This study was aimed at (1) elaborating the EFL writing teachersperceptions about their experiences after implementing the flipped teaching method with CALL (Computer- Assisted Language Learning) in teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language) writing course, (2) explaining how flipped teaching with CALL motivates teachers, and (3) explaining how flipped teaching with CALL motivates students and develops students autonomous learning. Fifteen Indonesian EFL teachers and 150 EFL students from 5 private universities in East Java, participated in this case study. The data yielded from this study were gathered through reflective teaching journal, in-depth interview, and focus group interview, and then, were analyzed descriptively. The findings show that there were three main phases of teachersperceptions. First, they were optimistic that flipped teaching would run well in their EFL writing class. Second, the teachersperception shifted from having high optimism to caution. Third, the teacherspositive perceptions arose after implementing flipped teaching with CALL for several meetings. This study also uncovered that the activities of flipped teaching could motivate the teachers to implement this method. The learning environments, challenging activities created by teachers, and the use of technology in the flipped classroom can boost the studentsmotivation and autonomous learning.
The aim of this study was to understand learnersperceptions of acquiring Communicative Malay Language (CML) proficiency as well as to explore the current use and potential of mobile-assisted language learning (MALL). This descriptive, qualitative, preliminary study involved a total of 10 randomly selected participants who had learnt CML beforehand. Questions for the semi-structured interviews used for data collection in the study were divided into four sections: demographic profile information, perceptions of language literacy, learning challenges, and attitudes towards learning technology. The interview data were reported using the thick description technique. Based on the findings, it was found that most of these learners preferred to learn only the communicative language over the formal language. In addition, all of the participants were able to read and write basic CML, but most of the participants were not able to communicate effectively. The findings also show that most of the participants utilized mobile applications in learning CML. However, only a few useful mobile apps were available for this language, and most of the mobile apps focussed only on vocabulary acquisition and sentence structure and did not deliberately cater to their oral communication needs.
Adult learning, andragogy, Malay as a foreign language, mobile-assisted language learning, self-directed learning
Malaysia has followed other countries such as Australia, Finland, and the United Kingdom in adopting school-based assessment (SBA). SBA was introduced to the Malaysian education system in 2011 with the rationale of reducing examination-oriented learning among students; effectively evaluate studentslearning; and provide a systematic way of assessing, recording and reporting studentslearning. Numerous studies have highlighted various complaints, issues, and challenges in the implementation of SBA among English language teachers in West Malaysia but only a few studies have been conducted in East Malaysia. This paper thus seeks to shed light on and provide a comparative qualitative study of, perspectives, implementation, issues, and problems faced by English language teachers in East Malaysia. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve English teachers (N = 12) teaching in the lower secondary forms of public national schools in the Kuching and Samarahan area of Sarawak. Interview questions were designed based on Stakes Countenance Model of Evaluation (1967) and encompassed three key criteria of evaluation, which were antecedents prior to implementation, transactions during, and outcomes of the program. All interviews were coded and clustered according to themes. The findings suggest that a lack of training and clear policy direction hampered the initial implementation of SBA. However, most teachers reported that since its implementation, the policy had gained greater clarity with greater support now provided by the Ministry of Education through the provision of further training opportunities.
Malaysia, policy implementation, schoolbased assessment, semi-structured interviews, teacher narratives
This study presents the findings of interviews conducted on the Orang Asli and stakeholders concerning the issue of representation of the community in media. The main objective of this research was to investigate the views and opinions of the community and stakeholders concerning the portrayal of the Orang Asli community in local newspapers. Interviews were conducted with members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), personnel from the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), journalists from mainstream Malaysian newspapers and Orang Asli individuals. Findings revealed that a number of opposing views could be traced in terms of the prejudiced treatment given to the community in media. The NGO members and the Orang Asli individual unanimously advocated the various plights faced by the Orang Asli community in their daily lives, apart from being discriminated in the media. On the contrary, JAKOA members and journalists interviewed rebutted the claim that discriminatory projection of the community existed in the selected newspaper. Such contrary findings call for more studies investigating the portrayal of the community in the media to be undertaken.
Indigenous community, Malaysian media, media and discrimination, Orang Asli, representation
The study assessed the classroom culture of language teachers of the Collegiate Department of the Mindanao State University - Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography with the aim of institutionalizing ambitious teaching in the classrooms. Ambitious teaching is defined as not only understanding where your students are coming from, but also holding very high expectations of them. It is to engage children in not only building foundational skills but also building problem-solving skills and higher-order thinking skills. Fourteen language teachers self-evaluated their respective classroom culture using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument for Classrooms (OCAI-C). This was cross-validated by the 185 students enrolled in their English classes using the same questionnaire. The OCAI-C categorizes the classroom focus into 6 dimensions namely dominant characteristics, teachers attention, classroom management, classroom glue, strategic emphasis, and criteria for success. Each dimension was evaluated in terms of 4 classroom culture classifications which are building relationships, continuous improvement, high expectations, and a stable environment. The results show that the Mindanao State University - Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography (MSU-TCTO) language teachers were more focused on building relationships, which suggested that their classroom affinity was more on developing mutual trust, care, and sense of belongingness, support, and respect. The MSU-TCTO classroom culture was more focused on developing foundational skills. Nevertheless, there was evidence that language classes had already ventured beyond building relationships. Thus, institutionalizing Ambitious Teaching in English classes is attainable, but it entails persistent reshaping of the teachers focus to set high learning expectations.
Ambitious teaching, classroom culture, classroom focus, English class, language class, MSU-TCTO
Many studies across languages have recognised that focus substantially alters the prosodic structure of a sentence not only by increasing F0, intensity, and duration of the focused words but also by compressing the range of pitch and intensity of the post-focus words. Studies, however, are still not fully clear regarding the main effects of focus on focused and post-focused words in Malay. Analyses from the present study revealed that on-focused words had significantly increased F0, intensity, and duration, while post-focused words showed no significant lowering following the effect of focus. The outcomes of the study generalised Malay as a language without post-focus compression (PFC). These findings have implications on prosodic typology, language contact and the historical origin of Malay.
This paper aims to investigate the translation strategies employed by subtitlers in the translation of the Jordanian dialect used in the movie Theeb into English. The dialectical expressions investigated in this paper were taken from the dialogue between actors in the movie Theeb. The movie focused on a young Bedouin boy his name was Theeb), wolf) and displayed Bedouin life during World War I. The actors were nonprofessional actors who came from the Bedouin community in southern Jordan (Petra). To critically analyze the dialectical expressions and their translations, the actors dialogues and their corresponding subtitles were investigated. To examine the translation strategies use, the dialect was first defined, and the translations used in the subtitles were examined. To illustrate the strategies employed by subtitlers in dealing with the translation of the dialectical expressions examples were listed in tables. The findings might offer perspicacity to the subtitlers in selecting strategies used in translation and it gives more attention to the cultural differences between the source language (SL) and target language (TL). The subtitles of the movie preferred to transfer the dialectical expressions into modern standard Arabic (MSA) by using the standardization strategy and then translated it into the TL.
Electronic communication forms a greater part of everyday language use and this form has influenced foreign language teaching and learning. If foreign language learners in the 21st century are able to practice their target language in its written form through both a hand-written and typed format, this will allow for more engagement; and flexible learning. Infotech in language and communication today allows for various channels to use the target language. This study aims to examine the perception of Korean language learners, and how they view the effectiveness of Naver Blog (blog.naver.com) as an electronic learning portfolio (e-portfolio) to practice the language in written its form over the course of five weeks, during which the weekly online task of publishing posts in the target language is required. Learners were undergraduate students enrolled in a beginner-level Korean language university elective module. The students believed that the effectiveness of improving writing skills included the need to look into sentence structure, spelling and vocabulary. These opinions were collected through a questionnaire. Results indicate that students agreed that publishing was an effective way to practice the Korean language, as well as to improve writing skills in the areas discussed in this study. This study expects to provide language instructors with insights into the adoption of existing online platforms in their teaching and learning activities.
Blended learning, blog, e-portfolio, foreign language learning, writing
Graded readers, termed Language Learner Literature (LLL), are used mainly for extensive reading. To engage language learners, they rely upon strong plots and readable language. Rosenblattâ€™s transactional reader response and Miall and Kuikens foregrounding theories support the notion that stylistic devices have the capacity to create evocation, which could heighten the reading experience. The use of literary language in graded readers has been a contentious issue, due to its potential of affecting readability. Nevertheless, studies have shown that readers are capable of responding to stylistic devices regardless of their language characteristics. This study, therefore, investigated language learners aesthetic response to stylistic devices. Employing an adapted 5-point Likert-scale questionnaire, a survey was carried out on 54 language learners at a tertiary institution to obtain their response towards two versions of a story: one with figures of speech, the other, without. Eight expressions with figures, and their corresponding expressions without them, were also tested on the respondents. The percentages and mean scores generated from the data indicated that stylistic devices do heighten learners aesthetic reading experience. About three-quarters of the respondents favoured the version with stylistic devices. The results suggest educators should consider the use of literary language in graded readers.
Extensive reading, foregrounding theory, graded readers, Language Learner Literature (LLL), transactional reader-response theory
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty primarily characterised by the deficit of phonological awareness which includes representing, storing and retrieving speech sounds. Past research has identified the influence of dyslexia in learning English as a second language (ESL). Presently in Malaysia, data that link dyslexia and phonology in English as L2 is scarce. Thus, this study aimed to identify the phonological errors, specifically at the phoneme, syllable and word levels in English among dyslexic learners in selected primary schools in Penang. It also differentiated phonological errors made by dyslexic and non-dyslexic learners in the same context. This study adopted the phonological awareness assessment that consisted of tasks at different phonological levels. The sample included seven dyslexic learners aged ten, and seven non-dyslexic learners with matched age. Overall, the findings suggest that dyslexic learners made significantly more errors than non-dyslexic learners based on the average scores of each task, with the lowest average score of only 28% in the non-word reading task. The results also reveal that dyslexia posed substantial problems in English as L2 learning, as well as the need for structured language programmes for dyslexic learners.
Dyslexia, English as a second language (ESL), phoneme, phonological deficit, syllable
As depicted in the current Malaysian scenario, competency in English is not assured although students are formally taught the language from their first year of schooling in National schools. Malaysian pupils have been achieving English proficiency level lower than the set expectation. This is further highlighted in the 2016 Economic Planning Unit report that after finishing Year 6 of Malaysian primary education, less than half of the students achieved a reasonable level of English literacy. Given the significance of vocabulary knowledge to language proficiency, the present study sought to examine the use of images in Malaysian ESL classrooms in terms of its effects on the development of vocabulary knowledge among Year One pupils. The study is different from previous studies and exploratory in nature, in the sense that it examined not only receptive vocabulary knowledge but also the productive aspect of vocabulary learning. Two groups of Malaysian Year One pupils from a national primary school in Malaysia were selected by purposive sampling for a pretest-posttest-delayed posttest design in a quasi-experimental approach. The Experimental group experienced the interventional approach (use of images) while the Control group did not. Results revealed superior productive vocabulary scores, at both the posttest and delayed posttest levels, in favour of the Experimental group. No significant difference was recorded for the receptive dimension. One other finding is that the testing instruments used were statistically found to be reliable for use with Malaysian Year One pupils. This study and its findings are of relevance to policymakers, educators, curriculum designers, and scholars engaged in ESL/EFL research pertaining to young learners.
ESL/EFL, images, Picture Superiority Effect, vocabulary, young Malaysian learners
This study borders on the dilemma between the language for national unity, and the language for education in Malaysia. It is guided by the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 that recommends the learning of Bahasa Melayu (BM) to unite the plural society; English as the language for modernisation; and vernacular languages (VL), which are Mandarin and Tamil, to preserve culture and identity. This study aims to investigate the preferred medium of instructions at higher learning institutions, the value of different languages for national unity, and students perceived reasons for using these languages. Using a set of questionnaires, the study was piloted to a group of 69 university students. The results indicate that many preferred English for the teaching and learning process, followed by BM, and VL. They perceived English as the most suitable, frequently used, and highly important for university education. Many students adhered to MEBs recommendation where they valued these languages for integration, internalisation, and preserving cultural identity; and perceived BM and English as equally important in promoting national unity. The main finding suggests that students rely heavily on English for both educational purposes and national unity; thus, calls upon strategies to strengthen the language, while not forgetting to uphold BM and VL as part of the nations identity, uniqueness, and pride.
Bahasa Melayu, English language, globalisation/internationalisation, national unity
The main task in the teaching and learning of Chinese vocabulary is to cultivate the ability of foreign students in recognizing, discriminating, choosing and using accurate words. However, the nature of Chinese characters in logographic form makes the reading and learning of the Chinese language more challenging. Every Chinese character carries not only the pronunciation (yin) and meaning (yi), but also the writing (xing). Hence, Chinese vocabulary acquisition includes the recognition of Chinese characters, the articulation of characters and the knowledge of the characters meanings. Classroom practices indicated that beginner-level learners of Chinese-as-a foreign language (CFL) rely heavily on word articulation via Pinyin or phonetic alphabet orthography to comprehend the meaning of words. Therefore, this paper investigated the CFL learners dependency on Pinyin to acquire the meaning of words. A total of 60 CFL learners participated in this study. They were given a written task to write the meaning of 30 Chinese words in the target language in two situations; firstly without provision of Pinyin and then with the provision of Pinyin. The results showed that the mean score of words comprehended accurately without Pinyin is 5.817 out of 30 words. The words comprehended with the provision of Pinyin showed a higher score of 25.483/30. The high dependency of Pinyin to acquire the word meaning implied that more teaching and learning of written word recognition should be imposed in the CFL beginner-level classroom.
Chinese-as-a-foreign language, meaning, Malaysia, Pinyin, vocabulary meaning
There has been burgeoning interest among researchers in investigating Willingness to Communicate (WTC) as part of the instructional method in a Philosophical Inquiry (PI) Discussion. The present study investigated the effectiveness of using a tracker chart in a PI classroom discussion to promote WTC. The participants were 30 undergraduate students in a public university in Malaysia. A WTC questionnaire was administered before and after the intervention. A tracker chart was used to gauge the number of learner responses that occurred throughout the 8-week intervention. Interview sessions with seven randomly selected participants were then carried out to gauge the learners perceptions of using the tracker chart in PI Discussions and its effects on their WTC. The data analysis showed that the tracker chart resulted in increments in the number of responses throughout the 8 weeks, and participants reported that the tracker chart had positive effects on their WTC as they were more conscious of their responses and contributions in the PI Discussions. The t-test result also showed a significant difference in the participants levels of WTC which indicates that the use of the tracker chart in PI Discussions helped increase the participants WTC. The results indicate that the use of a tracker chart could have positive effects in enhancing learners WTC in PI Discussions.
L2 learners, philosophical inquiry discussion, tracker chart, willingness to communicate
Bias and unfairness of test items in language proficiency tests have been an issue of scholarly investigation. Unfair test items and cultural biases in international English language proficiency tests such as TOEFL and IELTS have received considerable attention. However, such unfairness and biases in proficiency tests conducted at the national level such as Bangladesh Civil Service examination (henceforth referred to as BCS) have not been investigated. This paper attempts to examine item biases and inconsistencies in English language testing of BCS preliminary examination. Qualitative data has been collected from stakeholders using a semi-structured interview technique. A detailed content analysis of the English section of the BCS examination is conducted. Most test items have been found to be biased towards testing knowledge of English literature which is inconsistent with validity constructs of the language proficiency test. Stakeholders have been found to perceive the test as ineffective in measuring their English language proficiency.
Bangladesh civil service, bias, English proficiency test, validity
This study compared the effectiveness of incidental vocabulary acquisition and using direct vocabulary instruction to improve tertiary students academic vocabulary. Research has shown that Malaysian tertiary students lack exposure to academic vocabulary prior to their tertiary education and that they have an insufficient vocabulary size for tertiary education. Hence, this study explored the feasibility of providing direct vocabulary instruction with gamification through an intervention programme which the researcher named the Accelerated Vocabulary Acquisition (AVA) programme as a method to improve tertiary students academic vocabulary. Marzanos three-phase framework for vocabulary instruction was adapted and gamification was incorporated through the use of the gaming platform Kahoot!. This study used a quantitative approach and adopted the non-randomized control group, pretest-posttest design. The participants were 180 tertiary students studying for their diploma in various fields. The academic section of the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) by Schmitt et al. was used to measure the students academic vocabulary. The results showed that the AVA programme is a feasible framework to improve tertiary students academic vocabulary as tertiary students who underwent the AVA programme outperformed the students in the control group who learnt academic vocabulary incidentally.
Academic vocabulary, direct vocabulary instruction, gamification, Kahoot!, Malaysian tertiary students
Proverbs are replete with a rhetorical force and polymorphous nature which may result in misinterpretation of proverbs or the main essence of a proverb not being fully captured. Technically, such linguistic lacunae and drawbacks jeopardize the chances of conveying the intended message appropriately. This can give rise to a state of imbalance in the scale of communication and understanding. The audience, therefore, needs a sociopragmatic competence to be able to interpret proverbs properly. The purpose of this study is to examine the subtle implications and cryptic meaning of Jordanian proverbs from a sociopragmatic perspective. An attempt is made by the researchers to show the main ethnolinguistic factors that might give rise to difficulty in understanding Jordanian proverbs. Data was collected orally by employing the ethnographic approach. The data was studied and analysed in terms of pragmatic and sociolinguistic views. On the basis of the findings, recommendations were introduced towards more sociopragmatic studies to unravel the cryptic meaning embedded in proverbs. The research shows that ethnolinguistic factors and linguistic competencies seem to play a vital role in deciphering the cryptic meaning of proverbs.
This quasi-experimental study explored the impact pictures had on the vocabulary depth knowledge of 7-year-olds in rural Malaysia. The Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) is designed to elicit words from students existing listening and speaking vocabularies while capitalising on a learners ability to think inductively. Modified and adopting a single-factor one-cycle design with PWIM as the independent variable, the intervention employed a pretest-posttest-delayed posttest control-group design. The subjects were comprised of 2 intact classes (n = 60), 1 class formed the Experimental group (n = 30) and another formed the Control group (n = 30). The primary testing instrument, Reads Word Associates Test (WAT), was specifically adapted to measure subjects vocabulary depth knowledge for recall and retention. Analysed results revealed superior recall and retention by the Experimental group, denoting the effectiveness of PWIM in enhancing vocabulary depth knowledge recall and retention among Malaysian young learners. Moreover, given vocabulary depths claim as the stronger predictor of language proficiency, the functionalities of such data in providing insights on effective measures to boost English language development, particularly among young learners, cannot be disputed.
PWIM, recall and retention, vocabulary depth, young learners
Higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) are part of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013- 2025, which was implemented into the school system to spark a new trend in the way young Malaysians learn and acquire knowledge. The aim of the study was to obtain greater insights into the teaching pedagogies of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. This study underlies various types of information and communication technologies (ICT) usages in the classes, examine ESL teachers challenges in integrating ICT in their classes for promoting HOTS and determines the types of higher-order thinking (HOT) activities that are being conducted in classes. A purposive sampling method was used to select 40 participants who then responded to a questionnaire. The respondents comprised ESL teachers from selected secondary schools in Penang. This study found that ESL teachers lacked pedagogical knowledge of HOT especially in ICT and experience various ICT challenges in their pedagogical practices. This study is pertinent as it highlights a need for the Education Ministry to take serious measures in ascertaining experts in particular fields of pedagogical knowledge and provide training for the teachers to be capable of infusing thinking skills into content instruction.
ESL teachers, higher-order thinking skills (HOTS), information and communication technologies (ICT), Malaysian education system, secondary schools
The function of modality is to express the degree of the intrinsic and extrinsic assessment and judgement of a speaker or writer in terms of truth-value in propositions. One of the branches of translation studies is pure descriptive translation studies, which can be a product-oriented, function-oriented, or process-oriented. This study is product-oriented in that it examines descriptively an existing translation. This paper is a case study of Jacinto Benaventes drama, entitled Los Intereses Creados. The study was done qualitatively and quantitatively to describe the relevance and translatability of modality markers from Spanish into English. The investigation was done in a hyponym of literary translation, drama. Both source text and target text were wholly read. The data related to modality were identified, collected, and analysed. The analyses were carried out, following Toolans theory of modality. The analyses revealed that the English target text used more modality markers than the Spanish source text. The research revealed also that the frequency and infrequency of modality were more determined by language peculiarities and norms than by the translator; it indicates that the peculiarities and norms of both Spanish and English languages are the determinants of the translation procedures of modality.
Translation of culture-bound lexical items in texts has been uneasy task because languages differ from one culture to another and so not all linguistic items can be translated from the source language (SL) into the target language (TL). Sometimes translation may not meet the intent of the original author of a text. Translators, therefore, find themselves in conflict with the SL in a way that the speakers of the SL who have come across the translated text in the TL find faults in most of the translated text. This paper investigates the problems encountered when translating a text by a culturally different translator. The paper seeks to unearth the problems found in the translation of the novel, Cities of Salt: Al-Teeh which is written in Arabic Bedouin and translated into English by Peter Theroux, a native English speaker. Little research has been done on the effects of Bedouin culture on the quality of the translation of texts written in Bedouin dialect. To achieve its purpose, the study used a descriptive research design involving the adscription of culture-bound translated lexical items in the novel. Translated lexical items were purposively sampled focusing on culturally bound items. The data were then subjected to content analysis within the framework of Newmarks cultural domains. The results revealed that culture-bound lexical items had been mistranslated, failing to attain intended meaning. The findings of this study could be used to improve the quality of the translation of culture-bound lexical items from SL to TL.
Bedouin culturally-bound expressions, Peter Theroux, source language, target language, translation