Published: The pedagogical benefits of a linguistic landscape project in Japan

19 09 2012

ELI lecturer Luke Rowland recently published the following journal article:

Rowland, L. (2012). The pedagogical benefits of a linguistic landscape project in Japan. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1-12.

doi: 10.1080/13670050.2012.708319

This article examines the claims made by various scholars regarding the use of the linguistic landscape as a pedagogical resource within multilingual educational contexts. As an area of increasing interest in sociolinguistic research and with an established pedagogical history in L1 literacy classrooms, the study of publicly displayed texts, such as advertisements and road signs, is now beginning to find favour in L2 classrooms, particularly in English as a Second Language (ESL) contexts. As a point of difference, the current study describes the implementation of an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom project which required students to collect and analyse photographs of English used on signs in Japan. The students’ analyses of their local linguistic landscape are discussed with reference to the claims made in the relevant literature about the benefits of having language learners engage with texts displayed in public. Overall, the study supports the idea that pedagogical linguistic landscape projects can be valuable to EFL students in a variety of ways, particularly in the development of students’ symbolic competence and literacy skills in a multiliteracies sense.

Published: Is grammar anxiety hindering English speaking in Japanese students

10 10 2011

ELI lecturer Thomas Lockley and former ELI lecturer Stephanie Farrell have published an article in the November 2011 issue of the JALT Journal. Publication information follows:

Lockley, T., & Farrell, S. (2011). Is grammar anxiety hindering English speaking in Japanese students? JALT Journal, 33(1), 175-189.

Researchers and teachers have observed time and again that speaking in the L2
causes anxiety in many Japanese students (Cutrone, 2009; Kitano, 2001); the students
seem to be afraid of making mistakes in front of their peers and teachers. Is
the reason for this fear anxiety about the speaker’s grammar? This study, based on
questionnaire data obtained from 54 Japanese EFL students at a university in Japan,
explored the relationship between language learners’ confidence in their grammatical
ability and their actual speaking performance. The relationships were examined
between students’ perceptions of their grammatical competence (self-evaluation),
actual speaking level (scores from the Kanda English Proficiency Test [KEPT]), and
overall strength in English (scores from the Test of English for International Communication
[TOEIC]). Qualitative data collected from the questionnaire was also
analysed. The study did not find a significant relationship between confidence in
grammar and speaking. Self-perception of grammatical ability appears to have little
to do with how a person performs orally.