Effect of Debate on Development of Adaptability in EFL University Classroom
This article focuses on the issue of adaptability in the field of education, particularly English as a foreign language teaching, and explores the question of whether academic debate can foster adaptability among university first‐year university students majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. To answer that, the authors designed and conducted a study in 2017 and 2018 at a university in Moscow, Russia. The study involved two groups of students: those who attended regular English classes and those who, apart from regular classes, weekly attended and actively participated in specially designed English debate classes. To evaluate whether any alterations to the students’ adaptability level occurred, teacher‐assessors completed the Adaptability Scale at the beginning and end of the project. In addition, the students were asked to fill out a self‐assessment questionnaire to rate their own adaptability development. The results of the control and experimental groups were compared and a series of t‐tests was conducted. The findings reveal that, in the experimental group, English debate classes fostered positive growth in the level of adaptability, and all its components experienced a significant enhancement.
Mastering English through Global Debate brings together rhetorical traditions and the best practices of ESL instruction to facilitate Superior-level proficiency in the English language. Each chapter addresses a rich topic of debate, providing students with a set of prereading activities, texts covering both sides of a debate topic, and postreading comprehension and lexical development exercises - all of which foster the language and critical thinking skills needed for successful debates. A rhetorical methods selection in each chapter integrates language and practice and prepares students for end-of-chapter debates. Using debate to develop advanced proficiency in a second language is a method that is finding increased interest among instructors and students alike, in both synchronous online teaching and the individual classroom. Students are prepared to participate fully in debates with their classmates - at home, abroad, or both.
The need to foster critical thinking has long been one of the key issues in education. It is essentially vital nowadays against the background of an increased volume of cross-cultural communications due to the present-day demand for collaboration to tackle pressing global issues through joint efforts of different nations. While the format of debates has been recognized by researchers as one of the most efficient tools of setting off critical thinking, it is up to the new technologies in education to make it possible to bring this platform to a cross-cultural level. Since a cross-cultural dialogue in most cases supposes the mastery of a foreign language, e-learning in the form of cross-border video-conference debates present an invaluable opportunity for educators to enhance the pedagogy of foreign language acquisition around the globe. The present paper focuses on a case-study of an on-going project of implementing the tool of synchronous cross-cultural video-conference debates.
In response to a growing demand for highly proficient speakers of foreign languages, both from private and government sectors, an added emphasis has been placed on developing communicative skills in the foreign language classroom. While time in a target language culture certainly plays a valuable and needed role, this research demonstrates that innovative curricular design and development in the university foreign language classroom can equal if not exceed uptake that occurs in extended immersion environments. A thorough description of the research design is provided, including the application of lexical items (connectors), listening, reading, written exercises, and videoconference debates involving students from National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Assessment instruments used to measure language uptake among students included pre- and post-written proficiency testing and oral proficiency interviews in one’s respective target language as administered by certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) raters. In addition, students completed a background language questionnaire designed to elicit data relative to individual learner motivation.
Academic environment constraints, i.e. limited amount of EFL hours for non-majors, call for a careful consideration of the stakeholders' needs in curriculum design in higher education context of a non-English speakign country. Tailoring an EFL course to those needs lands itself into an integrated program, comprising several study areas. This article discusses a case of syllabus design, combining a traditional EFL component, academic skills training and major-specific content (Country Studies for International Affairs majors). The author discusses the application of a solf systems methodology (SSM) in the academic environment.
The attitude of the main British political parties and groups to the problem of changes of the prerogatives and powers of the House of Lords during the introduction and discussion of the supreme legislative body of the Bill of Parliament of 1911 is discussed. The process of complicated co-ordinations, concessions and compromises during the discussions period on the text of the Bill is being examined. The Act of Parliament of 1911 characteristics and the reasons of the need for further reform of the House of Lords are given.
This article presents an approach to the automatic generation of open cloze exercises that are based on real-life English texts. The exercise format is similar to the open cloze test used in Cambridge certificate exams (FCE, CAE, CPE). Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the usefulness on the machine-generated exercises and compare them with authentic Cambridge tests. The experiments showed that the generation method used was quite effective. With some customization, the presented method can be applied to generating similar exercises based on texts written in other languages.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.