SLA Reflections on Learning Arabic Via a Collaborative Diary Study

By Rachel DeSanto.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study analyzes the diary reflections of a pre-service teacher in a graduate program for teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), while she studied beginning Arabic and second language acquisition (SLA). Data were collected from the diary entries and from a post-study action research project, and they were analyzed by the diarist/ researcher, by a faculty mentor, and via face-to-face (F2F) feedback sessions between faculty mentor and the diarist. A qualitative analysis reveals that the affective themes of anxiety and motivation were the two most salient features in the learner’s diary entries. The article concludes with a number of teaching implications, including the suggestion that creating a classroom atmosphere that tolerates confusion so that students are able to negotiate for meaning may be significant for both increasing motivation and decreasing anxiety. This study highlights the importance of reflective collaboration between student and faculty so that both contribute to the student’s developing interpretation of the SLA process. This collaboration also revealed the potential for enhancing the pre-service teacher’s ability to develop a more effective set of strategies for teaching.

Keywords: Language Learning Diary, Second Language Acquisition, Language Teacher Education, Anxiety, Motivation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp.197-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 538.355KB).

Rachel DeSanto

Faculty, Division of Continuing and International Education, University of Miami at IMG Academies, Bradenton, Florida, USA

Rachel is faculty at the University of Miami at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida. She teaches Reading and Vocabulary, Integrated Skills, and Listening and Speaking at various levels in an Intensive English program to international students. Prior to receiving her Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics, Rachel taught English to adult refugees in the U.S. and worked throughout Latin America as a cultural liaison and Spanish interpreter. Currently, her research interests include language teacher education and phonology.


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