The ninth issue of RPLTL explores a wide variety of concerns. There are five papers on issues involving different aspects of applying online technology in English language teaching, two papers on differentiated instruction, two papers on different aspects of specific-purpose teaching and learning, and individual papers on teacher research, reading performance strategies, and intercultural issues.
In particular, the online technology section kicks off with Tsourapa’s paper, which looks at teachers’ perceptions about 21st century teaching skills and the extent to which they integrate Internet-based social communication skills in their teaching. What this paper highlights is teachers’ willingness to integrate tools such as blogs, wikis, WebQuests, and digital storytelling, but lack of time, proper training and essential equipment hinders them from achieving this goal. In the same vein, Tzotzou’s paper gauges teachers’ awareness of Web 2.0 tools and the extent of their digital literacy. While teachers’ perspectives are positive, this paper also focuses on obstacles such as negative in-bred school-related attitudes toward these technologies and the need to make teachers aware of the pedagogical potential of these tools.
The next two papers discuss WebQuests as a valuable means of exploring and upgrading learners’ information literacy skills, which, in turn, respond to the growing trend toward viewing foreign language learning as the hub of multiliteracies education. Doulgeri and Antoniou introduce an original curricular intervention in a 6th grade primary school and discuss its specifications and advantages through a comprehensive mixed methods research. Oulousidou’s paper explores the ways in which WebQuests can support the teaching of reading and reports increased learner motivation and a more positive inclination towards reading. The paper by Tsiakyroudi investigates the effectiveness of the Edmodo educational social network on Greek Junior High School EFL learners’ motivation to write. She concludes that the project positively impacted learners’ motivation towards writing and upgraded their
The two papers in the “Engish for specific purposes” section also raise interesting issues. In the study resented in Kiose’s paper, the ESP approach, which prioritises responding to learners’ short-term needs, is implemented to design a framework for preparing Greek Senior High School learners for the Written Expression Panhellenic exam. Kiose reports that learners were actively involved in the construction of a brief additional syllabus that informed them about the genre-based approach to writing and engaged them in activities that prompted the application of specific genre patterns needed for the particular final highstakes exam. Katsara investigates learners’ perspectives towards their involvement in tutorials in an English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) context. She concludes that learners favour a more active engagement in tutorials and seem to link the qualities of their tutors with the extent to which the latter promote learner reflection and self-assessment practices.
Two papers in this issue explore different aspects of differentiated instruction (DI). Tzanni offers an overall account of the perceptions and practices of Greek teachers working in different contexts about DI. It turns out that teachers are broadly aware of DI but are less confident in practising it, especially because of the extensive time that is required in preparing appropriate DI tasks. Then, the paper by Rigoutsou focuses on a popular approach in DI, the Flipped Classroom (FC) model, which uses classroom time to engage learners in clarifying and applying skills and knowledge that they had prepared in advance, from their home. The paper offers a promising perspective of Greek teachers’ practices vis-à-vis FC.
Mogli and Papadopoulou investigate the socialization practices of immigrants from Afghanistan in Greece through their learning of the Greek language. Their research instrument, semi-structured interviews, offers an illuminating account of the factors influencing their learning, including their attitudes, worries and personal motives. The paper by Koukourikou, Manoli and Griva studies the role of multiple-strategies in boosting Greek EFL secondary school students’ reading performance. The authors use interviews and their own journals to report on teachers’ lack of familiarity with strategy usage. However, their research underlines the positive impact on learners’ reading comprehension ability. Finally, but in no way of less importance, the paper by Kantaridou and Kaltsiou investigates Greek EFL teachers’ perceptions about action research. They conclude that, despite their positive inclination, most of them are not actively involved in research projects, the reasons being lack of time and lack of training in understanding and using research methods.
Nicos C. Sifakis