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Advertising As A Reflection of Culture in Foreign Language Teaching

Summary

The ability to communicate in several foreign languages, recognize and understand cultural differences and effectively interact in a multicultural environment has become vital in the modern world that faces intense globalization processes. Linguistic and intercultural competences are essential not only for establishing personal relationships with foreigners but also for developing successful business relationships. At the Institute of Foreign Languages at Vytautas Magnus University (hereafter - VMU IFL), Spanish and German languages remain in the top five of the most popular languages among 30 languages available to students. These languages are chosen not only by Lithuanian students but also by foreign students who come to study in Lithuania. Most exchange students who come to study at VMU choose to study the Lithuanian language as well. In addition to the development of language skills in a learning process, the new concept of language teaching / learning, market trends and the great interest of students and the public in languages lead to the development of topics related to culture and intercultural communication and efforts to reveal peculiarities of the new culture in the common European and native country context. Based on the theories of different authors on the connection between culture and language and intercultural differences, the article discusses the possibilities of using commercials (video recordings of advertisements) to get acquainted with the culture in foreign language lectures. A comparative analysis of examples selected from commercials available online and revealing certain cultural aspects of the three countries (Spain, Lithuania and Germany) that allow to understand the target culture better is presented in this article. The aim is to reveal how a teacher, knowing the theories of cultural differences, can use commercials for the development of students’ linguistic and also cultural and intercultural competences.

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Barriers to and Strategies for Sustainable Relationships in Multilingual Campuses

Summary

The article presents the dimensions of communication in multiethnic and multilingual education settings, the main barriers to sustainable relationships between students of different backgrounds and strategies to overcome those barriers. The main research question of the study is: What are the main barriers in sustainable relationships between students with different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds? A subsequent question is: How to overcome those barriers? Hence, the main goal of the article is to identify and address the main problems that undermine mutual understanding and collaborative learning among students. The method of the study is a literature review of the most significant studies and authors in the field. The goal is to present an analysis of their insights into the main problems of relationships between students on international campuses. The article is useful for campus leaders, students and mentors.

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The Diversity of Immigrant Identity and the Aspects of the Design Thereof

Summary

The article provides an overview of the design of identities, predominantly based on the level of the individual. The purpose of this article was to identify the ethnic identity of informants, using the aspect of language choices as an instrument of linguistic identity, as well as to look at the causes of linguistic identity choices, the functions of ethnic identity from the point of view of the informant and the reasons for changing the identity over time or for consciously changing or maintaining it. It is well known that in today’s world of ever-weakening national borders, multiculturalism and multilingualism are a common phenomenon. There have been no arguments for a long time over whether one has to learn several languages, or any doubts whether we should be even a little bit familiar with the culture of people from other nationalities living next to us. At the same time, multiculturalism brings along challenges and sometimes also tensions (Muldma, 2009). Self-determination, or identity, can mean all aspects of oneself, such as appearance, personality, abilities, gender, and ethnic groups. In the case of ethnic identity, it has been observed along with growing, the perceptions of children change over time. Awareness of one’s nationality develops with awareness of others (Smith et al., 2008, p. 195). People’s attitudes and values are largely developed in childhood, and we need time to get adjusted to everything new, all changes need internal management of the person – and some major changes need the intervention of the society. The method used to conduct the research was written interviews.

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Education Policy and Creole Education in Guadeloupe: Ambiguity for Educators in Educational Materials and Concern Over a French-Creole Interlect in the Classroom

Summary

Regional languages in France have historically struggled to find their place in the national linguistic landscape, and French-based Creoles, like those of Guadeloupe and Martinique, are no exception. Despite laws and initiatives like the creation of the Creole CAPES (2002) and the propagation of research like Poth (1997) and Cummins (2009) on the benefits of bilingualism, Creole-language education in French overseas departments, like Guadeloupe, is still stigmatized for a lack of standardization by academic policymakers, despite its attested success in the classroom as a tool for improving students’ metalinguistic capacities in French. Using a corpus of official Creole-language educational guides, pedagogical guides and one elementary textbook featuring exercises focusing on correction of regional French phrases, along with observations of two elementary Creole-language classes in Guadeloupe, this paper aims to analyze and demonstrate that educators often receive mixed messages on how to teach Creole in bilingual classrooms, and that the language is often perceived as a threat by French academic policymakers to the French abilities of students in Guadeloupe—yet that in practice, elementary students are more likely to struggle with Creole than French.

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Lexical and Morphological Features of Translational Lithuanian

Summary

In Lithuanian public and academic discourse, discussions about the influence of English have received considerable attention. Much has been written on the English borrowings in Lithuanian or various translation strategies applied at word, phrase or syntactic levels of language, whereas there have been only few attempts to investigate how Lithuanian translated from English differs from original language. This is why we found it interesting to investigate lexical an morphological features of translated Lithuanian applying the methods of corpus liguistics. For research purposes, we used a morphologically annotated comparable 4 mln. word corpus of original and translated fiction and popular science literature ORVELIT. It has been found that translations deviate in certain ways from original Lithuanian. Translated Lithuanian has: a lower lexical density, higher proportion of function words, shorter sentences, and higher proportion of list heads; translated fiction has a lower lexical variability and smaller proportion of low frequency words, whereas in popular science translations, these differences are less evident. Keyword analysis has shown content differences in originals and translations and the overuse of personal and possessive pronouns in popular science translations. The distribution of content and function words differs in originals and translations and in different registers. Translated Lithuanian has: more verbs (especially finite forms and adverbial participles), but less nouns and adjectives; fiction translations have less and popular science more adverbs than originals; there are more pronouns and prepositions in both popular science and fiction translations; depending on the register, there are higher or lower numbers of conjunctions, particles and interjections. Some of the differences may be explained by the English language interference as: the overuse of the optional 1st person pronoun in subject position, the overuse of optional preposition “su” with instrumental case, or the overuse of optional link verb in the complex predicate. In other words, the English influence is seen in transferring certain features obligatory for analytical language where omission would be a more natural choice in original Lithuanian. These findings in most cases agree with the previous research on translationese of other languages. It is hoped that the identified tendencies to over- or under-use certain lexical and morphological features as a result of English language interference might appear to be useful when editing and translating.

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Negative Transfer in Lithuanian Students’ Writing in English

Summary

This research intends to find out whether Lithuanians studying English as a foreign language make certain mistakes because of the influence of their native language. It focuses on negative transfer in writing in English and is qualitative rather than quantitative. The article discusses the errors and illustrates them with examples that come from a corpus for which the data was obtained from 34 Moodle forum posts written by English B2 students, native speakers of Lithuanian who were in year one or year two of their studies in various study programmes but also studied English at Vytautas Magnus University as an obligatory subject. The students participated in this forum in October 2018 and reflected on the week of presentations they had recently had: they were asked to write what they liked or did not like in the presentations their colleagues had given in class, what went well and what did not, what they should improve in the future, etc. This study identified the types of errors (based on Camilleri, 2004) that occurred most frequently and their source (based on Camilleri, 2004; Brogan & Son, 2015). Most frequently the students made errors in the cases where there was a specific grammatical category in English, but it was non-existent in Lithuanian, while sometimes the source of errors was literal translation from the native language. The error analysis shows that in the English classroom specific attention should be given to the verb forms “is” and “are”, “was” and “were”, “has” and “have”, articles, collocations, tense agreement, quantifiers, the sentence structure of the English language and the importance of word meanings.

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A Plurilingual Approach to ELT in Primary School: Towards an Ecological Perspective

Summary

This paper aims to demonstrate that using a plurilingual and ecological approach to English language teaching can achieve better results in primary school independently of the mother tongue of the student. This article is based on the initial results of our international research carried out in three very different countries (Norway, China and Spain). While the author´s research project involves 328 participants, we will present the results of the first phase of the experiment, including 133 students. In this paper, we propose a plurilingual communicative approach to English teaching as a foreign language, making a distinction between languages for communication and languages for identification. This research examines the current teaching policies in the participating countries, and analyses cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspectives in English language teaching while promoting the positive use of the mother tongue as a connecting tool in the students’ communication system. The subjects of this study were divided in control and experimental groups, in which they received traditional and plurilingual approach respectively. After the classes they completed a test and were then supplied with a Likert scale questionnaire focused on understanding their attitude and motivation towards mother tongue and English language learning. Based on observation and results obtained, we can conclude that a plurilingual approach that uses L1 as a tool in English teaching improves English learning, as well as develops an ecological understanding of languages.

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To Be Or Not to Be: An Overview of Clil Implementation in Lithuania

Summary

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), as an approach to bilingual education in which both content and a foreign language are taught together, started to be employed in secondary schools of Lithuania more than a decade ago; however, there still exists a diversity of opinions towards its benefits and flaws. The studies on CLIL in the European countries have shown that the success of CLIL very much depends on the existing policy documents on the national level regulating CLIL implementation and providing guidance to schools and teachers. It also depends on the amount of research conducted on CLIL in a particular country. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to analyse the current state of affairs of CLIL in Lithuania in terms of the existing policy documents, implemented projects and conducted research that would serve as a theoretical background highlighting the necessity for further analytical investigation. The results of the analysis have shown that no coherent national policies in terms of teaching CLIL have been developed or legal government regulations have been issued in Lithuania until today. The present study has revealed that systematic approach towards investigation of CLIL in Lithuania has not yet been adopted which resulted in the lack of comprehensive analyses on an overall situation of CLIL in Lithuania as well as on factors ensuring efficiency of CLIL implementation in particular. The findings of the study point towards the need for such analyses in the future.

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Why Do Adults Decide to Learn a Minority Language? A Study of the Motivation(S) of Potential New Speakers of West Frisian

Summary

This study focuses on the motivation of adults learning a minority language, based on a tripartite model: integrative and instrumental (Gardner & Lambert, 1959; 1972) and personal (see Benson, 1991) motivation. Adults learning a minority language are potential new speakers, a group that has been described as central to language revitalisation (see Pujolar & O’Rourke, 2018). Since the motivation to learn these languages does not seem to be linked to economic success or wider job opportunities, researchers have taken interest in knowing what drives people to learn a minority language (e.g., O’Rourke & DePalma, 2016). In this study, (potential) new speaker motivations were investigated by means of ten open-ended interviews with adult learners of West Frisian—a minority language spoken in the Netherlands—in two different settings: Afûk Frisian courses (a more traditional learning setting) and Bernlef Frisian courses (a student association that offers informal courses for their members). The results show a predominance of integrative and personal motivation (also found in O’Rourke & DePalma, 2016), but not exclusively (as suggested by Jaffe, 2015) since the language appears to be tightly linked to the province and it is deemed beneficial—to a certain extent—for socioeconomic success in the province.

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’Your Language is Forbidden’: Language Negation As Political Oppression in Pinter’s Mountain Language

Summary

This paper examines Harold Pinter’s late play Mountain Language as a depiction of political oppression specifically rooted in linguistic oppression. The play presents a “mountain people” who have been forbidden to use their “mountain language” by a coercive state authority. The play contrasts the brutality of the officers and guards with the humanity (represented through two still-life ‘tableau’ scenes) of the victims, the “mountain people.” The paper notes, however, that there is an unsettling linguistic twist to the play, in that the “mountain language” and the “language of the capital” are both English in performance. The paper suggests that this is partly motivated by Pinter’s expressed desire to make the play disturbingly recognizable to western audiences, thus removing the spectator’s or reader’s ability to judge such oppressions as being exotic, irrelevant, or encountered only in distant unstable countries. The paper argues that Pinter’s focus upon linguistic prohibition, linguistic discrimination, and linguistic denigration is rendered unexpectedly universal through the reliance of the text upon English as the medium for both the prohibited language and the language of authority.

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