This qualitative study investigated graduate school instructor paradigms and practices with respect to language and communication skill development for both academic and professional purposes. What was uncovered is that instructor paradigms present a strong relationship with respect to instructor practices. Regarding perspectives on language and communication skills, three notable segments were consistently identified at the graduate level: competent native English speakers, English language learners, and non-competent English speakers, and that this third segment was the population of greatest consistent concern. To address the needs of all three segments, a series of proposals based largely upon best practices as relayed by the instructors are suggested to realize skill improvement for all population groups.
This quantitative study investigates learners’ attitudinal constructs towards studying Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) at the collegiate level in the United States. The researchers explored the following research questions: (1) What kinds of language attitudinal constructs do learners have towards Chinese language learning in a formal classroom setting, (2) Is there a significant relationship between learners’ attitudinal constructs towards Chinese and their gender, ethnicity, major, and age? Data for this study consists of surveys completed by 198 students who were enrolled in first-year Chinese language classes in two U.S. universities. The statistical results found three components of language attitudinal constructs: integrative orientation towards the Chinese language community with which learners already identified, integrative orientation towards the speakers and culture of the Chinese language, and instrumental orientation; and that the students’ ethnicity and major have significant effects on their attitudinal constructs towards Chinese language learning.
This study investigated the impact of Chinese college students’ gender on their English pragmatic competence test performance. Linguistic competence and pragmatic competence are the two additive components of communicative competence; they become the two faces of communication. However, the pragmatic aspects have often been neglected in the assessment of ESOL students’ English proficiency. A 24-item multiple-choice College English Pragmatic Competence Test (CEPCT) was administered to 2,503 Chinese college students learning English as a foreign language. The results showed a significant gender difference. Female Chinese college students scored significantly higher than male students in both areas, i.e., speech acts and conversational implicatures, on the CEPCT. Some important implications are discussed.
The paper looks into discursive practices of increasing credibility of a message and its source deployed in religious discourse for the purpose of boosting its persuasive potential. It is based on author’s research and analysis of a corpus of religious texts and illustrates the use of credibility boosters by presenting examples selected from sources of several denominations and religious movements (Christians, Latter-Day Saints, Jehova’s Witnesses, United Christian Action, etc.). Besides, it statistically maps the distribution of credibility boosters across four samples used by Judaism and Christianity, Church of Latter-Day Saints, Heaven’s Gate, and Church of Scientology. It also points out recent trends in some of the persuasive mechanisms deployed to induce a change of individual’s opinion and/or behavior.
2ND Untested Ideas International Research Conference
June 27 – 29, 2014
The Sheraton Rhodes Resort, Rhodes, Greece