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Spoken lexical chunks used by successful learners at B2 level: forms and functions

AuthorChristian Jones, Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Liverpool email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), UK 
Daniel Waller, Senior Lecturer in EFL and Testing at the University of Central Lancashire, UK 
Patrycja Golebiewska, Associate Lecturer in EFL at Jiangnan University in Wuxi, China

Abstract:   This study analyses the lexical chunks used in successful spoken language by a sample of learners at Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) B2 level in the speaking component of a four-skills test. The data forms the initial part of a corpus of speaking tests at this level and the intention is to provide practitioners and researchers with evidence in order to more clearly interpret the broad ‘can do’ statements of the CEFR. Results suggest that the most frequent chunks used at this level employ the first thousand most frequent words in the British National Corpus (BNC) spoken lists and are often comparable to frequent chunks used in native speaker corpus data. The findings also show that learners make use of a narrow range of multi-functional chunks rather than employing a range of items for one function. Moreover, some chunks we normally would expect to find at this level were underused. The data has implications for how spoken language, in this case, chunks, could be taught to students at this level and for further research in this area 

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Content of English Language Certificate Examination in Primary School in Cameroon: An Analysis.

AuthorAchu C. Tante, Faculty of Education, University of Buea, Cameroon
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Abstract:   In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa an official language is used as either a second or foreign language. In the case of Cameroon English is used as a second language by the English-medium population from pre-nursery to university. Instruction apart English language is employed for formal, informal and government situations. What is more it is the language for career prospects. This is not easy especially for young children who are still in the process of developing in their L1. English language competence therefore most often is related to academic success and progress.
This article analyses the examination content of the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in Cameroon. The general argument is that the English language competence and performance of successful primary school graduates still falls short of expectation. A number of reasons have been given for this low level such as use of the Communicative Language Approach, the young ages of pupils and inadequate resources. By analysing the content of the examination from 2014-2015 indicators may be drawn with regard to the appropriateness to expected skills and abilities. Discussions are made further in the light of similar contexts and suggestions are drawn to inform ESL/EFL summative assessment practice of Young Learners world-wide..
Key Words:First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC); ‘sequence’; Young Leaner (YL); Communicative Language Approach; discrete point and structural testing, authentic or real tasks.

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Improving English conversation skills through online conversation lessons and classroom interactions with native speakers

AuthorHayas Saniboo, Prince of Songkhla University, Thailand
Kemtong Sinwongsuwat, Prince of Songkhla University, Thailand

Abstract:   The purpose of this study is to improve the oral English performance of Thai lower-secondary students. It attempts to address the following questions: a) Can the employment of online conversation lessons help to improve learners' conversation skills compared to face-to-face classroom interactions with English speakers; b) Are there any differences in the performance improvements contributed to by the two learning approaches?; c)Which learning approach better improves the learners’ conversation performance?; and d) What are the strengths and weaknesses of each learning approach in developing conversation skills? The participants in this study were 50 Grade 8 students from Rajaprachanukroh Songkhla Province School in academic year 2014. They were purposively sampled and divided into two groups: on learning through online conversation lessons and the other via classroom interaction with an English speaker. They were individually interviewed to assess their oral English performance before the treatments and after completing the lessons. Students’ interviews and conversations practices were video-recorded for close analysis following Conversation Analysis (CA) principles and rated in the following features: fluency, vocabulary, appropriacy, pronunciation, and grammar. The research instruments employed in this study were oral communication tasks for pre- and post-tests. The research findings based on statistical and CA analysis shows that the students’ oral English performance considerably improved through the use of online lessons and classroom interaction with an English speaker. The learners engaged in classroom interaction, however, became significantly more fluent and had a wider range of vocabulary than those learning through online conversations, even though their performance in pronunciation were similar. Thus, it was recommended that teachers utilize online lessons not as the sole language learning activity but as a supplement to classroom interaction to strengthen particular speech features....
Key Words:Online conversation lessons, classroom interaction, speech features, oral English performance.

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Fee-Alexandra Haase
Mudar Language and Himyarite Language.
Is the Concept ‘Language’ as ‘لغة’ and ‘لسان’ and ‘Speech’ (‘كلام’) in Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah a Source for a Linguistic Variation in the Arabic Dialect Continuum in a North / South Scheme of Linguistic Distinction ?

AuthorDr. Fee-Alexandra Haase
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Am Sportplatz 2 D-18573 Rambin Germany

Abstract:   This article focuses on the problem of the classification of language and its variations in natural languages. The common understanding about language is that language exists at a complex level as language called in the Saussurean terminology langue and in a communicative modus as parole. This dichotomy doesn’t seem to match the needs of the description of the Arabic language, which as a diglossia is spoken today on the Arabian Peninsula, Southern Central Asia, and Africa. The Arabic language employs two terms for the concept ‘language’, which is contrasted with the concept ‘speech’. The case of the usage of the term ‘Mudar language’ for a variety of the Arabic language spoken and written during the time of the Islamization opposed to the contemporary ‘Himyarite language’ shall introduce with the case study of Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah to the language typology of Arabic...

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