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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The L2 Journal is an open access, fully refereed, interdisciplinary journal which aims to promote the research and the practice of language learning and teaching. It publishes articles in English on all aspects of applied linguistics broadly conceived, i.e., second language acquisition, second language pedagogy, bilingualism and multilingualism, language and technology, curriculum development and teacher training, testing and evaluation.

From the Editor

General Editor's Introduction

In this September issue of the L2 Journal, we are happy to publish contributions to all three categories of papers featured in this journal: General research articles, Pedagogic reports, and Instructors’ perspectives essays.


Developing Pragmatic Competence in an Instructed Setting: The Effectiveness of Pedagogical Intervention in Greek EFL Learners’ Request Production

Using a short pedagogical intervention, a pretest-posttest design and baseline data (L1 English), the present study examined the effects of explicit instruction on the use of internal and external modification in requests among Greek Cypriot EFL learners. The findings revealed a complex picture with mixed results. Even though external modification showed some positive effects after the intervention, the study revealed no gains in relation to the overall use of internal modification as the learners’ overall use of lexical/phrasal mitigators deviated even more from NS usage after the pedagogical treatment. We argue that, in relation to the learners’ pragmalinguistic performance, the results seem to confirm the fact that surrounding factors such as the duration, quantity and quality of the pedagogical intervention play a complex role in accounting for such mixed findings. Results further showed that the way learners perceived social reality was not affected by the instructional treatment. Our findings suggest that learners’ sociopragmatic development may not be as easily amenable to teaching as pragmalinguistic development. The development of L2 sociopragmatic awareness seems to need both longer explicit pedagogical instruction and rich exposure to the target language environment.


Examining the Effectiveness of Corpus-Informed Instruction of Reporting Verbs in L2 First-Year College Writing

Previous research has shown that developing second language (L2) academic writers use a limited set of reporting verbs in comparison to more advanced writers (Biber & Reppen, 1998; Hinkel, 2003; Kwon, Staples, & Partridge, 2018; Neff et al., 2003; Staples & Reppen, 2016). These writers also tend to rely on verbs that are typical for conversation (Biber et al., 1999). The present study examines the effects of corpus-informed instruction on developing L2 writers’ learning of reporting verbs in a first-year writing course by comparing drafts of literature reviews before and after a workshop. The forty-five-minute workshop was designed to improve L2 writers’ lexical and functional uses of reporting verbs using corpus-informed materials. The researchers compared the literature review drafts written by 40 students who participated in the workshop to 38 randomly chosen drafts from our corpus. The results show an increase in the experimental groups’ reporting verb lexical variety and a decrease in the use of verb types used in speech in favor of types used in academic writing. The results suggest that corpus-informed instruction may support L2 writers in the development of lexical and functional reporting verb use.


Teachers' Forum: Pedagogic Reports

Teaching a Film Clip in a Multiliteracies Framework

Working within a multiliteracies framework, this paper moves beyond the traditional concerns with comprehension of a video text or the use of video for communicative purposes and demonstrates how a film clip might be used in a language classroom to explore the meaning-making process in film. Specifically, I investigate how language, filmic devices, and the representation of culture come together to create a cohesive text, and how an exploration of a clip’s meaning contributes to the development of students’ translingual/transcultural and symbolic competences.


Teachers' Forum: Instructors' Perspectives

Publishing Language Textbooks: Reflections from a Language Road Warrior

This Instructors Perspectives' essay from Robert Blake initiates a discussion on publishing language textbooks. It is followed by responses from Annamaria Bellezza, Nikolaus Euba, and Mark Kaiser.

How Language Teacher Identities Conflict in Light of Bourdieu’s Concepts of Habitus, Capital, and Field

Adopting Bourdieu’s (1986, 1977) concepts of habitusfield, and capital as a framework, I reflect on my multiple fluid identities as I study, teach, and live within two socially, culturally, and politically distinct places (Iraq and the United States). I examine my privileged and/or marginalized self throughout my journey and the way this privilege/marginalization influences my language teaching and learning experiences. The narratives used in this paper include poems I wrote, my literacy autobiography, and a few Facebook posts. Through my reflection, I provide an example of identity construction of a scholar and a teacher as he inhabits multiple space and places.