Editorial

Welcome to the second issue of The New English Teacher Volume 11. Assumption University and its publications have as part of their purpose the advancement of educational practice in Thailand and throughout the world and we believe that this issue of The New English Teacher provides a strong indication of our commitment in this area. The New English Teacher has been included in Tier 1 of the Thai-Journal Citation Index and the ASEAN Citation Index. All the articles in this issue are of practical nature and we are certain that they will be of interest to a wide range of our readers.

Of the seven papers this issue carries, six are dealt with the research works carried out at academic institutions – both in Thailand and abroad – while one discusses the findings of a research carried out at a different setting : hospital.

It is now widely believed that both feedforward and feedback mechanisms are required for successful business enterprises, including the educational institutions where knowledge is imparted. Rittu Gambhir and Supong Tangkiengsirisin investigate the attitudes of 30 EFL students toward peer feedback and feedforward at a private university in Thailand on the basis of two argumentative essays assigned by the teacher. The two researchers are finally able to conclude from their subjects’ comments and semi-structural interviews given to them that receiving and giving peer feedback and feedforward help improve the quality of the argumentative essays.

Gelfer Stone’s paper “Implementation of Critical Literacy for English Writing Classes in the Thai Context” is similar in theme to Rittu Gambhir and Supong Tangkiengsirisin’s in that both focus on improvement of EFL students’ writings in Thailand. Gelfer Stone, however, approaches the teaching of writing from a different angle : via an adaptation of critical literacy or a middle ground between critical literacy and traditional teaching, which he hopes will eliminate negative factors resulting from cultural differences.

Yasaman Shetabi’s and Ratchaporn Rattanaphumma’s research, though involving students’ writings, aims to find out a different result: identifying the dominant figures of spoken English (lingua Franca at an international school in Bangkok) in the students’ writings. They also explain about the confusion experienced by the subject teachers in that school, who tend to disregard any existing varieties of English except the so-called Standard English, in evaluating their writings. 

Kritnucha Sutthinnaraphan and Punchalee Wasanasomsithi deviate from the realm explored by the authors of the previous papers as they examine the communication strategy employed by Thai undergraduate students majoring in science at Chulalongkorn University. No doubt, thinking in English (without translating) helps the learners internalize the language. When they internalize information, they learn that language so well that they don’t need to remember the rules and pronunciation everytime they speak. Sadly enough, the researchers find that attempt to think in English is the least often employed strategy among the eighty-six first-year science students at Chulalongkorn University.

Stellan Sundh’s paper “My Friend Is Funny” – Baltic Young Learner’s Use of a Number of Adjectives in Written Production of English and Sri Rachmajanti, Evynurul Laily Zen, and Aulia Apriana’s paper “ Mapping the Framework of Immersion Program at the Laboratory Primary School of Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia” are research works carried out outside Thailand, one done in the Baltic Region and the other in Indonesia. Stellan investigates the vocabulary produced in English by young learners from five different countries in the Baltic Region in texts written by the 12-year olds and discover that the subjects prefer the use of the adjective ‘funny’ in their descriptions of their best friends despite their linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Sri Rachmajanti et al. conduct a thorough investigation on the English Partial Immersion Program at the Laboratory Primary School of Universitas Negeri Malang, in Indonesia to examine the stage of L2 acquisition as the learning outcome of three different subjects; English, Science and Mathematics. The Program’s six frameworks are found to be effective in bringing the 3rd grade students of International Class Program to a certain stage of L2 acquisition.

The last, but the most unique, is the paper by Xin Tian and Marilyn Fernandez Decocampo entitled “A Linguistic Analysis of Chinese Patients’ Attitudes Using Appraisal Theory As Reflected through Translation.” This paper reminds us of the importance of observational learning, one in which learning occurs through observing the behaviours of others. The researchers investigate Chinese patients’ attitudes, who do not understand Thai, toward the Thai medical service personnel, who do not speak Chinese. Understandably, their research reveals both positive and negative attitudes experienced by the Chinese patients. The most profound discovery of their research is the pedagogical implications to the teaching of translation in Chinese universities. The researchers hope that their findings will improve the teaching of translation in general.

As always, we thank our authors for their work and encourage our readers to share their research and thoughts with their fellow readers. We welcome scholarly articles on any ELT research of scholarly interest.

Soisithorn Isarankura