Children’s Literature in Transcarpathian Schools for Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Since the origins of formal foreign language teaching, literature has always played an important role. Currently, modern language teaching trends suggest starting foreign language learning as early as possible; thus, the use of children’s literature in foreign language teaching is undergoing a revolution. This situation encouraged us to examine the use of children’s literature and the attitude of foreign language teachers to it. This article focuses on primary and secondary school English language teachers in a western county of Ukraine (N = 118). The results of the qualitative research revealed that the teachers’ general attitude to the use of children’s literature is positive; they are aware of their advantages but still avoid using these materials. Most teachers do not apply children’s literature in their foreign language teaching because the school curriculum is too congested and fast-paced, they do not have access to appropriate authentic children’s literature, or they were not taught how to utilize authentic children’s literature during their university years. Results suggest that teachers should be encouraged to use children’s literature, though there is no universal solution. The first suggestion is for schools themselves to support teachers, but it would be a significant step forward if this approach were also to be taken in in-service training.

Using Technology for Foreign Language Learning: The Teacher’s Role

The spread of information technology has changed the role of language teachers considerably. Being a good educator and an expert in their field are not enough anymore, but teachers are expected to be modern, which means, to possess the ability to design interactive classes (often by using digital tools) and use teaching methods that engage students in a creative way. Today it is a general requirement for teachers to know their way around technology and to possess the know-how of implementing it in a way that fosters language learning. To this purpose teachers need to take into account all facets of technology use, including the advantages and disadvantages of technology-mediated tasks, their usefulness for language learning (e.g. if they are related to the topic of the lesson, are challenging enough for students), helpful resources for students, etc. Technology is regarded as a supplementary instrument to traditional teaching methods that can impact students’ motivation to learn in a positive way, provided it is used for activities that are in line with their needs and expectations. Task-based activities are considered to be especially useful in this regard, allowing students to practice their language skills in an authentic context and also develop creative thinking and problem solving abilities. Web 2.0 technologies (e.g. software programs for creating quizzes and polls, language learning websites, chat programs, wikis, etc.) offer a variety of valuable resources both for activities in the classroom and for practice at home.

Assessing Language Learners’ Knowledge and Performance during Covid-19

The new reality created by the COVID-19 caused a lot of changes in the educational sphere. The transition from face-to-face to distance learning was not smooth in Ukraine because distance learning was not a common practice in the country before and teachers were unprepared for teaching online. This unusual situation prompted us to start our qualitative research primarily to get insights into the altered daily routines of teachers and educators. In particular, we were interested in how they assessed their students’ performance online. This article focuses on secondary school language teachers (n=65) and language tutors at the tertiary level (n=18). The research findings have revealed that teachers gave feedback through different digital applications like Google Classroom. Oral performance was evaluated either synchronously or asynchronously. The most crucial implication is that teachers should improve and further develop their digital skills and distance teaching and assessing skills in order to provide quality education in the modern form.

The Evolving Concept of (Language) Assessment Literacy. Implications for Teacher Education

Language teachers’ assessment knowledge and skills have received considerable attention from language assessment researchers over the past few decades (Davison & Leung, 2009; Hill & McNamara, 2012; Rea-Dickins, 2001; Taylor, 2013). This seems to be linked to the increased professionalism expected of them in classroom-based assessments. However, teachers seem to face a number of challenges, including how large-scale standardized language exams influence their classroom assessment practices. Teachers’ assessment literacy, therefore, needs to be examined in order to explain their assessment decisions. In this paper, we review the concept of (language) assessment literacy, how it has evolved and how it is conceptualized currently. Recent interpretations seem to reflect a multidimensional, dynamic and situated view of (language) assessment literacy. Implications for teacher education are also highlighted by presenting research findings from studies that explored teachers’ and teacher candidates’ assessment literacy in various educational contexts. As a result, we can identify some common patterns in classroom assessment practices as well as context-specific training needs. Finally, we make a recommendation for tackling some of the challenges language teachers are facing in relation to classroom-based assessment in the Hungarian context.

Digital Diet and Relevant Minority Aspects during Home Preschool Education

The aim of the present research is to provide an outline of the home education situation of Hungarian children enrolled in educational institutions in Romania. The research focuses on the perspective of early childhood teachers and education experts. Our objective is to identify the factors influencing the digital diet in minority preschool education and investigate whether this phenomenon, along with practices in home education, have specific distinguishing features as compared to trends in mainstream education. Approaches to digital diet and preschoolers’ use of digital tools are basic components of our interpretative framework. We set out to investigate this pedagogical phenomenon in the light of minority education, considering the educational situation in dispersed and block regions. Our descriptive study, built on a questionnaire (own design), presents the good practices in home education focusing specifically on minority aspects. Our sample consisted of 403 early childhood teachers and 14 minority education experts resulting from convenience sampling. The investigation reveals a more liberal home education style. According to experts, the national regulatory framework for home education gives rise to conflicting interpretations and specific minority provisions and recommendations are less straightforward. During home education, the proportion of the areas of development and that of learning content is distorted, and the language of instruction as a factor influencing the digital diet becomes especially prominent. Research results did not focus primarily on the minority features of home education and the digital diet but rather on regional and local distinguishing features.

The Bodily Experiences of Music Teachers

This paper deals with the specifics of a music teacher's work in kindergarten and presents an empirical study, based on the approach of hermeneutic phenomenology. In the research outcomes, the experiences of the music teacher's work in kindergarten are presented through their stories about memorable moments of their professional activity. Initially, in accordance with the theory of Max van Manen, the research data were viewed through the prism of five dimensions (lived time, lived space, lived self-others, lived things, and lived body), typical of all phenomena. The paper discusses one of them, i.e. the teachers' experience from the perspective of the lived body. The stories demonstrate how through the looks, facial mimicry, and body language, moments of the teacher's everyday routine are revealed that would otherwise be overlooked or considered irrelevant.

Information and Trust in Parent-Teacher Cooperation – Connections with Educational Inequality

There is an ongoing debate on how parents and the cooperation between parents and teachers contribute to educational inequality. In this study, the assumption that information and trust in parent–teacher cooperation mediate the effects of parent socioeconomic status (SES) on student achievement in mathematics and instruction language (German) was examined. The effects of information and trust on achievement were assumed to be mediated by parent self-efficacy expectation in German. The hypotheses were tested using a sample with 1001 students from 4th to 6th grade and their parents in Swiss primary schools using questionnaires and achievement tests at the beginning and the end of a school year. Results from structural equation models with longitudinal data showed that parent trust and parent self-efficacy expectation fully mediated the effect of SES and student achievement in language instruction but not in mathematics. Information did not correlate with SES nor with student achievement, but with trust. Parental trust in the cooperation with teachers affected achievement in both mathematics and German. The model combines the research on parental involvement with the research on educational inequality in school. Teachers need to establish trust in cooperation with low-SES parents to reduce educational inequality in school.

The Vehicle for Bringing Positive Education Into the English-As-A-Foreign-Language Classroom: Task-Based Language Teaching

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the distinctive features of interventions, tasks, and exercises. It is intended to lay theoretical ground to a forthcoming dissertation which is based on action research using positive psychology-based tasks designed or adapted for the secondary English-as-aforeign-language classroom. Therefore, it is essential to first understand the theoretical underpinnings of task-based language teaching and define certain key concepts as well as find the features that distinguish interventions, tasks, and exercises from each other in the language learning classroom. Since literature sometimes refers to these concepts in an interchangeable manner (cf. Seligman et al., 2005; Seligman et al., 2009; Gregersen et al., 2014), an attempt will be made in this theoretical paper to compare them, and then to provide a framework for task descriptions to be used in the dissertation project which is intended to be convergent with current theory and practical enough for teachers.

Designing an instrument to measure explicit and implicit learning processes

In this research paper, the researcher’s intention was to design an instrument that is able to measure learning under two different conditions: explicit and implicit learning. Exploring explicit and implicit learning is gaining more and more attention nowadays in the field of second language acquisition (SLA). The Quantitative method was used in this study to investigate which learning mechanism proves to be more efficient in the selected sample. The present study involved Hungarian technical school, secondary school, and university students from Budapest (N = 40) who participated in completing an Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL) task. The most important finding of the present research endeavour is that implicit learning has proven to be more effective than explicit learning in the case of the selected participants and this was a statistically significant finding. The pedagogical implication of this study is that the effectiveness of implicit learning should be reconsidered by EFL teachers in Hungary.