‘The theme of the Marginalized in the play On a Muggy Night in Mumbai by Mahesh Dattani’ by Rahul Panchal

Abstract:

The prominent playwrights of Indian writing in English; Mahesh Dattani occupies a unique place for bringing out real life problems on the stage. Mostly Homosexuality is considered as a taboo in the Indian society and considered to be a major problem that threatens the fabric of our society. His play On a Muggy Night in Mumbai deals with the issue of Homosexuality. It  explores Dattani’s the theme of the homosexuals community as the marginalized from Indian society with a particular focus on two parallel themes in the play – the critique of heterosexuality, and the need to remain true to one’s sexual orientation. The social exclusion faced by these sexually marginalized communities gives rise to their identity crisis. The afflictions of these homosexuals often remain invisible to the public. Mahesh Dattani in his play On a Muggy Night in Mumbai projects a vivid picture of the lives of the homosexuals. The themes of taboo relationship and homosexuality are the central motives of the plays.

Index Terms: Marginalized, taboo relationship, Homosexuality, society.

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‘Role of Sub-skill approach to Enhance Listening: A study in the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka ESL Classrooms’ by Dr M Saravanapava Iyer

Abstract

Many language scholars claim that mastering listening skill is primary to acquire and learn other basic language skills: speaking, reading and writing. In order to teach and improve listening and understanding ability, there are various approaches available in the English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching field at present; among these, two approaches are most popularly adopted by the language teachers currently: (1) sub-skills and (2) extensive approaches. In most of the ESL teaching situations, sub-skills approach is implemented by the teachers for two important reasons: (1) this approach provides a clear guidance to the teacher what to teach in ESL classrooms and (2) learners also undoubtedly know what to learn during the learning process. In this study, I attempted to find out whether this approach was really beneficial to the Tamil medium ESL Faculty of Arts learners to improve their listening ability in the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. By employing qualitative method for a period of three months (one semester) I conducted an investigation and finally found that sub-skills approach is more appropriate in this situation. However, I never attempt to claim that other approaches are not beneficial to enhance listening comprehension ability. The main aim of this investigation is providing pedagogical suggestions for the ESL listening teachers by demonstrating how to implement skill-based approach successfully. It is very important to note that I never claim that skill based approach is the best one in the field; but after providing training by this approach learners can be trained by whole language approach or any other suitable one according to the context and learners’ ability.

Index Terms: ESL, sub-skill approach

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‘The Analysis of Impoliteness in Family Discourse: Verbal Interactions between Irreconcilable Iranian Couples’ by Mohsen Jannejad, Anahita Bordbar, Ali Bardidieh & Reza Banari

Abstract

This study attempted to analyze impoliteness in family discourse in verbal interactions between irreconcilablecouples in Ahvaz, Iran. Therefore, a corpus of 300 minutes of the couples’ conversations, which was provided by Family research center, was recorded, transcribed and analyzed. The couples were asked to put their controversial problems into discussion. The theoretical framework in this study was Impoliteness Model by Culpeper (1996) based on Brown & Levinson Politeness Strategies (1987). This study was a descriptive analytic one and data analysis was based on qualitative as well as quantitative factors. The results showed women insult themselves twice more compared to their husbands and insult their spouses 5 times more, while men’s insults were directed at their wives’ family 2.3 times more compared to the other way around. But on the whole, women used impoliteness twice as much as men did. It was hypothesized that men used impoliteness more than women did. But the findings revealed that out of 175 impoliteness examples, 93 cases were utilized by women and 82 ones by men. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the findings of this study were contrary to expectations in that they depicted that although women, in order to save their face, were normally more conservative in verbal communication in different contexts in society and thus appeared politer than men, they tended to be more impolite in family discourse. It indicated that women were less concerned about their face in family conversations in comparison with other contexts.

Index Terms: descriptive-analytic, family discourse, impoliteness model, politeness

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‘Materials to Develop Microskills and Macroskills: Are There Any Principles?’ by Mohammad Reza Mozayan

Abstract

This paper introduces the concepts of microskills and macroskills mostly used in materials development and language teaching, the former being a set of subskills or enabling skills or part skills delineating skills at the sentence level and the latter designating skills at the discourse level comprising listening, speaking, reading and writing. The paper holds that this formulation is actually essential to determine in details the kind of things our learners need to learn and perform. However, pointing out that these skills cannot be pigeon-holed in a clear-cut atomistic way, it later attempts to address the principles mostly inspired from SLA as well as teaching and learning theories which are needed to be taken into consideration while developing materials. It, moreover, asserts that in the case of deficiencies in the curriculum, it is also the competent and qualified teachers who can often compensate for the materials they utilize in their teaching.

Index Terms: microskills, macroskills, principles, SLA theory.

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‘University Undergraduates’ Functional Language Learning for Sustainable Development: A Shift to English for Specific Purposes’ by Umera-Okeke, Nneka P.

Abstract

The current issue of language teaching is for functional literacy. One of the effects of the growing importance of global English in professional contexts has been the rise of ESP teaching at all levels. Gueye (1990) argues that in developing countries all over the world, ESP teaching through English for development purposes should encourage students to understand their roles in the educational and social development of their nations, so the need for a more specialized foreign language teaching has expanded. What is therefore hypothesized in this paper is that the amount of contribution university graduates may make to local and global educational, social and economic development through their scientific knowledge and academic development will be limited unless radical changes are made in their foreign language training programme. This is because every field of study has its own terminology and requires cognitive skills peculiar to it. This can be achieved through English for specific purposes (ESP) as a modern trend in English Language Teaching. This paper therefore examined the relationship between language and sustainable development, and the concept of ESP. This paper postulated that the goal of English for Specific Purposes is not primarily the teaching of a subject in English as a foreign language, but rather to teach English with a specific content which is normally mixed with general topics. To reach that goal, it was suggested that ways should be paved and trainings organized for English as a Second/Foreign Language teachers to be able to undertake the task of impacting functional language training for sustainable development.

Index Terms: ESP, Functional English

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‘Strategies for Language learning through skill based approach for Engineering Courses’ by N. Hema & K. K. Tamilarasan

Abstract

Engineering education requires an applicative rather than mere absorption of facts and information. Processing and reprocessing of facts intensify learning that enables better understanding which leads to the ability of application through innovation and creativity. Language serves as a conduit in the above process of engineering learning. This paper speaks about a skill based inclusive approach of theoretical and practical aspects for teaching and learning English in a comprehensive manner. Skill based approach unlike other approaches, requires periodical review of the derived tasks and objectives. This paper shifts the general attention from language learning to language acquisition. This is being projected with an idea to leverage the process of teaching – learning English in a practical as well as suitable way. Skill development mechanisms, verification process, sample analysis and concrete recommendations on further improvement are also discussed as a part of this paper.

Index Terms: Skill based approach, language learning and acquisition

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‘Processability Theory Revisited: A Critical Approach’ by Mohammad Reza Mozayan

Abstract

In order to revisit Processability, the theory which links psychology and linguistics in a very direct way to demonstrate what we know about languages, this paper primarily glances over the Achilles’ heel of the error analysis in delineating the developmental patterns in the language learners. It also refers to the second way in which samples of learner language are collected over a period of time so as to identify when specific linguistic features emerge; this is what the Processability theory (PT) does. By addressing the concepts such as property and transition theories as well as the developmental and logical problems of the learners, the paper then magnifies the central hypothesis of the theory holding that at any stage of development, learners can produce and comprehend only those L2 linguistic forms which their current state of mind can handle. Later, the criticisms leveled at the theory are put forth. And finally concluding remarks wrap up the issue.

Index Terms: acquisition, interlanguage, processability theory, property theories, transition theories

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‘Evaluation of the “IELTS to Success” EAP course book’ by Neda Fekri

Abstract

Course books provide novice teachers with guidance in course and activity design; it assures a measure of structure, consistency, and logical progression in a class. In order to select an appropriate course book, course book evaluation should be implemented. The current study aimed at evaluating the “IELTS to Success” EAP course book based on Cunningsworth’s (1995) checklist. Items of aims, design and organization, language content, skills, topic, methodology, teacher’s book, and practical consideration have been evaluated. This course book was generally found to be appropriate based on the items mentioned above. Curriculum developers, syllabus designers, and EFL teachers may find the findings useful in their language teaching practice..

Index Terms: course book, English for academic purpose, IELTS, textbook evaluation.

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‘Teacher Talk in Classroom Discourse: A Case Study’ by Bahareh Jouibar, Akbar Afghari

Abstract

This study investigated the aspects of teacher talk, as a phenomenon chiefly and inseparably occurring in classroom discourse, in three consecutive one hour and a half session EFL classrooms. The attempt in this study is made to explore the quality and realization of teacher talk in language classroom. The book based on which English is instructed in “Interchange 3” written by Richards, Hull, and Proctor (2005). The researcher attended 10 sessions in the class, consisting of 15 male and female students of 18 to 32 years of age, recording teacher’s and learners’ voice. It was found that the teacher tried to be as understandable as she could to the learners by speaking, naturally, more slowly preventing learners from being demotivated or anxious about their low proficiency. It was also seen that the teacher abstained from making her class tedious by sufficient amounts of joking and laughing in the classroom. However, the teacher talk occurring in the classroom discourse studied was seen to have suffered from two major problems: inappropriate feedback, or focus on form, and lack of sufficient contextualization. However, it appears that the instructor of the class under study was not familiar with different types of corrective feedback, since she appeared to have been exclusively using the explicit correction method of providing correct feedback. Besides, the instructor appears to have strictly adhered to directly asking the questions in the book, without providing language learners with the relevant context or the background.

Index Terms: discourse analysis, EFL classroom, teacher talk.

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‘Okay as an Embodied Backchannel in Classroom Interaction’ by Jiayi Shi

Abstract

This article investigates the use of okay as an embodied backchannel in classroom interaction, based on a 35-minute EFL class. Drawing on a sociocultural point of view in which learning is closely connected with interaction and participation (Lantolf, 2000), this essay further analyzes how the embodied backchannel construct or obstruct learning. Applying a conversation analysis/corpus linguistic(CA/CL) approach in the description and understanding of okay, it addresses how teachers and students utilize different modalities to position themselves towards the on-going subject matter. Finally, the essay analyzes the implications of this research.

Keywords: Backchannel; Embodied Backchannel; Conversation Analysis; Corpus Linguistic.

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