This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
This book is developed from an ethnographic case study which investigated Chinese adolescents’ construction of their gender identity and the way it is negotiated in the course of learning English as a foreign language (EFL) from a sociolinguistic, sociocultural and sociopsychological point of view. It documented the unseen connections between the micro-level of the students’ face-to-face verbal interactions and the macro-level of the role of learning EFL that can play in students’ construction and negotiation of their gender identity. The book aims to help both teachers and students to develop a more comprehensive view of English learning as a means to social and educational development. On the whole, the study showed that second language learning pedagogy which integrates CLT can be used as an important tool to open up opportunities for the improvement of gender awareness in cultures where gender and sex are not linguistically differentiated. It demonstrated that the EFL class can be used as a means of opening up a space where adolescents can become aware of gender and play around with this awareness. It can be educationally valuable with regard to making students and teachers think about a number of social and intercultural issues alongside cross-linguistic issues. The fieldwork of the research showed that interventions directed at attracting students’ attention to gender roles and the way they behaved in interactions in English highlight an educational function of the place of EFL in the curriculum which is so far unrecognised in China.