July 2011 - Volume 5 issue 3 - Pages 1-147
Papers in this issue
Miguel Fernández ÁlVAREZ, Chicago State University, Illinois, USA
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 1 - 12
Including speaking tasks in the foreign language paper of the Spanish University Entrance Examination (PAU) has been inexistent in the last 15 years. However, the implications can be seen in shape of pressure on teachers to get students ready for such tasks in just three years (2009-2012). Because of the high stakes consequences attached to this exam in combination with a previous lack of training and a specific speaking development, scores in the first year may be challenged and thus, the tests great impact on the students fate and the instruction and educational experiences of PAU, magnified. The implication of such change in methods and teaching technique requires a common consensus between the educational authorities and teachers (apart from considering other stakeholders such as schools, students, and so on). This paper addresses a short study done in the Universidad de Alcala (Madrid, Spain) with 67 teachers responding to a 10 item questionnaire about which and how to introduce the oral tasks for the test. Results include types of tasks and previous preparation.
KEYWORDS: Oral Tasks; Erasmus Program; Teachers' Opinions; Spanish; University Entrance; Stakeholders; PAU
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 13 - 26
The paper explores the interaction of the perfective-imperfective aspectual contrasts with the telic-atelic distinction in American Russian (AR), a reduced variety of Russian spoken in the US by bilingual immigrants who initially acquired Russian as an L1 but subsequently replaced it with English as their primary language. This work combines qualitative and quantitative methods in order to examine aspectual restructuring in spontaneous AR production data and to measure aspectual variation at the VP-level experimentally, focusing on the correlation between the occurrence of verbal aspectual morphology and the telicity of a VP. Experimental data are presented on the distribution of perfective and imperfective forms with predicates denoting activities and accomplishments, which are found to exhibit aspectual variation at the VP-level, suggesting that the interaction of (im)perfectivity and (a)telicity in AR extends beyond the level of verbal lexical aspect, or the inherent properties of verbal roots.
KEYWORDS: Aspect; Perfective; Imperfective; Telicity; Attrition; Heritage language; Russian
Yu-Cheng LEE, Fudan University, China
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 27 - 44
The politeness issue has received much attention in China in recent years. In regard to Chinese learners of English, however, there is still a large gap between politeness displayed and what is felt in western cultures as politeness appropriate. This leads to the unfortunate labeling of Chinese learners of English as “impolite.” While the author does not feel this is necessarily so, the fact remains that language production by Chinese learners and the language expectations by native English speakers show great gaps. This article attempts to identify the factors which affect Chinese English learners’ perceptions of degree of politeness needed in differing situations, and also to study these learners’ perceptions of how much politeness is shown by differing request strategies. After comparing these results with native English speakers, discrepancies between the two groups are analyzed, and an explanation is ventured.
KEYWORDS: Politeness; Cultural Differences; Cognitive Linguistics; Request Strategies; power and imposition
Development and application of an instrument to find out the linguistic background of employees in MNCs
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 45 - 74
Increased linguistic diversity can lead to an increase in language contact, which may further lead to language conflict as well as other related conflicts like regionalism inside any large organization, say a Multinational Corporation (MNC). To avoid such conflicts, multinational corporations need to think in a proactive way: they should have a database that tells them the nature of linguistic diversity that characterizes them. The present methods of finding the linguistic background of people seem unsuitable for application inside a business organization. An effective and easy instrument to help the MNCs find the linguistic background of their employees thus becomes a necessity. This paper analyzes the present ways of finding the linguistic background of people applied under different fields of study, and examines their applicability in business organizations. The aim of the paper is to develop an effective and easy instrument, using which a MNC can find the linguistic background of its employees. The applicability and usability of the instrument is checked by measuring the effect of linguistic background on group cohesion. The results are analysed and improvements in the instrument are suggested.
KEYWORDS: Linguistic Diversity; Linguistic Background Scale; Multinational Corporations; Group Cohesion; Linguistic Background
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 75 - 98
Abstracts are largely based on rhetorical activity that involves interactions between writers and readers. Although abstracts, belonging to the scientific scenario, as texts, are not necessarily more objective than others, they are simply more effective in hiding subjectivity linguistically (Bhatia, 1993, 1997). The aim of the present research paper is to investigate the way authors assert and present their results to their peers. Data for the present research paper were drawn from a corpus made up of 1,035 abstracts through a corpus-based analysis. Focus was on recurrent sets of constructions and on specific words defined in the study as research process words. The comparative distributional frequencies were the basis for assessing the pragmatic and the rhetorical role played by these words. The overall purpose was to test the hypothesis that the existence of recurrent expressions related to genre specificity and to the language itself.
KEYWORDS: Corpus-based studies; Text analysis; Corpus Assisted discourse studies; Evaluation; Genre analysis
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 99 - 110
Many Saudi pre-medical students have difficulty understanding lectures in specialized courses such as biology, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology. To help students fill the gaps in their background knowledge, class lectures can be supplemented by online videos in medical courses. This paper aims to show the advantages of integrating online videos, give samples of websites where online medical videos can be downloaded, describe criteria for selecting videos, show how online videos can be integrated in medical courses, outline skills that can be developed through supplementary online videos, types of tasks that can be designed based on the online videos selected, and present a scheme for phases of teaching and learning with online videos. In the end, it will describe the process of evaluation and assessment of instruction with online videos.
KEYWORDS: Medical Terminology; Online Videos; EFL Students; Listening Comprehension; Reading Comprehension; ESP
Nafiseh KHAKBAZ, University of Tehran, Kish International Campus, Iran
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 111 - 132
The current study aimed at finding the probable differences between the move structure of Iranian MA graduates’ thesis discussion subgenres and those of their non-Iranian counterparts, on the one hand, and those of journal paper authors, on the other. It also aimed at identifying the moves that are considered obligatory, conventional, or optional by Iranian MA graduates. 46 (N = 46) masters thesis ‘discussion’ sections taken randomly from a pool of 93 discussions written in English by Iranian EFL students comprised the corpus for this study. The AntMover software as well as two human coders identified and coded the moves found in the corpus. The resulting move frequencies were compared to those of Rasmeenin’s (2006) study as well as Yang and Allison’s (2003) framework using a set of Mann-Whitney U tests as well as One-Sample t-Tests. Results indicated that there is a significant difference in the move frequency of the discussion sub-genre of MA theses written by Iranian versus non-Iranian EFL students. There was also a significant difference in the move frequency of the discussion sub-genre of MA theses written by Iranian EFL students and the discussion sub-genre of journal papers published in internationally recognized applied-linguistic journals. Obligatory, conventional, and optional moves were also identified. It was concluded that academic writing teachers need to focus on move structures and make their students move-sensitive.
KEYWORDS: Genre Analysis; Move Analysis; Rhetoric; Writing; Thesis; Discussions Structure
Mohammad Ali SALMANI NODOUSHAN, Iran Encyclopedia Compiling Foundation, Iran
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 133 - 142
With the rising concerns over the fairness of language tests, Differential Item Functioning (DIF) has been increasingly applied in bias analysis. Despite it widespread use in psychometric circles, however, DIF is facing a number of serious problems. This paper is an attempt to shed some light on a number of the issues involved in DIF analysis. Specifically, the paper is focused on four problems: the inter-method indeterminacy, the intra-method indeterminacy, the ad hoc interpretations, and the impact of DIF on validity. In order to orient the reader, the paper also provides a brief introduction the fundamental concepts in DIF analysis.
KEYWORDS: Bias; Indeterminacy; Ad Hoc Interpretations; Fairness; Validity; DIF
Volume 5 issue 3 - July 2011 - pp. 143 - 147