Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: language proficiency

7 The Effect of Realizing Emotional Synchrony with Teachers or Peers on Children’s Linguistic Proficiency: The Case Study of Uji Elementary School

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

Abstract:

This paper reports on a joint research project in which a researcher in applied linguistics and elementary school teachers in Japan explored new ways to realize emotional synchrony in a classroom in childhood education. The primary purpose of this project was to develop a cross-curriculum of the first language (L1) and second language (L2) based on the concept of plurilingualism. This concept is common in Europe, and can-do statements are used in forming the standard of linguistic proficiency in any language; these are attributed to the action-oriented approach in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). CEFR has a basic tenet of language education: improving communicative competence. Can-do statements are classified into five categories based on the tenet: reading, writing, listening, speaking/ interaction, and speaking/ speech. The first approach of this research was to specify the linguistic proficiency of the children, who are still developing their L1. Elementary school teachers brainstormed and specified the linguistic proficiency of the children as the competency needed to synchronize with others – teachers or peers – physically and mentally. The teachers formed original can-do statements in language proficiency on the basis of the idea that emotional synchrony leads to understanding others in communication. The research objectives are to determine the effect of language education based on the newly developed curriculum and can-do statements. The participants of the experiment were 72 third-graders in Uji Elementary School, Japan. For the experiment, 17 items were developed from the can-do statements formed by the teachers and divided into the same five categories as those of CEFR. A can-do checklist consisting of the items was created. The experiment consisted of three steps: first, the students evaluated themselves using the can-do checklist at the beginning of the school year. Second, one year of instruction was given to the students in Japanese and English classes (six periods a week). Third, the students evaluated themselves using the same can-do checklist at the end of the school year. The results of statistical analysis showed an enhancement of linguistic proficiency of the students. The average results of the post-check exceeded that of the pre-check in 12 out of the 17 items. Moreover, significant differences were shown in four items, three of which belonged to the same category: speaking/ interaction. It is concluded that children can get to understand others’ minds through physical and emotional synchrony. In particular, emotional synchrony is what teachers should aim at in childhood education.

Keywords: Elementary school education, emotional synchrony, language proficiency, sympathy with others.

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6 A Book Review of Inside the Battle of Algiers, by Zohra Drif: A Thematic Analysis on Women’s Agency

Authors: W. Zekri

Abstract:

This paper explores Zohra Drif’s memoir, Inside the Battle of Algiers, which narrates her desires as a student to become a revolutionary activist. She exemplified, in her narrative, the different roles, she and her fellows performed as combatants in the Casbah during the Algerian Revolution 1954-1962. This book review aims to evaluate the concept of women’s agency through education and language learning, and its impact on empowering women’s desires. Close-reading method and thematic analysis are used to explore the text. The analysis identified themes that refine the meaning of agency which are social and cultural supports, education, and language proficiency. These themes aim to contribute to the representation in Inside the Battle of Algiers of a woman guerrilla who engaged herself to perform national acts of resistance.

Keywords: Agency, education, learning, women.

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5 The Effect of Cross-Curriculum of L1 and L2 on Elementary School Students’ Linguistic Proficiency: To Sympathize with Others

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

Abstract:

This paper reports on a project to integrate Japanese (as a first language) and English (as a second language) education. This study focuses on the mutual effects of the two languages on the linguistic proficiency of elementary school students. The research team consisted of elementary school teachers and researchers at a university. The participants of the experiment were students between 3rd and 6th grades at an elementary school. The research process consisted of seven steps: 1) specifying linguistic proficiency; 2) developing the cross-curriculum of L1 and L2; 3) forming can-do statements; 4) creating a self-evaluation questionnaire; 5) executing the self-evaluation questionnaire at the beginning of the school year; 6) instructing L1 and L2 based on the curriculum; and 7) executing the self-evaluation questionnaire at the beginning of the next school year. In Step 1, the members of the research team brainstormed ways to specify elementary school students’ linguistic proficiency that can be observed in various scenes. It was revealed that the teachers evaluate their students’ linguistic proficiency on the basis of the students’ utterances, but also informed by their non-verbal communication abilities. This led to the idea that competency for understanding others’ minds through the use of physical movement or bodily senses in communication in L1 – to sympathize with others – can be transferred to that same competency in communication in L2. Based on the specification of linguistic proficiency that L1 and L2 have in common, a cross-curriculum of L1 and L2 was developed in Step 2. In Step 3, can-do statements based on the curriculum were also formed, building off of the action-oriented approach from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) used in Europe. A self-evaluation questionnaire consisting of the main can-do statements was given to the students between 3rd grade and 6th grade at the beginning of the school year (Step 4 and Step 5), and all teachers gave L1 and L2 instruction based on the curriculum to the students for one year (Step 6). The same questionnaire was given to the students at the beginning of the next school year (Step 7). The results of statistical analysis proved the enhancement of the students’ linguistic proficiency. This verified the validity of developing the cross-curriculum of L1 and L2 and adapting it in elementary school. It was concluded that elementary school students do not distinguish between L1 and L2, and that they just try to understand others’ minds through physical movement or senses in any language.

Keywords: Cross-curriculum of L1 and L2, elementary school education, language proficiency, sympathy with others.

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4 Robot Technology Impact on Dyslexic Students’ English Learning

Authors: Khaled Hamdan, Abid Amorri, Fatima Hamdan

Abstract:

Involving students in English language learning process and achieving an adequate English language proficiency in the target language can be a great challenge for both teachers and students. This can prove even a far greater challenge to engage students with special needs (Dyslexia) if they have physical impairment and inadequate mastery of basic communicative language competence/proficiency in the target language. From this perspective, technology like robots can probably be used to enhance learning process for the special needs students who have extensive communication needs, who face continuous struggle to interact with their peers and teachers and meet academic requirements. Robots, precisely NAO, can probably provide them with the perfect opportunity to practice social and communication skills, and meet their English academic requirements. This research paper aims to identify to what extent robots can be used to improve students’ social interaction and communication skills and to understand the potential for robotics-based education in motivating and engaging UAEU dyslexic students to meet university requirements. To reach this end, the paper will explore several factors that come into play – Motion Level-involving cognitive activities, Interaction Level-involving language processing, Behavior Level -establishing a close relationship with the robot and Appraisal Level- focusing on dyslexia students’ achievement in the target language.

Keywords: Dyslexia, robot technology, motion, interaction, behavior and appraisal levels, social and communication skills.

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3 Relationship-Centred Care in Cross-Linguistic Medical Encounters

Authors: Nami Matsumoto

Abstract:

This study explores the experiences of cross-linguistic medical encounters by patients, and their views of receiving language support therein, with a particular focus on Japanese-English cases. The aim of this study is to investigate the reason for the frequent use of a spouse as a communication mediator from a Japanese perspective, through a comparison with that of English speakers. This study conducts an empirical qualitative analysis of the accounts of informants. A total of 31 informants who have experienced Japanese-English cross-linguistic medical encounters were recruited in Australia and Japan for semi-structured in-depth interviews. A breakdown of informants is 15 English speakers and 16 Japanese speakers. In order to obtain a further insight into collected data, additional interviews were held with 4 Australian doctors who are familiar with using interpreters. This study was approved by the Australian National University Human Research Ethics Committee, and written consent to participate in this study was obtained from all participants. The interviews lasted up to over one hour. They were audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed by the author. Japanese transcriptions were translated into English by the author. An analysis of interview data found that patients value relationship in communication. Particularly, Japanese informants, who have an English-speaking spouse, value trust-based communication interventions by their spouse, regardless of the language proficiency of the spouse. In Australia, health care interpreters are required to abide by the national code of ethics for interpreters. The Code defines the role of an interpreter exclusively to be language rendition and enshrines the tenets of accuracy, confidentiality and professional role boundaries. However, the analysis found that an interpreter who strictly complies with the Code sometimes fails to render the real intentions of the patient and their doctor. Findings from the study suggest that an interpreter should not be detached from the context and should be more engaged in the needs of patients. Their needs are not always communicated by an interpreter when they simply follow a professional code of ethics. The concept of relationship-centred care should be incorporated in the professional practice of health care interpreters.

Keywords: Health care, Japanese-English medical encounters, language barriers, trust.

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2 Mechanisms in Regulating Language Practices in Electronics Engineering: A Program Plan for Outcomes-Based Education

Authors: Analiza Acuña-Villacorte

Abstract:

The underlying principle behind the harmonization in international education does not solely aim for the comparability but also the compatibility of outputs produced. The international standard in the different professions particularly in engineering defines the required graduate attributes to attain suitable qualifications and recognitions. This study described the language practices of the Electronics Engineering students of Bulacan State University, Philippines who will be deployed for their internship program. The purpose of the study was achieved by determining the language proficiency of the students in terms of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and checking the adherence of the University to the commitment of intensifying community building for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation Vision 2020. The analysis of variance of the variables defined the significance between the causal variables and dependent variables. Thus, this study identified the mechanism that would regulate language practices in the Electronics Engineering program.

Keywords: Communicative competence, descriptive design, language practices, mechanisms, outcomes-based education.

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1 The Relationship between Learners-Motivation (Integrative and Instrumental) and English Proficiency among Iranian EFL Learners

Authors: Mahshid Ghanea, Hamid Reza Zeraat Pisheh, Mohammad Hassan Ghanea

Abstract:

The current study aims at investigating the relationship between the learners- integrative and instrumental motivation and English proficiency among Iranian EFL learners. The participants in this study consisted of 128 undergraduate university students including 64 males and 64 females, majoring in English as a foreign language, from Shiraz Azad University. Two research instruments were used to gather the needed data for this study: 1) Language Proficiency Test. 2) A scale on motivation which determines the type of the EFL learners- motivation. Correlatin coefficient and t-test were used to analyze the collected data and the main result was found as follows: There is a significant relationship between the integrative motivation and instrumental motivation with English proficiency among EFL learners of Shiraz Azad University.

Keywords: English proficiency, motivation

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