Vol 4, No 1 (2018)

Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition

Cover Page

The present issue opens with a fascinating insight into the significance of the ‘love factor’ for late L2 proficiency development. In their paper “L2 Proficiency as a Function of Cultural Identity in Interlingual Couples” David Singleton and Simone Pfenninger offer a comprehensive review of a number of qualitative studies which demonstrate how significant the affective dimension can be both for the ultimate success in acquisition of L2 proficiency as well as for the adoption of cultural identity by one of the partners. The facilitative role of out-of-class immersion activities is presented by Jorge Pinto in the second article, entitled “Immersion Learning Activities: Developing Communicative Tasks in the Community.” The author argues for the extension of the learning environment to the beyond-the-classroom sphere which allows for a more extensive development of learners’ communicative skills in L2. Although the research results are based on an L2 Portuguese course taught at the University of Lisbon, the implications seem to be universally applicable. The third paper, “Social Constraints of Aspirations for Second Language Achievement” by Joanna Rokita-Jaśkow, seeks an explanation for the relatively unambitious and vague aspirations of Polish vocational school English philology students, adding another perspective to the discussion on the role of learning environments. The perspective is narrowed down to the classroom environment in the fourth paper, “New School, the Same Old Rut? Action Research of Unsuccessful First-Year Students in a High School” by Joanna Masoń-Budzyń. In order to formulate useful and experience-based suggestions, the author attempts to diagnose the sources of learners’ unsuccessful performance, looking at a number of potential contributing factors. The fifth article, “Rethink Your Old Teaching Methods: Designing a Pronunciation Course for Young Teenagers,” by Dorota Lipińska, also focuses on a FL classroom environment, but the author’s interest revolves around the issue of EFL pronunciation teaching to 11- to 13-year-olds. Lamenting the inefficiency of both the teaching resources and the primary school syllabi, the author proposes her own ideas about how pronunciation could be taught, providing some suggestive evidence from speech production and speech perception tests. The subject of pronunciation learning is also the topic of the last paper in the issue, “Pronunciation Learning Environment: EFL Students’ Cognitions of In-Class and Out-of-Class factors affecting pronunciation acquisition” by Magdalena Szyszka. The author attempts to identify the most significant contributors to the learners’ ultimate pronunciation learning achievement, looking not only at the classroom environment and at teachers’ pronunciation, but also at the patterns encountered by the learners in their daily exposure to entertainment media.

(read more in the Preface)