Marang : Journal of Language and Literature - latest Issue
Volume 19, Issue 1, 2009
Author Reuben Makayiko ChiramboSource: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 1 –21 (2009)More Less
Writers in Africa who have taken a critical view of their society have variously been designated as dissidents, traitors, or rebels by the political regimes. In most cases such writers have been forced into exile or placed in detention for their writing and their works banned in their countries. However, such writers have often only expressed the growing disillusionment characteristic of the post-independence African countries even in the recent democratic dispensation. Writers forced into exile have continued to write critical works about their countries besides taking stock of their new surroundings of exile. While postmodernism posits cosmopolitanism or nomadic existence as normal, where exile is home, this article argues that for Frank Chipasula exile could not become home because the local politics of former president for life and dictator in Malawi, Dr. H.K. Banda, and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) haunted his exile. This forced Chipasula in his poetry to engage with Bandas regime even from exile, resisting the tyranny with the terms of a guerrilla fighter hence his work could be called dissident writing. In his nomadic existence as an exile, Chipasula worries less about where he is than about his home country, Malawi. This article uses poems from his collection, Whispers in the Wings to examine the relationship between Chipasula as a poet in exile and his society in Malawi.
Source: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 23 –31 (2009)More Less
The concept of time, once easily defined, remains an abstract quality. The order in which we experience events has important implications for our interpretation of those events. Although events can be presented in a chronological and continuous sequence, skilled story tellers will often deviate from this. Heidegger (1927) acknowledged that da-sein as thrown-being- in-the-world comes across time as a series of nows. The importance of this attitude towards time and the understanding of the content and thought of modern novels, depend on the understanding of the treatment of time. It is in this context that this article attempts to provide a brief survey of two modern novelists, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce who exploited the displacement feature of language to defamiliarize our conception of time and chronology.
Author Thapelo J. OtlogetsweSource: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 33 –42 (2009)More Less
Genre studies in Setswana are rare, particularly those which study genre on the basis of lexical distinctiveness. Such studies have however been attempted in other languages (cf. Stamatatos et al., 2000; Xiao and McEnery, 2005). The paper proposes a genre analysis of the sports domain of Setswana. It implements a computational and statistical methodology of retrieving sports terms from a Setswana sub-corpus of a large Setswana corpus. The proposed approach is preferred since it is unbiased and measures real language as used by speakers of the language. It uses frequency and keyword analysis to generate words which are typical and definitive of the sports genre. The strategy has been used before extensively in the study of a variety of Setswana genres (see Otlogetswe, 2007). Finally, the article demonstrates that such retrieved texts could be useful in a variety of applications, amongst these being, genre studies, lexicography and other data retrieval applications.
Author Fewdays MiyandaSource: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 43 –58 (2009)More Less
Court interpreting is a rather complex task. Inaccuracies in legal interpreting or translation can have serious consequences. Using oral interviews and a written questionnaire, this study set out to establish the problems faced by court interpreters in Botswana in the course of their duties, the kind of training offered to court interpreters in Botswana, the court interpreters familiarity with court procedure, etiquette and legal terminology; to find out the interpretation and translation techniques that court interpreters use; and, to establish the problems that may make the dispensing of justice difficult in the courts in Botswana. The findings show that interpreters in the Magistrate and High Courts in Botswana perform their duties under very difficult circumstances which have serious implications on the delivery of justice. The problems established include lack of training for interpreters, the absence of a job descriptionption and guidelines for interpreters, long hours of work, lack of a forum for interpreters to share ideas on their job, lack of security for case files as most of the offices used by interpreters in the magistrate courts are also used by other staff, and lack of equipment such as microphones during interpreting. Recommendations to ameliorate these problems are also made.
Author Leonard B. M. NkosanaSource: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 59 –79 (2009)More Less
This paper presents and discusses the results of survey questionnaires administered to both students and teachers of the Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) ESL on their attitudes towards and perceptions of speaking in English, its teaching and assessment. Both students and teachers were asked to complete survey questionnaires in which they were asked both closed and open ended questions on their attitudes towards the teaching and learning of ESL. The findings indicate that the attitudes of both students and teachers towards speaking were found to have remained positive, in spite of the fact that it is not tested in the BGCSE English exam. However the study indicates that the teachers perceptions of the BGCSE English examinations influence on students attitudes towards learning speaking was affected, and their perceptions of the exams influence on their work with regard to speaking was also affected. It was also found that the BGCSE English examination has had some impact on classroom practice. The teachers reported that they taught writing and reading, which are tested in the exam, more than speaking and listening, which are not tested. The students also ranked writing and reading as the skills in which they do most exercises/tasks as compared to listening and speaking. However, the impact on classroom practice in the Botswana study was mitigated by the sociolinguistic status of English in Botswana.
Author Akinmade Timothy AkandeSource: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 81 –93 (2009)More Less
This study investigated the mastery of English complex modifiers by some Senior Secondary School III pupils who are Yoruba speakers of English. The major aims of the study were first, to find whether the subjects had adequate proficiency in the acquisition of complex modifiers and second, to examine whether the types of secondary school attended (i.e., government/public secondary schools or individual/private secondary schools) by the subjects or the gender of the subjects have any significant effect on their mastery of English complex modifiers. The data collection methods used for the study were of two types. The first was an essay test administered to the students while the second was a questionnaire. The study found that the proficiency of our subjects in the mastery of English complex modifiers was inadequate. It was also discovered that although the types of school attended by the subjects has significant effect on their performance, gender has no significant effect in the acquisition of the English complex modifiers by the subjects.
An examination of the strategies used for learning english as a second language by senior secondary school students in BotswanaSource: Marang : Journal of Language and Literature 19, pp 95 –108 (2009)More Less
This study examines the strategies used by speakers of English as a second language in Botswanas senior secondary schools. The study was undertaken because many students in this country under-perform in their English Language final examinations at senior secondary school; and in order to establish the causes for their under-performance, the views of 150 randomly selected senior secondary school students were solicited through a questionnaire. The data were then analyzed using simple descriptionptive statistics. The results show that, although some students use facilitative strategies such as speaking and listening in English, using newly learned structures in real life situations, figuring out the meaning of something they do not understand and correcting their own mistakes, there are equally many students with shortcomings in the strategies they use for learning English, such as transferring structures from their first language to the second, giving up trying in the face of difficulties and being lowly motivated. To remedy the situation, it is suggested that teachers should frequently speak to individual students in order to establish the strategies they use for tackling different learning tasks, with a view to advising them on the use of appropriate strategies for various language skills. It is also suggested that the teaching approach and the English language syllabus be reviewed in order to meet the language needs of students in a technologically changing world.