Summer 2014     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 18, Issue 2     Editorial:

Exploring Helpful Knowledge on Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy
There are numerous approaches and theories which have a significant impact on L2 learning and teaching. Literature on Language Acquisition and Pedagogy has shown that there is no one research direction for L2 acquisition and pedagogy. There is rather still a lot of new helpful knowledge to be explored in an eclectic manner which supports the relationship between the research-based perspective and the pedagogical-based view of second language acquisition. From different angles, both continue to provide understanding on how people acquire L2 knowledge and respectively offer theoretical and practical insights into the promotion and facilitation of successful language learning.

This issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly features articles which explore Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy in a variety of perspectives and research areas. The volume includes an international blend of language-related articles which come from six different countries. The authors of this edition deal with vocabulary development, online language learning, multiple intelligences, EFL course development and provision, the development of cultural awareness and knowledge, study abroad and learner autonomy.

Dieter A. Waldvogel focuses on how vocabulary development can be promoted in L2 learners. The study analyses Spanish L2 learners’ knowledge of vocabulary in terms of size and richness within oral proficiency levels showing how lexical deficiencies can provide insights into decision making within the area of vocabulary instruction. Lexical richness is extensively explored through the concepts of lexical variation and sophistication. The investigation also takes oral proficiency and its correlation with lexical richness into account, contributing therefore to giving further insights into the process of lexical development at different achievement levels of Spanish L2 oral proficiency.

In his study, Rong Zhao emphasizes the importance of input for online foreign language adult learning. The study is conducted with a large group of young students in China. The components of input were derived from scaffolding and tested by means of the Technology-Acceptance Model (TAM). Findings highlight that the proposed components of input are attainable in online foreign language learning for adults, and should therefore be taken into account.

Ewa Suchecka focuses on multiple intelligences by investigating and discussing the impact of multiple intelligence stimulation on students’ L2 achievements within the English language classroom. The pedagogical research has led the author to develop a model for multiple intelligences stimulation within the L2 setting. Findings and pedagogical implications are illustrated through the model.

Miriam Symon and Monica Broido survey EFL learning and teaching practices across Israeli institutions with the objective of giving insights into the development of Higher Education best practices in course provision. Their quantitative and qualitative study analyses on the one hand, interviews with EFL heads and students and, on the other hand, online graduate questionnaires. The study draws attention to the fact that course provision should provide students with appropriate tools and opportunities both for academic development and professional needs.

On a different note, Rebecca L. Chism’s paper integrates poetry in language learning with the purpose of allowing L2 learners to develop both linguistic and cultural knowledge in ESL instruction. Stress is placed on the value of poetry when learners act as agents of their own language learning processes by focusing on their personal sphere of cultural knowledge and experiences. The author adopts the sample theme of ‘holidays’ for a practical implementation of this principle.

Peng Ying and J. Mark Halstead introduce a case study to shed light on the issue of learner autonomy in study abroad experiences. They investigate the development of learner autonomy in a group of Chinese learners from a British university who were experiencing their year abroad. While the study illustrates how learners benefited from the study abroad experience, findings show that learner autonomy is determined by individual factors such as, personality, attitudes towards learning and by levels of autonomy in areas which are not necessarily related to language learning.

Enhancement of second language acquisition is tackled by Al Masaeed in a study on the application of the Conversational Code-switching Approach. Research is conducted on the functions of Arabic-English code-switching occurring in an environmental setting within an Arabic as a second language study abroad program. The study specifically focuses on one-on-one conversations among students and speaking partners, demonstrating that code-switching serves various communicational purposes which contribute to second language acquisition.

I commend contributors and thank each single author for sharing their expertise, insights and professional knowledge and practices in this issue. I feel that these articles will make significant contributions to the dynamic and rapid evolving nature of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy. Our effort will be to continue expanding knowledge and further understanding and exploring Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that Academic Exchange Quarterly will again feature the topic titled Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy in the upcoming issue of Summer 2015 Edition.

Please consider becoming one of the possible contributors for the next issue, Summer 2015 Submissions are welcome from teachers, researchers, administrators, and teacher educators at all levels. Identify your submission with keyword: LANGUAGE-12.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Marilyn Pasqua, Feature Editor
Contract Professor
University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy
Email: < marilynpasqua@tiscali.it >