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FYI: Call for Papers for Edited Volume: Cognitive Grammar in Second/Foreign Language Classroom

Author: Kyoko Masuda

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
Language Acquisition

FYI Body: Call for Papers for Edited Volume
Cognitive Grammar in Second/Foreign Language Classroom

Cognitive Grammar (CG) is a model of language that has recently penetrated the field of Second Language (L2) Acquisition (cf. Achard and Niemeier 2004, De Knop and De Rycker 2008, De Knop et al. 2010, Robinson and Ellis 2008, Tyler 2012). A number of empirical studies exploring the use of a cognitive approach in the classroom have appeared lately (Berendi et al. 2008, Csabi 2004, Lam 2009, Tyler 2012, White 2012). CG has also promoted highly-effective classroom techniques (cf., Boers et al. 2004). We argue that using this framework can be very productive for advancing SLA research and improving L2 instruction.

The proposed book is an edited collection of theoretical accounts of second/foreign language acquisition using the CG perspective. The volume will offer insights into the role of cognitive grammar and basic background knowledge (e.g., usage-based model, metaphor, and prototype, figure and ground, schemata use) in second/foreign language instruction.

There are a number of compelling reasons why CG is an excellent choice for the study of syntactic-semantic acquisition. First, CG does not posit any autonomous or abstract structures and innate grammar. Language reflects general cognitive processes. There is no separation between linguistic knowledge (‘competence’) and linguistic performance. One of the tenets of CG is a usage-based model, which does not allow a separation between a theory of competence and one of performance. In this model, communicative functions are grounded in our perceptual experience, and meaning and/or conceptualization and language use are central to it. Some of its features give CG an intuitive appeal to students and instructors.

Thus, the readers of this volume will have the ability to understand each chapter without specialized training in any particular syntactic or semantic theory.

Second, the theory seeks to describe natural language data and not the idealized native speaker or learner, concepts that are currently under question. CG seeks to explain the cognitive processes that lead to dialectal variation, sociolinguistic choice and learner variation. Thus, CG is ideally suited to the learners and the language instructors are confronted with because it utilizes a usage grammar.

The theory of CG is probably new for many potential readers of the volume. In order to address that probability, the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the volume will contain an introduction to CG and a discussion of why it is a viable theory for SLA research. The remaining chapters in the volume make four main contributions: 1) They provide accurate, theoretically grounded linguistic descriptions of the grammatical item under discussion that can be understood by graduate students, teachers, and instructors who are not linguists; 2) They show how this description can be communicated in the basic language classroom; 3) They offer concrete suggestions and classroom activities to teach, practice, demonstrate and review the grammatical item; and 4) They show with methodologically sound classroom research that the description and subsequent classroom and homework activities are of benefit to the language learner.

This book opens up an exciting window into an innovative view of language teaching by taking instructional components of grammar seriously and compiling empirical studies from a variety of languages from the commonly taught (English, French, German, Spanish) to the less commonly taught (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian).

This book will also inform researchers, practitioners, and graduate students about the new endeavor of making connections between two theoretical approaches, cognitive linguistics and socio-cultural theory (cf., Vygotsky 1978, 1986, Lantolf 2007, Lantolf 2007 and Negueruela 2006, Negueruela 2009) in order to bring pedagogically sound teaching practices to the second/foreign language classroom.

We invite contributors who are doing theoretical and empirical studies in cognitive grammar in the second/foreign language classroom to participate in this volume. Some possible topics include:

1. acquisition studies of the case marking system
2. acquisition studies of spatial expressions
3. acquisition studies of metaphor
4. classroom research of case marking system
5. classroom research of spatial expressions
6. classroom research of metaphor

The language of the proposed publication is English. Submissions should be typed in double space using MS Word. Abstracts should range between 300-400 words with a few references and 5 key words and should be sent no later than January 15, 2012 as an email attachment to: Dr. Kyoko Masuda (

The subject line for the submission should read 'Submission to Cognitive Grammar in Second/Foreign Language Classroom Edited Volume'.

Submissions should range between 6500 and 8500 words. Each paper should contain a cover page (included in the email attachment containing the document) with the following information: title of paper, name(s) of the author(s), affiliation, contact address (postal and email) and telephone number. The deadline for paper submissions is August 15, 2013. Every paper submitted will be assessed and authors will be contacted through their email addresses by September 30, 2013.

Inquiries should be directed to the editors:
Dr. Kyoko Masuda
School of Modern Languages
Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Carlee Arnett
Department of Russian and German
University of California, Davis

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