LINGUIST List 13.1729

Tue Jun 18 2002

Disc: New: Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


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  1. Ronald SHEEN (UQTR-Langues modernes), Re: 13.1701, Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Message 1: Re: 13.1701, Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 10:14:41 -0400
From: Ronald SHEEN (UQTR-Langues modernes) <Ronald_Sheenuqtr.uquebec.ca>
Subject: Re: 13.1701, Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)


Georgette Jabbour in her review of Hinkel (2002) Second Language
Writer's Text, considers the volume a contribution to applied
linguistics, contrastive analysis, and corpus-based research of L2
text and considers it important because it leads the way to the use of
research outcomes in teaching, the main intent of the book being to
serve the ESL community in planning and designing writing courses for
college freshmen focusing on syntactic and lexical features of essay
texts. GJ also informs us that "The writer's position is that native
students produce text that heralds published text, and that the
differences between native and non-natives students' text are the
problem areas that need to be remedied."

Given the above, one presumes that the book provides numerous lexical
and syntactic examples related to problems which are not part of
contemporary teaching texts but need to be included therein. If such
is not the case, one of the main purposes of the book may be negated.
Given this, could the reviewer provided a number of substantive
examples provided in the book which are neglected in available
teaching texts? The sort of examples which might appear are L-2 texts
lacking in appropriate phrasal verb usage. However, this would not be
new as we already know that L-2 speakers tend to use single-word verbs
where native-speakers use phrasal verbs.. The question I am asking
concerns what the book tells us that we do not already know.

The reviewer also indicates that the findings of the book constitute a
major contribution to ESL teaching texts in terms of contrastive
analysis. This is intriguing for two reasons.

First, the applied linguistics literature already provides substantial
evidence to demonstrate that most residual errors in advanced speakers
are L1-linked. Do Hinkel's findings support this (or not) and, if so,
do the books conclusions include proposals as to how to solve this?

Second, research on the concept of distance between languages
indicates greater incidence of cross linguistic influence the smaller
the distance between languages. Given this, one would have expected
Hinkel to have at least included texts from L2 speakers representing
the whole range of distances. Very surprisingly, the author includes
no L1 European-language speakers. Could the reviewer inform us if the
author addresses this issue and explains why such a limited number of
language-types are represented?


Ron Sheen 
Uinversity of Quebec in Trois Rivieres, Canada

 A personal note: LL provides its members with an opportunity to
engage in discussion and debate. To date, my comments, while submitted
with that intent, have been met with only a disappointing silence.
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