Is the Second Language Acquisition discipline disintegrating?

Language

Post written by Jan H. Hulstijn, based on an article in Language Teaching

The second language acquisition (SLA) field is characterized by a wide variety of issues and theoretical perspectives. Is this a bad thing? Are there signs of disintegration?

In applied linguistics in general, and in particular in the field of SLA, it is not uncommon to distinguish between quantitative and qualitative approaches or between cognitive and socio-cultural approaches. In my view, what is potentially more threatening to the field than a split between quantitative and qualitative subfields is the proportion of nonempirical theories. If an academic discipline is characterized by too many nonempirical ideas and too few empirical ideas, it runs the risk of losing credit in the . . . → Read More: Is the Second Language Acquisition discipline disintegrating?

A note on Register, or Level of Language, in Spanish

steps

By Ronald Batchelor

A most dominant factor in the use of language is register, or variety or level of language determined by the communicative situation in which the speaker/writer finds herself/ himself. In other words, the level of language we resort to depends, to a very large extent, on whether we are speaking with friends, which would attract a colloquial style, writing a letter, delivering a lecture involving a standard style, or writing a book frequently entailing a formal, elevated style of expression. Levels of language may therefore differ over a range from informal to formal, and are determined by four factors: sex, age, professional or social status, and intimacy. All these features affect, in varying degrees, the way we . . . → Read More: A note on Register, or Level of Language, in Spanish

Christopher Brumfit Award prize winners announced

The 2012 Christopher Brumfit Award winners have been announced! . . . → Read More: Christopher Brumfit Award prize winners announced

Applied linguistics and children with speech, language and communication needs: issues of teacher knowledge

Written by Elspeth McCartney and Sue Ellis

The text Sue Ellis and Elspeth McCartney (eds), 2011, Applied Linguistics and Primary School Teaching, Cambridge: CUP arose from a British Association of Applied Linguistics/Cambridge University Press multi-disciplinary seminar series including teachers, teacher-educators, speech and language pathologists/therapists, policy-makers and psychologists, with an added international perspective. The book considers how primary/elementary teachers’ linguistic knowledge might be framed, and examines what linguistic knowledge is most useful, how it is best introduced, and how it needs to be understood in the context of the complex and diverse modern school classroom. Two important issues arise in this context – linguistic diversity (see for example Hammond (Chapter Two), Horan and Hersi (Chapter Three), Tierney (Chapter Five) and . . . → Read More: Applied linguistics and children with speech, language and communication needs: issues of teacher knowledge

2010 Language Teaching Christopher Brumfit Award winner Dr Susy Macqueen discusses her award winning dissertation

When we become highly proficient in a language, we tend to use it in chunks or patterns. For a native language especially, we learn and become adept at manipulating masses of word patterns such as absolutely not, as it were, in light of the fact that, curry favour, I think that, scattered showers, it’s worth –ing, just a sec, etc. Language patterns like these make communication efficient – we don’t need to spend time piecing together the smallest bits of language. Rather, we work with larger bits that are easily accessed in the memories of both the user and the receiver. However, the pervasiveness of patterning makes it quite a challenge to sound ‘natural’ in second languages. Grammatical rules themselves . . . → Read More: 2010 Language Teaching Christopher Brumfit Award winner Dr Susy Macqueen discusses her award winning dissertation

Competition: Win 5 Cambridge University Press books of your choice!

Take part in our Applied Linguistics Zone competition for the chance to win 5 Cambridge University Press paperbacks of your choice.

Just click on the link below to see 6 questions relating to the different material available on the zone. The answers can be found by accessing the resources within the different reading rooms.

Fill in your answers, your name and email address to enter.

Click here to take part in the competition.

The winner will be selected at random from those who submit six correct answers. The closing date for entries is the 3rd of May 2011.

Good luck!

The Cambridge Applied Linguistics Team

Free Resources at the Applied Linguistics Zone

The Cambridge Applied Linguistics zone keeps you up-to-date with new publishing and recent developments in Applied Linguistics, and gives you the chance to contribute through additions such as the Your Podcasts page.

Click here to visit the Applied Linguistics Zone today and find out more.

Applied Linguistics Podcasts & Vodcasts

Recent Podcasts from the September 2010 EuroCALL conference by cutting-edge authors in the field of Applied Linguistics, Robert O’Dowd and Gary Motteram. . . . → Read More: Applied Linguistics Podcasts & Vodcasts