Writing has long been considered to be one of the most complex language skills for language learners to master. To help students develop this skill, many studies have been devoted to exploring potential factors affecting student writers' performance, such as the effect of pre-planning tasks. Among the many other factors examined, however, the sheer effect of time on students' writing performance is rarely studied. This is particularly true in the educational context of Taiwan, where English is mostly learned as a foreign language (EFL). The understanding of Taiwanese EFL students' linguistic performance in terms of writing complexity is especially limited. To shed light on this research gap, this study explores the effects of time factors on a group of 42 Taiwanese EFL students' writing complexity. The participants involved were required to complete two sets of timed writing tests: (1) 20 minutes versus 40 minutes, and (2) 30 minutes versus 50 minutes. In total, they produced 168 writing samples for analysis, for which both inferential and descriptive statistics were employed. The study results show that time factors play an important role in Taiwanese EFL students' writing complexity. Specifically, with greater time resources, Taiwanese EFL students write with more complexity than those with less time resources. This study concludes by providing discussions and identifying possible reasons for further studies.
Authentic materials are catching more attention in an age of internet-webbed world where information exchange is in rapid flow, which makes such materials more accessible and superior in numbers. The application of authentic materials in classroom settings becomes unavoidable. There already exists theoretical support of the facilitating effect of authentic materials in language learning (Berardo, 2006; Gardner, 2008; Guariento & Morley, 2001; Mishan, F, 2005; Nation, 2010; Nuttall, 1996; Wallace, 1992). However, practical evidence of using authentic materials in classroom settings remains scarce. To fill up the gap and further explore the effect of reading authentic materials on a) adult EFL learner’s vocabulary learning and retention and b) their perceptions in L2 reading, this current research proposes a themed authentic material reading approach. This current study applied a quantitative research method and was conducted in a large chain language center in Northern Taiwan. Three groups of adult EFL learners got involved, with one graded reader extensive reading group, another authentic material extensive reading group and the other intensive reading group. After a six-week treatment, two vocabulary tests were implemented followed by a questionnaire. The result showed that both experimental groups outperformed the control group in word learning and retention in general. It also revealed that despite a similar performance in both two vocabulary tests with the graded reader group, the authentic material group demonstrated a significantly more active attitude. This result echoes with previous extensive reading research (Horst, 2005; Gardner, 2008; Kweon & Kim, 2008; Pellicer-Sanchez & Schmitt, 2010) and further provides evidence on the facilitating effect of using authentic materials in vocabulary acquisition and learners' learning attitudes.
According to National Immigration Agency [NIA] (2016), more than 520,000 foreign brides and grooms have cross married in Taiwan from 1987 to 2016. Much research has been done in the past three decades. These trans-marriage families face different difficulties regarding life adjustment, language learning, social relationships and employment issues (Mon & Huang, 2016). In light of this situation, this study aims to explore the relationships of New Taiwanese Children's family background factors and their English learning strategy use in Taoyuan City. A total of 143 New Taiwanese Children participated in this study, and Oxford's Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) (Oxford, 1990) was employed as the major research instrument. Results showed that metacognitive strategies were the most frequently used strategies of the New Taiwanese Children, whereas cognitive strategies were reported as the least frequently used strategies. Parental occupations and the level of father's education had no significant relationship with New Taiwanese children' learning strategy use. However, it is important to note that the mother's education attainment is significantly related to New Taiwanese students' learning strategy use. These findings could provide empirical evidence to help language teachers and educators in Taiwan tailor the curriculum for the New Taiwanese Children. Finally, practical recommendations were further provided for future research.
In traditional theories of goal-striving, goal intention was regarded as the most important factor to determine whether a goal can be achieved. However, past empirical evidence indicates that even with strong goal intention, one may eventually fail to attain their goals without the formation of implementation intentions that illustrate when, where, and how goal-directed responses are to be executed. The present study aims to understand the structure of high school students' implementation intentions for English learning by developing a valid and reliable scale to measure them. The present scale of implementation intentions for English learning is validated with the Rasch measurement model based on Item Response Theory (IRT). The results show that the scale is unidimensional, and the only variable affecting students' responses is the level of implementation intentions of each student. The results provide evidence that the present scale is valid and well-designed. The implications and significance of the present research for teachers is that it measures and ascertains students' implementation intentions for English learning, both in class and after class; it also provides a preliminary foundation for researchers to continuously probe into the issue in the future.