EDITORIAL WELCOME FOR VOLUME 3 ISSUE 1 (APRIL 2009)

Welcome to the third volume of Novitas-ROYAL. The new issue presents studies by researchers working in different universities ranging from Newcastle University to Istanbul University. Themes covered include foreign language development in immersion environments, self efficacy and listening proficiency, constructivist approach to online language learning and teaching, learners’ tolerance of ambiguity, cultural orientation and reading comprehension models, and use of computer games for vocabulary learning and practice. The authors report on their research which reflects insights from a wide array of contexts including the UK, Eurasia, and the Middle East.  

Novitas-ROYAL continues to be a supportive journal not only for scholars, but also for postgraduate students. This year’s Newcastle Postgraduate Conference in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics was sponsored by Novitas-ROYAL and AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), in association with CRILLS (Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences). The conference welcomed 125 delegates from around Europe. Six poster presentations and 27 paper presentations took centre stage along with two invited plenary talks from Professor Zoltán Dörnyei (The University of Nottingham) and Professor Anders Holmberg (Newcastle University). The presentations covered a wide array of areas, such as: language acquisition, language teaching, phonology, semantics, syntax, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis. Please visit the conference website for further details: http://conferences.ncl.ac.uk/pglinguistics/.

The impact of our journal on online academic publishing is increasing, as our journal is now indexed by Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography and EBSCO publishing. We are glad to be accessible to readers and researchers worldwide through the use of those indexes and databases in thousands of universities all over the globe, thanks to opportunities brought by open access publishing. As Chan (2004) puts it: “open access affords an opportunity to rethink publishing strategies, and move electronic publishing to the next level” (p. 280). We are proud to be a part of this scholarly development, which will contribute to easy access to high quality academic knowledge.

In the first paper of the new volume, Clare Wright examined the development of EFL proficiency in an immersion environment in the United Kingdom. Using different research tools, she showed that immersion benefits fluency, rather than accuracy. In the second article, Ali Rahimi and Atiyeh Abedini aimed at exploring the role of EFL learner's self-efficacy regarding listening comprehension in their listening test performance. The results of their statistical analyses indicated that listening comprehension self-efficacy has a significant correlation with listening proficiency. The third study aimed to explore tolerance of ambiguity (AT) of 188 tertiary level Turkish EFL learners at a state university in Turkey. Ismail Hakkı Erten and Ece Zehir Topkaya found that the students’ AT, their self-perceived success, and strategy training they received correlated significantly.

Levent Uzun, in the fourth article, aimed to draw attention to the use of games in FL teaching and learning, and to present a vocabulary learning game which can be used as supplementary material in CALL and/or traditional language classes in any language. He also compared it with two other widely used games in FLT. The fifth paper by Tuncer Can is a review of recent trends in learning and teaching languages online from a constructivist perspective. He proposed that constructivist approach is promising at promoting learners’ language and communicative skills as well as at fostering their autonomy, social and interactive skills. In the last article, Payman Rajabi investigated the effect of rural and urban orientations on top-down and bottom-up reading models of 160 Iranian EFL students. The results showed that in addition to bottom-up model, the urban students made use of top-down strategies (e.g inferences, skimming for the main ideas, activating background knowledge), whereas rural students showed great reliance on texts and the application of bottom-up processing.

We thank all the contributors who have submitted their articles to Novitas-ROYAL. We look forward to our meeting again in October 2009. We would be glad to receive your comments and suggestions.


Olcay SERT
Associate Editor

Newcastle University , Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Reference

Chan, L., 2004. Supporting and enhancing scholarship in the Digital Age: The Role of Open Access Institutional Repository. Canadian Journal of Communication, 29 (3), 277-300.