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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Appropriating Writing in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God

Abstract

This paper examines the appropriation of writing as an integral part of the colonial encounter in Achebe’s Arrow of God (1964). Achebe’s hero (Ezeulu) realizes the pitfalls of orality in the confrontation with Europeans who are equipped with writing and its accompaniments. The coming of the West is therefore welcomed as Ezeulu quickly sides with them to empower himself against the contending forces of a disintegrating society. I argue that, as the Chief Priest of Ulu, Ezeulu is aware of the flaws in the oral nature of his religious pantheon and by sending his son Oduche to learn the art of writing he appropriates the technology of writing in order to prevail against his enemies and ineluctably allows his god’s surrender to the Christian God. This absorption into a greater pantheon is facilitated through the appropriation of writing and the sacred book.

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The Fictional Avatars of Mrs W: The Influence of the Adoptive Mother and the Birth of Jeanette Winterson as a Writer

Abstract

Throughout her writing career, Jeanette Winterson has experimented with her life experience, revisiting in particular the complex relationship with her adoptive mother, Mrs W, in such works as Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985), Sexing the Cherry (1989), and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal (2011). This article examines the complex mother-daughter relationship between Jeanette and Mrs W to illustrate the birth of a feminist writer. In answer to her mother’s confiscation of her birth narrative, Jeanette Winterson has fictionalized Mrs W to alter traditional narrative paradigms she deemed repressive. The process has allowed the daughter to open up an enunciative space for herself through performative utterances: “I’m telling you stories. Trust me.” Finally, the parallel drawn between Mrs Winterson and Mrs Thatcher in the former’s fictional avatars highlights specifically the personal political itinerary of the feminist writer.

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From “Big Red” Hydrick to Goat Dykeman: Eudora Welty’s Navigation between the Fictional and the Real in “Where Is the Voice Coming From?”

Abstract

Known for her lyrical evocations of the American South, Eudora Welty’s short story “Where is the Voice Coming From?” is unique in her oeuvre for both its intense topicality and its direct treatment of the Southern racism that is often only obliquely acknowledged in her fiction. This article examines how Welty maintains her characteristically deep sympathy for her characters, and her profound attention to detail, while narrating the event of a horrific and racist murder. Furthermore, by providing biographical details of the real life “Goat Dykeman”, G.W. Hydrick, informed readers see how even in a brief story about contemporary events, Welty is continually aware of regional history and assumptions, and she uses details, sometimes very subtly, to attach layers of meaning to her stories.

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From Carlyle’s Hero to Conrad’s Depraved: Hermeneutics of Morbidity in Heart of Darkness

Abstract

The author of this paper lays out a system of hermeneutics based on the idea of morbidity aimed at checking the commitment (or the lack thereof) of individual subjects to Victorian ethics. The system stems from Thomas Carlyle’s political agenda based on his concept of “hero worship”. The system is then deployed in order to probe into the purported morbidity of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. According to the author of this paper, the character of Marlow represents a curious mixture of the heroic archetype proposed by Carlyle, combined with new critical standpoints from other philosophical programmes (specifically Nietzsche’s) proposed at the end of the nineteenth century. Firstly, the author of this paper tackles the prototype of the hero (a sort of medium between reality and Divine Truth) Thomas Carlyle posited in his On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841). The author of this paper then describes how Marlow shares some of the hero’s features (most notably social responsibility and work ethic), but fails to embody the main trait of Carlyle’s “great men”, namely, their ability to recognize Divine Truth. Indeed, rather than asserting the existence of the Truth, Marlow’s narrative reveals the existence of multiple truths, thus creating a sort of politically morbid revision of Carlyle’s formula.

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“Hospitality to the Exile and Broken Bones to the Tyrant”: Early Modernity in Walter Scott’s Waverley

Abstract

Published anonymously in 1814, Waverley; Or ‘Tis Sixty Years Hence is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott which unfolds the story of a young English soldier, Edward Waverley, and his journey to Scotland. Regarded as the first historical novel, it contains elements of modernity, heralding a new upcoming era in England. Scott obviously displays the concept of the modern/modernity differently from the perception that writers are conveying today, but he hints at the emergence of a society detached from feudal customs in several aspects through the issue of union between England and Scotland. Highlighting the modern characteristics of Walter Scott’s Waverley, this paper argues that Scott employs elements of modernity in his novel long before their disclosure in literature and politics.

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