The purpose of this paper is to examine the possibility that the notion of collocation competence will change from the one which only native speakers of English can establish or confirm to the one which all the educated English speakers can accept and share. To this purpose, a survey was conducted to ascertain whether some native speakers of English, advanced EFL learners in Asian countries and Japanese returnees would accept unclear answers produced by 130 Japanese university students. The main result was that advanced EFL learners in Asian countries and Japanese returnees had a wider acceptance of collocations than did native speakers of English. This finding would indicate that we should contribute to the promotion of acceptable English collocations which can be understood and shared by all the educated speakers of any variety.
English has increasingly become a global language of communication, trade and research. For ESL and EFL students, the need for English for academic purposes (EAP) skills—understanding academic textbooks and journal articles and attending or giving presentations—is also growing. Academic vocabulary development is essential in order to achieve a certain proficiency in EAP. Chujo and Utiyama (2004) and Utiyama et al. (2004) have established an easy-to-use tool using nine statistical measures to identify level-specific, domain-specific words (such as EAP) from a corpus. In this study, these measures were applied to a 1.63-million-word spoken educational/informative component of the British National Corpus composed of materials such as lectures, news commentaries and classroom interaction to produce nine word lists. We examined the top 500 most outstanding words of each list and confirmed that specific statistical measures produced level-specific lists of academic words. The selected spoken EAP words are grouped into three proficiency level sub-lists, which allow users to develop spoken EAP vocabulary lists on their own contexts.
The purpose of this paper is to examine some features of politically correct expressions in business writing. Political correctness (PC) is the principle of avoiding language and behavior that may offend particular groups of people, including men, women, people belonging to minorities, senior citizens, people with disabilities. As society and values change, so too does the language. Some traditional forms of business writing are considered politically incorrect and might offend the audience. Therefore, being sensitive to PC is very important to establish a good relationship with the audience. In addition, introducing PC in the workplace may improve the quality of work life.
The purpose of this paper is to revaluate AIDA, a persuasive strategy used in business-letter writing. The developments in information technology and the advance of internationalization have accelerated the globalization of business communication, which has impressed the importance of communication strategies. AIDA, one of the communication strategies for persuasion, stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, which mirror consumer purchasing behavior. According to a recent study, AIDA was propounded in the early 20th century and subsequently subject to numerous modifications, but it still remains the most widely accepted model. The review of each of the steps shows how useful AIDA is in organizing persuasive messages. The appreciation of AIDA is attributed to its clear and audience-oriented guidelines besides its memorable name. Business communication aims to get results and often attempts to motivate the audience to act favorably. To get the desired response from the audience, AIDA, the art of persuasion, enables us to develop effective business messages.
This paper aims to clarify the current use of abbreviations and acronyms used in English e-mails. The research was achieved by conducting a fact-finding survey of students attending San Francisco State University (SFSU). In the survey, respondents were asked to reply by choosing one of three answers pertaining to their use of a variety of abbreviations and acronyms: (A) “I frequently use it”, (B) “I sometimes use it”, or (C) “I don't use it.” The average answers of (A), (B), and (C) were 11.7%, 12.6% and 75.8% respectively. The respondents were 71 students from SFSU. The results of the survey show that abbreviations and acronyms which were tested are being used less frequently than expected. However, the findings from such a small-scale survey may be inconclusive, since a much larger-scale survey might be needed to grasp the general tendency regarding the use of such English abbreviations and acronyms in e-mails. Nevertheless, the general assertion that e-mail English is “a conversational style of English using a lot of abbreviations, acronyms and emoticons” is not always correct, as this survey helps to prove. Instead, e-mail English is better defined as a dynamic langage conducted by e-mails in English to convey an idea with the intention of promoting and accomplishing the purpose of the communication. This is a slightly modified point of view from Professor Mikito Nakamura's definition of business English (Nakamura, 1960). The Nakamura's definition is an epoch-making viewpoint that prevents us from considering technical communication as merely a kind of langue, that is, a system of peculiar words and phrases. This viewpoint may also help researchers of English for Specific Purposes better grasp some of the intrinsic qualities of technical communication.
This article discusses an effective presentation skills course focusing on peer oral and written evaluation. The course is aimed at developing presentation skills of intermediate EFL university students in Japan. Given appropriate instruction on evaluation and sufficient pre-activities to lower affective filters, students are able to make meaningful oral and written evaluation, which will develop overall presentation skills. This presentation course also seems to develop autonomy among the participants.
The aim of this paper is to introduce instruction about typical English rhetorical organizations in reading comprehension class at a university in Japan, and to investigate the effectiveness of the instruction. Effective instruction seems to attribute to mutual understanding of the objectives between teachers and learners. Therefore the instruction was firstly described. Secondly, to acquire a deep understanding of learners' beliefs about the rhetorical organizations, a questionnaire was administered to a sample of 37 college students. The questionnaire was used three times; before, during and after the course. Based on the data from the questionnaires, the change of the depth of the beliefs was examined. After finding the development of the beliefs, learners were categorized into five groups by using a cluster analysis, and the characteristics of each group were discussed. It was also examined whether the understanding of the rhetorical organizations was related with the learning outcomes of learners' summaries in Japanese. The results showed that no statistical relationship was found in this study. Some of the reasons were assumed to be the evaluation method of the summaries and the learners' grammatical competence.
This paper aims to analyze epistemic modal markers and the extended phenomena, further to explore the process of grammaticalization in modal markers from a cognitive perspective. Deontic and epistemic meanings are expressed by means of the same expression in English. In general, wherever there is adequate historical evidence available on the evolution of a language, deontic modality develops prior to epistemic modality. Moreover, the semantic shift from deontic modality to epistemic modality can be described in a model based on grammaticalization theory. The semantic change from deontic to epistemic is the dominant tendency. On the contrary, in Japanese, Hebrew, Thai and Korean, the direction of semantic change is the reverse: epistemic to deontic. Particularly in Japanese the more frequent emergence of epistemic uses can be predicted in psychological features of language use. This paper suggests that two opposing directions of semantic changes stem from their typological difference. Furthermore, it will also be shown that the grammaticalization pathways can be affected by semantic structure and its mechanism.
The purpose of this study is to report on the results of the survey covering 121 examinees on their opinions on their language use and language situations conducted in the Philippines in January of 2005, make some comments on them and discuss the future of English and Filipino there. The findings from the survey are: 1) the examinees' English proficiency level is generally high but not many of them use English much in their daily communication, 2) they think that they are in trouble to a certain degree when they cannot use English in the Philippines in the situations related to their careers but they do not in their private lives, 3) they do not think they are in much trouble even when they can use neither Tagalog nor Filipino there in any of the 12 places/situations questioned in this study, 4) more than half of them think that Filipino is the same language as Tagalog and 5) many of them think the official languages in the Philippines ten years from now will be both English and Filipino. In conclusion, this study claims that it should take a long time and be difficult for Filipino to replace English, giving three reasons.
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a useful tool to probe into and determine dominant values and ideologies inherent in news stories as well as in speeches by government leaders since it treats them as texts. CDA can draw upon mainly two kinds of approaches to analyzing texts. One of them emphasizes grammatical and semantic analysis, while the other sets great store by research into social theoretical issues. In this thesis I have chosen the second-term inaugural speech by U. S. President George Bush delivered in January 2005 and tried to use a combination of linguistic and social issue research approaches to analyze the speech text with the emphasis placed on the analysis of rhetorical strategies and the logic underlying his remarks, and the intertextual analysis. In this study I have found out that the speech is full of rhetorical strategies, such as repetition of the same words and metaphor, and detected the underlying logic of “orientalism” to boost the image of his cherished ideologies of “freedom” and “democracy.” Moreover, with the use of the intertextual analysis, I found out main themes recurrent in presidential inaugural speeches since the founding of the United States. In sum, CDA was a valuable means to carry out an in-depth analysis of President Bush's second-term inaugural address, both in terms of linguistic and social aspects.