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Research SIG


Goals and objectives

 

The Research SIG is an active Special Interest Group that provides a forum for learning, sharing and doing research of all kinds connected to English language teaching and learning.

 

Coordinator: Aneta Naumoska   a_naumoska@yahoo.ca

 

 

Focus of interest? - Research in issues concerning teaching and learning English as a foreign language, especially Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and Foreign Language Acquisition (FLA) Research. Broadly speaking, this SIG will incorporate a comprehensive area; from research methods to materials development.

 

What is SLA / FLA? - SLA (FLA) is a theoretical and experimental field of study which looks at and seeks to understand the phenomenon of language development in learners of a second (foreign) language, either in an authentic everyday environment or in a classroom setting.

 

What does SLA / FLA research examine? - The goal of SLA (FLA) research is to describe and explain the learner’s linguistic or communicative competence. For that purpose the researcher must examine various aspects of the learner’s knowledge of linguistic rules, as well as their ability to put them effectively into use for the purpose of communication. The dominant aim behind this research is to extend our understanding of the complex processes and mechanisms that drive language acquisition. It should also provide insights of how to incorporate such findings in classroom methodology for improving the language learning results.

 

Why do teachers need SLA / FLA research? - The study of SLA (FLA) provides a body of knowledge which teachers can use to evaluate their own practice. Every time they make a pedagogic decision about content or methodology they are in fact making assumptions about how learners learn.

 

How can the study of SLA / FLA help teachers?
Firstly, to make the teachers’ assumptions about learning explicit, so that they can examine them critically; it will help them to develop their own explicit ideas of how the kind of learners they are teaching acquire a second (foreign) language and what factors they depend on.
Secondly, it will provide them with information that they can use when they make further pedagogical decisions.
It must be taken into consideration that it does not supply teachers with recipes for successful practice. It only provides teachers with ‘insights’ which they can use in building their own theory of language learning.

 

Goals and objectives of the ELTAM Research SIG:

- To present a forum for exchange of information among teachers interested in the field;

- To create an opportunity for the members to present their research work in an informal and encouraging environment;

- To offer a different kind of teacher development;

- To attract teachers from different educational levels and with different professional experience, so that the overall awareness of SLA (FLA) development among Macedonian EFL professionals could be expanded;

- To promote SLA (FLA) knowledge and research methods for practical and scientific purposes;

- To stimulate examination of the SLA (FLA) findings in a Macedonian setting;

- To enhance the application of the knowledge of SLA (FLA) in practice at all levels.

 

Projected course of action for the ELTAM Research SIG:

      a) Acquaintance of the members with topics and issues in research methodology:
        - Presentations of books and theoretical papers by members and discussion of particular topics at regular meetings;
        - Presentations by experts from Macedonia and from the region;
        - Workshops with experts.

        b) Presentation of research work done by members;

        c) Participation by members at conferences and workshops;

        d) Organization of pre-conference workshops or conference seminars for EFL research at ELTAM international biannual conferences;

        e) Initiating SLA (FLA) and other types of research projects carried out by the members;

        f) Creation of the ELTAM Research SIG blog (as part of the ELTAM website);

        g) Compiling a glossary of terms and their Macedonian equivalents.