This second volume of the Asian Journal of English Language Studies (AJELS) is devoted to six articles that explore issues in applied linguistics. These articles focus on the development of writing skills, code-mixing signs, classroom talk, politeness strategies in online interactions, hedging in newspaper editorials, and reading motivation.
The paper by Maria B. Cequeña and Leah E. Gustilo reports on the effects of online portfolio through weblogs on the anxiety experienced by students and the development of their writing skills. By employing Cheng’s (2004) Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory, Discourse Completion Task, focus group discussion, and content analysis of students’ blog comments, the common causes of the students’ writing anxiety were identified. Blogging was found to have a positive effect on the students’ writing skills and lessened their writing anxiety as well.
Robin Atilano De Los Reyes examines the linguistic landscape of two Metro Manila train stations by looking into the languages used and the ways these languages were used. Seventy-six (76) signs found in two stations were analyzed. De los Reyes touches on the dominance of English over Filipino in the signs investigated, concluding that English is used to exact two forms of “order”: one that makes readers “follow order” and another that encourages readers to “make order.”
The analysis of the types of teacher talk in university classrooms by Ma. Ana Therese de Guzman, Carolyn Ma. Christine Magabilin, Seul Gi Park, Hyun Jung Son, Razzel Velasco, and Camilla J. Vizconde describes the types of teacher talk used by three English teachers. Using the Interaction Analysis by Flanders, the study showed that there are seven categories for teacher talk, two for student talk, and one for silence or confusion.
Cynthia B. Correo’s paper is a sociolinguistic study of politeness strategies in asynchronous computer-mediated discourse. Her paper draws from Walther’s (1992) social information processing theory and Brown and Levinson’s (1978; 1987) politeness theory as it touches on the Filipino (Bikolano) participants’ management of virtual conversation. The study revealed that the Bikolano online interactants tend to blend positive and negative politeness strategies. By not treating them in isolation, the strategy, as applied, remains unique among Filipino Bikolano online interactants.
“Hedging devices in Philippine newspaper editorials” by Virna S. Villanueva is anchored on the study by Hyland (1997) and Filipinos’ interpersonal communication by Worthington (2010, as cited in Labor & de Guzman, 2011). Results showed that hedges in the editorials were references to official reports or authorities. Other hedges were found in the form of modals and adverbs. Hedges were then found to be employed to regulate the strength or impact of a statement.
The last paper, written by Katherine Patrice B. Sibug, analyzes the relationship of young readers’ reading motivation and reading strategies to reading comprehension. Two hundred eight (208) secondary students were involved in the study and were administered two survey questionnaires and a 20-item multiple-choice test. Results showed that there is a weak correlation between reading motivation and reading comprehension and that among the reading strategies, global and problem-solving strategies were the most utilized.
The articles in this issue show the many facets of language and how it can be used and analyzed. It is my fervent hope that readers will gain insights from the articles included in this volume, for they are as interesting as they are informative.
MARILU RAÑOSA MADRUNIO, Ph.D.
Editor, Asian Journal of English Language Studies