New perspectives: New Challenges

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 17
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    The Effect of Formal Instruction on Reading Proficiency
    (2009-12-05) Dr. Adnan Shehadeh; Mr. Khaldoun Zughayyer

    The role of formal instruction on language proficiency has been the subject of much debate among specialists in language acquisition throughout the history of the communicative approach (Ellis, 1999). This study specifically investigates the role that formal instruction plays in the area of receptive skills, namely, reading. The study attempts to probe the impact of exposing college students to two general English courses on their reading proficiency. A group of college students from different majors were tested in reading before they had started their English courses, then they were asked to sit for the same test after finishing the courses. Results showed that exposing students to formal instruction in the form of English courses has influenced the different aspects of reading proficiency in various degrees. Several variables such as the students' majors, the specific abilities required for each aspect, and the type of questions may stand behind these results.

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    Diglossia: A Comparative Study between Arabic and English
    (2009-12-05) Dr. Samir M Rammal

    “Diglossia is a natural phenomenon in any language: If there is any difference between diglossia in Arabic and in other world languages like English or French, it is a quantitative difference” (Zughoul, 1980:32). This paper discusses Arabic diglossia in contrast with the diglossic situation in English with special reference to the quantitative difference. A comprehensive definition of the term “diglossia” is also provided. Besides, the paper focuses on issues related to the linguistic implications of diglossia including phonological, lexical, and syntactic differences between the standard and colloquial varieties of English and Arabic. Finally, a special section in the paper discusses whether or not diglossia is a stable language situation and how it can be a real obstacle in the communicative function in a language which is highly diglossic.

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    Form and Function in English Teaching: Meeting the Challenges of the ICT
    (2009-12-05) Dr. Graham Stott

    Diane Larsen-Freeman has suggested that the point of education is to accelerate the learning process-and "not to be satisfied with or try to emulate what learners can do on their own." This makes a useful starting point when thinking of the challenges and opportunities facing us as educators. Consider the new technologies of learning. They can greatly facilitate individual study (far more than we usually let it, indeed); but can they usefully add to what we do in the classroom? Yes, if we look at databases, simulations and concordances: not really, if we stick with PowerPoint. If we use technology to help us do what we want to do (for example, if we believe that learning entails hard thinking about difficult problems, and use it to help students define a problem space) it is an amazing resource; otherwise it is just a gimmick. Here, as in so many areas, form follows function.

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    Distance Learning and New Technologies in Teaching and Learning English
    (2009-12-05) Dr. Insaf Abbas

    The paper will focus on the explorations of modern technology in enhancing learning in general, English language and literature teaching, and learning in particular. It will describe some experiments in using new technologies that the researcher has been implementing in this respect. The first one is the researcher's experience in working on preparing two online courses in English language and literature teaching utilizing the Moodle platform and the virtual classes technique. The second one is the experience of running an online English literature course through the technique of video streaming. These experiences will be described. Attitudes of students towards these techniques will be surveyed. Outcomes are to be presented and challenges highlighted.

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    In-class Activities that Enhance Students’ Fluency in English Conversation
    (2009-12-05) Dr. Suzanne Arafat

    This paper reports on the perceptions of students towards the role of using different in- class activities in improving the English language learners’ communicative skills. It aims at finding out if the perceptions of students are affected by several variables such as gender, teacher’s reinforcement, students’ preparation for the class, reason for enrolling in the conversation class. To identify factors affecting students’ oral communication fluency, three instruments were used to collect data: a questionnaire, interviews and observations. The results indicated the effectiveness of using extensive in-class listening activities through listening to recorded materials in addition to participation in active listening exercises. Findings also showed the importance of the teachers’ feedback in improving oral production. Finally, the researchers recommend that the English and Methods of Teaching Departments increase the number of oral communication courses that provide students with the chance to practice and improve their oral communication skills. Moreover, further research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of developing and choosing authentic material relevant to the students’ cultural values.