LINGUIST List 13.1763

Fri Jun 21 2002

Disc: Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Ronald SHEEN (UQTR-Langues modernes), Re: 13.1754, Disc: Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Message 1: Re: 13.1754, Disc: Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 02:20:06 -0400
From: Ronald SHEEN (UQTR-Langues modernes) <>
Subject: Re: 13.1754, Disc: Review: Applied Ling: Hinkel (2002)

Georgette Jabbour again implicitly refuses to provide any examples
that she reports Hinkel offers as support for her claims. This is not
surprising, as the provision of such examples would oblige her to
explain how their integration into teaching texts would result in
improvement. Instead, she refers members to various texts in corpus
linguistics and discourse analysis, despite the fact that none of them
provides any empirical evidence to demonstrate that the application of
their findings to the classroom has resulted in any identifiable
improvement in what learners achieve.

I have no objection to applied linguists doing research in some
theoretical paradigm or other. What I object to is their justifying
their work with claims of improvement in learning outcomes resulting
from the application of their findings to the classroom. Many volumes
have been published based on such claims. To my knowledge, not one
provided empirical evidence to support their claims based on the
trialling of the use of their findings in the classroom.

In a way, the situation is reminscent of that created by snake oil salesmen 
of the Old West. When the poor buyers had realised that the snake oil did 
not work, the salemen were no longer to be seen just as applied linguists 
seldom if ever manifest any accountability for the fact that their claims 
were basically without empirical foundation and have proven to have brought 
no improvement to classroom learning.

Ron Sheen U of Quebec in Trois Rivieres, Canada.
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