Volume 7 (2016) Issue 1 - Foreword to the Issue
JLLT 7 (2016) 1

Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching

Volume 7 (2016) Issue 1 (PDF)

Foreword to the Issue

The first issue of the seventh year of JLLT is a trilingual one, coming with five articles in English, German, and French, respectively. We are very glad to present an article in the latter language – in French about French -, hoping that more submissions of French articles than have been made so far, will follow in the future.

The first article, dealing with linguistics and published in English, is contributed by Attapol Khamkhien (Bangkok, Thailand), who examines structural patterns and linguistic features in 50 academic articles on applied linguistics and analyses the different sections of academic articles from the respective Introduction section to the Methods section. The articles examined in this study were taken from academic journals that are listed in the Thai Citation Index. Each section was found to exhibit a pattern of its own. It was also found that some communicative functions revealed a possible link to well-defined lexico-grammatical features. Apart from its linguistic analysis, the present article provides academic novices with insightful writing knowledge and also contributes to the teaching of academic writing.

The authors of the second article Adriano Utenga (Dodoma, Tanzania), Hashim Issa Mohamed, Onesmo Simon Nyinondi, and Abdulkarim Shaban Mhandeni (all Morogoro, Tanzania) draw on input simplification and strategies of interactional modification in the Tanzanian English-language classroom. The results of this empirical study, although focused on the situation in Tanzania, are, in large parts, transferable to the instruction of English as a second or foreign language in general. In their study, the authors focus on lexical and syntactic features. They found that teachers used various strategies of linguistic input and interactional modification to foster students’ understanding and language development. The authors hence recommend a systematic and streamlined use of linguistic simplifications and interactional modification strategies in the English language classroom. They also suggest that, together with other factors which influence foreigner talk, the discourse of native speakers and non-native speakers be further explored so as to learn more about the potential of discourse modifications that may increase the accessibility of language learning.

In the first of the two articles published in German, Biljana Ivanovska, Marija Kusevska and Nina Daskalovska (all Štip, Republic of Macedonia) examine the pragmatic competence of Macedonian foreign language students. In this ongoing project, the main problems are identified, i.e. the components of students’ interlanguage to be measured, and the method used to measure them. In this study, the authors aim to explore the components to be acquired by students so as to facilitate the development of their pragmatic abilities. These include linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic competences. Pragmatic competence also comprises discourse competence, knowledge about communicative functions and interactional schemata.

In the second German article Sing-lung Chen (Kaohsiung, Taiwan (R.O.C.)) describes the model of an essay modification system. This model is linked to an Internet platform on which German native speakers correct essays written by non-natives - in this case, Taiwanese students. Original essays and corrected versions are saved, which will finally lead to the establishment of an extensive essay-writing corpus. In this corpus, individual errors and their respective correction models form a relationship group to be activated when new errors come up. The model will thus lead to a considerable facilitation of teachers’ correction work, which will no longer have to be done individually and on a case-by-case level.

The last article, published in French, by Karl-Heinz Eggensperger (Potsdam, Germany), is on the analysis of a civil-law written exam in the framework of a course of French for specific purposes at UNIvert III® level. The target aimed at in the underlying language course is to provide students with the necessary linguistic means so that they can master related situations in higher education in France (the so-called travaux dirigés) as the ability to solve legal problems is a fundamental prerequisite for students to be qualified to work as lawyers after finishing their academic studies. The necessary knowledge of French and the professional requirements are exemplified by a case taken from family law, annotated extracts from students’ exam papers being used to point to the urgent need of instruction in languages for specific purposes.

The present issue is rounded off by two book reviews, one by Veronica Smith (Klagenfurt, Austria) on the book “Task Sequencing and Instructed Second Language Learning” edited by Melissa Baralt, Roger Gilabert and Peter Robinson, and the other one by Ulrich Schmitz (Duisburg-Essen, Germany) on the book “Why Do Linguistics?” published by Fiona English and Tim Marr.

Thanking our authors for their contributions, I am happy to present the aforementioned articles and book reviews and wish our readers some enlightening hours of reading.

Thomas Tinnefeld