Foreword to the Issue
The second issue of the Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching comprises five academic articles, a university report and two book reviews.
The first article by Maduabuchi Agbo (Benin, Nigeria) deals with Igbo, a language - spoken by more than 20 million people, who, for the most part, live in Nigeria and in its range -, with verbs coming with body part complements. As a theoretical basis, the author chooses the Role and Reference Grammar and defines five sub-classes of verbs in which the different complements have the function of broadening the meaning of the basic verb, a set of examples illustrating the research findings. The Igbo speaker, thus, has to keep three constitutive elements in mind - the meaning for the verb, the semantic function of the verb complement and the general grammatical principles of the language – so as to make meaningful utterances.
Dinh Trong Pham (Regensburg, Germany) establishes a relationship between Grice’s maxims and Vietnamese language culture. In his study, he found that the Gricean maxims confirmed some expectations of the communication culture which is characteristic of Vietnam (and possibly Asia in general) and which, among other things, aims at harmony in communication. The results of the study stress the importance of the intercultural approach which is vital for successful communication and which can never be over-estimated in language teaching and learning.
Maite Correa (Fort Collins (Colorado), USA) investigates Heritage Language learner programs and questions the relationships of social and economic power which have been created with reference to the position of standard varieties on the one hand and local varieties on the other. Her approach encourages students to consider the intrinsic value of their own language variety and stresses the importance of giving them access to academic or standard language so as to get prepared for the reality they may be confronted with outside the classroom. Maite Correa’s approach, which is critical, but not over-critical, and comprehensive, fills a gap in the literature on Critical Pedagogy as far as the reasons for, the manner in which and the time when local and standard varieties should be included in the HL curriculum are concerned - for the best of students in the classroom and outside.
Shing-Lung Chen (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) analyses Taiwanese patents on language learning and their underlying models. Unlike what people generally think, there are a number of patents which do not deal with technical problems and their solutions, but rather with the acquisition and learning of foreign languages. What is surprising is that this type of patents has not been systematically examined, yet. The article aims at the first step towards filling this gap by documenting some models elaborated in these patents which help learners to improve their chances of learning foreign languages in a more fruitful way by using modern information technology and which, last but not least, can be of inspiration and support to teachers in their ambition to improve their own methods more and more.
An important aspect of foreign language methodology is also in the focus of the article presented by Kay Cheng Soh (Singapore), who investigated the use of students’ mother tongue in the foreign language classroom, referring his study to bilingual code-switching between English and Chinese among Singaporean primary school pupils. The results of the study, which are based on the high correlations the monolingual and the bilingual tests used in the study showed, imply that the use of L1 in L2 teaching may be promising in certain contexts and classroom situations.
The issue is complemented by two book reviews written in German. Barbara Beyersdörfer (Saarbrücken, Germany) examines a book on French translation exercises for students of Romance philology. Thomas Tinnefeld (Saarbrücken, Germany) analyses a grammar of English for German students of English philology.
At the end of the issue, readers will find a comprehensive Table of Contents of the first volume (Issues 1 and 2) of JLLT for their reference.
Editor and Editorial Board are looking forward to working on the second volume of the Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching, whose first contributions will soon be published on the Journal’s website.