American Language Journal
Written Corrective Feedback in L2 Writing: A Critical Review
Abstract. The role/effect/effectiveness of corrective feedback (henceforth referred to as CF) in L2 writing has been the center of an over-a-decade-long debate. In this paper, I will review different primary and secondary studies on this topic with a view to finding out 1) what kind of work has been done to argue for (and/or against) the helpfulness of written corrective feedback in L2 writing, 2) what theoretical or methodological suggestions have been made regarding this kind of study, and 3) whether and how the question about how written L2 feedback relates to and/or can contribute to second language acquisition is addressed.
Keywords: ESL; Corrective feedback; Writing; Second Language Acquisition
Chinese compliment responses: do they vary among different areas?
Abstract. While accepting a compliment is very common in English language, deflecting or rejecting a compliment were the most used strategy in Chinese language and culture (Chen, 1993). Recent research studies on compliments and responses yield inconsistent results, Yuan’s (2002) study shows a high accepting rate to a compliment comparing to previous studies. The purpose of this study is to account for the variations of Chinese compliment response studies in the literature, specifically to examine one possibility that Chinese compliment responses are different across different regions. Survey questionnaire is used to elicit participants’ responses to compliments. 78 questionnaires are collected in total from six different cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Guilin, and Kunming. The written responses from participants are coded into 18 strategies and are further grouped into three categories: Accepting strategies, Deflecting strategies, and Rejecting strategies. Overall, the results show a high accepting rate of 62.60% with 28.27% of deflecting and 9.13% of rejecting rate. Also this study confirms that there are variations among different areas in responding to compliments in Chinese. Speakers in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Chongqing are much more likely to accept compliments than speakers of Kunming and Shanghai. Speakers in Shanghai adopt deflecting strategies the most among all areas studied. However, the underlying rationale to account for the variations needs further investigation. This study provides empirical evidence to support the flexibility in teaching Chinese pragmatics.
Keywords: Pragmatics; Chinese; Compliment Responses
Activismo y revolución en La Mujer Habitada, de Gioconda Belli
Montserrat García Rodenas
Abstract (Spanish). A pesar de que todas las guerras tienen diferentes contextos históricos, durante la década de los ‘70 fueron muchos los países latinoamericanos que padecieron terribles dictaduras militares bajo la constante amenaza del gobierno estadounidense, pero también fue una época de resistencia ciudadana bajo organizaciones revolucionarias de tintes socialistas y comunistas. A las filas revolucionarias se incorporaron muchas caras conocidas: burgueses, artistas e intelectuales participaron en primera línea de batalla junto a otros miles de ciudadanos anónimos, y por primera vez, mujeres como las «Madres de Plaza de Mayo» en Argentina o el «Comité de Madres Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero» en El Salvador fueron pioneras en la lucha por la democracia y un ejemplo de integración de la mujer en los movimientos sociales y políticos latinoamericanos. Este trabajo pretende llamar la atención sobre la implicación de la mujer nicaragüense en la revolución sandinista y su contribución al éxito del mismo durante la década de los ‘70. Para ello abordaremos los distintos personajes femeninos que aparecen en la novela La Mujer Habitada (1988) de Gioconda Belli, cuyo compromiso personal en la lucha por la liberación de la mujer y por sus derechos en Nicaragua la convierten en una autora fundamental para comprender la significativa urgencia de dejar atrás la imagen tradicional de la mujer reducida a la «otredad» y la necesidad de asumir nuevas identidades alejadas de estereotipos sexistas. En la novela, a través de los distintos personajes y guiada por sus propias experiencias, plasma la doble opresión sufrida por la mujer: por su condición social y por su género.
Palabra clave: Identidad; literatura; revolución
A Corpus-Based Analysis of Two Chinese Loanwords in English Newspapers: Evidence for Linguistic Innovation and Propagation
Abstract. In the past decades, work on different English varieties, the more well-established or emerging ones alike, has increased exponentially and investigations at various linguistic levels have produced a wealth of evidence pertaining to claims about the status of these varieties. This paper will focus on the lexical level, and offers a preliminary corpus-based analysis of two Chinese loanwords used in contemporary English media. The goal is to discover patterns of use of these two loanwords in different contexts and at different time periods.
Keywords: Corpus linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Language contact; Linguistic change
I get maf wey you get mɔf: Pronunciation and Identity in Ghanaian Student Pidgin
Kwaku Osei-Tutu, pp. 8-25
Abstract (Ghanaian Student Pidgin). This study dey describe phonological processes (vowel change, deletion and stress/tone variation) wey the young people dem dey speak pidgin for Ghana dey take dey create different pronunciations for the pidgin inside, which dem dey use alongside the original pronunciations. The study also dey look say what be the implications wey e dey give the different pronunciations for the people wey dem de speak the pidgin. The info wey I take do the study dey come from people wey them do group conversation, interview then focus group discussions give. The findings dey indicate say free variation dey happen sake-of the people wey dem dey speak the pidgin dey wan get a code that go be distinctive dem divergent from the ble wey people de speak for Ghana then the old people dema pidgin. This also dey mean say the people wey dem no dey speak GSP no go fi barb am. Also, the people wey dem dey the focus group inside dey talk say the various pronunciation choices dem get for pidgin inside (sake-of the phonological variation) dey show who fit speak proper pidgin. E be like say the people dem dey use the pronunciation wey ordinary people no go fit barb be the ones dem de talk the proper pidgin.
Abstract (English). This study describes phonological processes (vowel change, deletion and stress/tone variation) which are employed by the speakers of Ghanaian Student Pidgin (GSP) – a Ghanaian youth language – to create variable pronunciations existing in free variation with the original pronunciations and explores the implications of the variation for the GSP speech community. The data for the study was collected by recording group conversations, conducting individual interviews and two focus group discussions. The findings indicate that free variation happens because the speakers want to create a code that is distinctive to them and as divergent from Ghanaian English (and Town Pidgin) as possible and, by extension, make GSP nearly unintelligible to the non-speaker. In relation to this, the focus group discussions reveal that the various pronunciation choices that are available to speakers (as a result of phonological variation) create the possibility of levels of proficiency for the speakers. That is, speakers who use the more divergent (and by
Keywords: Ghanaian Student Pidgin; Youth Language; Phonological Variation; Identity.
Secondary Students’ Motivational Beliefs in Second Language Learning under High-Stakes Assessment
Hyun Jin Cho, Mike Yough, Chorong Lee, pp. 27-38
Abstract. English as a foreign language (EFL) is considered one of the most important subjects in Korean secondary schools making achievement tests in this subject high-stakes by nature. Although English is viewed as a high-stakes subject, there are few studies that show students’ qualitative evidence of secondary students’ motivational beliefs in a second language context. The purpose of the present study is to qualitatively explore Korean secondary school students’ subjective task values of English as a content area, task value of assessment, students’ achievement goal orientations toward English assessments, and attributions in second language learning. Implications from the findings and future research are discussed.
Keywords: Motivational beliefs; Subjective task value; Goal orientation; Attribution; Second language assessment
Using Corpora to Analyze Learner English: The Case of the Dative Alternation
Giovanna Silvestro, pp. 40-51
Abstract. Traditionally, contrastive analyses of learner language and native language have been conducted relying solely on intuition tests. Adopting corpus linguistics methodologies, this paper attempts to investigate how French learners of English acquire the dative alternation. Two L2 corpora of spoken English have been analyzed and, then, compared to a corpus of native English. An examination of their concordance lines and a comparison of their frequencies in both learners’ and native speakers’ conversations have revealed that the distribution of the to-variant and the double object variant in learner language might depend on several factors: a transfer from the learners’ L1, an awareness of the native speakers’ preferences, a low proficiency level or a personal stylistic choice. In spite of its limitations and the lack of a straightforward interpretation of the findings, this research can offer an insight into the learners’ actual use of the target language and can constitute a starting point for further studies.
Keywords: Second language acquisition; Language transfer; Corpus Linguistics
Critical Literacy and Children’s Identity Development
Jung Han and Hyun Jin Cho, pp. 52-60
Abstract: ‘What should we teach to our children?’ is the most important and frequently asked question in the education field. Concerning this question, teachers and educators continually discussed and contemplated on how to teach children and how to design educational setting for children to work together to construct their positive identities in our society and to experience learning, which helps them to develop their ‘desirable selves’ (Bean & Moni, 2003). This study investigates how we could expose children to the context, where they can participate in real-life situations, and encourage them to think critically about the world they are situated in. For this purpose, critical literacy is addressed as a tool for teaching and learning, which allow us to critique and redirect our society to a better place. Through the review of the literature, critical curriculum and conversation are also highlighted to teach children to develop positive identities. Finally, the researchers conclude that we need to create respectful climates of learning environments, where students can develop understandings of complex issues from different perspectives.
Keywords: Critical literacy; Literacy education; Identity development
Practical and Imaginative Speech in Guaman Poma’s El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno: El Negro within the Chronicler’s Social Reform and Utopic Agendas
Edwardo Dawson, pp. 8-20
Abstract. This paper seeks to resolve the contrapuntal inconsistencies between Guaman Poma de Ayala’s practical ideas and imaginative longings in El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno. By focusing on Poma’s discourse regarding the newly arrived African subjects in Peru, the essay exposes how “los negros” help the reader identify Guaman’s conception of “good government” in the early modern vice regal milieu. Particularly, Guaman’s imagined production of “negros buenos” outlines gender-specific Christian economic practices that situate Africans within an idealized colonial hierarchy. Similarly, Guaman’s proposals to reform the “negros malos” employ the same orthodox-authoritarian sensibility that contextualizes his desire for a stratified colonial ambient. Beyond these practical measures, Guaman’s chronicle has caught the attention of many critics and historians due to his grandiose contemplation of a world separated into four quadrants based on religion and/or race. My paper seeks to palliate the dramatization of this ideal by placing it into an “imaginative register” that is contrasted with Guaman’s precise and austere ideas on social organization. In sum, this essay undergirds the African subject position in 16th and 17th century Peru in an attempt to expose a societal landscape that struggled with the organization of its European, Indigenous and African counterparts. The paper also exposes how the African position within the vice regal texture was heavily mediated by dominant social actors, thus creating further questioning and investigation around actual African autonomy and consciousness within the incipient New World experiment.
Keywords: Colonization; Indigenous America; Slavery; Literature.
Moroccan Literature in English
Mohamed Belamghari , pp. 21-32
Abstract. The debate over literary writing in a foreign language has prompted quite numerous dichotomous points of view in the Moroccan academic circles. During the last two decades, a number of Moroccan writers have emerged either in Francophone, Anglophone, or Castillian (Spanish) literary spectrum and have been widely acknowledged not simply because they have embraced foreign languages but because they have touched upon very thorny issues, such as the question of identity construction and the dilemma of modernity. In fact, expressing the self by using a foreign language puts into question notions such as cultural identity, power, nationbuilding, and otherness. In this sense, it is a prerequisite to look into the reasons that may drive some Moroccan writers to try their hands at foreign languages other than their own mother tongue. Hence, the aim of this article is to excavate some Moroccan literary writings in foreign languages and lay bare the different attitudes these texts would raise. Furthermore, its focus will be to look into the reasons and ways in which a language can empower or disempower its user, and thereby lead to either its use or rejection.
Keywords: English; Foreign Languages; Mother Tongues; Communication.
‘Chameleonic’ English in Tunisia: A Third-Space Language
Selim Ben Said, pp. 35-50
Abstract. This paper examines present trends in the diffusion of English in Tunisia and discusses critical aspects of the incorporation of this language as part of the local linguistic ecology. The growing influence of English in Tunisia is first assessed against the historical, cultural, and political backdrop of the omnipresence of French and its colonial legacy. Subsequently, the popularity of English is examined through two indexes of linguistic growth, namely its representation on street signs and its legitimation in people’s attitudes. Samples of images representing the visual and linguistic landscape (Gorter & Shohamy, 2009; Jaworski & Thurlow, 2010; Shohamy et al., 2010) were collected in the streets of selected urban centers of Tunisia, and language attitudes where elicited from Tunisian participants via written questionnaires and oral interview sessions. The results of this investigation reveal that the use of English in Tunisia is ‘chameleonic’ appearing rarely but still adapting well to the linguistic ecology of the country. In addition, while it does not evocate similar colonial undertones as the French language, English is nonetheless ‘camouflaging’ an embedded strong economic value as it is instrumentally (Wee, 2003) manipulated by advertisers for purposes of commodification (Tan & Rubdy, 2008).
Keywords: Sociolinguistics; Code-Switching; Semiotics; Linguistic Landscape; Linguistic Ecology
Conversation Strategies during an Online Immersion Experience
Budimka Uskokovic, pp. 51-62
Abstract: This paper investigates the initial segment of a Talk Abroad conversation, an online platform where a non-native speaker can meet a native speaker and talk to him or her for 30 minutes. A Talk Abroad conversation is a part of a final grade in German 1102, the second semester of German, at a Midwestern state university. The analysis focuses on various strategies a language learner uses to manage a conversation with a native speaker. These strategies can be grouped into three categories: 1) the word ‘okay’, 2) private verbal thinking, and 3) code switching. It also focuses on the reaction of the native speaker to code-switching and his rephrasing of certain sentences. Findings show that the native speaker doesn’t correct the non-native speaker unless he explicitly asks for help and that private verbal thinking is a very important set of cognitive skills that can allow language learners to stay focused on task.
Keywords: Okay; Code-Switching; Private Verbal Thinking; CALL