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Open Access Publications from the University of California


ial is a refereed journal managed by scholars in the field of applied linguistics. Our aim is to publish outstanding research from faculty, independent researchers, and graduate students in the broad areas of second language acquisition, language socialization, language processing, language assessment, language pedagogy, language policy, making use of the following research methodologies (but not limited to): discourse analysis, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, critical race theory, and psychophysiology. ial publishes articles, book reviews, and interviews with notable scholars.


Explicit Introductions in Lexical Acquisition: A Case Study

Viewing the process of lexical acquisition as a joint activity, this study proposes an alternative to the dominant approaches to lexical acquisition. Based on longitudinal data, it discusses the various types of conversational exchanges in which new words are introduced in everyday interaction. By exploring the full range of explicit lexical introductions, this study also points out the limitations of many experimental studies. In particular, the types of introduction often examined in experimental studies—namely, adult-initiated labeling, anchoring, and explanation—account for only 8% of all the explicit introductions identified in this study. Other types of explicit introductions, such as repairs, are examined in the context of introducing verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions. I suggest that by using experiments to determine if there is a correlation between the rate of uptake and the type of introduction, it is possible to explain why words belonging to certain grammatical categories are learned before others.

L2 Influence on L1 in Late Bilingualism

The purpose of the present paper is to bring together several studies in an emerging area of inquiry—that of second language (L2) influence on the first language (L1) in adulthood—in order to reconceptualize the findings within a unitary theoretical framework. Previous research has convincingly established that L2 may influence and even overtake L1 in childhood L2 learning (cf. Wong-Fillmore, 1991). In the present paper, evidence is presented that similar processes may take place in adult L2 learning and use, with L2 influencing L1 phonology, morphosyntax, lexis, semantics, pragmatics, rhetoric, and conceptual representations. The processes taking place in these diverse areas are brought together within a single framework as borrowing, convergence, shift, restructuring, and loss. Possible constraints on L2 influence in adulthood are proposed and theoretical implications discussed, in particular with regard to the nature of L1 competence.

A Comparison of the Effects of Analytic and Holistic Rating Scale Types in the Context of Composition Tests

This study examines how different composition rating scale types—analytic and holistic—can differentially affect the aspects of academic English ability measured in an ESL proficiency test battery. Specifically, the study addresses the following questions: (1) To what extent do holistic and analytic scales contribute differentially to total scores on a test of academic English ability? (2) To what extent does the test as a whole measure different aspects of language ability, depending on whether analytic or holistic composition scores are used? (3) To what extent does a particular rating scale type provide potentially useful information for placement or diagnosis, either alone or as part of a multi-component assessment? Multiple regression and exploratory factor analyses indicate that changing the composition rating scale type not only changes the interpretation of that section of a test, but may also result in total test scores which are no longer comparable.

Collective Participation as a Resource in Multiparty Multicultural Broadcast Interactions

This paper investigates how multiparty multicultural interactions from broadcast settings are organized to provide opportunities for participants to arrange themselves into different kinds of associations for the management of the core activities of the setting. Building on previous work on collective participation and team alignment in conversational and institutional settings, this paper examines how participants in multiperson broadcast interactions invoke and display the relevance of multiperson units in talk. Drawing on data from multiperson multicultural television discussions, we examine the verbal and nonverbal practices used as resources for invoking, establishing, and negotiating the relevance of collective units of participation and investigate how these units become consequential for the organization of talk and activity in the setting. First, we consider how the institutional representatives call upon the relevance of various associations for current talk by addressing questions collectively to participants or subsets of participants. We describe the key resources used and discuss how they establish opportunities for collective participation. Second, we describe how participants display and negotiate the relevance of associations through a variety of resources, in particular by speaking on behalf of a collection of others, engaging in collaborative action, and aligning with prior speakers.