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University language teachers as autonomous learners

University language teachers as autonomous learners

From the perspective of teachers as learners, besides the obvious cognitive aspects involved in the learning process, the studies so far also point to social and individual aspects. Regarding the former, colleagues and school communities play a significant role, indicating the collaborative nature of teachers' professional learning as a facilitating factor in teacher development (Loewenberg Ball & Cohen 1999, Kwo 2010 to quote a few). As for the individual factors, special characteristics of teachers, comprising teachers' attitudes towards their own learning and their awareness of the need for change (Hahn 2007; Pennington 1996; Wilson & Berne 1999; Bailey et al. 2001), together with the way they relate to their own professional knowledge (Johnson 2009) stand out as crucial to the development of the teachers. However, the studies do not give conclusive results about many aspects of teacher learning. Firstly, what all the aspects discussed so far really mean for the teachers and how they fit in the development process has not yet been clarified, as well as what teachers ultimately must learn to develop professional competence. Secondly, and more significantly, how teachers concretely proceed, what are their goals, what strategies do they employ, or what procedures they choose is not mentioned and not even explored in the studies. Individual factors have recently been assumed in the discussion as critical to the impact of professional development initiatives, such as goals and teachers' perceptions of relevance (Lipowsky2010). We can agree with this hypothesis but its value rests on an assumption. Thirdly, also the review about teachers' competences does not clearly conclude what exactly teachers must learn to become "competent professionals". The question of teachers' knowledge base has been debated as well, and further aspects have emerged, such as self-regulative elements (Lipowsky 2010; Stern & Streissler 2007). However, self-regulation aspects have usually been investigated for learners, but not sufficiently for teachers. When they have been addressed in relation to teachers, they are associated with burn-out problems (Baumert & Kunter 2006). Besides, the relationship between all the new components of teacher professional competence is not clear and the fundamental question of what these recent insights now mean for teachers' professional competence has not been addressed.
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Pre-service preschool teachers’ beliefs about foreign language learning and early foreign language teaching in Slovenia

Pre-service preschool teachers’ beliefs about foreign language learning and early foreign language teaching in Slovenia

It has been recognised that beliefs about language learning are context- specific, and that learners from different cultures may have different attitudes, approaches and opinions regarding learning a new language. Furthermore, as Fullan (2007) points out, whenever we plan an educational change (in our case, introducing an FL into the preschool period), all stakeholders need to be in- volved. With educational change, the roles and beliefs of teachers need to be researched thoroughly for successful implementation to take place. The main aim of this study was to investigate pre-service preschool teachers’ beliefs about foreign language learning and early foreign language teaching in Slovenia. Our objective was to determine whether these teachers have a positive attitude to- wards early FL learning, and towards languages and language learning in gen- eral. We wanted to know whether they would be willing to teach FLs and under what conditions. We also enquired about their awareness of early FL learn- ing strategies and the most appropriate methods for teaching FLs to preschool children. Furthermore, we asked the teachers about the importance of the FL proficiency level in teaching preschool children.
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English teachers' beliefs about bi- and multilingualism and how they affect their language learners / vorgelegt von Michael Brummer

English teachers' beliefs about bi- and multilingualism and how they affect their language learners / vorgelegt von Michael Brummer

One big advantage of using interviews is that they allow the researcher to get more detailed data about complex situations than they can be achieved through questionnaires with many closed questions (Dörnyei 2007: 39). In my view, dealing with deficit perspectives requires a lot of sensitivity and a profound set of underlying data to avoid jumping to conclusions. This goes hand in hand with the feasibility to ask more why-questions, which allow research participants to justify their answers (Dörnyei 2007: 40). According to the possible structures of interviews, I used structured to semi-structured interviews for the group discussions, which means that I had prepared concrete questions before doing the interview, but also allowed my interviewees to put amplified focus on topics they found particularly interesting (Hall 2012: 180). Advantages of using a less restricted structure are the flexibility of the interview and the opportunities to get insight into topics that are relevant for the research but has not been considered by the interviewer so far (Hall 2012: 181). As Hall suggests, I recorded all my interviews in order to get an accurate and detailed transcription afterwards. For this, I always used two recording devices to be on the safe side. Pauses, overlaps and laughter were visualized in the transcripts by using symbols as suggested by Bohnsack (1999).
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Japanese as Foreign Language in the early twenty-first century – policy learners and native speakers

Japanese as Foreign Language in the early twenty-first century – policy learners and native speakers

China and Taiwan, more than 50 percent of learners belong to higher educational institutions. In Brazil, nearly 80 percent of learners study Japanese in non-school institutions (Japan Foundation 2003a). The differ- ences reflect the educational structures, language policies, and linguistic backgrounds of the respective countries. Australia and New Zealand have enjoyed large-scale promotion of Japanese as a major foreign lan- guage at school and university levels over the last couple of decades, for example, after the National Policy on Languages was introduced in 1987 in Australia. Japanese is now one of the most popular foreign languages in both countries. The 2003 Japan Foundation survey recorded 369,157 pupils at primary and secondary school level learning Japanese in Aus- tralia, and 26,012 in New Zealand (Japan Foundation 2003a). Japanese takes far longer for native speakers of English to acquire than European languages, so it is more effective for it to be introduced early in the education system. In Korea, Japanese is the first foreign language, rela- tively easy to learn because of similarities in grammar (Kurokawa 1992: 98). China has chosen to make English the main foreign language at school level, because of its role as the international language of com- merce; in other words, promoting English is part of economic policy. The dominance of non-school institutions in Brazil is almost certainly a reflec- tion of the Japanese government’s policy of allowing immigration by the large numbers of nikkeijin [people of Japanese descent] from that country, as discussed later in this paper.
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Modality specific text and oral production in adult second language learners / vorgelegt von Daniela Planitzer

Modality specific text and oral production in adult second language learners / vorgelegt von Daniela Planitzer

The factors that distinguish first and second language acquisition seem to create a mystery for researchers. Ioup (1995:95) states that it is commonly known that children acquire their first language without prior information of formal language properties (i.e. grammar) while adult learners are usually accompanied to a certain extent by “formal instruction” or “error correction”. Furthermore, Ioup (1995:103ff) shows on the basis of her research on two subjects who acquired Arabic as their second language in their adult years , that input enhancement is not essential to attain a native-like language level. She explains that one subject acquired the language in an uninstructed way over a period of 26 years in Egypt, while the other subject received extensive formal instruction for several years in a non-L2 environment and had lived in Cairo for 10 years at the time of the study. Finally, Ioup (1995:105f) compared the ultimate attainment of her subjects and discovered that both acquired native-like language levels and the margin between the two test subjects only showed minimal differences. The evaluation of ultimate language attainment was carried out by 13 judges (who were teachers of Arabic as a foreign language) whereas 8 rated the two test subjects as native speakers. However, the test result cannot be fully verified as the uninstructed test subject was engaged in a kind of self-instruction program where grammar rules, vocabulary and phonology was studied and revised.
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Teacher subjectivity regarding assessment: exploring English as a foreign language teachers’ conceptions of assessment theories that influence student learning

Teacher subjectivity regarding assessment: exploring English as a foreign language teachers’ conceptions of assessment theories that influence student learning

Thus, at this juncture, a paradigmatic shift from teaching to learning that is generally measurable based on student learning (Kraler & Schratz, 2012) is needed, and this calls for greater collaboration, coordination, and participation from various stakeholders, especially teachers, to take student-centred learning forward. In addition, it will require innovative ways of thinking about assess- ment and creative theoretical approaches that could help refine traditional con- cepts. Furthermore, assessment should be made more transparent and should be designed to provide greater student involvement in their assessments, as all these elements have significant potential to overcome some of the loopholes in existing approaches and connect assessment more explicitly to educational goals (Broadfoot, 2017). This can be addressed if teachers take drastic steps to develop and align their assessment practices to cater to the diverse needs of 21 st -century learners. Thus, the overarching question for this study asks how EFL teachers in Czech lower secondary schools construct their subjective theories of assessment.
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An ecological perspective on teachers' identities in second language acquisition: German language teachers in the USA / vorgelegt von Michelle Kristin Gilluly

An ecological perspective on teachers' identities in second language acquisition: German language teachers in the USA / vorgelegt von Michelle Kristin Gilluly

measures to give “a little bit more credibility to learning a European language” (A3:21), such as getting involved in professional organizations. Despite the emphasis being “towards Asian languages right now” (A3:21), Agnes noted that being involved in professional organizations lends authority to teaching German. Regarding her professional identity, she does not ‘just teach in a classroom’, she also attends workshops, which are both required and must be paid for ‘out of pocket’. She recognizes the importance of staying current not just content-wise, but also culturally. For instance, she has been very involved with the world of AATG and has been involved with the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of XX. In characterizing herself as a professional in the field of teaching in comparison with a business professional, Agnes believes that “there's an end to your day [as a business professional] that the teaching profession doesn't necessarily have. You're in class six hours with students, or five to six with students, but then you still got another five hours or so of work. There's no way you can do planning and grading in two hours, if you wanted to work the eight-hour workday…the teaching profession gives unpaid time of themselves more than a working professional does” (A3:22). She iterated firmly, “Grading. I hate grading. I absolutely hate it (A2:10).Although teachers “have the same four-year degree” as business professionals, non-educators might earn “a hundred thousand dollars after maybe only ten years of working. A teacher might be able to see that if they go back and get a Master’s degree and they're at the end of their teaching career. They may break a hundred thousand, but it's not very possible” (A3:22). Agnes also stated strongly that “the hierarchy of teaching is different than [the business] profession”, primarily because the “bosses don’t pay [the teachers]” (A3:23). As she put it, “[m]y boss can't look at the time and effort I put in and say, ‘Oh, you're doing a damn fine job. We're going to give you a bonus.’” (A3:23). It was apparent that what Agnes earns compared with her time spent preparing, teaching and grading is not enough to create a sustainable environment for her.
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Elementary School L2 English Teachers’ Language Performance and Children’s Second Language Acquisition

Elementary School L2 English Teachers’ Language Performance and Children’s Second Language Acquisition

At this point in time, it remains inconclusive how teacher proficiency with its broad range of definitions and applications in the studies relates to second language acquisition and if factors such as amount of instruction may mediate an effect. Contrary to the limited amount of data on teacher language in second language acquisition, however, in studies on first language acquisition  – monolingual as well as multilingual  – databases such as the CHILDES project (MacWhinney & Snow, 1985) allow access to real-time recordings and transcripts of caretaker and child communication for analysis. What has been done for first language acquisition research, namely a linguistic account of the primary language providers, is virtually lacking in instructed second language acquisition research. In a recent study, Rankin and Unsworth (2016) state that “the need to take a more robust empirical approach to input is clear if we are to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of input effects” (p. 564). As their study is a reply to a claimed negligence of generative approaches to address input, they add: “both in terms of POS [Poverty of Stimulus] effects and also in terms of distributional properties of the input available to L2 learners” (Rankin & Unsworth 2016, p. 564). Poverty of Stimulus refers to what is considered the logical problem of language acquisition. Researchers of first and second language acquisition alike have been studying and discussing what is called the logical problem of language acquisition, which asks the question “how acquisition could work in principle – how a learner can correctly generalize from a finite sample of sentences in context to the infinite set of sentences that define the language from which the sample was drawn” (Pinker, 2004, p. 949). Research in those fields has been occupied with the psycholinguistic process of language acquisition and development. By nature, the field of second language acquisition is just as concerned with the implications any insights into language processing could have with respect to teaching. 13
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The benefits of management and organisation: a case study in young language learners’ classrooms

The benefits of management and organisation: a case study in young language learners’ classrooms

Within the region where the study took place, classrooms in frodistiria provide a wider range of critical contexts for language learning. Many factors combine and interact in order to create an appropriate classroom environment with variables, which include structural components, such as teachers’ organi- sation of classroom materials and supplies, frequent language opportunities, exposure and stronger classroom management strategies. Teachers’ organisa- tion of classroom materials and supplies, for instance, were observed to differ markedly from state schools, having a significant impact on the quality of the learning environment. These differences and other factors all contributed to making the classroom environment more pleasant, where clear goals were pre- sented to the students and their parents. It is necessary to mention at this point that frodistiria are private institutions; therefore, they choose to improve their facilities regularly and in most cases, have the financial ability to do so. State schools are not supplied with funding for the improvement of the classroom environment or the latest technology to the same extent. Observations record- ed that state schools were provided with minimum facilities. The students who attended frodistiria were aware that they would have responsibilities and a pur- pose, even if that purpose was passing future language examinations for the attainment of a certificate. These goals were mostly implanted by parents who consider language lessons at frodistiria necessary for their children’s future. Language certificates are essential for survival in the competitive and distressed Greek employment market, and the employees of tomorrow will likely need a strong educational background to succeed.
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What is a good grammar exercise? / exploring learners' and teachers' beliefs and preferences concerning grammar tasks

What is a good grammar exercise? / exploring learners' and teachers' beliefs and preferences concerning grammar tasks

What Odlin (1994:3) also addresses is that grammar of spoken and written languages is liable to change, as has been the case throughout history. Followers of the prescriptive view of grammar however try to ignore this constantly progressing change and aim at preserving the variety of English they perceive as being desirable. The descriptive view on grammar, however, holds a more liberal view trying to avoid qualitative judgements about standard language and its deviations, but try to make a description of grammar which is actually used by native speakers at a certain point of time. In this description they try to mirror the observed grammar as neutrally as possible. Odlin (1994:3) also mentions that descriptive grammar takes into account further more detailed aspects such as phonetics and phonology in addition to syntax and morphology. Nevertheless he also points out that prescriptive grammar can also make sense to some degree in special contexts. With regard to pedagogical grammar he states that „Having a target language codified (even if imperfectly) simplifies both the teaching and learning of second languages.“ (Odlin, 1994:2).
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Teenage learners and teachers’ job satisfaction in vocational education

Teenage learners and teachers’ job satisfaction in vocational education

We therefore proceed to a multivariate analysis of teachers’ satisfaction with their learners to include other aspects of the teaching environment. The dependent (explained) variable is the teachers’ satisfaction with their learners (Table 3). The main variable of interest is the proportion of learners who are teenagers, but we include the full range of potentially confounding factors available in the data. These are: teachers’ age, their highest qualifications, whether they work full-time or part- time, whether they have a fractional or hourly paid contract, whether they mainly teach numeracy, literacy or English as a second language (ESOL), whether they are on a temporary contract, white, the proportion of impaired learners, geographical region (of which there are nine 7 ), the type of institutions taught at (further education colleges, adult community learning, work based learning, Job Centre plus, prisons and Learndirect). We only provide the main variables of interest in Table 3, but the full list of estimated coe fficients is provided in Appendix C.
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Culture and good language learners

Culture and good language learners

Banya and Cheng (1997) conducted a study with 23 Chinese and English teachers of English and 224 university students of English in South Taiwan. Their research interest was to investigate the interplay of students' beliefs about foreign language learning and of teachers' and students' beliefs across cultures. A special interest was to uncover similarities and differences between teachers’ and students’ beliefs through comparative analyses. There were interesting group differences, particularly when looking at gender as well as at the success of learning. The following aspects were found to be fundamental assets of good language learners irrespective of culture: low degree of anxiety, willingness to spend effort, perceived ease at learning foreign languages and frequent use of language learning strategies. Chinese students and teachers were found to share the same beliefs as to prior experience in language learning, difficulties in language learning, children's superiority, language aptitude, and the important role of practice. When the comparative analyses were carried out, the results indicated that Chinese and American teachers differ in their beliefs.
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Refusal strategies of Iranian university English as a foreign language and non-English learners in native language: a comparative study

Refusal strategies of Iranian university English as a foreign language and non-English learners in native language: a comparative study

The issue of second language (L2) learners’ pragmatic competence has long been the subject of heated discussion in language teaching. Moreover, re- fusing can be a very challenging task to perform even in one’s native language (L1) (Al-Kahtani, 2005). Refusing in an appropriate way is taken to be evidence of pragmatic competence since the speech act of refusal is an extremely face- threatening act (FTA) which is most likely to damage the addressee’s face very easily (Brown & Levinson, 1987). For decades, the prevalent idea has been that the pragmatic norms of the L1, which are learned during childhood, affect the learning process and product of the L2. However, it has also been assumed that this transfer from the L1 to the L2 can also be from the L2 to the L1, a phenom- enon that has been mostly documented in the learning of vocabulary (Ellis, 2012). This study assumes that there is the possibility that the norms of the L2 might turn to be at work when using one’s L1 in producing different speech acts. Table 1 offers the refusal strategies, consisting of Direct Refusals, Indirect Refusals and Adjuncts to Refusals, as classified by Beebe et al. (1990, as cited in Farnia & Wu, 2012, p. 174).
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Mental disorders in university teachers: study in a service of medical investigation

Mental disorders in university teachers: study in a service of medical investigation

Other disorders (alcoholism, anxiety, drugs multiuse and other substances, manic episodes, phobias, psychosis, delusional, dissociative, mood, personality and somatization disorders) have a lower frequency. However, the simple fact appear as causes of absence from work is worrisome, since some of these disorders are serious and can have a direct relationship with teacher labor activity. 5 At the end of this work, it is realized that a simple teacher attitude, the look of the layman, it may seem dismal, ill will, lack of motivation, irresponsibility and related feelings, may be taking a pathological dimension, which requires managers, institutions and the worker of a greater insight of this situation.
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Communication between Chinese students and German university teachers in academic settings

Communication between Chinese students and German university teachers in academic settings

Many researchers consider the “face” of Chinese (in Chinese: 面 子 ) as the main factor to explore the Chinese culture and an important focus when communicating with Chinese. For instance, as Günthner (1993:69) notes, the issue of “face” is one of the matters that Germans need to pay attention to in interaction with Chinese people. Lin-Huber (2001:46) also states that the supreme principle of every Chinese conversation is to preserve or increase one's own “face” or that of others. Zhu (2012:184) explains that Chinese students often care much about their “face” in a new environment, which is one of the reasons why they cannot easily adjust to the students’ life in Germany. The importance of “face” has also been discussed by many other researchers (e.g. Ma & Becker, 2015; Garnet, Michael & Ralf, 2006) because the understanding of the concept of “face” is considered as a key element to creating successful communication with Chinese people.
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University teachers’ opinions about higher education pedagogical training courses in Slovenia

University teachers’ opinions about higher education pedagogical training courses in Slovenia

Marentič Požarnik (2009), represents important progress in university teach- ing in Slovenia. Consequently, we were interested in the level of importance at- tributed to SET by university teachers. A statistically significant majority of the respondents who had not been involved in PTCs, or who had been involved in courses of very short duration, consider that (only) university teachers whose SET shows poor results should be involved in sustained PT. Again, the em- phasis of SET as the (only) reason for participation in PTCs could be the con- sequence of these respondents’ nonparticipation – or brief participation (on average 37.4 hours) – in PT, which, according to Postareff, Lindblom-Ylänne and Nevgi (2007), may make teachers more uncertain about their teaching skills, and consequently can also affect their opinion on the effectiveness of PT. However, all of the respondents – those who had and had not participated in PTCs – attributed slightly more than 2.8 points on a 5-point Likert scale to SET as an appropriate tool for assessing the pedagogical qualification in habilitation procedures. This undoubtedly indicates that teachers are aware of the exter- nal factors that impact students’ opinion on the quality of teaching, as is also stressed by Cohen (1981).
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E-learners' satisfaction as predictors of online classroom community

E-learners' satisfaction as predictors of online classroom community

Abdel-Maksound (2018) additional concluded that the ease of use and perceptions of usefulness are the key factors which determine students’ acceptance of the LMS. The capability of personalizing the online learning platform further enhances users’ satisfaction. For example, Sunkara and Kurra (2017) surveyed 622 college students in terms of using an e- learning system. Findings shown that students were not fully satisfied with the present e-learning system, with 65.6% of the participants expressed that they were either rarely or never provided with the precise course content of their choice. These results implied that a personalized e-learning system is needed so as to satisfy e-learners’ demands. Finally, the communication quality of the LMS also influences users’ satisfaction. Specifically, the easier to communicate with others in the LMS often result in a higher level of users’ satisfaction (Ohliati & Abbas, 2019).
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Learners-as-Designers. Wissensräume mit kognitiven Werkzeugen aktiv nutzen und konstruieren

Learners-as-Designers. Wissensräume mit kognitiven Werkzeugen aktiv nutzen und konstruieren

Verschiedene Forscher beobachteten immer wieder, dass die Ersteller multime- dialen Materials meist weit mehr hinzulernten als die späteren Nutzer solcher Informationsquellen. Basierend auf dieser Beobachtung wurde die didaktische Rahmenkonzeption Learners-as-Designers (LaD, Jonassen & Reeves, 1996) ent- wickelt. In dieser projektorientierten Lehr-Lern-Konzeption ist es Aufgabe der Lernenden, selbst digitale Medien zu produzieren. Bei der Anfertigung digita- ler Medien verändert sich die Rolle der Lernenden. Sie sind nun nicht mehr eher passive Sammler und Rezipienten von Informationen, sondern gestalten selbst aktiv ein Designprodukt zum Thema des Lernangebots. Solche Designprodukte können z.B. physikalische Objekte wie eine Lunge (Hmelo, Holton, & Kolodner, 2000), aber auch digitale Lehrmedien (Proske & Körndle, 2004) oder ganze webbasierte Lernumgebungen (Lehrer, 1993) sein.
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E-learners' satisfaction as predictors of online classroom community

E-learners' satisfaction as predictors of online classroom community

In conclusion, this study provides an overview of Chinese college students’ satisfaction towards using the e-learning system as well as the relationship between their satisfaction and the sense of community. Several limitations exist in the study. First, students were recruited in one department at this selected university. However, instructors within this department probably have different levels of familiarity with online teaching, which would influence the establishment of an online community. It is possible that some instructors are more experienced in online teaching and they create a stronger online community. Therefore, future studies should take the characteristics of instructors into consideration. Additionally, participants were recruited from the English Department, while different subject matters. In other words, instructors may assign more interactive activities or group
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The future teachers' leader' qualities formation in the university educational space

The future teachers' leader' qualities formation in the university educational space

conditions of formation of leadership qualities with the modeling of the university educational space. It was offered educational technology training of competent teachers based on the formation leader’ qualities. Meaningful core technology is the "three stages of leadership", implying a sequential alternation of participants` role positions. The article presents the results of the implementation of technology to make a conclusion about its effectiveness.

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