Category Archives: JALT conference

Articles and collocational effects

Food for thought when thinking about articles and collocation. Thank you Mura Nava for writing this.

EFL Notes

While I was doing some marking I came across what Master (2007) in discussing article choice has called “overgeneralisations from similar patterns” or effects of collocational phrases.

The following patterns were found in the same essay (on cyber warfare):
1. Those types of attacks are occurring everyday, and are often due to the lack of awareness of the victims.
2. The USA has declared unofficially that they have been under several cyber attacks from China, but with the lack of evidence, they can’t press charges against them.

In 1 article use seems to be okay but in 2 at first glance there seems to be an error i.e. the student should have chosen “a lack of evidence”.

However Master (2007) argues that:

article selection may have been the product of overgeneralization from an already learned collocational phrase rather than from the misapplication of a rule.

In our example we…

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Focus on form(s): principles and practice

A great review of focus on form for L2 learning. I think my approach is more proactive than reactive. Thank you Shona Whyte for sharing.

on teaching languages with technology

The teaching of grammar is a frequent topic of debate among language teachers. Should we teach our learners the rules of grammar explicitly? If so, when and how do we do this? Or is it better to allow learners to pick up rules about the formal features of language in other ways, perhaps while they attempt to communicate, that is, focus on meaning? Sheen (2002) expresses this dilemma in these terms:

… on the one hand, there are those who advocate minimal to no interruption in communication, limiting attention to grammar by means of corrective feedback (Doughty and Varela 1998); on the other, there are those who advocate separate attention to grammar and subsequent integration of the knowledge provided in increasingly communicative activity (DeKeyser 1998)

Sheen (2002)

The traditional approach to language teaching has generally involved explicit grammar teaching, referred to by Long and colleagues as focus on formS,

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A smorgasboard of DDL journal activity

A recent report on DDL by Michael Brown. It’s great to see more DDL studies get published because I think since the technology is more accessible, it can become a more common teaching practice.

Corpus Linguistics 4 EFL

Last month, in addition to the release of new corpora, two journals released special issues dedicated to DDL/CL in language learning.

One is the open-access Language Learning & Technology. I haven’t read it yet, but the table of contents looks very interesting. The other one is Language Testing. It’s interesting to see how CL and questions of assessment interact.

Finally, though not a whole dedicated issue, ReCALL has an online first article titled ‘Unlearning overgenerated be through data-driven learning in the secondary EFL classroom’. This will be the first article I get to, as overgenerated be is a recurring issue for many of my students and I’m curious to see what the authors found.

What bounty 🙂


If the ReCALL link above isn’t working for you, here is the doi:

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July 27, 2016 at 07:40AM

Long time no see,

I has been a while. Blogging is something I have neglected lately and it is not so easy to seemlessly integrate my work as a teacher trainer, my Ph.D coursework, and my personal life into the mix. If anyone has the ultimate formula for doing this please comment below.

Most of the time I have used this blog to document my presentations at conferences here in Japan, which is fine for now. The one major personal and professional paradigm shift for me is deciding to get a Ph.D at Temple University. Not an easy decision to make, but after almost two years of coursework I have come to apprecite the wealth of information and community that has come with it. But this is only the beginning, which means clarifying a research agenda, dissertaion proposal, writing, and the defence. How does one keep going? One piece of advice I got is passion. Without passion for something that genuinely interests you, there can be no moving forward. I couldn’t agree more with this.
I will keep you posted on how far passion has taken me.
via Do Note

Reflections on my presentation at the Temple University Japan Applied Linguistics Colloquium 2016

Today another TUJ Colloquium is behind us…

I want to say thank you for attending my talk this afternoon. I greatly appreciate your support, and the feedback I received afterward, reminding me of what Mischler (1990) said: research is a craft. The beauty of the colloquium is the supportive atmosphere it provides to hone our craft.

The talk I gave today is titled Think Aloud vs. Stimulus Recall: Obtaining Responses to Writing Feedback in which I discussed my use of two different protocols for interviewing my learners in my blended writing  Continue reading..

Presenting at JALT 2015!!!!

It’s been a busy year for me and so please forgive me for being a stranger for this blogsite.

Anyway, I will be involved with two presentations at JALT this year. If you are in the neighborhood ( Shizuoka, Japan) be sure to check them out.

Teachers as Learners: Challenges for Training

Teacher Beliefs About Student Group and Pair Work



英文ライティング添削講座-Support Writing Course for 2015

Group 1 for Kanagawa Teachers


Support Writing Course for 2015

at 神奈川県立国際言語文化アカデミア

A new academic year is here and now is a good time to practice writing.

So If you, or someone you know who is a junior high or high school English teacher in Kanagawa and is interested in working on their writing in English, please check this link for more details.


5月28日- 7月23日

Thank you and we look forward to studying with you.


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Keywords List – AntConc

A nice explanation of AntConc and its Keyword list function by Warren Tang.
I started using AntConc again for some qualitative research and discovered this while searching for advice. Thanks Warren for posting!

In Other Words

The keywords list in AntConc is, as the name suggests, a tool to create a list of keywords. To do this your target corpus is compared to a reference corpus. The target and reference corpora do not need to be of the same size. The comparison is then done statistically. The statistics in AntConc used for this task are either chi-squared and log-likelihood.

In AntConc load your corpus or corpora. Go to Wordlist tab then click start.

make wordlist

Select the Tools Preference menu.

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Personalised corpora for your students

A post about the value personalized selection for a pedagogical corpus.


Perhaps the biggest problem with corpora is the fact that none of them are more than an approximation of the English that individual students will come across and/ or need. In fact, as I said in my last post, I think in many cases it is such a big problem that it leads to results that are worse than teachers and materials writers just taking an intelligent guess at what language to base classroom materials on. This post seeks to show one way in which both of those ends of that materials development spectrum could come together, improving both along the way.

The basic idea is to base materials and classes on the English that students are themselves most likely to come across. For most people outside English-speaking countries, I believe that these are probably the most useful sources and kinds of language:

  1. English words used in their language (abbreviations…

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