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Journal of Communication Practices

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Volume 1 Number 1 July 2004
Volume 2 Number 1 January 2005
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Volume 1 Number 1 2004

Volume 2 Number 1 January 2005

Volume 1 Number 1 July 2004

 

Guest Editor

MAYA KHEMLANI DAVID, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 
 
CONTENT
 Editorial
 
The Impact of the New Global Economy On Business Communication Skills
David Kirk Vaughan
 
Teaching oral communication skills to Business English learners
M Ashraf Rizvi
 
Representation of Sociolinguistic Realities in Language Teaching 

Maya Khemlani David

Articulating /p/ in English and Arabic

Kapil Muni Tiwary

Building a Networked Learning Environment for Interactive Online Language Training

Pran Nath Pandit

Information Technology Literacy in the Lives of Language Teacher Trainees in Malaysia

Ambigapathy A Pandian

Language Classroom Observation: How do researchers and participants manage?

Pramela Krish

Review: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, by Ronald Wardhaugh

Han Jing-Mei

ABSTRACTS
 
The Impact of the New Global Economy on Business Communication Skills

David Kirk Vaughan

As the business world becomes more diverse, competitive and result-oriented, the importance of business communication skills continues to increase and the enrollment of English-as-Second-Language (ESL) students in business colleges across the world continues to expand. With the whole world becoming a global market and business becoming a link between people and countries, business communication skills are crucial to professional success today. However, success in communicating in the global environment will depend not just on an effective style but on the ability to analyze, organize, and present essential information effectively. This article argues that globalization is having a profound impact on business communication tasks, and new kinds of communications tasks or skills will be required in the new environment of globalization. These skills include multiple language facility and cultural awareness capability, legal sensitivity, ability to understand and explain quantitative data, knowledge of high-tech communications capabilities, recognition of collateral communication requirements, and ability to analyze and prioritize information.

Teaching oral communication skills to Business English learners

 M A Rizvi

This paper outlines an approach to the teaching of oral communication component of a Business English course to a group of Arab students doing National Accounting Diploma at Sultan Qaboos University, the national university of Sultanate of Oman. Although most Business communication courses in Asian universities do include an oral communication component, the time available for it is very limited as this has to compete with many other components. As a result, Business communication teachers find themselves involved in teaching oral communication skills in just a few classes due to academic compulsion. They often need to devise short cuts to improve oral communication skills of their students in order to make them take more active role in several academic activities that require oral competence. This paper presents a way of teaching oral skills that expresses a realistic attitude about what should be expected of Business English learners who need to improve their English oral presentation skills despite the constraints of classroom time and space.

Representation of sociolinguistic realities in Language teaching

 MAYA KHEMLANI DAVID

In this paper, the author argues that language teaching and instructional materials must not be divorced from socio-cultural realities. It is argued that when teaching English as a medium of communication within the ASEAN region, it is vital that Asian value systems and not transplanted TL (English) values are reflected in speech and social interaction with our Asian neighbours because if TL value systems are reflected in our speech patterns with our Asian neighbours it could lead to misunderstanding and communication breakdown. It is also argued that the language teachers' role is to alert and sensitize his/her students on the differences in the communication styles and expectations of native speakers using English as contrasted with non-native speakers. The ability to switch and accommodate to their interlocutors will result in a high degree of communicative effectiveness. Based on the results of a critical examination of 20 textbooks which are used from the first year of English language teaching, the author tried to determine whether L1 cultural norms were being reflected in teaching materials.

Articulating /p/ in English and Arabic

Kapil Muni Tiwary

This paper deals with the problems involved for the native speakers of Arabic learning English in Yemen in the articulation of one English phoneme, /p/ and its confusion with the English phoneme /b/. As the learners face a major learning task here, and the teachers of English face a serious teaching problem, it is argued that it may be necessary in teaching pronunciation to develop in the learners some degree of ‘conscious’ control of the organs of speech – what we call a ‘phonetic skill’. The paper describes the techniques for teaching the phonetic skill to the native speakers of Arabic learning English to articulate voiceless bilabial stop [p] of English. The techniques proposed are based on the well-known general phonetic facts of aspiration and voice lag, and the relationship between the two in English. As the recent growth in the use of English in Yemen has led to changes in learners’ pronunciation needs and goals, there is urgent need to consider the widespread use of these techniques to train different groups of learners of different levels of proficiency in the universities of Yemen located in different parts of the country to produce voiceless bilabial stops [p] of English. Only then the validity and value of these techniques can be properly assessed and affirmed.

 

Building a Networked Learning Environment for Interactive Online Language Training

 Pran Nath Pandit

This article investigates the potential of web's multimedia capabilities and interactive functions as a means of online dissemination. It describes the relevance of online interactive training programmes for national workforces, which require continual training, updating and upgradation of skills and knowledge. One area that undercuts all fields of professional knowledge is skills in language. The author argues that building a Networked Learning Environment (NLE) is essential to widen access to interactive Language Training Programmes. Online teaching of languages combines the advantages of print, audio, CD ROMs and DVDs and adds continuous interaction among peer learners and tutors, the facility for instantaneous feedback and solution of problems, and continual updating and upgrading of information and skills to cope with the ever increasing needs of workforces.

The challenge is to make language training available to a great number of people by devising customized, demand-based online language training programmes. This can be effectively achieved by Indira Gandhi National Open University, a fast growing distance education university in Asia. The need is to undertake a pilot project first and give online courses together with partial on-campus training before phasing out to entirely online dissemination.

Information Technology Literacy in the lives of Language Teacher Trainees in Malaysia

Ambigapathy A Pandian

The changing technologies for literacy and changing instructional practices are some of the serious challenges that teachers confront today. Interestingly teacher training is one area that involves the teaching and learning activities of a large number of young people who in turn will engage in lifelong learning assignments. This paper focuses on information technology experiences and literacy among trainee-teachers specializing in the teaching of Malay, English, Mandarin and Tamil languages in Malaysia.  It aims to assess the experiences of teacher trainees with information technology -- to examine first some of the patterns of computer usage and knowledge about software applications and information technology in their study programme and secondly, to find out to what extent these individuals were thinking critically about the entire information and technological enterprises. The paper reports that information technology literacy, specifically in relation to language learning among teacher trainees has not been attained fully. More seriously, teacher trainees were not engaging in information technology activities in critical ways. The agenda on teacher trainees and literacy is important, as the development of IT literacy among them will contribute to the essential changes needed in the learning settings to push the Malaysian people to a knowledge driven society.

 

Language Classroom Observation: How do researchers and participants manage?

Pramela Krish

Language classroom research investigates the process of language teaching and learning as they occur in the classroom and deals with immediate and practical problems facing language teachers and learners. Research of this nature is meant to enhance the effectiveness of the education system and could be sensitive and demanding as it involves administrators, language teachers and language learners directly. As education is essentially a practical rather than a theoretical activity, the field of educational research is different from many other areas of research. This paper based on interviews and discussions with administrators, teachers and students, discusses some of the problem areas faced by researchers in managing language classroom observation.  The paper also attempts to formulate a set of guidelines and provide useful tips for potential language classroom observers in planning, conducting and evaluating classroom observations, which can benefit both the researcher and the participants.

 

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