Matching Items (7)

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Discourse markers as predictors of success for the TOEFL

Description

ABSTRACT The teaching of formulaic sequences (FSs) to improve speech fluency is a time honored tradition in the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). However, recent research seems

ABSTRACT The teaching of formulaic sequences (FSs) to improve speech fluency is a time honored tradition in the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). However, recent research seems to indicate that certain discourse markers, specifically transition and personal stance markers, are more useful than other FSs. This study is an attempt to partially replicate (on a very small scale) one of these studies to see if the findings are similar when the standardized test materials are from the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) rather than the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The hope is that teacher researchers could have access to readily available, standardized assessment materials with which to create their own research studies consisting of a standardized pretest and posttest. Four students of various levels in an Intensive English Program (IEP) were given a practice listening and speaking exam utilizing TOEFL preparation materials found online. The results were analyzed to see if there was a noticeable correlation between the use of the specified discourse markers on the speech portion of the test and the performance of the students on the listening portion of the test. The findings show some discrepancy between the two studies' results. It appears possible to have a high perceived fluency rate and still have a lower overall speaking fluency when taking into account listening comprehension and various other measures.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Negotiating the place of spirituality in English language teaching: a case study in an Indonesian EFL teacher education program

Description

This dissertation delves into some EFL stakeholders' understanding of spiritual identities and power relations associated with these identities as performed in an undergraduate EFL teacher education program at a Christian

This dissertation delves into some EFL stakeholders' understanding of spiritual identities and power relations associated with these identities as performed in an undergraduate EFL teacher education program at a Christian university in Indonesia. This study is motivated by an ongoing debate over the place of spirituality, especially Christianity, in ELT. In this project, religions are considered to be windows through which one's spirituality is viewed and expressed. Spiritually associated relations of power indicate discrepancies due to positioning of one person committed to a spiritual view in relation to those having similar or different spiritual views. The purpose of exploring spiritually associated identities and power relations is to provide empirical evidence which supports the following arguments. The integration of spirituality in ELT, or lack thereof, can be problematic. More importantly, however, spirituality can be enriching for some EFL teachers and students alike, and be presented together with critical ELT. To explore the complexity of power relations associated with some EFL stakeholders' spiritual identities, I analyzed data from classroom observations, four focus group discussions from February to April 2014, and individual interviews with 23 teachers and students from February to September 2014. Findings showed that Christian and non-Christian English teachers had nuanced views regarding the place of prayer in ELT-related activities, professionalism in ELT, and ways of negotiating spiritually associated power relations in ELT contexts. Students participating in this study performed their spiritual identities in ways that can be perceived as problematic (e.g., by being very dogmatic or evangelical) or self-reflexive. Classroom observations helped me to see more clearly how Christian English teachers interacted with their students from different religious backgrounds. In one class, a stimulating dialogue seemed to emerge when a teacher accommodated both critical and religious views to be discussed. This project culminates in my theorization of the praxis of critical spiritual pedagogy in ELT. Central to this praxis are (a) raising the awareness of productive power and power relations associated with spiritual identities; (b) learning how to use defiant discourses in negotiating spiritually associated power relations; and (c) nurturing self-reflexivity critically and spiritually.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Exploring teacher knowledge in multilingual first-year composition

Description

This project examines how writing teachers of multilingual students conceptualize their pedagogical practices. Specifically, it draws on work in teacher cognition research to examine the nature of teacher knowledge and

This project examines how writing teachers of multilingual students conceptualize their pedagogical practices. Specifically, it draws on work in teacher cognition research to examine the nature of teacher knowledge and the unique characteristics of this knowledge specific to the teaching of second language writing. Seeing teacher knowledge as something embedded in teachers’ practices and their articulation of the goals of these practices, this project uses case studies of four writing instructors who teach multilingual students of First-Year Composition (FYC). Through qualitative analysis of interviews, observations, and written feedback practices, teachers’ goals and task selection were analyzed to understand their knowledge base and the beliefs that underlie their personal pedagogies.

Results from this study showed that while participants’ course objectives were primarily in alignment with the institutional goals for the course, they each held individual orientations toward the subject matter. These different orientations influenced their task selection, class routines, and assessment. This study also found that teachers’ understanding of their students was closely tied with their orientations of the subject matter and thus must be understood together. Findings from this study support a conceptualization of teacher knowledge as a construct comprised of highly interdependent aspects of teachers’ knowledge base.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Language in Trauma: A Pilot Study of Pause Frequency as a Predictor of Cognitive Change Due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Description

With the rise of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among adults in the United States, understanding the processes of trauma, trauma related disorders, and the long-term impact of living with them

With the rise of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among adults in the United States, understanding the processes of trauma, trauma related disorders, and the long-term impact of living with them is an area of continued focus for researchers. This is especially a concern in the case of current and former military service members (veterans), whose work activities and deployment cycles place them at an increased risk of exposure to trauma-inducing experiences but who have a low rate of self-referral to healthcare professionals. There is thus an urgent need for developing procedures for early diagnosis and treatment. The present study examines how the tools and findings of the field of linguistics may contribute to the field of trauma research. Previous research has shown that cognition and language production are closely linked. This study focuses on the role of prosody in PTSD and pilots a procedure for the data collection and analysis. Data consist of monologic talk from a sample of student-veterans and analyzed with speech software (Praat) for pauses greater than 250 milliseconds per 100 words. The pause frequency was compared to a PCL-5 score, an assessment used to check for PTSD symptoms and evaluate need for further assessment and possible diagnosis of PTSD. This pilot study found the methods successfully elicited data that could be used to measure and test the research questions. Although the findings of the study were inconclusive due to limitations of the participant pool, it found that the research model proved effect as a model for future linguistic research on trauma.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Re-framing the master narratives of dis/ability through an emotion lens: voices of Latina/o students with learning disabilities

Description

This study re-frames learning disabilities (LD) through the emotion-laden talk of four Latina/o students with LD. The research questions included: 1) What are the emotion-laden talk of Latina/o students about

This study re-frames learning disabilities (LD) through the emotion-laden talk of four Latina/o students with LD. The research questions included: 1) What are the emotion-laden talk of Latina/o students about being labeled with LD? 2) What are Latina/o students' emotion-laden talk of the idea of LD? I identified master narratives, the "pre-existent sociocultural forms of interpretation. They are meant to delineate and confine the local interpretation strategies and agency constellations in individual subjects as well as in social institutions," (Bamberg, 2004, p. 287) within the following literatures to inform my research questions and conceptual framework: a) historiography and interdisciplinary literature on LD; b) policy (i.e., Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)), c) the academic and d) social and emotional dimensions of LD; and e) student voice research with students with LD. Interdisciplinary, critical ethnographic and qualitative research methods such as taking into account issues of power, etic and emic perspectives, in-depth interviewing, field notes were used. Total participants included: four students, three parents and three teachers. More specifically, descriptive coding, identification of emotion-laden talk, a thematic analysis, memoing and intersectional and cultural-historical developmental constructs were used to analyze students’ emotion-laden talk. Emotion-laden talk about being labeled with LD included the hegemony of smartness, disability microaggressions, on the trinity of LD: help + teachers + literacy troubles, on being bullied, embarrassment to ask for assistance from others and help as hope. The emotion-laden talk about the idea of LD included LD as double-edge sword, LDness as X, the meaning of LD as resource, trouble with information processing, speech, and silence, the salience of the intersection of disability, ethnicity and language and other markers of difference, struggles due to lack of understanding and LD myths. This study provides a discussion and implications for theory, research, policy, and practice.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Saudi mothers' attitudes towards their children's bilingual language practices in the United States

Description

The largest scholarship program of its kind worldwide, the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which began in 2005, allowed any Saudi Arabian citizen admitted into an approved higher education institution worldwide

The largest scholarship program of its kind worldwide, the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which began in 2005, allowed any Saudi Arabian citizen admitted into an approved higher education institution worldwide to receive a full scholarship, allowing more than 200,000 students to study abroad. A large portion of the Saudi scholarship students commonly study abroad with their families; either they have young children or are newly married and have children while they are in the United States. Since these children are primarily exposed to English environments in their communities, daycare centers and schools during their time in the United States, they often face challenges to learn Arabic other than at home with their parents. This dynamic can pose many challenges for the children and their families when returning to and adapting back to life in Saudi Arabia, linguistically, educationally and culturally. This research aims at: 1) investigating the language context of the Saudi mothers and children abroad, 2) understanding Saudi mothers' attitudes towards their children’s bilingualism in the United States and, 3) highlighting Saudi mothers’ roles in supporting language skill and the development of their children while living outside of Saudi Arabia. To achieve this, data was collected using three qualitative methods: interviews and brief surveys with Saudi mothers, and observation of their children in their playrooms. The findings suggest that educators in Saudi Arabia should be aware that those returning may sometimes need assistance to be able to fit linguistically in the community.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Arabic-English code switching in the Egyptian talk show Shabab Beek

Description

This sociolinguistic study examines the various functions of Arabic-English code switching in the Egyptian talk show ‘Shabab Beek (literally: Young by You; communicatively: The Young Speak)’. In addition, this study

This sociolinguistic study examines the various functions of Arabic-English code switching in the Egyptian talk show ‘Shabab Beek (literally: Young by You; communicatively: The Young Speak)’. In addition, this study investigates the syntactic categories and types of switches to English. The data consist of approximately four hours and forty-five minutes of YouTube videos of the talk show in which code switching to English occurred. The videos are collected from six episodes of the show that were aired in October 2010. The show featured three categories of speakers, show hosts, guests, and callers. The findings show that most of the switches were produced by show hosts and guests while callers produced very few switches due perhaps to the limited number of phone calls received in the selected episodes. The speakers mostly used nouns when they switched to English. Nouns are followed by adjectives and noun phrases. The most prevalent type of switches in the data is tag switches followed by intrasentential and intersentential switches, which occurred rarely. Finally, analysis revealed eight functions of code switching in the data. These are difficulty retrieving an Arabic expression, quotation, euphemism, reiteration, message qualification, academic or technical terms, association with certain domains, and objectivization.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015