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Abstract

Migration issues and the development of social relations to people of different cultures make multicultural education a frequently discussed topic in Slovakia these days. When it comes to culture, diversity, variety and plurality dominate because of the existence, as well as interactions, of different ethnicities, races or nations. School education focuses on drawing attention to the existence of such differences or specificities, therefore multicultural education is becoming more and more important. At higher education institutions, multicultural education is especially important in case of the students who are to become teachers themselves. Development of positive qualities and approaches, including the acceptance of cultural differences, should necessarily be a part of the pre-gradual preparation of teachers. The article presents a content analysis of student essays on the perception and understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as was one of the elements of multicultural education at HEIs.

Abstract

The present paper focuses on the question of how usage is marked within dictionary macrostructure of five most representatives of EFL lexicographic works, namely Collins Cobuild Advanced Dictionary, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Oxford Advanced Learner`s Dictionary, Cambridge Advanced Learner`s Dictionary and Macmillan English Dictionary. What is more, it sets a number of reasons why this particular area of lexicographic enquiry poses problems not only for dictionary users but also for dictionary compilers.

Abstract

The following article is about cultural and literary education at school. Its point of reference are considerations regarding conditions of Polish education system in relation to Polish language classes. The article emerges from the need to seek solutions helpful in overcoming the reading crisis, which being conditioned by various cultural and social factors, is present at school and is expressed by the negation of mandatory reading material, as well as rejection of teaching model established in education. The author of this text attempts to reflect on the awareness of reading material which is used, or might be used in modern school. The criteria proposed in this article are related to the issue of choosing material suitable for reading. They can be used as a selection mechanism implemented at the stage of designing the process of teaching. Further parts of the text describe the ways of obtaining open interpretations from students in the process of education while designing introductory reading material classes. They can be treated as solutions which could have different functions, useful in terms of the quality of literary-cultural education. The article is complemented with the concept of planning the lesson based on the use of students’ open interpretations, which if organised in a planned and conscious way, could stimulate students’ participation and facilitate reading while dealing with literature discussed at school.

Abstract

The quality of training teachers is an issue of great interest in many countries throughout the world. In this study there is highlighted the growing importance of initial teacher training for future language teachers, which implies the need for identifying the areas of change. The aim of the research consists in exploring the perceptions of preservice teachers regarding the areas of changes at the level of the initial training programmes. A total of ninety-five stratified selected pre-service language teachers participated in this study. We have explored the following research questions: A. What are the areas of change in the field of pedagogical competences development at the level of initial training programmes in the perception of future language teachers?; B. Are there any significant differences between the perceptions of pre-service language teachers regarding the areas of change in the field of pedagogical competences development at the level of initial training programmes according to their year of study, specialization, and age? A qualitative methodology employing semi-structured interviews was used to allow flexibility in the exploration of the conceptions of pre-service teachers on the areas of change at the level of initial training programmes. The study is relevant and valuable by offering first-hand signalling of the “areas of changes” proposed as a result of their own representations, with the purpose of developing innovative initial training programmes, with positive long-term effects.

Abstract

This paper reports on an experimental study that investigates the influence of the disparity between English and Arabic on second language acquisition, namely the phenomenon of the acquisition of the English dative alternation by Arab learners. The disallowance of certain Arabic verbs to occur in the double object dative structure causes difficulty for Arab learners to acquire English as far as the acquisition of the dative alternation is concerned. The experiment is devised to examine whether Arab learners are sensitive to syntactic and semantic properties associated with the English dative alternation. The experiment involved picture tasks with two structures: the prepositional dative structure and the double object dative structure. Overall, the results of the experiment show that the L2 learners failed to acquire the double object dative structure which does not exist in their L1. Based on these results, it is argued that L1 has an important effect on the acquisition of L2.

Abstract

Phonological awareness is considered a key phenomenon having crucial position among abilities and processes which are important and responsible for the development of reading and writing (initial literacy). The paper deals with the significance and level of development of selected cognitive functions of a child in relation to the abilities of phonological awareness. The child’s current cognitive development is a predictor for certain level of phonological awareness. The paper is focused on a description of speech perception, language, oral vocabulary and phonological memory of children in preschool age. It is an output of the research project VEGA no. 1/0637/16 Development of a Diagnostic Tool to Assess the Level of Phonemic Awareness of Children in Preschool Age.

Abstract

This paper is going to argue that while early childhood teachers seem to have positive perceptions about intercultural education, the in-question students seem to be compelled to adopt different cultural habits. Data were gathered through a questionnaire distributed in 9 areas of Thessaloniki, completed by 161 teachers. The results showed that most teachers feel that they have enough knowledge about the curriculum regarding intercultural education, perform activities regarding interculturalism and diversity; they believe that students from different cultures feel welcomed and equally treated and participate in all class activities. Teachers suggest that students from different cultures build good relationships with all their peers and there is positive communication between students from different cultures as well as between their parents and teachers. However, the suggestion of most of the sample that students are compelled to adopt Greek cultural habits constrains this positive picture. It is possible that teachers feel that they are achieving positive results regarding intercultural education. It may be possible to recommend that the approaches that teachers report as part of their current practice should continue or that teachers’ own recommendations should be explored further to determine what sort of approach to intercultural education is being adopted.

Abstract

This study arises out of the intention to examine the features of expert-lay interaction in a jury trial. The paper studies closing arguments constructed by legal experts as possible worlds which would be attractive for jurors. Theory of possible worlds is employed to present discourse practices as versions of the real world which may overlap, supplement or contradict one another. Legal experts construe and present possible worlds to jury members who deliver verdicts on the case, i.e. possess decisional power. Efficient involvement of jurors into the possible world constructed by the legal expert signals formation of discourse of concord. In order to make their own possible world more credible than the world of the procedural opponents, legal experts employ different interaction tools: description of legal concepts, empathy, appeals to social values, imperative and question utterances, personalization.

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.

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.