Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching
Volume 4 (2013) Issue 2 (PDF)
Foreword to the Issue
The second issue of the fourth volume of JLLT comprises five academic articles, one university report and four book reviews. The thematic scope ranges from aspects of general language teaching via language learning and language awareness, and further on to one determined language competence, i.e. translation, which completes the articles written in English. The thematic range in this issue continues going on towards applied linguistics in a German article and to linguistics in a Spanish one.
The first article by Patricia Anesa (Bergamo, Italy) focuses on a new medium for instruction. In this article, the author explores users' reactions to the use of interactive whiteboards in the setting of teaching English for specific purposes. Despite the fact that interactive whiteboards have become increasingly prevalent in other educational contexts, they are still relatively rarely used in academic contexts. Patricia Anesa's investigation, carried out in ESP courses on the language of economics held at an Italian university, points to the principal advantages of whiteboards such as interactivity and availability of information. An interesting aspect taken into account in this article lies in the fact that both students' and lecturers' reactions are documented and analysed.
Examining an important aspect of language learning competence, Katalin Doró and Anita Habók (both Szeged, Hungary) present a study on language learning strategies by elementary school students (275 fifth and sixth graders) with respect to their age and gender. The Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) served as the empirical basis of the study. Among the six categories of strategies analysed, meta-cognitive strategies turned out to be the most frequently used ones, compensation strategies being the most rarely employed ones. Throughout all the six categories, girls proved to use the six relevant strategies more functionally than boys, which meant that gender did play a role in the study, whereas the students' age was found to be of no significance.
Following a multilingual approach, Inez De Florio-Hansen (Kassel, Germany) investigates the potential benefits which translation studies can provide for foreign language methodology. In the context of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), translation and interpretation were revalued to represent important aspects of communicative competence whereas they had previously been regarded as simple learning tools only. Although oral and written mediation is gaining increasing importance in professional contexts, in language instruction, translation and interpretation are mainly used in informal contexts. The author hence proposes that advanced language learners acquire basic skills in translation and communication for their future professional lives. In this respect, foreign language methodology may benefit from the definitions and methodologies developed by translation studies. For this purpose, a revised model of mediation competence is presented.
On the basis of an applied linguistic approach, presented in German, Bok Ja Cheon-Kostrzewa and Frank Kostrzewa (both Karlsruhe, Germany), present a contrastive analysis of conjunctions in Korean and German, deducing potential learning difficulties of Korean learners who acquire the German conjunctional system. The authors point out that these difficulties are predominantly occasioned by typological differences in the two languages, with German conjunctions being used as connectors and Korean conjunctions being added to the respective word stems. The polyfunctionality of postverbal conjunctions represents another source of learning difficulties. The authors illustrate their reflections with a multitude of examples.
In her purely linguistic article written in Spanish, Sara Quintero Ramírez (Guadalajara, México) presents the finding of her study of three TV baseball emissions. These live emissions are characterised by the fact that the reporters are under time pressure, having to present the events of the game almost in real time. Apart from the mere description of events, the reporters are expected to offer the audience their professional expertise by analysing and comment the games. It is found that the reporters use a considerable number of metaphors, metonymies, hyperboles and also similes, whose usage is documented in the article in detail.
The articles of this issue are complemented by a university report in which Thomas Tinnefeld (Saarbrücken, Germany) reports the Second Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching which took place from November 7th to 9th, 2013, at Saarland University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken (Germany). The conference featured the topic "Language Knowledge and Language Skills - Prerequisites, Relativity, Methodology" and comprised six sections covering linguistics, methodology, languages for specific purposes, communication and interculturality, Internet and multimedia, and product-oriented presentations. It presented one keynote speech and hosted 52 section talks, many of which were international ones, held by presenters from Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. Around 130 participants who came from 23 countries attended the conference.
The present issue of JLLT is rounded off by four reviews on recently published books. Mikaela Petkova-Kessanlis (Sofia, Bulgaria) reviews a book on contrastive media analysis, Magdalena Ziemba (Czudec, Poland) reports on a publication on standards of intercultural competence for language teachers, Christine Mathews (Saarbrücken, Germany) evaluates a book on language teaching which links linguistic theory with practice, and Veronica Smith (Klagenfurt, Austria) reviews the new edition of a very well-received German grammar book.
As usual, Editor and Editorial Board thank all the contributors and wish the regular and new readers of JLLT a pleasant read full of inspiration.