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The Importance of Intercultural Communicative Competences for Tourism Labour Market: Students’ Views and their Self-Assessment

Abstract

The present paper is founded on two pillars. Firstly, it is one of the current trends in education worldwide, i.e. to connect theory and practice. Secondly, it is the need to be interculturally competent speakers of a foreign language in today’s globalized world of massive migration flows and signs of increasing ethnocentrism. Based upon these two requirements, the ability to communicate in a FL effectively and interculturally appropriately in the tourism industry is a must, since being employed in whichever of its sectors means encountering other cultures on a daily basis. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to find out undergraduate tourism students’ opinion on the importance of intercultural communicative competences for their future profession as well as their self-assessment in the given field. The findings of the research, which are to be compared to employers’ needs, revealed that there is considerable difference between the respondents’ views on the significance of the investigated issues and their self-esteem.

Open access
Intercultural competence of university teachers: a challenge of internationalization

Abstract

The aim of the authors is to respond to the growing demands on the intercultural competence of university teachers due to intensified internationalization pressures on higher education, especially due to the growing number of students and teachers’ international exchanges. They report on an intercultural course design responding to this need, presenting a case study from Slovakia. First, they define the need of intercultural competence of university teachers, especially those teaching in English-medium study programmes. Then they share a) findings from a needs analysis preceding the design of a new curriculum for an intercultural competence course (ICC) at Matej Bel University (MBU) with three aims (development of linguistic, cultural and pedagogic competences); and b) results from action research during piloting the ICC course. A comparison of 2011 and 2018 surveys pointed to the growing dominance of the English language, including an increasing command of English by MBU teachers. The ICC curriculum, tailored to the pre-identified teachers’ needs, proved to be a feasible way of facilitating their intercultural competence. Its implementation revealed persistent prejudices and difficulties associated with overcoming them. It also confirmed a significant deficit in preparing university teachers for their role as intercultural mediators in English-medium courses.

Open access
Metaphorical Nomination in IT Terminology in Lithuanian and English Languages

Abstract

Metaphorical nomination is peculiar in every language, it is related to reality and world view perception, it also reveals the traits of nation mentality. However, there are universal models of metaphorical nomination. In both languages, special concepts can be nominated according to similar areas, e.g. human body, its physiological and mental peculiarities, mode of life, fauna, flora, objects of natural world, etc.

The aim of this article is to analyse tendencies of metaphorical nominations in IT terminology in English and Lithuanian languages, reveal universalities and peculiarities of metaphorical nomination models. Research data of Lithuanian metaphorical terms and their English equivalents show that semantic loan-words constitute the major part of Lithuanian metaphorical terms. Consequently, their metaphorical meanings are borrowed but a substantial part of them are fairly motivated in the Lithuanian language and only a small part of them have a doubtful motivation. Having analysed various ways of metaphorical transference it is possible to claim that figurative nomination of concepts is the most universal with reference to flora names and items of mode of life. It is noted that there is a tendency to nominate concepts meaning particular objects in both English and Lithuanian languages whereas analogies of abstract things are less abundant.

Open access
PhD graduates at Czech Universities: the Account of their Study, Postdoc Options and Job Ambitions

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to describe the PhD study and after graduation situation of graduates of Czech universities who completed their programme between 2010 - 2017. The first phase of the investigation was a quantitative study of a representative sample of Czech PhD graduates that aimed at revealing details of their study and after-graduation opportunities and careers. The second phase of the investigation was a qualitative study of a small sample aimed at understanding the reasons of young people to pursue a PhD programme at a university, to reveal academic, social and personal factors that influenced their decision to complete the PhD study and start an employment at a university.

Open access
The Use of Hedging in Research Articles on Applied Linguistics

Abstract

This paper is devoted to the analysis of the use of hedging in a corpus of articles from applied linguistics, and in this sense, it is complementary to the previous research of academic persuasion in research articles (Hinkel, 1997; Hyland, 1996, 2004). This study examined the types and frequency of hedges employed by the authors of academic research articles (RAs) in the field of applied linguistics. A corpus consists of 20 research articles, randomly selected from the Open Access Journals on Educational linguistics (5 RAs), Psycholinguistics (5 RAs), Sociolinguistics (5 RAs) and Pragmatics (5 RAs) The data were manually coded according to Hyland’s taxonomy of hedges and hedging devices (Hyland, 1996) and then formatted to calculate the frequency and type of hedges in RAs on Applied Linguistics. Results of the study indicate that reader-oriented hedges constitute the main pragmatic type of hedges in RAs in the field of applied linguistics, recognizing the need for reader’s ratification of the author’s claims and politeness conventions of academic discourse per se. Combination of qualitative and quantitative methods applied to computer readable data proved that hedges in RAs on Applied Linguistics are topic dependent, showing differences in typology, frequency and distribution even within one discipline.

Open access
The Bases of Postmodernism in Harold Pinter’s play “The Homecoming”

Abstract

The modern world, in which we live, is regarded as the period of postmodernism. In this period it is hard to perceive the reality in a right way. So are Harold Pinter’s plays. Mostly they are somewhere between reality and absurdity. Based on his writings, he is considered to be, one of the first postmodernist authors. The simplicity of the dialogues makes the feeling that the play is easy to understand, but after reading/watching all the relationships between the characters you feel a bit confused. Nothing is real, and exactly this is the reality of their world, not to be real. And not only the relationships but the characters themselves do not know who they are in reality and it is hard for them to identify their own personality. As it has been already mentioned above, in Pinter’s plays, we can easily find the elements of postmodernism. In the given papers this idea will be expressed depending on the play “The Homecoming”, where Pinter presents us so-called “family”, the group of people, and shows us their emptiness from the family relationships. Even relationships between father and sons, and wife and husband are not real. All this are presented with the very simple language and this is also the essential characteristic of the postmodern world, also the difficulty of understanding each other, and almost meaningless words. Pinter uses other forms of communication such as pauses and silences, in a manner typical of postmodernism. There should be also noted that “the homecoming” the title itself, makes the reader/audience confused, the expectation about perceiving the title at the beginning does not coincide the perception of it in the ending part. The aim of this paper is to highlight the key elements of postmodernism in Harold Pinter’s play “The Homecoming” and to show us once again, that Pinter’s works are really important in our postmodern world.

Open access
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