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Expression evaluation of a quoted author in academic discourse: Inter-language (Lithuanian and English) case study

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse subject expression evaluation of the non-author language, i.e. the author whose thoughts, discoveries, research results or assumptions are relied on in scientific texts in Lithuanian and English languages, elucidate both universal properties of expression evaluation and the specific ones determined by a particular language and culture. Publication texts of education science field of social science area were selected for the research. Expression evaluation of a quoted author was analysed identifying neutral (surname / name and surname, nationality and residence, scientific and professional activity, time, scientific discoveries, activity achievements, family relations) and subjective (logic and emotional evaluation) attributes. It was determined that education science texts of both languages, Lithuanian and English, do not exhibit a variety of quoted author expression. No examples purveying all possible semantic meanings of attributes were found in both languages. Prevalence of neutral attributes of science subjects and similar aspects of usage of some attributes (surname / name and surname, nationality or residence) reveal general citation traditions determined by universal scientific text regularities rather than a particular language or culture. On the other hand, some tendencies were observed characteristic only to the texts of one or another language and reflecting specific evaluation features of science subject. In the articles of native English speakers, scientific discoveries, results of scientific activity of quoted authors are emphasised whereas Lithuanian authors are more liable to highlight scientific or professional activity and time. Moreover, it is essential to mention that every text represents its author‘s personality to some extent. Thus, the choice of the particular means of expression can be determined by personal qualities of an author.

Open access
Foreign-language teaching and studying in Chilean and Finnish classrooms as seen by teachers

Abstract

This article reports Chilean and Finnish foreign-language (FL) teachers’ perceptions of teaching and study realities in their own FL classrooms. Communicative language teaching (CLT) is used as the teaching–studying–learning methodological framework of an international KIELO project (= the acronym for Finnish “kieltenopetus” meaning “language teaching”), whose online survey was used to collect data for this article. We aim at answering the following research question: What are the FL teachers’ main approaches to teaching and studying in Chilean and Finnish FL classrooms and what is the FL classroom teaching and study reality like in these two countries? The data were collected from 83 Chilean and 147 Finnish FL teachers through an online survey covering 15 key themes of CLT and including 115 Likert-scale statements and 8 open-ended questions. In the descriptive data analysis, both Chilean and Finnish FL teachers claim that they encourage their students to use the target language considerably and that they use communicative oral tasks. For both groups of participants, however, teacher-centeredness and use of textbook score relatively high. The two-cluster analysis revealed a context-dependent cluster and a context-independent cluster. Context-dependent teachers tended to favor communicative oral tasks, real-life tasks and their own language tasks, whereas context-independent teachers favored more non-communicative tasks. Context-dependent teachers proved more student-centered than context-independent teachers. For Chilean and Finnish research participants, the use of mother tongue in foreign language classrooms appears to be an issue despite the growing need of foreign language communication.

Open access
Politeness strategies in written communications: the issue of Iranian EFL learners

Abstract

The approximation of the pragmatic knowledge of English language learners to native speakers has been a realm of concern for the scholars and researchers in applied linguistics. Thus, this research was an endeavor to figure out the association between the proficiency level and politeness strategies and external/internal modifications in written communication skills in the speech act of requests in Iranian English language learners. To this end, a written Discourse Completion Test (DCT), adapted from Rose (1994), including 8 situations was administered to elicit data from Iran Language Institute120 female and male EFL learners, 60 upper-intermediate and 60 intermediate. The data were sorted out using Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies taxonomy (Brown and Levinson 1987) and external/internal modifications developed by Faerch and Kasper (1989). The written request utterances provided by each participant were analyzed in terms of frequency and types of politeness strategies, namely, positive, negative, bald on record, and off-record as well as external/internal modifications utilized in requests. The Pearson Chi-Square test results revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between upper-intermediate and intermediate learners’ type of politeness strategies and external/internal modifications.

Open access
Predictors of the Czech learners’ acquisition of selected English phonemes

Abstract

The study investigates predictors of the acquisition of selected English phonemes in a foreign language context. Czech students’ pronunciation was diagnosed by two tests; their ability to produce seven selected phonemes was assessed. Furthermore, data regarding the students’ learning histories was obtained through a questionnaire. Then a multiple regression analysis was conducted in order to identify predictors of the acquisition of the selected phonemes. The analysis uncovered several factors, the most significant being pre - school exposure to English and positive attitudes to English in adolescence, which appeared to influence the subjects’ pronunciation positively. Interestingly, several factors which relate to learning English at school appeared to exert a negative influence on the acquisition of the selected phonemes. Furthermore, besides the importance of long-term exposure to English starting before the age of six, the study also underscored the importance of metacognition in relation to autonomous learning.

Open access
Redundancy in the verbal communication of teachers in primary education

Abstract

On a theoretical level with the support of literature, we offer some definitions of the concept of redundancy, point to the similarities and differences in the perception of this phenomenon in technical, social and pedagogical communication. We point out the positive and negative aspects of redundancy in the teacher's language. The research part is aimed at mapping the presence of redundancy in the language of primary education teachers. We were interested in which grade in the subject of mathematics is redundancy the most represented and whether it may be considered positive or unnecessary. The research was conducted at five primary schools on a sample of twenty teachers. The method of the research was the direct observation of lessons. The accuracy of the observation was ensured by audio recording and its analysis. We have found that redundancy is most often present in the third grade.

Open access
Teaching English pronunciation by non-native teachers as seen by Slovak teachers

Abstract

The English language has become the so called “world wide language” due to the fact that it is used globally in many spheres of everyday life - education, business, labour market, technology, tourism, travel and others. In Slovakia, the educational system supports schools in the acquisition of the language by granting more English classes per week, by financing textbook materials, by bridging teaching practice with research as well as making English a mandatory subject of school leaving exams.

One of the crucial components in the English language education of Slovak learners appears to be the pronunciation. This language feature has its specificities and therefore it must be approached carefully. Although many researchers in Slovakia have focused on various aspects of English pronunciation, this article aims at the English teachers and their perception of this important issue. The survey focuses on Slovak teachers’ opinions about teaching English pronunciation to non-native learners, more specifically, about teaching techniques, error corrections, textbook materials and university teacher training.

Open access
Teaching the grammar of questions and negations: an innovative approach

Abstract

This article presents an innovative approach to teaching English tenses, more precisely to teaching the grammar of questions and negative sentences. It describes, analyses and compares the innovative top-down approach with the traditional methods. It introduces the reader to the theoretical concept of the English predicate structure, on which the new approach is based. Consequently, the paper explains how the theoretical approach may be beneficial in practice, i.e. in English language teaching. Compared to the traditional methods, the paper shows that the grammar of questions and negatives of all tenses can be explained using three simple rules. Finally, the paper lists the advantages and disadvantages of the new method and suggests suitable target students.

Open access
Fluids, cages, and boisterous femininity: The grotesque transgression of patriarchal norms in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus

Abstract

The article will show that in Nights at the Circus, Carter’s use of the themes of food consumption and excrement operate as both a grotesque means of emancipation from a feminine point-of-view, and a carnivalesque challenge to subversive patriarchal norms and deconstruction of arbitrary patriarchal hierarchies. By turning the simple act of eating into boisterous spectacle, and by handling a bottle of champagne and water hose in a disturbingly masculine manner, Fevvers transgresses the boundary between masculinity and femininity, sheds the patriarchal constraints imposed upon femininity, and thus achieves agency and emancipation. Since she is not able to acquire biological signifier of masculinity, she achieves the transgression of the binary entirely through the performative carnivalesque. The article will also discuss that the overflowing nature of grotesque femininity (both physical and behavioral) enables the female characters to speak and act at their own will, and thus performs as a means of critiquing Victorian patriarchal cultural norms.

Open access
Friend or foe? First language (L1) in second/foreign language (L2/FL) instruction & Vygotsky

Abstract

This theoretical review paper investigates the role of first language (L1) in the mainstream scholarship of second/foreign (L2/FL) language education in the context of language learning, teaching, and bilingual education. The term ‘mainstream’ refers here to the scholarship that is not informed by sociocultural theory in general and Vygotskian sociocultural theory in particular. The paper later explains a Vygotskian perspective on the use of L1 in L2/FL language education and discusses how the perspective may help content teachers in (a) employing L1 in teaching L2/FL content and (b) helping L2/FL students to become self-regulative users of the target language.

Open access
Human trafficking: Commercial sexual exploitation and forced domestic labour in African literature

Abstract

Just like social occurrences such as human sacrifice and slavery enhanced retardation of progress in Africa in the past, trafficking is another social occurrence addressed in contemporary African literature that impedes progress and tarnishes the image of the victims. Human trafficking is rampant in Africans and some part of the world in this 21st century. This paper examines how Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked (2008) and Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters′ Street (2009) highlight social occurrences and how they contribute to the spread of girl trafficking in Africa. It also explores how both men and women are partners in trafficking, forming trafficking networks that lure girls from Nigeria to Europe and make huge profits from their misery. These pimps use ‘juju magic’ and rituals as a threat to exert complete control over the girls and also to ensure their compliance. The trafficked girls share their life experiences by telling their tales of woes exposing the shame that accompanies the sex trade and the stigmatization they suffer in the society. Their experiences are presented by the authors to highlight the trafficked girls′ pains, misery and struggle for freedom in order to appeal to everybody in the society to fight against human trafficking. The paper also examines how these exploited and depressed trafficked girls that have lost their self-esteem can still live fulfilled lives if government agencies and nongovernmental organizations come to their rescue.

Open access