Taichi Yamashita is a PhD student in Applied Linguistics & Technology of the English Department at Iowa State University. He is primarily interested in second language acquisition (SLA), especially in written corrective feedback, the measurements of writing constructs (i.e. complexity, accuracy, fluency), and research methods of second language (L2) writing. These research interests originate from his past experiences of teaching English and Japanese in Japan and the United States. Such pedagogical questions were, for example, how an instructor should deal with learners’ erroneous production and how learners’ production should be evaluated. Then, he became interested in applied linguistics, especially in second language acquisition, and has been exposed to a large number of publications on SLA and L2 writing. He was fascinated by this past research and is currently trying to apply technology to L2 research, anticipating the future prevalence of technology in the language classroom.
In his extensive literature review, he thought that research about language learning through technology was mostly exploratory and rarely based on SLA theories, which, in fact, has been pointed out by some researchers. Also, those researchers mostly focused on learning processes or teacher/learners’ perception of a certain technological platform without paying much attention to learners’ linguistic development. Being motivated by such situations, in the Applied Linguistics & Technology program, he aims to investigate how automated feedback provision, such as CyWrite, should be discussed within SLA theories and how learners’ outcome should be reported in a quantitative way. Besides this topic, he is interested in investigating the relationship between complexity in L2 writing and test scores. He will also pursue the conceptualization of fluency in L2 writing and in what kind of form the construct appears in quantitative data. He hopes to contribute to the prevalence of SLA research among language teachers and to the development of a more valid test in the future.