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Diachronic patterns of usage of no doubt in the English Historical Book Collection (EEBO, ECCO and EVANS)

Abstract

This study offers a collocate analysis of the modal marker no doubt (ND) in the EEBO, ECCO and EVANS combined corpora using Sketch Engine. The purpose is to determine the diachronic patterns of usage of ND, and secondly to compare results with the conclusions of existing diachronic pragmatic studies of modal markers. The first step identified five patterns of behaviour based on AM score in decreasing order of frequency: 1 – NDB (no doubt but); 2 – TISND (there is no doubt); 3 – MND (make no doubt); 4 – (ND (parenthetical use); 5 – Ndont (no doubt on’t). The second step consisting in partitioning of the corpus following Hilpert and Gries (2016) produced 3 distinct periods based on EHBO data (1580-1669, 1670-1759, 1760-1799). The findings showed that the relative usage of ND for each period remained remarkably consistent, especially the persistence of non-grammaticalized behaviours MND and TISN. The two major disparities, concerning NDont and parenthetical (ND, were shown to be of likely significance for the changing pragmatic behaviour of ND, which further diachronic study may be able to ascertain.

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in ExELL
EFL teachers’ role in English: Letting the silent majority voice their words

Abstract

With the advent of the global perspective on English, the live issues of the ownership and culture of English (Akbari, 2008; Seidlhofer, 2005) have begun to shake up numerous conventional notions of the field. In the wake of this landmark shift, this study attempts to probe EFL teachers’ cultural attitude toward prospective English words. To this end, identifying twelve highly Persian culture-specific words, the researchers devised an attitude questionnaire, which was administered to 351 EFL teachers to examine their right of cultural encoding (Kirkpatrick, 2014) as English users. The study concludes with granting a legitimate norm-overriding role to EFL teachers in order to gate-keep their required concepts in English.

Open access
in ExELL
Investigating boredom among EFL teachers

Abstract

The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate boredom among Croatian primary and secondary school teachers of English. The data was gathered by means of an open-ended survey that focused on the teachers’ experiences with classroom boredom. The findings pointed to different causes of boredom in the Croatian FLT context, such as grammar tasks and uninteresting subject matter. Croatian teachers reported various manifestations of boredom, i.e. cognitive and motivational, as well as diverse emotion regulation strategies employed, such as introducing new content or engaging in physical activity. Majority of the teachers stated that boredom did not affect their instructional quality, however there were those who reported having observed adverse effects in their classrooms.

Open access
in ExELL
The L2 motivational self system, L2 interest, and L2 anxiety: A study of motivation and gender differences in the Croatian context

Abstract

Studies have shown that second language (L2) motivation can have an impact on L2 learning processes. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in L2 motivation among Croatian university students from the perspective of the L2MSS. The results indicated that females were more motivated than males to learn English, had higher levels of interest in English, while differences in L2 anxiety were somewhat ambiguous. Females also demonstrated that their L2 motivation was linked to motives related to the avoidance of negative outcomes suggesting that females are perhaps more conscientious learners compared to males. These findings point to a complex motivational state among females, which may indicate important gender-based differences in language learning.

Open access
in ExELL
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.

Open access
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.

Open access
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