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International Journal of Language Studies

A Quarterly Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN: 2157-4898 | eISSN: 2157-4901

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Editor: Mohammad A. Salmani Nodoushan

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Impact Factor (IF): NA

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This journal is peer reviewed and indexed in: ERA, LB, IBZ, LLBA & more


October 2013 - Volume 7 Number 4 - Pages 1-118

Adversarialness and evasion in broadcast political interviews

Milica VUKOVIĆ, University of Montenegro, Montenegro | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 1-24. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

In contemporary broadcast political interviews, interviewers are getting more and more adversarial in their questioning, whereas politicians seem to have earned their notoriety for their evading giving direct answers. On the other hand, in case journalists take a rather “lenient” approach, the result may be just the same—more evasive action from interviewed politicians. The focus of this paper (i.e. the interplay of the two phenomena of adversarialness and evasion) is illustrated on a corpus consisting of British, American and Montenegrin political interviews. The aim is to determine whether there exists a connection between the two, to which end we suggest a methodology for assessing their levels and also compare the three groups of political interviews using such methods. The results point to a cause and effect relationship between adversarialness and evasion.

Keywords:Adversarialness; Measuring; Interview Management; Political Interviews; Evasion

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Using Generalizability Theory to examine error variance in the SPEAK scoring rubric

Jeremy Ray GEVARA, Pennsylvania State University, USA | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 25-44. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

Created in response to laws passed requiring international students to be locally assessed for English proficiency, the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit test (SPEAK) is still used by universities around the United States. As the enrollment of international students from non-Indo-European languages is increasing, the need increases for the SPEAK Test to fit the shifts in the changing population. The current study uses Generalizability Theory to validate whether bias exists in the scoring rubric of the SPEAK test between two language groups. Participants used for the study were international teaching assistant candidates in 2010 from a large research university in the northeast United States. A G-study was run to determine the presence of bias between two language groups. Results show that the interaction between language groups and the scoring rubric of the SPEAK test significantly contribute to the error variance of the exam and a G-coefficient below .80. The D- study conducted shows that a revised exam consisting of 10 tasks and four items in the scoring rubric to assess per task produces an acceptable G-coefficient. This paper shows the process of conducting a Generealizability Theory based analysis and the benefits it has to researchers and instructors.

Keywords: SPEAK; Generalizability Theory; Error Variance; Test Rubrics; Bias

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A review of bilingual education practices in urban schools: A glorious goal or a political problem

Michael V. PREGOT, Long Island University Brooklyn, NYC, USA | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 45-56. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

This paper reviews the current educational practices dealing with policy regulations, implementation of programs and instructional methodologies used in bilingual education for an ever growing number of Preschool-Grade 12 students with limited English proficiency (LEP). After reviewing some of the prevalent educational theories that impact language acquisition, it argues that a greater reliance on dual language bilingual programs can and should be implemented in today’s schools. Detailed statistics on Limited English Proficient students in New York City are highlighted and used as a point of reference for the issue facing most urban school systems today. Since the high percentage of student drop-outs and the defined “student achievement gap” are highly correlated to bilingual education practices, it is incumbent upon urban educators to strengthen their core knowledge on the design of language acquisitions program and to take social and cultural standards into account. A discussion ensues on the apparent contradiction between the need for bilingual skills for the future of our students and the limited way in which bilingual education is advanced, valued and rewarded in the national and state core curricula.

Keywords: Urban Schools; Bilingual Education; Language Proficiency; Language Acquisition; Language Assessment; Student Achievement Gap

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Identifying new knowledge in texts through corpus analysis

Richard WATSON TODD, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 57-76. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

Taking knowledge as comprising concepts and conceptual associations, this paper attempts to identify knowledge likely to be new to readers in an informative text through a corpus analysis based on lexical priming theory. Potential new concepts are identified through a keyness comparison between the text and the British National Corpus (BNC), taken as a rough representation of readers’ likely existing knowledge. Potential new conceptual associations are identified through a comparative z-score analysis of wide-span co-occurrences in the text and the BNC. This approach appears to have potential and has applications in text mining.

Keywords: New Knowledge; Key Concepts; Lexical Priming; Key Conceptual Associations; Corpus Linguistics; Text Mining

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Pragmatics and effective communication in English: A study of selected Nigerian university undergraduates

Jane CHINELO OBASI, University of Nigeria, Nigeria | Contact Author

Inyang UDOFOT, University of Uyo, Nigeria | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 77-100. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

This study examines Pragmatics and effective communication in English among selected Nigerian university undergraduates assuming a background of problems associated with meaning interpretation and effective communication among students through the application of pragmatic theories. Sample speeches and expressions of randomly selected one hundred and twenty undergraduates of various linguistic and cultural backgrounds from the Universities of Calabar, Port Harcourt and Uyo were examined to ascertain the clarity of their expressions in English. Focus group discussion/interview, participation observation technique and surreptitious methods of data collection were employed. The speeches of these subjects were analyzed using the Gricean maxims/cooperative principles, speech acts and politeness principles to determine the extent of the appropriateness and inappropriateness of their communication in English and also to determine the extent of their pragmatic/communicative ability. It was observed that the pragmatic/communicative ability of Nigerian university undergraduates is inadequate and as a result, they can hardly communicate effectively in English. This therefore signals the need to codify Standard Nigerian English and enforce its usage in the Nigerian universities. It is recommended that pragmatics be included in the use of English curriculum of Nigerian universities, since its knowledge facilitates effective communication in English.

Keywords: Pragmatics; Effective Communication; Code-Mixing; Gricean Maxims; Nigerian English

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Rhetorical moves and verb tense in abstracts: A comparative analysis of American and Iranian academic writing

Azizeh CHALAK, Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Iran | Contact Author

Zahra NOROUZI, Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 101-110. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

Research article (RA) abstract is regarded as an essential part in identifying the basic content of the report among the current academic communities. This study aimed at investigating whether native and nonnative academic writers differed in terms of rhetorical moves as well as the use of verb tense in abstracts. To achieve this end, a sample of 40 RA abstracts (20 by American and 20 by Iranian academic writers) in English was selected from International Journal of Language Studies. The data analysis revealed that move two (Purpose), three (Method), and four (Result) were considered the obligatory structural moves in both sets of data, while move one (Introduction) and move five (Conclusion) served as optional moves. With regard to the use of verb tense in each move, it was found that present tense was the preferred tense in move one and five, but past tense was used in move three more frequently in two sets of data. It was also shown that while the present tense was the preferred tense for Americans in move two and four, Iranians more often used the past tense. The findings of this study can help academic writers, teachers and students and raise their awareness to master the conventions of academic writing in scientific communities.

Keywords: Abstract; Academic Writing; Research Article; Rhetorical Moves; Verb Tense

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Book Review: Givón, Talmy (2009). The genesis of syntactic complexity: Diachrony, ontogeny, neuro-cognition, evolution. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. [xviii+366 pp; ISBN 978-90-272-3253-3].

Mohammad RASEKH MAHAND, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 111-118. Add Print to Cart | Download PDF

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