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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Issues in Applied Linguistics

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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.


Giving Personal Examples and Telling Stories in Academic Essays

To help ESL writing teachers and curriculum designers focus instruction on appropriate exemplification in academic prose, this paper examines the frequency of overt example markers and particular types of examples provided in native speaker (NS) and nonnative speaker (NNS) academic essays. To this end, the analysis compares frequency rates of example markers, first and third person pronouns, and the occurrences of past tense verbs in over 1,000 university placement essays of NS and advanced and matriculated NNS students. The results of the study demonstrate that NNS texts employ these features at significantly higher rates than NS texts. The findings further show that NNS students rely primarily on recounts of past personal experiences, incorporated as examples with the purpose of supporting the essay thesis. The preponderance of personal examples in NNS texts shows that many NNSs transfer from LI to L2 rhetorical paradigms of constructing evidence informal written text. However, an additional issue arises in light of the fact that current methodologies for the teaching of writing and composition encourage personal narratives as a means of providing evidence and proof for a thesis, even though personal examples are rarely considered to be appropriate in academic discourse in disciplines outside the teaching of writing. Due to the similarity of approaches to providing evidence and proof in non-Anglo-American rhetorical traditions and current methods for teaching writing, it appears that writing pedagogy may actually compound the effects of LI to L2 transfer of rhetorical paradigms identified in NNS texts.

The Effects of the Primarily Oral Function of American Lithuanian on American Lithuanian Writing

One of the differences between full and reduced language varieties is the repertoire oftheir use (Dorian, 1981, 1994). In this paper I argue that the written discourse of American Lithuanian (AL), a language variety spoken in the United States, is different from and to some extent impoverished compared to the written discourse of Full Lithuanian (FL), a language variety used by its native speech community in the Republic of Lithuania. I suggest that this is a result of the primarily oral function of American Lithuanian in its speech community. The data used for the study consist of a 40,000-word corpus of written local news and oral interviews in FL and AL. The paper focuses on the structural composition of written and oral texts in American Lithuanian and Full Lithuanian and analyzes (a) information structure in terms of word order variation as part of cohesion and (b) referent accessibility and the grammatical form of the referent NP as part of coherence.