Bridges Between SLA Research and Classroom Teaching: Implications From Foreign Language Teaching in New Zealand Primary and Secondary Schools


It has been argued that there is a gap between the theoretical recommendations of second language acquisition (SLA) research and actual language teaching practices. Responding to this concern, this presentation will examine how ten well-known SLA research-based teaching principles (Ellis, 2005) have been implemented in classrooms in New Zealand primary and secondary schools. These ten principles include, for example, the need for learners to develop a repertoire of formulaic expressions as well as the necessity to focus on meaning and form. They are used as the basis for eight different foreign language programs taught in New Zealand schools (Erlam, 2008). These eight foreign languages include Maori, New Zealand Sign Language, Pasifika languages and Japanese. The presentation introduces a study exploring how the ten principles have been interpreted by Japanese language teachers. Data from government curriculum documents, lesson observations, and interviews with teacher trainers at a national level and language teachers in local schools are used to describe how the ten principles are effective in improving pedagogy and what aspects of these principles are difficult to implement. Although the data is confined to primary and secondary education in New Zealand these results are relevant to other teaching and learning contexts in that they shed light on how SLA research and actual classroom practices can inform each other to increase the effectiveness of foreign language teaching and teacher training.

Author Information
Keiko Sakui, Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan
Neil Cowie, Okayama University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the ACE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon