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Muhammet Ruhat Yasar and Zeynel Amac

Summary

The Syrian civil war affected Turkey so much that approximately three and a half million Syrians live in Turkey. Ministry of Education implemented an inclusive approach to schooling of Syrian asylum-seekers’ children by educating them in public schools with their Turkish peers in the same classrooms in 2016 in order to address their educational needs, integration into the Turkish culture, and to prevent generation gap. Education, as a basic human right and as a way of integration into the Turkish society, is provided for free at all levels of education in Turkey. The inclusion of Syrian students in the Turkish school environment is quite a new experience for Turkish teachers and if the inclusion process is not managed properly, it may have negative effects on both students and their teachers. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of teachers teaching Syrian students in the city of Kilis, where the number of asylum-seekers outnumbered the local population and almost one-fifth of the students in public schools are Syrians. The guiding question of this research was “What are the lived experiences of primary and middle school teachers educating Syrian children in culturally inclusive classrooms?” Five teachers from four different primary and middle schools were interviewed. The six open-ended interview questions allowed the participants to reflect on their experiences. The data were collected during the spring semester of 2017. The interviews were analyzed according to thematic methods. Three themes emerged: language barrier, lack of family support, and teachers’ lack of pedagogical skills to teach asylum-seeker students.

Open access

Inga Savickienė, Laura Raščiauskaitė, Aušra Jankauskaitė and Loreta Alešiūnaitė

Summary

Integration into the European Union, increasing communication and cooperation between countries have brought an extensive interest in foreign languages and the need for foreign language teaching and learning has been recognized by the developers of Lithuanian education policy as an inseparable component of personal development. Teaching and learning of Romanic languages in Lithuania have been popular, exceptional, though varied. French language teaching has old traditions in both formal and non-formal education; while teaching of other Romanic languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, etc.) has not been legally regulated yet – teaching traditions have not been formed, there are no specific teaching syllabi and programs, a lack of methodology and experts in didactics. However, Spanish language learning in Lithuanian secondary education schools and gymnasiums is becoming more and more popular in the recent years. In Lithuanian secondary education Spanish is taught as the second and third foreign language or as an extra-curriculum activity in non-formal education. The analysis of scientific literature revealed a lack of scientific studies and publications not only about the teaching of Spanish but also comparative studies between Lithuanian and Spanish languages. Research into Spanish language teaching and learning indicates not only the increasing number of learners, but also the increasing awareness with regard to the importance and usefulness of Spanish language competence acquisition for international encounters. However, Spanish language teachers face challenges such as insufficient number of teaching hours in general education institutions, lack of qualified Spanish language teachers, insufficient provision with teaching and learning aids and other support material, no state examinations are organized which could help to determine the learners’ Spanish language competences as well as motivate learners to learn this Romanic language.

Open access

Rūta Eidukevičienė

Summary

The paper aims to analyze the attitudes to German language in the Lithuanian public discourse. Texts written on this topic and chosen for the analysis appeared in two news portals – the national news portal delfi.lt and the regional news portal kaunodiena.lt. The database covers the period from 1 January 2011 to 1 March 2017; it consists of 82 articles from both news portals. For studying the image of German, the present study applies the framework of Critical Discourse Analysis taking into account different argumentation strategies for learning or not learning German as a foreign language as well as main topical priorities. The general attitudes towards countries can serve as an important foundation for motivation to language learning, so the analysis starts with the discussion of the specifics attributed to Germany and German-speaking countries (effectiveness governing the world, sympathy, economic success, and reliability). The analysis of the selected texts confirms that the image of Germany in Lithuania is quite positive: Germany, especially on delfi.lt, is presented as a target country for qualified Lithuanian experts, as an economically stable country having a large degree of political and cultural influence in the world. Regarding the status of German, the analyzed texts reveal a more ambiguous picture: on the one hand, it is stated that German is not popular in Lithuania, on the other hand it is emphasized that the popularity of the German language is increasing. The argumentation scheme for learning German consists of several argumentation lines: German is represented as a commodity in such domains as a professional career in Germany, in dealing with bilateral business relations, and to some extent in building a professional career in one’s home country and upholding cultural relations.

Open access

Volkan Mutlu

Summary

Language learning is a comprehensive concept with its components and needs. Because of this reason, it is affected by various subjects, most significant two of which are learner personality and language learning strategy choices of the students. By taking into consideration the importance of these factors in language education, the main aim of this study is to find out the relationship of students’ personality types and their language learning strategy choices by also taking into account their language levels to provide information for syllabus designers and language teachers. In order to do this, a survey design method was supported with Myers and Briggs Personality Test and Oxford’s SILL (Strategy Inventory for Language Learning), and 68 randomly selected students participated in this study. After analyzing the data with SPSS 23.0, it was found out that there is no significant statistical relationship between strategy choices and personality types. On the other hand, participants of this study showed different characteristics (most of them have ESTJ (extravert, sensing, thinking, judging) and they also desired to use different learning strategies, most used of which are compensation, memory, and social strategies. The study is crucial as it revealed that students could have different characteristics and learning strategies and these differences should be taken into consideration while planning a language course.

Open access

John Fredy Gil Bonilla

Summary

The main purpose of this paper is to analyze how culture is embedded in the way viewers from different language backgrounds conceptualize and interpret the same multimodal metaphors. Therefore, interaction between metaphor and culture is hence a crucial aspect of research in this study. Following Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) and Forceville’s (1996, 2009) approaches, this paper examines how a comparative study undertaken from a cross-cultural perspective can shed light on how culture is an influential factor that can trigger changes in interpretations and reactions in the viewers. Data for this research were gathered with the help of 240 participants taken from 8 different language backgrounds. The subjects of this study were supplied with a questionnaire which consisted of three multimodal metaphors and 8 questions. In particular, I want to focus on the following research questions: (1) Which figurative B-term do different cultures conceptualize in a multimodal metaphor? (2) How aggressive are these multimodal metaphors considered by the participants of the study? On the basis of the results of this research, it can be concluded that not only the cultural background but also the personal has some influence on the way respondents interpret multimodal metaphors. The reactions identified in the responses of the subjects are influenced by different factors: religion, personal and societal experiences, beliefs, etc.

Open access

Amin Karimnia and Mohammad Reza Khodashenas

Summary

This study investigated the medical students’ English language learning needs and their perceptions of ESP courses in an academic environment. To do this, 100 medical students studying medical sciences in the faculty of medicine in Mashhad, Iran, were selected as the participants. Hutchinson and Waters’ target language needs analysis framework was drawn on as the analytic model guiding the study. A needs analysis questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire designed to identify the learners’ perceptions of the frequency of English language skills/sub-skills use, the importance of English language learning, their ability in using language skills, their needs of language learning and their preferences of an English language course. After gathering and analyzing the data, it was found that reading skill is given priority by the students in terms of frequency of use, importance and proficiency. It also revealed that students need and prefer training in speaking, listening and communication skills. Considering the students’ perceptions of the current ESP course, the findings implied that the English language skills incorporated in the current ESP book for the medical students and the allocated time for this course are not compatible with the English language learning needs and wants of the students.

Open access

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas

Summary

Aiming at the maintenance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystem in the world – vital issues of the 21st century – it is important to preserve linguistic diversity and prevent the increasing language endangerment, thus ensuring the support of linguistic human rights. The author presents a comprehensive explanation of the key terms related to linguistic diversity and language ecology and investigates if educational language rights in international and regional Charters/Conventions support the maintenance of indigenous, tribal and minority languages (the world’s linguistic diversity), thus preventing language endangerment. The answer is that most educational systems in the word today support linguistic genocide in relation to indigenous, tribal and minority children’s language rights, by providing subtractive education as capability deprivation (according to Amartya Sen), which leads to poverty and violation of human rights in general. The author also argues why linguistic diversity and language rights are important for the maintenance of biodiversity and thus a healthy ecosystem.

Open access

Roxana Taquechel-Chaigneau

Summary

Sometimes the idea of multilingualism is connected to understanding problems that can potentially slow down the progress of professional activity in international workplaces. However, social actors often find solutions locally to cope with issues associated with multicultural contexts. Keeping in mind the management of cultural and linguistic diversity, I set out to study how social actors organize talk-in-interaction and coordinate participation in multilingual work meetings. To allow mutual understanding and carry out their work, social actors use various resources such as ad hoc interpreting practices during professional interactions. Drawing on my conversational analysis (CA) background, I will examine how members of a Sino-French company in Beijing use ad hoc interpreting practices and English as a lingua franca (ELF) as methods to resolve the linguistic asymmetries present in a multicultural context where ELF is not always taken for granted. Through analysis of several naturally occurring conversations, I will examine the methods, and verbal and multimodal resources used by ad hoc translators to keep work going and manage each member’s participation.

Open access

Ilona Tandzegolskienė and Asta Balčiūnaitienė

Summary

The article aims to present the storytelling method, which could be applied in teaching/learning foreign languages. Storytelling enables learners to analyse actual topics using the gathered information, to solve problems emphasizing personal experiences and values as well as to listen to other stories and share valuable information. On the one hand, communicative skills are developed through storytelling processes at the same time improving students’ pronunciation, increasing vocabulary, brushing up their grammatical and sentence structure skills. Moreover, young learners’ problem-solving skills are also developed, when they try to remember the received information and answer the questions during the limited time. On the other hand, the use of storytelling method enables teachers to inspire young learners to share their experiences, and to improve their linguistic abilities. The participation in these information sharing activities motivate young learners to be open-minded and encourage them to study individually. The article overviews the importance of the storytelling method on the theoretical level as well as introduces the usefulness of storytelling elements in foreign language classes on the empirical level. The research was planned and performed in X Kaunas Gymnasium, in which the second-grade young learners (average age of the participants was 16 years old) created and presented their stories on the topic “My Festive Day”. The results of the research demonstrate that young learners were more engaged in prepared materials and managed to communicate using new linguistic constructions. What is more, while listening to other presenters they learned about various holiday traditions, different personal attitudes and, consequently, improved their listening, sentence structure and other communicative skills. The participants of the research emphasized that it was interesting for them to prepare storytelling tasks – to write, read the material and to activate the gained information. During the implementation of the storytelling method, a negative aspect related to emotions was observed, and also a lack of stress management and learning to learn skills was determined.

Open access

Vaida Misevičiūtė

Summary

Technology has altered communication style from face to face to written communication. An increased participation in chats, blogs, and other forms of social media along with a growing trend to work from home or to study on-line has increased the need to perfect academic written communication. Lithuanian students who have been trained in product approach are in desperate need to enhance skills in creativity, self-expression, independence and criticality, skills that can be taught through a process or a post-process approach to writing. An overview of product, process, and post-process approach suggests that second language learners trained in process or post-process approach display significant advantages in academic writing compared to students trained in product approach. Writing has been neglected as a skill for several reasons in Lithuanian English classrooms, yet the demand for academic writing in today’s world is increasing in accelerated speed. Process and post-process approach provides necessary skills that have been highly neglected in ESL teaching in Lithuanian schools and universities.