This article locates Norton's foundational work on identity and investment within the social turn of applied linguistics. It discusses its historical impetus and theoretical anchors, and it illustrates how these ideas have been taken up in recent scholarship. In response to the demands of the new world order, spurred by technology and characterized by mobility, it proposes a comprehensive model of investment, which occurs at the intersection of identity, ideology, and capital. The model recognizes that the spaces in which language acquisition and socialization take place have become increasingly deterritorialized and unbounded, and the systemic patterns of control more invisible. This calls for new questions, analyses, and theories of identity. The model addresses the needs of learners who navigate their way through online and offline contexts and perform identities that have become more fluid and complex. As such, it proposes a more comprehensive and critical examination of the relationship between identity, investment, and language learning. Drawing on two case studies of a female language learner in rural Uganda and a male language learner in urban Canada, the model illustrates how structure and agency, operating across time and space, can accord or refuse learners the power to speak.
This article surveys recent work on content-and-language integrated learning (CLIL). Related to both content-based instruction and immersion education by virtue of its dual focus on language and content, CLIL is here understood as an educational model for contexts where the classroom provides the only site for learners' interaction in the target language. That is, CLIL is about either foreign languages or lingua francas. The discussion foregrounds a prototypical CLIL context (Europe) but also refers to work done elsewhere. The first part of the discussion focuses on policy issues, describing how CLIL practice operates in a tension between grassroots decisions and higher order policymaking, an area where European multi- and plurilingual policies and the strong impact of English as a lingua franca play a particularly interesting role. The latter is, of course, of definite relevance also in other parts of the world. The second part of the article synthesizes research on learning outcomes in CLIL. Here, the absence of standardized content testing means that the main focus is on language-learning outcomes. The third section deals with classroom-based CLIL research and participants' use of their language resources for learning and teaching, including such diverse perspectives as discourse pragmatics, speech acts, academic language functions, and genre. The final part of the article discusses theoretical underpinnings of CLIL, delineating their current state of elaboration as applied linguistic research in the area is gaining momentum.
This article reviews recent scholarship in language, identity, and education. It critically reflects on developments in sociolinguistics as researchers have engaged with the dynamics and complexity of communication in superdiverse societies where people from an increased number of territories come into contact with one another, and where people have access to an increased range of online resources for communication. The authors focus in particular on recent scholarship on "translanguaging," examining research that has viewed identities as socially constructed in interaction and considering the relationship between language and identities in contexts where communication is mobile and complex. This article offers a critical summary of the implications of these developments for education in the 21st century. In order to illustrate these theoretical points, the authors present an empirical example of the performance of language and identity in education from their recent research.
This article explores how learners engage in tasks in the context of language classrooms. We describe engagement as a multidimensional construct that includes cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional dimensions of engagement among second and foreign language learners in the classroom. We discuss key concepts and indicators of engagement in current research on task-based interaction and outline some of the issues in researching engagement in this context.
Applied linguistics is a field concerned with issues pertaining to language(s) and literacies in the real world and with the people who learn, speak, write, process, translate, test, teach, use, and lose them in myriad ways. It is also fundamentally concerned with transnationalism, mobility, and multilingualism-the movement across cultural, linguistic, and (often) geopolitical or regional borders and boundaries. The field is, furthermore, increasingly concerned with identity construction and expression through particular language and literacy practices across the life span, at home, in diaspora settings, in short-term and long-term sojourns abroad for study or work, and in other contexts and circumstances. In this article, I discuss some recent areas in which applied linguists have investigated the intersections of language (multilingualism), identity, and transnationalism. I then present illustrative studies and some recurring themes and issues.
Although much has been written about academic discourse from diverse theoretical perspectives over the past two decades, and especially about English academic discourse, research on socialization into academic discourse or literacies in one's first or subsequently learned languages or into new discourse communities has received far less attention. Academic discourse socialization is a dynamic, socially situated process that in contemporary contexts is often multimodal, multilingual, and highly intertextual as well. The process is characterized by variable amounts of modeling, feedback, and uptake; different levels of investment and agency on the part of learners; by the negotiation of power and identities; and, often, important personal transformations for at least some participants. However, the consequences and outcomes of academic discourse socialization are also quite unpredictable, both in the shorter term and longer term. In this review I provide a brief historical overview of research on language socialization into academic communities and describe, in turn, developments in research on socialization into oral, written, and online discourse and the social practices associated with each mode. I highlight issues of conformity or reproduction to local norms and practices versus resistance and contestation of these. Next, studies of socialization into academic publication and into particular textual identities are reviewed. I conclude with a short discussion of race, culture, gender, and academic discourse socialization, pointing out how social positioning by oneself and others can affect participants' engagement and performance in their various learning communities.
The first aim of this article, addressed in section 1, is to define what is meant, and not meant, by task and task-based language teaching (TBLT). The second is to summarize and evaluate 14 criticisms that have been made of both. Section 2 responds to five alleged problems with TBLT's psycholinguistic rationale, section 3 to six at the classroom level, and section 4 to three claimed problems with implementing TBLT in specific contexts. A few of the criticisms touch on important matters, but most, I will suggest, are nonissues. The third aim of the article is to identify some genuine problems in need of resolution-real issues-and briefly to illustrate research programs under way to address them.
Digital communication technologies both complexify and help to reveal the dynamics of human communicative activity and capacity for identity performance. Addressing current scholarship on second language use and development, this review article examines research on identity in digital settings either as a design element of educational practice or as a function of participation in noninstitutionally located online cultures. We also address new frontiers and communication in the digital wilds, as it were, and here we focus on cultural production in fandom sites and the processes of transcultural authoring and community building visible in these settings.
Interviews have been used for decades in empirical inquiry across the social sciences as one or the primary means of generating data. In applied linguistics, interview research has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly in qualitative studies that aim to investigate participants' identities, experiences, beliefs, and orientations toward a range of phenomena. However, despite the proliferation of interview research in qualitative applied linguistics, it has become equally apparent that there is a profound inconsistency in how the interview has been and continues to be theorized in the field. This article critically reviews a selection of applied linguistics research from the past 5 years that uses interviews in case study, ethnographic, narrative, (auto)biographical, and related qualitative frameworks, focusing in particular on the ideologies of language, communication, and the interview, or the communicable cartographies of interviewing, that are evident in them. By contrasting what is referred to as an interview as research instrument perspective with a research interview as social practice orientation, the article argues for greater reflexivity about the interview methods that qualitative applied linguists use in their studies, the status ascribed to interview data, and how those data are analyzed and represented.
This article revisits earlier proposals that language learning is, in essence, the learning of formulaic sequences and their interpretations; that this occurs at all levels of granularity from large to small; and that the language system emerges from the statistical abstraction of patterns latent within and across form and function in language usage. It considers recent research in individual differences, the psycholinguistics of language processing, and longitudinal studies of first (L1) and second (L2) language acquisition. The first section reviews studies of individual differences in phonological short-term memory (PSTM) and working memory (WM) and their correlations with vocabulary and grammar acquisition in L2. The second section summarizes evidence that language processing is sensitive to the statistical properties of formulaic language in terms of frequency and transitional probability. The third section examines the definition of formulas and formulaicity using different statistical metrics. The fourth section evaluates longitudinal research in L1 and L2 into the putative developmental sequence commonly proposed in usage-based approaches, from formula to low-scope pattern to creative construction. The final section weighs the implications of the statistical distributions of formulaicity in usage for developmental sequences of language acquisition. Zipf's law and the "phrasal teddy bear" explain the paradox whereby formulas seed language acquisition and yet learner language is formula-light in comparison to native norms.
In this article we connect the institutionalization of bilingual education to a post-Civil Rights racial formation that located the root of educational inequalities in the psychological condition of people of color in ways that obscured the structural barriers confronting communities of color. Within this context, bilingual education was institutionalized with the goal of instilling cultural pride in Latinx students in ways that would remediate their perceived linguistic deficiencies. This left bilingual educators struggling to develop affirmative spaces for Latinx children within a context where these students continued to be devalued by the broader school and societal context. More recent years havewitnessed the dismantling of these affirmative spaces and their replacement with two-way immersion programs that seek to cater to White middleclass families. While these programs have offered new spaces for the affirmation of the bilingualism of Latinx children, they do little to address the power hierarchies between the low-income Latinx communities and White middle-class communities that are being served by these programs. We end with a call to situate struggles for bilingual education within broader efforts to combat the racialization of Latinx and other minoritized communities.
Over the last few decades, task-based language teaching (TBLT) has garnered increasing attention from researchers and educators alike. With a strong and growing body of research demonstrating the efficacy of tasks to support and facilitate second language development and performance (e.g., Keck, Iberri-Shea, Tracy-Ventura, & Wa-Mbaleka, 2006), TBLT has become a leading pedagogical approach. Similarly, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has also grown as a field, with the use and integration of technology in the classroom continuing to increase (Petersen & Sachs, 2015). As these fields have matured, a reciprocal relationship has developed (Lai & Li, 2011), with the literature on tasks and technology seeking to not only examine how technology might support and facilitate language learning, but how TBLT might serve as a framework to more thoroughly investigate CALL. In light of the expanding research on tasks and technology, this review article aims not only to provide a current state of the art of how technology-mediated TBLT facilitates and supports second language development and performance, but also to describe how technology can contribute to our understanding of howfeatures of TBLT, such as task design features and task implementation, influence the success of second language acquisition. Suggestions for possible research agendas in technology-mediated-TBLT are also made.
This chapter summarizes the findings of 32 years of research from all of our longitudinal studies to date, conducted in 36 school districts in 16 U.S. states, more than 7.5 million student records analyzed, following English learners (of all language backgrounds) as far as Grades K-12. These studies are very generalizable to all regions and contexts of the United States and have been replicated in other countries, answering questions regarding program effectiveness for policymakers in education. We have shown that English-only and transitional bilingual programs of short duration only close about half of the achievement gap between English learners and native English speakers, while high-quality, long-term bilingual programs close all of the gap after 5-6 years of schooling through the students' first and second languages (L1 and L2). In addition, our studies answer the linguistic question of how long it takes student groups to reach grade-level achievement in their L2, and we have developed and refined our theoretical Prism model by collecting and analyzing program effectiveness data, basing the Prism model on our empirical findings.
Case study research has played a very important role in applied linguistics since the field was established, particularly in studies of language teaching, learning, and use. The case in such studies generally has been a person (e.g., a teacher, learner, speaker, writer, or interlocutor) or a small number of individuals on their own or in a group (e.g., a family, a class, a work team, or a community of practice). The cases are normally studied in depth in order to provide an understanding of individuals' experiences, issues, insights, developmental pathways, or performance within a particular linguistic, social, or educational context. Rather than discuss constructs, hypotheses, and findings in terms of statistical patterns or trends derived from a larger sample or survey of a population of language learners, as in some quantitative research, a qualitative case study of a person presents a contextualized human profile. Case study has contributed substantially to theory development, generating new perspectives or offering a refutation or refinement of earlier theories in applied linguistics by analyzing linguistic, cultural, and social phenomena associated with children, adolescents, young adults, and older adults. In recent years, the purview of case studies in applied linguistics has expanded to include many previously underrepresented topics, linguistic situations, theoretical perspectives, and populations. This article provides an overview of some traditional areas of coverage and then newer foci in terms of methodology, thematic areas, and findings pertaining to language learners in transnational, multilingual, and diaspora contexts especially.
For the last decade, conversation analysis (CA) has increasingly contributed to several established fields in applied linguistics. In this article, we will discuss its methodological contributions. The article distinguishes between basic and applied CA. Basic CA is a sociological endeavor concerned with understanding fundamental issues of talk in action and of intersubjectivity in human conduct. The field has expanded its scope from the analysis of talk-often phone calls-towards an integration of language with other semiotic resources for embodied action, including space and objects. Much of this expansion has been driven by applied work. After laying out CA's standard practices of data treatment and analysis, this article takes up the role of comparison as a fundamental analytical strategy and reviews recent developments into cross-linguistic and cross-cultural directions. The remaining article focuses on applied CA, the application of basic CA's principles, methods, and findings to the study of social domains and practices that are interactionally constituted. We consider three strands-foundational, social problem oriented, and institutional applied CA-before turning to recent developments in CA research on learning and development. In conclusion, we address some emerging themes in the relationship of CA and applied linguistics, including the role of multilingualism, standard social science methods as research objects, CA's potential for direct social intervention, and increasing efforts to complement CA with quantitative analysis.
Social class is a curious construct. In the discipline where it has traditionally been most at home, sociology, there has been a constant flow of commentary on its demise and, indeed, its death over the years. In applied linguistics, the situation is somewhat different in that there has been a degree of social class denial, but more importantly, there has been social class erasure in that the construct has tended to receive little or no attention in publications that deal with language and identity and social life. Where social class is introduced into research, it is almost always done in a very cursory, partial, and superficial way. Still, there has been some research examining the interrelationship between social class and language over the years, and in this article, I provide a review of that research, focusing primarily on the period 2000-2014. First, however, I include a discussion of what social class means in 21st-century societies and a short review of class-based research carried out from the 1960s to the 1990s, the inclusion of the latter being necessary to an understanding of research after 2000. I conclude the article with some thoughts about future directions.
Intervention studies typically target a focused aspect of language learning that is studied over a relatively short time frame for a relatively small number of participants in a controlled setting. While for many research questions, this is effective, it can also limit the ecological validity and relevance of the results for real-life language learning. In educational science, large-scale randomized controlled field trials (RCTs) are seen as the gold standard method for addressing this challenge-yet they require intervention to scale to hundreds of learners in their varied, authentic contexts. We discuss the use of technology in support of large-scale interventions that are fully integrated in regular classes in secondary school. As an experimentation platform, we developed a web-based workbook to replace a printed workbook widely used in German schools. The web-based FeedBook provides immediate scaffolded feedback to students on form and meaning for various exercise types, covering the full range of constructions in the seventh-grade English curriculum. Following the conceptual discussion, we report on the first results of an ongoing, yearlong RCT. The results confirm the effectiveness of the scaffolded feedback, and the approach makes students and learning process variables accessible for the analysis of learning in a real-world context.
Communicative language teaching (CLT) and task-based language teaching (TBLT) have been widely adopted in the Asia-Pacific region, with a number of Asian countries strongly promoting CLT and TBLT in their curricula and English language education policies. Despite their popularity, a number of challenges have arisen in connection with implementing CLT and TBLT in Asian classrooms. The challenges that have emerged include (a) conceptual constraints (e.g., conflicts with local values and misconceptions regarding CLT/TBLT); (b) classroom-level constraints (e.g., various student and teacher-related factors, classroom management practices, and resource availability); and (c) societal-institutional level constraints (e.g., curricula and examination systems). These constraints have led some to argue that successfully implementing CLT and TBLT in Asia requires adaptation to local environments, such that CLT and TBLT become embedded in local practices. Although there have been a growing number of reports of various CLT/TBLT implementation efforts in different Asia-Pacific regions, we still have only a limited understanding of how best to achieve contextually embedded adaptations and how they affect students' English learning. After reviewing relevant studies, this article suggests potential options for moving forward, including (a) employing more contextually feasible and flexible interpretations of CLT and TBLT, (b) implementing decentralized or innovative language-in-education policies, and (c) creating communities of learning outside of the classroom as well as in the classroom.
This article offers an overview of the main developments in the field of linguistic landscape studies. A large number of research projects and publications indicate an increasing interest in applied linguistics in the use of written texts in urban spaces, especially in bilingual and multilingual settings. The article looks into some of the pioneer studies that helped open up this line of research and summarizes some of the studies that created the springboard for its rapid expansion in recent years. The focus is on current research (from 2007 onward), including studies that illustrate main theoretical approaches and methodological development as key issues of the expanding field, in particular when applied in settings of societal multilingualism. Publications on the linguistic landscape cover a wide range of innovative theoretical and empirical studies that deal with issues related to multilingualism, literacy, multimodality, language policy, linguistic diversity, and minority languages, among others. The article shows some examples of the use of the linguistic landscape as a research tool and a data source to address a number of issues in multilingualism. The article also explores some possible future directions. Overall, the various emerging perspectives in linguistic landscape research can deepen our understanding of languages in urban spaces, language users, and societal multilingualism in general.