Language Studies Journal Articles

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    Exploring the roles and facilitation strategies of online peer moderators
    (Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), 2019) Zhong, Qunyan (Maggie); Norton, Howard; Unitec Institute of Technology
    Whilst peer facilitation is deemed to be a beneficial alterative strategy in an asynchronous online discussion, a review of the literature indicates that previous studies have primarily focused on the instructor as the facilitator. Inquiries into the roles that student facilitators perform and strategies they deploy to promote meaningful dialogues and participation in a student-led online discussion board have not been widely explored. Using posted messages of seven student facilitators in a peer-moderated online discussion forum, this study aimed to address the gap in the literature. Content analysis of the data revealed that the student moderators played four major roles during the discussions: 1) a knowledge constructor who actively engaged in a collective inquiry and contributed to a deeper understanding of a subject matter; 2) a team builder who expended considerable efforts to create group cohesion to achieve their learning objectives as a team; 3) a motivator who encouraged and inspired team members to engage in and contribute to the discussion; 4) an organiser who managed and monitored each phase of the discussion and orchestrated the subsequent group oral presentation. The findings suggest that assigning students to lead online discussions is an effective strategy to foster learner autonomy and nurture student leaders. The paper concludes with pedagogical implications and directions for future research.
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    Educational affordances of an asynchronous online discussion forum for language learners
    (2018-11) Zhong, Qunyan (Maggie); Norton, Howard; Unitec Institute of Technology
    Information and communications technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for innovation in educational practice. Among all the educational technological tools, online discussion forums represent one of the most extensively adopted educational media in higher education. Yet a review of the literature indicates a lack of empirical studies investigating how learners utilize this tool to afford their language learning. This study aims to address this gap in the literature. Using thematic analysis, postings of 20 second language (L2) learners in a peer-moderated online discussion forum were analysed. Qualitative thematic analysis of the data revealed that the online discussion forum facilitated the co-construction of subject matter knowledge and enhanced learners’ critical understanding. The postings also showed that during the interactive, collaborative inquiry, students encouraged and helped each other emotionally and academically which helped foster group affiliation and learner autonomy. These findings suggest that the online discussion forum has many affordances which are conducive to effective learning. The paper concludes with pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research.
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    The evolution of learner autonomy in online environments : a case study in a New Zealand context
    (Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), Chiba, Japan, 2018-03) Zhong, Qunyan (Maggie); Unitec Institute of Technology
    With the advent of technologies, language learners are faced with unprecedented opportunities and a wide range of alternatives to engage with in their self-directed learning. However, a review of the literature indicates that studies investigating how learner autonomy is shaped and reshaped in online learning environments are under-researched (Reinders & White, 2016). Using a case study method, the primary objective of this study is to examine how a learner engaged with technology-mediated environments to meet his learning needs and goals and how his autonomy evolved in online environments. A qualitative analysis of the interview data collected at two different timescales reveals new developments in the learner’s autonomous learning. Instead of using limited online materials, the learner became a critical user of multiple online sources. Additionally, the learning conditions he was exposed to in New Zealand fostered an interdependent and social dimension in his autonomous learning. By the end of this research study, he was also found to be more capable of regulating his self-directed study. The results corroborate the argument that the notion of learner autonomy is fluid and dynamic, suggesting that apart from psychological factors of the learner, environmental factors, e.g. the guidance from the teacher and learning conditions also play a critical role in the formation of different dimensions of learner autonomy
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    Is there a housing crisis in New Zealand or is it only a metaphor? Results of a critical metaphor analysis
    (Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand, 2017-11-29) Romova, Zina; Varley, Steve; Unitec Institute of Technology
    This paper reports on a corpus-based study of metaphor use in the discourse of the Auckland housing topic in News and Commentary sections of The New Zealand Herald over the months of July to September 2016, the time of intense debate in the media on the housing situation in Auckland. The paper outlines an approach combining cognitivist and the Critical Metaphor Analysis. The study aims to reveal the persuasive ideological functions of metaphors in the News and Commentary genres and the covert intentions of the writers with particular reference to perceptions of a housing crisis a year before elections in the country. Our findings include a classification of metaphors used in the reporting of and commenting on the housing situation in Auckland based on cognitivist conceptualisation of metaphors, a comparative statistical analysis of the metaphors used in the News and the Commentary genres, and an explanation of the factors that may influence the recipients' decoding of the identified metaphors. We conclude from the analysis of the newspaper texts and the corpora that the metaphorical language used in both these genres promotes the readership's perception of a market in crisis.
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    Reflections on the 2017 Rio AILA (Applied Linguistic) Conference through an Antipodean Lens: practical Implications for advisors
    (Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa New Zealand (ATLAANZ), 2017) Hobbs, Moira; Dofs, Kerstin; Unitec Institute of Technology; Ara Institute of Canterbury
    This article will offer some feedback and subsequent reflection on the week long Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquee (AILA) Congress 2017 held in Rio during July, and in particular, on the full day international symposium curated by the authors. As the co-convenors of the Research Network on Learner Autonomy we had to organise this event for approximately 500 members from all around the world, along with the triennial AGM. This was set within the academic and social context of at least 1500 other linguists from about 60 different countries (from several Scandinavian countries, a range of countries in South and North America, Asia, and the Pacific) with many opportunities for invaluable networking over great local coffee or cocktails (caipirinha), either within the conference venue overlooking the beautiful beaches or at other formal and informal social occasions.