SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Valiente, C. (2008). Are students using the ‘wrong’ style of learning? A multicultural scrutiny for helping teachers to appreciate differences. Active Learning in Higher Education9, 73–91.

Abstract: The literature on learning styles suggests that although the behaviour of some students may appear different from what is defined as a `high-quality learning process', their conduct does not demonstrate an `inferior' approach to learning. Furthermore, existing and emerging academic literature that associates learning theories with the studies of cultural concerns suggests alternative interpretations that may help to develop a richer multicultural learning and teaching approach within Western higher education institutions (HE). This article brings together elements of the theory on learning styles and some elements of multicultural management theory to introduce interpretations that may apply to the emerging UK multicultural universities. It considers the importance of memorization as a tool for learning, and reveals how motivation, communication and collaborative patterns could work differently in different cultures. The comparison between best known Western learning theory and Confucian principles is expected to increase academics' awareness of international students' background. The discussion helps to understand some of the students' pragmatic reactions to the challenges prompted by their studies in foreign countries.

Journal Article 2: Bird, S. A. (2005). Language Learning Edutainment Mixing Motives in Digital Resources. RELC Journal36, 311–339.

Abstract: Recent advances in digital video have lead to a convergence of main- stream entertainment (e.g., movies) and language learning tools. An example is a software system/media player called L1, which provides interactive subtitling and learning support for DVD entertainment products. Convergence of entertainment and learning resources raises challenging language learning software design tensions. The article reports a study of English language learners who were asked to use the L1 system and to rate the system features in terms of ease of use and learning. The results showed several distinct design preferences depending on the user’s more general attitudes toward edutainment resources. The article discusses L1’s consequent design modifications as well as design considerations for language learning edutainment resources more generally.

Journal Article 3Van De Mieroop, D., De Jong, J., & Andeweg, B. (2008). I want to talk about... A rhetorical analysis of the introductions of 40 speeches about engineering. Journal of Business and Technical Communication22, 186–210.

Abstract: This article investigates the introductions of 40 professional speeches from a rhetorical perspective to address the problems audiences seem to have with presentations about engineering. The authors use an exordial model that they derived from classical manuals on rhetoric. This model enumerates and groups rhetorical exordial techniques into 3 main functions: attentumbenevolum, and docilem. The study shows that rhetorically complete introductions are rare. Most of the speakers seemed to prefer a content-oriented, direct approach (docilem) in their introductions and seldom used techniques to garner the audience's attention (attentum) or sympathy (benevolum). The article concludes with an evaluation of the exordial model and a discussion of the study's pedagogical implications.