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Abstract

In Slovakia, modern Cultural Studies of English-speaking countries have been integrated into university curricula since the 1990s. However, there is a fundamental difference in the role CLIL plays in teaching “realia” (alternatively: cultural studies, country studies and area studies) for philological students and for business students of non-philological faculties. While philological students study realia with primary linguistic and cultural goals (i.e. to learn new words, terminology, context and comparative cultural aspects), non-philological students’ goals are business oriented (i.e. allow a successful graduate to function effectively in a new business environment). That affects the methodology, teaching procedure and assessment of both disciplines in debate.

Abstract

This research aims to prove the effectiveness of Spanish as a Second Language lessons for Haitians designed by volunteers in Santiago de Chile. The methodology used through the study was based on the application of two questionnaires to Haitian students in order to compare results, and finally obtain an average that reflects the achievement of the communicative functions expected. Results indicate that neither the lessons planned, material giver nor the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages fulfilled such expectations. Findings are discussed in relation to previous studies on methodologies for Spanish as a Second Language for Haitian immigrants in Chile ()

Abstract

The paper provides an overview of the forms in which translation is used in foreign language education. A tentative classification is suggested which differentiates between facilitative translation as a supporting process that helps to overcome learning constraints, deliberate translation as an independent task with a predetermined objective that targets learners’ foreign language competence and skills, and simulated translation as an activity from which additional pedagogical benefits regarding learners’ foreign language proficiency can be derived. From the side of the learner, facilitative translation constitutes a complex learning strategy that can be applied for a variety of strategic purposes (memory-related, cognitive, compensatory, metacognitive, affective, and social), while from the side of the teacher it represents a scaffolding tool that can be consolidated into a fully-fledged teaching technique. Deliberate translation can further be differentiated according to the specifics of pedagogical focus. Language-focused translation, targeting learners’ grammatical accuracy or vocabulary range and control, and skill-focused translation, targeting one of the four basic communicative language skills, can be used for both instruction-related and diagnostic purposes. The focus on the holistic use of the available linguistic repertoire results in the two complex uses of translation as an incentive for communication and as a communicative activity aimed at developing the skill of cross-language mediation. A particular type of simulated translation which appears to be particularly suited for the purposes of foreign language education is audiovisual translation.

Abstract

In recent decades, Slovenian sociolinguistic situation and within the functions of different language varieties have dramatically changed. In spite of this process, the standard language remains a language variety that enables an individual to participate equally in educational and public life. As the Slovenian schools are not successful enough in developing of the discursive flexibility and mastering of the standard language, in the article, the functions of Standard language in modern Slovenian-speaking society is described; the specific groups of primary Slovenian language speakers are defined, and some solutions for improving the first language learning are suggested.

In 1990’s, in opposite to the prevailing traditional structural language-stratification theory, the new classification of the primary sociolects, based on the English functional linguistics, by A. E. Skubic was represented. According to his theory, the sociolects are defined as non-hierarchically ordered cultivated or marginal language varieties that are used and identified with by different social groups. Based on Skubic’s classification, two main groups of primary-Slovenian language speakers can be described. The speakers of the cultivated primary sociolects are mostly self-confident users of language, identifying themselves with the main culture. In opposite, the speakers of the marginal sociolects could be de-privileged due to their linguistic deficit in standard language and micro-cultural discursive patterns, used in educational or public contexts.

As it is suggested, to improve students’ linguistic competence and diminish deficits, the discursive flexibility should be understood as a complex awareness, consisting of cognitive, emotional-evaluative and active dimensions. Therefore, the basic principle of first language teaching should become the extended holistic principle, emphasizing the inclusion of standard and different non-standard language varieties, observation of their different functions in specific communicative situations and reflection about the complex context, that can be implemented to first language teaching in all basic phases of learning.

Abstract

Self-selecting of the material has been the arena of discussion by the researchers of L2 pedagogy. While some believe that it can be effective, others believe that it is detrimental to L2 learning. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of self-selected and teacher assigned writing prompts on the writing complexity, accuracy, and fluency of Iranian EFL learners at beginning, intermediate, and advanced proficiency levels. The theoretical aspects of the current research were founded based on Theory of Reasoned Action () and Choice Theory (). Given that, 52 Iranian EFL learners (beginning N = 19, intermediate N = 16, advanced N = 17) participated in this study. Each student was asked to write about two writing prompts: one selected by the students and the other by the teacher. Using relevant indexes, we measured writing complexity, accuracy and fluency with regard to the two writing prompts. The results indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the writing complexity, accuracy, and fluency of L2 learners when they wrote about their own self-selected prompts and when they wrote about the teacher assigned ones. The results also revealed that L2 learners’ writings were more complex, accurate, and fluent when they wrote about their self-selected prompts. The findings of this study can have some implications for L2 writing instructors and test designers.

Abstract

An integral part of the Slovak cultural context is also Lowland Slovak literature, which includes certain areas of Hungary, Romania and Serbia. The paper outlines the partial development of Slovak youth literature in these regions. It gradually characterizes the most important aspects of diachrony of this segment of writing (in a certain chronotope that is bound to selected prototexts). Based on objective-subjective interpretations of three emblematic works of this context, it highlights - as a certain typology - not only the general / universal, but also the specific / particular (that is particularly relevant to the context) in intra- and intercultural relations. It accentuates the literary tradition, which is still a useful source of realistic short stories and novels for child percipients in these diasporas. It also traditionally and innovatively points out the typical features of teaching in individual national-minority schools in the mentioned countries. Methodologically (but also practically) it is, of course, based, on thematic, motif related, etc. aspects of the analyzed (selected) works and their possible reflection in school education and learning environment. Finally, the use of language / features / motifs / aspects / procedures is concretized in specific conditions outside the physical boundaries of the homeland as a kind of perspective on the correlation of the difficult process of cultural education itself.

Abstract

As any other area of human lives, current state of foreign language education has been greatly influenced by the latest developments in the modern information communication technologies. The paper focuses specifically on the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI), which includes a wide range of technologies and methods, such as machine learning, adaptive learning, natural language processing, data mining, crowdsourcing, neural networks or an algorithm, into foreign language learning and teaching.

First, the paper is concerned with changes brought to foreign language education specifically through the application of AI-powered tools and discusses ICALL (intelligent computer assisted language learning) as a subset of CALL. Second, it summarizes eight types of AI-powered tools for foreign language education and related results of the existing research, however scarce it is. Third, it discusses the frame for effective preparation of foreign language teachers in order to integrate AI-powered tools into their teaching to make it easier, less time-consuming and more effective. The author argues for reconsideration of the existing frames of requirements for CALL teachers.

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the amount and type of teacher-talk, frequently asked questions and feedback provided by the teacher on learners’ performance in a language classroom. For this purpose, a lecture was recorded from a secondary level English language classroom of a public sector school and interpreted in the light of teacher-student interaction and classroom management model by David Nunan. Results revealed that the maximum amount of time (i.e. 80.1%) was consumed by the teacher which was appropriate. However, certain deviations from classroom management principles were also observed regarding frequently asked questions (i.e. 50% of the total questions were elicitation questions) and the feedback (it was ‘romantic’ in nature). Moreover, wait-time was sufficient but it was of no use to the learners. The study concluded that classroom practices did not conform to the principles therefore, it proposed to ask questions and provide feedback appropriately.

Abstract

Foreign language anxiety (FLA) is perceived as a negative factor influencing learners’ language achievement. Targeting Chinese overseas students, this paper investigates whether communicative confidence, fear of negative evaluation, attitude towards using English in workshops and trait anxiety are related to Chinese students’ speaking anxiety. The present study also aims to examine how students perceive their speaking anxiety and coping strategies both from teachers and students. The questionnaire and the semi-structured interview were adopted for data collection. 80 TESOL students at the University of Edinburgh were invited to complete the questionnaires, with 6 students participating in the interviews to get deeper insights into Chinese students’ perception of their speaking anxiety. Research findings revealed that communicative confidence, fear of negative evaluation, attitude towards using English in workshops and traits anxiety were strongly related to Chinese students’ speaking anxiety. In the interviews, 6 respondents commented that instructors’ characteristics, such as patience and humor, and their preparation before class can alleviate their speaking anxiety in workshops. It is hoped that the current study can contribute to a deeper understanding of Chinese students’ speaking anxiety in UK universities.

Abstract

Pronunciation plays an indisputable role in communication; even more so in communication between native and non-native speakers of English. The goals for pronunciation teaching have shifted from accent-free or native-like pronunciation to comprehensibility and teaching practices aimed at non-native English learners vary and are often based on teachers’ opinions rather than research findings. The paper aims to present the current topics in twenty selected research papers dealing with pronunciation teaching (teaching practices in the English language classrooms, selected segmental and suprasegmental features). The analysed papers indicate that a teacher’s good theoretical background can raise students’ awareness and the overall performance of pronunciation phenomena, whether at the segmental or the suprasegmental level. Students may benefit from different strategies applied to pronunciation learning, but traditional teaching methods are still prevalent in the contemporary English language classroom.

The contribution presents partial results of the research project KEGA 001TTU-4/2019.