It is our pleasure to introduce Volume 11, Number 2 of Language Learning & Technology, a regular issue of our journal. We hope that all of you have successfully completed or are about to complete a busy academic year and are looking forward to a restful and productive summer. This is a very full issue that offers our readers five articles and a commentary, in addition to the three regular columns.
"Manipulating L2 learners' online dictionary use and its effect on L2 word retention" by Elke Peters explores the effect of two enhancement techniques (a Vocabulary Test Announcement and Task-induced Word Relevance) on L2 learners' look-up behavior during a reading task and delayed word retention by Flemish learners of German. Her findings show a significant effect of Test Announcement and Word Relevance on whether a target word is looked up.
"Students writing emails to faculty: An examination of e-politeness among native and non-native speakers of English" by Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas combines interlanguage pragmatics and speech act research with computer-mediated communication to examine how native and non-native speakers of English formulate low- and high-imposition requests to faculty. Results show that native speakers demonstrate greater resources in creating e-polite messages to their professors than non-native speakers. Possible avenues for pedagogical intervention are presented.
"An activity theory perspective on student-reported contradictions in international telecollaboration" by Olga Basharina studies the intra-cultural, inter-cultural, and technology-related contradictions that emerged in a WebCT bulletin board telecollaboration among English learners from Japan, Mexico, and Russia, and explains such contradictions from the perspective of activity theory. The study concludes with a discussion of whether the learning paradigms can be bridged and cultures-of-use of computer technologies aligned.
"Culture, culture learning and new technologies: Towards a pedagogical framework" by Mike Levy looks at ways to improve approaches to the learning and teaching of culture using new technologies by aligning fundamental qualities of the culture concept with specific pedagogical designs, tasks, and technologies.
"Abdullah's blogging: A generation 1.5 student enters the blogosphere" by Joel Bloch analyzes the blogs of a Somali immigrant student to explore their relationship to the development of his academic writing. The paper shows how blogging in L2 composition courses can contribute to the development of student writing.
"Commentary: Open access to research and the individual responsibility of researchers" by Thierry Chanier explains what open access means and describes two roads to open access and the obstacles that stand in the way. The commentary includes resources related to open access scientific publication as well as a selection of recommended links.
The "On the Net" column by guest contributor Jesús García Laborda presents a comparison of the main features of some of the most well known high-stakes computerized exams, such as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Testing System (IELTS), Business Language Testing Service (BULATS), and others.
This issue also includes three reviews, assembled and edited by Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas. (1) Jesús García Laborda reviews Call Research Perspectives edited by Joy L. Egbert and Gina Mikel Petrie. (2) Chen Xiaobin reviews CALL Dimensions: Options and Issues in Computer-Assisted Language Learning by Mike Levy and Glenn Stockwell. (3) Pawel Szudarski reviews Mastering Polish with Two Audio CDs by Albert Juszczak.
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We wish all of you a relaxing and productive summer!
Irene Thompson and Dorothy Chun,