Current Issue

Full volume of The Journal of Languages for Specific Purposes (JLSP) – 7th Issue – March 2020

Title: EDUCATIONAL CULTURAL ANALYSIS OF LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT RUBRICS: A CASE STUDY OF JAPANESE LANGUAGE AT A BRITISH UNIVERSITY

Author(s): Junko Winch

Abstract:  The standard of language assessment is considered to be similar within the same country, but it actually varies from institution to institution even within the UK. Rubrics are important for language teachers to access students’ written work, and it also relates to teachers’ objective or subjective marking. This paper looks at Japanese assessment criteria in a British STEM university where students study Japanese in the IWLP context. Using two dimensions from Hofstede et al.’s (2010) cultural taxonomy and Hall’s (1976) concept of high- and low-context culture, Japanese language rubrics for the written assessment was analysed in 2017.The findings show that the rubrics examined in this study were under the influence of Hofstede et al.’s (2010) collectivist and strong uncertainty avoidance educational culture. The emphasis on the correct use of grammar was observed and also found that language teachers in this institution grade students’ written work more objectively using quantitative method. The rubrics includes instructions which enhance the quality of grading consistent and standardise among all language teachers. This process also helps to justify the first markers’ awarded marks to the second marker and also the external examiner. Recommendations are given to language teachers and managers who coordinate languages. Language teachers are recommended to inform students whether the focus is accuracy or creativity as this information affects students in working on their assessed work. It is also recommended for managers at language centres to revise periodically the definition of categories to examine if there are any duplication among the rubrics and update them. Incorporating some aspects of rubrics mentioned in this study may enhance the quality of language teachers’ grading to be standardised and consistent.

Keywords: writing assessment; educational culture; higher education; Japanese language teaching; rubrics.

Pagination: 7-14

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Title: CORPUS-BASED ANALYSIS OF THE PRAGMATIC MARKER LIKE IN NON-NATIVE CONVERSATION

Author(s): Marija Kusevska

Abstract: The study presented in this paper is part of the research project “Developing cross-cultural and interlanguage pragmatics research and its practical implications” currently implemented at Goce Delchev University in Shtip, Republic of North Macedonia. It investigates the use of the pragmatic marker ‘like’ by Macedonian learners of English. For this purpose, we compiled a research corpus of conversations produced by 76 students of English at Goce Delchev University.  The participants had been asked to choose and discuss three topics out of the following five: problems with stray dogs, living and working abroad, body piercing and tattoos, the healthy amount of time to spend with the person you’re dating, and talking on the phone while sharing time with friends. The time of the conversations mounted to 9.9 hours, or 66,696 words. The conversations were then transcribed and analysed. Additionally, attitudinal data were collected from 40 of the participants about their perception of ’like’ with respect to the age and gender of the speakers, formality of the situation, grammaticality, acceptability, distractibility, and politeness of the utterances. They also rated users for fluency and their level of English. The findings of this investigation show that the pragmatic marker ‘like’ is salient for the learners and that they use it similarly as native speakers. It also shows that its frequency correlates with language proficiency levels. However, other factors also influence its usage, such as learners’ perception of the marker, length of turns and speakers’ personal features. The present study makes an important contribution to interlanguage pragmatics. First, it investigates spoken language and reveals some aspects of learner communication that cannot be observed in class. Second, it shows that learning a foreign language is a complex process that involves not only instruction but all other resources that learners have access to through the Internet.

Keywords: interlanguage; pragmatic markers; functions; language proficiency; language corpus.

Pagination: 15-24

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Title: PEER AND SELF-ASSESSMENT IN A PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION COURSE: DOES TASK TYPE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Author(s): Tharwat EL-Sakran

Abstract: The extensive literature on peer and self-assessments, their outcomes and effectiveness in developing students’ critical thinking and objectivity cites numberless benefits. One such benefit is that they help pass on skills of evaluation and critical judgment to students. However, the effectiveness and limitations of peer and self-assessments have yet to be established in professional communication courses, where students get involved in several types of assessment tasks. Thus, this research tests and compares the use of assessment tools in a professional communication course for engineers at a private educational institution in the United Arab Emirates and reports the potential benefits and limitations of peer and self-assessments. Specifically, the focus of this research project was on the assessment practices of two distinct technical communication written genres- the resume and the internship application letter (IAL). Results indicate that there is a statistically significant difference between students’ self-assessments and peers’ assessments of resumes, indicating that students awarded themselves higher grades than their peers. Moreover, statistical analyses of marks given by peers and the course instructor on the initial drafts of the resumes demonstrate a statistically significant difference between peers’ assessment and the instructor’s assessment; that is, peers assigned higher grades to students than the instructor. However, results for the students’ self-assessments of the IAL and the instructor’s assessments of the same showed that students assigned themselves higher grades, but the difference is not statistically significant. This research contributes to growing studies on peer- and self-assessment by suggesting that the type of tasks being assessed may facilitate or complicate the assessment task. It also shows that students’ emotions may interfere in the assessment process. The study concludes with limitations and recommendations for further research in the area of professional communication.

Keywords: Peer and self-assessment; assessment and task type; assessment in professional communication courses; assessment and critical thinking; emotions and assessment.

Pagination: 24-41

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Title: PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION IN COMPANIES

Author(s): Monica Condruz-Bacescu

Abstract: The paper focuses on the issue of professional communication in companies. Communication is the art of transmitting messages and deciphering different information. The term professional communication refers to the various forms of speaking, listening, writing and responding carried out both in and beyond the workplace, whether in person or electronically. From meetings and presentations to memos and emails to marketing materials and annual reports in business communication, it is essential to take a professional and formal tone to make the best impression on colleagues, supervisors, or customers. The ability to communicate with people both inside and outside an organisation is a key characteristic of successful business builders. Effective communication strengthens the connections between a company and all of its stakeholders and benefits businesses in numerous ways: stronger decision making and faster problem solving; earlier warning of potential problems; increased productivity and steadier workflow; stronger business relationships; clearer and more persuasive marketing messages; enhanced professional images for both employers and companies; lower employee turnover and higher employee satisfaction; and better financial results and higher return for investors. Usually in organizations there are two types of communication networks: formal and informal. Formal communication networks are those through which messages circulate on official channels, information moves within the chain of command where almost everything is established and regulated by well specified rules. This type of communication is influenced by many factors including the structure of the organization, the type of technology used. Informal communication networks operate through spontaneously created informal channels. Such networks are diffused and sometimes only overlap with formal ones. Informal communication networks operate through spontaneously created informal channels. The informal circuit can be unexpected even for the members of the organization. This circuit appears in the context of professional-affective relationships. In such a network circulates opinions, aspirations, emotions, dissatisfaction and gossip. The dynamics of these channels is uncontrollable, constantly changing. Often the information on informal channels is more honest. Informal communication better corresponds to the psychological needs of people, similarities of age, sex, concerns (professional or otherwise).

Keywords: professional communication; information; organisations; networks; ethics; channels.

Pagination: 43-55

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Title: DEVELOPING STUDENTS’ INTERCULTURAL AND FOREIGN LANGUAGE COMPETENCE THROUGH THE ERASMUS PROGRAMME: LESSONS LEARNT AND CURRICULAR CHANGES IMPLEMENTED

Author(s): Timea Németh, Erika Marek, Gabriella Hild, Alexandra Csongor

Abstract:

A nation-wide survey was conducted between 2009 and 2014 in Hungary to examine the intercultural impact of the Erasmus student mobility programme on Hungarian students (Németh, 2015). A mixed methods research was carried out incorporating both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Primary and secondary source data analysis was included, comprising literature review and statistical records. An online questionnaire was distributed amongst former Hungarian Erasmus students, the results of which were analysed and compared with the outcome of an EU-level study (ESN Survey, 2008). Interviews were conducted with academic and administrative staff regarding their experience with the Erasmus programme. The results suggest that the Erasmus programme significantly facilitates the development of intercultural competences, including the foreign language skills of Hungarian Higher Education students. However, the findings also imply that, as not all students are mobile, alternative teaching methods, training programmes and classes should be implemented in the curricula to increase these skills of the non-mobile student population locally, as part of Internationalisation at Home. This paper aims at giving a brief summary of the background, methods and specific findings of the study related to the development of Hungarian Higher Education students’ intercultural competence and foreign language skills. Another goal of the present paper is to draw conclusions from the above study and provide insights into curricular innovations and changes that have since been implemented by the University of Pécs Medical School to increase the intercultural competence and foreign language skills of non-mobile medical students. The importance of these skills within medical and healthcare education has to be underscored, as the lack of a common language between patient and healthcare provider can result in misdiagnosis and may lead to improper treatment. Inability to communicate appropriately can be an obstacle to proper medical and healthcare and undermines trust in the quality of the system.

Keywords: Erasmus student mobility; foreign languages; intercultural competence; non-mobile students; Higher Education; Internationalisation at Home.

Pagination: 57-68

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Title: L’ENGAGEMENT DE L’ENSEIGNANT-CHERCHEUR EN ANGLAIS DE SPÉCIALITÉ : CAS D’UNE UNIVERSITÉ SCIENTIFIQUE

English Title: THE COMMITMENT OF RESEARCHERS IN ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES: THE CASE OF A SCIENTIFIC UNIVERSITY

Author(s): Claire Chaplier

Abstract: This preliminary research is based on the process of the researcher’s commitment. A series of data collected from professors of specialized English in a French scientific university will enable us to lay the foundations for research that is part of a more general approach: the foundations for an epistemology of specialized languages. This research consists in making a brief assessment of the representations of the practice of these professors in the field of science. First, we will analyze the regularities of teaching practices through the institutional constraints to which teachers have to comply with. The issue of the diversity of practices will be addressed to identify the leeway that professors have in research beyond the constraints (Roditi, 2003). We will see that between constraints and flexibility, there is the issue of commitment of the researcher of specialized English. This issue is rarely asked in the field of teaching English in courses other than English (e. g. law, science) and yet this question seems as fundamental as that of the content to be taught. The commitment of a language teacher in the teaching process appears to be an essential psychological and professional provision for the proper exercise of the teacher’s profession. This issue relates to the epistemological reflection on specialized languages (Van der Yeught, 2014, 2016) which is still ongoing in France. Van der Yeught (2014) advocates basing LSPs on what constitutes their “central and stable core”. This core could be the intersection between a language and a specialty field. The problem comes from the nature of one of the two elements of the intersection, namely the specialty that is mainly disciplinary or professional before being linguistic. Finally, we will see which research perspectives in specialized languages can be proposed following our research in specialized English in the field of (“hard”) sciences: the construct of “English for science”.

Keywords: commitment; motivation; researcher; LSP; English for science.

Pagination: 69-81

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Title: DIE ROLLE MEDIZINISCHER WISSENSVERMITTLUNG IN ARZT-PATIENTEN-GESPRÄCHEN: DIE BEDEUTUNG DES ÄRZTLICHEN CODE-WECHSELS IN HAUSÄRZTLICHEN KONSULTATIONEN

English Title: THE ROLE OF MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN DOCTOR-PATIENT INTERACTIONS: THE IMPORTANCE OF MEDICAL CODE SWITCHING IN GENERAL PRACTITIONERS’ CONSULTATIONS

Author(s): Katalin Fogarasi, Rita Kránicz, Renáta Halász, Anikó Hambuch

Abstract: General practitioners frequently induce therapies based on findings presented by patients and obtained previously from specialists who performed clinical examinations on them. As any kind of medical treatment (including medication) is to be considered as bodily harm from a criminal legal perspective, seeking informed consent from the patient is prescribed by law in every case. Due to the extensive use of professional terminology in medical documentation, it is essential that patients are provided with detailed explanations of their clinical findings by their general practitioners, so that they can give their consent based on real understanding. For such reasons, however, effective code-switching is needed, requiring both terminological and communicative competencies. The present pilot study provides a terminological and conversation analytical examination of 10 general practitioner-patient conversations related to medical findings by clinical specialists, using concordancing and transcription software applications. The conversations took place in the practices of general practitioners in the countryside of Hungary, and involved mainly less-educated patients. The terminological and concordance analyses focused on the use of terms in medical documentation and during code-switching as well as on phraseological units introducing diagnosis disclosure. Conversation analytical methods were applied to find out which communicative functions can be fulfilled by switching code, and how code-switching is apparent in the interactions. The authors plan to extend the research to find practical solutions for the communication failures in order to establish the framework of the targeted education of medical students on disclosing diagnoses to patients, involving the practicing of terminological and communication skills at the same time.The results provide a basis for the elaboration of practical courses in which Hungarian and German medical students can practise diagnosis disclosure in peer groups.

Keywords: medical terminology; phraseological units; code-switching; professional language use; disclosing diagnoses; conversation analysis.

Pagination: 83-96

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Title: PAVEL ZGAGA / ULRICH TEICHLER / HANS G. SCHUETZE / ANDRÄ WOLTER (Editors) HIGHER EDUCATION REFORM: LOOKING BACK – LOOKING FORWARD

Author(s): Andrea Hamburg

Abstract: Book Review

Pagination: 97-103

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Title: ANNA GONDEK / JOANNA SZCZĘK (Hrsg.) PHRASEOLOGIE UND PARÖMIOLOGIE DER (UN)HÖFLICHKEIT

English Title: ANNA GONDEK / JOANNA SZCZĘK (Eds.) PHRASEOLOGY AND PAROMIOLOGY OF (IM)POLITENESS

Author(s): Andrea Hamburg

Abstract: Rezension /Book Review

Pagination: 105-110

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Title: SEVEN ECONOMIC FIELDS IN FOUR LANGUAGES

Author(s): Ioana Claudia Horea

Abstract: Book Review

Pagination: 111-116

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