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Classroom Participation as a Performative Act of Language Learners’ Identity Construction

Abstract

In the first part of this study, we briefly present different approaches used to define the concept of second language learners’ identity. Then we introduce Butler’s theory of performativity (1988) and we attempt to apply its main concepts as tools for describing L2 learners’ identity. In the second part of the study, we try to answer the following question: What are typical performative acts of a good and a poor language learner in the language learning classroom? Our research suggests that performing a good language learner identity refers to the learner’s frequent and repetitive participation in utterances whose content is related to the language classroom, regardless of the chosen communicative resources. As for performing a poor language learner identity, it appeared that it refers to the learner’s repetitive and frequent participation in utterances whose content is not related to the language classroom, regardless of the chosen communicative resources.

Open access
Development of Academic Skills and Learner’s Autonomy in Medical English Courses

Abstract

The article presents theory and practice of teaching English for Medical Purposes. In the theoretical part, our study deals with role of the teacher and aspects of the learner’s autonomy in EMP teaching, communicative approach, and the development of academic skills such as reading a scientific article, listening to lectures, and giving a presentation. The practical part is divided into three sections. Students were tested for reading and listening for specific information as well as general understanding. The main factors which caused difficulties in listening comprehension (Skills Evaluation 1) are the speaker’s rate of speech, accent, the role of a listener, the type of language used, the context of situation, background noise and visual support. The analysis of the main errors in reading comprehension (Skills Evaluation 2) showed the incorrect use of prepositions, passive voice, tenses, specific medical and academic vocabulary, and discourse markers. Assessment of the most common weaknesses in presentation skills (Skills Evaluation 3) includes lack of confidence and eye contact, overuse of haptics, fearful body posture, and the inappropriate use of paralanguage.

Open access
Experimental Phonetics and Phonology in Indo-Aryan & European Languages

Abstract

Phonetics and phonology are very interesting areas of Linguistics, and are interrelated. They are based on the human speech system, speech perception, native speakers’ intuition, and vocalic and consonantal systems of languages spoken in this world. There are more than six thousand languages spoken in the world. Every language has its own phonemic inventory, sound system, and phonological and phonetic rules that differ from other languages; most even have distinct orthographic systems. While languages spoken in developed countries are well-studied, those spoken in underdeveloped countries are not. There is a great need to examine them using a scientific approach. These under-studied languages need to be documented scientifically using advanced technological instruments to bring objective results, and linguistics itself provides the scientific basis for the study of a language. Most research studies to date have also been carried out with reference to old or existing written literature in poetry and drama. In the current era of research, scholars are looking for objective scientific approaches, e.g., experimental and instrumental studies that include acoustic research on the sound systems of less privileged languages spoken locally in developing countries. In this context, Sindhi is an example of this phenomenon, and un-researched with reference to syllable structure and the exponents of lexical stress patterns.

Open access
Extracurricular Education Diversity in Czech Nursery Schools

Abstract

This empirical study contributes towards a better understanding of the educational reality in kindergartens. It explores the after-school activities and interests of Czech nursery schools (NS) children. The topic focuses on the disharmony and subsequent fine-tuning of interests of both the family and the kindergarten, set against the background of parents’ requirements and the kindergarten’s reaction to them. The goal is to shed light on how kindergartens reflect parents’ requirements pertaining to their children’s extracurricular activities, the kindergarten’s perception and interpretation of this situation, and what sort of approach is used for implementation. The research and survey method used is content analysis. Fifteen kindergarten teacher thematic reports, 3,000-5,000 words each, and forty inspection reports, the results of Czech kindergarten inspections, were analyzed. The analytical techniques of Grounded Theory - open and axial coding - were used in the processing of the source materials. The results of the analysis set in a paradigm model depict the state of administration and relationships between variables, which determine after-school activities in kindergartens. It was demonstrated that kindergartens select various approaches when negotiating a solution to extracurricular activities. The educational reality then includes kindergartens that do organize after-school activities as well as those that do not. Kindergartens which do offer after-school activities, however, differ in the degree of acceptance of such programs in terms of need for child development and how they perceive the benefits of such an above-standard approach towards their customers.

Open access
Illustrated Philosophical stories from Norwegian children and youth literature translated into Slovak after 2010

Abstract

Among the artistically valuable philosophical stories with illustration which have been translated into Slovak from Norwegian literature for children and youth since 2010 are the books of Jostein Gaarder (Knižka otázok / English –Questions Asked, 2013;Anton a Jonatán / English –Anton and Jonathan, 2014), Jon Fosse (Kant, 2015) and Elisabeth Helland Larsen (Ja som smrť / English – Life and I: A Story about Death, 2016). The mentioned authors have all published books in which a narrower philosophical function is linked with an implicit aesthetic function. These writers and/as philosophers reflect in their books subjects and issues which are represented in a smaller measure in Slovak intentional literature and take on questions about the meaning of existence in the face of death, whether through experiences with death, or death as an integral component of life or about the boundaries of knowledge. In this contribution we will devote ourselves to selected artistic texts with the philosophical issues of boundaries (between life and death, of knowing) in literary and creative interpretation in order to emphasize that their reflection in literature may lead to more integrated identification of the world of children.

Open access
Opportunities to Develop Intercultural Communicative Competence in Czech lower-secondary schools: Findings of the IRSE Video Study of German

Abstract

The empirical study deals with the topic of teaching intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in Czech lower-secondary German classes. The aim of the study is to investigate the quantity and quality of the opportunities to develop ICC, the proportion of activities aimed at developing the cognitive, affective, and behavioural component of ICC, the proportion of activities focused on Big-C Culture and small-c culture and culture-general and culture-specific topics. The introductory part and the following part of the study introduce its theoretical background, and terminology is then followed by the methodological part describing the sample (28 German lessons of 7 teachers videotaped in the 8th and 9th grades of Czech lower-secondary classes at seven schools in Jihomoravský region within the IRSE Video Study of German 1 project), the way of processing the data (recording, transcription, coding), the research questions and a system of categories (a system for assessing teaching ICC), that was used for analyses of the videotaped lessons. The findings show that emphasis is put on the cognitive component of ICC, while the other components (behavioural and affective) stay at the background. These results are consistent with the results of the IRSE Video Study of English project (Zerzová, 2012), which has the potential of initiating discussion for both English and German language teaching methodologies.

Open access
Spiritual Journey and Primordial Self: Requisite Actions for Individual and National Identity in Christopher Okigbo’s Poetry

Abstract

European nations colonized most of the African societies and as a result had political and economic power and control over these nations. With the western domination, the colonists ruled the African nations and every other person was to obey their command. The colonizers introduced hegemonic educational system to Africans in which they were taught the European ethos without their studying African culture. Due to this hegemony, the European colonial masters imposed their culture on Africans and it succeeded in reshaping the cultural and political lives of Africans. Many Africans abandoned African customs and beliefs when they gained western education. Therefore due to this hegemony Africans lost their authentic/real selves and became adulterated. Their main concern becomes to create and recreate themselves through going back to their culture and origin. Through poststructuralist analysis of ‘Heavensgate’ and ‘Path Thunder’ in Labyrinths (1971), this paper explores how Christopher Okigbo, an African poet, embarked on a spiritual journey in quest of his primordial self and became an asserted poet. The paper aims at imploring Africans all over the world to follow the footprints of Okigbo in identifying their true selves for them to have meaningful lives.

Open access
A study on the type and frequency of unacceptable collocations in the English-Persian translations of Hemingway’s Masterpiece: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Abstract

Collocations are clusters of words that are acquired together and are subject to constraints in co-occurrence with their adjacent words. The inadequate acquaintance with collocations emerges into the formation of unacceptable collocations from the viewpoint of native speakers. The present study is a descriptive quantitative study of the translation of collocations in literary texts from English into Persin. The study sought to identify the most frequent types of unacceptable collocations in the Persian translated versions. For the purpose of the study, the four Persian translated versions of Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” were investigated precisely and all the unacceptable collocations were compiled and clustered into English patterns based on Benson’s theory, in an aim to decode the groups of patterns which are most frequently leading to bearing of unacceptable collocations in translation of English texts to Persian. A detailed SPSS analysis was conducted and the findings including frequency and percentage of each type of the unacceptable collocations were recorded. The most frequent types of unacceptable collocations spotted in the translated versions of the novel were as follows: 1. Adjective + Noun 23.3%, 2. Subject + Verb 11%, 3. Verb + Object 10.3% patterns.

Open access
Acquiring penmanship and writing skills from the first to fifth grade of primary school: Joined-up writing vs. Comenia Script

Abstract

The project presented here deals with a typical human means of communication – writing. The aim of the project is to map the developmental dynamics of handwriting from the first to the fifth grade of primary school. The question remains topical because of the fact that several systems of writing have been used in the past few years. Our project focuses on comparing the systems of joined-up handwriting (the standard Latin alphabet) and the most widespread form of printed handwriting: Comenia Script. The research can be marked as sectional; pupils took a writing exam at the beginning and at the end of the 2015/2016 school year. The total number of respondents was 624 pupils, evenly distributed according to the school year, system of writing and gender. To evaluate handwriting, the evaluation scale of Veverková and Kucharská (2012) was adjusted to include a description of phenomena related to graphomotor and grammatical aspects of writing, including the overall error rate and work with errors. Each area that was observed included a series of indicators through which it was possible to create a comprehensive image of the form handwriting took in the given period. Each indicator was independently classified on a three-point scale. Thanks to that, a comprehensive image of the form of writing of a contemporary pupil emerged.

Open access
Conceptualization of negative emotions in modern linguistic consciousness (on the material of Russian, English and Slovak linguistic cultures: a contrastive analysis)

Abstract

The article aims to provide cross-cultural insight into the examination of emotion “envy” through comparative description of the emotional worldviews in Slavic (Russian and Slovak) and non-Slavic (English) linguistic cultures represented in the form of the concept. The obtained results have allowed us to clarify some common and different features of Slavic and non-Slavic nations in the realm of display the emotion “envy” to explore cultural peculiarities of nations and to contribute to the professional training and practices of professional dealing with international communication. The article also seeks to enhance public awareness on the following important issues: how cognate are perceptions of Slavic and non-Slavic nations; what universal features and cross-cultural differences are in regulation, somatization, the degree of prototypically of a seemingly equivalent concept, and how cultural rules influence the shaping of meaning and the expression of the investigated emotion in discourse.

Open access