ASIAN JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES
VOLUME 2, October 2014
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
Can weblogs reduce writing anxiety and facilitate improvement in writing skills? (pp. 1-23)
Previous studies lack findings on how an instructional setting that utilizes CMC may both aid in the development of writing proficiency and reduce anxiety that are associated with the demands of writing. This pilot study attempts to fill this gap by investigating the effects of online portfolio through weblogs (blogging) on students’ writing anxiety and writing skills. Seventeen (17) respondents enrolled in an English Communication course of a private university in the Philippines participated in the study. Data were gathered using Cheng’s (2004) Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI), Discourse Completion Task (DCT), focus group discussion (FGD), and content analysis…
Language of “order”: English in the linguistic landscape of two major train stations in the Philippines (pp. 24-51)
This paper examines the linguistic landscape of two main train stations in Metro Manila, the Philippines. Using Ben-Rafael et al.’s (2006) notion of top-down and bottom-up signs and Scollon and Scollon’s (2003) concept of place semiotics, the paper seeks to determine the languages used, the ways these languages are used, and the possible explanations to the ways these languages are used in the 76 signs found in the two stations. The paper shows that English and Filipino languages are mainly used in the signs; however, between the two languages, English dominates as there are overwhelmingly more signs in English only…
Tick, tock, talk: An analysis of the types of teacher talk in university classrooms (pp. 52-75)
Focusing on a university classroom setting, the study determined the types of teacher talk used by three English language teachers. Data were gathered using classroom observations and structured interviews. Using Flanders Interaction Analysis (FIA), the data yielded the incidence of the following categories: seven (7) for the teacher talk, two (2) for the student talk, and one (1) for silence or confusion. The results revealed that among the seven types of direct and indirect talk, there is a preponderance of lecturing at 41.33%. Significantly, the data revealed that teachers tend to focus on the content and do not seem to…
Politeness strategies deployed by Filipinos in asynchronous computer-mediated discourse (pp. 76-102)
The study explores the Filipino, particularly Bikolano, participants’ management of their virtual conversation in an asynchronous online discussion forum, focusing on the deployment of politeness strategies. Anchored on Walther’s (1992) social information processing theory, the study uses Brown and Levinson’s (B&L) (1978, 1987) politeness theory as a theoretical lens. The five comment threads produced by 32 participants and used for data analysis were drawn from 166 comment threads posted from June to August 2012 in a Bikol-language social group site. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were utilized via frequency count and percentage and Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson’s (1974) conversational analysis (CA)…
Hedging devices in Philippine newspaper editorials (pp. 103-117)
This study examines the types of hedging devices and the similarities/differences in their uses in Philippine newspaper editorials. Using a mixed paradigm design, the study examined 30 editorials taken from three leading newspapers in the Philippines: the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Manila Bulletin, and the Philippine Star. Hedges were categorized by adapting and modifying the classification of hedges in different studies and were then analyzed based on the study of Hyland (1997) and Filipinos’ interpersonal communication by Worthington (2010, as cited in Labor de Guzman, 2011). Findings show that nearly 50 percent of the hedges in the editorials are references…
In the depths of the mind: The relationship of young readers’ reading motivation and reading strategies to reading comprehension (pp. 118-143)
The process of reading would not effectively take place without the motivation to read and the utilization of proper strategies that would aid comprehension. This research aims to gain insights on how reading motivation and reading strategies affect reading comprehension. Data were gathered through the use of two survey questionnaires and a 20-item multiple-choice test administered to 208 secondary students whose age range from 11 to 13 years old. Data were dealt using Pearson’s correlation, regression, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Interestingly, results show that there is a weak correlation between reading motivation and reading comprehension. Also, reading strategy is…