Archives: TESOL Working Paper Series

Past Issues

TESOL Working Paper Series Homepage

Volume 10. Issue 1 & 2, Fall 2012

Volume 9, Issue 1 & 2, Fall 2011

Volume 8, Issues 1 & 2, Spring & Fall 2010

Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2009

Volume 7, Issue 1, Spring 2009

Volume 6, Issue 2, Fall 2008

Volume 6, Issue 1, Spring 2008

Volume 5, Issue 2, Fall 2007

Volume 5, Issue 1, Spring 2007

Volume 4, Issue 2, Fall 2006

All volumes produced prior to Volume 4, Issue 2, Fall 2006 are available only in print. Please contact Dr. Hanh Nguyen at for further information.

The Hawaii Pacific University TESOL Working Paper Series is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171
Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Cover image: "Calligraphy I," watercolor painting by Barbara Kellogg, 2011. Reproduced with permission from the artist.

TESOL (Applied Linguistics)

Languages and Applied Linguistics Department

Volume 4, Issue 2, Fall 2006

Editors: Hanh thi Nguyen & Carol Perrin

Hanh thi Nguyen & Carol A. Perrin

Developing Vocabulary in Second Language Acquisition: From Theories to the Classroom 
Jefferey G. Mehring

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the theories behind vocabulary acquisition in second language learning in order to put these theories into practice in a class. Learning vocabulary is an ongoing process which requires systematic repetition to help students learn, especially low context vocabulary. Students can retain the vocabulary they find useful and relevant to their subject matter by learning vocabulary through context, cooperative learning, and using technology. Results from an
action research project will be reported

The English Copula Be: Japanese Learners’ Confusion
Sayuri Kusutani

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the problems that Japanese learners have with the English copula be. Although Japanese desu and da are widely believed to be equivalent to the English copula be, this is a misunderstanding which is possibly one of the
greatest causes of learners’ confusion. The author analyzes the problems that Japanese learners have with the copula be
in three other contexts: the auxiliary verb, subject-verb agreement, and the negative sentence construction.

Pronunciation Difficulties of Japanese Speakers of English: Predictions Based on a Contrastive Analysis
Steven W. Carruthers

ABSTRACT: A contrastive analysis of English and Japanese phonology can help to identify potential, even likely, challenges for Japanese speakers of English (JSE). Learners of English will encounter differences in many areas: the distribution of allophones and phonemes, the number of vowels and consonants, the variety of environments in which fricatives occur, the discrimination and production of /r/ and /l/ and other English approximates, the variety of syllable structures, and prosody. Knowledge of these phonological contrasts would aid instructors and learners in selecting critical
features for focused attention.

Content-Based Instruction
Yoon (Christina) Heo

ABSTRACT: Content-Based Instruction (CBI) has been found to be an effective approach to teaching English as a second language because with CBI, students can develop their language skills as well as gain access to new concepts through meaningful content. This paper reviews general information about the features of CBI, including its theoretical foundations and models. The paper also covers several issues to be considered in the application of CBI such as assessment of language and content, teacher education, and the use of CBI in the EFL classroom. The relationship between CBI and skillbased instruction, particularly in the teaching of writing, will also be discussed. Finally, I suggest that CBI can fit in well with broader principles of language teaching and learning in both ESL and EFL situations.

Genre-Based Approach to Teaching Writing
Miyoun (Sophia) Kim

ABSTRACT: This paper was written as a result of concerns about how to improve the writing skills of Korean students. The main goal of the paper was to investigate the effectiveness of the genre-based approach to teaching writing in Korean educational context. To assess the genre approach, I examined, (a) the definition of the genre approach to teaching; (b)
the differences between the process approach and the genre approach to identify which approach would be the most
suitable for Korean educational context; (c) practical applications of the genre approach; (d) the benefits and problems
of the genre approach to teaching writing; and (e) how to best apply the genre approach. Having explored these five
questions, I support the application of the combined approach called the process-genre approach for the teaching of
writing because it allows students to use language creatively based on the framework of a given genre.

Exploring Appreciative Inquiry
Eric Bentkowski & Marshall Yamaga

ABSTRACT: Appreciative inquiry (AI) is the practice of asking positive questions designed to encourage positive thinking and reflection, promoting positive potential and stimulating higher performance. This paper contains two exploratory studies conducted in workplace and classroom environments. The use of AI in the workplace environment was possibly a
contributing factor to a sales increase and, in the classroom, the use of AI seemed to correlate with higher selfperception
of English speaking ability. We conclude that AI is useful and applicable in both environments because AI
improved self-esteem, built self-confidence, motivated and empowered individuals toward better performance, and
inspired a greater probability that they would share and apply their learning and insights with those they interact with.

A Gamer’s Critique of Traditional Education and Implications for the ESL Classroom
Wentai Ye & Michelle DeVeau

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to examine how two aspects of video games, group dynamics and affinity spaces, are surprisingly similar to characteristics of an ideal classroom learning environment. However, most traditional classrooms lack these two aspects, creating a stagnant learning experience. This paper will describe these two aspects and their components in the contexts of a video game and a traditional classroom. The paper will also describe on how these two aspects has been applied to an ESL reading class, and how ESL classes in general can benefit from the application of true group dynamics and affinity spaces.

Gender Issues in Computer-Mediated Communications
Alexander E. Dalampan

ABSTRACT: This paper offers an exploratory analysis of the linguistic features of WebCT discussion postings by graduate and undergraduate students in a course on computer technology in language teaching. Based on research related to language and gender, it was hypothesized that men and women differ in the use of language with respect to qualifiers and intensifiers in computer- mediated communication. The results suggested that the WebCT discussion postings of students revealed some gender-related distinctions with respect to the use of linguistic qualifiers and intensifiers. However, despite the claim of previous research that women use more qualifiers, hedges, and personal pronouns, the associations were not strong. While men and women may use gendered language in some situations, in academic discussions, they did not talk as men or as women but as scholars.

Lesson Plans: Travel
Hsiao (Isabelle) Chou

Lesson Plans: Everyday Language Functions for Immigrants to the U.S.
Kathryn Duke