22 October 2017

ELT in Japan (Practitioner Journal) October 2017 Preview

After a 5 year hiatus (to work on textbooks), we will be publishing a new issue of  ELT-J. The two articles in this October 2017 issue are previewed below. Links for a download of the issue as a PDF will follow.

A Review of L2 Student Motivation
Robert Dykes
University of Fukui (Fukui, Japan)

Abstract

Motivation in the contexts of SL, FL and L2 learning has been researched and analyzed since the 1950s.  (Gardner, 2006). It has been concluded through research that aptitude alone is not enough to succeed in the L2 classroom (Gardner, 1985). Dornyei (1998) maintains that alongside aptitude, motivation is a key factor in language acquisition success. The amount of material completed on motivation within the L2 context since the 1950s is far too extensive to cover in an essay of this size and cope, so it will instead briefly cover some of the key and influential explanations of motivation, focusing mostly on the work of Gardner, Dornyei, and some key developments stemming from these two. After reviewing L2 student motivation as enacted in such research and theorizing, possible pedagogical applications in institutional and classroom environments will be offered and critically examined.

Keywords: motivation, attitude, learning, language learning 



Creating a Pronunciation Strand for a Spoken English Syllabus
Charles E. Jannuzi
University of Fukui (Fukui, Japan)

Abstract

Phonetics and phonology are often taught as an academic course to teachers in training. The theories and concepts used tend to reflect a rather old structuralist heritage. This is indicated by the use of such terms as 'phonemes', 'sound segments', and 'minimal pairs'. The treatment of supra-segmentals / non-segmentals tends to be structuralist as well. This article is not really a re-hash of phonetics and phonology based on the structuralist heritage of ELT . Rather, what is presented is a specific plan for implementing and integrating a pronunciation strand into a spoken English course syllabus that lacks one (e.g., oral communication, English speaking, English conversation, etc.). The examples are based on pronunciation for teaching EFL to Japanese and Chinese students at universities in Japan. The model can be applied to other L2s, students with other native language backgrounds, and other teaching situations. No specialist knowledge in either phonetics or phonology is required for teachers wishing to implement such a component to supplement a given syllabus. However, rather than treating pronunciation as a marginal skill, pronunciation is presented here as essential to successful L2 learning. That is, it is best taught as 'applied phonology' in support of L2 learning (e.g., language processing, memory skills, listening skills, articulation, etc.) using a lexical approach. By 'lexical approach' it is meant that pronunciation materials should be based on the most frequent words of English.

Keywords:  pronunciation teaching, pronunciation learning, lexical approach

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