Poetry has always been under the focus of scholars’ attention, though the problem of performing comparative analysis of children’s and adults’ poetry has not deserved enough attention yet. Our study is aimed to fill in the gap and provide the analysis of English poetry for adults and children with the attempt to identify some grammatical peculiarities of the corresponding poetic texts. The scope of the texts for examination is limited to English poetry of the nineteenth – twentieth centuries focused on the animal theme. Our analysis of the temporal structure of the texts selected was based on the method elaborated by Ludmila Nozdrina in her work “Poetics of grammar categories” (2004). The results of our study have proved the hypothesis we stated: there exist some differences in temporal structuring of the nineteenth–twentieth century poetic English texts focused on the animal theme. The main difference lies in targeting the poem: whether it appeals to adults or children.
Since the 20th century with the birth of feminism, gender studies have become under analysis of many areas of knowledge. The special attention is paid to the theory of androcentricity of the English language and deficiency of female image and speech. In this article the images of men and women presented by English proverbs and anti-proverbs are analyzed. The objective of this research is to find out if the proverbs are androcentric and present male mindset and world view. The other aim is to check if anti-proverbs reflect the changing role of women in the society. To fulfill these purposes the proverbs with gender components (man/woman, wife/husband, he/she etс.) were selected and underwent a semantic analysis. In order to reveal the evolution of the images of men and women we compared the images of men and women illustrated in the proverbs with those shown in anti-proverbs with the same gender components. As a result, we came to the conclusion that both proverbs and anti-proverbs are androcentric; however, in anti-proverbs female opinion is more representative in comparison to proverbs. To sum up, it is obvious that the role of women is changing and the changes are reflected in the language.
The paper is devoted to the problem of improving written communication skills in the university. It is intended to underline the importance of mastering writing skills when teaching a foreign language. Much attention is paid to teaching experience and approaches for students’ mastering of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam. This article is intended to fill the gaps in methodological and pedagogical aspects of teaching description of visual information materials in English. The authors worked out and implemented a new training workshop which is aimed at teaching and practicing graph description of visual information. Based on the curriculum a new syllabus has been drafted that provides further distribution of thematic, lexical and grammatical material given the specific nature of graphical material. The authors propose a two-stage teaching approach and methodological algorithm about how to work out exam strategies and form the required exam competences. The article highlights the outcomes and the challenges that are likely to arise when implementing the approach suggested by the authors. The proposed methodology can be used as a part of general foreign language training.
Assessment and evaluation have always been important; they are linked to language teaching methodology, program outcomes, language teacher competencies, language standards and second language acquisition training. They can serve many different policies and can come in different forms. Assessment and evaluation have always been seen as the responsibility of the specialists, but they have rarely been included as a component in English language teacher (ELT) training. However, the ELT field has been experiencing a major shift in assessment and evaluation with effects on teachers, and learners around the world. It has also been influenced by a major questioning of traditional forms of testing and the underlying psychometric principles of measurement in ELT. Recent studies reveal that the reconceptualization of English language assessment and evaluation provides systematic information about student learning in relation to their performance and contributes to better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. In many ways ELT has lagged behind the rest of education in the exploration of new theories and assessment and evaluation tools, including self-assessment. This research gap was generated partly because of the lack of integration with mainstream educational theory and practice in many areas of ELT, and partly because of powerful positions of traditional English language tests. The attempt to bridge this gap has lead to the research carried out. The aim of this article is to elaborate different assessment techniques that may better address student learning needs, improve student learning and engage students in self-assessment, including the sequence of steps that could lead to self-assessment. The study shows that the techniques implemented to develop self-assessment enable students to perform well.
In order to plan lessons that include effective instructional strategies, it is critical for teachers to be aware of student aptitudes, personality variables, learning strategies, interests, aspirations, and talents. This paper presents a way for Russian teachers to improve their students’ speaking abilities when learning foreign languages, called individualised resources, which are based on the concept of individualisation. Individualised resources are designed to help students to actively participate in the learning process, contribute to their productivity of learning and compensate for missing abilities when mastering foreign languages. In order to verify the effectiveness of this educational tool, qualitative and quantitative indicators were applied to a classroom-based study. Research findings illustrate how the approach enhanced the students’ speaking abilities in terms of purposefulness, richness of speech content and logical progression of speech. The results presented in the article indicate that this type of training may be sufficient to shape speaking skills when teaching English.
Increasing workplace demands on foreign languages skills in professional settings call for a number of considerable changes in the university learning context regarding foreign language teaching. The present study aimed to assess the language needs within and across employed university graduates, first, third, and fourth-year students of non-language majors to further inform such changes. All four language skills, the context of both current foreign language education programs and the use of a foreign language at the workplace were considered. Questionnaires including Likert scale, multiple choice, and open-ended items were distributed among 110 students and 35 currently employed graduates. Descriptive statistics and one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey HSD and Holm-Bonferroni tests were used to analyze the data. The results indicated several areas of agreement among the participants: A clear need for all four language skills to be developed as high as C2 level and the consistent need to improve speaking. However, several noticeable discrepancies between the perceptions of the target groups regarding the context of workplace language use, such as how often, where, and with whom they expect to communicate, and need for professionally oriented foreign language were revealed. Overall, students may need to be more informed about the challenges regarding the workplace context for language use.
Quality is such a logical category that pervades all sphere of our life. Life would be grey and boring if there were not quality in it. We suggest that quality is expressed, fixed, manifested, represented on a lot of language levels and interlevels as well. We attempt to show that even a verb whose nature is not to represent the logical-semantic quality in its pure form includes a qualitative component in its sentagmemic structure.
This research studies the syntagmemic structure of verbs and their correlations with their logical-semantic quality. The verb reveals the processual peculiarities of the quality. The logical-semantic quality is fixed in verb semantics in terms of its propositional relations, which are implicit in a verb. The quality represented by a verb is concomitant as it goes together with the relationality, the main component of a verb syntagmeme. This work accounts for the implicitness in regards to the words whose semantic components have no direct expression in a language. The work studies the affect of the verbal part of speech categorization on the manifestation of quality in a language as well. This research employs the method of morphothemic analysis, suggested by Fefilov (1997). This method is particularly useful in studying the nature of word semantics, its structure, and correlation with the concept.
The aim of the paper is to examine Facebook postings from an ecological language perspective as a special type of discourse of “everyday life” with an orientating function, to evaluate the environmental potential of this network that influences the character of the posts, and to determine cultural differences in thinking and expressing birthday greetings on the Facebook platform. The paper outlines some specific features of the Facebook environment or niche such as the reduced characters of the message, the use of abbreviations, simple structures, merging and interaction of written and spoken languages, and the use of graphical signs to convey emotions. The methodological approach was to compile a database by randomly gathering, from various Facebook timelines, 680 birthday postings in Russian, American English, German, and French. The posts were then analyzed according to three dimensions: (1) focus of the greetings on the specific day or years to come / life in general (Western vs. non-Western countries, analytical vs. holistic mindsets); (2) use of nominal structures; (3) stress/emphasis on characteristic features of a person, compliments. Various psycholinguistic and cultural aspects of the verbal greetings from the timelines of Russian, American, German, and French users of the social net are singled out in terms of holistic and analytical types of critical thinking. The data collection shows that while Russians and Germans predominantly display holistic thinking, as expressed in birthday postings of a general character and wishes in general for the upcoming year or years to come, Americans and the French display analytical thinking as their birthday posts are more focused on that special day. Most birthday postings are usually short and have one similar pattern. Americans use a lot of praise and stress personal relations. French postings are very emotional often expressing love and kisses. This study shows that analysis of Facebook birthday postings should be multimodal and complex, taking into account a complex interaction of a number of internal and external factors and a personal inclusion into socio-cultural interactions.
This study aims at fostering students' listening skills by scaffolding their self-study learning practices in the English for Special Purposes (ESP) course. While there is a significant body of research exploring classroom-based teaching approaches, there is little empirical research into how students develop their ESP listening skills outside classroom. Our study suggests that developing a self-regulated model for acquiring ESP listening skills in a self-study mode is an efficient way to improve students' performance as it provides students with relevant scaffolding and makes listening process more transparent. The paper provides theoretical grounding for the self-study model. The entry-level test, and post-study test in listening scores (IELTS test) are compared across the control and the experimental groups (60 students in total). The results of the study indicate that students who were developing their listening skills in a self-study mode via the designed scaffolding, performed significantly better than their peers in the control group. Scaffolding self-study listening practices of students outside classroom prove to be a significant factor in facilitating English learning in an ESP classroom.
The current research is devoted to the comparative and contrastive analysis of Donald Trump’s victory and inaugural speeches. Its objective is to identify their similarities and differences from the functional and linguistic points of view. The research consists of several stages. First, the two genres of discourse in question are defined. Then, an overview of their functions is provided. Next, the linguistic means of performing them are analyzed. The results of the research indicate that, due to their main goals, the genres in question express certain functions, which can be verbally expressed in various ways: in Trump’s victory speech the inspirative function comes to the fore, while in his inaugural address the integrative and the performative functions dominate the other ones. Furthermore, in each case linguistic peculiarities correlate with the functions: in the victory speech the focus is on the 'greatness' of everything and everyone, whereas in the inaugural speech words connected with patriotism prevail, which is expressed mostly by means of personal pronouns. The results of the current research may function as a basis for further analysis of the genre of the victory speech as it has not received enough scholarly attention yet and of the peculiarities of Donald Trump’s political discourse.
The article presents an analysis of the book on gender, power and political speech. There is a review of the main ideas and suggestions for the further investigation of the topic. In conclusion the author gives recommendations to the readers and overal appraisal of the book.
Young people’s interest in taking international exams, such as IELTS, results from student mobility and their willingness to appraise language abilities. In this case, irrespective of their professional domains, L2 learners are submitted to Academic Writing Task One that implies comprehending graphic information and processing it in written discourse. The gap between a host of graph description tests and an insignificant number of efficient teaching methods has provided a rationale for the current study. It focuses on graph description as a cognitive, psychological and educational process and employs the analysis method in the theoretical section. The data derived from scientific investigations have revealed the key pillars of successful written graph presentation: the combination of all four main skills, i.e. reading, listening, writing, and speaking; skills transfer; critical thinking and writing; the appropriate use of style; graphic literacy. Based on the action research design method, the study has quested for peculiar language problems detrimental to processing the graph description task. It is concluded that the “constant nudging” method, a skills transfer, the use of appropriate vocabulary for describing trends alongside academic functional phrases and grammar features, the analysis of mass media information with numeric data are solutions to graph description issues.
Graphic and Functional Algorithms of Sequence of Tenses in English Grammar for the Effective Education and Automated Systems of Text Synthesis and Editing are described.
In order to develop the skills and competences required in a professional environment, university students have to reflect on their own role in the learning process. The traditional methods of assessment do not assess reflective thinking, critical thinking, self-evaluation and peer evaluation. Peer assessment may be a way to solve this problem. In this paper, it is researched how peer assessment could be applied to higher education and the effect of using this form of assessment on the quality of learning. The methodology to investigate the effect of peer assessment as a part of the learning process includes literature observation, case study, developing protocols and marking criteria rules for peer assessment, examples of peer assessment strategies and activities. The results of the research demonstrate that peer assessment methods of either written or oral performance can trigger a deeper involvement of students both in the learning and in the assessment process, keep motivation up and develop some qualities essential for future professional life. Therefor peer assessment could be effectively integrated in the course of ESP at the Moscow Higher School of Economics.
Nowadays, learner autonomy is considered to be a multidimensional and diversified concept. A number of scientists have found support for the importance of learner autonomy but there is little empirical research on using different strategies for promoting and evaluating students’ autonomy. Accordingly, in order to become better language learners, students should plan, implement, and evaluate their own learning. This study aims at fostering and evaluating students’ autonomy by scaffolding their speaking practices through role plays in an English for Special Purposes (ESP) course. The research suggests that role-play strategies should help students develop their autonomy in acquiring ESP speaking skills. The study argues that developing autonomy is an efficient way to improve students’ performance in ESP speaking skills as it provides them with relevant scaffolding. This article provides theoretical grounding for autonomy. The entry-level and post-study speaking scores (IELTS test) are compared across experimental and control groups. A class-based training course of ESP speaking was offered in an institutional setting to 38 (15 male, 23 female) second-year students at a national research university in Russia. A special questionnaire was developed to assess learner autonomy in ESP speaking, which proved that role play promoted learner autonomy and encouraged students to master ESP speaking skills. The results of the study indicate that students who were developing their speaking skills via role play performed significantly better than their peers in the control group. The level of their English language competence improved. The role plays in the ESP speaking course proved to be a viable and productive teaching strategy for fostering autonomy among students.
The article explains the need for such innovations in teacher development as self- and peer observation, peer coaching, and keeping a teaching journal. It gives the results of teachers’ questionnaire and works out ways of collaborative teacher development. The author links the listed activities to professional development of English language teachers and their professionalism.
This is a qualitative study covering the issue of motivation in mastering a new educational course by undergraduates. the purpose of the study is to identify techniques and approaches to foster intrinsic motivation as a driver to obtain long-term knowledge.
The article explains the need for teacher training seminars and an increased demand for new teaching skills as a result of a study conducted by the author; it outlines standards for English teachers and looks at various areas of teacher development at tertiary level, such as teaching portfolio, collaboration, teacher study groups, workshops, and research seminars.
Although a variety of the English language written olympiads (language competitions) exist, fairly little is known about how they are different from traditional forms of language assessment. In Russia, olympiads in the English language are now gaining currency because they provide an opportunity to reveal creative thinking and intellectual abilities of pupils. The present study examined major differences between language olympiads and traditional forms of language assessment. A comparison of five main olympiads in the English language in terms of their levels, assessed skills and task types is made and their distinctive features are outlined. The results of a testing of a new written olympiad of the Higher School of Economics “Vysshaya proba” (Highest Degree) in the English language are analyzed. A set of test items was developed for 120 secondary school pupils in Moscow to find out whether they can easily cope with non-traditional form of assessment, which is language olympiad. The results indicate that language competition as a form of alternative assessment may be introduced at schools to encourage better learning.
The paper focuses on the cognitive foundation of English adjectives that denote mental characteristics of human beings. Several cognitive models have been advanced in an attempt to account for the semantic structure underlying the lexical category in question. After reviewing these models, a method for determining which of them most accurately captures the “cognitive reality” of English adjectival “deep structure” is proposed. The paper concludes with arguments for the inclusion of additional “motion attributes” to Lakoff’s ICM (1987), namely, “guide’s support” and “speed”.