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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.

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Second Language Teachers’ Approaches to the First Day of Class: An Investigation of Moral Agency

Ranging from preschool to university-level settings, teachers’ approaches to the ‘first day of class’, acknowledged as a crucial event (Patrick, Turner, Meyer & Midgley 2003), have received limited attention in research on second language (SL) teaching and learning. Most published materials, usually based on an author’s personal preferences or current methodological recommendations, emphasize the importance of presenting one’s self well and successfully establishing certain expectations for student behavior from the beginning of an academic term. However, little is known regarding what SL teachers actually say and do on the first day of class or how students perceive this crucial first meeting. Grounded in empirical data including classroom visits, teacher interviews, and student observations, the present qualitative study explores five university-level SL teachers’ approaches to the first day of class. Specifically, this study analyzes these teachers’ explicit and implicit communication of expectations regarding classroom rules and regulations (Johnston, Juhász, Marken & Ruiz, 1998) on the first day. Recent research on the morality of teaching (Jackson, Boostrom & Hansen, 1993; Johnston 2003) provides the framework for the data analysis. In the present study, teachers’ words and actions revealed characteristics of their moral agency, exposed actual teaching practices, and have important implications for SL pedagogy that are also relevant to teaching beliefs and practices in other disciplines.

Uncovering Cultural Bias in EFL Textbooks

This study lays the foundation for reasons and ways to investigate the biased treatment of non-native characters in model dialogues in current English as a Foreign/Second Language textbooks. The literature review shows that although a plethora of studies have been conducted on gender bias in textbooks, speaker bias, or labeled nativism here, has been largely ignored. This research addresses this neglect by systematically applying parts of two frameworks previously used in analyzing textbooks for gender bias to four current EFL textbooks. The resulting data is quantitative in nature with some necessary description and qualification and shows that only one text avoids bias against non-native speakers. In the other texts, speaker bias is exhibited by non-native speakers being segregated or being only allowed to interact with a native speaker. In addition, non-native speakers are limited to non-expert roles in two texts. Based on these results, suggestions for further research are offered.

The Role of Lexical Cohesive Devices in Triggering Negotiations for Meaning

The authors compare the frequency of negotiations for meaning in a natural spoken corpus to a variety of cohesive devices. The study demonstrates that a lack of cohesive devices in non-native speaker (NNS) discourse correlates to negotiations for meaning. The data comes from a year-long longitudinal study of six beginning NNSs and comprised 99 transcripts. The transcripts were coded for negotiations for meaning. Regression analyses suggested that causal cohesion and semantic co-referentiality were significantly related to the frequency of negotiations for meaning. Additionally, NNS discourse demonstrates a significant decrease in frequency of negotiations for meaning as a function of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negotiations for meaning are related to a lack of cohesive devices in NNS speech.

Tracing Language, Culture, and Identity Through Three Generations: The Experiences of a Spanish-Italian Family in the United States

Most studies of language maintenance and loss in the United States have concentrated on contact between English and one specific heritage or minority language. The present study examines the experience of a Spanish-Italian immigrant family and the factors they identify as key in shaping their patterns of language use through three generations. The family on which the present analysis is centered is unique: the participants are European, they do not live in a Spanish-speaking community, and because members of the first generation immigrated in the mid 1950’s, their views of acculturation are different from those of more recent immigrants. This family’s story provides insight into the immigrant experience and highlights the potential role of heritage and ethnic pride as a means of motivating students to pursue the study of foreign languages.

Let’s Collaborate: Using Developments in Global English Research to Advance Socioculturally-oriented SLA Identity Work

In light of the growing importance of identity work in second language acquisition (e.g., Block, 2006a, b) in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) as well as calls for SLA and World Englishes (WE) scholars (e.g., Y. Kachru, 2005) to work together, I examine how identity has been conceptualized in research on the global use of English. While such research finds its roots in the WE paradigm (e.g, B. Kachru, 2005), it has undergone contestation in recent years. Such contestation has emerged as a result of two new conceptualizations of English: English as a lingua franca (e.g., Jenkins, 2007; Seidlhofer, 2006) and a postmodern approach to English (e.g., Canagarajah, 2006; Pennycook, 2007, 2010), which views it in hybrid and fluid terms. This paper explores how identity has been embodied in the literature on the global use of English with a view to analyzing how future SLA research related to identity should take shape in the face of changes brought about by globalization.