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Preview: Applied Linguistics - current issue

Applied Linguistics Current Issue

Published: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 05:43:27 GMT


Notes on Contributors


Scott R. Schroeder is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University. His research examines the effects of language experience on cognitive processing in linguistically and culturally diverse populations, with a focus on the impact of bilingualism on memory. <>

Prue Holmes and Fred Dervin (Eds): The Cultural and Intercultural Dimensions of English as a Lingua Franca



Brigitta Dóczi and Judit Kormos: Longitudinal Developments in Vocabulary Knowledge and Lexical Organization



The Prevalence of Pedagogy-Related Research in Applied Linguistics: Extending the Debate


In this article, we respond to the special issue ‘Definitions for Applied Linguistics’, where the past and future of applied linguistics are discussed, and the place of pedagogy in the field’s scope is debated. In the issue, Hellermann (2015) uses data from 1980 to 1984 and 2009 to 2013 to show a shift in the field towards an emerging range of language-related problems, coupled with the declining prominence of pedagogy-related research in the journal. In this article, we extend Hellerman’s work to investigate whether this trend is reflective of other published work in applied linguistics. In our investigation, 336 research papers published in 2015 were analysed from 10 self-identified applied linguistics journals. Data revealed language-pedagogy-related studies constituted 32 per cent of all empirical research, although this representation was unevenly distributed across the journals. Findings suggest a number of practice-oriented journals now take the lion’s share of pedagogical research, allowing other key applied linguistics journals to focus on a diverse range of non-pedagogy-related language problems. Nevertheless, in general, pedagogy remains a key topic in the field.

Linguistic Predictors of Cultural Identification in Bilinguals


Most of the world’s population has knowledge of at least two languages. Many of these bilinguals are also exposed to and identify with at least two cultures. Because language knowledge enables participation in cultural practices and expression of cultural beliefs, bilingual experience and cultural identity are interconnected. However, the specific links between bilingualism and cultural identity remain largely unidentified. The current study examined which aspects of bilingualism relate to identification with first- and second-language cultures. Two hundred and nine bilinguals completed a questionnaire probing linguistic background and cultural affiliations. Regression analyses indicated that cultural identification was predicted by age of language acquisition, language proficiency, foreign accentedness, and contexts of long-term language immersion and current language exposure. Follow-up analyses revealed that the language–culture relations were mediated by the age and manner in which the second language was acquired. These findings are situated within a proposed framework of bilingual cultural identity. By identifying features of bilingualism that are relevant for cultural identity, the current research increases our understanding of the relationship between language and culture.

Do Productive Skills Improve in Content and Language Integrated Learning Contexts? The Case of Writing


This study investigates the differential effects of two learning contexts, formal instruction (FI) and content and language integrated learning (CLIL), on the written production skills of intermediate-level Catalan Spanish adolescent learners of English as a foreign language. Written samples elicited through a composition at two data collection times over one academic year were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed for complexity, accuracy, and fluency and for task fulfilment, organization, grammar, and vocabulary, respectively. Based on the findings, the superiority of CLIL cannot be confirmed: although improvement in the case of the FI + CLIL group is shown, results were only significant in the domain of accuracy.

Does Attending an English-Language University Diminish Abilities in the Native Language? Data from Turkey


Does a native language suffer when students take all of their classes in a foreign language, even in their home country? Turkish students studying psychology, economics, or English literature with English as the language of instruction (N = 91) were studied across a three-year period. Test scores, word fluency measures, and self-ratings were broadly comparable with students enrolled in a standard Turkish curriculum (N = 74). However, differences were obtained among English literature students, many of whom anticipate careers as English teachers or translators. These students had lower Turkish entrance exam scores, and word fluency scores were higher in English than Turkish, while the reverse was found for all other students, including other English-medium instructed students. The self-assessed L1-Turkish writing abilities of the English literature students also declined slightly across the three-year study. We conclude that intense engagement with a foreign language may put the native language at risk for temporary attrition, but studying with a foreign-language as the medium of instruction does not.

Metaphoric Modeling of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning, with Special Reference to Teaching Philosophy Statements


The current article investigates teachers' metaphoric modeling of foreign language teaching and learning at the College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University. It makes use of teaching philosophy statements as a corpus. Our objective is to analyze the underlying conceptualizations of teaching/learning, the teachers' perception of the students, and the teachers' self-perception. To do so, we have adopted a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. The framework adopted is Lakoff and Johnson's cognitive theory of metaphor, in particular the primacy of the conceptual over the linguistic, the power of metaphor to highlight and hide experience, and metaphor's inferential system of entailments. The conceptualizations of the domain of foreign language teaching and learning are then measured against concepts in the philosophy of education such as teacher centeredness, student centeredness, and learning centeredness, using cost–benefit analyses.

Syntactic Processing in Professional Interpreters: Understanding Ambiguous Sentences in Reading and Translation


This study evaluates the way in which interpreters activate the source language and the target language (TL) when they perform the interpreting task. We focused on syntactic ambiguities. In sentences like Someone shot the servant of the actress who was on the balcony, two antecedents (‘servant’ and ‘actress’) are potential correct agents of the clause (who was on the balcony). Previous studies showed that Native English speakers interpret the second antecedent as the agent (actress); Spanish speakers prefer the first antecedent (servant), and Spanish–English bilinguals do not show any preference. In the present study, we observed the interpreters’ syntactic processing when they either read the ambiguous sentences in Spanish to repeat them in Spanish or read the sentences in Spanish to translate them into English. The way ambiguous sentences were processed depended on the task: professionals did not show a clear attachment preference when they read and repeated sentences, while they used the strategy preferred in the TL when they performed the interpreting task. Interpreters managed TL syntactic properties in a flexible manner during the comprehension phase of the interpreting task.

Calibrating Genre: Metacognitive Judgments and Rhetorical Effectiveness in Academic Writing by L2 Graduate Students


Several strands of applied linguistic research have emphasized the importance of genre awareness for academic writing students. Although metacognitive behaviors have been linked to L2 writing proficiency and performance, there is still the need for an account of how and why different metacognitive behaviors can help L2 academic writers to apply genre knowledge in authentic situations. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this study borrows the framework of calibration from educational psychology to highlight the relationship between the accuracy of graduate students’ metacognitive judgments and the quality of their texts. Within an authentic setting, the nature of metacognitive judgments is calibrated against the assessment of rhetorical effectiveness by teacher raters using genre analysis criteria. Findings show that individual differences in rhetorical effectiveness can be better understood when accuracy of metacognitive judgments is considered along two qualitative dimensions: depth and alignment. Differential achievement relates to the ability to apply genre knowledge to the text, and misalignments in task perceptions and criteria. Implications for genre pedagogy and further research are discussed.

Using Listener Judgments to Investigate Linguistic Influences on L2 Comprehensibility and Accentedness: A Validation and Generalization Study


The current study investigated linguistic influences on comprehensibility (ease of understanding) and accentedness (linguistic nativelikeness) in second language (L2) learners’ extemporaneous speech. Target materials included picture narratives from 40 native French speakers of English from different proficiency levels. The narratives were subsequently rated by 20 native speakers with or without linguistic and pedagogical experience for comprehensibility, accentedness, and 11 linguistic variables spanning the domains of phonology, lexis, grammar, and discourse structure. Results showed that comprehensibility was associated with several linguistic variables (vowel/consonant errors, word stress, fluency, lexis, grammar), whereas accentedness was chiefly linked to pronunciation (vowel/consonant errors, word stress). Native-speaking listeners thus appear to pay particular attention to pronunciation, rather than lexis and grammar, to evaluate nativelikeness but tend to consider various sources of linguistic information in L2 speech in judging comprehensibility. The use of listener ratings (perceptual measures) in evaluating linguistic aspects of learner speech and their implications for language assessment and pedagogy are discussed.