JALT Journal - Issue 34.1; May 2012

Volume: 34
Issue No. 1
Date of publication: May 2012
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In this Issue


This issue of JALT Journal features a diverse range of articles. The first is a critical review of perceptual learning styles constructs and their associated instrumentation in applied linguistics by Ian Isemonger. This article has implications not only for present-day practitioners and researchers in our field, but for future research trajectories and journal editors as well. Our second feature article, a study by Rie Koizumi and Akiyo Hirai, compares the Story Retelling Speaking Test (SRST) with two commercial speaking tests to examine the validity of score-based interpretation of the SRST. The third article, a comparative study of personal pronoun use in argumentative essays by Sayo Natsukari, investigates the use the first person singular I by Japanese EFL learners and native English speakers. The fourth article, by Farahman Farrokhi, Rajab Esfandiari, and Edward Schaefer, is a study with implications for the use of peer- and self-rating in L2 writing assessment. The researchers use Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (MFRM) to investigate rater severity/leniency among three rater types—self-assessor, peer-assessor, and teacher assessor.


Six book reviews are published in this issue. In the first, James Essex reviews an edited volume on the spread of English throughout Asia. Our second review, by William Green, is an examination of a collection of contributions from the proceedings of a conference on the teaching of English to young learners. The third review, by Rob Higgins, considers a practitioner-oriented EAP resource guide. Next, Jung In Kim reviews a volume dedicated to early language learning and teaching in a wide range of ESL and EFL contexts. The fifth review, by Tim Murphey, examines an introductory volume on sociocultural theory. The final review comes from Christopher Starling andYumi Tanaka, who report on a work exploring Japanese learners’ attitudes to English varieties.

From the Editor

This issue of JALT Journal comes with significant changes to our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB). First of all, I am pleased to welcome Melodie Cook as the new Associate Editor. Melodie has been working with me on screening decisions since last fall and has taken on an increasingly prominent role on editorial tasks overall. JALT Journal had been without an Associate Editor for several issues and having Melodie on board means that the Journal will be in good hands beyond 2012. Greg Sholdt is also taking on a greater role on the EAB. As Consulting Editor, he will be able to more regularly contribute his quantitative expertise. Joining our EAB as well are Bill Acton, Yuko Goto Butler, Neil Cowie, Tim Greer, and Tamara Swenson. Bill, of Trinity Western University in Canada, is a former JALT Publications Board Chair. Yuko was a plenary speaker at the JALT2009 Conference and specializes in young learner FL education. She teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Neil has been one of our most active additional readers over the past few years. Based at Okayama University, he specializes in motivation and identity. Tim has served the Journal well in recent years as an additional reader and his expertise in Conversational Analysis is most welcome. He teaches at Kobe University. Tamara, of Osaka Jogakuin College, is a former JALT Journal Editor and therefore brings valuable editorial experience to the board in addition to being able to review papers related to content-based instruction and other areas. We extend a warm welcome to each of you. Thanks go out, as always, to the ongoing members of the Board, especially those who have contributed to this issue.

JALT Journalis deeply indebted to four members of the Board who are leaving after a long period of service. Bill Bradley, Eli Hinkel, and Mary Gobel Noguchi have been reviewing papers and providing editorial counsel since the 1990s, and I cannot say enough about their contributions. Special thanks as well to Nick Jungheim who is also leaving the Board. A former Editor of JALT Journal, Nick will be especially missed. The editors who have followed him have relied on his leadership and support over the years. We hope and trust that each of the outgoing EAB members will continue to support JALT Journal and the JALT organization.

There are cosmetic changes to JALT Journal as well. Our old cover style, which we have used since the May 2000 issue, is being replaced with this new solid British racing green. Rather than changing the color each year, we have opted for the permanent, one-color cover most commonly used by research journals, moving the contents information inside and adding the JALT logo. We hope you like this new look for JALT Journal. Thanks to Malcolm Swanson for his creative insights in designing this new cover.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to Aleda Krause and the members of the Journal Production team—Amy Brown, Susan Gilfert, Joseph Sheehan, Alan Stoke, andJack Yohay—for their outstanding work. Susan is the newest member of the team, and I would like to officially welcome her with this issue.

Darren Lingley


JALT Journal

Perceptual Learning Styles and Lessons in Psychometric Weakness
by Ian Isemonger, Kumamoto University

Comparing the Story Retelling Speaking Test With Other Speaking Tests
by Rie Koizumi, Tokiwa University; Akiyo Hirai, University of Tsukuba

Use of I in Essays by Japanese EFL Learners
by Sayo Natsukari, Rikkyo University

A Many-Facet Rasch Measurement of Differential Rater Severity/Leniency in Three Types of Assessment
by Farahman Farrokhi, University of Tabriz, Iran; Rajab Esfandiari, Imam Khomeini International University, Iran; Edward Schaefer, Ochanomizu University, Japan

by James Essex, William Green, Rob Higgins, Jung In Kim, Tim Murphey, and Christopher Starling and Yumi Tanaka

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