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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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New from Oxford University Press!


What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information


Title: Semiotics in Language Education
Written By: Marcel Danesi
Series Title: Approaches to Applied Semiotics 2

Students of foreign languages in classroom settings customarily characterize their learning experience as a monumental struggle, especially when they compare it to how easily and naturally they learned how to speak their native language. Throughout the twentieth century, this question came to constitute a central preoccupation of language educators throughout the world. Using insights from psychology and linguistics, the normal plan of language educators for resolving the problem of how to impart native-like fluency in the classroom was a relatively simple one - it consisted in devising pedagogical practices and instructional materials based on these insights. Teachers were then expected to adapt these to their specific situations. But after a century of working under this plan, surveys continue to show that only a small fraction of all language students exposed to "scientifically-designed" classroom instruction eventually achieve native-like proficiency. The vast majority of students continue to struggle.

This book purposes that the challenges posed by classroom language learning could be studied much more profitably from the particular perspective of semiotic theory, than from the perspective of other sciences.

Based on a series of research projects whose results show how powerful semiotics is as a framework for investigating classroom language learning, it is written as an introductory text for teachers, educators, applied linguists, and anyone else interested in the contribution that semiotics can make to language education.

The opening chapter provides a brief historical analysis of the main trends in second language education in the twentieth century; the second introduces the notion of network theory and the semiotic principles upon which it is based; the third, fourth, and fifth chapters then deal respectively with denotative, connotative, and metaphorical concepts and the pedagogical implications that these entail. Network theory is drafted in this book to provide a framework for discussing student discourse in comparison to native-speaker discourse. It is based on the idea that concepts form associative connections based on sense and on inference.

In the book the notion of conceptual fluency is also developed as a framework for describing learner errors, modes of discourse, and typical representations in the foreign language.

Table of Contents

Introductory remarks
Language education in the 20th century
Language acquisition
Semiotics and language education
Revisiting the SLT dilemma from a semiotic perspective

Introductory remarks
Surface structure
Pedagogical considerations

Introductory remarks
Denotative discourse
Pedagogical considerations

Introductory remarks
Connotation in discourse
Pedagogical considerations

Introductory remarks
Mataphorical circuits
Pedagogical considerations
Concluding remarks

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110169142
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 218 p
Prices: DM 178,- /EUR 91,01 /vS 1299,-

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3110169150
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 218 p
Prices: DM 68,- /EUR 34,77 /vS 496,- /