Volume 1 (2010) Issue 1
Table of Contents
Esmaeil Momtaz (Aberdeen, UK) / Mark Garner (Aberdeen, UK):
Despite a widespread assumption that collaborative learning (CL) is pedagogically effective, there has been little research on its place in non-Western educational institutions, specifically in relation to EFL. A mixed-method study was conducted in Iranian EFL reading comprehension classes in order to establish whether (a) CL leads to greater comprehension of a text than private reading, and, if so, (b) the processes by which it enhances comprehension. Participants were pre-tested for reading comprehension and streamed into two classes. The intervention consisted of four texts of equal length. Each class read two texts collaboratively and two privately, after which they answered in writing ten comprehension questions. Collaborative reading resulted in consistently and significantly higher scores than private reading for all four texts. Group interactions during collaborative reading were tape recorded and transcribed, and 10 students selected at random from the two classes were interviewed in depth. Using these methods, certain processes of collaborative reading were identified, including brainstorming, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
Mehrnoosh Fakharzadeh (Isfahan / Iran) / Abbass Eslami Rasekh (Shiraz / Iran):
On the Applicability or Non-Applicability of the Gricean Maxims to Nursery Rhymes
The present article reports the findings of a study designed to examine whether the Gricean Maxims, based on his cooperative principle, are observed or flouted in one language activity, nursery rhymes. Examining 30 popular English rhymes and justifying the position of the rhymes on a literary-nonliterary continuum, adapting Halliday's functional framework for non-literary and Cook's cognitive change function for literary discourses, the researchers found that for this language activity to be performed successfully, some modifications are required to be made on the definition of the maxims of quantity and relevance. It has also been revealed that while the maxim of quality might be flouted, the maxim of manner is observed in all the songs. Our analysis of the data suggests that it is not only the assumed cooperation between addresser and addressees which governs the whole discourse, but also that another principle may need to be defined on the basis of some modifications made to the maxims.
Valerie A. Wust (Raleigh, North Carolina, USA):
This article examines reasons for which the two complementary French pronominal systems are so difficult to teach and learn. The first part of the article synthesizes the findings of empirical studies on pronoun acquisition by learners of French in a variety of contexts. The second part examines specific learnability issues (e.g., Ellis 2006) that contribute to the developmental difficulties experienced by instructed second language learners in particular. In the final section suggestions for an informed pedagogy of French object pronouns are offered, moving from beginning to advanced levels of development.
II. University Reports
Rainer Reisel (Saarbrücken, Germany):
Das Deutsch-Französische Hochschulinstitut (DFHI) in der vierten Dekade seines Bestehens - eine Zwischenbilanz
In the present article, the political and academic development of the German-French University Institute (DFHI / ISFATES) – from its beginnings in 1975 via the Bologna process up to the present day - is described from the point of view of its former director, the conceptual highlights of its institutional and methodological approach being elaborated. Last but not least, the article witnesses a fruitful university cooperation between a French and a German university, for the benefit of students and their professional success. For reasons of illustration, four specific study programmes –Electrical Engineering and Logistics, Bachelor and Master, respectively– are exemplified.
Nadine Imhof / Anne Lejeune / Ann-Katrin Marsel / Marie Philippi / Johanna Volk (Saarbrücken, Germany / Metz, France):
In the present article, written in German and French, respectively, three German and two French students, enrolled in the DFHI programme Master of Management Sciences, give a detailed report about the German-French University Institute (DFHI / ISFATES), using their respective mother tongues, with these two languages alternating occasionally. After a short description of the German-French University Institute, which represents the umbrella organisation of the different study programmes which are offered in the cooperation of two universities – Saarland University of Applied Sciences in Germany and Paul Verlaine University in Metz (France) –, one of these programmes is outlined. Its multilingual (German, French and English) and intercultural orientation is positively evaluated. The geographic place of study is described as well as the student organisation. Finally, two typical projects are exemplified.
III. Book Reviews
Christine Schowalter (Landau, Germany):
Marcel Eggler: Argumentationsanalyse textlinguistisch. Argumentative Figuren für und wider den Golfkrieg von 1991. Tübingen: Niemeyer 2006. 450 Seiten (ISBN 3-484-31268-8)
Thomas Tinnefeld (Saarbrücken, Germany):