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Investigating 'um' and 'uh' and other hesitation phenomena

Investigating 'um' and 'uh' and other hesitation phenomena

Investigating 'um' and 'uh' and other hesitation phenomena

Bibliography of other resources

Following is a list of other resources in my own personal bibliography. These works are not directly related to hesitation phenomena, but are works that are peripherally related (e.g., psycholinguistic theories and models, language pedagogies, methodological approaches, etc.). This list is here mainly for my own use and is probably not of much use to others.


  • Michelle Kraaz, and Tobias Bernaisch, “Backchannels and the pragmatics of South Asian Englishes,” World Englishes, vol. n/a, no. n/a, 2020. DOI:

    Abstract Abstract The pragmatics of postcolonial Englishes including backchannels have so far remained in the periphery of academic inquiry. As pragmatic principles may be regarded as culture-sensitive and various cultural differences have been attested between Great Britain and South Asia, the present paper studies backchannels in British, Indian and Sri Lankan English. Drawn from the respective spoken parts of the International Corpus of English, 3,212 backchannels are multifactorially modelled via a conditional inference tree and random forests including recent methodological improvements. Indications of pragmatic nativisation with backchannels are evident in Indian and Sri Lankan English with their distributions and forms in the light of various sociobiographic factors such as age and gender, but also type-token ratio and conversational topic resonate with cultural differences across the speech communities. Lexical echo backchannels only attestable in the South Asian varieties instantiate a creative pragmatic innovation adding to the existing repertoire of backchannels in world Englishes.

  • Blair Lehman, Lin Gu, Jing Zhao, Eugene Tsuprun, Christopher Kurzum, Michael Schiano, Yulin Liu, and G. Tanner Jackson, “Use of Adaptive Feedback in an App for English Language Spontaneous Speech,” in Artificial Intelligence in Education, Cham, Springer International Publishing, 2020, pp. 309-320. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-52237-7_25.

    Abstract Language learning apps have become increasingly popular. However, most of these apps target the first stages of learning a new language and are limited in the type of feedback that can be provided to users' spontaneous spoken responses. The English Language Artificial Intelligence (ELAi) app was developed to address this gap by providing users with a variety of prompts for spontaneous speech and adaptive, targeted feedback based on the automatic evaluation of spoken responses. Feedback in the ELAi app was presented across multiple pages such that users could choose the amount and depth of feedback that they wanted to receive. The present work evaluates how 94 English language learners interacted with the app. We focused on participants' use of the feedback pages and whether or not performance on spontaneous speech improved over the course of using the app. The findings revealed that users were most likely to access the most shallow feedback page, but use of the feedback pages differed based on the total number of sessions that users completed with the app. Users showed improvement in their response performance over the course of using the app, which suggests that the design of repeated practice and adaptive, targeted feedback in the ELAi app is promising. Patterns of feedback page use are discussed further as well as potential design modifications that could increase the use of feedback and maximize improvement in English language spontaneous speech.

  • Lena Nadarevic, and Meike Kroneisen, “Easy on the mind, easy on the wrongdoer? No evidence for perceptual fluency effects on moral wrongness ratings,” Cognition, vol. 196, 2020, pp. 104156. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104156.

    Abstract Processing fluency—the subjective ease of information processing—influences a variety of judgments (e.g., judgments of familiarity, liking, and truth). A study by Laham, Alter, and Goodwin (2009) suggests that this is also true for moral judgments. More specifically, the authors found that discrepant perceptual fluency mitigates moral wrongness ratings. In five studies (total N = 694), we tested the replicability of this finding for different kinds of scenarios (moral versus conventional transgressions) and different perceptual fluency manipulations. In Studies 1a and 1b we manipulated fluency by text background, in Studies 2a and 2b by font type, and in Study 3 by word spaces. Critically, none of the studies replicated Laham et al.'s discrepant fluency effect on moral wrongness ratings. In turn, we found that moral wrongness ratings were strongly affected by participants' emotional responses to the scenarios. Taken together, the findings of our five studies cast very strong doubt on perceptual fluency effects on moral judgments.

    Keywords Perceptual fluency, Moral judgment, Moral transgression, Negative emotions

  • Jeffrey D. Robinson, “One Type of Polar, Information-Seeking Question and Its Stance of Probability: Implications for the Preference for Agreement,” Research on Language and Social Interaction, vol. 0, no. 0, 2020, pp. 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/08351813.2020.1826759.

    Abstract There is little doubt that Sacks’s notion of the “preference for agreement” is generally valid. However, that it is valid does not tell us how it is valid. This article further unpacks the preference for agreement by conversation-analytically grounding one of its many underlying mechanisms. Specifically, this article examines the practice of formatting an action—in this case, a type of information seeking—as a positively formatted polar interrogative without polarity items (e.g., Did you go fishing?). This article demonstrates that doing so enacts a speaker stance that the question’s proposed state of affairs (e.g., that the recipient went fishing) is probable and thus that a response is more likely to constitute affirmation than disaffirmation. Additionally, this article describes the preference-organizational effects of such formatting on some aspects of response construction. Data are gathered from videotapes of unstructured, face-to-face conversations, included 289 interrogatives, and are in American English.


  • Ahmed Masrai, and James Milton, “Measuring the contribution of academic and general vocabulary knowledge to learners’ academic achievement,” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 31, 2018, pp. 44 - 57. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeap.2017.12.006.

    Abstract The Academic Word List (AWL) (Coxhead, 2000) is widely used in preparing non-native speakers for academic courses, and it is thought that the words in this list are essential for the understanding of English academic texts (Cobb & Horst, 2004). It is also thought that the {AWL} is a list of infrequent and specialised words inaccessible from general language. These preconceptions are challenged in the current study. With reference to BNC/COCA word lists, the study demonstrates that the majority of the words from the {AWL} fall within the 3000 most frequent words, a grouping that Schmitt and Schmitt (2014) describe as highly frequent. Using a specifically created test of the {AWL} and a test of overall vocabulary size (XK-Lex; Masrai & Milton, 2012), the study demonstrates that the learning of the {AWL} appears to be strongly influenced by the frequency of these words in general corpora and that the {AWL} test very strongly resembles a test of overall vocabulary size. Knowledge of the {AWL} also adds marginally to the power of overall vocabulary size in explaining variance in grade point average (GPA) scores. This conclusion matches that of Townsend, Filippini, Collins, and Biancarosa (2012), although the tests in the current study appear to have greater explanatory power.

    Keywords Academic vocabulary, Rasch model, Receptive knowledge, Test validity, Vocabulary size

  • Chris Sheppard, Emmanuel Manalo, and Marcus Henning, “Is ability grouping beneficial or detrimental to Japanese {ESP} students’ English language proficiency development?,” English for Specific Purposes, vol. 49, 2018, pp. 39 - 48. DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2017.10.002.

    Abstract This study investigated whether ability grouping was beneficial to Japanese university science and engineering students who had taken compulsory ESP (English for specific purposes) courses. By examining the change in their standardized general proficiency test scores (using the Test of English for International Communication or TOEIC) and using data from across six years of enrollment (a cohort of 13,000 students), the performance of students who had been placed into a broader band of English ability (i.e., less similar language proficiency) was compared with the performance of students who had been placed into a narrower band (i.e., more similar language proficiency). Findings showed that ability grouping benefited less proficient learners. By contrast, ability grouping did not appear to be beneficial for more proficient learners. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed, including organizational and instructional features of the program of study the students were taking, and the likely effects of ability grouping on students’ academic self-concept.

    Keywords Ability grouping, Academic self-concept, esp, Placement, Second language program design, Tracking

  • Dávid Sztahó, Gábor Kiss, and Klára Vicsi, “Computer based speech prosody teaching system,” Computer Speech & Language, 2018, pp. -. DOI: 10.1016/j.csl.2017.12.010.

    Abstract Children who are born with a profound hearing loss have no or only distorted acoustic speech target to imitate and compare their own production with. Computer based visual feedback, visual presentation of speech on screen has shown to be an effective supplement of incomplete or distorted auditory feedback in the case of children with grave hearing-impairment. In this paper, we introduce a novel prosody teaching system where intensity (accent), intonation and rhythm are presented visually for the students (in both separate and combined display mode) as visual feedback and automatic assessment scores are given jointly and separately for the goodness of intonation and rhythm. Evaluation of the automatic assessment was done with cooperation of experts in the field of treatment of hard of hearing children. The results showed that the automatic assessment scores correspond to the subjective evaluations given by the teachers. The evaluation of the whole system was done in a school for hard of hearing children, by comparing the development of a group of students using our prosody teaching system with the development of a control group. The speaking ability of students were compared by a subjective listening experiment after a 3 months teaching course. The students who used the computer based prosody teaching software could produce nicer prosody than the students in the control group.

    Keywords CAPT, intonation, Speech aid, speech prosody, Speech recognition

  • Abstract Editor’s Note: This is a new edition of a previously announced book. | Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is an approach to teaching and learning languages that uses computers and other technologies to present, reinforce, and assess material to be learned, or to create environments where teachers and learners can interact with one another and the outside world. This book provides a much-needed overview of the diverse approaches to research and practice in CALL. It differs from previous works in that it not only surveys the field, but also makes connections to actual practice and demonstrates the potential advantages and limitations of the diverse options available. These options are based squarely on existing research in the field, enabling readers to make informed decisions regarding their own research in CALL. This essential text helps readers to understand and embrace the diversity in the field, and helps to guide them in both research and practice. | 1. Introduction Glenn Stockwell | 2. Diversity in learner usage patterns Robert Fischer | 3. Diversity in learning training Philip Hubbard and Kenneth Romeo | 4. Diversity in learner support Hayo Reinders and Pornapit Darasawang | 5. Diversity in environments Glenn Stockwell and Nobue Tanaka-Ellis | 6. Diversity in content E. Marcia Johnson and John Brine | 7. Diversity in modalities Marie-Noëlle Lamy | 8. Diversity in technologies Gordon Bateson and Paul Daniels | 9. Diversity in research and practice Glenn Stockwell | 10. Conclusion Glenn Stockwell.

  • Shiri Lev-Ari, Emily Ho, and Boaz Keysar, “The Unforeseen Consequences of Interacting With Non-Native Speakers,” Topics in Cognitive Science, 2 2018. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12325. http:

    Abstract Sociolinguistic research shows that listeners’ expectations of speakers influence their interpretation of the speech, yet this is often ignored in cognitive models of language comprehension. Here, we focus on the case of interactions between native and non-native speakers. Previous literature shows that listeners process the language of non-native speakers in less detail, because they expect them to have lower linguistic competence. We show that processing the language of non-native speakers increases lexical competition and access in general, not only of the non-native speaker’s speech, and that this leads to poorer memory of one’s own speech during the interaction. We further find that the degree to which people adjust their processing to non-native speakers is related to the degree to which they adjust their speech to them. We discuss implications for cognitive models of language processing and sociolinguistic research on attitudes.

    Keywords Good-enough representations, Lexical competition, memory, Non-native speakers, Top-down expectations

  • Li-Ju Shiu, Şebnem Yalçın, and Nina Spada, “Exploring second language learners’ grammaticality judgment performance in relation to task design features,” System, vol. 72, 2018, pp. 215 - 225. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2017.12.004.

    Abstract This paper reports on an investigation of how second language (L2) learners’ grammaticality judgment task (GJT) performance varies according to time constraints, task modality, and task stimulus in relation to two target features. One hundred and twenty EFL students were asked to judge items as grammatical or ungrammatical on four computer-based GJTs – two differing along the timed/untimed dimension and two differing along the aural/written dimension. Each GJT consists of 60 items (30 grammatical and 30 ungrammatical) focusing on two grammatical features in English, the passive voice and the past progressive, which were hypothesized to differ in terms of their learning difficulty. The results indicated that time constraints, task modality and task stimulus played a significant role in affecting L2 learners’ GJT performance. Furthermore, although the learners performed better on the past progressive items, their GJT performance indicated similar patterns in relation to task design features across both target structures.

    Keywords Grammaticality judgment tasks, Target structure difficulty, Task design features, Task modality

  • Hsin-Yi Liang, and Brent Kelsen, “Influence of Personality and Motivation on Oral Presentation Performance,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Jan 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-017-9551-6.

    Abstract Personality and motivation have been identified as influential variables associated with foreign language learning; however, few studies have investigated their effect on oral presentations. This study addresses the importance of both personality and motivation in students’ collaborative oral presentation performance. A Big Five personality trait questionnaire measuring Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness to Experience, together with the Collaborative Inquiry-based Project Questionnaire measuring Task, Project Work, Reinforcement, Social Learning and Social Pressure motivational constructs were employed to evaluate 257 university students. In general, the results showed that Extraversion, Project Work and Social Pressure were significant correlates of oral presentation scores. The first result suggests that extraverts possess superiority in situations where oral language production is central to communication. This was particularly true for lower-level students, inferring that extraverted personalities can compensate for a lower English language ability. The second indicates that the inquiry-based nature of the assignments was an intrinsic motivator especially valued by extraverts. The third implies that extrinsic motivation was a factor influencing student performance. These findings extend previous research by highlighting the contextual relationships between these affective variables and performance in collaborative oral presentation contexts.

    Keywords Big Five personality traits, Collaborative Inquiry-based Project Questionnaire (CIPQ), Extraversion, Motivation

  • Jeffrey Loewenstein, “Surprise, Recipes for Surprise, and Social Influence,” Topics in Cognitive Science, 2 2018. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12312. http:

    Abstract Surprising people can provide an opening for influencing them. Surprises garner attention, are arousing, are memorable, and can prompt shifts in understanding. Less noted is that, as a result, surprises can serve to persuade others by leading them to shifts in attitudes. Furthermore, because stories, pictures, and music can generate surprises and those can be widely shared, surprise can have broad social influence. People also tend to share surprising items with others, as anyone on social media has discovered. This means that in addition to broadcasting surprising information, surprising items can also spread through networks. The joint result is that surprise not only has individual effects on beliefs and attitudes but also collective effects on the content of culture. Items that generate surprise need not be random or accidental. There are predictable methods or recipes for generating surprise. One such recipe is discussed, the repetition-break plot structure, to explore the psychological and social possibilities of examining surprise. Recipes for surprise offer a useful means for understanding how surprise works and offer prospects for harnessing surprise to a wide array of ends.

    Keywords Repetition-break plot structure, Social influence, Surprise


  • Almitra Medina, Aimee A. Callender, Cindy Brantmeier, and Lyndsie Schultz, “Inserted adjuncts, working memory capacity, and L2 reading,” System, vol. 66, 2017, pp. 69 - 86. DOI:

    Abstract Empirical studies in first language (L1) research support the use of inserted adjunct questions to facilitate L1 reading comprehension. The status of this comprehension technique for second language (L2) readers, however, remains unclear. Given the possibility that adjunct questions augment the cognitive demands of the task, the current study investigated the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and text adjuncts, as well as the effect of inserted adjuncts on L2 reading comprehension. Seventy learners of intermediate Spanish read two texts that contained either targeted segment (“what”) questions inserted into both passages, elaborative interrogation (“why”) questions inserted into both passages, or no questions in either of the two passages. Participants were administered an L1 working memory (WM) test—the Reading Span—and three comprehension assessments. Although the “why” questions were slightly more facilitative than the “what” questions and no questions, results indicate no significant effect of adjunct condition. When interactions with WM surfaced as significant, the pattern was apparent: the greater the WMC, the more beneficial the adjunct questions were for L2 readers. These findings suggest that, for intermediate learners of Spanish, there is no advantage to including inserted adjuncts in L2 expository texts, but that WM may explain performance differences in some cases.

    Keywords comprehension

  • Anat Prior, Tamar Degani, Sehrab Awawdy, Rana Yassin, and Nachshon Korem, “Is susceptibility to cross-language interference domain specific?,” Cognition, vol. 165, 2017, pp. 10 - 25. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.04.006.

    Abstract The ability to overcome interference from the first-language (L1) is a source of variability in second language (L2) achievement, which has to date been explored mainly in same-script bilinguals. Such interference management, and bilingual language control more generally, have recently been linked to domain general executive functions (EF). In the current study, we examined L2 proficiency and executive functions as possible predictors of susceptibility to L1 interference during L2 processing, in bilinguals whose languages do not share an orthographic system. Seventy Arabic-Hebrew bilingual university students performed two tasks indexing cross-language interference (from L1 to L2). Lexical interference was assessed using a cross-modal semantic similarity judgment task in Hebrew, with false-cognates as critical items. Syntactic interference was assessed using a self-paced reading paradigm and grammaticality judgments on Hebrew sentences whose syntactic structures differed from those of Arabic. EFs were examined using spatial and numerical Stroop tasks, to index inhibitory control, and a task switching paradigm, to index shifting abilities. We found significant L1 interference across the lexical and syntactic domains, even in proficient different-script bilinguals. However, these interference effects were not correlated, and neither type of interference was related to domain general EF abilities. Finally, offline susceptibility to syntactic interference, but not lexical interference, was reduced with greater L2 proficiency. These results suggest at least partially independent mechanisms for managing interference in the two language domains, and raise questions regarding the degree to which domain general control abilities are recruited for managing L1 interference.

    Keywords Bilingualism, Cognitive control, Interference

  • Anna K. Kuhlen, and Rasha Abdel Rahman, “Having a task partner affects lexical retrieval: Spoken word production in shared task settings,” Cognition, vol. 166, 2017, pp. 94 - 106. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.05.024.

    Abstract Acting jointly with a partner is different from acting alone. In this study we investigate whether speaking with a partner is different from speaking alone. Drawing upon a well-established effect in language production we investigate the degree of cumulative semantic interference experienced when naming a sequence of pictures together with a partner. Pictures of semantically related objects were named either by participants only, or by taking turns with their partner. Naming latencies increased with each additional category member, confirming cumulative semantic interference. Crucially, naming latencies increased more sharply when in previous trials within-category pictures were named by the partner (vs. presented only visually but named by no one). This effect is not simply due to hearing additional pictures being named (Experiment 1). Even when participants merely believe their remotely located partner is naming the picture (Experiment 2), and when participants cannot hear their co-present partner naming the picture (Experiment 3), lexical processes appear to be triggered that subsequently interfere with participants’ own lexical retrieval. Our results speak for a profound and lasting effect of having a partner on the language production system.

    Keywords Joint action, Language production, Lexical retrieval, Semantic interference

  • Inbal Arnon, and Morten H. Christiansen, “The Role of Multiword Building Blocks in Explaining L1–L2 Differences,” Topics in Cognitive Science, 6 2017. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12271. http:

    Abstract Why are children better language learners than adults despite being worse at a range of other cognitive tasks? Here, we explore the role of multiword sequences in explaining L1–L2 differences in learning. In particular, we propose that children and adults differ in their reliance on such multiword units (MWUs) in learning, and that this difference affects learning strategies and outcomes, and leads to difficulty in learning certain grammatical relations. In the first part, we review recent findings that suggest that MWUs play a facilitative role in learning. We then discuss the implications of these findings for L1–L2 differences: We hypothesize that adults are both less likely to extract MWUs and less capable of benefiting from them in the process of learning. In the next section, we draw on psycholinguistic, developmental, and computational findings to support these predictions. We end with a discussion of the relation between this proposal and other accounts of L1–L2 difficulty.

    Keywords First language learning, Multiword units; Chunking, Second language learning, Usage- based models

  • Aya Matsuda, Preparing Teachers to Teach English as an International Language. bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.2017, pp. 280.

    Abstract (none)

    Keywords Applied Linguistics, English

  • Vaclav Brezina, and Lynne Flowerdew, Learner Corpus Research. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.2017, pp. 200.

    Abstract This volume showcases original, agenda-setting studies in the field of learner corpus research of both spoken and written production. The studies have important applications for classroom pedagogy. | The volume brings readers up-to-date with new written and spoken learner corpora, often looking at previously under-examined variables in learner corpus investigations. It also demonstrates innovative applications of learner corpus findings, addressing issues such as the effect of task, the effect of learner variables and the nature of learner language. | The volume is of significant interest to researchers working in corpus linguistics, learner corpus research, second language acquisition and English for Academic and Specific Purposes, as well to practitioners interested in the application of the findings in language teaching and assessment.

  • Cheryl A. Bodnar, and Renee M. Clark, “Can Game-Based Learning Enhance Engineering Communication Skills?,” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, vol. 60, no. 1, March 2017, pp. 24-41. DOI: 10.1109/TPC.2016.2632838.

    Abstract (none)

    Keywords Bibliographies, Engineering education, Engineering students, Games, oral communication, pedagogy, Software, written communication

  • Germán Coloma, “Complexity trade-offs in the 100-language WALS sample,” Language Sciences, vol. 59, 01/2017 2017, pp. 148 - 158. DOI:

    Abstract In this paper we use data from the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) for a balanced sample of 100 languages and 60 different features. The values for all those features are interpreted as binary complexity variables, which are subject to statistical correlation analyses (looking for the possible existence of complexity trade-offs). To do that we use standard correlation coefficients but also partial correlation coefficients, which control for the effect of other linguistic and non-linguistic factors (geographic location, genetic affiliation, population size). We end up with the conclusion that several important complexity trade-offs exist, but they tend to be hidden by other elements. Their most evident signals are the facts that negative correlations between complexity variables increase when we control for other factors, and that any language is more complex than any other language in the sample in at least one feature.

    Keywords Partial correlation

  • Cynthia Lee, Alexander Seeshing Yeung, and Tiffany Ip, “University english language learners’ readiness to use computer technology for self-directed learning,” System, 2017, pp. -. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2017.05.001.

    Abstract This study adopted a between-network approach to examine the relationships between three key constructs of self-directed learning (SDL) (self-management, desire for learning, and self-control), computer technology use and related personal factors (age, gender, language learning anxiety and language learning style) in a specific domain – English language learning in the university context. Students from two universities in Hong Kong (N = 404) were surveyed about their readiness for SDL and using the computer to learn on their own. The three SDL factors were found to be positively related to computer use and individual learning but negatively related to language learning anxiety, further supporting the validity of the constructs. Among the three SDL constructs, desire for learning had the strongest association with computer use. Gender and age differences were not found in the use of computers for SDL, but the older students scored higher both in desire for learning and anxiety. To facilitate university students’ computer technology use for ESL learning, it is essential to promote their desire for learning, especially for the younger students.

    Keywords Computer technology, Quantitative study, Self-directed learning, Survey, University learners

  • Dana Schneider, Virginia P. Slaughter, and Paul E. Dux, “Current evidence for automatic Theory of Mind processing in adults,” Cognition, vol. 162, 2017, pp. 27 - 31. DOI:

    Abstract Theory of Mind (ToM) is thought to play a key role in social information processing as it refers to the ability of individuals to represent the mental states of others (e.g., intentions, desires, beliefs). A provocative hypothesis has been put forward which espouses the existence of two ToM systems: one that is implicit and involves the automatic analysis of the belief states of others and another that is not automatic and is involved in explicitly reasoning about others’ mental states. Recently, Phillips et al. (2015) have suggested that there is limited evidence for automatic ToM processing, after identifying a confound in a previous high-profile paper supporting the existence of this cognitive operation in infants and adults (Kovács, Téglás, & Endress, 2010). Here, we take a broader view of the literature and find, contrary to the conclusions of Phillips et al., that there is a substantial body of literature which demonstrates that adult humans are able to engage in unconscious and unintentional, and thus automatic, analyses of others’ mental states. However, whether this ability is best described under a one, two or multiple systems ToM account remains to be determined.

    Keywords Perspective taking

  • Thi Ngoc Yen Dang, Averil Coxhead, and Webb,Stuart, “The Academic Spoken Word List,” Language Learning, 9 2017. DOI: 10.1111/lang.12253. http:

    Abstract The linguistic features of academic spoken English are different from those of academic written English. Therefore, for this study, an Academic Spoken Word List (ASWL) was developed and validated to help second language (L2) learners enhance their comprehension of academic speech in English-medium universities. The ASWL contains 1,741 word families with high frequency and wide range in an academic spoken corpus totaling 13 million words. The list, which features vocabulary from 24 subjects across four equally sized disciplinary subcorpora, is graded into four levels according to Nation’s British National Corpus and Corpus of Contemporary American English lists, and each level is divided into sublists of function words and lexical words. Depending on their vocabulary levels, language learners may reach 92–96% coverage of academic speech with the aid of the ASWL.

    Keywords academic spoken discourse, corpus research, English for academic purposes, vocabulary

  • Tess Fitzpatrick, and Jon Clenton, “Making Sense of Learner Performance on Tests of Productive Vocabulary Knowledge,” TESOL QUARTERLY, 01/2017 2017. DOI: 10.1002/tesq.356.

    Abstract This article offers a solution to a significant problem for teachers and researchers of language learning that confounds their interpretations and expectations of test data: The apparent simplicity of tests of vocabulary knowledge masks the complexity of the constructs they claim to measure. The authors first scrutinise task elements in two widely cited productive vocabulary measures, Lex30 (Meara & Fitzpatrick, 2000) and the Lexical Frequency Profile (LFP; Laufer & Nation, 1995), to gain a more precise understanding of the relationship between test performance and learner knowledge. Next, in three empirical studies (N = 80, 80, 100) they compare second language learners’ performance on Lex30, as the static point of reference, with LFP and with two new tests designed to investigate specific elements of the vocabulary test tasks. Correlation analyses indicate systematic differences in the tests’ capacity to capture information about the quality of learners’ word knowledge and the size of their vocabulary resource. Using the findings from this empirical work, the authors formulate a model of vocabulary capture onto which test tasks can be mapped. They demonstrate how capturing key elements of the relationship between test scores and lexical competence can guide teachers and researchers in applying and interpreting vocabulary tests.

  • Frank Boers, Paul Warren, Lin He, and Julie Deconinck, “Does adding pictures to glosses enhance vocabulary uptake from reading?,” System, vol. 66, 2017, pp. 113 - 129. DOI:

    Abstract This article reports three trials of a pen-and-paper experiment where adult L2 learners’ recollection of glossed words was tested after they had read a text with or without pictures included in the glosses. Unlike previous studies in which a superiority of multimodal glosses over text-only glosses was claimed, the experiment furnished no evidence that the addition of pictures helped the learners to retain the glossed words any better than providing glosses containing only verbal explanations. When learners were prompted to recall of the written form of the words, the gloss condition with pictures in fact led to the poorest performance. The results suggest that the provision of pictures alongside textual information to elucidate the meaning of novel words may reduce the amount of attention that L2 readers give to the words proper.

    Keywords attention

  • Frederick J. Newmeyer, and Laurel B Preston, Measuring Grammatical Complexity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.2017, pp. 392.

    Abstract This book examines the question of whether languages can differ in grammatical complexity and, if so, how relative complexity differences might be measured. The volume differs from others devoted to the question of complexity in language in that the authors all approach the problem from the point of view of formal grammatical theory, psycholinguistics, or neurolinguistics. Chapters investigate a number of key issues in grammatical complexity, taking phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic considerations into account. These include what is often called the ’trade-off problem’, namely whether complexity in one grammatical component is necessarily balanced by simplicity in another; and the question of interpretive complexity, that is, whether and how one might measure the difficulty for the hearer in assigning meaning to an utterance and how such complexity might be factored in to an overall complexity assessment. | Measuring Grammatical Complexity brings together a number of distinguished scholars in the field, and will be of interest to linguists of all theoretical stripes from advanced undergraduate level upwards, particularly those working in the areas of morphosyntax, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, and cognitive linguistics.

    Keywords cognitive science, General Linguistics, Linguistic Theories, Neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics

  • Gemma Artieda, “The role of L1 literacy and reading habits on the L2 achievement of adult learners of English as a foreign language,” System, vol. 66, 2017, pp. 168 - 176. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2017.03.020.

    Abstract This study examines the impact of L1 literacy and reading habits on the L2 achievement of two groups of bilingual adult learners of EFL (52 beginners, 88 intermediate) in a language school with low L1 literacy students. Participants were tested on two L1 literacy measures (L1 reading comprehension, L1 spelling), on L2 achievement, and reported on two reading habits measures: reading quantity and enjoy reading. Results for the beginner group suggest that L1 literacy acts as a threshold to L2 achievement for academically disadvantaged learners, and provide evidence of the enduring influence of early L1 literacy skills on L2 achievement in adulthood. Conversely, for intermediate students, reading habits is the only literacy-related factor impacting L2 outcomes. The study concludes that educators need some awareness of adult EFL learners’ L1 literacy level to help them achieve their language learning goals.

    Keywords Adult foreign language acquisition, Adult second language acquisition, individual differences, L1 literacy, L2 achievement, L2 proficiency, Lifelong learning, Reading habits

  • Hyung-Jo Yoon, “Linguistic complexity in L2 writing revisited: Issues of topic, proficiency, and construct multidimensionality,” System, vol. 66, 2017, pp. 130 - 141. DOI:

    Abstract This study aims to explore the validity of syntactic, lexical, and morphological complexity measures in capturing topic and proficiency differences in L2 writing. The additional purpose of this study is to examine how these measures gauge distinct dimensions of complexity. To these ends, this study examined a corpus of 1198 argumentative essays on two different topics written by college-level Chinese EFL learners. The essays were analyzed for topic effects (within-subjects) and for development across proficiency levels (between-subjects), as well as for the multidimensional construct of complexity. The result indicated strong topic effects on the majority of complexity measures (i.e., more complex language in a topic more relevant to writers’ experiences). There were significant changes across proficiency levels in phrase-level syntactic, lexical, and morphological measures but not in clause-level measures. Last, a factor analysis result showed that lexical and morphological dimensions of complexity loaded on one construct and that the unit-length measures with different base units loaded on different constructs. The results of this study are interpreted in terms of topic relevance and the validity of multidimensional dimensions of complexity.

    Keywords Corpus-based study

  • Jasmeen Kanwal, Kenny Smith, Jennifer Culbertson, and Simon Kirby, “Zipf’s Law of Abbreviation and the Principle of Least Effort: Language users optimise a miniature lexicon for efficient communication,” Cognition, vol. 165, 2017, pp. 45 - 52. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.05.001.

    Abstract The linguist George Kingsley Zipf made a now classic observation about the relationship between a word’s length and its frequency; the more frequent a word is, the shorter it tends to be. He claimed that this “Law of Abbreviation” is a universal structural property of language. The Law of Abbreviation has since been documented in a wide range of human languages, and extended to animal communication systems and even computer programming languages. Zipf hypothesised that this universal design feature arises as a result of individuals optimising form-meaning mappings under competing pressures to communicate accurately but also efficiently—his famous Principle of Least Effort. In this study, we use a miniature artificial language learning paradigm to provide direct experimental evidence for this explanatory hypothesis. We show that language users optimise form-meaning mappings only when pressures for accuracy and efficiency both operate during a communicative task, supporting Zipf’s conjecture that the Principle of Least Effort can explain this universal feature of word length distributions.

    Keywords Artificial language learning, Efficient communication, Information theory, Language universals, Principle of Least Effort, Zipf’s Law of Abbreviation

  • Jeong-Bae Son, and Scott Windeatt, Language Teacher Education and Technology. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.2017, pp. 200.

    Abstract Language teachers’ competencies in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) are a crucial factor affecting their own implementation of CALL. However, there is still a concern that many language teachers are not adequately prepared to make effective use of CALL or to identify and evaluate potential CALL solutions. This can be the result of many different factors and raises the question of how to train teachers to develop their CALL knowledge and skills to a greater degree. | The discussion of approaches to training language teachers in the use of technology adopted in areas of Australia, the UK and the US provides valuable insights for those already involved in this area, and inspiration for those who have some interest in carrying out this kind of training, but as yet have little or no experience. This book explores the current status of CALL teacher education and discusses issues and challenges CALL teacher educators face in their own contexts. Specifically, it looks at postgraduate CALL courses offered at different universities to find ways of improving CALL teacher training. It represents the first overview of a topic that is relevant to most postgraduate courses in Applied Linguistics or TESOL across the globe. The use of technology for language learning and teaching is increasingly common but, as is so often the case, training for teachers in how to use that technology remains limited, to a large extent by lack of expertise among trainers.

  • Anna Jessen, Julia Festman, Oliver Boxell, and Claudia Felser, “Native and Non-native Speakers’ Brain Responses to Filled Indirect Object Gaps,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-017-9496-9.

    Abstract We examined native and non-native English speakers’ processing of indirect object wh-dependencies using a filled-gap paradigm while recording event-related potentials (ERPs). The non-native group was comprised of native German-speaking, proficient non-native speakers of English. Both participant groups showed evidence of linking fronted indirect objects to the subcategorizing verb when this was encountered, reflected in an N400 component. Evidence for continued filler activation beyond the verb was seen only in the non-native group, in the shape of a prolonged left-anterior negativity. Both participant groups showed sensitivity to filled indirect object gaps reflected in a P600 response, which was more pronounced and more globally distributed in our non-native group. Taken together, our results indicate that resolving indirect object dependencies is a two-step process in both native and non-native sentence comprehension, with greater processing cost incurred in non-native compared to native comprehension.

    Keywords ERPs, Filled gaps, Sentence processing, Wh-movement

  • Judith Hanks, “Integrating research and pedagogy: An Exploratory Practice approach,” System, 2017, pp. -. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2017.06.012.

    Abstract This article considers the notion of integrating research and pedagogy through the principled framework of Exploratory Practice (EP) in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) context. Taking a case study of a 10-week pre-sessional programme in the UK, I critically examine the challenges and the opportunities encountered by participants (learners and teachers) who were engaging in EP for the first time. These stories from novice practitioner researchers provide evidence for the argument that, due to its principles, EP is rooted in practice, and thus entirely relevant to the lives of those involved in EAP. I conclude that EP offers a potent new form for EAP, one which positions practitioners as legitimate researchers, and which questions long-held beliefs about research and pedagogy. EP, then, becomes a springboard for fully inclusive practitioner research.

  • Masatoshi Koizumi, and Satoshi Imamura, “Interaction Between Syntactic Structure and Information Structure in the Processing of a Head-Final Language,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 46, no. 1, 2017, pp. 247–260. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-016-9433-3.

    Abstract The effects of syntactic and information structures on sentence processing load were investigated using two reading comprehension experiments in Japanese, a head-final SOV language. In the first experiment, we discovered the main effects of syntactic and information structures, as well as their interaction, showing that interaction of these two factors is not restricted to head-initial languages. The second experiment revealed that the interaction between syntactic structure and information structure occurs at the second NP (O of SOV and S of OSV), which, crucially, is a pre-head position, suggesting the incremental nature of the processing of both syntactic structure and information structure in head-final languages.

  • Chun Lai, Autonomous Language Learning with Technology. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.2017, pp. 240.

    Abstract This book looks beyond the classroom, and focuses on out-of-class autonomous use of technology for language learning, discussing the theoretical frameworks, key findings and critical issues. The proliferation of digital language learning resources and tools is forcing language education into an era of unprecedented change. The book will stimulate discussions on how to support language learners to construct quality autonomous technology-mediated out-of-class learning experience outside the classroom and raise greater awareness of and research interest in this field. | Out-of-class learning constitutes an important context for human development, and active engagement in out-of-class activities is associated with successful language development. With convenient access to expanded resources, venues and learning spaces, today’s learners are not as dependent on in-class learning as they used to be. Thus, a deeper understanding of the terrain of out-of-class learning is of increasing significance in the current educational era. Technology is part and parcel of out-of-class language learning, and has been a primary source that learners actively use to construct language learning experience beyond the classroom. Language learners of all ages around the world have been found to actively utilise technological resources to support their language learning beyond formal language learning contexts. Insights into learners’ out-of-class autonomous use of technology for language learning are essential to our understanding of out-of-class learning and inform educators on how language learners could be better supported to maximise the educational potentials of technology to construct quality out-of-class learning experience.

  • Robbie Love, Claire Dembry, Andrew Hardie, Vaclav Brezina, and Tony McEnery, “The Spoken BNC2014,” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, vol. 22, no. 3", publication date ="2017-11-23T00:00:00, 2017, pp. 319-344. DOI: doi:10.1075/ijcl.22.3.02lov.

    Abstract This paper introduces the Spoken British National Corpus 2014, an 11.5-million-word corpus of orthographically transcribed conversations among L1 speakers of British English from across the UK, recorded in the years 20122016. After showing that a survey of the recent history of corpora of spoken British English justifies the compilation of this new corpus, we describe the main stages of the Spoken BNC2014s creation: design, data and metadata collection, transcription, XML encoding, and annotation. In doing so we aim to (i) encourage users of the corpus to approach the data with sensitivity to the many methodological issues we identified and attempted to overcome while compiling the Spoken BNC2014, and (ii) inform (future) compilers of spoken corpora of the innovations we implemented to attempt to make the construction of corpora representing spontaneous speech in informal contexts more tractable, both logistically and practically, than in the past.

    Keywords corpus construction, Spoken BNC2014, spoken corpora, transcription

  • Marco Mezzadri, Testing Academic Language Proficiency. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing.2017, pp. 137.

    Abstract This book focuses on the development of the process of teaching and assessing foreign language competence for study purposes in a pluricultural and plurilingual context. It addresses not only the individual who is learning the language for academic purposes (LAP), but also other stakeholders, like teachers, schools and universities, and external boards, such as examination boards for language testing. | The book highlights an ongoing research project at the University of Parma, Italy, aimed at developing teaching programs and evaluative tools for language for academic purposes. Starting from a reflection upon the nature of language for study purposes stemming from the tradition of English for Academic Purposes, it describes the model of an LAP test implemented in Italian secondary schools and universities, and shows the findings concerning the performance in the test of both students whose mother tongue is Indo-European and those who speak non-Indo-European languages.

  • Morten H. Christiansen, and Inbal Arnon, “More Than Words: The Role of Multiword Sequences in Language Learning and Use,” Topics in Cognitive Science, 2017. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12274. http:

    Abstract The ability to convey our thoughts using an infinite number of linguistic expressions is one of the hallmarks of human language. Understanding the nature of the psychological mechanisms and representations that give rise to this unique productivity is a fundamental goal for the cognitive sciences. A long-standing hypothesis is that single words and rules form the basic building blocks of linguistic productivity, with multiword sequences being treated as units only in peripheral cases such as idioms. The new millennium, however, has seen a shift toward construing multiword linguistic units not as linguistic rarities, but as important building blocks for language acquisition and processing. This shift—which originated within theoretical approaches that emphasize language learning and use—has far-reaching implications for theories of language representation, processing, and acquisition. Incorporating multiword units as integral building blocks blurs the distinction between grammar and lexicon; calls for models of production and comprehension that can accommodate and give rise to the effect of multiword information on processing; and highlights the importance of such units to learning. In this special topic, we bring together cutting-edge work on multiword sequences in theoretical linguistics, first-language acquisition, psycholinguistics, computational modeling, and second-language learning to present a comprehensive overview of the prominence and importance of such units in language, their possible role in explaining differences between first- and second-language learning, and the challenges the combined findings pose for theories of language.

    Keywords Computational model, First-language learning, Generative grammar, Multiword sequences, Second-language learning, Usage-based approach

  • Tal Ness, and Aya Meltzer-Asscher, “Working Memory in the Processing of Long-Distance Dependencies: Interference and Filler Maintenance,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 2017, pp. 1–13. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-017-9499-6.

    Abstract During the temporal delay between the filler and gap sites in long-distance dependencies, the ‘‘active filler’’ strategy can be implemented in two ways: the filler phrase can be actively maintained in working memory (‘‘maintenance account’’), or it can be retrieved only when the parser posits a gap (‘‘retrieval account’’). The current study tested whether filler content is maintained during the processing of dependencies. Using a self-paced reading paradigm, we compared reading times on a noun phrase (NP) between the filler and gap sites in object relative clauses, to reading times on an NP between the antecedent and ellipsis sites in ellipsis sentences. While in the former type of dependency a filler by hypothesis can be maintained, in the latter there is no indication for the existence of a dependency prior to the ellipsis site, and hence no maintenance. By varying the amount of similarity-based interference between the antecedent and integration sites, we tested the influence of holding an unresolved dependency on reading times. Significantly increased reading times due to interference were found only in the object relative condition, and not in the ellipsis condition, demonstrating filler maintenance costs. The fact that these costs were measured as an effect on similarity-based interference indicates that the maintained representation of the filler must include at least some of the features shared by the interfering NP.

  • Nicola Molinaro, Francesco Giannelli, Sendy Caffarra, and Clara Martin, “Hierarchical levels of representation in language prediction: The influence of first language acquisition in highly proficient bilinguals,” Cognition, vol. 164, 2017, pp. 61 - 73. DOI:

    Abstract Language comprehension is largely supported by predictive mechanisms that account for the ease and speed with which communication unfolds. Both native and proficient non-native speakers can efficiently handle contextual cues to generate reliable linguistic expectations. However, the link between the variability of the linguistic background of the speaker and the hierarchical format of the representations predicted is still not clear. We here investigate whether native language exposure to typologically highly diverse languages (Spanish and Basque) affects the way early balanced bilingual speakers carry out language predictions. During Spanish sentence comprehension, participants developed predictions of words the form of which (noun ending) could be either diagnostic of grammatical gender values (transparent) or totally ambiguous (opaque). We measured electrophysiological prediction effects time-locked both to the target word and to its determiner, with the former being expected or unexpected. Event-related (N200–N400) and oscillatory activity in the low beta-band (15–17 Hz) frequency channel showed that both Spanish and Basque natives optimally carry out lexical predictions independently of word transparency. Crucially, in contrast to Spanish natives, Basque natives displayed visual word form predictions for transparent words, in consistency with the relevance that noun endings (post-nominal suffixes) play in their native language. We conclude that early language exposure largely shapes prediction mechanisms, so that bilinguals reading in their second language rely on the distributional regularities that are highly relevant in their first language. More importantly, we show that individual linguistic experience hierarchically modulates the format of the predicted representation.

    Keywords Beta-band activity, Multilingualism, N200, Prediction, Reading

  • Sieb G. Nooteboom, and Hugo Quené, “Self-monitoring for speech errors: Two-stage detection and repair with and without auditory feedback,” Journal of Memory and Language, vol. 95, August 2017, pp. 19-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2017.01.007.

    Abstract Two experiments are reported, eliciting segmental speech errors and self-repairs. Error frequencies, detection frequencies, error-to-cutoff times and cutoff-to-repair times were assessed with and without auditory feedback, for errors against four types of segmental oppositions. Main hypotheses are (a) prearticulatory and postarticulatory detection of errors is reflected in a bimodal distribution of error-to-cutoff times; (b) after postarticulatory error detection repairs need to be planned in a time-consuming way, but not after prearticulatory detection; (c) postarticulatory error detection depends on auditory feedback. Results confirm hypotheses (a) and (b) but not (c). Internal and external detection are temporally separated by some 500ms on average, fast and slow repairs by some 700ms. Error detection does not depend on audition. This seems self-evident for prearticulatory but not for postarticulatory error detection. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

    Keywords Speech errors; Self-monitoring; Repairs; Audition; Somatosensory

  • Arja Nurmi, Tanja Rütten, and Päivi Pahta, Challenging the Myth of Monolingual Corpora. : Brill.2017, pp. 238. DOI: 10.1163/9789004276697.

    Abstract "Challenging the Myth of Monolingual Corpora" brings new insights into the monolingual ideal that has permeated most branches of linguistics, also corpus linguistics, for a long time. The volume brings together scholars in the many fields of English corpus linguistics from World Englishes, learner corpora and English as a Lingua Franca to the history of English. The approaches include perspectives of corpus compilation, annotation and use.

  • Robert Stroud, “The impact of task performance scoring and tracking on second language engagement,” System, 2017, pp. -. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2017.07.002.

    Abstract Task performance rubrics and individualized feedback on performance are methods for instructors to support classroom language learning. However, research on the measurable impact of Performance Scoring and Tracking (PST) by learners on quantifiable aspects of their engagement in L2 use across task performances is sparse. In addition, engagement is commonly assessed using learners’ subjective responses to questionnaires and post-performance interviews, rather than detailed observational data. An eight-week study involving 88 low-level Japanese university learners examined the effects of PST on engagement in L2 use across discussion tasks. A card scoring system and electronic diary were used for learners to identify and track their own improvements in task performance. Learners were encouraged to engage more in discussions by tracking individual improvements in performance scores across time. Interestingly, the PST did not significantly affect aspects of learner self-reported disposition towards L2 discussions, but did significantly increase and maintain several aspects of engagement in L2 use across task-time and from task-to-task. The potential implications for classroom L2 task implementation are discussed.

    Keywords Discussions, Engagement,, Feedback, Goals, Motivation, Performance, Tasks, Tracking

  • Nienke Smit, Wim van de Grift, Kees de Bot, and Ellen Jansen, “A classroom observation tool for scaffolding reading comprehension,” System, vol. 65, 2017, pp. 117 - 129. DOI:

    Abstract An important goal of educational research is to find out which teaching practices are effective in promoting students’ learning. In order to assess these practices, adequate observation instruments are needed. Existing observation schemes for language teaching are not suitable to gauge which teaching strategies scaffold EFL reading comprehension in particular and language learning in general. Therefore, we developed a new instrument: the English Reading Comprehension Observation Protocol. The focus of the instrument is on the role of the EFL teacher who helps students to move from learning to read to reading to learn in English. We conducted a generalizability study in order to establish the instrument’s reliability. Twenty lessons taught by five experienced teachers were recorded and observed by five experienced teacher educators. The results of the generalizability study, in which we disentangled sources of variance, show that a large proportion of the variance can be attributed to differences between the teachers. This shows that the instrument has a high reliability and can help teachers identify their strengths and room for development. The instrument takes the form of a checklist and is easy to use for professional development purposes.

    Keywords EFL

  • Tom Stafford, and Erwin Haasnoot, “Testing Sleep Consolidation in Skill Learning: A Field Study Using an Online Game,” Topics in Cognitive Science, vol. 9, no. 2, 4 2017, pp. 485–496. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12232. http:

    Abstract Using an observational sample of players of a simple online game (n > 1.2 million), we are able to trace the development of skill in that game. Information on playing time, and player location, allows us to estimate time of day during which practice took place. We compare those whose breaks in practice probably contained a night’s sleep and those whose breaks in practice probably did not contain a night’s sleep. Our analysis confirms experimental evidence showing a benefit of spacing for skill learning, but it fails to find any additional benefit of sleeping during a break from practice. We discuss reasons why the well-established phenomenon of sleep consolidation might not manifest in an observational study of skill development. We put the spacing effect into the context of the other known influences on skill learning: improvement with practice, and individual differences in initial performance. Analysis of performance data from games allows experimental results to be demonstrated outside of the lab and for experimental phenomenon to be put in the context of the performance of the whole task.

    Keywords Consolidation, Practice, Skill acquisition, Sleep

  • Mitsuko Tanaka, “Examining EFL vocabulary learning motivation in a demotivating learning environment,” System, vol. 65, 04/2017 2017, pp. 130 - 138. DOI: //

    Abstract Situated in a demotivating learning environment, this study examined the roles of motivation and peers in {EFL} vocabulary learning. The participants were 155 science and engineering students in Japan. They took a vocabulary test and responded to a questionnaire based on the self-determination theory and peer engagement/disengagement in learning. The results of six multiple stepwise regression analyses showed that: (1) to enjoy and value learning is vital to develop a larger vocabulary size; (2) perceived autonomy is important in cultivating the enjoyment and value of learning in learners’ minds; (3) perceived competence plays a decisive role in motivating and demotivating learners; and (4) whereas motivated peers have little impact on learners’ motivation in a demotivating learning environment, demotivated peers have a negative influence. These findings reveal the malleability of peer influences as well as crucial factors for successful {EFL} vocabulary acquisition in a demotivating learning context.

    Keywords Peer influences

  • Tzipora Rakedzon, and Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, “To make a long story short: A rubric for assessing graduate students’ academic and popular science writing skills,” Assessing Writing, vol. 32, 2017, pp. 28 - 42. DOI:

    Abstract Graduate students are future scientists, and as such, being able to communicate science is imperative for their integration into the scientific community. This is primarily achieved through scientific papers, mostly published in English; however, interactions outside of academia are also beneficial for future scientists. Therefore, academic writing courses are prevalent and popular science communication courses are on the rise. Nevertheless, no rubrics exist for assessing students’ writing in academic and science communication courses. This article describes the development and testing of a rubric for assessing advanced L2 STEM graduate students’ writing in academic (abstract) and popular science writing (press release). The rubric was developed as part of a longstanding academic writing course, but was modified to include a module on science communication with the lay public. Analysis of student needs and the literature inspired a pre-pilot that assessed 16 descriptors on 60 student works. A subsequent, adjusted pilot version on 30 students resulted in adaptations to fit each genre and course goals. In the third round, a modified, final rubric tested on 177 graduate students was created that can be used for both assessment and comparison of the genres. This rubric can assess scientific genres at the graduate level and can be adapted for other genres and levels.

    Keywords Rating scales

  • Yu Kyoung Shin, and YouJin Kim, “Using lexical bundles to teach articles to L2 English learners of different proficiencies,” System, vol. 69, 2017, pp. 79 - 91. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2017.08.002.

    Abstract The purpose of the study is to examine the potential for teaching articles using lexical bundles with adult English language learners of varying proficiency levels. Participants were low-intermediate and high-intermediate English as a second language students (n = 107). Using a pretest/posttest/delayed posttest design, the learners were assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. The experimental treatment involved a consciousness-raising activity with explicit instruction that used core expressions extracted from target lexical bundles (e.g., 'number of' is the core expression of bundles like 'in a number of', 'the total number of') and focused on the core expressions’ adjoining articles in context. The data were collected over three weeks through pre/posttests in which participants wrote sentences using the core expressions. The results showed both low- and high-proficiency treatment groups showed significant improvement on the posttests. The findings also showed that all learners’ most frequent error was omission of articles where they are required within bundles. Omission errors as proportion of total errors decreased over the course of the study for both treatment groups. The results suggest that bundles, as article-including expressions that function as wholes in discourse, can be an effective tool to teach article uses in context.

    Keywords English articles, Explicit instruction, L2 English learners, lexical bundles, Proficiency levels

  • Katharina Scheiter, Katrin Schleinschok, and Shaaron Ainsworth, “Why Sketching May Aid Learning From Science Texts: Contrasting Sketching With Written Explanations,” Topics in Cognitive Science, 2017. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12261.

    Abstract The goal of this study was to explore two accounts for why sketching during learning from text is helpful: (1) sketching acts like other constructive strategies such as self-explanation because it helps learners to identify relevant information and generate inferences; or (2) that in addition to these general effects, sketching has more specific benefits due to the pictorial representation that is constructed. Seventy-three seventh-graders (32 girls, M = 12.82 years) were first taught how to either create sketches or self-explain while studying science texts. During a subsequent learning phase, all students were asked to read an expository text about the greenhouse effect. Finally, they were asked to write down everything they remembered and then answer transfer questions. Strategy quality during learning was assessed as the number of key concepts that had either been sketched or mentioned in the self-explanations. The results showed that at an overall performance level there were only marginal group differences. However, a more in-depth analysis revealed that whereas no group differences emerged for students implementing either strategy poorly, the sketching group clearly outperformed the self-explanation group for students who applied the strategies with higher quality. Furthermore, higher sketching quality was strongly related to better learning outcomes. Thus, the study’s results are more in line with the second account: Sketching can have a beneficial effect on learning above and beyond generating written explanations; at least, if well deployed.

    Keywords comprehension, Constructive learning, Drawing, Learning from text, Learning strategy, Self-explanation, Sketching


  • Alister Cumming, Conttia Lai, and Hyeyoon Cho, “Students’ writing from sources for academic purposes: A synthesis of recent research,” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 23, 2016, pp. 47 - 58. DOI:

    Abstract Educators have long recognized that a major challenge for students learning to write for academic purposes is developing the ability to integrate source material effectively and appropriately into written compositions. To identify and evaluate the current state of empirical evidence, we conducted a systematic synthesis of the published research that has investigated writing from sources systematically from a variety of analytic perspectives, in first and second languages, and in diverse contexts internationally including students in universities, colleges, and secondary schools. Five general claims emerged across our analyses of 69 empirical studies published in refereed journals or books in English from 1993 to 2013. Each claim has firm empirical support but each also warrants further research and refinement: (1) students experience difficulties with, but develop certain strategies to deal with, the complex processes of writing from sources; (2) prior knowledge and experience influence students’ performance in writing from sources; (3) differences may appear between {L1} and {L2} students in their understanding and uses of sources in writing; (4) performance in tasks that involve writing from sources varies by task conditions and types of texts written and read; and (5) instruction can help students improve their uses of sources in their writing.

    Keywords English for academic purposes

  • Alla Zareva, “Multi-word verbs in student academic presentations,” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 23, 2016, pp. 83 - 98. DOI:

    Abstract The study examined three categories of multi-word verbs (phrasal, prepositional, and phrasal-prepositional verbs) in comparison to free combinations. It explored four aspects of their usage in student presentations—their frequency, the preferred order and meanings the presenters favored, their choices of unique vs. repeated uses of verb combinations, and the relationship between the lexical diversity of the presentations and students’ use of multi-word verbs. The research is based on the individual presentations of English native-speaking college students (n = 30). The analysis revealed that students used multi-word verbs as frequently as they did free combinations. It also showed that prepositional verbs were twice more prominent than phrasal verbs, followed by the relatively infrequent use of phrasal prepositional verbs. The students tended to use the multi-word verb structures repetitively and the lack of strong correlations between the lexical diversity of the presentations and the three multi-word verb subcategories pointed to the relative independence of the variables. The semantic analysis of the phrasal verbs revealed that, even though the majority of them had multiple meanings, they were predominantly used with a single meaning in the presentations. The findings have implications for ESL teaching and material design purposes.

    Keywords Oral academic discourse

  • Catherine Caws, and Marie-Josée Hamel, Language-Learner Computer Interactions. : John Benjamins.2016, pp. 257. DOI: 10.1075/lsse.2.

    Abstract This book focuses on learner-computer interactions (LCI) in second language learning environments drawing largely on sociocultural theories of language development. It brings together a rich and varied range of theoretical discussions and applications in order to illustrate the way in which LCI can enrich our comprehension of technology-mediated communication, hence enhancing learners’ digital literacy skills. The book is based on the premise that, in order to fully understand the nature of language and literacy development in digital spaces, researchers and practitioners in linguistics, sciences and engineering need to borrow from each others’ theoretical and practical toolkits. In light of this premise, themes include such aspects as educational ergonomics, affordances, complex systems learning, learner personas and corpora, while also describing such data collecting tools as video screen capture devices, eye-tracking or intelligent learning tutoring systems. The book should be of interest to applied linguists working in CALL, language educators and professionals working in education, as well as computer scientists and engineers wanting to expand their work into the analysis of human/learner interactions with technology communication devices with a view to improving or (re)developing learning and communication instruments.

  • Chiara Gambi, Martin J. Pickering, and Hugh Rabagliati, “Beyond associations: Sensitivity to structure in pre-schoolers’ linguistic predictions,” Cognition, vol. 157, 2016, pp. 340 - 351. DOI:

    Abstract One influential view of language acquisition is that children master structural generalizations by making and learning from structure-informed predictions. Previous work has shown that from 3 years of age children can use semantic associations to generate predictions. However, it is unknown whether they can generate predictions by combining these associations with knowledge of linguistic structure. We recorded the eye movements of pre-schoolers while they listened to sentences such as Pingu will ride the horse. Upon hearing ride, children predictively looked at a horse (a strongly associated and plausible patient of ride), and mostly ignored a cowboy (equally strongly associated, but an implausible patient). In a separate experiment, children did not rapidly look at the horse when they heard You can show Pingu …; “riding”, showing that they do not quickly activate strongly associated patients when there are no structural constraints. Our findings demonstrate that young children’s predictions are sensitive to structure, providing support for predictive-learning models of language acquisition.

    Keywords Visual-world

  • Douglas Biber, and Bethany Gray, Grammatical Complexity in Academic English Linguistic Change in Writing. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.2016, pp. 292.

    Abstract Grammatical Complexity in Academic English uses corpus-based analyses to challenge a number of dominant stereotypes and assumptions within linguistics. Biber and Gray tackle the nature of grammatical complexity, demonstrating that embedded phrasal structures are as important as embedded dependent clauses. The authors also overturn ingrained assumptions about linguistic change, showing that grammatical change occurs in writing as well as speech. This work establishes that academic writing is structurally compressed (rather than elaborated); that it is often not explicit in the expression of meaning; and that scientific academic writing has been the locus of some of the most important grammatical changes in English over the past 200 years (rather than being conservative and resistant to change). Supported throughout with textual evidence, this work is essential reading for discourse analysts, sociolinguists, applied linguists, as well as descriptive linguists and historical linguists.

  • Elke Peters, Eva Heynen, and Eva Puimège, “Learning vocabulary through audiovisual input: The differential effect of L1 subtitles and captions,” System, vol. 63, 2016, pp. 134 - 148. DOI:

    Abstract Recent research has shown that learners can learn new words while watching TV programs. However, the number of words learned tends to be low. Several studies have demonstrated that first language (L1) subtitles as well as captions (= subtitles in the foreign language) have the potential to increase learning gains compared to when no on-screen text aids are provided. However, the evidence regarding the differential effect of both types of subtitles is still inconclusive. This paper reports on two exploratory studies investigating the effect of L1 subtitles and captions on different aspects of word knowledge among English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) learners in Flanders (Belgium). Data were collected in two different educational settings: intermediate EFL learners from a general school and low-proficiency EFL learners from a vocational school. Although learning gains were generally low, results indicated that captions have the potential to increase form learning. However, learners who were exposed to the audiovisual input with L1 subtitles did not perform better than the captions group in the tests focusing on the meaning of the target items. Additionally, findings also suggested that learners’ vocabulary size and an item’s frequency of occurrence in the video clip correlated positively with word learning. |

    Keywords Audiovisual input, Captions, Frequency of occurrence, Subtitles, TV, Video, Viewing, vocabulary, Vocabulary size

  • Andrea Ender, “Implicit and Explicit Cognitive Processes in Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 37, no. 4, 2016, pp. 536-560. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amu051.

    Abstract Studies on vocabulary acquisition in second language learning have revealed that a large amount of vocabulary is learned without an overt intention, in other words, incidentally. This article investigates the relevance of different lexical processing strategies for vocabulary acquisition when reading a text for comprehension among 24 advanced learners of French who are native German speakers. The strategies which these learners used to cope with unknown lexical items were analysed with regard to the cognitive operations involved. The features of the different processes that lead to retention of new vocabulary are discussed based on introspective data gathered during the reading process and on the results of a subsequent vocabulary test. Examining how provisional lexical entries in the mental lexicon are created facilitates the discussion of an important question about the relevance to vocabulary acquisition of implicit processing of information on the one hand versus active, elaborate, and explicit processing on the other. The results provide evidence for the achievement of implicit processes and additional information concerning differential depth of processing.

  • Ernő Téglás, and Luca L. Bonatti, “Infants anticipate probabilistic but not deterministic outcomes,” Cognition, vol. 157, 2016, pp. 227 - 236. DOI:

    Abstract Infants look at physically impossible events longer than at physically possible events, and at improbable events longer than at probable events. Such behaviors are generally interpreted as showing that infants have expectations about future events and are surprised to see them violated. It is unknown, however, whether and under what conditions infants form proactive expectations about the future, as opposed to realizing post hoc that outcomes do not comply with their previous knowledge or experience. Here we investigate the relation between expectation and surprise at probabilistic or deterministic events in preverbal infants. When a situation is uncertain, 12-month-olds anticipate probable outcomes and are surprised at improbable continuations of the scene. However, they do not anticipate the only possible outcome of a physically deterministic situation, although they are surprised when it does not occur. The results suggest that infants are sensitive to the tradeoff between information gain and programming efforts, showing higher propensity to anticipate those future events that carry novel knowledge.

    Keywords Anticipation

  • Eunseok Ro, “Exploring teachers’ practices and students’ perceptions of the extensive reading approach in EAP reading classes,” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 22, 2016, pp. 32 - 41. DOI:

    Abstract The ability to teach effectively relies on understanding both teachers’ classroom practices and students’ motivation (Grabe & Stoller, 2011). This study focuses on the extensive reading (ER) approach in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) context. It explores two teachers’ classroom practices and the impacts of these practices on their students’ second language (L2) reading motivation and reading amount. A quantitative analysis indicates that the reading motivation of one of the classes significantly increased, particularly in regard to values of intrinsic motivation, while the students in the other classes read comparatively larger amount with less of reading motivation enhancement throughout the course. A qualitative analysis shows that specific elements of these teachers’ practices (e.g., the ER classroom activities and the degree and type of teacher guidance) as well as inherent characteristics of ER (e.g., reading for enjoyment, and the benefits to language skills of extensive L2 reading) affected the students’ motivation and the amount they read. The study concludes by discussing its findings’ pedagogical implications for ER in EAP settings.

    Keywords Teachers’ classroom practices

  • Holger Hopp, “The timing of lexical and syntactic processes in second language sentence comprehension,” Applied Psycholinguistics, vol. 37, 9 2016, pp. 1253–1280. DOI: 10.1017/S0142716415000569.

    Abstract This paper investigates how lexical processing difficulty affects second language (L2) syntactic processing. In a self-paced reading experiment with 36 monolingual and 62 first language German speakers of English, we test how differences in lexical frequency moderate structural processing differences between subject and object clefts. For the L2 group, the results show linear relations between verb frequency and the location of the reading difficulty resulting from the structurally more complex object clefts. Native speakers evince comparable effects only in lower word frequency ranges. The findings indicate that greater demands on lexical processing may cause non-native-like syntactic processing in that they attenuate and delay effects of structure building in L2 sentence processing. We discuss implications for current models of L2 sentence processing.

  • Ilona Vandergriff, Second-language Discourse in the Digital World. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.2016, pp. 270. DOI:$#$catalog/books/lllt.46/main.

    Abstract "Second-language Discourse in the Digital World" illustrates a new, practice-driven approach to technology in second-language (L2) learning that begins with what L2 users do when they connect with others online. With its rich set of examples from a number of different languages and a variety of digital platforms, in and beyond the classroom, this book provides a structured account of L2 computer-mediated discourse. The book is divided into four sections. Section I considers how new media have changed language learning. Section II is about L2 participation in digital forms and practices in online communities. Sections III centers around L2 linguistic and other semiotic practices, including the use of multimodal and multilingual resources while section IV analyzes social practices to explore how networked L2 users build, maintain and challenge relationships. Written in accessible style, the volume will be an important read to anyone interested in L2 use and learning in Web 2.0.

  • Jörg-U. Keßler, Anke Lenzing, and Mathias Liebner, Developing, Modelling and Assessing Second Languages. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.2016, pp. 244. DOI: 10.1075/palart.5.$#$catalog/books/palart.5/main.

    Abstract This edited volume brings together the work of a number of researchers working in the framework of Processability Theory (PT), a psycholinguistic theory of second language acquisition (SLA) (Pienemann 1998; 2005). The aim of the volume is two-fold: It engages with current issues in both theory development and theory application and focuses on theoretical developments within the framework of PT as well as issues related to second language teaching and assessment. In coordinating approaches to addressing both theoretical and applied aspects of SLA, this volume aims at bridging the gap between theory and practice. It also reflects the richness of debate within the field of PT-based research. The volume is intended for postgraduate students, SLA researchers as well as language teachers.

  • Karen Haines, “Expanding the knowledge base of teachers’ use of communication tools for language learning,” System, 2016, pp. -. DOI:

    Abstract The changing nature of computer-mediated communication (CMC) continues to provide language learners with new opportunities for authentic language use. Many language teachers appropriate CMC tools to support language learning and teaching and as a consequence, their practical knowledge develops. Based on a longitudinal interview study with sixteen participants in Australia and New Zealand, this study gives a possible outline of the knowledge base that tertiary language teachers develop through using everyday communication technologies in their classrooms. The learning of these experienced teachers is described by detailing aspects of the Teacher Knowledge Grid, including the central role of pedagogy in how teachers supported their students’ learning. Participants identified that using new tools afforded opportunities to teach in ways that suited them as individuals as well as new avenues for their own learning. Finally, the Teacher Knowledge Grid suggests questions that might be used to support professional development and reflection on integrating computer-mediated tools into classroom practice. Teachers’ practical knowledge includes more than just the skills needed to use a tool; it includes personal and professional understandings of how technology relates to particular pedagogical contexts, as well as developing abilities to facilitate their own and their students’ learning to use new tools.

    Keywords In-service

  • Kerstin Unger, Laura Ackerman, Christopher H. Chatham, Dima Amso, and David Badre, “Working memory gating mechanisms explain developmental change in rule-guided behavior,” Cognition, vol. 155, 2016, pp. 8 - 22. DOI:

    Abstract Cognitive control requires choosing contextual information to update into working memory (input gating), maintaining it there (maintenance) stable against distraction, and then choosing which subset of maintained information to use in guiding action (output gating). Recent work has raised the possibility that the development of rule-guided behavior, in the transition from childhood to adolescence, is linked specifically to changes in the gating components of working memory (Amso, Haas, McShane, & Badre, 2014). Given the importance of effective rule-guided behavior for decision making in this developmental transition, we used hierarchical rule tasks to probe the precise developmental dynamics of working memory gating. This mechanistic precision informs ongoing efforts to train cognitive control and working memory operations across typical and atypical development. The results of Experiment 1 verified that the development of rule-guided behavior is uniquely linked to increasing hierarchical complexity but not to increasing maintenance demands across 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order rule tasks. Experiment 2 then investigated whether this developmental trajectory in rule-guided behavior is best explained by change in input gating or output gating. Further, as input versus output gating also tend to correlate with a more proactive versus reactive control strategy in these tasks, we assessed developmental change in the degree to which these two processes were deployed efficiently given the task. Experiment 2 shows that the developmental change observed in Experiment 1 and in Amso et al. (2014) is likely a result of increased efficacy of output gating processes, as well as greater strategic efficiency in that adolescents opt for this costly process less often than children.

    Keywords Computational model

  • John M Kirk, and Andersen Gisle, “Compilation, transcription, markup and annotation of spoken corpora,” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, vol. 21, no. 3, 09/2016 2016, pp. 291-298. DOI: 10.1075/ijcl.21.3.001int.

    Abstract (none)

  • L.L. Saling, A. Willis, and M.M. Saling, “Do the Elderly Get the Message? A Comparative Study of Stories Produced Verbally and as a Text Message,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 45, no. 6, 12/2016 2016, pp. 1419-1425. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-016-9413-7.

    Abstract When young adults re-tell a story, they naturally produce more concise but sufficiently informative narratives. The repeated narratives of elderly adults, on the other hand, tend towards prolixity. In the present study, participants were explicitly instructed to re-tell a story in a more succinct (but informative format) to investigate whether they were able to produce informative narratives in a compressed format. 30 younger adults (Mean age=30.13, SD=9.27) and 30 older adults (Mean age=68.43, SD=8.88) constructed a verbal narrative from a series of cartoon frames depicting a story about a cowboy and his horse. Participants then re-told this narrative as a text message. The second narrative produced by the older adult sample did on average contain fewer words, but at the expense of informative content and discourse cohesion. The tendency of older adults to produce longer narratives with re-telling is not merely reflective of a strategic choice but rather reflects a genuine macrolinguistic deficit.

    Keywords discourse, Elderly, Macrolinguistic, Strategic difference, Texting

  • Lei Lei, and Dilin Liu, “A new medical academic word list: A corpus-based study with enhanced methodology,” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 22, 2016, pp. 42 - 53. DOI:

    Abstract Vocabulary use often varies significantly across academic disciplines. Hence, it is important to develop discipline-specific academic vocabulary lists. So far, all of the existing discipline-specific word lists have been developed using Coxhead’s (2000) method that excluded general high-frequency words. However, Gardner and Davies’s (2014) recent work on a new academic vocabulary list has challenged such a practice because many general high-frequency words have a much higher frequency in academic English than in general English and often have special meanings in academic English. Drawing on and combining methods and procedures from Coxhead (2000) and Gardner and Davies (2014), this corpus study developed a new medical academic vocabulary list, the MAVL. Based on the results of a series of comparative analyses, the MAVL boasts a much better coverage of medical English while being 53% shorter than the existing medical academic word list developed by Wang, Liang, and Ge (2008). Thus, this new list should better serve the needs of medical English learners. This study also provides evidence for the need to include, in discipline-specific vocabulary lists, general high-frequency words that have a significantly higher frequency and special meanings in the discipline than in general English. Pedagogical and research implications are also discussed.

    Keywords Vocabulary/word lists

  • Mahmood Saadatnia, Saeed Ketabi, and Mansoor Tavakoli, “EFL Learners’ Levels of Comprehension Across Text Structures: A Comparison of Literal and Inferential Comprehension of Descriptive and Enumerative Expository Texts,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 45, no. 6, 12/2016 2016, pp. 1499-1513. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-016-9414-6.

    Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between text structure and two levels of reading comprehension, namely literal and inferential, in Iranian EFL learners. Studies have generally found that learners perform differently after they have read different text structures (Amiri et al. in Proc Soc Behav Sci 66:402–409, 2012). The text structures in focus were descriptive and enumerative expository texts. One hundred eighty upper-intermediate EFL learners were assigned four reading passages, two including descriptive and the other two enumerative text structure, followed by both literal and inferential multiple-choice items. A number of paired-samples t tests were run to provide answers to the research questions of this study. The results indicated that the participants meaningfully outperformed on the descriptive texts at both levels of literal and inferential comprehension. The findings also revealed that in both text structures of description and enumeration, literal comprehension significantly outweighed inferential comprehension. Implications were made for L2 materials developers, language teachers, and language testers regarding the consideration of text typical features in their practice.

    Keywords Descriptive and enumerative text structure, Expository text type, Levels of reading comprehension

  • Mary Lou Vercellotti, and Jessica Packer, “Shifting structural complexity: The production of clause types in speeches given by English for academic purposes students,” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 22, 2016, pp. 179 - 190. DOI:

    Abstract This paper reports on the structural complexity in oral “sentences” produced by English L2 (ESL) learners (n = 66) during 227 two-minute topic-based monologues in an EAP across three academic semesters. The 5,056 clauses in these ESL speeches were coded by clause type (main, coordinate, adverbial, relative, complement-taking predicate, nonfinite) to determine what types are produced as learners complexify their speech. This study is unique in that it examines all clause types produced during an ESL speaking task across three proficiency levels in an EAP. The results revealed that the learners produced increasingly complex language as measured by subordination, and that the clause types employed to complexify the speeches changed across instruction levels. Adverbial clauses were the most common subordinate clause at the lowest proficiency level, but nonfinite clauses became the most common dependent clause type at the high-intermediate level and were increasingly produced. This description of the clause types found in free-production speeches suggests a developmental order for the clause types in EAP contexts: adverbial, nonfinite, relative, complement-taking predicate clause. These findings, which show that learners produce nonfinite constructions perhaps earlier than expected, can inform curriculum design, instruction approach, and future studies of the development of L2 linguistic complexity.

    Keywords Communicative usefulness

  • Michele Miozzo, Anna Petrova, Simon Fischer-Baum, and Francesca Peressotti, “Serial position encoding of signs,” Cognition, vol. 154, 09/2016 2016, pp. 69 - 80. DOI:

    Abstract Reduced short-term memory (STM) capacity has been reported for sign as compared to speech when items have to be recalled in a specific order. This difference has been attributed to a more precise and efficient serial position encoding in verbal STM (used for speech) than visuo-spatial STM (used for sign). We tested in the present investigation whether the reduced STM capacity with signs stems from a lack of positional encoding available in verbal STM. Error analyses reported in prior studies have revealed that positions are defined in verbal STM by distance from both the start and the end of the sequence (both-edges positional encoding scheme). Our analyses of the errors made by deaf participants with finger-spelled letters revealed that the both-edges positional encoding scheme underlies the STM representation of signs. These results indicate that the cause of the STM disadvantage is not the type of positional encoding but rather the difficulties in binding an item in visuo-spatial STM to its specific position in the sequence. Both-edges positional encoding scheme could be specific of sign, since it has not been found in visuo-spatial STM tasks conducted with hearing participants.

    Keywords Short-term memory

  • Mingming Zhou, “The roles of social anxiety, autonomy, and learning orientation in second language learning: A structural equation modeling analysis,” System, vol. 63, 2016, pp. 89 - 100. DOI:

    Abstract This study examined a model of second language learning in which performance depends not only on students’ motivation and emotion, but also on classroom learning orientation. A questionnaire was completed by 303 fifth-grade students in China on social anxiety, autonomy, collaborative learning orientation and self-reported English scores in their last exam. A structural equation modeling analysis of the proposed model showed that students who experienced social anxiety in language learning (in particular, a fear of public speaking) felt less autonomous, held weaker orientations of collaborative learning, and were less successful in their English learning. The results also showed that students’ autonomy had both a direct and an indirect effect (via collaborative learning orientation) on language learning. Despite gender differences in self-determined motivation and collaborative learning orientation, the conceptual model did not appear to be different across genders. Implications of the findings are discussed.

    Keywords Gender

  • Mustapha Chekaf, Nelson Cowan, and Fabien Mathy, “Chunk formation in immediate memory and how it relates to data compression,” Cognition, vol. 155, 2016, pp. 96 - 107. DOI:

    Abstract This paper attempts to evaluate the capacity of immediate memory to cope with new situations in relation to the compressibility of information likely to allow the formation of chunks. We constructed a task in which untrained participants had to immediately recall sequences of stimuli with possible associations between them. Compressibility of information was used to measure the chunkability of each sequence on a single trial. Compressibility refers to the recoding of information in a more compact representation. Although compressibility has almost exclusively been used to study long-term memory, our theory suggests that a compression process relying on redundancies within the structure of the list materials can occur very rapidly in immediate memory. The results indicated a span of about three items when the list had no structure, but increased linearly as structure was added. The amount of information retained in immediate memory was maximal for the most compressible sequences, particularly when information was ordered in a way that facilitated the compression process. We discuss the role of immediate memory in the rapid formation of chunks made up of new associations that did not already exist in long-term memory, and we conclude that immediate memory is the starting place for the reorganization of information.

    Keywords Categorization

  • Nakata,Tatsuya, and Webb,Stuart, “Does Studying Vocabulary in Smaller Sets Increase Learning?,” Studies in Second Language Acquisition, vol. 38, 9 2016, pp. 523–552. DOI: 10.1017/S0272263115000236.

    Abstract The present study examined the effects of part and whole learning on the acquisition of second language (L2, English) vocabulary. In whole learning, the materials to be learned are repeated in one large block, whereas, in part learning, the materials are divided into smaller blocks and repeated. Experiment 1 compared the effects of the following three treatments: 20-item whole learning, four-item part learning, and 10-item part learning. Unlike previous studies, part and whole learning were matched in spacing. In Experiment 2, spacing as well as the part-whole learning distinction were manipulated, and the following three treatments were compared: 20-item whole learning, four-item part learning with short spacing, and four-item part learning with long spacing. Results of the two experiments suggest that, (a) as long as spacing is equivalent, the part-whole distinction has little effect on learning, and (b) spacing has a larger effect on learning than the part-whole distinction.

  • Nick C. Ellis, Ute Römer, Matthew Brook O’Donnell, and Mary J. Schleppegrell, Usage-Based Approaches to Language Acquisition and Processing: Cognitive and Corpus Investigations of Construction Grammar. : Wiley-Blackwell.2016, pp. 358.

    Abstract Nick C. Ellis, Ute Römer, and Matthew Brook O’Donnell present a view of language as a complex adaptive system that is learned through usage. In a series of research studies, they analyze Verb-Argument Constructions (VACs) in first and second language learning, processing, and use. Drawing on diverse epistemological and methodological perspectives, they show how language emerges out of multiple experiences of meaning-making. In the development of both mother tongue and additional languages, each usage experience affects construction knowledge following general principles of learning relating to frequency, contingency, and semantic prototypicality. The implications of this work will be of value to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplinary interests in language and learning.

  • Nihat Polat, L2 Learning, Teaching and Assessment. bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.2016, pp. 256.

    Abstract This book explores second language (L2) learning, teaching and assessment from a comprehensible input (CI) perspective. This focus on the role of input is important for deepening our understanding of interactions between the learner, teacher and the environment as well as of the nature of the learning, teaching and assessment processes. The book takes a blended approach that promotes the intertwining of theory, research and practice in L2 pedagogy and assessment and aims to address the commonly used concept of CI and its role in L2 education. Content includes a comprehensive discussion of the conceptual foundation of CI; a multimodal and dynamic interpretation of CI from numerous perspectives; a critical discussion of well-known L2 acquisition theories and research; a practical examination of the role of multimodal forms of CI in L2 pedagogy; an analytical review of factors to be considered when modifying CI for pedagogical purposes in different settings and an overview of CI in L2 assessment. It will be of interest to students in the fields of L2 learning, teaching and assessment, teachers in second/foreign language settings and researchers of SLA and teacher education.

    Keywords esp

  • Olga Kozar, and Phil Benson, “Language pedagogy and the changing landscapes of digital technology,” System, 2016, pp. -. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2016.08.007.

    Abstract (none)

  • Rodney H. Jones, Spoken Discourse. : Bloomsbury Publishing.2016, pp. 232.

    Abstract This book provides an overview of current theories of and methods for analysing spoken discourse. It includes discussions of both the more traditional approaches of pragmatics, conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and critical discourse analysis, and more recently developed approaches such as multimodal discourse analysis and critical sociolinguistics. | Rather than treating these perspectives as mutually exclusive, the book introduces a framework based on principles from mediated discourse analysis in which different approaches to spoken discourse are seen as complementing and informing one another. In this framework, spoken discourse is seen as mediated through a complex collection of technological, semiotic and cultural tools which enable and constrain people’s ability to engage in different kinds of social actions, enact different kinds of social identities and form different kinds of social relationships. A major focus of the volume is on the way technological tools like telephones, broadcast media, digital technologies are changing the way people communicate with spoken language. | The book is suitable for use as a textbook in advanced courses in discourse analysis and language in social interaction, and will also be of interest to scholars in a variety of fields including linguistics, sociology, media studies and anthropology.

  • Jeffrey N. Rouder, Richard D. Morey, Josine Verhagen, Jordan M. Province, and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, “Is There a Free Lunch in Inference?,” Topics in Cognitive Science, vol. 8, no. 3, 2016, pp. 520–547. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12214.

    Abstract The field of psychology, including cognitive science, is vexed by a crisis of confidence. Although the causes and solutions are varied, we focus here on a common logical problem in inference. The default mode of inference is significance testing, which has a free lunch property where researchers need not make detailed assumptions about the alternative to test the null hypothesis. We present the argument that there is no free lunch; that is, valid testing requires that researchers test the null against a well-specified alternative. We show how this requirement follows from the basic tenets of conventional and Bayesian probability. Moreover, we show in both the conventional and Bayesian framework that not specifying the alternative may lead to rejections of the null hypothesis with scant evidence. We review both frequentist and Bayesian approaches to specifying alternatives, and we show how such specifications improve inference. The field of cognitive science will benefit because consideration of reasonable alternatives will undoubtedly sharpen the intellectual underpinnings of research.

    Keywords Inference, Philosophy of science, Replication crisis, Statistics

  • Jolanta Sak-Wernicka, “Exploring Theory of Mind Use in Blind Adults During Natural Communication,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 45, no. 4, 2016, pp. 857–869. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-015-9379-x.

    Abstract The aim of this article is to explore whether people who are blind are as successful in recognising other people’s mental states in communicative situations as people who are sighted. In the current investigation, a group of blind and sighted individuals were tested on their first and higher-order ToM abilities to recognise the intentions, feelings and beliefs of people engaged in natural conversations. The results revealed significant differences between the groups in the recognition of mental states, but no differences were found in their first-order and higher-order ToM use. The study shows that people who are blind may understand other people’s intentions, feelings and beliefs differently than people who are sighted. This is not because of their ToM deficits or linguistic incompetence, but because during communication blind individuals have limited access to the information about others’ mental states.

  • Salmani Nodoushan, and Mohammand Ali, “Alderson, J.C., Haapakangas, E. L., Huhta, A., Nieminen, L. and Ullakonoja, R. 2014: The diagnosis of reading in a second or foreign language.,” vol. 26, no. 3, 11/2016 2016, pp. 449-453. DOI: 10.1111/ijal.12156.

    Abstract (none)

  • Sanjay Arora, Teaching English from Classes to Masses. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.2016, pp. 195.

    Abstract This volume brings together articles based on experimental and theoretical research from teachers working in diverse teaching backgrounds with varying experience, from research scholars to school teachers, from college and university teachers in India to a British native teaching in China. | The contributions here provide a mix of global and local teaching scenarios, addressing the need for diagnostic tests, developing need-based material, using the mother tongue to ensure active participation of the masses, and re-examining the language policies in Asian countries. The papers collected here also explore the implementation of Task-based Language Teaching, the integration of technology in developing language skills, and the use of games and activities to engage the interest of low level learners while teaching both literature and language, further linking them with their culture and society. | The book offers a reflection of the changes that have taken place in the teaching environment in the last two decades, with the introduction of Communicative Language Teaching, and, as such, will be of immense help for policy framers and educators in South-Asian countries and in countries where English is a second or foreign language. | Furthermore, the volume offers valuable information for researchers working in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT), which can be used for reviewing literature and exploring the directions in which the new teaching methods and approaches are leading, and establishing the validity of research.

  • Tara McAllister Byun, Daphna Harel, Peter F. Halpin, and Daniel Szeredi, “Deriving gradient measures of child speech from crowdsourced ratings,” Journal of Communication Disorders, 2016, pp. -. DOI:

    Abstract Recent research has demonstrated that perceptual ratings aggregated across multiple non-expert listeners can reveal gradient degrees of covert contrast between target and error sounds that listeners might transcribe identically. Aggregated ratings have been found to correlate strongly with acoustic gold standard measures both when individual raters use a continuous rating scale such as visual analog scaling (Munson et al., 2012) and when individual raters provide binary ratings (McAllister Byun et al., 2015). In light of evidence that inexperienced listeners use continuous scales less consistently than experienced listeners, this study investigated the relative merits of binary versus continuous rating scales when aggregating responses over large numbers of naive listeners recruited through online crowdsourcing. Stimuli were words produced by children in treatment for misarticulation of North American English /r/. Each listener rated the same 40 tokens two times: once using Visual Analog Scaling (VAS) and once using a binary rating scale. The gradient rhoticity of each item was then estimated using (a) VAS click location, averaged across raters; (b) the proportion of raters who assigned the “correct /r/" label to each item in the binary rating task (). First, we validate these two measures of rhoticity against each other and against an acoustic gold standard. Second, we explore the range of variability in individual response patterns that underlie these group-level data. Third, we integrate statistical, theoretical, and practical considerations to offer guidelines for determining which measure to use in a given situation.

    Keywords Covert contrast

  • Qi Xu, Xiuqing Dong, and Lin Jiang, “EFL Learners’ Perceptions of Mobile-Assisted Feedback on Oral Production,” TESOL Quarterly, 2016, pp. n/a–n/a. DOI: 10.1002/tesq.335.

    Abstract (none)

  • Zhisheng (Edward) Wen, Working Memory and Second Language Learning. bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.2016, pp. 208.

    Abstract This book introduces an approach to understanding and measuring working memory components and functions in second language learning, processing and development. It presents comprehensive, thorough and updated reviews of relevant literatures from cognitive sciences and applied linguistics. Drawing on multidisciplinary research, the book advocates a conceptual framework for integrating working memory theories with second language acquisition theories. An innovative theoretical model is also presented, which illuminates research studies investigating the distinctive roles of phonological and executive working memory as they relate to specific L2 learning domains, skills and processes. Theoretical and methodological implications of this integrative perspective are further elaborated and discussed within the specific realms of L2 task-based performance and language aptitude research.


  • Ana María Gimeno Sanz, WorldCALL. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.2015, pp. 352.

    Abstract This volume focuses on computer- and digitally-assisted language learning in all of its forms: technology-enhanced language learning, network-based language learning, mobile-assisted language learning and so on, in close relation to the topic of sustainability. How can these technologies and techniques be implemented in a sustainable and repeatable way? The book covers a wide range of areas in terms of this "sustainability". These include: | (1) education (teacher/learner training) | (2) normalisation (integration) | (3) systems (reliability, support, development) | (4) mobility (mobile-assisted language leaning) | (5) innovation (trends, research) | The volume samples research and practice in CALL from around the world, organised into sections. It has an introduction and a conclusion written by the editors which covers the state of the art at the moment and directions it is likely to take in the future.

  • Teresa Cadierno, and Søren W Eskildsen, Usage-Based Perspectives on Second Language Learning. Germany, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.2015, pp. 376.

    Abstract This edited volume brings together perspectives that find mutual kinship in a view of language as an embodied, semiotic, symbolic tool used for communicative and interactional purposes and an understanding of language use as the preeminent condition for language learning – perspectives that we conjoin under the umbrella term of usage based perspectives.

    Keywords Semiotics; Usage Based Perspectives

  • Iomi Patten, and Lisa A. Edmonds, “Effect of training Japanese L1 speakers in the production of American English /r/ using spectrographic visual feedback,” Computer Assisted Language Learning, vol. 28, no. 3, 2015, pp. 241-259. DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2013.839570.

    Abstract The present study examines the effects of training native Japanese speakers in the production of American /r/ using spectrographic visual feedback. Within a modified single-subject design, two native Japanese participants produced single words containing /r/ in a variety of positions while viewing live spectrographic feedback with the aim of producing /r/ with a third formant (F3) frequency of less than 2300 Hz (upper threshold for identifiable /r/). Feedback was gradually reduced to promote independent production and monitoring. Both participants showed improvement in /r/ production in trained and untrained single words as indicated by percentage increases and effect sizes. Blind ratings by independent experts indicated significant /r/ production improvements during the reading of the Rainbow Passage. Perceptual distinction of /r/ and /l/ in minimal pairs also showed an upward trend. These findings suggest that spectrographic visual feedback is a promising method for training /r/ to Japanese-speaking English language learners.

  • Laura Aull, First-Year University Writing: A Corpus-Based Study with Implications for Pedagogy. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.2015, pp. XIII, 239. DOI: 10.1057/9781137350466.

    Abstract The study described in author Laura Aull’s “First-Year University Writing” marries the fields of applied linguistics and rhetoric-composition (RC) to examine linguistic features of first year (FY) student and expert academic writing. Aull’s corpus investigation is motivated by a lack of research that examines the linguistic features used to “argue” and “describe” (p. 7) in academic writing. The book is broken down into six chapters that explain the large-scale issues and literature gap that fuel the study, detail the corpus analysis and major language-level patterns discovered, and provide pedagogical implications of the findings. | Aull outlines three primary goals for this book: identifying patterns in linguistic features in argumentative FY writing while considering writing prompts and comparing the patterns found to those found in academic expert writing; considering why there are not more large-scale studies that linguistically analyze FY writing; and highlighting why there should be more studies of this nature. The research questions that guided the study are as follows: “What are the salient, shared features of first year writing? How do those features differ from those in expert academic writing? How might we guide students to be more aware of such features and the principles of academic discourse they reveal?” (p. 3). While Aull recognizes the contribution of smaller scale studies using more qualitative methods of analysis, and she recognizes that there are other features of FY writing that can be and have been examined, she seeks to bridge the gap between two fields of study that are important in advancing our knowledge of novice academic writing. | Chapter 1, “First-year writing today,” introduces the issues and research gaps that led to this investigation. Aull points out that as far back as the 1950s and 1960s, researchers attempted to create links between the fields of linguistics and writing studies in order to collaboratively explore research issues. Equally as old are complaints about FY students’ inability to write in the academic genre in an acceptable manner. Despite these issues, she explains, there is no clear or commonly accepted definition of what is considered exemplary. In addition, there remains a lack of empirical evidence to demonstrate specific ways in which novice academic writing falls short. | In Chapter 2, entitled “Linguistic and rhetorical studies in English: A history and a (genre-based) way forward,” Aull explains the origins of the rift that exists between the disciplines of linguistics and RC in order to contextualize “how FY writing is understood and studied today as well as how we might approach it differently” (p. 20). She summarizes three points to explain why there are a lack of large scale studies that use a linguistic approach. First is the nature of how American post-secondary English departments developed with writing instructors housed within English departments. In addition, these instructors rarely had training in linguistics. Second, the field of RC itself has evolved in isolation from the fields of linguistics and English for Academic Purpose. Finally, FY writing research and teaching has historically focused on larger-scale text meaning and writing strategies, paying little attention to linguistic features. | Aull presents the context for her study in Chapter 3, “Context-informed corpus linguistic analysis of FY writing,” and reveals the first of the findings. She begins by describing the key concepts involved in corpus linguistic analysis. She draws on two corpora: a specialized corpus of evidence-based argumentative essays written by students upon entry to two American universities and the reference corpus, Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA; source of the expert writing). These are analyzed using the software program AntConc (Anthony, 2011). The two American institutions from which the student writing was drawn are the University of Michigan and Wake Forest University. | The first patterns found in the FY corpus highlight the care needed in designing test prompts. In this study, most FY writers used first person pronouns more than expert writers, regardless of the prompt. However, when a prompt asked for personal evidence, FY writers used even more first person pronouns. The FY writers used these to highlight evidence in a variety of ways, many of which differed from how expert writers used them. Finally, when an open-ended prompt solicited personal evidence (instead of a direct response to a source text argument), the instances of FY references to personal evidence again increased. In conjunction with this, references to the source text or author decreased. | The bulk of the study’s findings relating to the use of hedges and boosters (epistemic markers), and scope markers,”are presented in Chapter 4, “Corpus linguistic analysis of scope and certainty in FY and expert writing.” Contributing to argumentative strength or certainty, Aull notes that the patterns found relating to these features may assist both students and instructors in “demonstrating how macro-level concepts like credibility, evidence, and cohesion are realized in language-level patterns” (p. 85). | First, Aull discovered a number of common phrasal hedges and boosters. She also found the following patterns with the use of hedges and boosters: they are often used in academic discourse to demonstrate certainty and possibility; there are many ways to craft certainty and qualification in argumentative writing; the experienced academic writers used fewer boosters than the FY writers; and the expert writers demonstrated more balance between certainty and possibility, whereas the inexperienced writers were more confident in their assertions. Second, the analysis of scope markers revealed that expert writers used more text-internal markers (those that draw on the surrounding text) and used them to a far greater extent than text-external markers (those that take the reader outside of the text). In contrast, the novice writers depended more on text-external language. Additionally, FY writers tended to refer to the source text without making this explicit to the reader. | In Chapter 5, “Linguistically Informed Pedagogical Applications,” Aull brings together research and practice by suggesting a number of classroom activities to help writers build credibility through scope and certainty of claims, demonstrating knowledge and understanding through reformation of ideas, and forming clear relationships between concepts with the use of words and phrases that link and organize thoughts. She provides lesson ideas on argumentative certainty and breadth to practice boosters, hedges, scope markers. Aull also suggests learning activities relating to findings not previously discussed: the use of reformulation markers (emphasis and restatement), and transitions markers (logic and organization). | Aull concludes the book in Chapter 6, entitled “Implications and lingering questions,” by discussing further implications of this study, an acknowledgement of its limitations, and suggestions for future directions. Two interesting implications she details relate to equity and access, and creative expression. In the first, Aull notes that by unearthing patterns in both FY and expert academic writing, the goal is not to shame a lack of skill on the novices’ part or to proclaim the linguistic features found in the more experienced writing as the absolute in standards. She expresses concern regarding the reinforcement of privileged forms of English and limiting access to the language that will help students succeed in their studies, assumed as the foundation for career and financial success. In the second, she suggests the importance of some allowance for creativity and innovation in student writing. | EVALUATION | Aull achieves the three goals she set out to accomplish with this book. With regard to identifying common FY and expert academic writing features, Aull concedes that there is more to composing academic text than the linguistic features used, and this study focuses solely on the genre of the argumentative essay. However, discussing the entire range of micro and macro elements that go into academic writing, in addition to the multitude of written assignments that students could encounter in their various disciplines, are beyond the scope she sets out. The greater point to be made is the value in considering linguistic patterns in light of the lack of empirical examination into this area thus far. Further, she views the student writing patterns in context by considering them in relation to the writing prompts and more experienced academic writing. | The book’s second goal of exploring why there are not more studies blending applied linguistics and RC comes to fruition in Chapter 2. This friction between overlapping yet competing fields is surely not unique. The question remains as to why the two fields still resist coming together, despite evidence of the benefits of joining forces? The contributions of this study demonstrate that ‘interdisciplinarity’ is not just the buzzword du jour or popular agenda for post-secondary institutions and funding agencies; it is an important and necessary step in viewing research issues from different perspectives and advancing our knowledge. | Finally, goal number three about the value of blending theoretical influences is realized in this study’s findings. In addition to the point above regarding the value of interdisciplinary study, these results provide concrete evidence of some of the language-level differences in novice and experienced academic writing. This study also adds to the growing body of research using corpora. This method of investigation facilitates efficiency by allowing researchers to analyze large amounts of data that would be difficult or impossible to do manually (Deignan, 2005). It also allows for more in-depth and efficient (both in time and expense) analysis (Shutova, Teufel, & Korhonen, 2013), and genre-specific corpora facilitate the ability to search the most frequent uses of language forms in specific contexts. Finally, corpus investigation provides a more objective picture of language in use rather than relying on supposition or intuition (Berber Sardinha, 2007). | This study’s findings raise important issues for consideration. Previous studies examined writing prompts in light of student performance, but Aull goes a step further to consider the linguistic features of responses. She points out that secondary school students are typically taught not to use the personal pronoun ‘I’ in their writing in order to avoid personal narration, yet three of the seven prompts examined included wording inviting students to draw on personal experience. Those prompts elicited the highest number of self-mentions and a sharp decrease in referencing the source texts, especially when the prompts were open-ended. | Another issue of importance is the basis upon which to evaluate student writing, recalling Aull’s comment about there not being a clear definition of acceptable standards. Developing widely-recognized, objective, evidence-based qualities is necessary in order to judge student writing fairly and equitably as well as to provide novice writers with clear objectives to work towards. Aull identifies the importance of indoctrinating students to what is expected of them as academic writers, nodding to Sancho, Guinda, and Hyland (2012) who insist that students must be provided with “adequate descriptions” (p. 6-7) of the intricacies of the language-level features and disciplinary norms that they are expected to adhere to. The results obtained in Aull’s study provide a starting point towards the complicated task of defining the features that comprise effective academic writing. | One shortcoming of this study, which Aull discloses, is what constitutes ‘expert’ academic writing. She acknowledges that the COCA includes writing that is different from what university students (first year or otherwise) would be expected to compose (e.g., research articles). She suggests that the development of a more realistic expert writing corpus would be useful for both students and instructors. This reviewer proposes examples of discipline-specific, upper year student writing that has been judged as exemplary of the type of writing that is desired, for modeling purposes. | Also noteworthy with regard to defining expert academic writing is Aull’s suggestion in the introductory chapter that FY students can write but do so in a way that may not be valued by their instructors. She hopes that identifying linguistic patterns in both novice and expert writing will demystify expectations for students. This goal is not a new one, but Aull approaches it from a different lens than her predecessors. In the concluding chapter, she stresses that care must be taken to not “…;cast expert writing as a rigid and stable template…;” or “…;vest even more power in patterns of standard edited English” (p. 159). Instead she hopes that she can instill in students an awareness without stifling creativity, particularly considering disciplinary variations. | Overall, this book does a good job of presenting the impetus for the study, explaining why so few studies of this nature exist, detailing the findings, and suggesting ways in which the results can inform pedagogy. In terms of organization, this reviewer would have preferred that the findings revealed in Chapter 5 be presented with the other findings in Chapter 4. Alternatively, they could have been given their own place as a separate chapter before delving into the practical pedagogical implications so as to not interrupt the flow of this chapter. However, Aull’s First-Year University Writing will be an interesting and informative read for those who work with FY students in the post-secondary classroom and in support services, such as writing centres. The latter is the experiential background from which this review was approached. As such, those researchers firmly entrenched in the applied linguistics or RC camps may be more critical of the study’s findings or wary of the theoretical intermingling that Aull suggests is important. However, this reviewer believes that this study makes genuine contributions to the body of knowledge on FY writing.

  • Matthew Baerman, Dunstan Brown, and Greville G. Corbett, Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity. : Oxford University Press.2015, pp. 240.

    Abstract This book aims to assess the nature of morphological complexity, and the properties that distinguish it from the complexity manifested in other components of language. Chapters highlight novel perspectives on conceptualizing morphological complexity, and offer concrete means for measuring, quantifying and analysing it. | Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories, Morphology, Typology

  • Rena Torres Cacoullos, Nathalie Dion, and Andre Lapierre, Linguistic Variation Confronting Fact and Theory. : Routledge.2015, pp. 356.

    Abstract "Linguistic Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory" honors Shana Poplack in bringing together contributions from leading scholars in language variation and change. The book demonstrates how variationist methodology can be applied to the study of linguistic structures and processes. It introduces readers to variation theory, while also providing an overview of current debates on the linguistic, cognitive and sociocultural factors involved in linguistic patterning. With its coverage of a diverse range of language varieties and linguistic problems, this book offers new quantitative analyses of actual language production and processing from both top experts and emerging scholars, and presents students and practitioners with theoretical frameworks to meaningfully engage in accountable research practice.


  • Elizabeth Broadbent, Vinayak Kumar, Xingyan Li, Sollers, 3rd, John, Rebecca Q. Stafford, Bruce A. MacDonald, and Daniel M. Wegner, “Robots with Display Screens: A Robot with a More Humanlike Face Display Is Perceived To Have More Mind and a Better Personality,” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 8, 08 2013, pp. 1-9. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072589.

    Abstract It is important for robot designers to know how to make robots that interact effectively with humans. One key dimension is robot appearance and in particular how humanlike the robot should be. Uncanny Valley theory suggests that robots look uncanny when their appearance approaches, but is not absolutely, human. An underlying mechanism may be that appearance affects users’ perceptions of the robot’s personality and mind. This study aimed to investigate how robot facial appearance affected perceptions of the robot’s mind, personality and eeriness. A repeated measures experiment was conducted. 30 participants (14 females and 16 males, mean age 22.5 years) interacted with a Peoplebot healthcare robot under three conditions in a randomized order: the robot had either a humanlike face, silver face, or no-face on its display screen. Each time, the robot assisted the participant to take his/her blood pressure. Participants rated the robot’s mind, personality, and eeriness in each condition. The robot with the humanlike face display was most preferred, rated as having most mind, being most humanlike, alive, sociable and amiable. The robot with the silver face display was least preferred, rated most eerie, moderate in mind, humanlikeness and amiability. The robot with the no-face display was rated least sociable and amiable. There was no difference in blood pressure readings between the robots with different face displays. Higher ratings of eeriness were related to impressions of the robot with the humanlike face display being less amiable, less sociable and less trustworthy. These results suggest that the more humanlike a healthcare robot’s face display is, the more people attribute mind and positive personality characteristics to it. Eeriness was related to negative impressions of the robot’s personality. Designers should be aware that the face on a robot’s display screen can affect both the perceived mind and personality of the robot.

  • Roya Khoii, and Samira Sharififar, “Memorization versus semantic mapping in L2 vocabulary acquisition,” ELT Journal, vol. 67, no. 2, 2013, pp. 199-209. DOI: 10.1093/elt/ccs101.

    Abstract This study investigated the effects of two cognitive strategies, rote memorization and semantic mapping, on L2 vocabulary acquisition. Thirty-eight intermediate female EFL learners divided into two experimental groups participated in this study. Each experimental group used one of the strategies for vocabulary acquisition. After the four-month treatment period, a multiple-choice vocabulary post-test was given to the members of both groups to measure their progress in this area. The results indicated that, although both groups had improved their word storage, the difference between their mean scores on the post-test was not statistically significant. Therefore, it was concluded that, in spite of the energy and time devoted to preparing the semantic maps for each unit of instruction, this technique was not superior to rote memorization in helping the students to expand their word knowledge, thus casting doubt on the criticism targeted at rote memorization as a useful strategy for vocabulary acquisition.

  • Ji Hyon Kim, and Kiel Christianson, “Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution,” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 42, no. 5, 2013, pp. 393–411. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-012-9224-4.

    Abstract Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both offline RC attachment preferences and in online reading time measures, but no effects of syntactic complexity. In Experiment 2 (Korean), syntactic complexity due to greater distance between integrating heads, as measured by the dependency locality theory (Gibson in Cognition 68:1–76, 1998), significantly increased the proportion of attachment to NP1. However, no effects of working memory were found. The difference in results between English and Korean is proposed to be due to head-directionality effects. The results of our study support the conclusion that working memory-based accounts provide a better explanation than previous language-dependent accounts for differences in RC attachment preferences. We propose that previous language dependent-accounts of cross-linguistic differences in RC processing have overlooked the interaction between individual WMC and a language’s general structure, which is a central factor in RC attachment.

  • Kyusong Lee, Soo-Ok Kweon, Hae-Ri Kim, and Gary Geunbae Lee, “Filtering-based Automatic Cloze Test Generation,” in Speech and Language Technology in Education, 2013.

    Abstract We propose a method to generate high-quality cloze test questions using a computational approach. Previous methods for automatic cloze test generation have contained some problems; specifically, there can be multiple correct answers. We found that approximately 50% of the generated answers have such errors with previous methods, which requires human post-editing was necessary in previous research. We propose an N-gram filtering method that can detect the answer to a given question. We compare the errors of the generated questions before and after applying the filtering methods. We found that our filtering method can select quality distractors by reducing errors in the generated questions. Moreover, when we generate cloze tests using semantic similarity, non-native speakers are very hard to answer the questions.

  • Mariëlle Leijten, and Luuk Van Waes, “Keystroke Logging in Writing Research: Using Inputlog to Analyze and Visualize Writing Processes,” Written Communication, vol. 30, no. 3, 2013, pp. 358-392. DOI: 10.1177/0741088313491692.

    Abstract Keystroke logging has become instrumental in identifying writing strategies and understanding cognitive processes. Recent technological advances have refined logging efficiency and analytical outputs. While keystroke logging allows for ecological data collection, it is often difficult to connect the fine grain of logging data to the underlying cognitive processes. Multiple methodologies are useful to offset these difficulties. In this article we explore the complementarity of the keystroke logging program Inputlog with other observational techniques: thinking aloud protocols and eyetracking data. In addition, we illustrate new graphic and statistical data analysis techniques, mainly adapted from network analysis and data mining. Data extracts are drawn from a study of writing from multiple sources. In conclusion, we consider future developments for keystroke logging, in particular letter- to word-level aggregation and logging standardization.

  • Cristóbal Lozano, and Amaya Mendikoetxea, “Learner corpora and second language acquisition,” Automatic treatment and analysis of learner corpus data, vol. 59, 2013. DOI: 10.1075/scl.59.06loz.

    Abstract Second language acquisition (SLA) research has traditionally relied on elicited experimental data, and it has disfavoured natural language use data. Learner corpus research has the potential to change this but, to date, the research has contributed little to the interpretation of L2 acquisition, and some of the corpora are $awed in design. We analyse the reasons why many SLA researchers are still reticent about using corpora, and how good corpus design and adequate tools to annotate and search corpora can help overcome some of the problems observed. We do so by describing how the ten standard principles used in corpus design (Sinclair 2005) were applied to the design of CEDEL2, a large learner corpus of L1 English – L2 Spanish (Lozano 2009a).

  • Jay Parkes, Sara Abercrombie, and Teresita McCarty, “Feedback sandwiches affect perceptions but not performance,” Advances in Health Sciences Education, vol. 18, no. 3, 2013, pp. 397–407. DOI: 10.1007/s10459-012-9377-9.

    Abstract The feedback sandwich technique–-make positive comments; provide critique; end with positive comments–-is commonly recommended to feedback givers despite scant evidence of its efficacy. These two studies (N = 20; N = 350) of written peer feedback with third-year medical students on clinical patient note-writing assignments indicate that students think feedback sandwiches positively impact subsequent performance when there is no evidence that they do. The effort necessary to produce feedback sandwiches and students’ unwarranted confidence in their performance impact have implications for teaching about how to give feedback.


  • Nel de Jong, and Charles A. Perfetti, “Fluency Training in the ESL Classroom: An Experimental Study of Fluency Development and Proceduralization,” Language Learning, vol. 61, no. 2, June 2011, pp. 533-568. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00620.x.

    Abstract The present study investigates the role of speech repetition in oral fluency development. Twenty-four students enrolled in English-as-a-second-language classes performed three training sessions in which they recorded three speeches, of 4, 3, and 2 min, respectively. Some students spoke about the same topic three times, whereas others spoke about three different topics. It was found that fluency improved for both groups during training but was maintained on posttests only by the students who repeated their speeches. These students had used more words repeatedly across speeches, most of which were not specifically related to the topic. It is argued that proceduralization of linguistic knowledge represented a change in underlying cognitive mechanisms, resulting in improvements in observable fluency.

    Keywords classroom research, English as a second language, fluency training, oral fluency, proceduralization, second language, task repetition, vocabulary

  • Michal Ephratt, “Linguistic, paralinguistic and extralinguistic speech and silence,” Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 43, no. 9, 2011, pp. 2286-2307. DOI:

    Abstract The term ‘silence’ encompasses an assortment of concepts. This paper wishes to examine the mapping of the various silences (taking part in interaction) onto the communication scheme: extralinguistic, paralinguistic and linguistic. Scholars looking into the relation between speech and silence were trapped within socio-cultural paradigms which led them to treat silence as lack of speech, hence, present the two as mutually excluding each other. My aim is to extract the study of silence from this intricacy, by means of a pragmatic–linguistic approach. Studies that describe and sub-categorize ‘nonverbal’ communication exclude ‘verbal’ language from their description. This results, among other things, in non-exclusive criteria yielding a non-inclusive picture. In such models silence seems to be either an independent category or one among other paralinguistic phenomena. In the first part of this paper human communication is introduced as an inclusive scheme. In the second part silence is integrated into this scheme. For this purpose I first review the equivocal use of ‘silence’ by pragmatics and communication researchers and then propose a theoretical model categorizing and mapping the various silences onto a pragmatic–linguistic model. This will result in clear criteria for both speech and silence, shedding new light on their nature and the relations between them.

    Keywords Silence; Language; Verbal; Nonverbal; Paralanguage; Speech

  • Alex Gilmore, ““I Prefer Not Text”: Developing Japanese Learners’ Communicative Competence with Authentic Materials,” Language Learning, vol. 61, no. 3, 9 2011, pp. 786–819. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00634.x. http:

    Abstract This quasi-experimental study reports on a 10-month classroom-based longitudinal investigation, exploring the potential of authentic materials to develop Japanese learners’ communicative competence in English. Sixty-two second-year university students were assigned to either a control group receiving textbook input or an experimental group receiving authentic input, and their pretreatment and posttreatment levels of overall communicative competence were assessed. Communicative competence was operationalized with a batch of eight different tests: a listening test, a pronunciation test, a C-test, a grammar test, a vocabulary test, a discourse completion task, an oral interview, and a student-student role-play. The results indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group in five of the eight measures, suggesting that the authentic materials and their associated tasks were more effective in developing a broader range of communicative competencies in learners than the textbook materials. I discuss the pedagogical implications of these findings for language teachers and their learners.


  • Dwight Atkinson, “Extended, Embodied Cognition and Second Language Acquisition,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 31, no. 5, March 2010, pp. 599-622. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amq009.

    Abstract A cognitivist approach to cognition has traditionally dominated second language acquisition (SLA) studies. In this article, I examine two alternative approaches—extended cognition and embodied cognition—for how they might help us conceptualize SLA. More specifically, I present: (i) summaries of extended and embodied cognition, followed by reasons why the two can be treated as a single, synthetic perspective; (ii) an approach to SLA grounded in an extended, embodied view of cognition—i.e. a sociocognitive approach—in three principles; and (iii) a naturally occurring example of extended, embodied cognition-for-SLA.

  • David Cassels Johnson, “The Relationship between Applied Linguistic Research and Language Policy for Bilingual Education,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 31, no. 1, February 2010, pp. 72-93. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amp011.

    Abstract Currently, restrictive-language policies seem to threaten bilingual education throughout the USA. Anti-bilingual education initiatives have passed easily in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts, while one was closely defeated in Colorado, and federal education policy has re-invigorated the focus on English education for English language learners, while concomitantly obfuscating the possibility of native language maintenance and developmental bilingual education. This is the educational landscape within which bilingual education researchers, educators, and students must face the formidable challenge of preserving educational choice and bilingual education. Thus, substantive research is needed on how bilingual educators navigate this challenging ideological and policy landscape. Based on an ethnographic study of bilingual education language policy, this article takes up this challenge by focusing on how beliefs about Applied Linguistics research influence the interpretation and appropriation of federal language policy in one US school district. The results have implications for the relationship between the Applied Linguistic research community and language policy processes.


  • Gretchen Sunderman, and Judith F. Kroll, “When study-abroad experience fails to deliver: The internal resources threshold effect,” Applied Psycholinguistics, vol. 30, no. 1, 2009, pp. 79-99. DOI: 10.1017/s0142716408090048.

    Abstract Some second language (L2) learners return from study-abroad experiences (SAEs) with seemingly no change in their L2 ability. In this study we investigate whether a certain level of internal cognitive resources is necessary in order for individuals to take full advantage of the SAE. Specifically, we examine the role of working memory resources in lexical comprehension and production for learners who had or had not studied abroad. Participants included native English learners of Spanish. Participants completed a translation recognition task and a picture-naming task. The results suggest that individuals who lack a certain threshold of working memory resources are unable to benefit from the study-abroad context in terms of being able to produce accurately in the L2.

  • Machiko Tomiyama, “Age and Proficiency in L2 Attrition: Data from Two Siblings,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 30, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 253-275. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amn038.

    Abstract This paper investigates whether any difference exists in the degree of second language attrition between two siblings in terms of grammatical complexity, grammatical accuracy, lexical complexity, and lexical productivity based on their storytelling data collected over the period of 31 months. The subjects’ L1 and L2 are Japanese and English, respectively. The siblings (one male, one female) have similar L2 profiles with respect to attained proficiency, including literacy, but differ in age. The ages of returning home were 7;0, an age reported to be more vulnerable to attrition and 10;0, an age reported to be more resistant. The siblings showed similar attrition patterns suggesting that an attained high proficiency level including the acquisition of literacy skills is an important factor in the maintenance of L2. One exception was grammatical accuracy, but the difference surfaced only after the second year, indicating that the period of disuse was differentially affected according to their ages. The younger sibling’s data also suggest that maturational factors may play a role in successfully handling grammatical complexity and accuracy simultaneously.


  • Aleksandra Yurievna Ganushchak, “The nature of the verbal self-monitor,” Master's Thesis, Leiden University. 2008.

    Abstract This thesis investigated the correlates of verbal self-monitoring in healthy adults. The central questions addressed in the thesis are: Does verbal monitoring work in a similar way as action monitoring? If the Error-Related Negativity (ERN) is associated with error processing in action monitoring, can it also be applied to error processing in verbal monitoring? In a series of experiments, an ERN was shown in a various tasks in which performance was dependent on a verbal judgment. Moreover, the ERN was not only present after verbal errors, but was also affected by lexical conflict, which was the result of simultaneous activation of multiple concepts from the same semantic category. Results of studies in the thesis provide converging evidence that verbal monitoring might be a special case of general performance monitoring instead of a completely separate process. Both types of monitoring theories independently state that in order to detect an error a monitor compares the representation of a correct response with the copy of an on-line response. It is possible that during verbal monitoring, as well as during executive action monitoring, a copy of the on-line response is created and compared to the representation of the correct response. If there is a mismatch between them, an error signal is generated and corrective processes can be started.

    Keywords action monitoring, error-related negativity, Speech production, verbal self-monitoring

  • Judit Kormos, and Anna Sáfár, “Phonological short-term memory, working memory and foreign language performance in intensive language learning,” Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, vol. 11, no. 2, 07/2008 2008, pp. 261-271. DOI: 10.1017/S1366728908003416.

    Abstract In our research we addressed the question what the relationship is between phonological short-term and working memory capacity and performance in an end-of-year reading, writing, listening, speaking and use of English test. The participants of our study were 121 secondary school students aged 15–16 in the first intensive language training year of a bilingual education program in Hungary. The participants performed a non-word repetition test and took a Cambridge First Certificate Exam. Fifty students were also tested with a backward digit span test, measuring their working memory capacity. Our study indicates that phonological short-term memory capacity plays a different role in the case of beginners and pre-intermediate students in intensive language learning. The backward digit span test correlated very highly with the overall English language competence, as well as with reading, listening, speaking and use of English (vocabulary and grammar) test scores.

  • Graham Low, Jeannette Littlemore, and Almut Koester, “Metaphor Use in Three UK University Lectures,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 29, no. 3, September 2008, pp. 428-455. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amn008.

    Abstract It has been claimed in recent years that, on the one hand, metaphor occurs in UK university lectures in ways that are likely to confuse ESL learners (Littlemore 2001, 2003) and on the other hand that US lecturers use it in highly structured ways, particularly involving linked clusters, to help organize the lecture and indicate the opinions of the speaker (Corts and Pollio 1999; Corts and Meyers 2002). Both sets of claims are potentially useful to teachers of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). However, they both derive from studies with fairly narrow foci. There have to date been few studies examining at a more general level where metaphor occurs and how it is used in lectures. The present paper reports part of a small-scale study to develop a viable methodology for analysing metaphor use generally in lectures. It examines the incidence and use of metaphor in three UK university lectures in the BASE corpus, using a version of the MIP procedure developed by the Pragglejaz Group (2007). The main findings are that metaphor is used repeatedly throughout all three lectures, but that there are few elaborated or developed metaphors; those there are tend to be short, unconnected with later metaphors and used primarily to solve local, rather than global purposes. The implications for EAP teaching are discussed.

  • Ernesto Macaro, and Lynn Erler, “Raising the Achievement of Young-beginner Readers of French through Strategy Instruction,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 29, no. 1, March 2008, pp. 90-119. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amm023.

    Abstract This article reports on an intervention study of reading comprehension among young-beginner learners of French as a foreign language (L2) in England. A number of factors are currently contributing to low achievement in reading among this population of learners. Although research into reading strategies is extensive, and there is some evidence of success in reading strategy instruction, very few studies have focused on beginner readers and there are no examples of longitudinal interventions such as this one. A sample of 62, 11-12 year olds underwent a programme of reading strategy instruction lasting 14 months. Measures were taken of French reading comprehension, reading strategy use and attitudes towards French before and after the intervention and findings compared with a group of 54 students not receiving the intervention. Results suggest that strategy instruction improved comprehension of both simple and more elaborate texts, brought about changes in strategy use, and improved attitudes towards reading.

  • Christoph Rühlemann, “A Register Approach to Teaching Conversation: Farewell to Standard English?,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 29, no. 4, December 2008, pp. 672-693. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amn023.

    Abstract Owing to analyses of large spoken corpora the linguistic knowledge of conversation has grown in recent years exponentially. Up until now little of this knowledge has trickled down to the EFL classroom. One of the reasons, this paper argues, is the failure in the relevant literature to spell out clearly how teaching conversational grammar affects the role of what is the major variety in the EFL classroom, Standard English (SE). My aim in this paper is threefold. First, I briefly discuss some neglected conversational features in relation to SE, concluding that the contrast between the grammars of conversation and SE is so stark that the notion of SE is problematic in talking of the spoken language. Second, I consider what this contrast implies for EFL teaching, arguing that for authentic conversation to be taught effectively it is necessary to reduce the role of SE to ’a core variety’ that has its place in teaching writing while conversational grammar might serve as the underlying model in teaching speech. I argue that such a redefinition of SE would best be implemented in a ’register approach’ which shifts the emphasis from a monolithic view of language to a register-sensitive view thus acknowledging the fundamental functional diversity of language use. Third, I discuss some important issues arising from this approach and, finally, outline what may be gained by it.


  • Anne Pomerantz, and Nancy D. Bell, “Learning to Play, Playing to Learn: FL Learners as Multicompetent Language Users,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 28, no. 4, December 2007, pp. 556-578. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amm044.

    Abstract In line with recent critiques of communicative language teaching (Byrnes and Maxim 2004; Byrnes 2006), this paper considers how instances of spontaneous, creative language play can afford access to a range of linguistic practices that are often devalued or ignored in classrooms. To this end, it examines how university students in an advanced Spanish conversation course jointly manipulate linguistic forms, semantic units, and discursive elements for the amusement of themselves and others. The analysis suggests that these humorous moments provide opportunities for new and more varied forms of participation and language use, contributing to the expansion of learners’ overall communicative repertoires. That is, it illustrates how co-constructed episodes of unscripted language play can destabilize institutionally-sanctioned assumptions about what counts as a meaningful or legitimate act of language use, momentarily reconfiguring the definition of linguistic expertise and broadening the possibilities for acceptable language use. Following Hall et al. (2006), the authors advocate a view of learners as multicompetent language users (V. Cook 1991, 1992, 1999), whose language knowledge is grounded in the actual linguistic practices in which they engage.

  • Eye movements: A window on mind and brain. Amsterdam: Elsevier.2007.

    Abstract Eye-movement recording has become the method of choice in a wide variety of disciplines investigating how the mind and brain work. This volume brings together recent, high-quality eye-movement research from many different disciplines and, in doing so, presents a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art in eye-movement research. | Sections include the history of eye-movement research, physiological and clinical studies of eye movements, transsaccadic integration, computational modelling of eye movements, reading, spoken language processing, attention and scene perception, and eye-movements in natural environments. • Includes recent research from a variety of disciplines • Divided into sections based on topic areas, with an overview chapter beginning each section • Through the study of eye movements we can learn about the human mind, and eye movement recording has become the method of choice in many disciplines

  • Susan Meredith Burt, “Joel Walters, Bilingualism: The sociopragmatic-psycholinguistic interface,” Language in Society, vol. 36, no. 01, 2007, pp. 131-134. DOI: 10.1017/s0047404507290050.

    Abstract In the Preface to this volume, Joel Walters explains why we need "yet another model of bilingual processing" (p. viii): The field of bilingualism is divided between researchers focused on the social situating and functions of bilingualism and those concerned with mental structures of bilingualism. Yet bilingual speakers function linguistically at the intersection of these two realms; Walters is concerned to construct a map of cognitive processes at that intersection. In other words, Walters takes on an enormous task: to construct a psycholinguistic model of bilingual processing that includes the wealth of social and pragmatic information that plays a role in bilingual speech and interaction.


  • John Hellermann, “Classroom Interactive Practices for Developing L2 Literacy: A Microethnographic Study of Two Beginning Adult Learners of English,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 27, no. 3, September 2006, pp. 377-404. DOI: 10.1093/applin/ami052.

    Abstract Using methods from conversation analysis, this microethnographic longitudinal case study traces the development of interactional competence which results from adult learners’ socialization into literacy events in a modified Sustained Silent Reading (mSSR) program. The investigation focuses on two learners who participated in the mSSR program in an ESOL classroom at an adult community college for three terms. The findings show how the two learners (with different first language educational backgrounds) follow different paths in acquiring interactional competence, moving from peripheral to more engaged participation in classroom literacy events through their socialization into three of these events: book selection, opening post-reading re-tellings, and completing and filing reading logs.

  • Li-fang Zhang, “Thinking styles and the big five personality traits revisited,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 40, no. 6, 2006, pp. 1177 - 1187. DOI:

    Abstract This article had two objectives. The first was to further explore the utility of measuring intellectual styles (a general term encompassing such style constructs as cognitive, learning, and thinking styles) in addition to measuring personality. The second was to verify Sternberg’s (1988) claim that the theory of mental self-government is applicable to non-academic settings as well as to academic settings. The Thinking Styles Inventory (Sternberg & Wagner, 1992) and the {NEO} Five-Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992) were administered to 199 parents of secondary school students in mainland China. Findings suggest that it is meaningful to investigate intellectual styles in addition to examining personality. In addition, results supported Sternberg’s assertion regarding the validity of the theory of mental self-government in both academic and non-academic settings.

    Keywords Personality traits

  • Tong Zhang, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, and Stephen E. Levinson, “Extraction of pragmatic and semantic salience from spontaneous spoken English,” Speech Communication, vol. 48, no. 3–4, 2006, pp. 437 - 462. DOI:

    Abstract This paper computationalizes two linguistic concepts, contrast and focus, for the extraction of pragmatic and semantic salience from spontaneous speech. Contrast and focus have been widely investigated in modern linguistics, as categories that link intonation and information/discourse structure. This paper demonstrates the automatic tagging of contrast and focus for the purpose of robust spontaneous speech understanding in a tutorial dialogue system. In particular, we propose two new transcription tasks, and demonstrate automatic replication of human labels in both tasks. First, we define focus kernel to represent those words that contain novel information neither presupposed by the interlocutor nor contained in the precedent words of the utterance. We propose detecting the focus kernel based on a word dissimilarity measure, part-of-speech tagging, and prosodic measurements including duration, pitch, energy, and our proposed spectral balance cepstral coefficients. In order to measure the word dissimilarity, we test a linear combination of ontological and statistical dissimilarity measures previously published in the computational linguistics literature. Second, we propose identifying symmetric contrast, which consists of a set of words that are parallel or symmetric in linguistic structure but distinct or contrastive in meaning. The symmetric contrast identification is performed in a way similar to the focus kernel detection. The effectiveness of the proposed extraction of symmetric contrast and focus kernel has been tested on a Wizard-of-Oz corpus collected in the tutoring dialogue scenario. The corpus consists of 630 non-single word/phrase utterances, containing approximately 5700 words and 48 minutes of speech. The tests used speech waveforms together with manual orthographic transcriptions, and yielded an accuracy of 83.8% for focus kernel detection and 92.8% for symmetric contrast detection. Our tests also demonstrated that the spectral balance cepstral coefficients, the semantic dissimilarity measure, and part-of-speech played important roles in the symmetric contrast and focus kernel detections.

    Keywords Information extraction


  • Nancy D. Bell, “Exploring L2 Language Play as an Aid to SLL: A Case Study of Humour in NS-NNS Interaction,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 26, no. 2, June 2005, pp. 192-218. DOI: 10.1093/applin/amh043.

    Abstract In the past few years researchers have begun to show an interest in humour and language play as it relates to second language learning (SLL). Tarone (2000) has suggested that L2 language play may be facilitative of SLL, in particular by developing sociolinguistic competence, as learners experiment with L2 voices; and by destabilizing the interlanguage (IL) system, thus allowing growth to continue. She recommends research examining the ways in which adult L2 speakers interacting outside the classroom play with language as a way of learning more about this issue. Using case study methodology to document the ways in which L2 verbal humour was negotiated and constructed by three advanced non-native speakers (NNSs) of English as they interacted with native speakers (NSs) of English, this study contributes to this knowledge base by showing patterns of interaction that arise during humorous language play between NSs and NNSs and how these may benefit second language acquisition (SLA). Results suggest that language play can be a marker of proficiency, as more advanced participants used L2 linguistic resources in more creative ways. Language play may also result in deeper processing of lexical items, making them more memorable, thus it may be especially helpful in the acquisition of vocabulary and semantic fields.

  • Mari C. Jones, “Some structural and social correlates of single word intrasentential code-switching in Jersey Norman French,” Journal of French Language Studies, vol. 15, no. 01, 2005, pp. 1-23. DOI: 10.1017/s0959269505001894.

    Abstract This article investigates single word intrasentential code-switching in obsolescent Jersey Norman French. It considers the relationship between code-switched forms and borrowings and, via an analysis of flagging strategies, reveals that speakers seem to differentiate between these two types of contact form. On the basis of the findings, it is suggested that the presence of self-correction as a flagging device may warrant further investigation as a possible criterion for distinguishing code-switches and borrowings. The switching patterns of individual informants are also examined and it is demonstrated that a speaker’s attitude towards the dialect seems to have a bearing on the extent to which they code-switch.

  • Gillian Wigglesworth, “Current Approaches to Researching Second Language Learner Processes,” Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, vol. 25, March 2005, pp. 98-111. DOI: 10.1017/s026719050500005x.

    Abstract Language learning is a complex set of processes that largely take place in the learner’s head. The extent to which learners consciously focus on specific aspects of language, the degree to which they notice particular features of language, and how this is done has been the object of considerable debate in different theoretical approaches to second language acquisition. For researchers in second language acquisition, one dilemma is how to find out what learners notice, and how, if at all, they incorporate this into their developing linguistic knowledge. Here, I discuss three approaches to researching learner cognitive processes that can be used to identify the knowledge that learners have about their second language, and obtain some insights into the cognitive processes of learners. These approaches have the potential to contribute to our understanding of how learners learn a second language, and, therefore, how this task may be facilitated. The first approach attempts to tap directly into the learner’s thought through the use of think-aloud protocols, whereas the second involves having learners engage with activities that encourage them to talk aloud, thus providing insights into their thought processes. The third approach uses planning effects on task performance to investigate how learners monitor their language.


  • H Zeevat, “Asher on discourse topic,” Theoretical Linguistics, vol. 30, no. 2-3, 11/2004 2004, pp. 203-211. DOI: 10.1515/thli.2004.30.2-3.203.

    Abstract (none)


  • Jean Aitchinson, Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.2003.

    Abstract This book deals with words, and how humans learn them, remember them, understand them, and find the ones they want. In brief, it discusses the structure and content of the human word-store or ‘mental lexicon’, with particular reference to the spoken language of native English speakers.Since the first two editions of Words in the Mind were published, work on the lexicon has exploded. This is reflected in this new edition, which contains substantial additions. One new chapter has been added on layering and meaning change, and several others have been considerably expanded. The notes and suggestions for further reading have been updated, and numerous new references have been included.The book remains accessible in style and easy to read for both undergraduates and non-specialists.This book deals with words, and how humans learn them, remember them, understand them, and find the ones they want. It discusses the structure and content of the human word-store or ‘mental lexicon’ with particular reference to the spoken language of native English speakers.Since the first two editions of Words in the Mind were published, work on the lexicon has exploded. This is reflected in this new edition, which contains substantial additions. One new chapter has been added on layering and meaning change, and several others have been considerably expanded. The notes and suggestions for further reading have been updated, and numerous new references have been included.The book remains accessible in style and easy to read for both undergraduates and non-specialists.

  • John Hellermann, “The interactive work of prosody in the IRF exchange: Teacher repetition in feedback moves,” Language in Society, vol. 32, no. 1, 2003, pp. 79-104. DOI: 10.1017/s0047404503321049.

    Abstract This article examines the interactive import of prosody from a perspective of participants’ orientation to talk in interaction, taking advantage of data from institutional discourse to focus on the prosodic packaging of recurring turn sequences of the same discourse activity. The analysis focuses on the third slot of a ubiquitous three-part classroom discourse sequence, the IRF exchange (Sinclair & Coulthard 1975), a site in which teachers make repetitive feedback moves following student responses. Examination of more than 25 hours of classroom discourse and more than 300 third-turn teacher feedback types uncovered a systematic use of prosody for these teacher repetitions that coincides with a teacher’s positive assessment of the student response. Further analysis shows that more complex prosodic packaging is used by teachers in their repetitive feedback turns to index other interactive functions.


  • Rod Ellis, “Does Form-Focused Instruction Affect the Acquisition of Implicit Knowledge?,” Studies in Second Language Acquisition, vol. 24, no. 2, 2002, pp. 223-236. DOI: 10.1017/s0272263102002073.

    Abstract The extent to which form-focused instruction contributes to the acquisition of second language implicit knowledge is controversial. Whereas Krashen (1993) has argued that the effects of FFI on acquisition are peripheral, N. Ellis (this issue) sees FFI as facilitative and even necessary for developing implicit L2 knowledge. This article examines the role of FFI in developing implicit knowledge by reviewing 11 studies that have examined the effect of FFI on learners’ free production. The review suggests that FFI can contribute to the acquisition of implicit knowledge and points to two variables that appear to influence its success—the choice of the target structure and the extent of the instruction. FFI involving extensive instruction directed at "simple" structures was more likely to succeed. However, limited instruction directed at complex structures also proved effective, provided that the target structures are readily available in noninstructional input.

  • Li-fang Zhang, “Thinking Styles and Cognitive Development,” The Journal of Genetic Psychology, vol. 163, no. 2, 06/2002 2002, pp. 179-195. DOI: 10.1080/00221320209598676.

    Abstract Using R. J. Sternberg's (1988, 1997) theory of thinking styles and W. G. Perry's (1970) theory of cognitive development, the author investigated the nature of thinking styles as they relate to cognitive development. Eighty-two Hong Kong university students (44 male, 38 female) responded to the Thinking Styles Inventory (R. J. Sternberg & R. K. Wagner, 1992) and the Zhang Cognitive Development Inventory (L. F. Zhang, 1997). Statistical analyses provided varying degrees of support for the prediction of an overlap between the thinking style and cognitive development constructs. In general, students who reasoned at a higher cognitive developmental level tended to use a wider range of thinking styles than students who reasoned at a lower cognitive developmental level. Implications of results are discussed in relation to education and research.

  • Geoffrey Sampson, “Regional variation in the English verb qualifier system,” English Language and Linguistics, vol. 6, no. 01, 2002, pp. 17-30. DOI: 10.1017/s1360674302001028.

    Abstract Nonstandard dialects often use the same form for the past tense and past participle of irregular verbs for which the standard language has distinct forms. One possible reason would be that some speakers have a nonstandard system of verb qualifiers (tense, mood, and aspect markers) in which the past tense/past participle distinction is functionally redundant. Data on spontaneous speech in Britain in the 1990s partly supports this by showing marked regional variation in the use of the Perfect construction. However, some nonstandard past tenses cannot be explained in terms of a nonstandard qualifier system.


  • E Spector-Cohen, M Kirschner, and C Wexler, “Designing EAP reading courses at the university level,” English for Specific Purposes, vol. 20, no. 4, 2001, pp. 367 - 386. DOI:

    Abstract In countries where university students must read course bibliographies in English but perform related tasks in L1, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course coordinators must often design their own courses and materials. In this paper, we present the Complementary Pyramid Syllabus Design (CPSD), developed at the Division of Foreign Languages, Tel Aviv University, Israel. The CPSD is a principled four-pronged approach to EAPreading course design employing elements of Type A syllabi (focusing on the discrete elements of language) and Type B syllabi (emphasizing the purposes for and process of acquiring a language). A CPSD syllabus for a particular course incorporates explicit instruction on discrete linguistic forms, reading comprehension strategies, academic genres, as well as criterion tasks which focus on meaning and which mirror real-life academic tasks. The weight of each of these elements varies in a systematic manner depending on the students’ L2 proficiency. The CPSD approach is grounded in the literature on such topics as syllabus design, the nature of the reading process in L1 and L2, and genre. A flowchart depicting the procedure for designing EAP course syllabi as well as a sample case of course design are presented.

  • Li-fang Zhang, and Jiafen Huang, “Thinking Styles and the Five-Factor Model of Personality,” European Journal of Personality, vol. 15, no. 6, November/December 2001, pp. 465-476. DOI: 10.1002/per.429.

    Abstract The primary aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between thinking styles and the big five personality dimensions. Four hundred and eight (149 males, 259 females) university students from Shanghai, mainland China, responded to the Thinking Styles Inventory and the NEO Five‐Factor Inventory. It was found that thinking styles and personality dimensions overlap to a degree. As predicted, the more creativity‐generating and more complex thinking styles were related to the extraversion and openness personality dimensions, and the more norm‐favouring and simplistic thinking styles were related to neuroticism. No specific pattern was identified in the relationships of thinking styles to the agreeableness and conscientiousness dimensions.


  • Fernanda Ferreira, and John M. Henderson, “Linearization strategies during language production,” Memory & Cognition, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan 1998, pp. 88–96. DOI: 10.3758/BF03211372.

    Abstract The two experiments reported here were designed to examine discourse planning during language production. Following the work of Levelt (1981, 1982), participants were shown simple networks consisting of two branches, and their task was to describe the networks. The two branches of the networks differed in either length or complexity; the dependent measure was participants’ decisions to describe the left or right branch first. The experiments showed that speakers preferred to describe a less complex branch before a more complex branch and preferred to describe a shorter branch before a longer branch. Levelt’s minimal-load principle is invoked to explain these results, along with the principle of incrementalism (Levelt, 1989). Discussion focuses on the possibility that incrementalism in production is useful to both the speaker and the listener.


  • John W. Oller, “Monoglottosis: What’s Wrong with the Idea of the IQ Meritocracy and Its Racy Cousins?,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 18, no. 4, December 1997, pp. 467-507. DOI: 10.1093/applin/18.4.467.

    Abstract For about 100 years, certain enthusiasts have claimed that IQ tests measure innate intelligence (Binet and Simon 1905, Brighman 1923, Eysenck 1971, Herrnstein 1973, Herrnstein and Murray 1994, Jensen 1969, 1980, 1984, 1995, Lynn 1978, 1979) and show racial differences. These ideas have roots in ‘social Darwinism’ (Darwin 1874) and the eugenics movement (Gallon 1869)—the aim to ‘purify’ the gene pool Linked to these racy theories are the over-representation of minority language children in classes for the mentally retarded, language disordered, etc, and their under-representation in classes for the gifted (Ortiz and Yates 1983. Oakland and Parmelee 1985). In opposition to the IQ élitists, others have claimed that the data are misconstrued (Figueroa 1989, Fraser 1995, Gould 1981, 1995, Isham and Kamin 1993, Jacoby and Glauberman 1995, Macnamara 1966, 1972, Mercer 1973, 1984, Valdés and Figueroa 1994) or perhaps irrelevant (Gardner 1983, 1993, 1995). While the research of Herrnstein, Murray, and Jensen (not to mention Carroll 1993, 1995, Sternberg 1996, and others) cannot be ignored, it can be shown that the IQ enthusiasts have largely discounted acquired language/dialect proficiency as a factor in their tests (Oller and Perkins 1978, Oller 1978, Oler, Chesarek, and Scott 1991, Oller and Jonz 1994). Monoglottosis, near total language/dialect blindness, is partly to blame. This condition accounts for Herrnstein’s ‘meritocracy’ theory that intellectual cream rises to the top But do IQ tests measure ‘innate’ intelligence?. It is shown here empirically and theoretically that even ‘nonverbal’ IQ tests mainly measure powers of reasoning accessed through the primary language of the test-takers and that ‘verbal’ IQ scores assess proficiency in the language of the tests. The IQ literature needs to be reconceptualized.


  • Florien J. Koopmans-van Beinum, and Monique E. van Donzel, “Relationship between discourse structure and dynamic speech rate,” in Proceeding of Fourth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing. ICSLP '96, vol. 3, October 1996, pp. 1724-1727. DOI: 10.1109/ICSLP.1996.607960.

    Abstract This paper regards one specific element of a larger research project on the acoustic determinants of information structure in spontaneous and read discourse in Dutch. From a previous experiment within that project it turned out that listeners used two main cues (viz. speaking rate and intonation) to differentiate between spontaneous and read speech. The aim of the present experiment is to investigate the role of one of these prosodic cues, i.e., the local variability in speaking rate, and to study the relationship between the information structure of a spoken discourse on the one hand, and dynamic speaking rate measurements of that discourse on the other hand. Results show that there is a large variability in average syllable duration over the various interpausal speech runs for each of the eight speakers. No straightforward relation is found between the number of syllables within a run and the average syllable duration. We hypothesize that, at least in spontaneous speech, variations in speaking rate are related to the (global and/or local) information structures in the discourse. Global analysis of the discourse structure in paragraphs and clauses reveals that for each of the speakers the average syllable duration of the first run of a paragraph is longer than the overall mean value per speaker in more than 60% of the cases. Inspection of the quartiles of runs with highest ASD-values and those with lowest ASD-values for each of the speakers shows quite different structures, which can be explained on the basis of partly local and partly global discourse characteristics.

  • Diane Musumeci, “Teacher-Learner Negotiation in Content-Based Instruction: Communication at Cross-Purposes?,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 17, no. 3, September 1996, pp. 286-325. DOI: 10.1093/applin/17.3.286.

    Abstract This research looks at teacher-student exchanges in there content-based language classrooms The data reveal persistent archetypal patterns of classroom interaction, teachers speak most of the time and they initiate the majority of (he exchanges by asking display questions, whereas student-initiated requests are referential In addition, teachers modify their own speech in response to students signals of non-understanding regardless of activity type (whole class, small group, one-to-one), but students prefer to verbally request help only in small group or one-to-one interactions with the teacher Moreover, although teachers repeatedly modify their speech in response to students requests (verbal or non-verbal), they rarely request modifications of the students speech Sustained negotiation — in which teachers and students verbally resolve incomplete or inaccurate messages — occurs rarely or not at all in these classrooms The research differs from earlier work on L2 teacher talk and negotiation in that it attempts to shed light on why these patterns of interaction persist The discussion of the data includes the participating teachers explanations of their own behaviors Students reactions to negotiation in content-based instruction are gleaned from end-of-semester evaluations of both the teacher and the course Overall lack of linguistic negotiation is attributed to teachers and learners expectations for appropriate classroom behaviors, teachers sensitivity to affective variables in second language learning, power relationships, and time management considerations While the present research supports previous experimental studies in which learners clarification requests result in teacher-modified input, they also challenge the feasibility of promoting more negotiation in content-based instruction


  • Beverly Olson Flanigan, “Peer Tutoring and Second Language Acquisition in the Elementary School1,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 12, no. 2, June 1991, pp. 141-158. DOI: 10.1093/applin/12.2.141.

    Abstract In earlier studies of classroom second language learning attention was focused on teacher-pupil interaction. However, it is evident that learners learn in many ways, and studies of ’group-fronted’ classes suggest that pupil-pupil interaction may lead to more comprehensible linguistic input and more productive and ’negotiated’ output. At the level of child second language acquisition, such interaction has been studied primarily as language-in-play, with the focus on learner output, but research on caretaker language and foreigner talk has also led to studies of whether, and how, children simplify, repeat, and expand utterances as they speak with less proficient interlocutors. The present study reports on the ’tutor talk’ used in two typical peer situations within a local elementary school: (I) in teacher-directed NNS-NNS (non-native speaker) pairings in the ESL classroom, and (2) in pupil-initiated pairings as native or more proficient non-native English-speaking children help LEP (low English proficiency) children in content-based lessons. It is concluded that, while little sentence-level simplification is used by the tutors, extensive use is made of conversational and tutorial strategies similar to those used by native and nonnative adults. Samples and tabulations are given of the ’tutor talk’ used in the six dyads observed.

  • Thom Hudson, “A Content Comprehension Approach to Reading English for Science and Technology,” TESOL Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 1, 1991, pp. 77-104. DOI: 10.2307/3587029.

    Abstract English for special purposes (ESP) reading programs often take specific grammar, vocabulary, and isolated reading skills as the organizing principle for syllabus design and fail to acknowledge how the act of comprehending text can affect reading ability. The present study reports on an ESP reading project which emphasizes the role of content comprehension. The context of the study is the Reading English for Science and Technology Project in the Chemical Engineering Department of the Universidad de Guadalajara. The materials for the 2-year course were developed around thematic units which correspond to undergraduate course content. Instruction presented grammar and vocabulary only as they were necessary for comprehension of the text. The study examines whether the emphasis on reading for content improved reading comprehension as well as knowledge of reading grammar and general reading ability. Students were administered three reading tests: reading grammar, comprehension, and cloze. Significant differences were found for instructional status and subtest and for each subtest by instructional level. The results of this study suggest that the content comprehension approach can improve reading comprehension as well as knowledge of reading grammar and general reading ability.

  • Jane Zuengler, and Barbara Bent, “Relative Knowledge of Content Domain: An Influence on Native-Non-native Conversations,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 12, no. 4, 1991, pp. 397-415. DOI: 10.1093/applin/12.4.397.

    Abstract The study was undertaken to determine whether content knowledge influences conversational participation when native speakers (NSs) interact with nonnative speakers (NNSs). It also investigated whether NSs tend to participate more actively than NNSs in NS-NNS interactions. The hypotheses concerned predictions that (1) when theinterlocutors have relatively equal content knowledge,the NS will participate more and (2) when the interlocutors have relatively unequal knowledge of the domain, the relative content ‘expert’ (NS or NNS) will show more conversational participation. The content domains chosen were the subjects’ major field and a domain outside their majorfield. Conversations from 45 NS-NNS pairs were analysed for amount of talk, fillers, back-channels, interruptions, resisting interruptions, and topic moves. Outcomes of several measures reveal participation patterns which can be explained by the interlocutors’ relative content knowledge. No clear, overall tendency was found for the NS to participate more actively in the conversation.


  • Nina M. Spada, “Relationships Between Instructional Differences and Learning Outcomes: A Process-Product Study of Communicative Language Teaching,” Applied Linguistics, vol. 8, no. 2, 1987, pp. 137-161. DOI: 10.1093/applin/8.2.137.

    Abstract This article reports on the results of a process-product study investigating possible relationships between instructional differences and learning outcomes in a communicatively-based ESL programme.To investigate instructional differences, sixty hours of classroom observation data were collected from three classes of adult intermediate-level learners using an observation scheme which was particularly sensitive to the communicative orientation of second language instruction. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses of these data revealed that there were differences in the ways in which this instructional methodology was implemented.To determine whether these instructional differences contributed to variation in improvement, learners’ pre- and post-test scores on seven proficiency measures were examined in an analysis of co-variance. The results indicated that some learners improved more than others on particular measures (e.g. speaking, listening and discourse test) and this difference appeared to be related to variation in classroom instruction.The results are discussed in terms of the need to include both a process and a product component in classroom-centred research.



  • Bernard Coffey, “ESP – English for Specific Purposes,” Language Teaching, vol. 17, no. 1, 001 1984, pp. 2-16. DOI: 10.1017/S0261444800010405.

    Abstract This article is an updating of the ESP survey written by Professor Peter Strevens for Language Teaching and Linguistics: Abstracts, Vol. 10, No. 3 of July 1977. The account given there of ESP’s definitions, antecedents, theoretical bases and methodology has not been rendered obsolete by the passage of six years, and it remains a definitive statement. What is new in the present article refers to output and events since 1977, and also, with a greater or lesser degree of tentativeness, to the development of trends – especially those which may indicate that ESP is moving into a pre-final phase, or which hint at new directions for research and development. This article also owes a considerable debt to other overviews of ESP that have appeared since 1977, and particularly to the work of Pauline C. Robinson (1980), of the University of Reading’s Centre for Applied Language Studies.


  • David Carver, “Some propositions about ESP,” The ESP Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, 1983, pp. 131 - 137. DOI:

    Abstract This paper attempts to characterise specific purpose English by contrasting it with some possible forms of English with nonspecific purposes. It is argued that all uses of English are specific in their nature, and that all teaching of English as a Foreign Language should be addressed to specific purposes. Three approaches towards this end are discussed: the use of simulated purposes within the classroom, the use of real purposes external to the classroom, and the use of relevant literature. It is argued that an ESP course should be characterised by the use of authentic materials, an orientation to purposeful activities on the part of the learners, and self-access organisation of the learning. Three approaches to appropriate methodology are discussed—the approach through register, through discourse, and through study skills.


  • Starkey Duncan, and George Niederehe, “On signalling that it's your turn to speak,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 10, no. 3, 1974, pp. 234-247. DOI:

    Abstract The operation of a “speaker-state signal” in two-person, face-to-face conversations is hypothesized. Display of this signal by an auditor appears to indicate, among other things, that he is claiming the speaking turn, differentiating this action from a “back-channel behavior” by which he merely acknowledges some portion of the speaker's message. The signal also appears to play a part in the resolution of situations in which both participants simultaneously claim the speaking turn. The signal is defined as the display of at least one of a set of four behavioral cues, two in paralanguage and two in body motion.


  • Vivian. Zamel, Feedback in Language Teaching [microform] / Vivian Zamel. : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse [Washington, D.C.].1973, pp. 34 p..

    Abstract In this paper, two theoretical approaches to language teaching, the audio-lingual and the cognitive code methods, are examined with respect to how they deal with feedback in the classroom situation. Audio-lingual theorists either ignore completely the need for feedback in the classroom or deal with it only in terms of its reinforcing attributes. When it is provided in terms of results, it is usually in reaction to a correct response in an effort to make the recurrence of that response more likely. Cognitive code theorists or transformationalists insist that language learning takes place on an inner level, not necessarily reflected by outward performance. This concept makes feedback, which must be based on outward performance, inappropriate. A cybernetic model is suggested here as the basis for constructing a language learning theory that incorporates features of both cognitive-code learning theory and audio-lingual habit theory and recognizes the importance of feedback. After a summary of cybernetic theory, the kind of feedback it entails, how it can be applied to language learning and what its implications are for the learning process are discussed.


  • Natalie Waterson, “Some views on speech perception,” Journal of the International Phonetic Association, vol. 1, no. 02, 1971, pp. 81-96. DOI: 10.1017/s0025100300000293.

    Abstract Speech perception is of interest to linguists and psychologists alike. Psychologists seek for linguistic units to enable them to explain processes involved in speech; linguists try to establish what these units may be, whether distinctive features, phonemes, syllables, words or even larger units. Although the phoneme was for some time considered to be the most likely candidate, experimental evidence is increasingly pointing to some larger unit, particularly in view of the fact that no one-to-one acoustic correlation with the phoneme nor with distinctive features can be found (cf. Reddy, 1967: 336, Ladefoged, 1967: 146, Denes, 1963: 892). Furthermore, if the phoneme were to be the unit of perception, in any sort of processing involving matching a perceived pattern with one already stored, far too many operations would be involved because of the large size of vocabularies and large number of sentence types in a language; such processing would have to be too rapid to be feasible, bearing in mind the constraints of memory span. There is now more sympathy for the syllable or larger stretch as the unit of perception (e.g. Laver, 1970: 68, Maclay and Osgood, 1959, Ladefoged, 1959: 402), and there seems to be good evidence for the planning of speech to be in stretches longer than a word, e.g. Ladefoged’s experiments with placing at different parts of a sentence (Ladefoged, 1959).