INVITED SPEAKERS

Keynote Speakers

Xuesong (Andy) Gao (University of New South Wales Australia)

Self-regulation in language learning strategy research


In the last decade, researchers who explore language learners’ strategic engagement have found it difficult not to refer to the notion of self-regulation when publishing their works. In fact, many language learning researchers have used the theorization of self regulation to frame language learning strategy research in recent publications. In this talk, I review the relevant studies on self-regulated language learning since the concept of self-regulatory learning capacity was promoted to replace language learning strategy as an individual difference factor. I not only document what has been achieved in the studies on self-regulated language learning but I also contend that the advancement of self-regulation in language learning research has not solved the problems that it was supposed to solve with regard to language learning strategy research. For this reason, I present a study that uses sociocultural perspectives on language learning to explore English language learners’ self-regulated strategic learning of language and subject content in Hong Kong. I argue that more research on self-regulated strategic learning needs to be informed by a variety of theoretical perspectives so that they will help us understand both how and why language learners strategically regulate and control their language learning process.

Biography:
Xuesong (Andy) Gao is associate professor in TESOL at the School of Education, University of New South Wales. He has published extensively on topics including language learning strategy, language teacher education and language education policy. He co-edits System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics for Elsevier.

 


 

Peter Yongqi Gu (Victoria University of Wellington)

Dynamic assessment, strategy instruction and learner empowerment



Strategy instruction puts our research claims to the test. It must also be encouraged if language learning strategy research is to fulfil our claim for practical usefulness. This presentation focuses on strategy assessment for strategy instruction. In particular, I will examine how dynamic assessment of strategies can benefit strategy instruction and eventually empower the learners.

Strategy assessment has normally been associated with strategy instruction research in order to capture the effectiveness of the instruction programme. Typically, this effectiveness has been reported in two ways, improvement in task learning, and improvement in strategy use. Very often improvement is indicated by the gain scores between pre- and post-tests. Additionally, diagnosing strategy use among a group of students is also a crucially important procedure before instruction takes place. This helps make sure that the strategy intervention programme is targeted and that the instruction is differentiated.

In this presentation, I will show that strategy assessment in strategy instruction research has almost exclusively focused on the assessment of strategic learning and not assessment for strategic learning. Specifically, I will illustrate how dynamic assessment of strategic language learning, especially that in the interactionist tradition (assessment-mediation-assessment), can lead to the growth of strategic learning ability.

Biography:
Peter Yongqi Gu is Associate Professor of applied linguistics at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has also taught in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He has published extensively on vocabulary learning and teaching, language testing and assessment, and language learning strategies.

 


 

Luke Plonsky (Northern Arizona University)

Second-language strategy instruction: Where do we go from here?

 

A vast body of research has been concerned with second/foreign (L2) language strategy instruction (SI). To my knowledge, in fact, this topic has been the subject of over 400 studies, reviews, book chapters, monographs, and dissertations/theses. Such great attention to this domain is not without good reason. There are a number of theoretical and practical rationales supporting empirical efforts in this area. Building on the last four decades of research, this paper seeks to accomplish three main goals that I hope will both elucidate our understanding of SI as well as inform future research and practice. The first goal is to provide a birds’-eye view on the effects of SI. Toward this end, I will examine the results of several recent meta-analyses (e.g., Ardasheva et al., 2018; Plonsky, in press). The second goal is concerned not with what we know but, rather, with what questions remain. In particular, I will identify fruitful questions for future research (see Plonsky & Sudina, in press). Finally, whereas the first and second goals are substantive in nature, the third is methodological. Beginning with the assumption that high quality research is a pre-requisite for theoretical and empirical progress (see Plonsky, 2013, in press), this phase of the discussion will address a number of research and reporting practices in SI. More specifically, following recent reviews within the strategies literature (e.g., Rose et al., 2018, in System) and elsewhere in applied linguistics (e.g., Marsden et al., 2018, in Applied Psycholinguistics), I will identify a number of issues related to design, measurement, and quantitative data analysis where improvements are needed in SI research.

Biography:
Luke Plonsky is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University, where he teaches courses in SLA and research methods. His work in these areas has resulted in over 60 articles, book chapters, and books. Luke is Associate Editor of SSLA, Managing Editor of Foreign Language Annals, Co-Editor of de Gruyter Mouton’s Series on Language Acquisition, and Co-Director of the IRIS Database (iris-database.org). In addition to prior appointments at Georgetown and University College London, Luke has taught in Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, and Puerto Rico.

 


 

Heath Rose (Oxford University)

Evolving directions in language learning strategies: the interplay between self-regulation and learner strategies in teaching and research

This talk explores current and future directions in strategy research in order to establish a research agenda that is compatible with instructed language learning settings. Language learning strategy research has been subjected to two substantial waves of criticisms in the past—the last of which culminated in calls for the field to be replaced with the construct of self-regulation. Rather than retreating from the research arena in the wake of such criticisms, learning strategy researchers have rallied in recent years, and the field is experiencing a renewed research resurgence. This talk focuses on the issues surrounding strategy and self-regulatory theorizations, and it uses this as a platform to evaluate how the field has responded to critiques in innovative ways. The presentation explores trends evident in a number of recent studies that are part of this resurgence, in order to inform future avenues for strategy research. The talk also explores the interplay of self-regulation, other-regulation and strategy use (e.g. Thomas & Rose, 2018), questioning whether strategies need to be self-regulated to be effective. Such perspectives might be seen to minimize the role of the teacher as a key agent of change in influencing the strategic behaviour of their students, despite sustained evidence that strategy instruction can (and does) work.

Biography:
Heath Rose is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. Before moving into academia, Heath worked as a language teacher in Australia and Japan for 15 years. His research interests are in Global Englishes, learning strategies, and TESOL. He is author of numerous books including Introducing Global Englishes (Routledge, 2015) and Global Englishes for Language Teaching (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Invited Symposiums

Dynamic emotions underlying L2 Willingness to Communicate: Enjoyment, engagement, and anxiety

Organizers:
Tomoko Yashima (Kansai University, Japan)
Peter D. MacIntyre (Cape Breton University, Canada)

Presenters:
Peter D. MacIntyre (Cape Breton University)
Scott Aubrey (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Junko Toyoda (Kansai Gaidai University)
Tomoko Yashima (Kansai University)

           

This symposium will focus on research on emotions underlying L2 Willingness to Communicate (WTC) and communication in language classrooms. Each presentation will include details about innovative data collection methods designed to capture emotional dynamics. Anxiety—and its influence on L2 communication—has been examined frequently. Building upon that foundation, a recent surge of interest in positive psychology has encouraged researchers to focus on positive emotions as well, including enjoyment and feelings associated with engagement. Facilitating new insights into emotions and WTC is the diversification of research methods to capture the dynamics of emotion on different time scales. This symposium will discuss the following topics: 1) Two research methods will be demonstrated from a complex, dynamic systems perspective (idiodynamics, and experience sampling) with reference to specific studies of anxiety and WTC; 2) Effects of task-based teaching intervention in a junior high schools will be presented focusing on learners’ enjoyment, engagement, self-confidence, and WTC; 3) A semester-long intervention in a university EFL classroom designed to encourage learners’ participation in discussions of various topics will capture the dynamic nature of learners’ emotions, including anxiety, interest, and satisfaction, while the amount of learner talk fluctuated; and 4) Finally a report on a study that examined the change in ‘flow’ states of Japanese EFL learners over five tasks. Participants reported on their task experiences for each task performance via questionnaires and learner diaries.  Methodologically, the presentations will discuss the merits and challenges involved in using dynamic methods, while from a pedagogical perspective, interventional studies will offer insights into how instruction can create contexts in which positive emotions are heightened and negative emotions reduced, leading to greater L2 WTC.

 


 

Exploring strategies used for learning and using target language skills and subsystems: A micro-perspective

Organizer:
Mirosław Pawlak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz, Poland / State University of Applied Sciences, Konin, Poland)

Presenters:
Mirosław Pawlak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz, Poland / State University of Applied Sciences, Konin, Poland)
Mariusz Kruk (University of Zielona Góra, Poland)
Magdalena Szyszka (Opole University, Poland)
Joanna Zawodniak (University of Zielona Góra, Poland)

       

Research into language learning strategies (LLS) has successfully withstood the many criticisms that have been leveled over the last few decades (e.g., Dörnyei, 2005; Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015) and new lines of inquiry have been opened up, as evident in the attempts to account for strategy use in terms of the tenets of complex dynamic systems (e.g., Oxford, 2017). Still, despite the recent efforts to change the situation (e.g., Cohen & Wang, 2018), there are few studies that have adopted a micro-perspective on LLS by investigating their use in the performance of specific activities and tasks. The symposium aims to make a contribution to this important area by bringing together original studies that investigate the LLS employed for the purpose of learning and using target language skills and subsystems in a situated manner. It will open up with a state-of-the-art overview of existing research targeting strategy use in different learning tasks. This will be followed by four papers targeting LLS employed for: (1) practicing pronunciation, (2) completing a focused communication task which requires the use of a preselected grammatical feature (Ellis, 2003), (3) engaging in online communication in a virtual world, and (4) composing a piece of writing and then conducting its revision. In each case, various factors impacting LLS use will be taken into account. The symposium will close with a synthesis of the findings of the four studies, which will serve as a basis for a consideration of future research directions as well as the methodological issues involved.

 


 

Learning strategies across languages and cultures

Organizers:
Yolanda Ruiz de Zarobe (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU Spain)
Osamu Takeuchi (Kansai University, Japan)

Presenters:
Osamu Takeuchi (Kansai University)
Simone Smala (University of Queensland)
Frank Yang Gong (The Education University of Hong Kong)
Yolanda Ruiz De Zarobe (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU)

           

The concept of ‘language learning strategies’ (LLS), related to the learner’s consciously chosen tools for language learning improvement (Oxford, 2011; Griffiths 2013) has attracted, and continues to attract, a great deal of interest to teachers, learners and researchers. If we follow the premise that learning strategies can make language learning more effective, efficient, and enjoyable (Oxford et al. 2014), we can understand why its interest is not dwindling today. The aim of this symposium is to discuss the inseparable relation between language and culture with a focus on learning strategies in second language acquisition. Notably, we will analyse how, when, and what type of learning strategies can be used to help students become successful in their target language learning. In order to do so, we will bring together studies from four different countries: Japan, China, Australia and Spain that investigate how LLS can be employed in the learning of foreign languages in a diversity of contexts, from formal instruction to exchange programmes, from English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts, to content-based instruction. By tracing the experience of students and teachers across contexts and countries, we hope to expand our knowledge and understanding of the LLS field.

 

Invited Workshops

Communication strategies for public speaking: How business leaders in TED attract and guide their audience effectively

Yasuo Nakatani (Hosei University)

This workshop shares practical approaches regarding how to plan and develop an effective speech by using relevant communication strategies. The importance of specific training for oral presentation has been argued in the field of business communication. In order to persuade potential stakeholders, a speaker should help listeners identify the purpose of speech at the very beginning. Then the speaker needs to deliver clear and convincing messages to let them follow his perspective easily. To achieve these goals, presentations should be effectively organized to guide and direct audience to understand the contents of speeches. These principles could apply in higher education contexts for oral presentation training. However, to date, there is little research which examines the actual discourse of oral presentations by reliable scientific methods, such as corpus data analysis.

The author has used corpus data analysis on the transcripts of 100 TED speakers in business. The results indicate that there are persuasive terms and collocations for their presentations. It can be said that these are effective communication strategies for public speaking. Moreover, the frequent use of such strategies are significantly different from those of Japanese CEO’s.

In this work shop, we start from reviewing previous public speaking theories and their practice. Then, we share the implications from the current TED corpus analysis regarding effective strategy use. The participants have an opportunity to develop their speech draft and share their ideas with others.

Biography:
Yasuo Nakatani is a professor of Applied Linguistics at Hosei University. He received his PhD from University of Birmingham and is a visiting scholar at University of Oxford. He has published many papers in competitive journals, such as Modern language Journal. He is a reviewer of Modern Language Journal, TESOL Quarterly, SSLA, Language Learning, System, and Journal of Pragmatics.

 


 

Teaching strategies for L2 learning: Written corrective feedback

Natsuko Shintani (Kansai University)

Written corrective feedback (WCF) is the information provided to L2 learners about the ill-formedness of their written production (Loewen, 2012). It is considered to be an essential part of writing instruction by helping to improve students’ language knowledge. Various strategies for providing WCF have been identified by researchers in terms of the explicitness of feedback (direct, indirect, and metalinguistic CF), the focus of the feedback (focused and unfocused CF), the medium of feedback (computer-mediated CF), and the timing of feedback (immediate and delayed CF). The effectiveness of these different types of feedback has been much of interest for researchers and teachers. 

This workshop focuses on the effectiveness of WCF. It first overviews theoretical underpinnings of WCF for language learning. Drawing on the cognitive-interactionist viewpoint, I will examine what cognitive processes are involved when learners write and revise the text based on feedback. I will then introduce the various feedback strategies and examine their effectiveness by considering the five questions raised by Hendrickson (1977): Should learner errors be corrected?; Which learner errors should be corrected?; When should learner errors be corrected?; How should learner errors be corrected?; Who should correct learner errors? I will conclude the workshop with suggestions for future written CF research.

Biography:
Natsuko Shintani is a Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Kansai University. She has taught applied linguistics courses at the postgraduate level at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Her research interests encompass the roles of interaction in second language acquisition, second language writing, and task-based language teaching.