Fall 2008     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 12, Issue 3     Editorial (2)
Second language acquisition and pedagogy   
The area of second language acquisition (SLA) research shares many similar 
characteristics with other social and behavioral sciences.  For instance, it aims 
to describe, explain, predict, and/or understand various complex phenomena pertinent 
to the processes of SLA.  It is also very much interdisciplinary in nature, 
comprising the elements of psychology, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and 
education.  The area of SLA research also intends to offer important insights and 
implications for not only the learning processes among many individual students but 
also the classroom teaching processes among language teachers, curricula and other 
policy-making processes at the school and local government levels, and yet broader 
social and global language issues (such as bilingualism and language policy).  Like 
many other social and behavioral sciences, it intends to elucidate the interplay 
between individual and social entities.

This special issue of Second language acquisition and pedagogy investigated various 
phenomena concerned with the processes of SLA and teaching.  It pragmatically 
combined the areas of SLA and second/foreign language teaching studies to uncover 
cutting-edge knowledge useful to individual students and teachers.  This knowledge 
will also be of interest to many school, university, and government policy makers.  
In addition, partly due to its interdisciplinary nature, the nine studies included 
in this issue adopted various research methods, ranging from orthodox 
experimental/quantitative methods to observational/interview qualitative methods.

As for more specific topics, this special issue encompassed the following three 
components of the processes of SLA: (1) input and interaction, (2) teacher talk, 
and (3) learner variables (such as motivation and self-efficacy).  It also covered 
six components of the actual learning and teaching processes: (4) form-focused 
instruction, (5) computer-assisted language learning (CALL), (6) microteaching, 
(7) study abroad, (8) language teaching methodology, and (9) teaching listening, 
speaking, reading and/or writing skills.

Here are succinct descriptions of the nine articles.  Related to the topics of 
(1) input and interaction and (2) teacher talk, Lorrie S. Verplaetse studied the 
mechanisms of input modifications and zone of proximal development (ZPD).  
Regarding the topics of (1) input and interaction and (3) learner variables, Jaya S. 
Goswami and Hilda I. Garcia studied the use of code-switching while identifying the 
students' motivation and perceptions.

As for the topic of (4) form-focused instruction, Gregory Thompson and Alan V. 
Brown studied the effects of a brief form-focused prompt on grammatical and 
orthographic accuracy.  Joellen E. Coryell and M. Carolyn Clark elaborated on the 
usefulness of online language practice, related to the topic of (5) computer-assisted 
language learning (CALL).  The topic of (6) microteaching settings was explored in 
the article by Hoe Kyeung Kim.  Joye Smith presented her study on a similar topic, 
as well. 

The topic of (7) study abroad was elaborated on by Riikka Ullakonoja and Hannele 
Dufva.  Janis Massa presented her historical view on the topic of (8) language 
teaching methodology.  Finally, Su-Yueh Wu compared the effects of Reader Theatre 
and paraphrasing on idiom retention related to the topic of (9).

Another special issue of Second language acquisition and pedagogy is expected in 
2010 with slightly different foci.

Hiroshi Matsumoto, Ph.D.
Feature Editor, Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy
Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Japanese
Soka University of America
E-mail: hmatsumoto@soka.edu

CFP for LANGUAGE-2 issue Second language acquisition and pedagogy
See all published LANGUAGE articles.