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A cross-language perspective on the MAIDAN-concept

Abstract

As the constituents of thoughts, concepts play a key role in human’s categorisation and interpretation of the surrounding world, in fixing our cognitive experience and forming individual judgements. The paper considers the representation of the nationally biased (ethno-specific) concept maidan as one of those functioning not only in Ukrainian but also in pan-European and global socio-political discourses of the recent years. Specifically, leaning on lexicographic data the study focuses on reconstructing the notional layer (informative core) of the concept and on identifying the differences of its content as featured in kin Slavic (Ukrainian and Russian) and distant Germanic (English and German) languages and linguocultures. The paper suggests a consecutive methodology based on lexicographic methods of analysis. Such methodology helps to define the sets of notional conceptual features subjected to further comparative interpretation. The procedures described in this paper give way to subsequent stages of conceptual analysis and discourse representations. The paper also provides preliminaries to the state of inconsistency between the systemic and utterance meanings of the language expressions of MAIDAN-concept that pose a limitation for comprehending the concept when transmitted to a different linguoculture

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in ExELL
English language instructors’ beliefs about the role of L1 in English language development and formal instruction in Croatia: A survey

Abstract

Current understanding of second language acquisition processes is based on the position that second language learners rely and depend on their L1 as well as on all of their language-related experience. This paper presents results of a questionnaire study aimed to explore Croatian EFL instructors’ beliefs about the role of L1 in English language development and formal instruction. Data was further analysed in order to explore variables most likely to impact instructors’ belief systems (participants’ age and academic degree, students’ language level, learning setting). The findings point to a lack of professional consensus with regard to L1 use which is discussed and followed by practical implications.

Open access
in ExELL
Linguistic complexity in high-school students’ EFL writing

Abstract

This study examined the syntactic and semantic complexity of L2 English writing in a Bosnian-Herzegovinian high school. Forty texts written by individual students, ten per grade, were quantitatively analyzed by applying methods established in previous research. The syntactic portion of the analysis, based on the t-unit analysis introduced by Hunt (1965), was done using the Web-based L2 Syntactic Complexity Analyzer (Lu, 2010), while the semantic portion, largely based on the theory laid out in systemic functional linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014), was done using the Web-based Lexical Complexity Analyzer (Ai & Lu, 2010) as well as manual identification of grammatical metaphors. The statistical analysis included tests of variance, correlation, and effect size. It was found that the syntactic and semantic complexity of writing increases in later grades; however, this increase is not consistent across all grades.

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in ExELL
Examining validity in computerized dynamic assessment

Abstract

Computerized dynamic assessment (CDA) posits itself as a new type of assessment that includes mediation in the assessment process. Proponents of dynamic assessment (DA) in general and CDA in particular argue that the goals of DA are in congruence with the concept of validity that underscores the social consequences of test use and the integration of learning and assessment (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2002; Poehner, 2008; Shabani, 2012;). However, empirical research on CDA falls short in supporting such an argument. Empirical studies on CDA are riddled with ill-defined constructs and insufficient supporting evidence in regard to the aspects of validity postulated by Messick (1989, 1990, 1996). Due to the scarcity of research on CDA, this paper explores the potentials and the viability of this intervention-based assessment in computer assisted language testing context in light of its conformity with Messick’s unitary view of validity. The paper begins with a discussion of the theoretical foundations and models of DA. It then proceeds to discuss the differences between DA and non-dynamic assessment (NDA) measures before critically appraising the empirical studies on CDA. The critical review of the findings in CDA literature aims at shedding light on some drawbacks in the design of CDA research and the compatibility of the concept of construct validity in CDA with Messick’s (1989) unitary concept of validity. The review of CDA concludes with some recommendations for rectifying gaps to establish CDA in a more prominent position in computerized language testing.

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in ExELL
A marriage of convenience or an amicable divorce: Metaphorical blends in the debates on Brexit

Abstract

The paper investigates the interaction of conceptual blending and conceptual metaphor in producing figurative creativity in discourse. The phenomenon of figurative creativity is defined by Kövecses (2005) as creativity arising through the cognitive mechanisms of metonymy, metaphor, and blending. Specifically, the paper examines the use of creative figurative language in the British public discourse on the topic on Brexit. The aim of this paper is to show that conventional metaphors can be creatively stretched through conceptual blending, producing instances of creative figurative language. Specifically, applying blending theory, we will analyse innovative conceptual blends, motivated by the conventional marriage/divorce metaphor. In addition, the paper also examines the way in which creative figurative language produced in metaphorical blends provides discourse coherence at intertextual and intratextual levels.

Open access
in ExELL
Rouhani’s and Obama’s Persian New Year messages: A systemic functional grammar perspective

Abstract

This study investigated Nowruz (Persian New Year) messages by Presidents Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama in March 2016. The study critically analyzed the discourse of these two presidential messages and uncovered the hidden aspects of their ideologies, policies, and background worldviews. In doing so, an integrated version of Halliday’s systemic functional grammar (SFG) and critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used. The analysis of data included various linguistic dimensions (e.g. processes, modality, transitivity) of the messages and their statistics. Although results suggested that Obama intended to build a more intimate situation, both presidents tried to inspire a spirit of action, development and effort in their respective governments. The messages did not reveal considerable thematic differences, except some discoursal religious features expressed in Rouhani’s message.

Open access
in ExELL
Teaching materials for ESL distance learning

Abstract

Distance education, as a form of education that enables and promotes development of autonomous life-long learning skill, necessary to keep up with rapid changes and development in today’s society, is a concept definitely worth considering. Teaching a foreign language in a distance education system is very challenging, primarily in terms of overcoming the main gap – lack of direct contact between teachers and learners. This paper focuses on the aspect of teaching materials used for ESL in a distance learning system.

Open access
in ExELL