Listening to Learners’ Voices
This 2018 issue was initially intended as unthemed, but in fact a theme does emerge from the three papers – that of language learners’ voices, reminding us as educators of how much we need to listen – and the kinds of things we need to listen to more reflexively. Anna Filipi’s paper points to the frequent absence of the voices of international students in investigations, giving an account of their identities through a critical examination of English language learner categorisation. Suma Sumithran then asks how EAL/D teachers speak about their adult students’ language learning experiences, indicating that sometimes students’ voices are not heard in crucial ways, resulting in a perpetuation of cultural stereotyping, even if their teachers engage with them with the best of intentions. In an Australia characterised by cultural and linguistic diversity, an examination of the hybrid and fluid identities of its peoples reveal that ‘othering’ based on geographical nation-state boundaries is highly problematic. Finally, Nicholas Carr and Michiko Weinmann look at written corrective feedback from a sociocultural angle to give an account of how the voices of adult English language learners in Japan reveal their experiences of processing teacher feedback through collaboration, both with peers and with the language teacher.
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