"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 85
Based on the analysis of a specially compiled corpus of internationally
recognized English as a foreign language (EFL) reading tests at different
levels of proficiency, this volume explores the relation between the
complexity of written texts and the difficulty of reading comprehension
tests. It brings together linguistic investigations into the text-inherent
complexity of the tests and a study of the data derived from their
administration to groups of Italian university students. The study of text
complexity draws on corpus linguistics, text linguistics and systemic
functional linguistics. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are
carried out on the language used in the reading texts and in the related
tasks that make up the corpus of tests. The assessment of test difficulty,
on the other hand, is informed by research on language testing, and, in
particular, by findings and methodologies of Classical Test Theory and Item
Response Theory. Relevant aspects of these theories are used to analyze and
interpret both the data obtained from the administration of the tests and
the data collected by means of feedback questionnaires completed by test
takers. The application of such diverse methodologies and the subsequent
comparison of the results of the analyses has brought out interesting
correlations between text-inherent complexity, perceived test difficulty
and actual test difficulty.
A Corpus of Reading Comprehension Tests - Quantitative Investigation into
the Complexity of the Texts of the Corpus - Text Complexity, Participant
Identification and Cohesion in the Corpus - Assessing Test Difficulty: Data
Analysis of Tests and Feedback Questionnaires.