Vol 2, No 2 (2016)

Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition


Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition
[...] The present issue consists of articles in various areas of SLA and also research in multilingualism, supplemented with two papers strictly related to aspects of foreign language teaching. In the incessant quest for recognition of the true role of motivation in foreign language learning, Mirosław Pawlak offers another interesting perspective, viewing the motivational system as encompassing a vital component of integrativeness, which is analyzed relative to three dimensions: an ideal self, an ought-to self, and L2 learning experiences. This intriguing insight, which results from a qualitative study, reveals a number of additional factors which take part in the shaping of motivational background. Ingrid Bello-Rodzeń recognizes the role of new technologies and the development of the blogosphere as increasingly important factors in promoting and shaping multilingualism, not just in the bloggers themselves, but in their children, whose multilingual development often becomes the main theme of their narratives. The theme of modern technologies used in communication is also addressed in the paper by Anna Turula, who focuses on the application of IT devices to the teaching of a foreign language. As the text reveals, a new realm of opportunities, but also problems, emerges at the meeting point between the digital and the real worlds. In a world of massive migrations, problems encountered by migrant children deserve special attention. One such problem is selective mutism, which affects a much bigger proportion of immigrant children than was initially assumed. The longitudinal case study by Lindsey R. Leacox, Margarita Meza, and Tammy Gregersen demonstrates the positive outcomes of pet-assisted therapy, against the background of music therapy and laughter therapy, offering some interesting implications and conclusions. In the context of changing views on the significance of the native-speaker as a language model, influenced by English as a lingua franca methodology, the study by Aleksandra Szymańska-Tworek confronts the recent methodological trends with the opinions of pre-service teachers of English. It turns out that while they are ready to embrace multicultural diversity, they are quite reluctant to accept too much linguistic variability in the teaching materials. We can never predict exactly where our second language skills are going to prove useful. Sometimes a unique ability or proficiency in a rarely practiced genre can boost our value as a much sought-after employee. Several interesting hints on how to develop the uncommon skill of composing obituaries in English are offered by Grzegorz Cebrat, who decided to translate the results of his indepth discourse analytic study into a practical teaching procedure. [...]
(read more in the "Preface")