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Journal of Communication Practices

Volume 3 Number 2 July 2006

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JOURNAL OF

Communication

Practices

An International Multidisciplinary Research Journal

Volume 3            July-December 2006    Number 2

 

 

Editorial

 

Incorporating Students’ Feedback in the Interactive Reading Skills at Tertiary Level

 

Pramela Krish

 

Over-teaching and the oral communication skills

 

Leena Thomas

 

Primary Stress in Medical Words: Implications for Teaching Pronunciation to Medical Students

 

Amrendra K Sharma

 

Language user in a language-learning classroom: Insights from verbal protocols

 

Vijay Kumar Mallan

 

Learning and Teaching a Foreign Language in a Computer lab

 

Tran Le Huu Nghia

Nguyen Thanh Duc

 

Comment

 

Hang Jing-Mei

ABSTRACTS

Incorporating Students’ Feedback in the Interactive Reading Skills at Tertiary Level

 

Pramela Krish

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

This article presents the findings of the needs and preferences of undergraduates undergoing the Interactive Reading Skills (IRS) course at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The research methodology used in the collection of data and the reflections of the students was done using a checklist.  Feedback provided by students via the checklist played an important part in the evaluation of the IRS. Through the findings of this study, the instructors were able to make the necessary changes to make the IRS move effective. Consideration was also given to the varied cultural and linguistic background of the students in the development of the course.

 

 

Over-teaching and the oral communication skills

 

Leena Thomas

Malabar Christian College, Calicut

 

This paper explores the effects of over-teaching on the motivation of learners and tries to point out that the teacher is often responsible for the learners losing interest in the classroom activities mainly because of the habit of over-teaching. Taking into account the limited resources and traditional texts in the typical Indian classroom, this paper looks at certain strategies which the teacher can employ to make his classes an effective tool for generating oral communicative tasks. This calls for a change in classroom teaching strategies on the part of the teacher. These strategies are explained taking Sarojini Naidu’s poem ‘the Bazaars of Hyderabad’. Strategies evolved here are suggested as devices that aim to focus on the need for oral communication skills but do not ignore the learner needs from the examination point of view. Hence a change in focus from teaching redundant elements to teaching for the development of learner’s oral skills, calls for a reassessment of teacher- learner behaviour and strategies. The author argues that the focus must be on teacher-learner interaction which stimulates  interest in the learner and arouses his curiosity before the text is placed before him.

 

Primary Stress in Medical Words: Implications for Teaching Pronunciation to Medical Students

 

Amrendra K Sharma

Dhofar University,  Salalah, Oman

This paper explores the pedagogical dimensions of teaching pronunciation to medical students and focuses on primary stress in medical words. The author presents his experience of making a very modest attempt to discover some types of regularity in predicting primary stress in medical words ending with most of the common medical suffixes listed in Chabner's Medical Terminology(1999). However, the author has confined himself to medical words ending with thirty suffixes. He has taken into account the number and type of syllables working forwards from the beginning of the word and also going backwards from the end of the word. The author claims that counting syllables backwards from the end of the word has paid a rich dividend in highlighting the regular pattern of primary stress in medical words with most of the suffixes.

 

Language user in a language-learning classroom: Insights from verbal protocols

 

Vijay Kumar Mallan

Universiti Putra Malaysia

 

The potential of a language user is not fully exploited in a mainstream English as a second language (ESL) classroom. This paper provides evidence for this claim by exploring the revision strategies of a language user when she composed aloud while writing an argumentative essay. The paper first discusses the importance of writing within the Malaysian education system. Secondly, it describes the think aloud methodology used to understand the revision strategies of the participant. It then provides a descriptive account of revision strategies of the participant in this study. An analysis of the strategies suggests that conflicting agents influenced the participant’s belief about revision. These beliefs were shaped by ESL classroom practices. These beliefs affected the quality of her essay as judged by Malaysian public examiners. Pedagogical suggestions are then made to improve the teaching of writing by taking into consideration the unique nature of the language user in a mainstream ESL classroom.

 

Learning and Teaching a Foreign Language in a Computer lab

 

Tran Le Huu Nghia

Nguyen Thanh Duc

Can Tho University, Vietnam.

 

This paper attempts to identify the barriers and supports to the processes of teaching and learning English, specifically in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation- the three basically important aspects of a language, with the assistance of a computer-equipped lab among the teachers and non-majors at Can Tho University, Vietnam.  The authors claim that there are many The finding shows that there are a variety of inhibitors and facilitators appearing during the class time in various aspects including individuals’ problems, learning strategies, and teaching methods. This paper then gives a further discussion together with a theoretical background for reducing eventualities in such a kind of classes.

 

Critically evaluating an existing language curriculum and the type of syllabus this engenders

 

Han Jing-Mei

China

 

I shall talk about the National Curriculum and the Syllabus for English teaching in universities in China. The textbook involved is called College English, Intensive Reading: Book One edited by Zai Xiang-Jun, et al and published by Shanghai Foreign Language Press in 1994. This set of textbooks is edited for and used by university students who will be learning English as a required course though they are students in other disciplines in their first and second year in universities.

 

The reasons for my choice of talking about this textbook are: 1. The textbook is the best seller and has the largest population one can imagine, i.e.  about 2/3 of the total students population in their first and second year in universities in China use this approved set of textbooks. 2. It is the only first prize winner in the Second Appraisal Meeting of the national excellent textbooks for tertiary students held by the State Education Commission. However, after one semester’s study, reflecting back and comparing with the standard curriculum and syllabus in English speaking countries, I must admit there are a number of vital mistakes or we call some weakness in the designing of the National Curriculum and the syllabus for this textbook which has resulted serious consequences in recent years. To deserve the kind offer and the fame of finishing the course successfully, I would like to discuss these in details.

 

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