Categories for English Language

Peoples Democratic Republic Of Algeria English Language Essay

Over three years period of learning English as a foreign language, English LMD students still find the written demands extremely challenging. Moreover, third year LMD students in the English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida encounter many difficulties in writing their mini-projects. Therefore, this study is needed to reveal these difficulties and their effect on further learning. Furthermore, it is an important study mainly because of the fact that academic writing is required for anybody who is studying English and has to write essays and other assignments for exams or coursework.

2. Statement of the Problem:

This study will investigate the effect of having academic writing difficulties on ACHIEVING THE FINAL PROJECT of third year LMD students in the English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida.

3.The research question:

What are the effects of academic writing difficulties on the final projects progress of third year LMD students in English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida?

4.The research Sub-questions:

What are the academic writing difficulties that hinder the final projects progress of third year LMD students in English department at University of Blida?

5.Hypothesis:

Third year LMD students in English department at University of Blida may have difficulties in cohesion.

6.Objectives of the Study:

To identify the difficulties that faces the third year LMD students in English department at University of Blida when writing academically.

To reveal the significance of academic writing difficulties to third year LMD students further studies in English department at University of Blida.

To show how academic writing difficulties affect third year LMD students’ learning progress in English department at University of Blida

6. Structure of the research proposal:

This research proposal covers the main points that will be examined in the final thesis entitled “Effects of Academic Writing Difficulties on Achieving the Final Project of Third Year LMD Students in English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida”. The first part is a general introduction that includes the background and significance of the study, statement of the problem, research questions and the objectives of the study. The second part is a review of the literature which consists of two chapters. The first chapter is a review of literature on the EFL academic writing difficulties. It consists of a definition of academic writing, the rhetorical, strategy and vocabulary challenges of EFL writing. The second chapter deals with the effect of writing weaknesses on EFL learning development. It includes the influence of rhetorical, strategy and vocabulary difficulties on the scores achievement. The third part describes the methodology design of this research. It includes data to be collected, data collection procedures, the population, procedures and data analysis procedures. The last part is a conclusion of the previous chapters and it includes a summary of the main points.

CHAPTER 1: Review of the literature on EFL academic writing difficulties

Introduction:

Academic writing in English at advanced levels is a challenge even for most native English speakers. However it is particularly difficult for English as foreign language learners. Recent studies have researched the difficulties of academic writing. This part sheds light on previous studies and reviews relevant literature on the EFL academic writing difficulties. First, the researchers intend to provide a definition of the academic writing, and then they give some basics of academic writing. Finally, this chapter discusses the challenges that face EFL learners when writing academically.

1.1. Definition of academic writing:

Academic writing is a mental and cognitive activity, since it is a product of the mind. The image of an individual working alone in a quiet environment has furthered the view of writing as a mental and cognitive activity. However as has been pointed out, “writing can be understood only from the perspective of a society rather than a single individual”(Burke, 2010,p.40-41).

1.2. Basics of academic writing:

Academic writing is expected to address an intellectual community in which the students engage in active learning. Some basics or rules must be established. Using information to one’s advantage is a key part of learning. Success at the postgraduate level depends on the students’ ability to access, evaluate, and synthesize the words, ideas, and opinions of others in order to develop their own academic voice. When presenting what they have learned, it is therefore vitally important that students are able to show clearly what they have drawn from others and what is their own (Bristol Business School, 2006, p. 3). A student must be honest about how much ownership he/she can claim over the ideas formed, the answers found, and the opinions expressed (Bristol Business School, 2006, p. 3). The student must follow certain rules to ensure good academic writing, including punctuation guidelines.

1.2.1 Punctuation

The essential punctuation marks are the period, comma, semicolon, and colon. These include the following:

• The period primarily marks the end of a sentence. A period is also used after an abbreviation where the final letter of the word is not the final word of the abbreviation, e.g., in enc. for enclosure, although Mr. for Mister is an exception (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

• The comma is primarily used to separate parts of a sentence so that the meaning remains clearer for the reader.

(I) A comma separates words in a list, e.g., He brought coal, kindling, matches, and turf.

(II) A comma separates subordinate clauses within a complex sentence where two separate sentences are not required (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

• The semicolon has two common uses. First, it may be used to separate items in a list after a colon. Second, it may be used to indicate a certain relationship between two parts of a sentence (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

• The colon may be used to indicate the start of a list, as is similar to the above example for the semicolon. It may also be used before a quotation begins (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

1.3. Challenges of EFL academic writing:

Writing is considered as a complex activity, a social act which reflects the writer’s communicative skills which is difficult to develop and learn, especially in an EFL context. Research in this field has examined the nature and types of writing task and by providing better understanding of EFL students’ writing needs, there has been an effort to help the development of this major skill theoretically and pedagogically (Zhu, 2004; Carson, 2001; Hale et al, 1996).  Examining the features of EFL writing tasks and the students’ problems in performing the task would certainly be pedagogically beneficial. As stated by Atkinson (2003, p.95), EFL students’ writing in a language classroom context shows their ability to solve a rhetoric problem and their awareness of their own communicative goals, of the reader, and of the writing context. In spite of numerous approaches to the teaching of writing, tackling EFL writing is still one of the challenging areas for teachers and students. Many EFL teachers think that grammar and vocabulary are the main problem area and that their writing would improve with remedial grammar/voc lessons. As Widdowson (1995, p.74) points out, we need to consider the larger discourse context or the meaning that lies beyond grammatical structure. To go beyond grammar, language should be looked at as a form of social practice (Fairclough, 1992, p.122).

As Casanava (2002 ,p.19) points out, learning how to write for academic purposes poses a clueless challenge because the rules of the “game” are almost all implicit. This is especially true for Algerian university students when they write an academic research paper in English for the first time: they are faced with a number of unfamiliar, daunting tasks.

Of all these, the most formidable and crucial challenge appears to be learning how to organize and develop their ideas in an academically persuasive manner; that is to organize their assertions into logical and cohesive arguments that will convince the reader. Their papers often end up lacking clear logical flow and unity, not to mention a persuasive linear argument.

Conclusion

Most EFL students find writing difficult and some students report that their difficulties continue, even years after their confidence in other academic skills such as speaking, listening, and reading has grown (Zhang, 2010,p.71). Explanations for students’ struggle go beyond grammar and vocabulary though these are clearly significant. Most writing specialists agree that writing difficulties are down to the ‘specialised nature of academic discourse’ (Schmitt, 2005, p.65) and to the complexity of the craft of writing itself.

CHAPTER 2: The research methodology design

Introduction:

In this chapter, the researchers describe the research methods, informants and data collecting tools. The results collected from the research tools will be analyzed scientifically in order to answer the research questions.

Research method:

Since the current study aims at showing the effects of academic writing difficulties on students’ final project achievement, the researchers opted to use a descriptive study on third year LMD students in English Department at University of Saad Dahleb- Blida. A descriptive method facilitates the gathering of information and data to assist in achieving study goals. As a first step, the researchers tend to administer a questionnaire to third year LMD students in English Department at University of Saad Dahleb- Blida mainly to confirm whether they face difficulties when writing academically (see appendix 01). Then, supervisors will be interviewed about the challenges they meet when orienting students with academic writing difficulties (see appendix 02). During the study, which will take three months, the researchers will observe the students’ progress in achieving their final project using an observation check list (see appendix 03).

Population:

The informants of this study are students and teachers from the English Department at the University of Saad Dahleb- Blida. The researchers select 10 groups of third year LMD students; each group consists of 3 members working on their final project in didactics field, and 5 didactic MA Degree teachers who supervise the 10 groups. The informants are 19 female students and 11 male students. The age of the informants ranges from 20 to 26 (see table 1). The original names of the students are replaced with fictitious names to keep the identity of the informants confidential.

Table 01: Description of the groups

Groups

Gender

Age

Previous tuition of English

1st group

2 females/ 1 male

20 – 23

8 years

2nd group

3 females

20

8 years

3rd group

3 females

20 – 22

8 years

4th group

3 females

24 – 26

8 to 10 years

5th group

2 males / 1 female

20 – 23

10 years

6th group

3 females

20

10 years

7th group

3 females

20

10 years

8th group

2 females/ 1 male

21

10 years

9th group

3 males

20 – 22

10 years

10th group

3 males

21 – 25

10 to 13 years

Data collection tools:

The researchers intend to use three research tools to collect the data needed in order to answer the research questions of this study:

3.1- A questionnaire with closed-ended questions is distributed to the 10 groups of the 3rd year LMD students. It consists of 13 closed ended questions which aim at detecting the category of the difficulties whether in cohesion, coherence, vocabulary or strategy.

3.2- Semi-structured interviews are conducted to collect data from the perspective of the 5 supervisors. Interviewing the supervisors on the basis of their feedback to the groups will help to specify the types of difficulties, to confirm the data collected from the questionnaire and to know the challenges of supervising students with academic writing difficulties.

3.3- Observation check lists are distributed each month to the 10 groups in order to examine the effects of the academic writing difficulties on the progress of accomplishing their final projects. The list contains the supervisor’s negative feedback besides the data collected from the interviews and the questionnaire. Each group is provided with a check list to examine how much each difficulty is considerable to hinder the progress of the final project.

4. Data analysis Procedures:

After the data are collected, the researchers intend to analyze them according to teachers and students’ answers:

4.1. A questionnaire with closed-ended questions:

The data collected from the questionnaire will be analyzed quantitatively. The researchers will describe and comment on the answers objectively. Then, the data will be interpreted scientifically. Through this process the difficulties of academic writing will be revealed.

4.2. Semi-structured interviews:

The data collected from the semi-structured interviews will be analyzed qualitatively. The reasons for choosing qualitative methods for collecting data are: the need to attain highly personalized data, there are opportunities for probing, a good return rate. (Gray, 2004, p.96). These semi-structured interviews will specify the kind of the difficulties.

4.3. Check list observation:

The data collected from the observation check list will be presented in graphs. Graphs will give a clear vision on the effect academic writing difficulties on the third year LMD final project achievement.

Conclusion and Suggestions for Further Research:

In view of the data presented, the researchers conclude that third year LMD students in English department at Saad Dahlab university face many difficulties and stresses in their academic writing. These difficulties severly hinder the progress of the student’s final project.

The following recommendations are made for future studies:

– The present study could be replicated on a wider scale that includes diverse populations and various levels of education to examine more thoroughly the difficulties of academic writing.

– Further field-based research should be conducted to address other important skills, such as reading, listening,

and speaking.

-Since the subjects of this study were male and female students, future studies could be conducted with only male or only female students to determine the effect of gender on academic writing difficulties.

General conclusion

The research proposal is a crucial step in any scientific research. It clearly describes the study process. This research paper describes the study which is intended to be applied on the topic “Effects of Academic Writing Difficulties on Achieving the Final Project of Third Year LMD Students in English Department at University of Blida”.This research proposal considers the most important points in the study. The first chapter is the literature review which contains different ideas about the data that will help answering the research questions. This chapter deals with the EFL academic writing difficulties. It gives a definition of the academic writing, tackles its basics and defines its challenges. The second chapter in the research proposal is the research methodology design. It describes the followed methods in the study process which are the research method, the population, the data collection tools and the data analysis procedures.

Bibliography

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Hyland, K. (2003). Second language Writing. Cambridge, Cambridge Press

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Silva, T. (1992). L1 vs. L2 writing: ESL graduate students’ perceptions. TESL Canada Journal, 10 (1), 27-48.

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needs in an EFL environment. English for Specific Purposes 27, 74-93.

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ELT Journal, 54(2): 153-160.

Appendices

Appendix: 01

Questionnaire with closed-ended questions

This questionnaire is part of MA dissertation. It is administered to third year LMD students in English department at university of Blida.

Please, answer the following questions according to your writing experience.

Thank you for your collaboration.

Do you face any difficulties when writing your mini-project?

Yes No

Is the grammatical features one of the problems you face in your English writing?

Yes No

3. Do you spend time reviewing what you write?

Yes No

4. Does most of your reviewing focus on the sentence and paragraph level?

Yes No

5. Do you always focus your reviewing on the grammar points of your writing?

Yes No

6. Do you know which type of plague words and phrases you should avoid?

Yes No

7. Do you often make sentence mistakes in your writing?

Yes No

8. Do you often make subject-verb disagreement mistakes in your writing?

Yes No

9. Do you experience difficulty combining sentences in your writing?

Yes No

10. Is it difficult to create an understandable and coherent paragraph?

Yes No

11. Do you include each of the three steps (planning, writing, and revision) in your writing process?

Yes No

12. Do you write an outline before writing draft?

Yes No

13. Do you think that writing skills are important factors for successful writing?

Yes No

Appendix: 02

Semi-structured interviews

The semi-structured interviews below are part of MA dissertation entitled “Academic Writing Difficulties and their Effect on the Learning Progress of Third Year LMD Students in English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida”. 5 supervisors of 10 groups of third year LMD students will be asked face to face the following questions:

Do you think that third year LMD students in English Department at Saad Dahleb University of Blida have difficulties in writing academically when working on their final projects?

According to your experience, what are the difficulties that faced by third year LMD students in English Department at Saad Dahleb University of Blida when working on their final projects?

Do these difficulties affect the students’ progress of their final projects?

According to the groups you are supervising, do the academic writing difficulties differ from one group to another?

To what extent do you think that academic writing is important for third year LMD student to accomplish their final projects?

What are the challenges you face when supervising students with academic writing difficulties?

Influences Of Mother Tongue On Second Language English Language Essay

In many research on second language classroom, the role and influences of mother tongue or first language (L1) on second language (L2) learning has always been a hotly debated issue. There have always been contradicting views about whether or not to use L1 of the students in the second language classroom. During the past 30 years, in the late seventies to early eighties, the idea of using mother tongue in language classroom was not a favored one. Majority of the language classroom used solely L2 while the use of L1 is avoided totally (Liu, 2008). In fact, many supported the use of L2 only so as to provide full exposure to that language. The use of L1 in the language classroom is deemed as depriving the learners input in L2 (Ellis, 1984).

Despite the many arguments from both proponents and opponents of the use of L1 in the L2 language classroom, linguistic researchers failed to provide a conclusion for this issue and could not reach a common ground on whether the use of L1 is considered as a facilitator or a barrier in the acquisition of second language. According to Nation (2003), L2 should be fully utilized as much as possible in a foreign language classroom (in this context, English). Though L2 should be the core language used in classroom management and learning, the use of L1 should not be abandoned as it has a minute but significant role in language learning (Nation, 2003).

Apart from Nation (2003), there are many linguists and researchers in the field of second language acquisition who agreed that L1 should be utilized in the language classroom in particular with students who are not highly proficient in the target language (Swain & Lapkin, 2000; Tang, 2002; Mattioli 2004). This suggests that L1 plays an important role in the language classroom especially for the low proficiency learners. However, not many empirical studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of using L1 as a tool for low proficiency learners in L2 classroom (Bouangeune, 2009). Therefore, this paper seeks to find evidence to support the theory that L1 can facilitate the learning of L2 in the classroom learning. Classroom learning for languages encompasses four language skills, for example, reading comprehension, writing, and vocabulary learning. As a head start, this paper will examine the use of L1 in L2 vocabulary learning.

1.2 Research Objectives

Liu (2008) did a rather straightforward and comprehensive research on the effects of L1 use on L2 vocabulary learning. In his study, he managed to prove that bilingual vocabulary teaching method is actually suitable for Chinese EFL learners (Liu, 2008). Inspired by his research, this study aims to address the problem of low proficiency learners in Malaysian secondary government school.

This study will replicate the research done by Liu (2008) to investigate the role of L1 in L2 vocabulary learning. Also, this study intended to identify whether L1 is a facilitator or a barrier to the L2 vocabulary learning in Malaysian context and how L1 facilitates the language learning. The main objective of this study is to examine the effects of L1 use in L2 vocabulary learning on low proficiency L2 learners.

1.3 Research Questions

Based on the objective, this study seeks to measure how L1 facilitates the low proficiency L2 learners to understand the meanings of new words. This study aims to answer the following questions:

What are the effects of using L1 in L2 vocabulary learning classroom?

To what extend does the use of L1 increase the performances of L2 vocabulary learning.

From here, we propose the following hypotheses:

There are significant differences between the performances of students with different language approach in the vocabulary learning.

The bilingual approach (incorporating L1 in L2 classroom learning) is suitable to low proficiency L2 learners.

1.4 Purpose of the Study

This study sets to focus on L2 vocabulary learning due to the reason that acquisition of vocabulary has a fundamental role in learning a second language (Sökmen, 1997). In other words, vocabulary learning is inter-related to other language skills. A number of studies claimed that L2 learners need to have extensive knowledge of vocabulary as it is useful in the long term run (Nation, 2001). Since the acquisition of vocabulary is so important in learning a second language, effective ways of teaching and learning vocabulary should be emphasized.

Research has confirmed that proper application of L1 can effectively assist the memorization of new words during L2 vocabulary learning process. Liu (2008) used the fact that L1 is present in L2 learners’ mind, therefore, whether the teacher uses L1 or not, the L2 knowledge that is being formed in their mind is linked in all sorts of ways with their L1 knowledge. This observation is supported from the sociocultural theory perspective that L1 meanings continue to have a persistent effect in the L2 learning (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Therefore, it is hope that through this study, we are able to draw some insights concerning the role of L1 and how L1 provides a familiar and effective way for acquiring and understanding the meaning of new words in L2 vocabulary learning.

1.5 The Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this study is based on three prominent second language acquisition theory, namely the Krashen’s Monitor Model (1985), Swain’s Output Hypothesis (1985) and Comprehensible Output (1995) and Long’s Interaction Hypothesis (1996). It has been widely acknowledged that the three constructs of these theories, the input, interaction and output are closely related elements in L2 learning (Zhang, 2009). The input is vital for language acquisition. However, input alone is not sufficient. In addition, interaction comes into play as an equally important role in the process of learning. As for output, it is the final result or the goal in learning L2.

1.5.1 Krashen’s Input Hypothesis

The Input Hypothesis is the most important hypothesis out of the five hypotheses generated by Krashen (1985) in second language acquisition. This hypothesis aims to explain how learners acquire a second language. It claims that language input (vocabulary) is important to acquisition. For the acquisition of L2 vocabulary, comprehensible input is an essential factor. Learners tend to achieve optimal acquisition when they are able to understand most of the input while being challenged by some new vocabulary (Castro, 2010).

The History Of Baking English Language Essay

Baking has been around since ancient times. Of course, over the years with new inventions and recipes, baking has under-gone major transformations – from baking over brick stones to baking in gas or electric ovens. The first form of baking was thought to have been as early as 2500 B.C. or even earlier. Baking is just one of the many ways of cooking. Baking, as we know it, is defined as cooking by dry heat in an oven or on heated metal or stones (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/baking). Dry heat is usually obtained through an oven.

Just as important as it is to find out if baking soda can be substituted, it is important to understand the mixtures of baking soda and baking powder. Let’s look at baking soda, first. Baking soda, in its original state, can be found in mineral deposits all over the world. Baking soda has been used in America since colonial times, but it wasn’t produced in America until 1839. Some common recipes that call for baking soda are different cookie types, breads, pancakes, and many other recipes. Baking soda has several scientific names. The most common name would be sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). Sodium bicarbonate has several atoms. It contains one sodium atom, one hydrogen atom, one carbon atom, and three oxygen atoms. Baking soda is a very important part of a recipe. Often times it is referred to as the leavening agent. A leavening agent is a substance that causes substances to rise by releasing gases that produce the finished project with a porous structure. In other words it would be a ‘fast-acting yeast.’ As baking soda is added to the batter (to whatever yummy treat you are making), it releases a gas that allows the batter to immediately start to rise. Baking soda begins to work by letting its gas out as soon as it hits a liquid – which could be a batter or some dough. Most recipes that call for baking soda usually have other acidic ingredients in them that enable the baking soda to work and taste properly. Baking soda helps with the alkaline taste in your food. It keeps it from having a ‘soapy’ taste. Now that we know a bit about baking soda, we can now look into its familiar relative – baking powder.

Baking powder is just as useful as baking soda, but it has a few different powers. Baking powder was first discovered and manufactured in 1843 by a man named Alfred Bird. Along with baking soda, baking powder is found in similar recipes and also in my favorite – scones. Baking powder is composed of several ingredients including cornstarch, cream of tartar, and even baking soda. Like baking soda, baking powder is also a leavening agent. Baking powder is different than baking soda in that it is double-acting. Double-acting simply means it rises or acts as a leavening agent at two different times. The first time it starts to work, like the baking soda, is right when it is added to the batter. The second time would be when it is baking. As it is baking, it continues to let out its gases due to the oven’s heat. Since it is, in a way, rising twice, it gives your final outcome a fluffier and lighter texture. Baking powder is usually added to recipes that don’t have acids as it already contains acids due to the baking soda and cream of tartar. Now that we have learned a little bit about baking soda and baking powder, it will be easier to understand their relationship and how baking soda might or might not be able to be substituted.

Since we know that baking soda is usually used where there are acidic substances in the batter, and baking powder is used where there aren’t any acidic substances, we know that in being able to substitute baking soda we would have to add an acid. In adding an acid, we are, in a way, giving the soda more power, where it can cause the finished baked treat to become lighter and fluffier. This acidic lack is solved by an acid called potassium hydrogen tartrate which is more commonly known as cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar was the original leavening agent used by bakers before we had baking powder and baking soda. Remembering that baking powder is double-acting, we now need to see what makes it rise at the two separate times. As I mentioned earlier, the first release of gas (or rise) would be due to the baking soda, but what would cause the second release? That would be where the cream of tartar comes into play. The cream of tartar reacts when it is released into heat, so when your batter or dough goes into the oven and receives the oven heat, the second release of gas begins. Baking soda reacts when it enters a liquid and cream of tartar reacts when it enters heat. So now that we know what causes baking powder to be double acting, it would make sense to add that one special ingredient that makes it double-acting to the baking soda. This special ingredient would be the heat reactant – cream of tartar. By adding the cream of tartar to the baking soda, it gives it the added acid to rise in heat when placed in the oven. If you were to try to use only baking soda without any extra ingredient in place of baking powder, you would find that it would leave a bitter taste. When you need to substitute baking soda and cream of tartar for baking powder, it is important not to have too much baking soda with your cream of tartar or vice versa.

In closing, we find that baking soda alone cannot be substituted for baking powder, but with a simple ingredient known as cream of tartar, you can have some baking powder. So next time you’re baking and you find yourself with missing ingredients or without baking powder, don’t break a sweat!! Remember, not only can you substitute applesauce for oil, honey for sugar, but now you know that you can substitute baking soda with a little bit of cream of tartar for the missing baking powder. So finish up with your baking and enjoy your yummy and delicious snack!!

Peoples Democratic Republic Of Algeria English Language Essay

Over three years period of learning English as a foreign language, English LMD students still find the written demands extremely challenging. Moreover, third year LMD students in the English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida encounter many difficulties in writing their mini-projects. Therefore, this study is needed to reveal these difficulties and their effect on further learning. Furthermore, it is an important study mainly because of the fact that academic writing is required for anybody who is studying English and has to write essays and other assignments for exams or coursework.

2. Statement of the Problem:

This study will investigate the effect of having academic writing difficulties on ACHIEVING THE FINAL PROJECT of third year LMD students in the English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida.

3.The research question:

What are the effects of academic writing difficulties on the final projects progress of third year LMD students in English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida?

4.The research Sub-questions:

What are the academic writing difficulties that hinder the final projects progress of third year LMD students in English department at University of Blida?

5.Hypothesis:

Third year LMD students in English department at University of Blida may have difficulties in cohesion.

6.Objectives of the Study:

To identify the difficulties that faces the third year LMD students in English department at University of Blida when writing academically.

To reveal the significance of academic writing difficulties to third year LMD students further studies in English department at University of Blida.

To show how academic writing difficulties affect third year LMD students’ learning progress in English department at University of Blida

6. Structure of the research proposal:

This research proposal covers the main points that will be examined in the final thesis entitled “Effects of Academic Writing Difficulties on Achieving the Final Project of Third Year LMD Students in English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida”. The first part is a general introduction that includes the background and significance of the study, statement of the problem, research questions and the objectives of the study. The second part is a review of the literature which consists of two chapters. The first chapter is a review of literature on the EFL academic writing difficulties. It consists of a definition of academic writing, the rhetorical, strategy and vocabulary challenges of EFL writing. The second chapter deals with the effect of writing weaknesses on EFL learning development. It includes the influence of rhetorical, strategy and vocabulary difficulties on the scores achievement. The third part describes the methodology design of this research. It includes data to be collected, data collection procedures, the population, procedures and data analysis procedures. The last part is a conclusion of the previous chapters and it includes a summary of the main points.

CHAPTER 1: Review of the literature on EFL academic writing difficulties

Introduction:

Academic writing in English at advanced levels is a challenge even for most native English speakers. However it is particularly difficult for English as foreign language learners. Recent studies have researched the difficulties of academic writing. This part sheds light on previous studies and reviews relevant literature on the EFL academic writing difficulties. First, the researchers intend to provide a definition of the academic writing, and then they give some basics of academic writing. Finally, this chapter discusses the challenges that face EFL learners when writing academically.

1.1. Definition of academic writing:

Academic writing is a mental and cognitive activity, since it is a product of the mind. The image of an individual working alone in a quiet environment has furthered the view of writing as a mental and cognitive activity. However as has been pointed out, “writing can be understood only from the perspective of a society rather than a single individual”(Burke, 2010,p.40-41).

1.2. Basics of academic writing:

Academic writing is expected to address an intellectual community in which the students engage in active learning. Some basics or rules must be established. Using information to one’s advantage is a key part of learning. Success at the postgraduate level depends on the students’ ability to access, evaluate, and synthesize the words, ideas, and opinions of others in order to develop their own academic voice. When presenting what they have learned, it is therefore vitally important that students are able to show clearly what they have drawn from others and what is their own (Bristol Business School, 2006, p. 3). A student must be honest about how much ownership he/she can claim over the ideas formed, the answers found, and the opinions expressed (Bristol Business School, 2006, p. 3). The student must follow certain rules to ensure good academic writing, including punctuation guidelines.

1.2.1 Punctuation

The essential punctuation marks are the period, comma, semicolon, and colon. These include the following:

• The period primarily marks the end of a sentence. A period is also used after an abbreviation where the final letter of the word is not the final word of the abbreviation, e.g., in enc. for enclosure, although Mr. for Mister is an exception (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

• The comma is primarily used to separate parts of a sentence so that the meaning remains clearer for the reader.

(I) A comma separates words in a list, e.g., He brought coal, kindling, matches, and turf.

(II) A comma separates subordinate clauses within a complex sentence where two separate sentences are not required (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

• The semicolon has two common uses. First, it may be used to separate items in a list after a colon. Second, it may be used to indicate a certain relationship between two parts of a sentence (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

• The colon may be used to indicate the start of a list, as is similar to the above example for the semicolon. It may also be used before a quotation begins (Murphy, 2010, p. 9).

1.3. Challenges of EFL academic writing:

Writing is considered as a complex activity, a social act which reflects the writer’s communicative skills which is difficult to develop and learn, especially in an EFL context. Research in this field has examined the nature and types of writing task and by providing better understanding of EFL students’ writing needs, there has been an effort to help the development of this major skill theoretically and pedagogically (Zhu, 2004; Carson, 2001; Hale et al, 1996).  Examining the features of EFL writing tasks and the students’ problems in performing the task would certainly be pedagogically beneficial. As stated by Atkinson (2003, p.95), EFL students’ writing in a language classroom context shows their ability to solve a rhetoric problem and their awareness of their own communicative goals, of the reader, and of the writing context. In spite of numerous approaches to the teaching of writing, tackling EFL writing is still one of the challenging areas for teachers and students. Many EFL teachers think that grammar and vocabulary are the main problem area and that their writing would improve with remedial grammar/voc lessons. As Widdowson (1995, p.74) points out, we need to consider the larger discourse context or the meaning that lies beyond grammatical structure. To go beyond grammar, language should be looked at as a form of social practice (Fairclough, 1992, p.122).

As Casanava (2002 ,p.19) points out, learning how to write for academic purposes poses a clueless challenge because the rules of the “game” are almost all implicit. This is especially true for Algerian university students when they write an academic research paper in English for the first time: they are faced with a number of unfamiliar, daunting tasks.

Of all these, the most formidable and crucial challenge appears to be learning how to organize and develop their ideas in an academically persuasive manner; that is to organize their assertions into logical and cohesive arguments that will convince the reader. Their papers often end up lacking clear logical flow and unity, not to mention a persuasive linear argument.

Conclusion

Most EFL students find writing difficult and some students report that their difficulties continue, even years after their confidence in other academic skills such as speaking, listening, and reading has grown (Zhang, 2010,p.71). Explanations for students’ struggle go beyond grammar and vocabulary though these are clearly significant. Most writing specialists agree that writing difficulties are down to the ‘specialised nature of academic discourse’ (Schmitt, 2005, p.65) and to the complexity of the craft of writing itself.

CHAPTER 2: The research methodology design

Introduction:

In this chapter, the researchers describe the research methods, informants and data collecting tools. The results collected from the research tools will be analyzed scientifically in order to answer the research questions.

Research method:

Since the current study aims at showing the effects of academic writing difficulties on students’ final project achievement, the researchers opted to use a descriptive study on third year LMD students in English Department at University of Saad Dahleb- Blida. A descriptive method facilitates the gathering of information and data to assist in achieving study goals. As a first step, the researchers tend to administer a questionnaire to third year LMD students in English Department at University of Saad Dahleb- Blida mainly to confirm whether they face difficulties when writing academically (see appendix 01). Then, supervisors will be interviewed about the challenges they meet when orienting students with academic writing difficulties (see appendix 02). During the study, which will take three months, the researchers will observe the students’ progress in achieving their final project using an observation check list (see appendix 03).

Population:

The informants of this study are students and teachers from the English Department at the University of Saad Dahleb- Blida. The researchers select 10 groups of third year LMD students; each group consists of 3 members working on their final project in didactics field, and 5 didactic MA Degree teachers who supervise the 10 groups. The informants are 19 female students and 11 male students. The age of the informants ranges from 20 to 26 (see table 1). The original names of the students are replaced with fictitious names to keep the identity of the informants confidential.

Table 01: Description of the groups

Groups

Gender

Age

Previous tuition of English

1st group

2 females/ 1 male

20 – 23

8 years

2nd group

3 females

20

8 years

3rd group

3 females

20 – 22

8 years

4th group

3 females

24 – 26

8 to 10 years

5th group

2 males / 1 female

20 – 23

10 years

6th group

3 females

20

10 years

7th group

3 females

20

10 years

8th group

2 females/ 1 male

21

10 years

9th group

3 males

20 – 22

10 years

10th group

3 males

21 – 25

10 to 13 years

Data collection tools:

The researchers intend to use three research tools to collect the data needed in order to answer the research questions of this study:

3.1- A questionnaire with closed-ended questions is distributed to the 10 groups of the 3rd year LMD students. It consists of 13 closed ended questions which aim at detecting the category of the difficulties whether in cohesion, coherence, vocabulary or strategy.

3.2- Semi-structured interviews are conducted to collect data from the perspective of the 5 supervisors. Interviewing the supervisors on the basis of their feedback to the groups will help to specify the types of difficulties, to confirm the data collected from the questionnaire and to know the challenges of supervising students with academic writing difficulties.

3.3- Observation check lists are distributed each month to the 10 groups in order to examine the effects of the academic writing difficulties on the progress of accomplishing their final projects. The list contains the supervisor’s negative feedback besides the data collected from the interviews and the questionnaire. Each group is provided with a check list to examine how much each difficulty is considerable to hinder the progress of the final project.

4. Data analysis Procedures:

After the data are collected, the researchers intend to analyze them according to teachers and students’ answers:

4.1. A questionnaire with closed-ended questions:

The data collected from the questionnaire will be analyzed quantitatively. The researchers will describe and comment on the answers objectively. Then, the data will be interpreted scientifically. Through this process the difficulties of academic writing will be revealed.

4.2. Semi-structured interviews:

The data collected from the semi-structured interviews will be analyzed qualitatively. The reasons for choosing qualitative methods for collecting data are: the need to attain highly personalized data, there are opportunities for probing, a good return rate. (Gray, 2004, p.96). These semi-structured interviews will specify the kind of the difficulties.

4.3. Check list observation:

The data collected from the observation check list will be presented in graphs. Graphs will give a clear vision on the effect academic writing difficulties on the third year LMD final project achievement.

Conclusion and Suggestions for Further Research:

In view of the data presented, the researchers conclude that third year LMD students in English department at Saad Dahlab university face many difficulties and stresses in their academic writing. These difficulties severly hinder the progress of the student’s final project.

The following recommendations are made for future studies:

– The present study could be replicated on a wider scale that includes diverse populations and various levels of education to examine more thoroughly the difficulties of academic writing.

– Further field-based research should be conducted to address other important skills, such as reading, listening,

and speaking.

-Since the subjects of this study were male and female students, future studies could be conducted with only male or only female students to determine the effect of gender on academic writing difficulties.

General conclusion

The research proposal is a crucial step in any scientific research. It clearly describes the study process. This research paper describes the study which is intended to be applied on the topic “Effects of Academic Writing Difficulties on Achieving the Final Project of Third Year LMD Students in English Department at University of Blida”.This research proposal considers the most important points in the study. The first chapter is the literature review which contains different ideas about the data that will help answering the research questions. This chapter deals with the EFL academic writing difficulties. It gives a definition of the academic writing, tackles its basics and defines its challenges. The second chapter in the research proposal is the research methodology design. It describes the followed methods in the study process which are the research method, the population, the data collection tools and the data analysis procedures.

Bibliography

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ELT Journal, 54(2): 153-160.

Appendices

Appendix: 01

Questionnaire with closed-ended questions

This questionnaire is part of MA dissertation. It is administered to third year LMD students in English department at university of Blida.

Please, answer the following questions according to your writing experience.

Thank you for your collaboration.

Do you face any difficulties when writing your mini-project?

Yes No

Is the grammatical features one of the problems you face in your English writing?

Yes No

3. Do you spend time reviewing what you write?

Yes No

4. Does most of your reviewing focus on the sentence and paragraph level?

Yes No

5. Do you always focus your reviewing on the grammar points of your writing?

Yes No

6. Do you know which type of plague words and phrases you should avoid?

Yes No

7. Do you often make sentence mistakes in your writing?

Yes No

8. Do you often make subject-verb disagreement mistakes in your writing?

Yes No

9. Do you experience difficulty combining sentences in your writing?

Yes No

10. Is it difficult to create an understandable and coherent paragraph?

Yes No

11. Do you include each of the three steps (planning, writing, and revision) in your writing process?

Yes No

12. Do you write an outline before writing draft?

Yes No

13. Do you think that writing skills are important factors for successful writing?

Yes No

Appendix: 02

Semi-structured interviews

The semi-structured interviews below are part of MA dissertation entitled “Academic Writing Difficulties and their Effect on the Learning Progress of Third Year LMD Students in English Department at Saad Dahlab University of Blida”. 5 supervisors of 10 groups of third year LMD students will be asked face to face the following questions:

Do you think that third year LMD students in English Department at Saad Dahleb University of Blida have difficulties in writing academically when working on their final projects?

According to your experience, what are the difficulties that faced by third year LMD students in English Department at Saad Dahleb University of Blida when working on their final projects?

Do these difficulties affect the students’ progress of their final projects?

According to the groups you are supervising, do the academic writing difficulties differ from one group to another?

To what extent do you think that academic writing is important for third year LMD student to accomplish their final projects?

What are the challenges you face when supervising students with academic writing difficulties?

Influences Of Mother Tongue On Second Language English Language Essay

In many research on second language classroom, the role and influences of mother tongue or first language (L1) on second language (L2) learning has always been a hotly debated issue. There have always been contradicting views about whether or not to use L1 of the students in the second language classroom. During the past 30 years, in the late seventies to early eighties, the idea of using mother tongue in language classroom was not a favored one. Majority of the language classroom used solely L2 while the use of L1 is avoided totally (Liu, 2008). In fact, many supported the use of L2 only so as to provide full exposure to that language. The use of L1 in the language classroom is deemed as depriving the learners input in L2 (Ellis, 1984).

Despite the many arguments from both proponents and opponents of the use of L1 in the L2 language classroom, linguistic researchers failed to provide a conclusion for this issue and could not reach a common ground on whether the use of L1 is considered as a facilitator or a barrier in the acquisition of second language. According to Nation (2003), L2 should be fully utilized as much as possible in a foreign language classroom (in this context, English). Though L2 should be the core language used in classroom management and learning, the use of L1 should not be abandoned as it has a minute but significant role in language learning (Nation, 2003).

Apart from Nation (2003), there are many linguists and researchers in the field of second language acquisition who agreed that L1 should be utilized in the language classroom in particular with students who are not highly proficient in the target language (Swain & Lapkin, 2000; Tang, 2002; Mattioli 2004). This suggests that L1 plays an important role in the language classroom especially for the low proficiency learners. However, not many empirical studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of using L1 as a tool for low proficiency learners in L2 classroom (Bouangeune, 2009). Therefore, this paper seeks to find evidence to support the theory that L1 can facilitate the learning of L2 in the classroom learning. Classroom learning for languages encompasses four language skills, for example, reading comprehension, writing, and vocabulary learning. As a head start, this paper will examine the use of L1 in L2 vocabulary learning.

1.2 Research Objectives

Liu (2008) did a rather straightforward and comprehensive research on the effects of L1 use on L2 vocabulary learning. In his study, he managed to prove that bilingual vocabulary teaching method is actually suitable for Chinese EFL learners (Liu, 2008). Inspired by his research, this study aims to address the problem of low proficiency learners in Malaysian secondary government school.

This study will replicate the research done by Liu (2008) to investigate the role of L1 in L2 vocabulary learning. Also, this study intended to identify whether L1 is a facilitator or a barrier to the L2 vocabulary learning in Malaysian context and how L1 facilitates the language learning. The main objective of this study is to examine the effects of L1 use in L2 vocabulary learning on low proficiency L2 learners.

1.3 Research Questions

Based on the objective, this study seeks to measure how L1 facilitates the low proficiency L2 learners to understand the meanings of new words. This study aims to answer the following questions:

What are the effects of using L1 in L2 vocabulary learning classroom?

To what extend does the use of L1 increase the performances of L2 vocabulary learning.

From here, we propose the following hypotheses:

There are significant differences between the performances of students with different language approach in the vocabulary learning.

The bilingual approach (incorporating L1 in L2 classroom learning) is suitable to low proficiency L2 learners.

1.4 Purpose of the Study

This study sets to focus on L2 vocabulary learning due to the reason that acquisition of vocabulary has a fundamental role in learning a second language (Sökmen, 1997). In other words, vocabulary learning is inter-related to other language skills. A number of studies claimed that L2 learners need to have extensive knowledge of vocabulary as it is useful in the long term run (Nation, 2001). Since the acquisition of vocabulary is so important in learning a second language, effective ways of teaching and learning vocabulary should be emphasized.

Research has confirmed that proper application of L1 can effectively assist the memorization of new words during L2 vocabulary learning process. Liu (2008) used the fact that L1 is present in L2 learners’ mind, therefore, whether the teacher uses L1 or not, the L2 knowledge that is being formed in their mind is linked in all sorts of ways with their L1 knowledge. This observation is supported from the sociocultural theory perspective that L1 meanings continue to have a persistent effect in the L2 learning (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Therefore, it is hope that through this study, we are able to draw some insights concerning the role of L1 and how L1 provides a familiar and effective way for acquiring and understanding the meaning of new words in L2 vocabulary learning.

1.5 The Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this study is based on three prominent second language acquisition theory, namely the Krashen’s Monitor Model (1985), Swain’s Output Hypothesis (1985) and Comprehensible Output (1995) and Long’s Interaction Hypothesis (1996). It has been widely acknowledged that the three constructs of these theories, the input, interaction and output are closely related elements in L2 learning (Zhang, 2009). The input is vital for language acquisition. However, input alone is not sufficient. In addition, interaction comes into play as an equally important role in the process of learning. As for output, it is the final result or the goal in learning L2.

1.5.1 Krashen’s Input Hypothesis

The Input Hypothesis is the most important hypothesis out of the five hypotheses generated by Krashen (1985) in second language acquisition. This hypothesis aims to explain how learners acquire a second language. It claims that language input (vocabulary) is important to acquisition. For the acquisition of L2 vocabulary, comprehensible input is an essential factor. Learners tend to achieve optimal acquisition when they are able to understand most of the input while being challenged by some new vocabulary (Castro, 2010).

The History Of Baking English Language Essay

Baking has been around since ancient times. Of course, over the years with new inventions and recipes, baking has under-gone major transformations – from baking over brick stones to baking in gas or electric ovens. The first form of baking was thought to have been as early as 2500 B.C. or even earlier. Baking is just one of the many ways of cooking. Baking, as we know it, is defined as cooking by dry heat in an oven or on heated metal or stones (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/baking). Dry heat is usually obtained through an oven.

Just as important as it is to find out if baking soda can be substituted, it is important to understand the mixtures of baking soda and baking powder. Let’s look at baking soda, first. Baking soda, in its original state, can be found in mineral deposits all over the world. Baking soda has been used in America since colonial times, but it wasn’t produced in America until 1839. Some common recipes that call for baking soda are different cookie types, breads, pancakes, and many other recipes. Baking soda has several scientific names. The most common name would be sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). Sodium bicarbonate has several atoms. It contains one sodium atom, one hydrogen atom, one carbon atom, and three oxygen atoms. Baking soda is a very important part of a recipe. Often times it is referred to as the leavening agent. A leavening agent is a substance that causes substances to rise by releasing gases that produce the finished project with a porous structure. In other words it would be a ‘fast-acting yeast.’ As baking soda is added to the batter (to whatever yummy treat you are making), it releases a gas that allows the batter to immediately start to rise. Baking soda begins to work by letting its gas out as soon as it hits a liquid – which could be a batter or some dough. Most recipes that call for baking soda usually have other acidic ingredients in them that enable the baking soda to work and taste properly. Baking soda helps with the alkaline taste in your food. It keeps it from having a ‘soapy’ taste. Now that we know a bit about baking soda, we can now look into its familiar relative – baking powder.

Baking powder is just as useful as baking soda, but it has a few different powers. Baking powder was first discovered and manufactured in 1843 by a man named Alfred Bird. Along with baking soda, baking powder is found in similar recipes and also in my favorite – scones. Baking powder is composed of several ingredients including cornstarch, cream of tartar, and even baking soda. Like baking soda, baking powder is also a leavening agent. Baking powder is different than baking soda in that it is double-acting. Double-acting simply means it rises or acts as a leavening agent at two different times. The first time it starts to work, like the baking soda, is right when it is added to the batter. The second time would be when it is baking. As it is baking, it continues to let out its gases due to the oven’s heat. Since it is, in a way, rising twice, it gives your final outcome a fluffier and lighter texture. Baking powder is usually added to recipes that don’t have acids as it already contains acids due to the baking soda and cream of tartar. Now that we have learned a little bit about baking soda and baking powder, it will be easier to understand their relationship and how baking soda might or might not be able to be substituted.

Since we know that baking soda is usually used where there are acidic substances in the batter, and baking powder is used where there aren’t any acidic substances, we know that in being able to substitute baking soda we would have to add an acid. In adding an acid, we are, in a way, giving the soda more power, where it can cause the finished baked treat to become lighter and fluffier. This acidic lack is solved by an acid called potassium hydrogen tartrate which is more commonly known as cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar was the original leavening agent used by bakers before we had baking powder and baking soda. Remembering that baking powder is double-acting, we now need to see what makes it rise at the two separate times. As I mentioned earlier, the first release of gas (or rise) would be due to the baking soda, but what would cause the second release? That would be where the cream of tartar comes into play. The cream of tartar reacts when it is released into heat, so when your batter or dough goes into the oven and receives the oven heat, the second release of gas begins. Baking soda reacts when it enters a liquid and cream of tartar reacts when it enters heat. So now that we know what causes baking powder to be double acting, it would make sense to add that one special ingredient that makes it double-acting to the baking soda. This special ingredient would be the heat reactant – cream of tartar. By adding the cream of tartar to the baking soda, it gives it the added acid to rise in heat when placed in the oven. If you were to try to use only baking soda without any extra ingredient in place of baking powder, you would find that it would leave a bitter taste. When you need to substitute baking soda and cream of tartar for baking powder, it is important not to have too much baking soda with your cream of tartar or vice versa.

In closing, we find that baking soda alone cannot be substituted for baking powder, but with a simple ingredient known as cream of tartar, you can have some baking powder. So next time you’re baking and you find yourself with missing ingredients or without baking powder, don’t break a sweat!! Remember, not only can you substitute applesauce for oil, honey for sugar, but now you know that you can substitute baking soda with a little bit of cream of tartar for the missing baking powder. So finish up with your baking and enjoy your yummy and delicious snack!!

Reading Aloud: Challenges and Solutions

This assignment is my guide to the final step of my dissertation. In this assignment, I will discuss in details about what I will do for my dissertation. First, I will discuss my topic and why I have chosen, it and I will indicate my research questions and sub-questions. Next, I will identify key areas I need to read about and I will summarize 11 books and articles that give useful theoretical background for my research. The topics I am interested include define reading, then the process, models, methods of teaching reading, strategies readers use and the miscue analysis in relation to reading strategies. This second section will help me build the literature review for my dissertation. Finally, I will describe my research procedure and research methods I am going to use.

Section one: My topic and why I chose it

My topic is about problems my pupils have in reading aloud and find ways of improving my pupils’ reading aloud. I have chosen this topic because in my experience as a teacher I faced and taught different kinds of pupils from different levels, I have found that most of them have problems in reading, particularly reading aloud. Some of them are good in reading aloud but have many do substitute other words, have omission of words or letter-sounds while reading. This could be due to lack of sight vocabulary, lack of phonic skills, lack of strategies for reading. Some of them can’t produce a single word. I discovered that pupils were learning nothing if they could not read aloud. My pupils who cannot read aloud have general difficulty in decode any reading text successfully.

I believe my research is important because reading aloud is very important for my pupils in grade 9, which is closer to the final school leaving examinations in grade 12. I hope it may able me and my colleges to find the diagnoses to help the participants and in future to help all my pupils with their reading problems .

In my research I wil try to analyze and describe their miscues in reading aloud according to their levels good, average and week.

That time I couldn’t do any thing about it because I didn’t have the experience to help them. After I joined the B.A course and studied EDUC 2031 TEYL, EDUC2033 Initial Literacy, EDUC2028 Language learning from these modules I realized the nature of young learners how do they learn, how do they acquire new language and how to teach reading to young learners.

As I understood the older ways of teaching reading focused on letters and words and how to say them, all language books are concerning on that view only. The new researches showed a different view which rely on development of all language skills so, because reading in a second language is seen as a thinking exercise that’s not only concerned on reading words, sentences and pages only but it is on developing language as a whole. Reading is the main reason to build the personality of a person as I mentioned before and it is the main thing that teaching and learning stands on because it is a communication way between the learner and the academic culture in the schools . I would like my pupils to be able to use reading for study, for pleasure , to understand and to interact with what they learning.

My pupils are in grade 9 of general education school at the age of 14 years old with different ability levels. They have been studying English for five years only using ‘Our World Through English’. They started leaning English from grade 4. In addition, they are similar in many things such as pupils’ environment, strengths and weakness areas they have.

I decided to do research for my dissertation where I will focus on finding the difficulties my pupils face in reading aloud and helping me find ways to improve my pupils in reading aloud. Although my research will focus on reading aloud, from my experience a pupil cannot read aloud well, he can have little or no comprehension when he read silently. My research question is:

How can I develop the reading aloud abilities of my grade nine pupils?.

My sub-questions will be:

  • What miscues my good pupils and weak pupils make when reading aloud?
  • Based on my miscue analysis, what reading strategies do my good pupils and my weak pupils use when reading aloud?
  • What reading strategies can I encourage my pupils to develop to improve their reading?

In my research the subjects will be six pupils from 2 of them are good , the other 2 are average and the last 2 are weak pupils)

(785 words)

Section 2 Summaries of relevant literature

The key areas I will need to read about for my research are:

  • reading process
  • models of reading
  • Methods of teaching reading.
  • reading strategies
  • miscue analysis

How miscue analysis can be used to identify the reading strategies that pupils use and the errors they make.

In this section I discuss 11 books / articles that I want to use for my dissertation because they will help me to develop my understanding of issues related to my research. The aspects that are relevant to my study are summarized below.

Urquhart and Weir(1998)

Urquhart and Weir discuss three models of reading and I will state them here :

Bottom up approach. They say this analyses begin with the stimulus, i.e. the text, or bits of the text. They say that in Gough’s (1972) model, the reader begins with letters, which are recognized by a scanner. The information thus gained is passed to decoder, which converts the string of letters into a string of systematic phonemes, then word, then sentence then text. So ‘bottom-up models are sequential in that one stage is completed before another is begun’.

Top-down approaches. Since bottom-up models starts with the smallest text unit, either letters or letter features, we could expect, then, that top-down models begin with the largest unit, the whole text. According to Urquhart and Weir for top-down model of reading, readers first use their background knowledge to help them make a sense from the text. So for top-down approaches background knowledge is very important.

Interactive approach. In interactive models (Urquhart and Weir refer to Rumelhart, 1977), there is no regular sequence from top to bottom or from bottom up. They quote Stanovich ‘the best known proponent of interactive models’, that in interactive models a pattern is synthesized based on information provided simultaneously from several source’ (1980:35). So in interactive approaches reader uses both small text units and background knowledge to make sense out of a text at the same time.

Urquhart and Weir describes reading strategies to be a conscious response to difficulties in the text while reading action selected deliberately to achieve goals (Is this a Quotation?).

Aebersold and Field (1997)

Aebersold and Field also have sections on models of reading (bottom up , top down and interactive). They also focus on the reader’s experience in learning how to read and the ways reading fits into their lives. They give five common influential sources for information that affect reading development, particularly family, the community and the school influence. They mention that despite relatively small size, a family can foster a variety of experience that affects a child’s reading development. They say that the community influence provides readers with a set of varied life experiences that also shape their individual knowledge. Thirdly the school can bring children into contact with communities other than their own or they can be homogeneous institution that reflect shared values. This is interesting because in Oman children learn English without much support from the family or the community and school does not bring child in contact to many other communities.

Riley (1996)

This article has a section on models of reading (bottom up , top down and interactive). The author discusses how schema theory describes the process by which readers combine their own background knowledge with the information in a text to help them comprehend that text. All readers carry different schemata (background information) and these are also often culture-specific. This is an important concept in ESL teaching, and many books have pre-reading tasks that are designed to build or activate the learner’s schemata. The author also highlights some of the limitations of the use of the schema-theory approach and points out the importance both of developing the learner’s vocabulary and of encouraging extensive reading. (This sounds as if it is copied. Beware plagiarism, Saif.)

Wray and Medwell (1991)

This article focuses on reading process , models of reading and approaches to teaching reading.

In reading process, they mentioned that reading is a highly complicated process, and there are a number of insights and concepts that the successful reader must develop. In models of reading,

they discuss bottom-up models, top-down models, and interactive models and they strongly criticize the bottom up model. They also have a section on teaching reading approaches – look and say, phonic methods of teaching reading and language experience approach. I discuss these under Graton and Spratt (1998) below.

Graton and Pratt (1998)

This book have useful sections on methods of teaching reading (whole word , phonics , language experience ) the methods teachers can use to teach pupils how to read. Most teachers use these methods to help their student in reading , sometimes they chooses one of these methods but some teachers work on two or more because they think each method is completed by the other.

The phonic method as widely used from the language teachers to teach reading and writing in the English for second language learners. It is relies on children being taught the alphabet first. Then they learn to pronounce the sounds of the letters . However it is difficult to depend only to phonics because English is not a regular spelling language. The second method is ‘look and say’ or whole word method. Here pupils learn to recognize whole words or sentences rather than individual sounds. The pupils will look at a word which the teacher sound, often with a picture, and in turns will repeat the word. The problem is that it does not teach children to work out new words for themselves. The context support method can be used when the pupils are just learning to read and it is important to choose exercises or activities that really interest them. If the pupils like cars, choose an activity or exercises with pictures and simple words about cars. This will keep their interest and they will enjoy learning with the teach.

O’Malley and Valdez Pierce (2001)

O’Malley and Valdez Pierce give a useful part about miscue analysis (p 124-5). They say it involves listening to a student reading aloud and recording the miscues. In types of miscues, they mention repetitions, substitutions, insertions, omissions and self-corrections. They also recommend the teacher must get the student to answer reading comprehension questions. They say miscue analysis can provide information about (1) the readers’ ability to use language and the reading process (2) it can be used for assessing reading, the reader’s approaches to reading and reading comprehension (3) information for revising approaches to teaching reading, how it can be used by teachers effectively to improve their learners reading.

This book has useful lists of reading strategies (p 121-123) and suggest how miscue analysis can be used to identify reading strategies readers are using. The authors talk about reading in the native language then reading in second language, which I am interested in. The writers said that learners who do have native language literacy skills might not know how to transfer their skills to the second language without specific strategy instruction.

Carter and Nunan (Eds.) (2001)

Carter and Nunan (Eds) (2001) define reading strategies as ‘Ways of accessing text meaning which are employed flexibly and selectively in the course of reading. In teaching, attention is paid to the manner in which the reader is able to draw effectively on existing linguistic and background knowledge’. They list the good reading strategies that learners use to help them read in a very efficient way, to get maximum benefit from their reading with minimum effort. These include drawing inferences, predicting and using information in the text such as pictures.

They also discuss miscue analysis in relation to reading strategies: As they say, miscue analysis refers to ‘the study of the text alterations conducted by the subject while the pupil reads the text and would be very impossible without reading aloud’. Carter and Nunan (Eds) (2001) assert that for early readers miscue analysis can be used by teachers to assess the quality and quantity of learner’s errors in their processing of text. First, this is especially useful for L2 learners ‘who because of their interlanguage system may show systemic syntactic and phonological departures from Standard English’. In addition, they argue that miscues will be based on learners’ current interlanguage rather than because of misunderstanding the text.

Wallace (2001) p26 in Carter and Nunan (2001)

Wallace discusses miscue analysis and she focuses on how miscue analysis can be used for early readers to assess the quality and the quantity of learners’ errors.

Beard (1987)

Beard has a section on miscue analysis and methods of teaching reading (whole word , phonics , language experience). The author focuses on miscue analysis and gives some models of how to use miscue analysis to develop pupils’ reading and how ‘miscue analysis can fulfill an important diagnostic function of a kind not readily offered by other more established means of reading assessment.’

Cameron (2001)

The author has sections on reading strategies , models of reading (bottom up , top down and interactive) , methods of teaching reading(whole word , phonics , language experience ) and discusses how miscues can help the teacher identify the reading strategies a reader is using . The author gives an example from her experience of reading with a little Malaysian girl. The author mentioned that she had introduced her to the strategies such as:

  • With the word ‘bar’, I pointed to the first letter , the sound of which she knew, and then she managed to sound out the word’.
  • With the word ‘rather’ I just told her the word and did not spend any time on it , because it was not crucial to the meaning of the story and is not a particularly useful word to learn at her stage’.
  • ith the word ‘meals’ I told her the word and then explained the meaning as the story progressed and the heroine moved from break fast to tea.’
  • When she came to ‘watching TV’ she said ‘washing’ . From this miscue I could see that she was making a good attempt at the word and had noticed the initial consonant and the final rime.’

www.mindtools.com/pages/articals/

According to www.mindtools.com/pages/articals/ miscue analysis refers to the study of text alterations made by the subject while s/he reads the text aloud. They summarise the research of Clay, Goodman and Weber (Davies 1995, p13) and they give a useful list of types of miscues. They say that the alterations often made by a reader are:

  • Substitution (another word is pronounced instead of the printed word)
  • Self-correction (the reader realizes his/her mistake and corrects by him/herself.)
  • Repetition (the printed word is repeated orally)
  • Omission (a word is missed from the text)
  • Insertion (a word not in the text is added by the reader)
  • Reversal (the word order gets changed or inverted)
  • Hesitation (the reader pauses or makes a sound indicating hesitation)

A long pause.

The article also relates the miscues to approaches. It says that if a reader shows more hesitations, long pauses and self-correction, this shows a bottom up approach with the reader giving most attention to pronouncing the printed words. If a reader shows more miscues such as omission, insertion, reversal and substitution, this shows a more top-down approach where the reader is paying attention to the meaning of the whole text, not reading word by word.

(Check this is not plagiarized. Can you give authors?)

(1,910 words)

How I will investigate my research question

As discussed above, my research question will be ‘How can I develop the reading aloud abilities of my grade nine pupils ? ‘

My Approach:

For my approach and method, I read Blaxter, Hughes, & Tight, (2000), Cohen, Manion, & Morrison (2000), Nunan (1992).

For my research approach, I will use an action research approach enabling me to investigate my own pupils over a period. Action research grows from the idea that a good teacher is one who reflects on what happens in the classroom – possibly with a view to changing it. (EDUC3079 session3).

My Method

For my research I will plan to use miscue analysis and interviews. The miscue analysis will provide quantitative data and the interviews will provide qualitative data. I will select a text from the course book which is not familiar to my pupils , I will let them each to read aloud this text , I will record them while reading , then I will use miscue analyses to help me analyse their mistakes. Finally I will interview each pupil, I will ask questions to to assess their comprehension of the text, to get them to tel me what strategies they used to work out the meanings of some words and to try to find out why they failed to read certain words correctly.

The research Procedure

My research will include an unknown reading text from the OWTE course book that the six pupils will read it in order to have effective and organized results for my research question. This text from the course book OWTE that I think will be not familiar for the pupils because I gave it to them for the first time (See the appendix). First I will use pre-reading questions to prepare each pupil for the reading. Pre-reading is a way of sampling where the students are familiar to the content that you are going to give them. It is a useful strategy for beginning with a class, especially when classes contain students with mixed abilities coming from a diversity of backgrounds. Then each pupil will read the text and I record it. Then I will note down all the miscues. Finally I will interview them to examine their understanding, to assess their comprehension of the text, to get them to tel me what strategies they used to work out the meanings of some words and to try to find out why they failed to read certain words correctly.

My Expectations:

I expect some problems, and here I discuss how I will overcome them:

Miscue analysis, I cannot assume that any two pupils will have the same miscues. In addition, anxiety may cause artificial results. To overcome these problems, I will choose six pupils from different levels. I will try to get them relaxed, so I will tell them about the reason for my research, and I will do the recording in a quiet place, so we are undisturbed.

Pupils may feel boring from doing reading every time, so I must prepare a good situation for

them to feel comfortable.

The main problem I think it is the time. These kinds of studies should not used in a short period because the researcher need to try many ways to investigate his pupils and his study in order to collect a valid, reliable data.

Conclusion:

The EDUC 3079 helped me a lot on finding solutions for many problems that I will face in future in my life as a teacher to help my pupils to reach the successes in their life as students.

I learned how to read a lot and how to use the linguistics theories to help my pupils and to learn and discover the problems.

The use of miscue analysis is a very useful way to solve pupils weaknesses in reading because it is allows me to focus on the problem it self , and how to deal with each problem individually.

Strategies for Language Translation | Dissertation

Introduction

The present dissertation is largely based on research in the field of translation. Translation is an influential valid feature of our society, and it symbolizes one of the most important aspects in shaping the upcoming course of the planet. . The translator’s tasks are complex and refer to his/her abilities of dealing with every aspect of the process of translation. The power of translator lies in his/her responsibility for his/her end product.

I chose this topic because I believe translation is part of everyone’s life and it has profound implications in our society. The translation is defined and influenced by the type of source text, the target reader’s understanding, the context, the translator’s skills and the linguistic and cultural differences between the source language and the target language.

My approach is two-fold: a theoretical perspective – A. Theoretical considerations – and a practical one – B. Application. The first part explains what the translator’ tasks imply and what factors influence the translational competence, analyzes the characteristics of these skills, offering guidelines and methods of approach for a better understanding. The second part deals with the problems I encountered while translating a part of Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război by Camil Petrescu.

In the first chapter, “Who are translators”, I shall try to define the translator’s profession, what important tools influence the activity of translation as well as what skills a translator should possess in order to be a competent translator. The first subchapter, “Skills of reading and writing” regards the translator’s tasks of decoding and encoding a text to offer the correct meaning in his/her translation. The next sub-chapters, “Subject area and Contrastive knowledge” and “Source language and Target language knowledge” describe why a translator should be specialized in various fields and the differences between the two languages regarding the language systems and cultures.

In the second chapter, “Factors that influence the translational competence”, I shall begin by theorizing translational competence, which refers to all those factors that lead to perfection in translation. The first subchapter, “Psychological factors”, underlines the effect of psychology on the process of translation. “Knowledge of translation theory”, the next subchapter, describes the norms of the field of translation, which help the translator to render the overall meaning of the source text and to have the same effect on the readership. The third subchapter, “The quality of translation. Efficiency of text analysis”, analyzes what a translator should avoid in order to ensure a correct translation and to establish the necessary level of quality. “Culture” and “Experience”, the next subchapters refer to how the knowledge of the source and target culture as well as the experience in the field help the translator to make the right decisions in translation.

The second part of the dissertation contains five chapters, which rely on the translation The last night of love, the first night of war. The first chapter, “The process of translation” presents the steps taken in the process of translation. “Source text and Target text analysis” deals with analyzing the extratextual and intratextual factors for each of the two languages. The last chapters “Identification of translation problems” and “Comments on translation” regard what translation problems were found during the translation process and I will discuss as well the translation difficulties and the way they were solved. The last chapter contains the translation of the first part of the novel by Camil Petrescu.

Being a proficient translator may be a quality that comes by nature or by continuous practice. I strongly believe that although theory helps, it is practice that actually leads to perfection in translation.

A. Theoretical considerations

1. Who are translators?

Translation is one of the various means of communication existing and, from this point of view, it is very important because it establishes a connection between at least two languages, two cultures, two nations; at verbal level it helps transferring their characteristic elements from one into the other as well as understanding them. Not giving it importance equates with a total isolation from the rest of the world.

A translation involves three parties, of which the third one, represented by the translator, is the most important. His responsibility is enormous because the burden of transferring the message presses over his shoulders. Knowing a foreign language and the subject is not as important as being sensitive to language and being competent to speak his own language clearly and resourcefully. For a good speaker avoids not only errors of usage but also mistakes of fact and language simply by applying his good sense.

A translator has also to have flair and a so-called “sixth sense”, which is compounded of intelligence, sensibility, intuition and knowledge. S/he perhaps more than any other practitioner of a profession, is continually faced with choices and has to be very careful and extremely fast in making them.

If I were to draw a line between translation and the translator and to state which one’s importance is greater, I would say that a translation cannot be achieved without the appropriate person to do it, i.e. the translator. The same applies to the translator, who fades away without the core of his profession. They depend on each other and are vital for the welfare of this world.

An element of great importance for a translator is the professional pride, a consideration higher than money, because s/he can fell her/his work is appreciated. I believe this is the case not only for in-house people, but also for freelancers. Even a high salary would not motivate as much a translator as the pride in the work. The professional integrity comes with the idea of being reliable, involving in the profession and respecting the ethics.

Reliability means doing the job as to meet the user’s needs. The translator is in a position of translating the texts that the user needs, in the style the client wants them to be translated, and by a deadline requested by the user. The attempt to become a reliable translator may sometimes bring about assignments that are impossible to achieve for many reasons: the texts are morally inappropriate, the necessary work is consumptive or the experience is not enough to deal with such a text.

The translator involves in his profession in many ways. If s/he participates to courses and conferences in the field, this will consolidate the professional self-esteem that will definitely encourage and motivate them to accept different challenges:

Reading about translation, talking about translation with other translators, discussing problems and solutions related to linguistic transfer, user demands, nonpayment, and the like, taking classes on translation, attending translator conferences, keeping up with technological developments in the field, buying and learning to use new software and hardware − all this gives us the strong sense that we are not isolated underpaid flunkies but professionals surrounded by other professionals who share our concerns. Involvement in the translation profession may even give us the intellectual tools and professional courage to stand up to unreasonable demands, to educate clients and employers rather that submit meekly and seethe inwardly.

Being a translator does not mean only being involved in a work that s/he loves but also earning a living. Professional translators know the quality of their work and they will charge their clients according to this criterion. Of course, the amount of money is proportional with the volume of their assignments and the speed they work with. Probably translators are expected to translate fast; usually in-house translators translate fast, but the work in an agency is different from that of a freelancer. Freelancers have a different rhythm of their work and, if they do translations faster, this will bring more money for them. Of course, if one translates for pleasure and amusement, there is no need for being fast. They savor every step in the process and tend to deal with one paragraph for hours.

Many factors influence the translation speed. One of them is typing speed. It helps the translator to write rapidly his/her ideas on the computer. Another factor of importance is the degree of text difficulty. A difficult text will slow down the process of translation and will take much more time do it. The continuous practice and experience makes the translator to process easily the difficult words and structures. The same situation is for how the familiar the text will be for the translator. Other factors that interfere in the process of translation are the personal style and the general mental state of the translator.

The use of translation memory software is very helpful for a translator and increases the translation speed. Besides these advantages, many things should be taken into account: if the volume of translation is reduced, this will not warrant the cost of the software. Usually, in-house translators use this software. Large corporations usually need a great volume of translations and address to them and not to freelancers. This software is helpful only with texts in digital form; it is not helpful in the case of literal translation. However, freelancers who work for different agencies and who have a high-volume of assignments say that the use of translation memory software is very helpful though it is not very creative.

1.1. Skills of reading and writing

The translator’s knowledge of translation theory and the skills of reading and writing a text are definitely of paramount importance for the quality of the translation. The ethics of translation speak about the way in which a translator should understand the text that needs to be translated, how to recognize the author’s intention in order to render the appropriate message into the target language. The translator has to analyze the text linguistically, culturally, philosophically, even politically, if necessary. The first step is to get a general reading and then a closer one to establish the characteristics of that text. The translator has to know how to identify the author’s attitude to the subject matter. S/he also must pay special attention to the type of language that is used, grammatical structures, register, rhetorical function, genre, the use of modals and especially to the needs and expectations of the target audience. It is known that all these ethical rules are taught because they do not come instinctively. Usually, if they come naturally, they surely come by experience. A professional translation often arises at the subliminal level due to the fact that the translator has an analytical feeling which helps him/her finding the solutions to those problems that are somehow similar to precedent situations. The novice translators are taught analytical guidelines to help them becoming familiar with the rules and, at the same time to become proficient, without being aware of it. The wheel of experience shows how this analysis of the brain becomes a sort of second nature for the translator during the process of translation. Another reading guideline for the translator is to decide the emotional tone and the degree of formality of the source text. Determining the audience of the target text shows how the target language should be structured, deciding to whom it is addressed, to the educated, the average literate audience or others. Children are a special audience and the message is different according to the age, the degree of familiarity with the stories, the amusement that the translation provokes and many others. Eugene Nida explains how the ability of decoding a text should work:

Decoding ability in any language involves at least four principal levels: (I) the capacity of children, whose vocabulary and cultural experience are limited; (2) the double-standard of new literates, who can decode oral messages with facility but whose ability to decode written messages is limited; (3) the capacity of the average literate adult, who can handle both oral and written messages with relative ease; and (4) the unusually high capacity of specialists (doctors, theologians, philosophers, scientists, etc.), when they are decoding messages within their own area of specialization. Obviously, a translation designed for children cannot be the same as one prepared for specialists, nor can a translation for children be the same as one for a newly literate adult.

The translation has to be the same with the translator’s intention and point of view and the translator always has to keep in mind the target language readership. The translation of colloquial and intimate phrases are always problematic for the translator and they should be translated carefully. The grammatical analysis helps the translator to understand the relationships between the words and at the same time to help him/her to get the message of the author. It becomes crucial to find the correct meaning of the grammatical constructions given the fact that one construction may have many interpretations or meanings. The problem becomes acute in the case of idioms because they need a special approach when they need to be translated. Eugene Nida and Charles Taber mention the difficulties that arise when translating these expressions:

Idioms are typically constructed on quite normal grammatical patterns of phrase structure, but the meaning of the whole idiom is not simply the sum of the meanings of the parts, nor can one segment the meaning (in the many cases where it is complex) and assign a definable portion of the meaning to each grammatical piece (e.g., a morpheme). […] one must treat the entire expression as a semantic unit, even though in the surface structure of the grammar it obeys all of the rules applicable to the individual pieces.

Writing skills are as important as reading skills and refer to the ability of writing in a clear and proper form. Translators have to be familiar with different styles of writing according to each domain, as well as with those conventions regarding editing.

The skills of reading a source language text are significant qualities for a translator and help him understanding the original text and delivering a translation in an appropriate and correct style. Reading the source text is the first step in the process of translation and the better the translator understands the meaning of the author’s intention, the clearest he will render the message into the target language. The understanding of the source text represents a primary ability necessary in the process of translation, followed by a combination between other skills, which will be presented in this chapter.

1.2. Subject area and contrastive knowledge

Translators must be aware of the importance of being specialized in various subject fields, such as: medical translation, legal translation, financial translation, technical & IT translation, scientific translation, marketing and PR translation, website translation and others. The knowledge of a certain subject area helps the translator to deal with words and constructions that are specific to that domain. Many translators have the courage to say that their knowledge of translation theory allows them to accept texts that need to be translated from different fields. It is somehow premature to say that, especially by a beginner in the field of translation. Of course, an experienced translator may deal easily with this type of texts, but ideally, one should have in mind the necessary training in a particular field.

Contrastive knowledge refers to how a translator should be able to find the contrastive elements between the source and target language so as to deliver an accurate message through his/her translation. An analysis should be made at the linguistic level, namely the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic levels, and the literary one. The syntactic level deals with the analysis at the sentence, clause, phrase and word level. The semantic analysis refers to how the translator examines the relationships between the elements found through syntactic analysis. At the pragmatic level, the translator tries to identify the register features of the text which express the intention of the source language author. After these three steps of analysis, follows the stage of synthesis, a stage that starts on the contrary way, with the pragmatic level.

1.3. Source language and Target language knowledge

It is well-known the fact that a translator should possess a good knowledge of both source and target language, in other words, s/he should be a master of the two languages. They have to be fluent in the two languages in order to be able to transmit the proper message and to sound as natural as possible in the target language, using a correct style and terminology. What is also important is to know and apply all the rules concerning editing conventions of the two languages which will help the readability of the target language text.

The booklet entitled ”Bilingual Skills Certificate and Certificate in Community Interpreting” published by the Institute of Linguists gives an interesting definition on bilingualism:

Bilingual service providers are people who possess two sets of skills – language and professional skills, so that they can give the same standard of service in the context of two languages and cultures. In order to provide an equal standard of service to all clients, the people providing the service should have adequate standards of training and qualification in both sets of skills. For example, allowing people to give medical advice or gather information upon which medical decisions are made when they are not qualified and solely on the grounds that they happen to speak French or Urdu is as bad as giving good medical advice which cannot be understood.

One of the risks that translators are dealing with is that of fooling the brain into thinking that the structures used in the target language are correct merely only because they are correct in the source language. This is especially the case of translators who work in their adopted country as a result of the fact that they begin to think like a native. Keeping up with cultural change is the way in which the translator can understand a language properly and s/he can translate it successfully. For this reason it is said that the best translations are done by native speakers, residents in the country where the target language is spoken. If the translator has the possibility to travel to the source language country to work on different tasks, he will be able to date with the source language and culture and at the same time s/he will maintain the knowledge of the mother tongue at the proper level.

The translation always needs to be localized for the intended reader. This is a factor of great importance because it governs choice of language, presentation, the level of the language. The language needs to be elementary but not extremely simple.

A competent translator will always know how to adapt his ear to the target language and will use his intuition when it comes to adjust to target language rules.

2. Factors that influence the translational competence

The language and the process of thinking are not identical phenomena but they are closely linked and interrelated. If we take into account the language as a communicative process, we need to specify that what it is transmitted or communicated is a message, so it is a semantic content. The verbal expression is dependent on choosing the words and the way of phrasing. For example, the verb ‘to say’ can be expressed by other verbs with an equivalent or words with an approximate meaning: to communicate, to dispose, to inform, to report, to discuss, to talk, to enlighten, to explain, to remember, to advise, to persuade and many others. Communication becomes concrete exactly by using the perfect word, appropriate for a situation. By using the verb ‘to say’ instead of all the other verbs, we would express ourselves in a generic, graded way, and practically we would not manage to suggest a rich content. In such a situation, a translator will always have to select carefully the words to express the intention and the attitude of the source language writer.

A good knowledge of a foreign language is not sufficient for being a proficient translator. A translator needs to be a translator by his/her nature. There are many skills that I consider to be the most important, for example the knowledge of translation theory, the ability to analyze, compare and convert texts from one cultural domain into another, the experience in the field, the level of implication in the process of translation and many others. Trying to reach an absolute equivalent is impossible even if the translator detains great resources at the linguistic, stylistic and literary level. Psychological factors also affect the process of translation and speak about the level of translator’s implication when rendering the message into the target language. The translator’s way of expression comes and forms itself at the mental level and, based on a specific developed background affects the quality of the translation.

2.1. Psychological factors

Due to our way of thinking, a man can decide upon the meaning of an object, phenomena or action connected to his environment. This is possible taking into account the new information by reference to the assimilated and systematized background knowledge. This is a part of the mental process involved in the process of translation. The understanding of a translator can be guided by several intentions or points of view. For example, a complex situation, such as translation, which implies natural, economic, geographic and cultural factors, can be understood under different angles. If a translator doesn’t have the necessary knowledge s/he cannot decode the meaning of the original text. The translation has to sound as natural as possible, let alone the fact that it shouldn’t contain confusing words so as to make harder the reading and understanding of the audience: ”[…]it should studiously avoid the ‘translationese’ – formal fidelity, with resulting unfaithfulness to the content and the impact of the message.”

The impossibility of making a perfect translation should not become a frustration for the translator. Of course, there will always be persons who will translate better, but maybe in a different style. Showing empathy for a certain author will positively influence his/her work and style of writing. It is unethical for a translator not to be objective inside the translation process. Nevertheless, it is obvious that s/he will think about translation as the experience in the field tells him/her how to do it. Sometimes the experience guides a translator in choosing the words or expressions. Another psychological factor, altering the meaning of the source language text and imposing, consciously or not, a personal viewpoint on the audience is not a good decision for a translator to take. The translator must try to preserve the uniqueness of a culture, its characteristics and norms.

In translation, cultural psychology shows how a concept from a certain historic, social-economic or cultural background of a country or region can be found in another one but does not reflect the same thing as in the first one:

‘Phoenix’ is a legend in China’s miraculous animals, on behalf of ‘luck, happiness and elegance’, it is believed to ride ‘Phoenix’ a bike can bring good luck, while in Western culture, the legendary phoenix is a phoenix, a ‘regeneration’, ‘Resurrection’ and other means, so that the goods in the West is not surprising that no one is interested.

Consumer psychology has implications in the way in which the consumers’ interests are motivated. Through a good translation, the promotional character of this type of psychology can attract clients or, on the contrary, not even stimulate them at all to buy a product. For example, ‘Happy Cakesgiving!’, a collocation taken from an advertisement about a special and tasteful cake, remembers about ‘Thanksgiving Day’, a holiday usually celebrated in the United States and Canada. The construction is very interesting and is in fact an adaptation of the holiday, underlying the importance of it for so many people. It is very hard, if not almost impossible to find an equivalent into Romanian, but a translator may always find a solution to satisfy the audience, adapting somehow the term to the local culture. ‘Ziua deliciului’ may be a variant with relevance for the Romanian culture, resembling with the structure of ‘Ziua mamei’ (Mother’s Day), ‘Ziua Nationala’ (National Day), ‘Ziua Unirii’ (Unification Day) and so on.

The aesthetic psychology works in translation at the pragmatic level. The artistic words and phrases, the combination of structures that reflect the beautiful, the elegant and graceful utterances are to be translated in the same way into the target language. This is a very hard to achieve due to many reasons. One of them is the specific syntax which makes the difference between the languages. Preserving the rhyme of a Romanian text when translating it into English is very difficult. The thematic structure of a text in Romanian is very hard to render into English. If we take the example of a section from Zamolxis, by Lucian Blaga, we will find that is impossible to preserve the elements of rhythm and rhyme.

e.g. MÇŽ-mpÇŽrtÇŽÅŸesc cu câte-un strop din tot ce creÅŸte

ÅŸi se pierde.

Nimic nu mi-e strein,

ÅŸi numai marea îmi lipseÅŸte.

I share a drop of all that waxes and wanes.

Nothing is alien to me,

and the sea alone is absent.

Another reason for which it is very difficult to preserve the style of a specific text is the word order, which does not permit the translator to deal easily with the style of the original. In order to realize the message of the source language text, a translator will have to take decisions regarding what it should reproduce, either the forms or the ideas of the original. My belief is that a good translator will always be able to maintain the stylistic characteristics of a text and to construct structures that will transfer the propositional content and communicate the purpose intended by the source language writer.

2.2. Knowledge of translation theory

In order to gain recognition in the field of translation, a bilingual speaker has to respect the norms that give him the responsibility over a text.

Gideon Toury distinguishes between two groups of norms relevant for the process of translation: preliminary and operational. Preliminary norms deal with two major sets of concerns, which are usually interrelated: those regarding the existence of a definite translation strategy, and those related to the truthfulness of translation. Operational norms refer to the decisions made during the act of translation itself.

A faithful translation depends on the correct selection of the appropriate method of translation. There are many people who wrongly believe that literary translation is more important than the technical one saying that the latter contains specific terms that are easy to translate whereas the first one is far more complex. Any translation is a very complex task and requires the same knowledge and responsibility from the part of the translator. One of the roles of the translator is to assist and fulfill the target readers’ expectations. The principle that governs this idea is that a translator should not transmit only the words to the readers, but the ideas of the source language text. The translator’s task becomes very difficult to achieve if s/he does not understand properly the referential meaning of a text so as to transfer it correctly to the target language. Another important role of the translator is to produce the same impression on the target readers as the author of the source language produces on his/her own readers. Another guideline stipulated by translation theory is that a translator should correct the misrepresentations, which belong to the extralinguistic reality. S/he has to find if a text has a correct syntax, if it contains stereotype phrases, fashionable general words. If the text is not well written, s/he can interfere in the original text and perform intra- and interlingual translation so as to transmit an appropriate message. A close attention must be paid to word order, false friends, common structures which become unnatural by one-to-one translation, the use of elevated usage of words and idioms or the use of infinitives, gerunds and verb-phrase. The translator should write in his own style and should not use words and expressions that produce an artificial effect on the target text.

2.2.1 Translation methods

Paraphrasing

Another principle related to the knowledge of translation theory is the use of paraphrase as a solution to those words which do not have an equivalent in the target language, whether they are technical, scientific, literary or institutional terms. In translation theory, to paraphrase means trying to express the signification of a word by amplifying or explaining its meaning:

[…] is a technical term from linguistics and related disciplines, and is characterized by three specific features: (I) it is intralingual rather than interlingual, i.e., it is “another way of sayng the same thing” in the same language; (2) it is rigorous, in that there are no changes in the semantic components: no additions, no deletions, no skewing of relationships, only a different marking of the same relations between the same elements; (3) specifically as it relates to back-transformation, it is aimed at restatement at a particular level, that of the kernels.

This often happens in the case of poorly written texts or it is also a method used in translating the Bible. The latter case implies many debates because paraphrasing the Bible means an interpretation that tends to be subjective due to the translator’s point of view regarding religion. Eugene A. Nida points out this idea in his work “Toward a science of translation”:

The dangers of subjectivity in translating are directly proportionate to the potential emotional involvement of the translator in the message. For scientific prose such involvement is usually at a minimum, but in religious texts it may be rather great, since religion is concerned with the deepest and most universal value systems. In some instances it is a translator’s own sense of insecurity which makes it difficult for him to let the document speak for itself, and in other instances a lack of humility may prompt him to translate without consulting the opinions of those who have studied such texts more fully than himself.

So, this method includes not only advantages, for the ability to transmit the message, but also disadvantages because it alters the original meaning. By using a paraphrase, the translator can render the meaning of the source language text. Since this is a way to carry in the target text the intention of the author, the paraphrase shows how s/he can remain faithful to the original. Problems about paraphrasing arise when we try to detect its level of fidelity in the process of translation. Every translator will have his/her own way of interpreting the original text and, thus, an original method of paraphrasing. Sometimes trying to eliminate the use of a paraphrase may result in weakening the text. A special attention should be paid to the substantial sense of a translated work after using the paraphrase.

Functional Equivalence

Functional Equivalence, also called dynamic equivalence is a method in which the translator tries to reflect the intention of the author in the source language at the expense of the original grammatical structure.

Crowd Simulation in Films

This dissertation is about the study of crowd simulation and why the crowd simulation is in need in the movies. Particularly concentrating about the computer generated movies simulating a large crowd is the most difficult task in the production pipeline. So finding a better way to give the audience the feel of crowd is the challenge. Researching about the silhouettes and its uses will help to implement the silhouette to establish the crowd. Silhouettes helps in many ways to create a mystic mood. . As implementing silhouette in the crowd simulation will helps to reduce the secondary animation and facial expression. As there are so many softwares exist to helps the crowd simulation, This paper will focus on a procedure which will create a crowd simulation by transferring the animation from one character to another character in a simpler and easier way.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Animation gives the life to the character. Animating a particular character takes a long time to give the feel. This dissertation is about researching the animation, animating the entire crowd is the difficult task in the animation pipeline. So this dissertation is mainly carried out to find a way to transfer the animation from one character to another character in a simpler and easier way.

Crowd simulation is a process of simulating a group of members, objects or characters. When simulating a large number of characters in a live feature film is not a big deal. Man power is more important in simulating a crowd in feature film. Particularly concentrating on the computer generated movies, replicating the characters animation and behavior from one character to many character is a big deal. A lot of research is done about the crowds and the formation of crowds in society. For example, social gatherings, meetings, assemblies, religious ceremonies and sport events.

1.1| Aim:

The main aim of the project is to achieve an essential method for crowd simulation for animation.

1.2| Research question:

The research question for this study will be.

  • What is crowd simulation?
  • Why we need crowd simulation?
  • Researching the existing crowd simulation method.
  • Disadvantages of existing crowd simulation method.
  • How silhouette helpful for the animation poses?
  • How silhouette will be useful for simulating a crowd?

1.3| Statement of problem:

Animating the entire crowd is the most biggest problem. Technically, creating the crowd is not a big deal but at that same time transferring the animation to each and every character with the different timing is the big deal. The another problem is that the rendering the whole scene with lots and lots of character in a particular scene will make the scene the most complicated one. So finding a better solution for creating the entire scene in Maya with lots and lots of character which has the different timing in their animation. There are several methods for the development of crowd simulation. The major method is using Maya’s Dynamics. There are several external softwares which helps to simulate a entire crowd. But the method which said by this dissertation is quite simple and easier than comparing to another external softwares and Maya’s Dynamics.

1.4| Objectives:

  • Various types of crowd simulation method.
  • Silhouette/ Various types.
  • To study the golden poses for animations.
  • Explore the secondary motion for animation.
  • New methods of producing crowd simulation.

1.5| Significance of study:

Most of the computer generated movies currently released like Madagascar, Horton hears a Who, had a clear idea about the crowd simulation. The focus of the study in this dissertation is about the simulation of crowd in a simpler and easier way and developing a simple procedure for transferring animation from one character to multiple characters.

This study is carried out for developing a better technique for crowd simulation in future upcoming CG projects.

1.6| Hypothesis:

The hypothesis of this dissertation is an animator can easily transfer the animation from one character to multiple character for simulating a crowd and also using the silhouette to visualize the crowd shot with a different perspective.

Chapter 2: Review of literature

This chapter will discuss about the article, books, Internet websites, publications which are related to this dissertation.

There are few important topics are covered related to the cinematography, photography, silhouette, animation poses, crowd simulation.

2.1| Book and Internet websites:

1. Malcolm Le Grince,2001.,Experimental Cinema in Digital Age

It explains about the experiment carried over Cinema from olden days to modern age. This book mainly concentrated about the cinemas that are experimented in modern ages. They experimented using the different types of cameras and various shots that enhances the scene.

2. Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristian,2001.,Film Art- An Introduction

It explains about the art of film making, this gives the introduction about the film making. This book is referenced particularity to study about the lights and its uses. This gives a clear idea about the back lighting is and how essential to shoot a silhouette shot.

3. Beazley, Mitchell and Ang, Tom,2008.,Fundamentals of modern photography

It explains about the photography and how photography helpful to convey the moral to the audience. This book concentrates about the camera and its uses for the photography. Rules and techniques for achieving the Silhouette stills.

4. Frost, Lee,2003.,Photography

It explains about the various types of photography in various mood setup. How different light setup enchants the scene. This book clearly explains about the advantages and disadvantages of different styles in photograph in different environment. This book is mainly referred to study the advantages and disadvantages of silhouette shooting.

5. Emma Rutherford, Lulu,2009.,Silhouette: The Art of the Shadow

It explains about how the silhouette is oriented with the art and craft. This book gives a simple definition for the silhouette as ‘Silhouette is the simplest of art forms’. This says about the fascinating history of art and craft in Europe and America.

6. Popular Mechanices (Hadly, Paul, 1947.,Silhouettes for salons,From Pg No. 171 to 173)

This book meanly concentrated on the mechanics of machines in 1947. But from the page 171, this book has a quote about the silhouette photography. Hadly had a clear definition for the silhouette photography and he particularity chosen the early morning and late evening time because that light sources will be perfect for silhouette photography. This light sources naturally become the back lighting when the still is taken by aiming the sun.

7. Thalman, Daniel.,Crowd simulation

This book is referenced for the purpose to have an clear idea about simulating a crowd and crowd AI. Artificial intelligence is applied on the crowd with speed control, locomotion control and personification control. This book explains from the modeling to the final rendering of the simulated crowd. Also this book gives an idea about simulating the environment sources like clouds, skies, plants, lakes and terrains.

8. Brinkmann, Ron.,The art and science of digital composting: Techniques for visual effects

This book is referenced to have a clear study about the digital compositing in the post production pipeline. It has a clear idea about the replication of the rendered mesh. This consumes the render time the 3D softwares like Maya, 3D Max and so on. Simulating a crowd in the post-production level is more better than production level.

9. http://www.digital-photography-school.com/how-to-photograph-silhouettes (Accessed on 02-10-10)

This website is analyzed to study about the ways to achieve the silhouette photographs in a simper and easier way. This website gives a tutor to the viewer about the ways to take silhouette photography.

10.http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/85-free-high-quality-silhouette-sets/(Accessed on 02-10-10)

This website is referenced to study about the poses of different anatomy models in silhouette mode. Professional animators use the silhouette mode to value the animation key poses. This website has a library of silhouette poses of props, male, female, mammals and so on.

11.http://www.cgtutorials.com/t3343/Autodesk_3ds_max/Crowd_simulation__biped__with_AI_implant(Accessed on 02-10-10)

This website is referenced to study about the crowd AI. Artificial intelligence is one of the most important guide to achieve the realism in simulating the crowd. This website gives an idea about the particle effects and the collusion. Energy control, Personification control, direction control, locomotion control is easily achieved in AI.

12.http://www.creativecrash.com/tutorials/how-to-create-a-simple-crowd/page2(Accessed on 02-10-10)

This website gives a method to create a simple crowd using the particle simulation. The basic idea in this tutorial is developing a crowd with low mesh ans defining a collision point using locater. The character is animated using the clip and four different clips is imported to 15 characters. These characters are guided using the expression editor. This method is based on the MEL(Maya Embedded Language.)

2.2| Interpretation:

By reviewing the literatures like books, magazines, articles and Internet websites, the researcher had a better idea to develop a simple procedure to simulate the crowd and a crystal clear vision about the crowd AI (Artificial Intelligence). This literature review is also concentrated on the silhouettes and its uses in the production field. Silhouette is the best way to represent the enthusiasm. This research helped the researcher is present the entire crowd in the silhouette mode for the enthusiastic feel.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1| Types of research: Analytical

This dissertation is of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the title,’Silhouette an essential method for crowd simulation animation’. This research document carries the content from the Internet website, books and articles. This research is mainly done to develop a procedure to simulate a entire crowd in a simple and easier way and also to research about the silhouette is how essential to visualize the crowd to get a enthusiastic feel.

This dissertation is carried out with the information collected through different sources like:

  • Magazines
  • Journals
  • Forums
  • Research papers
  • Books
  • Internet Websites
  • Articles

Google search engine and wikipedia are the two major sites helped a lot to gather information from various websites around the web.

3.2| Population:

The people who are suitable for this population are Animators, cinematographers and visual effect artists.

They were examined by series of questions regarding the simulation of an entire crowd using the silhouette. The population of this research work carries the production experienced person, students, Animation tutors.

3.3| Sampling:

Judgment Sampling

3.4| Scope and limitation:

This research is limited to the simulation of crowd.

Chapter 4:Crowd Simulation

4.1| Definition

A crowd is defined to be collection of people or group of people[1]. The term crowd is mainly referred to the collection of humans as well as animals[2]. Crowds in also defined as the sharing of emotional experience. A crowd can be named by the purpose or different types emotions, such as riot, social gatherings, meetings, assemblies, religious ceremonies, general meetings and sport events[3].

 

4.2| Crowd:

Scholars differ about what classes of social events fall under the rubric of collective behavior. In fact, the only class of events which all authors include is crowds. Clark McPhail, who treat crowds and collectives as synonyms. His important contribution is to gone beyond the others to carry out empirical studies of crowds. He finds them to form an set of types.

The treatment of crowds is Gustave LeBon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1896), in which the author, a frightened aristocrat, interpreted the crowds of the French Revolution as irrational reversions to animal emotion, and inferred from this that such reversion is characteristic of crowds in general. Freud expressed a similar view in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1922). Authors thought that their ideas were confirmed by various kinds of crowds, one of these are the virtual economic. In Holland, during the tulip mania (1637), the prices of tulip bulbs rose to astronomical heights. An array of such quotes was quoted by the authors from the different part of the world. Mainly and other historical odds is said by Charles MacKay’s Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841).

At the University of Chicago, Robert Park and Herbert Blumer approved with the speculations of LeBon and other that crowds are formed by emotional. But a crowd is capable of any emotion, not only the negative ones of anger and fear.

A number of authors modify the common-sense of the crowd to include episodes during which the participants are not assembled in one place but are dispersed over a large area. Turner and Killian refer to such crowds, examples being Billy Graham’s, their expanded definition of the crowd is justified if propositions are compact crowds do so for diffuse crowds as well.

Some psychologists have proved that there are three fundamental human emotions: fear, joy, and anger. Neil Smelser, John Lofland, and others have proposed three corresponding forms of the crowd: the panic (an expression of fear), the craze (an expression of joy), and the hostile outburst (an expression of anger). Each of the three emotions can characterize either a compact or a diffuse crowd, the result being a scheme of six types of crowds. Lofland has offered the most explicit discussion of these types.

4.3| Types of Natural crowd:

There are already many types of crowd in the society, mainly they are classified into businesses and projects based crowd formation. But when we study about crowd sourcing and the crowds that influence it, we always like to the talking about one big crowd, one only crowd type that can fulfill every task.

Well that’s not what happens in reality, and Author Nicholas Carr had a interesting blog post which states about this and his mind thoughts over the typology of crowds, after studying about the crowd sourcing we can find a piece for the PBS Digital Nation site.

He suggests the following 4 types of crowds in crowd sourcing:

– Social production crowd: consists of a large group of individuals who lend their individual talents to the devolved creations like Wikipedia or Linux.’

This one basically fits in the most examples of crowd sourcing.

– Averaging crowd: classifies exactly as a survey group, giving an average judgment about some complex matter in some cases, is more accurate than the judgment of any one individual person in the society.’

Nicholas Carr defines that prediction markets are a typical examples of this different types of crowd, or even the stock market for that matter.

– Data mine crowd: A large group that, the basic common knowledge and understanding of all its members who produces a collection of behavioral data or information that can be collected verified by the authors from various country put under a series of examine in order to gain insight into behavioral or market patterns.’

The example are defined here is the crowd that are mainly feed Google’s search engine and Amazon’s search engine. So here we all are involving ourselves in this crowd sourcing effort without knowing that we’re particularly helping the system.

– Networking crowd: a group that exports and import information through a shared communication system such as the phone network or Internet service. Internet service are mainly concentrated on the social networking like Orkut, hi 5, Facebook or Twitter.’

Here we’re not aware about being members of information collection, and if not handled carefully by the companies, could put a backfire on this type of services.

After these 4 types, two were suggested. One by Clay Shirky, who was also, involved in this discussion, and another one from a suggestion by a commenter on the blog, Tom Lord. That’s crowd sourcing working right there!

– Transactional crowd: a group used to coordinate what are mainly point-to-point transactions, such as the type of crowd collected by eBay, Match.com, Innocentive, LinkedIn and similar services.’

– Event crowd: A group organized through online communication for a particular event, which can take place either online or in the real world and may have a political, social, aesthetic, or other purpose.’

 

Trends of Punctuation in English and Lithuanian

Introduction

The world of knowledge always tempted the scientists of any spheres. The nature, human body and brain gave birth to the many branches of science such as physics, medicine and philosophy. The analysis of a language was also one of the most popular branches of research of the linguists and grammarians of the fifteenth century. The unbounded interest in the development and variation of a language, and its constructions presented to the world the new approaches analysing the oral and written forms of any language: the phonology, phonetics, grammar and semantics. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the scholars focused on the study of sounds and their pronunciation. The phoneticians and linguists analysed the origin of vowels and consonants, their structure and the interactions with other sounds, proffering different theories on the usage of them. A few decades later, the majority of scientists turned their focus on the analysis of a communication, basically, the orally expressed language. They gave birth to the new branch of the analysis of language: the rhetoric. Analysing the language as the changeable system of sounds and their combinations, the scientists believed that oral presentation of a language could be divided into smaller units, which were distinguished with the assistance of hearing. Moreover, this division could help to show the purpose of the thought expressed, not only indicating the mood of a speaker, but also presenting the correct function of a thought in a sentence.

However, the sixteenth century and the growing needs of the written texts, made the scholars to realize that the language was more complex system of communication. The influence of a church encumbered the scientists. Consequently, the linguists had to concentrate not only on the structure of a sentence and its correlation in a paragraph; they also had to find a method to inbreathe the emotions to the written expressions of thoughts, that the created sentences on the paper would have the same intonation as it was produced orally in a conversation. In order to achieve this purpose the punctuation was created.

Motivational basis of the research. The grammarians paid great attention to the phonology, syntax, grammar, the structure of a sentence and its expressions in the oral and written forms. They noticed that the oral structure of the thought cared equal importance of the one visually presented. Moreover, the scientists realized that fair influence was made on the comprehension of a thought or a text. They believed that the punctuation was the basis not only in the specification of the purpose of a sentence, but also in the identification of a style of a text presented. In order to understand the purpose and the usage of marking, the scientists analysed punctuation from different trends of linguistic. Thus, the punctuation was divided into two different traditions: the rhetorical and grammatical.

From rhetorical point of view, the composition played the most important role in any kind of communication. The grammarians assumed that composition was a foundation-stone in the science of rhetoric. They presented a theory that a good text or a paragraph depended on three components: “clear thinking, reading the best and most vigorous writers; and frequent practice in writing, along with careful polishing of what we have written.” ( Meiklejohn J. 1915:175) In other words, the good presentation of a text, especially a thought expressed in written or oral form, depended on the correct and considered structure of a sentence. The linguists, on the contrary, saw oral speech as a “multimodal, multi channel event that encoded a lot of redundant information.” (Dawnkings J. Breath, Grammar, and Proper Punctuation 1925:1) According to them, people varied the intensity of speech; modulated the intonation, making their voice to rise or to fall as well as using the gestures, body language and facial expressions. These actions provided additional information on the message produced. The linguists also assumed that the punctuation was expressed with help of intonation, pitch and pauses. Later, these methods took the role in the grammatical division of a sentence. Intonation in written texts served as “a controller of meaning” providing “more phrasing information to the reader.” (Flippo R.F. Punctuationand intonation effects on the perception of texts 2001:133). Pitch, on the other hand, indicated the emotional state of a speaker. Rising or falling tone of any word uttered showed the feelings of a communicator either anger, the cry, warring or command. The body language and gestures also assisted in the comprehension of a thought expressed.

Grammatical tradition of punctuation, however, lost these “visual and auditory channels leaving only words and grammatical structures to carry the message.” (Dawnkings J. 1925:2) The grammatical punctuation was used as system of marks that separated or combined the words, sentences or their parts. The linguists assumed that the main function of the punctuation marks was to present a correct meaning of a thought and a speaker or writer was responsible for this action. However, the grammarians soon realized that the liberal rules of punctuation not only provided the freedom of a writer to express their thoughts in the structure they wanted; frequently, this method of punctuating texts led the readers into the ambiguity. Although, the grammarians tried to present and explain the grammatical rules in the simplest way as possible, many people as well as students yet confronted with the difficulties in punctuating any sentence or a text. Therefore, the interest in the punctuation as intonational device expressing the thought of a written language and the arising difficulties analysing the sentence from structural point of view in both languages English and Lithuanian languages have formed the motivation basis of the research.

Different groups of linguists understood the conception of the punctuation differently. Ones concentrated on the intonational part of the sentence and analysed the punctuation marks as the markers of the mood or emotional state of a reader or a writer. Others believed that marking consisted of the strict, sometimes called dogmatic, grammatical rules which could divide the sentence for the further graphical analysis. From these opinions the traditional (rhetorical) and modern (grammatical) concepts of the punctuation appeared.

Although, the traditional point of view of punctuation lost the attention in the beginning of the sixteenth century, more and more the grammarians chose to focus their attention on the analysis of the text from the rhetorical point of view, and to practice this way of teaching the grammar, especially punctuation, concentrating on the fluency and the sound of the thought, rather than the structure or strict order of the words. They were of the opinion that the richness and fluency of any text was provided through the intonation and the way to achieve that correct punctuation was required. It may seem that the grammatical point of view had the same function: to indicate a sentence and provide the fluency of the thoughts or texts. However, modern view of punctuation concentrated on the structure of a sentence. It divided a text into units, sentences, and their parts. It indicated the beginning or the end of the thought presented in sentence; provides the general information about a certain type of a sentence such as declarative, affirmative, or question. Grammatical analysis distinguished the sentence into units, while rhetorical point of view presented the sentence analysing its “voice” expressed while reading in silent or out loud.

The purpose of the research paper attempts both: the introduction of the punctuation from the traditional and modern points of views and the comparative analysis of punctuation marks comma and dashas well as their interactions with the structure and meaning of a sentence of the texts in English and Lithuanian languages.

The main tasks for attaining the aim are:

  • to introduce a reader to the major trends of punctuation
  • to collect the empirical data coherent with the variation of the punctuation and its application of rules on the original texts and their translations
  • to analyse and compare the system and the usage of the punctuation marks of both languages: Lithuanian and English

In order to fulfil the research, the analytical, interpretive and comparative methods have been used. The study of analytical method is used for the analysis of scientific literature sources related to the punctuation, its development and the difficulty of its usage. The application of interpretive methods is necessary for the presentation of the different aspects and ideas presented in the analysis the punctuation. The comparative method provides the possibility to distinguish the different functions of punctuation marks used in the texts of scientific and belles-lettres styles.

Literature review. Analysing the punctuation from the very ground, it appeared that the first ever used mark in presenting a sentence was a “space.” Its function was to indicate a short pause between the words either in oral or written forms. Though rhetoric was an ancient science of speaking, it also had some changes including the development of new theories on its function. Defining the rhetoric, it might be said that this science was a system of five canons: “inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria and pronuntiatio.” (NauckÅ«naitÄ— 2000: 12) These canons served as the guiding lines to the correct and clear way of a speech presented. Though, the classicists and modernists of rhetoric analysed the texts according to these five canons, they expressed different opinions on the relationship between a speaker and communication. The classicists believed that the mind was the most important feature in a human, while the main purpose of rhetoric was to persuade the listener. The followers of the modern rhetoric, on the contrary, stated that the significant part in a human was the feelings. The expression of feelings used in the communication provided the mutual understanding between the speaker and the listener. Concentrating on the relationship of speaker and listener, the modernists drew a conclusion that the main purpose of rhetoric was to inform the listeners rather than to persuade.

Passing decades, however, made the linguists to realize the significant changes in the conception of rhetoric. Many of them noticed that the rhetoric started to be used an indicator of stylistics. Meiklejohn saw the rhetoric as “the art of putting sentences together.” (Meiklejohn J. M. D. English Grammar, its history and literature 1915: 175) He stated that “a text has to be presented clear, coherent and vivid. “(1915: 175) To achieve this, the writer had to know the grammar, sentence structure, and the particularity of language and its clarity. Rhetorical approach of punctuation presented the punctuation marks as indicators of the intonation. The term of intonation referred “to a means for conveying information in speech which is independent of the words and their sounds.” (Nolan F. 2006:1) According to Francis Nolan, the intonation fulfilled several tasks in analysing language. Intonation “signalled grammatical structure, […] reflected the information structure of an utterance, highlighting constituents of importance.” (2006:1) The punctuation marks, used in the field rhetoric analysis, provided a reader the stylistically presented text. In the text, the punctuation marks indicated the pitch (beginning or the end of the sentence), tone (the mood or attitude of a speaker), and pauses (the length of time, used between the words). Each mark had its own function, such as presenting a request, an order or command. In other words, punctuation provided a reader vivid and natural utterance of a language, which was very similar to the conversation. The usage of a specific punctuation mostly depended on the style the text or a paragraph presented. Therefore, it might be assumed that stylistics also contributed to the rhetoric. Knowing the style or genre of a written text (whether it was scientific, belles-letters or essay) it was easy to notice a particular structure of the sentences, which characterised the punctuation. A text, written on the scientific purpose, had more complicated structure of punctuation than the belles-letters. Long complex sentences, unemotional, specific terminology and concrete language pictured the scientific style, where the basic punctuation marks appeared to be comma, semicolon and colon. On the contrary, the belles-letters style and essay offered more liberal marking system of a text using the figures of speech such as parenthesis, similes or periphrasis. These figures of speech often played the role of a text colouring.

Župerka K. in his work Stilistika showed the punctuation as a tool of a rhetoric, where the words provided the emotional shade of a sentence and the marks only indicated the mood of the speaker. Walker J., however, offered a different explanation of punctuation. According to him, punctuation was a system of principles that arose” from nature of the living voice, from the perception of harmony in the ear, and from a certain super addition to the senesce of language, of which grammar took no account.” (Walker J. A rhetorical grammar 1829:40) This kind of attitude provided the basic explanation of the prediction of a mark. In order to present the actual intonation, used in any conversation or written text, the writers concentrated on the melody of a thought, rather than on the correct structure of a sentence. They wanted to save the natural fluency of words and sentences produced in the written texts, therefore, most of writers focused on the intonational part of a sentence, and its alteration during the conveyance of a correct meaning of a thought. Intonation, especially the rising or falling tones, played as the indicators of emotions of a speaker as well as the directive in the determination of a sentence type.

From structural point of view the punctuation belonged to the syntax – “a device of the communication and the expression of thoughts, presented in the form of colloquial language or written text”. (Labutis V. Lietuvių kalbos sintaksÄ— 2002: 7) Presenting punctuation as a “device of the syntax”( Šarčević 1997:179), the grammarians and linguists concentrated on the functional structure of marking a sentence. The punctuation marks served as the indicators of the sentence or a text. They separated or combined particular parts of a sentence, or the whole units, marked the beginning or the end of thought. Other function of the marks was to present a clear, correct and emotional sentences used in silent reading, as they would be produced in oral communication with all specific details such as tone, intonation or pitch. Mcelroy J. presented the punctuation as a system “ultimately controlled by the principles of construction or thought that depended upon the usage only so far as the usage truly represented these laws of thought and construction.”(Mcelroy 1878:1) He assumed that the choice of punctuation marks and their quantity used in a text was “a question of taste” and depended on a writer. Although, clearly presented conception of the liberal punctuation gave the freedom to the creators of texts, it also influenced the text structure and incorrectly used punctuation, which let the reader or listener to the ambiguity and mistakenly interpreted meaning of a thought. Therefore, the liberty of a writer to choose the punctuating marks according to his point of view, in modern English grammar was replaced by the strict and concrete rules of punctuation.

Analysing Lithuanian, on contrary, it might be said that the modern punctuation of this language were taught and used as a strict system of the rules, indicating the way of punctuating a text. Recent research, however, presented a “liberal tendency of the usage of punctuation.” (SpingytÄ— M. 2010:3)SpingytÄ— M. stated that “this liberation provided to the writer a possibility to correct the emotional weight of a sentence.” (2010:3) It was a choice of a writer to mark or emphasize a specific word or part of a sentence, which, according to him, might have some additional or influential meaning. However, there was a possibility that this kind of liberalisation might negatively affect the functions of separate punctuation marks. The liberal punctuation rules lessened the specific function of each punctuation mark, leaving a writer to decide which marking was better to be used. It might be stated that the liberal punctuation concentrated more on the intonation rather than grammatical structure of the sentence. This conclusion is based on an analysis of silent reading, which was more influenced by the visual usage of intonation and tone, and less- by the grammatical structure.

The empirical data of the research.The primary resources of the bachelor paper are taken from the works: Expression of the Communicative Function of Language in Punctuation by SpingytÄ— M; Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics by Lyons J, and the Forsyte sagaby Galsworthy J. The examples used in the analysis of the punctuation marks are taken from Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics and the Forsyte saga, and their translations to the Lithuanian language.

The structure of the research. The bachelor paper consists of the introduction, two main sections, conclusions and the references of the works used. The first part of the research introduces the reader to the two concepts of the punctuation, its variation and the application in the different fields of study. The first section contains the analysis of the punctuation marks from the traditional and modern points of view, i.e. the study of punctuation marks from rhetorical and grammatical fields, and their influence to the meaning of a context.

The second part of the research paper provides the analysis on the system of punctuation, comparing the specific punctuation marks such as comma,dash and hyphen in English and Lithuanian languages, used in the texts of scientific and belles-lettres styles. The figures, presented in the second part were used to indicate the functions and the spread of their usage.

Part I

The major trends of punctuation

Punctuation has been an inseparable part of written or spoken language. The punctuation marks, which served only as indicators of the elocution at the beginning of the fifteenth century, quickly influenced other parts of science: grammar, syntax and nowadays widely analysed field of the programming.

Through centuries, the formed theories of the purpose and the usage of punctuation marks intrigued the experts and scientists of any language. The grammarians such as George Puttenham and Simon Daines were the first ones who provided the classification of the English punctuation marks from the rhetorical point of view in their works The Arte of English Poesie and Orthoepia Anglicana. The main purpose was to bring, at least, the basic order of punctuation marks, which were missed in the works of twelve century. The biggest merit was to be given to the grammarian Ben Johnson, who systemized the punctuation and provided its analysis from the syntactical point of view.This approach of the punctuation was used till the beginning of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the Johnson’s analysis had not provided a specific usage of marks; the writers used “commas with every subordinate clause and separable phrase.”(Encyclopaedia Britannica Punctuation in English since 16002008:85) Therefore, analyzing the texts of the middle and early modern English, the inordinate usage of the comma usually is found in those texts.

Later decades brought more clarified analysis of the punctuation marks. The grammarians classified and structuralised the punctuation marks according to their purpose or functions. Punctuation became a significant part of structure and cohesion of any text. The deeper analysis of the text revived the interest of grammarians in punctuation not only from rhetorical point of view, but of grammatical as well. Punctuation became important attribute of grammar for the expression of thoughts and the correct understanding of meaning of a sentence. It did “conduce to make a written language more effective, by exhibiting with greater precision and definiteness the ideas, feelings and emotions of an author.” (Wilson J. A treatise on English punctuation 1856: 2) Therefore, the main aim of the writers was to inbreathe the same intonational expression and emotional influence to the written texts, which was used in the speech and oral communication.

1.1. Rhetorical tradition of punctuation

Rhetoric was the oldest science that analysed a language from the oral perspective. Defined as “the Art of Persuasion”and “artistic use of language for the sake of aesthetic effects”(Jonge C. 2008:49), rhetoric also served as the guide to correct pronunciation and rhythm, used in speaking or the speech presentations. (Walker J. 1829: ii) Intonation, pitch, the length of pause, all these elements were classified as important features used in simple communication or presenting a speech. Moreover, they not only presented a language as a rhythmical system of sounds, they also provided additional information about the speech and the speaker himself. The rhetoricians believed that these “elements of language [were] physical: the noise words made and the rhythm of their relationship.” (Tredinnick M. Writing well 2008: 14) In other words, they had the ability to change the meaning of a sentence produced, when the pitch or tone was used incorrectly.

Since the oral communication was the first human step towards the analysis of a language as a separate field, rhetoric had to carry two functions: to correct the prosody of oral language and to present the basic grammar, in this case- punctuation. The rhetoricians stated that the speech of any style provided to audience had to respond to five basic questions, also called cannons: a) inventio, b) dispositio, c) elocutio, d) memoria and e) pronuntiatio.” (NauckÅ«naitÄ— 2000: 12) Each of the canons had specific function which was needed in order to express the thoughts in correct and beautiful manner of speaking.

  1. Inventio was used to gather and classify the material related to the topic. The speaker had to specify the information used in writing a speech.
  2. The term dispositio stood for the enunciation. Its purpose was to group the elements of language logically.
  3. Elocutio (style) served as the indicator of a speech presented. It was used as guiding line identifying a style of the written text and the correct grammatical usage of language.
  4. Memoria (memorization). Each speech, presented to the audience, needed to be learnt by heart.
  5. Pronuntiatio (speaking). The purpose of this canon was to present the speech in correct manner of articulation and gestures. A speaker had to pay attention to the intonation, pitch, tone of the speaking voice, especially, in order to convey the correct meaning of the thought; apart from the articulation, a speaker needed to use the gestures that convinced the meaning of a though expressed.

The rhetoricians believed that, being correctly used, these canons could present the perfect creation of written or spoken work. However, rhetoric was used not only the elocution, it also involved the concrete cycle of transformation of a thought to a word. In other words, the silent or loud reading also was under the influence of the rhetoric. The reading itself was regarded as a “system of rules, which teaches us to pronounce written composition with justness, energy, variety, and ease”. (Walker J. 1829:39).Thus, it might be assumed that the reader needed to use a combination of rhetoric and grammar, in order to understand a text correctly, and to convey the correct meaning to the listener (if a text was read out loud).

The rhetoric, mostly, the communication itself, involved every part of human life: “thought, language, voice and action.”(NauckÅ«naitÄ— 2000:13) Although the main canons remained the same, passing decades brought some disagreements between the scholars who analysed the rhetoric. The rhetoricians were in the dilemma regarding the approach to a human and communication. These disagreements divided rhetoric into two groups: classical and modern rhetoric. (see Table 1) The followers of classical rhetoric believed that the main purpose of rhetoric was to persuade a listener; it meant to present the ideas, which were correct and kept as facts, until other, more persuasive, thoughts appeared. The information presented needed to be clear, correct and concrete, without any additional elements.

The followers of modern rhetoric disagreed with the classicists. The modernists assumed that a text presented had to inform listeners or readers rather than to persuade them. The communication with the audience was the requirement; the information presented needed to imply some feelings to the audience. Modernists believed that great influence of any speech resided not only in its structure or the specific information, but also in the manner of its presentation. It might be said that the modernists had found a more delicate way to control the attention of a listener or larger audience.

Table 1. The differences in classical and modern rhetoric

Classical rhetoric

Modern rhetoric

  • Most important feature in human was mind
  • The relationship (between speaker and listener) had to be antagonistic
  • Communication was of one-way
  • The purpose was to persuade
  • Most important feature in human was feelings
  • The relationship (between speaker and listener) had to be connection
  • Communication wasmutual
  • The purpose was to inform

Though, the approach of human and communication in the rhetoric confronted disagreements between the scientists, the function of punctuation was clearly defined:”the chief reason for punctuating: to clarify the intent structure of language that would-or simply might-otherwise be confusing or misleading.” (Lauchman R. Punctuation at Work 2002:24) In rhetoric, however, punctuation was used for a wider purpose. In order to present stylistically correct and “living” sentences or text, the punctuation concentrated on the speech patterns such as pitch, tone or intonation. Each mark had to fulfil a specific function that would help the reader or speaker to produce the texts more naturally, i.e. to inbreathe the exact or, at least, similar sound of a tones or pitch used in the oral communication. Moreover, the punctuation marks provided the meaning of the finished thought or showed the need of additional information as well as indicated the type or the functions of the sentences. For instance, the full stop showed the end of a sentence, which had the falling tone. The thought was finished, and had no additional meaning. The question mark, on the contrary, introduced the reader to the rising tone and intonation, and showed the need of additional information form the different speaker. Though, each punctuation mark was important in the reading and understanding any written text, comma, dash and hyphen were widely used in rhetorical punctuation.

1.1.1. Comma and intonation

Communication was inseparable part of human life. It helped to understand others, read their actions, or simply to exchange the information with each other. Writing as well as speaking had the same purpose: to present any information to a reader. However, the complication arose: the most of the aspects of a language used in speaking were not “as well represented in writing: the rises and falls in pitch, the accents, the pauses, the rhythm, the variations in voice quality— all of them features of sound that contributed significantly to speaking but that writing showed haphazardly if at all.”(Chafe W. 1989:1) Thus, the main purpose of the usage of punctuation was to present the visual equivalent to the spoken language in order to show the correct tone or intonation used in the sentence. The missed or misplaced punctuation mark often led to the misinterpretation of the meaning. The equal misinterpretation of a meaning depended on the rhythm, i.e. the stress marks and the length of syllables.

Intonation itself strongly effected the communication; the correct function of information depended on the manner of its utterance. The linguists noticed that people “more violently react to <…> intonational meanings than to <…> lexical ones.” (Hewings M. Tone Choice in the English Intonation of Non-Native Speakers 1995: 251) It might be stated that the information presented to the audience usually was under the influence of intonation. Pitch, rising or falling tones began to play the significant role in the quality of any spoken text. A speaker needed to pay attention not only on spoken text, but also to control his voice level and the length of pauses between the words. The scientists of phonetics noticed that the variations in a spoken activity were influenced by several external factors: environment, the rank of people spoken to and the audience to which information was presented. Through the careful analysis of speech activities, the scientists noticed the three styles of pronunciation: formal, careful colloquial, and rapid familiar. Formal style of pronunciation was used to “reading, reciting, speaking before larger audience, at ceremonies, or delivering an academic lecture.” (Hoppe R. 2004: 20) The careful colloquial style had medium tempo and used the assimilations. This style was used in “every-day conversations, when talking to the official persons or strangers.”( Hoppe R. 2004: 20) The rapid familiar style was expressed in “rapid conversations: speaking with friends, in the family, or in the pub.” (Hoppe R. 2004: 20) This style used fast speed, the assimilations and reductions.

The speech spoken in rapid tempo lessened the length of a pause in a sentence; this led listeners not only to the misunderstanding of the whole information, but also to the annoyance towards the speaker because the information spoken in rapid manner was hard to follow. The slow speaking, on the contrary, extended the length of pauses and they lost main function. A speech or presented text became monotonic and hard to follow, as well as influenced the variation of tone; the long pauses changed the structure of sentence. Therefore, in order to control the length and structure of the sentences, punctuation was used.

It might be stated that comma was the most widely used punctuation mark in rhetoric. The main function of this mark was to present the pauses between the words and to indicate a type of tone or intonation used in a sentence. The changes of intonation depended on the place of comma used in a sentence. In other words, comma separated the words from them to running to other parts of a sentence influencing their changes of intonation. To present the deeper analysis of the tone and intonational variations, the sentences from Galsworthy J. work The Forsyte Saga and its translation into Lithuanian by Irena BalčiunienÄ— were chosen. The visual presentation of the flow and the alteration of the tone and intonation of sentences were analysed using the special marking‌. (see Table 2)

Table 2. The symbols used for the transcription of the pronunciation

The symbol

The purpose of usage.

‌ â•‘

long pause

│

short pause

low falling melod