Abstract This article seeks to develop Translanguaging as a theory of language and discuss the theoretical motivations behind and the added values of the concept. I contextualize Translanguaging in the linguistic realities of the 21st century, especially the fluid and dynamic practices that transcend the boundaries between named languages, language varieties, and language and other semiotic systems. I highlight the contributions Translanguaging as a theoretical concept can make to the debates over the Language and Thought and the Modularity of Mind hypotheses. One particular aspect of multilingual language users’ social interaction that I want to emphasize is its multimodal and multisensory nature. I elaborate on two related concepts: Translanguaging Space and Translanguaging Instinct, to underscore the necessity to bridge the artificial and ideological divides between the so-called sociocultural and the cognitive approaches to Translanguaging practices. In doing so, I respond to some of the criticisms and confusions about the notion of Translanguaging.
The growing interest in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has resulted in enthusiasm in and active pursuit of improved methods of foreign/second-language (L2) teaching in Europe. However, the definition and scope of the term CLIL both internally, as used by CLIL advocates in Europe, and externally, as compared with immersion education in and outside Europe, indicate that the core characteristics of CLIL are understood in different ways with respect to: the balance between language and content instruction, the nature of the target languages involved, instructional goals, defining characteristics of student participants, and pedagogical approaches to integrating language and content instruction. We argue further that attempts to define CLIL by distinguishing it from immersion approaches to L2 education are often misguided. The aim of this article is to examine these ambiguities and to call for clarification of the definition of CLIL. Clarification is critical if CLIL is to evolve and improve systematically and if CLIL educators are to benefit from the experiences and knowledge acquired in other educational settings.
This article presents our new Academic Vocabulary List (AVL), derived from a 120-million-word academic subcorpus of the 425-million-word Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA; Davies 2012). We first explore reasons why a new academic core list is warranted, and why such a list is still needed in English language education. We also provide a detailed description of the large academic corpus from which the AVL was derived, as well as the robust frequency and dispersion statistics used to identify the AVL. Our concluding case studies show that the AVL discriminates between academic and other materials, and that it covers similar to 14% of academic materials in both COCA (120 million+ words) and the British National Corpus (33 million+ words). The article concludes with a discussion of how the AVL can be used in settings where academic English is the focus of instruction. In this discussion, we introduce a new web-based interface that can be used to learn AVL words, and to identify and interact with AVL words in any text entered in the search window.
This research creates an empirically derived, pedagogically useful list of formulaic sequences for academic speech and writing, comparable with the Academic Word List (Coxhead 2000), called the Academic Formulas List (AFL). The AFL includes formulaic sequences identified as (i) frequent recurrent patterns in corpora of written and spoken language, which (ii) occur significantly more often in academic than in non-academic discourse, and (iii) inhabit a wide range of academic genres. It separately lists formulas that are common in academic spoken and academic written language, as well as those that are special to academic written language alone and academic spoken language alone. The AFL further prioritizes these formulas using an empirically derived measure of utility that is educationally and psychologically valid and operationalizable with corpus linguistic metrics. The formulas are classified according to their predominant pragmatic function for descriptive analysis and in order to marshal the AFL for inclusion in English for Academic Purposes instruction.
In this article, we examine current practices in the measurement of syntactic complexity to illustrate the need for more organic and sustainable practices in the measurement of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) in second language production. Through in-depth review of examples drawn from research on instructed second language acquisition, we identify and discuss challenges to the evidentiary logic that underlies current approaches. We also illuminate critical mismatches between the interpretations that researchers want to make and the complexity measures that they use to make them. Building from the case of complexity, we point to related concerns with impoverished operationalizations of multidimensional CAF constructs and the lack of attention to CAF as a dynamic and interrelated set of constantly changing subsystems. In conclusion, we offer suggestions for addressing these challenges, and we call for much closer articulation between theory and measurement as well as more central roles for multidimensionality and dynamicity in future CAF research.
The article discusses epistemic stance in spoken L2 production. Using a subset of the Trinity Lancaster Corpus of spoken L2 production, we analysed the speech of 132 advanced L2 speakers from different L1 and cultural backgrounds taking part in four speaking tasks: one largely monologic presentation task and three interactive tasks. The study focused on three types of epistemic forms: adverbial, adjectival, and verbal expressions. The results showed a systematic variation in L2 speakers' stance-taking choices across the four tasks. The largest difference was found between the monologic and the dialogic tasks, but differences were also found in the distribution of epistemic markers in the three interactive tasks. The variation was explained in terms of the interactional demands of individual tasks. The study also found evidence of considerable inter-speaker variation, indicating the existence of individual speaker style in the use of epistemic markers. By focusing on social use of language, this article seeks to contribute to our understanding of communicative competence of advanced L2 speakers. This research is of relevance to teachers, material developers, as well as language testers interested in second language pragmatic ability.
This article argues for the relevance of poststructuralist approaches to the notion of a linguistic repertoire and introduces the notion of language portraits as a basis for empirical study of the way in which speakers conceive and represent their heteroglossic repertoires. The first part of the article revisits Gumperz's notion of a linguistic repertoire, and then considers the challenge to the concept represented by the conditions of super-diversity. It then argues that poststructuralist approaches, exemplified in the work of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler, add an exploration of previously neglected factors such as the power of categories or the significance of desire in language. In the second part, this article considers a novel methodological approach to studying linguistic repertoires: a multimodal, biographical approach using a language portrait, which involves a close reading of the visual and verbal representation of linguistic experience and linguistic resources. The final part of the article discusses how a poststructuralist approach can contribute to expanding the notion of 'repertoire'.
In applied linguistics and language education, an increased focus has been placed on plurality and hybridity to challenge monolingualism, the native speaker norm, and the modernist view of language and language use as unitary and bounded. The multi/plural turn parallels postcolonial theory in that they both support hybridity and fluidity while problematizing the essentialist understanding of language and identity. However, postcolonial theory, which has been influenced by poststructuralism, met criticisms in the 1990s in cultural studies. The notion of hybridity has been especially criticized for its privileged status, individual orientation, and disparity between theory and practice. Furthermore, the conceptual features of the multi/plural turn overlap with neoliberalism and neoliberal multiculturalism, which uncritically support diversity, plurality, flexibility, individualism, and cosmopolitanism, while perpetuating color-blindness and racism. The multi/plural turn also neglects the ways in which neoliberal competition and the dominance of English affect scholars. This article examines the multi/plural trend by drawing on some critiques of postcolonial theory and neoliberal ideologies and proposes an increased attention to power and inequalities as well as collective efforts to resist the neoliberal academic culture underlying the multi/plural turn.
Complexity, accuracy, and fluency have proved useful measures of second language performance. The present article will re-examine these measures themselves, arguing that fluency needs to be rethought if it is to be measured effectively, and that the three general measures need to be supplemented by measures of lexical use. Building upon this discussion, generalizations are reviewed which focus on inter-relationships between the measures, especially between accuracy and complexity, since positive correlations between these two areas have been less common in the literature. Some examples of accuracy-complexity correlations are reviewed. The central issue here is how to account for these correlations, and so the discussion explores rival claims from the Cognition and Trade-off Hypotheses. It is argued that such joint raised performance between accuracy and complexity is not a function of task difficulty, as the Cognition Hypothesis would predict, but that instead it reflects the joint operation of separate task and task condition factors. Extending the theoretical discussion, connection is made with the Levelt model of first language speaking, and it is proposed that the results obtained in the task-based performance literature can be linked to this model, modified to take account of differences between first and second language processing, particularly as these stem from differences in the underlying mental lexicons.
At a time of increasing internationalization in tertiary education, English-Medium Education in Multilingual University Settings (EMEMUS) has become a common practice. While there is already ample research describing this phenomenon at a local level (Smit and Dafouz 2012a), the theoretical side needs to be elaborated. This article thus aims to develop a conceptual framework that considers the dynamic nature of EMEMUS. Drawing on recent sociolinguistic orientations and discursive approaches (e.g. Scollon and Scollon 2004; Shohamy 2006; Blommaert 2010; Hult 2010), our framework regards EMEMUS as a social phenomenon and views discourse as the access point to six relevant dimensions. These dimensions are considered as inherently complex, contextually bound, and intersecting dynamically with one another. Focusing on an example from a higher education institution, the article argues for the utility of the proposed framework.
The goal of this study was to determine the overall effects of pronunciation instruction (PI) as well as the sources and extent of variance in observed effects. Toward this end, a comprehensive search for primary studies was conducted, yielding 86 unique reports testing the effects of PI. Each study was then coded on substantive and methodological features as well as study outcomes (Cohen's d). Aggregated results showed a generally large effect for PI (d = 0.89 and 0.80 for N-weighted within- and between-group contrasts, respectively). In addition, moderator analyses revealed larger effects for (i) longer interventions, (ii) treatments providing feedback, and (iii) more controlled outcome measures. We interpret these and other results with respect to their practical and pedagogical relevance. We also discuss the findings in relation to instructed second language acquisition research generally and in comparison with other reviews of PI (e.g. Saito 2012). Our conclusion points out areas of PI research in need of further empirical attention and methodological refinement.
There is little dispute that formulaic sequences form an important part of the lexicon, but to date there has been no principled way to prioritize the inclusion of such items in pedagogic materials, such as ESL/EFL textbooks or tests of vocabulary knowledge. While wordlists have been used for decades, they have only provided information about individual word forms (e.g. the General Service List (West 1953) and the Academic Word List (Coxhead 2000)). This article addresses this deficiency by presenting the PHRASal Expressions List (PHRASE List), a list of the 505 most frequent non-transparent multiword expressions in English, intended especially for receptive use. The rationale and development of the list are discussed, as well as its compatibility with British National Corpus single-word frequency lists. It is hoped that the PHRASE List will provide a basis for the systematic integration of multiword lexical items into teaching materials, vocabulary tests, and learning syllabuses.
Abstract The expanding orientations to translingualism are motivated by a gradual shift from the structuralist paradigm that has been treated as foundational in modern linguistics. Structuralism encouraged scholars to consider language, like other social constructs, as organized as a self-defining and closed structure, set apart from spatiotemporal ‘context’ (which included diverse considerations such as history, geography, politics, and society). Translingualism calls for a shift from these structuralist assumptions to consider more mobile, expansive, situated, and holistic practices. In this article, I articulate how a poststructuralist paradigm might help us theorize and practice translingualism according to a spatial orientation that embeds communication in space and time, considering all resources as working together as an assemblage in shaping meaning. I illustrate from my ongoing research with international STEM scholars in a Midwestern American university to theorize how translingualism will redefine the role of constructs such as language, non-verbal artifacts, and context in communicative proficiency.
Abstract In this article, we examine the notion of ‘framing’ as a function of metaphor from three interrelated perspectives—cognitive, discourse-based, and practice-based—with the aim of providing an adaptable blueprint of good practice in framing analysis. We bring together cognitive and discourse-based approaches in an integrated multi-level framework, and demonstrate its value to both theory and practice by applying it to a corpus-based study of violence-related metaphors for cancer. Through the application of this framework, we show that there are merits in applying the notion of framing at different levels of generality in metaphor analysis (conceptual metaphors, metaphor scenarios, and linguistic metaphors), depending on one’s research aims. We warn that researchers and practitioners need to remain aware of what conclusions can and cannot be drawn at each level, and we show the theoretical and practical advantages of taking all three levels into account when considering the use of metaphor for communicating about sensitive topics such as cancer. We emphasize the need for a ‘rich’ definition of framing, including aspects such as agency, evaluation, and emotion.
Research on the efficacy of second language (L2) pronunciation instruction has produced mixed results, despite reports of significant improvement in many studies. Possible explanations for divergent outcomes include learner individual differences, goals and foci of instruction, type and duration of instructional input, and assessment procedures. After identifying key concepts, we survey 75 L2 pronunciation studies, particularly their methods and results. Despite a move towards emphasizing speech intelligibility and comprehensibility, most research surveyed promoted native-like pronunciation as the target. Although most studies entailed classroom instruction, many featured Computer Assisted Pronunciation Teaching (CAPT). Segmentals were studied more often than suprasegmentals. The amount of instruction required to effect change was related to researchers' goals; interventions focusing on a single feature were generally shorter than those addressing more issues. Reading-aloud tasks were the most common form of assessment; very few studies measured spontaneous speech. The attribution of improvement as a result of instruction was compromised in some instances by lack of a control group. We summarize our findings, highlight limitations of current research, and offer suggestions for future directions.
Abstract Posthumanism urges us to reconsider what it means to be human. From proclamations about the death of ‘Man’ to investigations into enhanced forms of being, from the advent of the Anthropocene (human-induced planetary change) to new forms of materialism and distributed cognition, posthumanism raises significant questions for applied linguistics in terms of our understandings of language, humans, objects, and agency. After reviewing the broad field of posthumanist thought, this paper investigates—through an overview of a series of recent research projects—the notion of repertoire, to show how this can be better understood by stepping out of the humanist constructs of the individual and the community and looking instead at the notion of distributed language and spatial repertoires. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of posthumanism for applied linguistics, in particular the ways we understand language in relation to people, objects, and place.
In the past decade, language memoirs, linguistic autobiographies, and learners' journals and diaries have become a popular means of data collection in applied linguistics. It is not always clear however how one should go about analyzing these data. The aim of this paper is to offer a critical review of analytical frameworks applied to second language users' personal narratives. I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these frameworks in relation to the type of information they seek: subject reality, life reality, and text reality. I argue that some analytical approaches, in particular content and thematic analyses, are insensitive to the interpretive nature of autobiographic data. Subsequently, I offer recommendations for systematic analysis of bi- and multilinguals' narratives on macro- and micro-levels in terms of content, context, and form.