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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.


Empirical Considerations on the Age Factor in L2 Phonology

Phonological skill is widely regarded as subject to a critical period for language learning, though the nature of relevant maturational changes has yet to be clarified. Theoretical and empirical research on phonological skill development among late learners has confirmed several observable influences on short- and long-term attainment; however, these research traditions have rarely acknowledged contextual influences, much less the learner's role in the process. In this paper, I outline a number of methodological concerns for current research, and provide specific recommendations regarding participant selection, tasks, ratings and raters, factors tested, and analyses, in order to better account for influences on phonological attainment that co-vary with age.

Nativization of English among Bantu Language Speakers in South Africa

This study investigates characteristic features of Black South African English (BSAE) paying attention to the role of the Bantu language substrate system in the nativization process of the variety. Using prototypical features identified in previous studies and additional data from speakers of another Bantu language, Sepedi, this study examines the influence of first language features on morpho-syntactic, phonological, and discourse and pragmatic features. The results of the study show that Bantu language logic plays a pivotal role in framing the rules and systematic production of the BSAE features. It is therefore argued that developments in BSAE show that it has evolved into an endonormative variety in its own right and that it has future prospects for standardization due to the demographic strength and improved social rank of its speakers. Recommendations for language planing are offered in the end for adaptation to other comparable situations.

Tracing One Teacher’s Approach to Communication Throughout a Semester of Spanish 101: Belief Meets Practice

Approaches to second (SL) and foreign (FL) language teaching in recent decades have emphasized the centrality of communication both as an end and a means. Both the quantity and the nature of communication that occurs in a language classroom ultimately depend on the beliefs and practices of language teachers. The present self-analysis, focused on one teacher/researcher, traces her experiences with the challenges of classroom communication over the course of an entire academic term. This longitudinal approach exposed contradictions that surfaced over time in three areas: the use of the L2 for classroom interaction, the assumption of truthfulness in the exchange of information, and learners' voice or control over their own messages. the findings have implications for language teaching and highlight the role of thoughtful reflection as a first step toward minimizing the gap between what teachers believe and what they actually do.