Dr. Xuesong (Andy) Gao
The University of Hong KongPromoting Intercultural Understanding in Classrooms: Making a Case for Japanese Language Learners in China
This paper draws on a mixed study on Japanese learners’ Japanese posture or attitudes towards Japan in China in light of the rising political tensions between the two countries. Over 600 learners participated in a survey on their Japanese posture and 36 of them were interviewed about their experiences of learning Japanese. Preliminary analysis of the survey data identified that the recent tensions between the two countries do not have significant impact on the participants’ Japanese posture. The interview data revealed that the interviewed participants might have insufficient understanding of Japan whether or not they had positive perceptions of the country. The findings suggest that it has become necessary to strengthen the social and cultural content in the Japanese language curricula and engage learners with more efforts to understand contemporary sociocultural issues in classrooms. While it is crucial to facilitate Japanese language learners’ exposure to Japan-related information and cultural products in the Japanese language through technology, it is also critical for Japanese language educators to assist them in critical examinations of various social and cultural issues that they were exposed to towards better intercultural understanding in classrooms.Bio
Dr. XUESONG (ANDY) GAO is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. His current research and teaching interests are in the areas of learner autonomy, sociolinguistics,language learning narratives and language teacher education. He has published widely in journals including Applied Linguistics, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language Teaching Research, Studies in Higher Education, System, Teaching and Teacher Education, and TESOL Quarterly. He is co-editor of System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics and serves on editorial boards of The Asia Pacific Education Researcher, Journal of Language, Identity and Education and Teacher Development. He is the immediate past president of Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics.
Dr. Alison Mackey
Georgetown UniversitySecond Language Interaction: How Research Can Inform Instructional PracticeMackey先生要項原稿参考文献.pdf
Over the past twenty-five years there have been more than seventy empirical studies of input, interaction and L2 learning outcomes in laboratory and classroom settings, together with several research syntheses and meta-analyses. Collectively, this body of work provides empirical support for claims about the efficacy of task-based interaction in promoting second language learning. Different angles have been taken, for example, cognitively-oriented research has investigated relationships amongst working memory, creativity, noticing and attention, aptitude, and interaction-driven language learning. Socially-oriented research has focused on other important factors such as the roles of learners’ peers, and specific conversational contexts in task-based interaction-driven learning. Findings of these studies explain how and why task-based interaction can work to positively impact language learning and why it sometimes doesn’t. I will first summarize this background and then move on to discussing how research findings such as these can be translated into specific guidelines for implementing task-based language teaching, for example, looking at how giving planning time in tasks can impact both production and development of language. I will also focus on how findings on the developmental benefits of interaction can be used to underpin the design of different types of task, as well as to inform instructors about how to best implement tasks in instructional settings.Bio
Alison Mackey is Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She is interested in research methodology, individual differences and corrective feedback in second language acquisition. She has authored 100+ articles, chapters, and reports, and published twelve books. She investigates adult and child second language learning processes and outcomes in experimental and classroom studies. She is the winner of the 2013 Modern Language Association's Mildenburger prize (with Susan M. Gass), Editor-in-Chief of Cambridge University Press's Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, official journal of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and series editor of the Taylor and Francis series Second Language Acquisition Research.
Dr. Neomy Storch
The University of MelbourneCollaborative Writing in Face-to-face and Computer Mediated Modes: Students’ Interactions and Pedagogical ImplicationsCollaborative writing requires learners to interact in the process of producing one joint text. Research has shown that the activity provides second language (L2) learners with opportunities for language learning (e.g. Brooks & Swain, 2009; Fernandez Dobao, 2012; Storch, 2002, 2009; Storch & Aldosari, 2013; Swain, 1998; Swain & Lapkin, 2001; Watanabe & Swain, 2007) as well as for learning to write in the L2 (e.g. Shehadeh, 2011). Recent developments in technology, and in particular the advent of collaborative writing platforms such as Wikis and Google Docs, means that learners can now collaborate online rather than in a physical face-to-face mode, to do so in larger groups, and outside the confines of the regular classroom. However, to fully understand and evaluate the impact of this online mode of interaction on language learning, we need to investigate and compare learners’ interaction in computer mediated and face-to- face collaborative writing activities.
I begin my presentation with an explanation of what I mean by collaborative writing and the reasons for using such activities in my L2 writing (ESL) classes. I then report on the findings of two studies conducted by my graduate students. Both studies compared the interaction of the same pairs of L2 learners completing collaborative writing tasks in face-to-face (FTF) and computer mediated modes. The findings of the studies show that the mode of interaction had an effect on what the learners focus on and, more importantly, on the nature of their interaction. There was more evidence of cooperation in the computer mediated mode and collaboration in the FTF mode. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for writing pedagogy and for second language learning.
Dr Neomy Storch is a senior lecturer in applied linguistics and convenor of the ESL Program in the School of Languages & Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on issues related to ESL pedagogy, and in particular second language writing and the nature of peer interaction. She has presented and published widely on her research, including a book on collaborative writing (2013) and a co-authored book on corrective feedback (forthcoming). She is the co-editor of the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics and a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Second Language Writing and Language Teaching Research.