that Filipino Women be used as English teachers as an alternative. This study aims to answer three questions: (1) are Filipino women in Korea qualified to teach English based on the error analysis of their written essays? (2) what are the linguistic features found in their diagnostic essays? and (3) is their written English better than Korean college students' written English based on the comparison of the two groups? The findings from the Filipino participants show the most frequently occurring errors are related to punctuation usage (commas and hyphens), vocabulary (word choice), verb usage, redundancy, and even as basic as capitalization usage. The results from the comparison of the two groups show that the percentage of the Filipino participants' written error was 14% while the percentage of the Korean participants was 17%. The findings would give us some ideas on the qualification of Filipino women in Korea as English teachers.
This paper presents a case study involving one Korean primary school student and people around him in order to explore the reading process in English of a young Korean EFL learner and to investigate the social context in which his reading takes place. Six participants were included in the study (one primary school student and five adult participants). The student participant was asked to read a text in English and translate what he read into Korean and the teacher participants were asked to listen to the student's reading. Semi-structured interview was used to collect data from the student as well as five adult participants (his private tutor, his parent, his state school teacher, and two other state school teachers). The analysis reveals four characteristics of the way a young EFL learner approaches reading: word-by-word reading, disconnected word recognition, selective use of cues, and lack of awareness of difficulties. The four characteristics of Kilsu's reading suggest that reading can become a wild guessing game for young foreign learners, if they give selective attention to unimportant cues while reading. The pedagogical implications of this study are also discussed to help teachers designing reading lessons for young learners.
The primary purpose of this study was to report overall findings of academic English proficiency of university ESL students in an ESL program from 2003 to 2008 at a university in the U.S. Furthermore, this study proposes to explore the effectiveness of the ESL program on developing the ESL learners' academic English proficiency. In order to achieve these purposes, this study applied a quantitative research methodology which analyzed data (more than 3,000 samples) collected by the university ESL program. The data included the ESL learners' English proficiency test scores. The results indicated that the effectiveness of the ESL program was significant in improving the ESL learners' cognitive/academic language proficiency across all three groups: ESL-only, ESL + Under, and ESL + Grad. That is, after either a complete ESL program intervention only or both a partial ESL program intervention and taking academic courses, the three groups' academic English proficiency was increased to almost same degree The findings are discussed and implications for pedagogy are suggested.
This study examines the relationship between second language use outside of class and oral proficiency development. It first identifies out-of-class activities of international graduate students in the U.S. and the average time spent speaking English in those out-of-class activities. Interviews and student self-measurements of time spent speaking English each day were used to investigate the types and quantities of out-of-class activities. In addition, two sets of student oral proficiency test scores were collected. Correlation analysis is used to find out the relationship of the variables between the most salient out-of-class activities and oral proficiency gains. The findings indicate that second language use outside of class is important for international graduate students to improve their oral proficiency. This is especially true with regularized interaction such as talking at work and the average time spent speaking in English a day outside of class. This study suggests that learners of English in an ESL environment should be encouraged to take part in out-of-class activities in addition to English use in the classroom in order for them to improve their oral proficiency.
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