Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Issues in Applied Linguistics

Issues in Applied Linguistics bannerUCLA


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.


Some Standard Uses of "What about"-Prefaced Interrogatives in the Broadcast News Interview

Interrogatives (as linguistic objects, described by their grammatical features) and questioning (as a social action, responsive to prior actions and consequential for subsequent ones) can both serve as vehicles for a range of social activities. This article reports on one distinctive form of interrogative, the "what about"-prefaced interrogative, with a particular focus on its uses in broadcast news interviews. We analyze the internal composition and sequential position of "what about"-prefaced interrogatives and identify four standard uses of them by interviewers: pursuing a prior interviewee's response, juxtaposing multiple interviewees' positions, invoking a prior agenda, and proposing membership in a category. On the basis of this analysis, we consider how the recurrent use of this particular interrogative form can serve as an interactional means of instantiating a particular broadcasting "style," thus contributing to distinctions among various public affairs programs.

Creating Social Identities through Doctrina Narratives

This study describes narrative activity in a doctrina class (children's religious education class in Spanish) composed of Mexican immigrants at a Catholic parish in Los Angeles. During the telling of the narrative of the apparition of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) doctrina students and their teacher collaboratively construct a multiplicity of identities in an ongoing narrative version. These past and present identities are represented as Mexican, de aquí (from here), and dark-skinned against the backdrop of the description of an oppressive colonial past in Mexico. The paper compares a doctrina class with a racially mixed religious education class conducted in English (catechism) at the same parish to illustrate differences in the way social identities are created in both classes.

Heteroglossia and the Construction of Asian American Identities

This article examines the interactive deployment of code-switching in a conversation between a Chinese American man, a Korean American man, and an African American man. By drawing upon their heteroglossic repertoires of a vulgar register of Korean, English inflected with African American Vernacular English, and formal English, the participants index specific ethnic identities for themselves and for each other while collaboratively constructing the identity of a girl. Yet because a single act of language can have both affiliative and disaffiliative ramifications and because participants' ideologies about even individual words can vary, the indexical meaning of the code-switching is not always shared. This article thus argues that any analysis of code-switching must take into account the local constitution of identities and ideologies as well as the multivocalic nature of language.