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2014 META Conference Brochure


Collection of articles presented during the annual META Conference. …

Collection of articles presented during the annual META Conference.
The conference offers teachers of English as a foreign language a unique opportunity for professional development in the field. Participants exchange ideas and practices, keep abreast of current trends, foster their professional networks, share research projects, review the latest books and professional resources.
The organizers invite professionals from around the world to strive toward harmony in language acquisition and learning.
You are invited to join discussion of practices, research, and knowledge from your work toward harmonizing language, heritage and cultures.

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  • 1. Annual Moldovan English Teachers Association (META) Conference Brochure Chisinau 2014
  • 2. 2014 META Conference Brochure
  • 3. 2014 META Conference Brochure CONTENTS Psychological Conditions Underlying the Formation of Motivation for Learning a Foreign Language in School by A. Gutu, I. Negură ……………………………………………………… 1 The Development of Creative Writing in Higher Education by S. Burea....................................... 9 Language Through Literature: Approaches to Teaching Literature in the English Classroom by I. Colenciuc ………………………................................................................................................ 14 Equivalence in Translation– Interlanguage Synonyms, Homonyms and Paronyms by O. Golubovschi, L. Herța …………………………………................................................................ 20 Promoting Students’ Engagement in English Classroom Through Active Learning by S. Grama 28 Testing Speaking Skills: Fluency by I. Konoplina ……………………………….……………… 36 Theories on Interactive Learning, Based on Student-Centered Learning Process by S. Munteanu 42 Enhancing the Communicative Competence at the Gymnasium Level by R. Nedelciuc………… 47 Seven Student-Centered Activities for Teaching About Amish as a Unique Community in US Culture by I. Pomazanovschi …………………………………………………………………….. 53 Describing Graphs and Charts Based on the IELTS Requirements by L. Raciula ………………. 60 Training Techniques for Specialized Text Translation by V. Singhirei …………………………. 65 On Enhancing University Students’ Cultural Awareness by M. Taulean, O. Ceh ………………. 73 Using Educational Drama to Teach Speech Acts by E. Varzari ………………………………… 81 Practical Aspects of Using Video in the Foreign Language Classroom: the Usefulness of Video Aids by R. Aculov ………………………………………………………………………………. 90 An Approach to the English Relative Pronoun by E. Rotaru ………………………………….. 96 E-Twinning and its Opportunities for Teachers by T. Popa…………………………………… 101 Verba Cogitandi and Modality by M. Kaim……………………………………………………… 105 About 2014 META Conference …………………………………………………………………. 110
  • 4. 2014 META Conference Brochure PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS UNDERLYING THE FORMATION OF MOTIVATION FOR LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN SCHOOL Ala GUTU, English Teacher, Doctoral Studies in Educational Psychology, International Study Centre for Educational Opportunities or Ion NEGURĂ, PhD, Professor emeritus of Ion Creangă State Pedagogical University, Chișinău `Motivation is, without question, the most complex and challenging issue facing teachers today.' (Scheidecker and Freeman 1999:116)[4,p.116] Motivation is an overworked term, an umbrella term for answering all questions concerning the whys of our behaviour and thinking. It “is related to one of the most basic aspects of the human mind, and most teachers and researchers would agree that it has a very important role in determining success or failure in any learning situation.” [1, p.2] Z.Dörnyei’s experience is that 99 per cent of language learners who really want to learn a foreign language will be able to master a reasonable working knowledge of it as a minimum, regardless of their language aptitude. “Without sufficient motivation, however, even the brightest learners are unlikely to persist long enough to attain any really useful language”. [1, p.5] We would say MOTIVATION is the energy that fuels the language learning process. And “due to the complex nature of language itself (which is at the same time a communication code, an integral part of the individual’s identity and the most important channel of social organization)”, [5, p.425] skills to motivate learners are crucial for language teachers. The question is: WHAT KIND OF MOTIVATION ARE WE EXPECTED TO cultivate? An increasing number of scholars combine psycholinguistic and linguistic approaches, various motivational models and theories in order to make sure the complex nature of motivation is better understood. The concept that we shall focus on in this article is Self-MOTIVATION that, according to Alan McLean, “comes from SELF via four internal motivation drivers” [12] and plays a vital role in academic learning. We have adopted this concept in psychology of learning a foreign language due to the intricate character of the foreign language acquisition process. While addressing this issue we would like to mention R.Gardner (1998), Z.Dörnyei (1998), M Williams (1994), I.Zimneea (1991) who perceive the foreign language as being more than a communication code that can be assimilated similarly to other academic subjects, instead foreign language acquisition is treated as being a social event that implies changes in the Self. This paper will suggest some tips for practitioners on how to maintain, protect and encourage self-motivation for learning a foreign language. Key Words: Motivation, self-motivation, agency, affiliation, autonomy, stimulation, structure, feedback, engagement. Normally, students start learning a foreign language possessing sufficient motivation to succeed in this activity, as mastering a foreign language seems to be appealing and, as
  • 5. 2014 META Conference Brochure psychologists often say, “little children are motivationally `innocent' and `uncorrupted' because they seem to possess a natural curiosity about the world and an inherent desire to learn. This is, in fact, often cited as a proof that motivation to learn, just like the ability to acquire language, is an innate characteristic of the human species. Therefore, in an ideal world where the learners' curiosity and inherent motivation has not as yet been curbed or diminished by a student-unfriendly school system, all learners are eager to learn and the learning experience is a constant source of intrinsic pleasure for them. However, “we need to adopt a more down-to-earth perspective. For most teachers the real motivational issue is to find ways to encourage their students to accept the goals of the given classroom activities, regardless of whether or not the students enjoy these activities or would choose to engage in them if other alternatives were available”.[1, p.50-51] Furthermore, even though fluent English is considered to be the modern student’s passport nowadays, as lots of Moldovan undergraduates continue their studies abroad where mastering English is essential, a great number of them (and we refer to preadolescents) lose their motivation gradually, especially when it comes to realize that more and more efforts are to be invested in the learning process. This is the fact that challenged a PhD experiment on psychological conditions underlying the formation of motivation for learning a foreign language in secondary school in 2007-2008. As researchers we were amazed to discover that “there isn’t a child who isn’t motivated in any school environment, they are all motivated: some of them are just motivated to wind you up, or impress the peer group, or avoid work. The brain is always motivated, the brain is always looking to adapt to its environment so that it could respond appropriately, that is with a certain type of behaviour to a certain situation. So, what teachers normally call discipline problems are just the iceberg in this context and it is a real challenge for teachers to discover the underlying motives or the personality that is organising these motives.”[7] So, what are these motives and what is the best type of motivation, the most productive one in a learning context, the one that a teacher should be able to generate and guide in their students’ development? The answers we were seeking for were found in A McLean’s and Z. Dörnyei’s works, two prominent psychologists of our age. Alan McLean is a Scottish educational psychologist, the author of the “Motivated School”, who was until April 2011 a Principal Psychologist in Glasgow. He was commissioned to produce a training programme on Motivation by the Scottish government in 2005. The Motivated School programme has recently been introduced into LEAs in England, including Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Bristol as well as the Isle of Man. Zoltán Dörnyei is a Professor of Psycholinguistics at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, renowned for his work on motivation in second language learning. They reckon the best motivation is SELF- MOTIVATION which is the kind of motivation that is fuelled from the inside, that is self- determined and is able to produce persistence and the capability of overcoming various distractors or intellectual obstacles. As a teacher, I learnt that children’s motivation could be divided into two categories: pre- ten and post-ten motivation. As researchers, we have understood that these two categories depend on the factors that impact students’ motivation and the latter would be mostly influenced by the peer group (this idea is based on A.McLean’s theory). Intuitively, I always felt my role as a teacher
  • 6. 2014 META Conference Brochure was significant, yet it was frightening to realize that it is actually vital. This idea is perfectly illustrated by Dr. Haim G. Ginott in Teacher and Child: “I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized”.[2] In other words, as Alan McLean says, we are never neutral, we are either draining our students or energizing them. It is all about either bringing happiness whenever we enter or whenever we leave the classroom. Research Study: Theoretical and Practical findings “The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.” ― Elbert Hubbard Our study addresses the psychological conditions underlying the formation of motivation for learning a foreign language. The main goal of our research resides in determining, elaborating and implementing a set of psychological conditions underlying the formation of motivation for learning a foreign language in a learning environment at the preadolescent age. The following hypotheses have been strengthened during the research: 1. Formation of self-motivation for learning a foreign language is based on the development of self-beliefs (self-efficacy), accompanied by a sense of autonomy and belonging 2. Self-motivation for learning a foreign language is developed by influencing the self-efficacy beliefs. 3. Development of Self-motivation enhances the efficiency of learning a foreign language. Our work is based on the recent advances in research on motivation as a phenomenon studied by General Psychology, Educational Psychology and Psychology of learning a foreign language and it is going to be extended in so far as to become a practical tool for any language teacher seeking a way to motivate their students. The study that we have carried out up to now is based on A. McLean’s Motivated Learning Theory, C. Dweck’s Mindsets, Gardner’s Socio-Educational Model of Second-Language Acquisition and Z. Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self-System. These theories were successfully employed in a language learning environment offered by Orizont Lyceum in 2007-2008. The experiment comprised 60 experimental subjects from three 7th grades and included 25 training sessions and 40 English lessons led in accordance with the above models. The research has revealed the following preliminary conclusions: 1. Moldovan children’s motivation for learning English declines steadily from the 5th to the 7th grades; 2. Preadolescents motivation is mostly influenced by the peer group attitudes; 3. Teachers trigger the required motivation at this age by creating the appropriate type of classroom atmosphere. 4. Optimal motivation for learning English is Self-Motivation;
  • 7. 2014 META Conference Brochure 5. Self-motivation for learning English at the preadolescent age is built on the development of students’ self-beliefs (self-efficacy), accompanied by a sense of autonomy and belonging; 6. Self-efficacy beliefs are based on the interactions of three mindsets: ideas about ability, interpretations of progress and achievement attitudes; 7. Students’ self-efficacy beliefs can be influenced by four drivers mastered by teachers: stimulation, structure, feedback, engagement; 8. The four drivers can be activated by means of a set of strategies that mostly suit preadolescents. So, the key to motivation is needs – people’s or in our situation, children’s needs, their self- emotions, or “how they feel about themselves as learners, what is on their mind”[10]. According to A. McLean, children have got three main needs; A. McLean calls them the three ‘A’ needs: 1. Affiliation, which is a sense of belonging, a sense of being valued, connected, and the opposite of that is alienation. Affiliation is a fundamental need that in A. McLean’s view, underpins everything. 2. Agency, which is a sense of confidence and self-belief, a sense of competence, a sense of self- efficacy, a sense of control: “I know how to do this job, I know how to read, I know how to do geography well.” The opposite of Agency is apathy. 3. Autonomy, which is a sense of being self-determining and trusted which, according to A. McLean, is the centrepiece of them all - the most complex one, the gold dust: “How much scope or trust do I have? How much scope do I have for self-determination in my classroom?” The more self-determination, the more autonomy we have, the more motivated we will be. The opposite of Autonomy is anxiety, where we are overwhelmed, pressurised or discouraged.[11] And so what a teacher needs to do is create a classroom climate that helps children meet their needs or, in other words, provide the conditions required for driving students’ self-motivation. In 2003 A.McLean identified four internal motivation drivers or mindsets that by being influenced positively could generate self-motivation. They are: ideas about ability; attributions or interpretations of progress; achievement attitudes and self-efficacy beliefs. [3, p.31-55] In his recent work "Motivating every learner”, 2009, the author refers to them as self-beliefs or Agency. In other words, they are those internal triggers that by, being accompanied by Affiliation and Autonomy generate self-motivation. The researcher has based his finding on the two types of mindsets discovered by Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University that has been conducting research on motivation and personality for over twenty years. She has introduced the concept of growth and fixed mindsets, which could be perceived as a cornerstone in A. McLean’s theory. According to her theory people can be divided into two categories that represent two basic mindsets: in a fixed mindset people think their intelligence is fixed, while in a growth mindset they believe their basic abilities can be developed through effort. Thus a fixed mindset is followed by ability interpretations of success and failure, performance attitudes to achievement or, the so- called self-promotion attitudes (Dweck and Leggett, 1988; Dweck 1996; McLean, 2003) [6, p.256- 273] and, very often, by low self-efficacy beliefs, while a growth mindset causes effort interpretations of success and failure, mastery attitudes to achievement or, the so-called self-
  • 8. 2014 META Conference Brochure improvement attitudes (Dweck, 1996; McLean, 2003) and consequently, very often, high self- efficacy beliefs. In her research, C.Dweck has “been amazed over and over again, at how quickly students of all ages pick up on messages about themselves – at how sensitive they are to suggestions about their personal qualities or about the meaning of their actions and experiences. The kinds of praise (and criticism) students receive from their teachers and parents tell them how to think about what they do – and what they are.”[8, p.4] In other words, teachers possess all the required tools to help children adopt positive self-beliefs. A. McLean distinguishes four classroom energisers/instruments that teachers can employ in this respect: engagement, stimulation, structure and feedback. A. ENGAGEMENT, which is giving children a sense of belonging. Teacher’s input: SHOWing YOU CARE – Valuing Student’s output: A Sense of Belonging This driver shapes the quality of the relationships between the teachers and students as well as between peers; it is about how teachers show they are interested in children and what climate they manage to create in their lessons. B. FEEDBACK, which gives children information about how well they are doing. Teacher’s input: SHOWing YOU BELIEVE - Informing Student’s output: Self-Efficacy Beliefs Motivating feedback involves praising effort and strategy use, making students feel responsible for success and linking failure to factors students can repair. C. STIMULATION, which relates to the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom and refers to the intrinsic aspects of the curriculum. Teacher’s input: SHOWing YOU LOVE TEACHING THEM - Enthusing Student’s output: A Sense of Purpose Relevance, challenge, control, curiosity and fantasy are some of the key intrinsic motivators. D. STRUCTURE, which is a sense of clarity towards goals. Teacher’s input: SHOWing YOU TRUST - Empowering Student’s output: Self-Determination This driver determines the amount of explicit information that is made available in the classroom. The required level of structure is reached by clearly setting boundaries, communicating goals and responding consistently. It is the key issues with autonomy support. [3, p.14] As a practitioner I managed to apply A. McLean’s theory in my classroom which was possible by means of a group of methods and techniques meant to generate and maintain my students’ motivation or the so-called `motivational strategies` suggested by Z.Dörnyei for the language classroom. In his work Z. Dörnyei defines the strategies as being motivational influences that are consciously exerted to achieve some systematic and enduring positive effect. [1, p.28] Our approach in organizing them focuses on the 4 drivers and the 3 ‘A’ needs described by A. McLean in the Motivated school. We find them extremely useful for any teacher interested in driving their
  • 9. 2014 META Conference Brochure students’ self-motivation. The classification that we have adopted results in a Motivational Toolkit for Language teachers. [Appendice 1] CONCLUSION To summarize, we would quote A.McLean on the role of teachers today: „The teacher really has to become a social engineer, or someone who is really spending a lot of his time not just thinking about the curriculum or teaching and learning, but thinking about the classroom climate; that’s why the classroom climate is so important. Not only does it set the scene for the transmission of the curriculum and the transmission of the teachers values, but it is creating a climate for the peer group to operate in, and the peer group is a fundamental component in this whole motivation game. What is interesting, as well, is the motivating teacher who has the capacity to do that feels good about themselves as teachers, because it is the same thing; it is a circle of motivation, without being too complicated” [10] BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Dörnyei, Z. Motivational Strategies in the Language Classroom . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. - 155 p. 2. Ginott, H. G. Teacher and child: A book for parents and teachers. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1972. – 323 p. 3. McLean, A. The motivated school. London: Paul Capman Publishing, 2003. - 144 p. 4. Scheidecker, D., Freeman, W. Bringing out the best in students: How legendary teachers motivate kids. Thousand oaks, CA: Corvin Press, 1999. – 168 p. 5. Routledge encyclopedia of language teaching and learning/ Byran, M. – London and New York: Routledge. Taylor and Francis Group, 2000. – 736 p. 6. Dweck, C.S., Leggett, E.L. A social cognitive approach to Motivation and personality// Psychological Review. - 1988. – num.2, vol. 95 – P. 256-273. 7. McLean, A. About Motivation. Available URL: /aboutmotivationalanmclean.asp [accessed 10 March 2014] 8. Dweck, S.C. Caution-Praise can be dangerous// American Educator. American Federation of Teachers. - spring 1999. , Available URL: /Mindset/Mindsets%20VOLA.pdf , accessed [23 March 2014] 9. McLean, A. Motivating all learners, Available URL: =search&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-615801-64 , accessed [19 March 2014] 10. McLean, A. The motivating teacher. Available URL: ean.asp [accessed 20 March 2014]
  • 10. 2014 META Conference Brochure 11. McLean, A. The three As of motivation. Available URL: an.asp [accessed 18 March 2014] 12. Sutherland, M.J., Smith, C.M., McLean, A., A model for Motivation. Available URL: [accessed 28 March2014]
  • 11. 2014 META Conference Brochure Appendix 1 Motivational Toolkit for Language teachers (Sample) A. Through ENGAGEMENT or Valuing (teacher’s input) to AFFILIATION or Sense of Belonging (students’ output) Teacher: I CARE Student: I BELONG  Include a specific `group rules' activity at the beginning of a group's life to establish the norms explicitly.  Try and promote interaction, cooperation and the sharing of genuine personal information among the learners.  Establish a norm of tolerance.  Show students that you accept and care about them.  Pay attention and listen to each of them. B. Through FEEDBACK or Informing (teacher’s input) to AGENCY or Self-Efficacy Beliefs (students’ output) Teacher: I BELIEVE in YOU Student: I CAN DO this  Indicate to your students that you believe in their effort to learn and their capability to complete the tasks.  Avoid social comparison, even in its subtle forms.  Help learners accept the fact that they will make mistakes as part of the learning process.  Encourage learners to explain their failures by the lack of effort and appropriate strategies applied rather than by their insufficient ability.  Refuse to accept ability attributions and emphasise that the curriculum is within the learners' ability range. C. Through STIMULATION or Enthusing (teacher’s input) to AUTONOMY or Sense of Purpose (students’ output) Teacher: I LOVE TEACHING YOU Student: I am DETERMINED  Make tasks challenging.  Make task content attractive by adapting it to the students' natural interests or by including novel, intriguing, exotic, humorous, competitive or fantasy elements.  Vary the learning tasks and other aspects of your teaching as much as you can.  Relate the subject matter to the everyday experiences and backgrounds of the students.  Highlight and demonstrate aspects of L2 learning that your students are likely to enjoy. D. Through STRUCTURE or Empowering (teacher’s input) to AUTONOMY or Self-Determination (students’ output) Teacher: I TRUST YOU Student: I am TRUSTWORTHY  Teach students communication strategies to help them overcome communication difficulties.  Provide appropriate strategies to carry out the task.  Explain the purpose and utility of a task.  Make sure that they receive sufficient preparation and assistance.  Make sure they know exactly what success in the task involves.
  • 12. 2014 META Conference Brochure THE DEVELOPMENT OF CREATIVE WRITING IN HIGHER EDUCATION Burea Svetlana, UST Creative writing is seen as a facilitator of the teaching-learning process in terms of providing enthusiasm for reading and literature, developing students` reading, grammar, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation and writing skills and increasing students` self-confidence with the English language. Making up one’s own characters can become an efficient individual activity that requires a lot of formative activities that suppose mental processes and contribute to linguistic skills increase. In shaping the methodology of the creative writing activities it is important to mention three key factors: motivation, type of the activity and stages of the activity performing. These activities suppose reading, dealing with linguistic difficulties (translating) plus mental processes like thinking, analyzing, understanding and writing will certainly contribute to linguistic and not only growth. Keywords: creative writing, writing skills, foreign language, interactive activities, drafting, editing, publishing, writing approaches. Intellectual challenge in teaching a foreign language can take a variety of forms nowadays. Activities for developing creative writing skills can be one of the most important. Qualities like being innovative, original, being able to find solutions and many others like these are wanted today. That`s why the development of creativity by the education system is seen as a key device. Creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are the keys to success in the evolving global economy. To prepare young people for work and life in the 21st century, educators must cultivate students' creativity. Scholars from the teaching field encourage teachers to set aside a few minutes a day to allow students to just let their imaginations run wild. "There's no greater freedom than the freedom of daydreaming," they say. Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols, so it supposes communication. What is creative writing then? It’s a writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. In studying foreign language creative writing does not have only communication function, it is a way of language learning. There are more reasons for teaching students creative writing: • Creative writing reinforces the grammatical structures, idioms, and vocabulary that teachers have been teaching students; • It gives our pupils a chance to be adventurous with the language, to take risks; • Creative writing enriches knowledge experience. The close relationship between writing and thinking makes writing a valuable part of any language course. A great deal of writing that goes on in foreign language lessons is sentence writing. Students repeat or complete the given sentences to reinforce the structure, grammar, and vocabulary they have learned. So why should the students practice creative writing during the foreign language lesson? [3] • to communicate with a reader;
  • 13. 2014 META Conference Brochure • to express ideas without the pressure of face-to-face communication; • to explore a subject; • to record experience; • to become familiar with the conventions of written English text; There is no one best way to teach writing in foreign class. There are as many answers as there are teachers and teaching styles, or learners and learning styles. Some approaches to teaching creative writing are outlined here. [4] The Controlled-to-Free Approach In the 1950s and early 1960s, the audio-lingual approach dominated foreign language learning. Writing served to reinforce speech through mastering grammatical and syntactic forms. Students were given sentence exercises then paragraphs to copy or manipulate grammatically, changing questions to statements, present to past, or singular to plural. Overall, this approach stressed grammar, syntax, and mechanics, and emphasis accuracy rather than fluency. The Free-Writing Approach This approach stresses quantity of writing rather than quality. Pupils should put content and fluency first and not worry about form. Once ideas are down on the page, grammatical accuracy, organization, and the rest will gradually follow. The Paragraph-Pattern Approach This approach focuses on organization by copying the paragraphs or model passages. It is based on the principle that in different cultures or situations, people construct and organize communication with each other in different ways. The stress is put on organization. The Grammar-Syntax-Organization Approach This approach stresses simultaneously work more than composition feature. Writing cannot be seen as composed of separate skills which are learned one by one. So learners must be trained to pay attention to the organization while they work on grammar or syntax. The Communicative Approach The communicative approach stresses the purpose of a piece of writing and the audience for it. Learners work with tasks that encourage them to behave like writers in real life and to ask themselves the questions about purpose and audience: “Why am I writing this?”, “Who will read it?” The writing must be truly communicative and writing for a real reader. Readers are brought into writing assignments through writing back, asking questions, making comments. The Process Approach The teaching of writing has begun to move away from a concentration on the written product to an emphasis on the process of writing. Writers ask themselves not only questions about purpose and audience, but questions like: “How do I write this?” or “How do I get started?” Here, pupils are trained to generate ideas for writing, to think of purpose, audience, ways of communication and so on. In fact it is a developmental process from generating ideas to expressing them, drafting, and so on. This process of writing has more stages: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing. In teaching creative writing, the teacher mixes more styles in order to get results. The methodology of teaching creative writing is based on the structure (actions) plus content and
  • 14. 2014 META Conference Brochure motivational factor. The teaching of creative writing basically focuses on students’ self- expression. It is taught by taking students through a series of steps that demonstrate the process of writing. First, students are introduced to a range of fictional and non-fictional texts. Students’ attention is drawn to the distinctive structural and linguistic features of each text. They are taught about the importance of the purpose, audience and context for which specific texts are written. Next, students practice. The students are given practice in the use of linkers, connectives and other semantic markers that are used to connect and present ideas logically in a text. Typical semantic markers in narrative texts are words such as because, although, when, where, since and so on. They perform various functions in the text, such as showing time relationships, cause and effect relationships, conditions, sequence of events and so on. Students also practice developing an appropriate vocabulary (e.g., formal versus informal words and phrases, colloquial terms, terms of endearment). Teacher must teach students to see writing as an act of writing and rewriting to give coherent shape of thoughts. Writing is a thinking intellectual work. That is why students must understand creative writing as a process formed in stages: Prewriting -Students discover the topic, purpose, and audience. They organize their ideas while preparing to write through the use of techniques (free writing, looping, listening, outlining, charting, mapping. Drafting - Students write the first piece of writing that is based on prewriting. Drafting is a working thesis and students must be learned to use sketch to generate new details or provide main ideas with details. The focus in this stage is on content, not grammar or spelling. Revising-Editing - Revising is the act of creation. Students must focus on content and organization, while revising he expands and clarifies ideas. While editing students focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation. They read for meaning, complete sentences, and look for grammar spelling. Teachers teach them to use actions like: adding, rearranging, removing, replacing. Check if sentences start with capital letters, proper nouns capitalized title with a capital letter. Publishing - Students must be taught how to read and share their writing with the rest of the classmates. Guidelines for Teachers in Teaching Creative Writing Teachers must teach strategic so students learn how to give structure and unity to their writing. Teach students how to build a paragraph as the smallest unity of a piece of writing: 1. Topic sentence (reason, advantages or disadvantages). - Details that supports the reason. -Example (s) 2. Supporting sentence (reason advantages or disadvantages). -Details -Example(s) 3. Concluding sentence.
  • 15. 2014 META Conference Brochure While working with their piece of writing students should be oriented to pay attention to several helpful tips: • state the purpose of their writing • do not focus on spelling and grammar while drafting, they can check later in writing process • think how to arrange the best information • state the main idea and its supporting details • read aloud if possible and listen to their words • look for problematic areas • check spelling, grammar, and punctuation • get feedback from their peers • get help from their teacher A new checklist can be devised to fit each writing assignment, focusing attention on the critical features of one particular task: • Which sentence expresses the main idea? • Which sentences develop that main idea? • Is every verb in the correct tense? • Have you used the correct form of each tense? Activities like shared writing, case study, developing imagination through story making and characters shaping are useful in creative writing development. The point of using a shared writing strategy is to make the writing process a shared experience, making it visible and concrete while inviting students into the writer’s world in a safe, supportive environment. At the same time, it gives teachers the opportunity of direct teaching of key skills, concepts and processes. All aspects of the writing process are modeled, although not always all at once. At the lower grade levels especially, teachers can concentrate on one or two key aspects of writing in short, focused lessons. Using student input, the teacher guides the group in brainstorming ideas and selecting a topic. As a group, they talk about topics, audience, purpose, details they will include and other considerations. As the group composes the text, the teacher asks probing questions to bring out more detail and to help students make their writing more interesting and meaningful. The tone of this discussion should be collaborative rather than directive. The teacher might say something like, I wonder if we should add more details here. How might we do that? rather than We need to add more details here. While some pieces will be short and completed in one lesson, others will be longer and may continue through several days’ lessons. This allows students to see that writing can be an extended, ongoing process, and it also allows the teacher to train the students to look at their work critically through strategies such as the periodic re-reading of one’s work before resuming writing and completing the composition. Some teachers include a few well-chosen, purposeful errors during drafting to facilitate the later editing stage. Writing with the class or group, the teacher also has an opportunity to highlight and model the revision process, helping students add to or take away from their text. The group may also decide to change words, text order or other aspects of the writing to achieve their intended
  • 16. 2014 META Conference Brochure meaning. The teacher will often ask questions to help the students focus on communicating their message clearly and concisely. If needed, the teacher can help guide the group in adding detail, taking away unnecessary and confusing words or passages, or changing the structure of the text to clarify meaning. The teacher can also use the shared writing strategy for editing text and focusing on mechanics and conventions such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. The structure of the text — that is, paragraph division etc. — is also a focus in this stage, as it is in the drafting and revising stages. Making up one’s own characters can become an efficient individual activity that requires a lot of formative activities that suppose mental processes and contribute to linguistic skills increase. Creative writing is seen as a facilitator of the teaching-learning process in terms of providing enthusiasm for reading and literature, developing students` reading, grammar, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation and writing skills and increasing students` self-confidence with the English language. References: 1. Carter, R.. Language and creativity: the art of common talk. London: Rutledge, 2004. 2. Cohen, A., and Brooks-Carson, A. (2001). Research on direct versus translated writing: Students’ strategies and their results. The Modern Language Journal, 85(2), 169–188. 3. Silva, T., and Brice, C. (2004). Research in teaching writing. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 70-106. 4. Crystal, D.. Language Play. London: Penguin, 1998. 5. Ramet, A.. Creative Writing. How to Unlock your Imagination, Develop your Writing Skills, and Get Published. Oxford, Copyright 2007.
  • 17. 2014 META Conference Brochure LANGUAGE THROUGH LITERATURE: APPROACHES TO TEACHING LITERATURE IN THE ENGLISH CLASSROOM Ina COLENCIUC, senior lecturer Free International University of Moldova, This article aims at gaining a general overview of approaches to teaching literature and at identifying activities to apply with literature lessons at the university to easily conform to the student-centered and interactive tenets of communicative language teaching. Literature improves students’ English language skills, appeals to their imagination, develops cultural awareness, and encourages critical thinking about plots, themes and characters. The teacher’s task is to choose the approach that best meets students’ needs. Scholars generally present three main models of teaching literature: the Cultural model, the Language Model and the Personal-Growth Model. These three models denote six approaches: New Criticism, Structuralism, Stylistics, Reader-Response, Language-Based, and Critical Literacy. The Cultural Model represents the traditional approach to teaching literature. Using this approach, lecturers encourage students to understand different cultures in relation to their own. The Language Model is also known as language-based approach. The approach enables students to access a literary text in a systematic and methodological way in order to exemplify specific linguistic features. The Personal Growth Model attempts to bridge the Cultural Model and Language Model by focusing on a particular use of language in a text as well as placing it in a specific cultural context. Having analyzed the approaches to teaching literature in the English classroom, the author can make the following conclusions. The most suitable approaches are Reader-Response and Language-Based ones. Some elements of Stylistics and Critical Literacy enrich the approaches that are motivating and communicative for students. Students’ motivation in the learning process is often determined by their interest in the material used in the classroom, by the level of persistence, concentration and enjoyment. This type of involvement is something that cannot be imposed; it must come from the lessons and materials implemented in the classroom. Keywords: literature, approach, motivation, teaching, learning, student-centered and communicative lessons Reading literary texts is an excellent way for students to make progress in English language learning. It exposes them to exciting plots, interesting characters and authentic dialogues because they learn the language in context. Brumfit and Carter state “there is an interaction between the reader and literary texts as the texts provide examples of language resources being used to the full
  • 18. 2014 META Conference Brochure and the reader is placed in an active interactional role in working with and making sense of this language” [2, p.34]. According to Collie and Slater, this interaction can be a source of enjoyment for the students [4, p.18]. Maley and Duff argue that literature can make people respond personally to other people’s way of seeing things and can engage both their intellect and their emotions [7, p.12]. As integrating literature into the EFL syllabus is beneficial to learners’ linguistic development, teachers need to choose an approach which best serves the needs of students and the syllabus. Carter and Long describe the rationale for the use of the following three models to literature teaching: cultural model, the language model and the personal growth model [3, p.7]. The cultural model views a literary text as a product. This means that it is treated as a source of information about the target culture. It is the most traditional approach used in university courses on literature which examine the social, political and historic background to a text, literary movements and genres. It should be pointed out that this model is often rejected by teachers of literature because there is very little opportunity for extended language work. The language model asks students, as they proceed through a text, to pay attention to the way language is used. They come to grips with the meaning and increase their general awareness of English. Within this model of studying literature, the teacher can choose to focus on general grammar and vocabulary or use the following strategies in language teaching- cloze procedure, prediction exercises, jumbled sentences, summary, creative writing and role-play. These activities are disconnected from the literary goals of the specific text. There is little engagement of the student with the text other than for purely linguistic purposes. The personal growth model attempts to bridge the cultural and the language models by focusing on a particular use of language in a text as well as placing it in a specific cultural context. It is also a process-based approach that encourages students to draw on their opinions, feelings and personal experiences. This model aims for interaction between the text and the reader in English, helping make the language more memorable. According to Banegas, students are encouraged to “make the text their own” [10]. The model under consideration recognizes the immense power that literature can have to move people and attempts to use that in the classroom. These three models of teaching literature differ in terms of their focus on the text. In the first the text is seen as a cultural artifact. In the second, the text is used as a focus for grammatical and structural analysis. In the third, the text is an incentive for personal growth activities. The three models discussed denote six approaches: 1) New Criticism, 2) Structuralism, 3) Stylistics, 4) Reader-Response, 5) Language-Based, and 6) Critical Literacy. The New Criticism approach to literature appeared in the United States after World War I. According to this approach, meaning is contained solely within the literary text, apart from the effect on the reader or the author’s intention, and the external elements are disregarded when analyzing the text. The student’s role is to discover the correct meaning by a close reading and analysis of formal elements such as symbolism, metaphors, similes, and irony. According to
  • 19. 2014 META Conference Brochure Thomson, the world of the literary text work is self-contained, and readers must exercise total objectivity in interpreting the text [9, p.3]. The major drawback of New Criticism is that most class activities are dedicated to identifying formal elements and literary devices rather than to discovering the beauty and value of a literary text. I believe that the application of the New Criticism approach offers students little enjoyment or recognition of value of literature, and, perhaps, creates a negative attitude towards literature. Structuralism is an approach that gained importance in 1950s; instead of interpreting a literary text as an individual entity, this approach determines where a literary text fits into a system or framework [9, p 4]. Like New Criticism, Structuralism emphasizes total objectivity in examining literary texts and denies the role of readers’ personal responses in analyzing literature. It requires students to approach literary texts scientifically and to use their knowledge of structures and themes to place the work into meaningful hierarchical system. Cummins came to the conclusion that Structuralism does not focus on the aesthetic value of literature, but on the different processes and structures that are “involved in the process of meaning” [5, p.20]. Carter and Long also criticize Structuralism approach when they write that ”instead of being concerned with how a literary text renders an author’s experience of life and allows us access to human meanings, the structuralist is only interested in mechanical formal relationship, such as the components of a narrative, and treats the literary text as if it were a scientific object” [3, p.183]. To my mind, Structuralism is less relevant for teaching of literature because the EFL students may possess inadequate skills and knowledge to approach the text scientifically, which makes the study of the process useless and results in a lack of motivation for reading literature. The Stylistic approach, which emerged in the late 1970s, analyzes the features of literary language to develop students’ sensitivity to literature. This includes the unconventional structure of literature, especially poetry, where language is often used in non-grammatical and loose manner. Whether these unconventional structures confuse or enhance student’s knowledge of the language is the subject of debate. In this regard one must consider the difference between genres. For example, poetry is often abstract and imaginative, while dialogues in drama are often very realistic. In the Stylistic approach, the teacher encourages the students to use their linguistic knowledge to make aesthetic judgments and interpretations of the texts. According to Rodger, the language plays the most important role in deciphering a poem’s significance [9, p. 5], while others such as Moody see the importance of the reader’s background knowledge, along with close attention to language features, as important to interpreting complex texts that are “capable of analysis and commentary from a variety of different points of view” [8, p. 23]. One useful model of Stylistics is comparative analysis, in which excerpts from literature are compared to extracts from other texts, such as news reports, tourist brochures, or advertisement. This technique illustrates that the language of literature is an independent kind of discourse and teaches students different ways that language can be used. I consider the Stylistic approach to be relevant because it clarifies one of rationales for teaching literature: to highlight the
  • 20. 2014 META Conference Brochure aesthetic value of literature and provide access to the meaning by exploring the language and form of the literary text with a focus on meaning. From my teaching experience I find that students appreciate literature more when they can explore the beauty of the literary language. For example, when my students read the poem “Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, they were excited to discover how the form of the poem reflects its theme. They found the process of exploring the language style and form of the poem both entertaining and valuable. However, they realized that this analysis was not possible without guidance from the teacher and they felt they would lack of confidence if working alone. If the Stylistic approach is the only method used in the EFL context, some problems may arise. Challenges include, for example, the difficulty of recognizing irony in literature of the foreign culture. This problem appears in the classroom with limited language resources. In this case the teacher must be knowledgeable about the terminology of literary devices in order to guide students. The principles of the Reader-Response approach include attention to the role of the reader and process-oriented approach to reading literature. Reader-Response supports activities that encourage students to rely on their personal experience, opinions, and feelings in their interpretation of literature. Dias and Hayhoe point out that it is precisely the role of the reader in the act of reading that has not been sufficiently and properly addressed” [6, p.15]. Reader- Response approach addresses the problem by making the learners active participants in the learning process [9, p. 6]. The Reader-Response approach makes an important contribution to learning by demystifying literature and connecting it to individual experience. Researchers and university teachers support the idea of making literature more accessible by activating students’ background knowledge so they can better predict and decode the language and schemes of literary texts. I also agree that activating students’ schemata in reading literature is important and that personalizing the learning experience increases student participation and motivation. Nevertheless, some problems with the Reader-Response approach have been identified, including: - Students’ interpretation may deviate greatly from the work, making it problematic for the reader to respond and evaluate. - Selecting appropriate materials can be problematic because the level of language difficulty and unfamiliar cultural content may prevent students from giving meaningful interpretations. - The lack of linguistic guidance may hinder students’ ability to understand the language of the text or respond to it. Like the Stylistic approach, The Language-Based approach emphasizes awareness of the language of literature, and it is a basic stage for EFL students. However, this approach facilitates
  • 21. 2014 META Conference Brochure students’ responses and experience with literature, and it is more accessible for language learners than the Stylistic approach [1, p.43]. In addition, the Language-Based approach calls for a variety of language instruction activities, including brainstorming to activate background knowledge and make predictions, rewriting the ends of stories or summarizing plots, cloze procedures to build vocabulary and comprehension, and jigsaw readings to allow students to collaborate with others, form opinions, and engage in spirited debates. The point is that literature is an excellent vehicle for methods that result in four-skill language development through interaction, collaboration, peer teaching, and student independence. The teacher’s role is not to impose interpretations but to introduce and clarify terms, to prepare and offer appropriate classroom procedures, and to intervene when necessary to provide prompts. In my opinion the Language-Based approach responds to language students’ needs in learning literature: they receive the skills and techniques to facilitate access to texts and develop sensitivity to different genres so they can enjoy a piece of literature that relates to their lives. Moreover, this approach meets students’ needs in learning a language: students communicate in English to improve their language competence; they develop the necessary skills of working in groups; and they become active learners while teachers support and guide them in the learning process. Critical Literacy is drawn from a variety of theories such as critical language studies and educational sociology [9, p.7]. This approach has important implications for teaching both language and literature because it reveals the interrelationship between language use and social power. According to Cummins “truth presented in the classroom as knowledge is rooted in a set of power relationships” [5, p. 253]. Discourse reflects the power relationship in society and, as researchers and practitioners note, the teaching and learning process is not neutral with respect to social realities and intergroup power relations. As for the interaction between readers and text, Luke and Freebody state that authors “construct a version of the social world; they position or locate the reader in a social relation to the text and the world” [9, p.8]. I think the main objective of Critical Literacy is to encourage learners to explore how social and political factors shape the language they are learning so that students are more aware of the sociopolitical reasons behind their choice to use certain language varieties. As literature should contribute to students’ personal development, enhance cultural awareness and to develop language skills, the Reader-Response and Language-Based approaches are well-suited for teaching literature. Elements of Stylistics and Critical Literacy enrich the approaches that are the most motivating and communicative for students. References: 1. Brown, D. Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. New York: Longman, 2001. - 569 p. 2. Brumfit, C., Carter R. Literature and Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. - 289 p. 3. Carter, R., Long M. Teaching Literature. Harlow: Longman, 1991. - 200 p.
  • 22. 2014 META Conference Brochure 4. Collie, S., Slater, S. Literature in the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. - 274 p. 5. Cummins, J. Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual Children in Crossfire. Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters, 2000. - 309 p. 6. Dias, P., Hayhoe, M. Developing Response to Poetry. Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1998. - 142 p. 7. Maley A., Duff A. Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.- 168 p. 8. Moody, H. L. Approaches to the study of literature: A practitioner’s view. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon, 1983. - 289 p. 9. Truong, T.V. The Relevance of Literary Analysis to Teaching Literature in the EFL Classroom. / Anderson D., Boyum R., Davis, K., et al. // English Teaching Forum. – 2009. – num.3, vol. 5 – p. 9 10. Dario Banegas, (2010), The Role of Literature in ELT. Available URL: http: //www. blogs/ dario-banegas /role –literature.elt.-part-one
  • 23. 2014 META Conference Brochure EQUIVALENCE IN TRANSLATION– INTERLANGUAGE SYNONYMS, HOMONYMS AND PARONYMS. Oxana GOLUBOVSCHI, Senior Lecturer at State Pedagogical University“Ion Creanga” Master Degree in English Philology e-mail: Lilia HERȚA, Senior Lecturer at State Pedagogical University“Ion Creanga” Master Degree in English Philology The main purpose of this article is to explain the concept of equivalence in translation. As well to touch upon the subject of interlanguage homonyms, synonyms and paronyms - the so-called translator’s false friends. The process of finding equivalents in the two languages is that the translator should first decode the Source Text (ST), that is, to figure out the meaning, message, intention of the original speaker or writer and then ask himself or herself how the same decoded meaning, message, intention is encoded in the Target Text (TT). Finding equivalents in translation involves facing problems, at this moment we can speak about linguistic phenomenon of interlanguage homonyms or the so called ‘translator’s false friends’ which was introduced by the French theorists of translation M. Koessler and J. Derocquigny in 1928. This term means a word that has the same or similar form in the Source and Target languages but another meaning in the target language. Translators’ false friends result from transferring the sounds of a Source language word literally into the Target language. They are also called deceptive cognates, as their meanings are different and they can easily confuse the target text receptor. Among them are found such a class of words called International words, i.e. words which have gained currency in different languages while preserving one and the same meaning. Most of them denote notions referring to science, technique, culture, and politics. In the article are discussed these problems of linguistic misunderstandings and confusions and how to avoid such mistake making. As a matter of fact, not many words have the same meanings in different languages. Therefore, every qualified interpreter or translator has to give particular attention to interlingual homonyms, as they can be extremely confusing. One should always be able to distinguish translator’s “false friends”. Key words: Equivalence, translation, doublet, interlanguage, synonym, homonym, paronym, Source text/language, Target text/language. The main subject of this article is the problem of equivalence in translation with a special emphasis on “translator’s false friends”. But first we should answer the question: What is translation? Translation is a transfer process, which aims at the transformation of a Source Language (SL) text into an optimally equivalent Target Language (TL) text, and which requires the syntactic, the semantic and the pragmatic understanding and analytical processing of the SL. The process of finding equivalents in the two languages is that the translator should first decode the Source Text (ST), that is, to figure out the meaning, message, intention of the original speaker
  • 24. 2014 META Conference Brochure or writer and then ask himself or herself how the same decoded meaning, message, intention is encoded in the Target Text (TT). Finding equivalents in translation involves decoding the ST text and attempting to find an appropriate equivalent in the TL (to encode whatever has been decoded in SL). Finding equivalents is the most problematic stage of translation. More specifically, this article is about the concept of equivalence in translation and the subject of interlanguage synonyms, homonyms and paronyms, the so-called “translator’s false friends.” The term ‘translator’s false friends’ means a word that has the same or similar form in the Source and Target languages but another meaning in the target language [1,p.24]. Translators’ false friends result from transferring the sounds of a Source language word literally into the Target language. They are also called deceptive cognates, as their meanings are different and they can easily confuse the target text receptor. Among them are found a class of words called International words, i.e. words that have gained currency in different languages while preserving the same meaning. Language cannot exist without ambiguity; which has represented both a curse and a blessing through the ages. Language is a very complex phenomenon. Psychological, social and cultural events provide a moving ground on which those meanings take root and expand their branches. Throughout history, translation has made inter-linguistic communication between peoples possible. Theoretically, one can consider translation a science; practically, it seems rational to consider it an art. However, regardless of whether one considers translation a science, an art, or a craft, one should bear in mind that a good translation should fulfill the same function in the TL as the original did in the SL. The first step in the process of translating a source language text is to find suitable equivalents in the target language. The term ‘equivalence’ is actually a key term in translation and scholars have defined it in different ways. Any ‘good’ or ‘accurate’ translation presupposes an ‘exact’ or ‘correct’ equivalence being rendered at linguistic, extra linguistic and paralinguistic levels in the target language. Translation has been defined as the replacement and transfer of ‘message’ from one language into another. Recent theories look at translation in the light of the speech act and discourse theories and define translation as the phenomenon of replacement of a text in a source language by a semantically and pragmatically equivalent text in the target language with the same ‘illocutionary effect’. Translation has also been considered as the transfer of ‘signs’ from one language into another giving it a semiotic dimension. Debates on whether translation is ‘possible’ or ‘impossible’ have led the people interested in translation to think on the aspect of faithfulness and fidelity in translation and later on to questions like whether translations are to be literal or liberal, etc. Some tend to dwell on this - question of literal and liberal. They say that the two are incompatible, i.e., what is ‘beautiful’ cannot be ‘faithful’ and what is ‘faithful’ cannot be ‘beautiful’. To render a satisfactory translation the translator needs to be acquainted with phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, idiomatic, religious and cultural systems of both the SL and TL to either find standard equivalents, give explanation otherwise to convey the author has intended meaning to the TL audience without any mistakes. In the case of interlingual translation, the translator uses synonyms to get the meaning of the ST. This indicates that the complete equivalence is absent between code units in interlingual translations. According to R. Jacobson’s
  • 25. 2014 META Conference Brochure theory, “translation involves two equivalent messages in two different codes” [2, p. 233]. He acknowledges that “whenever there is deficiency, terminology may be qualified and amplified by loanwords or loan-translations, neologisms or semantic shifts, and finally, by circumlocutions” [2, p. 234]. The Romanian translation of the English phoneme /nait/, isolated from its context, can be either “cavaler” (knight) or “noapte” (night). However if the speaker talked about a “chivalrous and courageous knight”, there would be no hesitation in choosing the Romanian translation “cavaler”, rather than “noapte”. Therefore drawing a difference between linguistic meaning and sense it is important to remember that in speech words lose some of the potential meanings attached to their phonemic structure and retain only their contextual relevant meaning. So, translators must be excellent readers in a source language, for example, in English as their second language, and excellent writers in a target language, for example, in Romanian as their native language. Linguistically, translation is a branch of applied linguistics, for in the process of translation the translator consistently attempts to compare and contrast different aspects of two languages to find equivalents. If a specific linguistic unit in one language carries the same intended meaning, message encoded in a specific linguistic medium in another, and then these two units are considered to be equivalent. Finding equivalents is the most problematic stage of translation. The same applies to the relation between English and Romanian, with the qualification that the pronunciation of many English international terms is often very difficult. That international words are the easiest to translate or understand should not be considered to be an absolute rule. There are instances when these words are far more difficult than the words we simply do not know and have to look up in a dictionary. They are more difficult because they are misleading; apparently they are identical with this or that Romanian word, while actually they mean an altogether different thing. These would be examples of international words or “false friends”. These “false friends” make a mixture, which we will also call “doublet words”. The term doublets, as used in philology, means two words derived from the same root. Such words have the same derivation but differ in form and usually in meaning; such an explanation is given by N. Rayevska [6, p.17]. Another specialist in language study, Galina Salapina, talks about “etymological doublets”, these are - ‘words of the same language which have been derived by different routes from the same language source, they differ to a certain degree in form, meaning and usage’. The same phenomenon is observable in translation process, as practice shows such words exist as well within the vocabulary stock of two languages.In our case these are doublet words that are found in English and Romanian. Therefore, the peculiar interest of this article is to state and mention this phenomenon and see and define the problems that appear while translating these words. The meaning of the term “false friends” may be extended to include also those lexical units, which, in the same language, have altered their meaning or meanings in the course of their historical development. As mentioned earlier in our article, to render a satisfactory translation the translator needs to be acquainted with phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, idiomatic, religious and cultural systems of both the SL and TL to either find standard equivalents or give explanation to convey the author’s intended meaning to the TL audience
  • 26. 2014 META Conference Brochure without any mistakes. Nevertheless, mistakes may occur due to the linguistic phenomena connected with finding an appropriate equivalent. American structuralist, Roman Jacobson, claims, [2, p. 135] “there is ordinarily no full equivalence between code units”. To corroborate his idea, Jacobson uses the example of ‘cheese’, which does not have the same equivalent of the Russian ‘syr’; in Romanian we translate ‘cașcaval’. For the latter is code unite does not have the concept ‘cottage cheese’ so, the term is better to be translated by ‘tvorog’ not ‘syr’, in Romanian ‘brinza de vaci’ and not ‘cascaval’. R. Jakobson also points out that the problem of both meaning and equivalence is related to the differences between structures, terminology, grammar and lexical forms of languages. R. Jacobson stated, “Equivalence in difference is the cardinal problem of language and the pivotal concern of linguistics.” In the case of interlingual translation, R. Jakobson [2, p.116] maintains that the translator uses synonyms to get the meaning of the S.T. This indicates that the complete equivalence is absent between code units in interlingual translations. According to his theory, “translation involves two equivalent messages in two different codes” [5, p. 233]. Loan words that can be borrowed from the source text but have developed their own meanings in the target texts. For example, interview = ‘a series of questions in a formal situation in order to obtain information about a person’; interviu = a journalist is questioning some public figure in order to be published in mass media’. Alternatively, they can have the same origin of the third language (mainly Greek and Latin) and be borrowed into both the source and target languages: aspirant = ‘a person, who has great ambition, desires strongly, strives toward an end, and aims at’; aspirant = ‘a graduate student’. Historically “false friends of a translator” are the result of language interaction, which can appear as a casual coincidence but in a limited number of cases. In kin languages they are based on cognates originating in common prototype in basis-language. “False friends of a translator” are the results of inadequate and poor translation based on sound similarity of words in foreign and native languages. For example, the English word “bucket” (“caldare”) has the Romanian homonym “buchet” and is a false equivalent for having a different meaning. Therefore, equivalence in translation can only be understood as a kind of similarity or approximation. When compared in the source and target texts, translators’ false friends can differ semantically, syntactically, stylistically, and pragmatically [4, p.174]. Semantic difference presupposes the following oppositions: generic vs. specific meaning: actual (real, existing in fact) – actual (topical); monosemantic vs. polysemantic: gallant (couth)– gallant (1. Showy and gay in appearance, dress, or bearing a gallant feathered hat; 2. Stately, majestic; 3. High-spirited and courageous gallant soldiers;4. Attentive to women, chivalrous, flirtatious.); different connotation (positive vs. negative): aggressive (determined to win or succeed) – agresiv (inclined to act in a hostile fashion). Structural difference leads to: different word combinations: comfortable – comfortabil have the same meaning ‘producing a feeling of physical relaxation’. However, in English this word is combined with the noun income (comfortable income), and in Romanian this combination is impossible – the English expression has the equivalent of venituri opportune. Likewise, sympathetic –simpatic, but sympathetic strike – grevă de solidaritate; impossibility of calque translation: persoanăerudite– walking library. In this case idiomatic meanings are expressed by
  • 27. 2014 META Conference Brochure different structures; multi-component phrase vs. one-word structure: calitatea de lector, citiror - readership, readers. Stylistic difference results in stylistic overtone of the words: neutral vs. emotionally coloured words: ambition (stylistically neutral) – ambiție (often negative); protection (neutral) –protecție (bookish); modern vs. archaic: depot – depozit (in the meaning of ‘a building where supplies are kept’); common word vs. term: essence – esență(vinegar). Pragmatic difference implies the different associations a word carries for various groups of people, nations, etc. Full equivalents are target language expressions whose components coincide fully (in terms of vocabulary, grammar and style) with the source language expressions. Full equivalents may be represented by some proverbs (All is well that ends well. – Totul este bine când se termină cu bine.); international phrases, especially biblical, mythological, or historical (Damocles’ sword – Sabia lui Damocles; Noah’s ark – Arca lui Noe); or other phrases (to play with fire – a se juca cu focul; to read between the lines – a citi printre rânduri). Partial equivalents differ from the source language expression either lexically (four corners of the world – cele patru parti ale lumii; to save money for a rainy day – economisi bani pentru o zi grea/zile negre) or grammatically (to have news first hand– a afla știri din prima mana; a juca în mâinile cuiva - to play into smb’shands). The figurative meaning, or the image, may be changed in translation: to sit on a powder keg – sta/trăi ca pe un vulcan; a sta pe ace – to sit on pins and needles. In general, idioms are open to a variety of translation procedures. Among them are: Substitution with the analogue: Do not teach your grandmother to suck eggs. – Ou invata pe gaina. However, in oral translation a translator should sustain the image. Then a new (changed) figurative meaning may frustrate the translator. When working with an analogue, one should be sure to use the same style and retain the meaning of the idiom. Zero equivalence occurs when there is no one-to-one equivalent between the ST and the TT. This happens when the translator deals with texts that contain many culturally bound words or expressions. Examples of this are the words ‘plăcintă’, sarmale, etc.’ In fact, zero equivalence rarely occurs at the text level, except in some literary forms as poetry and fairytales, and in case it happens, the translator may use translation recreation instead. It is impossible to disagree with the opinion in some publications that it happens among translators to justify their mistakes and unwillingness to analyze multiple meanings of English words by the existence of “false friends of a translator”. Almost any English word can be considered a “false friend of a translator”. The poorer the knowledge of a language the more often a translator is caught at a straw at a graphic similarity of words. The main sources of such mistakes are the correlations of functional and sound similarity or seeming identity of lexical units in both languages. Important place among “false friends of a translator” is occupied by the cases of interlanguage homonymy and paronymy. Interlanguage homonymy may arise in the process of interaction and comparison of languages (for example, “mark”- marca or “family”- familie. The differences in object-logical content of English and Romanian “false friends of a translator” in a number of cases are connected with the difference in the life of notion itself. ‘False friends’ as well are called interlanguage synonyms, homonyms and paronyms. Interlanguagesynonyms are words that coincide in one or more meanings. However, beside similar
  • 28. 2014 META Conference Brochure meanings, they have some special meanings. For example, concert – concert. Both words have the meaning of ‘a musical performance’, but the English word has the second meaning: ‘agreement in purpose, feeling, or action’. The Romanian one has acquired a generic meaning of ‘any performance (reciting, drama extracts, etc.)’. Thus they can be equivalents in only the first meaning and somewhat erroneous in their second meaning. Interlanguage homonyms are words that have no common meanings, like accord – accord. The English word means ‘agreement, harmony; a settlement or compromise of conflicting opinions; a settlement of points at issue between the nations. The Romanian word is more specific, meaning ‘musical chord’. Interlanguage paronyms are words with similar but not identical sound, and with different meanings. The case can be illustrated by example – exemplu. The Romanian word denotes ‘a copy’, whereas the English indicates ‘a representative of a group as a whole; a case serving as a model or precedent for another that is the same or similar’. At present there are three types of “false friends of a translator”: 1. Words and expressions meaning different things in both languages (application- anchtea unui candidat ; aplicatie - in Romanian; anecdote-eveniment din viata; anecdota - in Romanian) 2. Words and expressions which are partially similar in meaning (apartment- apartament; apartament- in Romanian; auditorium- audetorie; Romanian) 3. Words and expressions similar in meaning but different in style and in sphere of using (cable- canat, cablu). Besides, it is necessary to take into consideration possible differences of stylistic characteristics of associating words. These differences can accompany partial semantic differences but can occur in the words with the same meanings. Therefore, it is impossible to understand and use the word correctly without knowing its functional-stylistic and emotionally expressive shades. The differences in functional-stylistic shades occur most often in English- Romanian comparisons. For example, even in the similar meaning “intervedere a specialistilor” the English variant “consultation” and the Romanian one “consultatie” are not quite similar as the first word is stylistically neutral and the second word has a bookish shade. Stylistic difference makes many words incompatible in translation. The essential type of stylistic differences are the differences in evaluative and emotionally expressive shades. If the English word “compilation” (compilare, culegere) is quite neutral here but the Romanian word “compilare” has a shade of disapproval meaning the work based on the materials of other authors. Emotional shades often become apparent in figurative meanings: let us take, for example, the using of such Romanian words as “subiect”, “tip”, “fruct”, “element”, “exemplar” in the meaning of “om, personalitate”. In spite of the fact that the problem of “false friends of a translator” attracts attention of a number of translators, still there is no detailed research of this group of words in most languages. The differences in lexical combinatory make serious difficulties in learning languages and in translation but as a rule are not described in bilingual dictionaries. However, it is supposed that such difficulties are always surmountable in translation as the translator, using his linguistic feeling, “feels” in what combinations the word is relevant. It works mainly in the native language and is less successful in a foreign one. But the situation is complicated by the circumstances that
  • 29. 2014 META Conference Brochure the preference can be given to this or that word in this combination basing on language tradition. The dictionaries of “false friends of a translator” do not strive to substitute classical bilingual dictionaries; they are collections of peculiar and rather valuable commentaries on the words in question. Such commentaries are directed at preventing mistakes when using a foreign language and sometimes at improving the quality of translation and even broadening our outlook. In theory and practice, the dictionaries of “false friends of a translator” are more useful as give the description of all meanings, express stylistic and emotionally expressive shades, and explain grammar characteristics and lexical combinatory, which is important in translation. The main task of the translator is to render the authentic meaning of the utterance. The “translator’s false friends” are an obstacle on the way to correct translation. In some cases theses deviations that are produced because of interfering influence of “translator’s false friends” are insignificant. In others, they can seriously affect the meaning of the utterance. The appearance of misleading words is conditioned by differences in lexical systems of English and Romanian.For an adequate translation a specialist should take into consideration the general idea of a sentence, the specifics of lexical combinatory of words, the style and the general contents of the text. Actually, not many words have the same meanings in different languages. Therefore, every qualified interpreter or translator has to give particular attention to interlingual homonyms, as they can be extremely confusing. One should always be able to distinguish interpreter’s/translator’s “false friends”. In order to improve one’s knowledge and avoid mistakes because of the existence of “false friends” an interpreter or translator should always remember the basic translating procedures, which fall into two major categories: • Technical procedures: a)analysis of the source and target languages; b) a thorough study of the source language text before attempting to translate it; c) making judgments of the semantic and syntactic approximations. 2. Organizational procedures: constant re-evaluation of the attempt made; contrasting it with the existing available translations of the same text done by other translators, and checking the text's communicative effectiveness by asking the target language readers to evaluate its accuracy and effectiveness and studying their reactions. However, it is no good to consider definitely that any mistakes of this kind indicate poor knowledge or carelessness of the speaker while a perfect command of language guarantees no mistakes. Knowledge of the second language in most cases cannot be perfect and fluent speaking two languages is possible only in theory. Therefore, an overwhelming majority of people who speak foreign languages make mistakes in translation and use. The main sources of such mistakes are the correlations of functional and sound similarity or seeming identity of lexical units in both languages. Every qualified interpreter or translator has to give particular attention to interlingual homonyms, as they can be extremely confusing. One should always be able to distinguish translator’s “false friends”. References: 1. Benjamin, W. The Task of the Translator. New York: Longman, 1999. - 354 p.
  • 30. 2014 META Conference Brochure 2. Jacobson, R. On Linguistic Aspects of Translation. Chapter 8 essay, 1959. - (pp. 113 – 118) 3. Levitchi, Leon D. Limba Engleza Contemporana.Lexicologie. Bucuresti: 1970. - 127 p. 4. Newmark, P. A Textbook of Translation. New York: Prentice Hall Longman, 1988. - 292 p. 5. Nida, E. Toward a Science of Translating. Netherlands: Leiden, 1964. - 331 p. 6. Rayevska, N. English Lexicology. Kiev, 1971. - 334p.
  • 31. 2014 META Conference Brochure PROMOTING STUDENTS’ ENGAGEMENT IN ENGLISH CLASSROOM THROUGH ACTIVE LEARNING GRAMA Stella, Graduate of “Ion Creanga” Pedagogical University in Chisinau, Foreign Languages Department Degree of Licentiate in Philology, II Didactic Degree English Teacher at “Prometeu-Prim”Lyceum in Chisinau The modernized national curriculum calls on teachers to revise traditional teaching methods. Students are not treated as recipients of information anymore. They become the subjects of the learning process. Their roles shift from passive listeners to active learners. Students used to listen, take notes and parrot back the content previously assimilated in the classroom. Modern schooling is totally different. It requires students to get involved in the process of learning, to discover new things, to ask and give feedback, to interact with others. Active learning refers to any teaching strategy that permits students to search for information, build their own knowledge, and feel responsible for their own education. It includes a variety of procedures that may be used in the classroom like individual activities, pair-work, informal small group discussions or cooperative projects. The choice belongs to the teacher. The major goal is to set activities that allow students to practise important skills besides covering the content. They need to learn effective decision making and improve interpersonal communicative skills. Beneficial, active learning situations are not easy to set up. The teacher has to be creative, invent new strategies, develop plans and try them out, collect feedback, modify and try again. Designing activities that would meet students’ needs is not facile either, but the fruit is sweet. The student-centered approaches offer various tools for making learning a pleasant and lasting process. Keywords: active learning methods, student-centered activities, student engagement. I. Active Learning Concepts Traditional schooling is focused on providing the student with knowledge on different school subjects as if a human’s mind were an empty vessel to be filled with information. The relationship between knowledge and feelings or attitudes and behaviours are often neglected. The student is assumed to take notes, information, thus, being passed from one recipient to another, without touching the student’s mind properly, or causing him or her to react emotionally, observe, discover or act. Active learning refers to any instructional method that engages students in the learning process and “implies deep learning on the part of students as they construct knowledge and create meaning from their surroundings”. [8] Traditional methods deal with information or content whereas “active learning involves students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing. Strategies that promote active learning allow students’ involvement in higher order thinking skills” [2, p.2]. “What is learned and how it is learned is often a result of socialization between the individuals and those around them. Active learning exercises help students to get to know each other, which
  • 32. 2014 META Conference Brochure transforms passive learners into active participants during the transmission of information in classrooms.” [1] John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) stated that students would learn more if teachers spent less time teaching, and the students spent less time passively listening. In the frontispiece to the Didactica Magna (1628) he writes: “Let the long and the short of our didactic be to investigate and discover the means for teachers to teach less, and learners to learn more.” The demands of the modern world call for a revision of traditional classrooms, replacing standard lectures with complex modern teaching strategies that shift student’s role from a passive listener to an active learner. Thus, teacher’s goal is to create situations that enable students explore their intellectual abilities, build knowledge rather than receive information. Investigations on this subject describe several features of active learning such as: - meeting various needs and different learning styles; - soliciting a diversity of opinions; - making individual contributions valuable; - fostering interaction of students with each other; - increasing learners’ responsibility in the learning process. The aim of active learning methods is to create favourable conditions for active engagement of thinking processes. It “improves learners’ attitude towards their subject area” [14, p.92], improves relationships between students and increases retention power. Active learning happens when students solve problems, answer questions, generate their own questions, brainstorm, discuss, explain or debate in classroom. Different academic research on this issue done throughout the world favour student-centered approaches like case-study, problem-solving, peer-teaching, critical thinking, all of them motivating for an endless learning process. II. Implementing Active Learning Strategies in EFL Classes As I have mentioned above, a major goal of the teaching process is to develop students’ critical, analytical and problem-solving abilities. They need to learn effective decision making and improve interpersonal communicative skills. The experience of modern schooling requires teachers to change their methods, using active learning strategies. The learner should get involved in his own education and shoulder responsibility for the progress he makes. We should promote critical thinking, encourage group processes and foster social as well as academic interaction among students. Theoretical knowledge of this issue is not sufficient to encourage teachers reconsider their teaching
  • 33. 2014 META Conference Brochure style. The most frequent question I hear when holding a discussion about this subject is whether active learning strategies really work. Well, they do. According to Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience [5, p.39], after two weeks of passive learning, students will remember not more than one third of the total volume of information. On the contrary, activities that focus on speaking, saying and doing, increases students’ engagement with what is learned, thus, stimulating higher cognitive processes and critical thinking. The learner will remember much more of what he practised in classroom. 1. Cone of Learning Adapted from Edgar Dale Active learning offers methods to reach the whole range of educational activities more efficiently than traditional approaches. It includes a variety of strategies that may be used in the classroom: - individual activities; - pair-work; - informal small group discussions; • cooperative projects. Some of them are oriented towards mastering basic skills and information, others aim at completing complex group projects often emphasizing higher order thinking skills. Each of them involves students in learning activities to a certain degree, thus we can group them into three categories: low, medium and high complexity strategies. 2. Categories of Active Learning Strategies For example, such techniques like brainstorming, T-chart, taboo, think-pair-share or graphic organizer do not take too much time, can be easily incorporated in classroom and may help to recall, record or structure information. On the other hand, complex methods like fishbone strategy, problem-solving, case investigation, jigsaw discussion, six-thinking hats encourage students to
  • 34. 2014 META Conference Brochure think critically: discuss, state opinions and bring arguments, find solutions, choose the right alternative. They also learn to communicate efficiently and interact with the others. The choice depends on the content to be covered, values and objectives of the teacher, time available for preparation, learning stage, classroom space, seat arrangement, teacher’s desk, number of students in the class, etc. Active learning should interact with the curriculum and encourage knowledge as well as the achievement of various competences. Thus, the teacher’s role is to set activities that make students practise important skills. From my point of view, an efficient strategy would be the one that is highly relevant to the goals set by the instructor, is challenging and open. It is practice that makes theory successful. If a teacher meets students for the first time, the concept of active learning should be introduced step-by-step. Learners should be given clear instructions each time a new strategy is used. Allotting time for each activity, announcing the goals teacher aims for will facilitate the process. Initially, it is advisable to come with low- involving strategies like guided discussion, free writing, priority list, memory game. Soon students will get used to a new teaching style and become more willing to get involved. Then select and plan medium-impact strategies like Venn diagrammes, stick debates, revolving circle, role-playing. It is very important that teacher carefully selects goal-appropriate activities and considers the results expected from learners. Students will feel safe and confident, and start coping easier with high-involving activities like group discussions, forced debates, generating questions, cooperative projects, etc. Active learning strategies may be explored in various ways. For example, jigsaw, a technique designed according to the labour-division principle, can be applied as an efficient means to cover a big volume of content in a short period of time. On the other hand, it may challenge students’ thinking without worrying about a fixed amount of teaching material. Each student may be assigned a point of view in the discussion and his thoughts make the outcome that matters. III. Benefits and Disadvantages of Active Learning When I was a student, the academic system I experienced never helped me learn to speak a foreign language. We did things completely differently. When I try to compare my personal experience with how I teach English, I realize that my students are actually forced to communicate in English and do not see English language as a list of rules that has to be assimilated. When schooling engages them permanently in what they are learning, students have the opportunity to share ideas, learn how others think and react to problems. Using active learning strategies in classroom makes the lessons more captivating, increases students’ comprehension of real-life contents, creates a positive attitude towards learning. Even the most reserved individuals or the ones who slowly meet learning tasks, are unable to make great effort or encounter concentration problems, are determined to participate in building knowledge. Discovering new things opens multiple cognitive perspectives. Some of these perspectives will become basis for a new learning activity, creating an instructive circle that provides a flow of knowledge. Brought together, the results of these activities will lay the foundation for the development of various competences specified by the national curriculum and make the individual more flexible to daily life challenges. Benefits from active learning in a cooperative environment include:
  • 35. 2014 META Conference Brochure - celebration of diversity; - acknowledgment of individual differences; - interpersonal development; - active involvement of students in learning; 1. more opportunities for personal feedback. Students learn to work with all types of people. During group interaction, they find many opportunities to generate questions, reflect upon their fellows’ reactions. Small groups also allow students to add their perspectives to an issue based on cultural differences. This exchange inevitably helps students to better understand other cultures and points of view. When questions are generated, different students will have a variety of responses. Any question is welcome. The discussion can reveal more perspectives and this way the content is more complete and comprehensive. Students learn to relate to their peers and other learners as they work together in pairs or groups. This can be especially helpful for students who have difficulty with social skills. They can benefit from structured interactions with others. Students are also apt to take more ownership of the material and analize issue connections. As there are more exchanges among students while sharing ideas, they receive more personal feedback. This feedback is often not possible in large-group instruction, in which one or two students exchange ideas and the rest of the class listens. In this case each one has the opportunity to contribute to classroom activities. A qualitative analysis of the active learning process reveals three major problems that teachers most often have to face: - some students refuse to work in groups; - some of the activities provide more noise than positive results; - sometimes conflicts may appear when students work in groups. Furthermore, it is not easy to plan an active learning activity to meet students’ needs. The teacher has to be creative, invent new strategies, develop plans and try them out, collect feedback, modify and try again. It’s a never-ending process. 3. Building Active Learning Classrooms
  • 36. 2014 META Conference Brochure Beneficial active learning situations are not easy to set up. In many situations, particularly those in which people must work together on a problem, conflicts prevent learning. As a result, cooperative learning requires students to work well with others by solving these unavoidable conflicts. In order to prevent them, there should be established some rules, like: - describing wishes, expectations, feelings or emotions; - generating solutions for the problem if any, and searching for a compromise; - criticizing ideas, not people; - sharing responsibility for the outcome with your partner, group-mates; - listening to the others, taking turns while holding a discussion; - reporting each activity back to the class. Here are some tips that might be of great help: If somebody is impolite or difficult, we can offer them a separate seat and give them an individual task that won’t be as attractive as the one that groups are working with. To complete the task, the student will have to write a lot. In case something is not clear, he will be told that if he were a part of the group, his classmates would offer help. If we notice the situation is going to change, the student can be sent back to his place. A “sign of silence” can also be used, something the students are already familiar with, e.g. “yellow traffic light”. New instructions won’t be given unless students make silence. Students’ nice behavior should be rewarded. Teacher will need a box and small stones. Good behavior will be encouraged by throwing small stones in the box. When the box is full, students have the right to express a wish (e.g. a break of 2-3 minutes). “Signs for interruption” is another good tool to handle group energy. When a team is noisy, a “red sign” is put on their desk and they must keep silence for one minute. If they are pressed by the time and don’t manage to fulfill the task, they are to take responsibility for it. Sometimes I have to write the word “stop” on the board. If students are noisy, one letter is cleaned away. When all the letters are cleaned away, group activity comes to end and they receive individual tasks. When you give the instructions, allot time for each activity and teach students to respect time limit. Also tell them they are to report the activity back to class. It will make learners feel personally responsible for successful accomplishment of any group task. Conclusion The positive feedback I receive from my students validates the idea that active learning offer beneficial opportunities to make learning easy, pleasant and lasting, also get students engaged as active participants that cooperate and communicate efficiently. To accept, acknowledge the importance of a student-centered approach facilitates productive planning of EFL classes. Active learning methods can be successfully incorporated in classroom, they do help cover the content and meet modern standards of efficient education. To involve each student in classroom activities, interesting and appealing instructions will be selected. If the tasks are accessible to everyone, students will feel encouraged to participate. It is necessary that the teacher should provide moral support and realize positive feedback. While working together students improve their own learning skills and influence their teammates. Engaged in such kind of learning situations, students positively depend on each other, which
  • 37. 2014 META Conference Brochure causes group devotion. When learning activities are frequently used, students that study alone turn to mates that study together. This way they improve their academic results, develop communication and interpersonal skills. They also learn to think critically and face daily life problems. References: 1. Beloff, F. J. (2009), Active Learning: Theories and Research. Available URL: [retrieved on March 28, 2014] 2. Bonwell, C. C. (1991), Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. Available URL: in_the_Classroom.pdf [retrieved on March 30, 2014] 3. Brandes, D., Ginnis P. A Guide to Student-centered Learning. London: Nelson Thornes, 1996. - 275 p. 4. Brookhart, S. M. How to Assess Higher-order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2010. - 159 p. 5. Dale E. Audiovisual Methods in Teaching. New York, NY:Dryden Press, 1969. - 719 p. 6. Fogler, H.S., LeBlanc, S. E. Strategies for Creative Problem Solving. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR, 1995. - 203 p. 7. Jones, Th. B., Meyers, Ch. Promoting Active Learning: Strategies for The College Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1993. - 192 p. 8. Haack, K. (2008), UN Studies and the curriculum as active learning tool. Available URL: [retrieved on March 30, 2014] 9. Nash, R. The Active Classroom Field Book: Success Stories From the Active Classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2010. - 130 p. 10. Noone, D.J. Creative Problem Solving. New York, NY: Barron's, 1993. - 167 p. 11. Prince, M. J. (2004), Does active learning work? Available URL: [retrieved on March 28, 2014] 12. Silberman, M. L. Active Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1996. – 189 p. 13. Silberman, M. L. Teaching Actively: Eight Steps and 32 Strategies to Spark Learning in Any Classroom. Boston, MA: Pearson/A&B, 2006. - 148 p. 14. Smith, K. A., Sheppard, S. D., Johnson, D. W. et al. Pedagogies of Engagement: Classroom- Based Practices. Journal of Engineering Education. – January 2005. – p.87-101. Available URL: [retrieved on March 30, 2014] 15. Steinaker, N.W., Leavitt, L.S. Interactive Learning: The Art and Science of Teaching. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2009. - 290 p. 16. Yoder, J. D., Hochevar C. M. (2005), Encouraging Active Learning Can Improve Students’ Performance on Examinations. Available URL:
  • 38. 2014 META Conference Brochure [retrieved on March 28, 2014]
  • 39. 2014 META Conference Brochure TESTING SPEAKING SKILLS: FLUENCY Iulia KONOPLINA, MA in ELT, Superior Didactic Degree Theoretical Lyceum”D.Cantemir”, Balti e-mail: Fluency has always been one of the most problematic rating criteria in the process of testing skills. The present paper gives an insight into the nature of fluency and tries to define the most important fluency indicators which can be used as a basis for creating fluency rating scale descriptors. Fluency has always been one of the most problematic rating criteria in the process of testing speaking skills. The present paper addresses the following questions: 1.What is fluency and what are its main features? 2.Is it necessary to include fluency into the process of testing speaking skills as a rating criterion? 3.Which fluency features or indicators can be used as a basis for creating fluency rating scale descriptors? 4.How to rate fluency reliably? 5.Which fluency rating scales can be used effectively in practice? The present research shows that fluency cannot be left out of consideration in the testing process as the overall goal of any second language learner is to produce fluent speech. Most fluency definitions include references to its main features. These features or indicators of fluency can be used as a basis for rating scale descriptors which will allow us to assess fluency reliably. All these indicators can be divided into three basic kinds: 1.temporal variables (speech rate, length of run, length and frequency of pauses, the distribution of pausing), 2.hesitation phenomena (use of fillers, repetitions, and self-corrections), and 3.fluency related vocabulary (use of language chunking and small words). If we want to include fluency into the test of speaking skills as one of the main rating criteria, we need to create a clear-cut and well-thought out scale for rating fluency. At present the best fluency scale can be found in the materials offered by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Key Words: speaking skills, testing, fluency, rating criteria, temporal variables, language chunking, rating scale descriptors. 1.Introduction: The ability to speak in a foreign language is at the very heart of what it means to be able to use a foreign language. Thus, learning to speak in English is a number one priority for the majority of our students though they may need this skill for a variety of reasons. One of the essential elements of the process of teaching speaking skills is its testing component. Unfortunately, testing speaking skills reliably has always been very problematic. It happens so because of the constraints it brings about. The most important of these constraints are definitely the rating criteria, which include both traditional ingredients (intelligible pronunciation, grammatical and lexical accuracy) and such matters of importance as contextual appropriateness, communication skills and fluency [9, p.147].
  • 40. 2014 META Conference Brochure The present paper deals with fluency as an indispensable part of the process of testing speaking skills and tries to answer the following questions: • Is it necessary to include fluency into the process of testing speaking skills as a rating criterion? • What is fluency and what are its main features? • Which fluency features (or indicators) can be used as a basis for creating fluency rating scale descriptors? • How can we rate fluency reliably? • Which fluency rating scales can be used effectively in practice? 2.Do We Need Fluency in Testing Oral Speech? Although many researchers call fluency a slippery, fuzzy, vague, thorny and difficult to pin down concept [3, p.82; 8, p.88; 10, p.75], it still cannot be left out of consideration in the testing process, as it is an indispensable aspect of any person’s speech, and as the overall goal of any second language learner is to produce fluent speech. Richards [10, p.75] considers that “the concept of fluency reflects an assumption that speakers set out to produce discourse that is comprehensible, easy to flow, and free from errors and breakdowns in communication.” Thus, it clear that we cannot do without fluency while testing speaking skills and choosing the most important rating criteria. However, to include fluency into the oral testing process as one of the rating criteria, we need to give its definition and to determine its features, as without a clear verbal description of fluency and its main indicators given to raters, they will not be able to rate their examinees in a proper way. 3.What Is Fluency and Its Main Features? As Luoma [8, p.88] points out, fluency can be defined in different ways. The broadest definitions of fluency are virtually synonymous with “speaking proficiency”. More narrow ones usually include some specifications related to pausing, hesitations and speech rate. The best definitions of fluency seem to belong to Fillmore [4, p.93] and Hasselgren [6, p.89]. Fillmore describes fluency in terms of “the ability to fill time with talk... the ability to talk in coherent, reasonable and ‘semantically dense’ sentences” showing “a mastery of the semantic and syntactic resources of the language”; “the ability to have appropriate things to say in a wide range of contexts”; and “the ability to be creative and imaginative ... in language use”. Hasselgren defines fluency as “the ability to contribute to what a listener, proficient in the language, would normally perceive as coherent speech, which can be understood without undue strain and is carried out at a comfortable pace, not being disjoined or disrupted by excessive hesitations”. Most definitions of fluency include references to its main features: • flow and smoothness,
  • 41. 2014 META Conference Brochure • rate of speech, • absence of excessive pausing, • absence of disturbing hesitation markers, • length of utterances and 2. connectedness. These characteristic features are rather complex, besides they are not simply descriptions of a speaker’s speech, but also of a listener’s perception of it [8, p.88]. In this regard ratings of fluency in speaking tests differ from the scores based on such quantifiable facets as accuracy and appropriateness. This fact makes it really problematic to define those features of fluency which can be rated on the basis of certain procedures and to offer certain reliability in testing. Thus, it becomes obvious that only some fluency features can be used as a basis for fluency scale descriptors. However, it is still possible to identify a number of surface fluency features in the speech of an oral test candidate which can be rated in a reliable way. 4.Which Fluency Features Can Be Used As Fluency Scale Descriptors? Different methodologists and applied linguists [1, p.541; 3, p.82-83; 8, p.89] offer their own sets of reliable for testing features of fluency and give certain reasons for their choice and preferences. They usually divide their fluency features only in two groups, omitting language chunks and ‘small words’. Thus, having summarized their ideas concerning this matter, we can offer our own subdivision of all fluency features: 1.temporal variables, 2.hesitation phenomena, and 3.fluency related vocabulary. 4.1.Temporal Variables: This group of fluency features includes such variables as: • speech rate, • the average length of run (or the number of syllables between pauses), • the length, • frequency, and - distribution of pauses. Research shows [7, p.391] that when speakers become more fluent, their speech rate increases. However, as Chambers [1, p.541] explains, speech rate cannot be the only indicator which contributes to the impression that the students’ fluency has improved. The general length of runs must be taken into account as well, as it is obvious that more fluent speakers tend to speak more and their phrases are longer. At the same time, we also need to pay attention to how often, how long and where the speaker pauses, to be exact, to the frequency of pauses and their distribution. It is clear that all speakers, however fluent, need to pause at syntactic boundaries for the purposes of planning of what comes next. Such utterances can be regarded as non-continuous but fluent, because the linguistic material of the clauses remains uninterrupted. In case with a less fluent speaker the process of constructing an utterance will be slower, so the pauses will be longer. Besides, less
  • 42. 2014 META Conference Brochure fluent speakers tend to stop not at syntactic boundaries, but somewhere in the middle of syntactic units. Such turns are considered as non-continuous and interrupted. The more frequently this kind of interruption occurs, the less likely the speaker is to be rated as fluent. 4.2.Hesitation Phenomena: According to Luoma [8, p.18], though such hesitation phenomena as hesitations, fillers, pauses, word repetitions and repetitions of sentence frames, false starts, repairs and unfinished sentences are often called dysfluency markers, their presence in the speaker’s speech contributes a lot to the impression of increased fluency: • As for hesitations, word repetitions, false starts, repairs and unfinished sentences, they enable the speaker to keep talking and to carry on his conversation. • Fillers and repetitions of frames help speakers to buy planning time. 4.3.Fluency Related Vocabulary: 4.3.1.Increased Language Chunking: One more important indicator of fluency seems to be increased chunking of word-strings – the speaker’s improved command of an extensive repertoire of such chunks as lexical phrases, formulaic routines, frequently occurring word strings and collocations, and his ability to achieve fluency by stringing chunks together. This invaluable feature of fluency is based on one of the basic constructional principles of spoken language – talk is built up clause by clause, and phrase by phrase, rather than sentence by sentence [11, p.12]. Field [3, p.82] remarks that the use of pre-assembled chunks assists the speaker in many ways: • First of all, it leads to the increase of syntactic accuracy, as chunks are produced in a pre- constituted way. • Secondly, it brings about the improvement in aspects of delivery, as it helps to create the impression of a more native-like pronunciation. • It also simplifies the planning process and reduces the need to revise plans while speaking. As a result, the speaker has much fewer hesitations and pauses, and makes his planning pauses shorter. Finally, the use of chunks enables several words to be produced as a unit almost as if they were a single lexical item. Consequently, the speaker’s length of run increases greatly. 4.3.2.Use of ‘Small Words’: According to Luoma [8, p.19], in addition to time bound speed, pausing phenomena and chunking, fluency is directly related to the way speakers use such spoken-like words as ‘really’, ‘I mean’, ‘oh’. Luoma [8, p.19] unites them under the heading of “pragmatic force modifiers”, and Hasselgren [6, p.19] calls them ‘small words’, and defines them as “small words and phrases, occurring with high frequency in the spoken language, that help to keep our speech flowing, yet do not contribute essentially to the message itself”. Research shows [8, p.19] that the speaker is
  • 43. 2014 META Conference Brochure regarded as influent if he uses a wide range of fixed phrases (or ‘small words’). The more phrases he employs, the higher level of fluency he has. 5.How to Rate Fluency Reliably? If we want to include fluency into the test of speaking skills as one of the main rating criteria, all the fluency features mentioned above (speech rate, length of run, length and frequency of pauses, the distribution of pausing, hesitations, language chunking and use of ‘small words’) should be taken into consideration. To make the rating process simple and transparent, a clear-cut, well-thought out scale for fluency rating should be worked out. At the moment, most fluency rating scales that are used worldwide do not answer all the necessary requirements. They are either too short and vague like the one which belongs to Weir [12, p.44] or too detailed like the one created by Fulcher [5, p.225]. The best of them seems to be the fluency rating scale offered by CEFR (Council of Europe Frame of Reference for Languages, 2001) [2, p.28-29], as it includes such descriptors as speech rate, length of run, frequency and length of pauses, the distribution of pausing. The scale descriptors are positive, definite, clear, and independent. These are two of the scale descriptors of fluency taken from CERF [2, p.28-29]: • Level B2: “Can produce stretches of language with fairly even tempo: although he / she can be hesitant as he / she searches for patterns and expressions. There are a few noticeably long pauses”. • Level B1: “Can keep going comprehensibly, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production”. Unfortunately, these scale descriptors do not refer to language chunking and ‘small words’. 6.Using Fluency Rating Scales in Practice: This year the school Olympiad in English at the Theoretical Lyceum “D.Cantemir” Balti, included the 2nd – oral part. While working on our rating scale for fluency we used the scale from CERF as a basis, but with some additions of our own. Thus, the scale descriptor for level B1 looked in the following way: “The student’s speech rate is rather high. He / She can keep going comprehensibly and make rather long stretches of free production. Pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident. However, it takes place mostly at syntactic boundaries, and not in the middle of syntactic units. The student can employ familiar lexical phrases, formulaic routines, and word collocations. He / She can use a wide range of ‘small words’”. It was our first experience in using such a scale, so we came across certain difficulties. First of all, we were not quite used to this system of assessing fluency and we definitely needed some practice in this matter. Then, we felt it that our fluency rating scale needed more precision. So, at the moment, we are trying to improve it. 7.Conclusion:
  • 44. 2014 META Conference Brochure The ideas presented in this paper prove that if we want to test speaking skills reliably, fluency should become an indispensable part of the oral testing process as one of the most important rating criteria. While creating rating scales for fluency we need to take into consideration all its main features. Only in this case we will be able to assess fluency reliably. References: 1. Chambers, F. What do we mean by fluency? / Astruc L., Gao X., Mercer S., et al. // System. – 1997. – num.25, vol.4 – P.535-544. 2. Council of Europe. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. - 273 p. 3. Field, J. Cognitive Validity. / Taylor L. // Examining Speaking: Research and practice in assessing second language speaking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. – 65-111 p. 4. Fillmore, C.J. On Fluency. / Fillmore C.J. // Individual Differences in Language Ability and Language Behavior. New York: Academic Press, 1979. – 85-102 p. 5. Fulcher, G. Does thick description lead to smart tests? A data-based approach to rating scale construction. / Fulcher G., Ginther A. // Language Testing. – 1996. – num.13, vol.2 – P.208-238. 6. Hasselgren, A. Smallwords and Valid Testing. / Luoma S. // Assessing Speaking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. – 212 p. 7. Lennon, P. Investigating Fluency in EFL: a quantitative approach. / Ortega L., Cullberg M. // Language Learning. – 1990. – num.40, vol.3 – P.387-417. 8. Luoma, S. Assessing Speaking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. – 212 p. 9. Madsen, H.S. Techniques in Testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983. – 212 p. 10. Richards, J.C. The Language Teaching Matrix. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. – 185 p. 11. Thornbury, S., Slade, D. Conversation from Description to Pedagogy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. – 365 p. 12. Weir, C. Understanding and Developing Language Tests. New York: Prentice Hall, 1993. - 341p.
  • 45. 2014 META Conference Brochure THEORIES ON INTERACTIVE LEARNING, BASED ON STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING PROCESS MUNTEANU Svetlana, Teacher of English, The 2nd didactic degree Graduate of “Ion Creangă” State Pedagogical University, Modern Languages Department Licensed Diploma in English Philology Currently teaching at “Prometeu - Prim” Lyceum in Chisinau e –mail: The most important task of the modern English teacher is to have students confident in speaking the foreign language. The up–to-date ideas can transform classes through activities which bring fun at the lessons, at the same time offering the chance to learn in a more pleasant environment. The educational approach to teaching and learning has evolved and has changed ideas, giving place to innovative ways to reach different learners. When a teacher knows how to motivate his students, learning becomes more productive and effective. The digital world today promotes the use of modern technology in communication and interactive engagement. This possibility provides both the teachers and the students with a unique opportunity to use effectively stimulating and creative methods of exchanging information. Student led learning is a new branch in teaching which focuses on the needs and interests of students. Every day it becomes more and more difficult to stimulate the new generation of learners, therefore the purpose of this article is to present that effective and successful learning is the right way to lead the whole process and depends on the atmosphere the teacher creates and on the methods and techniques the teacher uses. The incorporation of different educational techniques is beneficial in a modern classroom, because it respects various learning styles of students, regarding the multiple intelligences.. Thus, I will refer to the following aspects and certain interactive activities that will totally change your classroom:  Concept and definitions  Reasons  Principles  Helping tips  Conclusion The modern society is very active and dynamic, the language is a social phenomenon, thus being dynamic and ever changing itself. That is why the best language teachers are usually ready to try and implement new methods and techniques. As educational practices evolve, so does the approach to teaching and learning. The stereotype about teaching and learning is constantly evolving into new and innovative ways to reach diverse learners. When a teacher motivates the students, learning becomes more productive.
  • 46. 2014 META Conference Brochure The new modern theories raise a lot of interest because the educational world today is one in which both teachers and learners continually employ various technologies for communication and interactive engagement. Such diversity has provided us, as teachers, and the so called ‘digital’ generation, with the opportunity to use various methods of exchanging information. The purpose of this article is to illustrate that successful learning is the right way to lead the process and depends on the atmosphere the teacher creates. Thus, I will refer to the concept, reasons, principles, helping tips and certain interactive activities that will totally change your classroom. Certain definitions have to be considered for a better understanding of this theory. Student – centered – learning is an educational approach that offers a greater independence, control and variety. It promotes the idea of giving students the possibility to control actively their own learning process, giving freedom over what they learn, how they learn and when they learn. Student – centered – learning is closely related to interactive learning, which is also an educational approach that promotes active participation among students. In contrast to the traditional structures that emphasize passivity among students, interactive learning is often student led, encouraging debate and analysis of content. Student-centered - learning is an approach to education focusing on the interests of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process such as teachers or administrators. Some of the teachers might ask themselves what it is necessary for, but the answer is quite easy. Not all the students receive the information in the same manner and the traditional way of presenting the content might not be suitable for this new generation of learners. Combining various teaching styles is recommended in order to meet the different needs of students and the use of visual stimuli, interactivity and multimedia actively engage learners. It is absolutely inevitable to make use of technology in order to deliver creatively the course content and to engage learners addressing their learning styles. During this generation of learners there is a need to create innovative, pedagogical approaches that effectively utilize technology and meet students’ needs. Students have their own styles of learning and they will learn better when there is a variety of learning opportunities that give them chance to learn their own way. That’s why it is very important to be aware of the various backgrounds of students, and here we consider the Gardner’s dialogue on multiple intelligences, in this way facilitating the student – centered classroom. Here are some helpful tips of why student – centered – learning should be integrated in the general process of presenting the content:  Strengthens student motivation  Promotes peer communication among students  Reduces disruptive behavior  Builds student-teacher relationships  Promotes discovery and active learning  Develops responsibility for one’s own learning
  • 47. 2014 META Conference Brochure The basic principles of this theory are that it helps students, it focuses on students, as the main characters, not on teachers and they learn in their own individual way. Our role here, as teachers, is to mentor and not to manipulate. The practical part of this article will present certain activities that can help a teacher change the lecture from a traditional to an interactive (student - centered) one. As it is well known English in school includes the 4 basic skills: reading, speaking, writing and listening. The most effective method in English teaching is that one which incorporates the basic skills. How to choose the best one? The practice shows that the best results go to the teacher who makes the lesson interesting and can easily motivate students to learn. As we know it is quite difficult, because children have a short attention span and can`t control it as the adults. That is why the teacher should use a variety of techniques and activities to keep students´ attention and interest. It is quite simple when learning is a fun process. This is another reason for implementing the modern techniques and activities at different stages of the lesson. It is not good to start the new lesson without a good warming up, because some students do not manage to realize the essence of the new content from the very beginning. At the same time, for an effective understanding, students have to wrap up the final part of the lesson, otherwise the teacher risks to feel “fed up without a dessert”. To help students develop communicative efficiency, instructors can use a lot of various activities that combine language structures. These activities should motivate the students for effective language learning. Here are some interactive, student – centered activities for speaking or writing skill improvement:  Problem solving – students are introduced a problem or difficult situation and are supposed to come with suggestions and solutions.  Debating – deals with an analysis and a presentation of a subject or an idea from two opposite sides.  Brainstorming – a deep analysis from the most important to the general aspect of a topic.  Double diary – students work on a page divided in two, writing their impressions and at the same time associating with their own experience.  The snowball – the opposite of the brainstorming. This activity reduces the students’ ideas to aspects and elements of the topic.  Discussion – an active exchange of ideas, information and opinions around a topic in order to clarify some definitions.  Brainwriting – the task is to write three solutions to a given idea in a certain amount of time.  The Star Explosion – draw the shape of a star, write on one top the discussion topic and complete the other tops of the star questions like what, who, where or why.  I learned I want to learn I would like to learn – pupils write what they know on a certain subject, what they found out and what they want to learn about it.  The fishbowl – the class is arranged in two circles, one inside the other. A topic is given for discussion. The inside circle students share their ideas while the others
  • 48. 2014 META Conference Brochure listen and notice the conflicts and strategies. Then they swap places and do the same, trying not to repeat.  The thistle – a more developed and detailed brainstorming, with more diagrams to complete.  Keywords – pupils are given a short passage of a text and after reading they identify the keywords. It develops creativity, because they can invent a beginning or an ending for the given passage.  Transformation – students receive a text written in a certain format, and the task is to change it into another format. For example some information from medicine could be changed into a newspaper article, or a set of instructions of a certain device to change into a text about how this device functions.  Titles – students try to guess or describe a text according to the given title, they try to make some predictions.  Power point presentations – develops creativity a lot. Students work in group doing some research on a given subject, then presenting their investigations.  Students teach – students try to explain each other the way they performed or must perform a given assignment or task.  Jigsaw - a method of organizing an activity that makes students dependent on each other to succeed. It breaks classes into groups and breaks assignments into pieces that the group assembles to complete the task.  Comparison and contrast – it is very good in grammar. Perfect to use for a revision of the learnt content and to clarify the weak points.  Judging competence – students are presented an essay, preferable not one of the best, and they express their opinion about it finding the mistakes. Then the teacher brings the real mistakes. If you tend to use interactive methods, do not try to teach all the new content in one lesson and don’t forget to state some rules from the very beginning, otherwise it might turn into a chaos. Our task is to educate pupils to think for themselves, to make them pass easily the exams and to have them confident in speaking the English language as well as being able to read or write. Having these ideas we can transform classes and achieve all this through activities which bring pleasure and fun at the lesson and which are designed to allow everyone plenty of opportunity to practice the language without neglecting specific aspects such as spelling, reading or writing. These activities give the chance to learn in a more pleasant environment. To conclude, I would like to mention that a modern teacher has to associate interactive learning with various student centered activities. An opened and modern teacher will earn more love and respect from the students and even from their parents for the innovative, inspirational and interesting teaching. The students really appreciate any kind of activities which provide excitement and interaction. Children learn while playing and if you make your classroom a lively place and motivate students to learn English by using interesting learning activities, you create warm and
  • 49. 2014 META Conference Brochure happy atmosphere where teacher and students enjoy working together, you help students to develop personal reason for learning English, then I am sure you will become the best teacher ever. References: 1. Celce Mariane Murcia, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. Volume 5 [p.3] 2. Oxford Advanced Learner”s Dictionary of Current English, Hornby A.S., Oxford University Press, 1995. 3. Ministerul Educaţiei, Cercetării şi Inovării “Dezvoltarea Profesională a Cadrelor Didactice Prin Activităţi de Mentorat”, Bucuresti, 2009 [p.24-100] 4. Proiectul FEDA (RP M132 H) 1998. Dezvoltarea Stilurilor Eficiente de Învăţare. [p.47-62] 5. Proiectul FEDA CBD 204 1999. Strategii de Predare care Satisfac Stilurile Individuale de Învăţare. [p.17, accessed 18 March 2014 ] 6. [accessed 20 March 2014]
  • 50. 2014 META Conference Brochure ENHANCING THE COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE AT THE GYMNASIUM LEVEL Rodica NEDELCIUC, English Teacher, 2nd degree, The Lyceum of Creativity and Inventiveness “Prometeu-Prim”, Communication has been accepted as an essential result of language teaching, but has been neglected as an essential component of the language teaching process. The teacher is the one who teaches and who tries to make the learning process easy and understandable for pupils. It is up to the teacher what methods to use in order to increase the pupils’ speaking competence. The classroom is the place where we can organize different activities and simulate real-world exchanges. We must use our imagination and make the pupils use the language realistically and interactively. Pupils should know that speaking a foreign language is a key into the high society and the learning process should be made by the teachers meaningful and funny. ”The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.” Derek Walcott In the process of teaching English, teachers have been using a lot of methods and techniques. Some of them have proved to be pretty effective, whereas the others are not that effective. The numerous methods of teaching have been used by teachers of various backgrounds that show different levels of competences. This fact has helped educators to benefit from an exchange of experience. Unfortunately, some teachers consider vocabulary and grammar to be the most important issues in teaching and learning a foreign language. Still, the most important thing to be taught and learnt is speaking. Mastering the speaking skills makes the pupils be able to carry out a conversation in different social situations, for example in the street or at the airport. They can also put forward their own ideas, exchange information, seek information, apologize, and express likes and dislikes, etc. That is why the teacher should allow the pupils to speak directly to each other as much as possible. This seems to be a very difficult task sometimes because it is not the pupils’ mother tongue. Pupils tend to be silent, they are afraid to make mistakes in front of their classmates or get a bad mark. In comparison with teaching listening skills, where quite a variety of techniques have been developed since the introduction of the oral communication courses, partly with the help of new technological devices such as the closed captioning system or mini disk, teaching speaking seems to be far behind. [1]
  • 51. 2014 META Conference Brochure Communication has been accepted as an essential result of language teaching, but it has been neglected as an essential component of the language teaching process. English is the first or the second language in many countries on this Earth. This makes it very important because it teaches the pupils to be able to communicate on different topics in accordance with the elements of culture and civilization of the foreign language environment. A competent speaker knows facts about the people, the history and culture of the target language, therefore learning English involves also learning about holidays, religion, and literature, educational and political system in the English-speaking world. In other words, communicative competence means the ability to use the language correctly in terms of vocabulary and grammar, adapted to the social situation, using the language politely, tactfully and in terms of cultural background. Methods of teaching are continuously changing, but there is one thing that is never going to change, this is motivation. “I don’t see why we have to learn that…”, “I don’t want to do that…”, and “The stuff is boring…”, these are phrase that we hear very often from teenagers who are so much motivated by other things like video games, Facebook, trying to escape from any kind of activity that would make them socialize. They aren’t passive learners, they just like to learn or attend activities they want. Our dilemma as teachers is to get students to direct their attention to toward school tasks with an acceptable degree of effort. The better you are at predicting the correct level of difficulty for a student, the more likely you’ll help that learner feel successful. Note the word feel. The teacher is the one who teaches and who has to make it easy and understandable for pupils, it is up to us what methods we use in order to increase the pupils’ speaking competence. The classroom is our “laboratory” where we can organize different activities and simulate real-world exchanges. We must use our imagination and make the pupils use the foreign language realistically and interactively. As mentioned above, learning a foreign language is not so easy. Children need to master certain techniques when they learn. Usually during the lessons we pay a lot of attention to both teaching grammar and vocabulary. Pupils learn the rules, how to use the tenses, for example “Present Simple is used to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual”, but when they are asked to tell what they do every day after classes they find it difficult to use the theoretically learned material. To ensure learning, we must get student involved. There are various techniques in teaching speaking such as role play, simulation, situational dialogues, jigsaw, information gap, brainstorming, storytelling, performing interviews, story completion, reporting, playing cards, picture narrating, finding differences and similarities, etc. Before teaching the language the teacher has to be active and speak only English. Every pupil should be involved in the discussion, for this aim the teacher has to try different ways of pupils’ participation. Mother tongue is an important element of the pupils’ world, but the pupils’ mother tongue should be used only whenever explanations in the target language would be too time consuming. We can translate if it is necessary, however the teacher should use the target language as extensively as possible. The
  • 52. 2014 META Conference Brochure lesson has to begin with greeting activities. The teacher greets the pupils in English and asks questions like: T: -How are you today? P: -Nice, thank you, and you? T: - I am fine too, thank you! or P: -How about you? T: -Okay, thank you! It is enough to create the atmosphere of an English speaking lesson. The teacher has to ask the pupils to give full answers, for example: “-What is the capital of England?” the answer is not complete if they answer “-London”, it would be better if they make up sentences “– The capital of England is London”. The pupils get used to it and they try to make full sentences when they speak. After a content-based lesson, a discussion can be held for various reasons. The pupils may aim to arrive at a conclusion, share ideas about an event, or find solutions in their discussion groups. Before the discussion, it is essential that the purpose of the discussion activity is set by the teacher. In this way, the discussion points are relevant to this purpose, so that the pupils do not spend their time chatting with each other about irrelevant things. Every minute has to be filled with new questions, explanations, so that the pupils would become more and more interested. In the 7th form book English for You and Me, the pupils have to comment on the proverbs given before the lesson. The questions help them to predict the lesson. We tried to build a very interesting discussion on the topic “Friends”. The quotation of the lesson is “Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you!” by Elbert Hubbard. In the 7th “A” form, we tried not to interfere with any suggestions; pupils just told their own opinion about the quotation. The discussion was very short and nobody wanted to add anything. In the 7th “D” form the teacher asked some questions after the pupils expressed their ideas about friendship, and then the pupils tried to bring arguments to support their ideas, this way all of the pupils present were very motivated to get involved in the discussion. Another example of building an interesting and productive discussion is to involve pupils in agree/disagree discussions. In this type of discussion, the teacher can form groups of pupils, preferably four or five in each group, and provide conversational sentences like ”a friend is a person who knows all about you vs. trust yourself”. At the end the class decides on the winning group who defended the idea the best way. It is a very good way to make the pupils think critically, make decisions, and they learn to justify themselves in a polite way if they disagree with the other classmates. It is very important not to make large groups, because they can be noisy, or the quiet pupils may avoid speaking.
  • 53. 2014 META Conference Brochure There can appear another problem related to error correction. From this point of view small grammatical or pronunciation errors are insignificant, especially in the early stages, like 5th and 7th forms, when they have accumulated a considerable number of words as active vocabulary. As a matter of fact, too much emphases on correcting the pupils is considered harmful rather than helpful, for it may cause excessive monitor in the mind, hindering the natural acquisition of spoken skills. [2] Lastly, in class or group discussions, whatever the aim is, the pupils should always be encouraged to ask questions, paraphrase ideas, express support, check for clarification, and so on. We can have fun while speaking English. One of the activities that are much enjoyed during English lessons is the Role Play. Students pretend they are in various social contexts and have a variety of social roles. In role-play activities, the teacher gives information to the learners such as who they are and what they think or feel. Thus the teacher can tell the students “Imagine you are expecting guests and tell how you will lay the table” (Holiday Table, Unit 2, Lesson 9, English For You and Me, 7th form). The pupils also can choose one of the situations given, and then they are assigned roles and asked to produce dialogues, for example: Situation 1: roles: the shop assistant-you-your friend; Situation 2: roles: you-your mother-the shop assistant; etc Simulation is very similar to role-play. The only difference is that the simulation is more elaborate. Simulating the pupils can use different things to create realistic environment. For instance if they role play the Queen Elisabeth, they can use a crown and so on. Simulation and role-play have many advantages. First, the pupils are motivated to speak English themselves, second they become more confident. Brainstorming is one of the activities students enjoy as much as role-play, because while brainstorming they can be original and interesting. They have their own point of view. They bring arguments and that usually makes them speak and find the vocabulary needed to support the idea. Depending on the context, either individual or group brainstorming is effective and learners generate ideas quickly and freely. The good characteristic of brainstorming is that the pupils are not criticized for their ideas so pupils will be open to share new ideas. [3] I would like to mention that language is only one way of communication and that meaning can carried by other modes, too, for example by using gestures, visuals, music, intonation, speed, facial expression, eye contact, smile or body posture. We have to encourage pupils to speak loudly and clearly. The pupils’ mumbling or speaking softly makes it difficult to hear their use of language. Because of it the teacher gets difficulty in giving them language feedback on what they have said. Besides that, the teacher cannot hear all the pupils’ mistakes and cannot correct them. During interviews activities, for example, we have to ask pupils to be very attentive to their gestures, the tone of their voice, etc. It is a very good activity for pupils so that they learn to know what type of questions to ask, they are given the chance to practice their ability to speak on different topics and different situations, it helps them become socialized. In the 9th form the
  • 54. 2014 META Conference Brochure pupils speak on the topic “Jobs”, using the new vocabulary and the adjectives given, they are asked to make an interview about ways of getting a job. It is very interesting to watch them role-play an interview, there they try so hard to simulate, so that sometimes it seems to be very close to real-life situations. Everybody knows that music is very important in our lives and if we use it during our lessons the results can be amazing. One of the activities that make pupils describe their feelings, emotions, etc. is listening to music and discussing about it. For instance, pupils are asked to listen to a piece of music. It is preferable to listen to an orchestra music or symphony. After they listen to the music the pupils describe their feelings, what they feel while listening to it, it helps them meditate and speak. Another advantage of this activity is that students are very interested in their classmates’ feelings, and they want to see how they differ from each other. I would like to mention some suggestions for the teachers to use while improving their students’ speaking competence: - Make the pupils speak the target language during the lessons by providing a rich environment that contains collaborative work, materials and tasks. - Try to involve each pupil in every speaking activity during the lesson by using different ways of pupils’ participation. - Reduce teacher speaking and let the pupils speak more, step back and observe them. - Provide the vocabulary the pupils need in the activities beforehand. - Speak English with the pupils not only in the class, but also in the school hall, canteen, or even in the street. - Help the pupils when they need help. Translate if it necessary, contact parents or other people that can help. - Do not correct pupils’ pronunciation and grammar mistakes very often while they are speaking. Correction should not distract pupils from their speech. - Encourage pupils provide feedback like “You were great!”, “Good idea!”, “Well done!”, “Your presentation was great!” etc. In conclusion, I would like to state that speaking a foreign language is very important. We should tell the pupils they need English because it is an international language. On the other hand speaking a foreign language is “elegant”, it is a sign of education and nobility and can represent a key for admittance into the high society. [4, p.12] All the activities listed above can contribute to a great extend to pupils in enhancing their communication competence, in developing basic interactive skills necessary for life. These
  • 55. 2014 META Conference Brochure activities make the pupils become more active and speak English and they make the learning process more meaningful and funny for them. References: 1. Hayrie, K.. Teaching Speaking: Activities to Promote Speaking in a Second Language. University of Nevada, Nevada USA; The Internet TESL journal, Vol. XII, No.11, November 2006. 2. Vizental, A.. Metodica Predarii Limbii Engleze; Strategies of Teaching and Testing English as a Foreign Language.. 2008 3. Katsuhico Nakagaw. Teaching Speaking: From Accuracy vs Fluency to Accuracy plus Fluency . 4. Khoman, A.I.. School of Teacher Training and Education. .Muhammadiah University of Surakarta. 2009
  • 56. 2014 META Conference Brochure SEVEN STUDENT-CENTERED ACTIVITIES FOR TEACHING ABOUT AMISH AS A UNIQUE COMMUNITY IN US CULTURE Irina POMAZANOVSCHI, Master Degree in English Philology, university lecturer Institute of International Relations of Moldova (IRIM) The article focuses on the description of seven useful activities that make students active learners in class, let them practice their speaking, writing, listening and reading skills while learning about elements of US culture and Amish way of life. All the activities are successfully used by the author of the article during the lessons of US Culture and Civilization and proved to be very effective in raising students’ participation in class discussions. The activities described make the students active and responsible learners. In traditional education methodologies, teachers direct the learning process and students assume a receptive role in their education. Whereas in student- centered approach with "hands-on" activities and "group work", a child determines on their own what they want to do in class. Student-centred learning allows students to actively participate in discovery learning processes from an autonomous viewpoint. Students spend the entire class time constructing a new understanding of the material being learned in a proactive way. They activities presented include individual tasks, group work/ pair work and whole class and can have variations for different levels. The activities can be adapted to other topics and used successfully even by teachers of other subjects. The article also proves the point that teaching a foreign language without mentioning elements of culture is impossible. It does not matter whether the teacher intentionally includes cultural notions in the lesson; any lesson is connected to the culture of the language under study. Keywords: student-centered activity; Amish; culture; US Civilization, hands-on activities. It has been universally accepted that teaching / learning a foreign language without knowing the elements of culture of the language under study is impossible. As Ramona Tang writes in her reflection paper: “Language is culture. When a person decides to learn French, for example, he or she is not merely absorbing the linguistics of the language, but everything to do with French and France.” [5] Some other scholars assure that whether or not we include the elements of culture in our lesson plans, students absorb them anyway. This point was made by McLeod some years ago: "by teaching a is inevitably already teaching culture implicitly". [4] Sociolingust Brown did a research in 1999 and questioned whether language can be independent of cultural environment and values. Her findings showed that "there are values, presuppositions, about the nature of life and what is good and bad in it, to be found in any normal use of language" and such normal use of language is exactly what foreign language instructors aim to teach. [4]
  • 57. 2014 META Conference Brochure After teaching English as a foreign language for ten years a list of useful student – centered activities was compiled to teach culture and language issues simultaneously. The students whom I teach are young adults, their strongest aspiration is being able to communicate in English. That is why their interests, abilities and learning styles are of high priority during my courses. The role of a teacher in class becomes the role of a facilitator; students are required to be active and responsible for their own learning. The methodologists provide a few examples of why student-centred learning should be integrated into the curriculum: [2]  Strengthens student motivation  Promotes peer communication  Reduces disruptive behaviour  Builds student-teacher relationships  Promotes discovery/active learning  Responsibility for one’s own learning Below seven activities that were used during the course of US Culture and Civilization when speaking about modern life in the US are described in details and can be adopted almost to any other topic. The lesson begins with the prediction exercise. Students are shown the picture (see picture 1) and are asked to guess the answers to the following questions: - When was the picture taken? - Where was the picture taken? After a quick discussion the teacher tells that the picture was taken in present-day USA. And at the lesson the students are going to learn about Amish – plain people as they call themselves, and represent a unique community in modern US. [1, p.35] Activity 1: RPR (read-predict-reproduce) Every student gets a paragraph with the description of Amish lifestyle, traditions or beliefs. They have 2 min to scan the text and put down the key words of their paragraph. After that the paragraphs are collected and the students are supposed by looking at the keywords they have to predict the question that might be asked during the lesson so that the paragraph they just read serves as an answer. They are to reproduce the information that read when the teacher asks or shows on the slide the question that they think their paragraph answers. Sample paragraphs: (more info about Amish community can be found online)  Most Amish do not oppose modern medicine. Their readiness to seek health services varies from family to family. Nothing in the Amish understanding of the Bible Picture 1. Predict the topic of the lesson.
  • 58. 2014 META Conference Brochure forbids them from using modern medical services, including surgery, hospitalization, dental work, anesthesia, blood transfusions, etc. With few exceptions, physicians rate the Amish as desirable patients: they are stable, appreciative, and their bills will be paid. They do not have hospitalization insurance, but they band together to help pay medical expenses for anyone of their group who needs financial assistance. A designated leader in the Amish community is given responsibility for their mutual aid fund.  Many years ago, most of the dolls for little girls were rag dolls without faces. The Amish have retained this custom. At an early age children are learning not to have images, likenesses, idols. The refusal to have pictures of people is linked to the second commandment.  The Amish use gas. Bottled gas is used to operate water heaters, modern stoves and refrigerators. Gas-pressured lanterns and lamps are used to light homes, barns and shops. Gas is a natural resource, God’s creation. Some possible questions: 1) Why don’t Amish use electricity? 2) Do the Amish believe in gas power? 3) Do Amish use modern medicine and doctors? 4) How does a barn raising work? 5) Is that true that dolls for girls have no faces? Activity 2: Round Up video After a productive class discussion when everyone shared information in their paragraphs, a video is shown. The video summarizes the ideas discussed and introduces some new things about Amish lifestyle. The students’ task is to notice what notice and write down the new ideas that were not mentioned. If necessary the teacher may play the video second time. The video used for this activity (Explaining the Amish Way of Life - VOA Story) can be found on youtube: Activity 3: Checking your memory: True or False? Ten sentences about Amish community appear on a slide one after another. The students have to remember and tell whether the sentence is true or false. It is easier to do it in power point as the teacher can alternate the sentence with the correct answer – so the students have an opportunity to check instantly if they were right or wrong. 1) Amish women can’t have short hair. 2) They can wear watches, but no other jewelry. 3) Amish men can’t have zips. 4) Amish men can’t have beards until they are married. 5) Amish people aren’t allowed to keep animals. 6) The Amish break the law when they let their children leave school at 13. ANSWERS: 1) True 2) False 3) True 4) True 5) False 6) False 7) False 8) True 9) True 10) True
  • 59. 2014 META Conference Brochure 7) The Amish are happy for tourists to visit them. 8) The biggest Amish community is in Pennsylvania. 9) Amish women aren’t allowed to wear buttons. 10) Amish children are often curios about the outside world. Activity 4: Match the picture with the right paragraph. Students are joined in the groups of three and are given the following instructions: Read the paragraphs that give additional info about the Amish life. Then match each paragraph with the photo that fits it best. Write the number of the paragraph below the photo. Be sure to read each paragraph to the end before you make your choice. They have 4 paragraphs and 6 pictures, discussing in their small groups they need to decide what is the best match. [3, p.88] Sample paragraphs and pictures are provided in APPENDIX 1. Activity 5: Picture Role-Play. The teacher should find a picture connected with the topic of the lesson that depicts an action. Group the students according to the number of people in the picture and ask students to select a character. Then they have to write down a short biography of their character in 2-3 min. (Invent their name, age, occupation, likes, dislikes, dreams, why he/she behaves so in the picture, etc.) Then students are asked to interview each other on their stories, for every interview they have 2-3 min. They cannot retell their bio facts that had been written unless a question is asked. If they get a question for which they did not write an answer they should improvise right on the spot. This activity creates a lively discussion in class. After that the teacher and students discuss together the stories of the characters in the picture as they were told in different groups. The activity as well can be adapted to any level (if you provide prompts as unfinished sentences or questions they need to answer when describing the character) and any topic. Activity 6. Discussion: what is your opinion? Give students 2 min to think about the questions and formulate their opinion. Discuss the answers as a whole class. [3, p. 86] • The Amish have rules for living and dressing. Are there any religious groups in your native country that have special rules for living and dressing? • Could you live the way the Amish live? Why (not)? (without electricity, car, phone) Picture 2. Picture role-play.
  • 60. 2014 META Conference Brochure • There is confusion because many Amish have the same last name. Are there some last names that many people in your native country have? What are the names? • The Amish give one another nicknames. Do you have a nickname? What is the story behind your nickname? The questions are formulated in such a way that they prompt students to make connections with their prior knowledge, own customs and traditions, life in their country. Sometimes it happens so that there is a person in class who talks too much and some students are too shy to express their opinion. A magic “stick” or any other object could be used when answering the questions: the one who has it has the right to speak, the rest can speak when they get the “stick”. The students choose by themselves to whom they want to pass the “stick” to add something or to answer the following question. Activity 7: Word Search Vocabulary games are very popular among students. The word search can be done individually or in a group – this will add an element of competition at the lesson. The one who finishes first should get a kind of recognition. The activity is easy to make if a teacher has a list of words related to the topic under study, they just need to be introduced online in a words search creator and the worksheet for the lesson is done: . All the above described hands-on activities promote successful learning. With the use of valuable learning skills, students are capable of achieving lifelong learning goals, which can further enhance student motivation in the classroom. WORD SEARCH  Amish  Barn  Buggies  Farm  Furniture  German  Pennsylvania  Schoolhouse  Witness
  • 61. 2014 META Conference Brochure References: 1. Grisewood, E., Meyers, J. Timesaver Reading Lessons. Intermediate/Advanced. Mary Glasgow Magazines: Scholastic, 2002. – 80 p. 2. Group of authors. Student-centered learning (Pedagogy of the Oppressed). Available URL: [Accessed April 16, 2014] 3. Heyer, Sandra. Even More True Stories, an intermediate reader. NY: Longman, 2000. – 126 p. 4. Michael Lessard-Clouston, (1997), Towards an Understanding of Culture in L2/FL Education. Available URL: [accessed April 16, 2014] 5. Ramona Tang, (1999), The Place of "Culture" in the Foreign Language Classroom: A Reflection. Available URL: [accessed April 16, 2014]
  • 63. 2014 META Conference Brochure DESCRIBING GRAPHS AND CHARTS BASED ON THE IELTS REQUIREMENTS Ludmila RACIULA, MA Alecu Russo State University from Balti, More and more European universities require an IELTS certificate to admit foreign students. Some of them offer special preparatory courses for academic writing, speaking, reading, listening and comprehension, which help students prepare for the IELTS examination. This articles aims at familiarizing the audience with the requirements for the writing task I of the IELTS examination. It involves a description of the requirement and offers useful advice on how to deal with this task in order to obtain a high score in the exam. The topic discussed in the article focuses on the following objectives: - Familiarize the participants with the structure of the task; - Draw attention to the variety of graphs and tables and to the special features to be taken into when describing them; - Offer suggestions on the use of the vocabulary, necessary to comment on the graphs (upward trend, downward trend, adjectives and adverbs); - Bring into focus the structure of the writing (description of the graph/ chart/ table, ideas, conclusion); Analyse various pieces of writing and detect weaknesses and strong points of each. IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is an exam that assesses the language ability and skills of learners who want to study or work in English speaking countries. This exam is recognized by over 6,000 organisations worldwide, including universities and state agencies. IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at various levels from the non-user (band 1) to the expert user (band 9). Therefore, it is impossible to fail the exam. The test itself contains two modules: Academic and General Training. Students who want to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels need to take the academic module, as it assesses their abilities to cope with English used in classes. Those wishing to migrate to an English speaking country have to take the general module. Both academic and general modules cover all the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. All the candidates take the same listening and speaking tests, while reading and writing differ, depending on the module the candidates chose. (1) This article deals with the academic writing test. The writing part consists of two tasks and candidates are given 60 minutes to complete them. The writing task 1 is Academic Writing, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Candidates are presented with a graph, chart, table or diagram and are required to describe and interpret the data, available in it, they might also be asked to describe how an object or a process. To fulfill task 2 candidates have to write an essay in response to a problem, point of view or argument. The topics of the essays are of general interest and do not present problems for understanding. Both writing task 1 and writing task 2 have to be written in a formal style.
  • 64. 2014 META Conference Brochure Since Moldovan students are more or less familiar with the essay writing, we decided to focus on the first task, and mainly on description of graphs and tables. This kind of writing is new to most of the students and though not very sophisticated, it requires some special skills and knowledge of certain vocabulary. In both writing tasks candidates are assessed on their ability to write a text with an appropriate content, accurate grammar and vocabulary and proper organization of ideas. The writing has to keep to the well-established parameters, having all the necessary parts: introduction, body and conclusion. In the academic writing task 1, candidates are assessed on their ability to organize, present and compare data, to describe the stages of a process or procedure, to explain how something works. Marking is performed based on the four criteria of the IELTS Writing Test Band Descriptors, which involves task achievement/ response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammar range and accuracy. First, learners should be familiarized with the tasks of the academic writing 1. Usually, they involve some graphic representation; it might be a pie chart, a bar chart, a table, a line graph. To have a better understanding of it we shall see a sample task, given on one of the sites, which provide information and training exercises for the task. IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample 2. You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. The pie chart shows the amount of money that a children’s charity located in the USA spent and received in one year. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words. Source: IELTS Buddy- Free Online Exam Preparation sample.html Learners should be aware of the fact that academic reports based on graphic representations are made based on three basic steps:
  • 65. 2014 META Conference Brochure 3. Introduce the graph/ chart/ table 4. Give an overview 5. Give the detail. Let us have a closer look at each stage. The first part aims at introducing the graphic representation, stating what the task says, paraphrasing the information. For example: The pie charts show the amount of revenue and expenditures over a year of a children’s charity in the USA. This sentence contains the same information that is stated in the task, but in other words. The next step is giving an overview. The learners need to state the main trend or trends, based on the available data. It usually implies the most evident blocks of the chart, a general overall sentence, like in the example: Overall, it can be seen that donated food accounted for the majority of the income, while program services accounted for the most expenditure. Total revenue sources just exceeded outgoings. It is also possible to use the overview sentence as a conclusion. In fact, it does not matter whether it is in the opening paragraph, or in the conclusion, the most important is to provide an overview sentence, as it shows the learner’s ability to think in wide terms. The body paragraphs have to contain specific details. Since the graphic representations contain many details, it is important to group data together where there are patterns. Information should be grouped in a logical way to make it easy to follow and read. To do this, it is necessary to focus on the similarities and differences, rather than write about each chart separately. This can be done in the following way: In detail, donated food provided most of the revenue for the charity, at 86%. Similarly, with regard to expenditures, one category, program services, accounted for nearly all of the outgoings, at 95.8%. This sentence contains information about the biggest shares. The fact that donated food accounted for most of the revenue and program services accounted for the spending is the common feature between the two parts of the chart. So they may be described in one sentence. The next step is to find the differences, that is the smaller categories and describe them in a certain sequence. The other categories were much smaller. Community contributions, which were the second largest revenue source, brought in 10.4% of overall income, and this was followed by program revenue, at 2.2%. Investment income, government grants, and other income were very small sources of revenue, accounting for only 0.8% combined. There were only two other expenditure items, fundraising and management and general, accounting for 2.6% and 1.6% respectively. The total amount of income was $53,561,580, which was just enough to cover the expenditures of $53,224,896. Thus, we can see that the description follows the three stages mentioned above and has a logical, well-structured arrangement. Referring to the number of words, it should be mentioned that the description should not be less than 150 words, this particular description has 164 words.
  • 66. 2014 META Conference Brochure The vocabulary used in the description of the charts should be varied, one should not keep repeating the same structures. When writing about pie charts the key language is proportions and percentages, for example: the proportion of…., the percentage of …. It is also good to use such word combinations as: A large/ significant number of …A small minority… Over a quarter of …. Less than a fifth…. It is also possible to change percentages to fractions or ratios, for instance: 75% - three-quarters 55% - more than half 35% - more than a third, etc. Sometimes, the percentages are not given in exact numbers, in such situations learners can use qualifies to make their description accurate, for example: 77% - just over three quarters 49% - just under a half/ nearly a half 32% - almost a third The word numerical representation of the percentage can be substituted by proportion/ number/ amount/ majority/ minority: 75%-85% - a very large majority 10% - 15% - a minority 4% - a very small number Since it is required to describe the trends that are evident in the chart, learners should possess certain trend vocabulary. Learners need language that describes fluctuations and changes. Writing about up variations learners will have to use the following vocabulary: Rise (v) –rise (n), for example: It rose by 2%, there was a rise of 2%; Increase (v) –increase (n): It increase by 2%, there was an increase of 2%. Soar (v): The price soared in December; Rocket (v): It then rocketed to a high of 75%; Leap (v): This figure leaped to 80 000 by the end of the year; Climb (v): The number of items sold in 2007 climbed; Surge (v): It then surged to a high of 50 units; It should be taken into account that “soar” and “rocket” are both very strong verbs used to describe large rises. “Leap” shows a sudden rise and it has to be used with an adverb. “Climb” is a neutral verb. Down variations Fall (v) – fall (n): It fell by 3%, there was a 3% fall; Decrease (v) – decrease (n): It decreased by 3%, there was a 3% decrease; Plummet (v): It then plummeted to a low of 15 %; Sink (v): Then it sank to 65; Slip back(v): Only to slip back to 600 in May; Dip (v): The number of children dipped in the last decades;
  • 67. 2014 META Conference Brochure In this group of words “plummet” has the strongest connotation. It means to fall quickly and a long way. ”Drop” and “dip” are used for small decreases, while “slip back” means to fall after a rise. Un and down variations Fluctuate(v) – fluctuation (n): It fluctuated between 6% and 9%, there was a 3% fluctuation. Stabilize (v) – stable (adj): It stabilized at 6%, it remained stable at 6%. The use of such adjectives or adverbs as significant/ -ly, dramatic/ -ally, substantial/ -ly, spectacular/ ly, sudden/ -ly, sharp/-ly, as well as modest/ -ly, slight/ -ly, marginal/ -ly make the description more emphatic and colourful. There is another group of steady adjectives which can successfully be used by the learners: steady, consistent, gradual. For example: There was a steady rise in the number of females employed between 2001 and 2004, notwithstanding the fact that this number fell marginally in 2002. As for the time frame of the description, either present or past tenses can be used. It is essential to analyse the graph attentively and pay attention to the dates, if the graph relates to past, naturally a past tense should be used. Present tenses should be used when speaking about the events that relate to the recent or present times. Taking into account all the above mentioned information, learners can gradually acquire the necessary skills to describe graphic representations. It is necessary to keep in mind that this is a formal writing and the language has to be chosen accordingly. Priority should be given to neutral or bookish words instead of spoken variants. Careful planning of the task will also improve the quality of their writing. In conclusion, it can be said that this type of writing is to assess a learner’s ability to use the language in an academic environment, it also checks the grammar and vocabulary knowledge. References: - Adams, G., Peck, T. 202 Useful exercises for IELTS. International Edition. ADAMS & AUSTEN PRESS- Sydney, Australia, 2001.- 129 p. - O’Connell, Sue. Focus on IELTS 5.0-6.0. Pearson Longman 2002. – 390 p. - IELTS Information for Candidates. Available URL: [accessed 18 April 2014] - IELTS Buddy- Free Online Exam Preparation. IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample: Pie Chart. Available URL: [accessed at 17 April 2014]
  • 68. 2014 META Conference Brochure TRAINING TECHNIQUES FOR SPECIALIZED TEXT TRANSLATION Valentina SINGHIREI, PhD, Associate Professor IRIM, At present there is an urgent necessity of not only singling out the translation of specialized texts as a particular translation activity and a peculiar theory supporting this kind of activity, but also of giving scientific and technical translation a status of an independent applied discipline. TRANSLATION THEORY lays down that the translation has the three following approaches: 1) product-oriented, concerned with a "text-focused" empirical description of translations, and with larger corpuses of translations in a specific period, language or discourse type; 2) function-oriented when a cultural component which affected the reception of the Target Text is introduced; 3) process-oriented , that is concerned with the problem of the "black box", that is what was going on in the translator's mind. The specialized text translation research develops a frame of reference to view a text both as a communication-oriented configuration with a thematic, functional and text- pragmatic dimension and as a target for a content-focused translation, in other words, on conveying information the translator is to transmit the Source Language content in full. For this purpose a translator should be provided with the appropriable techniques supported by the data on the linguistic nature of a specialised text. From the standpoint of linguistics the main characteristics of scientific and technical literature are provided with its stylistics, grammar and vocabulary.In the given paper we have brought the techniques of specialised text translation on the basis of Vannikov’s findings on a detailed and multidimensional typology of specialized texts. Keywords: specialized text translation, equivalence, fidelity, pragmatics of translation, pre- translation analysis, strategy and techniques of translation, terms, realia, source text, target text. The main objective of the given article is to give the evidence in the necessity of having the teacher’s strategy and techniques in training students in Specialized Text Translation. In the general theory of translation the theory and practice of specialized text translation takes its particular part, and it requires its own ways and techniques of translation thanks to the specifics of texts, that is, their special outer linguistical format and the cognitive structure of the semantical invariant. The current study on specialized text translation gives some main provisions for working out the general and particular strategy and techniques for making the specialized text translation be more appropriate to the desired equivalent in the target text. Before working out step by step techniques for a specialized translation we should pass some preliminary stages. First of all, we should give the evidence that specialized texts have their own stylistical, lexical and grammatical peculiarities that provide for finding some specific ways and techniques of translation. The general feature of specialized text that needs clear and exact translation is the strict algorithm of presenting logically relevant facts, phenomena, describing some processes and explaining the results. Specialized texts have no explicitly marked emotionality. The style of scientific and technical literature can be defined as formally logic, also, the texts reveal many grammatical peculiarities with respect to the field of science. The most
  • 69. 2014 META Conference Brochure typical feature of a specialized text is an abundance of terms and terminological word- combinations, various types of abbreviations of the measure units and many professional slang words. We can easily notice not only a lot of lexical and grammatical constructions, but also the stiff lexical and grammatical frames in which the information flow is given, for example, in some law specialized documents, patents, contracts and so on and so forth. These specialized texts are intended not for a wide readership but for representatives of some professional group having the required extra linguistic knowledge. The objective of our research was to define the logically feasible steps of pre-translation analysis of a specialized text. The translator, as a rule, is not a specialist in the domain of science or a field of knowledge to which the target text belongs to. The pre-translation analysis by itself is the translation tool and the first step of specialized text translation. Skipping this step, as the practice of translation shows, caused the failure of adequate target text translation. The methodological basis of research is provided for the necessity of using a set of general scientific and theoretical (theoretical analysis, concretization, modeling) and empirical (the study of specialized literature, service instructions and dictionaries) research methods. The specialized text translation techniques are based on the fundamental theoretical works on translation and the latest experience of professional specialized text translators. The principle translation technique is pre-translation analysis aimed at the in-depth study of the source text. The methods of work on the source text are different, and the students pick up each of them in the definite algorithm of pre-translation analysis. The finding of exact equivalents of terms and terminological combinations is a crucial stage in pre-translation analysis, and it is the challenge for any translator. The last but not the least is the method and techniques of editing the target specialized text. It is known that the notion of scientific and technical literature embraces a range of genres of literature, such as, monographs, various manuals, journal articles, technical specifications, reference books, directions , instructions , patents, warrants and others. These genres of scientific and technical literature differ on the basis what language is used in them. Let us compare the language of these genres; we can see that the language of a journal article, a monograph, and a scientific paper is, as a rule, a rich, clear and informative one than the language of technical specifications, reference books, directions , instructions , patents, and warrants. In spite of that all the genres of scientific and technical literature have much in common in the language and the mode of exposition. In scientific and technical works the issues are expounded briefly, accurately, logically; and with it enough persuasively and believably. All this is supported by the vocabulary and the grammatical structures of the sentences in use. From this point of view all the genres of scientific and technical literature have a lot of things in common; so, we have an opportunity of analyzing common lexical and grammatical peculiarities of scientific and technical literature. It is important for training students in translating scientific and technical literature. Lexis of scientific and technical literature embraces two main strata, they are the following: 1) common words and 2) a lot of special terms and terminological word combinations. The first stratum of common words, in its term, can be subdivided into the following subgroups: a) the words that are used in scientific and technical literature in the meanings that are not known for the students until their taking the course in specialized translation, for example, in
  • 70. 2014 META Conference Brochure scientific and technical literature the verb “to offer” more often means “оказывать (сопротивление)”, but not “предлагать”, the verb “to attack” means “приступить к решению задачи” but not”нападать”, the verb “to happen” is used in the meaning “оказываться”, but it is not translated as “происходить, случайно оказаться ”. In scientific and technical literature the main meaning of the noun “state” is “состояние, положение “ but not “государство”. The noun “point” often has the meaning “проблема” but not “точка”. b) the words that, as a rule, are not used in their peculiar meanings beyond scientific and technical literature, for example, “to regard” “рассматривать, считать”, “to design” “конструировать”, “to assume” “предполагать, принимать форму”, “to average” “в среднем равняться”, “promising” “перспективный”, “inherent” “присущий, свойственный” and others. In the same subgroup we can include a great number of auxiliary words that were not studied before, such as “on account of” “из-за, вследствие”, “according to” “благодаря”, “with reference to” “в отношении”, “provided”, “provided that”, “providing” “если только, при условии, что”, “following” “вслед за”, “given” “если дано” and others. These words and word combinations look like other parts of speech. As these words and word combinations are not known to the students, the memorization of these linguistical units requires great efforts of them. c) The words and word combinations that serve the logical ties between separate parts of text, and, therefore, they provide for the logic of narration. They are “to begin with” “прежде всего”, “furthermore” “кроме того, более того”, “alternatively””и наоборот”, “summing up” “говоря вкратце” and others. Some of them look like adverbs, but they differ in meaning while being translated, for example, the adverb “still” has the meaning “ещё”,, but the conjunction “still” means “однако”, the word “again” can be translated either “снова” or “кроме того”, as well as the word “also” is used in two meanings, that is, either “также”or “кроме того”. d) The words and word combinations that serve for expressing the author’s attitude either to the relation of facts or the qualification of arguments, for example, “needless to say” “не вызывает сомнения”, “at most” “в лучшем случае” and others. They are the words and word combinations that require the memorization of their meaning, if not, they cause some difficulties in translation. e) The phraseological word combinations that are used in scientific and technical literature. The special peculiarity of these linguistical units is their more or less neutrality in colouring. The most typical word combinations of this type are the following: “to be in a position” “быть в состоянии (что-либо сделать)”, “to be under way” ”осуществляться, (проводиться) в данное время”, “to take advantage” “использовать”, “with respect to” “относительно, в отношении”, with regard to “относительно, в отношении” , “along with” “наряду с (чем-либо)” and others. The second stratum of scientific and technical literature embraces terms and terminological word combinations that are accepted for denoting special concepts in some fields of science or technology, for example, “guidance” “наведение”, “combustion chamber” “камера сгорания”, “air-to-ground missile “”ракета класса «воздух - земля»” and others. In order to translate the term the translator should understand the phenomena and processes in question in the given text and also he/she should know the equivalents in the target language. The students should be aware of the requirement of finding the equivalent in the specialized dictionary and consulting reference sources in order to avoid the mess in the target text. The typology of specialized texts
  • 71. 2014 META Conference Brochure Vannikov’s (1987) study: a detailed and multidimensional typology of specialized texts  lists 12 features on the basis of which scientific and technical texts have to be characterized to provide sufficient guidance for translators: (1) Characterization on the basis of linguistic organization 1.1 Texts with a rigorous structure and with strict linguistic formulation, 1.2 Texts with a soft structure, allowing the translator greater variety regarding linguistic formulation; (2) Characterization on the basis of the functional style 2.1 Scientific texts 2.2 Technical texts 2.3 Official texts 2.4 Legal texts 2.5 Journalistic texts (3) Characterization on the basis of functional register: 3.1 Scientific texts  3.1.1 Academic texts, 3.1.2 Texts with an educational purpose, 3.1.3 Encyclopaedic texts); 3.2 Technical texts  3.2.1 Technical descriptions, 3.2.2 Instructions, 3.2.3 Technical information); 3.3 Official texts  3.3.1 Official directions, 3.3.2 Management texts, 3.3.3 Official correspondence); 3.4 Legal texts  3.4.1 Technical documentation, 3.4.2 Descriptions of inventions, 3.4.3 Patent management texts); 3.5 Journalistic texts  3.5.1 Scientific journalistic texts 3.5.2 Popular science texts (4) Characterization on the basis of manner of expression: 4.1 Narrative texts, 4.2 Descriptive texts, 4.3 Explanatory texts, 4.4 Argumentative texts (5) Characterization on the basis of logical content: 5.1 Exposition/Discussion, 5.2 Justification, 5.3 Conclusion, 5.4 Definition (6) On the basis of subject-related contents: 6.1 Texts in exact sciences, 6.2 Texts in natural sciences, 6.3 Texts in social sciences; (7) On the basis of manner of communication: 7.1 Texts for oral communication, 7.2 Texts for written communication; (8) On the basis of genre (e.g., within the scientific style):
  • 72. 2014 META Conference Brochure 8.1 Book 8.2 Monograph 8.3 Article/Paper 8.4 Dissertation 8.5 Presentation/Lecture 8.6 Communiqué 8.7 Report 8.8 Comments; (9) On the basis of the primary or secondary nature of the information: 9.1 Primary information, 9.2 Secondary information 9.2.1 Report, 9.2.2 Annotation, 9.2.3 Review, 9.2.4 Bibliographical description, 9.2.5 Bibliography (10) On the basis of expressive-stylistic features: 10.1 Stylistically rich/colourful text, 10.2 Stylistically poor/not colourful text; (11) On the basis of general pragmatic features: 11.1 Texts addressed to the SL reader, 11.2 Texts addressed to the TL reader, 11.3 Texts addressed to any audience; (12) On the basis of specific pragmatic features: 12.1 Informative texts, 12.2 Normative texts, 12.3 Instructive texts, 12.4 Systematizing texts. One of the five super memes of translation, ‘equivalence’ is described as ‘the big bugbear of translation theory, more argued about than any other single idea’ [2]. A translator should not use only word-for-word translation because the linguistic organization of source and target languages is different languages. While translating a translator should intend to achieve the maximum equivalence by all the possible ways and techniques [5, p.38]. Catford also refers to a ‘central problem of translation theory’ which is ‘defining the nature and conditions of translation equivalence’. Nor is equivalence simply a theoretical problem; it is also a central problem in translation practice, viz. finding Target Language translational equivalents’ [1]. This suggests that a definition of equivalence will have a direct bearing on a definition of translation. Indeed, one of the abiding problems of translation theory has been the circularity of defining equivalence and translation in terms of each other. Steiner, in his turn, introduces the related question of ‘fidelity’ of translation, that is, to what extent a translator has used all possible techniques for the semantical approach to the contents of the target text [3]. Fidelity has been another long-running issue in translation theory and is likely
  • 73. 2014 META Conference Brochure to remain so, since, like its sister-terms equivalence and translation, it is firmly fixed in the public consciousness, as one of the ‘facts of reception’ or ‘socially determined expectations’ [4]. Guralnik writes that "faithfulness/fidelity" means "the quality of being accurate, reliable, and exact." In that case, the meaning that best matches the source text's meaning is the one that best complies with the precision, accuracy, conformity to the original (adhesion to a fact, or to an idea). Fidelity as a key word in translation has been understood and interpreted in many ways by different translators. To some translation critics of translation, faithfulness in translation is just a word-for- word transmission of message from the source text to the target text, while some believe that fidelity to the source text is adopting the free, idiomatic method in passing on the message. On the other hand, unduly free translations may not necessarily be considered as a betrayal or infidelity. This is because sometimes they are done for the purpose of humor to bring about a special response from the receptor language speakers.Fidelity in translation is passing of the message from one language into another by producing the same effect in the other language, (in sense and in form), in a way that the reader of the translation would react exactly as the reader of the original text. In the following part of the paper we are demonstrate some techniques for a specialized text translation on the basis of the above mentioned approach to fidelity of translation. Taking into account the whole spectrum of specialized texts we have tried to work out the step by step algorithm in starting translating a specialised text. First, a translator should analyse the target text and write down the following information: I. Source from which the text is extracted. II. The time of writing the given text. III. The type (the primary or secondary nature of the information), genre (a book, a monograph, an article/paper, a dissertation presentation/a lecture, a report, a communiqué, an advertisement, comments and others. IV. Style of the text (scientific, publicistic or scientific fiction). V. Recipient (the wide public or specialists in the domain). VI. Reference sources (dictionaries and the Internet resources). Analysis of capitalized words, for example, a) Goldman Sachs (русск. Голдман Сакс) (NYSE: GS) — one of the world biggest commercial banks till September 2008. It is known as «The Firm» among financiers. Robert Foster Bennett is an American politician, a US senator of the Utah state, a Republican. b) toponyms, for example, Missouri, Utah; c) traditions of translation, for example, Missouri, Utah - Миссури, Юта; Christopher Bond - Кристофер Бонд, Robert Foster Bennett - Роберт Беннетт; d) xenonyms (от Greek – xenos, that is, specific elements of outer cultures. In English it is the Eiffel Tower (France), the Berlin Wall (Germany), the Kremlin (Russia); e) idionyms (Greek -idios "personal"+ оnym) – lexical units that denote specific elements of native, inner culture. In English it is Burns, Eton, Harvard, Union Jack, Aussie, Yankees, mall, and yellow ribbon. In Russian it is “декабрист”, “рубль”,”атаман”. Note Bena! The concepts " xenonym " and " idionym " are relative, xenonym is the nomination of a specific element of a foreign culture, that is, of an idionym by means of a foreign language. The word that
  • 74. 2014 META Conference Brochure is idionym in one language (декабрист, старовер, mormon, Senate) turns into a xenonym in the other one, for example, (Decembrist, Old Believer, мормон, сенат) and vice versa. VII. Realia, for example, “corrida” in Spain. The elements that are not included in any of the above given issues (for example, 1) dates: (April)26,2010 ; 2008; 2) currency: $ (50 billion); 3) other numbers in the text (the number of votes): 57 to 41 ; 60). VIII. Communicative task IX. Characteristic peculiarities of the given text: (the overall tone of the text is neutral; the word order is, predominantly, direct. The text contains a large number of concepts and terms used in the political sphere etc) X. The objective lexical background is, for example, scientific, publicistic etc. XI. The syntactic component: (the presentation is subject to logical principle; that is why very extended clauses with various types of logical relationships between them are used etc) XII. Strategy of translation: 1) consideration of the methods and techniques of translation of terms, 2) consideration of types of translation transformations, which are used by an interpreter at work on such texts. XIII. LINGUISTIC TRANSLATION ANALYSIS: what kind of linguistic translation transformations on the basis of the source text can be done. 1. Rearrangements 1.1 Changes of the place of the predicate in a sentence caused by the differences in the word order. 1.2 Rearrangements caused by differences in the grammatical structure of languages. 2. Replacements 2.1 Replacements of word forms 2.1.1. Replacements: plural - singular (contextual ones) часы – watch 2.2. Replacements of parts of speech, for example, a verb is replaced by the noun etc. 2.3.Replacements of grammatical structures, for example, a gerundial construction is replaced by a clause etc. 2.4. Syntactical replacements (replacements of compound/ complex sentences by the simple ones or vice versa). Translation splitting and merging of clauses or sentences. 3. Addition. 3.1. Lexical additions. 3.2. Grammar additions (of prepositions, conjunctions, etc.). 4. Omission 4.1. Omissions related to the differences in grammatical structure of the given languages. 4.2. Omission of individual components.
  • 75. 2014 META Conference Brochure 5. Stylistical means and devices. 6. Terms. 7. Bookish words 8. Colloquialisms 9. Slang (professionalisms) 10 Neologisms 11. Phraseology The next stage of bringing the target text to the fidelity criteria is the use of a text’s pragmatic frame. Frames are considered as one of the most major type of spatial strategies in translation process, that show the organizational structure of the cognitive information in the target text; it is as the “big picture” or overall schema of a particular theme or topic area to which the target text belongs. In conclusion, we assume that the strategy of the specialized text translation is a complex of techniques that help to activate the mental activity of a translator in creating a target text across the formal hinders of the linguistical units, that is, the translator should try to acquire the cognitive and pragmatic schemata of the source text, and only after that he can create a semantical invariant of the text, that is, a target one. Bibliography 1. Catford, J. C. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965. – 103 c. 2. Chesterman, A. Memes of translation: the spread of ideas in translation theory. New-York: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1997. - 227 p. 3. Steiner, G. After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation. N-Y.: OUP General, 1998. – 560 p. 4. Webster's New World dictionary of the American language/ Guralnik, D.B. - New- York: Simon and Schuster. 1984. - 1692 p. 5. Комиссаров, В.Н. Теория перевода (лингвистические аспекты. Москва: Высшая школа, 1990. - 253 с.
  • 76. 2014 META Conference Brochure ON ENHANCING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ CULTURAL AWARENESS Micaela TAULEAN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Bâlți State University “Alecu Russo” Oxana CEH, Senior Lecturer, Bâlți State University “Alecu Russo” Acceptance of other people in their otherness and international solidarity is recognized as one of the primary objectives of the process of foreign languages acquisition. As culture has become an increasingly important component of English language teaching in recent times, there are a number of reasons for this related to a view of language that incorporates a wider social and cultural perspective, and to the increasingly multicultural use of English. In the article the authors try to give arguments for the most effective ways of developing cultural/intercultural awareness of EFL university students. Key-words: culture awareness, culture-based course, intercultural approach, intercultural interaction, intercultural education, intercultural communication, linguistic interaction The work of the Council of Europe [15] demonstrates that language learning has a pre- eminent role in the educational opportunities of all citizens. Cultural plurality, empathy for others and love of one’s own and the other’s language and culture are not opposites. Acceptance of other people in their otherness and international solidarity is, therefore, the objective of the process of education in foreign languages. Due to a view of language that incorporates a wider social and cultural perspective, and to the increasingly multicultural use of English, culture has become an increasingly important component of English language teaching in recent times. Teaching culture is considered important by most teachers but it has remained "insubstantial and sporadic in most language classrooms" [10, 357]. A. Omaggio-Hadley [10] gives several reasons for this including lack of time, uncertainty about which aspects of culture to teach, and lack of practical techniques. In this paper, we will present some of the difficulties involved in teaching cultural awareness and will present a range of practical techniques that we have found to be successful in culture-based courses and some tips that can help to make the teaching of culture a better experience for both English teachers and students. Culture has traditionally been taught through transmission of facts about the culture in different courses. These courses have been concerned with presenting information about the target culture such as history, geography, institutions, the arts, traditions and way of life [11,12]. The word “culture” is an extremely loaded word, weighed down with many connotations. M. Harris, an American expert in cultural studies, writes that many people's first thoughts when they hear the word is of “high culture”: classical music, poetry, theatre, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Wagner, Bach.
  • 77. 2014 META Conference Brochure Another association is perhaps anthropological - Aboriginal culture in Australia, Hottentots in Africa, Maya Indians in Mexico, etc. We often forget how our own culture influences us, and the assumptions, values, beliefs and customs that underpin everything we do. We forget that our own personal way of looking at the world as well as our way of behaving is largely a product of the culture in which we have been brought up. As Kaplan points out, “we do not have good definitions for either culture or language; because we are enmired in both, it is hard to get outside them enough to try to define them” [8, 19]. The reason for this is that culture involves ideology (history/world view/beliefs/values and religion), socialization (upbringing, habits, and lifestyles) and forms of discourse (both verbal and non-verbal) (see Scullion, R. and Wong Scullion, S.). A clear way of seeing this is through the analogy of an iceberg; some manifestations of culture are visible and explicit, while others are implicit or below the surface. However, our view of culture has broadened to include a more interpretive approach towards culture [9, 24]. Instead of being concerned with just the facts of one culture the emphasis has moved towards interpreting culture based on cross-cultural understanding, involving comparisons and contrasts with a learners' native culture and the culture of the language they are studying. Researchers Dunnett, S., Dubin, F. and Lezberg, A. [3] suggest six aspects of culture that learners and teachers should be familiar with, Teachers and learners should be aware of these features and be prepared to analyse both their own culture and the target culture according to such criteria. Applying these criteria to the Moldovan context it is possible to identify a number of areas for productive cultural comparisons. First, languages cannot be translated word for word. As Dunnett et al. stress individual words have idiomatic uses and connotations that go beyond the individual word itself. If we take the English word “serious” the list of connotations for a Moldovan/Russian is very different to the average native speaker. Second, the intonation pattern carries meaning. The Romanian language is a tonal language and so the intonation patterns are very different to the English language. A third factor is that languages and cultures use non verbal communication to convey meaning. Although many gestures are similar in Romanian/Russian and English such as nodding for affirmation many others are not shared. Teachers should also consider that languages use different grammatical elements for describing the physical world. Romanian/Russian and English grammar are very different in a number of areas such as subject use, tense and aspect, inflections and word order. These can at times cause communication problems at a semantic level. Even when learners understand them, they may find them cumbersome and avoid using them. A fifth consideration is that cultures have taboo topics as well. Many of the topic taboos of English and Romanian culture are the same. Nevertheless there are a number of topics which are perhaps a more acceptable choice of topic in Romanian than in English. Moldovans are often quicker than a native English speaker to move the conversation on to family matters, in particular why someone is unmarried, or why they do not have children. Finally, the terms for addressing people vary considerably among languages. This is another area of considerable difference between English and Romanian.
  • 78. 2014 META Conference Brochure English researchers Halliday and Hasan [7] have changed our view regarding the position of language to include the wider context of culture and socio-pragmatics. Their socio-semiotic view of language emphasizes the social meanings that language both represents and shapes, "The social structure is not just an ornamental background to linguistic interaction…It is an essential element in the evolution of semantic systems and semantic processes." [7, 114]. Therefore every language will reflect the values, beliefs and assumptions of the culture it came from. Thus, learning a language will also involve learning the culture the language expresses. “Communication does not take place in a vacuum. All communication takes place in a social setting or environment. We call this the context because the setting is never neutral; it always has some impact on how the participants behave. The classroom environment is one of these settings that specifically influence intercultural interaction. The rules, assumptions, values, customs, practices, and procedures of a given culture strongly affect the conduct of classroom activity” [11, 13]. Having analyzed the experience in teaching English as a foreign language in Moldovan/Russian high schools in our country we observed that every teacher has his or her own style of teaching, there are different national and cultural academic traditions, and there are often cultural differences in pedagogy. But regardless of styles, traditions and cultures, all good teaching anywhere in the world consists of one thing – making connections. Cognitive neuroscience, educational psychology and our years of practical teaching experience tell us that good teaching consists of bringing about knowledge and skills in students by making connections between the new things that we are trying to teach them and their existing information base and repertoire of skills. From a Piagetian perspective “students build and expand upon schemas through accommodation and assimilation”. And, from L. Vygotsky’s point of view, “students advance fully into their zone of proximal development through the assistance of parents, teachers and peers” [5, 19]. Let us try to answer the question: do we really need cognitive, motivational & behavioral supports? Effective teaching requires the use of cognitive, motivational and behavioral supports. And where the language of instruction is the students’ second language, good teaching also requires considerable linguistic supports as well. Teachers must utilize and build these supports into their courses, methods of classroom instruction and overall interaction with students. For example, linguistic supports consist of an adjustment of the teacher’s language which includes slowing down the pace at which he/she explains material, simplifying his/her English a little and keeping away from slang, jargon and idiomatic expressions, and in general controlling own vocabulary and keeping to familiar words which he/she has already defined. It is also helpful to either preview key vocabulary before a lecture or unit or else to stop and define words as the teacher goes along. When the teacher is lecturing or explaining it is a good practice to constantly repeat, sum things up and then repeat them again. And lastly it is important to ensure that the volume of the voice is loud enough for students to hear. Cognitive supports consist of providing the students with adequate cognitive frameworks upon which the new information and skills can be attached in their minds. This includes the use of advance organizers such as outlines, models, concept maps and other graphic organizers whether
  • 79. 2014 META Conference Brochure they are in the form of handouts, overhead transparencies or just writing and drawing on the board. It also includes making things more concrete in the beginning and then moving toward the abstract and this is greatly facilitated by using more audiovisual elements for teaching. Movies, slides, textbook illustrations and photographs and CD-ROMs are very effective. In general, it is important to be sensitive to student cognitive processes. We must know our students’ fields of experience, locate their experiences relevant to what we’re teaching and then make the necessary connections through our teaching. From a strictly verbal perspective, there is nothing more important for effective teaching than a good example or good story that illustrates what it is we are trying to get our students to understand or serves as a heuristic that furthers their understanding. A picture is worth a thousand words and a good story can paint a picture in the minds of your students. We must be tuned into the lives of your students in order to know which examples and stories will be most effective. Some stories are quite universal and can be understood by students worldwide no matter what culture they are from, but other stories may need more cultural backgrounding for them to be effective. Motivational supports are also important. We must build student success and self-esteem into our course structures and classroom methods. We need to be interesting and instill excitement about what we’re teaching. We need to be relevant and connect to the reality of student lives and experiences. We need to demonstrate a purpose to learn besides just passing the course because it is a requirement. And lastly we need to show students a little fun and enjoyment. And then there are behavioral supports. We must structure our courses and classroom methods to provide maximum shaping and patterning of the requisite behaviors such as reading, writing, note- taking, studying, test-taking, asking questions, discussion and debate, and getting to class on time or getting to class at all. With regard to behavior modification, positive reinforcements (rewards) and negative reinforcements (removal of unpleasant stimuli) work better than punishments (giving unpleasantness). How about reaching students? For teachers who are teaching in a culture other than their own, reaching students can at first be difficult because they lack an understanding of their student’s culture and hence a large part of their students’ lives. While most teachers learn quickly about their students, some others do not and for them this lack of cultural understanding can lead to frustration, negative stereotyping, anger and ultimately failure as a teacher. And this in turn can have psychological effects such as low self-esteem and motivation for the students being taught by a foreign teacher. Now let us think about the intercultural approach in teaching English as a foreign language. The intercultural approach to communicating can work for people on both sides of an international fence. Methods of intercultural communication and interaction can assist people from individualistic and nuclear-family oriented Western cultures coming into collectivistic extended- family oriented cultures, as in the case of Americans, Australians or Europeans teaching in the Pacific. These methods can also assist people from collectivist cultures coming into individualist cultures, as in the case of Pacific Island students going to Australia, New Zealand or the United
  • 80. 2014 META Conference Brochure States to attend college, or the case of our students coming to the US colleges winning to study there due to FLEX programme. And, in general, better intercultural understanding and communication skills by everyone involved in intercultural interactions contributes to happier and more productive people. The work of American anthropologist Edward T. Hall was pivotal in the development of cross- cultural communication studies in the US. Hall’s research into cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communications and conceptions of time and space was utilized by the U.S. Department of State through its Foreign Service Institute to assist in the training of American Foreign Service diplomats who would be stationed overseas. Two of Hall’s books, “The Silent Language” (1961) and “The Hidden Dimension” (1966) are still widely read and relevant today in the field of cross-cultural communications. Hall’s work demonstrated the value of applying anthropological concepts to the practical task of training people to work in other cultures. As Hall stated in a landmark 1955 article in “Scientific American” on the “anthropology of manners”: “The role of the anthropologist in preparing people for service overseas is to open their eyes and sensitize them to subtle qualities of behavior – tone of voice, gestures, space and time relationships – that so often build up feelings of frustration and hostility in other people with a different culture. Whether we are going to live in a particular foreign country or travel in many, we need a frame of reference that will enable us to observe and learn the significance of differences in manners” [4, 45]. The field of intercultural communications is a hybrid offspring of the social and behavioral sciences, particularly social-psychology, sociology and cultural anthropology. It shares the strengths of the scientifically developed concepts, knowledge, analytical procedures and data that have been well tested. It also shares some of the weaknesses. The social and behavioral sciences, while able to explain and predict a lot about humans, are also sometimes limited and inexact. The inexact nature of the social and behavioral sciences is due to the complexity of human individual and collective thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When discussing and analyzing a culture we out of necessity deal in generalizations stereotypes. But they are generalizations and stereotypes that have been proven to be statistically valid when applied to large populations of people over time, but to which nonetheless there are always exceptions and variations in individual and collective behavior. The same thing applies to our classes of students. We can successfully generalize and predict certain student thought, emotion and behavior patterns but there will always be exceptions to any rules we might formulate. There is always a complexity of variables at work such as student and instructor age, gender, race and ethnic group, culture, first language, second language, appearance, personality, the semester and time of the year, the subject matter, the size, lighting and ventilation of the classroom, the time of day, the weather and many other tangible and intangible factors. Some scientists are skeptical of the value of improved intercultural communications. For example, there was a “rather ethnocentric person who worked in Micronesia for several years as a journalist and was continually frustrated due to her lack of cross-cultural understanding. She could never
  • 81. 2014 META Conference Brochure “figure out the locals” because she never made an effort to understand and respect their culture. Her cultural values and ways were right and theirs were wrong. Before finally leaving the region she suggested that Micronesian cultures should be “codified” and written in a book so that her and other expatriates could understand the rules of behavior better” [3, 24]. This example we found at Hall’s but we can remember another similar case according to our country and misunderstanding between people that belong to different cultural groups (Russians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Gagauz, Bulgarians etc). We strongly believe that the typology of exercises of Bachmann, Gerhold and Wessling [1] is more closely related to foreign language learning because they offer a progression from the training of awareness and perception to more complex tasks referring to communicative competence in intercultural situations and the language teachers can adopt these exercises for their ESL classes. Tasks developing intercultural awareness and perception: • describing and commenting on visual and auditive impressions • pictures (what one sees) • telling stories (in picture-stories) • evaluating situations and people • describing people (clippings) • telling stories about pictures • personal impression and interpretation of pictures • change of perspective • describing pictures/situations from memory Concept and meaning: • speculating about "blank space" e.g. in a story • writing associograms • making collages from pictures and texts • connotation - denotation; excluding words that do not fit • filling in antonyms and scales • talking about prototypes • finding criteria for concepts • defining one's own priorities • defining differences (e.g. Cafe - bar - Kneipe) • formulating questions to define a concept • project research concerning a concept (e.g. living room) Comparing cultures: • Comparing and contrasting • Finding generic terms • Classifying • Discussing opinions
  • 82. 2014 META Conference Brochure • Socio-cultural units in comparison • Ways of expressing indirectness (The German "man") • Comparing stereotypes • Culture-specific logical relations Developing communicative competence in intercultural situations: • Analysing the effect of speech acts and their linguistic realisations • Analysing strategies of communication • Analysing socio-cultural features of certain text types • Analysing and comparing styles of expression • Translation and interpretation • Giving feedback (active listening) • Cultural interplay • Adopting roles in a discussion • Paraphrasing • Meta-communication (talking about communication) If culture and language are interlinked and inseparable then the teachers need to try to teach culture in some kind of systematic way, as they try to do with other aspects of language. However there are problems in deciding what culture to teach, how to teach and what material to include in our manuals in order to teach our students learn to analyze incidents that involve cross-cultural or intercultural misunderstandings – ethnic conflicts, conflicts of values and expectations; to recognise the origins of their own cultural values, assumptions and attitudes; to identify differences in cultural background within own peer group, finding reasons for similarity and difference within this group; to understand that cultural background affects perception of others, etc. Learners and teachers should be aware of the cultural aspects of communication and language and need to be able to interpret these on both national and individual levels. References: 1. Bachmann, S., Gerhold, S., & Wessling, G. A Typology of Exercises and Drills for Intercultural Learning, with Examples from Sichtwechsel-neu; Aufgaben- und Ubungstypologie zum interkulturellen Lernen-mit Beispielen aus Sichtwechsel-neu. Zielsprache Deutsch, 27(2), 77-91. 1996. 2. Brislin R., Cushner, K., Cherrie, C. Intercultural Interaction: A Practical Guide. Sage Publication, 1996. 3. Dunnett, S., Dubin F., Lezberg, A., English Language Teaching from an Intercultural Perspective, in Valdes, J. Culture Bound, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. 4. Hall, E. T., The Hidden Dimension. New York: Doubleday, 1966. 5. Hall, E. T., The Silent Language. New York: Fawcett, 1961. 6. Hall, E. T., Hall, M. R,. Understanding cultural differences. Yarmount, Maine: Intercultural Press, 1981. 7. Halliday, M., Hasab, R., Language, context, and text: Aspects of language in a social- semiotic perspective. Victoria: Deakin University Press, 1984.
  • 83. 2014 META Conference Brochure 8. Kaplan, R.B. Culture and the Written Language In-Culture Bound Cambridge: CUP, 1986. 9. Kramsch, C., Context and Culture in Language Teaching, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 10. Omaggio-Hadley, A., Teaching language in context. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers, 1993. 11. Tomalin, B., Stempleski, S., Cultural Awareness. Oxford University Press, 1993. 12. Samovar, L., Porter, R., Intercultural Communications: A Reader. Oxford University Press, 1998. 13. Scullion, R., Wong Scullion, S., Intercultural Communication. Cambridge MA: Blackwell, 1995. 14. Van Dijk, T. (ed.), Discourse as Social Interaction. London: Sage, 1997. 15. Compass. A manual on human rights education with young people. Council of Europe, May. 2002 ( )
  • 84. 2014 META Conference Brochure USING EDUCATIONAL DRAMA TO TEACH SPEECH ACTS Elena VARZARI, senior lecturer, Alecu Russo Bălți State University. Lack of pragmatic competence has become a major problem in the modern world, as it may lead to confusion, embarrassment and even to misinterpretation of what has been said. However, pragmatic failures are not often the speakers’ conscious fault, as they might not even comprehend the gravity of the problem. Pragmatic failures occur because the speakers have never been taught how to behave appropriately while communicating with foreigners. Latest studies show that pragmatic awareness in the EFL classroom is often ignored, that is why this article aims at improving the understanding of this phenomenon through educational drama activities that will raise learners’ pragmatic awareness, thus improving their communicative competence. The present article highlights how teachers can use educational drama to teach speech acts, as it is vital to teach EFL students to ‘sound’ more native-like while using such speech acts in various social situations. Teaching speech acts gives the opportunity to learn the language from a different prospective, concentrating not on language accuracy -proper grammar or lexis, but on how language is correctly used in various social and cultural environments, making learners aware of the discourse rules to be followed in various situations in order not to sound rude or inappropriate. I would like to provide a few ideas that might prove beneficial for increasing students’ desire to learn using different drama activities. Keywords: Pragmatics, pragmatic competence, pragmatic failure, communicative competence, speech acts, politeness, greetings, compliments, requests, educational drama activities. Acquiring a new a foreign language is a lasting challenging task that besides good knowledge of lexis and grammar, enthusiasm and consideration also requires mastering of the four language skills- listening, speaking, reading and writing. Though many foreigners study English for years, in the end, they often have difficulties when interacting with native speakers of English. For example, they may use utterances that are grammatically correct but which do not seem polite or appropriate to the contexts in which they are used. That is why one of the aims English teachers should set is to improve their students’ communicative competence via relevant pragmatic instruction, in our case appropriate use of speech acts. It will definitely help prevent failures that occur due to absence of certain knowledge thus causing misunderstandings, or even rudeness. This aspect of communicative competence is studied by a comparatively new science called Pragmatics that investigates how people really use language in different situations. Practice shows that language learners often encounter difficulties in understanding the intended meaning of a speech act, as well as appropriately producing it applying the ‘unwritten’ rules of the target language. Relevant classroom instruction on speech acts can raise learners’ pragmatic awareness thus improving their communicative competence.
  • 85. 2014 META Conference Brochure This article is an attempt to demonstrate how several disciplines such as Pragmatics, Methodology and the Drama Art, if brought together, can lead to improved results in language acquisition. In spite of plentiful new strategies and techniques used in language teaching, almost everything that takes place during the lesson is prearranged and teacher-controlled. With so many interesting alternatives competing for students' responsiveness in class, it is more complicated to choose the most advantageous ones. There are many activities which focus on dynamism, enjoyment, physical movement, and emotional engagement. Numerous language teachers have come to the conclusion that drama is a very effective tool in class, as it has a positive impact on the students. It also positively influences the students’ social awareness, emotional condition, physical development and cognitive progress. Using students’ dramatic skills while learning a language can help even the shyest learners to become what and how they would like to be. Disappointingly, many foreign language teachers do not have either confidence or the necessary skills to plan and perform drama-oriented activities, even though they recognize their effectiveness. While researching this topic I was quite confused at first, as I found several terms describing the same phenomenon, so I asked myself which the right term to describe such drama activities as role play, improvisation, sketches, etc. is. In specialized literature we can find the following terms: drama activities, drama strategy [1, p. 7-24]; drama strategies, drama techniques, drama conventions, drama activities [3, p, 3-5]; drama techniques [5, p. 2]; drama activities and drama techniques [8, p. 5-6]. I was looking for an overall, umbrella term that could be used to describe all drama activities, and the best one (in my opinion) was proposed by David Farmer in one of his emails. He suggested using the term "educational drama", as it will help to avoid misunderstanding. There are numerous educational drama strategies. I came across more than 14 educational drama strategies (also known as drama techniques and drama conventions) for FL classrooms: Teacher-in-role; Drama and language games that include ice-breakers, energizers, brain-teasers, etc.; Role-play; Improvisation; Mime and movement; Simulation; Readers’ theatre; Forum theatre; Frozen image building or freeze-frame, still image and tableau; Scriptwriting; Sketch (skits); Choral speaking; ‘Mantle of the expert’; Thought-tracking, etc. Language teachers can find more information what they mean and how to use them in class in numerous available on-line sources. Eventually, the teachers are to choose and modify appropriate strategies leading to developing certain language skills. Educational drama activities encourage involving all the students thus ensuring all the learners’ language progress. At the same time teachers should be aware that while organising educational drama activities they must be positively-oriented and give encouraging feedback. Though these activities aim to improve language correctness, the teachers should rather concentrate on the process and outcomes first, postponing error correction. Correction could be done later. Teachers permanently tend to improve their teaching methods using more diverse techniques and strategies in the English language classes- educational drama techniques inclusively. It is rather difficult to invent a brand-new activity that is why it might be a good idea to adjust the existing resources. Some of the following activities to be used while teaching the speech acts of greeting, request and complimenting have been developed by the author, while others were just adjusted from existing sources.
  • 86. 2014 META Conference Brochure Activity 1. Silent Signal Greeting Level: Any Time: 3-5 min. Rationale: It is a challenge to try to teach the students to use SILENCE as a greeting tool. Various ways of saying ‘hello’ will be trained. It will raise students’ intercultural awareness, as well as sign language. This activity will train the students how to say “hello” without actually pronouncing it. It is a challenge for the students to remember the greeting gestures and they will feel quite content when they do. Procedure: The teacher brainstorms different kinds of gestures students must use to represent a greeting sign. For instance, • “An air kiss - a way of greeting someone by almost kissing them but not really touching them. This gesture often shows that the greeting is not sincere. • To blow (someone) a kiss- to kiss your hand and pretend to blow or throw the kiss to someone. • A bob - a short quick movement of the head down and then back up again as a way of greeting someone or showing agreement or respect. • To glad-hand - if a politician glad-hands people at a public event, they shake hands with them and appear friendly, often in a way that is not honest. • Namaste-used for greeting someone with respect (e.g. in India), especially when you put your hands together in a movement which is called a namaskar. • To nod -to move your head downwards and upwards as a way of saying hello, goodbye, thank you, etc. • To tip the hat- to touch or raise your hat as a polite greeting. • To wave- a movement of your hand used for saying hello or goodbye to someone or for giving a signal” [6] Then the teacher asks the students to form 2-3 groups (depending on the number of students.) It is best if there is an even number of students in each group. Next a sign to show who has been greeted, e.g. thumbs up, raised hand, etc. is established. Finally the teacher models and practices the greeting before beginning. How to do it: 6. Students sit or stand in a circle. They are aware that the game is silent. 7. Students are told to choose a gesture to greet others (each student chooses one). 8. When everyone is prepared, the teacher asks a student to be the first and to go around the circle demonstrating the greeting gesture s/he has chosen. 9. Everyone’s goal is to respond politely, repeating the gesture. 10.Then each student goes around greeting his colleagues and getting an appropriate response. 11.The practice continues until everyone has been greeted. [2, p.125] Activity 2. Greeting someone and responding to the greeting Level: A2 -B1 Time: 15-20 min
  • 87. 2014 META Conference Brochure Rationale: Across the world, people of different cultures, religions and social status greet each other in various ways. In some countries or groups they follow strict codes of the etiquette each time they meet a company of friends or new acquaintances. Others, in contrast, might hug everyone they meet as an equal at each new meeting. In order to avoid embarrassing situations teachers must train their pupils how to behave appropriately in different social environments. Materials needed: Slips of paper with instructions; a list of greetings and responses (on the board/ screen/ flipchart, etc.) Procedure: - The students are told to make different pairs. - They take a card with instructions and have to greet each other in the way described in the card. - The whole class has to guess what country (or movement) the greeting procedure is specific to. Examples of tasks (retrieved from • To kiss the hand- in Moldova, Romania, and perhaps in other countries, a man would kiss a lady’s hand to show affection or respect. • The three-finger salute- is a salute which originally expressed the Serbian orthodoxism but today it is a simple sign for Serbia, made by extending the thumb, index, and middle fingers of one or both hands. • Scout handshake- a left-handed handshake used as a greeting among members of various Scouting organizations. • Bowing (or stooping) - lowering the upper part of the body and head as a social gesture in another person’s direction as a greeting, being mostly specific for Japan and other Asian cultures. • Pranāma- the touching of the feet in Indian culture is a show of respect. When greeting, children touch the feet of their family elders, etc. • Handshake-is typical for men practically all over the world. Women have adapted it as well. Generally it is considered inappropriate and rude to reject a handshake without good reason. • Kowtow-traditionally Chinese, Cantonese, and Vietnamese, the kowtow is known as a deep act of respect, shown by kneeling and bowing so low as to have your head touching the ground. Some greeting gestures might be rather confusing in various cultures. The students should be aware that before going abroad they have to check on the various meanings of hand gestures, in order to avoid unpleasant situations. Teachers could discuss these issues with B-2, C-1 level students. For example: • In the USA, it is normal for men to shake hands when they meet, but it is quite unusual for men to kiss when they greet each other. Greetings are casual – a handshake, a smile and a ‘hello’ will do just fine. • The British often simply say ‘hello’ when they meet friends. They usually shake hands only when they meet for the first time. Social kissing, often just a peck on the cheek, is common in an informal situation between men and women and also between women who know each other very well. • French nationals, including children, shake hands with their friends and often kiss them on both cheeks, both upon meeting and leaving.
  • 88. 2014 META Conference Brochure • In Arab countries, close male friends or colleagues hug and kiss both cheeks. They shake hands with the right hand only, for longer but less firmly than in the West. Contact between the opposite genders in public is considered obscene. • Chinese tend to be more conservative. When meeting someone for the first time, they would usually nod their heads and smile, or shake hands if in a formal situation. • In Russia, the typical greeting is a very firm handshake, maintaining direct eye contact. When men shake hands with women, the handshake is less industrial. It is considered gallant to kiss women three times while alternating cheeks, and even to kiss hands. • In Armenia, by tradition, and especially in the rural areas, a woman needs to wait for the man to offer his hand for the handshake. Between good friends and family members, a kiss on the cheek and a light hug are also common. • Waving your full arm side to side in many countries is recognized as saying ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’. However, in East Asian countries it is considered overly demonstrative. Additionally in some European countries, as well as Japan and Latin America, it can be confused for a ‘no’ or general negative response. In India, it means ‘come here’.[4] Activity3. Collocations Level: Any Time: 3-5 min. Rationale: To develop a feel of the English word and brush up students’ language we suggest reviewing what words COMPLIMENT collocates with. For this purpose we recommend using Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English. Procedure: 1. Tell the students to form 2 lines. 2. They are told the word COMPLIMENT and are asked to provide as many adjectives and verbs it collocates with as possible. The higher the level of the students- the quicker the speed! The team that says the last adjective is the winner. Variations: -At first they pay positive compliments, and then they might be asked to provide dubious ones. It is fun! Examples of adjectives: great, high, tremendous, pretty, unexpected, backhanded, double- edged, dubious, pleasant, etc. - The students are asked to provide all possible verbs it collocates with. Examples of verbs: to give, to pay, to repay, to get, to receive, to accept, to acknowledge, to return, to fish for, to mean as, to regard as, to take as, etc. Activity 4. Complimenting Someone on Their Cooking Level: A2-B1 Time: 3-5 min. Rationale: Excellent cooking should always be praised, so if we want to be polite we could compliment someone on a meal. There are a number of structures we can use to say how much we have enjoyed the food. During this activity the names of various kinds of food will be practiced, as well as how to compliment on them.
  • 89. 2014 META Conference Brochure Procedure: 1. The teacher begins with practicing different names of food. 2. Then s/he asks the pupils to choose a partner. 3. The students have to compliment their partner on a very delicious meal/dish. For example: A: This soup is really good. B: I’m glad you like it. Names of food: salad; spaghetti; pizza; fruit cake; hamburger; beefsteak; rice; pastry; biscuits; mashed/fried/boiled/baked potatoes, etc. Compliments Possible answers This food is gorgeous. I must give my compliments to the cook. The meal is so tasty! You are a great cook! The lemon cake is yummy! Did you make this yourself? I must have the recipe! Enjoy your meal! I’m glad you like it. Thank you, I’m flattered! Do you really think so? Thanks. It’s my granny’s recipe. Sure, I did! No problem! Activity 5. Asking for a Reference Letter Level: A-2; B-1 Time: 5-7 min. Rationale: It is essential to be polite, mainly when you request something from someone. In this activity a student will have to ask his/her teacher to write a reference letter for him/her. Procedure: 1. Invite 2 students in front of the class. 2. Tell them that one will be the student, the other- the professor. The student needs a reference letter so s/he will have to ask the professor to write it. 3. Do not give any instructions how to make the request. 4. While the students act out the dialogue, write the request made by the student on the board. 5. Without discussing how it was done, another pair is invited and is asked to do the same using other structures. 6. Writes the request on the board. 7. After several pairs have performed the dialogue, discuss with students how the requests were made, and who will in the end get the reference and why. 8. Explain that saying “Please write a reference letter for me” to a professor when requesting for a letter of recommendation is considered too direct and thus inappropriate. According to Michael Swan, “Please write a reference letter for me” is an order; insistent; not very polite; while “Could you write a reference letter for me, please?” is a polite request. [7, p.438-439] Activity 6. “Would you mind…?” Level: B-1; B-2; C-1 Time: 5-10 min.
  • 90. 2014 META Conference Brochure Rationale: The expression “Would you mind…?” is commonly used in making requests and asking for permission. Depending on whether it is a request to do something or asking for permission, it is used in two different structures: 1. Request to do something [would you mind + gerund]; [Would you mind not+ gerund], e.g. Would you mind closing the door? Would you mind not closing the door? 2. Asking for permission [would you mind + if I + simple past], e.g. Would you mind if I closed the door? Procedure: 1. Tell the students you are going to practice polite requests, using the phrase ‘would you mind’. The Dyadic Belt procedure can be used here, so tell the students to form 2 two concentric circles facing each other. Students in the inside circle face a partner on the outside. 2. Give them slips of paper with requests. First practice Model 1- would you mind + gerund; then practice Model 2- Would you mind not+ gerund; finally practice Model 3- would you mind + if I + simple past. Model 1 Request Possible answers Would you mind my opening the window? Would you mind checking the oil for me? Would you mind bringing me another blanket? Would you mind repeating what you have just said? Would you mind changing the flight and hotel bookings? Of course not. No, I wouldn’t mind. Of course not. Sure, just a minute. Yes, certainly. At once. OK. Leave it with me. Model 2 Request Possible answers Would you mind not telling Ann about my plans? Would you mind not using my phone without permission? Would you mind not smoking here? Would you mind not parking your car in front of my garage? No, that would be all right No, I wouldn’t mind. Oh, I’m sorry. Of course not. Yes, certainly. At once Model 3 Request Possible answers Would you mind if I opened the window? Would you mind if I left earlier tonight? Would you mind if I came with a friend to the party? Would you mind if I borrowed your PC for a while? Would you mind if I checked my email on your computer? Sure, no problem I’d rather you didn’t. I’m allergic to smoke.
  • 91. 2014 META Conference Brochure Variations: 1. Practice “Do you mind…?” instead of “Would you mind…?” Just explain the students that it is a little less polite. 2. Practice Would it be OK if I…? 3. Practice Would it be all right if I…? Conclusions It must be noted that the present paper aims at investigating a very appealing, but a bit ignored topic of introducing regular pragmatic instruction into the EFL class via educational drama activities which will definitely lead to conscious pragmatic development. English teachers should be aware of the basic processes leading to the acquirement of EFL pragmatic competence, mainly of the learning environment, that is in most of the cases- the English lesson, as only very few learners have the opportunity to visit an English speaking country. This paper has attempted to put together a number of practical activities that, we hope, will lead to a better EFL pragmatic acquisition in terms of using greetings, compliments and requests properly, thus avoiding pragmatic failures. This research opens the way to further exploration of this topic emphasizing the means of obtaining intercultural competence as the primary basis of EFL pragmatic competence. We have lately witnessed a growing interest in the use of educational drama in the English class, which is becoming indispensable for each learner’s personal development. The role of drama in education is acknowledged as it is a very powerful tool of involving the students in active, natural-like learning. Educational drama can offer learners an accessible, pleasing and agreeable experience to acquire the language. Using educational drama is an excellent idea, as it gives learners a unique chance to improvise various drama techniques and use English creatively, experimenting with it in different roles and contexts. References: 1. Baldwin, P. F. Teaching literacy through drama. Creative approaches. RoutlegeFalmer, 2003. 2. Correa-Connolly, M. 99 Activities and Greetings: Great for Morning Meeting ... and other meetings, too!, Turners Falls, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. 2004. 3. Farmer, D. Learning Through Drama in the Primary Years, Drama Resource 2011. 4. Greeting customs around the world. (2011) Available URL [accessed 17 March 2014] 5. Maley, A. & Duff, A. Drama techniques in language learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. 6. McMillan Dictionary online, Available URL hello-or-goodbye [accessed 24 March 2014] 7. Swan, M. Practical English Usage, Oxford University Press, 1996. 8. Wilson, K. Drama and improvisation, Resource Book for teachers Series, ed. Maley, Alan, Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • 92. 2014 META Conference Brochure
  • 93. 2014 META Conference Brochure PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF USING VIDEO IN THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM THE USEFULNESS OF VIDEO AIDS ACULOV Rodica, English teacher from Lyceum”M.Eminescu”, II degree, Cimişlia Informatizarea societatii determină pătrunderea calculatorului şi a metodelor audio-vizuale în instituţiile de învăţămînt. Şi aici profesorul are rolul de catalizator al învăţării şi furnizor de resurse în pregatirea elevilor în vederea receptării mesajului didacto-vizual,ceea ce presupune stimularea atenţiei , a curiozitaţii , actualizarea unor cunoştiţe anterior învăţate, orientarii elevilor în vederea receptării optime a mesajului audio-vizual şi a motivaţiei. Motivaţia este – puterea motrice a reuşitei elevului. Lipsa motivaţiei scade reuşita şi interesul. Profesorul trebuie să observe şi să formeze motivaţie pozitivă intersecă. Tehnologiile informaţionale şi metodele audio-vizuale servesc ca un sprijin profesorului în realizarea obectivilor şi a creşterii eficienţei în dezvoltarea competenţei de comunicare. Învaţămăntul este tot mai mult recunoscut ca o forţă motrică de prim rang în societate ,revenindu-i mesiunea de a contribui în mod esenţial la efortul comun de îmbunataţire a condiţiei umane. My experience as a teacher proved that wherever they live, teachers voice similar doubts, hopes, and problems. Teachers are deeply concerned about keeping abreast of the “best”, “most modern” methods of teaching, modern aids. Like many teachers, I’ve wracked my brain researching, inventing, and adapting methods to help improve the comprehension of my students. Over eight years, I’ve never discovered one single method that addressed the needs of all students. In this paper I will focus on the reason for using video materials by demonstrating their effectiveness as a learning tool. You will find the answer to the main question. How can video be used to improve students comprehension? I will try to prove that we can fulfill students’ expectations by using computers and different films as teaching aids and that this can be done even in a country like Moldova. Where computers are still relatively rare in the teaching process. Film-motivator as the main partner in the learning process. This year I have commenced a project with XI-grade. We watched the film “Pay it Forward” is a 2000American drama based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It stars Haley Joel Osment as a boy launches a good-will movement , Helen Hunt as his single mother and
  • 94. 2014 META Conference Brochure Kevin Spacey as his social-studies teacher. Trevor does a favor for three people , asking each of them to “pay the favor forward” by doing favors for three other people, and so on, along a branching tree of good deeds. I asked my students to think of an idea to change our world – and put it into Action. To mentor someone, to offer to do pro bono work on a project where their skills are needed. I had inspired them to make a random of good things. I was pleasantly impressed by their work and results. We can motivate our students very well using a good film with good ideas. In general, motivation is the ‘neglected heart' of our understanding of how to design instruction [Keller, 1983, quoted in Dornyei, 2001: 116]. Many teachers believe that by sticking to the language materials and trying to discipline their refractory students, they will manage to create a classroom environment that will be conducive to learning. Nevertheless, these teachers seem to lose sight of the fact that, unless they accept their students' personalities and work on those minute details that constitute their social and psychological make-up, they will fail to motivate them. Video materials as the third partner in the learning process I am a young teacher but I understand that teaching English in a place where this language is not native for people is very difficult process. So a modern teacher needs to find new methods of teaching and motivation . Nowadays mass media play a great role in our life. People could not imagine their life without television, mobile telephone and Internet. The usage of the computer in teaching and education pupils in school is very actually now. I think that using video in the lesson is very effective for teaching speaking skill because video clips could give us a vivid picture of English language. Video material is a source of cultural aspect of English native speakers. It gives us a possibility to see and listen real language, to understand so called” body language”. Video connects the pupils with real world and shows the language in actions. It is perfect way that enriches the teacher’s materials. By the way video could help the pupils to cope with cultural barrier in learning English.[7,p.126-182] I would like to speak about the usefulness of the visual aids in presenting and understanding of the lesson. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Visual aids help make your instruction meaningful for students. Visual aids help you reach your objectives by providing emphasis in different way than speaking. Clear pictures , graphs, or models multiply your students level of understanding of the material presented ,and they can be used to reinforce your message, clarify points and create interest. Visual aids engage your students and require a change from one activity to another : from hearing to seeing and sometimes touching. They enable you to appeal to more than one sense at the same time , thereby increasing your student’s understanding and retention level. With drawings, posters, transparencies and other visuals ,the concepts or ideas you present are no longer simply words – but words plus images.[8,p.74-81] Golden Rules of Using – Video Materials.
  • 95. 2014 META Conference Brochure Any videos accompanying your course book should be at an appropriate level of difficulty for the learners and relevant to the course syllabus. You need to find extracts that suit your teaching objectives ,and then design activities, and worksheets, for them. You should not use material simply because it is available , but it really serves your purposes. Ask yourself these questions. Will the learners understand the material well enough, either because they are familiar with the language used, or because the visual element makes it fairly clear? Will the learners enjoy the material, because it is interesting , humorous , or relevant to their needs? Do I have some really useful activities with which to exploit the material? Is there any alternative way of achieving my teaching objectives more effectively or in less than with video? The tips listed should be taken into consideration in the selection and preparation of visual aids. Basically, simple visual aids are the best. If they help communicate your message and make it more clear to your audience, then they are very useful. A person’s ability to remember what he or she learns can increase vastly through a combination of seeing and hearing information. A lecture as such is not audio-visual instruction ,but becomes so when the teacher uses slides, exhibits , or similar aids. A wide variety of audio-visual materials are used by the teachers in daily instruction. Students have new interesting ways to practice vocabulary, reading, writing and comprehension creating the skills they will need for the future. With the rapid growth and spread of the Internet, English teachers have unprecedented access to large amount of alternate resources in order to make their classes lively and interesting. Authentic video is one such resource. [9,p.96-100] 1. Presents real language in context As mentioned in the introduction, the language that we often encounter in the course books might not be always the 'real' language that learners hear around them. Authentic video, in a way, presents meaningful, real language in context thereby bridging the gap between the real world and the classroom. Because of the visual cues learners would find the language easy to follow and the contexts easy to identify with. 2. Facilitates language comprehension (and acquisition) The language input in the video, as told above, has a context as well as visual aid which would facilitate learners' comprehension. Moreover, through subtitles teachers can help the weaker students. This would reinforce the language heard. The principle here is the language comprehended leads to language acquisition. 3. Brings the real world into the classroom
  • 96. 2014 META Conference Brochure The reality presented in the course book need not be always the immediate reality of the students. This sometimes can lead the students to feel alienated from the course books. However, the variety in the authentic videos available online can plug in this to an extent, especially when teachers handpick videos that suit the learners' environment. 4. Is motivating The course books often can be dull for the students. However, the announcement to watch a video can bring in some life and most of the learners would respond positively to the visuals. Furthermore, the learners would be interested to know how the video would progress especially if they haven't watched it before. It will be worthy to mention the results of my students after the project ”Pay it Forward”. 5. Inspires creativity The video can be exploited in various forms in order to facilitate learners' taste and interest and also the learning objectives. Often the textbooks would not have any pictures or if there are any would be limited in number which can dampen the spirit of the learners. However, when authentic videos are used, the visuals there can reinvigorate the classroom and spark conversation - a major end in the language classrooms. Using Video in the Classroom What are the practical implications of using video in the classroom? At the most basic level of instruction, video is a form of communication and it can be achieved without the help of language, since we often interact by gesture, eye contact and facial expression to convey a message. Video provides visual stimuli such as the environment and this can lead to and generate prediction, speculation and a chance to activate background schemata when viewing a visual scene reenacted. It can be argued that language found in videos could help nonnative speakers understand stress patterns. Videos allow the learner to see body rhythm and speech rhythm in second language discourse through the use of authentic language and speed of speech in various situations. Videos allow contextual clues to be offered. In addition, video can stimulate and motivate student interest. The use of visuals overall can help learners to predict information, infer ideas and analyze the world that is brought into the classroom via the use of video instruction. In a teaching or testing situation video can help enhance clarity and give meaning to an auditory text; it can create a solid link between the materials being learned and the practical application of it in a testing situation; the video can act as a stimulus or catalyst to help integrate materials or aspects of the language; videos can help manipulate language and at the same time be open to a variety of interpretations. Arthur (1999) claims that: "Video can give students realistic models to imitate for role-play; can increase awareness of other cultures by teaching appropriateness and suitability; can strengthen audio/visual linguistic perceptions simultaneously; can widen the classroom repertoire and range of activities; can help utilize the latest technology to facilitate language learning; can teach direct observation of the
  • 97. 2014 META Conference Brochure paralinguistic features found in association with the target language; can be used to help when training students in ESP related scenarios and language; can offer a visual reinforcement of the target language and can lower anxiety when practicing the skill of listening." [6,p.98-99] Video used in a classroom should be interpretive and to the point. The visual should show reasonable judgment and enhance comprehension, heighten sensory acuteness, and illustrate the target language being used. Practitioners should avoid the use of distracters, over-crowded or violent stimuli. Visuals are ineffective in the learning process when the visual is too small; when the visual or video uses stereotypes; when the visual or video is a poor reproduction; when the picture is to far away from the text illustration; when the video has irrelevant captioning; when the video or visual offers to much information related or unrelated to the picture; when the video or visual is poorly scaled; and when the picture is not esthetically meaningful. A visual cue may be accompanied by a written cue to focus on a lexical item being furnished. Videos can make the task, situation or language more authentic. More importantly, video can be used to help distinguish items on a listening comprehension test, aid in the role of recall, help to sequence events, as well as be adapted, edited or changed in order to meet the needs of the language learner [9,p.34-36]. There are some situations when video can be useful:  to introduce subject for debate;  to encourage conversation amongst students on given topic;  to improve writing skill, describing events in written;  to develop listening skill;  to introduce new vocabulary;  to practice/consolidate a range of language points;  to show cultural aspect of the country. For the lesson you as a teacher could use different types of the video clips. For example the fragments of popular films, educational films, advertisements, the video of songs, cartoons, news etc. Conclusion The teacher should be an expert or at least should be able to do, with ease whatever the students are expected to do. I hope that the material presented above will be helpful. Don’t forget that a poem or a short story with a picture has more appeal then just a written text. The article illustrates the possible solutions with practical examples of how movies and video aids may be employed in the classroom in a manner which both facilitates language learning and further encourages motivation. In our days what really matters is how we use technology. Computers and different video materials will never substitute teachers but they offer new opportunities for better language practice. They may actually make the process of language learning significantly richer and play a key role in the reform of a country’s educational system. The next generation of students will feel a lot more confident with information technology than we do. As a result , they
  • 98. 2014 META Conference Brochure will be able to practice language skills more thoroughly and solve some language learning problems more easily. References: 1. Bean J.C.1996”Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing ,critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom”. San Fracisco: Jossey-Bass. 2. Canning C.,”Visual support and language teaching” Arabian News(1998). 3. Coombe, C. and Kinney, J., "Learning Center Listening Assessment", FORUM, 37:2, April-June (1999) : 21-23 4. Dornyei, Z. 2001.”Teaching and Researching Motivation”. England: Pearson Education Limited. 5. Dudeney, G. And N. Hockly.2007.”How to teach English with technology”Harlow. England: Person Education. 6. Jupp T. C. and Arthur ”Guide Course in English ”Heinemann 1988 Student’s Book. 7. Hornby A.S.”Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary”of Current English the fiftjh edition1999. 8. Pascarel I.”Dictionar englez-roman,roman-englez”2003 Pontos CHISINAU. 9. Weaver. G.R. 1993”Teaching aids and materials”p.126-182 10. Reed and Woodruff ,”Matrix for planning” (1996) Heinemann p.71-76 11. Weaver. G.R. 1993”Teaching aids and materials”p.126-182 12. „World book Encyclopedia”(1996) vol12 Book Inc. 13. „Forum”English Teaching vol49.”Classroom activities”by Denise Lowery. 14. „Forum”English Teaching vol47.”Vidio Recording as a Stimulus for Reflection in Pre- Service EFL Teaching Training. By Natalia Orlova. *Format of providing references does not fit the requirements!
  • 99. 2014 META Conference Brochure AN APPROACH TO THE ENGLISH RELATIVE PRONOUN Elena ROTARU, senior lecturer “I. Creangă” State Pedagogical University, Chișinău The article presents a new approach to teaching the English relative pronoun to non-native speakers, which involves reorganization of the descriptive grammar information and development of a new method of introducing the relative pronouns “that”, “which”, “who”, “whom”, “whose” at different stages of learning English. The suggested teaching grammar of the English relative pronoun proposes at the early stage to ignore varietal and stylistic variants of the pronoun, but to concentrate on usage of the pronoun “that” in restrictive clauses only. The article clearly states the reasons why “that” could be taught before the other relative pronouns, which are introduced later through the grammatical notes to definite texts or through reading. Key words: “descriptive” and “teaching” grammar of English, relative pronouns “that”, “which”, “who”, “whom”, “whose”, restrictive(defining)/non-restrictive(non-defining) relative clauses, personal/non-personal antecedents. Learners of English as a foreign language are used to referring to various grammar books in order to master English grammar. However, the majority of the books containing a vast range of grammar rules, as well as exceptions to them, only supply the learners with the “descriptive grammar” information. In recent years the need for a “teaching” as opposed to “descriptive” grammar has been extensively discussed. Patricia McEldowney, a leading specialist in the development of “teaching” grammars has mentioned the following: “In any grammatical area the teacher of English to non-native speakers needs a great deal of information which he or she cannot easily find in an ordinary descriptive grammar of English. This type of grammar does not often contain, for instance, explicit statements about the usefulness of certain items, or explicitly identify areas where items overlap in function. This indicates a need for what might be called a “teaching grammar” of English as opposed to a “descriptive grammar”. Such a grammar would refashion the descriptive grammarian’s organization and insights to make explicit and readily available certain information of value to the teacher.” [2, p. 95] Such an area is, for example, the English relative pronoun, where the teacher is faced with a wealth of choices (e.g. the relative pronouns “that”, “which”, “who”, “whom”, “whose”, etc.) and the student is threatened with almost certain confusion. In devising a teaching grammar in any area one should attempt to provide the beginner or remedial student with maximum coverage at minimum cost in learning effort and error production. [3, p. 205] In developing a teaching grammar of the English relative pronoun we should define the minimum of the didactic material we can usefully teach our students, simultaneously enabling them to produce acceptable utterances in this area. The decision as to what constitutes this
  • 100. 2014 META Conference Brochure minimum involves selection and rearrangement of the descriptive grammar information according to the criteria of pedagogical usefulness. Descriptive grammar information in the area of the English relative pronoun provides wealth of detail. For instance, let us summarize the information given in Leech and Svartvik’s A Communicative Grammar of English. According to the authors, the choice of a relative pronoun depends on several criteria: The restrictive/non-restrictive distinction (speaking from my own teaching experience, I have to mention that students have difficulty distinguishing between these types of relative clauses) Personal/non-personal antecedent (a difficult category for cultures indifferent to animals!) The role of the pronoun in the relative clause (i.e., nominative or objective case) The choice of constructions when the relative pronoun acts as prepositional object. The above can be condensed in Table 1 that follows. [1, p. 266] Table 1. Descriptive Grammar of the English Relative Pronoun by Leech and Svartvik. Restrictive/Non-restrictive Restrictive Only Personal Non- personal Personal and non-personal Nominative case who which that Objective case who(m) that/ zero Genitive case whose of which/whose A similar arrangement of the descriptive grammar information about the relative pronoun is provided in Thomson and Martinet’s A Practical English Grammar: [4, p. 81, 85] Table 2. Descriptive Grammar of the English Relative Pronoun by Thomson and Martinet. Clause Subject Object Possessive Definin g For persons who that whom/who that whose For things which that which that whose/of which Non- defining For persons who whom/who whose For things which which whose/of which Note that even in these two respected grammars the descriptive information varies, as well as terminology (I remember one of my students asking me which of the information is correct!).
  • 101. 2014 META Conference Brochure T. Stableford in his A Teaching Grammar of the English Relative Pronoun makes an attempt to devise a teaching grammar of the English relative pronoun by selecting and rearranging the descriptive grammar information in this area. [3, p. 206] He begins the selection of the material with the analysis of the descriptive information described above. Thus, with a “personal” antecedent, a descriptive grammar such as the above presents the teacher with the following options: who met him who he met (informal) The student whom he met (formal) who he spoke to (informal) whom he spoke to (formal) to whom he spoke (most formal) We can, and do, also use that in Nos. 1,2,3,4, and 5, and the zero relative in Nos. 2,3, 4, and 5. Collating all of this, we get: who/that met him The student who, whom, that he met / the student he met who, whom, that he spoke to / The student he spoke to to whom he spoke To this we must add non-personal antecedents: Nominative: There’s still one thing which is not explained. that Objective: I’ve bought That’s the house that I’ve bought which I’ve bought Prepositional complement: we wrote to you about. that we wrote to you about. This is the house which we wrote to you about. about which we wrote to you. So far, non-restrictive (or non-essential) relative clauses have been avoided. In these, the relative clause provides non-essential information, thus: Then he met Mary, who invited him to a party. Here is John Smith, who(m) I mentioned the other day. Jidda, which is on the Red Sea, is a major port. Belonging to this type is the “sentence relative” where the relative clause points back to a whole clause or sentence: e.g. which surprises me. He admires Mrs. Brown, which I find strange.
  • 102. 2014 META Conference Brochure Finally, we must add the often ignored genitive relation to the noun head: The woman, whose daughter you met, is Mrs. Brown. The house, whose roof was damaged, has now been repaired. The house, the roof of which was damaged, has now been repaired. There is surely a case for attempting to develop a teaching grammar from all this wealth of detail! According to our initial criteria, we must ignore varietal and stylistic variants as irrelevant to our purposes, and concentrate on making the learner’s task as easy, but as effective, as possible. In other words, if the learner can be taught to produce acceptable utterances, which express all the above relations, surely this is our aim in the early or remedial stages of learning English. Varietal and stylistic subtlety cannot be built on the quicksand of the extensive but quite passive knowledge. [3, p. 206] If we argue that non-restrictive, genitive-relative, and sentence-relative clauses can be avoided in the early stages of learning so that the most productive and important forms can be consolidated, then we can concentrate on usage in restrictive clauses alone. Since who, whose, and which must be used in non-restrictive, genitive-relative, and sentence-relative clauses respectively, the following items are provisionally suggested for restrictive clauses: Table 3. A Teaching Grammar of the English Relative Pronoun. Personal Non-personal Nominative case that that Objective zero/that zero/that Prepositional zero/that zero/that One immediate and obvious advantage here is that the student does not have to be concerned with the personal/non-personal distinction, which may well not operate in his/her language. Thus: There’s the man that helped me. I’ve got a pen that writes for two years. It may be argued, firstly, that it would be easier in the objective and preposition slots to omit the relative pronoun altogether to ease the learning load. This is true, but we still oblige the student, thereby, to distinguish between subjective and objective/prepositional functions. It may also be argued that zero-relative “sounds more natural”. This may be true, but, without a huge frequency- count of many varieties and styles, it is hardly a valid criterion. However, if we teach that, all the above potential confusions are avoided, thus: There’s the man helped me. I’ve got a pen writes for two years. I liked the man we met yesterday. I liked the book that you gave me. There’s the man I told you about. Here’s the book I told you about. There still remains the problem of actually teaching this single relative pronoun. In teaching this form we are really linking up two separate utterances by deletion. Unless we are using a purely direct method, we will have to resort to some explanation to avoid such a typical error as:
  • 103. 2014 META Conference Brochure I liked the man that we met HIM yesterday. A possible approach is the following: a). Show by means of arrows which word in the second sentence repeats something in the first sentence, i.e., There’s the man. He helped me. b). Cross out this word and put in that (not forgetting to delete the period), i.e., There’s the man that helped me. It should be mentioned that, the above approach holds true with all the restrictive relative patterns. However, what are we to do about non-restrictive, genitive-relative, and sentence-relative clauses in the early or intermediate stages of learning? We can, in fact, avoid them. Thomson and Martinet in A Practical English Grammar give the following [4, p. 86]: Peter, who had been driving all day, suggested stopping at the next town. Then they comment on this as follows: “In spoken English we would be more likely to say: “Peter had been driving all day, so/and he suggested…” Similarly, “Ann, whose children are at school all day, is trying to get a job.” would probably sound in conversation as “Ann’s children are at school all day, so she…” And again, “They said they were French, which wasn’t true.” – “They said they were French, but that wasn’t true.” [4, p. 86] In other words, in the early or intermediate stages of learning we can avoid these areas as being redundant, and employ simple conjunctions instead. The supporters of this approach to teaching the English relative pronoun may be attacked for gross oversimplification and distortion of the English language, but, the question is: what do we want to give our students? A wealth of passive knowledge or the ability to produce acceptable utterances? This approach involves teaching the above for productive use and introducing other passive forms later, through texts and grammar notes, and, besides, reading may also form the heaviest workload. References: 1. Leech, G., Svartvik, J. A Communicative Grammar of English. Moscow: Prosveschenie, 1983. – 304 p. 2. McEldowney, Patricia L. A Teaching Grammar of the English Article System. IRAL. – 1977. – num. 15, vol. 2 – pp. 95-112. 3. Stableford, T. A Teaching Grammar of the English Relative Pronoun. English Teaching Forum Anthology. – 1989. – vol. IV – pp. 205-207. 4. Thomson, A.J., Martinet, A.V. A Practical English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forth edition, 1986. – 383 p. E-TWINNING AND ITS OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEACHERS Tatiana POPA, Master of Arts Theoretical Lyceum “Gheorghe Asachi”, Chisinau,
  • 104. 2014 META Conference Brochure e-mail: The eTwinning collaboration platform is a platform, uniting all the EU teachers, plus seven more countries added in 2013 (eTwinning Plus), Moldova being one of them. Being a safe environment, it is verified by each country National Support Service, and only professionals that work as teachers are registered on the platform. If a teacher decides to add new members – his/her students, he/she can invite them only in a certain project, not on the whole platform. The European Commission promotes collaboration and interaction among teachers and students in Europe through this platform, but it also helps the teachers develop their professional skills through various continuous development courses on the eTwinning site. The site offers a wide variety of teacher training, and each teacher can choose the type that better suits him. But besides the official training on this collaborative platform, what really makes teachers learn a lot is the exchange of information among teachers: the teachers learn with each other and from each other, the sharing of experience and help given being at its highest. In the digital era, it is of utmost importance to find ways how to continuously develop our skills, as teacher should aways be in trend with everything that is new in our professional field. This is exactly what eTwinning offers! The eTwinning Learning Events, eTwinning Groups, Webinars and Workshops help each teacher build his/her own Personal Learning Network – a fact that is very important nowadays. Every teacher must know and be aware of it. Keywords: eTwinng, learning, platform, webinars, workshops, network, teachers. eTwinning offers a platform for staff (teachers, head teachers, librarians, etc.), working in a school in one of the European countries involved, to communicate, collaborate, develop projects, share and, in short, feel and be part of the most exciting learning community in Europe. “The eTwinning action promotes school collaboration in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by providing support, tools and services for schools.” [1] eTwinning is a wonderful discovery for every teacher. As soon as a teacher wants to get connected to other teachers in Europe, the best place to do that is on eTwinning. If a teacher thinks about his continuous professional development, the place he can find such opportunities is, of course, eTwinning. If a teacher dreams about connecting his classroom to another classroom in Europe, the right place to do that will also be eTwinning, as it is safe for both teachers and students. Every new member, registered on the platform, is firstly verified by the country coordinating team. The first step into this community is to get registered. As for Moldovan teachers, this action can be done by contacting the coordinating team, filling in the registration form, and sending it to them. Then the teacher receives his own login name and password.
  • 105. 2014 META Conference Brochure Once registered, you can login to your Desktop to get in touch with other eTwinners, exchange ideas, learn together and plan future collaborative activities. The Desktop is your personal window in the platform, so be sure to keep it updated so that you can share what you do with other eTwinners. If you want to set up a project, start looking for a potential partner with the following criteria: sharing similar objectives and agreeing on a topic for your collaborative project; communicating regularly and openly; having comparable age, number and language level of pupils; having access to ICT equipment at school to allow for effective collaboration. [2] Once you get acquainted with the plaform and how it functions, you are ready to start learning on the platform (in case you want to learn many new things that are useful in teaching). There are several types of possibilities to choose from: Learning Events are short intensive online events on a number of themes. They are led by an expert and include active work and discussion among teachers across Europe. The idea of a Learning Event is that it is a short intense course that offers you an introduction to a topic, stimulates your ideas, helps develop your skills and does not require a long-term commitment in terms of your time. It is also designed to be an enjoyable learning experience. Each learning event lasts 4-5 days of active work and discussion, followed by 4-5 days of
  • 106. 2014 META Conference Brochure reflection and personal work. The materials are online and you may access them during your own time.” [3] There is a wide range of learning events on the platform, so that every teacher, of every subject taught, can find a course on his/her taste. There are events specialized for certain subjects, such as Maths, or they can be addressed to all the teachers, the subject taught being not important at all. These learning events teach valuable 21st century skills. Every teacher learns new tools, ideas, theory,etc, as well as shares the expertise he/she possesses. “eTwinning Groups are private platforms for eTwinners to discuss and work together on a specific topic or theme. Moderated by an experienced eTwinner, each Group sets out activities and tasks for teachers to do and discuss. Topics vary from languages teaching and collaborative writing to experimental sciences. The aim is for eTwinners to share practice examples, discuss teaching and learning methodologies and find support for professional development.” [4] The eTwinning groups are specifically dedicated to teachers and they are presented as long-term discussion forums. There are many groups on the site and a teacher may join as many as he/she wishes, but one should remember that the philosophy of these groups is to share and contribute. There are various activities organized in these groups and teachers should participate and be active for example, in webinars or forum discussions, or other proposed activities. eTwinning Online Seminars are an opportunity for eTwinners to become involved in Continuing Professional Development online. The Online Seminars are live communication sessions where you have the chance to learn, talk and discuss about several themes. Besides learning in the courses offered on the platform, where certificates are given at the end (if you fullfil all the required tasks), one can learn enormously from other more experienced eTwinners. The first level interaction is with the teachers in the same project. As there are a lot of project activities, those who do not know how to do things are always taught by the more
  • 107. 2014 META Conference Brochure experienced teachers. And there are always such teachers in a project,as a project can be initiated only by teachers who know how to do it. Also, there are some sites that offer online courses, often about eTwinning. These sites are: – a site dedicated to Romanian teachers, offering a variety of courses to choose from. Their courses are addressed to specialists of various subjects, but some of them are for eTwinners. Beginning with an introductory course about eTwinning, and following with other more advanced ones, this site is really useful for those who want to get knowledge. In order to get a certificate at the end of a course, one should get at least 8 out of 10 points at each of the tests,including the final one. Another site offering courses about eTwinning on a Moodle platform (the same courses as on is the site from Moldova – They import the courses from their Romanian peer and have the same requirements. One more site tackling this topic is the European Schoolnet Academy - . In its courses, they address the eTwinners and the eTwinning community as well. It’s a kind of collaboration between these two sites, sharing the same experts and course topics. To conclude, I’d like to point out once again the importance of following the tendencies in the teachers’ world. As all the other life domains, teaching suffers great shifts, especially the last years, and if one doesn’t understand that he should make a change in the professional life, he may be driven off the road. Especially in teaching this thing is very up-to-date. As John Dewey once said: „If we teach today’s students the way we taught yesterday, we rob them of tomorrow.” [5] References: 1.[accessed 28.04.2014] 2. [accessed 28.04.2014] 3. [accessed 28.04.2014] 4. [accessed 28.04.2014] 5. [accessed 28.04.2014]
  • 108. 2014 META Conference Brochure VERBA COGITANDI AND MODALITY Marina KAIM, University Professor, Fulbright Scholar Alumna Moldova State University, Verbs that characterize our mental activity (verba cogitandi) present the essential component of natural language and reflect the connection of thinking processes with other aspects of human activity, and are specific in many ways. The article discusses the complexity and interconnections of the “non-transparent” mental processes that take place in human’s mind and are expressed through the use of verba cogitandi. Given that such verbs (think, know, believe, consider, guess, suppose, expect, understand etc.) possess a complex semantic structure, it is reflected in their use and acquisition of language learners which should be addressed properly during the EFL/ESP courses taught. Semantically verba cogitandi cannot be directly “caught”, at the same time appearing in and creating the contexts which often are not easy to understand. Their polysemantic nature and the fact that the concepts that they reflect are rather blurry, add to the difficulties in their understanding and acquisition. It gets us back to the fact that all mental states and processes are closely interconnected and function in synergy, i.e. do not exist as isolated acts. Accordingly, the verbs that express those mental processes should be examined in close interrelation, interdependence, which is reflected in their semantic structure and use. At the background of the uses of verba cogitandi that directly engage mental states or processes (e.g. “… I am thinking it over now...”) , there are a lot of cases when those verbs are used in modal meanings, i.e. reveal in the related contexts the speaker’s state of mind or knowledge, mood, attitude, opinion, serve as epistemic markers/pragmatic particles etc. Research in verba cogitandi has a strong connection to the notion of modality, which is touched upon in more detail in the given article. Keywords: verba cogitandi, mental, modality, epistemic modality Modality is a complex and manifold category, and being “language universal, presented in all languages” [8] is used to denote a wide range of phenomena in philosophy, logic, psychology, linguistics etc. All of them, however, express in this or that way the attitude of the speaker (writer) to what he/she states (communicates). The multidisciplinary character of modality, its complexity and controversy add to the variety of definitions and approaches to its classification. In general lines, in contrast to logical modality, the semantic category of modality relates the attitude of the speaker to the contents of his/her statement, flow of the speech, relation of the statement contents to reality. It reflects on the attitude of the speaker making this or that statement to the object of this statement and can be manifested with the aid of different intonation (prosodic features), forms of mood of verbs, introduction words, etc.
  • 109. 2014 META Conference Brochure Modality is inseparably connected with human’s thinking activity, which in turn is an essential aspect of verba cogitandi study. Relation between such notions as human thinking and modality of lexical units is treated differently by different scholars. Some of them connect those two, while others divide them, opposing as logical (thinking/rational) and emotional (modal characteristics of lexical units/sensory). One can, nevertheless, track the interconnection of thinking and modality, considering the expression of modality as a result of certain thinking process. Bally characterizes modality as “the soul of the sentence…”, and “that like a thought, it is formed mainly as a result of active operation of the speaking subject” [7]. Human thinking is claimed to be able to implement the “parallel” thinking process, and this feature can be expressed with the help of verba cogitandi (verbs of opinion, for example), the peculiarities of semantics and use of the latter being traditionally studied from the angle of their modal characteristics. Modal meaning is formed as a result of different thinking operations, like comparison, analysis, synthesis, etc. These operations allow for establishing the attitude of the subject (person, writer, narrator etc.) who possesses his/her inner world, experience etc.) to the fact, which is in the focus of attention (discussion, narration etc.). In parallel, there goes the assessment of this attitude, e.g. good-bad, true-false, etc.). It is natural that in this process various thinking operations are interconnected with emotional, mental, psychic state of the subject. It illustrates the fact that it is not possible to set a boundary between the “pure logic” and inference, different mental processes that take place in our “non- transparent” heads. At the background of various classifications of modality posited by different scholars, conclusion can be made that a two-way classification of modality into epistemic vs. non-epistemic has been considered the most common, and we will also follow this approach for the given study. The area of epistemicity, a subcategory of modality, forms a comparatively consistent semantic domain. Epistemic modality can be expressed by a variety of linguistic forms, such as epistemic phrases, adverbs, adjectives, nouns, lexical verbs etc. The most frequently used epistemic verbs in English include: think, believe, suppose, guess, seem, consider, etc., i.e. those that comprise the verba cogitandi area. The most frequent elements in speech are modal words (e.g. modal adverbs: really, perhaps, maybe etc.). Then follow modal phrases (epistemic phrases: I think, I suppose, I don’t think, I know etc.), and modal auxiliaries (might, will, should, may etc.). The speaker uses different language means to express not only the known logical contents, but also his/her own attitude to it. Bally, commenting on the statement characteristics, defines dictum (its factual contents) and modus (individual assessment, evaluation) of the facts stated. [7]. Dušková et al. claim that “besides the actual content of the proposition, the speaker can express the degree of conviction (certainty) of the real relevance of the proposition, i.e. whether the content of the message seems to the recipient certain, possible or impossible …” [1]. Modality, therefore, does not deal with the truth/non-truth of proposition only. Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech and Svartvik claim, that “at its most general, modality may be defined as the manner in which the meaning of a clause is qualified so as to reflect the speaker’s judgment of the likelihood of the proposition it expresses being true” [6]. Epistemic modality is subjective, is orientated towards the speaker [2]. As a distinctive characteristic of epistemic modality, a lot of scholars refer to its subjectivity, relating it mainly to the definition of epistemic modality, as expressing the attitude of the speaker
  • 110. 2014 META Conference Brochure to the statement. Such definition highlights that while constructing the statement with epistemic assessment, the conclusion/judgment made by the speaker plays an important role, and not only the objectivity from the point of view of the facts is in case. There have been various attempts in linguistic pragmatics and discourse analysis to examine the interactional functions of epistemic modality. The terms for this area of language use varied from “expressions of stance”, “hedging devices”, “boosters”, or “attenuators” to ‘pragmatic force modifiers’, etc. There is a growing body of research that shows that epistemicity in English is made use of by speakers in interaction with the scope to achieve rather diverse social functions, among them being: a politeness /face saving function, the function of constructing one’s authority or the relevant discourse statutes of participants, the function of achieving certain conversational actions within certain sequential environments, the function of regulating aspects of interaction (topic transition or the participation framework), or simply the function of displaying (true or “fake”) uncertainty. What is common to the more recent works in the field is that they focus not on the speaker’s expressed commitment or attitude towards knowledge as such (as a cognitive phenomenon), but on the interactional use that such expressions and attitudes may be applied to actual social contexts, and what kind of interactional effects and consequences they may have on the recipient(s) and on the interaction process. As epistemic expressions do not make a part of the proposition but show attitudes towards it, they can take on “higher level” interactional functions and do other work in discourse, so, speakers seldom express “bare” propositions without coding their attitude to them or parts of them. Nikula, for instance, views a number of linguistic expressions that she calls pragmatic force modifiers as having a modifying function, whereby they act as hedges or emphatics, and simultaneously serving an interpersonal function, either that of politeness or of involvement. Her group of pragmatic force modifiers consists largely (not exclusively) of expressions of epistemic modality. A commonly used definition of hedges is the one by Hyland, which states that hedges are “the means by which writers can present a proposition as an opinion rather than a fact” [3]. Epistemic modality markers constitute a specific and frequent type of hedge. Hedging, or the mitigation of claims, is often seen as a rhetorical device used to convince and influence the reader. Hedges help highlight the subjectivity of a proposition (the fact that a proposition may generally be always subject to interpretation), reducing the author’s commitment, while adding a certain sense of politeness to the discourse [3]. One of the sources of subjectivity in language is represented by the 1st person singular pronouns, thereby epistemic modality in conversational interaction is predominately expressed through subjective forms that involve the first person pronoun (I think, I believe, I guess, I suppose etc.). For instance, I with verbs such as believe, suppose, feel etc. can express the speaker’s attitude regarding the following piece of discourse or an event in the current contexts. A variety of terms is used by different authors to “name” such “I” constructions in English, among them being the following: epistemic items, modal adjuncts, epistemic (modality) markers (I think, I believe, I guess, etc.), epistemic probability modal expressions (e.g. I don’t think), stance markers, pragmatic particles (I mean), epistemic phrases (I think, I suppose, I don’t think, I know, I guess etc.), fixed epistemic formulas (I think…, I don’t think……), markers of epistemic modality,
  • 111. 2014 META Conference Brochure personalized markers, comment clauses (hedging, tentative meaning), parenthetical clauses, etc. Quirk et al. [6] offer a list of ‘hedging’ expressions and the one of expressions of speaker’s certainty. The former includes such hedging expressions as: : I believe, I guess, I think, I expect, I feel, I understand, I suppose, I consider, I can see and others; the latter covers I know, I see, I remember, I’m sure and others. Such expressions of epistemic modality denote mental states /activities which at the same time express ‘subjectivity’. While teaching verba cogitandi to our students we should draw their attention to the necessity of taking into consideration the complex nature of those verbs, modality associated nuances being among those factors that contribute to difficulties in their learning and use. When dealing with expressions like I guess, I think, I expect, I feel, I understand, I suppose, I consider, etc., they should always take into account their multifaceted nature and the (epistemic) modality associated issues. As speakers seldom report bare facts or actions, but always convey their points of view, evaluations, opinions and attitudes, such expressions illustrate the general subjectivity of everyday language use. To that end, teaching verba cogitandi to our EFL/ESP students (those from Psychology department in particular), we should highlight the importance of considering the cognitive (mental) aspect, the speaker’s (subject’s) commitment or/and attitude towards knowledge (proposition) as such, and their interactional use in particular contexts. In that way, we will help them to study the examples of use of verba cogitandi as those that on the one hand, contribute to verbalization of information that is active in the speaker’s mind at a given moment, and which the speaker intends to activate in the mind of the listener [5], and on the other, may convey the subjective stance of the speaker in expressing his/her opinion on the subject under discussion. Among the functions of the combinations of I (1st person singular cases) and verba cogitandi, students should pay attention to the following ones: to name a mental process of reflection, to show attitudes towards the proposition (not being a part of it), to indicate something less than a total commitment by the speaker to the truth of the proposition, to orient towards the hearer’s need to be liked and approved of (e.g. positive face, hedging cases), to state the speaker’s thinking/believing, to serve an interpersonal function (of politeness or of involvement, for instance), to mitigate the force of the advice given, to display the speaker’s true or “fake” uncertainty, to formulate his/her opinion or guess in a less strong/direct way, to express “insecure” knowledge, to keep informal conversation, to serve general communicative needs, or universally developed interactional purposes, to name a mental process or state of holding or supporting an opinion, based on speaker’s perceptions/ impressions, as well as for the purposes of topic transition or the participation framework, as an expression of uncertainty and tentativeness and others. When such “I + verba cogitandi” expressions (e.g. I think, I guess, I don’t know) face forward (being used in the initial position of the sentence) a conversation (discourse), such a function as to allow the speaker some time to plan his/her statement can be highlighted. In cases when they face backward (appearing in mid-turn or turn-finally), they usually allow the speakers to qualify their commitment after verbalizing it but may thereby acquire such a function as to soften assertions, pursue a recipient response, manage problems in recipient design, or to signal completion of the turn-at-talk [5], etc.
  • 112. 2014 META Conference Brochure For the purposes of the given study 21 novels written by British and American authors were analyzed. The total number of cases of verba cogitandi use constituted over 16,247, with the ones that highlight the mental/psychological/cognitive aspects prevailing: 11,749 compared to 4,498 cases with the modal component. The exact functions expressed by verba cogitandi, related “I + verba cogitandi” constructions can be established only as a result of thorough analysis of the contexts in which they are used. We as teachers should focus on the specifics of those contexts taking into consideration the subject area (the major) of our students. It refers to selecting the teaching materials, adjusting them to the needs of our students and applying the most appropriate ways of examining the particular cases of use in various contexts, depending on the department/specialization of the students we teach and the curriculum developed. It is only possible to identify the exact type of use of verba cogitandi through the qualitative examination of every case in question, every context in which they are used. References: 1. Dušková al., Mluvnice soucasné anglictiny na pozadí ceštiny. Praha: Academia, 1988. – 185 p. 2. Huddleston R., Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: University Press, 1984. – 167p. 3. K. Hyland. Hedges, Boosters and Lexical Invisibility: Noticing Modifiers in Academic Texts/ Garret, P ed.//Language Awareness. – 2000. – num.4, vol. 9 –P. 179-197. 4. Nikula T., Pragmatic force modifiers: a study in interlanguage pragmatics. Studia Philologica Jyväskyläensia Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 1996. – 258 p. 5. Karkkainen E., Epistemic Stance in English Conversation. A description of its interactional functions, with a focus on I think. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: University of Oulu. John Benjamin’s Publishing Company, 2003. – 213 p. 6. Quirk R., Greenbaum S., Leech G. & Svartvik J., A comprehensive grammar of the English language. Harlow: Longman, 1985. – 219 p. 7. Ш.. Балли Общая лингвистика и вопросы французского языка. Москва, Иностранная литература, 1955. – 416 p. 8. В.В.Виноградов. Избранные труды. Лексикология и лексикография. Москва, Наука, 1977. – 318 p.
  • 113. 2014 META Conference Brochure ABOUT 2014 META CONFERENCE Moldovan English Teachers Association organizes a conference every year. This grand event offers teachers of English as a foreign language a unique opportunity for professional development in the field. In 2014 the conference was held on the 5th of April in the Institute of International Relations of Moldova. The topic of the conference was "ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING FOR THE NEXT GENERATION". Participants exchanged ideas and practices, kept abreast of current trends, fostered their professional networks, shared research projects, reviewed the latest books and professional resources. Official Opening of the Conference in the Assembly Hall Participants of the Opening Concert: the NEXT generation. Students from Children’s Academy Participants of the Opening Concert: the NEXT generation. Students from Lucian Blaga Lyceum. Honourable guests of the META onference
  • 114. 2014 META Conference Brochure Participants of the Opening Concert: the NEXT generation. Students from Onisifor Ghibu Lyceum. Participants of the Opening Concert: the NEXT generation. Children from Lia-Gym sport club. Welcoming the honorable guests with bread and salt. Book Fair: an opportunity to get the latest printed teaching resources The conference included:  Panel discussion  Research-oriented presentations and  Workshops Attendees of the conference came from all around Moldova and Transnistria region (66% of teachers were from Chisinau), altogether reaching the number of 150 people. Among the presenters there were Regional English Language Officer, American Fulbright Scholars, US English Language Fellows, US Peace Corps. Volunteers, a Visiting Scholar from Ireland, English language specialists from Balti, Chisinau, Cimislia and Tiraspol. There were 33 presenters. Seven sessions ran simultaneously and the participants had a chance to choose one which was closer to their field of interests. Participant of 2014 META Conference after the Closing Ceremony Delegation of English teachers from Tiraspol.