This third volume of the Asian Journal of English Language Studies (AJELS) is an interesting blend of studies done on various aspects of language education and applied linguistics – mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE), second language acquisition (SLA), Philippine English (PhE), communication apprehension (CA), and discourse analysis (DA).
The first two articles take us beyond Philippine shores: the first to a Vietnamese university in Ho Chi Minh City that involved 193 freshman and sophomore students, male and female, majoring in English, Psychology, and Sociology and their attitudes and motivation toward English as a Foreign Language (EFL) as well as their language learning strategies. Vu Thi Ngoc Lan and Rochelle Irene Lucas describe how Vietnamese EFL college students appear to be instrumentally and integratively motivated to learn English, the positive attitude they have in learning the language as well as the significant and positive correlation between learning strategies and attitudes, and language learning strategies and motivation. The study highlights the result that the more positive the attitude and motivation of Vietnamese EFL students, the better language learning strategies they employ.
The second article, “Idioms across languages, and implications for ESL in Mother-tongue-based Multilingual Education contexts,” by James McLellan takes us to a university in Brunei that employed undergraduate students who responded in a survey of idiom awareness to complement the corpus analysis drawn from three textual corpora to address issues of idiomatic competence and creative and unilateral idiomaticity: formal speeches of Southeast Asians’ meeting at regional conferences convened by ASEAN or SEAMEO, business speeches delivered by New Zealanders to other New Zealanders, and research articles published recently in the Journal of Asia TEFL and the EIL Journal. As part of the results, the paper considers the affordances of consciousness-raising by comparing English idiomatic expressions with those present in Southeast Asian languages, including local vernaculars.
The third article, set in Philippine context, is a welcome addition to the body of corpus on Philippine English by Alejandro S. Bernardo and Marilu Rañosa-Madrunio. While many studies have been conducted on PhE, research conducted on developing a model for teaching English grammar that is Philippine English-based, remains somewhat wanting. With this paper, it is hoped that the teaching of English grammar in the Philippines will take a different paradigm with instances of structural nativization of grammar as evidenced by the lessons used in Philippine English textbooks.
The paper is followed by a study conducted by Pia Patricia P. Tenedero in collaboration with her undergraduate students. Set in a Philippine university, the research compares the communication apprehension levels of at least 242 business students enrolled in two different programs: Accountancy and Hotel and Restaurant Management. The results revealed that Accountancy students scored a slightly higher but insignificant overall communication apprehension than HRM students and that the scores of the groups of students did not vary significantly in terms of the four communication contexts – interview, presentation, conversation, and group discussion.
Tackling a different topic is the article written by Christie Elise C. Cruz and Alejandro S. Bernardo. Anchored on the frameworks of Wood and Goodnight (1996); Froemling, Grice, and Skinner (2011); and German, Gronbeck, Ehninger, and Monroe (2010), 58 privilege speech transcripts from 12 Filipino senators were examined in terms of their structure, reasoning, and persuasive strategies. The results showed that Filipino senators favor structuring their speeches by presenting the issue, proposing a solution, and appealing for action and that a combination of logical and emotional appeal help them establish, maintain, and raise their credibility.
Finally, the paper by Rey John Castro Villanueva brings us back to the classroom setting through the analysis of structural features of English lexical bundles in Philippine academic essays. Using the structural categories developed by Biber et al. (1999), the study investigated the grammatical characteristics of three- and four-word English lexical bundle in a 100,000-word corpus produced by college students. The results revealed the obscure and unsophisticated use of lexical bundles of Filipino college sudents because they seemed to have insufficient knowledge of these language units. Thus, the paper suggests that the students should familiarize themselves with these English lexical bundles, for these word combinations serve as basic elements or building blocks for their written outputs.
The articles in this volume show the dynamism of the English language in the academic and political settings and how English has changed over time. It is hoped that new insights would be gained from these papers as too many developments happen in this field in a short period of time.
I wish to thank all those who contributed to this third volume of AJELS. I am also grateful to the Board of Editorial Consultants/Reviewers who found time to review the articles despite their hectic schedules to address the needs of AJELS. In particular, I extend my gratitude to Dr. Loy Lising of the University of Sydney, Australia; Dr. Arianne Macalinga Borlongan of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan; Dr. Lee Kooi Cheng of the National University of Singapore, Professor Dr. Maya Khemlani David of the University of Malaya; Dr. Priscilla Tan Cruz of the Ateneo de Manila University; Dr. Christopher Conlan formerly of Curtin University, Australia; and Dr. Isabel Pefianco-Martin of the Ateneo de Manila University. Without your kind assistance, AJELS Volume 3 would have not come out on time.
MARILU RAÑOSA MADRUNIO, Ph.D.
Editor, Asian Journal of English Language Studies