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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.


“Spelling it Out”: The Design, Delivery, and Placement of Delayed Echolalic Utterances by a Child with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Quantitative research into the phenomenon of echolalia in the talk of children with autistic spectrum disorders has been extensive but has tended to focus on the child in isolation, or has only considered other parties’ immediately prior turns. Drawing on conversation analytic (CA) work, we examine one boy’s production of three cases of possibly echolalic utterances. Our analysis focuses on wider interactional events, in particular, nonvocal events. Firstly, we examine what it is about these cases which make them echolalic: They apparently constitute announcements of how words are spelled which, in the activity, appear to be irrelevant. Nevertheless, we show how they are connected to locally prior talk. The utterances are demarcated prosodically from prior talk by slower delivery at increasing volume. Secondly, we show how each production of these utterances is tied to a specific interactional event: namely other parties taking control of a mobile robot which the child has been handling.

“Un Niño Puede Agarrar un Perro”: Children’s Use and Uptake of Directives in the Context of Play and Performance

This paper examines the ways in which Mexican American children use directives in the context of play. There is a range of directives that young children employ as they do pretend play, teach their younger siblings new play skills, and spontaneously invent play. Much of the research discussing the use of directives among young children has not explored the range of directives they may use in mixed-age play but rather has argued that children learn to employ more complex forms as they become older. I argue that age is not the only factor leading children to use directives in complex forms. In mixed-age play, older children may simplify their directives and younger children may utter directives in complex ways to fit the play. Data are drawn from 50 hours of video-recording naturally occurring verbal and nonverbal actions among caregivers and young children in three Mexican American families living in South Central Los Angeles.

The Effects of Recasting on the Production of Pragmalinguistic Conventions of Request by Chinese Learners of English

This study examined the applicability of recasting to the acquisition of pragmatics. Specifically, this study investigated the effects of implicit feedback on Chinese learners of English in learning eight pragmalinguistic conventions of request. Both the pragmatic recast and control groups performed role-plays; the former received recasts on their request Head Acts (core requesting utterances), whereas the latter did not. Discourse completion tests showed that the pragmatic recast group performed better than the control group on measures of both pragmatic appropriateness and grammatical accuracy, with effect sizes of Cohen's (1998) d = 0.83 for pragmatic appropriateness and Cohen's d = 0.87 for pragmatic appropriateness and grammatical accuracy. The study highlighted the ways recasts can be implemented at the pragmatic level and demonstrated that pragmalinguistic recasting is a sound pedagogical option.