Maria Proitsaki, Södertörn University, Sweden
From Nikki Giovanni to Seamus Heaney: Poetry via Popular Culture in English Courses
As part of the network ‘Teaching and Learning in Literary Studies,’ the purpose of which is to explore the possibilities to teach critical thinking skills in English literature courses in teacher education programs in Sweden, I explore ways to introduce and integrate poetry in English courses. Aiming at sparking an interest in contemporary poetry while addressing general perceptions by both teachers and students, on all levels, that poetry is difficult to engage in, I argue for an approach of some “easier” poems and paying attention to cultural aspects outside the verse, as a way to introduce poetry, and help students appreciate it. I address ways in which poetry can be integrated in English courses at large, examining ways to facilitate the inclusion of strings of poems in terms of approaching them within their broader cultural contexts by linking them to other, more popular cultural forms of expression.
I exemplify my perspectives using an autobiographical poem by Nikki Giovanni, which nonetheless offers a first-person account of the poet’s African American cultural background, and, thereafter, I map potential routes to diverse directions, seeking, for example, thematic similarities. Essentially, mine is an intertextual approach as I browse ways to engage in poems and cultural texts from different parts of the English-speaking world, suggesting that poetry, with its brevity and open-endedness, can enhance the study of English language and culture in a variety of ways beyond the close study of verse in terms of language/form.
Petr Chalupský, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Landscapes in the works of Jim Crace and Simon Mawer
The proposed poster maps a unique literary phenomenon typical of the work of two contemporary British novelists, Jim Crace (1946) and Simon Mawer (1948). The phenomenon in question is the creation of diverse fictional landscapes in their novels, which always prove determining in terms of the texts’ narrative composition as well as the characters’ construction and development. Although their stories deal with different events and different historical periods, Crace’s and Mawer’s novels share, above all, an inherent correlation between the settings, in which they take place, and the mental state and progress of their protagonists. This correlation thus allows the authors to interconnect the topography of the fictional landscape with the topography of the mental landscape of the characters. The poster should delineate the occurrence of this feature in selected novels and provide its fundamental geo-historical categorisation.
Borbála Fűköh, University of Szeged, Hungary
Validity Arguments for English for Academic Purposes Test Tasks
The research reports about the project of Euroexam International to produce validity arguments for the writing tasks of a C1 level English for Academic Purposes (EAP) test. When designing a new academic test, validity evidence is needed to see whether the construct reflects the skills required in higher education, and whether the results reflect reliable scores and unbiased marking.
The aim of this research was to find evidence for the validity of the two proposed writing tasks (formal transactional email and discussion essay). The research covers (a) the development stage; (b) the completion of the specifications and the test items; (c) the piloting and pre-testing of test items; and (d) aims to collect and analyse data to establish scoring validity.
The methodology of generating validity evidence followed Weir’s (2005) validation stages using a mixed-method approach. Literature review, expert judgement, student interviews and textual analysis were used for context validity. The purpose of the current study is to present the steps of the work-in-progress research and the results obtained so far.
The research has implications for the different stakeholders of the test: development teams of EAP tests, students pursuing university studies in English language higher education, and university admissions staff.
Thomas E. Bieri, Nanzan University
Language Learning Technology Preferences of Business Majors in Japan
When selecting instructional technology and using it in courses, assessing the needs and interests of language learners is a key part of the decision-making process (Egbert, 2011; Hubbard, 1996; McCombs & Vakili, 2005). This poster will describe research into preferences of Japanese university students majoring in business, including an outline of the project, overall trends found and examples of responses for individual items, and pedagogical implications. The presenter will discuss these and other details with attendees.
Data was taken from a survey of over 600 university students from institutions throughout Japan, among whom 71 were identified as majoring in business programs. Responses from these 71 learners regarding the language learning technology preferences of these respondents were then critically examined. The responses were to 33 discrete Likert-scale items used to assess the amount of support for using various technologies in language learning and to three related open-ended questions. It is hoped that the results will aide instructors in similar contexts in making decisions about technology use.
Yelena Yerznkyan, Yerevan State University
Susanna Chalabyan, Armenian State University of Economics
Lusine Harutyunyan, Armenian State University of Economics
Cognitive Metonymy as the Main Function of Event-Denoting Words (based on the material of business news)
Within the framework of cognitive linguistics the phenomenon of metonymy has been researched from different angles gaining diverse interpretations and definitions (Lakoff & Johnson 1980, Langacker 1993, Barcelona 2011). The present study points out that in discourse event-denoting words refer to certain events based on cognitive metonymy. Event-denoting words serve as a ‘reference point’ and, simultaneously, as a source conceptual domain to provide mental access to the target domain, thus generating certain cognitive-metonymic shifts.
In the research the designated event or, in other words, the event-referent is viewed as a complex phenomenon with a range of characteristic features. One and the same event can be differently nominated covering various combinations of event features, the choice of which depends on the intention of the speaker, who opts for the lexical means to highlight the given event. As a result, these lexical means, when used in discourse, gain more importance as well as more semantic capacity, thus providing the categorization of the described event. However, in the process of categorization the meaning of this or that word can be correlated with the prototype of a completely different category other than the given word represents, thus performing the function of recategorization and/or polycategorization (if a simultaneous correlation with prototypical characteristics of a number of categories occurs).
Proceeding from this view and the theory of frame semantics according to which words not only highlight certain concepts, but also due to discourse data contribute to further conceptualization of the event-referent, the present research is an attempt to analyze the functional characteristics and the “behaviour” of event-denoting words in the economic discourse (namely, business news coverage). Based on the research findings, we claim that in the process of the functional categorization of event-denoting words the complex mechanism of cognitive metonymy is applied where the most conspicuous features of words are associated or establish contiguity relations with the features of certain categories. These words correlate with various conceptual domains via cognitive-metonymic shifts which occur on a regular basis and are classified into the following types: the whole-part recategorization model, the whole-part polycategorization model, the part-whole recategorization model, the part-whole polycategorization model.
Tara McIlroy, Meiji University, Japan
Integrating the CEFR into the syllabus: The case of a teaching license literature course in Japan
Although scholarship in second language (L2) teacher training and language curriculum design in Japan has started to show increased interest in the Common European Framework for Reference for Languages (CEFR), there is a need for ongoing research into its benefits. In Japan, the government’s changes to English language teaching policy along with the focus on improving English language proficiency ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo present particular challenges to teachers and curriculum designers at the present time, requiring the development of new ways to approach teacher training curriculum design and implementation.
The aim of this study is to report on the early stages of a needs analysis at a global studies department in a university in Tokyo, Japan. This poster shows the curriculum design methodology and goes on to consider the challenges of adapting a course while also teaching it. Many curriculum design models (Brown, 1995) begin with a systematic needs analysis, going on to later look at curriculum objectives and materials in the later stages. With an ongoing course which is already being taught, the analysis of needs must be more dynamic and respond to ongoing observations from the classroom. In this poster, I consider a dynamic needs analysis approach combining the curriculum design models of Macalister and Nation (2010) applied to a teaching licence course in Japan, integrating CEFR descriptors for the 2018 academic year. Student feedback from a bilingual survey has been used to illustrate features of the needs analysis, using the needs, wants and lacks approach (Nation & Macalister, 2010). The aim of the project is an improved course design and greater alignment with education and linguistic goals for the trainee teachers who participate in the course. Additionally, it is hoped that through examining this curriculum that the current knowledge about the benefits of the CEFR can be improved.
Kristýna Hoblová, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
The Reception of Brontë Sisters in the Czech Lands
The poster would introduce my research-in-progress, focused on the Czech reception of the novels and poetry by the Brontë sisters, and present the methodology and results achieved so far. This dissertation research follows the widespread interest in local reception of English literature on the continent and studies the influence of social and historical context on the reception of literature in general. It is also important in the frame of Czech literary studies, where reception history is not a very well-established field of research.
The Brontë sisters have had a constant presence in the Czechoslovak cultural region since the first translation from the 1870s, but probably even earlier through German and French sources, with surprising numbers of translations, but also some adaptations, mainly for children and the theatre. Their prominence emerges clearer in comparison with other British female writers, as for example Jane Austen’s work was first translated into Czech almost 60 years after the first translation of Jane Eyre.
The research opens questions of book adaptations for children, theatrical and TV adaptations, gender and social issues, as well as translation history and ideological appropriation.
Michael Matthew Kaylor, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Ivona Schöfrová, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Blake’s Altruistic Plate
Given its striking differences from the others in William Blake’s creation tale The First Book of Urizen (1794), Plate 26, which is connected to the poetic line “The dog at the wintry door,” has proven a lasting challenge for literary and art scholarship. Our poster provides a novel reading of that plate, contextualizing it within both Urizen and Blake’s similar illuminated books, and suggesting its role within a uniquely Romantic blending of the Satanic and the Humanistic. While Urizen’s other plates provide a lush, sometimes horrifying, display of hellfire and Titanic forces, this plate abounds with a minimalistic realism and content seemingly more appropriate to Blake’s earlier Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789) than to Urizen. Despite its anomalous features, Plate 26 is the crucial plate for which the rest provide an elaborate frame, and it displays a Blake concerned with present conditions rather than how the universe began.
Barbora Zuskinová, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Relativizing Reality: Transgressing Boundaries of the Ordinary in British Magical Realism
While realist fiction evaluates and comments on history and life as we know it, the realms of magical realism reach far beyond our eyesight. The genre of magical realism profoundly combines two seemingly oppositional realities – fictional reality filled with extraordinary events, magical occurrences and matters incomprehensible to the pure rationality of human thought, and the very reality of humankind intertwined with historical events supported by factual information. The controversiality of magical realism then lies at the intersection of the magical and the real, with no clear boundaries which would reassure the reader about the fictionality or factuality of the studied subject. Where the evaluation of believability in historical accuracy ends, magical realists begin. British magical realist narratives by Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie, or Jeanette Winterson invite readers to reevaluate the previously firmly established concepts such as time, space, and reality itself. By transgressing binary oppositions, myths and stereotypes shatter and the reader is left alone with the decision on what to believe, accept, or completely deny. This poster proposal alludes to the relativity of thought and attempts at portraying the greatest magical realist contrast not only verbally, but visually as well.
Boucetta Abdelkarim, Polytechnic school of Architecture and Urban Planning, Algiers, Algeria
The issue of Translation of Drama in Shakespeare
The translation of drama has been an important sub-field in the work of literary translators. For translating a drama and rhetoric, the translator must take into account the performance factor. Apart from linguistic competence, the translator should be equipped with additional qualifications for the task such as culture traditions, customs and religious boundaries, and able to meet the differing criteria of the medium. As well, the translator requires having some sense of theatre. The special qualifications also include target-language and reader acceptability, speakability, and adaptability. Comic scenes and the translation of verbal humour on stage have not figured prominently in translation studies to date especially with Shakespearian texts. Personal names, religious dimensions may be difficult for actors to pronounce with conviction, or for audiences to apprehend principally when we are Arabic reader. The use of expletives is also an area of difficulty. The degree of attention applied to these aspects depends on their prominence in a given text, or rather, on the translator's perception of their prominence.