The Effect of Video Games on English as a Foreign Language Students' Language Learning Motivation
Researchers and teachers have begun developing digital games and model environments for educational purpose; therefore this study examines the effect of a videos game on secondary school students’ language learning motivation. Secondly, it tries to find out the opportunities to develop a decision making process and simultaneously it analyzes the solutions for further implementation in educational setting. Participants were 30 male students randomly assigned to one of the following three treatments: 10 students were assigned to read the game’s story; 10 students were players, who played video game; and, and the last 10 students acted as watchers and observers, their duty was to watch their classmates play the digital video game. A language learning motivation scale was developed and it was given to the participants as a pre- and post-test. Results indicated a significant language learning motivation and the participants were quite motivated in the end. It is, thus, concluded that the use of video games can help enhance high school students’ language learning motivation. It was suggested that video games should be used as a complementary activity not as a replacement for textbook since excessive use of video games can divert the original purpose of learning.
Term Creation in Specialized Fields: An Evaluation of Shona Phonetics and Phonology Terminology at Great Zimbabwe University
The paper evaluates Shona terms that were created to teach Phonetics and Phonology courses at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU). The phonetics and phonology terms to be discussed in this paper were created using different processes and strategies such as translation, borrowing, neologising, compounding, transliteration, circumlocution among many others. Most phonetics and phonology terms are alien to Shona and as a result, there are no suitable Shona equivalents. The lecturers and students for these courses have a mammoth task of creating terminology for the different modules offered in Shona and other Zimbabwean indigenous languages. Most linguistic reference books are written in English. As such, lecturers and students translate information from English to Shona, a measure which is proving to be too difficult for them. A term creation workshop was held at GZU to try to address the problem of lack of terminology in indigenous languages. Different indigenous language practitioners from different tertiary institutions convened for a two-day workshop at GZU. Due to the 'specialized' nature of phonetics and phonology, it was too difficult to come up with 'proper' indigenous terms. The researcher will consult tertiary institutions lecturers who teach linguistics courses and linguistics students to get their views on the created terms. The people consulted will not be the ones who took part in the term creation workshop held at GZU. The selected participants will be asked to evaluate and back-translate some of the terms. In instances where they feel the terms created are not suitable or user-friendly, they will be asked to suggest other terms. Since the researcher is also a linguistics lecturer, her observation and views will be important. From her experience in using some of the terms in teaching phonetics and phonology courses to undergraduate students, the researcher noted that most of the terms created have shortcomings since they are not user-friendly. These shortcomings include terms longer than the English terms as some terms are translated to Shona through a whole statement. Most of these terms are neologisms, compound neologisms, transliterations, circumlocutions, and blends. The paper will show that there is overuse of transliterated terms due to the lack of Shona equivalents for English terms. Most single English words were translated into compound neologisms or phrases after attempts to reduce them to one word terms failed. In other instances, circumlocution led to the problem of creating longer terms than the original and as a result, the terms are not user-friendly. The paper will discuss and evaluate the different phonetics and phonology terms created and the different strategies and processes used in creating them.
An Ideational Grammatical Metaphor of Narrative History in Chinua Achebe's 'There Was a Country'
This paper studied Ideational Grammatical Metaphor (IGM) of Narrative History in Chinua Achebe’s There Was a Country. It started with a narrative historical style as a recent genre out of the conventional historical writings. In order to explore the linguistic phenomenon using a particular lexico-grammatical tool of IGM, the theoretical background was examined based on Hallidayan Systemic Functional Linguistics. Furthermore, the study considered the possibility of applying IGM to the Part 4 of Achebe’s historical text with recourse to the concept of congruence in IGM and research questions before formulating a working methodology. The analysis of Achebe’s memoir was, thus, presented in tabular forms to account for the quantitative content analysis with qualitative research technique, as well as the metaphorical and congruent wording through nominalization and process types with samples. The frequencies and percentage were given appropriately with respect to each subheadings of the text. To this end, the findings showed that material and relational types indicated dominance. The discussion and implications were that the findings confirmed earlier study by MAK Halliday and C.I.M.I.M. Matthiessen’s suggestion that IGM should show dominance of material type process. The implication is that IGM can be an effective tool for the analysis of a narrative historical text. In conclusion, it was observed that IGM does not only carry grammatical function but also an ideological role in shaping the historical discourse within the narrative mode between writers and readers.
Analyzing Political Cartoons in Arabic-Language Media after Trump's Jerusalem Move: A Multimodal Discourse Perspective
Communication in the modern world is increasingly becoming multimodal due to globalization and the digital space we live in which have considerably impacted the way people communicate. Accordingly, Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA) is an emerging paradigm in discourse studies with the underlying assumption that other semiotic resources such as images, colors, scientific symbolism, gestures, actions, music, and sound, etc. combine with language in order to communicate meaning. One of the effective multimodal media that combines both verbal and non-verbal elements to create meaning is political cartoons. Furthermore, since political and social issues are mirrored in political cartoons, these are regarded as potential objects of discourse analysis since they not only reflect the thoughts of the public but they also have the power to influence them. The aim of this paper is to analyze some selected cartoons on the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by the American President, Donald Trump, adopting a multimodal approach. More specifically, the present research examines how the various semiotic resources employed by the cartoonists function in realizing the intended meaning. Ten political cartoons, among a surge of editorial cartoons highlighted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) - an international Jewish non-governmental organization based in the United States - as publications in different Arabic-language newspapers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Iran, and the UK, were purposively selected for semiotic analysis. These editorial cartoons, all published during 6th – 18th December 2017, invariably suggest one theme: Jewish and Israeli domination of the United States. The data were analyzed using the theory of Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA) as explained by Kress and van Leeuwen (2001). In accordance with this methodological framework, the selected visual compositions were analyzed in terms of three aspects of meaning: representational, interactive and compositional. In analyzing the selected cartoons, an interpretative approach is being adopted. Such an approach foregrounds depth over breadth and enables insightful analyses of the chosen cartoons. The findings of the study reveal that semiotic resources are key elements of political cartoons due to the inherent political communication they convey. It is proved that an adequate interpretation of the three aspects of meaning is a prerequisite for understanding the intended meaning of political cartoons. It is recommended that further research should be conducted to provide more insightful analyses of political cartoons from a multimodal perspective.
The Impact of Language Anxiety on EFL Learners' Proficiency: Case Study of University of Jeddah
Foreign language Anxiety has been found to be a key issue in learning English as foreign language in the classroom. This study investigated the impact of foreign language anxiety on Saudi EFL learners' proficiency in the classroom. A total of 197 respondents had participated in the study, comprising of 96 male and 101 female, who enrolled in preparatory year, first year, second year, and fourth year of English language department at the University of Jeddah. Two instruments were used to answer the study questions. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was used to identify the levels of foreign language (FL) anxiety for Saudi learners. Moreover, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test was used as an objective measure of the learners’ English language proficiency. The data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, t-test, one-way ANOVA, correlation, and regression analysis. The findings revealed that Saudi EFL learners' experience a level of anxiety in the classroom, and there is a significant differences between the course levels in their level of language anxiety. Moreover, it is also found that female students are less anxious in learning English as a foreign language than male students. The results show that foreign language anxiety and English proficiency are negatively related to each other. Furthermore, the study revealed that there were significant differences between Saudi learners in language use anxiety, while there were no significant differences in language class anxiety. The study suggested that teachers should employ a diversity of designed techniques to encourage the environment of the classroom in order to control learners’ FLA, which in turns will improve their EFL proficiency.
Analysing the Variables That Affect Digital Game-Based L2 Vocabulary Learning
Video games have been extensively employed in educational contexts to teach contents and skills, upon the premise that they engage students and provide instant feedback, which makes them adequate tools in the field of education and training. Term frequency, along with metacognition and implicit corrective feedback, has often been identified as powerful variables in the learning of vocabulary in a foreign language. This study analyses the learning of L2 mobile operating system terminology by a group of students and uses the data collected by the video game The Conference Interpreter to identify the predictive strength of term frequency (times a term is shown), positive metacognition (times a right answer is provided), and negative metacognition (times a term is shown as wrong) regarding L2 vocabulary learning and perceived learning outcomes. The regression analysis shows that the factor ‘positive metacognition’ is a positive predictor of both dependent variables, whereas the other factors seem to have no statistical effect on any of them.
Cultural Adjustment Problems in Academic and Social Life Experienced by Indonesian Postgraduate Students Studying in London
An increasing number of students from Indonesia study in universities in the UK. Because of the substantial cultural differences between the Western and Indonesian cultures, this study investigates the issues in academic and social life experienced by Indonesian postgraduate students, with a sample of 11 Indonesian postgraduate students (8 male, 3 female) studying in London during the cultural adjustment stage. This research made use of a semi-structured interview and was analyzed qualitatively using thematic content analysis to reveal key areas of concern in the academic setting, social life, and language-related issues. The findings confirm that the most challenging aspects experienced by the participants are the use of academic English in academic situations and the students’ lack of critical thinking. Nine out of 11 students agreed that they had
problems with writing essays during the cultural adjustment stage. Because of the collectivist culture in Indonesia, making friends with locals was the most concerning issue in the participants’ sociocultural adjustment, followed by difficulty in finding places to pray, looking for Halal food and using the Western toilet system The findings suggest recommendations that the students must be more aware of the cultural differences between Indonesian and Western cultures, including in the academic setting and social life. Also, the lecturers should pay more attention to their speech in the British accent which is sometimes difficult to understand.
Studying Second Language Development from a Complex Dynamic Systems Perspective
This paper discusses the application of complex dynamic system theory (DST) to the study of individual differences in second language development. This transdisciplinary framework allows researchers to view the trajectory of language development as a dynamic, non-linear process. A DST approach views language as multi-componential, consisting of multiple complex systems and nested layers. These multiple components and systems continuously interact and influence each other at both the macro- and micro-level. Dynamic systems theory aims to explain and describe the development of the language system, rather than make predictions about its trajectory. Such a holistic and ecological approach to second language development allows researchers to include various research methods from neurological, cognitive, and social perspectives. A DST perspective would involve in-depth analyses as well as mixed methods research. To illustrate, a neurobiological approach to second language development could include non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate areas of brain activation during language-related tasks. A cognitive framework would further include behavioural research methods to assess the influence of intelligence and personality traits, as well as individual differences in foreign language aptitude, such as phonetic coding ability and working memory capacity. Exploring second language development from a DST approach would also benefit from including perspectives from the field of applied linguistics, regarding the teaching context, second language input, and the role of affective factors such as motivation. In this way, applying mixed research methods from neurobiological, cognitive, and social approaches would enable researchers to have a more holistic view of the dynamic and complex processes of second language development.
The Audio-Visual and Syntactic Priming Effect on Specific Language Impairment and Gender in Modern Standard Arabic
This study aims at exploring if priming is affected by gender in Modern Standard Arabic and if it is restricted solely to subjects with no specific language impairment (SLI). The sample in this study consists of 74 subjects, between the ages of 11;1 and 11;10, distributed into (a) 2 SLI experimental groups of 38 subjects divided into two gender groups of 18 females and 20 males and (b) 2 non-SLI control groups of 36 subjects divided into two gender groups of 17 females and 19 males. Employing a mixed research design, the researcher conducted this study within the framework of the relevance theory (RT) whose main assumption is that human beings are endowed with a biological ability to magnify the relevance of the incoming stimuli. Each of the four groups was given two different priming stimuli: audio-visual priming (T1) and syntactic priming (T2). The results showed that the priming effect was sheer distinct among SLI participants especially when retrieving typical responses (TR) in T1 and T2 with slight superiority of males over females. The results also revealed that non-SLI females showed stronger original response (OR) priming in T1 than males and that non-SLI males in T2 excelled in OR priming than females. Furthermore, the results suggested that the audio-visual priming has a stronger effect on SLI females than non-SLI females and that syntactic priming seems to have the same effect on the two groups (non-SLI and SLI females). The conclusion is that the priming effect varies according to gender and is not confined merely to non-SLI subjects.
A Corpus Based Study of Eileen Chang’s Self-Translating Style: A Case Study on The Rice Sprout Song
Eileen Chang is a well-known writer of modern Chinese literature. She is also a translator that publishes her self-translation The Rice Sprout Song. The purpose of the study is to identify the style of Eileen Chang’s self-translations by corpora, especially in the case of The Rice Sprout Song. The Rice Sprout Song is first written in English and then translated into Chinese by the author herself. The procedure of translation is complicated due to the bilingual transition by the same person. Therefore, the aim of the study is to identify Eileen Chang’s style on her self-translation by comparing her works The Old Man and the Sea, The Rice Sprout Song, and The Rouge of The North. The study uses computer-aided software like AntConc, Notepad++, StanfordCoreNLP, and Python to analyze the style of the works, especially focuses on reduplications and the composition of the sentences. Reduplications are commonly seen in Eileen Chang’s works, and they often appear with colors or onomatopoeia. With these criteria, the style of self-translating can be detected and analyzed.
Multi-Dimensional Experience of Processing Textual and Visual Information: Case Study of Allocations to Places in the Mind’s Eye Based on Individual’s Semantic Knowledge Base
Whilst the relationship between scientific areas such as cognitive psychology, neurobiology and philosophy of mind has been emphasized in recent decades of scientific research, concepts and discoveries made in both fields overlap and complement each other in their quest for answers to similar questions. The object of the following case study is to describe, analyze and illustrate the nature and characteristics of a certain cognitive experience which appears to display features of synaesthesia, or rather high-level synaesthesia (ideasthesia). The following research has been conducted on the subject of two authors, monozygotic twins (both polysynaesthetes) experiencing involuntary associations of identical nature. Authors made attempts to identify which cognitive and conceptual dependencies may guide this experience. Operating on self-introduced nomenclature, the described phenomenon- multi-dimensional processing of textual and visual information- aims to define a relationship that involuntarily and immediately couples the content introduced by means of text or image a sensation of appearing in a certain place in the mind’s eye. More precisely: (I) defining a concept introduced by means of textual content during activity of reading or writing, or (II) defining a concept introduced by means of visual content during activity of looking at image(s) with simultaneous sensation of being allocated to a given place in the mind’s eye. A place can be then defined as a cognitive representation of a certain concept. During the activity of processing information, a person has an immediate and involuntary feel of appearing in a certain place themselves, just like a character of a story, ‘observing’ a venue or a scenery from one or more perspectives and angles. That forms a unique and unified experience, constituting a background mental landscape of text or image being looked at. We came to a conclusion that semantic allocations to a given place could be divided and classified into the categories and subcategories and are naturally linked with an individual’s semantic knowledge-base. A place can be defined as a representation one’s unique idea of a given concept that has been established in their semantic knowledge base. A multi-level structure of selectivity of places in the mind’s eye, as a reaction to a given information (one stimuli), draws comparisons to structures and patterns found in botany. Double-flowered varieties of flowers and a whorl system (arrangement) which is characteristic to components of some flower species were given as an illustrative example. A composition of petals that fan out from one single point and wrap around a stem inspired an idea that, just like in nature, in philosophy of mind there are patterns driven by the logic specific to a given phenomenon. The study intertwines terms perceived through the philosophical lens, such as definition of meaning, subjectivity of meaning, mental atmosphere of places, and others. Analysis of this rare experience aims to contribute to constantly developing theoretical framework of the philosophy of mind and influence the way human semantic knowledge base and processing given content in terms of distinguishing between information and meaning is researched.
Thai Cultural Conceptualizations that Underly Intercultural Business Communication Problems with Koreans
Nowadays, business settings are becoming increasingly multilingual and multicultural under the conditions of globalization. When people from different linguistic and cultural background interact, their divergent cultural conceptualizations may result in communicative problems. Even though intercultural business communication between Thais and South Koreans has become increasingly significant along with the development of international trade relations, there have been very few attempts to conduct research on interactional problems in that context. Based on a Cultural Linguistics perspective, this study analyzes Thai cultural conceptualizations that underly interactional problems with Koreans at Korean business organizations where were located in Thailand. The data was gathered through in-depth interviews with ten Korean and ten Thai employees as well as through six months of field observations. The results indicate that there are three cultural pragmatic schemas that underly problems of interaction between the two groups; (1) the schema of kreng-jai as a communicative strategy of withholding one’s intentions in order to not hurt another’s emotion, (2) the schema of mai-pen-rai as a linguistic strategy of inducing interlocutors to not be concerned about substantial matters so as to avoid confrontations, and (3) the schema of jai-yen as a linguistic expression used for persuading interlocutors to maintain a calm state of mind in order to avoid conflicts. The linguistic behaviors of Thai employees in relation to these three cultural schemas had led to misunderstandings and interpersonal conflicts with Korean supervisors and co-workers. These interactional problems were caused not only because Koreans were unfamiliar with Thai cultural conceptualizations, but also because these conceptualizations were incompatible with goal-oriented Korean business discourse. The findings of this study can enhance mutual understandings between Thai and Korean employees. Thus, it contributes to the promotion of smooth intercultural communication in the workplace.
The Facilitatory Effect of Phonological Priming on Visual Word Recognition in Arabic as a Function of Lexicality and Overlap Positions
An experiment was designed to assess the performance of 24 Lebanese adults (mean age 29:5 years) in a lexical decision making (LDM) task to find out how the facilitatory effect of phonological priming (PP) affects the speed of visual word recognition in Arabic as lexicality (wordhood) and phonological overlap positions (POP) vary. The experiment falls in line with previous research on phonological priming in the light of the cohort theory and in relation to visual word recognition. The experiment also departs from the research on the Arabic language in which the importance of the consonantal root as a distinct morphological unit is confirmed. Based on previous research, it is hypothesized that (1) PP has a facilitating effect in LDM with words but not with nonwords and (2) final phonological overlap between the prime and the target is more facilitatory than initial overlap. An LDM task was programmed on PsychoPy application. Participants had to decide if a target (e.g., bayn ‘between’) preceded by a prime (e.g., bayt ‘house’) is a word or not. There were 4 conditions: no PP (NP), nonwords priming nonwords (NN), nonwords priming words (NW), and words priming words (WW). The conditions were simultaneously controlled for word length, wordhood, and POP. The interstimulus interval was 700 ms. Within the PP conditions, POP was controlled for in which there were 3 overlap positions between the primes and the targets: initial (e.g., asad ‘lion’ and asaf ‘sorrow’), final (e.g., kattab ‘cause to write’ 2sg-mas and rattab ‘organize’ 2sg-mas), or two-segmented (e.g., namle ‘ant’ and naħle ‘bee’). There were 96 trials, 24 in each condition, using a within-subject design. The results show that concerning (1), the highest average reaction time (RT) is that in NN, followed firstly by NW and finally by WW. There is statistical significance only between the pairs NN-NW and NN-WW. Regarding (2), the shortest RT is that in the two-segmented overlap condition, followed by the final POP in the first place and the initial POP in the last place. The difference between the two-segmented and the initial overlap is significant, while other pairwise comparisons are not. Based on these results, PP emerges as a facilitatory phenomenon that is highly sensitive to lexicality and POP. While PP can have a facilitating effect under lexicality, it shows no facilitation in its absence, which intersects with several previous findings. Participants are found to be more sensitive to the final phonological overlap than the initial overlap, which also coincides with a body of earlier literature. The results contradict the cohort theory’s stress on the onset overlap position and, instead, give more weight to final overlap, and even heavier weight to the two-segmented one. In conclusion, this study confirms the facilitating effect of PP with words but not when stimuli (at least the primes and at most both the primes and targets) are nonwords. It also shows that the two-segmented priming is the most influential in LDM in Arabic.
Teaching Turn-Taking Rules and Pragmatic Principles to Empower EFL Students and Enhance Their Learning in Speaking Modules
Teaching and learning EFL speaking modules is one of the most challenging productive modules for both instructors and learners. In a student-centered interactive communicative language teaching approach, learners and instructors should be aware of the fact that the target language must be taught as/for communication. The student must be empowered by tools that will work on more than one level of their communicative competence. Communicative learning will need a teaching and learning methodology that will address the goal. Teaching turn-taking rules, pragmatic principles and speech acts will enhance students' sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence together with discourse competence. Sociolinguistic competence entails the mastering of speech act conventions and illocutionary acts of refusing, agreeing/disagreeing; emotive acts like, thanking, apologizing, inviting, offering; directives like, ordering, requesting, advising, and hinting, among others. Strategic competence includes enlightening students’ consciousness of the various particular turn-taking systemic rules of organizing techniques of opening and closing conversation, adjacency pairs, interrupting, back-channeling, asking for/giving opinion, agreeing/disagreeing, using natural fillers for pauses, gaps, speaker select, self-select, and silence among others. Students will have the tools to manage a conversation. Students are engaged in opportunities of experiencing the natural language not as a mere extra student talking time but rather an empowerment of knowing and using the strategies. They will have the component items they need to use as well as the opportunity to communicate in the target language using topics of their interest and choice. This enhances students' communicative abilities. Available websites and textbooks now use one or more of these tools of turn-taking or pragmatics. These will be students' support in self-study in their independent learning study hours. This will be their reinforcement practice on e-Learning interactive activities. The students' target is to be able to communicate the intended meaning to an addressee that is in turn able to infer that intended meaning. The combination of these tools will be assertive and encouraging to the student to beat the struggle with what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Teaching the rules, principles and techniques is an act of awareness raising method engaging students in activities that will lead to their pragmatic discourse competence. The aim of the paper is to show how the suggested pragmatic model will empower students with tools and systems that would support their learning. Supporting students with turn taking rules, speech act theory, applying both to texts and practical analysis and using it in speaking classes empowers students’ pragmatic discourse competence and assists them to understand language and its context. They become more spontaneous and ready to learn the discourse pragmatic dimension of the speaking techniques and suitable content. Students showed a better performance and a good motivation to learn. The model is therefore suggested for speaking modules in EFL classes.
Analyzing Apposition and the Typology of Specific Reference in Newspaper Discourse in Nigeria
The language of the print media is characterized by the use of apposition. This linguistic element function strategically in journalistic discourse where it is communicatively necessary to name individuals and provide information about them. Linguistic studies on the language of the print media with bias for apposition have largely dwelt on other areas but the examination of the typology of appositive reference in newspaper discourse. Yet, it is capable of revealing ways writers communicate and provide information necessary for readers to follow and understand the message. The study, therefore, analyses the patterns of appositional occurrences and the typology of reference in newspaper articles. The data were obtained from The Punch and Daily Trust Newspapers. A total of six editions of these newspapers were collected randomly spread over three months. News and feature articles were used in the analysis. Guided by the referential theory of meaning in discourse, the appositions identified were subjected to analysis. The findings show that the semantic relation of coreference and speaker coreference have the highest percentage and frequency of occurrence in the data. This is because the subject matter of news reports and feature articles focuses on humans and the events around them; as a result, readers need to be provided with some form of detail and background information in order to identify as well as follow the discourse. Also, the non-referential relation of absolute synonymy and speaker synonymy no doubt have fewer occurrences and percentages in the analysis. This is tied to a major feature of the language of the media: simplicity. The paper concludes that appositions is mainly used for the purpose of providing the reader with much detail. In this way, the writer transmits information which helps him not only to give detailed yet concise descriptions but also in some way help the reader to follow the discourse.
Poor Proficiency of English Language among Tertiary Level Students in Bangladesh and Its Effect on Employability: An Investigation to Find Fact and Solution
English is unanimously recognized as the standard second language in the world, and no one can deny this fact. Many people believe that possessing English proficiency skills is the key to communicating effectively globally, especially for developing countries, which can bring further success to itself on many fronts, as well as to other countries, by ensuring its people worldwide access to education, business, and technology. A notable number of students in Bangladesh are currently pursuing higher education, especially at the tertiary or collegiate level in more than 150 public and private universities. English is the dominant linguistic medium through which college instruction and lectures are given to students in Bangladesh. However, many of our students who had only completed their primary and secondary levels of education in the Bangla medium or language are generally in an awkward position to suddenly take and complete many unfamiliar requirements by the time they enter the university as freshmen. As students, they struggle to complete at least 18 courses to acquire proficiency in English. After obtaining a tertiary education certificate, the students could then have the opportunity to acquire a sustainable position in the job market industry; however, many of them do fail unfortunately, because of poor English proficiency skills. After statistical analysis, the study suggested certain remedial measures that could be taken in order to increase students’ proficiency in English as well as to ensure their employability potential.
A Conundrum of Teachability and Learnability of Deaf Adult English as Second Language Learners in Pakistani Mainstream Classrooms: Integration or Elimination
Teaching a second language to deaf learners has always been a challenge in Pakistan. Different approaches and strategies have been followed, but they have been resulted into partial or complete failure. The study aims to investigate the language problems faced by adult deaf learners of English as second language in mainstream classrooms. Moreover, the study also determines the factors which are very much involved in language teaching and learning in mainstream classes. To investigate the language problems, data will be collected through writing samples of ten deaf adult learners and ten normal ESL learners of the same class; whereas, observation in inclusive language teaching classrooms and interviews from five ESL teachers in inclusive classes will be conducted to know the factors which are directly or indirectly involved in inclusive language education. Keeping in view this study, qualitative research paradigm will be applied to analyse the corpus. The study figures out that deaf ESL learners face severe language issues such as; odd sentence structures, subject and verb agreement violation, misappropriation of verb forms and tenses as compared to normal ESL learners. The study also predicts that in mainstream classrooms there are multiple factors which are affecting the smoothness of teaching and learning procedure; role of mediator, level of deaf learners, empathy of normal learners towards deaf learners and language teacher’s training.
Composite Kernels for Public Emotion Recognition from Twitter
The Internet has grown into a powerful medium for information dispersion and social interaction that leads to a rapid growth of social media which allows users to easily post their emotions and perspectives regarding certain topics online. Our research aims at using natural language processing and text mining techniques to explore the public emotions expressed on Twitter by analyzing the sentiment behind tweets. In this paper, we propose a composite kernel method that integrates tree kernel with the linear kernel to simultaneously exploit both the tree representation and the distributed emotion keyword representation to analyze the syntactic and content information in tweets. The experiment results demonstrate that our method can effectively detect public emotion of tweets while outperforming the other compared methods.
The Influence of Educational Board Games on Chinese Learning Motivation and Flow Experience
Flow theory implies that people are persuaded by happiness. By focusing on an activity, people turn a blind eye to external factors. This study explores the influence of educational board games and fundamental Chinese language teaching on students’ learning motivation and flow experience. Fifty-three students studying Chinese language fundamental courses were used in the study. These students were divided into three groups: (1) flash card teaching group; (2) educational original board game teaching group; and (3) educational Chinese board game teaching group. Chinese language teaching was integrated with the educational board game titled ‘Transportation GO.’ The students were observed playing this game as the teacher collected quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data was collected from the learning motivation scale and flow experience scale. Qualitative data was collected through observing, recording, and visiting. The first result found that the three groups integrated with Chinese language teaching could maintain students’ high learning motivation and high flow experience. Second, there was no significant difference between the flow experience of the flash card group and the educational original board game group. Third, there was a significant difference in the flow experience and learning motivation of the educational Chinese board game group vs. the other groups. This study suggests that the experimental model can be applied to advanced Chinese language teaching. Apart from oral and literacy skills, the study of educational board games integrated with Chinese language teaching to enforce student writing skills will be continued.
Using Synonymy in Translation of Hemingway’s 'A Farewell to Arms' from English into Albanian
The English word-stock is extremely rich in synonyms which can be largely accounted for by the abundant borrowing. Translation problems encountered by translators in general are usually ‘transfer problems’. They face more difficulties in the interpretation of meaning from the source language text than lexical differences between languages. The aim of the study is to inspect the various strategies used in translating from English into Albanian specific words in the ‘A Farwell to arms’ novel. For this purpose, examples translated from English into Albanian were examined. The Albanian equivalents have shown that various strategies were used in order to overcome the problem of rendering words and expressions into the target language. Employed strategies were synonymy, modulation, transposition, calque and word for word translation. In addition, this paper shows that the strategy of translating using synonymy is mostly used. In this paper, an attempt is made to examine the nature of contextual synonymy in order to investigate its problematic nature regarding translation. Types of synonymy are analyzed and then examples from English and Albanian versions are provided to examine the overlap between them.
The Mayan Calendar: An Ideology Laden and Worldview Changing Discourse
This research examines the discourse ancient Maya ritual practice manifest and maintained through language in a contemporary society as led by a daykeeper— a Maya spiritual leader— with the objective of discovering if the Maya Calendar has an influence on worldview. Through an ethnography of communication and discursive analysis framework, this research examines the discourse of and around the Maya calendar through original research. Data collected includes the ceremonial performance of the Tzolkin ritual, a ritual that takes place every 13 days to ceremonially welcome one of the 20 Universal Forces. During the ceremony, participants supplicate, sacrifice, and venerate. This ritual, based off the Tzolkin cycle in the Mayan Calendar, contains strong, culture-binding ideologies. This research performs a close analysis of the 20 energies of the Tzolkin and their glyphs so as to gain a better understanding of current ideologies in Maya communities. Through a linguistic relativity frame of reference, including both the strong and weak versions, the 20 Universal Forces are shown to influence ways of life. This research argues that it is not just the native language, but the discourses native to the community as held through the calendar, influence thought and have the potential to offer an alternate worldview, thus shaping the cultural narrative which in return influences identity of the community. Research of this kind, on calendric systems and linguistic relativity, has the power to make great discoveries about the societies of the world and their worldviews.
An Exploration of The Patterns of Transcendence in Indian and Hopkins’s Aesthetics
In G. M. Hopkins’s poetics and aesthetics there is scope for a comparative study with Indian discourses on aesthetics, an area not adequately explored so far. This exploration will enrich the field of comparative study of diverse cultural expressions and their areas of similarity. A comparative study of aesthetic and religious experiences in diverse cultures will open up avenues for the discovery of similarities in self-experiences and their transcendence. Such explorations will reveal similar patterns in aesthetic and religious experiences. The present paper intends to prove this in the theories of Hopkins and Indian aesthetics. From the time of the Vedas Indian sages have believed that aesthetic enjoyment could develop into a spiritual realm. From the Natyasastra of Bharata, Indian aesthetics develops and reaches its culmination in later centuries into a consciousness of union with the mystery of the Ultimate Being, especially in Dhvanaāloka of Anandavardhana and Locana of Abhinavagupta. Dhvanyaloka elaborates the original ideas of rasa (mood or flavor) and dhvani (power of suggestion) in Indian literary theory and aesthetics. Hopkins was successful, like the ancient Indian alankarikas, in creating aesthetically superb patterns at various levels of sound and sense for which he coined the term ‘inscape’. So Hopkins’s aesthetic theory becomes suitable for transcultural comparative study with Indian aesthetics especially the dhvani theories of Anandavardhana and Abhinavagupta. Hopkins’s innovative approach to poetics and his selection of themes are quite suitable for analysis in the light of Indian literary theories. Indian philosophy views the ultimate reality called Brahman, as the 'soul,' or inner essence, of all reality. We see in Hopkins also a search for the essence of things and the chiming of their individuality with the Ultimate Being in multidimensional patterns of sound, sense and ecstatic experience. This search culminates in the realization of a synthesis of the individual self with the Ultimate Being. This is achieved through an act of surrender of the individuality of the self before the Supreme Being. Attempts to reconcile the immanent and transcendent aspects of the Ultimate Being can be traced in the Indian as well as Hopkins’s aesthetics which can contribute to greater understanding and harmony between cultures.
Mood Choices and Modality Patterns in Donald Trump’s Inaugural Presidential Speech
The controversies that trailed the political campaign and eventual choice of Donald Trump as the American president is so great that expectations are high as to what the content of his inaugural speech will portray. Given the fact that language is a dynamic vehicle of expressing intentions, the speech needs to be objectively assessed so as to access its content in the manner intended through the three strands of meaning postulated by the Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG): the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual. The focus of this paper, however, is on the interpersonal meaning which deals with how language exhibits social roles and relationship. This paper, therefore, attempts to analyse President Donald Trump’s inaugural speech to elicit interpersonal meaning in it. The analysis is done from the perspective of mood and modality which are housed in SFG. Results of the mood choice which is basically declarative, reveal an information-centered speech while the high option for the modal verb operator ‘will’ shows president Donald Trump’s ability to establish an equal and reliant relationship with his audience, i.e., the Americans. In conclusion, the appeal of the speech to different levels of Interpersonal meaning is largely responsible for its overall effectiveness. One can, therefore, understand the reason for the massive reaction it generates at the center of global discourse.
Weighted-Distance Sliding Windows and Cooccurrence Graphs for Supporting Entity-Relationship Discovery in Unstructured Text
The problem of Entity relation discovery in structured
data, a well covered topic in literature, consists in searching within
unstructured sources (typically, text) in order to find connections
among entities. These can be a whole dictionary, or a specific
collection of named items. In many cases machine learning and/or
text mining techniques are used for this goal. These approaches
might be unfeasible in computationally challenging problems, such
as processing massive data streams. A faster approach consists in collecting the cooccurrences of any
two words (entities) in order to create a graph of relations - a
cooccurrence graph. Indeed each cooccurrence highlights some grade
of semantic correlation between the words because it is more common
to have related words close each other than having them in the
opposite sides of the text. Some authors have used sliding windows for such problem: they
count all the occurrences within a sliding windows running over the
whole text. In this paper we generalise such technique, coming up
to a Weighted-Distance Sliding Window, where each occurrence of
two named items within the window is accounted with a weight
depending on the distance between items: a closer distance implies
a stronger evidence of a relationship. We develop an experiment in
order to support this intuition, by applying this technique to a data
set consisting in the text of the Bible, split into verses.
Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs about Diagnostic Language Assessment Practices in a Large-Scale Assessment Program
In Australia, like other parts of the world, the debate on how to enhance teachers using assessment data to inform teaching and learning of English as an Additional Language (EAL, Australia) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL, United States) have occupied the centre of academic scholarship. Traditionally, this approach was conceptualised as ‘Formative Assessment’ and, in recent times, ‘Assessment for Learning (AfL)’. The central problem is that teacher-made tests are limited in providing data that can inform teaching and learning due to variability of classroom assessments, which are hindered by teachers’ characteristics and assessment literacy. To address this concern, scholars in language education and testing have proposed a uniformed large-scale computer-based assessment program to meet the needs of teachers and promote AfL in language education. In Australia, for instance, the Victoria state government commissioned a large-scale project called 'Tools to Enhance Assessment Literacy (TEAL) for Teachers of English as an additional language'. As part of the TEAL project, a tool called ‘Reading and Vocabulary assessment for English as an Additional Language (RVEAL)’, as a diagnostic language assessment (DLA), was developed by language experts at the University of New South Wales for teachers in Victorian schools to guide EAL pedagogy in the classroom. Therefore, this study aims to provide qualitative evidence for understanding beliefs about the diagnostic language assessment (DLA) among EAL teachers in primary and secondary schools in Victoria, Australia. To realize this goal, this study raises the following questions: (a) How do teachers use large-scale assessment data for diagnostic purposes? (b) What skills do language teachers think are necessary for using assessment data for instruction in the classroom? and (c) What factors, if any, contribute to teachers’ beliefs about diagnostic assessment in a large-scale assessment? Semi-structured interview method was used to collect data from at least 15 professional teachers who were selected through a purposeful sampling. The findings from the resulting data analysis (thematic analysis) provide an understanding of teachers’ beliefs about DLA in a classroom context and identify how these beliefs are crystallised in language teachers. The discussion shows how the findings can be used to inform professional development processes for language teachers as well as informing important factor of teacher cognition in the pedagogic processes of language assessment. This, hopefully, will help test developers and testing organisations to align the outcome of this study with their test development processes to design assessment that can enhance AfL in language education.
The Markers -mm and dämmo in Amharic: Developmental Approach
Languages provide speakers with a wide range of linguistic units to organize and deliver information. There are several ways to verbally express the mental representations of events. According to the linguistic tools they have acquired, speakers select the one that brings out the most communicative effect to convey their message. Our study focuses on two markers, -mm and dämmo, in Amharic (Ethiopian Semitic language). Our aim is to examine, from a developmental perspective, how they are used by speakers. We seek to distinguish the communicative and pragmatic functions indicated by means of these markers. To do so, we created a corpus of sixty narrative productions of children from 5-6, 7-8 to 10-12 years old and adult Amharic speakers. The experimental material we used to collect our data is a series of pictures without text 'Frog, Where are you?'. Although -mm and dämmo are each used in specific contexts, they are sometimes analyzed as being interchangeable. The suffix -mm is complex and multifunctional. It marks the end of the negative verbal structure, it is found in the relative structure of the imperfect, it creates new words such as adverbials or pronouns, it also serves to coordinate words, sentences and to mark the link between macro-propositions within a larger textual unit. -mm was analyzed as marker of insistence, topic shift marker, element of concatenation, contrastive focus marker, 'bisyndetic' coordinator. On the other hand, dämmo has limited function and did not attract the attention of many authors. The only approach we could find analyzes it in terms of 'monosyndetic' coordinator. The paralleling of these two elements made it possible to understand their distinctive functions and refine their description. When it comes to marking a referent, the choice of -mm or dämmo is not neutral, depending on whether the tagged argument is newly introduced, maintained, promoted or reintroduced. The presence of these morphemes explains the inter-phrastic link. The information is seized by anaphora or presupposition: -mm goes upstream while dämmo arrows downstream, the latter requires new information. The speaker uses -mm or dämmo according to what he assumes to be known to his interlocutors. The results show that -mm and dämmo, although all the speakers use them both, do not always have the same scope according to the speaker and vary according to the age. dämmo is mainly used to mark a contrastive topic to signal the concomitance of events. It is more commonly used in young children’s narratives (F(3,56) = 3,82, p < .01). Some values of -mm (additive) are acquired very early while others are rather late and increase with age (F(3,56) = 3,2, p < .03). The difficulty is due not only because of its synthetic structure but primarily because it is multi-purpose and requires a memory work. It highlights the constituent on which it operates to clarify how the message should be interpreted.
Stereotypes in Perception of Otherness in Balkans Literature from the Last Part of 20ᵗʰ Century
The article is focused on a problem that tends to be extremely characteristic and essential to European literature – the relations between the Balkan Peninsula and Europe and the stereotypes the Balkans evoke – a melting pot, a powder keg, a bridge, a crossroads, along with other negative definitions. The stereotypes and visions are examined as the layered images of a particular nation. The work deals with the Balkan writers’ way of confronting stereotypes by reversing the image of the ‘dark’ Balkans and the ‘bright’ Europe and thus establishing the Balkans as a place of beauty, music, and poetry. In many aspects, the European image of the Balkans (the so-called Balkanism) is comparable to the European attitude to the Orient (the so-called Orientalism). On the basis of the analysis of specific texts by Balkan authors, the article proves that the identity of the person of the late 20th and early 21st century is something individual and much more complicated than a patriotic self-definition because the identity of the contemporary person is multilayered. It is not flattering to be a bridge, a crossroads or a corner. However, a person is a creature of transition. Our idea demonstrates that the state of transition always brings both weakness and strength – it is the Balkans that connect Europe to the world.
Interpreting Ecclesiastical Heritage: Meaning Making and Contentious Conversations
In our post-Christian societies, ecclesiastical heritage acquired a new extrovert profile aiming to reach out an increasingly diverse audience. In this context, the various motivations, interests, personalities and cultural exchanges, found in the ‘post-modern pilgrimage’, bequeath a hybrid and multidimensional character to religious tourism education. In consequence, churches have acquired the challenging role of enriching visitors cultural and spiritual capital. Despite this promising diversification to relate, reveal and provoke constructive discourses, due to the various ‘conflicting interests’, practitioners attempt to tame the rich in symbolism and meanings religious environment through ‘neutral interpretations’. This paper aims to present the results of an ongoing developing strategy related to the presentation of contentious meanings in English churches. The paper will explore some of the underlying issues related to the capacity of ‘neutrality’ to spark, downplay or eliminate contentious conversations relating to the cultural, religious, and social dimension of Christian cultural heritage thematology. In an effort to understand this issue, the paper examines the concept of neutrality and what it stands for, executing a discourse analysis in the semantic context in which the theological lexicon is interwoven with the cultural and social meanings of sacred sites. Following that, the paper examines whether the preferable interpretive strategies meet the post-modern interpretative framework which is marked by polysemy and critical active engagement. The ultimate aim of the paper is to investigate the hypothesis that the preferable neutral strategies, managing the ‘conflicting’ demands of worshippers and visitors, result in the uneven treatment of both, the religious and historical spirit of the place.
Competition between Verb-Based Implicit Causality and Theme Structure's Influence on Anaphora Bias in Mandarin Chinese Sentences: Evidence from Corpus
Linguists, as well as psychologists, have shown great interests in implicit causality in reference processing. However, most frequently-used approaches to this issue are psychological experiments (such as eye tracking or self-paced reading, etc.). This research is a corpus-based one and is assisted with statistical tool – software R. The main focus of the present study is about the competition between verb-based implicit causality and theme structure’s influence on anaphora bias in Mandarin Chinese sentences. In Accessibility Theory, it is believed that salience, which is also known as accessibility, and relevance are two important factors in reference processing. Theme structure, which is a special syntactic structure in Chinese, determines the salience of an antecedent on the syntactic level while verb-based implicit causality is a key factor to the relevance between antecedent and anaphora. Therefore, it is a study about anaphora, combining psychology with linguistics. With analysis of the sentences from corpus as well as the statistical analysis of Multinomial Logistic Regression, major findings of the present study are as follows: 1. When the sentence is stated in a ‘cause-effect’ structure, the theme structure will always be the antecedent no matter forward biased verbs or backward biased verbs co-occur; in non-theme structure, the anaphora bias will tend to be the opposite of the verb bias; 2. When the sentence is stated in a ‘effect-cause’ structure, theme structure will not always be the antecedent and the influence of verb-based implicit causality will outweigh that of theme structure; moreover, the anaphora bias will be the same with the bias of verbs. All the results indicate that implicit causality functions conditionally and the noun in theme structure will not be the high-salience antecedent under any circumstances.
Using Genre Analysis to Teach Contract Negotiation Discourse Practices
Contract negotiation is fundamental to commercial law practice. For this study, genre and discourse analytical methodology was used to examine the legal negotiation of a Merger & Acquisition (M&A) deal undertaken by legal and business professionals in English across different jurisdictions in Europe. While some of the most delicate negotiations involved in this process were carried on face-to-face or over the telephone, these were generally progressed more systematically – and on the record – in the form of emails, email attachments, and as comments and amendments recorded in successive ‘marked-up’ versions of the contracts under negotiation. This large corpus of textual data was originally obtained by the author, in 2012, for the purpose of doctoral research. For this study, the analysis is particularly concerned with the use of emails and covering letters to exchange legal advice about the negotiations. These two genres help to stabilize and progress the negotiation process and account for negotiation activities. Swalesian analysis of functional Moves and Steps was able to identify structural similarities and differences between these text types and to identify certain salient discursive features within them. The analytical findings also indicate how particular linguistic strategies are more appropriately and more effectively associated with one legal genre rather than another. The concept of intertextuality is an important dimension of contract negotiation discourse and this study also examined how the discursive relationships between the different texts influence the way that texts are constructed. In terms of materials development, the research findings can contribute to more authentic English for Legal & Business Purposes pedagogies for students and novice lawyers and business professionals. The findings can first be used to design discursive maps that provide learners with a coherent account of the intertextual nature of the contract negotiation process. These discursive maps can then function as a framework in which to present detailed findings about the textual and structural features of the text types by applying the Swalesian genre analysis. Based on this acquired knowledge of the textual nature of contract negotiation, the authentic discourse materials can then be used to provide learners with practical opportunities to role-play negotiation activities and experience professional ways of thinking and using language in preparation for the written discourse challenges they will face in this important area of legal and business practice.