Category Archives: Current Issues in Applied Linguistics

Reflection on daily bases

Assessed Levels of Second Language Speaking Proficiency: How Distinct?-Iwashita (2008)

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This was the last session of Current issue in Applied Linguistics. Sad, but at the same time I am satisfied, and full of new skills and knowledge. I can say that my expectations are met. At the beginning of this course I was very upset because I wanted to learn and gain something new, I did not want to gain skills and knowledge which we gain from other regular classes. Why? Because our instructor always surprised me with new things and with new materials in his class. So, I wanted this course not to be an exception.

I can say the most important thing in teaching is to be able to surprise your students, makes them always be fresh. So, for this course, I can say that the first class session was boring. But then, boom! Everything changed. New format of presentation; we have not ever presented a bio of a scholar; who cared who the author of the article could be, or where the author is graduated, whether or not he has family. But know we care much moreJ!!

Moreover, this is not the last session but this is the last day of studying in this university. Wow, excited, and ready to share my knowledge, the knowledge which I considered necessary to gain from this university. I the past I was frustrated even when I hear the word “teacher”. I was thinking no way; I am not such a crazy to become a teacher. Now, I can say teaching is become part of me without which I cannot live and cannot live within at the same time, weird I knowJ!

Also, I had pleasure working with my professor and conduct a workshop. This is also one of the tasks which I had to complete for the TE322. Except giving me new skills and knowledge, this course gave me also new experience, in terms of conducting and assisting.

Finally, for future suggestion, I do not know how weird it would sound; it would be better if the course could be conducted also via Skype if in a case someone could not come, he or she can connect via Skype and participate in lesson. This I suggest because, I had to be late and even be absent from this class, and got absence, so alternative solution if you cannot be present physically turn on into our channel TE322 in Skype.

Investigating the viability of a collocation list for students of English for academic purposes- by: Philip Durrant (2009).

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Unfortunately could not be present for this class session. So, I have not so much to write in this reflection, however I have overview of the article that was discussed in the class. This was about   the creation of positional-variable academic collocations.In many academic listings collocation often involves relationships between words which may be separated by other, non-fixed, or semi-fixed words, and which may differ in their position relative to one another.

However from the article it becomes obvious that lists of collocations created up to date and provided to   teachers and learners isn`t sufficient and helpful, because of the fact that most of the lists don`t include potentially- variable items. Therefore this fact should be considered when trying to create new lists of collocations that will serve learners from different academic disciplines.

Which part of speech you think you use more when you write papers? H’m, let’s count :) !

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One of the amazing things I like in linguistics is every research we read or do is unique. We as researchers in our research touch upon such topics that sometimes no one will ever think of that such research could be done. But before I will explain why I think so, first I will explain and describe the procedure of the course I take which is called current issues in applied linguistics. Every student in each class session should take a paper by an author and make a presentation based on the content of the paper.

I chose a paper on the topic ‘”Structural and linguistic evolution of the English-medium medical research article (1985–2004)”. First I was confused thinking that “what I have to do with medical research article”. Then I went deep into the article, and that was really interesting one. The idea of the article was to find out what parts of speech do medical researchers use in their research article. From the study it was obvious that they tend to use more first person singular.

Besides, during the session we had an opportunity to listen to our peers’ presentation and topic analysis. One thing which frustrates me is the topic on writing, I do not like it what can I do. However, we as future teachers (actually already teachers) should always be aware of writing skills. So, I found out that  I more tend to use “I” when I write, however, in many cases we should exclude “I” and use more view the writing from neutral side.

The Effects of Repetition on Vocabulary Knowledge-Webb (2007)

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One of my most favorite topics was the Vocabulary knowledge. I did not even exaggerate that I would love the topic of my paper presentation so much. I think it’s because I was getting acquainted with the article for more than two days. I think no matter how easy the article is, it requires, it wants to become friends with you.

So, now have a new friend whose name is “Vocabulary needed for reading comprehension Schmidt et all (2011)”J! It turned out that 60% comprehension means you have 90% coverage (that is vocabulary knowledge).

Another interesting point I gained from this course, is that before starting to present an article a research first we as presenters should introduce the author of the article, and then dig into the study.

ANOVA VS T-test?

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The session was interesting in terms of its content and students were more engaged in the class. We spoke about, longitudinal and quasi-longitudinal research. For me i knew what longitudinal was, but i had some confusion with the term quasi-longitudinal research.
T-test and Anova another hot issues for the researchers to have more understanding of how they will analyze their findings. Many students i notice have the same problem with the understanding of the term. T-test as it is can be dependent and independent. Independent T-test compares the means between two unrelated groups on the same dependent variable. Dependent T-test compares the means between two related groups on the same dependent variable.
Anova in its turn compares means between more than two variables. As our teacher will say-so simpleJ!!!
We discussed an article about the topics that i mentioned above.
Instrumental or integrative motivations more foster learning? Ta-daa, if you want to know the answer look through the articles by Zoltan Dornyei. Good question peer.
Talking about presentations done during the session made me sad, for me the idea of presenting bio of a scholar is presenting something new to your peers. Presenting a scholar from the subfield of applied linguistics, which we haven’t ever heard of. Also, one can present a scholar from the field of language anthropology, a scholar from computing linguistics or philosophy of a language.

Balancing Content and Language in Instruction: The Experience of Immersion Teachers- Cammarata & Tedick (2012)

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Today my peer and I presented on of the newest scholar for all of us. I wanted to surprise our instructor, but he knew the author;-William Labov. When choosing the scholar, I suggested my peer to take a bio of a scholar from the subfield of applied linguistics that our class has never came along with. So we decided to take from sociology field. That was interesting and interesting (I hope)J!

Another interesting scholar was presented by another our group-Merrill Swain. It was very well presented.

During the regular class session we dedicated the first help of the class session to the discussion of the article, which was being summarized by a new group each time. The was about the experience of Immersion Teachers; It was an interesting article as it look how the language is taught in students’ second language, that is in their language as well as not in target language but in their second one. If you are interested you can go to this link and read the article, which I can say is a new one (2012).

ON THE RELATION BETWEEN AUTOMATED ESSAY SCORING AND MODERN VIEWS OF THE WRITING CONSTRUCT- Paul Deane (2012)

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Today’s class was fully dedicated to the presentation of bio of a scholar. I think this is one of the successful activities of this course. As my instructor noted once, scholars are also human 🙂 !

 
I quite agree with him, as sometimes we read article and when we see that the author of the article has a strange name we even do not read his/her name, and in this case it is even useless to talk about finding about his/her biography. The first group presented one of the well-known scholars Boroditsky. For instance, I was always sure that Boroditsky is a man, but fortunately it was found out during the class presentation that Boroditsky is a woman,-Lera Boroditsky.

 
Another presentation was dedicated to one of my favorite and well-known linguist David Crystal. Amazing linguist! However, I think that such activities are given to explore scholars about whom we as beginner scholar have no idea.

 
Talking about the articles which are being summarized on daily bases, I can say that we again touched upon the writing topic, but this time on specific software which allows many instructors to check their students’ essays. This software which is called Automated Essay Writing (AES) also aimed at checking students’ proficiency level in writing. Such software mainly are used in such education organizations as TOEFL, GRE and so on.

The Impact of Physical Environment on Learning- Woolner et al (2007)

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Once i was giving private classes at home. One day I had regular class session, unfortunately I forgot to turn on heating. So, when my student came the first thing she noticed was it was cold at my home. So, during the session she was disrupted saying “she is cold”. My point is that the learning environment is very important both for teacher and the student.

During our class we were discussing the same issue; many peers were suggesting a specific environment for learning.

Also, I liked the activity the instructor gave us, we should and dig in the internet and find specific classroom design pictures which we would like to see. After it we had to upload it in a space provided in our Moodle page. I saw very creative and interesting interiors for classrooms. But for me, I would prefer to teach my students outside in a nature, in a more authentic environment.

Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching by Blackledge (2010)

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This was one of the topics that made a real furor in our class. Students were engaged in class discussion. For me I learnt another word “translanguaging”. In fact, I am still thinking to continue my study and concentrate in theory of teaching and linguistics rather than in practice. 🙂

I think, usage of translanguaging in a classroom would be chaotic, mainly because there are classrooms with diverse students, and if everyone start using languages they are in, it would be the case of Babylon. Well, I am in some way dramatizing! 🙂

Well, I think teacher should not allow students to use translanguaging, as if the aim of the class is to teach students English, then no other language other than target language should be allowed in the classroom. This will help students to acquire another new language.

All in all I would not appreciate translanguaging in bilingual classrooms as well. However, translanguaging will help students to be engaged in class discussions more; as they could ask and answer questions in a language they feel comfortable using code-switching.

English as a Lingua Franca: concepts, use, and implications- Alessia Cogo (2011)

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Many will agree with me, that something has happening with English language. Why? Why is that that English became the main language or at least one of the main languages in the world?  In fact, it is because of the globalization. Second, I have read that in 1973 when Britain and Ireland became part of EU (European Union) English language become one of the nine official languages as well (including, French ). Later on, French and English started to be considered “The only official languages”.

Third, as the database was all in English, scholars had to write and publish their publications in English, everything you needed you could find only in English. I guess, that’s why English is so popular.

So, English becomes truly an international language. If you want to have business partners, learn English, if you want to study abroad you are most welcome but first learn English!

Moreover, there are different Englishes. That is, you can learn English as a foreign language; other can learn it as a second language. For instance, in Armenia English is taught as foreign language, but in India English is taught as a second language.

At last, if we remember one of Bible events, people were trying to build a tower Babylon to reach the God. As we know God got angry and change everyone’s languages so that no one could understand the other and consequently if there is no specific language no one would understand the other, there would be no collaboration and at last no tower. The same is here, trading and studying abroad is developing so people feel the need of one language to be understood everywhere, so English is that very language.