17.1213, Review: Applied Ling: Bruthiaux et al. (2005)

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Subject: 17.1213, Review: Applied Ling: Bruthiaux et al. (2005)

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1)
Date: 16-Apr-2006
From: Yasemin Kirkgoz < ykirkgoz at cu.edu.tr >
Subject: Directions in Applied Linguistics 

	
-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 20:52:00
From: Yasemin Kirkgoz < ykirkgoz at cu.edu.tr >
Subject: Directions in Applied Linguistics 
 

Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2956.html 

EDITORS: Bruthiaux, Paul; Atkinson, Dwight; Eggington, William G.; 
Grabe, William, Ramanathan, Vaidehi
TITLE: Directions in Applied Linguistics
PUBLISHER: Multilingual Matters
YEAR: 2005

Yasemin Kirkgoz, Faculty of Education, Department of ELT, Lecturer 
in English Language Teaching at the University of Çukurova

OVERVIEW

''Directions in Applied Linguistics'' constitutes a collection of scholarly 
papers on areas directly relevant to the field of applied linguistics. Key 
issues explored in this 327-page collection are divided into 5 parts, 
each one opening with an introduction with commentary and a brief 
overview of the chapters by one of the editors of the book. Each part, 
focusing on different area, contains several chapters, which belongs 
to a different author. As mentioned in the introduction to Part 1, the 
book aims at giving insights into the nature and scope of applied 
linguistics presenting 'plurality of views, interests, and styles' (p.4). 
The book starts with a brief biographical description of each of the 26 
contributors to the volume and, ends with ''References'', followed by a 
section devoted to ''Biography and Publications of Robert Kaplan'' and 
a subject ''Index''. 

The following review is organized in the same sequence as the book 
is presented. A short summary of each article is given followed by my 
own evaluation.

DESCRIPTION

Part I ''Perspectives on Applied Linguistics'' opens the collection with 
two texts that provide the conceptual framework for the scope of 
applied linguistics. In this Introduction to Part 1, the editor Paul 
Bruthiaux provides a critical overview of all the chapters that make up 
the collection. Highlighted in this introductory chapter is the role that 
applied linguistics plays as bridging theory and practice, and having a 
direct relevance to the practices of various professionals including 
language educators and policy makers. Bruthiaux also notes the 
significant contribution made by the pioneering linguist, and a scholar 
of international repute Robert B. Kaplan on various areas of applied 
linguistics, particularly 'contrastive rhetoric', 'academic 
writing', 'language policy and planning'. Bruthiaux explains the major 
motivation behind the present volume as, in a sense, a tribute to 
Robert B. Kaplan, whose influence is reflected throughout the volume, 
and also from whose insightful research, pedagogical commitment and 
writings, countless researchers and graduate students benefited; and 
secondly to present to a wider readership a broad view of the 
conceptual framework for the scope of the applied linguistics, 
exploring its developments from the past into the present and the 
future.

Chapter 1 ''Applied Linguistics, Interdisciplinarity, and Disparate 
Realities'', by Henry G. Widdowson, identifies two related features that 
would have to be met for any work to be considered applied 
linguistics: a concern with 'real-world', and 'interdisciplinary'. 
Widdowson argues that interdisciplinarity, itself is a tenuous concept, 
operating on a level of abstraction, thus if we are to engage in real-
world issues, we need to develop a methodological approach that 
might mediate between these two aspects of reality and to achieve 
conceptual unity. A distinctive feature of this consensus, Widdowson 
argues, should be an emphasis put by applied linguistics on examining 
how the abstractions favored by applied linguistics can be put to 
systematic test against the actuality of everyday existence. 

In Chapter 2 ''Is Language Policy Applied Linguistics?'', Bernard 
Spolsky, while exploring the multiple connections between applied 
linguistics and language policy, argues for an intermediate field 
naming it with his preferred label 'educational linguistics', which aims 
to unite all the fields relevant to language education. In this respect, 
he shares with Widdowson the common view that applied linguistics 
does not merely consist of applying theory to solve real-world 
problems. Spolsky, then, analyzes the involvement of applied linguists 
to language policy, through a number of chronological yet overlapping 
stages in historical progression, such as language reformers and 
language planning experts. He concludes by drawing attention to the 
ongoing expansion and redefinition of the applied linguistics field with 
the contribution of pioneers like Robert Kaplan.

Part 2 ''Language Education''. In the 'Introduction' to Part 2, Vaidehi 
Ramanathan introduces the theme of Language Education by noting 
the common concern of educational change using the 
metaphor 'elaborate machineries' to refer to educational systems 
worldwide, and to highlight education's having both mechanistic as 
well as dynamic nature. She notes that as educators with varying 
backgrounds and interests we participate in creating 'knowledge' in 
our 'disciplinary thought collectives' (Ramanathan, 2002), illustrating 
how aspects of this knowledge can sometimes become part of a larger 
machinery. Taking the view of larger socio-educational machineries, 
Ramanathan argues that change is an inevitable part of this socio-
educational enterprise and as researchers; we are responsible 
partially for change. She introduces three chapters in this section of 
the volume, which address various aspects of this change.

In Chapter 3 ''Sharing Community Languages: Utopian Dream or 
Realistic Vision?'', Michael Clyne argues that the sharing of community 
languages in multicultural societies is no utopia, but can be achieved 
through a realistic policy. First, Clyne explores historical development 
of language policies on the teaching of English as a second language 
and languages other than English (LOTEs), that is, Australian 
indigenous languages. Clyne notes that particular language policies 
have traditionally discouraged one group of people from maintaining 
their bilingualism while spending huge amounts of money to make 
others bilingual by teaching them a language other than English. As 
part of an assimilation policy, Australia had an implicit negative policy 
towards LOTE. The chapter ends with a call for cultivating a society 
that validates and rewards multilingualism. 

Chapter 4 ''Documenting Cultural Reform: Innovative Foreign 
Language Education in Elementary School'' is co-authored by Rocio 
Dominguez, G. Richard Tucker and Richard Donato, and reports their 
involvement in a two-year curriculum reform project on the Spanish 
Foreign Language Programs in Elementary School (FLES) involving 
the introduction of literacy skills in the K-5 curriculum. The study 
documents how teachers participating in the early literacy program 
(PACE) integrate literacy skills by drawing on stories, folktales, and 
legends to capture the children's interests and encourage them to use 
the Target language communicatively. The study presents successes 
and challenges in implementing the curricular innovation, and 
highlights the interplay of socio cultural factors influencing the 
educational change such as cultural beliefs, political climate, economic 
conditions, administrative support, and language planning factors. 

In Chapter 5 ''Research Perspectives on Non-native English Speaking 
Educators'', Lia D. Kamhi-Stein addresses the issue of native /non-
native (NES/NNES) dichotomy, presenting a summary of research 
focusing on these constructs especially as they are related to the role 
of 'non-native' language teachers in language education. She 
continues her discussion with NNES educators' self-perceptions as 
class teachers such as perceptions of their language proficiency and 
instructional practices; the relationship between their language 
proficiency and professionalism; the role of race and language status 
in relation to the 'ideal English teacher'. She then explores the 
research focusing on how 'others' -- program administrators and 
language students - perceive NNES educators. Kamhi-Stein calls for 
future research that would more importantly deal with NNES 
educators' levels of English language competence in relation to 
curriculum delivery rather than issues of self-perceptions of language 
proficiency. 

Part 3 ''English for Academic Purposes''. In his introduction to the third 
section in the volume, Dwight Atkinson takes a personal view of 
Robert B. Kaplan's work, highlighting his influence on English for 
Academic Purposes (EAP), which is strongly reflected in the four 
chapters featured in this section of the volume. Atkinson also mentions 
a less well-known aspect of Kaplan's career, that is, his powerful 
contribution through his mentorship of countless graduate students 
and individuals with no particular connection to him.

In Chapter 6 ''Reflections of a 'Blue Collar Linguist:' Analysis of Written 
Discourse, Classroom Research, and EAP Pedagogy'', Dana R. Ferris 
starts with a discussion of the different 'collars' worn by applied 
linguists -from blue to white. Focusing on her own area of 
specialization -the analysis of written discourse- she identifies four 
categories of second language writing scholars, operating along a 
continuum that extends from the most theoretical (white collar) to the 
most practical (blue collar). For Ferris, blue collar applied linguists are 
those who work on real-world problems in ESL settings, while white 
collar applied linguists engage with social theory- still problem oriented 
in many cases but without the concrete focus of blue collar work. 
Tracing her own evolution as a researcher, Ferris discusses how she 
turned from a theory-driven descriptive researcher into a practice-
driven applied linguistics, solving problems and investigating research 
questions of ESL students, and back again. Finally, she questions the 
usefulness of such a divide and suggests that all applied linguists 
need to incorporate one another's insights into their thinking and into 
their work. 

Chapter 7 ''English for Academic Purposes: Issues in Undergraduate 
Writing and Reading'', by Ann M. Johns, reflecting her lengthy 
experience in EAP, provides an up-to-date account of the teaching of 
academic literacy, as it relates to the apprenticeship of academic 
writing by undergraduate students. She begins by posing four major 
questions pertinent to academic writing, which gave rise to research, 
and heated debate. Next, she describes in detail, three areas of 
current EAP research that can help us answer her questions: the 
social construction of texts, in which ''the texts are being treated as 
living documents with which writers, readers, discourse communities, 
and other texts interact'' (p. 105). She touches upon three areas 
particularly valuable for academic literacy teachers: moves analysis, 
voice and author's stance, and multiliteracies, which involves writers 
integrating effective visual representations into their texts. She follows 
this with 'applications' by illustrating how classroom practitioners can 
make use of current literacy research and theory in their practices, at 
the same time summarizing the current answers to the four questions 
she posed at the beginning of her chapter. 

In Chapter 8 '''Ear' Learners and Errors in US College Writing'', Joy 
Reid examines the language problems of what she calls 'second-
generation US resident ESL student writers of academic English', a 
population that acquired English mainly through their 'ears'. This 
group is characterized as having a high level of communicative 
fluency, yet having persistent accuracy problems. She then contrasts 
this population with 'eye' learners, international students, who move to 
US for post-secondary education after a significant period of 
preparation in their home countries. Reid then discusses types of 
errors EAP teachers typically encounter in the writing of 'ear' learners, 
and makes innovative suggestions for their remediation. Reid 
concludes by calling for further research and development regarding 
instruction into immigrant student errors arguing that error gravity is 
essential to developing appropriate approaches and curricula for such 
learners.

Chapter 9 ''Teachers' Perceptions of Lexical Anomalies: A Pilot Study'', 
by Cheryl Bold Zimmerman, following a similar approach to the 
previous chapter, discusses an empirical study of native speakers of 
English teachers' response to lexical anomalies -inaccurate usages of 
words - produced by second language (L2) writers. Having given a 
description of errors most frequently made by L2 learners under the 
categories: Collocations, Language conventions/Set Phrases and 
Meaning, Zimmerman introduces her research, which investigates 
teachers' perceptions of certain lexical anomalies, how they identify 
patterns for generalization, and strategies they use to explain such 
anomalies. Participants in Zimmerman's study were fourteen native 
ESL teachers, with an experience of teaching a vocabulary class but 
without a formal instruction in vocabulary teaching.  The study 
revealed gaps in the formal lexical knowledge of the teachers, as the 
teachers were not very accurate in categorizing the anomalies of the 
items from a vocabulary research perspective. She then argues that 
teachers' familiarity with lexical concepts is needed so that they can 
better provide for effective remediation of student lexical difficulties. 
This, in turn, implies that teacher preparation programs should 
promote teachers' essential language awareness so that they can 
better apply theory to practice. 

Introducing Part 4 ''Contrastive Discourse Analysis'', William Grabe 
discusses how Kaplan's insight originated, mainly out of practical 
observation of the academic writings of ESL students, and how this 
constituted the core of Contrastive analysis of academic discourse.

Chapter 10 ''Tertium Comparationis: A Vital Component in 
Constrastive Rhetoric Research'', co-authored by Ulla M. Connor and 
Ana I. Moreno, proposes an innovative theoretical framework for 
contrastive rhetoric research using corpora that can be compared with 
equivalent English corpora, highlighting the importance of tertium 
comparationis or common ground of comparison at the design and 
analysis stages of the research. They first describe the beneficial 
effect corpus linguistics has on contrastive studies referring to 
Johansson's (1998:3) classification of three types of corpora: parallel 
corpora, translation corpora and learner corpora, of which learner 
corpora has been the most common in contrastive rhetorical studies 
as it allows for the examination of interlanguage errors between native 
language writing and the target language. Describing the use of 
comparative corpora in the studies of contrastive rhetoric, they argue 
that contrastive rhetoric should describe and explain differences or 
similarities in text-patterns across cultures on the basis of comparable 
parallel corpora of texts. Connor and Moreno discuss the criteria for 
the design of comparable parallel corpora, and conclude the chapter 
by a proposal of a summary of the approach contrastive rhetoric 
methodology can use for establishing parallel corpora.

Chapter 11 ''Structure and Style in the Narrative Writings of Mexican-
American and African-American Adolescents'', co-authored by Ann 
Daubney-Davis and Genevieve Patthey-Chavez, extends contrastive 
rhetoric by exploring the structure and discourse features of narrative 
writing of 7th grade secondary students, Mexican-American and 
African-American from the same school by analyzing texts for stylistic 
features of the narratives. The study uses a social and cognitive 
approach to text analysis followed by extended classroom 
observations of students. In her discussion of the data drawn from 
Ann Daubney-Davis's field work, Patthey-Chavez first justifies 
choosing narrative writing as a conceptually familiar task for students 
of this age, and one that could be produced by the students 
themselves. Student narratives were collected in five 7th grade 
classrooms on two occasions. Data was examined from multiple 
dimensions focusing on structure, convention and style. The analysis 
of narrative writing showed that both groups of students wrote in very 
similar ways as far as writing conventions and syntactic structures 
were concerned. However, considerable within-group variation was 
recorded in the types of narrative development. Patthey-Chavez 
argues that the narrative genre provides a good source for exploring 
culturally distinct influences on writing, especially for minority 
secondary school students. 

Chapter 12 ''Functions of Personal Examples and Narratives in L1 and 
L2 Academic Prose'', Eli Hinkel explores the concept of 'evidence' in 
writing by examining the frequency of exemplification markers, first 
and third person pronouns, and occurrences of past tense verbs, in 
NS and NNS academic essays at the university level to determine 
whether these two groups of students differ in their use of examples in 
the argumentation and exposition essays. In her discussion of the 
function of exemplification in non-Anglo-American Rhetorical 
traditions, and exemplification in academic writing in English, Hinkel 
persuasively argues that many Asian L2 writers from Chinese, 
Japanese, and Korean backgrounds employ examples, and linguistic 
features of examples in their essays due to their familiarity with the 
concept of examples since that rhetoric strategy is emphasized in their 
L1 education. In Hinkel's study, NNS writers were 317 L1 speakers of 
Chinese, Japanese and Korean, and 127 NS graduates of US 
students. All participants were asked to write an essay in response to 
one of the prompts given, and each essay was subjected to a detailed 
analysis. The results of the analysis showed that NNS students used 
example markers at significantly higher frequencies than do NS 
writers. In the conclusion, Hinkel proposes modifications to L2 
academic writing instruction to take students' academic background 
into consideration.

In Chapter 13 ''Cross-cultural Variation in Classroom Turn-taking 
Practices'', Deborah Poole reviews cross-cultural studies of language 
use in the way teachers cue interactional turns in second and foreign 
language classroom settings. Poole first reports classroom accounts 
of turn taking from mainly English speaking contexts in the US, then 
from a variety of other cultural settings, which suggests that turn-
taking practices are linked to their socio-cultural contexts. Poole 
argues that her investigation of turn taking presents a complex picture 
of similarities and differences across various contexts. Poole 
concludes her review by suggesting that teachers of L2 students from 
diverse backgrounds should understand possible turn-taking 
experiences through which their students are socialized into 
classroom, and should thus have practical cross-cultural problem 
solving knowledge to make their own interactional choices.

Part 5 ''Language Policy and Planning''. In the introduction to the final 
section of the volume, William G. Eggington shows the richness of the 
field of language policy and planning. He illustrates how Kaplan's work 
in this particular area has had a strong theoretical underpinning, 
specifically in terms of the eight major constructs which are taken up, 
as points of departure, in the four chapters contained in this section of 
the volume. 

Chapter 14, ''Micro Language Planning'', by Richard Baldauf Jr., 
addresses micro language planning issues within an established 
language-planning framework by raising the question whether micro 
language planning should be explored as a way of solving small-scale 
language problems. Baldauf first outlines how macro language policy 
and planning can be conceived, and he provides a review of the 
research dealing with conceptualizing framework for language 
planning goals. He then discusses micro language planning by raising 
the question whether the macro language framework, or elements of it 
can be realized through micro implementation of macro planning. 
Baldauf concludes by suggesting that micro language planning 
approaches deserve much wider and closer attention. 

Chapter 15 ''The Englishization of Spanish in Mexico'', by Robert J. 
Baumgardner, starts with a review of 'Englishization' of Mexican 
Spanish, offering a brief history of English borrowings in Spanish. 
Baumgardner then describes efforts to prevent English intrusion, 
indicating the relationship between corpus planning and status 
planning. He shows that the efforts made by the Mexican Academy 
of Language against Anglicisms to keep the language 'pure' were 
short-lived and ineffective. Baumgardner then traces English 
borrowings in Mexican Spanish today, which shows itself mainly 
through manifestation of 'loan words', 'calques' and 'hybridization'. 
In the conclusion, Baumgardner seeks for an answer to the question 
whether Mexican English is in danger of being contaminated by 
English or not.

In Chapter 16 ''Including Discourse in Language Planning Theory'', 
Joseph Lo Bianco argues for the recognition of 'discourse planning' 
which he characterizes as ''an element of language planning theory or 
as an object of research for language planning theories'' (p.256), as a 
legitimate component of language planning from two complementary 
aspects; first, to include discourse planning within the framework of 
language planning studies; secondly, to include the dimensions of 
discourse to the understanding of specific language problems. He 
elaborates his call for the inclusion of discourse in language planning 
by discussing discourse with respect to status, corpus, acquisition, 
usage, and esteem planning. In the conclusion, Lo Bianco suggests 
that language-planning studies need to include policy analysis that 
theorizes power. 

In Chapter 17 ''World-Language: Foreign Language Policy in 
Hungary'', Peter Medgyes reports on the foreign language educational 
reform in Hungary by giving a detailed account of the process of 
planning, implementing and evaluating a set of measures designed to 
promote the teaching of foreign languages. Medgyes demonstrates 
that changes taking place in the foreign language needs and the 
provision of foreign languages in Hungary stem from multitude of 
circumstances, political and economic factors and individual 
preferences. He then gives a description of the 'World-Language' 
program initiated by the Hungarian Ministry of Education, a language-
in-education planning approach aimed at promoting the acquisition of 
German, English, or French in elementary school. However, Medgyes 
suggests that this plan could be weakened because it has not been 
part of a comprehensive language policy. Throughout, he emphasizes 
that the challenges posed by language planning and language-in-
education planning in Hungary must be handled in a continuous cycle 
of planning, implementation and evaluation.

CRITICAL EVALUATION

''Directions in Applied Linguistics'' is a significant contribution to the 
field of applied linguistics, for the insights it offers into current 
directions into the field, detailed exploration of issues informed by 
theory while at the same time paying honor to the influential works of 
Robert B. Kaplan. 

Perhaps, the most positive quality of this book is the breadth and 
depth by which several key issues in the field of applied linguistics are 
addressed. Each chapter is clearly laid-out and well written. The 
chapters are appropriately grouped under the thematically organized 
sections. Due to the multitude of issues explored, some readers may 
find only certain chapters addressing their particular interests. The 
editors' Introduction proves particularly beneficial by providing an 
overview on which the chapters' contents are based, and is extremely 
useful to provide the reader with essential background information 
before proceeding to read the texts.
 
Another strong feature of this volume lies in its up-to-date and 
authentic illustrations of such themes. The articles are supported with 
substantial research, and help to provide readers with updated 
information about the topics. The collection of papers also represents 
an international selection of authors and studies. 

As stated in the Introduction, the book would primarily interest 
linguists, researchers, graduate students in Applied Linguistics, and 
language planners and policy makers. The wealth of illustrations, the 
detail of discussion makes this book an extremely useful reference for 
those involved in Applied Linguistics studies.

REFERENCES

Johansson, S. 1998. 'On the role of corpora in cross-linguistic 
research' in S. Johannson and S. Oksefjell (eds.) Corpora and Cross-
linguistic Research: Theory, Method, and Case Studies. Amsterdam: 
Rodopi.

Ramanathan, V. 2002. The Politics of TESOL Education: writing, 
Knowledge, Critical Pedagogy. New York: RoutledgeFalmer. 

ABOUT THE REVIEWER


Yasemin Kirkgoz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of 
English Language Teaching at the University of Çukurova, Turkey. 
Her research interests include English for Academic Purposes, 
classroom based research, language education and language policy.





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