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East Asian perspectives on silence in English language education - Jim King

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East Asian perspectives on silence in English language education
Jim King
Paperback / softback
Multilingual Matters
UK Publication Date

Silence is a key pedagogical issue in language education. Seen by some as a space for thinking and reflection during the learning process, for others silence represents a threat, inhibiting target language interaction which is so vital during second language acquisition. This book eschews stereotypes and generalisations about why so many learners from East Asia seem either reluctant or unable to speak in English by providing a state-of-the art account of current research into the complex and ambiguous issue of silence in language education. The innovative research included in this volume focuses on silence both as a barrier to successful learning and as a resource that may in some cases facilitate language acquisition. The book offers a fresh perspective on ways to facilitate classroom interaction while also embracing silence and it touches on key pedagogical concepts such as teacher cognition, the role of task features, classroom interactional approaches, pedagogical intervention and socialisation, willingness to communicate, as well as psychological and sociocultural factors. Each of the book's chapters include self-reflection and discussion tasks, as well as annotated bibliographies for further reading.

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Jim King is based at the University of Leicester where he directs the institution's campus-based Masters courses in applied linguistics and English language teaching. His books include the monograph Silence in the Second Language Classroom (Palgrave, 2013) and the edited volume The Emotional Rollercoaster of Language Teaching (with Christina Gkonou and Jean-Marc Dewaele, Multilingual Matters, 2020).

Seiko Harumi is a Lecturer in Japanese and Applied Linguistics (Education) at SOAS, University of London. She has taught English, Applied Linguistics and Japanese in Japan and currently teaches in the United Kingdom. Her academic interests lie in classroom discourse, pragmatics, learner-centred reflective approaches in L2 learning and language pedagogy.

Although seemingly paradoxical, King and Harumi have much to say about silence. This edited work unlocks the 'problem' of silence in East Asian English language classrooms, and shows teachers how to leverage it for better language learning. Educators are certain to find this book to be a valuable resource.
Gregory Hadley, Niigata University, Japan

As language practitioners and researchers we are behooved to consider the entire communication process - even that which goes beyond words - to include their absence. This volume is a must-read for those of us who care about how much is said when nothing is.
Tammy Gregersen, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

This well-informed book uses a healthy variety of research methods to present a multi-layered picture of learner reticence within classroom interaction, and sociocultural and psychological features of learning. It offers highly relevant insights to many school and university classrooms around the world and should be on the reading lists for advanced professional or Masters courses in ELT, applied linguistics, and classroom research methods.
Martin Cortazzi, University of Warwick, UK

Keyword Index
Language and languages - Study and teaching - East Asia.|Second language acquisition - East Asia.|Linguistics - Study and teaching - East Asia.|English language - East Asia.|Language and culture - East Asia.|East Asia - Languages.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
200 .

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