Spring 2014     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 18, Issue 1

Editorial: Approaches to Language

The importance of learning other languages and cultures cannot be denied in a world that has become much smaller due to technological advances. Knowing other languages is not only important for issues of national security, global economics, and business, but also for our own personal growth. Regardless of why one is learning an additional language, educators and students alike want the process to be as meaningful and effective as possible given the resources available.

The ways we acquire our first language literacy skills are often used as foundations in research on acquiring our second language. Therefore, investigating methods around the world that have proven beneficial and successful are paramount to inform future foreign language studies as well. The ways our educators are trained around the world should be considered in our own teaching strategies and methods here in the US.

In this edition of Academic Exchange Quarterly three studies address issues in language acquisition ranging from first language literacy teacher training and bilingual immersion programs to student anxiety in the foreign language classroom. These original studies all shed light on classroom issues that teachers and researchers should consider to ultimately improve the language-learning experience for our students.

Roseline T. Bradley and Qiuying Wang conducted a study to evaluate a professional development program designed to increase the content and pedagogical knowledge in early literacy education for teachers in Belize. They found that training in a real classroom setting was more effective than training in an off-site workshop for increasing teacher content knowledge.

Muriel Peguret provides the readers with practical advice on how bilingual programs that are typically focused on communication through immersion can also develop students’ skills as life-long reflective learners.

In a study comparing results from a grammar quiz with self-reported anxiety levels, Bryant Smith and Terri Schroth found that students who reported feeling “normal” earned the highest grades. The students also reported that other subject areas were more anxiety-provoking than Spanish and that outside factors such as amount of sleep and preparedness contributed the most to their anxiety levels rather than in-class situations.

I am pleased to announce that AEQ will again feature approaches to language in its Winter 2014 issue. Please consider submitting your own work and sending the call to your colleagues and graduate students. Please indicate your submission with the keyword LANGUAGE-4 and feel free to contact me with any questions. I am excited to read the enlightening submissions for next year’s edition.

Kristi Hislope, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Spanish, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega