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On the nature of collocations and ways of teaching them in foreign language classes
Author: TÜnde Nagy

Abstract

When it comes to teaching vocabulary in foreign language classes words are often taught in isolation, without regard to the context in which they appear. The paper draws attention to the importance of teaching words in context so that the meaning of a word often results from the meaning of a larger construction it is part of. After presenting the morpho-syntactic and semantic characteristics of collocations, and the difficulties language learners face in acquiring them, the paper presents a few ideas on how to teach collocations, giving examples of activities and exercises that can facilitate the learning process. The focus has been laid on activities that can complement the lessons in class, can be applicable at different levels and also require relatively little preparation from the part of the teacher. In addition, an important aspect has been to choose activities that language learning have fun doing (that include creativity, problem solving, humor, real life examples, own experiences, etc.) and that integrate the necessary language learning skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Without the intention of being exhaustive, the paper concentrates on those activities and tasks that present collocations in their entirety, as constructions, assuming that these are the most useful for students. While the ideas presented are generally applicable in foreign language classes, the present paper has been written with native Hungarian speakers in mind.

Open access
Book Review
Author: Jennyfer Paola Casas Trujillo
Open access
Book Review
Author: Zsófia Kocsis
Open access
Beyond the novelty effect: EFL learners' attitudes towards ICT use in the classroom
Author: Marta Kopinska

Abstract

The present study explores high school students' (aged 16–17) attitudes towards the use of technology Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the English as foreign language (EFL) classroom. While digital competence has become one of the core skills in our society, ICT is gaining more presence in the EFL teaching and learning. However, it is not widespread in the mainstream education, as it is the case of Spain, especially at high school level. There is also still some reticence on the part of the teachers to let the ICT be part and parcel of their daily practice. Since adolescents often experience a motivational drop as far as learning a foreign language (FL) in school setting is concerned, EFL teachers should promote the integration of ICT in classroom activities, as research has shown that technology-supported activities may contribute to engaging students in the process of learning a FL and act as a motivating factor. This paper examines 77 EFL learners' responses to a questionnaire administered before and after the implementation of an 18-month ICT-based intervention in their classroom. The main findings reveal that attitudes towards technology were positive and they were maintained beyond the possible “novelty effect”, which supports the claims in favor of ICT's integration in EFL teaching.

Open access

Abstract

In this paper, we seek to answer the research question as to whether students take into account the predictions of human capital theory (namely the higher wages associated with further studies) in their decision to participate in higher education. Our alternative research question is whether students can be described by Bourdieu's theory on capital conversion, that is, whether they aim to accumulate cultural and social capital during their studies, which can also be profitable for them in the future. Our research method is quantitative: we use cluster analysis to examine the motives behind further studies and employ cross tabulation and variance analysis to reveal the relationship between clusters and social background variables. We find that the wage premium associated with further studies is not the most important motive among students; it holds only minor importance even for those from a disadvantaged social background. The results suggest that students in secondary schools, especially talented but underprivileged ones, should be motivated to enter higher education by informing them about the potential wage premium they can attain if they study further. Importantly, we also find that underprivileged students may be unaware of the fact that higher education is an efficient mechanism to accumulate social and cultural capital, which then can be converted into economic capital.

Open access