Announcing a brand-new Applied Linguistics Essay Prize

Applied Linguistic Essay Prize

Language Teaching announces the award of an essay prize which honours one of the founding editors of this journal.

Christopher John Brumfit (1940-2006) was Professor of Education, Head of the Research and Graduate School of Education, and Director of the Centre for Language in Education at the University of Southampton, UK. He was a former Chair of the BAAL and Vice-President of AILA.

In his obituaries of Professor Brumfit in The Guardian newspaper and in Applied Linguistics, Professor Henry Widdowson wrote that ‘[Chris] was both a defender and a critic of traditional values. Education imposed conventional constraints, but these had also to provide for the individual freedom of unconventional self-expression’ adding that ‘Rather than accept current ideas or conventional assumptions, he would submit them . . . → Read More: Announcing a brand-new Applied Linguistics Essay Prize

The origin of language in gesture–speech unity

Part 1: Language and Imagery

By Professor David McNeill

Why do we gesture? Many would say that it brings emphasis, energy, and ornamentation to speech (which is assumed to be the core of what is taking place); in short, as Adam Kendon says, also arguing against the view, gesture is an “add-on.”  However, the evidence is against this.  The reasons we gesture are more profound. Language is inseparable from imagery. The natural form of imagery with language is gesture, with the hands especially.  While gestures can enhance communication, the core is gesture and speech together. They are bound more tightly than saying the gesture is an “add-on” or “ornament” implies. Even if for some reason a gesture is not made (social inappropriateness, physical . . . → Read More: The origin of language in gesture–speech unity