January 2015 - Volume 9 Number 2 - Pages 1-134
Let them learn English: Reader response to media discourse about dual language education
Despite the multilingual reality and the effectiveness of dual language education (DLE) being adequately documented by language and literacy researchers, the U.S. is progressing at a slower rate in embracing and implementing DLE compared with other countries. The purpose of this study is to understand why progress in this area has been so slow by examining the public discourse that frequently shapes policy decisions about DL programs. To do this, the authors analyzed reader comments of 16 online news articles that centered on DLE. Findings revealed the intersection of language, national identity, race, and power relationships, which could be categorized under four different discourse frames similar to those found in Valdez et al (2014); a multilingual or monolingual global human capital frame, and a multilingual equity/heritage or monolingual vs. equity heritage frame. The significance of this study lies in the careful analysis of how monolingual/multilingual discourses play out in daily online dialogs, and suggestions for how DL stakeholders can counter monolingual and racist discourse aimed at these programs, in the hopes of gaining more public support for them.
Keywords: Dual Language Education; Media Discourse; Online Comments; Critical Discourse Analysis
Citation: Lu, J., & Catalano, T. (2015). Let them learn English: Reader response to media discourse about dual language education. International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 1-26.
The use of English Phrasal Verbs in American Spoken Corpora: A comparative analysis of an academic spoken corpus and a casual conversation corpus
In this study, the use of phrasal verbs (PVs) by native speakers in American spoken corpora is investigated. More specifically, a compiled corpus of academic setting and a compiled corpus of informal conversation are compared. The overall results showed that speakers in both settings seemed to rely on a rather small set of PVs in their speech (e.g., 70% and 74%, respectively) although the ranking for the top 15 common PVs for both corpora was not related to each other (p>.005). By identifying the most frequent PVs across two large corpora samplings from a spoken American English, the findings from the current study informs EFL/ESL teachers and material developers about what to include in their curricula to help learners with PVs.
Keywords: Phrasal Verbs; PVs; American Spoken Corpus; Academic Spoken Corpus; Casual Conversation Corpus
Citation: Lee, J-Y. (2015). The use of English Phrasal Verbs in American Spoken Corpora: A comparative analysis of an academic spoken corpus and a casual conversation corpus. International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 27-48.
Redirecting goals for Pronunciation Teaching: A new proposal for adult Spanish-L1 learners of English
This paper has a two-fold purpose since it not only attempts to identify genuine and attainable goals of pronunciation teaching for adult elementary EFL students but it also, and as a consequence of this, provides a selection of tasks that aims at achieving the proposed goals. The introductory section offers a brief account of a teaching experience with a group of adult learners who, at the time of the data collection, were taking an elementary course of English at an institute in Mar del Plata, Argentina. A succinct description of the course is also presented along with some guidelines about how pronunciation teaching was approached and what the course failed to accomplish in this area. The aims pursued by the course regarding pronunciation teaching were thus re-examined to establish whether they were realistic and achievable. In the light of the literature and our teaching experience, a new proposal for teaching pronunciation based on a sequence of comprehensible tasks was presented. These tasks were used as illustration and guidance to reach the new goals set for adults L2 pronunciation instruction. Finally, some pedagogical recommendations in the area were given.
Keywords: Pronunciation Teaching: Intelligibility; Tasks; Adult Spanish-L1 Learners; Language Teaching
Citation: Ferreiro, G. M., & Luchini, P. L. (2015). Redirecting goals for Pronunciation Teaching: A new proposal for adult Spanish-L1 learners of English. International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 49-68.
The genre ‘about us’: A case study of banks’ corporate webpages
The current communication needs in society have made genre analysis become a focus of study in professional and academic contexts in order to create rules about the use of language. This article is based on a study of the ‘About Us’ pages on banks’ corporate websites and the sections that form such pages. The objective of this article is to show if the ‘About Us’ page and its different sections can be considered a genre. The basis for this study is a compilation of previous work from both researchers and web designers who have discussed the forms and main features of this type of webpages. Previous studies will be tested in an experiment of which the aim is to check if these sections appear with certain regularity on websites, and to determine the frequency with which these sections appear in a particular area of work. In this case there is a focus on the banks’ webpages. The research might help professionals in the design of webpages to elaborate on ‘About Us’ webpages with full and precise information. It is suggested that this research will enhance communication within companies and small businesses with well structured ‘About Us’ pages.
Keywords: ‘About Us’; Genre; Webpages; ESP; Banks
Citation: Casan-Pitarch, R. (2015). The genre ‘about us’: A case study of banks’ corporate webpages. International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 69-96.
External validation of the foreign language speaking tasks of the High School Leaving diploma
Spain is going through one of its most significant educational changes in the last 20 years. The change involves all the educational stages k-12 grade and it will entail a comprehensive exam at the end of high school. The score obtained on this exam will be used as the main criterion to compete for a place at the university level. One significant part of it is the foreign language section. This paper addresses differences between the speaking tasks of the current University Entrance Examination and the future High School Leaving Diploma. The paper compares theoretically and qualitatively a pilot study run by the Ministry of Education, Culture & Sports (MECD) on the use of speaking tasks in the University Entrance Examination with one undertaken by a large research group working together in the OPENPAU project (Reference FFI2011-22442 with ERDF co-financing) on the same matter. This paper intends to show that the scope of the MECD piloting project is limited compared to the OPENPAU group proposal. It is suggested that the MECD should redefine the test construct to reflect more the students’ speaking proficiency test as in the OPENPAU project proposal.
Keywords: High School; Foreign Language; Testing; Washback; Speaking
Citation: Garcia Laborda, J., & Litzler Jerman, M. F. (2015). External validation of the foreign language speaking tasks of the High School Leaving diploma. International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 97-112.
English for Specific Purposes: The state of the art (An online interview with Ann M. Johns)
This forum paper is based on a friendly and informative interview conducted with Professor Ann M. Johns. In providing answers to the interview questions, Professor Johns suggests that all good teaching is ESP, and also distinguishes between EOP and ESP in that the former entails much more “just in time” learning while the latter may be directed more at “just in case.” She further adds ‘context’ as the sixth enduring conception to the list of the five concepts which, according to Swales (1990), underlie ESP. She further suggests that (a) Register Analysis, (b) Rhetorical Discourse Analysis, (c) Target Language Use Situation Analysis, and (d) Genre Analysis have had a major role in the development of ESP. As for CBI or CLIL, she suggests that there is much more to ESP than content, and emphasizes that ESP can account for the changing needs of learners in the twenty-first century by employing effective on-going needs assessment and target situation analysis. Towards the end of the interview, she presents her views on the future direction of ESP by suggesting that more serious research into target situations is needed, and invites ESP specialists to be more open, flexible, and sensitive to context.
Keywords: CLIL; ESP; Purpose; EAP; EOP; Genre Analysis; Needs Assessment; Target Situation Analysis
Citation: Johns, A. M., & Salmani Nodoushan, M. A. (2015). English for Specific Purposes: The state of the art (An online interview with Ann M. Johns). International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 113-120.
Genre analysis: The state of the art (An online interview with Vijay Kumar Bhatia)
In this interview, Vijay Bhatia freely reflects on his personal experiences, perceptions, and views about the development of Genre Analysis in the early eighties towards Critical Genre Analysis today. He offers his impressions about how professionals construct, interpret, use and often exploit generic resources in their everyday practice to meet their professional objectives in specific contexts. Starting from the early conceptualization of Genre in the eighties in the United Kingdom, he points out how it was essentially inspired by the everyday concerns about the teaching and learning of English for Specific Purposes, and how it continued to gain popularity and is considered one of the most popular frameworks for ESP applications in the present-day context. However, he points out, it is not enough to analyze and describe just the specialist discourses; it is also equally important to understand how such discourses are employed in professional practice to meet specific requirements of a particular profession. Hence the need to develop traditional Genre Analytical framework further towards what he calls Critical Genre Analysis to demystify interdiscursive performance in specific academic and professional settings.
Keywords: Genre Analysis; Critical Genre Analysis; Applied Linguistics; ESP; Interdiscursive Performance
Citation: Bhatia, V. K., & Salmani Nodoushan, M. A. (2015). Genre analysis: The state of the art (A talk with Vijay Kumar Bhatia). International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 121-130.
Book Review: Irvine, W. B. (2013). A slap in the face: Why insults hurt—and why they shouldn’t. New York: Oxford University Press.
Citation: Allan, K. (2015). Review of A slap in the face: Why insults hurt--and why they shouldn’t. International Journal of Language Studies, 9(2), 131-134.