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Running Head: INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES

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Increasing Effectiveness in Second Language Acquisition for Missionaries

A Preliminary Investigation

By Tony Abiera

INTR 573

11/21/16

Abstract

Upon arrival to the field, one of the primary tasks of the cross-cultural missionary, if not

the most important task, is to learn the local language. In fact, the effectiveness and lasting

impact of one’s ministry in an overseas context heavily depends on the progress made in the

language, especially in the crucial first years of service on the field. However, the pre-field

training and literature on this important subject for missionaries is surprisingly lacking. This

qualitative research paper seeks to answer this fundamental question: what factors lead to more

successful second language learning? Through the collection of data from missionaries and

linguists, significant features will be presented to offer a better and more effective way forward

in this important process of learning a second language for missionary work.

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES

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Introduction

To be called as a missionary to the nations is a very high calling. When I say a ‘high

calling,’ I don’t mean a better calling—for whatever God calls you to is the best calling for your

life. The missionary calling is a high calling because a missionary is the primary, if not the first,

point of contact for many peoples of the world with an ambassador of Christ. Missionaries play

an important role in the spread of the Gospel and it is a great privilege to be a frontline

ambassadors of Christ. Although there are many niches in missionary work today, generally

speaking, missionaries are tasked with building relationships with local peoples, sharing the

Gospel, and developing disciples of Christ through the establishment a local church.

When you really stop and think about the task of traditional missionary work laid out

above, there are numerous challenges and difficulties that confront a missionary and are a normal

part of living cross-culturally and in a religiously pluralistic society. Because of this, there is

great wisdom in preparing for the mission field. Often preparation for the mission field focuses

on the aspects of growing in knowledge of the Word of God, cross-cultural competency, and

practical skills of evangelization and ministry. Although these aspects are important (I even

believe they should be prioritized in missionary preparation), often the aspect of language

learning is often overlooked. In one of the most comprehensive and hands-on pre-field

missionary preparation books I’ve come across, the Global Missions Handbook: A Guide for

Crosscultural service, veteran missionaries Steve Hoke and Bill Taylor (2009) discuss in-depth

important topics in missions like prioritizing personal spiritual formation, staying connected with

a sending church and engaging with other cultures. However, not a single chapter (or even page)

deals with the topic of language learning on the field. Although this topic might not have been

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES included in the scope of this book, this example reveals an obvious void in the literature of

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missionary preparation books: language learning on the field.

Not only is this void found in the literature, I would argue this “piece of the puzzle” gets

lost in formal missionary preparation programs at churches and/or pre-field trainings for

missions agencies. It is assumed that you’ll learn the language when you get there. It’s assumed

that one will ‘pick up the language’ on the way. It’s assumed that fluency is just a quick one or

two years away. Although this might be true for some people when they reach the field, there are

many people that struggle greatly with the task of language learning and sometimes have to

come off the field after the first term. So we must ask, are there things that can be done

beforehand to better prepare pre-field missionaries for the important task of language learning,

especially in the first few crucial years of intense change and challenge on the field?

Being a pre-field missionary myself, this topic has personal significance to me. As one

who wants to grow in all areas for future effectiveness as a missionary, the purpose of this paper

is to assess the complexities of language learning as it relates to the missionary’s life and offer a

better way forward for success in language learning. In this paper I will present my preliminary

findings on the topic of second language acquisition (referred to as SLA from this point

forward). I hope to start filling the void that is currently present in this area of language learning

research especially for missionaries.

Methodology

This qualitative research paper seeks to answer this fundamental question: what factors

lead to more successful second language learning? To answer this complex question, data was

gathered in the form of three interviews with two missionaries and an applied linguist, a

participant observation of an online second language acquisition course, an online survey to a

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES group of missionaries, and a review of key literature regarding the topic of second language

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acquisition generally and also specifically for missionaries.

I began this qualitative study by conducting interviews with current missionaries. For

these interviews, I prepared a question sheet (Appendix C), which I sent to the missionaries

before our interview. In these interviews, I was interested in gathering data in two main areas:

their comparison to past SLA experiences (usually in high school or college and in the context of

the American educational system) and their reflection on their most recent SLA experience on

the field. In this first area, I hoped to understand expectations of language learning for

missionaries based on what they experienced in the past. Missionaries often bring various

expectations into the SLA process without even knowing it and usually their past language

learning experiences are a big influence of those expectations. In the second area, I asked these

two missionaries to reflect especially on “pitfalls” and “keys” in their most recent language

learning experience. By asking both a negative and positive question based on their personal

experience, I hoped to pinpoint what factors could actually lead to more successful SLA.

The first interview that I conducted was with a current missionary, Cathy Gallagher.

Cathy currently lives in Thailand and has been on the field for over ten years (the majority of

those years spent in North West China). Cathy’s insights were not only valuable because of her

veteran experience as a missionary, but they were especially valuable because she is currently

involved in SLA training for other missionaries. As part of her ministry, she works as a phonetics

coach with the Institute of Cross-Cultural Training (ICCT). The second missionary I interview

was Tyler Harrison, who is on home assignment after his first term on the field in Northwest

China. In contrast to Cathy Gallagher, in this second interview I was interested in a fresher

perspective of someone who was currently in the important first years of language learning.

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES Although Tyler had only been on the field for two years and didn’t consider himself fluent in

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Mandarin Chinese (his target language), he still provided valuable data on the SLA process.

The next interview I conducted was with Dr. Lonna Dickerson, the director of the ICCT.

Again, I prepared a questions sheet, which I sent to Dr. Dickerson before our interview

(Appendix C). The goal of this interview was to learn specifically about the ICCT SLA course

and its effects on missionaries. The questions in this interview shed light on the felt-needs of

missionaries (and how the SLA course seeks to address those needs), the main pitfalls

missionaries face (which in turn necessitate this SLA course), and the positive results she’s

observed after missionaries take this course. Dr. Dickerson has spent a good portion of her

academic career in the area of SLA. She has applied her research to the specific demographic of

missionaries, which makes her the perfect expert to speak into the issues presented in this paper.

After conducting these interviews, I conducted a participant observation of the ICCT’s

SLA Course for Beginning Learners. After being given access to the course by Dr. Dickerson, I

began to observe all the dimensions of the course over the course of an hour (Additional

Materials Section). Because this course is administered online, this participant observation could

not take into account real-time missionary learning like in a normal classroom. Instead, through

the mediation of technology, I was able to observe the static elements of the course like the

structure, emphases, and assignments.

Next, I conducted an online survey through the platform of google forms. This online

survey was sent to missionaries from a variety of backgrounds. On one end of the spectrum, I

received data from a couple who just started learning Portuguese nine months ago; on the other

of the spectrum, I received data from a couple who served in the Philippines and Papua New

Guinea for over 25 years! I received 14 responses in total, which were all confidential and not

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES connect to a specific name (Additional Materials Section). The format of this survey mirrored the

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missionary interview question format. Although the information from the interviews was much

more in-depth, the brief responses from the survey helped to bring out and confirm trends and

commonalities over a variety of missionary experiences.

Literature Review

The interviews, participant observation, and online survey helped influence what articles

would be included in my literature review. I was able to focus my attention on SLA research that

dealt with the major trends and commonalities revealed through these various data sources. In

my literature review, the foundational article that greatly increased my understanding of the

complexities of second language learning was Individual Differences in Second Language

Acquisition by Zoltán Dörnyei (2006). In this article, Dörnyei “provides an overview of the five

most important ID [individual difference] variables (personality, aptitude, motivation, learning

styles, and learning strategies)” (p. 42).

Dörnyei’s overview of the five most important ID variables caught my attention because

I knew learning preferences, styles, strategies, etc., varied greatly from one missionary to

another. Although there are general principles that can be applied to SLA, there is not a “magic

bullet” or “magic profile” to learning a language. Individuality in language learning is a

necessity. Dörnyei believes that these variables can be helpful predictors of success in SLA, so it

is immensely important that missionaries become self-aware and leverage their specific learning

profile for more effective language learning. Dörnyei concludes with two main findings that

bring further enlightenment to the complex issue of SLA for missionaries. First, these individual

differences are not found in isolation, but are intricately tied to context. For example, Dörnyei

discusses the ID variable of motivation in language learning and how a situated approach is

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES needed (p. 51). In the seminal research done by Robert Gardner (1985), he put forward a theory

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regarding integrative motives in language learning. Essentially, he argued that a major

motivation for learning a language was to successfully integrate into a group and become a

valued member of that community. Outside of motivation, all these major variables need to be

situated within the language learner’s context. Second, Dörnyei’s research concluded that these

variables work in concert with one another, rather than in isolation (p. 62). A misguided

paradigm is that certain IDs should lead to certain outcomes. Instead, Dörnyei advocates for

approaching the topic of ID of a learner in more of a comprehensive way.

Out of the five ID variables, I chose to further research the topic of motivation. In H.

Douglas Brown’s (1990) article M&Ms for Language Classroom? Another look at motivation, I

wanted to learn more about intrinsic motivation in SLA. In this article Brown argued in the

greater effectiveness of intrinsic motivation in comparison to extrinsic motivation (ex. giving

M&Ms as a reward to students). By intrinsically motivating students in the classroom, students

become empowered, self-determined, and autonomous to ultimately achieve ‘self-actualization’

(Maslow 1970). Through content-centered language learning, students become intrinsically

motived by learning content that is of interest and relevant for instrumental purposes. As a result,

Brown says that “Language becomes incidental to and a vehicle for accomplishing a set of

content goals” (p. 390). In the next section (significant features), we will see how this type of

intrinsic motivation is highly applicable to missionaries in learning a language.

Lastly, I looked at two SLA articles that were more specific to a missionary audience:

Basic Assumptions for Language and Culture Learners (Dickerson, 2011) and Successful

Language Learning in Midlife (Hale, 2005). Both of these articles were found in the ICCT’s

SLA Handbook. As mentioned in the introduction, there is a significant gap in the literature

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES regarding SLA for missionaries. However, these two short but straightforward articles provided

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helpful guidelines for approaching SLA as a missionary—even approaching this task midlife,

which presents its own difficulties and challenges.

Although the bulk of these articles were not necessarily from a Christian or missionary

perspective, they did shed light on the process of SLA in general. Thinking of SLA from a

Christian/missionary perspective adds another dimension to SLA (which will be discussed in the

significant features section), but research done in the professional realm can still be meaningfully

applied.

Significant Features

  • 1. Dealing with the tension between language learning and ministry To start the discussion of significant features, I’ve chosen a dimension that is specific to

missionaries. When a missionary reaches the field, the language learning process begins

immediately. However, at the same time, the opportunities for ministry start to abound. After

going through the rigorous process of support raising and moving one’s life to the other side of

the world, the natural tendency is to jump right into ministry. Although this is a good desire, the

missionary must deal effectively with the tension between language learning and ministry from

“day one.”

By asking missionaries about pitfalls in SLA, this tension was immediately apparent.

Cathy Gallagher noted that her agency prioritized ministry over language learning, which lead to

difficulties. “I think my team, the time with Crusade [Cru], the focus was more on the ministry

we were doing, rather than how well we were doing at the language.” In addition, the missionary

survey contained comments like “didn’t prioritize” or “too distractedwhen it came to learning

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES the second language. Similarly, one missionary mentioned “entering ministry too early which

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crowded out the chance to stay focused on language learning.”

Tyler Harrison provided a helpful personal account regarding how ministry and language

learning positively interacted with each other. “I found out for me personally, the more time I

spent in the classroom…the more I felt pushed to go out and start sharing with the people in the

community. And the more I was out there and seeing that I don't have the language ability to do

that, the more it pushed me back into the classroom to really study hard and really keep pressing

into language.” For Tyler, ministry and language learning worked in tandem. To do ministry, he

knew he needed learn the language. To learn the language, he knew the best place to practice his

language was in the community—where he could also do ministry. Ministry and language

learning were not pitted against each other; instead synergy was created. From a more

threatening point of view, two missionaries noted how their director told them that either they

would learn Romanian or they would be sent home! Although this statement might be too bold

for some, the director actually understood how language learning was integral for ministry in

Romania; you couldn’t do one without the other. Surprisingly, the missionary noted that the high

standard increased his/her motivation to learn Romanian!

  • 2. Learning inside and outside the classroom (and other external factors) This significant finding can be explained by a quote from Dr. Dickerson. When asked to

describe felt-needs of missionary language learners, she responded, “I would say for people

going out, for the first time, if they don't have language learning experience outside the

classroom in North America…they tend to think language learning on the field is going to be like

taking a French class or a German class in high school or college.” This quote brings up two very

important points to consider. First, what expectations do missionary language learners bring with

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES them to the field? Do they expect their language learning to be like past language learning

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experiences (like a French or German class three days a week for an hour)? On the survey, one

missionary said, “I discovered too late that the classroom setting was not the place for me.”

Second, based on the data collected from fourteen missionaries and two interviewees, all but two

would say they did not successfully learn their foreign language or even remember it today. We

must then ask, what unhelpful techniques and beliefs do missionaries bring to the field with them

in regards to learning a second language? Perhaps, a whole new system and paradigm of learning

a second language is needed for some missionaries. Basing expectations on past experiences of

learning a foreign language can be extremely problematic and lead to major problems in reaching

the target goal of fluency and communicative competency in the local language.

This significant finding even goes beyond the scope of the classroom. The data shows

that the main issue is “learning how to learn” (interview with Tyler). This is confirmed through

the approach of the ICCT SLA course. In the introduction to the course, learners are reminded

that the “responsibility for learning rest with you.” Dr. Dickerson also hits on this point when she

notes that the first biggest pitfall is that learners don’t understand that self-directed learning is

necessary. “[Learners] just don't realize the whole learner responsibility [aspect], which is sort of

my first point…the different things learners do to carry out that responsibility” is not on the

institution or agency, but rather on the learner. The educational system overseas can be

drastically different than one’s educational upbringing. Because of this likely reality, a learner

needs to be self-directed and take steps to customize/individualize one’s learning on the field.

For Cathy, the structure provided in a classroom was necessary for her. For Tyler, the instruction

in the classroom was of low-quality and in opposition with his learning styles.

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES As Dörnyei argued above, these important external and contextual factors intersect with

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individual differences in a learner. Thus, learners need to be aware of what works best for them

and then find an effective approach to learning the language. This will take some trial and error,

but this mindset prevents learners from being stuck in an unhelpful approach for a prolonged

period of time. Lastly, according to Brown (1990), learning how to learn helps to intrinsically

motivate a learner. “We can teach learners how to learn. We can help them to be ‘empowered’

learners, to take some responsibility for their own success by actually providing them with a

sense of what a strategy is and how they can develop some of their own strategies” (p. 389).

  • 3. Sustaining motivation in language learning (and other internal factors) Missionaries go through a variety of stages in the language learning process. In my

interview with Dr. Dickerson, she noticed a common trend with missionaries who had been on

the field for a while, but were having trouble learning the language. “If they have been on the

field…a month or two or three…motivation can be very, very high but then they are essentially

yelling, ‘Help! Help! I don't know what to do.’” As a result, these learners who had fallen into a

“rut” were directed to take the ICCT’s SLA course. What we know is that the language learning

process has many ups and downs and twists and turns. To summarize her journey in learning

Uyghur over the course of ten years, Cathy told me this: “I kind of feel like the shortest distance

between two dots is a straight line, but no one’s language study is a straight line. Mine was kind

of like a, you know, back and forth, here and there and making circles.” Because language

learning is so complex and different for everyone, missionaries need to persevere in the process

even when things get difficult. Motivation provides that sustaining power.

Based on the data collected, especially from the interviews I conducted, the issue of

motivation in the SLA process seemed to come up consistently. Cathy mentioned this as the first

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES key to her learning Uyghur. “I really wanted to learn Uyghur and I also, I love[d] being with

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Uyghur people and spending time with them and I really knew that when I started Uyghur, I

knew that I already liked language learning. I think motivation counts for a lot

...

” Cathy’s insight

here relates to integrative and instrumental motivation in language learning as theorized by

Gardner (1985). Cathy wanted to be able to learn the language so she could 1) integrate into the

Uyghur community and 2) use it as an instrument to build relationships for the Gospel to enter.

In my interview with Tyler, as one last piece of advice for pre-field missionaries he also

mentioned motivation. “In regards to language learning I would say, learn what motivates you or

what gets you excited and continue to set that before you. The more you can keep your

motivation in front of you, the more you have to dig into the language and to keep on going.”

In Dörnyei’s article, the “L2 motivational self system” (Dörnyei, 2005) was presented as

a main conceptualization for motivation in SLA. Although none of the missionaries mentioned

this specific idea, their data points to this specific motivation conceptualization. In learning a

second language, “the ideal L2 self…represents all the attributes that a person would like to

possess (e.g. hopes, aspirations, desires)” (p.53). At the same time, “the ought-to L2 self” is also

present and “refers to the attributes that one believes one ought to possess” (p.53). In this system,

the language learner then works “to reduce the perceived discrepancies between the learner’s

actual self and his/her ideal or ought-to L2 selves” (p. 54). Missionaries can use this

conceptualization to understand how to better leverage intrinsic motivation (viewing one’s self)

for more effective language learning.

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Conclusion

In the years to come, I hope more research is conducted in the area of Second language

acquisition for missionaries. Although this is an extremely complex subject without a “magic

methodology” or a “one-size-fits-all approach,” we can learn greatly from the general field of

SLA and apply those principles to the specific demographic of missionaries in a variety of

contexts. For this to happen, missions agencies, churches, and missionaries themselves need to

take the language learning process more seriously and view it more as an integral piece of the

puzzle in accomplishing the Great Commission—the ultimate goal of every missionary and

Christian.

In this preliminary study, I have presented three main features. First, the unique tension

between ministry and language learning that missionaries experience from “day one” on the

field. As a recommendation, I believe this tension must be talked about before reaching the field

as well as on the field. How a missionary navigates this tension can ultimately lead to success or

failure in the long run. Second, missionaries need to know how they learn best. Individuality and

self-direction in learning are required for successful SLA. These factors can include whether to

learn inside or outside a classroom, different styles and strategies for learning, or just the

expectations ones brings from past foreign language experiences. Lastly, motivation plays a

major part in sustaining the missionary through the twists and turns in the language learning

process.

As a better and more effective way forward in SLA for missionaries, we must tap into the

wealth of resources from SLA experts (Christian and non-Christian) and the wealth of

experience of those who have gone before us and successfully learned a language and made a

Gospel impact as a result. After acquiring all this data, the hope is that a better and more

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES effective way forward will materialize for those who aspire to learn a second language for the

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sake of missions.

Limitations of the Study

Although this is just a preliminary study on the topic of SLA for missionaries, there were

certain limitations with this study. First, to encourage more thick description, I would have

conducted more interviews with missionaries. Additional in-depth interviews could have shed

more light on this complex topic as well as confirm or refine the significant features presented in

this preliminary study. Furthermore, gathering data from a broader and more diverse range of

sources would have increased the validity of this study. The data collected for this preliminary

study centered around data from the Institute of Cross-Cultural Learning (interviews with Dr.

Dickerson, Cathy Gallagher and the participant observation). Although this data was most

accessible for me at the time, an expansion of this study would require gathering data from other

institutes (ex. the Center of Intercultural Training, North Carolina), other experts in the field, and

even missionaries from a non-western background (or even English-speaking background).

There were limitations in the use of terminology for this preliminary study. Important

terminology like “keys,” “pitfalls,” and even the idea of “success” in language learning would

need to be clearly defined and developed more systematically. Although many people know what

these terms mean in a general sense, a more precise definition could result in more accurate data

analysis. Lastly, time was a limitation. A more prolonged engagement with the content could

produce a more robust research paper.

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Appendix A: Coding System Explained

The structure of the interviews influenced the coding system used for analyzing the data

for this study. The two major categories were “pitfalls” and “keys.” After reading the transcripts

and survey results, I began to come up with codes to describe the main features in the data. These

codes included: agency support, classroom, expectations, motivation (sub-codes: intrinsic,

extrinsic, instrumental, integrative), family, immersion, individuality, ministry, pacing, past

experiences, self-awareness/self-directed, strategies, styles, tutor. After coding the data, I looked

for frequency of each occurrence as well as the quality or substance of each occurrence. A

sample screenshot from the interview with Tyler Harrison is below for reference.

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES 15 Appendix A: Coding System Explained The structure

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Appendix B: Observation & Interview Record

Time

Date

Description

7:00 – 8:00 pm

9/21/2016

Interview with Cathy Gallagher over Vsee. Cathy was 13 hours ahead in Chiang Mail, Thailand. This interview was recorded, transcribed and coded.

7:00 – 8:00 pm

10/6/2016

Interview with Dr. Lonna Dickerson over Skype. This interview was recorded, transcribed and coded.

7:30 – 8:00 pm

11/5/2016

Interview with Tyler Harrison in person at my personal residence. Tyler was on a home assignment. This interview was recorded, transcribed and coded.

N/A

11/2/2016 – 11/11/2016

Online google survey sent to missionary contacts. These contacts were friends, family, or acquaintances through my work at College Church.

Appendix C: Questionnaires and Surveys

Interview Questions - Missionary

Basic Information

  • 1. Where do you currently live? How long have you lived there? (If on home assignment or back in the States, please share where you have been serving and for how long.)

  • 2. What language do you consider your second language? How long have you studied this language? How long did it take you to feel fluent in the language (if applicable)?

Comparison to Past SLA Experiences

  • 3. Have you studied any other languages in the past? In grade school, high school, or any other time? What language(s) did you learn (if applicable)?

INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION FOR MISSIONARIES

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Reflective SLA Questions

  • 5. In your opinion, what were some of the keys to you successfully learning your L2?

  • 6. In your opinion, what were some pitfalls that hindered you from successfully learning your L2?

--

Tony’s foundational qualitative research question:

What factors lead to more successful language learning?

Interview Questions – Dr. Dickerson Goal: To Learn about the ICCT SLA Course and its effects on SLA for missionaries Research Question: “What factors lead to more successful language learning?”

  • 1. What courses does the ICCT offer?

  • 2. What types of participants have gone through the ICCT SLA course? (Age, location, agency, professions, etc.)

  • 3. From your perspective, what felt-needs does the SLA course seek to fill?

  • 4. In your experience in this field, what are the biggest/most common pitfalls you’ve seen trip up missionaries?

Online Survey for Missionaries

Dear missionary friends,

Thank you for taking a few minutes to fill out this quick survey regarding second language acquisition (SLA) for missionaries. I am doing this research project for a course in the TESOL/Intercultural Studies Program in the Wheaton College Graduate School. This research project also has personal significant to me as I hope to implement these findings in my future language studies.

Please answer as fully and honestly as possible. This information will be kept confidential and no names will be used.

Thank you again. If you have any questions, please contact me at tabiera@college-church.org or

tony.abiera@my.wheaton.edu

**Questions and result from the survey are found in additional materials section**

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Appendix D: Documents Relevant to Study

Brown, H. Douglas. (1990). M&Ms for Language classrooms? Another Look at Motivation.

Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, pp. 383-393.

Dickerson, Lonna. (2011). Basic Assumptions for Language and Culture Learners. Institute of

Cross-Cultural Training Second Language Acquisition Handbook.

Dörnyei, Zoltán. (2006). Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition. Association

Internationale de Linguistique (AILA) Review, pp. 42-68.

Hale, Colleen. (2005). Successful Language Learning in Midlife. Institute of Cross-Cultural

Training Second Language Acquisition Handbook.

Hoke, Steve & Taylor, Bill. (2009). Global Mission Handbook: A Guide for Crosscultural

Service. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.

Appendix E: Lay Summary

Tony Abiera is a graduate student in the TESOL & Intercultural Studies program at the

Wheaton College Graduate School. Before coming to Wheaton, he completed his bachelor’s

degree at the University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana as a Global Studies Major with a focus

on China and Mandarin Chinese. Tony also has experience work in the local church (Christ

Community in Champaign, IL and College Church in Wheaton, IL). With his unique background

in church ministry and teaching, Tony seeks to integrate faith in teaching to further the Kingdom

of Christ. In the near future, him and his wife hope to serve overseas to do missionary work

amongst unreached peoples.

Additional Materials