Foreword to the Issue
It is my great pleasure to present the first issue of the Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching, which we are able to publish four months after the launch of the Journal. Since the beginning of this year, a number of articles have been sent to us - some of which still being under review in their first or second phase -, and the first five of them are being published now, others following in the subsequent issue. Article submissions came from four different continents, the manuscripts covering the most varied scope of topics, all of them being interesting and innovative.
I would like to thank the authors who have submitted articles to JLLT, trusting Editor and Editorial Board and thus endorsing a new initiative and an innovative academic organ and, in doing so, encouraging many more authors to submit their manuscripts as well, knowing that they and their work will be in good hands and that their findings will be published on a short-term basis.
In addition, I would like to thank those members of the Editorial Board who have contributed to the making of this first issue and whose work has increased the quality of articles even more. Although there will always be cases in which manuscripts will be rejected, our work so far has shown that the board members' motivation has been - and will be - to make publications possible rather than to block them. By means of intensive communication with authors, academic quality is and will be guaranteed and promising research findings are and will be conveyed to the academia in a functional manner.
This first issue of JLLT comprises five articles and two book reviews. These will be briefly described in what follows so as to give our readers a short overview of what may be of interest to them. In addition, both in the table of contents and preceding the articles themselves, an English abstract for each article will be given, which is even more expressive than the following short lines can be.
In the rubric articles and in the chronology of publications - not in that of manuscript submission -, the first article, whose authors - Esmaeil Momtaz and Mark Garner - both work at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, deals with collaborative learning and its potential influence on reading comprehension in an EFL context. The results elaborated in this study are significant in scope and nature and may have a strong impact on the course planning of language teachers in the whole world, who may, in this article, find a confirmation of their own observations.
The second article by Mehrnoosh Fakharzadeh (Isfahan, Iran) and Abbass Eslami Rasekh (Shiraz,Iran) discusses the potential of applicability of the Gricean Maxims to a new corpus: nursery rhymes. In an original approach, the authors examine a set of popular English nursery rhymes, slightly modifying two of the maxims and extending the set of principles to be applied to this very text type.
Whereas in the first two articles, scientific interest lies on English as a second language, in the third article, the French language taught to American natives is examined in a well-defined area: the use, position and combination of subject and object pronouns. This grammatical category, which is characterised by a complicated set of rules to be applied to any utterance these pronouns occur in, presents considerable obstacles to most learners, who are required to overcome them should they ever strive for speaking and writing French more or less correctly. In her article, Valerie A. Wust (Raleigh, North Carolina, USA), points out the reasons for the high degree of difficulty characteristic of this pronominal system and examines specific issues of its learnability. In a further step, she transfers these findings to the teaching of French pronouns from a beginners' level to advanced levels.
The second rubric - university reports - consists of two articles which are closely interlinked and which are of informative and intercultural rather than of purely academic value. These articles describe an original approach, i.e. a joint German-French university institute - DFHI / ISFATES - organised by one university in each country, which has just entered its fourth decade of existence. The first of the two articles just mentioned was written by Rainer Reisel (Saarbrücken, Germany), the former German director of this institute, who gives an overview of its history, presenting its continued development and its competitivity up to the present day.
The second article was written by five Master students of the same institute -Nadine Imhof, Anne Lejeune, Ann-Katrin Marsel, Marie Philippi, and Johanna Volk (Metz, France / Saarbrücken, Germany) -, two of whom are French, three being German. This article, written in French and German combined, just according to the philosophy of this institute, describes important aspects from a student perspective, thus complementing Rainer Reisel's article.
This first issue of JLLT is rounded off by two book reviews. Christine Schowalter (Landau, Germany) presents a monograph on applied argumentation analysis, and Thomas Tinnefeld (Saarbrücken, Germany) evaluates a book on language testing.
May this short overview of the various components of this first issue arouse our readers' interest and boost their inspiration so that, as the best possible effect, the texts published here may inspire new research and new findings which will then be published in future issues of JLLT.