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A. Linguistics
YEAR VIII / 2009
Alina Preda, Adriana Fekete 7
Sergiu Zagan-Zelter, Diana Zagan-Zelter 15
Kovcs Rka 23
Joanna Porawska 33
Jos Damin Gonzlez-Barros 45
Ioana Nan 51
Adrian Ciupe 57
Ana Maria Pascu 71
Emilia Plcintar 81
Bir Enik 91
Timea Tocalachis 103
Lingua A. Linguistics
Kelemen Antonia Izabella 111
Kovcs Rka, Gabriela Ioana Mocan 117
Ana Maria Pascu 127
Adrian Ciupe 128
Veronica Armau, Ioana Nan 129
Mircea Borcil 133
Alexandra Viorica Dulu 137
Denisa Ionescu 139
They say that variety is the spice of life, so it should come as no surprise that
variety may well be the secret of successful learning. Tis secret began to unravel on
September 11, 1956, on the second day of an MIT symposium, organised by the Special
Interest Group in Information Technology. It was there and then that the history of
blended learning started being written. As Kai Peters and Mario Weiss (2006) note,
it was the frst time that a symposium had been held that drew together a broad
range of people whose interests covered various areas of study, from psychology,
philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, to physics, neuroscience, information and
Alina Preda, Adriana Fekete
er Begrif integriertes Lernen, im englischen Blended Learning
(direkt bersetzt, gemischtes Lernen) bezeichnet einen
zustzlichen Teil an dem Lernprozess, wobei Vorteile durch die
Verbindung verschiedener Medien und Methoden gesteigert und
Nachteile vermindert werden knnen. Dieses neue Konzept verbindet
die Efektivitt und Flexibilitt der elektronischen Lernformen mit den
sozialen Aspekten der Face-to-Face-Kommunikation. Es bezeichnet
damit eine Lernform, die eine didaktisch sinnvolle Verknpfung von
traditionellem Klassenzimmerlernen und modernen Formen von
E-Learning anstrebt. Besonders wichtig ist es, dass das eine ohne das
andere nicht funktioniert - die Prsenzphasen und die online Phasen
mssen also optimal aufeinander abgestimmt sein. Die Qualitt eines
hochwertigen integriertes Lernangebotes kennzeichnet sich durch
ein, durch allen Phasen des Lernprozesses gehendes Curriculum,
eine Wahl des Mediums, welches die Strken der jeweiligen Phase
voll zur Geltung bringt, ein Programm, das dem Lernenden mglichst
viel Freiraum einrumt (Lerntempo, Eingangskanle, soziale Bindung,
Module, usw.) und eine Didaktik, die dem Spa am Lernen Prioritt
einrumt. Der zentrale Aspekt des integrierten Lernens ist die Vor-
bzw. Nachbereitung in Prsenzveranstaltungen. Insbesondere die
Nachbereitung sichert somit einen gewissen Lerntransfer, den
klassische Prsenzveranstaltungen nicht leisten knnen.
metakognitive Fhigkeiten, Lehrprozessen, Lernprozessen,
Mediendidaktik, kooperative Lernformen, E-Learning, integriertes
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
computer science. Each and every one of these diferent experts had become aware
that only by drawing together these various disciplines could they make progress in
their respective felds. Tus, they began the search for a unifed science that would
discover the representational and computational capacities of the human mind, and
their structural and functional realization in the human brain (Miller, 2003: 144).
Eventually, they succeeded in defning a new area of cognitive processes, which over
time came to be known as cognitive science (Peters and Weiss, 2006: 79). Te term
cognitive science was coined by Christopher Longuet-Higgins in 1973, and in the
same decade the journal Cognitive Science and the Cognitive Science Society were
Tis rapidly evolving interdisciplinary study aims to establish whether and how
intelligence may be modelled computationally, and thus focuses on issues pertaining
to learning and development; language acquisition and processing; memory,
attention, perception and action. Over the years, cognitive sciences have made it
possible to conceive of new ways of structuring information, and have pointed out
that the traditional linear approach to information structuring may be replaced by a
novel view which opens new opportunities for mass customisation in learning and
communication (Peters and Weiss, 2006: 79). One of the main advantages of such
an approach lies in the fact that it overcomes the frustration one feels when, in an
attempt to structure information, one fnds that certain items do not ft into neatly
defned categories and, consequently, cannot be represented into simple hierarchical
fling systems (Peters and Weiss, 2006: 79).
Peter and Weiss (2006) outline the history of the new approach to information
structuring, starting from the 1990s when Yahoo started with a number of high-level
categories which later expanded, then subcategories were introduced, which, in turn,
spawned more sub-categories and categorization was replaced by links between
data entities described in terms of properties and classes, and their relations. Finally,
Google really made it work since on Google the search forms the basis for the
result, not the other way around (Peters and Weiss, 2006: 80). Tese revolutionary
ontological structures have been used in innovative e-learning applications with
important results, their efciency being guaranteed by the fact that linear learning
engagements and hierarchy-based interfaces are abandoned in favour of learning
interfaces where links, relationships and information bridges predominate, interfaces
that generate a learning fow which is individualized (Peters and Weiss, 2006: 81).
Employed by companies such as Airbus to help employees prevent back injuries,
but also by the European Society of Cardiology, for instance, e-learning was also
adopted by various corporations, medical centres, important banks, human resource
consulting frms, county councils, adult learning inspectorates and universities, such
as Ashridge Business School, which, in 2004, launched an on-line MBA module.
But, as Andrew Ettinger and Viki Holton (2004: 22) show, due to signifcant barriers
encountered in implementing e-learning, the initial wild enthusiasm was later
replaced by a more cautious approach, or even by reluctance and rejection. Te
barriers included the considerable investment and resources required, the cultural
change supposed to take place in the case of both trainers and learners, the enormous
amount of time needed to develop such a platform, the various technological problems
and, last but not least, the loneliness of the e-learners. Here is a systematised chart of
the most signifcant advantages and disadvantages identifed by various researchers
in the feld, such as Kurtus (2004), as well as Ettinger and Holton in light of their 2004
research on the impact of e-learning:
potentially efcient training programme controversial topic
time-saving for users due to:
on-line guides and book-reviews
overviews of various subjects and skills
links to recommended websites
practical difculties in implementing it:
fnancial problems
time-related issues
mentality hurdles
staf-training difculties
technology is advancing at high speed technological problems may arise
cost-efective training for large groups high development costs (initially)
creative ways to motivate learners requires a profound cultural change
can cover the basics efciently not appropriate for all types of training
focus on individual learning lack of a supportive environment
the where and when are fexible as the setting is free
from time and place constraints
cannot replace good classroom training and the buzz
experienced at the end of a fruitful classroom discus-
allows for an adjustable learning pace does not allow for discussions with peers
individualized learning fow loneliness of the e-learner
diferent ways of presenting knowledge can have a negative second-class image

Consequently, over time, the term e-learning has fallen into disgrace, being
subject to negative interpretations and associated with technical problems, monotony,
dullness and boredom. Tus, out of the need to overcome this negative image,
blended learning has surfaced as a better approach to the process of teaching and
learning. Just like e-learning, blended learning uses interfaces where the response to
questions of preferred learning styles, knowledge levels, job functions and language
needs determine the order, style and fow of the learning engagement (Peters and
Weiss, 2006: 81). However, a blended approach implies the use of both classroom
Lingua A. Linguistics
and e-learning activities, both diagnostic tests interpreted by a tutor, and self-
administered ones, direct guidance as well as on-line coaching. Tis variation is
welcome and highly appreciated by the learners, as it fosters many diferent but equally
efcient ways of accessing knowledge: far from being isolated behind the computer
screen, as they are bound to be in a strict e-learning course, learners may thus beneft
from the enhanced potential of blended learning approaches, which allow for real
interaction, face-to-face communication and socialising as well, in an environment
where learning is truly valued. Establishing a common-ground between traditional
and e-learning, paving the way from instruction to learning, blended learning gives
learners access to the best of both worlds.
Tus, as Donald P. Buckley (2002: 29) pointed out, at the beginning of this new
millennium, we are in the midst of a profound change, as our generation has the frst
opportunity to enable an educational transition from a reliance on metaphors about
how people learn to an emphasis on pedagogies founded on an understanding of the
cognitive development of learning. Tis transition is likely to reach the proportions
of a paradigm-shif, according to Barr and Tagg, as the traditional instructional
paradigm, which stresses the delivery of content as the principal product of
education, gives way to the learning paradigm, which emphasises the need to
ensure that the content is being delivered within powerful learning opportunities
(Buckley, 2002: 30). Learning-centered instructional technology in tune with the
cognitive development of learning may ofer a solution to poor student-learning
outcomes. Tus, Buckley (2002: 30) outlines the four essential factors required by
such a transition: a learning - centered technology that will lead to the formation
of learning-centered communities can only be implemented if transformational
faculty development is coupled with institutional change based on efcient course-
management systems.
According to Buckley (2002: 30-32), the pedagogical feature set needed in order
to create the desired learning-centered technology includes:
an interactive environment that may prompt the students to construct
knowledge, to learn with understanding by exploring and interpreting the content
varied information formats that activate diferent kinds of learning
opportunities which, being enabled by diferent parts of the brain prevent the
students from perceiving the instructional process as monotonous and make full use
of the sensory-rich nature of instructional technology
electronic communication that ofers opportunities for teamwork and
cooperative learning
formative assessment, which, whether structured or open-ended,
encourages mindful engagement by allowing the students to refect on their
understanding before tackling new issues, and to develop metacognitive skills
authoring tools, which promote the construction of knowledge and allow
students to beneft from a wide array of information formats and associated cognitive
research simulation, essential because critical inquiry is an acquired skill,
since the part of the brain responsible with the search for alternative evidence and
with the insightful interpretation of valuable evidence may have evolved from
perceptual regions of the brain; therefore, a lot of practice is needed, if the students
are to develop robust epistemological skills earlier in their academic experiences
Te need for such a learning-centered technology can be the catalyst for
transformational faculty development, which, nevertheless, requires more than the
occasional workshop; it requires recurrent development cycles in which innovative
products and pedagogies are fashioned, used and refned (Buckley 2002: 32). Since
faculty communities are made of content experts trained in critical inquiry, these
gifed educators still need training in the cognitive development of learning, if they
are to succeed in using the new instructional technology. By exploring learning-
centered and inquiry-oriented teaching styles, the faculty will fnd it stimulating to
create and promote small projects and technology-assisted student activities that
promote student learning with understanding. However, since the focus should
be not on technology, but on learning, the goal is fnding the simplest possible
entry into this technology-assisted world of learning (Buckley 2002: 33). Given
that collections of learning modules are available on-line, the authoring eforts of
the faculty can be directed, from the start, towards the development of pedagogies
and activities that exploit the available learning modules (Buckley 2002: 36). Course
management systems ofer at least three classes of tools that promote student learning
with understanding:
web-based content delivery tools, which foster the transition from pure
lecture to learning activities such as problem-based and case-based experiences;
communication tools that support team-work, foster cooperative learning
and thus allow the faculty members to step away form center-stage, and assume
the role of facilitator;
on-line assessment tools, which, in time, will lead to the development of
routine formative assessment systems, based on a web-based homework system,
which allows for accurate assessment of students progress and learning needs and
Lingua A. Linguistics
ensures a competency-based learning standard by providing real-time feedback to
students (Buckley 2002: 36-37).
Not surprisingly, the students see technology as a natural part of their learning
environment, as they use the Internet not only for leisure and socialization, but for
school work and school research as well. Te generation gap between students and
faculty is probably widened by the fact that the former are more Internet-savvy than
the latter. What Diana Oblinger stated in 2003 about North American students is true
of our students now: thus, although most students have grown up with technology,
lack of hardware resources in universities, old equipment and fltering sofware
limit students in-school use of technology. Oblinger (2003: 40-42) summarizes
the ten attributes that Jason Frand has identifed as characteristic for the current
information-age mindset:
Te students
see the computer as an assumed part of life,
consider the Internet as superior to television,
acknowledge that reality is no longer real, as digital images can be altered
and an e-mail sent from someones address may not have come from that person;
believe that doing is more important than knowing, and thus value results
and actions much more than the mere accumulation of facts
prefer a trial-and-error approach to solving problems to the traditional
logical, rule-based approach
see multitasking as the natural response to information overload
prefer typing to handwriting
think that staying connected is essential, and make sure that they are in
touch with their friends, family and peers via cell phones, PDAs and computers (the
Internet, e-mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Hotmail MSN, Skype, chat-rooms, blogs, etc.)
tend to manifest zero tolerance for delays, having a strong demand for
immediacy and expecting responses to be quick
fnd it increasingly difcult to make the distinction between creator/owner
and consumer in a fle-sharing cut-and-paste world, living under the impression
that if something is digital, it is everyones property (Oblinger 2003: 40-42)
Consequently, the new students, being the product of a technologically imbued
environment, require faculty able to deal with their new demands and with their
novel needs:
Te teachers should
be able to point out the meaning of authoring in cyberspace and the
techniques of avoiding plagiarism when doing research on the Internet;
have the ability to use information technology so as to facilitate cooperative
learning and encourage students to work collaboratively;
employ varied information formats, making use of web-based content-
delivery tools, a web-based homework system and on-line assessment tools
ofer a wider scope of learning situations
use the most appropriate techniques for each type of learning activity
deliver what the students need
gather together all the important topics previously discussed thus creating a
virtual knowledge repository
ofer students the necessary time to refect on all the information presented
ofer pro-active support to the learners
be aware that, by helping others while sharing experience and knowledge,
the students will gain at least as much as they give, enriching the input of innovative
ideas and techniques of study, thus signifcantly increasing learning efciency, which
will ultimately beneft the group as a whole
encourage students to pursue and maintain active membership of discussion
forums and on-line groups relevant to their area of study, enabling meetings with like-
minded peers, in the classroom and on-line (by written electronic communication
e-mails, or via synchronous communication, in a videoconference or in discussion
be enthusiastic, able to motivate students to start and continue a
use group dynamics appropriately, ensuring the desired learning outcomes
ofer face-to-face and on-line training meetings
ofer students real-time feedback and
provide links to diagnostics
Te ever more impressive advances in technology and the information-age
mindset characteristic of the younger generation, together with recent research in
cognitive science pointing towards the efciency of learning interfaces that generate
an individualized learning fow have resulted in a rapid growth of interest in computer-
assisted learning and teaching. While e-learning as such failed to fulfl the original
promise, a more appropriate solution has been found: blended-learning, a learner-
oriented approach that integrates e-learning strategies within traditional classroom
activities, promoting learning with understanding and encouraging student-
autonomy. By the end of this centurys second decade, blended learning will, most
Lingua A. Linguistics
probably, have been accepted by most, if not all of the people closely involved with
training, as a powerful learning tool, extremely efcient in knowledge management.
Buckley, D. P. (2002). In Pursuit of the Learning Paradigm Coupling Faculty Transformation and Institutional
Change, EDUCAUSE, January/February, Vol. 37, 2002. Available at:
erm0202.pdf; Retrieved on 3 September, 2007.
Ettinger, A. and V. Holton (2004). E-Learning A Challenging Journey Started Research Findings from Ashridge
Business School, Te 9
International Telework Workshop, Crete, Greece: 6
September 2004. Available at: http:// Retrieved on 15 June, 2007.
Ettinger, A. and V. Holton (2004). E-learning: revolutionary or evolutionary? Available at:
uk. Retrieved on 15 June, 2007.
Miller, G.A. (2003). Te Cognitive Revolution: A Historical Perspective, Trends in
Cognitive Sciences, Vol 7 (3), March, 141-144.
Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers and Gen X-ers Millennials Understanding the New Students, EDUCAUSE, July/
August, Vol. 38, 2003. Available at:; Retrieved on 4 September,
Peters, K. and M. Weiss (2006). Understanding Computes: Cognitive Science and Learning, Convergence, Vol 7 (1),
February. Available at Retrieved on 14 June, 2007.

1. Introduction
Dans ce travail, nous analysons le problme de limperfectivit de limparfait
et la relation qui existe entre lincomplet, linaccompli ou limperfectif et le
phnomne de lellipse. Dans notre dmarche, nous nous appuyons sur les procds
anaphoriques dont on recourt souvent quand on utilise une phrase avec un verbe
limparfait, sur la relation troite entre le pass simple et limparfait dans le discours
narratif et sur la possibilit de complter la partie non ralise de limparfait. Dans le
chapitre 2, nous montrons quil est possible de saisir la totalit en sappuyant sur une
partie et dans le chapitre 3, nous montrons que limparfait permet de renvoyer une
partie de la phase interne dune situation, sans apporter dinformation sur la partie
qui nest pas dcrite. Le chapitre 6 prsente la possibilit que la partie qui nest pas
ralise devienne ralisable et des situations quand la partie qui semble ralise soit
Sergiu Zagan-Zelter, Diana Zagan-Zelter
n this paper, we study to what extent the unaccomplished part of
the French imparfait can become accomplished and situations
when the part that appears to be accomplished (due to inferences),
is in fact unaccomplished. We focus on elements such us anaphora,
essential properties of the imparfait and ellipsis to show that this
French tense allows the reference to an internal phase of a situation
without providing information about the part that is not described. In
this respect, considering the relation pass simple imparfait as a
background for our study, we argue that the unaccomplished part of
the imparfait is in direct relation with the phenomenon of ellipsis.
ellipsis, anaphora, aspect, imperfectivity, narration.
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
en ralit non ralise. Avant cela, nous abordons la relation pass simple- imparfait
qui est dfnitoire pour notre tude.
2. Les proprits essentielles de limparfait temporel
Limparfait a la particularit de traduire des actions ou des tats passs, sans les
enclore dans les limites de leur ralisation, sans les prsenter comme ayant eu de
commencement ni de fn. (Wagner, 1939 : 320) Limparfait a t schmatis par Holger
Sten (1952) de la manire suivante:

( ) ( )
Ce quon observe dans ce schma est labsence de la dlimitation initiale et fnale,
le manque de contrainte dans des espaces bien dlimits en ce qui concerne la
ralisation des actions.
Limparfait temporel (exceptant limparfait dans les conditionnelles), a deux
proprits essentielles : la premire est son caractre anaphorique (ainsi nomm parce
que la rfrence temporelle de la phrase limparfait est construite par rapport un
autre vnement, quil sagit de reconstituer) et la seconde proprit est aspectuelle
(limparfait semble dcrire un vnement en train de se produire). Berthonneau
et Kleiber (1993) soutiennent la thse anaphorique et considrent que limparfait,
la difrence du pass compos, contient un manque. Lexistence dimparfaits dits
narratifs met en discussion le problme de limperfectivit de limparfait. Ainsi, les
vnements mentionns en Le lendemain, Paul tlphonait Marie sont prsents
comme stant produits plutt quen train de se produire. Mais dans une phrase comme
Quand je suis entr il y a deux minutes, Paul tlphonait Marie, rien nindique que
Paul ait lheure actuelle termin la conversation au tlphone. La caractrisation de
limparfait comme un tat englobant cre une imperfectivit possible: ltat peut se
continuer aprs la fn de lvnement. La proprit dimperfectivit peut expliquer la
thse selon laquelle le temps navance pas avec limparfait.
Dans lexemple: Paul entra. Marie tlphonait. nous notons x < y le fait que x
dbute avant y et x y le fait que dbut (x) dbut (y) et fn (x) fn (y). Nous
comprenons par cela que Marie ne peut pas cesser de tlphoner avant que Paul
nentre. Mais, si nous considrons la situation: Paul tlphona. Marie entrait. et
que nous tenions compte de la reprsentation avec x et y, nous pouvons dcouvrir
une situation assez bizarre: la fn (x) fn (y) peut signifer que Marie continue
entrer mme aprs que Paul cesse de tlphoner. Une telle possibilit peut tre
accepte si nous introduisons en discussion le phnomne de lellipse: Marie peut
tre la secrtaire qui entre et sort rgulirement. Par limparfait alors, on annonce
non seulement une partie dun vnement, mais aussi une partie dune situation
habituelle; laide de lellipse, de la partie, on saisit lhabituel, cest--dire la totalit.
Un autre aspect que nous voulons soutenir est en opposition avec lide selon laquelle
le temps navance pas avec limparfait. Dans lexemple ci-dessus, le temps avance si
on saisit lvnement dans sa totalit ou dans son aspect rptitif. La reprsentation
dbut (x) dbut (y) signife que Marie entrait toujours, mme avant le coup de fl.
3. Lellipse aspectuelle (le cas de limparfait)
Limparfait de rupture apparat en gnral aprs le pass simple et entre ces
deux moments cest lellipse explicite qui prdomine: Lorsque le notaire arriva avec
M. Geofrin [...] elle les reut elle-mme et les invita tout visiter en dtail. Un mois
plus tard, elle signait le contrat de vente et achetait en mme temps une petite maison
bourgeoise ( Maupassant 1999 : 292). Paul Imbs (1968) considre que laction dcrite
par limparfait ne fait plus partie de la narration proprement-dite parce que la trame
des vnements est fnie. Cet imparfait de rupture qui suit lellipse, fonctionne
comme une extension de la narration au-del des vnements dj accomplis.
Dans La Pipe en sucre de M. Rolland, Carl Vetters montre quil y a une relation
entre limparfait narratif et lellipse narrative: Deux semaines aprs, on lui coupait
les deux jambes, et le deux fvrier suivant, deux chevaux la menrent au cimtire.
(Caudal & Vetters, 2005 : 54). Tout le monde comprend que la personne est morte et
est conduite au cimtire pour tre enterre et non pas pour se promener. On peut
donner deux autres exemples, de James H. Chase:
Le Vautour attend toujours et de Simenon: Tout Simenon: Il grommela, mit le contact et
la Morris dmarra. Dix minutes plus tard, les deux hommes se trouvaient dans une petite
chambre chichement meuble, claire par une ampoule poussireuse et sans abat-jour
qui pendait lamentablement du plafond sale. (Caudal & Vetters, 2005 : 54).
Il lui donna le numro de limmeuble, endossa son pardessus et quelques instants plus
tard, il y avait une silhouette sombre de plus marcher pas rapides dans le brouillard. Ce
ne fut quau coin du boulevard Voltaire quil trouva un taxi. Les avenues, autour de lEtoile,
taient presque dsertes. (Caudal & Vetters, 2005 : 54).
Dans ces deux exemples dellipse, il sagit dun trajet pendant lequel il ne se passe
rien de signifcatif. Personne nest surpris de constater quun personnage qui fnit par
trouver un taxi au boulevard Voltaire se trouve, dans la phrase suivante, dja du ct
de la place de lEtoile.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Dans le contexte narratif, limparfait permet de renvoyer une partie de la
phase interne dune situation, sans apporter dinformation sur la partie qui nest pas
dcrite. Caudal et Vetters (2005) ont nomm ce phnomne ellipse aspectuelle. Le
contexte narratif ne contredit pas le contenu aspectuel de limparfait mais il ajoute
linformation aspectuelle qui na pa t donn par ce temps. Limparfait exprime un
type particulier du point de vue imperfectif et renvoie une sous-partie de la phase
interne, de sorte que la phase rsultante et le changement dtat associ font lobjet dune
ellipse aspectuelle. Cest le contexte qui permet dinfrer que la phase rsultante a t
atteinte. Voil un exemple de La nuit du carrefour de Simenon: Quelques instants plus
tard, Maigret descendait (e1) lescalier, traversait (e2) le salon aux meubles disparates,
gagnait (e3) la terrasse ruisselante des rayons dj chauds du soleil. (Caudal&Vetters,
2003: 55) On constate que cest e2 qui permet dinfrer que e1 a atteint sa borne de
droite et quune transition a eu lieu. En efet, Maigret ne peut pas tre en train de
traverser le salon tant quil nest pas arriv en bas de lescalier. Or, lafrmation que
Maigret est en train de traverser le salon est prise en charge par le narrateur, mme
si linfrence quil a efectivement travers le salon nest pas explicite, mais infre
son tour sur la base de e3. Autrement dit, limparfait a sa valeur scante normale et
sature une partie de linterval (qui ne comprend pas la borne de droite); lautre partie
(avec la borne de droite) nest pas explicite par limparfait. On pourrait dire quelle
fait lobjet dune ellipse narrative et le contexte est celui qui permet dinfrer que la
borne de droite a t atteinte.
4. Imparfait au dbut et la n du rcit
Berthonneau et Kleiber (Berthonneau & Kleiber 1993) considrent quil est
difcile de commencer un rcit par une phrase limparfait isole. Cest pour cela
quune phrase comme Il y avait dabord ce visage allong par quelques rides verticales,
telles des cicatrices creuses par de lointaines insomnies, un visage mal ras, travaill
par le temps (Ben Jelloun 1985 : 7) demande le recours laspect anaphorique de
limparfait, aussi bien quune analyse de son aspect elliptique. Le mot dabord oblige
le lecteur dadmettre lexistence dun personnage dans sa totalit, tout en le forant de
se fxer sur un aspect qui exclut une grande partie du portrait.
On trouve limparfait au dbut dun rcit, quand la trame vnementielle nest
pas encore mise en place et quil sagit simplement dindiquer au destinataire quil
est question de donnes passes: Il tait une fois... . Limparfait de fn de rcit et vu
par Paul Imbs (1968) prsente les vnements comme des moments (nous prfrons
le terme moments celui dtats utilis par Imbs, parce que expliquer limparfait de
rupture en termes dtat est inexact, - cela reprend la vieille conception de limparfait
duratif) dans lesquels le narrateur voit les hros installs, et caractrise latmosphre
fnale du drame. On peut comparer cet imparfait la fn du rcit avec la dernire
image dun flm qui devient une photo fxe et sur laquelle safche le gnrique, pour
que le spectateur prouve la sensation foue et agrable dune histoire termine qui
continue lui faire impression. Le lecteur continue complter la dernire image
du livre avec des choses qui se sont dj passes, la difrence du lecteur qui lit une
premire phrase comme Il tait une fois et qui doit complter lespace libre au fur et
5. La relation pass simple imparfait
Dans lexemple Le 12 septembre 2003, il pleut / il pleuvait Birmingham,
on dcouvre le fait que le pass simple et limparfait sont anaphoriques. Dans
cette commune ncessit dun support temporel, le pass simple marque le point
dincidence au temps du procs pleuvoir (sans pour autant indiquer prcisment la
localisation temporelle de ce point), alors que limparfait ne le marque pas. Dans La
nuit vint. M. Marambot se coucha son heure ordinaire et sendormit. Il fut rveill
par un bruit singulier. Il sassit aussitt dans son lit et couta. (Labeau 2007 : 29),
nos connaissances du monde nous demandent de poser entre lendormissement et
le rveil ultrieur un certain temps. Le pass simple franchit cette ellipse sans le
concours dun circonstant. La scution sendormir < tre rveill demande que ce
second procs soit reprsent partir de son point dincidence au temps. Limparfait,
lui, ne peut franchir cette ellipse par ses propres vertus et exige un adjuvant du type
x temps plus tard: La nuit vint. M. Marambot se coucha son heure ordinaire et
sendormit. Il ? tait rveill / Deux heures plus tard, il tait rveill par un bruit
singulier. Il sassit aussitt dans son lit et couta. (Labeau, 2007 : 29) Lexplication
aspectuelle est qu la mme demande cotextuelle de reprsentation du procs partir
de son point dincidence du fait de la succession, limparfait, de par son instruction
[ - incidence], rpond ngativement.
6. La perfectivit / limperfectivit de limparfait
Selon Dospinescu (Dospinescu 2000), tant quun autre vnement ne vient pas
arrter le cours de lvnement, limparfait reste ancr dans le pass par sa partie
dj ralise et, pour sa partie non ralise mais ralisable (peut-tre), ouvert sur le
prsent de lnonciation avec lequel il peut interfrer: - Tu fais quoi maintenent? / - Je
lis, enfn je lisais. [= je ne lis plus, je rponds la question mais je peux reprendre
ensuite la lecture] (cest nous qui soulignons). La possibilit que la partie qui nest pas
ralise devienne ralisable tient dun contexte plus large: sil sagit dun examen pour
Lingua A. Linguistics
la prparation duquel un tudiant consacre beaucoup de temps et que la question
vienne juste avant le dpart vers la facult (il sagit de deux collgues qui vont ensemble
la facult), il est possible que la partie qui manque ne soit jamais ralisable: ltudiant
passe lexamen et suit une carrire dans un autre domaine et il ne continue plus la
lecture du livre. Mais, si ltudiant choue lexamen, il est possible quil reprenne la
lecture du livre. Cest pour cela que nous considrons que cette partie non ralise est
une ellipse, dont la rcupration tient du contexte.
Prenons lexemple suivant:
Quand je regardai vers le magasin, elle traversait la rue.
Nous proposons quatre possibilits de schmatiser le signif de limparfait et
dtablir sil sagit dun procs peru dans toute sa dimension ou non. Soit A et B deux
points qui signifent le parcours dune personne qui traverse une rue. Soit X un point
au milieu de ce parcours. La fche reprsente le parcours de la personne, tel quil est
peru par celui qui regarde.
Dans la premire situation, on peut voir que tout le processus est vu par celui qui
regarde. En b., on voit seulement le parcours X B et on infre que la personne a
Quand je regardai vers le magasin, elle traversait la rue.
Nous proposons quatre possibilits de schmatiser le signifi de limparfait et
dtablir sil sagit dun procs peru dans toute sa dimension ou non. Soit A et B deux
points qui signifient le parcours dune personne qui traverse une rue. Soit X un point au
milieu de ce parcours. La flche reprsente le parcours de la personne, tel quil est peru
par celui qui regarde.







Dans la premire situation, on peut voir que tout le processus est vu par celui qui
regarde. En b., on voit seulement le parcours X B et on infre que la personne a
parcouru la priode A X avant que celui qui regarde ne voie. En c., celui qui regarde,
mme sil na pas vu tout le parcours, infre que la personne va aboutir B. En d., on
peut reprer la personne au milieu du trajet A B et dinfrer que la personne a travers
et va traverser la rue. En fait, il se peut que les choses se passent dune autre manire
pour les points b., c. et d. Pour b., la personne peut remplir seulement le segment X B si
elle doit aller de B X pour rcuprer un objet quune autre personne a jet du point B.
Ainsi, la personne part de B, arrive X et retourne B avec lobjet rcupr. Le segment
A X na t jamais parcouru, donc en ralit, traversait [AB] = traversait [AB - AX].
En c., il se peut que la personne qui traverse, se souvienne de quelque chose et retourne.
parcouru la priode A X avant que celui qui regarde ne voie. En c., celui qui regarde,
mme sil na pas vu tout le parcours, infre que la personne va aboutir B. En d.,
on peut reprer la personne au milieu du trajet A B et dinfrer que la personne a
travers et va traverser la rue. En fait, il se peut que les choses se passent dune autre
manire pour les points b., c. et d. Pour b., la personne peut remplir seulement le
segment X B si elle doit aller de B X pour rcuprer un objet quune autre personne
a jet du point B. Ainsi, la personne part de B, arrive X et retourne B avec lobjet
rcupr. Le segment A X na t jamais parcouru, donc en ralit, traversait [AB]
= traversait [AB - AX]. En c., il se peut que la personne qui traverse, se souvienne de
quelque chose et retourne. Alors, traversait [AB] signife traversait [AB - XB]. En d., il
est possible quune personne soit laisse au milieu de la rue par une voiture et quelle
monte dans une autre voiture. Cest le cas o la personne ne traverse pas la rue et le
trajet pourrait tre reprsent par traversait [AB] = traversait [ - AB].
7. Conclusion
Dans le chapitre antrieur, nous avons propos quatre possibilits de schmatiser
le signif de limparfait et dtablir sil sagit dun procs peru dans toute sa dimension
ou non. Nous avons montr le fait que les infrences naident pas toujours remplir
les espaces libres et quon peut utiliser un verbe limparfait qui dnote le mouvement
pour faire rfrence un manque total de mouvement. Avant cette dmonstration,
nous avons tudi des problmes comme: les proprits essentielles de limparfait
temporel, lellipse aspectuelle, lutilisation de limparfait au dbut et la fn du rcit et
bien sr, la relation parfait simple imparfait.
Ben Jelloun, T. (1985). LEnfant de sable. Paris: Seuil.
Berthonneau A.-M. & Kleiber G. (1993). Pour une nouvelle approche de limparfait: limparfait, un temps
anaphorique mronomique , Langages, 112, 55-73.
Caudal, P. & Vetters, C. (2005). Que limparfait nest pas (encore) un prtrit. P. Larrive & E. Labeau
(ds.), Nouveaux Dveloppements de limparfait - Cahiers Chronos, 14, Amsterdam/Paris/New York : Rodopi,
Dospinescu, V. (2000). Le Verbe. Iasi: Junimea.
Imbs, P. (1968). Lemploi des temps verbaux en franais moderne. Essai de grammairedescriptive. Paris: Klincksieck.
Jayez, J. et all. (1998). Le temps des vnements. Paris: Kim.
Labeau, E. & Larrive, P. (2005). Nouveaux Dveloppements de limparfait. Amsterdam / Paris / New York: Rodopi.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Labeau, E., Vetters, C. & Caudal, P. (2007). Smantique et diachronie du systme verbal franais. Rodopi.
Maupassant, G. (1999). Une vie. Paris: Hachette.
Sten, H. (1952). Les temps du verbe fni (indicatif) en franais moderne. Copenhague: Munksgaard.
Sthioul B. (1995). Imparfait et focalisation. Genve: Universit de Genve.
Touratier, C. (1996). Le systme verbal franais. Paris: Colin.
Wagner, R.-L. (1939). Les phrases hypothtiques commenant par si dans la langue franaise des origins la fn du
xv-me sicle. Paris: Droz.
Wunderli, P. (1980). Du mot au texte. Tbingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
Teaching adult learners can be described as a complex process involving
the intricate, mutually complementary and many-sided relationship between the
learners and the teacher. At the same time, it can be considered a lucrative feld with
rewards accompanied by frustrations that would have either positive or negative
impact on the classroom actors. Teaching adults requires not only the sound
knowledge of management skills and teaching techniques, but also a certain degree
of fexibility, sensitiveness and empathy towards adult learners and the language
itself. In such an interdependent environment, an efective teaching-learning process
could come into being, provided the instructor is able to fnd equilibrium between
the sides and manages to combine the above practices for the common goal of both
learners and the teacher.
Tat is why questions like How can adult learners be taught efectively?, How
can they be led once again into the world of learning?, How can their language
Kovcs Rka
er vorliegende Artikel befasst sich mit Aspekten des
Fremdsprachenunterrichts fr Erwachsene. Da erwachsene
Lerner schon ber ein reiches Sprachrepertoire verfgen, knnen
frhere Spracherfahrungen als eintrgliche Quellen verwendet
werden, die den Lernprozess erleichtern knnen. Im Sinne des
Erwachsenenunterrichts sollte die Aufgabe des Sprachlehrers nicht nur
darin bestehen, die Bedrfuisse der Lernenden zu erkennen, sondern
auch ihre Lernerwartungen mit den Zielsetzungen des Unterrichts
zu verbinden. Im Folgenden werden die Englischkurse fr Anfnger
im Rahmen des Lingua-Sprachzentrums dargestellt und gleichzeitig
Erfolge und Schwierigkeiten sowohl der erwachsenen Lernenden
als auch des Lehrers hervorgehoben. Es werden Beispiele geliefert,
wie die Lernhindernisse berwunden und die Kursteilnehmer zum
erfolgreichen Lernen ermuntert wurden.
Erwachsenenunterricht, Bedrfnisse, Zielsetzungen,
kommunikative Fhigkeiten, Schreiben, Grammatikunterricht,
Hindernisse, Erfolge.
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
awareness be raised?, How can adults be motivated, encouraged, evaluated and even
monitored? or How can the needs of adults be identifed and their expectations
met during the classroom activities? sound familiar to and should be a subject of
concern for every language teacher engaged and interested in adult teaching. Tis is
but a short list of challenges and dilemmas regarding the feelings of teachers involved
in teaching adult learners.
However, the course instructors uncertainty, doubts and anxiety about the
learning-teaching process can even triple once he or she is confronted with further
issues of great signifcance, such as gaining the sympathy of the students, preparing
the lessons, highlighting the language, selecting the materials or, last but not least, the
impact of the topics on the adult learners and on their feelings. Will they like me?
Do the subjects relate to their interest and speak to them evoking an immediate
response? Can the issues lead to a personal reaction? Tese are a few of the many
concerns and problems teachers would face.
Besides the above-mentioned obstacles, language teachers can ofen experience
other difculties, mainly when teaching foreign languages to adult learners at
beginner level. Since these students have no command of the foreign language
and yet they are endowed with communicative competencies, having a particular
language background and possessing a well-formed world awareness, the teachers
job and responsibilities towards both the students and the language are much more
complicated and varied.
Needs assessment
In order to avoid any potential pitfalls or to prevent any problems from occurring,
language teachers have to be fully aware of the diferent needs adult learners may
have. For achieving this, teachers have to establish connections between the needs and
aspirations of the students and the objectives of the course with the aim of providing
not only a pleasant and enjoyable class atmosphere but also a useful, interactive
learning-teaching medium.
Tus, in order to respond positively to the adult learners expectations, the frst step
to be taken both by the teacher and the teaching establishment is to recognise and
identify the needs of adult students. Since many of the learners have only a vague idea
of the objectives they would like to achieve by learning a foreign language, it is vital
for them to form an idea about the language course and the teaching establishment.
It is therefore of utmost importance for the future learners to try and specify their
objectives concerning the studied language and furthermore to match these objectives
to those of the teacher, language course or teaching institute. In this frst stage of
looking for and recognising the own objectives, the students may also learn about
their personality, thereby becoming aware of certain characteristics of it. Knowledge
of their own identity may play an important role in determining their behaviour and
attitude towards the teaching-learning process, as well as in their selection of learning
methods. When realising these objectives, the students should also ask themselves
about the areas where they wish to use the foreign language or about the skills they
intend to acquire.
Following the specifcation of the learning objectives, assessment should occupy a
major position and should be integrated in the learning material. In this way, students
will have the opportunity to check and evaluate their adopted strategies, as well as
the application of these techniques. Assessing the progress, comparing the newly
acquired knowledge to the previous one and receiving constant motivation from
the instructor would encourage the learners, leading them to success. Nevertheless,
during the course, the objectives of the adult students may change and at the same
time alterations may take place in their identity. Terefore, the aforementioned
factors might have a decisive part in the continuation of the course. Te more clearly
the objectives are defned and the more efectively the teaching/learning strategies are
implemented, the better chances the students have to acquire the foreign language.
In addition to the identifcation of the students expectations, it is also extremely
useful, and even advisable, for a teaching establishment to improve its knowledge
of the future learners. Tailoring the needs of the learners to those of the teaching
institute would prove to be the source of a fruitful collaboration in the long run. Tat
is why, in order to satisfy the changing needs of the students, teaching establishments
and staf should also be characterised by a high degree of adaptability and fexibility
ofering onward consultancy or advisory service in order to better meet the demands
of all parties (Richterich, Chancerel 1980: 17-42).
Teaching a foreign language to adult learners at beginner level means the
consideration and application of a wide range of new classroom approaches and
techniques. However, a course instructor may rightfully ask these questions: Do the
students already have some previous knowledge in the foreign language? or Can
the students knowledge of their mother tongue be exploited in a way to enhance
success? Owing to the fact that adult students have already a certain level of fuency
in more than one language and that they regularly use it in everyday life with some
degree of self-confdence, they are able to constantly grasp at their invaluable linguistic
resources taking full advantage of them for their own beneft. Tanks to the already
existing linguistic resources and language skills, students can speed up the process
of learning the foreign language. Apart from that, learners anxiety may be reduced,
confdence and motivation may be added to the class activities, and thus students can
Lingua A. Linguistics
be helped to contribute to the lesson in a variety of ways, depending on their previous
language experience.
As long as the learners linguistic resources are utilised, many difculties might
be overcome, while problems and misunderstandings might be solved. Because the
above resources may be well exploited by both the teacher and the students, the
diferent aspects of language learning like the teaching of vocabulary, pronunciation,
comprehension, grammar and writing, to name but a few, may be facilitated, thus
providing the learners with sufcient exposure to new language items. Alternatively,
students may be encouraged to develop their ability to relate to topics, to predict,
deduce and infer, compare and get meaning from contexts or give meaning to
situations. In a nutshell, the personal contribution to the class would defnitively
arouse the learners interest, curiosity and motivation towards the foreign language
(Nicholls, Hoadley-Maidment 1988: 80-85).
In addition to these resources, the students mother tongue and cultural heritage
could turn out to be generous aids in understanding and identifying the language
difculties students may face. Being aware that a persons way of thinking and feeling
is rooted in their mother tongue could help the teacher not only in error correction
but also in understanding the communication difculties students might undergo.
It is common knowledge that, at the initial stages of learning a foreign language,
the students repertoire is limited to those few utterances already learned and that
they must constantly think in their mother tongue before or while speaking. Even
when having a simple conversation learners become aware of what they actually
mean only afer delivering the message. Terefore, in order to understand essential
information or to structure their ideas, students may ofen need to think in or use
their mother tongue; moreover, in certain cases, they would also need explanations in
their native language. In this sense, teachers will manage to better monitor the process
of referring back to mother tongue equivalents and supervise the way students would
sort out their ideas and apply learning strategies of their own (Nicholls, Hoadley-
Maidment 1988: 97-103).
As opposed to the previous idea, according to which adult students could beneft
from their linguistic repertoire, it should also be noted that adult learners experience
could be a drawback as well, a hindering factor in the learning process. Indeed, adult
learners past experiences could play an important role in their learning activity, but
at the same time they could have a negative impact on the learning techniques and
strategies adults would implement. To put it simply, negative learning experiences
could constantly remind adult students of their past failures. Tat is why adults may
frequently approach learning tasks with preconceived ideas or even preconceptions
that would prevent them from reafrming the objectives or simply from choosing the
most appropriate and efective learning strategies. In other words, since adult learners
can never start with a totally blank mind, negative experiences may hold adults back,
discourage and deter them from forming or improving their own learning styles.
In addition, other barriers to learning could be emphasised, some of which are
external in nature, being caused by domestic and fnancial difculties, while others
are of internal nature, arising from psychological or physiological problems. When
considering factors like adult learners personal identity, life goals, marital status,
families, sex, personal fnances, their disposal over free time, the balancing of full-
time work with part-time studies, timetable, etc., we could draw the conclusion that
enrolling for a language course may not only afect their domestic environment and
everyday life or lead to subsequent changes in the students personal identity, but
could also result in alterations in behavioural and emotional adjustments in family
life. All these negative outcomes may go together with the other barriers created by
the teacher himself/herself. Hence, the teachers personality, his/her personal attitude
towards the students, the choice of teaching techniques, the lack of empathy or
attention, and imperfections in the teaching environment may also be regarded as
negative points that could be sometimes crucial in the learners decision of continuing
or completing the language course (Huddleston, Unwin 2002: 79-107).
As a consequence, we could ascertain that teaching adult learners may pose
challenges and difculties, but also provide perspectives and opportunities to every
language teacher. Nearly all the time teachers may get the impression of tiptoeing
on a minefeld, where they can constantly witness as well as experience situations
with hidden difculties, unexpected joy, and where instructors have to pay attention,
be patient and open-minded or show sensitiveness and understanding towards the
students attitude. Teaching adult students is a complicated process, so it is not possible
to follow absolute rules that would insure success. However, it is worth bearing in
mind that teaching itself is not a personality contest where instructors should aim
for popularity; it is rather success that would derive from the teachers competence
and knowledge of handling the situation, from knowing what to do (Lewis, Hill 1993:
Sharing my teaching experience
When teaching English language to beginner adult students at the Lingua language
school of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, course instructors
may encounter several difculties, which however could be well managed and even
overcome, as long as the teachers pay enough attention to them and come up with an
answer to the challenges.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Teaching Speaking
As far as speaking is concerned, we could observe that beginner students ofen
run into difculties when having to speak freely or express their views about subjects.
Since they have only limited language resources, it can be difcult to convince them
to speak or use their productive skill in a meaningful way. Tus, at the early stages
of the language class, adult students are generally confused using a kind of mixture
of English and their mother tongue. In addition, the lack of self confdence or the
awareness that they have no precise knowledge of the grammar rules could be
regarded as serious impediments in the learning process.
In spite of the difculties adult students would face, it is vitally important to give
them speaking tasks that would encourage and provoke them to use the language
at their command. Getting students to have free discussions or take part in role-
plays would stimulate their interest and motivate them to develop their spoken
communication skills. Tis element of real life may help them to understand what
communicating in English really feels like. Besides this, good speaking activities can
be highly motivating provided all the students participate fully, and the feeling that
they belong together or have the same aims would give them enormous confdence
and satisfaction (Harmer 1998: 87-96).
In what follows, we would present some speaking tasks that proved to be creative,
stimulating and popular among the students attending the Lingua language courses
at beginner level. In the frst unit International English, the students learned about
countries and nationalities. Te next class, they received several cards with foreign
names on them and in pairs they had to guess each others nationalities and countries
they were from. Te aim of this exercise was not only to practise the already acquired
structures, but also to encourage spoken fuency and successful communication.
Later on the learners were given the pictures of certain personalities and their task
was frst to present these famous people, and second to write short paragraphs about
them. By the use of such cards or pictures the students managed to overcome their
anxiety of getting involved in the topic or discussion more easily.
Another case in point would be the unit Food and Drink, where the students
learned the special vocabulary of communicating in a restaurant, of ordering food
and drink and of writing a menu. Several practice activities followed the presentation
of the new language, their aims being accuracy and the correct manipulation of
language patterns. At this stage, the students were also provided with menus and
they had to role-play simple conversations in a restaurant. By putting the language
in context, the learners managed both to practise the language and to acquire several
key functions starting a conversation, inviting people, making suggestions, asking
for help, asking for and ofering things, agreeing and disagreeing, etc. - a foreigner
would need when speaking English.
As a consequence of such activities, we could remark that the students managed
not only to express their views in the form of a free discussion but also to get rid
of their fears of using the English language. Since all the above activities involved
an element of information gap and the demand that the students would interact in
order to complete the tasks, the adult learners were highly motivated and strived
to communicate. Under relaxing and motivating circumstances, the elements of
frustration were ofset by the interesting and engaging nature of the tasks.
Teaching Writing
Another area of concern for the teachers of English would be the teaching of
writing to adult students. It is again a widely held view among the language teachers
that mastering the ability to write efectively should be a key objective for the learners.
Due to the fact that writing can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from being
the background for grammar teaching to reinforcing the language to be taught,
teachers should lay a special stress on both the development and improvement of the
students writing skills.
As compared to oral communication, writing presumes diferent mental processes
students would go through. Since writing is not time-bound, learners have more time
to refect upon their ideas and consult dictionaries or grammar reference sources
so that they will use the language accurately. Afer going through all these phases,
students could become better writers and could learn how to write in various genres
using diferent registers.
When helping students to become better writers, teachers have a number of
vital tasks to perform. First of all, learners need to be made aware of the writing
conventions and genre constraints in specifc types of writing. Second, teachers need
to act as motivators and provokers, mainly because learners tend to be reluctant
when expressing themselves in diferent contexts. Besides these roles, the teachers
responsibilities would be to support and reassure the students, react to their written
work and, fnally, evaluate it (Harmer 2004: 31-43).
Next, we would like to highlight by means of a few examples how the adult students
coped with the challenges of writing at the Lingua English courses. In order to
encourage learners to write teachers should bring some energy and excitement in the
process of writing. Successful activities could not be organised and performed unless
a strong, engaging context is created. Tus, with the aim of generating motivation,
Lingua A. Linguistics
writing activities were combined with the use of visual aids (e.g. describing photos of
family members) or students were ofen asked to carry out the writing task in groups,
using a limited number of words. Te latter method proved to be quite provoking,
and the idea of competition added an extra incentive to the writing approach.
Teaching Grammar
Another important aspect closely linked to speaking and writing skills would
be the teaching of grammar. Since nearly all the students have a reluctant or even
rejecting attitude towards grammar, language teachers have to come up with
interesting and exciting class activities that would contribute not only to a better
understanding of grammar rules, but also to encouraging students and wiping out
their misconceptions.
As I have observed during my teaching experience, adult students prefer the
deductive approach to the inductive one and in general are unfamiliar with learning
grammar through texts. Although in real life we experience texts in their entirety and
in their contexts of use, adult students tend to detach language from the context. It
would seem they would rather analyse sentences in isolation than groups of sentences
or even texts. Somehow they lose their self-confdence, get scared of a text or simply
refuse dealing with contexts (Tornbury 1999: 69-90).
Moreover, their anxiety reaches a peak when having to handle grammar exercises
embedded in speaking or writing tasks. At this stage, adult learners should not only
be encouraged by their teachers but also be led into and adjusted to activities that
combine grammar with other skills. In this context group work, dialogues and role-
plays could be generous sources that would foster their learning and help them to get
rid of their inhibitions when practising the English language.
As the above examples point out, adult learners reacted well to the set of interactive
and challenging activities. Whats more, they turned out to be quite fexible and
sensitive towards diferent tasks, despite the fact that at the early stages of the
language course they needed to be carefully convinced and motivated to accept the
new teaching methods and learn from these. Little by little, adult learners gained self-
confdence and later on managed to successfully juggle with the foreign language.
In conclusion, we could take the view that teaching adult students is both
rewarding and frustrating feelings that are familiar to all those engaged in the
teaching-learning process. It is not only the teachers who may encounter difculties
or experience success, but also the adult learners who may go through positive and
negative phases.
Te key to a fruitful interaction and collaboration is the identifcation of the needs
and their adaptation to and combination with the objectives to be set.
Harmer, Jeremy (1998). How to Teach English. Essex: Longman.
Harmer, Jeremy (2004). How to Teach Writing. Essex: Longman.
Hopkins, Andy; Potter, Jocelyn (1994). Look Ahead. Classroom Course. Essex: Longman.
Huddleston, Prue; Unwin, Lorna (2002). Teaching and Learning in Further Education. London, New York:
Lewis, Michael; Hill, Jimmie (1993). Source Book for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Oxford: Heinemann
English Language Teaching.
Nicholls, Sandra; Hoadley-Maidmnet Elizabeth (1988). Current Issues in Teaching English as a Second Language to
Adults. London, New York: Edward Arnold.
Richterich, Ren; Chancerel, Jean-Louis (1980). Identifying the Needs of Adults Learning a Foreign Language. Oxford:
Pergamon Institute of English.
Tornbury, Scott (1999). How to Teach Grammar. Essex: Longman.
Consideraii introductiv-teoretice. Pe baza acordului ntre Academia
Polon de tiine (PAN) i Academia Republicii Socialiste Romnia, s-a elaborat i
s-a publicat la Varovia, n 1970, primul Dicionar romn-polon. n acelai timp, la
Institutul de Lingvistic din Bucureti au pornit lucrrile avnd ca scop elaborarea
dicionarului polon-romn, dar el nu a fost publicat pn acum. n consecin, un
mare dicionar polon-romn (m refer n aceast comunicare la seria dicionarelor
mari), elaborat de vorbitori nativi de romn, nu exist nc. n aceste condiii, acum
civa ani, cnd am afat c o lucrare de acest fel a fost deja elaborat n mare parte
de dr. Halina Mirska Lasota, o renumit specialist n domeniul limbii romne, am
luat decizia s m ocup de actualizarea acestui dicionar i de editarea lui. Aceast
Joanna Porawska
es linguistes, surtout ceux qui reconnaissent les bases
anthropologiques dans leur recherche (parlant dans ce cas
galement de lhistoire des mentalits), ont souvent constat que dun
dictionnaire de la langue transparat la ralit au sein de laquelle celui-
ci a t labor. Le dictionnaire rete une langue et une culture non
seulement par ce que lon peut y trouver, cest--dire une certaine
liste de mots-titres et les dnitions utilises, mais aussi par ce quil
en manque. Le Nouveau Dictionnaire roumain-polonais (dition de
lUniversit Jagiellonne, Cracovie, 2009) est un terrain intressant
dinvestigations dans ce sens. Ses auteures, Halina Mirska Lasota et
Joanna Porawska, se sont bases sur le premier corpus dexemples
du dictionnaire, labor dans les annes 80 du sicle dernier, lont
actualis et lont prpar pour la publication. Dans le processus de
rdaction du Grand Dictionnaire roumain-polonais, toute une srie
dexemples/contextes employs antrieurement ont t abandonns
ou remplacs par dautres. Lanalyse de ces exemples nous permet
dobserver les processus qui ont eu lieu dans la mentalit des Roumains
et dans celles des Polonais, dans une priode relativement courte,
de 1989 jusqu prsent, les processus tant conditionns surtout
par les transformations sociales, les mutations idologiques et les
changements politiques de ce temps
dictionnaire roumain-polonais, exemples, transformations
* Jagielloski University, Cracovia, Poland
Lingua A. Linguistics
mare lucrare lexicografc (aproximativ 45 de mii de articole), la publicarea creia
s-a renunat dup schimbarea situaiei economice a editurilor dup 1989, rmsese
neterminat. Dup aproape un deceniu de munc de actualizare i editorial,
dicionarul a aprut n anul 2009 la Editura Universitii Jagiellone, la Cracovia.
Lucrarea noastr se adreseaz n primul rnd publicului larg. Bineneles, un astfel
de dicionar trebuie s cuprind i unii termeni de specialitate, chiar unele forme
nvechite i regionalisme, necesare, de exemplu, celui care studiaz limba romn,
celui care citete literatura romn veche i clasic, traductorului. El cuprinde i
informaii de tip cultural, legate de istorie, politic, mitologie i religie (mai ales
cea ortodox, de ex. denumirile srbtorilor) informaii fr care unele articole
ar f neinteligibile pentru polonezi. La actualizarea lucrrii am introdus anumite
modifcri, astfel nct dicionarul s devin user-friendly pentru cititor. Chiar dac
nu se dovedesc a f n perfect conformitate cu instruciunile tradiionale, deciziile
noastre au fost determinate de ceea ce am putea numi adecvarea la cititor, urmnd
binecunoscutul principiu al utilitii publice al lui E. Coeriu, dup care cercettorul
nu are dreptul s se izoleze , ca ntr-un turn de flde, n sfera ngust a specialitii
sale, vorbind exclusiv pentru i pe nelesul <savanilor>. (Munteanu 2005:37).
Credem c acest dicionar este menit s fe de folos n primul rnd cititorului
obinuit, care nu posed nici cunotine flologice specializate, nici cunotine
specializate n alte domenii. Nu am evitat, aadar, explicaiile de tip enciclopedic,
atunci cnd le-am socotit importante pentru nelegerea unui anumit lexem de ctre
cititorul polonez. Am ncercat s introducem i neologismele aprute n limba romn
n ultimii 20 de ani. Actualizarea i revizuirea primei versiuni a fost ns o munc grea,
dat find faptul c au existat puini specialiti (sau nu exist deloc; de exemplu juriti,
politologi, dar i ingineri etc.) care s cunoasc bine ambele limbi. Numai cei care au
astfel de competene - i lingvistice i ntr-un domeniu bine precizat - pot hotr dac
echivalenele date sunt corecte sau nu. i vorbim despre situaia unor limbi pentru
care nu s-au elaborat dicionare de specialitate bilingve, n ri n care resursele
fnanciare pentru tiin sunt nc minime. n consecin, viitorii cititori care vor
consulta n acest dicionar, de exemplu, termeni juridici, nu vor gsi ntotdeauna ceea
ce au nevoie dat find faptul c nu am gsit specialiti care s cunoasc amndou
sistemele juridice. Este mai simplu s stabileti un echivalent exact din domeniul
medicinei, dect din domeniul juridic, chiar administrativ pentru c i realitatea
difer n cele dou ri. Spre surpriza mea, chiar termenii botanici, cu toate c au i
denumirile latine, revizuii dup 20 de ani, au suferit multe modifcri.
O situaie aparte am avut la lexicul religios, unde am pornit de la ideea c termenii
romneti trebuie tradui prin termeni din limbajul ortodocilor polonezi. Pentru
c limbajul acestora este puin dezvoltat i puin descris n cadrul limbii polone
(majoritatea polonezilor find catolici), corpusul acesta a cerut mult efort i timp
(1). Aadar, am contiina c prima ediie a dicionarului nu este perfect (oare un
dicionar poate f perfect?), dar, cu timpul, va f revizuit i ea.
Constatarea c limba mbtrnete i c, dup 20 de ani care s-au scurs de la
culegerea materialului lexical, s-a schimbat realitatea i limba care o refect, este
un truism. n acest text nu m voi ocupa de totalitatea schimbrilor care trebuiau
efectuate n procesul de actualizare, aceast munc find descris parial n articolul
meu publicat anterior (Porawska 2006). Necesitatea introducerii noilor cuvinte i
a noilor sensuri este evident, mai ales astzi, n lumea dominat de internet. Nici
descrierea complex a elementelor fals prezentate existente n dicionarele publicate
n Romnia i n Polonia din aceast perioad nu va constitui scopul prezentrii mele.
Deformarea imaginii cultural-lingvistice a lumii, efectul ideologizrii din perioada
trecut n amndou limbile este descris n cteva lucrri de sintez i ntr-o serie
de articole (Zafu 2007 i alii). E. Coeriu, n articolul su Limbaj i politic vorbea
despre uzul lingvistic determinat de atitudinile i ideologiile politice, de valorile i
nuanele speciale pe care cuvintele cele care aparin terminologiei politice ca atare,
dar i multe din limbajul curent de obicei le dobndesc n cadrul unor anumite
ideologii (Coeriu 2002:20); i, mai departe: n regimurile <autoritare> att de
dreapta, ct i de stnga, termenul <partid> ajunge s fe folosit pentru [partidul
unic], adic pentru ceva care ar prea s fe negarea ideii nsei de <partid> i apare n
construcii care indic explicit aceast <unicitate> (<a intra n Partid>, <a f membru
de Partid>) (ibidem).
Intenia mea este de a prezenta un fragment al imaginii cultural-lingvistice a
lumii anilor 80 ai secolului trecut, aa cum transpare ea din descrierea lexicografc
din primul corpus de exemple al dicionarului nostru. Mai precis, un fragment al
acestei imagini, descris pe baza articolelor eliminate sau modifcate de noi n timpul
revizuirii, sau, cel puin, a celor care au cptat indicaia ist. i care s-au referit la
limba de lemn, la limbajul politic i economic al epocii.
ncepnd cu Hasdeu, ineanu i Tiktin ca s enumr numai cteva nume de
mari lexicograf romni, lingvitii au atras atenia c un dicionar de limb refect
i, n acelai timp fxeaz, nu numai o anumit etap a dezvoltrii lingvistice, ci i
fragmente ale realitii i ale experienei umane. Din cauza acestei oglinzi a societii
(2), pietrifcate n limb i descrise sub form de dicionar, lucrrile lexicografce
pot f un cmp de investigaie interesant i un teren de analize, artnd imaginea
cultural-lingvistic a lumii. Cercetarea de acest tip a cunoscut o dezvoltare deosebit
n Polonia n ultimele decenii (exist deja o tradiie n domeniu, astfel nct putem
vorbi despre un cognitivism polonez). Aceasta presupune, la modul general, privirea
lumii prin prisma limbajului, interpretarea ei pe baza analizei datelor lingvistice,
Lingua A. Linguistics
iar analiza datelor lingvistice permite reconstituirea acestor reprezentri, stabilirea
modalitii n care un polonez interpreteaz lumea, observ trsturile lucrurilor i
ale persoanelor, le stabilete ierarhia, precum i locul omului n cadrul acestui univers
(Bartmiski, Panasiuk 1993:347). E. Coeriu spunea, n articolul citat anterior, c
textele politice pot f studiate ca orice text, n sens <flologic>, adic n calitate de
documente, ca surse de informaie istoric sau istorico-cultural, inclusiv n ceea ce
privete concepiile i ideologiile politice (Coeriu 2002:24).
n aceeai ordine de idei, o opinie asemntoare formuleaz Mariana Ne ntr-unul
dintre articole. Autoarea scrie, n concluziile analizei sale, referitoare la cercetarea
operelor lexicografce: Dicionarele de limb constituie i un instrument util pentru
studiul culturii i al civilizaiei la un moment dat, pentru c refect evoluia acestora
i, n continuare Evoluia limbii, evoluia lexicografei i evoluia civilizaiei snt n
interdependen (Ne 2005:455-470).
Cercetarea propus de mine se situeaz ntr-un cadru teoretic mai amplu al
etnolingvisticii actuale, defnit de E. Coeriu n aa fel nct ea s corespund unei
<lingvistici e s c h e o l o g i c e> (....), care s studieze n totalitatea sa contribuia
<cunoaterii lucrurilor> cu privire la confguraia i funcionarea limbajului
(Coeriu 1994:134) (3). Pornind de la corelaia limbaj cultur n aa conturat de
E. Coeriu etnolingvistica propriu-zis sau lingvistica etnografc obiectul de studiu
este limbajul , este vorba de fapte lingvistice ca find condiionate de <cunoaterile>
despre lucruri (ibidem:135). Etnolingvisticii limbii i aparine, n mod cert, studiul
faptelor unei limbi ca find motivate de cunoaterile (idei, convingeri, concepii,
ideologii) despre <lucruri> (...) (ibidem:145).
Autorii dicionarelor bilingve cunosc, n general, nu numai limbile pe care le
descriu, ci i realitatea vieii popoarelor care le folosesc. Regretata Halina Mirska
Lasota, dup studii i doctoratul susinut n Romnia, a lucrat toat viaa la Agenia
Polonez de Presa ca redactor responsabil cu rile socialiste (1956-1986), prednd
concomitent limba romn la Universitatea din Varovia. Perioada ndelungat
de contacte cu limbajul presei romneti din epoc i multe experiene personale,
lucrarea ei tiinifc din domeniul lingvisticii (4), efectuarea de numeroase traduceri,
toate acestea constituie o garanie a excelentei cunoateri a ambelor limbi i, n acelai
timp, a realitii anilor din perioada trecut. n corpusul iniial al dicionarului nostru
apar cuvinte i contexte specifce epocii, multe provenind din presa romneasc a
anilor 70-80(5). Materialul descris l constituie aa numitele solidariti lexicale
(unitile sintagmatice), adic colocaiile care aparin discursului repetat (Lingvistica
integral 1996:36) care au aprut ca exemple n materialul cules n anii 70 ai secolului
trecut. Ceea ce a fost fxat n limb este (a fost), de asemenea, fxat n contiina
social ntr-o perioad istoric concret (Bartmiski, Panasiuk 1993:373) Analiznd
exemplele, contextele folosite anterior, aa cum apreau ele n presa epocii, modifcate
de noi n timpul revizuirii, putem contura deci i imaginea contiinei sociale a anilor
70-80 ai secolului XX, sau, cel puin, imaginea ei dorit de conductorii vremii.
Ilustraii practice. Grupul cel mai mare de exemple care au suferit modifcri
este din domeniul limbii de lemn a epocii, mai ales din domeniul politicii i, n al
doilea rnd, din cel al economiei (6). Cel mai des am luat hotrrea de a schimba
exemplul sau de a-l completa prin indicaia ist. sau polit., mult mai rar am eliminat
articolul n ntregime. Contiina noastr lingvistic de dup anul 2000 ne-a
determinat s schimbm contextele folosite anterior.
a. Realitatea politic. Aadar, activitatea Partidului Comunist (Romn n
Romnia), numit muncitoresc n Polonia (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza) a
constituit o zon lingvistic foarte bine reprezentat n limbajul presei de atunci.
Realitatea perioadei anilor 70-80 poate f parial reconstituit, scond la iveal
urmtoarele aspecte (7):
1. modul de funcionare a partidului
congrs n (pl ~e) 1. zjazd m; kongres m; ~ de partid <de sindicate> zjazd partyjny
<zwizkw zawodowych>; ~ tiinifc kongres naukowy;
I. ~ul Partidului Comunist Romn
II. ~ de partid <de sindicate>
lrg|t, ~ta adj (mpl ~i, fpl ~te) rozszerzony, poszerzony
s-a scos contextul plenara lrgit
Urmeaz exemplele care arat:
2. apartenena la partid:
mmbr|u, ~ (mpl ~i, fpl ~e) I n , (..) II m, f czon/ek m, -kini f; ~u de sindicat
czonek zwizku zawodowego
I. ~u de partid
II. ~u de sindicat
candid|t, ~t m, f (mpl ~i, fpl ~te) kandydat m, -ka f; ~t la preedinie kandydat
do urzdu prezydenta
I. ~ de partid
II. ~t la preedinie
exclde I vt (excld) wyklucza; wycza; a ~ dintr-un partid wyklucza
z (jakiej) partii
I. a ~ din partid
II. a ~ dintr-un partid
epur| vt (~z) 2. przen. oczyszcza; usuwa; polit. a ~a rndurile funcionarilor
przeprowadzi czystk w szeregach urzdnikw
Lingua A. Linguistics
I. a ~a rndurile partidului
II. a ~a rndurile funcionarilor
3. modul propagandistic de a gndi
transpare din urmtoarele exemple:
lni|e f (pl ~i) 11. linia f; punkt m; kierunek m; zarys m; n ~i generale
<mari> w oglnych zarysach; pe toat ~a na caej linii; polit. pe ~e de stat po linii
I. pe ~e de partid
II. pe ~e de stat
nvtr| f (pl ~i) 1. nauka f; ~a lui Hegel doktryna Hegla
I. ~ marxist
II. ~a lui Hegel
nvm|nt n (pl ~inte) 2. nauczanie n; program de ~nt program m nauczania
s-a scos exemplul program de ~nt n politic <ideologic, de partid>
evoli|e f (pl ~i) 1. ewolucja f; rozwj m; ~a gndirii flozofce rozwj myli
I. ~a gndirii marxiste
II. ~a gndirii flozofce
gndr|e f (pl ~i) 2. myl f; ~e umanist myl humanistyczna
I. ~e marxist
II. ~e umanist
4. lupta pentru pace a lagrului comunist:
lgr n (pl ~e) 1. wojsk. obz m; ~ de prizonieri <de concentrare> obz jeniecki
s-a scos exemplul ~ socialist<capitalist>
mennere fsing utrzymywanie (si) n, trwanie n; ~a ordinii <pcii> zachowanie
n porzdku <pokoju>
I. ~a pcii
II. ~a ordinii <pcii>
altur| (~z) II vr a se ~a 2. przycza si, przystpowa; a se ~a micrii pentru
drepturile omului przycza si do ruchu na rzecz praw czowieka
I. a se ~a micrii pentru pace
II. a se ~a micrii pentru drepturile omului
5. atitudinea fa de (aa numita) lumea a treia:
detept (detpt) I vr a se ~a 1. budzi si; rozbudza si; m-am ~t trziu
obudziem si pno; przen. natura se deteapt la via przyroda budzi si do
I. popoarele se deteapt la via
II. natura se deteapt la via
capituli|e f (pl ~i) polit. praw. kapitulacja f (= konwencja midzy pastwami,
z ktrych jedno zapewnia drugiemu ochron prawn jego obywateli)
I. (= convenie impus unei ri semicoloniale de ctre o ar capitalist,
n virtutea creia aceasta obine anumite privilegii pentru cetenii si stabilii
II. (= convenie care asigur cetenilor unui stat anumite privilegii pe terioriul
altui stat)
6. realitatea politic nou de dup 1989:
guvrn n (pl ~e) rzd m; ~ de coaliie <minoritar> rzd koalicyjny
Articolul iniial a fost redactat fr context, s-a adugat : ~ de coaliie
fundi|e f (pl ~i) 2. fundacja f; Fundaia pentru Drepturile Omului Fundacja na
rzecz Praw Czowieka; Fundaia Cultural Romn Rumuska Fundacja Kultury
Nu au existat exemplele, am adugat: Fundaia pentru Drepturile Omului;
Fundaia Cultural Romn .
integr|re f (pl ~ri) 2. ekon., polit. integracja f; ~area produciei integracja
produkcji <produkcyjna>; ~are n structurile euroatlantice wczanie si do struktur
euroatlantyckich; ~are european integracja europejska
I. ~area produciei
II. ~are n structurile euroatlantice; ~are european
intr vi (ntru) 7. zaczyna, rozpoczyna ; a ~ de serviciu rozpoczyna
<obejmowa> dyur; am ~t n douzeci de ani rozpoczem dwudziesty rok ycia
s-a scos colocaia: a intra n cmpul muncii
naionl, ~ adj (mpl ~i, fpl ~e) narodowy; venit ~ dochd narodowy; problem
~ kwestia narodowa <narodowociowa>; minoritate ~ mniejszo narodowa;
s-a adugat: minoritate ~
nesupner|e f (pl ~i) nieposuszestwo n, nieulego f, niesubordynacja f; ~e
civil nieposuszestwo obywatelskie
s-a adugat: ~e civil
7. experienele romneti sau cele poloneze:
Dup experienele poloneze din 1981, cuvntul marial a cptat i exemplul
colocaia a introduce legea marial, iar
activist a cptat indicaiile polit., peiorativ.
b. Realitatea economic a anilor 80 transpare din urmtoarele exemple din
domeniul economic, n sens larg, care se refer la:
Lingua A. Linguistics
8. proprietate:
particulr, ~ (mpl ~i, fpl ~e) III m 1. osoba prywatna 2. waciciel m sklepu
<zakadu>, pot. inicjatywa prywatna, prywaciarz m
Am scos indicaia nvechit ( dawn.) i exemplul: a cumpra de la particulari
editr| f (pl ~i) wydawnictwo n; ~ de stat <particular, tiinifc, universitar>
wydawnictwo pastwowe <prywatne, naukowe, uniwersyteckie>
s-a adugat: <particular, tiinifc, universitar>
9. impozite:
hotr| (~sc) I vt 5. uchwala;
I. parlamentul a ~t desfinarea impozitelor parlament uchwali obnik
II. parlamentul a ~t mrirea impozitelor parlament uchwali podwyk
impzit n (pl ~e) ekon. podatek m; ~ pe venit <pe autovehicule, pe salariu>
podatek dochodowy <samochodowy, od zarobku>
s-a adugat: pe salariu
grl| f (pl ~e) 4. przen. prg m (wyborczy, podatkowy)
s-a adugat: fn. ~e de impozitare
10. cumprturi:
gs| (~sc) III vr a se ~i 2. wystpowa (w przyrodzie)
I. n magazine nu se gsete nimic
a fost nlocuit prin:
II. n Silesia se ~ete mult crbune
gs| (~sc) 6. dosta; zdoby; kupi; am fost la magazin, dar n-am ~it
nimic convenabil byem w sklepie, ale nie udao mi si kupi niczego, co by mi
prima versiune:
I. am fost la magazin, dar n-am ~it nimic
a fost completat prin:
II. nimic convenabil:
cod f (pl czi) 8. kolejka f; ogonek m; ~ la cas kolejka do kasy; ~ pentru
bilete <carne> kolejka po bilety <miso>; a face ~ sta w kolejce; a cumpra fr ~
kupowa bez kolejki
prima versiune:
I. ~ pentru carne
completat prin
II. la cas; ~ pentru bilete
nimer| (~sc) III vr a se ~i 2. pot. traf <nawin> si; citete tot ce se ~ete
czyta wszystko, co si traf <jak leci, pot. jak popado>
I. cumpr tot ce se ~ete
II. citete tot ce se ~ete
Am renunat la articolul nechezol din cauza absenei unui echivalent polonez.
desfin|re f (pl ~ri) zniesienie n, likwidacja f; ~area unui program likwidacja
I. ~area cartelelor
a fost nlocuit prin
II. ~area unui program
Limba se transform sub infuena schimbrilor de regim, att ca instrument
al descrierii, ct i ca instrument implicat n aceste schimbri iar Percepia (...)
lumii depinde de punctul de vedere adoptat (...) care decide modul de a vorbi despre
evenimentele social-politice, infueneaz interpretarea fenomenelor, evaluarea i
estimarea lor (trad. ns) (Kamiska-Szmaj 2001:7). Opinia citat a Irenei Kamiska-
Szmaj, lingvist polonez care a descris limbajul politicii de dup 1989 n Polonia, i
gsete confrmarea n materialul lingvistic analizat, referitor la trecutul comunist,
n linii mari comun n Romnia i n Polonia. Autoarea observ, n continuare, c,
dndu-i seama de compromiterea limbajului din epoca trecut i dorind s rmn
pe scena politic, politicienii i ziaritii erau contieni de necesitatea de a-i schimba
comportamentul comunicaional, n conformitate cu noul context politic.
Ciocnirea ntre formele vechi i cele noi este resimit mai ales n procesul de
traducere, dicionarele bilingve care rspund necesitilor urgente ale vieii find
aadar un teren de investigaie interesant i pentru analize de tip cultural-lingvistic.
Autorii lor, care triesc, de obicei, n dou lumi create de limbile comparate, observ
mai bine unele fenomene, iar realitatea i mpinge s introduc n dicionar unele
forme i semnifcaii care lipsesc din dicionarele unilingve. Bineneles, contextele
care, n cazul dicionarului romn-polon, le-au nlocuit pe cele din anii 70-80,
pot deveni cu timpul i ele un teren de cercetare. Ele vor f probabil modifcate n
dicionarele viitoare, pentru c, nemaifind oprimat de sistemul unui partid unic,
realitatea se schimb repede, iar internetul infueneaz puternic cantitatea i calitatea
comunicrii interumane.
Lingua A. Linguistics
1. Nici n dicionarele explicative romneti (adic punctul de plecare pentru munca noastr) acest domeniu nu a
fost bine elaborat. n anul 2000, Rodica Zafu observa: Terminologia bisericeasc e lacunar i uneori chiar incorect
prezentat n multe dintre dicionarele noastre moderne; acest lucru e poate chiar mai evident pentru lexicul catolic
dect pentru cel ortodox (Zafu 2000). i, n continuare, (...) n dicionarele de dup rzboi, ca efect al cenzurii
ideologice, prezena termenilor bisericeti (i cu att mai mult a celor catolici) e redus la minimum [ibidem].
2. cci nemic mai social ca limba, <creatorul i oglinda societii>, fr care nu se pot asocia doi indivizi i s-ar
spulbera ntr-o clip orice comunitate uman (Hasdeu 1988:VII).
3. E. Coeriu atrage atenia, ntr-o comunicare prezentat n 1978, asupra faptului c etnolingvistica s-a dezvoltat
pn acum ntr-un mod fragmentar, iar n cadrul programului <Wrter und Sachen> i al geografei lingvistice, s-a
acordat atenie n principal relaiei dintre limbaj (n special: lexic) i cultura popular <material>. (...) ns aceasta
este insufcient, deoarece condiionarea limbajului prin <lucruri> i prin <cunoaterile despre lucruri> depete cu
mult ceea ce a fost considerat pn acum ca atare (Coeriu 1994:133).
4. Halina Mirska Lasota (1930-2006) a susinut n 1974, la Facultatea de Limb i Literatur Romn a Universitii
din Bucureti, teza de doctorat intitulat Aspectul verbal n limba romn (pe baza comparaiei ntre limba polon i
limba romn), conductorul tezei find prof. Alexandru Graur.
5. Unele explicaii din interiorul articolelor se datoreaz experienei ndelungate de via a Halinei Mirska Lasota.
Acest factor important la autori de dicionare (vrst i experien) nu poate , totui, nlocui existena operelor
lexicografce cuprinznd , mai ales, cuvintele din limba de lemn din perioada comunist n Romnia, unde strinul
ar putea gsi formele nechezol, obsedantul deceniu, patrioi, petreui etc.
6. n prezentul articol nu m ocup cu termenii specializai, tiinifci din domeniul economiei ci, mai degrab de
formele din limbajul general, de fecare zi.
7. Pentru a uura lectura prezint schimbrile efectuate sub forma unei scheme, n care apare articolul citat (sau un
fragment al lui) n forma lui actual, iar sublinierile au fost introduse de mine pentru nevoile acestui text, pentru
a pune n relief fragmentele modifcate. Cifrele romane sunt folosite dupa modelul urmtor: I pentru exemplul
anterior, II pentru contextul actual.
1. Bartmiski, J. Panasiuk. (1993). Stereotypy jzykowe, (in:) Encyklopedia Kultury Polskiej XX wieku t. 2. Wspczesny
jzyk polski. coord. J. Bartmiski , Wrocaw , 363-387.
2. Coeriu, E. (1994). Lingvistic din perspectiv spaial i antropologic. Chiinu: tiina.
3. Coeriu, E. (2002). Limbaj i politic, Identitatea limbii i literaturii romne n perspectiva globalizrii, volum
ngrijit de Ofelia Ichim i Florin-Teodor Olariu, Iai: Editura Trinitas, 17-40.
4. Kamiska-Szmaj, I. (2001). Sowa na wolnoci. Jzyk polityki po 1989 roku. Wrocaw:Wydawnictwo Europa.
5. Hasdeu B.P., Studii de lingvistic i flologie 1, p. VII, Bucureti:Editura Minerva, 1988.
6. Lingvistica integral. Interviu cu Eugeniu Coeriu realizat de Nicolae Saramandu. (1996). Bucureti:Editura
Fundaiei Culturale Romne.
7. Munteanu, E. (2005). Introducere n lingvistic. Iai: Polirom.
8. Ne, M. (2005). Urbanizare i dicionare, Limbaje i comunicare: Colocviul Internaional de tiine ale Limbajului:
ediia a VII-a, Suceava Cernui, 2-5 oct. 2003, vol. VII, Ed. Universitii Suceava, pp. 455-470.
9. Porawska, J. (2006). Problemele elaborrii noului dicionar romn-polon, Identitatea cultural romneasc n
contextul integrrii europen, volum ngrijit de Marius-Radu Clim, Ofelia Ichim, Laura Manea, Florin-Teodor Olariu,
Iai: Editura Alfa, 291-296.
10. Sownik rumusko-polski (1970). Warszawa: Pastwowe Wydawnictwo Wiedza Powszechna, red. Jan
11. Zafu, R. (2000). Lexicografce i bisericeti, Romnia literar, nr.46, 22 noiembrie.
12. Zafu, R. (2007). Limbaj i politic. Bucureti: Editura Universitii din Bucureti.
Para el estudio del rumano en Espaa, el ao 1976 represent, sin duda
alguna, un hito importante ya que fue entonces cuando comenzaron los cursos de
esta lengua en la Escuela Ofcial de Idiomas de Madrid. Las Escuelas Ofciales de
Idiomas son centros de titularidad estatal creados en 1911 con el fn exclusivo de
ensear lenguas extranjeras a cualquier ciudadano mayor de catorce aos que deseara
aprenderlas por razones diversas, lo que haca que el pblico-meta no tuviera, por
tanto, que tener necesariamente una preparacin flolgica.
El Departamento de Rumano naci para completar la oferta de lenguas romnicas,
unindose pues a los de francs, italiano y portugus. Posteriormente, alrededor
del ao 1985, se crearon los departamentos de gallego y de cataln. Actualmente,
los alumnos pueden elegir entre 20 idiomas: desde los de circulacin internacional
(ingls, francs, alemn), hasta otros ms minoritarios, como irlands, fns o hngaro;
todas las lenguas romnicas; dos eslavas (ruso y polaco), y tambin rabe, japons y
chino, que han conocido en los ltimos dos o tres aos un aumento signifcativo en
Jos Damin Gonzlez-Barros
he present study describes the activity of the Department of
Romanian Language from Escuela Ocial de Idiomas in Madrid. In
my position of a member of this department I will take into discussion
a useful method we successfully apply in the teaching/learning
process of the Romanian language. In the 70s the Romanian language
was learned by philologists only. Starting with 1999, due to the great
number of Romanians coming in Spain, a great number of persons
needed to learn the language of the country. A publishing house
from Madrid came up with a successful idea for the books teaching
the Romanian language: some tables used during the revision classes
that include both grammar aspects and vocabulary notions specic
for diverse communication contexts These tables were useful in order
to make a synthesis of the Romanian morphology, where, more than
often the exceptions from the rule are the rule itself.
Diagram, table, revision, study, morphology
* Departamento de Rumano de la Escuela Ofcial de Idiomas de Madrid Jess Maestro
Lingua A. Linguistics
el nmero de estudiantes. A estos idiomas se aade tambin el espaol como lengua
extranjera en rgimen intensivo de dos horas diarias de clase. En la actualidad, el
Departamento de Rumano cuenta con dos profesores, Ana Maria Diaconescu,
licenciada por la Facultad de Lenguas Extranjeras de la Universidad de Bucarest,
y el autor de estas lneas, licenciado por la Facultad de Filologa de la Universidad
Complutense de Madrid. Hasta el ao 1999-2000, la mayora de los alumnos que se
matriculaban en los cursos de rumano eran estudiantes de la Facultad de Filologa,
tanto de la especialidad de romnicas, como de la de clsicas, a los que se unan
personas con diversas formaciones y profesiones, a las que les gustaba estudiar
idiomas y las cuales, despus de haber aprendido los de circulacin internacional,
queran tambin conocer una lengua ms extica. Adems de estos alumnos, haba
tambin personas que haban viajado a Rumana y que, desde el recuerdo de los das
que haban pasado all, de los lugares visitados y de las personas que haban conocido,
queran aprender a hablar rumano ya que tenan la intencin de volver en un futuro
no muy lejano.
La fecha mencionada anteriormente representa el momento en el que los rumanos
comenzaron a emigrar a Espaa en un nmero cada vez mayor, y esta situacin
supuso, evidentemente, una conexin ms estrecha, un conocimiento recproco, ms
directo, entre los dos pueblos, sobre todo en el caso de los espaoles, teniendo en
cuenta que hasta entonces Rumana, los rumanos, la cultura rumana eran muy poco
conocidos por el gran pblico, lo cual tambin contribuy a que aumentara el nmero
de alumnos de nuestro Departamento y a una diversifcacin de los mismos. Adems
de las tres categoras de estudiantes antes mencionadas, tambin encontramos ahora
a los que han hecho amistad con rumanos que han emigrado a Espaa, o a los
que se han casado con rumanos/rumanas asentados en nuestro pas y que quieren
comunicar con los parientes (suegros, cuados etc.) que se han quedado en Rumana.
Estn tambin los que trabajan para empresas espaolas que desarrollan su actividad
comercial en este pas, otros son maestros o profesores con un nmero signifcativo
de alumnos rumanos en sus grupos, otros son trabajadores sociales que se ocupan
de los inmigrantes y sus problemas. Por consiguiente, un grupo muy heterogneo,
deseoso de conocer la realidad, la cultura, las costumbres de los rumanos, y en este
sentido, la lengua es, sin duda, la mejor manera para entrar en ese nuevo espacio.
En este contexto de gran inters por el rumano, la editorial Palas Atenea Centro
de Lingstica Aplicada de Madrid, quiso publicar dos trabajos importantes para
el estudio de este idioma: una serie de tablas para repasar los principales puntos
gramaticales y un vocabulario para varias situaciones comunicativas. La misma
editorial ha publicado (y sigue publicando) trabajos de esta ndole en ingls, francs,
alemn, italiano, portugus, espaol, y tambin en polaco, ruso, eslovaco, blgaro,
hebreo, etc. El proyecto tiene como objetivo difundir lenguas menos conocidas y al
mismo tiempo ofrecer a los que las aprenden un valioso instrumento de estudio.
La editorial Palas Atenea se puso en contacto con nuestro Departamento
para que redactramos estos dos trabajos, teniendo en cuenta un criterio que
personalmente me ha parecido muy interesante: los Esquemas de gramtica los
tena que escribir un hablante no nativo, ya que ste, al haber aprendido esa lengua,
sabe mejor lo que es difcil para un estudiante espaol y cmo se puede enfocar la
explicacin de un determinado aspecto gramatical; mientras que el Lxico para
situaciones comunicativas estaba a cargo de un hablante nativo, puesto que ste tiene,
obviamente, un sentido de la lengua que, en principio, un hablante no nativo no
posee. Por lo tanto, yo me encargu de la realizacin de los Esquemas, y Ana Maria
Diaconescu, la jefe del departamento, se encarg del Lxico para situaciones.
Tambin deseo subrayar una particularidad de todos los libros de esta serie, un
gran invento de la editorial: las pginas, en formato A5, se pueden desprender del
lomo y se pueden volver a poner en su sitio. Se trata de que el estudiante se lleve slo
aquellas tablas que quiera estudiar o repasar y poder leerlas en el autobs o en una
pausa en la facultad o en el trabajo, sin tener que cargar con todo el librito.
La primera edicin de estas tablas apareci en junio de 2002 con el nombre de
Esquemas de rumano. Gramtica y usos lingsticos, y el vocabulario en abril de
2005 con el ttulo de Lxico para situaciones. Espaol/Rumano, Romn/Spaniol.
Ambos trabajos tuvieron un gran xito de ventas, lo que prueba el inters creciente
por el rumano que existe en Espaa.
La experiencia de la realizacin de estos Esquemas fue muy interesante para m
como profesor de rumano y estudiante de otras varias lenguas extranjeras. Qu deben
contener estos cuadros? Los aspectos gramaticales ms importantes de la lengua,
claro est, presentados de manera sucinta (haba un lmite tanto para las dimensiones
de la pgina, como para el nmero de las mismas), con un breve texto en espaol.
En principio, el objetivo del trabajo no era el de presentar la lengua rumana a una
persona que quisiera acercarse a ella con inters de fllogo o de afcionado al estudio
de lenguas extranjeras, o con la intencin de aprenderlas utilizando los cuadros en
vez de un libro de texto. La idea fundamental fue ms bien poner al alcance de los
estudiantes de rumano (tanto a los que estudiaban en nuestro Departamento o en la
Facultad de Filologa, como a los que estudiaban por su cuenta), una herramienta que
les permitiera repasar las nociones de gramtica que haban aprendido de manera
terica y prctica, pero que les resultaban difciles y deban sistematizarse y repetirse
fuera de las aulas. An ms si cabe en el caso del rumano, donde las excepciones a la
regla...son una norma.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Para cualquier extranjero que empiece a aprender rumano existen varias
difcultades que lo ponen a prueba, y en este sentido un problema serio lo constituye
el hecho de que el rumano, a diferencia de otras lenguas, y seguramente de las otras
lenguas romnicas, es difcil desde el principio. La diferencia de gnero (masculino,
femenino, neutro), las formas doi/dou, la formacin del plural con sus mltiples
desinencias y las innumerables alternancias fonticas desorientan a cualquier aprendiz
ya desde las primeras lecciones. A todo esto se aade ms tarde la conjugacin de los
verbos en presente de indicativo, con las cuatro conjugaciones que se transforman en
ocho paradigmas distintos, ms, otra vez, las correspondientes alternancias fonticas
(un aspecto en el que el rumano sobresale de manera especial). Esto es sufciente para
que la formacin de una frase sencilla se convierta en un verdadero problema al
haber tantas posibilidades de eleccin (gnero, desinencia de plural, desinencia de
persona...). Esta es la razn por la cual los cuadros deban comprender, en la medida
de lo posible, todo este abanico de irregularidades (o de aspectos que un extranjero
considera como irregularidades, aunque no sean consideradas como tales), como son
las alternancias fonticas, sistemticas en rumano, pero una fuente de problemas para
cualquier alumno, que no entiende, por ejemplo, por qu un sustantivo como ceac
tiene un plural ceti, forma en la que difcilmente se reconoce el singular.
Lo mismo ocurre con la conjugacin de los verbos en presente de indicativo.
Deban presentarse no slo los ocho modelos de conjugacin, sino tambin otros
modelos para la primera conjugacin (la ms difcil para un extranjero), como a
pleca, a cumpra, a nva, a juca.
Para la realizacin de estas tablas consult todos los libros de rumano para
extranjeros que tuve entonces a mi alcance y fui cogiendo algo de cada uno de ellos,
comprobando que no todos tenan los mismos esquemas o que no todos eran tan
amplios como hubiera querido, aadiendo otros donde hiciera falta. Otras veces
recurr tambin a tablas hechas por mis estudiantes (no pocas veces es el mismo
aprendiz quien hace el esquema o el resumen ms adecuado para l). Ese fue el caso
para la tabla con las formas combinadas de los pronombres en dativo y acusativo.
Debo confesar que en ninguno de los manuales publicados hasta ahora encontr
una solucin mejor para un aprendizaje efcaz de estos pronombres que siguen
constituyendo un aspecto difcil en el proceso de adquisicin del rumano y que, a mi
modo de ver, no estaba enfocado en los libros de una manera satisfactoria.
Tal como ya he mencionado, el lmite del nmero de pginas impuesto por la
editorial (y que en el caso del rumano ya superaba de todos modos el nmero fjado
para las otras lenguas publicadas hasta entonces), no ha permitido presentar aspectos
gramaticales importantes como el discurso indirecto, ni considerar, aunque fuera
de manera breve, la sintaxis. La rica (y difcil) morfologa del rumano se impuso,
al ocupar un considerable nmero de pginas. En el caso de cualquier lengua
romnica, la morfologa tiene un peso tan grande que un enfoque comunicativo de
la enseanza/aprendizaje de estas lenguas no puede disminuir la importancia del
estudio sistemtico de las formas gramaticales. Ahora bien, en el caso del rumano,
este peso es an mayor, y por eso considero que un obra de estas caractersticas, a base
de tablas de repaso puede ser un muy buen complemento tambin para un enfoque
comunicativo. No podemos librarnos fcilmente de la gramtica y es bueno saber
y recordar que, con independencia de la manera en que se vaya a ensear el rumano,
se tiene que conceder una atencin especial a la morfologa.

The teaching and assessment of foreign languages are areas difficult
to defne outside and across national or cultural boundaries, as they depend to a
signifcant extent on local social, political and educational contexts whose variety of
content and purpose cannot be easily ignored.
However, the need to transcend spatial limitations and engage actively in inter-
cultural communication has become, especially in recent years, an important item
on the educational policy agendas of many countries around the world, as well as
a central goal for education in the EU member countries. Te desirable efect of
developing cultural knowledge and empathy with people of other languages and
and of deepening students understanding of the peoples and places of
the world [in order to] foster an attitude of respect for those cultures
has come to
be seen as one of the direct results of foreign language learning and therefore as one
of the most important tasks of foreign language teaching. Tus, from the point of
view of the Council of Europe, modern language teaching should aim at promoting
Ioana Nan
oreign language learning has become, in recent years, one of the
most important objectives on the educational agendas of European
Union member states. Consequently, the role of foreign language
teachers has also gained in prominence. The idea of the article is that
foreign language teaching makes professionals in the eld share the
same characteristics and have the same mission as mediators between
nations and cultures. As far as assessment practices are concerned, the
article raises some questions as to whether it is society who should
inuence the setting of learning standards or, rather, standards which
should determine what is to be acknowledged as valuable in a given
Educational policies, foreign language teaching, assessment,
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
not only the personal development of the individual, but also a positive attitude
towards other cultures, free from prejudice, intolerance and xenophobia.
On the other hand, research has shown that it is still not certain to what extent
language learning activities and programmes will actually produce these positive
cross-cultural attitudes unless they are specifcally structured to do so by including
communicative language teaching as well as thorough knowledge and understanding
of the real target culture defned as the native speakers way of thinking, feeling and
viewing the world.
In this context, the role of language teachers as cultural mediators
becomes crucial, and their special status among teachers comes to the fore. Terefore
it might not be entirely irrelevant to ask ourselves whether, if it is only logical and
usually taken for granted that the teacher makes the subject, the subject can also
make the teacher in other words, whether there is something about the subject
matter of language that distinguishes it (and its teachers) from other subjects.
Research over the years has shown that questions such as this are not unjustifed,
especially since it has been pointed out that most of our current knowledge of teaching
actually comes from subject areas characterized by a paradigmatic type of knowledge
(such as science or mathematics), which might not make it ideally suited to describe
and understand areas such as foreign language teaching, defned by narrative ways
of knowing.
While hard disciplines such as physics or chemistry emphasise
cognitive goals such as learning facts, the sof areas of humanities focus more on
general knowledge, character development and thinking skills. Moreover, foreign
language teaching is one of the few areas of the humanities where the medium is the
message, that is, the content and the process of learning the content are the same.

Consequently, the widely used concept of pedagogical content knowledge, implying
teachers knowledge of a subject and of how to teach it, may not be wholly applicable
to foreign language teaching.
Tese and similar reasons have prompted research into what distinguishes foreign
language teachers from teachers of other subjects. Te report publishing the fndings
mentions fve groups of respondents to this question, including not only experienced
teachers (some of them master students in TESOL at a UK university), but also
pre-service English teachers, subject specialists in felds such as science, chemistry,
mathematics and history, as well as a number of undergraduate students in English.
Te respondents, all of them non-native speakers of English, came from various
countries in Europe, with two groups based in Hungary and Slovenia each.
Te fndings seem to confrm the researchers intuition that the topic deserves
further attention and resources. Roughly placed into two categories, these results
describe, on the one hand, the disciplinary characteristics of language teaching, and
on the other hand, the features of a good language teacher. Among the disciplinary
characteristics are mentioned:
1. Te nature of the subject matter:
Foreign language teaching requires the teacher to use a medium the students do
not yet understand, although all of them will have already learned their frst language.
Tis conclusion also triggered some comments of the conceptual demands of foreign
language learning, especially when it comes to adult, cognitively mature learners,
since it was felt that there might sometimes be a gap between the level of knowledge
one is asked to demonstrate in the foreign language and the more general cognitive
abilities of the learner. Te issue will be further dealt with when assessment problems
are discussed.
Furthermore, a foreign language is also felt to be an inherently ambiguous subject,
less hierarchically organised than maths, for example, and which encompasses a variety
of subdomains.
Tis translates for teachers into greater freedom in the classroom
and autonomy in developing the curriculum, but it also means a necessarily rigorous
selection of the learning areas and purposes.
2. Interaction patterns in classroom work which, desirable as they are in other
subjects, are not felt to be as necessary as they are in language learning.
3. Te professional abilities of language teachers - which are ofen perceived to be
the equivalent of their profciency in the target language.
4. Te practical outcomes of language teaching which are not comparable to
those of other subjects (as one of the respondents put it, Math graduates will not
apply Pythagoras when they go shopping).
5. Many more adults study languages than they do other subjects - which also
means that language teaching is driven, more than other subjects, by commercial
forces. However, it was pointed out that the subject itself is usually perceived as low
status, even if this status applies to other subjects such as history.
6. Language teaching is a political activity, introducing learners to ways of thinking
and being that refect those of the target culture. Te content of teaching in this case
was seen to be not only the language but the culture behind it.
As far as personal qualities of foreign language teachers are concerned, the
survey results revealed that, even if these were indeed desirable in teachers of other
subjects, they were seen as almost essential in foreign language teachers. Tus, what
was emphasized was the closer, more relaxed and more positive relationship with
learners, along with traits such as creativity, fexibility and a sense of humour.
Encouraging as these results may be, it must be mentioned that much of this
perceived distinctiveness is, as underlined before, context-dependent. Language
teaching is a socially constructed phenomenon, so any further research must pursue
Lingua A. Linguistics
the question with reference to particular educational settings, especially outside
Europe, where educational systems may still share a large enough number of common
aspects. So far, existing research has shown that, despite the diferent perceptions
of power and authority commonly associated with Asian countries, for example,
students in these surveyed countries also question the traditional authority structure
of the classroom, while European students, although culturally individualistic, have
a positive attitude to cooperating in groups to achieve common goals. Te more
progressive methodology usually associated with foreign language teaching may well
serve to promote these positive cross-cultural learning trends.
If language teaching is rated a political activity, so much more is assessment.
Calls for educational reform in countries such as the USA now include a new and
very strong demand for accountability in the form of testing systems that fnancially
punish or reward schools and educators based on students performance. Educational
funding around the world is now tied to reported achievement level.
In Europe, the impact of the CEFR comes from the fact that it ofers a common
metalanguage facilitating transparency and coherence in the provision of language
learning and in the reporting of achievement in it.
However, the language tests for
citizenship and immigration have brought to researchers attention another aspect of
assessment. Language tests have been compared to roads built by skilled engineers,
and the role of technical expertise as an exercise of power has been called into
question. Drawing on insights in social theory, the proponents of this new approach
to assessment advocate a more discriminate view of standardisation. Recognising the
and sustaining diversity are more important, in their opinion, than setting
rigid standards from a position of authority:
As new Englishes have started to emerge, language testers ask themselves how closely a
particular, localised variety does or does not align with an accepted, or acceptable,

Tis, in turn, triggers further considerations about the role of standardisation and
the choice of norms, as well as about the notion of prescriptivism is there a particular
language variety whose value is inherently higher? Te dilemma is well illustrated by
the frequently used comparison native speaker versus non-native speaker, when
the latters is itself a language variety. Moving beyond such traditional debates as
who owns the language? by accommodating linguistic diversity and recognising
the existence of international English marks the beginning of a new paradigm
characterised by notions of interdependence and complementary diferentciation
where assessment should primarily take an ethical perspective ensuring fairness and
equity to all stakeholders.
Tis is all the more necessary taking into account the signifcant attitudinal,
behavioural and developmental impact language test scores and their interpretation
might have on individuals or groups. On the other hand, it might be useful to see to
what extent tests and test policies are also infuenced by the kind of society where
they are applied. A case in point could be Norway
, a strongly egalitarian society
whose functioning is well illustrated by the unwritten principle according to which
Tou shalt not think that thou art better than thy neighbour. Te role of school in
the anti-elitist Norwegian society is to wipe out social diferences and ensure equity,
so that the less you have, the more you get. Under such particular circumstances,
the functions of competition and testing are difcult to grasp or to justify.
However, in the wake of some political changes and education reform, national
tests of English as a foreign language were frst introduced at secondary level in 2004.
Tey consisted in a computerised reading test and a direct test in writing. Teachers
were trained to apply the CEFR standards in assessing both skills. Nevertheless,
the feeling among stakeholders both test-takers and concerned parents were so
strong against the supposedly subjective assessment of writing that they triggered
a national debate about the reliability and usefulness of the writing test, as a result of
which this was dropped altogether.
It is difcult to imagine such developments in EU member countries that, despite
diferences in national standards, are still bound by a unique and commonly accepted
frame of reference. However, the example seems to illustrate that local societal
contexts do determine the need for standards or absence thereof.
Tis brief excursion into cross-cultural issues of teaching and assessment was
meant to suggest that, as teachers of foreign languages, we are not diferent from our
colleagues anywhere in the world, and that our work is valuable. On the other hand,
when it comes to assessment, we should probably learn more about how to become
thinkers, and not mere technicians.

1 2 Japanese 1999 Course of Study, Foreign Languages (Senior High School), in D.E. Ingram, op. cit.
3 Trim 1997, in D.E. Ingram, op. cit.
4 D.E. Ingram, Language Learning and Cross-Cultural Attitudes.
5 Grossman and Schulman 1987, in Simon Borg, Te Distinctive Characteristics of Foreign Language Teachers,
Language Teaching Research 10,1 (2006); pp. 331.
6 Hammadou and Bernhardt 1987, in Simon Borg, op. cit.
7 Freeman 2002, in Simon Borg, op. cit.
Lingua A. Linguistics
8 Grossman and Schulman 1994, in Simon Borg, op. cit.
9 Dr. Brian North, Te Educational and Social Impact of the CEFR in Europe and Beyond: a Preliminary Overview,
key-note address, the works of ALTE 3
International Conference, Cambridge, 10-12 April 2008, pp. 16-17.
10 Tim McNamara, Recognising the Other: Language Assessment, Immigration and Citizenship, key-note address,
op. cit., p. 15.
11 Dr. Lynda Taylor, Setting Language Standards for Teaching and Assessment: a Matter of Principle, Politics or
Prejudice?, key-note address, op. cit., p. 18.
12 idem 11, p. 19.
13 Cecilie Carlsen, Crossing the Bridge from the Other Side: the Impact of Society on Testing Policy, workshop
presentation, op. cit., pp. 32-33.
Borg, S. (2006). Te Distinctive Characteristics of Foreign Language Teachers, Language Teaching Research 10,1,
Ingram, D. E. (2005). Language Learning and Cross-Cultural Attitudes,
sept2005/DEIngram_fullpaper_Oct2004.htm), accessed November 15, 2008.
Te works of ALTE 3
International Conference, Cambridge, 10-12 April 2008, Te Social and Educational Impact
of Language Assessment.
A Denition
StS = Student to Student; or, StS = Student teacher Student. Interestingly
enough, through pure serendipity, the preposition to and the noun teacher in these
phrases become synonymous, by a coincidental overlapping of the initial letters in
the StS abbreviation / pun, thus clearly indicating a directional semantics of the
noun teacher, one of the central premises of the thesis to be explained below.
ESP (English for Specifc Purposes) is a long-established preserve of specialized
English discourse at tertiary level, in practical and theoretical courses, universally
ready-made or more or less locally customized through institutional focus. Any ESP
teaching syllabus will obviously insist on an amount of specialized lexis to be taught
to students in economics, business and political studies and so forth. Although
grammar structures may also inform such courses, this is strangely tributary to a
frequency principle for example, the passive voice in English may rank high on an
Adrian Ciupe
nouveau de nos jours cause des techniques informatiques de
plus en plus performantes. Notre tude prsente une ide pratique
originale ayant une application dans le domaine de lenseignement et
de lapprentissage de langlais pour des buts spciques (ESP), tout en
discutant tout dabord les dciences des approches traditionnelles, puis
mettant laccent sur els destinataires du processus ducationnel, par
une dlgation dautorit dans llaboration des syllabus et des tests
danglais au niveau tertiaire. Tout ceci concourt une familiarisation
des tudiants avec la construction des corpus linguistiques relevantes
dans des domaines spciques, aussi au niveau ducationnel que
professionnel (lifelong learning).
ESP, ELT, discours, linguistique, corpus, lexis, collocation, projet,
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
ESP teachers agenda because of the frequency rate of such structures in scientifc
ESP lexis is incorporated into ELT (English Language Teaching) materials also
guided by such frequency principles. Specifc topic units in various course books
will include domain-specifc terms, allegedly topping the word lists that any future
professionals trained in English (as a foreign language) as undergraduates should
know for immediate evaluation purposes and, maybe, for their future professional
careers as well.
Te relativity signalled in the above statements stems from an increasing awareness
that many of the traditional ways of looking at ESP are traditional enough to be
superseded, gradually, by an approach that leaves prescription behind, favouring an
on-going process of method-building and customization of ELT materials.
Of course, teachers keep improving their methods and they keep producing more
adequately customized ESP materials for their students. But is this good enough? Or
is it just a good excuse, unwittingly brought to the fore as a novelty in ESP teaching?
Because new methods might add up to nothing new and may amount to just a minor
and possibly insignifcant change by the teacher and for the teacher; likewise,
what could ESP / ELT customization amount to? If ELT tailoring is guided by the
teacher for what s/he thinks that his or her students may fnd useful, this could well
be just a defly disguised new prescription.
Te purpose of this study is to discuss the implications of a possible approach
to ESP by shifing method and customization of ESP materials from the teachers
realm to that of his or her students, through an express focus on specialized corpora
embarked on by students for students, through the guidance of a teacher. Te StS
Project is an original idea of the author of this paper, based on ESP learning (and also
teaching) needs constantly observed and ascertained by nearly a decades experience.
Tis study will explain the basic motivation behind such a project and it will also
give a detailed overview of Te StS Project itself. Finally, it will present conclusions
derived from its application and evaluation, with a view to enhancing and reinforcing
the method described below, towards logical (and hopefully relevant and useful)
extensions for future pursuits of this kind.
Rationale of The StS Project
A few (boldly rhetorical) questions underlie Te StS Project: are ready-made ESP
courses good enough? Are customized syllabi good enough? Are dictionaries good
enough? More daring interrogations may ensue: are teachers good enough? Are
students good enough? Obviously, such apparently impudent allegations have to be
From experience, teachers may conclude that ready-made courses (a variety of
textbooks produced by leading ELT publishers like LONGMAN, OUP, CUP etc)
are good, but not good enough because no matter how advanced they are, they
may be too broad and not very easily adaptable to learners needs (Harwood 2005:
150). Te specialized lexis ofered by such textbooks may or may not adequately span
the range of interests and applications present in various departments of economic,
business management or political (and not only) profle faculties. By using online
texts, teachers may try to fll this gap by devising materials more customized to their
students needs. However, this may pose diferent problems.
Online texts are usually used as the starting point for a specifc vocabulary
activity, examples are carefully gleaned, modifed, edited, to assist the non-native ESP
teacher in his or her endeavour of teaching relevant terms. Nevertheless, courses
customized by non-native speakers of English may sufer from an alien complex that
could be perpetuated by students compounded difculty and confusion in facing
real language texts in their future careers (McEnery 1996). Te simplifcation of
examples for the sake of an intended ease on the part of the students in acquiring
new structures presents itself as a double-edged problem: on the one hand, simplifed
examples may serve the immediate purpose of introducing new specialized lexis. But
is this kind of simplifcation not prone to clouding the issue when students are faced
with real-life situations / texts?
John Sinclair notes this very dilemma: When sounds natural is examined closely,
it usually transpires that it is almost impossible to invent an adequate example;
attempts made by language teachers, lexicographers and others to represent usage are
ofen embarrassing and never reliable (Sinclair 1997: 31). If this quotation refers to
ELT in general, it becomes apparent that if we were to apply Sinclairs assertion to ESP
teaching, the implications would be even greater. Producing examples in a language
that is not yours, which is further rendered even more problematic by a specialized
feld in which you are not an expert, is indeed a formidable task.
So, what could be done? Te present study puts forward Te StS Project, but I
would frst have to attempt an answer to the question Are dictionaries good enough,
a query I have lef for last, obviously, for strategic reasons.
Established ELT publishers keep coming up with innovative approaches to
dictionary building. Tese new methods are obviously tributary to the latest
advancements in technology, mainly computers. Dictionaries like the ones from
accompanied by interactive multimedia CDs that are meant to supplement and even
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replace book formats with electronic versions inspired by contending corpora. It is
true that such dictionaries may ofer thousands of sample sentences to illustrate lexis,
all sentences being extracted from the corpora on which these dictionaries are based,
but is this enough? No dictionary could be complete enough to ofer the ESP learner
a multitude of relevant examples. Dictionaries will continue to retain their general
character as a useful tool or as a means to an end. No matter how innovative they
are at the present time, they are still of secondary importance to either the general
language or the ESP learner.
However, applied corpus linguistics, underlying the construction of ELT
dictionaries themselves, may lend itself to changing the shif from the above mentioned
teacher-conceived method and teacher-created syllabus to a student-based approach.
If by using ready-made textbooks teachers and students are more or less confned to
a limited number of choices (Bogaards 1994), creating a customized corpus may be
of much greater assistance. Moreover, if students themselves are acquainted with a
method they can use themselves and are delegated sufcient authority to be the prime
deciding factor in building a corpus relevant to themselves, the dilemmas discussed
above could make substantial room for possibly highly innovative improvements. So,
how about Te StS Project?
Te StS Project (Student to Student) is a project in English as a foreign language,
freely submitted by university students on a bonus-granting basis, as part of their
semester class work / self study.
Te project centres on (upper-intermediate / advanced) language awareness
in terms of specifc vocabulary (ESP = English for Specifc Purposes) and its
performance implications for learners of English at an upper-intermediate, advanced
and profcient level (Common European Framework B2, C1 and C2 levels, i.e. the
exact levels of academic / professional relevance in Romania, the rest of the European
Union and countries like the U.S., Canada and Australia). It involves acquiring and
developing skills in active reading through language awareness-raising and language
structure manipulation at a high level of English, in terms of mastery of domain-
specifc vocabulary, collocations (including fxed expressions, idioms and phrasal
verbs) and derivatives.
Tis project has been developed as a result of need-based criteria, gradually and
consistently ascertained and established afer years of teaching English as a foreign
language (in the ESP / exam format) to undergraduate students in the felds of
Te main student-oriented objectives (in random order) of this project include:
enhancing research skills and their relevance; developing and enhancing awareness of
online materials for English language study; developing self-study skills; developing
student independence in working with target tasks (texts in English); developing
active reading and language awareness; developing student skills in dictionary
usage; providing high-level students with opportunities for self-improvement;
familiarizing students with English exam-relevant language structures; providing
students with a learning focus; providing students with a sense of personalized
independence; providing students with a viable alternative to the existing assessment
/ marking system; encouraging life-long improvement of skills in a foreign language;
familiarizing students with texts apt to be found in various exam formats; familiarizing
students with the language of texts they may encounter in their future careers; raising
students awareness of the interlinks between language learning and computer skills;
familiarizing students with the ways in which relevant English exams are constructed;
letting students play an active part in the construction of academic-specifc curricula;
letting students contribute to the construction of relevant exam questions in English;
encouraging access to information and language learning by sharing; reinforcing the
idea that language-learning is an on-going process etc. All these objectives have been
and may be discussed in class for further clarifcation.
Te main teacher-oriented objectives (in random order) of this project include:
ensuring that the student-oriented objectives above are met; assisting in making
statistics regarding syllabus (course) and exam improvement / relevance; better
diferentiating among students levels of English; being better and more realistically
informed in suggesting / making curricula / syllabi; attending to immediate and
long-term students interest-based needs in language learning etc.
How to Do The StS Project
Te steps of this procedure are as follows:
1. Participating students access a website of their own choice (but based on the
list of topics given) and select a relevant text according to their own preference.
2. Students process the text by highlighting derivatives (e.g. prosecution
students are free to decide which derivatives are relevant to their level and interest),
domain-specifc terms (e.g. if a text is about the Holocaust, if a term like death camp
is present, it may be highlighted students are free to decide which such terms are
relevant to their domain, level and interest); collocations (e.g. fast car), idioms (e.g.
make light of something), phrasal verbs (e.g. set up a business note that this
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phrasal verb also forms a collocation with business) and fxed expressions (e.g. in
view of something).
3. Students copy / paste the above information in a 3-column table (see the
SAMPLE) as follows: (1) the frst column will contain only relevant grammatical
information about the words / expressions / collocations in column 2 (defnite or
indefnite articles or auxiliary verbs that make the usage of the expressions in column
2 obvious; if such words are not needed, that space of the table will be lef blank
(see the SAMPLE and class discussions on the issue); (2) the second column will
contain the elements mentioned in (2) above in their neutral form, all alphabetically
arranged (see the SAMPLE and class discussions on the issue); (3) the third column
will contain a complete example sentence (practically, the entire copied and pasted
text sentence in which the highlighted item appears).
4. Students identify their project as shown in the SAMPLE.
5. Students submit their project by email as instructed.
Tose students who want to participate in this project should note the following:
1. Te project is not compulsory; it is an alternative to the existing system of
class activities and fnal performance (exam) assessment.
2. Te project is mainly intended for higher-level students (upper-intermediate
and above). Lower-level students are not expected undertake this project if they
are not sure they can do it successfully. Tese should work on their current level of
English until they feel more or less certain that they can successfully accomplish such
a project.
3. Students are discouraged from undertaking this project just because they
need the bonuses in marking. Tey have to be made aware of the fact that they will
not get any bonus if the submitted project is not (near) perfect and also, they should
be encouraged to regard the project as a long-term endeavour with respect to its
efects on themselves and their colleagues (sharers). Students should be reminded
that their projects will be accessed by their own colleagues as well as students they do
not know at present and in the future.
4. Students wanting to submit such a project should do so early. When they
submit the project, it may take a few rejections before it is fnally accepted. Tis will
refect the quality of their work and the feedback they get from the teacher.
5. Students are encouraged to ask for feedback at any stage of their project.
By submitting Te StS Project, students are aware that:
1. the project is relevant to their English learning needs at an upper-intermediate
level and above;
2. they are submitting the project of their own free will and as an alternative to
the existing evaluation and fnal marking system;
3. they have read and asked for all the information regarding the project;
4. their project will be made public;
5. their names will be mentioned when the project is made public;
6. their freely-submitted projects can be used in whatever form and for whatever
purposes excluding commercial ones in themselves, but including the following:
statistics of whatever kind, sharing in any form, quoting for whatever purposes;
should their projects appear in a recognizable form (close to the original project they
have submitted), in whatever circumstance, they will be properly acknowledged.
Submitting Te StS Project will be taken as a fnal and unequivocal statement
of complete agreement with the above conditions, as well as with all regulations
pertaining to Te StS Project, made known as such, in various forms.
Practical Application of The StS Project
Collecting such projects from interested students is supposed to lead to a
cumulative building of a dictionary of domain-specifc collocations and fxed
expressions (no such dictionary exists at present) to be accessed by various students
at all times and free of any charge. Te leader of the project (teacher / instructor /
examiner) makes these projects electronically available (on established websites or
on CD / DVD copies), in their original and edited forms as well, to all participating
students, on a semester / study-year / graduation year basis.
At the end of each semester, all the collected projects will be made available to
students FREELY, on a CD or DVD. Te CD / DVD will be given to the students
representative (one for each major and year of study) who will make it available to his
/ her colleagues ALSO FREELY. All students may duplicate the CD / DVD for their
own personal use.
Since Te StS Project is cumulative and continuous in nature and by design, each
semester there will be a new edition of this collective endeavour. Each new edition
will be updated as to contain ALL previous editions. Each CD / DVD version (edition)
of the project will contain:
separate folders with projects collected from each year of study and major for
that specifc semester;
separate folders with archived projects collected from each year of study and
major for all previous semesters since the start of the project;
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a WORD document containing the entire compilation of all collocations and
expressions (all tables put together and arranged alphabetically) available for that
specifc edition of the project, including all previous editions;
the original project sample and overview as guidelines for other students
wishing to embark on the project themselves;
a document containing tips about how to make the most of Te StS Project;
any further relevant data.
Te ultimate goal is to gradually produce a freely available specialized electronic
dictionary of collocations and expressions of unlimited magnitude, guided by
principles of language-learning, language-exam and ESP subject-oriented relevance,
all doing justice to the name of the project itself: one made by students for students,
under the supervision of their instructor to ensure a quality fnal product. Tis
product, renewed with every subsequent edition, is intended to become a highly
original and extremely useful tool for undergraduate students preparing for all sorts
of exams in English, as well as for all future professionals seeking careers in business,
politics or the mass media.
Findings and Conclusions
Having piloted Te StS Project for one entire academic semester, I have obtained
what at frst sight may seem pretty dismal results: very few students embarked on the
project and much fewer had their projects accepted. Why? Given that Te StS Project
was originally intended as optional,
1. very few students chose to do it in the frst place, since they benefted from
an alternative (traditional) marking bonus;
2. very few of them produced successful projects (afer repeated attempts) also
because most students displayed little if any seriousness in poring over the provided
SAMPLE and OVERVIEW; most did it by the ear, in the hope of receiving the
bonuses available.
Obviously, it would be unfair to blame only superfciality on the part of students.
Te project itself is indeed a difcult one, requiring advanced discriminatory skills in
handling difcult language concepts (collocations, fxed expressions, derivatives etc),
especially if these are also accompanied by theoretical awareness. So, the original
version of the project may be deemed a failure, but with a necessary rider. In the
frst place, it was administered in a piloted version; this could well mean that the
pilot version is in fact a diagnosis of student psychology, motivation and language
awareness skills. Sadly, though, this diagnostic project also reveals that traditional
methods are so deeply instilled in student psychology, that more novel ways (even if
they are apparently appreciated by students when they are introduced and explained
at length in class and in rules laid out in a written guide) continue to have a powerful
deterrent value.
Taking the piloted project and its results as a diagnostic test of students skills,
in order to ensure the success of future attempts, the following conclusions may be
1. such a project needs to be made mandatory, as an integral part of the overall
marking system;
2. should it be so, the project has to be simplifed in order to make it accessible
to students of all levels, but without detracting from its utility this can be achievable
with the assistance of a concordancer (sofware) made available to all students (along
with training sessions on how to use it), which will, in efect, do the most difcult
tasks automatically;
3. such a project has to be more efectively linked to other class activities by
adapting it to integrated tasks texts will be manipulated not only linguistically, but
they will also have to be the starting point for speaking and writing activities;
4. the original conception of Te StS Project may be retained as such but only
on an optional, bonus-granting basis, recommended to very high-level ambitious
students, usually preparing for C1 and C2 exams. From this point of view, using
the original version of Te StS Project with such students may well amount to the
building and reinforcement of language in use skills pivotal in all exams.
With hindsight, Te StS Project has been a great opportunity for diagnosing various
defcits in ESP teaching / learning, leading to one of the most worrying conclusions
of all: currently, students prefer to steer clear of innovative approaches for the sake of
the simplicity and familiarity implied by traditional ways. Nevertheless, since there
is an increasing trend towards networking at all levels (and networking is a concept
to be explored elsewhere) take the example of the double standard introduced
by book-form dictionaries and their electronic counterparts, all based on corpora
of varying magnitude and focus tradition in ELT must be made to accommodate
sufcient opportunities for networking with more topical methods provided by the
Cyber Age; we should not forget that even old-fashioned libraries lined with book
shelves have come to boast computerized connections to an amount of information
more vast than ever. Ultimately, the obsolete / obsolescent book worm may change,
as a species, into, perhaps, a mouse trap.
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Tis appendix contains a SAMPLE of Te StS Project referred to in this paper.
Since Te StS Project involves essential layout rules, the SAMPLE is reproduced in
jpeg format, each of the following being a print-screen of the individual pages of
the SAMPLE. Tis same sample has been discussed in class and it has been sent in
electronic form (as a template WORD document) to all my current students, along
with the slightly modifed (student-friendly) overview / rules discussed in various
sections of this paper.
Section 1 of SAMPLE (complete)
Section 2 of SAMPLE (complete)
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Section 3 of SAMPLE (a one-page extract)
Section 4 of SAMPLE (complete)
Bogaards, P. (1994). Le vocabulaire dans lapprentissage des langues etrangeres, Paris: Editions Didier.
Harwood, N. (2005). What do we want EAP teaching materials for?, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 4, 150.
McEnery,T., A. Wilson (1996). Corpus Linguistics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Sinclair, John (1997). Corpus evidence in language description, in A.Wichmann et al.
The paper is focused upon theoretical aspects of metacognition in second
language acquisition, with a view to applying this theoretical knowledge to the
practical feld of preparing candidates for examinations. Te investigation of self
evaluation as a metacognitive strategy in the context of a Cambridge examination
(Business English Certifcate Higher) represents the practical side of this paper.
We will begin by looking at some theoretical aspects of metacognition and its use
in second language acquisition so that later we can analyze its applicability to the
restricted feld of preparation for the BEC exam.
A possible defnition of metacognition is the process of becoming aware of
declarative and procedural knowledge about cognition and applying these types of
knowledge in order to regulate cognitive mechanisms so as to improve their function
(one can thus talk about metaattention, metamemory or metacomprehension).
Flavell (1979) makes the distinction between two components of metacognition:
metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive processes.
Metacognitive knowledge can be defned as the declarative knowledge about
cognitive processes. Tis type of knowledge can be used to regulate and control
cognitive processes. Metacognitive knowledge may refer to:
Ana Maria Pascu
l presente lavoro indaga sullimportanza della metacognizione
nellacquisizione di lingue seconde, concentrandosi soprattutto
sulle strategie metacognitive nel contesto del BEC (Business English
Certicate) Higher. Oltre al backround teoretico il lavoro include uno
sperimento longitudinale, centrato sullimportanza dellautovalutazione
come un elemento della metacognizione, durante una prova di lettura
del BEC Higher.
metacognizione, strategia, autovalutazione, lettura.
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
the subject (i.e. the student or candidate): general knowledge about learning,
such as means of processing information that is directly related to the subjects specifc
the task: knowledge about the specifc requirements of diferent types of tasks
and the way in which they involve cognitive processes.
strategies: knowledge about cognitive and metacognitive strategies and about
the instances in which these strategies may be applied.
interactions among any of the above: knowledge about the way in which any
of the above mentioned items interact and thus infuence the result of cognitive
Metacognitive processes imply procedural knowledge referring to the application of
cognitive strategies. Metacognitive strategies are sequential processes that regulate the
cognitive processes with a view to reaching a cognitive objective (Livingstone 1997).
Te main metacognitive strategies that we have in mind are planning, monitoring and
self evaluation. Planning takes place before the task, monitoring occurs in parallel with
the task, whereas self evaluation occurs afer the task has been completed. Chamot
(1999) adds problem solving to these three metacognitive strategies. However, it is
our stance that problem solving is not a metacognitive strategy, but a cognitive one,
as its purpose is to fulfll a task, not to regulate or better learning.
Furthermore, Brown (1983, in Yussen 1985) adds prediction to the above list of
metacognitive strategies, which can be defned as the estimation of the quantitative
result of the cognitive activity, e.g. the amount of information that the subject will
acquire afer the completion of the task. In addition, guessing the answer to a task
before its completion is another metacognitive strategy the researcher considers.
However, he does not make reference to self evaluation. We believe that prediction
and guessing may just as well be considered sub- elements of planning.
Overlap as far as cognition and metacognition are concerned is not infrequent,
the above example of categorizing problem solving as a metacognitive strategy being
only one example. One cannot stress enough the fact that metacognitive strategies
precede (planning), follow (self evaluation) or occur simultaneously (monitoring)
with the cognitive ones. Furthermore, metacognitive strategies have a diferent
purpose than cognitive ones. While cognitive strategies are applied in order to help
a certain subject reach a certain objective (e.g. completing a task that requires the
subject to reorganize a text in order to make it coherent), metacognitive strategies are
used by a subject who wants to ENSURE that a certain goal will be reached. Tus, it is
obvious that subjects having metacognitive skills usually perform better in tasks that
involve cognitive processes.
Te BEC Higher examination tests the candidates ability to use English within
the context of business at an advanced level. All the four skills are tested, our focus
here being reading, particularly the second reading task (the jumbled text).
Students can choose from two diferent ways of preparation, which may also be
combined when preparing for this examination: focusing on tasks that are similar in
content, structure and level to the examination tasks and/ or starting with tasks that
are identical in structure and level with the BEC Higher tasks. In our view, the second
variant is more advantageous, particularly for those students whose level is at least
upper intermediate, for two reasons:
Te improvement of declarative and procedural knowledge. By focusing
on tasks that are identical in structure and level with the examination tasks, the
students can improve their procedural knowledge (by applying certain cognitive
and metacognitve strategies) more efectively. Moreover, they get the opportunity
to enrich their declarative knowledge at the same time, by learning new vocabulary
items and grammar structures from those very tasks.
Efective monitoring. By focusing on such tasks the students can evaluate
their performance correctly and thus have the chance to concentrate particularly
on those that require more practice. On the contrary, if the students only focus on
less demanding tasks that are only similar to the examination tasks, it may make
preparation a lot easier and they may get the wrong impression that they are doing
well and expect the same to happen in the examination.
Metacognitive strategies involved in the second reading
task of the BEC Higher examination
Te reading test lasts for 60 minutes, in which the candidates are required to
complete six tasks, the second task being the jumbled text.
By and large, planning implies both setting objectives and time management. Te
former involves knowledge of the task and understanding of instructions, while the
latter is equally important having in mind that time could become a real stress factor
in the entire exam.
As far as the second reading task is concerned, the subjects should decide upon
not spending more than 10 minutes on this task. Te subjects should also direct
their attention to the text and read it while ignoring the gaps to ensure a general
understanding of it.
Monitoring, as it has already been pointed out, occurs in parallel with the
completion of the task and it implies analyzing the attention given to the task and
the level of comprehension while it takes place. Te direct result of monitoring is
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self evaluation, the two being interconnected in the sense that if the evaluation is
unfavorable, one can resort to further planning and monitoring by employing
additional cognitive resources.
Monitoring as a metacognitive strategy ensures that the subject employs enough
cognitive resources and strategies in order to achieve his/ her goal. Te metacognitive
strategies subjects may decide to apply with a view to achieving the goal are the
Read the text up to the frst gap and the sentence following it.
Underline key words in the sentence that precedes and in the one that follows
the frst gap.
Read all the seven sentences that have been taken out of the text and choose one
(or several if the subject realizes afer appropriate monitoring that he/ she does not
know the answer; in this case he/ she must return to the gap later and eliminate the
unnecessary sentences). Te answer should be chosen on the basis of the information
gathered from the sentences around the gap and afer reading all the possible
Do the same for all the gaps in text.
Te self evaluation of comprehension afer it has taken place usually involves the
following stages:
Every time a sentence has been chosen for a certain gap, all the other sentences
are analyzed as well, even if they have already been selected for other items, in order
to avoid mistakes.
Te subject explains to him/ herself the reason(s) for choosing each sentence, by
evaluating the connections with the text.
Afer flling in all the gaps, the subject reads the entire text again in order to
check whether it makes sense.
It can be argued that any learning involves restructuring information. Terefore,
learning to apply such metacognitive strategies step by step involves restructuring
some skills (Rost 1990).
First of all, subjects must be ready to accept ambiguity. Acceptance of ambiguity
can be applied to both planning and monitoring. As far as planning is concerned, the
subject must read the text ignoring the missing information in the gaps, which is a
cause of ambiguity. Regarding monitoring, the subject must be able to focus his/ her
attention on texts that more ofen than not lack coherence and/ or cohesion and can
thus be ambiguous.
Related to the acceptance of ambiguity, being able to detect sources of ambiguity is
another necessary skill. Ambiguity may be a result of the way the task is structured
(as in the second task of the reading test) as well as of the subjects misunderstanding
or lack of understanding some parts. While beginners have the tendency to extend
sources of ambiguity to larger linguistic sequences, more profcient subjects are able
to restrict and eliminate them by using inferences.
Te fexibility of evaluating risks is another skill that may be applied to both
planning and self evaluation. Underestimating or overestimating the importance of
risks may lead to either a superfcial or a time consuming approach to the task. Tus,
fexibility is the key word in this context.
All of the above mentioned metacognitive strategies and their implications are
options that candidates have when either preparing for the BEC examination or taking
it. Tere are candidates who choose to apply other strategies and, one must admit, there
are candidates who succeed in the examination without applying any metacognitive
strategy. What we suggest, however, is that applying some metacognitive strategies
improves ones performance.

Te experiment
Te experiment we made looks into the option that subjects have when it comes
to the self evaluation of their performance in the second reading task. Self evaluation
can be undertaken not only at the end of the task, but also at the end of each stage
within the task, in this case afer choosing each particular answer.
Te objective of this experiment is the analysis of the relationship between the
moment in which self evaluation as a metacognitive strategy takes place, performance
and the quality of self evaluation in the case of the jumbled text type of task.
Te hypothesis is that subjects that evaluate themselves immediately afer the
completion of each item do so more precisely and have a better performance in the
long term than subjects who evaluate their performance at the end of the task, afer
completing all the items.
Te method
Te subjects were 60 2
year students at the Faculty of Economics and Business
Administration, from Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj- Napoca. Te average level of the
students was upper intermediate, as it has been ascertained by taking into account
their performance in the English classes and tests in the previous two semesters. Te
60 subjects were randomly divided into two groups: the experimental group and the
control group.
Te design. An experimental design with two factors was used (the moment of
self evaluation and the verbal instruction the experimental group had been told to
apply the metacognitive strategy, while the control group had not been told about it
before the completion of the task). Te independent variable was represented by the
moment of the self evaluation (either afer the completion of each single item for the
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experimental group, or at the end of the task for the control group). Te dependent
variable was represented by the accuracy of the self evaluation and the number of
correct answers.
Te materials. Both the experiment and the control group subjects were given a
jumbled text type of task (see annex), namely an authentic text of approximately 450-
500 words, with six gaps out of which six sentences had been taken out and seven
randomly mixed sentences (the six sentences plus a distractor).
Te procedure. Te subjects had been divided in two groups of 30 and each group
was tested collectively. Both the subjects in the experimental group and the ones in
the control group were familiar with the metacognitive strategies they had to apply
(as a result of previous training). Tey were all instructed to apply all the planning,
monitoring and self evaluation strategies, with the exception of the last self evaluation
strategy in the case of the experimental group.
Te subjects in the experimental group were told that they would get a jumbled
text type of task (they were familiar with this type of task). Tey were told that afer
each answer they gave they should evaluate it as follows: if they were sure about the
answer they should encircle the letter corresponding to the correct answer, and if they
were not they should underline it. We only chose two variants for this condition so
as not to complicate the subjects task and in order to avoid subjectivity. Te subjects
were also told not to think about their answers once they have evaluated them and to
hand in their question paper as soon as they fnished evaluating their last answer. An
invigilator made sure that this happened. Te subjects had 15 minutes for this task.
Te subjects in the control group were also told that they would get a jumbled text
type of task, with which they were also familiar. Tey were told to address the task as
usual, by applying the above mentioned strategies. Afer 15 minutes they were told
to take a red pen and evaluate their answers just like the subjects in the experimental
group (by encircling the letters they were sure about and by underlining those that
they were not confdent about). Tey were told that they were not allowed to change
their answers at this stage and an invigilator made sure that was the case.
Afer a semester the experiment was repeated with another jumbled text in order
to see whether there were any signifcant diferences in the subjects performance and
self evaluation quality.
Results and discussion
Te results of this experiment are partly consistent with the hypothesis.
1. Te relationship within the experimental group between the quality of the
self evaluation at the beginning and at the end of the longitudinal experiment
Te diference between the two sets of results was not signifcant.
2. Te relationship within the experimental group between the performance at the
beginning and at the end of the longitudinal experiment
Te performance of the experimental group at the end of the longitudinal
experiment increased signifcantly in comparison with the initial moment (p<0.02).
3. Te relationship within the control group between the quality of the self
evaluation at the beginning and at the end of the experiment
Te quality of self evaluation improved signifcantly for the control group
4. Te relationship within the control group between the performance at the
beginning and at the end of the experiment
Te performance of the control group did not increase signifcantly.
5. Te relationship between the initial quality of self evaluation for the control
group and the experimental group
Te performance of the experimental group was signifcantly better than that of
the control group from this point of view (p = 0.02).
6. Te relationship between the initial performance for the control and the
experimental group
Te diference was not signifcant.
7. Te relationship between the quality of self evaluation at the end of the
experiment for the control and the experimental group
Te experimental group performed better than the control group in this respect
(p= 0.06).
8. Te relationship between the fnal performance for the control and the
experimental group
Te diference was not signifcant. A possible explanation would be the insufcient
number of subjects that took part in this experiment.
Self evaluation is much more accurate when it immediately follows each item of
the task that is being evaluated, instead of having it done at the end of the task, both in
the short and in the long term. However, the subjects ability of evaluating themselves
immediately afer the completion of each item does not increase signifcantly in time.
Moreover, their self evaluation signifcantly improves, even though it remains less
accurate than in the case of the subjects who evaluate themselves immediately afer
each item.
As far as performance is concerned, the results are as follows. For the subjects
that evaluate themselves afer the completion of each item performance improves
in the long term, but for the control group it remains at the same level, despite the
Lingua A. Linguistics
fact that, as stated above, there is signifcant improvement in the control groups self
However, there has not been a signifcant diference between the performance of
the experimental and the control group, regardless of the moment in which this was
measured. Tis may be due to the insufcient number of subjects (60) and also to
other variables related to planning and monitoring as metacognitive strategies which
have not been taken into account in this experiment.
Reading test part two
Questions 9 14
Read this text taken from an article about how companies decision-making can
go wrong.
Choose the best sentence from the opposite page to fll each of the gaps.
For each gap 9 14, mark one letter (A H) on your Answer Sheet.
Do not use any letter more than once.
Tere is an example at the beginning, (0).
Bad business decisions are
easy to make
Example: 0 - H
Tose who make disastrous business decisions generally exhibit two characteristic
types of behaviour. First they make a selective interpretation of the evidence when
deciding to go ahead with a project. (0)...H... .
How do such bad decisions come about? One reason is that the people in control
are determined to make their mark by doing something dramatic. (9)......... . Once
the leader has decided to put his or her name to a project, many in the organisation
believe it politic to support it too, whatever their private doubts. (10)........ . Tese
doubters know that such a perception will cloud their future careers. Te desire
to agree with the boss is typical of committees, with group members ofen taking
collective decisions that they would not have taken individually. Tey look around the
table, see their colleagues nodding in agreement and suppress their own doubts. If all
these intelligent people believe this is the right thing to do, they think to themselves,
perhaps it is. It rarely occurs to committee members that all their colleagues have
made the same dubious calculation.
Responsible managers usually ask to see the evidence before reaching a decision.
(11)........ . Even those who consider all the evidence, good and bad, fail to take account
of the fact that expert predictions are ofen wrong. Te reason for this is that feedback
is only efective if it is received quickly and ofen; and senior executives rarely become
the experts they claim to be, because they make too few big decisions to learn much
from them. So when it becomes clear that disaster looms, many executives insist on
pressing ahead regardless. (12)........ . Te repercussions of doing so can be daunting.
So what can be done to prevent companies making bad decisions? (13)........ .
Another is to delegate the decision on whether or not to continue to people who are
not in the thick of the decisionmaking, such as the non-executive directors. (14)....... .
But they shouldnt expect any gratitude: people who have made huge mistakes are not
going to say Tank you, we should have paid attention to you in the frst place.
A It would be far better, though, if dissidents in the organisation raised their
doubts beforehand, and were listened to.
B Tey want to be recognised as having changed the company in a way that history
will remember.
C Tis is not to argue that companies should never attempt anything brave or
D Too much money has been spent and too many reputations are at stake to think
about stopping at this stage.
E One solution is to set targets for a project and to agree in advance to abandon it
if these are not met.
F Afer all, people who persistently point to potential pitfalls are seen as negative
and disloyal.
G But they ofen rely only on those parts of it that support their case.
H Coupled with this, they insist that the failure was someone elses fault.
Answer key
Chamot, A., Barnhardt, S., Beard El. Dinary, P., Robbins, J. (1999). Te Learning Strategies Handbook. London, New
York: Longman.
Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive developmental inquiry,
American Psychologist 34, 906-911.
Rost, M. (1990). Listening in Language Learning. London, New York: Longman.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Yussen, S. R. (1985). Te Role of Metacognition in Teories of Cognitive Development, Metacognition, Cognition
and Human Performance, vol. 1. D. L. Forrest- Pressley, G.E. MacKinnon, T. G. Waller (eds.). New York, London:
Academic Press.
BEC Higher reading task [Online]. Available: [2006, February 20]
1. Introduction: Conversation Analysis
Conversation as the bedrock of human interaction provides a genuine source
of materials on the basis of which to study language in use. Conversation Analysis
addresses the practical workings of language in the communicative actions carried
out by real interactants through speech.
According to Edmonson (1981: 6), conversation is used loosely and non-
technically to refer to any interactional stretch of talk involving at least two
participants, and taking place in a non-formalised setting, such that no special rules
or conventions may be said to operate. In his defnition of conversation, besides the
non-specifcity of the setting in which conversation occurs, Levinson also focuses on
its functioning. He describes conversation as the sustained production of chains of
mutually-dependent acts, constructed by two or more agents each monitoring and
building on the actions of the other (1983 : 44). It follows that conversation is a
Emilia Plcintar
onversation Analysis (CA) treats language in use as an emerging
process through which the participants coordinate their
interactional behaviour to achieve a joint project. This paper is an
attempt to make a case for an introductory theoretical CA component
in a course on advanced oral communication for our MA students in
international communication in business. For this purpose, we briey
describe conversation as a prototypical speech genre, outline the CA
eld of study and provide a selection of course and seminar activities.
In conclusion, we assert that by familiarising the students with the inner
workings of ordinary conversation they will be able to understand the
idiosyncracies of the various sub-genres of oral business discourse.
conversation, conversation analysis, action sequences, business
discourse, cognitive planning
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
reciprocal undertaking, as speakers coordinate their behaviour and cooperate for the
sake of a fuid and orderly interaction in the process of achieving a joint enterprise.
All the diverse areas of human activity involve the use of language. Bakhtin (1986)
explains that language enters life through concrete utterances and that each sphere
of activity in which language is used develops characteristic types of utterances, i.e.
speech genres. He distinguishes between primary genres, which have taken form in
unmediated speech communion and are found in the local communicative activities
of everyday life, and secondary/complex genres, which have absorbed and digested
various primary genres. Obviously, ordinary conversation belongs to the former type
of speech genre, as conversational interaction is the central type of communication.
Tis view on conversation can be associated with Levinsons remark that conversation
is the prototypical kind of language usage, the form in which we are all frst exposed
to language the matrix for language acquisition (1983: 284).
Te prime object of study of CA is the organisation of naturally occurring
conversation or talk-in-interaction. Its task is to look into the emergence and
maintenance of a presupposed interactional order (Psathas 1995: 45) or meaningful
conduct (Pomerantz and Fehr 1997: 69) produced and understood on the basis of
shared procedures and methods that allow the communicators to sustain the fow of
conversational interaction.
Sacks et al. (1974) pioneered the study of conversational management as a process
per se, concentrating strictly on the activities efected by the conversationalists as they
open and close conversations, change turns, or make inferences about the relations
between sequences. Tey advanced the assumption that conversations are rule-
governed and that these rules are double-faced: on the one hand, they are quite general
and, on the other, they allow for an adaptation to the immediate local contingencies of
interaction. In their terminology, rules are both context-free and context-sensitive,
and the very objective of CA is to study how people in an interaction interpret each
others utterances and behaviour and produce an intersubjective understanding of
their doings.
Here are some of the fundamental questions that CA specifcally addresses: In
what ways can talk be seen to be structured? How does a participant know when
to start speaking afer a previous speaker? How do two (or more) interactants who
begin speaking simultaneously negotiate who will get the turn? How do speakers
construct their turn to make sure their listener understands them? How do speakers
display understanding of the last speakers turn? How do speakers signal to their
listeners that they intend to hold the foor? How do speakers manage agreement and
disagreement? How do participants move from one topic of conversation to another?
How do participants repair their own utterances or those of the co-participant(s)? How
do speakers bring a conversation to a close? What role do non-lexical or quasi-lexical
items play in the construction of meaning? How are pauses used and interpreted
in conversations? (cf. Reay 1998: 54-5) In short, CA treats language as a dynamic
activity and an ongoing process and demonstrates how interactants achieve a sense
of mutual understanding.
Mey (1994) explains the distinction between the tasks and functions of CA
and those of pragmatics. He argues that, in their concern with users of language,
pragmaticists are faced with a hidden partner: society. If CA simply studies the
interactional mechanisms involved in verbal interaction, then pragmatics goes
beyond conversation to look at societal constraints, as it is society that determines
what we can say and how we say it, and in what kind of situation or context (1994:
250). It follows that pragmatics complements the insights of CA into the organisation
of discourse with predictive and explanatory power to account for the way in which
conversational actors are able to manipulate the characteristics that the interactional
system makes available in order to realise a particular goal and carry out a plan.
In our argument for the introduction of the basic CA (and pragmatic) concepts
in our communication course, we are inspired by Meys (1999) metaphor of words
being our common currency, which is meant to emphasise the importance of
language users membership of the social community: To have my words pay for
my communicative expenses in dealing with the world, I must remain a contributing
member of my community, my context, by recognizing my social obligations and
paying my speaking dues (1999: 302). Elsewhere, Mey (1998) is preoccupied with
the issue of emancipatory linguistics and hopes that raised-consciousness linguistics
can contribute to making the users more aware of the language they (and others) are
It is our conviction that linguists, language teaching practitioners, and
communication professionals should share in this responsibility for communicative
emancipation, including conversational emancipation. In the ensuing sections, we
briefy describe our course and selectively present some activities designed for the
introduction and application of basic CA concepts.
2. Description of the MA programme in international
communication and business administration
Buiding and developing communicative competence is a project that is gaining
more and more space in the updated curricula for tertiary education in Romania.
In particular, the academic foreign language curricula, especially at Babe-Bolyai
Lingua A. Linguistics
University, allot considerable space to communication in various professional felds:
journalism, law, political science, business, international relations, and social work.
Tis context has facilitated the initiation by our department of modern languages
and business communication of the MA programme in professional communication,
which has been running for three years now. Heres a selection of some communication
subjects from the respective curriculum: Introduction to argumentation; Language
and style in professional discourse; Advanced oral communication in business;
Communication in confict situations and negotiations; Communication in public
relations; and Intercultural communication.
As for the course in advanced oral communication in business, here are the major
themes included: Te process of spoken communication; Organisational patterns
in conversational interaction; Business discourse vs. ordinary conversation; The
interpersonal dimension of workplace talk; Talking to do things: Speech activities
in business communication; Business presentations; Business meetings; Business
interviews; and Business negotiations.
We deem that understanding the techniques and patterns that people use in
everyday conversation forms the basis for the more task-oriented types of interaction
employed in workplace communication, such as chairing or participating in a
meeting, interviewing or being interviewed, negotiating, making an appointment,
making/answering enquiries via the telephone, etc. Tat is why our course begins
with a theoretical preamble that introduces some fundamental CA notions, such
as elements of conversational interaction, the emergence of turns and sequential
3. A selection of course and seminar activities
Te length of this article does not allow us to demonstrate how all those concepts
are introduced in the course. Below, we explain how sequencing devices and the
specifc features of business discourse are presented to our students.
3.1 Action sequences
We use as exemplifcation two conversations, (C1) from Graddol et al. (1994: 193)
and (C2) from Svartvik and Quirks (1980) corpus of English conversation.
1 M: Oh, gday John! Hows things?
2 J: Hi, Mike, not too bad. Hows things with you?
3 M: Cant complain, cant complain, be going on holiday soon. Hows work?
4 J: Good, real good, actually.
5 M: Well, look, got to dash, good seeing you catch up with you later.
6 J: Yeah, look, lets have cofee soon.
7 M: OK, great: see you then.
8 J: Yeah, see you.
1 A: (rings)
2 B: Benjamin Holloway.
3 A: this is Professor Dwights secretary, from Polymania College,
4 B: ooh, yes,
5 A: uh:m . about the: lexicology *seminar,*
6 B: *yes*
7 A: actually Professor Dwight says in fact theyve only got two more m . uh:m
sessions to go, because I didnt realize it it . fnishes at Easter,
8 B: I see, yes, *uh:um*
9 A: *so* it . wouldnt really be .
10 B: much point, . *no,*
11 A: *no,* . (laughs)
12 B: OK right, thanks very much,
13 A: OK . * bye,*
14 B: *bye,*
Conversationsalists in both conversations perform three broad actions in sequence:
(1) they open the conversation, (2) they exchange information, and (3) they close the
conversation. Each of these actions further divides into other sequences of actions.
Here are the components of each action in [C1]:
Action (1): (1a) M greets J (line 1); (1b) J greets M (line 2).
Action (2): (2a) M asks J a question (line 1); (2b) J answers Ms question and asks
M a question (line 2); (2c) M answers Js question and asks J a question (line 3); (2d)
J answers Ms question (line 4); (2e) M attempts to close the conversation and gives
reason for it (line 5); (2f) J agrees to close but not before he has made an invitation
(line 6); (2g) M accepts the invitation (line 7).
Once students notice that not only is conversation a joint activity but so are its
parts, the notions of sequencing and sequential patterns can be introduced. Why
do pairs of actions occur in sequence? What accounts for most of the sequencing is
the fact that each action is dependent on the completion of the previous one, that is,
interlocutors cannot exchange information until they have opened the conversation,
and, similarly, they cannot close before they have exchanged information. Te same
explanation holds for the sequencing of sub-actions: a question cannot be answered
prior to asking it, just as an invitation cannot be accepted prior to launching it. It
Lingua A. Linguistics
follows that these sequences are not determined by what the interactants are trying
to say, but by what they are jointly trying to accomplish.
Te fundamental sequencing device in conversation is the adjacency pair, the
prototype of which is the question-answer sequence. Adjacency pairs have two parts
a frst pair part (abbreviated as FPP) and a second pair part (abbreviated as SPP),
and their most important property is conditional relevance. Tis means that once
the speaker has produced a FPP of a certain type of adjacency pair (e.g. invitation),
it is conditionally relevant for the hearer to produce a SPP of the right type (e.g.
acceptance/rejection of invitation). Clark explains that adjacency pairs are minimum
joint projects and ideal building blocks for dialogue (1994: 992). To illustrate these
notions we analyse the adjacency pairs in [C2]:
FPP = 1A [Summons] SPP = 2B [Response]
FPP = 3A [Assertion] SPP = 4B [Assent]
FPP = 5A, 7A [Assertion] SPP = 6B, 8B [Assent]
FPP = 9A, 10B [Assertion] SPP = 11A [Assent]
FPP = 12B [Tanks] SPP = 13 A [Response]
FPP = 13 A [Good-bye] SPP = 14 B [Good-bye]
Other sequential patterns that are introduced and exemplifed then are pre-
sequences and insertion sequences.
Pre-sequences serve as preliminary inquiries that check the conditions for more
extended joint tasks. For example, they are used in paving the way for invitations,
requests, announcements, questions, stories, jokes, or for terminating conversations,
Strict neighbouring of the two-component utterances in an adjacency pair is a
requirement that is frequently ignored in the sense that the FPP is separated from the
SPP by other talk. For example, an answer to a question may be delayed by several
intervening utterances, a phenomenon known as insertion. Generally, insertion
sequences are used to clarify a FPP before replying to it. In this way, the clarifying
turn becomes the FPP of an embedded adjacency pair and the answer to it is the
SPP. Only when clarifcation has been accomplished does the SPP of the initial pair
A powerful concept related to the aspect of sequential organisation in conversation
is preference organisation. Some adjacency pairs may take more than one kind of
response of which only one is considered the common pattern. Tese alternative
SPPs are not treated by participants as equivalent choices. For example, FPPs that
seek action on the part of the hearer may be met with either acceptance or refusal,
the former pattern being the preferred response, while the latter the dispreferred
one. Terefore, a request, an ofer, and an invitation are preferably followed by an
acceptance, not a refusal, although either response will comply with the requirement
established by the FPP. To exemplify, the following two contrasting SPPs to an
invitation are analysed:
[1] A: Why dont you come up for a drink one evening?
B: Id love to.
[2] A: Why dont you come up for a cofee tomorrow morning?
B: Well, er, thats awfully nice of you, but, you see, I dont think I can make it tomorrow,
uhm, actually, Im expecting the plumber to fx the water taps, soer, couldnt we make
it some other day, perhaps?
We can notice that the acceptance of the invitation in [1] is naturally quick and
direct and that the structural simplicity of the preferred response contrasts with the
structural complexity of the dispreferred rejection of the invitation in [2].
Tus, the question that arises is about the structural characteristics that mark the
SPP in [2] for dispreferredness. Levinson (1983) mentions the two essential features
of dispreferred actions: they tend to occur in a marked format and to be avoided.
Above all, the negative response poses greater demands on the speaker as (s)he has
to resort to politeness strategies to mitigate the dispreferred option. As a result, this
is conspicuously more complex and richer in terms of linguistic resources. Te actual
refusal in our case is delayed by prefaces or hedges (well, you see), then by hesitation
(er), uncertainty (I dont think), and an appreciative comment on the invitation.
Finally, the declination is produced, but it is accompanied by an account and the
expression of availability at another time. All these tentative linguistic devices point
to the speakers reluctance to turn down the invitation.
Tus, students are made aware that: most of the conversation activity is organised
into sequences of adjacency pairs; utterance interpretation is mainly grounded on
the sequential environment; diferent combinations of adjacency pairs have diferent
uses; in their conversational activity, interactants orient themselves to the various
sequential structures to the degree in which these patterns answer their needs for
carrying out certain communicative goals and plans.
Given the signifcance of goal achievement, sequences of actions in institutional
discourse are consciously organised. Tat is why we also introduce the notion of plan
as a cognitive representation of predetermined actions through which the talk is
steered towards some desired result.
According to the literature on cognitive processes, the activity of plan conception
is multi-layered and multidirectional. Hayashi (1996) explains that such a cognitive
model contains (1) outcomes (task/ideational goals), (2) designs (behavioural
goals), (3) procedures (gross actions), and (4) operations (minute actions). Te
frst three planes are related to the top-down planning process, while the last one refers
Lingua A. Linguistics
to the bottom-up emergence of conversation. While ordinary conversation involves
predominantly bottom-up operations, business conversations are predicated on an
overall interactional and organisational plan, which argues for the predictability of
business discourse in terms of its global and sequential organisation.
Later in the course, when the main areas of oral performance in business, i.e.
presentations, negotiations, meetings, and interviews, are studied and practised, the
students will be aware of and able to observe the repetitive overall structure of each
type of discourse and the way in which the interaction emerges locally to accomplish
Te seminar activities that follow the theoretical lecture are based on conversational
data provided by us or collected by the students themselves, as most of them have a
job. Te assignments are meant to get the students to identify various organisational
patterns and their utility, describe the overall project of an exchange and the actions
it is made up of, or interpret the functions of selected utterances in the realisation of
the local and global goals of an interaction.
4. Conclusion
In describing our approach to teaching oral business communication to MA, we
have intended to make a point of the utility of introducing a Conversation Analysis
component in the course. Te feedback we have received from our students allows
us to assert that an understanding of the basic concepts mentioned herein raises
their awareness of business conversation as action and helps them grasp the internal
mechanisms of collective behaviour (Searle 1997) in conversational interaction.
Once the students become aware of the conversational machinery of everyday
interaction as the baseline template of the speech exchange process, they will be able
to analyse the particularities of the diferent sub-genres of business discourse.
Bakhtin, M. M. (1986). Te problem of speech genres, in M. Holquist (Ed.), Speech Genres and Other Late Essays.
Austin: University of Texas Press, 60-103.
Clark, H. H. (1994). Discourse in production, in M. A. Gernsbacher (Ed.), Handbook of Psycholinguistics. San Diego:
Academic Press, Inc., 985-1018.
Edmonson, W. (1981). Spoken Discourse: A Model for Analysis. London and New York: Longman.
Graddol, D., J. Cheshire, and J. Swann (1994). Describing Language. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Hayashi, T. (1996). Politeness in confict management: A conversation analysis of dispreferred message from the
cognitive perspective, Journal of Pragmatics, 25, 227-55.
Levinson, S. C. Pragmatics. (1983). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mey, J. L. (1994). How to do things with words: a social pragmatics for survival, Pragmatics, 4(2), 239-63.
Mey, J. L. (1998). Pragmatics, in J. L. Mey (Ed.), Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics. Oxford: Elsevier, 716-37.
Mey, J. L. (1999). When Voices Clash A Study in Literary Pragmatics. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Pomeranz, A. and B. J. Fehr (1997). Conversation Analysis: An approach to the study of social actions as sense making
practices, in T. A. van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse Studies, vol. 2. London/Tousand Oaks/New Delhi: Sage Publications,
Psathas, G. (1995). Conversation Analysis: Te Study of Talk-in-Interaction. Tousand Oaks: Sage.
Reay, S. (1998). Conversation Analysis, in A. Wray et al. (Eds.), Projects in Linguistics A Practical Guide to Researching
Language. London: Arnold, 54-62.
Sacks, H., E. Scheglof and G. Jeferson (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking in
conversation, Language, 50 (4), 696-735.
Searle, J. (1997[1986]). Conversation as dialogue, in M. Macovski (Ed.), Dialogue and Critical Discourse. New York/
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 237-55.
Svartvik, J. and R. Quirk (Eds.) (1980). A Corpus of English Conversation. Lund: Gleerup.
No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main, if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the lessany mans death diminishes me, because I am
involved in mankind. (John Donne)
1. Introduction
According to my paper professional discourse is business discourse and I would
like to refect upon some elements of business discourse acquisition.
Te notion of a discourse I am using is based on the work of a sociolinguist named
James Gee, who defnes a discourse as a socially accepted association among ways of
using language, of thinking, feeling, believing, valuing, and of acting that can be used
to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or to signal (that
one is playing) a socially meaningful role. (1990: 143)
Bir Enik
ie vorliegende Arbeit mchte die Wesensart der interkulturellen
Kompetenz im Kontext des Fremdsprachenunterrichts erhellen.
Dabei steht die Entwicklung verschiedener Fertigkeiten, sowie die des
bewussten Lernens in Bezug auf die eigene und die fremde Kultur
im Vordergrund, indem die Empndlichkeit der Lernenden fr die
kulturellen Unterschiede trainiert wird. Die Entwicklung des bewussten
Lernens spielt im Fremdsprachenunterricht eine Schlsselrolle, da es ein
ganzes Leben lang hlt. In der Arbeit werden kurz die Ergebnisse eines
in Sankt Georgen durchgefhrten Experiments dargestellt und darauf
hingewiesen, dass der Entwicklung der interkulturellen Kompetenz und
des bewussten Lernens eine ganz bedeutende Rolle zuzuschreiben ist.
Abschlieend werden in der Arbeit einige Techniken dargestellt, die
der Entwicklung der interkulturellen Kompetenz dienen.
interkulturelle Kompetenz, Bewusstmachung, positive Haltung,
Entwicklung der interkulturellen Kompetenz
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
In our case: the socially meaningful role is that of a competent speaker in a
business environment by competent meaning here: inter-culturally competent.
Professional discourse is important from both a cognitive and a social point of
view. All kinds of professional discourse enable students and trainees to read and use
guide books, courses etc. (i.e. brochures, reports, handbooks, fyers).
Gee suggests that discourse acquisition takes place through observation of and
interaction with people who are already members of that discourse community:
therefore getting sensitized could be one of the key elements in language learning.
Any kind of learning (and especially language learning) is a process of socialization
into a new community (the ELT community) and therefore into a new discourse
learners acquire a new discourse along with a new social identity.
In other words acquiring a new discourse means becoming able to take on a new
social identity one of a number and a new view of the world and the things that
are important in it.
Terefore business professional discourse shows learners or clients a way to
be when they are engaged in various business communicative situations and
from a cognitive point of view provides them with linguistic tools for perceiving and
categorizing, and refecting upon the objects, processes, behaviors, and events arising
in a business environment.
We need to socialize an FL learner into the language of profession. But before
we teach them these language skills, we must examine how this specifc professional
discourse works, what is efective, what kind of talk suggests authority or weakness, and
what kind of rules of speaking are part of this tradition (i.e. business communication).
We can empower an FL learner to take on an identity kit that is part of being a business
person. If we help FL learners to communicate with authority in a business professional
situation, they present themselves confdently. We need to model presentation skills
for them including strategies. Te learners need interpersonal skills, analyzing skills
and guidelines for interactions. A confdent command of a professional discourse
brings authority and credibility to the speaker. A discourse of power is not just about
vocabulary it is dealing with arguments, competence, reasoning, listening and
authentic presentation of ones ideas.
A language learner has to become interculturally competent in order to play a
socially meaningful role, taking part in a professional discourse.
We know it very well that in this globalizing world remote and separated business
discourses are no more available and have no purpose. Te language learner is going
to become not just a business speaker, therefore well equipped with the tools of a
business discourse, but also has to reach a certain stage of an intercultural speaker.
Te topic of intercultural competence became more and more important
during the past years: globalization and worldwide contacts between companies,
organizations and individuals need the ability to communicate in a successful way.
Intercultural competence is the ability of successful communication with people of
other cultures. Tis ability can exist in someone at a young age, or may be developed and
improved due to willpower and competence. Te bases for a successful intercultural
communication are emotional competence, together with intercultural sensitivity.
Tis paper deals with not the linguistic tools or cognitive tools frst of all, but with
that difcult-to-approach side of intercultural competence acquisition the way to
be and one of the main steps of it.
2. Getting sensitized
Socio-cultural and intercultural competence
By the appearance of the communicative language teaching a focus has been
placed on the development of competences. Communicative competence has become
the target model of language pedagogy. An ofen used model belongs to Canale and
Swain (1980), containing four components: linguistic competence, sociolinguistic
competence, discourse competence and strategic competence.
Tere are other models too, of course, but no one refects explicitly on the ffh
element of the model, which is cultural competence. According to Brdos (2005)
we have to include the ffh element the model of communicative competence, the
cultural competence. Language does not just deliver the cultural background but it is
part of it. Terefore developing cultural competence should be present while learning
and acquiring a foreign language. Liddicoat (2005) mentions that culture is practice,
which is accomplished and realized by the members of a cultural group in their daily
lives and interactions. Terefore it is a lifelong engagement together with all those
strategies, interactions, reactions which are important for the participants of that
particular culture. It is also a dynamic set of practices, changing and developing day
by day.
Actually, the most important part of culture is that which is internal and hidden,
but which governs the behavior it encounters. Kramsch (1993) believes that culture
should be taught as an interpersonal process, rather than presenting cultural facts
and the aim of teaching culture is increasing students awareness towards the target,
host, culture, helping them to make comparisons among cultures.
Actually, while studying cultural competence we have to mention two terms:
socio-cultural and intercultural competence.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Socio-cultural competence refers to acquiring an appropriate linguistic behavior,
obeying the linguistic rules, the target communitys cultural-social conventions.
Acquiring socio-cultural competence would mean learning and most of all
acquiring the culture of another community, being culturally competent in the target
On the other hand, the term intercultural competence (ICC) refers to the
development of those skills which enable language learners to understand the target
culture and cultural conventions and this is consciously based on the given cultural
background which is their own cultural background. Tis is a kind of being an insider
and an outsider at the same time, having a critical approach but also non-judgmental
opinion about home and the host cultural norms. Tis means simultaneously
increasing students awareness towards the target culture and to their own, sensitizing
them to cultural diversity.
Terefore, intercultural competence enables you as a language learner to be aware
of the fact that cultures are relative. No one can speak of one normal way of doing
things. Tis is linked to the view that positive attitudes and awareness are equally
important where awareness involves exploring, experimenting and experiencing,
being refective and introspective. Terefore these elements have to be developed
while forming ICC.
3. ICC components
Traits, characteristics
Tree areas or domains
Four dimensions
Levels of attainment
According to Fantini (1995), one defnition of ICC is that it is the complex of
abilities needed to perform efectively and appropriately when interacting with others
who are linguistically and culturally diferent from oneself. According to him, ICC
encompasses multiple components. Tese include:
a variety of traits and characteristics (e.g. fexibility, humor, patience,
openness, interest, curiosity, empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, and suspending
judgment, among others)
Clearly, the traits associated with intercultural competence require further
examination. According to Fantini (1995), empathy might be more an abstract ideal
than a reality. Teoretically, it is impossible to place ourselves in someone elses shoes,
therefore the term relational empathy - acknowledging that at best, we can attempt
to understand from anothers perspective, but never quite succeed - was introduced.
Being non-judgmental arouses the same kind of problems - being another is a trait
impossible to achieve. Human beings are de facto judgment machines. We make
judgments that guide our actions. If we understand this, however, it may help us to
suspend judgments momentarily in an unfamiliar cross-cultural situation.
three areas or domains (the ability to establish and maintain relationships, the
ability to communicate with minimal loss or distortion, the ability to collaborate in
order to accomplish something of mutual interest or need)
four dimensions (i.e. knowledge, (positive) attitudes/afect, skills, awareness)
Of these, awareness is central and especially critical to cross-cultural development.
It is enhanced through refection and introspection. Awareness difers from knowledge
in that it is always about the self and helps to clarify what is deepest and most
relevant to ones identity. Awareness is furthered through developments in knowledge,
positive attitudes, and skills, and in turn also furthers their development.
profciency in the host language
varying levels of attainment throughout a longitudinal and developmental

4. Completing the incomplete
An intercultural speaker
Recurrent mistakes
Developmental model of intercultural sensitivity
Te concept of the intercultural speaker was introduced due to the fact that what
the FL learner acquires and the learning processes passed through are diferent from
the similar processes of a native speaker. Te FL learner is also infuenced by other
contexts: like the socio-cultural ones through which he/she has passed up until that
point. Terefore, learning a new language is related to linguistic and cultural contexts,
and the learning process involves, among many, intercultural awareness raising and
constant revision of already existing conceptions. Tat is why the integration of
culture in the model of Communicative Language Teaching might seem not enough.
Tis model suggests that FL learners should copy native speakers, and the learners
are viewed as incomplete native speakers. Tere are also opinions according to which
a non-native speaker can never achieve a native speakers competence, as Medgyes
(1992) believes.
Lingua A. Linguistics
A shif should be made from teaching communicative competence to teaching
intercultural (communicative) competence.
In the process of foreign language learning the aim should not be to become a
native speaker or mediator: the FL learner should become able to engage in diferent
communicative situations of complexity and avoid stereotyping.
Also we should try to avoid making the same mistake over and over again. We
should not focus anymore on the concept of a complete, perfect language user.
New views highlight that this is even impossible. But if ICC research includes
personality traits (e.g. empathy) this may lead to the same conclusion that those who
are not showing empathy towards the other cultures are interculturally incomplete.
Terefore it seems more important to focus on raising because it has been said that
once acquired it becomes lifelong, it is not forgotten. It can be developed.
Among the models of culture learning and therefore intercultural competence
developing there is the model of Bennett (1986), the developmental model of
intercultural sensitivity, which might be useful while dealing with intercultural
awareness raising. Te author observed that individuals confronted cultural diference
in some predictable ways as they learnt to become more competent intercultural
communicators. Bennett organized these observations into six stages of increasing
sensitivity to cultural diference. Bennett built this model on the assumption that
as ones experience of cultural diference becomes more complex and sophisticated,
ones competence in intercultural relations increases. Each stage indicates a particular
cognitive structure that is expressed in certain kinds of attitudes and behavior.
Learners of FL have to pass the diferent stages of intercultural sensitivity, which are
the following: denial, defense, minimization, acceptance, adaptation, integration. Te
frst three DMIS stages are ethnocentric, meaning that ones own culture is experienced
as central to reality in some way. Denial stage: does not recognize cultural diferences.
Defense stage: recognizes some diferences but sees them as negatives. Minimization
stage: views many of own values as universal, own culture is seen superior.
Te other three DMIS stages are ethnorelative, meaning that ones own culture is
experienced in the context of other cultures. Acceptance stage: presents a reasonable
goal for FL teachers. It involves understanding that the same behavior can have
diferent meanings in diferent cultures. Adaptation stage: is cognitive and behavioral
and may allow the person to function in a bicultural capacity. Integration stage:
requires in-depth knowledge of at least two cultures (ones own and another) and the
ability to shif easily into the other cultural frame of reference.
Tis model predicts that as time goes by, people can move from defense into
minimization. Te goal of the FL teacher should be to get learners of FL to at least
the fourth stage of this model: acceptance stage. At this stage we can speak about
development of intercultural competencies and strategies are more easily understood
and followed than in the frst three stages. At this stage it can be required from the
learner to show some positive attitude and where the developmental task requires
analysis of cultural contrasts. Learners may focus on cultural diference while
deepening cultural self-awareness.
Because raising awareness becomes a lifelong engagement we can say that once
established the kind of an independent learner can deepen it later on. We can
tentatively say that an independent learner: uses efective strategies; has appropriate
knowledge; holds positive beliefs and attitudes.
We can show them strategies, we can provide them with items of knowledge and
we can encourage positive attitudes towards the target language and culture and back
up their struggle to work out efectively their intercultural needs
5. Raising awareness
Over the years, various writers have explored the relevance of awareness to
educational processes. Increased knowledge, skill, and positive attitudes enhance
awareness just as increased awareness enhances the others. Awareness is heightened
through introspection and refection; it is part of the intercultural experience.
Awareness develops from the insights one gains about the self in relation to other
people, and to the world. Once developed, awareness cannot be put aside; for
unlike knowledge, awareness is not forgotten. ICC development, then, goes beyond
knowledge; it also requires the skills, attitudes, and awareness that mediate interactions
with others.
At this stage the learners are introduced new input about the target language and
culture. During participative tasks the learners should be encouraged to compare the
new language culture with their own practices and language use. Te teacher should
support them in noticing diferences. Tese should be followed by explanations. Using
authentic materials is extremely useful, moreover because some materials designed
for language learners may edit out cultural information and therefore may distort the
learners picture of the culture.
Lingua A. Linguistics
6. A brief survey
A needs analysis
University students at our department are intermediate to upper intermediate
level English, German or French language learning students. Tey need to learn and
to acquire English for Specifc Purpose, which in their case is Business English.
Being at an intermediate or even upper intermediate level of English they have
already got a certain background consisting of communicative competence. For
obtaining their language certifcate at the end of their studies they need to learn a lot
of grammar, and vocabulary related to Business English. Tey have a good syllabus to
provide them with useful information and lots of exercises and reading sections.
Being aware of the importance of ICC the mere preparation for the language
certifcate might seem not enough. Te role of the FL teacher here is loaded with
extra-curriculum researche and options to develop ICC. Terefore extra materials
could be chosen in order to emphasize ICC developing.
A needs analysis for analyzing the students already existing developmental stage
of intercultural sensitivity was carried out. It was based on a brief survey, which
included 36 bilingual students of our department, bilingual meaning here Hungarian
mother tongue and Romanian as second language. Te items of the questionnaire
were grouped around four main topics:
A. their level of English (self-assessment)
B. their knowledge about big Culture and small culture (culture-related
information, e.g. history, holidays, traditions of the English and American people)
C. their attitude towards English learning and English culture (stereotypes, wish
to learn the language, understanding cultural diferences)
D. their willingness to use diferent sources of English to improve their
knowledge of English (courses, grammar book, books, movies, documentaries, news,
email/IRC, others)
A. Level of English self-assessment
According to their self-assessment, the majority of them (24) ranked themselves
on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst, and 10 the best) around 7 (average). Tey
had to rate separately speaking, reading, writing, grammar, pronunciation, listening.
Only one of them ranked himself as being on level 1 (although he belongs to an
intermediate group) and 11 of them ranked themselves on the scale around 5
(average). Te number of years they have studied English varied from 1-12 years of
study of English.
B. Teir knowledge about big C and small c
According to the questions, their knowledge is extremely low concerning
historical events or traditional way of life of the English. Te questions were open
ones; therefore they had to recall their memories. Te historical events noted were:
September (8), Independence Day (6), or 4
of July (4), Lincoln (3), Shakespeare
(3), Queen Elizabeth (2), Washington (2), and Civil War (2). Among the answers
there were mentioned Robin Hood and the Vietnam War.
Te traditional events mentioned were: Christmas (34) and Halloween (21), Easter
(16), Saint Valentines Day (11), Tanksgiving Day (8), and New Years Eve (2).
C. Teir attitude towards English learning and English culture
Tey were given some stereotypes and they had to tick those which they agree
most with. Tere were 8 statements (strong stereotypes) among which England is
land of beer, football and bad weather were the most popular, 28 of them thought as
true. 24 of them wrote a No answer to the item Te English boil all their food, but
this could have happened because of lack of information and not of their strong belief
in a stereotype. But most of the statements were regarded as true statements about the
English which means that they think of the target culture framed by stereotypes.
Tey were also asked whether they consider the cultures (English, Romanian,
and Hungarian) very distant ones, or they think that one can understand the target
culture by living there or even just by speaking the target language. Te answers were
varied of course, but 23 of them considered that culture can be understood by living
in the target country, while 9 of them thought that people can understand each others
culture quite easily if they know the language, and just 4 of them believed that people
(Romanian or Hungarian and the English) cannot understand each others culture.
Tis means that they do believe in the success of an immersion situation considering
understanding culture and just a little percent of them has a strong denial or defense
attitude towards other cultures and languages.
Teir attitude towards English learning was also tested by the fnal question why
do you learn English. According to the answers the majority of them (28) thought
that I have to graduate the University or English is a world language. Among them
17 confessed that I like the language. Only 8 of them ticked I like their culture or
I am interested in other cultures. Tis could mean that their developmental level of
intercultural sensitivity is far beyond the fourth stage (acceptance).
D. Teir willingness to use diferent sources of English
About learning English they were asked whether they are willing to use diferent
sources for learning English, or given any kind of opportunities how they would
improve their English. According to the answers, 27 of them considered flms/movies
a useful source. 26 of them said that university course is also useful for learning
English, 16 of them would choose books. Interestingly, just 16 of them considered
Lingua A. Linguistics
email/IRC a useful source of English learning although being young people it was
supposed that they may have English speaking pen-friends or chatters. Grammar
books were ticked just by 14 of them, being the least useful source according to their
Tis shows that they are not really interested in seeking for other alternatives than
what is given already: courses and flms, the latter being also their entertainment, of
Te opportunities for improving their English varied from language courses to
staying in an English speaking country at least for a month (diferentiated according
to stay for work or a tourist trip). Tey were allowed to choose just one. Te majority
of them would improve their English while working in an English speaking country
(21). Te others: by going on a tourist trip to an English speaking country (10) and
staying at least in an English speaking country not for working (3) or by joining
some courses (1) and watching movies (1). Te results were not surprising knowing
the fact that many students go abroad with short term jobs and one of the pleasant
consequences of their stay is an improved language command.
Tey acquired stereotypes of the language, generalizations about the target
language and culture not facts. Tis must be changed.
Tese language learners lack awareness and therefore their knowledge of the target
culture is also very incomplete and insufcient. Tey think that culture knowledge
is acquired and matters only when one is in the target country. Tey also should
pay attention to other possibilities than university courses in order to improve
their knowledge of English; therefore the concept of independent learner should be
advertised. In conclusion: students are not born with innate awareness towards the
target culture and therefore great attention should be placed on raising it.
Brdos, J. (2004). Nyelvpedaggiai tanulmnyok. Iskolakultra, Pcs.
Bennett, M. (1986). A developmental approach to training for intercultural sensitivity. International Journal of
Intercultural Relations, 10(2), 179-195.
Canale, M. and Swain, M. (1980). Teoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and
testing. Applied Linguistics 1, 1: 1-47.
Fantini, Alvino (1995): About intercultural communicative competence: a structure. Brattleboro, VT, USA, 2000,
2001, 2003, Revised 10.15.2005. Date of download:20.03.2007.
Fekete, A. (2004). Suport Curs An I. Varianta revazuta. Cluj-Napoca.
Gee, J. P. (1990) Social Linguistics and Literacies. London: Te Falmer Press.
Golubeva, I. (2003). Teaching Culture. In: Nyelvek s kultrk tallkozsa. Szerk.: Tth Szergej. Ofcina Press Kf.,
Kramsch, C. (1993). Context and Culture in Language Teaching. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Liddicoat, A. J. (2002). Static and dynamic views of culture and intercultural language acquisition. Babel, vol. 36, nr.3,
pp. 4-11, 37.
Medgyes, P. (1992). Native or non-native: Whos worth more? ELT Journal, 46(4), 340- 349.
Una de las metas de la comunicacin publicitaria es hacer vender los
productos. Desde el punto de vista organizacional, en un informe de la Comisin
Internacional para el Estudio de los Problemas de la Comunicacin se toma en
cuenta la publicidad como uno de los ms importantes sectores de de la industria
de la comunicacin. No obstante, cabe imponer ciertas diferenciaciones entre los
esquemas de la comunicacin clsica y los de la publicidad: en primer lugar, el hecho
de que el remitente es una instancia que paga; cualquier anuncio necesita una inversin
fnanciera. En segundo lugar, el perodo entre la emisin del mensaje y su recepcin
es mayor que en el caso de la comunicacin entre dos interlocutores presentes (la
publicidad escrita llega al lector slo cuando y en el caso en que ste compra dicha
publicacin). En tercer lugar, la publicidad de la prensa escrita puede ser considerada
un tipo de comunicacin involuntaria, en el sentido en el que se dirige a un pblico
que no espera y tampoco est dispuesto necesariamente a recibirla (uno no compra
el diario o la revista para la publicidad, menos en el caso en el que se ha propuesto
su estudio). Por lo consiguiente, se puede afrmar que la publicidad escrita (el objeto
de nuestra investigacin) es, segn la clasifcacin de Jakobson, ftica e impersonal,
puesto que la instancia enunciativa constituye un elemento conector en bsqueda de
un nmero mayor de contactados a los que no conoce ms que un poco o incluso en
absoluto y cuyo nico denominador comn es la recepcin del mensaje.
Timea Tocalachis
a communication publicitaire reprsente lune des composantes de
la communication, un domaine dtude trs actuel. Notre analyse
se propose dtudier la fois les difrentes composantes du processus
de la communication publicitaire, de mme que mettre en evidence
linuence du destinataire, du support (le moyen par lequel on transmet
linformation) sur le message publicitaire.
communication, publicit, modle, annonce, message, produit
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
La comunicacin publicitaria es ambivalente, compaginando la retrica del texto-
imagen con las signifcaciones simblicas de dicho producto. La publicidad explota
las connotaciones de los mensajes, usando del poder del lenguaje potico para
evocar enentos del pasado, propios a cada individuo. El efecto simblico del anuncio
resulta de la colaboracin entre el autor que se inspira de su patrimonio cultural de
palabras e imgenes capaces de despertar al lector (e implcitamente al consumidor)
experiencias nicas y la induccin del deseo y de la accin de comprar y la persona
a la que va dirigido el anuncio. ste ltimo contribuye a su turno a la atribucin de
una connotacin simblica al texto inductor, el lector proyectando sobre el texto el
aura de resonancia y analogas que le permita identifcarse en el anuncio. Desde este
punto de vista, la perspectiva comunicacional clsica queda reducida, ya que se sita
slo en el dominio del mensaje o del receptor, ignorando de esta manera los contextos
culturales y econmicos. La comunicacin comercial y la comunicacin simblica
son inseparables, de modo que el acento recae tanto en el cambio econmico, como
en el simblico.
Un nuevo modelo de la comunicacin publicitaria comprende nueve elementos:
el remitente, el receptor, el mensaje y el medio de transmisin (instrumentos de
comunicacin), la codifcacin, la decodifcacin, la respuesta y la reaccin contraria
(funciones), el ruido del sistema. (apud Kotler, Saunders, Wong, Armstrong 1998:
816). Este modelo resalta los factores principales de una comunicacin efcaz. El
remitente debe saber a quin dirigirse y qu respuesta quiere obtener. Cabe que l
sepa codifcar mensajes, teniendo en cuenta la manera en la que los destinatarios a los
que estos mensajes se dirigen los decodifcan o los interpretan. l debe transmitir el
mensaje por un medio recepcionado por los destinatarios y crear canales de reaccin
contraria que le permitan evaluar la respuesta que los destinatarios han dado al
mensaje. Por lo tanto, la persona que se ocupa de la comunicacin de mrketing
debe realizar las cosas siguientes: identifcar a los destinatarios del mensaje; saber qu
respuesta espera; selectar el mensaje; elaborar el presupuesto promocional; elegir el
mix promocional; recepcionar la reaccin contraria para poder medir los resultados
de la promocin y coordinar el conjunto del proceso de la comunicacin de mrketing.
A continuacin, veremos en qu consta cada una de estas operaciones.
Un especialista en la comunicacin de mrketing tiene desde el principio
una imagen clara sobre los destinatarios (el grupo-meta). stos pueden ser los
compradores potenciales o los usuarios actuales de un producto, los que toman la
decisin de compra o los que la infuencian. Una vez defnidas las caractersticas de
los destinatarios, el especialista en comunicaciones de mrketing debe decidir sobre
la respuesta que busca a recibir. Desde luego, en la mayora de los casos, la respuesta
fnal la constituye la adquisicin del producto. Los destinatarios se pueden hallar en
cualquiera de las seis etapas de preparacin del comprador, etapas que el consumidor
recorre normalmente hasta el consumo de un producto. stas son: la informacin, el
conocimiento, el placer, la preferencia, la conviccin y la adquisicin. Ellas forman la
jerarqua de las etapas de la respuesta ofrecida por el consumidor. La comunicacin
tiene como objetivo el pasaje del consumidor por todas estas etapas, fnalizada con la
adquisicin del producto. Algunos destinatarios podran ser convencidos, pero no de
tal manera como hagan la adquisicin. Es posible que ellos esperen a que una ocasin
favorable se presente, que deseen ms informaciones o que tengan la intencin de
actuar ms tarde. El especialista en comunicaciones tiene que determinar a stos
ltimos a dar el paso fnal.
Analizando las etapas de preparacin del comprador, partimos de la hiptesis
de que ste pasa por tres tipos de situaciones: cognitivas (la concienciacin, el
conocimiento), afectivas (el placer, la preferencia, la conviccin), y comportamentales
(la adquisicin). El orden aprende - siente acta corresponde a la situacin en la
que los compradores estn profundamente implicados en el proceso de adquisicin
de un producto de una cierta categora, percibiendo grandes diferencias entre las
marcas, como en el caso de la compra de un automvil. Sin embargo, muchas veces los
compradores recorren dichas etapas en otro orden. Por ejemplo, el orden adquiere-
siente- aprende es especfco para los productos que necesitan, para la adquisicin,
una gran implicacin por parte del consumidor, las diferencias entre marcas siendo
irrelevantes. ste es el caso de los sistemas de calefaccin central. Existe tambin un
tercer orden aprende- adquiere- siente, situacin en la cual los consumidores se
implican poco en el proceso de adquisicin, percibiendo pequeas diferencias entre
los distintos productos y marcas. El orden mencionado corresponde a la compra de
un producto de tipo sal de cocina. Conociendo las etapas del proceso de compra
recorrido por los consumidores, igual que el orden en el que estas etapas estn
enfocadas, el operador de mrketing puede aumentar la efciencia de la actividad de
planifcacin de las comunicaciones.
Despus de haber establecido en qu consta la respuesta buscada, el especialista en
comunicaciones pasa a la creacin de un mensaje efcaz. Lo ideal sera que el mensaje
llamara la atencin, mantuviera vivo el inters, suscitara el deseo y determinara la
accin (de aqu la denominacin del modelo AIDA, un modelo linear desarrollado
por los tericos americanos en 1925). En realidad hay pocos mensajes que hagan al
consumidor recorrer el proceso entero desde la concienciacin hasta la adquisicin.
El modelo AIDA contiene las caractersticas que posee un mensaje bien concebido.
Otro modelo linear es el concebido por Lavidge & Steiner (1961) que valorifca la
notoriedad de la marca del producto, teniendo como efecto la atraccin y la conviccin
del consumidor en vistas de la compra. Pero este modelo de la publicidad ha sido
Lingua A. Linguistics
visto como uno restrictivo, puesto que no se basa en el pensamiento, sino en el refejo
de compra inducido al consumidor. Sin embargo, estos modelos de comunicacin
publicitaria parecen funcionar en el caso de las publicidades con un impacto ms
dbil (es el caso de los detergentes), caso en que las repeticiones parecen producir el
efecto previsto, el de determinar su compra.
En cambio, los modelos modulables, si bien describen la comunicacin publicitaria
como un proceso unidireccional entre un remitente y un pblico receptor, traen
como elemento nuevo la descomposicin del proceso publicitario en elementos que
pueden combinarse independientemente los unos de los otros. Mencionamos que
nos hemos inspirado de la descripcin de los modelos del trabajo de Jean Michel
Adam y Marc Bonhomme, Largumentation publicitaire. El modelo tridico [LEARN],
[LIKE], [DO], elaborado por tericos como Starch, Festinger o Krugman describe
la comunicacin publicitaria desde la perspectiva de tres mdulos centrados en el
receptor: el modelo cognitivo [LEARN], que muestra la necesidad de conocimiento
del receptor, el modelo afectivo [LIKE] (refeja las reacciones y las preferencias del
receptor frente al producto) y el modelo prctico [DO], que acta como fltro en la
eleccin de dicho producto. La permutacin de estos tres mdulos determina varios
tipos publicitarios: [Learn > Do > Like] representa una implicacin minimal por parte
del receptor centrada en la informacin de ste por la repeticin <LEARN>, el pasaje
al acto de compra <DO> y fnalmente la evaluacin del producto <LIKE>. Este tipo
de comunicacin atae en general los productos sin una gran fuerza de infuencia, que
se compran por hbito. El tipo siguiente [Like > Learn > Do] se centra en la seduccin
del receptor <LIKE>, su concientizacin en lo concerniente a las caractersticas del
producto <LEARN> y su adquisicin <DO>. Este tipo de publicidad se encuentra
en la publicidad que insiste en las imgenes de marca de renombre, como tambin
para los perfumes o relojes de lujo. [Like > Do > Learn] revela la fuerza de seduccin
del producto <LIKE> que determina la accin de compra <DO> y probablemente
la bsqueda de informaciones concerniendo el producto <LEARN>. Es el caso de
las publicidades que subrayan los deseos instintuales del receptor, que es tambin
la meta del eslogan No dude(n) en tenerlo/comprarlo!. El modelo [Do > Learn >
Like] empieza con la adquisicin del producto <DO> por una motivacin anterior
(ofertas, reducciones), seguido por el descubrimiento de sus propiedades <LEARN>
y el grado de apreciacin <LIKE>. Este modelo se aplica en el caso de las rebajas,
donde la bajada de los precios contribuye a la accin de compra, sin tener en cuenta
otros rasgos tales la cualidad o la necesidad real de tener el producto. El modelo [Do
> Like > Learn] se caracteriza por la adquisicin una vez ms del producto <DO>,
hecho que se debe a la apreciacin anterior del producto <LIKE>, lo que conlleva al
descubrimiento de las cualidades del producto todava ignoradas <LEARN>. Este
modelo corresponde a las campaas publicitarias de amplitud (Coca-Cola) o a la
publicidad por fdelidad, en la que la costumbre de comprar dicho producto tiene
una importancia signifcativa.
El modelo de Jakobson y el anlisis de los elementos que lo componen ha constituido
el objeto de estudio de numerosos investigadores en el dominio de la publicidad.
stos han clasifcado los diversos anuncios en funcin de la valorizacin de algn u
otro elemento. De esta manera, adems de la comunicacin - remitente, centrada en
la competencia del productor de comunicar el mensaje deseado, la comunicacin
receptor, que pone de relieve la fuerza de persuasin del mensaje, la comunicacin
referente (el producto y las connotaciones que derivan de su presentacin). Adam
y Bonhomme identifcan tambin la comunicacin contacto, que visa llamar la
atencin por imgenes choque, las cuales tienen como propsito la retencin
de dicha marca en la memoria colectiva justamente por el efecto provocado. La
comunicacin cdigo utiliza un sistema entero de signos que explotan el gusto del
pblico hacia lo ldico; de esta categora forman parte los anuncios construidos sobre
los juegos de palabras o sobre parnimos.
Lejos de dirigirse a un pblico pasivo, la comunicacin publicitaria forma parte
de un sistema complejo basado en la interdependencia. De este modo, los enunciados
dependen en una gran medida del soporte por el cual estn transmitidos, del remitente
y del destinatario.
En lo que concierne el marco en el que se producen los enunciados, ste tiene una
relevancia determinante en el caso de la publicidad escrita: uno no va a encontrar los
mismos anuncios en una revista que se dirige al pblico femenino y en una revista con
sujetos polticos, por ejemplo, como igual de importante es tambin la paginacin. Al
mismo tiempo, la ltima cubierta de la revista, que de costumbre no leemos, contiene
slo imagen y eslogan.
Un criterio en la eleccin de los anuncios lo constituye la temtica de dicha
revista: as, en el nmero de agosto de la revista National Gographic Romnia de 2006
aparecen nueve reclamos, de los cuales cuatro para marcas de coches, uno para un
tipo de ordenador, dos para algunas marcas de bebidas alcohlicas y dos reclamos
hacen publicidad para unas cadenas de televisin. El pblico-meta de esta revista es
el pblico preponderantemente masculino, de donde resulta tambin la opcin de
estos tipos de reclamos. Adems de la temtica de la revista, los anuncios publicitarios
estn repartidos tambin segn la posicin de las columnas. De esta manera, en la
revista Cosmopolitan (febrero de 2007), en la rbrica Belleza (las pginas 48-59),
predominan los reclamos para los productos de tocador (champ, rojo de labios),
mientras que en la rbrica Salud (las pginas 132-141) estn presentes anuncios
para marcas de pastas dentfricas o varias lociones para distintas enfermedades.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Finalmente, el contexto espacial en el que aparece el reclamo tiene igualmente
una importancia decisiva, como tambin los colores utilizados y la forma que el
especialista en publicidad elige para evidenciar el anuncio. Por ejemplo, acudir a un
reclamo que se extiende sobre una pgina entera crea al receptor una sensacin de
invasin de su intimidad, agreada por ciertas personas, mientras que un anuncio
ms pequeo, situado en un rincn de la pgina, crea una sensacin de intimidad,
una relacin estrecha que se establece entre la persona que ha pensado y producido el
mensaje y el destinatario del mensaje, con un impacto a lo mejor igual de fuerte como
en el caso del anuncio de otro tamao.
Ciertamente, entre el anuncio de la prensa escrita y su soporte existe una relacin
de interdependencia bidireccional: si al principio el soporte ha sido el que ha
infuenciado el anuncio, paulatinamente se ha llegado a la reaccin inversa, a saber el
reclamo ha impuesto reglas de paginacin o espacio, puesto que muchas publicaciones
dependen en una gran medida desde el punto de vista fnanciero de la publicidad.
El objetivo principal de la publicidad es la valorizacin del referente. El tipo
del producto determina el mensaje publicitario. En funcin de las posibilidades
descriptivas del producto, stas se pueden clasifcar en productos que no necesitan
una descripcin interna de la composicin o de los componentes. En este caso, el que
realiza el anuncio siente la necesidad de conferir al producto otras determinaciones
(como la espacial o a travs de la metaforizacin). ste es el caso tambin de las
marcas para cerveza, caso en que una descripcin de su composicin no tendra
impacto sobre el receptor. Es sta la causa por la cual aparecen reclamos como Los
amigos saben por qu, intentndose por una metonimia la colocacin del producto
en su marco referencial (el consumidor).
Otra categora de productos son aquellos cuyos componentes permiten un anlisis
separado (es el caso de los automviles o de los ordenadores); este anlisis es incluso
recomendado para evidenciar las cualidades del producto. Un ejemplo en este
sentido es tambin el anuncio siguiente para la marca de automviles Rover: Slo
aquellas personas que poseen un estilo propio pueden apreciar el Rover 827 Sterling.
Un vehculo que combina la elegancia de su interior decorado en madera de nogal
y tapizado en cuero Connolly con la tecnologa ms sofsticada. Con un coefciente
aerodinmico del 033, una perfecta insonorizacin del habitculo y un excelente
sistema de suspensin autonivelante. Y sin olvidar su robusto motor de 2.657 c.c.,
177 CV, 24 V e inyeccin multipunto programada. Ni su poderosa mecnica que
incorpora direccin servoasistida con sensor de velocidad y ABS. Todo en la SERIE
ROVER 800 cuatro puertas que incluye el TOVER 827 STERLING, el ROVER 820
Si 2 L, 140 CV y 16 V y el ROVER 825 SD Turbo Diesel Intercooler 2,5 L y 118
CV -, est cuidado para conseguir un perfecto acabado. Un estilo muy personal.
Pese a todo esto, por el recorte de las partes de un producto para expresar una
imagen de conjunto, al creador de publicidad no le est prohibida la capacidad de
creacin e imaginario, ste teniendo la posibilidad de atribuir otras connotaciones
metafricas al producto, como en el ejemplo que sigue: Alfa Romeo la pasin
de conducir, donde la idea fundamental reside en la ambivalencia de la palabra
pasin: por un lado el placer de conducir, y por otro lado la sensacin de alegra
que le confere a uno el hecho de conducir un Alfa Romeo.
Puesto que el pblico de los mensajes con propsito comercial, institucional o
humanitario no es uno pasivo, la publicidad debe adaptarse a la categora de personas
a la que est dirigida. En Francia, el Centro de comunicacin avanzada, tras varias
encuestas sistemticas, ha evidenciado cinco grandes familias de socio-estilos que
constituyen la galera de los estilos de vida, una cartera de todos los segmentos de
clientes, diferenciados no slo por la categora socioprofesional y socioeconmica,
sino sobre todo por el denominador comn en lo que concierne la conducta, los
gustos, los hbitos en todos los dominios de la vida. En su enumeracin nos hemos
inspirado del trabajo de Bernard Cathelat Publicidad y sociedad, de la traduccin
rumana de 2005. Los rigoristas, 20% de la poblacin, se caracterizan por un
neoconservatorismo en el cual se compaginan la bsqueda de las raices ideolgicas
del pasado con las tecnologas modernas. Su meta no es escapar de la realidad por
metforas u otras fguras de estilo, al producto atribuyndose slo una connotacin
moral. Los materialistas (24%) se acercan a los rigoristas por el deseo de seguridad y
la evitacin de las innovaciones de cualquier tipo, pero se distinguen de stos ltimos
por la aceptacin de una argumentacin simplicista del mensaje publicitario. Los
egocentristas (23%) se constituyen generalmente de jvenes que proceden de entornos
sociales en crisis y que son receptivos a todo lo que choca o es sentimental al mismo
tiempo. Para los decalados (20%), lo que importa es evadir del contingente, sin tener
mucho aprecio para el consumo o la conyuntura econmica; son individualistas, de
costumbre jvenes de menos de 40 aos, receptivos a los mensajes humorsticos.
Los activistas (13%) se caracterizan por dinamismo, son receptivos en general a los
mensajes publicitarios inusuales y elitistas.
El mensaje publicitario toma en cuenta estos tipos de pblico. As, los dos ejemplos
de mensajes publicitarios para relojes de lujo que siguen se dirigen cada uno a otra
categora: Tcnica del futuro, tradicin del pasado. Seiko, el reloj de calidad de
hoy es un mensaje que tiene como pblico-meta a los rigoristas, propensos hacia la
tradicin. Si puede, tenga un Rolex. Y si puede an ms, regale otro es un mensaje
que se adecua a los activistas, por acudir a valores como la unicidad (no slo por el
precio, sino tambin por el prestigio) y al mismo tiempo la puesta de relieve de un
Lingua A. Linguistics
valor como la amistad, pero con el mismo fn de valorizar a la persona que ofrece el
La publicidad es determinada tambin por la mentalidad del pblico, por los valores
culturales del momento. De esta manera, si hasta el decenio pasado los reclamos
para automviles subrayaban las cualidades inherentes de stos, en los reclamos del
ltimo decenio se ha venido notando una acentuacin de la preocupacin por el
medio ambiente como resultado de los cambios climticos a los cuales asistimos
todos. Cualquier tipo de publicidad tiene que refejar el sistema de valores del pblico
para evitar los malentendidos y la recepcin errnea del mensaje.
El proceso de comunicacin, esencial en el mrketing promocional, puede ser
entendido como el camino desde el remitente al receptor, para obtener una respuesta.
Este modelo puede ser descrito tambin como un agente publicitario, enviando un
mensaje comercial (un reclamo) al comprador que le responde por la decisin de
comprar o no dicho producto o servicio. El pblico ve en el reclamo un estmulo que
genera una respuesta previsible en el mercado.
La comunicacin es esencial en cualquier momento de nuestra existencia. Su
ausencia conlleva a menudo malentendidos y confusiones provocadas tambin por
la inadaptacin del mensaje al registro correspondiente.
Adam, J-M., Bonhomme, M.(2005). Largumentation publicitaire : Rhtorique de lloge et de la persuasion, Armand
Colin, Paris.
Cathelat, B.(2005). Publicitate i societate, Trei, Bucureti.
Kotler, P., Saunders, J., Armstrong, G., Wong, V.(1999). Principiile Marketingului ediia european, Teora,
McQuail, D., Windahl, S.(2001). Modele ale comunicrii pentru studiul comunicrii de mas,,
It is considered that simplicity in general, and plain language in particular,
ofer new opportunities for positioning and reinforcing brands. Plain language is not
plain boring, plain brand or plain patronizing. It is a communication style that is
carefully crafed to meet the needs of readers. Plain language documents give clear
and honest information, in a way thats inviting and easy to read.
Trends towards simplicity and transparency
Plain language says what it means, and means what it says. Because of its simplicity
and transparency, it has attracted the attention of brand practitioners. In Simplicity
Marketing (2001), brand strategists Steven Cristol and Peter Sealey argue that the
more-is-better ideal of consumer society has resulted in information overload.
Consumers are sick and tired of being bombarded with choice. Christol and Sealy
Kelemen Antonia Izabella
ie Vorteile der einfachen Sprache im Geschft sind heutzutage ein
immer ausgeprgter betrachtet. Die einfache Sprache bedeutet ein
klares, einfaches Sprechen und Verwendung der einfachen Sprache
auch im Schreiben, dem das Stil aber nicht fehlt. Es wird eine grssere
Wichtigkeit fr die Beziehungen mit den Kunden durch dem klaren und
eifachen Sprechen, gewidmet. Da soll man die Ntigkeiten jeder Person
un in der selben Zeit die Qualitt der Dienstleistungen betrachten und
evaluieren.. Eine logische und klare Prsentierung der Information,
die richtig strukturiert ist und dabei auch ein geeignetes Format hat
bedeutet mehr als fnfzig Prozent des Erfolges. Die Verwendung einer
originalen Marketing-Forschungs- und Produktevaluierungsmethode
muss von jedem in Betracht genommen werden wenn er Erfolg haben
will. Die einfache Sprache bringt mit sich Vertrauen, Wettbewerblichkeit,
Efzienz der Kosten, eine gut ausgedachte Planung fr die Zukunft.
Das Thema hngt mi einer konkreter Kunden-Service Situation
zusammen und zeigt wie die mndliche und schriftliche Sprache in
dem Marktforschungswettbewerb ntzlich geworden sind.
Durchsichtlichkeit, Einfachkeit, Marke, Kunden, Partnerschaft,
Verstndniss, Geschft, Nutznehmer.
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
outline a new opportunity for brands simplifcation. Tey claim that instead of
bewildering arrays of choices, consumers are searching for brands that ofer clarity -
something to hold on to in the chaos of information overload. Successful brands will
be those that are positioned to help reduce consumers stress by simplifying their lives.
Do South Africans ft into this profle? Yes, says Gordon Hooper of Bateleur Research.
South African consumers are crying out for simplicity. Brands are increasingly built
on convenience rather than just price or product quality and simplicity is a key
element of convenience. But communicating simply is not just about convenience;
its also about honesty. Te worldwide trend towards transparency is growing. In Te
Naked Corporation (2003), the authors argue that businesses must for the frst time
make themselves clearly visible to shareholders, customers, employees, partners,
and society. Te problem is that if communication is not clear, readers may suspect
that the company is not being transparent. In their everyday lives, consumers come
across TLAs (three-letter acronyms) like ACI, ATB, ARB, MSA, DD, USB, PC, XP,
AV, MMS. For many, unclear communications like these are WMDs (weapons of
mass deception): signs that the company is hiding the truth, and is therefore not
So simplicity and transparency are ofen two sides of the same coin. A lack of
simplicity also leads to disempowerment and a feeling of alienation from the brand:
A colleague of mine wants to buy a memory stick, but she doesnt know how to ask
for one. She need not feel alone. According to a poll conducted for Microsof in late
2000 by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (Microsof, 2000):
72 percent of women 30 years of age or older fnd it intimidating to buy
technology products because they feel that advertisements are not written so that the
average person can understand them.
Of the women 30 years and older who said they frequently feel intimidated by
technology, more than half have been using a computer for at least four years .
It is obvious that in South Africa, with many consumers not receiving business
communications in their mother tongue, it is even more important that language be
plain. However, the value of clear communication extends beyond less literate or less
experienced target audiences. A survey conducted in Australia by the Plain Language
Institute showed that the more experience a person has with business or legal
documents the more likely that person is frustrated and angered by incomprehensible
language (as quoted by Stephens, 2003).
Using plain English is not just a good intention. It is a business necessity.
Lord Alexander of Weedon QC, Chairman, NatWest Group
Plain language as part of the brand promise
In Simplicity Marketing (Cristol and Sealey, 2001), one of the strategies that the
authors put forward is to use the concept of simplicity as a brand promise.
Te most notable examples of this strategy come from those sectors which ofer an
intangible product or service, for example, fnancial or professional services brands.
When Mutual Life of Canada demutualised in 1999, it repositioned itself around
the concept of simplicity. Tis promise was made upfront in the new name, Clarica.
According to the company website:
A new name, Clarica, was chosen to convey the power of clarity in helping customers
make informed decisions about their health insurance, life insurance, and investments.
(Example from Balmford 2002, page 5)
ANZ, an Australian bank, makes the following promise to its customers: We will
write all letters, brochures, ATM messages and other notices in plain language. In
all our communications we will help you understand what they mean for you. ANZ
provides ongoing measurement of this promise through customer surveys, and
claims to use the feedback as part of its fnancial literacy programme. Tere is perhaps
some correlation between fnancial literacy programmes and plain language: afer all,
both are about empowering customers and shareholders to make informed decisions.
Citibank was one of the frst fnancial services companies to focus on simplifcation
(this was in the 1970s), and they have developed one of the most substantial fnancial
literacy programmes in the world. Professional services frms have also latched onto
the brand promise of simplicity. In 2002, KPMG Australia ran an extensive marketing
campaign with the slogan Its time for clarity. (Example from Balmford 2002, page
6) Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has launched a Straight Talk series of booklets its
website gives the reasons why: For far too long, the consulting industry has been
flled with hyperbole and consulting jargon. Deloitte decided it was time to expose
the truth and begin talking straight about important business and industry issues.
Although we have yet to see any major South African brands be repositioned around
simplicity, there are some precursors to this. For example, Standard Bank is now
Simpler. Better. Faster..
Hollard helps you to get sorted. OUTsurance customers always get something
out. Both Auto & General and OUTsurance have used plain language in their
advertising: Auto & General boast that they were the frst short-term insurer to be
awarded plain language accreditation, and OUTsurance uses the theme of simplicity
in a radio campaign:
Male voice: So you desire to discharge your insurance claim. Kindly put pen to
paper in the general vicinity of these documents and furnish us with your appellation
and domicile. Ten we will require you to come forth with the minutiae of the occurance.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Voice-over: Some people just make things complicated for the sake of it. Well
car, household and business insurance neednt be. At OUTsurance we believe in
Plain language as a part of brand experience
Ongoing functional communications (letters, user manuals, statements, bills, and
so on) are ofen intimidating and packed with complex information simplifying
them helps readers to use them efectively. It also gives companies an opportunity to
create a worthwhile touchpoint for their brand experience.
Part of your experience of your bank is your monthly statement. Customers of life
insurance will never enjoy the benefts of the product they have bought ofen their
single experience of the brand is its letters and policy schedules.
If these documents are clear, well-structured, and free of jargon and small-print
and if their tone of voice is aligned to brand values they will help to reinforce the
brand. If not, they cannot help but damage brand perception.
OUTsurance is among the frst companies in South Africa to understand the
impact of its functional communications on its brand. Head of Communications,
Trevor Devitt, says that its simplifed and redesigned policy document is part of the
total package customers receive from this short-term insurer: Our policy document
is the frst tangible experience customers have with our brand before receiving it,
they will have had only phone interaction. Tats why it needs to refect who we are
and what we promise. Devitt believes that the new policy document refects what
consumers have always wanted, but never thought they would receive. Candice Burt,
a plain language attorney and one of the founders of Simplifed, points out another
beneft of simplifying policy documents: Te more people are able to read and
understand their policies, the more likely they are to understand the terms of their
insurance. A lack of understanding so prevalent in our insurance industry ofen
leads to disappointment when consumers try to claim. At worst, it may even result in
expensive litigation. Other companies who are adding to brand experience through
plain language include, who include plain language terms and conditions
for air tickets, and Woolworths who use plain language throughout their stores.
Making new products into accessible products
Plain language is useful when companies want to widen the target audiences of
brands especially those involving high-tech products. We have already seen how a
lack of understanding can make consumers feel disempowered and alienated from a
According to the framework set out by Moore in his book, Crossing the Chasm:
Te point of greatest peril in the development of a high-tech market lies in making
the transition from an early market dominated by a few visionary customers to a
mainstream market dominated by a large block of customers who are predominantly
pragmatists in orientation. (Moore, 1991) While visionaries may be tolerant even
appreciative of complexity, pragmatists probably need simplicity before trying a
new product.
Te power of plain language in increasing adoption of technology can be seen in
the way new cellphone functions, like chat and ringtones are marketed. However, it
will be interesting to see at what stage plain language will be used to promote more
complex functions like MMS and wireless features.
Where South Africa stands
Over the last few years, both regulation and legislation have been introduced
to guide fnancial services companies into using plain language. Consumers, even
outside fnancial services, have wised up and are articulating frustrations with small
Although our plain language history is impressive in many areas (the South African
constitution is recognized internationally as a model example of plain English law),
our business communications have trailed behind. Tis means that there is room in
our market in most industries for brands to diferentiate themselves through clarity. If
this happens, it will beneft both businesses, and their customers. Rob Gentle, author
of Read this business writing that works! has worked on many plain language
projects in South Africa. He notes that while there is still space for companies to
build competitive advantage through simplicity, its only a matter of time before plain
language becomes a must-have rather than a diferentiator.
Balmford, C. (2002).Plain language: beyond a movement , Presented to the Fourth Biennial Conference of the
PLAIN Language Association, New York.
Cristol, S.- Sealey, P.(2001). Simplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion. N-Y.Simon &
Schuster Inc.
Moore, G. (1991). Crossing the Chasm. Denver. Harper Business Press.
Stephens, C:
Tapscott, D., Ticoll. D.(2003). Te Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency is Revolutionizing Business, New-
York. Free Press.
A picture speaks a thousand words is a saying we are all familiar with. But are we
aware of the merits of a picture, of its ability to replace words or to describe stories,
events, situations, feelings, relationships or concrete things more efectively? Are we
aware of the creativity, the imagination, of the challenges, perspectives and opportunities
a picture may represent and present?
In a visually stimulated culture we can perceive the presence of pictures day by day
and almost everywhere. Pictures are all around us everyday, in the street, at work, at
home and even in our leisure time Tey are enjoyable, they set the scene or context,
they inform us, they interest us, and they are a key resource (Goodman 2007: 1).
Moreover, they can be the key resources of any classroom activity as well.
Advertisements as a resource for teaching languages
Since the standard classrooms are described as one of the worst possible places
in which to learn a living language, many language teachers try to fnd solutions to
overcome this problem by resorting to diferent methods and materials that bring
colour, enjoyment, dynamism, a more personable and natural touch to every activity
that is performed during the lessons. Tis sense of real world, the taste of real life can
Kovcs Rka, Gabriela Ioana Mocan
ie Arbeit befasst sich mit der Rolle der visuellen Materialien im
Unterricht. Die statischen und dynamischen Bilder tragen dazu
bei, die produktiven und reproduktiven Fertigkeiten zu ben und zu
entwickeln. Solche Bilder knnen das Interesse und die Motivation
der Lernenden wecken, auerdem frdern sie ihre kommunikative
Kompetenz. Die dynamischen visuellen Materialien knnen meisterhaft
bei der Lektion Werbung verwendet werden. Verschiedene neue
Themenkreise wie zum Beispiel: traditionelle Werbung, soziale
Werbung, vergleichende Werbung knnen mittels der dynamischen
Bilder kreativ und inhaltsfrbend eingeleitet und dargestellt werden.

visuelle Materialien, dynamische Bilder, Motivation,
kommunikative Fhigkeiten, Werbung.
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
be provided by a selection of authentic texts as well as by well-chosen visual aids that,
when imaginatively used, may foster creativity and enthusiasm evoking an immediate
response from the students and fnally leading to a personal reaction. Tis personal
response to a topic can be considered as one of the most vital elements of all meaningful
language learning processes.
Te use of visuals may have many advantages: they are inexpensive, easily available
in most situations, fresh and diferent with a variable style, highly fexible and, last but
not least, can be used for almost every aspect of the language teaching, from discussion
to essay writing, from description to games (Hill 1990: 1-5). Visuals when wisely
selected may not only be appropriate for just a part of a lesson as a rich base and
stimulus for writing and discussion, but they can also serve as an illustration for
something being read or talked about, that is, as background to a topic. Visuals may
give learners sufcient exposure to new language items, helping the students to develop
their ability to relate to topics, to predict, to deduce and infer, to get meaning from
contexts and also to give meaning to situations. Visuals may increase interest and
motivation, may contribute to a sense of context of the language and can serve as a
specifc reference point or stimulus.
Potential uses of advertisements in class
Besides the conventional and objective picture descriptions, visuals may be exploited
in various ways. To name but a few, the students can be introduced to a problem solving
challenge or can be given opportunities to carry out tasks; furthermore, they can be
asked to produce something new and creative in the context of a discussion.
In the frst case, the learners mind is engaged in a communicative content tailored
to their personal values and imagination. Learners may see and interpret the aspects
of the picture in numerous ways, the power of images and the principle of introducing
a challenge may provoke diferent reactions, so the students will manage to juggle
with the foreign language, making it a living element. Tere are many concepts of the
language which focus on in-class activities such as describing, matching, grouping,
sequencing, predicting, analysing, deducing, verifying, diferentiating, interpreting,
convincing, evaluating, story telling, answering, etc. All these tasks based on challenges
stimulate the students interest and encourage them to develop their spoken or written
communication skills. Tis element may also create an atmosphere of competition and
the idea of rivalling or striving for accomplishing a task may add at the same time an
extra incentive to a creative and artistic approach.
Tis aspect of competition may however be reduced when students are provided
with opportunities. In such situations they are encouraged to express feelings, ideas, to
exchange experience with little emphasis upon right and wrong answers. In a context of
support and confdence, learners may talk about pictures, about themselves or speculate
about other people. By the use of a visual stimulus they may overcome their anxiety of
getting involved in the topic or discussion more easily. As a consequence of such
activities and under relaxing and motivating circumstances, the students will manage
to express their views in the form of a free discussion.
To put it simply, visuals ofering challenges and opportunities can be the basis of
every lively activity in the teaching and learning process, their role being to encourage
and to motivate the students as well as to contextualise the language (Wright 1989:
As shown above, visuals can ofen be used to promote productive skills, speaking and
writing, as their primary function is to motivate the students by arousing their interest
and making them take part in activities. Moreover, visuals can contribute to the context
in which the language is used, by bringing reality into the classroom. When language
is contextualised, the learners can use their knowledge of the world to describe what
they see and fnally move on to predict, to speculate and to deduce what is implied in a
picture. Terefore, pictures can be described not only in an objective way, but they can
also be interpreted or even responded to subjectively. Tey can stimulate and provide
information to be referred to in further conversations, discussions, debates, etc. (Wright
1989: 17).
However, visuals may encourage the development of a wider range of receptive
skills. In both reading and listening activities pictures can play a central role. In the
same way visual aids may be added to any stage of reading and listening activities
(pre-reading, pre-listening, while-reading, while-listening, post-reading, post-listening
activities). Tey can become the mouthpiece of a context, by representing the speakers,
their appearance, the setting and the situation. Additionally, visuals can further a better
understanding of the topic, enabling the learner to focus more on the content, the
atmosphere of the situation or on the mood of the message.
As far as reading and listening activities are concerned, pictures may give extra
information about a topic, allowing the learner to form an opinion also from the hidden
messages of a text. So visuals can be used creatively to provide either the general context
or to illustrate particular points. Tey may supply a type of non-verbal information
helping the students to predict the content of a text or to respond to the language
appropriately. Visuals may aid in recognizing the implied meanings of a text also by
setting the scene or by introducing the cultural and contextual reference. Consequently,
even cultural awareness may be promoted by the correct choice of visuals; attention
may be drawn to the distinctions between cultures and customs. Tus, a picture may
contribute to making the words more accessible (Wright 1989: 159-161).
Lingua A. Linguistics
In the proper selection of visuals teachers may ofen apply to dynamic visuals
like animated short flms, videos as well as pictures in motion. As compared to the
conventional static pictures and images, these pictures in motion may bring more
colour, change and variety into any language class; their main benefts consist in the
dynamic, sequential and animated characteristics. Such visuals permit teachers to
provide a variety of presentation methods that may be adapted to the learners diferent
needs and expectations.
Dynamic visuals may also ofer an enriched learning environment both by afecting
the students perception on a topic and by reducing the cognitive load to learn the
materials, as they prove to be an excellent external support for mental simulations.
By watching motion images and pictures, students may explore a new reality, may
combine and connect learned information with new input, and therefore text or topic
comprehension and picture comprehension would complete each other (Schnotz 1996:
Since animated pictures may be best exploited for a variety of teaching purposes
and can be associated with diferent topics of conversation, they can appeal to many
learners of various ages and at diferent levels. Provided the teachers aim is to motivate
the students, to enhance efective learning processes and to create enjoyment in the
classroom, dynamic visuals can be well implemented in the case of Business English
classes as well. Tere are strong grounds for believing and supporting the idea that
students need visuals as reference point, as background or as stimulus in all stages of
their activities. For this reason a special selection of dynamic pictures related to the
topic Advertisements may be suitable to highlight the idea of how invaluable pictures
may turn out to be and how generously they may act and interact with a topic and also
with the students.
Some sample English classes on Advertising
In order to get a better insight into the topic, the students would need some previous
knowledge about advertising, the discourse of advertising and fnally about the types
of advertisements. Tey need to be made fully aware of the role advertisements play in
our lives and about the impact they exert upon our society.
It is common knowledge that advertisements are the elements of our everyday life,
as they are all around us, and perhaps this fact is one of the reasons why we do not ofen
think about their nature as a form of discourse or as a system of language or about the
messages they may convey to the consumers.
It is again a widely held view that advertising is just one of the many tools available
to help a frm sell what it has to ofer, yet it can be one of the aspects which may
enhance the character and reputation of brands. It can, clearly, be a very important
part of reaching to the customer as well as of building the reputation of a product and
company. To a certain extent, advertisements can give information about the product or
service, its characteristics and the markets on which these goods may be found. On the
one hand, ads can aim at establishing new relationships by targeting people who have
never tried those products before; on the other hand, they may keep existing customers
by encouraging customer loyalty. In addition to this, however, advertisements can do
more: they can begin to develop a reputation both for a product and for the company.
Tis reputation building process can be achieved as long as, by means of efective
advertising, the product is given a reputation of good quality.
Not only is advertising a way of achieving sales, but also a weapon of competition.
Tis means it can help to distinguish one brand from its competitors by making it stand
out to potential buyers. Although initial advertising when the product is launched -
may result in a satisfactory level of awareness, understanding and trial by consumers,
it is not enough when it is about keeping customers. Even in competitive markets,
advertising is used as a way of reminding customers that the brand exists by retaining
their confdence in the product.
In order to increase sales advertising should meet diferent requirements: frst, it
should remind the brands users to buy and use the product; second, it should try to
persuade users of competitive brands that the advertised product is better for their
purposes than the product they are using at present; third, it should raise peoples
awareness of the brand existence by informing them about the virtues of the product
and fnally encouraging non-users to use the product category (White 1993: 1-23).
It is worth bearing in mind that advertising sells. Apart from that, advertisements
inform, persuade, remind, infuence, change opinions; they even, perhaps, change emotions
and attitudes. Advertising changes society; makes people buy things they do not want
(White 1993: 55).
Te above quotation could act as a valuable starting point of the English classes
on Advertising. In this way students could be properly initiated into the theme and
their curiosity could be aroused, so that they could be led to focus not only on the
main ideas, but also on particular sub-headings, such as advertising and society,
advertising and the law and the role of advertising in educating masses. Assuming that
the presentation of these issues goes together and is highlighted with visual aids, both
static and dynamic pictures, the response of the class could be signifcantly improved,
interest and enjoyment could be generated and, furthermore, students could be given
the opportunity of experiencing real life as well as of interacting with pictures.
Due to the fact that advertisements can be well connected with every part and
aspect of the English class, students can be ofered the possibility to practise and use
Lingua A. Linguistics
natural and authentic language. For advertising relies to a large extent on pictorial
imagery, it invites reading, speculations, personal reactions and diferences of opinion.
In a nutshell, it leads to discussion. It speaks to our inner voice, and the spoken text
embedded in action can help us to exploit and understand the hidden messages of the
During the English classes held for the second-year students in Economics,
diferent types of dynamic pictures, animated advertisements, and TV commercials
were presented and exploited in the form of discussions, debates, reading and listening
activities. Te main goal of this approach was to familiarise the students with the various
types of advertisements and the messages beyond them, to contextualise language, to
enrich their vocabulary, to help them develop their points of view and perhaps even
their attitudes towards certain advertisements. An additional purpose was to cause an
immediate impact on the students and to stimulate them in order to respond creatively,
emotionally and subjectively to the issue presented. With hindsight, these pictures in
motion proved to be excellent also by providing the students with extra information
about the topic.
In the frst instance, the students were shown several traditional advertisements
about a Dr. Oetker pudding cream and about the Grania four. Teir attention
was drawn to the features and benefts of these products and to the Unique Selling
Proposition they develop. Tus, the students could observe which of the so called
conventional methods these ads take advantage of in order to attract the attention of
potential customers, refecting upon how the interest of the consumers was aroused
in the product. Te emphasis was also on the means used to create a desire for the
benefts of these goods and lastly, how the ads encouraged the customers to take prompt
Te next advertisements are examples of the so called public interest or public
service advertisements which use strategies and techniques similar to commercial
advertising, yet for non-commercial purposes. Teir role is to make the public aware
of certain burning social and global issues, like public health, public safety, diseases,
political ideology, discrimination, energy conservation, deforestation, environmental
problems, etc. Such advertisements can be considered as a powerful educational tool
capable of reaching, teaching and motivating audiences (Wikipedia 2007: para.1). Te
ad presented to the students brings into discussion the publics attention to the disabled,
how they are seen, and in many cases, even misjudged by society. Te atmosphere
of this advertisement is created in a masterly manner. Te chess champion, who is
admired by everybody, appears on the scene in the blinding fashes of cameras and
plays simultaneous chess with several players and fnally is beaten in a game by a boy
with disabilities. Te advert depicts the facial expressions of the two characters in a
brilliant way. Te efect of the ad is thereby shocking; the realization of reality is painful.
Te sound efects outline the meaning of the advertisement in an outstanding way, its
messages Respect yourself and you will respect the others or Disinterest is the biggest
handicap or Talent knows no handicap echoing in our souls and deeply moving us.
On viewing these ads, the students reacted with an immediate emotional response.
Moreover, being under the infuence of these pictures, they interacted with each other,
showing great sensitivity towards the problems exposed.
Te next advertisement shown to the students is a typical example of the so called
contrastive advertisements. In order to reach the button and extract a Pepsi from the
vending machine, the boy in the advertisement steps on a Coca-cola can. As we have
already stated, advertising does not only attempt to sell the goods of companies, but it
is also a powerful competitive weapon. But how far should this competition go? Should
there be a limit, a line drawn between honest, fair and unfair competition? By asking
these questions, the students could be properly introduced into the topic advertising
and the law. Tey could be asked to recall advertisements in which this comparative
reference is expressed.
As advertisers ofen tend to make specifc comparisons between their products and
rival products, viewers in many cases even unconsciously locate particular items
in the text and draw them together for comparison on a specifed basis. However, the
lack of specifc reference to certain products does not stop advertisers from employing
comparative reference. Tis means that advertisers ofen leave out the comparative item
while keeping in the basis for comparison. Even though a comparative reference is not
clearly expressed to the viewers, they still decode from the text this much better idea
(Goddard 1998: 104).
When referring to the above-mentioned advertisement the students attention can
be drawn to advertising regulations, to the legal framework within which advertising
operates, to ethical advertising standards, as well as to laws and rules that control,
constrain and even reprimand inappropriate advertisements. It should be pointed out
to the students that comparative advertisements are interpreted diferently and the
rules vary around the world. Tus, in Europe it is illegal to make any comparisons
of a product with a competitors in advertising. Tere are no laws against it in Britain
and in the USA, yet the Code of Advertising Practice lays down some guidelines as to
what is permissible. According to this Code of Practice, all advertisements should be
legal, decent and truthful. Tey should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the
consumer and society, and lastly, should conform to the principles of fair competition
generally accepted in business. It should be stressed that the expression of comparative
reference and superiority in advertisements is legal and accepted in certain countries
as long as comparison is not likely to mislead, it complies with the principles of fair
Lingua A. Linguistics
competition and does not tarnish the reputation and image of a company (White 1993:
Te other advertisements presented to the students, such as adverts on alcoholic
drinks, tobacco or funny ones proved to be excellent starting points for discussions and
debates. Te students engaged in various reading and listening activities and were eager
to interact with each other by using such pictures in motion as a basis for conversation.
In addition to this, the use of such dynamic pictures had a huge impact on them,
generating interest and emotional response to the topic.
Tese pictures in motion turn out to be a very generous source of discussion,
motivation and enjoyment in class, since they are highly interactive and dynamic. Tey
create efect, managing to engage the viewer in a dialogue with a text or picture as one
of the interlocutors of it. Tese adverts have illustrated that images work alongside the
verbal text to create ways of interpretation, to address to the viewer, involving them as
participants in this interaction.
By exerting a huge visual impact and by provoking diferent reactions, visual
aids, both static and dynamic, can and should play a major part in English classes.
Te power of images can be well exploited and connected with diferent language
learning activities.
Since images can foster great personable and workable opportunities and a
harmonious and stimulating teaching-learning environment, teachers should resort
to such pictures as ofen as possible in order to maximize the success of the class. All
in all, we should allow pictures to speak a thousand volumes within the English class
for the beneft of the students and the teachers alike.
Goddard, Angela. (1998). Te Language of Advertising. Written Texts. London, New York: Routledge.
Goodman, Jennifer. (2007). Picture Stories in the Communicative Classroom. Retrieved from www.teachingenglish.
Hill, David A. (1990). Visual Impact. Creative Language Learning through Pictures. Essex: Longman Group UK
Schnotz, Wolfgang. (2007). Knowledge Acquisition with Static and Animated Pictures in Computer-Based Learning.
Retrieved from
White, Roderick. (1993). Advertising: What It Is and How to Do It. Berkshire: McGRAW-HILL Book Company
Wikipedia (2007). Retrieved from
Wright, Andrew. (1989). Pictures for Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ana Maria Pascu
Three debating teams and two judges represented Babes-Bolyai University
at the European Universities Debating Championship, which was hosted by the
University of Newcastle, at the beginning of August (1-5 August 2009). One of
the participating teams represented the Lingua Center Debating Club. It is most
signifcant that beginner debaters are supported fnancially by the university and thus
given the chance to participate at important international competitions, which are an
excellent learning opportunity.
Afer seven preliminary rounds, the selected teams took part in quarters, semifnals
and fnals, which took into account the debaters level of English. Tus, there were
separate quarters, semifnals and fnals for native speakers and for ESL (English as
a second language) debaters. Great judging standards were ensured by judges being
permanently ranked according to their performance by the chairs of each judging
Te motions were as follows:
R1: Tis House would allow the police to use entrapment.
R2: Tis House would use the education system to instill moral norms in children
beyond mere obedience to the law.
R3: Tis House would grant citizenship to illegal immigrants who report on work-
place exploitation.
R4: Tis House believes that the gay rights movement should oppose gay
R5: Tis House believes that western liberal countries have a moral duty to spread
democracy across the world using force where necessary.
R6: Tis House believes that custody hearings should not take a childs biological
parentage into account.
R7: Tis House would allow doctors to actively lie to their patients in order to
create or augment a placebo efect.
ESL QF: Tis House would allow the police to physically discipline children below
the age of criminal responsibility.
Lingua A. Linguistics
QF: Tis House would allow political parties to designate certain pre-election
claims as binding promises, the breaking of which would trigger immediate fresh
ESL SF: Tis House believes that countries where assisted suicide is illegal should
prosecute those who assist others that travel abroad to receive euthanasia.
SF: Tis House believes that desecration of religious sites is a legitimate tactic of
ESL GF: Tis House would remove all legal barriers to the genetic enhancement
of humans.
GF: Tis House would abolish all limits on immigration.
Te winners for the ESL section were from Te Netherlands, while the native
speaker winners were from Oxford.
Adrian Ciupe
Between 20 and 23 July 2009 I took part in the Fifth Corpus Linguistics
Conference hosted by the University of Liverpool, UK, where I presented a paper
entitled Corpora and EFL / ELT: Losses, gains and trends in a computerised world.
My presentation centred on several practical and methodological aspects relating
to the use of proprietor corpora by publishers such as LONGMAN, MACMILLAN,
CAMBRIDGE UP and OXFORD UP in compiling paper and electronic format
dictionaries for advanced learners of English, as well as in producing various ELT
/ EFL course books. Teoretically informed by the Lexical Approach (c.f. Michael
Lewis), my line of argument acknowledged the eforts of current ELT/EFL publishers
but also highlighted their conspicuous shortcomings, eventually suggesting possible
remedial action in designing further such products.
Well-attended (over 300 speakers from around the world) and successfully
organised, with separate sections on language learning, discourse, language sofware
etc, the Corpus Linguistics 2009 conference was run jointly by the universities of
Liverpool, Birmingham and Lancaster, being the ffh biennial conference in the
series of Corpus Linguistics.
Te ofcial conference website is:
Veronica Armau, Ioana Nan
Lancaster, UK
September 2009
Te International Conference on Task-based Language Teaching (ICTBLT) was
hosted by Lancaster University, UK, between 13-16 September 2009. It the third
of the series of biennial TBLT conferences inaugurated in 2005 by the Katholieke
Universiteit of Leuven and continued in 2007 under the auspices of the University of
Te Lancaster conference brought together a relatively small but enthusiastic
community of EFL, ESP and EAP researchers and teachers, most of them from
universities and colleges in Western Europe, the United States and Japan, whose
interest in task-based learning and assessment was refected not only in the signifcant
number and variety of topics presented on each of the three days of colloquia and
workshops, but also in the central issues taken up in the presentations of the four
plenary speakers. Tus, some of the key questions approached were the place of
technology in the context of second-language learning, the use of classroom tasks as
conducive to social, action-oriented practices, the role of motivation in task-based
learning behaviour, as well as the yet unsolved puzzle of task-based assessment in
language learning programmes.
In addition, some of the most interesting aspects debated were: the role of corrective
feedback in task-based learning, the attitude of EAP teachers to CBI (Content-based
Lingua A. Linguistics
Instruction) and the importance of shifing to task-based and project-based learning,
some possible methods of measuring learners oral fuency, or the efects of task
complexity and task conditions on oral production.
A special section was dedicated to Te TBLT 2009 Student Awards which has
focused on rewarding students who have had outstanding contributions in the feld
of task- based learning and research. Tus, the organizers have stated their ongoing
interest in developing further research programmes in the feld.
All in all, the Lancaster 2009 TBLT conference emphasized once more, and very
successfully, the need for learning a second or foreign language by performing authentic
communicative tasks whose ultimate purposes are not so much to manipulate form
with utmost accuracy, as much as to convey contextually appropriate meaning in
order to build not only language skills but also relevant, practical, extra-linguistic
skills for life.
Te 2009 Lancaster Conference Organising Committee has announced that the
Biennial International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching will take
place between the 17-20 November 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand, bearing the
promising title of Crossing Boundaries.
Ofcial conference website:
Exist, cred, suficiente i bine ntemeiate motive care ne ndeamn s
salutm cu satisfacie apariia acestei excepionale realizri lexicografce Marele
Dicionar Romn-Polon, n contextul lucrrilor celui dinti Congres Internaional de
Lingvistic Integral de la Cluj. Cel mai important dintre aceste motive este, frete,
unul mai general, de natur istoric i cultural, anume faptul binecunoscut c coala
lingvistic din Cluj se mndrete cu titlul de a f conceput i realizat, n bun msur,
cel mai important monument lexicografc al culturii romne, faimosul Dicionar al
Academiei, aa cum e numit acesta n mod curent, n lumea tiinifc. Personal,
regret cu toat sinceritatea faptul c cel care conduce, astzi, antierul (att ct a mai
rmas, la Cluj) al lucrrilor la aceast oper monumental, directorul Institutului de
Lingvistic al Academiei Romne, Ion Mrii, nu a putut, din motive de sntate, s
se adreseze el nsui Congresului cu aceast ocazie. n ce m privete, voi ncerca s
invoc, foarte sumar, cel puin trei raiuni pentru care consider dicionarul de fa ca
pe un ctig excepional i semnifcativ al lexicografei bilingve interculturale.
n primul rnd, m refer la concepia lucrrii i ngduii-mi s pornesc, n aceast
privin, de la ideea exprimat aici de eminenta noastr romanist, Maria Iliescu,
anume aceea c Pucariu i, acum, iat i Coeriu, trebuie considerai drept repere
care au intrat n zodia clasicitii, adic ei reprezint, pentru noi, valori clasice
care, dincolo de discuiile i dezvoltrile pe care le putem face, au reuit s cucereasc
ceva defnitiv pentru cultura romn i cea european. Concepia acestui dicionar,
aa cum a fost schiat ea, n Cuvntul introductiv, i prezentat de ctre una din
cele dou merituoase autoare ale lucrrii, invitat de onoare a Congresului nostru, se
nscrie, cu claritate, n perspectiva unui asemenea ctig. Profesoara Joanna Porawska
a pomenit faptul c axa principal a noului Mare Dicionar, spre deosebire de cel din
70, este ideea regsit nc la Hasdeu eu a duce-o i mai departe, la Cipariu a
Mircea Borcil
* Babe-Bolyai University
Lingua A. Linguistics
unei oglinzi pe care dicionarul trebuie s o reprezinte n raport cu viaa istoric
a neamului ce vorbete limba respectiv. S ne amintim c, tocmai, aceast idee,
preluat chiar de la Cipariu, a fost exact ideea pe care a citat-o, la nceput, Pucariu
cnd a pornit programul Marelui Dicionar al Academiei Romne, i.e. ideea c ntr-un
dicionar trebuie s gseti, ca ntr-o oglind, frea, sufetul i istoria neamului. E
vorba, deci, de o fericit reafrmare a unui principiu al lingvisticii, neleas ca tiin a
culturii sau, mai exact, de o reinstaurare a unei concepii, s-i spunem, cvasispirituale
sau sufeteti, datorit creia, prin intermediul Dicionarului, cunoatem, desigur, i
realitile materiale, dar cunoatem i sufetul i modul de-a simi, modul de-a gndi,
modul de-a vedea aceste lucruri care se refect n cuvintele, n expresiile idiomatice
i, n general, n sensurile cele mai caracteristice ale unei/unor limbi, pe care i acest
excelent Dicionar le scoate n lumin.
Aceast idee a fost, de fapt, dezvoltat de Pucariu n elaborrile sale teoretice,
aa cum am ncercat s argumentez i eu n mai multe texte din ultima perioad. mi
amintesc de o ntlnire pe care am avut-o n 2003 cu flologii germani Deutsche und
rumnische Philologen in der Begegnung unde acest punct de vedere ( Pucariu,
un mare precursor al lingvisticii integrale) a fost prezentat i argumentat pe larg. S-a
vorbit despre drumul de la Pucariu pn la Coeriu sau despre rdcinile romneti
ale lui Coeriu n mutaia conceptual dinspre pozitivism nspre o alt lingvistic, de
orientare funcional-cultural, cum a fost cea clasic a colii clujene. ntr-adevr,
acest principiu este minunat ilustrat i n concepia lucrrii de fa. Este vorba de
un dicionar etnolingvistic, de un text cultural, cum l-a numit autoarea, am putea
spune chiar intercultural, n sensul profund al nelegerii care st la baza lingvisticii
integrale de astzi pe plan internaional.
A doua raiune pe care a dori s-o invoc, foarte succint, este strns legat de prima,
dar vizeaz, cu precdere, valoarea practic a Dicionarului. M refer, anume, la bogia
expresiilor idiomatice pe care o cuprinde aceast lucrare i observ c multe dintre
aceste expresii considerate de noi, pn acum, conform tradiiei consolidate prin
celebra carte a lui Sandfeld, din 1933, ca innd de aa-zisa comunitate sau familie
de limbi balcanice se regsesc, ca atare, i n limba polon. Acest dicionar este o
foarte bun cale, sau poate servi n acest sens, pentru explorarea unei idei tiinifce
de mare importan. Dicionarul atest, anume, extrem de multe expresii idiomatice
n care putem traduce cuvnt cu cuvnt din romn n polonez i invers, fr s
schimbm sensul fgurat al expresiei, n destule cazuri n care aceasta nu se poate
face cu o limb sor, cum ar f franceza sau italiana. Este o provocare pe care acest
Dicionar o lanseaz, deja, cercettorilor, anticipat, desigur, de mai muli lingviti
ntre care i profesorul Alexandru Niculescu i pentru care lucrarea lexicografc
de fa poate sluji ca o piatr de temelie sau un foarte bun suport investigaional.
Se poate cerceta, i pe aceast temeinic baz, n ce msur adevrul transmis prin
tradiia menionat este doar unul parial i n ce msur putem delimita un nucleu
comun, nu doar balcanic, ci est-european, cu deosebire tocmai n aria expresiilor
idiomatice, care ilustreaz cel mai bine viziunea implicit asupra lumii, caracteristic
unei anumite culturi sau unui spaiu cultural mai cuprinztor.
i a treia raiune, corelat cu cea anterioar: schimbarea lingvistic. Acest
Dicionar ne demonstreaz c, n 40 de ani, limba romn s-a schimbat destul de
radical n multe straturi ale semanticii ei lexicale, nelegnd prin aceast schimbare
o mutaie n chiar proflul ei lexematic ca entitate istoric, dar i n dimensiunea
normei ei tradiionale, aa cum se prezint aceasta din unghiul discursului repetat,
al frazeologismelor i al elementelor fgurative specifce. Acestea s-au schimbat foarte
mult n ultimii 40 de ani, iar Dicionarul de fa refect admirabil aceast schimbare
n perspectiv interlingvistic. Comunicarea revelatoare a profesoarei Porawska,
de astzi, a fost plin de asemenea ilustrri elocvente. S-a putut ntrezri, cred, cu
claritate, nsui procesul prin care se confgureaz o nou fzionomie semantic a
limbii noastre, prin comparaia, n oglind, cu procesul similar care are loc n limba
Cele trei raiuni invocate ar f sufciente, cred, pentru a saluta cu satisfacie, apariia
acestui volum, n contextul dezbaterilor noastre. Exist, ns, desigur, numeroase alte
aspecte pe care specialitii lexicografi, n primul rnd, semanticienii istorici, cei care
lucreaz n domeniul relaiilor romno-polone le vor putea fructifca pornind de
la aceast adevrat capodoper. Nu-mi rmne dect s o felicit, din toat inima, pe
profesoara Porawska, n numele dumneavoastr, al tuturor, precum i pe organizatorii
acestui deosebit moment al Congresului nostru de lingvistic integral.
En ordre alphabtique, Diana Andrei, Diana Boca, Ruxandra Filip, Cristina
Georgescu, Andreea Gheorghiu, Ioana Giurginc, Doina Hebedean, Georgiana
Lungu Badea, Mariana Pitar, Adina Popa, Maria enchea et Diana Voinescu sont les
auteurs de ce dictionnaire contextuel de terme traductologiques, du franais vers le
roumain, dont la coordination et la rvision appartiennent Madame le Professeur
Maria enchea. Le dictionnaire a t labor grce un projet fnanc par le CNCSIS.
Le directeur du projet N
1441 de 2006 est Maria enchea qui a coordonn lactivit de
lquipe, ayant la base une initiative de Madame le Matre de Confrence Georgiana
Lungu Badea.
En plein essor, la traductologie roumaine tend consolider ses concepts, tout
comme la terminologie utilise dans ce but. Cest ce qui justife la ncessit de faire
publier un pareil dictionnaire, un vrai instrument de travail mis la disposition
des spcialistes, mais aussi des tudiants qui sont en voie de formation, pour ne pas
oublier le public intress ce genre dactivit.
Plus de deux cents termes ou collocations, donns en franais ct de leur
traduction en roumain, par exemple: Htronyme/Heteronim; Compensation/
Compensaie, Compensare; ou bien Traducteur expert (judiciaire)/Traductor expert
(judiciar); Expression fge, Figement/Expresie fx, Entitate frazeologic, forment le
fonds de ce dictionnaire qui a pourtant un caractre de nouveaut. Celle-ci rside dans
le fait que les termes ne sont point dfnis, comme dans un dictionnaire classique,
mais accompagns dexemples concrets, do la difcult de llaborer.

Lingua A. Linguistics
Les exemples de longueur variable sont prsents dans un ou mme dans plusieurs
contextes authentiques qui dmontrent leur fonctionnement efectif dans le domaine
de la traductologie. Le choix en est large et les citations ofertes provienennt autant
de textes franais que de textes rdigs ou simplement traduits en roumain, suivis
de la source respective: Surtraduction/Supratraducere On fait de la surtraduction
lorsquon explicite abusivement en franais ce quil convient de garder implicite
en passant dune langue lautre. (J. Delisle, La Traduction raisonne, p. 230)
Supratraducere. Greeal de traducere care const n traducerea explicit a unor
elemente din textul surs ce ar trebui s rmn implicite n textul int. (J. Delisle,
Terminologia traducerii, p. 128). Certes, le nombre de contextes est d limportance
du terme vedette ou de la collocation en cause, allant de deux ou trois au total, jusqu
plusieurs pages, notamment: Traducteur/Traductor, Tlmcitor (pages 178 181).
Cest pourquoi, le dictionnaire devient une sorte dencyclopdie de la traduction car
il peut servir tudier la terminologie utilise dans ce domaine dimportance vitale
lpoque de la globalisation.
Afn de faciliter son utilisation, les auteurs ont mis la disposition du lecteur un
index de termes en franais et en roumain (pages 239 245). Le volume est ouvert par
une liste dabrviations en franais et une autre en roumain, les abrviations les plus
usuelles qui se retrouvent dans les exemples donns.
Et non pas en dernier lieu, les sources sont ofertes (pages 227 238) en deux
sous-chapitres: Volumes, tudes et articles et Sites du web.
Alexandra Viorica Dulu
* Babe-Bolyai University
Linteresse di Mariana Istrate per il ricco ma poco esplorato campo
dellonomastica trova le sue radici nelle ricerche romene bench internazionali
riguardanti questampia tematica. Mariana Istrate svolge la sua attivit presso il
dipartimento di Italiano della Facolt di Lettere dellUniversit Babe-Bolyai. La
studiosa si dedicata al campo dellonomastica, e allonomastica letteraria in particolare,
a cominciare con la stesura della tesi per il dottorato. Di conseguenza, ha pubblicato
vari articoli in riviste di prestigio, ha partecipato e ha sostenuto conferenze in Romania
e allestero. Tra le pi recenti rammentiamo una conferenza presso lUniversit La
Sapienza di Roma dal titolo Finzione e denominazione nel romanzo autobiografco
di Lucian Blaga e Ion Heliade Rdulescu un romantico romeno italoflo presentata
presso lUniversit Il Bo di Padova. Per ci che riguarda i volumi pubblicati si tratta
di: Numele propriu n textul narativ, Napoca Star, Cluj-Napoca, 2000; Scriptor in
fabula, Napoca Star, Cluj-Napoca, 2002; Percorsi del nome, Ezio Parma Editore Napoca
Star, Cluj-Napoca, 2002. Mariana Istrate membro dellAccademia di Scienze, Arti e
Letteratura di Oradea e dellAssociazione Onomastica e Letteratura di Pisa, Italia.
Lo spunto del presente lavoro rappresentato dal fatto che stata lonomastica
letteraria, dallampio campo dellonomastica in generale, ad aver conosciuto il maggior
Istrate, Mariana, Numele propriu n textul narativ, Napoca Star,
Cluj-Napoca, 2000
he choice of presenting the study of Mariana Istrate is a well
founded one because we deal with one of the few Romanian
works regarding literary onomastics. The author presents the diferent
onomastic categories to be found in narrative texts, the relationship
between literary onomastics and other linguistic branches, as well as the
so-called thresholds to interpretation such as the title, the prefaces etc

literary onomastics, proper name, thresholds to interpretation.
Lingua A. Linguistics
sviluppo negli ultimi decenni. Essa postula e sfrutta, allo stesso tempo, il fatto che
il nome proprio nel testo narrativo rappresenta una scelta individuale, consapevole
e, soprattutto, motivata dellautore. Si deve sottolineare un tratto caratteristico
dellonomastica letteraria e cio una maggior libert nel creare: la denominazione
epica pu far uso tanto di nomi ripresi dal corpus onomastico esistente nella lingua,
quanto di nomi creati in conformit con il sistema onomastico in questione. Luso
selettivo di un certo nome gi un indizio della sua funzione semantica. Linserimento
di un segno linguistico individuante contribuisce alla generazione ed allarticolazione
del testo, e la sua reiterazione la garanzia della continuit e coerenza del testo.
Nella prima parte, il lavoro fa lanalisi delle principali categorie onomastiche che
appaiono nel testo per poter vertere, in un secondo momento, su quelle che vengono
usate in quanto soglie verso il testo (il nome dautore, lo pseudonimo in quanto
nome dautore, il nome del testo). Lultima parte viene a delineare la ricezione di questi
nomi, suscitando reazioni estetiche, per arrivare alla loro lessicalizzazione attraverso
il complesso processo dellantonomasia.
Il primo aspetto presentato dalla studiosa quello della defnizione dellonomastica
del testo letterario (problematica ritrovatasi anche nel titolo del secondo capitolo). Lo
spunto in questo senso rappresentato dalla prima prova di defnire questo concetto
in Romania nellambito del Simposio di onomastica del 1987, i cui lavori furono
pubblicati nella rivista Studii de onomastica, del 1990. La defnizione di Augustin
Pop considera, in linea di ipotesi, che lonomastica letteraria coinvolga la letteratura,
nel grado in cui [essa] costituisce loggetto della ricerca, e la linguistica per ci
che riguarda il metodo di investigazione
. Di conseguenza: lonomastica letteraria
potrebbe essere quel ramo dellonomastica che studia lorigine, levoluzione e le funzioni
dei nomi propri delle opere letterarie. Marica Pietreanu viene a completare questa
defnizione afermando che lonomastica letteraria sia: quel ramo dellonomastica
il cui oggetto di ricerca sono i nomi propri delle opere letterarie, con un metodo
complesso di interpretazione, in cui si intrecciano lanalisi linguistica e quella
letteraria e artistica
. Una volta defnita lonomastica letteraria, emerge il problema
delle categorie con cui essa opera toponimi, antroponimi, zoonimi, astronimi,
anemonimi (nomi di fenomeni meteorologici), ergonomi (nomi di associazioni
umane), crononimi (nomi dei periodi di tempo), ecc.
Spicca, dunque, il problema
dellidentit tra le categorie dellonomastica letteraria (OL) e quelle dellonomatica
generale (O), fatto che verrebbe ad invalidare la teoria secondo la quale lOL fosse
una suddivisione dellO. Per trovare una soluzione a questo problema, la ricercatrice
ricorre ad un termine proposto da Augustin Pop simbonim
per tutti i nomi propri
delle opere letterarie. Parte dalle osservazioni di Cesare Bandi e sottolinea il fatto
che, nellopera letteraria,il nome acquista un nuovo signifcato, fondamentalmente
diverso da quello anteriore, trasformandosi da un realonimo in un simbonimo
. Di
conseguenza, l OL potrebbe essere ridefnita in quanto suddivisione dellonomastica
che si occupa con lo studio dei simbonimi e studia i mezzi tramite i quali i nomi propri
ottengono, allinterno del testo letterario, la qualit di simbolo letterario.
Un altro argomento analizzato nel secondo capitolo quello del rapporto tra
lonomastica letteraria e le altre discipline della linguistica la lessicologia, la
morfologia, la sintassi ma anche la storia della lingua, la dialettologia e la fonetica.
Lonomastica ha forse il maggior impatto, il pi visibile, sulla lessicologia a causa del
passaggio dalla categoria di nome comune a quella di nome proprio e viceversa. Questa
transizione resa possibile dal degrado semantico del nome proprio, processo
che pu materializzarsi in un nuovo signifcato e pu avere in quanto conseguenza
larricchirsi del vocabolario con nuove parole, nuovi sensi. Un primo passaggio dal
nome proprio al nome comune viene realizzato attraverso la comparazione con la
quale i tratti di un personaggio letterario vengono attribuiti ad una persona reale (si
vedano Don Quijote, Don Juan, Hagi Tufose, ecc. ). Unaltra modalit per cui nuove
parole appaiono la derivazione di nomi comuni da nomi di scrittori, personaggi
letterari e opere. Il fenomeno presente nel linguaggio della critica e della storia
letteraria e in seguito ne risultano: aggettivi barbian, eminescian, hamletian, ecc.,
nomi formati sia da un nome proprio + suf. ism: caragialism, faustism, ecc., sia da
un aggettivo onomastico + suf. ism: argezianism, balzacianism, ecc., oppure verbi.
Lultima parte del secondo capitolo verte sullo stato attuale delle ricerche nel campo
in questione, avendo come spunto le afermazioni di Garabet Ibrileanu, fatte nel
1926, nello studio Numele proprii n opera comic a lui Caragiale con cui lautore
fonda un nuovo campo di ricerca, quello dellonomastica letteraria. Sono rammentati
anche Al. Cristureanu, il quale, nelle sue ricerche, fa un inventario dei nomi ma,
allo stesso tempo, prova a fare anche la loro analisi stilistica; Elena Lin la quale
spiega che si fatta meno attenzione agli antroponimi presenti nelle opere letterarie a
causa delluso prediletto, nella letteratura, dei nomi propri consueti; Veronica Hicea-
Mocanu la quale si sofermata sopra i nomi propri dei testi drammatici; Rodica
Marian, Marica Pietreanu e Augustin Pop che si sono dedicati prevalentemente ai
nomi propri presenti nella poesia; Victoria Moldovan nella sua analisi del rapporto
nome-personaggio nellopera di Sadoveanu.
Lo statuto del nome proprio nel testo narrativo un aspetto che non pu essere
trascurato in uno studio di onomastica letteraria e, di conseguenza, la studiosa ha
dedicato a questa problematica una parte consistente del suo lavoro e ha considerato
come punto di partenza le considerazioni generali sopra il nome proprio. Una
rassegna delle pi importanti prospettive riguardanti il nome proprio conduce alla
conclusione che esso sia multivoce (pu avere pi signifcati), monovalente (ha un
Lingua A. Linguistics
valore diverso per ogni situazione) e unidimensionale (denomina tanto un oggetto
quanto un insieme di oggetti ma separatamente, non allo stesso tempo). Il famoso
linguista Coeriu aferma: Il nome proprio [...] sempre il nome di un <<singolare>>
(questa A) e mai di un <<particolare>> (una A)
. Si deve sottolineare il fatto che il
nome proprio non denomina nello stesso piano con il nome comune, classifcando la
realt, ma fa uso di una seconda modalit denominativa la quale individua e unifca.
Soltanto dopo aver tracciato le linee generali riguardanti lo statuto del nome
proprio, la ricercatrice stata in grado di presentare la problematica del nome proprio
nel testo narrativo rilevando il fatto che, allinterno del testo, il nome non rinvia pi
al mondo reale che ci circonda ma ad uno immaginario, creato, appartenente alla
fnzione, che nel testo richiama, tuttavia, il primo. I tratti che individuano la letteratura
e, implicitamente, il nome proprio del testo letterario, restano sempre lunicit e
loriginalit, qualit che suscitano linteresse del lettore. Dallaltra parte, Eugne
si soferma sopra lidea della continuit della referenza nel processo narrativo.
Nella stesura dellopera, cos come nella lettura, ogni nome racchiude in s una serie di
tratti che vengono attribuiti gradualmente allindividuo che denominano. Si verifca,
dunque, un rinvio speciale che mira ad un modello mentale del referente. Per Gravel
il personaggio signifca sia un nome ricco di qualit, sia qualit collegate attraverso
il nome. In questultimo caso, dal punto di vista narrativo, lemergere di un nome ed
il suo reiterarsi nel testo fonda il racconto e orienta la lettura verso laspettativa di
un destino
. Sempre Eugne Nicole accenna alla caratteristica anaforica del nome
proprio e Mariana Istrate, a sostegno di questafermazione, fa degli esempi ripresi dalla
letteratura romena. il caso del romanzo classico allinterno del quale la narrazione
e la reiterazione dei nomi sono strettamente collegate, la connessione essendo ovvia
soprattutto nei diversi cicli di romanzi come quelli di Hortensiei Papadat-Bengescu.
La reiterazione del nome che denomina un personaggio porta alla fssazione, nella
mente del lettore, dellidentit onomastica. Si produce, di conseguenza, una sorta di
eco che pu condurre, in seguito al processo di ricezione, alla percezione del nome
in quanto simbolo di una qualit o di unesistenza esemplare. In questo caso, si pu
verifcare persino il passaggio del nome proprio ad un nome comune.
Un tratto interessante che stato rilevato nella letteratura dellultimo secolo quello
del passaggio dalla pluridenominazione alla scomparsa del nome proprio nel testo
narrativo. Tranne il classico esempio di Cervantes che us la pluridenominazione, la
studiosa ci presenta anche quello di Ciuleandra di Rebreanu notando che, solitamente,
quando non si tratta di un personaggio dai tratti fssi, ogni nuova apparizione del
nome porta alla luce una nuova caratteristica della personalit del denotato. Quindi,
Mdlina la ragazza piena di gioia, esuberante, che balla la danza popolare chiamata
ciuleandra mentre Madeleine lafascinante signora Faranga, mite, melanconica, che
fnir per essere ammazzata da suo marito. I diversi nomi dati allo stesso personaggio
sono intenti a suggerire il fatto che lidentit del personaggio si perde malgrado le prove
disperate di riacquistarla. il caso delleroe di Pirandello dal romanzo Il fu Mattia
Pascal (1904) il quale vive e muore, rinasce e muore nuovamente
, senza ritrovare
se stesso. Mattia Pascal coglie loccasione di una situazione favorevole per crearsi una
nuova identit. Il defunto Mattia Pascal diventa Adriano Meis nella speranza non
solo di vivere una nuova vita ma anche di essere una nuova persona. Per, cambiando
il suo nome non fa altro che abbandonare una maschera per unaltra, il nome essendo
la maschera con cui la persona si fa conosciuta agli altri. In questo riguardo Jean
Starobinski aferma: In modo simbolico il nome si colloca alla confuenza tra
lesistere per se stesso e lesistere per laltro , esso veramente intimo ed un
fatto pubblico. Accettando il mio nome accetto che esso sia un denominatore comune
tra il mio essere profondo e il mio essere sociale
Per, la rinuncia al nome lattuale tendenza per ci che riguarda il romanzo
contemporaneo. La disgregazione dellarchitettura epica accade nello stesso tempo
con la morte delleroe e la scomparsa dellautore
. Di conseguenza, si nota un
calo per ci che riguarda il potere individuante del nome proprio. Faulkner, in Lurlo
e il furore, d lo stesso nome a due persoanggi centrali, Kafa, nel Castello, chiama
un personaggio con ununica lettera, K, Vasile Rebreanu, negli Amori del cascatore,
usa, in quanto nomi e cognomi dei personaggi, dei nomi comuni che denominano
la classe a cui essie appartengono. Ai rispettivi nomi e cognomi vengono aggiunte le
iniziali in ordine alfabetico: il ragazzo A, lalunno B, lo studente C, ecc.
Il capitolo La letterariet e la denominazione verte, in un primo momento, sulla
defnizione del primo concetto accennato nel titolo, soprattutto dalla prospettiva
semiologica di Heinrich F. Plett
. Lo studioso defnisce un concetto espressivo di
letteratura - la quale rinvia allemittente, uno ricettivo che rinvia al ricettore, un
concetto mimetico rivolto al referente, e uno retorico in relazione con il codice
dei segni letterari. Lopera letteraria crea un mondo
imitando un discorso dall
intento referenziale, in base ad una convenzione tramite la quale lo scrittore fa fnta
di fare unasserzione, di fare un rinvio, e il lettore si mostra daccordo con questa
. Dovuto alluso del nome proprio la referenza crea il personaggio della
. Lafermazione di Searle verr sostenuta con argomenti dalla ricercatrice
romena che fa lesempio del racconto Popa Tanda di Ioan Slavici. Dato che condivide
la sopraccennata pretesa dellautore, il lettore accetta il fatto che esiste, nel villaggio
Butucani, un maestro chiamato Pintilie, personaggio della fnzione creato tramite il
rinvio illocutorio. La conclusione della studiosa che listituirsi di questa convenzione
testuale mira allo strutturarsi del nome proprio in quanto lasse sul quale verr costruito
il personaggio letterario.
Lingua A. Linguistics
Le soglie verso il testo rappresentano un altro concetto su cui verte lo studio
di Mariana Istrate. Cos, se il nome di un autore richiama un certo universo
immaginario, i titoli, a loro turno, saranno in grado di rinviare, in vario modo, alla
fnzione. I titoli dei capitoli vengono a raforzare, a loro turno, linvito di entrare nella
fnzione lanciata dal titolo dellopera cos come anche le prefazioni, le postfazioni, i
motti, ecc. Paul Cornea aferma che tutto eloquente per coloro che hanno una certa
esperienza. Di conseguenza, il lettore avvisato raccoglie questi elementi prima di
incominciare la lettura, in quanto segni esterni che aiutino alla conclusione di un
contratto di lettura
. Dunque, la ricercatrice conclude che i nomi hanno la funzione
di avvertire lentrare del lettore in un universo immaginario, ma, allo stesso tempo,
pure una funzione di segno coesivo della narrazione e una funzione psicologica
. Lo statuto relazionale cos scoperto progetta il personaggio in uno
spazio che si colloca al di l del testo.
Per analizzare lespressivit antroponimica, Mariana Istrate accenna, per primo,
ai nomi reperibili i quali ofrono al discorso epico autenticit e rappresentano
un punto di riferimento per poter collocare lazione in un certo spazio e momento
storico. In secondo luogo, vengono accennati i nomi attestati tutti quei nomi i
quali, bench costruiti in conformit con il sistema di denominazione esistente
nella lingua, vengono usati in unopera letteraria senza che rinviino ad un prototipo
omonimo, oppure dei quali non ci risulta che esisti un tale prototipo, e pure i nomi
inventati che non si verifcano nella realt, solo nella fnzione essendo accettate in
un universo immaginario solamente grazie ad una convenzione. Questi ultimi non
si distinguono, dal punto di vista funzionale, dai nomi dellonomastica consueta,
ma la loro forza suggestiva grande. Mariana Istrate accenna anche allespressivit
toponimica, zoonimica ed eufemistica. I toponimi simbonimi possono essere, a loro
turno, reperibili, attestati e inventati mentre i nomi di animali, nella maggior parte,
tranne quando non rappresentano nomi di persona o di animali ripresi da altre lingue
straniere, sono evoluti fno a questa funzione da aggettivi o appellativi ripresi dalla
lingua comune
Facendo lanalisi degli pseudonimi, la studiosa fa una rassegna delle circostanze
della loro apparizione, le cause e, soprattutto, si nota un interesse particolare per ci
che riguarda la loro classifca semantica. Dunque, vengono individuati pseudonimi
che rinviano a dei tratti fsici, psichici, pseudonimi che indicano un mestiere, lorigine,
derivati dai nomi di animali oppure quelli che provengono dalle formule onomastiche
di identifcazione caratteristiche per il sistema popolare. Dal punto di vista della loro
costruzione si tratta di nomi-sintagma, anagrammi, asteronimi o criptonimi.
Insieme ai nomi dautore, pure il titolo rappresenta un invito alla lettura. Esso
indica in modo riassuntivo o suggestivo lessenza di unopera e, secondo Boris Cazacu,
il titolo risponde, in un certo modo, alle domande che il giudice romano faceva
durante le inchieste: quis chi , quomodo come , quando quando , quibus
auxiliis con che mezzi , ubi dove
. La studiosa conclude dunque che, motivato
o arbitrario, il titolo ofre al testo individualit, unicit e riconoscibilit.
Un ultimo argomento trattato da Mariana Istrate nel suo studio la ricezione dei
nomi propri presenti nel testo narrativo. La studiosa si soferma sopra le afermazioni di
Paul Cornea
in conformit con le quali la ricezione del messaggio poetico rappresenta
un atto individuale e irripetibile e richiede un interazione comunicativa
su un certo bagaglio di conoscenze dato che ogni testo gode di un orizzonte dattesa
adatto o no allaccetto immediato. La ricezione dipende da fattori culturali, ma anche
dalla competenza letteraria del lettore che, a seconda delle informazioni racchiuse
nel testo, realizza una lettura interpretativa, fedele per ci che riguarda le strutture
del testo, oppure una lettura libera, per divertirsi e rilassarsi, oppure una lettura
standard che porta ad una comprensione pi o meno soddisfacente del testo ed a
una rappresentazione mentale del mondo della fnzione
Per ci che riguarda i meriti del presente lavoro, dobbiamo rammentare, per
primo, il fatto che, secondo Mircea Borcil, la presente sintesi si fonda su un grande
numero di opere esaminate, appartenenti non solo alla letteratura romena ma anche
a quella universale, e su una ricca illustrazione degli aspetti di principio sostenuti con
esempi tra i pi rilevanti. Inoltre, loriginalit del lavoro risiede nellargomentare e
nel sostenere le ipotesi enunciate, personali o appartenenti ad altri autori, attraverso
esempi dalla letteratura romena, tratto che lo colloca tra i pochi lavori di onomastica
letteraria romena. Non pu essere trascurata la struttura assai chiara, dettagliata, del
materiale presentato, a cui si deve la logica successione dei capitoli.
1 Pop, Augustin, Obiectivele onomasticii literare, n Studii de onomastic, V, 1990, p. 400-408.
2 Pietreanu, Marica, Probleme de onomastica literar. Cu privire la poezia lui Marin Sorescu, n Studii de
onomastic, V, 1990, p. 382-400.
3 Ioni, Vasile, Cu privire la categoriile onomastice, n Studii de onomastic, IV, 1987, p. 39-47.
4 Pop, Augustin, Obiectivele onomasticii literare..., p. 406.
5 Bandi, Cesare, Teoria general a criticii, Bucureti, Editura Univers, 1985, p.166.
6 Coeriu, Eugen, Teoria del lenguaje y linguistica general, segunda edicion, Madrid, Editorial Gredos, S.A., 1967.
7 Nicole, Eugne, Lonomastique littraire, n Potique, 46, avril, 1981, p. 233-252.
8 Nicole, Eugne, Lonomastique littraire..., p. 206.
9 Pirandello, Luigi, Rposatul Mattia Pascal, Bucureti, Editura pentru Literatur Universal, 1968, p. 240.
10 Starobinski, Jean, Textul i interpretul, Bucureti, Editura Univers, 1985, p. 358.
11 Jauss, Hans Robert, Experien estetic i hermeneutic literar, Bucureti, Editura Univers, 1983, p. 296.
12 Plett, Heinrich F., tiina textului i analiza de text. Semiotic, lingvistic, retoric, Bucureti, Editura Univers,
13 Ohmann, Richard, Actele de vorbire i defnirea literaturii, n Poetica american. Orientri actuale, Cluj-
Napoca, Editura Dacia, 1981, p. 179-199.
14 Searle, John R., Statutul logic al discursului fcional, n Poetica american.Orientri..., p. 221.
Lingua A. Linguistics
15 Ibidem, p. 222.
16 Cornea, Paul, Introducere n teoria literaturii, Bucureti, Editura Minerva, 1988, p. 153.
17 Muthu, Mircea, nelegerea personajului literar, n Excelsior, I, 1992, nr. 2, p. 15.
18 Paca, tefan, Nume de persoane i nume de animale n ara Oltului, n Academia Romn. Studii i cercetri,
XXVI, 1936.
19 Cazacu, Boris, De ce lectura modern a textului narativ? Modaliti narative i implicaii lingvistice, n Limba
romn literar. Probleme teoretice i intepretri de texte, Bucureti, Societatea de tiine Filologice, 1985, p.143.
20 Cornea, Paul, Introducere n teoria lecturii, Bucureti, Editura Minerva, 1988.
21 Jauss, Hans Robert, Pour une esthtique de la rception, Paris, 1978.
22 Cornea, Paul, Introducere n teoria lecturii... .
Denisa Ionescu
* Babe-Bolyai University