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the workplace. Los Angeles What is Applied Linguistics? 'Applied linguistics' is using what we know about (a) language. w r i t i n g and literacy second and foreign language pedagogy second language acquisition. as is evident i n a definition given by Wilkins (1999: 7): In a broad sense. language acquisition and attrition sociolinguistics text analysis (written discourse) translation and interpretation. a survey published i n 1987 found that 83 per cent of 20-24-year-olds i n Europe had studied a second language (Cook. The range of these purposes is partly illustrated by the call for papers for the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2010 conference. and a majority i n some areas. i n some countries. applied linguistics is concerned with increasing understanding of the role of language in human affairs and thereby with providing the knowledge necessary for those who are responsible for taking language-related decisions whether the need for these arises in the classroom. heritage and language m i n o r i t y education language and ideology language and learner characteristics language and technology language cognition and brain research language. immersion. Also. although to varying levels of final proficiency. the law court. culture. a second language is a necessary ' c o m m o n denominator' ('lingua franca') w h e n the population speaks a variety . Out of these numerous areas. speak more than one language. 1996: 134). The call for papers to the 2011 AILA conference goes even further a n d lists 28 areas i n applied linguistics. or the laboratory. Those purposes are many and varied. a large percentage of people. For example. the d o m i n a n t application has always been the teaching and learning of second or foreign languages (L2). w h i c h lists 16 topic areas: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • analysis of discourse and interaction assessment and evaluation bilingual. Around the world. i n order to achieve some purpose or solve some problem i n the real w o r l d . (b) h o w i t is learned and (c) h o w i t is used. socialization and pragmatics language maintenance and revitalization language planning and policy reading.An Overview of Applied Linguistics Norbert Schmitt University of Nottingham Marianne Celce-Murcia University of California.
and i t is these areas w h i c h this volume w i l l cover. interpreting and translating. as well as hemispherectomy patients. rather than describing. i n order to further give some sense of the breadth of issues i n the field. where b o t h 'Plato and Aristotle contributed to the design of a curriculum beginning w i t h good w r i t i n g (grammar). The search for the anonymous author of the eighteenth-century political letters w r i t t e n under the pseudonym of Junius is an example of this. and we can trace this back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. attempting to make language learning easier t h r o u g h the use of example sentences instead of . Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary of the English Language. 1995: 108). 1969: 53. the primary concern of applied linguistics has been second language acquisition theory. w h i c h had been i n use since the late eighteenth century. If we focus on English.) These rules made little sense even w h e n L o w t h wrote them. This discrepancy cast strong doubts on the accuracy of the i n c r i m i n a t i n g evidence i n the transcript. (cited i n Kelly. Traditionally. At the beginning of the century. speech pathology. but whereas Johnson sought to describe English vocabulary by collecting thousands of examples of h o w English words were actually used. w h i c h is a Germanic language. So i t is perhaps not surprising that this book is written i n that language. Robert L o w t h published an influential grammar. t w o other areas that Carter and N u n a n (2001) d i d not list are authorship identification and forensic linguistics. Due to length constraints. communication practices. then moving o n to effective discourse (rhetoric) and culminating i n the development of dialectic to promote a philosophical approach to life' (Howatt. this gives a strong indication that the matching author wrote the text i n question. but they still give some idea of the impact that applied linguistics can have i n the w o r l d . and even a decade before this book was published.) • no ending a sentence w i t h a preposition (I don't k n o w what i t is made of. but was fully codified i n the nineteenth century by Karl Plotz (1819-1881). Similar analyses are carried out i n forensic linguistics. Crystal (1987) relates a case where a convicted murderer was pardoned. an estimated 235 m i l l i o n L2 learners were learning it (Crystal. English is the m a i n second language being studied i n the world today. (See Chapter 2. The result was that English. major attempts at linguistic description began to occur i n the second half of the eighteenth century. w h i c h quickly became the unquestioned authority o n the meanings of English words. was described by a linguistic system (parts of speech) w h i c h was borrowed from Latin. for more o n L I issues). a list of vocabulary items and some practice examples to translate f r o m L I i n t o L2 or vice versa. and Chapter 8. whether on or upon was used) showed that i t was very similar to the use of vocabulary i n the writings of Sir Philip Francis. Carter and N u n a n (2001: 2) list the following sub-disciplines i n w h i c h applied linguists also take an interest: literacy. W h e n a match is made. A linguistic analysis of the vocabulary i n the letters (for example. 1980). i n particular. w h i c h u n t i l that time had been relatively variable (for example. Figures concerning the numbers of people learning or using second languages can o n l y be rough estimates. applied linguistics is interested i n cases where language goes wrong. A lesson w o u l d typically have one or two new grammar rules. Even slips of the tongue and ear c o m m i t t e d by n o r m a l individuals can give us insights i n t o h o w the h u m a n brain processes language (Fromkin. Second Language Acquisition. About the same time. 220). Grammar. often to establish the probability of whether or not a defendant or witness actually produced a specific piece of discourse.2 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 3 of different L i s (first languages). even though the two languages are organized i n quite different ways. lexicography and first language acquisition. It also had the effect of standardizing English spelling. The process of prescribing. deaf education. partially because a linguistic analysis showed that the transcript of his oral statement (written by the police) was very different stylistically f r o m his normal speech patterns. 1973. However.) Applied Linguistics during the Twentieth Century An Overview of the Century The real acceleration of change i n linguistic description and pedagogy occurred during the twentieth century. These areas exemplify h o w applied linguistics knowledge may be utilized i n practical ways i n non-educational areas. second languages were usually taught by the 'Grammartranslation method'. the printer W i l l i a m Caxton complained i n 1490 that eggs could be spelled as 'eggys' or 'egges' or even 'eyren' depending on the local pronunciation). I n 1755. w h i c h had previously borrowed the system f r o m Greek. Besides mother tongue education. during w h i c h a number of movements influenced the field only to be replaced or modified by subsequent developments. Short Introduction to English Grammar (1762). and so Lowth's notions of grammar were quickly adopted once i n p r i n t as the rules of 'correct English'. He had no specialized linguistic background to do this. second language pedagogy and the interface between the t w o . 1999: 618). The approach was originally reformist i n nature. schizophrenic and autistic speakers. Lowth prescribed what 'correct' grammar should be. although the concepts presented here should be appropriate to non-English L2 teaching and learning as well. it is also useful to consider briefly some of the areas of applied linguistics w h i c h w i l l n o t be emphasized i n this book. Psycholinguistics. L I acquisition research can be particularly informative concerning L2 contexts. Researchers working o n language-related disorders study the speech of aphasic. I n a d d i t i o n to all these areas and purposes. Of these. for more o n prescriptive versus descriptive grammars. The Development of Applied Linguistics Early History Interest i n languages and language teaching has a long history. 1987: 68). has left us w i t h English grammar rules w h i c h are m u c h too rigid to describe actual language usage: • no multiple negatives (I don't need no help f r o m nobody!) • no split infinitives (So we need to really t h i n k about all this f r o m scratch. this book must inevitably focus o n limited facets of applied linguistics. i n the belief that we can better understand h o w the brain functions w h e n we analyse what happens w h e n the speaker's language system breaks d o w n or does not f u n c t i o n properly. and so w i l l be referred to i n several chapters throughout this book (see Chapter 7. and unfortunately based his English grammar o n a classical Latin model. language planning and bilingualism/ multilingualism. Authorship identification uses a statistical analysis of various linguistic features i n anonymous or disputed texts and compares the results w i t h a similar analysis f r o m texts whose authors are k n o w n . but t h r o u g h the ages b o t h teachers and students have generally disliked ambiguity. w h o was t h e n identified as the probable author (Crystal.
for more o n frequency. psycholinguistics. children would need o n l y enough exposure to a language to determine whether their L I allowed the deletion of pronouns (+pro drop. some other mechanism must constrain the type of hypotheses generated. The content focused o n reading and w r i t i n g literary materials. His 'Reading m e t h o d ' attempted to make this possible by p r o m o t i n g reading skills t h r o u g h vocabulary management.4 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 5 whole texts (Howatt. w h i c h listed the most useful 2000 words i n English. intensive oral drilling. Chomsky's (1959) attack o n the behaviourist underpinnings of structural linguistics i n the late 1950s proved decisive. 1953). clarifying. many of w h i c h were quite obscure. At the same time. w i t h listening and speaking as the primary skills. w h i c h the Direct method could not hope to match. Grammar-translation. nought. and ere w i t h more frequent items such as island. It required teachers to be highly proficient i n the target language. Thus. new usebased ideas had coalesced i n t o w h a t became k n o w n as the 'Direct method'. American structural linguists stepped i n t o the gap and developed a programme w h i c h borrowed f r o m the Direct method. and before' (Schmitt. however. w i t h o u t the step of translation. w i t h stronger proponents banishing all use of the L I i n the classroom. These and other factors pushed the field towards a more 'communicative' type of pedagogy. The focus was squarely o n use of the second language. Halliday's (1973) systemic-functional grammar was offering an alternative to Chomsky's approach. for example. w h i c h emphasized that language competence consists of more than just being able to ' f o r m grammatically correct sentences but also to know w h e n and where to use these sentences and to w h o m ' (Richards. and so appeared a more convincing argument for how children learned language so quickly. This success meant that the method naturally continued o n after the war. w i t h listening first. and i t came to be k n o w n as 'Audiolingualism'. but rather as a means of functioning i n society. w h i c h was not always possible. summarizing. I n short. The revised 1998 version (van Ek and Trim: 27) lists six broad categories of language f u n c t i o n : • • • • i m p a r t i n g and seeking factual i n f o r m a t i o n expressing and finding out attitudes getting things done (suasion) socializing .) The three methods. Thus. students were expected to learn t h r o u g h drills rather than t h r o u g h an analysis of the target language. The students w h o went t h r o u g h this 'Army m e t h o d ' were mostly mature and h i g h l y motivated. This helped to swing the focus f r o m language 'correctness' (accuracy) to h o w suitable any use of language was for a particular context (appropriacy). but d i d n o t take i n t o account the differences between L I and L2 acquisition. Japanese) or not (-pro drop. he 'substituted low-frequency "literary" words such as isle. This focus o n vocabulary management was part of a greater approach called the 'Vocabulary Control Movement'. English). Chomsky (1959) posited that children are b o r n w i t h an understanding of the way languages work. Behaviourism. Hymes (1972) added the concept of 'communicative competence'. However. then speaking. I t needed a way of t r a i n i n g soldiers i n oral and aural skills quickly. including the relevant concepts (notions) and uses of language (functions)' (Howatt. the percentage of words k n o w n i n a text and readability. i n particular a set of abstract rules w h i c h were assumed to be innate. for example. This parameter-setting w o u l d require m u c h less exposure than a habit-formation route. Also. By the beginning of the twentieth century. 1976) attempted to create a Europe-wide language teaching system w h i c h was based o n a survey of L2 learners' needs (needs analysis) and was 'based on semantic categories related to those needs. i t mimicked L I learning. It drew its rationale f r o m the dominant psychological theory of the time. the weaknesses of all of the above approaches became obvious. I n the mid-1970s. The flurry of research inspired by Chomsky's ideas d i d m u c h to stimulate the development of the field of second language acquisition and its psychological counterpart. As the m e t h o d became increasingly pedantic. During the war. 1984:136). Supplanting the behaviourist idea of habit-formation. i n w h i c h language was seen not as something exclusively internal to a learner. a Council of Europe project (van Ek. It imitated h o w a mother tongue is learnt naturally. that essentially said that language learning was a result of habit formation. language was now seen as governed by cognitive factors. continued to h o l d sway u n t i l W o r l d War I I . 2000: 17). One key difference is that L I learners have abundant exposure to the target language. nothing.audiolingualism . Piatt and Weber. the emphasis o n reading and w r i t i n g d i d little to promote an ability to communicate orally i n the target language. a new pedagogical direction was needed. One of the m a i n problems w i t h Grammar-translation was that i t focused o n the ability to 'analyse' language. I n the early 1970s. 1999: 624). a focus o n sentence patterns and memorization. such as close attention to pronunciation. The Direct m e t h o d had its o w n problems. and their success was dramatic. signalling the beginning and end of an argument). 1985: 49). I n the UK. I n addition. These steps had the effect of significantly reducing the lexical load for readers. and only later reading and writing. w h i l e explicit grammar teaching was also downplayed. w h i c h eventually resulted i n a book called the General Service List of English Words (West. but Chomsky and his followers argued that children do not receive enough negative feedback from other people about these inappropriate language forms (negative evidence) to be able to discard them. Michael West was interested i n increasing learners' exposure to language t h r o u g h reading. w h i c h highlighted the archaic vocabulary f o u n d i n the classics. They w o u l d k n o w the underlying principles of language (for example. Vocabulary. Some would naturally be incorrect. for example. and its associated pedagogical approach . w h i c h was referred to as 'Universal Grammar'. (See Chapter 3. the m e t h o d grew i n t o a very controlled system. Chomsky (1959) suggested that children f o r m hypotheses about their language that they tested out i n practice. Meaning was related directly to the target language. He also controlled the number of new words w h i c h could appear i n any text. w i t h a heavy emphasis o n accuracy and explicit grammar rules. Halliday (1973) identified three types of f u n c t i o n : • ideational (telling people facts or experiences) • interpersonal (maintaining personal relationships w i t h people) • textual (expressing the connections and organization w i t h i n a text.began to fall out of favour. languages usually have pronouns) and their parameters (some languages allow these pronouns to be dropped w h e n i n the subject position). Thus the m e t h o d included activities w h i c h were believed to reinforce 'good' language habits. the Direct m e t h o d and the Reading method. and not the ability to 'use' i t . This emphasized exposure to oral language. To improve the readability of his textbooks. This approach to language highlighted its communicative and dynamic nature. as the American military f o u n d itself short of people w h o were conversationally fluent i n foreign languages. especially its emphasis o n listening and speaking.
can everyone hear the tape recorder clearly). effect) deixis (anaphoric and non-anaphoric proforms. i n the L2. logical relations. even after many years of instruction. degree) qualitative (shape. i t is so great that some scholars have suggested that it is more important t h a n grammar i n c o n t r i b u t i n g The materials from this project were influential (for example. These criteria focused very much o n the test itself. always i n c l u d i n g some elements just beyond the current level of learners' ability (i+1). tests were evaluated according to three principal criteria: • 'Validity' (did the test really measure what i t was supposed to measure?) • 'Reliability' (did the test perform consistently f r o m one administration to the next?) • 'Practicality' (was the test practical to give and mark i n a particular setting?). students could be enrolled i n 'immersion' programmes where they attended primary or secondary schools w h i c h taught subject matter only i n the L2. learning journals. expression of ideas) relational (ownership. articles). peer-assessment and selfassessment. w i l l they be used for relatively 'high-stakes' purposes (university admission) versus relatively 'low stakes' purposes (a classroom quiz)) and characteristics of the test itself (Are the instructions clear? What kind of tasks does the test employ?). 1981). presence. rather than 'one size fits all'. W i t h i n this framework. 1999. colour. U n t i l the 1980s. These include structured observation. tests are generally seen as being suitable for particular purposes and particular sets of learners. Perhaps the most important revelation is the vast amount of lexical patterning w h i c h exists. and textbooks based o n a n o t i o n a l . how d i d the test method affect the scores?. whether learner. Assessment. quantity. tests are seen i n the context of a complete assessment environment. but the relatively recent development of very capable personal computers made quite sophisticated language programs available to the individual user. Of course. such as those initiated i n Canada but w h i c h n o w also exist elsewhere. Now. progress grids. such as history or politics. what k i n d of positive or negative effect ('washback') might the test have on stakeholders? and many others. although i t must be said that m u c h remains to be done i n this area. Since every classroom and group of learners is somewhat different. project work. I t seems as if a certain amount of explicit instruction focusing o n language f o r m may be necessary as well. (See Chapter 15.to late-1940s. they also showed that the learners continued to make certain persistent grammatical errors.6 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 7 • structuring discourse • communication repair. age. a communicative approach helped learners to become fluent. Computing technology also made it possible to analyse large databases of language. W i t h new learning programs arriving regularly. duration. w i t h o u t the L2 being the focus of explicit instruction. Threshold Level English). examinees. portfolios. Taken further. where learners could work o n individual computers truly at their o w n pace. but was insufficient to ensure comparable levels of accuracy. there has been a move towards exploring the value of alternative types of assessment w h i c h can be individualized to suit particular situations. However. administrators. size) temporal (indications of time. for more on these issues. The methodology w h i c h developed f r o m these factors emphasized the use of language for meaningful communication . sequence) quantitative (number. . I n addition. eight general categories of notions were listed. It was often taught t h r o u g h problem-solving activities and tasks w h i c h required students to transact information. so did the field of language assessment. and took little notice of the effects it might have o n the people ('stakeholders') involved w i t h i t . I n the early 1980s. The assumption was that the learners would acquire the L2 simply by using i t to learn the subject matter content. physical condition) mental (reflection. language laboratories had utilized technology since the m i d . The focus was o n learners' message and fluency rather than their grammatical accuracy. tailoring their i n p u t and tasks to individual learners' progress. Results f r o m this k i n d of immersion programme. raters. The best of the current programs are interactive. such as information gap exercises. Computer technology has also facilitated the incorporation of audio and video input i n t o learning programs on a scale previously unimaginable. Just as language pedagogy developed and advanced during this time. Pedagogically. teacher or researcher. The pedagogical implications of this theory were that classrooms should supply a rich source of language exposure that was meaning-based and understandable. w h i c h are shown here w i t h representative examples of their sub-classes: • • • • • • • • existential (existence. Krashen's ' M o n i t o r theory' posited that a second language was m a i n l y unconsciously acquired t h r o u g h exposure to 'comprehensible i n p u t ' rather t h a n being learnt through explicit exercises. I n these. Corpus Linguistics). Taking the communicative approach to its logical extreme. the intended use of the scores (for example. The current focus-on-form movement (for example. test conditions (for example. students could be taught some non-language-related subject. I n other words. m o t i o n . distance. showed that learners could indeed become quite fluent i n an L2 t h r o u g h exposure w i t h o u t explicit instruction. w i t h the t w o having to negotiate the exchange of that information. this opened the door to 'computer-assisted language learning' (CALL). and that they developed excellent receptive skills. one student is given information the other does n o t have. w h i c h includes stakeholders (for example. what reasonable inferences could be derived from the scores?. Evidence f r o m corpora have provided numerous insights i n t o the workings of language (Egbert and Hanson-Smith. called 'corpora'. see also Chapter 6.f u n c t i o n a l syllabus became widespread. Doughty and Williams. availability) spatial (location. rather. that it required a focus o n meaning rather t h a n form.) Technology was advancing throughout the century. but the advent of powerful and affordable personal computers probably has had the greatest impact on applied linguistics. one needed to argue for the validity of a test by considering a variety of factors: for what kind of examinee was the test suitable. Messick (1989) changed this w i t h a seminal paper w h i c h argued that tests could not be considered 'valid' or 'not valid' i n a black and white manner by focusing only o n test-internal factors. i n fact. and that a learner's emotional state can affect this acquisition ('affective filter'). today CALL is one of the more dynamic areas i n applied linguistics. 1998) is an attempt to inject well-considered explicit instruction back i n t o language lessons w i t h o u t abandoning the positive features and results of the communicative approach. a theory of acquisition promoted by Krashen (1982) focused attention o n the role of input. government officials).communicative language teaching (CLT) (Littlewood.
see Saussure. • Eye-movement studies can show h o w formulaic sequences are read by native and non-native speakers. Current t h i n k i n g is that the h u m a n m i n d is very good at extracting these patterns and using them to build up a picture of the systematicity of a language. usage/exemplar-based (Ellis.splatter. Harley. Although these theories differ somewhat. The process is implicit. Sociocultural theory suggests that i n order to understand the h u m a n m i n d . Conrad and Finegan. For i t is only t h r o u g h social interaction w i t h others that humans develop their language and cognition. Gaskell. Johansson. and have been consulted i n the development of most current learner dictionaries. representation. as considering either one individually w i l l inevitably result i n an incomplete. for w h a t purpose. One view of cognition. He relates h o w : • Reaction-timing studies can i n f o r m about the development of automaticity of lexical access. but I w i l l use the umbrella cover term psycholinguistics here. 1997). teaching input) and reactions (student responses) w h i c h could be observed were considered w o r t h y of discussion i n the area of psychology. Incorporating Social and Cultural Elements into Applied Linguistics The mid-twentieth century d o m i n a t i o n of behaviourism as the overriding psychological paradigm (at least i n English-speaking countries) meant that o n l y stimuli (that is. Psycholinguistic perspectives have n o w become a major influence i n applied linguistics. 1996). b u t political and academic factors kept their influence i n check u n t i l the latter part of the twentieth century. 2003) theories of language acquisition and use. A related trend is use of psycholinguistic research methodologies to explore language processing i n m u c h more detail t h a n before possible. a similar dichotomy occurred w h e n Saussure (1857-1913. The study of these factors blossomed i n the area of 'pragmatics'. have shown that social and contextual influences cannot be divorced f r o m individual learners w h e n language learning and use are studied. 1999). split. out of w h i c h emerges the individual. 2009. these fields. i n areas ranging from theory building to research methodology (Field. 1999. I n essence. Similarly. *An asterisk indicates a form that is ungrammatical or inappropriate. Happily. strong coffee. I n linguistics. some graphemes often cluster together i n English (spl . Conrad and Finegan. rather t h a n being innately i n place. called 'sociocultural theory'. This perspective is being driven by a number of sub-fields (cognitive linguistics. 2003. cognitive neuroscience (see Dornyei.8 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 9 to the organization of language (Sinclair. w i t h writers having numerous authentic examples of many grammatical structures at their fingertips (Carter and McCarthy. Leech. most language use (spoken or written) is co-constructed w i t h others and n o t simply the product of one individual acting alone i n a vacuum. processing and use. 2006). and the fact that language is largely phrasal i n nature (Biber. as Chomsky posited more t h a n half a century earlier. Previously. one must look at these t w o endowments i n an integrated manner. 1 . 1966) split language ('langue') f r o m the actual use of language ('parole'). 2009)). Labov (1970) began exploring h o w social factors influence L I language use and Tarone (1979) and others later d i d the same for L2 usage. 1987). There were some voices speaking out against these divisions. 2006). Together. the learner's linguistic knowledge is 'constructed' through general learning mechanisms. This allows exploration of linguistic knowledge even before learners become aware of i t . and thus inaccurate. For example. hot coffee. as that is the title of the chapter i n this volume w h i c h covers this general approach (see Chapter 8. 2002). • Priming studies can show the acquisition of collocation pairings. Various versions of this 'pattern extraction' can be seen i n the connectionism (Elman. but eventually the patterns may become salient enough that a learner is able to describe t h e m explicitly. Furthermore. Newer psycholinguistic techniques can look i n t o the inner workings of the brain while learners are using language i n various ways. along w i t h the closely related area of 'discourse analysis'. Also. the relative power relationship between interlocutors) also affects the language of communication. Chomsky's (1965) ideas had a similar effect as they distinguished what was happening inside the learner ('language competence') f r o m what was observable outside the person ('language performance'). 2008) and construction grammar (Tomasello. cognitive science. I n the late 1960s. spleen). Johansson. while others rarely or never do (zlf). Leech. i t was acknowledged that the context i n w h i c h language is used (for example. This has n o w made research into the very initial pre-conscious stages of language learning possible. It is likely that evidence f r o m corpus linguistics w i l l continue to have a major influence o n applied linguistic t h i n k i n g well i n t o the foreseeable future. Psycholinguistics). emergentism (Ellis and Larsen-Freeman. 2001). Wray. The study of the interface of social factors and language use eventually developed into the field of 'sociolinguistics'. see Vygotsky. Psycholinguistic Perspectives in Applied Linguistics One of the most noticeable recent trends has been the establishment of a more psychological perspective of language acquisition. Schmitt (in press) describes h o w this is beginning to revolutionize research into vocabulary acquisition. most language measurement required explicit knowledge of linguistic features because learners were required to write down or say their answers. Corpora are n o w a key tool i n lexicography. Evidence f r o m corpora of spoken discourse has also highlighted the differences between spoken and w r i t t e n discourse (McCarthy and Carter. These patterns exist w i t h the smallest components of language all the way up to overall connected discourse. neurolinguistics. at heart most of them maintain that the m i n d extracts the recurring patterns f r o m the language input a learner receives. but n o t *"powerful coffee). • Event-Related Potentials (ERP) can indicate the very earliest traces of lexical learning. emphasizes i n d i v i d u a l social integration by focusing o n the necessary and dialectic relationship between the sociocultural endowment (the 'inter -personal interface between a person and his or her environment) and the biological endowment (the 'mrra'-personal mechanisms and processes belonging to that person). For example. Similarly.+ play = replay). Patterns even exist at the level of discourse. such as Vygotsky (1896-1934. The best studies i n this area can even distinguish varying language usage between different registers. as every reader w o u l d expect some type of I n t r o d u c t i o n Body-Conclusion organization i n an academic text. Perhaps the most noticeable outcome is that the current leading theories of how second languages are acquired are all informed by psycholinguistic t h i n k i n g and research. 2008). corpora have n o w made truly descriptive grammars possible. for example written fiction versus academic prose (Biber. affixes attach to stems i n systematic ways (re. words co-occur together i n patterns called collocations (black coffee.
Greater proficiency should lead to greater confidence. each of w h i c h could be separately identified and described. These underlying currents are i m p o r t a n t because they add coherence to the overall discussion and represent an entry p o i n t to understanding and critiquing the ideas i n this book. the mode of communication (written versus spoken) and time constraints. (That is w h y this is an edited volume and not a book written by a single author. it is also profoundly affected by a number of other factors. the one w h o felt the ear thought elephants were like a fan. But this diversity does n o t mean that each area can be isolated and dealt w i t h o n its o w n . i t is n o t the way language works i n the real world. For overviews. language learning and language use are a seamless whole and all of the various elements interact w i t h each other i n complex ways. Corpus Linguistics. Lowie and Verspoor (2007). We n o w know that language use is not just a product of a number of individual language 'knowledge bits' w h i c h reside completely w i t h i n 'interlocutors' (language users). while the t w o factors exert their effect o n WTC. the degree of involvement and interaction. i t is useful to remember that they make up only one part of the larger 'complete elephant'. we strive to connect this understanding w i t h insights f r o m other areas i n the applied linguistics field. Language. we are getting better at being able to grasp larger and larger bits of the language elephant. if we look deeply enough. was very influential i n encouraging a focus o n the spoken language. Traditionally. there are several themes that r u n t h r o u g h the various chapters. words relating to parts of the body) are activated i n the brain.10 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 11 • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) can show the locations where various types of word (that is. The Move from Discrete to more Holistic and Integrative Perspectives Despite the above-mentioned caveat about compartmentalization. led by phoneticians. This being the case. vocabulary items were seen merely as 'slot fillers' necessary to fill out syntactic structures. i n an effort to do so. language is a big. language learners' willingness to communicate (WTC) is partially dependent on their levels of proficiency and o n their linguistic self-confidence. w h i c h i n t u r n may lead to improved proficiency. we can only be partially successful. Although Lexico-grammar and Formulaic Language The areas of vocabulary and grammar provide a good example of this new integrative approach. language was viewed i n very discrete terms: it was made up of grammar. given the dynamic nature of language acquisition and use. complex subject and we are nowhere near to being able to comprehend i t i n its entirety. but when reading them. true understanding of any individual area can o n l y be gained by understanding others w h i c h are related. This conception saw vocabulary and grammar as t w o discrete entities w h i c h could be taught and learnt separately. it is likely that this type of approach w i l l prove increasingly influential i n the future.) This is inevitable and happens i n every field. We must be aware of this and realize that this compartmentalization is an expedient w h i c h enables us to get around our cognitive limitations as h u m a n beings. vocabulary was viewed as individual words w h i c h could be taught and used i n isolation. (In fact. successful communication can improve the learner's language proficiency and enhance their confidence) (Dornyei. but w i t h no single person able to master the whole field. greater confidence may lead to the learners putting themselves i n situations where they use and practise their language more. The best any person can do at the m o m e n t is to study a l i m i t e d number of elements of language. Similarly. A l t h o u g h it is still i n its early days. 2009). some researchers are working to adapt methods f r o m other fields w h i c h have to model complex and difficult-to-predict phenomena (for example. weather). the one w h o felt a leg thought elephants were like a tree. Taking these and other factors i n t o account gives us a m u c h richer and more accurate account of the way language is actually used and leads to a better description of the knowledge and skills w h i c h make u p language proficiency. I n addition. Thus we end up w i t h scholars becoming specialists i n areas of applied linguistics. they themselves can also change (for example. and so o n . such as the social context (who y o u are communicating w i t h and for what purpose). On the contrary. This view is starting to change and one of the most interesting developments i n applied linguistics today is the realization that vocabulary and . and t r y to understand those elements i n detail. Complexity theory and Chaos theory. I n fact. phonetics was the first area w i t h i n linguistics to become well-developed (late nineteenth century) and the Reform Movement i n language teaching. For example. but i t does mean that applied linguistics is compartmentalized to some extent. They all felt different parts of the elephant's body and came to very different conclusions about what an elephant is like. Vocabulary. I n the rest of this book. For example. to truly understand the i n f o r m a t i o n i n Chapter 3. Each chapter i n this book looks at one area of specialization. therefore. a trend w o r t h watching is h o w the various areas of applied linguistics n o w embrace integrative perspectives w h i c h acknowledge the complex interplay of numerous factors. one must take o n board the insights given i n Chapter 6. Complex interactions like these are difficult to describe and understand and. I n fact Celce-Murcia and Olshtain (2000) have proposed a discoursebased framework for language teaching designed to deal w i t h all these factors simultaneously. Up u n t i l the middle of the last century. see Larsen-Freeman and Cameron (2008) and de Bot. Language is immensely complex and numerous factors affect h o w i t is learned.) The last 40 years have seen a move towards viewing language i n m u c h more integrative and holistic terms. language use and language learning. The methods come under several names: Dynamic(al) systems theory. The man w h o felt the t r u n k thought an elephant was like a snake. W i t h grammar being h i g h l i g h t e d i n most theories and pedagogical methodologies. While past research has often considered h o w these factors work i n combination to lead to the end product of learning. Conversely. i t is easy to see h o w the t w o factors can affect each other. However. Themes to Watch For in this Book This book includes a broad selection of major areas i n Applied Linguistics. The Interrelationship of the Areas of Applied Linguistics There is a story f r o m India about the five b l i n d m e n of Hindustan w h o went out to learn about an elephant. nearly all of the areas are related to each other i n some way. there is a growing awareness that the various factors also affect each other i n dynamic and fluid ways. phonology and vocabulary.
Writing) has long been an important concern i n second language pedagogy. i t is a 'formulaic sequence'. i t is also important to consider the overlaps i n mode (oral versus written) and process (receptive versus productive): Receptive Productive Oral LISTENING SPEAKING Written READING WRITING This structure should n o t be viewed i n terms of being first generated w i t h grammar. This insight is forcing a reappraisal of b o t h h o w we consider language itself and h o w i t is processed. If teachers focus o n one skill for purposes of pedagogy and practice. 1978). Language use inevitably involves one or more of the four skills. These meanings and messages occur at the level of text or discourse. was less direct t h a n previously assumed. Although i t is useful to give attention to the unique sub-skills and strategies associated w i t h each skill. m u c h of what is of interest i n applied linguistics is hidden f r o m direct view and study. that is.). It first led to the development of the area of 'learner strategies'. I n other words. pragmatic knowledge and contextual information to achieve an appropriate interpretation or realization of textual meanings and messages. or indeed h o w effective strategy training is i n general. 2006). including age (Birdsong. Frohlich. or encoding or realization. and Motivation. it was realized that learners are active participants i n the learning process and should be allowed to take substantial responsibility for their o w n learning. Speaking and Pronunciation. Top-down processing utilizes shared knowledge. Focus on the Language Learner: Styles. Listening. Strategies. Bottom-up processing depends o n language resources . Of course. Rather. to improve learners' use of that skill. and usually more t h a n one interpretation is possible. 2005). that is. etc. this structure is likely to reside i n memory as a b i t of formulaic language w h i c h is already formed. Wray. and t h e n the words simply slotted i n t o the blanks. Furthermore. thus this text devotes a chapter to each language skill. discourse analysis is highly relevant to understanding the four skills. we read a passage carefully i n order to write a summary. From these studies. 2000: 189) Clearly. and i t was eventually discovered that the correspondence between strategy training and use. n o t h i n g i n applied linguistics is so straightforward. Since i t is preformed and 'ready to go'. Studies were carried out to f i n d out what behaviours differentiated 'good' f r o m 'poor' learners (Naiman. m u c h of the discussion about language learning focused o n the best techniques and materials for teaching. Despite the advances i n psycholinguistic methodologies. Because we now believe that a great deal of language is stored i n peoples' mi n d s as these 'chunks'. The Lack of 'Black and White' Answers Because language is created and processed b o t h between interlocutors a n d w i t h i n the h u m a n m i n d . of meaningful text. but may be viewed as t w o elements of a single language system referred to as 'lexico-grammar' (Halliday. i t should take less cognitive energy to produce t h a n sequences w h i c h have to be created f r o m scratch (Pawley and Syder. but once y o u choose the collocation made it plain y o u are more or less constrained to using the following structure: SOMEONE/SOMETHING (often with authority) (Schmitt. The area of individual differences w i l l be discussed i n detail i n Chapter 10. This led to interest i n the various ways i n w h i c h individual learners were different f r o m one another and h o w that m i g h t affect their learning. made i t plain that SOMETHING AS YET WAS INTENDED UNREALIZED OR DESIRED New Perspectives on Teaching the Four Skills The teaching of the four language skills (see Chapter 11. More recently. 1997. strategy use (Griffiths. 2008).as aids to the accurate decoding or interpretation. thus. whereas speakers and writers use language resources to encode and express meanings and messages.lexico-grammar and phonology (pronunciation) or orthography . w h i c h means that most research has to rely o n indirect evidence observable through language processing and use. more than one language skill is involved i n any communicative activity (for example. The results of such indirect evidence need to be interpreted. i t makes little sense to attempt to analyse those chunks as if they were generated online according to grammar rules. 2008) and motivation (Dornyei. However. 2006). i t had a focus o n the teacher. learning style preferences (Cohen and Weaver. lists of learning strategies w h i c h good learners used were developed and i t was suggested that all learners could benefit f r o m training i n these strategies. Chapter 12. but i t is still unclear h o w to best train learners to use strategies. Stern and Todesco. Evidence f r o m corpora show that m u c h of language is made up of such ' m u l t i . 2002). we cannot yet look into the h u m a n brain and directly observe language. i n fact. y o u can use the word plain i n many ways and i n many grammatical constructions.u p processing required. 1990). a range of differences either constrain or facilitate the rate at w h i c h second languages are learned. we take turns at listening and speaking i n conversation.12 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 13 grammar are not necessarily separate things. and higher language achievement.w o r d units'. active participants then i t followed that what these learners did w o u l d make a difference i n the quality and speed of their learning. m a n y of w h i c h are likely to be preformulated i n the m i n d (see M o o n . There seemed to be an unexpressed view that the learner was somehow a 'container' i n t o w h i c h language knowledge could be poured. I t is clear that effective strategy use can facilitate language learning (Oxford. the ultimate goal should always be to move f r o m such practice toward the types of integrated skill use that the learners are likely to need w h e n using the target language for communication. and Chapter 14. Listeners and readers work to decode and construct meanings and messages. This makes i t difficult to say m u c h w i t h complete certainty about language learning and use. each skill may usefully be described i n terms of the top-down and b o t t o m . aptitude (Dornyei. there has been a great deal of emphasis o n h o w the individual characteristics of each learner affects their learning (that is. This view fitted well w i t h teacher-fronted classes and behaviourist theories w h i c h suggested learning was merely the result of practice and conditioning. For example. 1983. Bringing the Language Learner into the Discussion Previously. Chapter 13. individual differences). we write notes while listening to a lecture. i n the early 1970s. C o n k l i n and Schmitt. If learners were. 1978). This term acknowledges that m u c h of the systematicity i n language comes f r o m lexical choices and the grammatical behaviour of those choices. You w i l l notice that throughout the book there are a number of theories and . Reading. 2005). Typically.
R. Nunan.) (1999) Concise Encyclopedia of Educational Linguistics.B. Cummins. At the p o i n t i n time w h e n y o u read this book. A lively table-top reference book which gives interesting snippets on a wide variety of language issues. i t should be obvious that our field's views o n language. J . A very accessible book which describes.G. . b u t should remain open to new directions i n the future. language learning and language use are n o t static. C. Rowley. (eds. and Davison. Celce-Murcia. M. They are primarily meant as reference volumes where teachers and researchers can look up a range of topics and obtain a brief overview of that subject. (1997) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (second edition).P. Spolsky. a degree of controversy and m u l t i p l i c i t y of views seems inevitable. New York: Springer. and gives examples. There is now a range of encyclopaedia/handbooks that cover the areas of applied linguistics and English language teaching. Davies. E. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hinkel. t i d y a n d absolute answers may be disappointed. b u t are constantly evolving. Carter. (2005) Handbook of Research Learning. (2004) A History of English Language Teaching (second edition). It thus remains the responsibility of researchers. and Elder. Mahwah. Two books which give a historical background to the key applied linguistics area of second language teaching and learning (focusing primarily on English as a second language). (eds. 1999. D. Schumann et al. although each area is often covered in less depth.) (2006) The Handbook of Applied Linguistics. y o u should consider the ideas i n this book (and any book) critically and remain open to future directions i n the field. (1969) 25 Centuries of Language Teaching. 2004). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2000) Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching (second edition). U n t i l 'neurolinguistics' develops to a p o i n t w h i c h allows us to directly track language i n a physiological manner (Brown and Hagoort. Kelly. Conclusion From the discussion i n this overview. R.) (2005) The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics. of the various major teaching methodologies used in the twentieth century. C . L. the vast majority of them focusing on the L1 (but including an L2 section). A comprehensive introductory volume intended for preservice teachers focusing on teaching language skills and pedagogical issues. New York: Oxford University Press. Amsterdam: Elsevier.14 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics An Overview of Applied Linguistics 15 hypotheses a n d that different scholars h o l d different positions o n key issues. A. Oxford: Oxford University Press. D. Boston. B.) (2001) The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. (ed. R. and the above six volumes are a representative sample. Parts 7 and 2. (eds. They tend to be longer books that cover a more comprehensive range of subjects than the present text. Readers l o o k i n g for easy.. Oxford: Oxford University Press.. teachers and y o u the reader to evaluate the various proposed positions a n d decide w h i c h makes the most sense. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.) (2007) International Handbook of English Language Teaching.). Larsen-Freeman. Further Reading Howatt. A. Oxford: Blackwell. (ed. D. 2004. (ed. Thus.) (2001) Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (third edition). MA: Heinle & Heinle. Paradis. in Second Language Teaching and Kaplan. (ed. they w i l l still be changing. Crystal. MA: Newbury House.
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