Subscribe: Applied Linguistics - current issue
Preview: Applied Linguistics - current issue

Applied Linguistics Current Issue

Published: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:49:09 GMT


Notes on Contributors

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Songqing Li is Lecturer in English Language and Applied Linguistics at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China. He received a PhD from the National University of Singapore. His research interests mainly include bilingualism in mass media, CDA, cognitive linguistics multimodality, and English as a global language. His recent article ‘English in the linguistic landscape of Suzhou’ appears in English Today. Address for correspondence: Songqing Li, SC429, 111 Ren'ai Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town, Suzhou 215123, China.

Donald Freeman: Educating Second Language Teachers

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

FreemanDonald: EDUCATING SECOND LANGUAGE TEACHERS. Oxford University Press, 2016.

M.-A. Lefer and S. Vogeleer (eds): Genre- and Register-Related Discourse Features in Contrast

Wed, 31 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT


The Spacing Effect and its Relevance to Second Language Acquisition

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This commentary discusses some theoretical and methodological issues related to research on the spacing effect in second language acquisition research (SLA). There has been a growing interest in SLA in how the temporal distribution of input might impact language development. SLA research in this area has frequently drawn upon the rich field of cognitive psychology as a motivation for research and a context for the discussion of results. However, there are a number of nonconformities between these two fields, including how key constructs have been operationalized and measured. A better understanding of these conceptual divergences will allow SLA to advance with more systematic and robust research into the impact of input spacing on second language development.

Genre Analysis of Decision Letters from Editors of Scientific Journals: Building on Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans (2002)

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans (2002) described a prototypical structure for decision letters based on a personal database of letters written by one editor for the journal English for Specific Purposes. In this article, I analyse a publicly available corpus of 59 decision letters from 48 different editors of a wide range of scientific journals and find that the Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans prototypical structure requires modification to be applicable to this broader spectrum of decision letters. In addition, all but two of the linguistic features of decision letters described by Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans (2002) are used by less than 15 per cent of the editors in the present corpus. Three previously undescribed linguistic features, that are common to more than 70 per cent of the editors, are identified in this study.

Derivational Morphology in Reading Comprehension of Chinese-speaking Learners of English: A Longitudinal Structural Equation Modeling Study

Sat, 09 Jan 2016 00:00:00 GMT

This longitudinal study examined the contribution of morphological awareness to English as a Second Language (ESL) reading comprehension. Young Chinese-speaking ESL learners completed twice with a one-year interval the same set of tasks that measured derivational awareness, vocabulary breadth, fluency of reading derived words, and passage comprehension. Structural Equation Modeling analyses revealed that at both Time 1 and Time 2, morphological awareness had a significant direct effect on reading comprehension over and above vocabulary knowledge, and such an effect became stronger over time. A significant indirect effect of morphological awareness on reading comprehension was also observed at both times. However, how the indirect effect was achieved varied across times. Longitudinally, Time 1 morphological awareness failed to significantly predict Time 2 reading comprehension over and above Time 1 reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge; however, an indirect effect through the latter two variables was significant. This study indicates an increasingly important role of morphology in ESL reading comprehension, and highlights a need of explicit teaching of morphology to facilitate ESL learners’ reading development.

Exploring the Role of Phraseological Knowledge in Foreign Language Reading

Tue, 29 Dec 2015 00:00:00 GMT

Foreign language (FL) knowledge has been shown to contribute significantly to FL reading performance. Studies have contrasted the contribution of FL vocabulary and syntactic knowledge, following a dichotomous view of these components, producing mixed results. Despite the increasingly recognized formulaic nature of language, the contribution made by phraseological knowledge to reading ability has not been investigated systematically. This study examines the impact of a broader construct definition of linguistic knowledge—which includes a phraseological component—in explaining variance in reading performances. Test scores of 418 learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) were modeled in a structural equation model, showing that a phraseological knowledge measure outperformed traditional syntactic and vocabulary measures in predicting reading comprehension variance. Additional insights into the role of phraseological knowledge were gained through verbal protocol analysis of 15 EFL learners answering reading comprehension items that targeted the understanding of phrasal expressions within written context. The findings hint at an underestimated, but critical, role of phraseological knowledge in FL reading, and are relevant to both the assessment and the teaching of EFL ability.

Individual Differences in Early Language Learning: A Study of English Learners of French

Wed, 23 Dec 2015 00:00:00 GMT

The present longitudinal study examines the interaction of learner variables (gender, motivation, self-efficacy, and first language literacy) and their influence on second language learning outcomes. The study follows English learners of French from Year 5 in primary school (aged 9–10) to the first year in secondary school (Year 7; aged 11–12). Language outcomes were measured by two oral production tasks, a sentence repetition task and a photo description task, both of which were administered at three time points. Longitudinal data on learner attitudes and motivation were collected via questionnaires. Teacher assessment data for general first language literacy attainment were also provided. The results show a great deal of variation in learner attitudes and outcomes and that there is a complex relationship between first language literacy, self-efficacy, gender, and attainment. For example, in general, girls held more positive attitudes to boys and were more successful. However, the inclusion of first language ability, which explained 29–39 per cent of variation, shows that gender differences in attitudes and outcomes are likely mediated by first language literacy and prior learning experience.

De-securitizing Turkish: Teaching the Language of a Former Enemy, and Intercultural Language Education

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT

This article explores the fit between orthodox ideas about intercultural language education and situations of acute insecurity. It describes the teaching of Turkish to Greek-Cypriots, introduced in 2003 by the Republic of Cyprus as part of a de-securitization policy. Although these classes were optional, many students regarded Turks as enemies, and after documenting hostility itself as one motive for learning Turkish, we describe three teaching strategies used to deal with the powerful emotions that Turkish evoked: (i) focusing on the language as a code, shorn of any cultural association; (ii) treating it as a local language; and (iii) presenting it as a contemporary international language in a cosmopolitan ambience that potentially transcended the island-specific conflict. In this way, the Cypriot case calls mainstream language teaching assumptions into question: exclusively grammar-focused pedagogies display acute cultural sensitivity, and images of language in a globalized world look radical and innovative. For intercultural language education more generally, it is the combination of institutionalised language learning as a distinct cultural activity with the ideological plasticity of language itself that seems especially valuable.

Identity Constructions in Bilingual Advertising: A Critical-cognitive Approach

Fri, 20 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT

Does English always play an important role in constructing identities within the multimodal ad? This question has wide-ranging implications for the study of identity constructions in bilingual advertising in particular, and for bilingualism and multilingualism generally. This article presents a critical-cognitive approach that is an evidence-based account of whether, and to what extent, English plays a role in identity constructions and their connection to the local politics of English. This approach is analytically powerful and productive not only in capturing the varying degrees of the contribution of the English language and its role but also in unraveling the ideological dimensions of identity and the English language. Examples of Chinese–English bilingual ads that are representative of the structural features of English mixing are used for the illustrative analysis. The article concludes with a suggestion of the wider applicability of this approach to other bilingual or multilingual contexts that are currently regarded as suitable for study.