‘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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