The Spring 2009 issue of the ATESL Journal presents a wide range of well-planned and clearly presented papers that illustrate the internationalism as well as the research skills of our contributors.
Mansoor Tavakoli and Behrooz Ghoorchaei, both from Iran, report an exploration of self-assessment of the oral proficiency of a group of Iranian students, but found no correlation between their self-awarded scores and the judgments of one of the researchers: they also found that the students’ tendency to taking risks did not correlate with their self-assessments (the test in Farsi included in the appendix attests to the ability of our printer to handle foreign fonts). He An E (trained in China and Australia) and Elizabeth Walker (trained in Australia and Hong Kong), both teaching now in Hong Kong, describe a pioneering study of a corpus of content-based pedagogic monologues (at least 100 words long) of two Chinese speakers teaching science and geography in English-medium high schools. The study shows both the possibility and complexity of capturing the language of the classroom teacher.
Heng-Tsung Danny Huang, current studying in the USA, reports a study of a sample of Taiwanese students at a technological university showing the contribution of previewing to reading comprehension. Li Zhang, Tongshun Wang, and Yue Zheng all teach at universities in China; they analyze the strategies used by a group of university students to deal with communication difficulties. Mansoor Ganji, teaching at a university in Iran, describes a study of correction methods used for 8 weeks with some 50 Iranian students: least effective was correction by teachers, next was self-correction, and best was correction by peers.
Sawako Kato, teaching in Japan, studied the language learning strategies and personality traits of 187 Japanese university students; the results suggested that an enjoyable and interactive learning environment is beneficial. Yongyan Zheng is studying lexical learning among students in a Hong Kong university: she has interesting findings about progression and the relation between receptive and productive lexicon. Zorana Vasiljevic, a genuine TESOL cosmopolitan who has studied in Serbia, England and Australia and is presently teaching in Japan, describes a pilot study of the effectiveness of a successful approach to teaching vocabulary to adults.
Recalling that these are the carefully selected and edited papers from an even wider range of submissions, we must first congratulate the authors on demonstrating the professional and academic skills required for publication in an international journal, and thank the members of the editorial team who helped in the selection and suggested any needed revisions. But we must not sit back and imply full satisfaction with the quality of the journal, but ask rather how we can continue to improve.
The most apparent limitation of the studies is not in the selection of topic, or the defining of hypotheses to test, or the planning of studies, or the analysis and discussion of results and their implications, all of which show the high quality of the contributors, but in the tentativeness of conclusions determined commonly by the restricted size of the studies in both number and variety of subjects and length of the experiments.
You might fairly say that this is an unreasonable expectation, for our normal contributor is unlikely to have funds available for supporting large-scale research projects by allowing time off teaching or hiring research assistance or paying subjects. How might this be remedied, apart from the provision by sympathetic foundations and governments of generous funds for research, as some of us were fortunate enough to receive in the 1960s and 1970s?
One idea might be to emulate the example of an older international English teachers’ group, International TESOL, which established 10 years ago TIRF (The International Research Foundation for English Language Education). I have just been looking at its web site (http://www.tirfonline.org/index.html) and notice that among its most generous founders (donors who have donated over $75,000 each) are four major testing and publication organizations whose extensive operations in Asia might encourage them to set an example for similar local organizations to start building a regional research fund.
Perhaps the Asia TEFL leadership might be willing to explore this method of funding “a research and development program that will generate new knowledge and inform and improve the quality of English language teaching and learning.” Clearly, anything which would raise the resources to support research will contribute to raising the quality of the work being reported by the Asian cadre of highly qualified scholars and so of the Journal to which they contribute.
Angel M. Y. Lin (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) Anne Burns (Macquarie University, Australia) Asruddin Tou (Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia) David Nunan (Anaheim University, Hong Kong) Farhat Khan (Aligarh Muslim University, India) Fatma Alwan (UAE Ministry of Education, UAE) Hemamala Vajira Madawala Ratwatte (Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka) Hyacinth Gaudart (University of Malaya, Malaysia) Jun Liu (University of Arizona, USA) Kensaku Yoshida (Sophia University, Japan) Qiufang Wen (Beijing Foreign Studies University, China) Oryang Kwon (Seoul National University, Korea) Leo VanLier (Monterey Institute of International Studies, Thailand) Lubna Alsagoff (Nanyang Techological University, Singapore) Malru Vilches (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines) Mehdi Riazi (Shiraz University, Iran) Michael McCarthy (University of Nottingham, UK) Mick Randall (British University in Dubai, UAE) Mike Levy (Griffith University, Australia) Nasreen Mujahida Ahsan (Aga Khan University, Pakistan) Neil Anderson (Brigham Young University, USA) Richard Baldauf (Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan) Roger Barnard (University of Waikato, New Zealand) Ronald Carter (University of Nottingham, UK) Saran Kaur Gill (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia) Shahid Siddiqui (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan) Stephen Andrews (Hong Kong University, Hong Kong) Thomas Farrell (Brock University, Canada) William Littlewood (Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong) Won-Key Lee (Seoul National University of Education, Korea) Yasuo Nakatni (Japan, Tokyo University of Science, Japan) Yuko Butler (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Editorial Board (Editors)
Arifa Rahman (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) Christine Coombe (Dubai Mem’s College, UAE) David C.S. Li (Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong) Elinor Saiegh Haddad (Bar Ilan University, Israel) Fuad Abdul Hamied (Indonesia University of Education, Indonesia) He Lianzhen (Zhejiang University, China) Hee-Kyung Lee (Yonsei University, Korea) Jin-Young Shim (Open Cyber University, Korea) Jungmin Ko (Sungshin University, Korea) Kazem Lotfipour-Saedi (Akita International University, Japan) Leslie Barratt (Indiana State University, USA) Mardziah Hayati Abdullah (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia) Marianne Perfecto (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines) Mei Lin Caroline Ho (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) Nobuo Okada (Osaka University, Japan) Olga Sichyova (Amur State University, Russia) Pragasit Sitthitikul (Walailak University, Thailand) Punchalee Wasanasomsithi (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand) RS Gupta (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India) Samina Qadir (Fatima Jinnah University, Pakistan) Toshihiko Suzuki (Waseda University, Japan) Yonglin Yang (Tsinghua University, China) Young-in Moon (University of Seoul, Korea) Yusun Kang (Korea University, Korea) Zoya Profshina (Far Eastern University, Russia)
Editorial Board (Readers)
Duqin Wang (Beijing Institute of Petro-chemical Technology, China) Zhichang Xu (The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong) Wataru Suzuki (University of Toronto, Canada) Honggang Liu (Peking University, China) Lixin Xiao (Tianjin Polytechnic University, P. R. China) Marie J. Guilloteaux (Gyeongsang National University, Korea) Natalia Prosh'yants (Far Eastern National University, Russia) Bee Hoon Tan (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia) Ju Zhan (Jilin University, China) DIL AFROZE QUADER (Dhaka University, Bangladesh) Tae-Young Kim (Chung-Ang University, Korea) Saovapa Wichadee (Bangkok University, Thailand) Hongjun Fu (Xinjiang University, China) Faizah A Majid (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia) Rieko Matsuoka (National College of Nursing, Japan) Phuc Cao Nguyen (Khanh Hoa Department of Education and Training, Vietnam) AnE He (Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong) Xuesong Gao (Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong SAR, China) Ed Nicholson (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China) Meihua Liu (Tsinghua University, China) Eunice Tang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) Masdinah Alauyah Md. Yusof (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia) Nematullah Shomoossi (Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Iran) Kamisah Ariffin (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia) Justin Shewell (United Arab Emirates University, UAE) Hua Chen (Nanjing University, China) Deron Walker (California Baptist University, USA) Younghwa Lee (Sun Moon University, Korea) Junju Wang (Shandong University, China) Li Li (Queen's University, Belfast, UK) Thu Dinh Nguyen (HochiMinh City University of Technical Education (HCMUTE)-Vietnam) Helena Agustien (SEAMEO-RELC, Singapore) Sayeedur Rahman (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) Md. Maniruzzaman (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh) Svetlana Suchkova (Samara State Aerospace University, Russia) Chayanika Hazarika (The English and Foreign Languages University, India) SungSoo Jang (Inje University, Korea) Hasan Ansary (Islamic Azad University, Iran) Nasrin Shokrpour (Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran) Yan Yan Zhang (Wuhan University, China) Arna Peretz (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) Yazid Basthomi Abbas Zare-ee (University of Kashan, Iran) Awad Ahmed (An-Najah National University, Palestine) Esmat Babaii (University for Teacher Education, Iran) FRANCIS XAVIER (Universiti Teknologi MARA Kedah, Malaysia) Trudy Zuckermann (Hebrew University, Israel; Achva Academic College of Education, Israel) Kishwar Khan (Haraganga college, Bangladesh) Mohammed Jasim Betti (University of Thi-Qar, Iraq) Tzu-chia Chao (Ming Hsin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan) N.D.R. Chandra (Nagaland University, India) Huw Jarvis (University of Salford, UK) Tan Bee Tin (The University of Auckland, New Zealand) Dongwan Cho (Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea)