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Journal of Communication Practices

Volume 4 Number 1 January 2007

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JOURNAL OF

Communication

Practices

An International Multidisciplinary Research Journal

Volume 4            January-June 2007            Number 1

 

 

Editorial

 

 

 

 

Teacher’s Views of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Materials Development

 

Shameem Rafik-Galea

 

 

A Plea for the Use of Authentic Data in the ESP classroom

 

Maya Khemlani David  and Zuraidah Mohd Dom

 

Communications in a second-language engineering environment; a program case study

 

David F Dalton

 

 

Perceptions of trilingual corporate communication practices in Hong Kong and Greater China: A pilot focus group interview with pre-service corporate communication trainees from a Hong Kong university

 

Patrick P.K. Ng and Cindy S.B.Ngai

 

 

Exploring motivation among Sri Lankan undergraduates: A social constructionist approach

 

Shamara Ransirini and Mohana Nambiar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          ABSTRATS

 

Teacher’s Views of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Materials Development

 

 

Shameem Rafik-Galea

Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication

Universiti Putra Malaysia

 

Research within the context of EAP has largely concentrated on EAP learners in English as a second and foreign language. However, little attention has been paid to how teachers use commercially produced EAP materials and their problems in using and developing EAP materials for their own localised situations. Teachers’ skills and teachers’ views about developing such materials have not been well researched. This paper presents preliminary findings of a survey carried out with Malaysian English language teachers based on a larger study on EAP materials design. It presents their views and feelings, and concludes with a discussion of the implications of such findings.

 

A Plea for the Use of Authentic Data in the ESP classroom

 

Maya Khemlani David  and Zuraidah Mohd Dom

University of Malaya

 

Language teaching and learning becomes meaningful when authentic text is used in the ESP classroom. Authentic texts can be culled from a range of resources- advertisements, speeches of politicians, vice-chancellors. Written authentic data can be obtained from many sources- newspapers and magazines, web sites, e-mails etc while spoken data can be obtained from radio and television live programmes. A hardworking ESP practitioner can also even visit the site where the ESP learner will eventually work and collect authentic spoken and written data on such a site. This paper argues that such authentic material is ideal ground for examining both spoken and written discourse in specific sites. The ultimate goal is to use such awareness of specific language needs required in a range of setting so that practitioners, having such knowledge are empowered to teach ESP learners. Use of authentic texts to help deconstruct meaning is a powerful and meaningful way to learn connections between choice of lexical items, choice of structures, choice of tenses and the communicative goal of the speaker.

 

Communications in a second-language engineering environment; a program case study.

 

David F Dalton

Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi

UAE

 

This paper describes and examines a communications program delivered to Arabic speaking (foreign language) engineering students in the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the paper is to place the teaching of communications in a context of practical needs and applications influenced by user and client needs and learning outcomes. In addressing this question, particular reference will be made to issues of second language learning, constructivism, collaborative learning and independent learning. The paper will advocate a less teacher-centered approach to program delivery and give recommendations on the delivery of such a program in the Gulf context. Elements of a student survey on responses to the program will be briefly presented and commented upon.

 

 

Perceptions of trilingual corporate communication practices in Hong Kong and Greater China: A pilot focus group interview with pre-service corporate communication trainees from a Hong Kong university

 

Patrick P.K. Ng,

Department of Chinese & Bilingual Studies,

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 

Cindy S.B.Ngai,

Hong Kong Community College, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 

 

Abstract

In the wake of rapid globalization, grappling with “the use of more than one language in the same place at the same time” has become one of the challenges facing multilingual professional communicators in Hong Kong (Thomason 2001).  They often deploy various interlingual strategies of contact-induced diglossic conditions when conveying identical messages of distinct constituencies within and outside their polities (So, 1989; 1998).  Goodman (2004) argues that to perform successfully these myriads of corporate functions in international environments hinges upon a proper understanding of crucial socio-cultural-linguistic variables.  This article reports findings from a pilot study which seeks to identify, analyze and taxonomize common and variant interlingual functions and strategies deployed by private and public corporate practitioners, while considering respective cultural norms, in conducting spoken communication activities within Greater China.  The focus interview guages the perceptions of seven undergraduate students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University specializing in the area of bilingual corporate communication toward such an issue.  Key findings indicate a consensual view that corporate communicators generally integrate bilingual or trilingual skills via code-switching and code-mixing strategies in corporate Greater China contexts.  Such practices are thought to be different from the role of translation in everyday workplace contexts. 

 

Exploring motivation among Sri Lankan undergraduates: A social constructionist approach

 

Shamara Ransirini

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

 

Mohana Nambiar

Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya

 

This article reports on a study of the motivation patterns of Sri Lankan undergraduates towards the learning of the English language. In order to develop a conceptual framework that is appropriate for the current Sri Lankan setting, the social constructionist framework proposed by Williams, Burden and Lanvers (2002) was expanded. The study adopted a mixed research design that used both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (semi-structured interview and observation) approaches. The sample population consisted of 133 undergraduates of a Sri Lankan university. The findings reveal that students’ motivation is closely intertwined with the social, economic and cultural milieu they live in. The findings of this study further reveal that Sri Lankan students have an ambivalent relationship with English: though they view English as the language of economic advancement, at the same time they perceive it as the language of the elite. Therefore, though they are aware of the instrumental value of English, they are also conscious of how learning English can add a negative dimension to their social identities. This challenges the popular assertion in language learning theory which holds that learning a second language necessarily endows the learners with positive subject positions.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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