Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Kenneth Fordyce

Lecturer (TESOL)

Biography

My first experience of teaching was as an assistant English teacher in Klagenfurt, Austria (1991-2). Since then most of my work has been with Japanese learners of English: as an assistant teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) Program in Hokkaido (1994-6); as a teacher at Teikyo High School (UK) in Buckinghamshire (1997-9); and for over ten years as a lecturer in English Language Education at Hiroshima University (2001-11). I joined Moray House School of Education in September 2011.

Qualifications:

  • MA Hons in German, The University of St Andrews
  • MSc in Applied Linguistics, The University of Edinburgh
  • PGCE in Modern Languages, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education
  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, Lancaster University: "The Differential Effects of Explicit and Implicit Instruction on Japanese EFL Learners' Acquisition of Epistemic Stance"

Current Research Interests

My research interests can be divided into three main areas:

  • The Relative Effects of Explicit and Implicit Instruction on L2 Development: I am interested in the way these two forms of instruction interact with each other, and also on the relative importance of explicit and implicit learning depending on the targeted grammatical, lexical or pragmatic forms.
  • Learner Corpus Analysis: Whilst learner corpora are being increasingly used in the development of L2 learner dictionaries and textbooks, they remain underused in SLA research. I am interested in applying longitudinal learner corpus analysis in uncovering patterns of development in speaking and writing by learners of English from different L1 backgrounds.
  • Interlanguage Pragmatics: It has been shown that various aspects of pragmatics resist acquisition even by learners with an advanced level of L2 grammatical competence. I am interested in investigating the reasons why some features of L2 pragmatics prove difficult to acquire and how classroom interventions can be used to overcome these difficulties. I am particularly interested in the L2 acquisition of epistemic stance in English (modal verbs, modal adverbs, cognitive verbs and evidential verbs).

I would be interested in supervising doctoral level research focusing on any of the above areas.

Collaborative Activity

  • I am currently working on journal articles related to my recently completed PhD thesis. These encompass the fields of SLA, Learner Corpus Research and Interlanguage Pragmatics.
  • I am involved in an ongoing project with Dr Mairin Hennebry which focuses on the relevance and impact of the MSc TESOL programme on the development of second language teachers from various educational and cultural backgrounds.
  • I have been working with Dr Pete Allison and postgraduate students on a research project investigating the effects of Sail Training on the self-efficacy and cross-cultural awareness of young adults.

PRESENTATIONS

International:

  • Investigating the impact of a one year Masters in TESOL on developing conceptualisations of language teaching and learning. Presentation given with Dr Mairin Hennebry at the British Association for Applied Linguistics annual conference, Southampton, 7 September 2012.
  • The relationship between L2 proficiency and the use of epistemic stance in speaking and writing: A cross-sectional corpus-based study on Japanese EFL learners. Presentation given at the British Association for Applied Linguistics annual conference, Aberdeen, 10 September 2010.
  • The differential effects of explicit and implicit pedagogical interventions on EFL learners’ spoken and written language. Presentation given at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Atlanta, 9 March 2010.
  • Form-focused instruction and the acquisition of epistemic stance: A longitudinal study on university-level Japanese EFL learners' pragmatic development. Presentation given at the British Association for Applied Linguistics annual conference, Newcastle, 4 September 2009.
  • The effects of instruction on L2 acquisition of epistemic stance forms. Presentation given at the Second Language Research Forum, Hawai'i, USA, 19 October 2008.
  • Online-based tool for the study of L2 pragmatics. Presentation given with Professor Seiji Fukazawa at the 33rd International Conference of the Japan Association for Language Teaching, Tokyo, 23 November 2007.
  • Japanese EFL learners' use and acquisition of epistemic stance forms. Presentation given at the 17th International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning, Hawai'i, USA, 26 March 2007.

National:

  • Form-focused instruction and Japanese EFL learners’ acquisition of epistemic stance. Presentation given at the Japan Association for Language Teaching CUE Conference, Nara, 18 October 2009.
  • Japanese EFL learners’ perceptions of difficulty and actual performance on academic reading tasks. Presentation given with Mariela Fordyce at the Japan Association for Language Teaching CUE Conference, Nara, 18 October 2009.
  • Invited Speaker. The effects of explicit/implicit instruction on L2 pragmatic development. Presentation given at the Japan-Britain Association for English Teaching meeting, Hiroshima, 8 March 2009.
  • Expressing thoughts, opinions and judgements: To what extent do the current junior high school textbooks fulfil this objective of the Course of Study. Presentation given at the 34th Annual Conference of the Japan Society of English Language Education, Tokyo, 9 August 2008.

Local:

  • Invited Speaker. The differential effects of explicit and implicit instruction on the learning of epistemic stance forms by Japanese EFL learners. Presentation given to the Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group, Lancaster University, 23 May, 2012.
  • The Short- and Long-term Effects of Explicit and Implicit Classroom Interventions. Presentation given to the Language Teaching Forum, The University of Edinburgh, 1st December 2011.
  • Corpus linguistics and vocabulary instruction. Presentation given with Warren Tang at the Hiroshima JALT/ETJ Expo, Hiroshima Kogyo Daigaku, 24 October, 2010.
  • Instructional effects on the acquisition of epistemic stance by Japanese EFL learners: Grouped data versus individual data. Presentation given to the Second Language Learning and Pedagogy Research Group, Lancaster University, 18 January 2010.
  • The use of learner corpora in measuring the effects of pedagogical interventions on second language acquisition. Presentation given to the UCREL Corpus Research Seminar, Lancaster University, 11 January 2010.
  • Japanese EFL learners’ perceptions of difficulty and actual performance on academic reading tasks. Presentation given with Mariela Fordyce at the annual meeting of the Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, and Shimane branch of the Japanese Association of College English Teachers, Hiroshima, 7 November 2009.
  • Invited Speaker and Panellist. Connecting meaning, form and use: Task-based language teaching (TBLT) as a way forward for teachers. Presentation given at the Annual Symposium of the Institute for Foreign Language Research and Education at Hiroshima University, 5 March 2009.
  • Invited Speaker. Escaping sentences; creating texts: What a corpus of university student writing can tell us about high school English instruction. Presentation given at the Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association of the English Education and Culture Department at Hiroshima University, 23 August 2008.

Teaching

In the academic year 2012-13 I am teaching on the following courses:

Semester One:

  • Language and the Learner (Lecturer and Workshop Tutor)
  • Education 4 (Project Supervisor)

Semester Two:

  • Research Methods II (Course Organiser and Workshop Tutor)
  • Language Awareness for Second Language Teachers (Course Organiser and Workshop Tutor)

I am also (with Dr Nicola Galloway) the co-organiser of the Edinburgh Applied Language Seminars.

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